Dufty wants S.F. events office

While a war continues to rage over Halloween in the Castro this year, one city leader is moving to create a new municipal office that would manage all special events, streamline the permit process for promoters and hopefully avoid any further disorder like that associated with this month’s nonevent.

A controversial ban onthe annual Halloween celebration in the Castro — which has grown into a massive, violence-marred event that attracts tens of thousands of people — has led to debates between city leaders and Castro residents and business owners who say a party in the streets is eminent regardless of The City’s stay-away campaign.

After the 2006 event, at which a gunman opened fire and wounded nine people, city officials decided to cancel the all-night street party and alert people to go elsewhere. About 600 police officers will still be on hand in the Castro this Oct. 31 — a Wednesday — and the county Sheriff’s Department will also be on patrol. There will also be DUI checkpoints on routes to the Castro.

“Anybody that thinks it’s a good idea to invite the whole Bay Area to invade the Castro on a weeknight needs to have their head examined,” said Nathan Ballard, spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom. “It’s time to put public safety first.”

The City has also asked at least 130 Castro businesses to close as early as 6 p.m. on Halloween. So far, 19 businesses have agreed to close early while two others have decided to hold private, ticketed events. Beyond this Halloween, Castro Supervisor Bevan Dufty plans to introduce legislation that would create a special-events office.

“There is nobody with professional promoter experience at the city level,” Dufty said at a recent San Francisco Chamber of Commerce meeting. “I want to have something in place for next year because next year Halloween is on a Friday, so I recognize that we can’t just have a no-go policy in 2008.”

A report detailing the cost benefits of annual city events and what it would cost to create a dedicated special-events office is expected from the City Controller’s office this week.

Marsha Garland, executive director of the North Beach Chamber of Commerce who produces the street festival in that neighborhood each year, said a special-events office wouldbe beneficial.

arocha@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read