Posts Tagged ‘16’

Remembering Strybing Arboretum Before They Started Charging $7 Per, Before the Boycott: Blue Bamboo

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Blue bamboo (Himalayan Blue Bamboo, Himalayacalamus hookerianus) is totally blue, who knew?

Click to expand

Maybe it will still be there when the paywall comes down in a couple years at the now-emptied Strybing.

I’m going back someday
Come what may
To blue bamboo


Wouldn’t Just Shutting Down Strybing Arboretum Generate More Money Than Charging Admission?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Doesn’t San Francisco already pay seven figures a year to run the San Francisco Botanical Garden? So why should people have to pay to get into the thing? Oh, it costs money to run, a whole lot? Well, then why don’t we just shut it down?

One might wonder.

Jim Lazarus, past president of the Recreation and Park Commission, gets it wrong here:

“Some members of the Board of Supervisors want the department to repeal a $7 fee for nonresidents to visit the Botanical Garden…”

Well actually, Jimbo, why not let’s do nothing and then the fee would go away by itself, right? No repeal is necessary, actually, as you already know, huh Jimbo?

Now here comes simple-minded Randy Shaw of Beyond Chron, who doesn’t seem to understand that the purported quarter-million a year that’s “expected” (by whom, some wildly optimistic person, obviously) to be generated by the fee will for pay three “extra” unionized gardeners at the Arboretum. There’s no way on Gaia’s Green Earth that the fee at Strybing will pay for social services.

And here’s the Chronicle, what can look past the almost-certain permanent imposition of fees at Strybing and see that residents will soon be charged admission as well. That”s something that simple-minded Randy Shaw can’t seem to understand. Oh well.

So the temporary boycott of San Francisco Botanical Garden will soon become permanent. O.K. fine.

Good-bye, animals of Strybing Arboreum:

Click to expand

Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey M. Rose Calls Revenue Forecasts at Strybing Arboretum “Highly Optimistic”

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

SF Crime Examiner Thomas Pendergrast has pretty much all you need to know about the plan to make permanent the access fees at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

And looky here, here’s a pdf from Budget and Legislative Analyst  Harvey M. Rose, CPA:


Ouch, that’s got to hurt.

When an accountant calls your forecasts “highly optimistic,” what’s he really saying?

Oh well.

I guess the BOS will soon vote to make the temporary boycott of the San Francisco Botanical Garden a permanent boycott.

Oh well.

As seen last Saturday:

Oh, and look what else is coming up:

“Thursday, April 7, 2011
2:00 p.m.
City Hall, Room 416
Discussion and possible action to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve an ordinance amending Park Code Article 12 authorizing the Commission to discount admission fees for the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden as part of a Golden Gate Park Access Pass. (ACTION ITEM) Staff: Brent Dennis.

Hey. what’s a GOLDEN GATE PARK ACCESS PASS? We’ll find out soon enough…

Oh well….

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Keep the Arboretum Free

Keep the Strybing Arboretum (Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park) Free!

Debate Over the Garden Fee

Admission Fee Protest at Strybing Arboretum: A Large Crowd Gathered at the Main Gate of the Botanical Garden Today

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Let’s call it a crowd of 150 today that gathered at the Main Gate of Strybing Arboretum to protest the permanent imposition of admission fees.

See it for yourself – you can catch Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi offering his thoughts:

Quintin Mecke was on hand representing Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s office and somebody else spoke for Supervisor John Avalos. Noticed Aaron Peskin in the audience as well.

All the while, there was absolutely nobody on or near the Main Lawn just inside the admission gate. Presenting your empty Strybing Arboretum:

Click to expand

But that’s the way the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society likes it.

You see, they love plants but they hate people.

Oh well.

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Keep the Arboretum Free

Keep the Strybing Arboretum (Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park) Free!

Debate Over the Garden Fee


Rally to Tear Down Pay Wall at Strybing Arboretum Today at 1:00 PM: Protest at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

It’s on at San Francisco’s Arbo today.

Deets below. See you there!

Do any of these people approve of the new fees at Strybing Arboretum? A few, the gardeners mostly:

Saturday April 2nd, 2011
1:00PM – 2:00PM
Arboretum Main Gate
(9th Avenue & Lincoln)


On April 6th, 2011, the Budget Committee of the Board of Supervisors will be making a crucial decision on the future of the fee, either free admissions for all or a permanent non-resident fee.

SUPPORT- Ordinance 110113 sponsored by Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Kim, Mar and Mirkarimi to use Prop N tax revenues as a sustainable solution to support a free public garden.

OPPOSE- Ordinance 110225 sponsored by the Mayor for a permanent fee.

After 7 months the fee has been a failure. Only $54,800 out of a promised $250,000 has been collected. Attendance, based on Rec & Park figures, has declined sharply with non-resident visitors down 70% vs. estimates and resident visitors down 36%. RPD’s strategy is to market Strybing Arboretum as the new Japanese Tea Garden.


Attend the Budget Committee Hearing on Wed. April 6 (time TBA)

Call (by far most effective), e-mail and write potential swing-vote Supervisors to eliminate the fee:
David Chiu – 554 -7450
Malia Cohen – 554- 7670
Scott Weiner – 554- 6968

Join The Rally To Remove The Fee ! Saturday April 2nd between 1:00PM – 2:00PM at the Arboretum Main Gate


Strybing Arboretum Goes GroupOn! Now Foreigners Can Get SF Botanical Garden Tickets Two-for-One

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Boy, if there’s anything I hate it’s got to be all them foreigners what come to my City and County of San Francisco to empty their pockets and then leave. You know? I’m talking about the hordes from Belgium and Sicily and Marin County and the goddam East Bay coming here and just sucking up all the oxygen and walking around like they own the place.

So I was overjoyed when RPD started charging admission at the San Francisco Botanical Garden (fka Helene Strybing Arboretum, but she got old and died so nobody cares about her anymore, you know, the lady what paid for the place) cause I live here in the 415 so I can walk in just by showing my ID. I love that, it makes me feel special, I just walk past those loosers and I say something like, “Suck-eeeeers!” Or, “I’m a Neighbor, I’m a Res-I-Dent, bi-atches. Respect!” You know, something clever like that.

So imagine my shock when I first saw this GroupOn-style deal. See that? The SFBG is now half-off for auslanders!

I don’t know, but won’t this encourage visits? I mean, aren’t we trying to empty the arbo of people and starve out the squirrels and the Canada Geese in order to become “world-class” ‘n stuff?

And won’t this cut into revenue? Aren’t there some days already when the total gross doesn’t even cover expenses to charge people to get in? You know, talking about those $11-an-hour-no-benefits toll-takers. (Hey, shouldn’t the people who sell tickets  in those boxes be in a union too? Couldn’t they have a vote, you know, get the NLRB in here to monitor a little election? Why not?)

On It Goes…

That New Whole Foods in Haight Ashbury is Actually Working Pretty Good Already

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Well, looks as if Whole Foods is doing fine in the 94117 these days since opening last week. Everybody seems happy and the long-promised free samples are flowing like what you’d see at Costco on a Saturday afternoon. Take a peek, why not?
But what’s this, the everyday price for a can of black beans is less than a dollar? Quelle surprise!
Now, here’s a scene you’ll just have to get used to: an aging, go-to-hell Volvo blocking a new Toyota Prius on Stanyan while waiting to get into the lot:

But three parking lot attendants (seems a bit overstaffed but whatever) and a uniformed security guard seemed to have things under control when I dropped by. 
(Shoplifters will have a tougher time practicing their craft at this super as compared to the predecessor, one might guess)
Bon Courage Whole Foods Haight Ashbury!

Haight Ashbury Whole Foods’ Good Food Celebration a Huge Success – Graffiti All Cleaned Up – Opening Feb 16th

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

La Cocina’s Global to Local Food Festival went off today without a hitch at the Stanyan Street parking lot of our soon-to-open Whole Foods Upper Haight.

Check it. No millionaire NIMBYs in this particular shot, but they were out in force today. (They’s everywhere.)

Click to expand

Sadly, beer imbibers were walled off from the rest of the crowd:

But look! Almost all of the graffiti is gone:

Wet paint, indeed.

All’s that’s left to do is count the days until the Feb. 16th Grand Opening.

Bon Courage, WFHA!

San Francisco’s Attempt at a “World-Class” Arboretum Has Us Getting Mocked in the New Yawk Times Today

Friday, February 4th, 2011

The New York Times, The Bay Citizen – you pick ‘em:

Charging Fees to See Trees at Golden Gate Park’s Arboretum Doesn’t Even Pay the Bills

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Yep and yep.

Is Phil Ginsburg the new village idiot now that the old Mayor has blown town? Does Phil Ginsburg have a “Life Coach” too, you know, someone to tell him how he’s always right and how he can See The Future better than anyone else? Tony Robbins, here we come.

Anyway, for some reason, our Strybing Arboretum needs to impress people on the East Coast, people in Boston, New York, and D.C. You know, an “Our arbo is better than your arbo” kind of deal. That’s what drives the Great Fencing Off of Strybing. And you taxpayers, you visitors, you foreigners, you auslanders, well you can just go to Hell.

Oh well.

The Moon-Viewing Garden as it looked before the Botanical Garden Boycott of 2010 to whenever:

Click to expand

So many koi, so little time….

Disaster! How Charging Admission at Strybing Arboretum Actually Loses Money Some Days – Avalos Solution?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

All right, imagine you are in charge of running the paid admissions program at San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. (Now, I’m going to make things hard on you by picking December 8th, 2010 to run this exercise, so brace yourself.)

Of course, you can only charge people who can’t prove they live in San Francisco and you have two gates to worry about so it’s tough. Your Main Gate got six paid visitors on Dec 8th so you took in $42 at $7 per. And the Friend Gate (that was dude’s last name, but apparently RPD will take your name off of whatever they used your money to fund after you die (like Strybing Arboretum, the former name of the whole joint)), aka North Gate, well, three teens came in that day so that’s $15 at $5 per head.

Your gross for the day is $57. The question is how much should you pay the two ticket seller/SF resident ID checkers in your employ to make the program to charge admission to non-residents sustainable?

Maybe one dollar per hour? Check it:

Well actually, the non-unionized toll-booth collectors make $11 an hour (since the minimum is $9.92, no benefits of course) so that the Arboretum can make enough scratch to fund three (3) unionized gardeners who make a lot more and, of course, get benefits.

Here are all the deets that I have about the paid admissions program:

Click to expand.

Now, what about San Francisco residents? How is that boycott coming along? Well, you make the call:

Free Admissions- Arboretum 2010

Hey, what if we charged everybody, residents and non-residents alike, money to get in? Wouldn’t that cut down on visitors even more?

Well, sure. Its all has to do with the elasticity of demand – how many people will just forget about the arbo (as I’ve already done) when they start having to pay.

Keep in mind that you taxpayers are still giving a ton of money each year to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Maybe they should just go private? You know, could just raise money to buy the land and then the new owners could run the place as they see fit? Why not? It would save San Franciscans a lot of money every year, right?

Now, Supervisor John Avalos has a solution to all this – he has an idea to take down the pay gates.

We should all listen to him.

But guess what, the Arbo is working on newer, betterer toll gates to replace the temporary boxes on wheels they use now.

This should be quite a fight…