SF gives the Iowa heave-ho
Surprise, surprise, surprise...
In the two years since the USS Midway found a permanent dock in San Diego Harbor, it has become a major tourist attraction. Nearly 900,000 people boarded the aircraft carrier in its first year of operation, rejuvenating shops and restaurants on the waterfront. The ship is booked years in advance for functions at up to $30,000 a pop.
Now the Navy has another ship it wants to bestow on a West Coast port: the big World War II battleship USS Iowa. But the ship has run into rough sailing and a harsh political headwind in the city the Navy thought would be an ideal home: San Francisco.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to spurn the ship. Supervisors who oppose the offer say they don’t want a ship from a military in which openly gay men and women cannot serve. They also say they don’t want it because they oppose the Iraq war, which city voters condemned in a 2004 ballot question.
What is we painted it pink and made it a homeless shelter? Nah, nevermind...
“I don’t think the climate has improved for tying a 10-story warship, or gun, to the waterfront,” Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval says.
Ooooooooooh...icky guns!
Veterans in the former Navy town are saying enough is enough.
“It’s outrageous, even for San Francisco,” Ingrid Sarembe, a Vietnam War-era vet and commander of an American Legion post in the city, says of the opposition to the Iowa. “And we have some pretty outrageous things going on here.”
So we've heard...
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former mayor of San Francisco, had pushed for her city to welcome the ship and to create a museum that would attract and educate tourists — but a challenger has emerged. Stockton, a farm hub in California’s Central Valley, is putting together a bid to place the Iowa at its freshwater port up the San Joaquin River from San Francisco Bay.
Richard Aschieris, director of the Port of Stockton, says the port has put together a donation of facilities worth more than $33 million, including a 1,000-foot-long berth, a building for a museum and 15 acres of parking on a site where the Navy once had supply and communication centers for the Pacific Fleet.
Hey, someplace normal will take it and the money it brings in...
Posted by: tu3031 2006-03-10