The classic film On the Waterfront involved plenty of fighting — with both longshoreman's hooks and bare fists. The battles on San Francisco's own waterfront are far rougher. But, upon reflection, they resemble high-stakes — and very grown-up — versions of the Marshmallow Test.
Would San Francisco rather have yachting billionaire Larry Ellison pour $91.5 million into crumbling Piers 30-32 and then recoup his investment by keeping them, rent-free, for 66 or more years? Or would the city be better off putting $7 million or $8 million of its own money into partially revamping the piers — and then retaining them as a revenue generator?
Well, the former is off the table. But Port of San Francisco staff at yesterday's Port Commission meeting floated the proposition to resurrect Piers 30-32 — and at what passes for bargain basement prices in this game.