The Dish

Finally, a piece on the Dish! I plan on making a longer documentary on the history of this place and its significance to the neighborhood. If you have any photos or video of you and your friends skating here, send it my way; I’ll put it to good use. Got some good stories? You know where to reach me.


Bayview residents want work at the Shipyard redevelopment

The Hunters Point Shipyard may once again provide the Bayview community with jobs and residence as the construction of a new urban development continues and the first residential units near completion; however, the community’s desire for stable employment and affordable housing lies in the hands of the developer, Lennar Urban.
Lennar stands that the company’s objective is to reserve jobs on site for the Bayview-Hunters Point workforce, as well as small businesses.  “To date we have 43 percent San Francisco residents and 32 percents Bayview residents working on site,” said Lennar’s project manager for the Shipyard, Thor Kaslofsky.  “Projects will be broken up to provide opportunities for multiple contracts to be involved.”
Many Hunters Point residents see the project as an easy way to employ people in the community, as the Shipyard previously had until its closure in 1974.
The Shipyard once provide jobs the Hunters Point community, especially African-Americans.  The building of trains, merchant ships, warships, and the loading and unloading of cargo gave many employment opportunities and a reason to want to stay in Hunters Point.  However, the closure of the Shipyard by its later owners, the U.S. Navy, brought a rise of unemployment in the area.  And after the area was declared a toxic site due to nuclear testing, the  area was left untouched, leaving a heavy burden on Bayview residents.
After decades of sitting vacant, the land was transferred to Lennar in 2004.  Over time the project expanded to include the Alice Griffith Projects and Candlestick Point, including the soon-to-be-vacant Candlestick Park.
Hunters Point continues to struggle high unemployment rates.  According to the 2011 census, 14 percent of the 25,760 eligible to work are unemployed.  A majority of those with jobs are have to commute to other parts of the city where there are jobs available.  Now that construction for the redevelopment has begun, many community members hope the Shipyard will the leading employer for the Bay View, once again.
A Hunters Point native, Claude Carpenter, has worked to get residents jobs in the construction industry after the closure.  “Construction is not a job, it’s a career,” stated Carpenter.  “In order to build a new community, construction comes first.  Since the Shipyard impacts the community, they have a right to be a part of it.”
Over 10,500 units are planned to be built and total completion of the project is expected by 2039.  Three hundred acres of parks and recreational areas are planned, and Candlestick Point is to be renovated.
“Everyone in 94124 should get priority for jobs,” said Willie Redmone, Hunters Point resident, “Especially if they are qualified.”
Under their “Small Businesses Enterprise Policy” and “Bayview Hunters Point Employment and Contracting Policy,” Lennar promises 50 percent employment to Hunters Point residents and small businesses.  To date, however, there are only 22 workers from Hunters Point, compared to the 38 San Francisco residents working on the site.
As construction continues, Lennar plans to break-up projects to allow for more work opportunities for specialized small businesses and workers.
While many are worried about employment possibilities in the Shipyard, others voiced concerns for how the development will affect the housing market.  While many struggle to pay their rent, the fear that bringing people with higher income brackets to the area will raise rent prices has heightened.
“This construction is going to raise rent prices,” said Marvin Robinson, a Third St. business owner.  “More low income people will have to move out.”
The development plans states that the Shipyard will include mixed income housing; 30 percent will be reserved for affordable housing.
“I’m in support of Lennar,” said Raymond Chow, who walks his dogs at the beautifully renovated Heron’s Head and India Basin parks.  “Some people have lived here forever and don’t want change.”
“They’re trying to take everyone out of the projects and build condos,” said Ashley Gonzalez, a Community College of San Francisco student and Hunters Point resident of three years.  “It’s about making money, not a low-income neighborhood.”

Sunny Days at Surfside

Outside the closed liquor store, a small crowd of six stood watching and waiting in the warm sun, a domino was smacked against the table which was shaded by a small city sidewalk tree; a thunderous victory for the “red team.”  The players showed their hands and started a new game; but, not without taking a stab at one another.
“Remember the other day when we beat you.”
“No, I wasn’t here that day.”
“Yes you do. Yes were.”
Surfside Liquors is a little liquor store on Innes Avenue with no windows and a faded hand-painted wood sign.  With little indicating the store has not been closed for 15 years, it is easy to pass by, except the sidewalk is blocked by a collapsible table and usually half a dozen or more people talking and waiting for their turn at a game of dominos.
Though Surfside accommodates Hunters Point residents with their snack and beverage needs, the store provides community members with a place to run into a familiar face.
“This is usually the meet up spot,” explained Jeff Anderson, Hunters Point resident and artist.  “From there we’ll decide to go fishing or stay and hangout.”
The funniest part is that the hours of the store do not correlate with the hours the crew spends out front.  In fact, Surfside Liquors is not even open on Sunday or Monday; and the guys act like ambassadors to the store, warmly greeting the customers that walk by or telling them the stores hours.
Regardless of the sun shining or if someone forgot the dominos, you will find a few people sitting out front of Surfside.  They do not mind an audience for the games of dominos, and who knows, they might even let you play.

Full Committee Meeting for Shipyard Redevelopment

The Hunters Point Shipyard Citizens Advisory Committee will hold a regular committee meeting tomorrow, Oct. 21, to report the design and construction of the naval base and Alice Griffith.

Supervisor Malia Cohen will also be speaking at the meeting.

HPSCAC meets in the Alex Pitcher Community Room at the Southeast Community Center, 1800 Oakdale Ave, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.