« AnteriorContinuar »
I don't know about the students but the Army, I feel, is doing a fairly good job of keeping it up, maintaining it; and, really, I think rather than transferring to the Interior Department or having it remain Defense Department, how about joint Interior and Defense Department, sort of a commission to go and study the problems of housing.
People have said they are going to build mass housing. The Army says it is not going to. We should perhaps have a commission go and study that problem, perhaps made up of both the Defense Department and Interior Department to go and look at that problem.
So our hope again is that you do support this bill because it is very important. We need it. Many people need it.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you. We appreciate your interest. (Prepared statement of Ted Shaner follows:)
STATEMENT OF TED SHANER, ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON
HIGH SCHOOL, SAN FRANCISCO
Gentlemen, of this committee, my name is Ted Shaner, I reside at 30 Cornwall St. in San Francisco which is just a few blocks from the Presidio golf course and Julius Kohn Playground. I attend G. Washington High School and serve on the Executive Board of that school.
First I'd like to thank this committee for allowing me to speak before you. Second, I'd like to say that the proposed bill is very good.
We Washingtonians just finished a successful battle aaginst highrises around our school and we now feel that the preservation of open space is essential.
Utilization of properties such as Ft. Mason should definitely be in this bill. Coordinating the Pt. Reyes seacoast with this proposed park is a great idea.
The only thing about this bill that one might have reservations about is the transferral of the general Presidio area from the Defense Dept. Instead of this the Presidio would be coordinated by both departments. The Army would continue in its present form and would continue to keep the area as protected and safe as in the past. Yet all of the foolish and wasteful ideas on housing and building and matters of that nature would be in the hands of the Interior Dept. And this would check the possible destruction of what I consider a much more beautiful area than the Golden Gate Park.
One of the main concerns of the establishment of a park is maintenance and safely. This park should it be established, must not fall into the same pit the Humbolat National Park did without money to adequetely care and help make the park desirable to everyone. Also make the park open to everyone not open only to thieves, pickpickets, and muggers. Golden Gate park was plagued by that some time ago. And though it is much better one is still advised not to walk though it at night. You must keep it safe for all concerned.
Again, the proposed park should be free. This would emphasize that it is open to everyone to wander and look around.
Finally, if this park is established and I do hope it is, I hope you make stringent rules concerning automobiles and traffic and the like. The park should not be turned into a smog haven for all those concerned. But more of a walking or bicycling emphasis.
So, in summary, the park concept is very good, if it is established as it should be, maintenance and safetly should be high on the list of priorities. Stringent transportation rules established. No fee. And most important, that the Presidio be kept in the Defense Dept. hands but with housing and such matters taken care of by the Interior Dept.
Thank you all, very much.
Mr. TAYLOR. Are any of the other witnesses whose names I called a few minutes ago here?
I might state that when a group of people send in their names as
witnesses and then don't show up, it does confuse our schedule and it makes it a bit harder to conduct an orderly meeting. Some organizations, unfortunately, encourage all their members individually to send in their names as witnesses thinking, I guess, that we count noses. Well, we don't go on that basis at all. Our decisions will be made on the basis of arguments well presented and intentions well made. One group sent us a whole group of mimeographed slips, just names and addresses.
On the other hand, though, let me say that we do appreciate the interest which causes so many people to desire to testify and causes so many people to be here today.
We have a statement from John C. LaBoyteaux III, which will be placed in the record at this point.
(The statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF JOHN C. LABOYTEAUX III, SAN FRANCISCO
I am employed by an institution which operates residential treatment centers for emotionally disturbed teenagers, most of whom are placed with us from county juvenile authorities. These young people were not born disturbed, something happened along the way which has stopped their emotional maturing process. We accept placements from every county in California. All the young people I have seen in this work have been from dense population centers, though not necessarily from minority or ghetto neighborhoods. Logically of course there are many factors operating to cause these problems, not just the lack of open space, but I believe that the lack of open space definitely is at least a partial cause.
One other observation from my limited experiences in international work in Mexico and some short time spent in rural parts of this country is that it seems to me the closer people are to the earth, the closer and more concerned they are about each other. Loving one's nighbor is more than a religious principle; if people are concerned about each other I think it is a sign of a healthy civilization.
I believe the San Francisco Bay Area needs this recreation area. I believe it would be an outstanding example of the principle of parks to the people because of its availability to public transportation. Considering the present population of this area to say nothing of the projections, I believe we need this recreation area in its entirety as proposed by Mr. Burton. I would support making it even larger if that is possible.
I am concerned about the position which Mayor Alioto has taken in respect to the retaining of military control. I believe that with his proposal for a cooperative control of the land in question depends too much on the continued understanding between the military and the city of San Francisco. Both parties could change their position in the future and will no doubt undergo pressure to do so as the need for more housing increases. I would much prefer to have the complete parcel of land included in Mr. Burton's bill controled by the Department of the Interior.
I urge the subcommittee to recommend the passage of Mr. Burton's bill in its complete form in as far as what particular parcels of land will be included in the recreation area under Department of Interior control is concerned. Mr. TAYLOR. Our next witness is Mr. Toft.
STATEMENT OF AL TOFT, CITIZEN OF THE BAY AREA
Mr. TOFT. Unfortunately somebody has left with my copies. May I mail them in later and just-it is just a short statement? Mr. TAYLOR. You may proceed and the reporter will take your statement as you talk.
Mr. ToFT. Thank you. Thank you very much for being here.
I would like to bring up a point that some people have made. As this is a working day, there are many people that cannot testify. They are working, and another reason, I have asked many people about this meeting and they don't know a thing about it. There are thousands of people that don't know this meeting is in progress. I think they would like to possibly testify. They have a lot of things to say, especially the young people.
I am here because I wholeheartedly support this Golden Gate National Recreation Area and I feel that there are many people that are not here that do not have the opportunity because they are working or they do not know of the need, and I am sure that they would like to support it and have several arguments for it.
Thank you very much.
Mr. TAYLOR. I might just state to you, Mr. Toft, that we did send news releases out to the press and a notice of the meeting was in the different papers.
Mr. TOFT. I heard of one 2 weeks ago in a Sunday paper and there was one-I heard of one in yesterday's paper and I saw one last Friday, however.
I am an outdoor person myself and every weekend I am out in the country, out in the hills, and I don't get to see the Sunday paper and I feel that there are a lot of other recreation-minded people that are out in the hills, too, that are not out in the open.
Mr. TAYLOR. Of course, we have to depend on the press to pass the word for us.
The gentleman from California.
Mr. JOHNSON. I just want to say, Mr. Toft, as long as the rule of the committee is to hold the record open for further statements for a period of a week to 10 days for those who failed to appear here to send their statement in—having a field hearing, we also allow that privilege.
Mr. ToFT. I just wanted to bring that point up.
Mr. TAYLOR. I might state in the absence of objection, the record will be kept open for 10 days for anyone else who wishes to send a statement in to do so and you can tell that to the other people who are out in the field.
Mr. TOFT. Thank you very much. I will send those in.
(Letter to Congressman Taylor dated August 9, 1971, follows:)
Hon. Roy A. TAYLOR,
Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation, Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SIR: As this is a working day, many people who would wish to be here and testify do not, unfortunately, have the chance. Also, because of insufficient notice others will miss this meeting.
I am here because I wholeheartedly support the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area and feel that many others do support the proposal, but are unable to be here.
Dated San Francisco, Calif., August 9, 1971.
Mr. TAYLOR. Marie Weaver. I have attended a great many of these field hearings and I believe we have had fewer objections today from property owners than at any other one I have ever been connected with. The reason is perhaps the fact that the Government owns most of the property.
STATEMENT OF MARIE WEAVER, CITIZEN, OLEMA VALLEY, CALIF.
Mrs. WEAVER. I was on the list and I didn't know I was on until I arrived this morning and I kind of chickened out a little earlier to get up here. But I have written a letter to each of the 23 people who are on the subcommittee and I would guess that you received it because I did receive replies from two who are not here.
I am really very surprised that there aren't any other property owners. I don't know what their attitude is. In our situation, my brother and I are the executors of our aunt's estate. Her property is in this lovely Olema Valley.
We obviously are the ones that are very often maligned on this logging charge. It is not always fair, believe me.
The taxes on the property were up to $17,000 with no income when we were approached by many, many, logging firms and this is the reason that my aunt sold some of that timber.
Well, as you probably know, at least everyone who is familiar around here know that the county shut it down, and so forth.
If you knew that land before that part of it was logged, it was such a thick forest that no one could get through it. Animals couldn't get through; the people couldn't get through, and it is the first time in our lives we have ever been able to walk through it. It is open; the sunlight comes through. Everything is growing green.
I will read you this short part out of our letter and our feeling on this is we at this point have $20,000 in taxes and we have a gross income of $1,500 a year on that property. The other landowners in this area have a similar plight and the situation has become quite desperate. One has $2,500 a month in taxes. We have no recourse but to turn to our legislators for aid and justice. We have obviously been abandoned by the counties. We have a tax for potential housing development, yet the zoning boards of the county refuse to permit development of this area in any economically feasible manner and I feel one solution to this problem would be public acquisition of the whole area-Bolinas Ridge, that valley from the Bolinas Ridge to Bolinas Beach.
When anyone says that it is magnificent country, believe me, it is, and we would hope that you would take it.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you very much.
Lucretia Edwards. Is she not here?
STATEMENT OF LUCRETIA EDWARDS, CONTRA COSTA SHORELINE PARKS COMMITTEE, RICHMOND, CALIF.
Mrs. EDWARDS. It is Mrs. Edwards. Thank you. Chairman Taylor and members of the committee, I am Mrs. Thomas Edwards. I live at 237 Bishop Avenue, Richmond, Calif., and I represent the Contra Costa Shoreline Parks Committee.
As citizens of one of the counties that comprise the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, we feel privileged that we have a right to voice our concern on this matter which is of such importance to all of us who live in this area.
Though we are across the bay, we in west Contra Costa County are struggling in the very center of a predicament identical to the one the wider bay area will presently experience if this legislation is not passed.
While there is still open land unspoiled and available, while there is still time to prevent a repetition of our sorry situation, we sadly present our experience as a horrible example. We hope that by so doing we may add to the body of testimony that points to the urgent need for positive action and legislation, to insure the protection and preservation of the beautiful headlands of the Golden Gate. The city of Richmond was born at the turn of the century, initially as the western terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad. The next year the refinery that was later to become the Standard Oil Co. of California was built near the railroad and Richmond's future as an industrial city was established.
In those days shipping was still in its heyday, so it was natural that as satellite industries clustered around the refinery and the railroad, they bought up vacant shoreline properties, with the anticipation of future expansion involving docks and wharves and warehouses, and ready access to the water and the ships that would shuttle raw materials and finished products back and forth.
This pattern of industrial acquisition of waterfront land was repeated in other cities along the Contra Costa County shoreline. While much of this land has not been utilized for harbor and docking facilities, due to changing modes of transportation and by the silting of the bay, while indeed it is undeveloped, it is still owned, monopolized, and isolated from public use by private industry.
It is ironic that while this land was preserved for the most selfish of motives it is for this reason that the land is miraculously still virgin, intact, and unsullied. It is, however, tragic, in view of the critical need for parks in urban areas, that though the original reason for obtaining the land no longer exists, the waterfront land lies unused but unavailable to the people who need it.
Contra Costa County, with a shoreline of 75 miles has approximately 32 miles that provide public access to the unique beauty and recreation potential of the waterfront. The city of Richmond, with 33 miles of that shoreline, until a few years ago had only 65 feet of boat launching ramp whereby people could get to the water. Today, thanks to the recognition that this was an outrageous situation and the subsequent energetic efforts of numerous people, there is about a mile of public access to the water.
This situation is not unique to our city and county. It is sadly typical of the entire bay.
Mr. Taylor, since I must stop now, I would beg your indulgence to ask that you finish reading my remarks as my punchline comes at the end.
Mr. TAYLOR. We hate to miss that punchline and if at the very end we have got a minute of extra time we will let you come back and present it to us.
Mrs. EDWARDS. Okay, thanks.
(Prepared statement of Mrs. Edwards follows:)