A new police substation on Sixth between Market and Mission should help but won’t be operational until 2011. At the same time, a sharp uptick in crime over the past few months appears to be threatening Sixth Street’s advances over the past few years.
Sixth Street crime up; new businesses struggle [SFGate]
Sixth Street “Shooers” Hit The Corridor This Month [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by diemos

    Everyone always tries to “gentrify” without answering the question, “So where are the bums supposed to go?” You get rid of them in one place they’re just going to go someplace else. Without a plan to actually deal with the low-lifes it’s just a game of whack-a-mole.

  2. Posted by Jamie

    Sounds like I need to go visit my friends at Miss Saigon or Passion Cafe for a few meals to help them out with current challenges.

  3. Posted by scurvy

    The police substation isn’t going to help at all. When SFPD isn’t sitting on their asses or cruising around in cars which they refuse to leave, the DA will just let them all go and cite some new-wave project that Seattle or Portland is trying. Not to always bash on the cops too much, but they generally know who did what and when. They can arrest them if they want to, only to see Kamala and crew let them go. So they just don’t bother. Plus, they’re still pissed at Kamala for not seeking the death penalty against the HP cop killers.
    Most people don’t commit crimes because they know it’s wrong. Others don’t do it out of fear of incarceration. When you have no fear of that, what’s to stop you?

  4. Posted by EH

    Huh, so the SFPD is too lazy and corrupt for 6th to ever change. I’ve never seen it explained so starkly.

  5. Posted by Q

    Let’s keep in mind that this is coming from Nevius. He previously railed at the horror of busing Marin schoolkids to the “ghetto” on a field trip, when the “ghetto” happened to be Pacific Heights. Facts are not his strong point.
    See: The Rough And Tumble “Inner City” Of Pacific Heights.

  6. Posted by BobN

    If you think the presence of a police station makes a difference, go check out Northern Station at Fillmore and Turk. Stroll down the block, visit the mini-park across the street. Pick a hot day, so you can enjoy the cars turning donuts right on the corner.
    When the station captain changed, we had a week, maybe 10 days, of foot patrols. Then, back to “normal”. On the other hand, maybe the new station will have windows, so the cops can have to see what’s going on outside.

  7. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Nevius is a punk. He hates anyone that is not part of middle or upper class establishment. He’s a Ayn Rand type neoliberal with the writing style of a crappy P.J. O’Rourke.
    Within a week of the Census Bureau reporting that 1/7th of Americans live in poverty, the extreme poverty rate is higher than it has ever been, and 30% of kids have to rely on supplemental nutrition programs this piece of dog doo writes racist and classist screeds encouraging us to hate the less fortunate.
    Throwing the poor and addicted in prison’s is not a humane answer for a first-world country in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, we currently imprison more people than any other country in the world–and it’s mostly poor young men of color.
    Tell that punk Nevius to go back to the suburbs where his racists ass belongs. I’m so sick of our local “news” being dominated by crap like this.
    If you’re going to pick up some human interest stories let’s pick up some stories from the people in the street’s perspective. We hear the rich property owner’s perspective all the time in the Chron and we can go to the Chronicle to hear what a bunch of black loser ghetto bums are cities are filled with. We’re inundated with propaganda like Nevius’ and hate-filled screeds against the poor or minorities. He’s like our local John Stossel. What a punk. In a just world both John Stossel and Nevius would be strung up by some homeless vigilantes. And maybe Mel Gibson too . . .

  8. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Also, the story does not prove that there has been an uptick in crime. The story is based on anecdotal evidence–pretty much like all of Nevius’ stories.

  9. Posted by stucco-sux

    SFHawkguy, if CW Nevius is your idea of an evil doer, you must be pretty spoiled.
    The guy is just a columnist, and pretty much the only one who bothers to report about what living in the city is like for everyday people.
    That’s why he’s popular, except among those whose attachment to the city is based on some twisted notion of a delusional alternative reality to the concept of basic civility — which the tone of your comment captures succinctly.

  10. Posted by Q

    @stucco-sux: It’s a sad testimony to our media that people consider what Nevius does to be “reporting.”

  11. Posted by scurvy

    6th Street has become worse lately, even if Nevius can’t back it up with facts. However, it’s hard to grab facts when the police don’t arrest anyone or even respond to calls. It all goes back to the DA people. Plain and simple.
    Next you’ll see an article where some police captain says that “the heat” is to blame for the uptick in crime. They use that one every year.

  12. Posted by Skirunman

    I don’t condone this in any way, but it is part of the unseemly history of SF. Pre-Summer of Love, with a more “traditional” police force and mayor’s office, the Police used to give a problem causing, chronic homeless person (bum) $5 and put them on a bus to anywhere outside of a 100 mile radius of SF with the promise that if they were caught panhandling or loitering or whatever again in SF, they would get a good beating and a 30 day lock up, i.e. just enough time for the bruises to heal. Rightly so we have progressed beyond these methods, but our approach to illegal behavior and the other issues caused by people choosing to live on the streets is pathetic IMO. Especially when you consider that a large percentage of these folks have serious mental health or drug use issues and should likely be committed to mental hospitals or drug rehab centers.
    @SFHawkguy: I read the article and I’m no Nevius supporter, but where are the “racist” comments? Seems like he is pointing out real issues faced by real people. Are you denying these issues exist?
    I also find it quite sad that those that profess to be the most “liberal” in SF are those that typically are the first to say something like “Well, if you don’t like my viewpoint on SF you should move to the suburbs or somewhere else.”, which is the antithesis of the liberal creed. I have lived in SF for 22 years and it seems to me this attitude has only gotten more prevalent over time.
    Poverty is a real issue, and always has been, but criminal behavior can not be tolerated and should be dealt with swiftly and justly IMO if we are going to endeavor to live in a civil society.

  13. Posted by Fishchum

    SFHawkGuy, Can you point out to us one instance in which Nevius mentions race in the 6th Street article? That’s right, you can’t.
    So you want some perspective from someone on the street? You mean like the guy who hit the doctor with a beer bottle? The woman who punched him? The guy who grabbed the nun’s arm and demanded sex? The guy in the photo who was harassing the restaurant patrons? The crack dealers dealing out of an SRO on 6th Street? Yeah, I’m dying to get their “perspective”.
    This isn’t an attack on the poor and the homeless, despite what enablers like you think.

  14. Posted by SFHawkguy

    You’re simply repeating neoliberal propaganda Fischum.
    We wouldn’t have so many poor people if it weren’t for the enablers and people that choose to live on the streets? What a joke.
    We are the richest country in the world and yet we have growing inequality and poverty. 44 million Americans live in poverty:
    This is a higher rate than in any time since the “Great Society” began.
    The increasing poverty is because the social safety net has been slowly eroded and our government is now owned by a few corporate interests which has transferred wealth from the middle and lower classes to the richest 1% at a faster and faster rate. You’re just repeating the blame the victim propaganda which is the staple of yellow “journalists” like John Stossel and Tool Nevius.
    If there is increasing poverty apparent in San Francisco its because poverty is indeed increasing–not only in San Francisco but all across the “richest” country in the World. San Francisco happens to be about the wealthiest places in the world so it can be jarring when the enablers of the rich, like the tools that work for the Chronicle, happen to stroll outside on the streets. Yeah, there are lots of poor folk about. 1/7 of our citizens are poor. And their ranks are growing. And they exist other places outside San Francisco as well. We can’t sweep these human beings under the rug like Nevius and his ilk would like. Or throw them in jail. Not only is it cruel and inhumane but it isn’t cost effective. We run the largest gulag in the world and making them bigger might increase some prison guard employment but it will be another net drain on our society.
    And I’ll give the tool Nevius one compliment: at least he had the courage to be goaded into moving into the City so that he could practice his bigotry with a little more street cred, so to speak. Can’t call Nevius a suburban-dweller anymore–at least physically–he still lives in that space in his head. But hey, he can pretend he doesn’t want to remake San Francisco into Walnut Creek.

  15. Posted by Fishchum

    So in other words, you can’t? OK, got it, thanks.
    I know plenty of “poor” people who don’t resort to drugs and violence. What’s their excuse?

  16. Posted by bg

    Fishchum, I wouldnt waste my time. Sfhawk is probably one of the east coast transplants to sf with no vested interest in improving sf over the long term, because hell probably move back to boston or upstate ny at some point.

  17. Posted by R

    How did we get onto race?
    How did we get onto poor people?
    I thought this article was about criminal behavior?

  18. Posted by SFHawkguy

    The Chronicle is stirring up racial and class fears by publishing an endless series of fear stories about the inner cities. Look at any article on about Oakland or crime in San Francisco and it is filled with racist and bigoted comments. It’s an age-old formula but one the Chronicle is really starting to go back to.
    Here’s an example of the comments sfgate is receiving in response to Nevius’ column:
    “Exactly!!! The people of SF treat crack heads like they are some kind of sacred endangered species. We should be exterminating them like rodents. But until someone does something about it, I’ll be spending my money in San Mateo!”
    Neoliberal propagandist like Nevius use race and class subtle ways to stir up resentment about lower classes so that they can pull the wool over our eyes while the rich run away with the loot.
    We imprison more of our citizens than any other country in the world. These are disproportionately poor people and minorities. And btw, we don’t imprison rich white people in nearly the same manner–even when they commit similar crimes. We use our prisons as a policy tool to lock up minorities and poor people and these types of articles simply feed the hate and lead to more right-wing fascist policies.
    How many more prisons should we build?
    If you’re tired of poor people around you then you better leave America because it’s going to get a lot worse. You can’t imprison your way out of it.

  19. Posted by sfrenegade

    I’m still trying to figure out how suggesting that criminals shouldn’t engage in criminal behavior is related to Walnut Creek. Get off the soapbox.

  20. Posted by Fishchum

    Bitching about the Chron articles and then citing someone from the COMMENTS section? Oh man, that’s priceless.
    Again, Guy, where does Nevius mention race in the 6th Street article? Are you stating that violence and drug dealing along the 6th Street corridor isn’t a problem?
    Try and answer these questions without your 2nd year college leftist rantings. It’ll be a hoot.

  21. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Look at any article on about Oakland or crime in San Francisco and it is filled with racist and bigoted comments.”
    Chill out, dude. 90% of these people are probably from out of state and have never even been to Oakland unless they flew Southwest there once. These commenters are just random haters with very little substance. Have you ever noticed that the cesspool of SFGate commenters always mentions Oakland whenever there’s a crime anywhere in the Bay Area? You’ll get some dumb comment like “______ is turning into Oakland” every time someone gets mugged.

  22. Posted by grumpy

    Well call me anything you want but I had to serve jury duty this week at 850 bryant, and it was pretty damned scary. The thugs everywhere, screaming, out-of-control behavior, it was pathetic. Then I walked back to Market so I could go and WORK and had to walk through drug addicts, crap, piss, thugs, whores, people crossing the street with no respect for anything whatsoever, young kids standing by while what I assumed to be the parents were smoking pot (thick in the air) and who knows what else.
    All of you guys calling Nevius racist or whatever, should really take a walk down there, around noon time and see for yourselfs. I was pretty pissed off that my hard work and tax dollars go to support this behavior. I was also raised poor, dirt poor at that, but I had to work to survive and had 3 jobs while I put myself through college which took 8 years. Sacrifice and working for a living and becoming a productive member of society is something that has been forgotten nowadays because people don’t have to, apparently. I don’t disagree that there are homeless people, down on their luck, but many of the troublemakers just chose to be victims and it’s a lifestyle that is chosen and enabled in this town, with other people’s money.

  23. Posted by dkzody

    I have been walking Mission to 6th, down to Howard, and back around, taking various paths, to Mission and 5th, usually in the late afternoon, as a break from my job. It is a zoo, but having worked in an inner city school for 21 years, I can tell you we are producing the next crop of residents as I write. I don’t find the street scary, since I have those 21 years’ experience. I walk with a purpose and I’m always polite to people. It is a travesty, though, that a gem of a city like SF would let this happen. On another note, it seems that someone has done a better job clearing the homeless off the triangle at Howard & Embarcadero.

  24. Posted by givemeabreak

    I also had a project at 6th and Jessie/Stevenson and the area is a pit. But if you keep it to before 1000 a.m. it is survivable. The mid Market project can only help the area. The current denizens will go where they have to–they are truly pathetic and sad but they have ruined a part of SF

  25. Posted by nnona

    It would be a safe bet that Walnut Creek is a more desirable place to live than wherever it is SFHawkguy comes from.

  26. Posted by scurvy

    I think a large problem with SF progressives’ approach to homeless is treating street people as if they were homeless. Let’s get one thing straight though, there are homeless and there are street people. Homeless are there involuntarily. Street people are there because of substance abuse, addiction, crime, etc. Basically, street people are there because in one way or another, they want to be. These are the people that should be rounded up and thrown in jail — they’re the aggressive ones. The real homeless are regular people who don’t have a home because they’re down on their luck. Help these people out. Arrest the street people. It’s really not that hard. Oh except after you arrest them, please prosecute them. kthxDA.

  27. Posted by dkzody

    I have to agree with Scurvy…we had an elderly homeless lady down on the triangle and she was offered help but refused it. I made food for her and she reached a point where she refused my offers.
    A recent piece in the Chronicle was about a lady who made tuna sandwiches for the homeless along Market. One of them complained and wanted a nutspread on multigrain bread. Many of these people like the life they have engineered for themselves.

  28. Posted by tipster

    Read the unibomber’s manifesto in the name link. he had a theory about progressives(he calls them leftists) that matches what you guys are saying. The unabomber was a whacko guy, but insanely intelligent (literally).
    His theory was that leftists hate themselves, but really just like telling other people what to do. They adopt causes that seem unassailable because no one can speak against them without looking dumb, then they demand everyone adopt them. They, themselves, have little allegiance to any one cause: when they tire of it, they move on to the next cause du jour. Are there people still starving in Africa? Who knows: the cool people have moved on to something cooler.
    If you believe his theory, the progressives really don’t care that they are forcing the city to help people who don’t want help. They get their satisfaction out of knowing that they have forced the city to so something it wouldn’t have done. That in itself is enough.
    In fact, it’s doubly satisfying: they force the city to do something the homeless don’t want AND they force the homeless to accept it from a city that can’t afford it. If the Unabomber is correct, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect progressive cause.

  29. Posted by sfrenegade

    “I have to agree with Scurvy…we had an elderly homeless lady down on the triangle and she was offered help but refused it. I made food for her and she reached a point where she refused my offers.”
    Agree with both scurvy and dkzody. I have offered to buy several of the street people a meal in the past, but my offer is always rejected with “just give me cash.”
    The real homeless are the ones that aren’t homeless for very long, as scurvy said. In fact, according to Malcolm Gladwell, the most common periods of being homeless are for 1 and 2 days. It is the outlier chronic people that you see in San Francisco, and they are incredibly expensive to society.

  30. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    You guys are making this way, way more complicated and philosophical than it really is. That, or you just slept through the last section of California History in High School. scurvy wrote:

    Street people are there because of substance abuse, addiction, crime, etc. Basically, street people are there because…they want to be. These are the people that should be rounded up and thrown in jail — they’re the aggressive ones…Arrest the street people. It’s really not that hard. Oh except after you arrest them, please prosecute them.

    I’m not an attorney, but I’m pretty sure you can’t do that in California, due to the infamous Lanterman-Petris-Short Act:

    Mentally disordered persons and persons impaired by chronic alcoholism may no longer be judicially committed.
    Mentally disordered persons shall receive services pursuant to this part. Persons impaired by chronic alcoholism may receive services pursuant to this part if they elect to do so pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 5225) of Chapter 2 of this part.

    Of course, you can pass all the laws you want mandating services to chronic inebriates, but where are you going to get the funds to do so in a state where it takes a supermajority to raise taxes? And then, when the city attempts to do something about it, such as a a nickel-a-drink fee to pay for alcohol treatment programs, the mayor, a supposedly recovering alchoholic, no less, vetoes it!
    grumpy wrote:

    Then I walked back to Market so I could go and WORK and had to walk through drug addicts, crap, piss, thugs, whores, people crossing the street with no respect for anything whatsoever, young kids standing by while what I assumed to be the parents were smoking pot (thick in the air) and who knows what else.

    I’m sure the parents, if indeed they were, were self-treading a legitimate medical condition with duly-prescribed “medical cannabis”. What you experienced was like walking through Celebration, Florida compared to what it’s going to be like in a few years after Prop. 19 passes. Just you wait.

  31. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Re. Prop 19 — personally I am tossing around the idea (as are many others) of developing and distributing a brand of machine-rolled joints that can be sold in gas stations and convenience stores all over California. The marijuana business is going to need a whole new set of players — MBAs, manufacturing and marketing people — to grow to its full potential once legalized.

  32. Posted by sfrenegade

    Btw, according to Seattle’s experiment, it’s apparently cheaper to house some of these street people than not to do so:
    “The University of Washington study backs that up. Researchers tracked 95 residents and found that the average one racked up $42,964 in health care and incarceration bills in the year prior to moving into 1811 Eastlake, compared with $13,440 during their first year of residency.”
    That’s $11.2M spent to save $2.8M/year.
    However, there is one difference from how SF does these sorts of things:
    “The site was selected, in part, because there were few businesses and residences in the immediate vicinity and it was buffered on two sides by Interstate 5 and an overpass.”

  33. Posted by lol

    Let’s see. Hard core alcoholics allowed to drink. Drunk alcoholics housed next to a couple of high traffic thoroughfares.
    I smell a Frogger effect there.

  34. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Its a great, practical policy with no real downside. There will always be drunks — those who cannot or will not be helped should be allowed to drink themselves to death at minimum cost to taxpayers. Saving $2.8M/year on an $11M investment yields a return of about 25% p.a.
    That’s the kind of good economics we need more of in SF.

  35. Posted by sfrenegade

    “That’s the kind of good economics we need more of in SF.”
    Yes, cost-effective ideas are good, unlike much of the current regime. However, the distributive justice types would probably want to put SF’s “wet house” in Pacific Heights, including with all of its real estate costs.

  36. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    It takes a really twisted sense of morality, or perhaps just being a libertarian, to think that a public policy which encourages a certain percentage of the population to drink themselves to death has “no real downside.” Was this a troll comment? I couldn’t tell.
    The downside, for those not so in thrall to the philosophies of Robert Nozick, is that someone who is a human being, with inherent dignity and worth, is being allowed to immolate themselves in ethanol, and on the public’s dime, no less, so as to pose a “minimum cost to taxpayers.”
    Anyway, I disagree with diemos’ comment up top. Almost every mayor since Frank Jordan (and probably before that, but I was too young to be paying attention then) up to and including the present one has had a plan for addressing the plight of the homeless in The City. “Care not Cash” was a plan, remember?

  37. Posted by diemos

    “is that someone who is a human being, with inherent dignity and worth, is being allowed to immolate themselves in ethanol”
    Freedom, includes the freedom to fail and the freedom to destroy oneself.

  38. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    “is that someone who is a human being, with inherent dignity and worth, is being allowed to immolate themselves in ethanol”
    That about sums it up. Except for the “inherent dignity and worth” part. Deep down inside, we’re all just animals.

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