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Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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ever-increasing property taxes (and resulting rental increases) can
only encourage the exodus from the City. Tax relief for the home-
owner, who now carries a disproportionate responsibility for
government support, must be sought.

Although many problems have beset this Board of Supervisors,



we cannot fail to comment upon the ability and dedication of certain
of our Supervisors. The City has benefited from their commitment to
their responsibilities.


Founded in 1953 by a group of physicians and businessmen,
the California Academy of Sciences is the oldest scientific
organization in the Western United States. After the establishment
of the first natural history museum on the Pacific Coast some 20
years later, it has served as a center of research and display of
the life and earth sciences, as a repository for and guardian of its
vast collection of specimens, and as a publisher of scientific papers.
As a non-profit corporation its Board of 25 Trustees can exercise
considerable discretion in executing the purposes of its Constitution.

The culmination of the endeavors of the trustees, the
director, and his dedicated professional staff was the opening of the
Meyer Fish Roundabout on May 13, 1977. This $1,000,000 privately
financed addition to the Steinhart Aquarium (which houses 750 species of
fish from all parts of the world) is a unique contribution as its "merry-
go-round" tank accomodates "pelagic" or ocean-going fish. According to
Steinhart 1 s superintendent, Dr. John E. McCosker, these sea-going
fish don't tolerate an ordinary aquarium tank, but have oriented
themselves to this doughnut-shaped tank by swimming upstream in its
continuous 3 knot current. Its distinction as the only one in the
United States and largest in the world allows viewing hundreds of
fish flashing past at speeds of 20 knots or more. This exhibition
was welcomed by an increase of 35? in visitors to the Academy.

The California Academy's national cultural focus is
recognized by both our local community and throngs of visitors to
our City each year. As an example of its worldwide recognition,
Dr. William N. Eschmeyer, its Chairman, informed us it will receive
the gift of a "Megamouth" from the Waikiki Museum. This is an
unidentified new genus of shark with a 1,500 pound smile.

The opening of the Wattis Hall of Man on June 30, 1976, was
the highlight of that year as this $4,000, 000 private contribution
was not only the largest gift to the City of San Francisco but
returned the Academy to the field of Anthropology, which was destroyed
at its downtown location by the Earthquake of 1906. The foresight
of the Board of Trustees at that time to relocate to the pastural
green groves of the Golden Gate Park is certainly appreciated.
Particularly suitable to its functions is the spaciousness of a high
ceilinged interior of the Wattis Hall of Man, suspended under a
rustic roof, set in well foliaged landscaping. Besides two adjoining



galleries for visiting exhibits, there are two more floors occupied
by the Department of Entomology and Botany. The Botany department
recently acquired a "compactor" - an automatic system for moving
rows of filing cabinets terally to eliminate excessive corridor
congestion. This maximizes the amount of filing space available.

With these additional facilities, the Academy now houses
over 8 acres of floor space. But for the present closure of
automobile access on Sundays, the Academy's attendance could reason-
ably be expected to surpass 2,000,000 visitors annually.

It is the Board of Trustees, with Paul L. Davies, Jr., as
current Chairman, which deserve the credit for acquiring most of
the benefactors' funds necessary to create such unique capital
improvements which now comprise some dozen attractive structures to
accomodate the spectra of their scientific purposes.

Although the taxpayers ' contribution to the operating costs
is modest by comparison, the City continues to recognize the impor-
tance of its share by an increase of about 105? in each of the last
three fiscal years so that it will total about $1,000,000 for 1977-78.
Present ad valorem tax restrictions have prevented the City from
providing all the funds deemed desireable for maintaining the
Academy's buildings, particularly the Steinhart Aquarium. This year
it was able to add one painter to the 2k permanent personnel who are
assisted by 8 CETA employees. As additional Academy facilities in
Golden Gate Park are acquired, title is transferred to the City and
County of San Francisco under terms of the Charter.

Undoubtedly the most crucial crisis occuring this year was
a proposal to the Recreation and Park Department to add six holidays
to the present Sunday ban on automobile access to this cultural
center at the eastern end of Golden Gate Park. Mr. Christian E.
Beattie, Administrative Assistant to the Director, Dr. George E.
Lindsay, estimates that the present Sunday ban reduces their largest
daily attendance by almost 25$, or 100,000 per year. This closure
also eliminates 6k% of the parking areas within one-half mile of the
Academy of Sciences Museums, Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium, and
also those of the renowned de Young Museum, Asian Art Museum and
Japanese Tea Garden. There are other areas that could well be set
aside on Sundays for bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the sylvan
setting of Golden Gate Park, as has been the recommendation of the
Grand Jury for many years .

There seems to be no end to this Academy's display and
dedication to its chosen life and land, sea and sky spectrum of the
sciences .



A few years ago, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in
Golden Gate Park and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in Lincoln
Park were consolidated under a distinguished Director, Ian McKibbin
White. He has the total responsibility of administering the opera-
tions and growth of two museums. The Fine Arts Museum Society seeks
patrons of the arts, who provide the capital required to expand and
modernize both facilities and solicit the continued acquisitions for
its curatorial exhibits on a united basis. In addition, the City of
San Francisco appropriated $2.3 million for 1977-78 fiscal year.
This represents a 10!? increase over last year in general administra-
tion funds but does not reflect an appropriate appreciation by the
Board of Supervisors; it does however, acknowledge a lack of available
City revenues.

The addition of 3 positions to the present staff of 10^4
permanent employees was supplemented by some *J dozen federally
funded CETA employees. With the dedicated assistance of over 500
volunteers, the Fine Arts available staff totals over 600.

Probably most dramatic in the de Young's expansion and
improvement program has been the renovating of a wing to accomodate
the New American Galleries, the addition of modern restaurant
facilities and revamping of the present Conservatory Laboratory and
Art Storage areas. This privately funded construction is projected
for completion in July, 1977. The addition of air conditioming has
been continually deleted over the past few years for lack of funds.
Because of the age and condition of the many masterpieces — valued
at approximately $1 billion — air conditioning including humidity
control is necessary.

The most outstanding exhibit of the year — October 9, 1976
through January 30, 1977 — was our Bicentenial 's celebration
entitled — "As We Were As We Are". This vividly presented a
pictorial representation of a century of San Francisco life in
architecture and was well acclaimed by its attendance.


This Museum located in Lincoln Park was not handicapped as
was the de Young Museum with the ban of auto traffic on Sundays to
its cultural center in Golden Gate Park. This is discussed further
in the California Academy of Science and the Recreation and Park



reports. Under the common board and directorship with the de Young
Museum described above, the budget is consolidated and the policies
and operations combined. Of slgnifcant note however, an exhibit of
American Master Drawings and Water Colors drew an attendance from
Bay Area art classes and those of Southern California far surpassing
expectations. Another highlight was a Five Centuries of Tapestry
exhibit, which was made possible by the undaunted assistance of
volunteers in restoring the condition of these treasures under
professional guidance. The spirit is strong but the budget is weak
could aptly apply to both Fine Art Museums.


The Animal Control Center is more than a city pound. It
is also a reception and rehabilitation center, it is a traveler's
aide station for lost pets. The San Francisco SPCA has a facility
unsurpassed for the safety and well-being of animals, and it has
trained, experienced, compassionate personnel who know animals and
the problems of San Francisco.

A visit to the shelter at 2500-l6th Street will impress
you with the humanity displayed by the staff. You would also be
impressed by an examination of the cost figures on their financial
front. The San Francisco SPCA will accept stray or owner-surrendered
animals at the Shelter, whether Injured or not, 7 days a week, 2*1
hours a day. In custody cases at the request of the owner, or the
police, the only charge Is minimal kennel fee. These monies are
deposited with the City, as are redemption fees.

Experts estimate that of the 1,000 puppies and kittens
that are born every hour in California only 1055 find a home. About
25,000 animals were received in the Shelter in 1976. Almost 30/5
of the strays - mostly dogs - were either reunited with their owners
or found a new home. These facts should be widely disseminated. The
public must also become more aware of the new low cost spay-neuter
clinic operated by the Society. Of the strays some 800-900 were
treated at the Shelter's infirmary at no charge.

In addition to the Shelter, with its staff of 31, the
Society operates a hospital, with its own staff of 26, including
several well qualified veterinarians. Twenty-seven thousand cases
were treated last year. The Shelter's staff conducted 1700 inspec-
tions and investigations in 1976 and hosted over 200 Humane Education
visits and tours. These services are made possible by the San
Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — a
non-profit charitable corporation with whom the City contracts to
operate the control center. The Society has acted as the Animal



Control Officer in the City and County of San Francisco for the last
86 years. Last summer the renewal of this contract came into
question, but the Board of Supervisors believed that continued
contracting with the Society was in the best interests of the
animals and the City.

In its operation of the center, the Society obtains the
principal portion of its funds for both capital and operating
expenses from private sources and endowments . Pursuant to its
contract ($492,593 for the 1976-77 Fiscal Year) the Control Center
attends to all animal care, citations, house to house license
solicitation and leash law enforcement on behalf of the City. The
City in turn anticipates receipts of $40,000 in fees and $200,000
from the sale of licenses to offset the ad valorem tax allocation.
As no records are available to the SPCA regarding the disposition
of citations by the Municipal Court, these fines inuring to the City
can only be estimated at about $5,000 per year. Thus the net cost
to the City would be approximately $250,000 this year.

Initiated in 1976 was a new volunteer program and a new
lost and found telephone service. Mr. Austin Hills, President of
the Board of Trustees, states the community response to these programs
have been most enthusiastic. About a year ago the Board of Supervisors
set up the Animal Control and Welfare Committee as an advisory group of
such community responsiveness.


From November 16, 1976 and running through March 1, 1977,
the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco showed a special exhibit of
objects aca.uired since 1966 entitled "A Decade of Collecting".
Speaking not merely of the past decade but of the one to come,
Director Rene-Yvon D* Argence summed up that that exhihit "will measure
the growth of our Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Lamaist, South-
east Asian and Iranian collections". The entire second floor of the
Museum was devoted to objects donated by the late Avery Brundage ,
Asian Art Commission members, the Asian Art Foundation, members of the
Society for Asian Art and other generous patrons .

Mr. D'Argence has been the Museum's Director and Chief
Curator from 1959 when Mr. Avery Brundage donated the first 4,000
pieces of his fabulous collection to the City and County of San Francisco,
In 1969 the Asian Art Museum attained independence when he donated
a second collection to increase its total present value in excess of
$300 million, including 10,000 volumes on Asian Art and Civilization
to the Library over the last 10 years. Today, the Museum's holdings
are worth in excess of $400 million.


ASIAN ART MUSEUM (continued)

Sophisticated techniques are required to protect these
treasures. Almost everything is under glass. The machinery required
for the appropriate temperature and humidity control is kept going
24 hours a day.

The Museum's biggest problem is space because it was designed
for the original 1959 collection. At present a viewer can see no
more than 10—15/5 of the Museum's treasures, the rest being kept in
storage in the basement.

Avery Brundage's goal that San Francisco become one of the
world's great centers of Oriental culture was reached in June of 1975
by the selection as host to an extraordinary exhibit of the Archaeo-
logical Finds of the People's Republic of China. In 9 weeks over
835,000 visitors viewed this magnificent collection which spanned a
period of time from about 600,000 years ago through the 14th century
A.D. We compliment the Board of Trustees and the Director of the
Museum for their success In this achievement.

Also part of Mr. Brundage's goal as originally contracted
by Ordinance with the City was that this center would "be furnished
with an independent staff and budget adequate to perform its
functions". In 1969 the Board of Supervisors complied by creating
an independent Committee of 27 members appointed by the Mayor to
take charge of the Brundage and other Asian Art contributions.

Due to the restrictions on ad valorem taxes, the Board of
Supervisors was only able to add one permanent employee — a
Librarian Technical Assistant — to its permanent employee staff of
15 this year. The use of CETA employees is seriously handicapped by
the technical curatorial qualifications required by this Museum.

We suggest that the Asian Art Museum, despite its laudable
contributions, receives very little recognition of its own. In
fact, there is almost no notice to the public at the entrance that
the de Young Building houses other than its own exhibits. As of this
writing a satisfactory separate identity of the Asian Art Museum
from the de Young Museum has not been found.

It is only through the continued efforts exemplified above
by the Asian Art Commission and by the generosity of the many other
benefactors of the City and County of San Francisco that these capital
prerequisites of Avery Brundage's goals can be more fully realized.

Miss Barbara A. Belling
Miss Kathleen M. Calkin
Wolfgang Hellpap

Frank L. Markey, Chairman



The Office of the District Attorney, under the direction of
Joseph Freitas, Jr., is divided into several teams. Those upon which
we will comment are Family Support and Consumer Fraud.


The Family Support Unit was established in January of 1976
under both State and Federal mandates. These new requirements pro-
vided for the mandatory recovery of support obligations owed to both
welfare and non-welfare families by absent parents. Since December
1976, the Division has been under the able Directorship of Nancy
Keane. At its inception 135 employees were requested for this unit,
but only OQ were authorized. This included attorneys, investigators
and clerical help.

The Family Support Unit is supported for the most part
through Federal funding. Approximately 75$ of the operating overhead
is from Federal sources. Under the State Incentive Program, for every
dollar recovered on behalf of those individuals receiving funds from
the Department of Social Services, the State and Federal governments
pay 27 cents to San Francisco. Additional funds are obtained through
responding to requests from other states to collect support on behalf
of families in their particular jurisdictions where the person respon-
sible for support has re-located in San Francisco. Through responses
to Petitioners under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support
Act (URESA), San Francisco retains 25 cents of each dollar it recovers,
Obviously, this Division not only supports itself, but also provides
additional funds to the City General Fund. An extremely important
aspect of this Division is that without the receipt of support by
responsible parents, some families would be forced to turn to public
assistance. In December of 1976, 918 of the cases being handled by
the Division were non-welfare families; 5,26l were receiving public
assistance .


At the request of the Department of Health, Education and
Welfare, the District Attorney's office set up a Consumer Fraud Divi-
sion under the able direction of Mr. Ray Bonner. This staff is well
supported by volunteers and law students who are active in processing
the Consumer Fraud complaints, thus providing a valuable service at
minimal cost to the City.

Investigations of this Division have been successful in
bringing to court a number of consumer actions against businesses,
including a convalescent hospital, a mortuary, a mail order company
and a major bank.



In January, 1977, a settlement of the lawsuit against the
Bank of America recovered $250,000 for the City and County of
San Francisco. This was the largest consumer settlement in California

In fiscal year 1976-77 this Division recovered $300,000 on
behalf of San Francisco citizens. We feel that with an operating
budget of $268,000 for that year the Division has provided a valuable
service to the City.


The Office of the District Attorney has applied for four Law
Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) grants.

1. Corruption Control Unit:

This unit would investigate and prosecute corruption in
government, labor and business, as well as organized crime. The total
amount to be received is $329*616 over a period of 18 months. A small
portion of this sum would be matched by the City. The grant would
provide for an attorney, clerical employee(s) and criminal investigators.

2. Career Criminal Grant:

This discretionary grant, funded directly through L.E.A.A.
would permit an intensive prosecution of major offenders who repeatedly
commit serious crimes. This program has proved to be very successful
in other jurisdictions in identifying and zealously prosecuting persons
who derive their livelihood from violent and serious crime. The total
amount to be received is $362,426 and would provide for several attor-
neys, several investigators and clerical personnel. This grant would
be for one year and, again, the City would fund, in small portion,
this program.

3. Victim/Witness Assistance Project:

This project is designed to familiarize witnesses and
victims with the Criminal Justice System. It also seeks to aid the
victims and witnesses of violent and serious crimes in obtaining the
medical assistance, rehabilitation aid, State Compensation Insurance
Benefits, psychiatric counseling and welfare benefits to which they
may be entitled as a result of their injuries. Also, it would strive
to alleviate many problems involving transportation, language diffi-
culties, child-care and schedule conflicts caused by their partici-
pation in court proceedings. This project was proposed because of a
recognition that the manner in which victims and witnesses had been
treated by the Criminal Justice System in the past had not been such
to encourage their subsequent cooperation in reporting crimes to law
enforcement officials. Claims have been made that the criminal has



often received better treatment than the victim. Because citizen
participation is essential if crime is to be detected and eventually
prosecuted, the project has value over and above its obvious humani-
tarian assistance to the specific individual beneficiaries of its

An L.E.A.A. victimization study indicated that of major
cities in the United States, this City had one of the lowest percent-
ages of reported crime. It is the hope of the District Attorney's
Office that the project will engender more public trust and respect
for law enforcement and the judicial process.

The amount appropriated is $98,890 with the City matching
5# and the State matching 5%* The project has been approved by the
Mayor's Criminal Justice Council and the California Council on Criminal
Justice. For a period of one year, the program will have an executive
director, three staff assistants and two clerical personnel. Addi-
tionally, it is proposed that volunteers be used extensively.

4. Consumer Complaint Mobile:

This $36,000 grant will provide consumer complaint resolu-
tion for underprivleged neighborhoods. The project goal is to make
more accessible the District Attorney's Office with regard to persons
who have complaints concerning improper business practices. Chinese
and Spanish speaking assistants will be available, and TV and radio
will announce daily locations of the Consumer Complaint Mobile. This
grant, also, is for one year, and again, the City will match this sum
in small portion.


Under a recent law affecting juvenile prosecutions, minors
16 years of age or more can be prosecuted in adult courts for certain
violent offenses. The authority to investigate and file charges against
juveniles was removed from the Juvenile Probation Department and assign-
ed to the Office of the District Attorney. The D.A.'s office has
requested funds from the State to hire three additional attorneys and
two investigators due to these added responsibilities.

The effective reorganization of the office and the increased
emphasis on prosecution of crimes are worthy of praise. We commend
the District Attorney and his staff.


This department represents the various City departments in
litigation, i.e., Workmen's Compensation, anti -trust, eminent domain,


CITY ATTORNEY (continued)

violations of building, health, housing codes and ordinances.

This office handles all code enforcement; also handles
abatement proceedings for the Departments of Public Works, Fire and
Public Health. Personal injury actions against the City and County
of San Francisco are defended by the City Attorney. This office also
represents the Planning Commission concerning planning disputes. All
bond issues are prepared by outside firms as is the defense of some
Anti -trust suits. Workmen's Compensation cases have increased steadily.
The City Attorney's office has approximately 3*000 such cases pending
against the Municipal Railway which represents the greater part of its

Attorneys in this department are not permitted to have private

The department definitely needs more office space. In City
Hall two or more attorneys are assigned to each office. No additional
staff was requested in 1975-76 due to this lack of working space. This
space condition is aggravated by many cartons of closed files stacked
in hallways awaiting transfer to the City storage center.

Mr. O'Connor stated that closed records could be microfilmed
to consolidate space. If funds could be obtained for microfilming
this space could be made into office space for the stenographic area,
and the space currently occupied by the clerks could be made available
for office space for attorneys.

It was the opinion of this committee that this department
was very well supervised, trained and managed. Because of the complex

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 9 of 32)