We have a history that has been recorded at the Presidio of San Francisco some 223 years old. 218 years of this history is military. And yet to be precise and fair this is the partial history of the Presidio of San Francisco.
Why? Because for thousands of years, before the land was named the Presidio of San Francisco, it belonged to the Native Americans, the Ohlone.
The Ohlones spoke the Penutian language. They also welcomed the strangers.
In 1972, the human remains of a young woman were found and carbon dated to 1300 years. These remains were found just behind the present Commissary and very near to the road bordering Crissy Field. The remains belonged to a Ohlone woman. The Ohlones inhabited the extended Bay Area and the Presidio of San Francisco for over 10,000 years. This is a fact.
At this time I will state that I will fight for the rights of the Ohlone that went before us. We have a web site that you may visit www.muwekma.org. I am also concerned about the Presidio of San Francisco and so have joined you all in cyber space and you can visit me at www.ojo.com/francisco.
The written history of the Presidio of San Francisco is very rich. So is its relation with the City and County of San Francisco. One cannot talk about Mission Dolores, the 1906 earthquake, various civic and cultural developments, events like the World Fair, the various wars, without linking them to the Presidio of San Francisco.
Anyone, who has visited the Presidio of San Francisco and is open minded loves its natural setting. As military bases go the Presidio of San Francisco is a clean base. Alameda and a host of other bases are known for having been heavily polluted. Yet, over 280 million dollars have already been spent on abatement programs on the Presidio of San Francisco to date.
October 1, 1994 Sixth U.S. Army and Presidio of San Francisco, handed over the Presidio to the National Park Service (NPS). The rest is history. Today, all the facilities and eighty percent comes under the jurisdiction of the Trust. The bordering coastland comes under the jurisdiction of the NPS.
The National Park Association (NPA) the for profit organization and sister organization plays an important role in most of the deliberations and is connected intimately with the NPS and the Trust.
The Trust is a body of seven members appointed by the President and one can visit their web site at www.presidiotrust.org. The NPS, the NPA, and the Trust are entities in my opinion who do not have the interest of the Presidio of San Francisco. I strongly believe they waste tax payers money. I also believe that they do not follow mandated Environmental Laws, other Federal Laws, nor the General Management Plan that they often say they follow.
The Presidio of San Francisco was also known for its housing and buildings, many of them historic. The Water Treatment Plant, the Gymnasiums, playing fields, marching fields, Officers' Club, Bowling Centers, Commissary, Post Exchange, Museums, Post Office, Hospitals, Research Centers, Language Schools, Printing Press, Maintenance Facilities, Training Centers, Libraries, Churches, Travel Office, Recreational Offices, Logistic Control Center, Information Service Command, Directorate of Contacting, Directorate of Finance, Directorate of Logistics, Directorate of Engineering and Housing, Gas Station, Theater House, Sixth Army Band, El Polin Springs, Lobos Creek, Bernard Guest House and Pershing Guest House, the Red Cross building, Fire Station, Nurses Quarters, Auto Parts Station, Graphic Center, Housing Offices, Laundry Facilities, Auto Repairing Facilities, Huge warehouses that stored food supplies in times of emergency, telephone center, Military Police, and so on made it a city within a city.
When the Army had jurisdiction of the Presidio of San Francisco, all of its housing units and buildings were occupied. They were also very well maintained. The Presidio of San Francisco had its own infrastructure and operations that were second to none. Thousands of military and civilians worked and lived on the Presidio. Again and again the people of the City and County of San Francisco and those that managed and lived on the Presidio of San Francisco worked as a team and shared a progressive partnership.
Today, the City and County of San Francisco and the Presidio of San Francisco have very little in common. Again and again when the City and County has asked to cooperate as in the case of housing for example, the Trust the NPS quote federal laws that they say protect them. San Franciscans continue to support the Presidio as in the case of MUNI and emergencies.
When the Golden Gate Bridge was built in the 1930 the workers came from all parts of the City and County of San Francisco. When the roads and houses were built many of the contractors and workers came from the City and County of San Francisco. When great celebrations took place, the people of City and County of San Francisco and those living at the Presidio of San Francisco rejoiced. Most celebrations on Market Street had the presence of the Sixth Army Band and personnel from the Presidio of San Francisco.
The Catholic church and churches all over San Francisco are linked to the Presidio of San Francisco. All the great streets be it Van Ness, Army, Montgomery, all have links to the Presidio of San Francisco. So do the libraries and institutions of higher learning. Not to mention businesses and especially those linked to the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, and bases all over California.
Sixth Army and Presidio of San Francisco was head quartered at the Presidio of San Francisco. It serviced the twelve western states. The United States Army Garrison and Presidio of San Francisco took its commands from Sixth U.S. Army. Born of war the Sixth U.S. Army played a major role during Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and many other military operations all over the world.
The Letterman Army Hospital and the Letterman Army Institute of Research played an important role in helping thousands of patients who passed through these two centers. Again and again when I meet people who visit the Presidio, one of the main reasons, they come back is to look at the hospital and remember the days when they were at the Presidio of San Francisco recuperating and many of them also worked at the two centers.
The buildings on O'Reilly Street were houses that the medical doctors lived in. Today the have been turned to offices. What is today the Thoreau Center was once part of the Letterman Hospital.
The Tides Foundation spent about 5 million dollars to rehabilitate this complex and have a 55 years old lease. They did not pay the National Park Service (NPS) a single dollar. They do not pay the Trust a single dollar.
Over and above this discrepancy the NPS spent over 400,000 dollars on infrastructure rehabilitation and to date the Thoreau Center and Tides Foundation has not paid the tax payer and the NPS. Today, this property comes under the jurisdiction of the Trust but the Thoreau Center continues to enjoy its 55 year lease paying no rent.
Mancini-Mills received over 800,000 trying to get a tenant to occupy the Letterman Hospital, when the NPS had jurisdiction. The deal fell through when University of California San Francisco agreed to lease the building and pay minimal rent and do the rehabilitation. The NPS wanted a huge rent. The NPS, how ever on a similar deal, let the Thoreau Center go Scott free.
The General Accounting Office has investigated the NPS and the Trust and found them NOT in compliance with certain Federal Laws. To day what the Trust is doing with the Letterman Hospital Complex is something they have learned from the NPS and their sister for profit organization the National Park Association.
The 26 million Crissy Field Project does not meet the standards of any professional and standard environmental principles. No one cares about the Native Americans and the historic Shell Mounds. No one gives a dam about the 1972 human remains carbon dated to 1300 years and linked to the Ohlone. No one gives a damn that less then five percent of the Presidio of San Francisco has been archeologically surveyed. Where have all the environmentalists gone? Who gives a damn!.
Project after project on the Presidio of San Francisco today is carried out in a manner that does not comply with State and Federal laws. The Trust today thinks it is beyond the reach of any authority and can do as it pleases.
Recently, it was investigated for spending tax payers money on excessive and unnecessary first class travel. A government agency investigating the Trust ordered the Trust to follow the Federal travel guidelines that all Federal agencies have to follow.
Again and again the Trust does not follow mandated Federal guidelines pertaining to Contracts, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Disclosure of Information that the public is privy too, has too many closed sessions, in short does as it pleases.
There is no entity and no organization that can take the Trust to task. But one must remember that for a long time the National Park Association and the National Park Service tutored the Trust. I call them all crooks.
I worked for the Army. As Sixth U.S. Army and Presidio of San Francisco last Congressional Liaison, I am and was privy to a lot of information.
Since July of 1993, I first worked with Charles Swanson and the Infrastructure Group, for the NPS, controlling a budget of 50 million. Then with the Maintenance Technical Support. I moved to work with Arnie Rossi and the Real Estate and Property Management till February of 1998.
Today, because of the politics on the Presidio of San Francisco I work for the United States Park Police. All incidents reports all over the Park cross my path. I am privy to all incident reports connected with the Trust, the NPS, and the NPA. Confidentiality laws prohibit me from disclosing these reports.
So, for 15 years I have been monitoring the Presidio of San Francisco. My unique experience and perspective allows me to speak on all issues pertaining to the Presidio of San Francisco.
I attend the Restoration Advisory Board meetings. Have been chosen and appointed at the Spokesman for the Muwekma Ohlone the first people of the Presidio of San Francisco on Presidio Issues. I am a Board Member of the Buffalo Soldiers Committee. Board Member of the African American Association (AAA) affiliated to the NPS and the only non-profit organization, of African Americans in the NPS . I am also a Board Member of several non-profit organizations.
I monitor pertinent issues on the Presidio of San Francisco daily. I do this because daily the Presidio of San Francisco is being R A P E D .