tv [untitled] October 20, 2011 10:30am-11:00am PDT
admissions revenue is below budget by 14,000 eight hundred 3830, but we are catching up. we have our annual build a zoo coming up. we put in a hay maze. we had to compete with the event in the park. we brought in a maze. i want to take a minute to comment on an event that occurred on sunday, october 9. it was our first ever zootober fest. it was put together and managed by our service systems associates. it began in the late afternoon and there was music throughout the zoo. one of our board members -- he is known as eddie o.
he played. he was our headliner in the tent. a lot of bands and food stations. personally, it was the most fun i've had in the zoo the whole time in there. we had 1500 people attend. we will certainly do it again next year. we are playing around with the date. we will open a up to the general public. if you could not make it this year, come next year. we will remind you. we got six new penguins from the monterey bay aquarium. they were part of a rescue operation out of brazil. they went to monterey aquarium for a special exhibit and now they came our way. they are on 40. -- are on quarantine. they will go on exhibit in two weeks. our flock will grow larger. thank you.
president buell: thank you. >> is there anyone who would like to make a comment on item #6? seeing none, public comment is closed and we are now on items 7, the chinese recreation center. president buell: thank you. i introduced this item at committee, so i would like to make some brief comments. before i introduce this item, i would like to let everyone know how we will proceed. after i introduced it, i will ask the family to speak. following that, we will have the united states and then commissioner comments. i am truly honored to introduce this item. on september 1, mayor lee announced he was requesting to name the chinese recreation center the betty ann ong chinese recreation center in honor of
betty ann ong, a native san franciscan. one of the planes, as most people know, did the world trade center on september 11. mayor requested this to not only celebrate her life, but to honor her heroism and make future generations aware of her bravel andrery and the lessons learned on september 11. she was born the youngest of four children. she attended jean parker elementary school, george washington high school, and city college at san francisco. betty ann ong grew up in chinatown and the chinese recreation center was her playground. on september 11, 2001, betty ann ong, an american airlines flight attendant, called the
reservation office. for 23 minutes, she relayed information, including the seat locations of the terrorists, which helped law authorities identified them. she was calm, professional, and in control throughout those 23 minutes. the commission has received over 3700 signatures supporting this. that is 3700 signatures. this naming is also supported by senator dianne feinstein, nancy pelosi, reverend fong, the executive director of the chinese historic society of america. to request to name the chinese recreation center the betty ann ong chinese recreation center of san francisco meet our guidelines. her extraordinary terrorism made a significant contribution, not only to the -- her extraordinary
heroism made a significant contribution, not only to the city, but to the country. on september 11201,2001, she became an example of heroism. i cannot say enough about how important i think this is to the chinese community, to san francisco, and to the rest of the country to honor betty ann ong. i'm going to ask harry ong and gloria ong to speak before we proceed with public testimony. >> good morning. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. commissioners, president buell, mr. martin, david lee, general
manager, mr. ginsburg. i am the brother of betty ann ong. my family and i would like to take this opportunity to thank the park and recreation center. supporters who are here and in attendance, those who are unable to attend, petition signers, and all citizens of this great nation at large. we urge you to support the renaming of the recreation center. the ong family would be extremely honored to have the chinese recreation center renamed the betty ann ong recreation center. thank you. president buell: thank you.
>> gloria or cathy, would you like to speak? >> good morning. i am the older sister of betty ann ong. i live in bakersfield, california. it's a real honor to be here today. i want to thank you all for your consideration in renaming the chinese recreation center to the betty ann ong recreation center. i would also like to thank all of the supporters that we have had and to everybody for being here. i can still remember growing up in san francisco chinatown and playing at the chinese
recreation center very clearly. the playground was a very important part of our childhood. we got great direction and participated in a lot of activities there. i really do feel that renaming the recreation center not only honors betty, but also the citizens who live in the chinatown community, and also for the san francisco community, as well as our nation, since betty is a national hero. thank you for considering the renaming. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> gloria, did you want to speak? >> once again, my name is gloria. i am the middle child to the ong family. i wanted to thank everybody.
and to thank all the supporters that are here and have petitioned to the renaming of the rec center. as my sister and brother have mentioned, we all spend a lot of time during our childhood playing at the rec center. i think this would be a really significant symbol and a great honor and tribute to the ong family and to my sister. i just hope that you will consider renaming the center in honor and a tribute to my sister, betty. thank you, all, for attending this meeting and taking time off from your busy schedule.
thank you. president buell: thank you. >> we will now go to public comments. we have kylie wong, sue lee, and richard fong, in that order, please. >> good morning, commissioners. i am a native san franciscan. i grew up across the street from the chinese rec center. i would like to remind you that it is right across the street from the cable car barn, where the cable car museum is. the added attraction -- hi storical site for the city. i went to day camp.
i am a longtime loyal customer of rec and park. i was in the cub scouts. i learned a lot of things about government, leadership, anti- wd team work. i think this all fits in the character of betty ann ong. we would like to urge you to vote yes on renaming the chinese recreation center as the betty ann ong chinese recreation center. thank you very much. president buell: thank you. >> sue? >> good morning, commissioners. i am the executive director of the chinese historical society of america. it is my honor to be here today. while chinese have been in san
francisco since the gold rush, we have of arrived seeking fortune and a better life, like many people. like many immigrant groups, we were not always welcomed. for many years, chinese have been confined to what we called chinatown. the chinese wreck center -- the chinese rec center has been a touchstone for many chinese. it is where you played, but also where you learn to be american and where he picked up the values of being an american citizen. many of our community institutions are named for the geographic location of the facility. we have the chinese hospital. we have the chinatown library. we have the chinatown ymca. our personal and individual
stories are not reflected in our community institutions. our personal, individual stories have been overlooked. we feel very strongly that we need to begin to claim our history, claim our story, and claim our heroes. betty ann ong, a native daughter, is a hero, and should be honored with the naming of the chinese rec center in her honor. we further urged that in the future, a broader recognition of her heroism be reflected. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> richard? >> good morning, commissioners. i came in today to try to talk about this subject matter.
i am not necessarily in favor of this project. we have already listened to this issue many times before this commission. just last monday, i went to the council. there was a consensus -- i asked the consensus be brought before the members of chinatown. it was not in favor of the name change. a few things that would have been brought in had to do with -- are we going by the right procedure? one of them had to do that it was never brought before the chinatown council. as i am looking at it, i asked specifically about the name change at the location. there is the betty ann ong community room. now there is all this interest
in the rebuilding of the chinatown -- the chinese rec center -- i think that bringing more of the interest. i hope i can convince some of you who have already come in today with a predetermined vote. perhaps, is there a question over procedure? when you start looking at here grooes, i cannot help but think about the u.s. navy seal team 6, who currently are heroes and they are dead and they serve in the line of duty. are we going to rename the chinese rec center? most of the people who i have asked -- they like it the way it is. they do not want any changes. i'm not going to say the names
of the people of the council. i'm not going to tell you the names, so i can keep the confidentiality. personally, i have listened to everything that has come before this commission involving betty ann ong. i, myself, would think, yes, she is possibly a national hero, but it comes from the top down, and then it goes to mark buell, the chair of this commission. maybe we should be looking at the grass-roots approach. thank you. >> bob and then reverend norman fong. if anyone else would like to speak, please be prepared to speak after that. >> i did not know this issue when i came today, but when i saw it on the calendar, i thought it was important to comment. this is not just a chinese community issue or san francisco.
it is also a national issue. i am glad she characterized betty ann ong as a hero. i knew people at each of the four crash sites. brings back painful memories, but it is memories -- this is worthwhile. it is for all of us in san francisco. thank you. president buell: thank you. >> reverend fong? >> after 10 years, talking about process, working to restore honor to betty ann ong has been going on for 10 years. sometimes there's petty politics in the neighborhood or the city. i thought the family and all of us did a good job of getting buy-in from everybody. i get to hand to you today the
3700 signatures. the family did it on line -- did it online. rich is one voice in the community. we grew up in chinatown to show that we are old-timers in the community. about 1000 of the signatures are from residents. those who live in the community have supported this. i disagree with the previous, enter, -- i disagree with the previous commenter. i must love all people. we all know that. we took it to the national level. nancy pelosi, feinstein, personally writing letters. i think we are well covered. what do you think, commissioners? i'm going to hand over to you.
today, i'm feeling -- today is a blessed day of peace and justice. the family has been struggling for so long. their determination to keep on fighting -- to name an adequate and appropriate place of honor for betty ann ong. some of you commissioners might not know betty as a lot of us knew her, but she was a hero even locally. my co-band member -- yeah, i do motown on the side. she was hit by a vehicle on the 101. car flipped over. the first one by coincidence there -- the angel who came to her rescue happened to be betty ann ong. she is a hero locally and
nationally. time is up already. president buell: you get a little more. that's a warning sign. >> good. [laughter] these are old-timers. we all grew up in chinatown. i had come scouts there. we had our dances there. we got in trouble there. we all agree up in chinatown and we love the ong family. today, there should be no tears, except tears of joy. finally, san francisco and this nation is going to name something after balboa park thank you. [applause] president buell: thank you. >> is there anyone else who would like to make public comments? please come forward? >> fourth generation chinese in
america. what's the difference between paul revere and betty ann ong? the revolutionists knew the british were coming. betty ann ong completed her mission. you look at the record of the other the three airlines, they called somebody, but they did not call ground control. betty ann ong it her mission and she completed ait. thank you. >> is there anyone else would like to comment? ok, seeing none, public comment is closed. >> let me start off by saying, i'm completely ok with the process. we are good. i have a hard time articulating this without being emotional except to say that i cannot imagine how this has been for the family. you have a sister, who was a
hero, who is a hero, and you lost her in the most tragic and historic of ways. yet, she is a hero to the country. it is bittersweet. to the someone is unimaginable, but to have her as our hero is a great gift to all of us. thank you for all of that. i want to echo the mayor's contention -- mayor's intentions. we celebrate her heroic actions. we celebrate the sheet is a child of chinatown. she's a product of our schools, of our rec center. that's what i want to think about when we represent her. she represented joy and laughter.
i love all the material i was given to understand this woman. an ability to live in the moment. she loved children. she loved senior citizens. she was a good person. she valued her job. she was a professional. these are all values that we want our children to embrace and celebrate. one of the items i learned about betty, they said that she loved children so much, on flights, some time she would hold the babies who were fussy. having been on flights with my fussy baby, i know that's a unique quality. that's a truly good human being. at the time appropriate, i would like to make the motion that we except the staff's
recommendation to read with great pride and great honor, we name this wrecrec center after betty ann ong. president buell: commissioner lee? commissioner lee: well said. this is a privilege for me to be on the commission at this time to hear this. i think somebody said, you know, a community is defined by its heroes and who we choose as our heroes. i was part of renaming a chinese playground for a long time basketball coach at that facility. with the renaming of the chinese
recreation center, these are our two most important recreational sites for the young people, for seniors in chinatown, and it really sends a message to the next generation of the values that we in chinatown hold high. i think this is a tremendous opportunity to educate not only the chinatown community, but the entire country to the contributions of our community. i also went to dean parker and i grew up in chinatown, as well. i grew up playing at the chinese rec center. as chair of the capital committee, i can tell you that when we reopened, it will be on time next year. you will find the chinese recreation center is going to be a fabulous, brand new facility, built for the next 50 years.
it is only fitting to have betty ann ong's name on this building. i hope you all will be there at the opening period when people come to that facility, and they ask, especially the younger people, the kids, ask, "who was betty ann ong?" we will have a story to tell. thank you to you all for supporting this. president buell: thank you. commissioner martin? commissioner martin: this is great history to me. i've been in this town for a long time. great moments we did stop in chinatown and did stuff together. i love what she is doing. this is the greatest thing in the world that could happen. i'm with you. president buell: thank you. we are honored to have in the audience betty ann ong's mother,
as well. thank you for coming and being with us today. [applause] with that, commissioner 1110, i will entertain a motion. >> i move that we name the chinese recreation center to betty ann ong. >> second. >> second. president buell: it is unanimous. thank you. [applause] thank you. i'm going to recommend we take a three-minute recess to allow those that came for this to celebrate and moved out. thank you very much. commissioner lee: i just wanted to thank the commission's staff and supporters. we thank you for renaming the san francisco chinatown recreation center to the betty ann ong chinese recreation
center. there have been so many ups and downs and struggles during the last 10 years. we deeply honored this renaming from the bottom of our hearts. the legacy of betty and all the 9/11 heroes will be remembered forever. members of this commission, thank you very much. president buell: thank you. >> thanks, everyone.