Thursday, April 03, 2014

MUMC's Shame: Faded Rainbow Flags Blight Castro Street

On Monday, I sent my request to Mohammed Nuru, the head of the Department of Public Works and his spokeswoman Rachel Gordon, to have 25 or so filthy rainbow flags from District 8's outer Castro rim and she sent word that they were gathering permit info and would try to get back to me on Tuesday. Hope she'll communicate before the week is out.

Meanwhile, I've confirmed with a reliable Castro neighborhood source that the Merchants of Upper Market Castro have been permitted and responsible for maintaining all of the rainbow flags on City utility poles. Well, it seems I am one of a handful who have noticed for years that the flag banners were in terrible shape needing refreshing. Heard from several District 8 voters who want them removed, if MUMC won't replenish them.

Happy to make another request to my City government to remove this blight since it's clear MUMC doesn't give a damn about them.

Folks, it's not like the flags got so bad overnight. The tears and fading, not to mention the dirt caked on the cloth are insult to the Castro and LGBT community and it adds insult to injury to think MUMC won't allow public comment at their meetings so the non-merchants could engage with them directly and tell them their stewardship of the dozens and dozens of flag banner is irresponsible and a blight.

Consider this. One of the most drained-of-color banner is in front of Cliff's Variety Store which is own and managed by Terry Austen Bennett and her family, and she is the president of MUMC. Oh, sure she's had plenty of time and energy to keep an iron-grip on the (once) public flag pole at Harvey Milk Plaza and deny equal access to that rainbow flag for the community, but over the years has been blind to what is in front of her store.

I also have to point out this is a visible message from the officially-sanctioned leaders of our cherished Castro gayborhood regarding upkeep of the area and make it something we all can be proud of. Questions must be asked why all the businesses and members of MUMC, oh, and the Supervisor who's usually quite anal about every square inch of the Castro, allowed this ugliness to take root and remain for so long.

Let's put political differences aside, for the beauty of the Castro and urge DPW to get these filthy flags off City property in a week or so. How much time is needed to send a crew with a cherry-picker and get the job done?

I'm sending this post and the pix to Mohammed and Rachel. Update to come when I hear from them. Not sure that anything good can come from MUMC on this blight.

 The crossroads of Gay Mecca deserve a rainbow banner with some pride.

 Looking down 18th Street toward the Mission, there are two blocks of flags.

 Someone should ask MUMC and Castro Big Boss Bennett to step out of her emporium and look up at the lampposts.

 It's time to get new flags on Castro Street already.

 A perfect image showing the problem. In the background is the enormous MUMC controlled public flag at Harvey Milk Plaza, and the utility pole above the pizza parlor looks like it should have been replaced three years ago at least.

 The Castro Theatre should be bookended with bright hues of the rainbow!

 There are plenty of flags on 18th above Castro that need to be tossed into the recycling stream.

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