This past November, we were extremely lucky to be at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel on the exact day they took the lens down from the top of the lighthouse for the first time since it was installed in 1872, a hundred and forty years ago.
The Pigeon Point lens is a traditional Fresnel lens, designed in 1823 by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel for use in lighthouses, and characterized by many thin layers of glass which form a prism, allowing the lens to capture more oblique light from a light source and make lighthouses more visible over much greater distances.
It consists of 1008 separate lenses and prisms, and weighs over 8000 pounds.
You can see the lens stored at ground level in the Fog Signal House at the hostel as they complete repairs on the lighthouse. Read history of the lighthouse here.
Last year, I documented birds near the Mid-Market Exception Zone that know how to share.
and now I see it as a metaphor for what the Board of Supervisors and Interim Mayor Ed Lee failed to understand about the laws they are changing, beginning with The Twitter Giveaway of 2011.
We have been talking about being afraid of the Manhattanization of San Francisco for some time now – at least since back in the 90’s – and yet we have been unable to resist this rampant development of condominiums and new structures that no one here can afford.
I see now that all these empty dwellings have been built for new employees of all the new Twitter-like businesses that will be arriving because the Board and Mayor Lee have struck down one of the pillars of our very strict tax code – brand new san franciscans most, since they rarely hire local folk.
New, young stylish grads from Yale and Harvard, MIT and Stanford, at least some of whom will be of the type we have seen already – the ones who avoid-eye-contact and civic responsibility, enrich themselves, vote for development and sit/lie laws and aid the driving out of what they deem unsightly: the unwanted poor, the homeless, the ten- and fifteen- and twenty-year San Franciscans who have just managed to survive as the cost of living has skyrocketed. At least some of them will be the Manhattanizers.
But with the upcoming vote over Treasure Island Development I’ve realized a new fear:
The HongKongification of San Francisco.
Do these pro-business, high energy politicians think we should be growing like the last decade that has created these dense cities of Asia? Do they see unlimited space for growth? Do they not know about our long history of containing that growth for aesthetic reasons and civic responsibility?
San Francisco should stay a sweet, small City with its own identity: one of tolerance, compassion, care for our smallest citizens and local businesses. We can develop our new 21st Century SF, but we don’t have to do it like the Asians have or New York did. We should do it our way: slow and steady.
Vote Karthik Rajan for Mayor, an Independent outsider who will stand up to corrupt lifelong politicians and the dozens of interests that support them.
I will demand for all of us that we scale down the SF economy for four years. I will then use half of that time to audit and evaluate our Departments and the current unchecked growth; will identify and reduce waste and re-organize, restructure and reboot the City for a better future for our children.
I will not seek re-election and I will return $400,000 back to the City’s Board and next Mayor upon departure from office, as stated in my first Campaign promise, so, if you vote for me for Mayor, when my term is done, I will give $400,000 plus interest back to the City.
Vote Karthik Rajan and we will pay less for a better quality of life.