Poor Geraldine Knatz had to make several calls for the speakers to come to the stage, but the public needed to have their minutes with Janice Hahn and the Mayor. Once they were able to pull away, the Mayor welcomed us all to the Grand Opening. I actually have videos of the speeches if you’re interested. They all made really nice speeches about the grassroots effort that it took to make the park a reality and reminded us of the progress that has been made in the last 5 years with the improvements along the port corridor. There were also some funny moments mixed in during the speeches. I’ll try to list them under the video. Please pardon the two people framing the picture.
The Mayor’s Welcome
The Mayor introduces everyone (accidentally forgetting to mention Rep. Bonnie Lowenthal) and in the beginning you can hear the old lady behind me heckling him. I think its just something she does. I volunteer at the Grand Annex and she actually heckled the musicians at a show the entire time – shouting things out, interrupting the performance. It was funny at first but it got old real quick. Another funny bit is when the Mayor calls John Papadakis up to the stage and gives him his seat. John sits down between Dr. Knatz and Janice Hahn and jokingly puts his arms around both of them, hugging them into him. It was kind of jealous…whoah, did you see that? I’m leaving it there because its a freudian slip. I meant to write funny, but I wrote jealous. How interesting… Anyway, they give him a fake hard time about it and everyone had a good laugh.
Dr. Knatz’s Recognitions
The Mayor corrects his overlooking of Bonnie Lowenthal and introduces Geraldine Knatz who makes more recognitions. Bonnie Lowenthal presents her with a certificate.
Harbor Commissioners Lopez-Mendoza and Radicich, followed by June Burlingame-Smith
Commissioner Lopez-Mendoza says San PAYdro. Its always like nails on a chalkboard for me, plus she mentions the controversial Knoll Hill/Eastview thing, making it even more awkward. Commissioner Radicich takes us back in time and mentions Utro’s Crest Cafe. Coastal Neighborhood Council President June Burlingame-Smith keeps it real and mentions the early activists who got the ball rolling over 20 years ago.