SF CHRONICLE CITY INSIDER: No swan song – Bella back on feet


No swan song – Bella back on feet

Rachel Gordon, Stephanie Lee, Heather Knight

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bella the swan is back paddling the waters at the Palace of Fine Arts after a six-week stay at a Point Reyes exotic bird-breeding compound, where she went to recuperate from a fractured webbed foot and possible infection.

Bella, whose bum foot was discovered on April 28, was initially cared for by the city’s animal care and control and zoo staffs before being transported to the sanctuary in West Marin, where she was born. She returned to San Francisco on Sunday.

Bella declined comment, but Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department, said the city family is “thrilled that Bella is back on her feet.”

Officials don’t know how Bella was injured, but don’t think human mischief was involved. Last fall, vandals intentionally killed Monday, the name of another swan at the lagoon whose neck was snapped. Monday’s mother, named Friday, disappeared last spring.

Bella is one of four swans that now grace the Marina district lagoon. There’s her brother, Blue Boy; his mate, Blanche; and their cygnet, Martha, who hatched on Memorial Day.

City officials and the volunteer crew caring for the swans asked that visitors keep their distance to give the feathered family time to bond undisturbed.

– Rachel Gordon

Film space: Independent filmmakers will soon find out whether they’ve nabbed a cheap office space for rent from the city.

As of Monday, at least 10 cinematographers had applied to rent one of the 12 offices available at 134A Golden Gate Ave. through the Film Commission’s new program, the San Francisco Film Collective.

Commission officials extended the deadline by two weeks after the program initially didn’t draw as much interest as hoped. The prize is a yearlong lease, starting July 1, for office space in the 10,000-square-foot Mid-Market building at a cost of $1 to $1.50 per square foot.

Applicants were required to either be San Francisco residents or working on projects that are primarily set in the city and likely to have a “positive effect” on the local economy.

While the commission won’t notify and announce the winners until Friday, Executive Director Susannah Greason Robbins said all the applicants have “intriguing” projects in the works.

– Stephanie Lee

More pleas: We wonder what the folks trying to persuade Mayor Ed Lee to run for a four-year term in November were like as kids. “Dad, I know you said no 835 times. But puh-lease? Pretty please? Come onnnnn!” Did they even make websites with titles like Raise My Allowance or Let Me Have a Puppy?

The political consultants trying to get Lee to run are just that persistent – and creative. Enrique Pearce of Left Coast Communications has debuted his new website, www.runedrun.com, with photographs of everybody from old ladies in Chinatown to buff dudes at the gym holding signs with Lee’s face and “Run, Ed, Run!”

Visitors to the site can sign an online petition telling Lee to run, agree to post a sign in their window or donate money to a political committee called Progress for All designed, apparently, to fund the nagging.

The separate effort called “Draft Ed Lee,” by former supervisors and political consultants Michael Yaki and Jim Gonzalez, keeps chugging along.

And there’s a new entrant: Michael Breyer, appointed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to the Library Commission, has created www.draftedlee.com. It’s a Facebook page boasting more than 1,000 fans. Breyer isn’t a political consultant and wouldn’t stand to benefit monetarily by working on a Lee for Mayor campaign.

“It’s not about going back to him 16 times, the same few people saying, ‘You should really run,'” Breyer said. “It’s about a broader grassroots effort that I think hopefully he will hear … You don’t pinch hit for someone who’s hit three home runs in a game.”

Lee vowed upon taking office as interim mayor in January that he wouldn’t run in November. Is any of this pressure to run making him think twice? In a word, according to his spokeswoman Christine Falvey, nope.

– Heather Knight

This article appeared on page C – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle