The Sunday Paper (Fleet Week Diary)



Sorry for the delay on posting this week's "Sunday Paper," but I'm on the west coast attending Fleet Week San Francisco.

DT readers will remember that SF city councilman Chris Daly tried -- and failed -- several times to introduce legislation that would have kept the Blue Angels from performing -- an action that would have essentially killed Fleet Week.

Well, after attending yesterday's air show and a VIP reception (that's how we roll at DT) last night, I'm pleased to report that Fleet Week San Francisco is alive and very well. The weather is gorgeous, the crowds are massive, and the Blues are kicking butt, as usual. And as a guy who's been watching Blue Angel air shows since their F-11 Tiger days, I have to say that San Francisco is, without a doubt, the best venue to see the team do their thing.

But the day was not without some noteworthy, albeit underlying, controversy. In what can reasonably be viewed as a direct response to Daly's efforts, the highest ranking Navy officer at Fleet Week this year is a captain. There are no admirals here. One of America's greatest cities, the home of Apple, Facebook, Craigslist, YouTube, and other life-changing 21st Century tech companies, has been snubbed by senior leaders of the nation's sea service.


Now, I can only remember one event in recent memory that was boycotted by U.S. military flag officers: The Paris Air Show in 2003. Resultantly, this is how I framed it for Mayor Gavin Newsom during a conversation I had with him yesterday:

"Congratulations, Mister Mayor. San Francisco is now France."

I can tell you Mayor Newsom has no desire to be the mayor of France. Stay tuned as this story unfolds in the coming months.

(All photos by Chris Michel.)

-- Ward

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