When San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom married lawyer Kimberly Guilfoyle recently, an event that included a lavish reception thrown by billionaire socialite Gordon Getty, the town's gossip columnists were atwitter for days. The Chronicle's Matier & Ross, for example, cooed about the smell of "glitz, media, money" and the fabulous cost of the Gettys' floral arrangements. And, inevitably, some writer (in this case, Chronicle columnist Rob Morse) dredged up that tired comparison of Newsom to you-know-who: "Forget 'Kennedyesque,'" Morse wrote. "I think we need a new word -- Newsomly."
Ordinarily, we could let that reference pass, except that it came on the heels of a recent Newsom profile in San Francisco magazine, which revealed that the urbane wine merchant/politician actively promotes himself as a 21st-century version of former President John Kennedy. "Newsom is looking more Kennedyesque than ever," writer Dashka Slater gushed. "Even his fiancée seems cast as a gracious and glamorous Jackie O."
Enough. If anyone else tempted to make such comparisons, click on the chart at the top of the column for an instructive experience.
We trust this will be the last we hear of the K-word.
Considering how bombastic the fight over building a new power plant on Potrero Hill has been, the organization in charge of local air quality pulled off a coup last week when it stealthily announced that the power plant meets its environmental requirements.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District's decision came as quite a shock to many of the plant's opponents, who have argued for months that the plant would unfairly dump more pollution on the mostly minority communities of southeast San Francisco, which would violate federal "environmental justice" laws.
The ruling is "a significant milestone," says a spokesman for generator Mirant Corp., which has had a hard time convincing a community plagued by high asthma and cancer rates that it should take on yet another power plant. But even with that victory, the battle is far from over. The two biggest obstacles now are getting approvals from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Marine Fisheries Service, which means you can expect to hear a lot less about racism and a lot more about ... fish?
"This [decision] does remove a hurdle, but there are still substantial problems for this project," says Will Rostov of Communities for a Better Environment. "The next battles are going to be about fish."
Specifically, the next sparring match will focus on the plant's "once-through" cooling system. It works by sucking in bay water to cool off its turbines, and then pumping the same water back into the bay. While the cooling method doesn't pollute the water, environmentalists say it could jeopardize local salmon by sucking fish into the system and heating up their habitat.
"On a basic level, they'll [the plant] suck in a lot of water, and then they suck out a lot of heated-up water, and that will kill fish, particularly juvenile salmon," says Rostov, "which, you know, are pretty important if you want to have more salmon."