Supervisor Mar considering increased chain store restrictions

After successfully chasing PETCO away from taking over a long vacant 5,000 sq. ft. retail space at 5411 Geary, Supervisor Eric Mar is considering increased chain store restrictions, according to The Examiner.

In late October, after a prolonged dogfight with City Hall and neighborhood pet store owners, PETCO officially withdrew their application for the space.

We asked how readers felt about PETCO being shown the doggie door in a survey in late July. The results? 61% disagreed with the Board of Supervisor’s approval of the uber-specific legislation that banned formula pet retailers from Geary between 14th and 28th Avenues.

You all had plenty to say about it in the comments too. ”

It seems that keeping chain pet stores out of the Richmond District isn’t enough for Supervisor Mar, who tells the Examiner he is concerned about the upcoming Target store openings, including one at Masonic and Geary.

“I am concerned about the many ways corporate chain stores threaten the well-being and quality of life of our community,” Mar said.

In typical City Hall style, there will be a hearing on the topic, spearheaded by Mar.

So, what do you think? Are you in favor of continuing to keep any chain store out of the Richmond District? Or should we allow them in to help fill the many vacant retail spaces in the neighborhood? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.


  1. I just finished writing to Mar, asking him to please focus on making it easier for small businesses to open in the City, rather than focusing on keeping big businesses out. The Byzantine regulations, forms, licenses, taxes, and fees required of small enterprises are daunting, and I’m sure contribute to the wealth of empty storefronts here in teh Richmond and across the City.

    Target on Masonic is a brilliant idea, BTW; I’d much rather drive there than down to Colma/Serramonte when I make a Target run. And it keeps my tax money here in the City, too. No small business is going to fill that location, which has been empty for far too long.

  2. I agree with Cath about making it easier for small businesses. Also, not all chain stores are evil, and small business probably can’t fix all the urban blight up and down Geary. Why isn’t Supervisor Mar not doing more to help our ‘hood, like leaning on the owner of the Alexandria (who I’ve heard is a pal of his) to fix it up; finding a tenant in the vacated Walgreen’s on Geary, and looking for an anchor store at the empty DeLano’s at Geary/27th? Thanks, Cath, for writing the Supervisor. He needs to hear from us.

  3. Target will provide jobs, tax revenues, make productive use out of barren space that no small business could fill, and provide neighborhhd residents with an option for affordable goods. If “Happy Meal” Mar is too blinded by ideology to see these benefits to his constiuents then he is unworthy of his office and should be recalled.

  4. The only people moving into the empty DeLano’s so far are copper thieves. http://bit.ly/sW4KE6 I don’t want everything to be Wal-Mart any more than you do, but I’d take a chain store over a squatting band of drug traffickers at 27th and Geary.

  5. I’m with you “shake-and-bake”. Let’s get the recall ball rolling. The Richmond District chooses one incompetent supervisor after another. I used to think the residents of the Richmond District were pretty savvy when it came to selecting elected officials, but then they voted Mar in and m
    my theory went bust.

  6. I agree with Cath, shake-and-bake and Paul B. I’m sick and tired of the blight that is caused by the empty store fronts and I agree that not all chain stores are evil. Eric Mar — you are not representing us. Please focus on cleaning up Geary and making it easier for businesses to open in the abandoned stores in our neighborhood. I happened to come upon the 27th and Geary “event” the other day. There were at least 5 patrol cars and approximately 7-10 officers there with rifles out and loaded descending upon the old Delanos. What a waste of our recourses! Cath, I am going to take your initiative and write and call Eric Mar. I hope the rest of you will too. Thank you.

  7. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps there is simply too much commercial space in the Richmond. If Delano’s sits empty for so long, perhaps it would be better to build condos on that lot.
    I’m not sure it’s a good idea, just thinking out loud.

    I saw Eric Mar shopping at Safeway on 7th a couple of months ago. I didn’t notice any signs of remorse for shopping in a chain store. I thought about approaching him to give some feedback about his performance as a Supervisor, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep it civil.

  8. I do think it’s important to control when and how chain stores can come into the neighborhood. But chain stores are not all bad. And the Target at Masonic seems like a no-brainer.

    It’s hard to judge this without looking at Mar’s priority list. If chain stores are his top priority then he’s way off. But if this is just one of many things he’s working on, then I don’t have a problem if he wants to talk about chain stores.

    But I don’t think he will be able to convince me that a Target at Masonic will be a bad idea. That development is not set up for small businesses anyway and I don’t see how a Target would hurt there and I think it would improve the development and bring more consumers into the area.

  9. And BTW – the Petco legislation was stupid. Way too specific and just makes our business regulations that much more complicated.

  10. Supervisor Mar is up for re-election in 2012.

    Does anyone know of any serious contenders who have started building a campaign to run against Mar? Are there any likely candidates?

  11. I am so displeased with Eric Mar’s performance. I moved to the Inner Richmond in 2007 and have been discouraged by the increasing number of empty, blighted storefronts proliferating in our neighborhood. I strongly support the Target at Masonic and Geary. I really hope that we get a more moderate, proactive, and practical candidate to run against Mar in our district in 2012.

  12. Cath so far is No. 1 in commenting and No. 1 with her views. great job!

    rigid ideology seems like a losing strategy for the neighborhood here. Eric Mar and staff, are you reading? do you give a hoot?

  13. I believe that Target on Masonic is District 5, but I’m sure that won’t stop Mar from trying to bring his anti-business agenda to the rest of the city.

  14. I don’t know anyone who thinks that a Target would threaten the well-being and quality of life of residents in the neighborhood. What does he think Target is? A crack house? Maybe so, because I am so addicted to it I frequently drive all the way to Colma to shop there. I wonder where he gets the idea that his constituents agree with him.

    It just isn’t plausible that a small business could afford a space like the old Mervyns (on Masonic), or even the empty Walgreens. I agree with everyone here who would prefer a chain store to an empty lot. At least that chain store would generate taxes and jobs and provide a service that some would benefit from.

  15. Thank God for Mar. Really, one of the best supervisors we have at this point. Keeping an eye on the plans for these large out-of-town box stores and other ‘formula’ stores is vital to keeping the essence of San Francisco evolving with unique vigor. After vetting the plans, perhaps the fit will be correct. Are some proposing that we just let it all go with no community consideration? To accept these sort of businesses (Target, Rite-aid, Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.) without consideration of the intended and unintended consequences is naive and absurd. There is always a lot at stake, even if a death by a thousand cuts seems unlikely. It appears from some of the comments, that some folks just want to hope it will all be ok, really, it will all be ok….

  16. Rob,
    What sort of consequences are you expecting? You are being vague, and so is Supervisor Mar. Whereas everyone in support of these “box stores” can name some very tangible benefits – namely, tax revenue, job creation, filling a previously empty lot, and creating services that at least some in the neighborhood will find useful.

    What benefit do we get by having strict mandates that keep storefronts empty?

  17. Please don’t just comment here; contact Supv. Mar’s office via the sfgov.org website and ensure that your voice is heard!

    Rob does have a point, that development needs to be thoughtful. My greatest concern with this is that, much like the Petco legislation, it is too narrow in focus. Death by a thousand cuts can happen both ways — too much or too little regulation. Mar seems to be falling on the “too much” side of that equation, and I very strongly disagree with him that this should be a priority. I’d like to hear his plans for the old Sears/Mervyn’s site that Target wants to move into — I’ll bet he has none.

    That said, I hope Rob and others who agree with him will also contact Supv. Mar; we all need to be part of this dialog.

  18. I just wrote to Supv. Mar’s office – I really hope that we can promote business (large and small) in our District. I shop at Safeway AND New May Wah – both CAN co-exist and do well. SF has so many rules and regulations and fees that hurt small business owners more than a Target store does.

  19. Vote the progressives and their idealogy-driven, business-killing agenda out of office in 2012.

  20. I wrote Mar via sfgov.org, and encourage all who oppose this lunacy to do so as well. Thanks.

  21. I have mixed feelings about having a Target store in the neighborhood. Yes its convenient and the Sears building needs to be filled with a business which can thrive there. But the Target corporation has had a history of giving monetary support to anti-gay rights and anti-immigration politicians and organizations, not to mention being the largest donor to Michele Bachmann’s 2010 election campaign… does tolerant and diverse San Francisco want to welcome businesses like this or is it appropriate for them to be here?

    I’m all in favor of making it easier for local small businesses to open and thrive on Geary street. But I would hate to see it turn into a long strip mall of national chain stores rather than being a uniquely San Francisco hub of commerce.

  22. Well, PW, I dont have time to fisk your entire post, but I did a quick search on your first assertion that Target is anti-gay rights. I assume your claim is based on the fact that Target made a substantial contribution to a Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota. That candidate was opposed to same-sex marriage (I, by the way, strongly support sqame-sex marriage), and as a consequence gay-rights activists screamed bloody murder. Target said their support was based solely on the candidate’s economic platform and had nothing to do with social issues. Target was acting in its own economic interest? So what? That’s what all businesses do, including the small pet store owners who banded together to keep PETCO out. Your post suggests that Target is actively involved in opposing gay rights and immigration rights. Please provide facts to support those claims. I don’t want to hear about donations to business-friendly politicians unless that support can be directly tied to their positions on social issues.

  23. Whenever I see a picture of Eric Mar, I imagine someone who goes around worrying that the world is not regulated enough by government. And too often, that appears true.

    Hey Eric, do you remember when Sears was at Geary and Masonic, the whole reason that building is there in the first place? Wasn’t a threat to the “well-being and quality of the community” then. What difference would a Target make now?

    Many of us would like going to a Target (which really has no analog in local San Francisco businesses) that we could drive to or even, gasp, walk to. People are going to go to Target anyway, and I would rather go to one a half mile from my house instead of in Colma or Novato.

    I would prefer Eric work on quality of life issues, jobs, and crime in the Richmond instead of shooing away Target. Things like that are the real threats to the “well-being and quality of the community.”

  24. Writing to Mr. Mar this afternoon. Obviously many Richmond district residents care deeply about our district, and want to be able to shop a variety of shops to fullfill all our needs -without leaving the city. I know that I do Target runs to either Serramonte or Novato & take those dollars out of SF when I do. I’m looking forward to Target being here in SF finally! Target also supports many good organizations – like St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in addition to contributions to candidates. I look forward to seeing who decides to run against Mr. Mar, and will happily volunteer to help someone who is more neighborhood & city focused and less worried about their personal political gain.

  25. It’s refreshing to see others finally expressing opinions I’ve had re: Mr, Mar’s performance as a supervisor for the last couple of years; the icing on the cake for me has been his total avoidance of the disruption to residents who live close to GGP who have had to deal with the live concerts every year. Having been on his Facebook page in the past, he seems much more interested in focusing on children and adolescents and building a “fan base,” rather than representing the voters; most of his activities seem to consist of making appearances rather than taking any active stances on district issues. I have also heard the rumors that he is buddies with the owner of the Alexandria (as well as Phil Ginsburg, the manager of Rec and Parks), and find it somewhat controlling that he’s decided, once again on his own, what’s right for the residents of the Richmond district by questioning Target. Both Target and Walmart have always been known in this city as being notoriously anti-union (okay, let’s not go there), but I see other chain stores throughout the Richmond as much as I do in other districts of the city (Best Buy, Burger King, Sprint, Trader Joe’s, Office Depot/Max, etc.). I also make runs to Serramonte to utilize Target and am looking forward to having one at a more convenient location. Besides the overly expensive and aging YMCA, there are surprisingly no gyms in the district, and I’d love to see Delano’s become a 24 Hour Fitness; it would be great to have access to some kind of fitness center in the area and I’m surprised the Richmond doesn’t have that.. I’m also ready to see a new supervisor who is more aggressive and stands up for the residents in his district rather than avoids their issues; I was very hopeful when Mr. Mar replaced Jake McGoldrick and was behind him all the way, but his total lack of inertia has shown me he is not the candidate he made himself out to be.

  26. Supv. Mar just left a message on my answering machine — I was unloading groceries and couldn’t get to the phone. He clarified that he is NOT against the Target on Masonic, and is actively working with them and the Board to address parking and traffic flow issues, etc., to get that store open as quickly as possible. Sadly, my antiquated machine cut off pretty much anything he said after that.

    I appreciate the call, and the clarification of his position, and his responsiveness. I hope he will still focus on streamlining small business regulation to encourage more diversity of retail in the Richmond and make it possible for small, locally owned stores to thrive in our neighborhood.

  27. I dont care weather chain stores are kept out or not, as SF is a mess and the politicians will never listen to what the majority of the neighbors in the area want. The city does not force me into their communistic ways as I just leave and go for a little drive do my shopping in colma as I dont want to give a penny to this screwed up city.

  28. I like the idea of a gym at the old Delanos. But, if I may throw in my two cents, I would love to see an Anytime Fitness. I was a member of one in a suburbs north of Austin, Texas before I moved here last year. Low membership fees and reasonable rates for personal trainers. This gym was also awesome for all ages and had reasonable fees for personal trainers. The closest one right now is in near the Oakland Airport but there is is one going in San Bruno in the near future if we can’t get one here.

    On another note… go Target!

  29. Eric Mar has to go! He does not represent Richmond at all! He voted against everything our district is for, just check his endorsements, then how our Richmond district votes! Target in that big mall is a no brainer. Who else can fill that spot and make it in business? This way I don’t have to go spend my hard earn money in Daly City or drive downtown, pay for parking, and shop at the future Target. Tell Eric Mar to go fix all the pot holes on Geary, Park Presideo, GG Park, by the beach. Go force the owner of Alexandria to do something with the property rather than let a landmark rot away. Who wants to start a recall campaign????

  30. Hi everyone, Nick Pagoulatos here, I am one of the legislative aides to Supervisor Mar. I’m happy to have this opportunity to respond to your comments.

    Let me begin by stating that the purpose of the proposed formula retail hearing is to allow factual information presented at the hearing to guide our legislative response, if any, to the increasing presence of formula retail stores. As Cath posted, Eric has worked with Target and Supervisor Mark Farrell’s office to ensure that their new store will blend in well at its new home on Masonic and Geary and that it opens soon to serve the needs of our residents. Our concern is not driven by ideology but, rather, by the need to mitigate potentially negative economic and/or traffic impacts and to avoid undermining our local merchants who are already facing a severe economic environment.

    Second, our office has passed legislation, in the form of the pet shop formula retail ban, which will help the great Geary corridor. It’s important to note that the idea for this legislation came from our neighborhood pet store owners and is meant to protect locally owned businesses that provide jobs for local residents and keep money in our community. As a follow-up, on November 15, we introduced legislation that will loosen height controls (it allows storefronts on the Geary corridor an additional 5 feet of height) so that a wider range of small businesses will be attracted to the corridor. The hope is that it will also lead to more attractive, modern looking, storefront spaces as well.

    Third, we are continuing to work with the Department of Public Works to ensure that Geary Blvd. is included as one of the city’s corridor clean up projects. Local activist Jean Barrish informed Eric yesterday that this effort is already having a positive visual impact. We are also actively working with Gray2Green and Pavement to Parks to make streets more attractive, livable and walkable for our residents.

    Finally, we are working with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and non-profits to find alternative ways for preschools, arts groups, and recreation groups to utilize storefront spaces.

    I encourage you to contact me directly with your concerns and also your ideas for revitalizing our commercial corridors. Please feel free to contact me via email: nickolas.pagoulatos@sfgov.org or on my direct line: (415) 554-7412.

  31. Nick:

    I’ve been to two meetings lately re: issues in the Richmond district (one of them being Outside Lands at the Police station), and you were there standing in for Mr. Mar (you explained he “had a previous commitment”). I was not able to make it to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass meeting due to an injury, but heard that once again Eric did not show,and managed to avoid any confrontations with angry residents; again, you went instead. Has it occurred to you and/or Mr. Mar that this shows a real lack of respect or consideration to his constituents, as well as gives off the message that he really doesn’t have the time or interest to deal with issues that are a concern to us? I see it happening again in your explanation above; what a large number of us want to see is a supervisor taking a more aggressive response and addressing issues himself rather than handing them over to his legislative aide and hiding behind the door. Clearly Mr. Mar is aware of the comments in this column tonight and that’s why you’re responding; why can’t he be assertive and/or involved enough in his own district to comment himself? I find his column in the Richmond Review as well as his “coffee hours” to be a bit condescending to those of us who have issues that we’d like addressed as they’re happening. I’m sorry if I’m coming across as overly blunt here, but this is the Richmond District of San Francisco, not Hollywood.

  32. We should let Target in they sell things that out not sold in the Richmond District. We go to Target stores. I rather go to the Target in San Francisco. The store were the Pet store was to go is still empty.
    Is the supervisor or the community help to find a new tenant. I do not like shopping in the City because they is not place to park and the parking meter rates our to hight. That why I like Amazon

  33. This is typical SF politics, the Supervisor is pandering to a vocal minority to gain attention for his own political gain. There are so many empty storefronts and blighted properties in the city, why when people need jobs and the city is going broke does city hall continue to make it hard for all businesses? How about adding some type of “chain store tax” or fee to larger chains to help raise money for our schools? Let Chipolte or Starbucks into the neighborhood and hold them to a high standard for design and clean-up these vacant buildings, generate tax income and provide an opportunity for people in the neighborhood to work and receive benefits. Let the people who live in the neighborhood decide if they want to patronize these stores, not the politicians. If your business is run poorly with crappy service and a bad attitude, then it’s your own fault if you can’t make it. If you run a good business, take care of your customers and provide quality, your business will thrive. Enough with these restrictions on business.

  34. @ Bob: I never saw this article as I wasn’t reading the Sunset Beacon then. But I can agree with some of the observations. Mr. Mar is overly concerned with youth and their issues while in a job that concerns an entirely large (and somewhat apathetic, although happily not in this forum) district. Is his aim to move up the ladder while promoting campaigns such as “Happy Meals” to the U.S. while he ignores what he was elected to do by his constituents? It appears so, as the district’s problems continue to fly by. On the surface, I’ve always felt that Eric seems like a nice guy (and he most likely is)… but as a politician he seems to pride himself as a “leftist,” but makes decisions for all of us in the Richmond without bothering to consult or sit down and talk with us us first. That’s not Democratic, that’s Napoleonic.

    The idea of raising ceilings another five feet in the hopes of bringing in smaller businesses is vexing to me. Do you really think the independent businesses that are consistently opening and failing are being affected by the height of their ceilings? I also haven’t noticed that independent businesses in other districts have taller ceilings. (??) We all know we have a terrible economy right now… some of the smaller businesses will make it, most won’t (and frankly, it’s always been like that in SF the 33 years I’ve lived here). It seems to me our best hope is to let the larger businesses like Target and Petco in where we can spend our dollars on SOMETHING in SF, otherwise these large buildings are going to sit there empty for a long time to come.

  35. This is to Nick: the “loosening” of height requirement is scary to me. Has anyone seen the monstrocity of the new church building next to Safeway on Noriega and 31st Ave. It is huge compared to what is around that neighborhood. 5 Feet here and there adds up to a very unsightly neighborhood.

    I really enjoy this blog. It really helps to know who to write or call to put our two cents in. I support the Target in Masonic. People in SF shop at Target. We should try very hard to fill vacant store fronts.

  36. ROb@#15, why don’t you go fly a kite with mar.. c’mon best supervisor, really?? I bet you also voted for mirkirimi for sheriff, right? GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR! GET RID OF MAR!

  37. Mar should work on keeping rents low so that local tenants can afford to stay in business. Make the landlords take the losses.

  38. Thank you everyone for your insights and perspectives. I have read through all of your comments and have finally had a chance this Saturday afternoon away from the office to respond.
    I want to be clear – I am fully supportive of the TARGET at Geary/Masonic. After discussions with community groups and residents over a year ago. it has been very clear to me that there is strong support for the Target from residents not only in the vicinity of the site, but also more broadly on the West side of the City. Even though the site sits in District 2, for over a year I have been proactively working with the project sponsors, their architects and the property owners to ensure adequate signage to direct shoppers into the complex parking structure for example, and a smooth opening for the store. That site in particular makes sense for large formula retail store like SEARS and Mervyns and Toys R Us. I have proactively met with TARGET reps to address neighborhood concerns and feel that TARGET and the project sponsors have been very responsive to Ewing Terrace neighbors and others around the store. They have pledged to work with community groups and Wallenberg High School and other neighborhood institutions as well.
    HEARING ON IMPACTS OF FORMULA RETAIL on SMALL BUSINESSES and NEIGHBORHOODS: Because of my role as the chair of the City’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee, I also have to take a citywide perspective on big issues such as the influx of large formula retail stores, like Walmart or Target stores coming into SF. The hearing that I am holding in my committee will look at data and case studies from other cities and regions to understand the impacts of these businesses on our local economy and especially our small business sector. As always, I encourage your input and perspectives. My work number is 415-554-7410 if you need to reach me or my staff.

  39. Thank you for commenting, Eric; reading the leading article, it sounds as if this originally started from a quote in the Examiner. Now that you’ve explained your stance, it helps a lot of clarify the issue.

  40. Seems a bit cookie-cutter to use terms like “proactive” when ones aide has used “legislative response” (reactive). Ideology in this city has done it a tremendous amount of harm and done more to make it unliveable for the residents. Fees/fines/saftey issues/transport (MUNI being a separate issue, but one highly damaging to the city on the whole through their behavior) quality are doing us in – there is nothing welcoming to businesses, visitors, or residents (how many of us do shopping online, or in Marin or Daly City). That’s something that *should* concern the BOS very much, lost tax revenues, but they’re blinded or in denial. Every single issue does not require a legislative response which results in endless layers of bureacracy and confusion bogging down the system. Many of the issues are ones that can be addressed without legislation or “occupy” movements. The solution starts with a bit of common-sense, and a good deal less rhetoric.

  41. It’s wrong to blame Eric Mar for empty storefronts in the Richmond. Blame the landlords! And, blame city policy that does absolutely NOTHING to zone businesses. I was walking down on Clement today, between Arguello and 12th. When I got down toward Arguello I noticed on block near Arguello with THREE beauty parlors, all right next to one another. There is a slew of beauty parlors on Clement. The whole place is filled with beauty salons and restaurants, with a few other types of retail that come and go.

    Guess what? As long as you have a lack of retail diversity, really god retailers (people who know what they’re doing) will NOT open businesses here. Why? Because unless a shopper/customer can complete a LOT of different errands in a district, they will not frequent that district. Thus, we end up with the “same old, same old”. It seems that every time a storefront goes vacant, it’s usually a restaurant, cafe, or beauty salon that moves in.

    You want a prediction for the Richmond? Here it is: Until this city starts imposing retail zoning, the Richmond (and other neighborhoods that follow this same pattern) will remain looking ratty, and continue to deteriorate.

    Do you think the landlords care? They don’t. Most of the landlord around here own many properties; they can use vacant-space write-offs to their advantage! Thus, they are NOT motivated to rent until they get their price, even if the market, or the economy is down. That’s ridiculous! the city needs to step in and set rules that compel landlords to fill vacant spaces within 12 months, and if they don’t, the landlords should have to pay the city the monthly equivalent rent for outside maintenance and upkeep! Once that happens, watch the landlord start to reduce their rates to accommodate the MARKET, instead of sitting on their hands and collecting write-offs.

    Also, what’s with those same landlords letting this district look like a retail flophouse? I’m sick and tired of walking around this district and seeing retail facades that are unkempt, dirty, badly in need of paint and repair, etc. The landlords should be *required* to meet neighborhood-defined facade standards. If they don’t they get fined, period.

    Last, if these things aren’t done, I’m completely in support of compulsory conversion of retail space to residential space, for middle-income families.

    Folks, Supervisor Mar, who I don’t always agree with, is NOT responsible for the commercial problems in the Richmond. It’s landlords, landlords, landlords. That, and a simple lack of intelligent, well-thought-out policy that zones businesses (thus, creating more retail diversity that will draw more quality and variety); strict facade requirements; and strict vacancy time limits (resulting in penalties if those limits are violated).

    For all those who are screaming we need less government, I agree that we need to let the permitting processes and licensing procedures become WAY more simple and cheap to negotiate. However, we DO need more government to control the quality of infrastructure and demeanor (n a general way) of the Richmond’s retail infrastructure. If we don’t do that, it will be more of the same. Currently, what we’re doing isn’t working out very well, right?

  42. Why is anyone surprised by Eric Mar? All you had to do is look at his pathetic track record on the SFUSD school board to see what a loser he is. I remember how he and Jane Kim got on their high horse and cancelled JROTC because of their own personal beliefs (nevermind how the kids who liked it asked for it). When the voters overturned their cockamamie ban, Eric went on record saying that the voters didn’t know what they voted for. That he, being the all knowing father of the world, knows. Whatever, bull.

    Eric Mar doesn’t have time for us yet he promised the OWS people on Market St that he supports and is there for them. Hello, most of those people are not from your district nor are they voters in the City. Stop pandering to outsiders and help your district. Better yet, get rid of him in 2012.

    I hope there will be a brave soul who will challenge Mr. Happy Meal in 2012. If not he’ll run unopposed and we will suffer some more.

  43. Bob, Leaving Eric Mar out of this for the moment; all homeless people are not alcoholic, and those that “drink themselves to death” are victims of a disease. I’m no liberal, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist
    to know that alcoholism is a disease. As for Chicken McNuggets, they are designed by McDonalds Labs to taste and feel perfect on the tongue. Frankly, I don’t want to be paying for some person’s diabetes or other degenerative disease because THEY chose to eat garbage food. Any parent who *regularly* feeds junk like that to their kids is not being a good parent. It’s less healthy than pet food!

  44. Hey Phil;

    I agree with your views on the homeless, and have worked with them for 20 years (although there IS a high degree of alcoholism/drug abuse/mental illness in a lot of homeless people, which has been the result of them being homeless), but not on McDonald’s. Did you eat at McDonald’s as a kid? I did, and so did my friends, and it was only an occasional thing, like every other month for lunch or dinner if it was a Friday night and my Mom wanted to take a break from cooking or wanted to treat us. I don’t know if you saw “Supersize Me,” but it was totally exaggerated… NO ONE eats fast food like that every meal, every day (and I don’t know of any kid who would even want to!). Granted, McDonald’s is not the healthiest food in the world, but on occasion a hamburger with french fries isn’t going to do any harm to anybody, and most other restaurants serve them too.. I definitely watch everything I eat now due to having a major illness four years ago, but how many people can say that they eat healthy 100% of the time? Re: “Supersize Me.” if I ate at almost any restaurant in the city three times a day, every day for months I’d have the same physical symptoms…

  45. @phil: How supremely convenient to be able to shuck off all responsibility and blame your faults, failings, ill-advised efforts and self-destructive actions on illness. “I’m really not a boozehound, I have a disease.”

  46. Jimmy Cross: “How supremely convenient to be able to shuck off all responsibility and blame your faults, failings, ill-advised efforts and self-destructive actions on illness”

    No shift in responsibility. Many people are diabetic because of poor life-style choices; same with lots of other diseases. Alcoholism is no different. You may disagree, but then you would be out of step with good brain science. That’s your choice.

    Dman said: “if I ate at almost any restaurant in the city three times a day, every day for months I’d have the same physical symptoms…”

    I’m not so sure about that. Today, at McDonalds, one can get healthier foods than in the past (e.g. salads). What drove that change was the outrageously unhealthy profile of the original McDonald’s menu.

    Getting back to the reason for this thread (I don’t want to hijack it). Let’s put some pressure on landlords to clean up their act!!

  47. Phil: McDonalds and other fast food places have been serving salads now for over 15 years. It’s not a new thing. My point is, no one eats a rigidly healthy meal 100% of the time. We all slip and have a Snickers bar or something every now and then; ever looked at the fat grams/cholesterol in the traditional Thanksgiving dinner? 🙂

  48. Also, not sure what you mean about landlords “cleaning up their act.” Can you say (well, write) more about that?

  49. dman said: “not sure what you mean about landlords “cleaning up their act.” Can you say (well, write) more about that?”

    The majority of commercial spaces in the Richmond are a disgrace, in terms of the condition of their exterior facades. Just take a walk down Clement – the entire length. It’s very aggravating to watch those commercial buildings practically go to exterior rot, with nothing done about it.

    Where are the exterior facade standards for commercial space? If they’re not in the code (and they probably are), they should be placed there, or enforced, respectively.

    Also, about empty commercial space: Many landlords with multiple properties can use empty space as a write-down (on taxes). Many landlords are in a robust financial condition, and will wait for YEARS before filling a space, even in the face of deteriorating market conditions, they will hold out for the rate they want. This is unacceptable. Our city should put a time-limit on vacant commercial space. I suggest one year. If the space hasn’t been re-rented in 12 months, then the landlord will be required to pay the city the equivalent of last rent charged, *every month*, until the space is rented. That money would go in a fund to keep the Richmond clean, as well as support public services (after-school programs, recreation for kids, etc.). This would keep market rates real, and force landlords to be more proactive about renting. If necessary, they would have to reduce rental rates to accommodate market reality. Why should the entire district suffer, just because landlords won’t budge? No property owner has the right to let his/her property go derelict or vacant or completely unmaintained.

    If we were living in a pure residential neighborhood, no homeowner would get away with what these commercial landlords do. It’s time for a change, and I would like to see our governing bodies start looking into ways to clean this place up via incentives and disincentives that go to the heart of the problem. We have vacant space because it costs too much; landlords won’t reduce rates; thus, landlords sit on their butts and collect write-offs, while the Richmond goes grotty. Unacceptable!

  50. Mar’s extreme left-wing ideology trumps common sense every time. Mar would rather see empty stores fronts that don’t generate tax revenue and high unemployment than a profit making chain store that employs people and pays taxes.

  51. I’m very much in favor of limiting formula chain stores in the Richmond District. Our City in general and neighborhood in particular need to maintain their unique identity: I don’t want to live in anywhere U.S.A, filled with McDonald’s and Wendy’s and Walmart and Starbucks. I want to live in the Richmond District in San Francisco.

    However, having said that, perhaps an exception should be made in the case of Target taking over the Geary/Masonic location. The site has been vacant for years, and that’s not helping anyone. I’d much prefer to see some innovative enterprise take over, of course (light manufacturing/design/hacking space/ artisans’ center anyone?)

  52. To those calling for the recall of Mar:
    He’s up for reelection in November. I will quicker, easier and a hell of a lot cheaper to elect someone else in November.

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