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Column: Ex Sen. Kopp a no-show to BART SFO party

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  • 6/28 Redwood City Independent
    Published Saturday, June 28, 2003, in the Redwood City Independent Column Nobody asked me, but ... By Jerry Fuchs Nobody is more important to the success of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2003
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      Published Saturday, June 28, 2003, in the Redwood City Independent

      Column

      Nobody asked me, but ...

      By Jerry Fuchs

      Nobody is more important to the success of BART into the airport
      than Superior Court Judge Quentin Kopp, who as state senator placed
      Proposition I on the San Francisco Ballot when the city supervisors
      failed to help fund the project.

      Prop. I, which was passed by the citizens of San Francisco
      overwhelmingly, required the city government to put BART into the
      airport -- no ifs, ands or buts.

      It was Kopp's early vision to push the measure and he, almost single-
      handedly, fought to put BART into the airport against the wishes of
      the then San Francisco International Airport CEO, Lou Turpen. Turpen
      was so angry with Kopp that he rescinded the state senator's parking
      pass at the airport and actually had him ticketed.

      Those were the good old days when politics in the county were played
      for keeps with no fooling around. Kopp eventually triumphed over
      Turpen, who fled north to the peaceful environs of Toronto, where he
      heads that city's airport.

      That's why it was a shock to note that Judge Kopp was absent during
      the Friday evening black-tie event at the BART opening in San
      Francisco Airport.

      Co-chairs James Fang of San Francisco and Dan Richards of Contra
      Costa counties, who serve on the BART board, really turned out a
      spectacular affair with every piece running like clockwork.

      Kopp refused the invitation to attend because he said it was totally
      inappropriate to hold a lavish black-tie event to celebrate the
      opening of BART to the airport when BART was raising fares. When he
      told this to Richards, the reply was that the event was put on by
      Friends of BART and had nothing to do with the transit system.

      Supervisor Mike Nevin gave a toast to the opening of BART and sat at
      the head table with San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, SF Airport CEO
      John Martin and BART director James Fang.

      Also in attendance for hard-to-obtain tickets were state Sen. Jackie
      Speier; SamTrans Chair and Daly City Councilmember Mike Guingona;
      board members Mary Janney, Burlingame councilmember; Art Lloyd;
      Shirley Harris; CEO Mike Scanlon; attorney Dave Miller; former
      SamTrans CEO Jerry Haugh; and supervisors Jerry Hill and Mark
      Church. Daly City Councilmember Adrienne Tissier was one of the few
      city officials unrelated to transportation invited.

      Seen at the dinner were Controller Tom Huening and San Bruno Mayor
      Larry Franzella. South San Francisco Mayor Pedro Gonzales was turned
      away at the door.

      Three invitations went to the Millbrae council, but when BART was
      called. Mayor Linda Larson and two councilmembers were then
      uninvited by officials at BART.

      Shirley Harris, longtime member of SamTrans, was upset because
      SamTrans commissioners were not introduced during the festivities.
      Mike Scanlon, CEO of SamTrans, was miffed because his dinner table
      was at the rear of the hall.

      The evening was a "class event," for those who came, thanks to co-
      chairs Fang and Richards and to the committee who put the event
      together with money contributed by contractors who built the BART-to-
      SFO system.

      [...]

      Jerry Fuchs, the publisher of the Independent Newspaper Group, has
      been in the newspaper industry for 46 years, beginning in New
      Jersey. In 1980, he founded Fuchs Publications, which included the
      Hillsborough-Burlingame Boutique & Villager, the Millbrae Sun, the
      San Mateo Weekly, the Foster City Progress and the San Carlos-
      Belmont Enquirer-Bulletin. Contact him via e-mail at
      jfuchs@... or by fax at 650-692-7587.
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