Posts Tagged ‘children’

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Ask People Who Use the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Playground to See If It’s Really “Failing”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?

For instance, let’s take a look at the Panhandle Playground. It has 4.5 Yelp stars. Isn’t that a pretty high rating for a “failing” anything?

If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.

I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.

In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”

You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”

(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)

In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.

IMO.

So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…

Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.

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The Train was Already Full, But Area Cyclist Manages to Squeeze in Anyway

Friday, December 5th, 2014

As seen on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park during RPD’s 85th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event:

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A San Francisco Nuclear Family – Dogs are Cheaper Than Kids, So Use the Money You Save to Buy a Convertible Porsche

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Mommy and Daddy up front, and two canine furballs in the back:

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There’s your big city living right there. There’s your sign of the times…

A StreetsBlog Felony, an “Urbanist’s” Nightmare: SF Rec and Park Jungle Gym Teaches Kids to Love SUV’s

Monday, December 1st, 2014

It took me a while to figure this one out. OK, here’s the Children’s Quarter, aka the Koret something-or-other, in Golden Gate Park:

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See? It’s a Jeep SUV, complete with a steering wheel, horn button, headlights, trademark grill and a three-on-the-tree gear shift. You could actually use this thing to begin to teach somebody how to drive.

Oh, how I weep! You see, instead, this should be a bicycle simulator, complete with handlebars and Shimano Alivio shifters, right man?

I hope nobody from Park Slope ever sees this, man…

The Time to Buy Tickets for San Francisco Ballet’s Family Performances of The Nutcracker is Now – Best for Ages 5-11

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Here are all the deets from our San Francisco Ballet about five special Family Performances of The Nutcracker

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Family Performance 2012 (© Carson Lancaster)

“For five performances only, the first 500 children (under the age of 12) to arrive receive a special gift and everyone enjoys complimentary beverages and treats at intermission. For 30 minutes only, starting one hour prior to curtain, Nutcracker characters are available for photos, so arrive early and bring your camera!*

Family Performance Dates

*Family Performances are popular! Lines for entrance to the Opera House and for photos form quickly, so arrive early. Children’s gifts are handed out at the doors on a first come/first served basis, starting one hour prior to curtain. So that our dancers aren’t late for the performance, photo lines must be stopped 30 minutes prior to curtain.”

See you there!

OMG, It’s UBER for Kids! – Introducing SHUDDLE – And the First 100 Drivers are 100% Women?

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Well this SHUDDLE operation is news to me.

Artist’s conception of a young Joe Montana as Shuddle user off to his art class or whatever:

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(And I’ll bet she doesn’t have a hammer hidden under the front seat. I’m thinking in a fight over a disputed routing choice, he’d have the muscle mass but she’d have the reach – that’d be a toss-up, I’d give even odds. But what are the chances of something like that happening in the first place? The screening process at Shuddle would appear to be more stringent than Uber, by about one or two orders of magnitude.)

We’ll see how this one goes – it might sound like a dream come true to a lot of parents in town..

Our Long Parochial Nightmare is Over: The Vandalized Slides at Panhandle Playground 94117 have been Replaced by RPD

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.

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1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.

2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?

3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.

4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.

5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:

6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what’s that, RPD – this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don’t you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]

And that’s the end of this story.

Sutro Tower + Mothra = HAIGHT ASHBURY COMMUNITY NURSERY SCHOOL

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Based upon the wingspan, I’m thinking the kids are referencing Showa-era Mothra:

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If you want, Follow Sutro Tower on Twitter – perhaps that will inspire it to Tweet more than once per year.

(Thank you, Sutro Tower, for broadcasting the recent World Cup for free at 1080i.)

Now let’s close with a bunch of NIMBY complaints about the tower plus the Sutro Tower, Inc FAQ:

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“The San Francisco Dungeon” Opens – It’s the Newest and Spookiest Addition to Fisherman’s Wharf – What People Are Saying

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Here it is, the San Francisco Dungeon up at 145 Jefferson St. between Mason and Taylor in Fisherman’s Wharf – it’s the newest and spookiest addition to Fisherman’s Wharf. Check it out. It’s opening Thursday, June 26th, 2014.

And that makes it the ninth Merlin Entertainments Dungeon in the world. The roster:  Berlin DungeonHamburg DungeonAmsterdam Dungeon, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, the Edinburgh Dungeon, the London Dungeon, the York DungeonWarwick Castle and now San Francisco.

Beth Spotswood of SFGate says she “screamed bloody murder.

And here’s Annie Sciacca’s take

And here’s San Francisco Bay Guardian skeptic / Harvard-boy David Kurlander’s bit. He dropped by last week and wrote a lot about the dungeon. He says, “…the Dungeon transcends a lot of the more toxic elements that drag down other Jeffersonian locales.” I guess that’s a compliment.

And here are the Yelp reviews.

I’m thinking that if you’re part of a fun group and you’re in the mood to have good time, then the SF Dungeon just might be for you.

Here are some scenes:

Colonel Jack Gamble welcomes victims (guests) to the San Francisco Dungeon in San Francisco, California

Nikko, of Shanghai Kelly’s Boat Ride, claims his victims (guests) in the San Francisco Dungeon in San Francisco, California

Underground boat ride? Mmmm… Maybe I’ll make it up there someday. (It seems a lot more appealing than any wax museum, just saying.)

All the deets, after the jump.

See you there!

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Vandalized Panhandle Playground Slide Crisis Enters Its Second Month – Won’t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Amy Stephenson of Hoodline (fka uppercasing) has the deets on the The Case Of The Missing Panhandle Slides

Now here’s how the purple slides looked back in happier times, before The Attack of May 2014:

But then, sometime at the end of May, I’m guessing May 30th or May 31st, you know, the weekend, some vandal(s) (I’m guessing “young punks” or “hippies”) put a giant hole in the leftmost slide. Ouch!

So, first it was all like this…

…and then it was all like this – an even bigger hole:

But then on the following Monday (June 2nd), somebody from SFGov (DPW? RPD? SFPD?) came along and added some red DANGER tape:

And then soon after that, up went the plywood and then somebody came along and did a more permanent fix and so that’s how things look today, near the end of June.

Now I’m just assuming that the hole was the result of vandalism, but I don’t figure how else it could have happened.

(Can I blame SFGov for the hole? Nope. Not at all.)

(Can I find fault with how SFGov was/is handling the issue? Nope. Not at all.)

IMO, fixing these slides proper would be a big job, so simply getting another big old piece of plastic might be the best course of action. And that might take a while. I’m figuring a resolution by the end of July is reasonable – sorry kids.

In mitigation, the playground still has one working slide.

In the meantime, WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?