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The Quick List: Downtown, FPD, Gays in the Central Valley and 4th of July Fun
Here are some stories that Famous has been following the past week. With commentary when needed.
- Who’s afraid of big bad downtown?
Last weekend The Bee had a nice piece on the inroads being made in revitalizing downtown—or at least the small section around Fulton Avenue just north and south of Divisidero Street. The story came complete with this wonderful bit of hyperbole: “Nobody's afraid to come downtown anymore.” That prompted the question: Is downtown shedding its image as a crime-ridden cesspool of drugs and homelessness?
Quick answer: With some of us.
And to all the rest, who cares? You can’t change every mind and it’s probably silly to try. It’s better to just let downtown keep on keeping on.
Let the detractors have their internet threads.
- IBC cuts hours
Ironically, that story comes just as Iron Bird Café, seen as a building block of the “new downtown,” announced it is cutting hours. It will now close at 2 p.m. every day, leaving a big hole in a big part of the neighborhood for a big part of the day. It’s marginally better than a “For Lease” sign hanging in the window. Without talking to the owners (or employees), I can’t say what the problem is, but slashing hours seems desperate and like there is a lack of vision and trust in the business plan. That said, the café is an important part of my community, one that employs people I know and has been instrumental in moving this section of downtown forward. Here’s hoping the owners can figure a way through this and that the community support will be there when they do.
- The Central Valley is so gay
Same sex marriage is now on the books in New York. On the west coast, Ed Stewart passes along this story from the SF Gate. According to census figures, the Central Valley (Tulare County in particular) has more same-sex families than most of the state. Including San Francisco.
While that seems at odds with what we think we know, the story points out some obvious reasons why this is the case.
The families admit they still deal with intolerance.
- Jerry Dyer retires
After a decade as the Fresno Police Department’s head honcho, Jerry Dyer is retiring. Well, whenever the city finds a suitable replacement, which could be as long as eight months. Good or bad, he was the embodiment of the FPD in the community and that sort of presence will be hard to replace. But, the department has often been seen as heavy-handed and if done right, the hiring could go a long way in fixing that image, especially now that we've lost our police auditor. Also, here's a good read on what Dyer's retirement means money wise.
- We don’t need no water, let this sucka burn
This Monday is the Fourth of July. You’re going to be temped to break out those fireworks you smuggled back from Nevada or Montana or wherever you picked them up. You’re going to be temped to shoot them off in your backyard just to hear the oohs and aahs from friends. It’s safer for everyone if you don’t. Also, stay out of rivers, lakes, stream and canals. That water is cold and moving FAST.
Actually, just refrain from having any fun.