Posts Tagged ‘chuck’

Bashing CW Nevius, the Regatta Pinata – He Still Doesn’t Realize That the Unpopular America’s Cup is Still Very Unpopular

Monday, March 26th, 2012

To the list of failed America’s Cup proposals that San Francisco Chronicle writer CW Nevius considers “just fine,” add the current proposal.

“The America’s Cup came to San Francisco with a trumpet fanfare and soaring expectations.”

TRUMPETED BY WHOM? CW NEVIUS. EXPECTATIONS FUELED BY WHOM? THE VERY SAME CW NEVIUS. AND ACTUALLY, THE AMERICA’S CUP HASN’T ACTUALLY COME YET, ONLY VARIOUS PROPOSALS HAVE COME, ALL OF THEM BAD YET ALL OF THEM CHEERED ON BY DULL-WITTED CW NEVIUS.

The Embarcadero waterfront would be transformed and finally developed.

I DON’T THINK ANYBODY WAS PROMISING THIS, ACTUALLY. IT’S JUST LARRY ELLISON’S LITTLE BOAT RACE.

Up to 10 sailing teams would skim across the bay for the right to challenge for the Cup.

ACTUALLY, IT WAS MORE THAN THAT. HOW ABOUT 14 OR 18? (ONLY THE SKY WAS THE LIMIT BACK IN THE DAY.)

Hundreds of thousands of people would attend an event that would create jobs, stimulate the local economy, and cost the city virtually nothing.

I DON’T THINK THAT WAS PROMISED, IRL.

OK, that was fun.

IT WAS FUN FOR YOU NEVIUS, BUT SO WAS ATTENDING MONEY-LOSING OLYMPIADS AND THEN MOVING ON – THAT WAS “FUN” FOR YOU AS WELL. REALLY, YOU PERSONALLY, CW NEVIUS, PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO ANY SPORTING EVENT HELD ANYWHERE AT ANYTIME, NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY IT LOSES.

Now here’s the reality. The waterfront will get a bit of a sprucing up, and the black hole known as Piers 30-32 will be shored up to extend their useful life another 15 to 20 years. There will be more like five sailing teams. And not only is the Cup not yet generating thousands of jobs, the America’s Cup Event Authority is cutting staff to save money. And frankly, we’re not sure how many spectators will show up, but the current thinking is to revise the numbers down.

SO IT WAS ALL A LIE, WASN’T IT? A LIE THAT YOU YOURSELF PROMOTED, CW NEVIUS.

Stephen Barclay, interim CEO of the event authority, says 28 employees were laid off Friday, but that only makes sense as we transition to America’s Cup Lite.

WE’RE NOT REALLY TRANSITIONING TO A SMALLER AMERICA’S CUP BECAUSE THERE WAS NO BIG AMERICA’S CUP IN THE FIRST PLACE. THAT WAS SIMPLY WHAT LARRY ELLISON WANTED, WHAT HE FANTASIZED ABOUT.

“We now know the deal,” he said. “It means we have a reduced footprint and we will pay more but earn less. It therefore gives us the opportunity to organize ourselves accordingly.”

UH, NO. ACTUALLY, NOBODY REALLY CARES ABOUT LARRY ELLISON’S AMERICA’S CUP AND THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SAN FRANCISCO.

Quite frankly, that’s just fine.

NO IT’S NOT, IT’S STILL GOING TO COST SAN FRANCISCO QUITE A BIT OF MONEY. WHY NOT JUST HAVE LARRY ELLISON PAY FOR THE RACE, HAS THAT BEEN CONSIDERED?

This may be a downsize from the original extravaganza, but it will still be an awesome event in the perfect spot.

WHAT WILL MAKE IT AWESOME? WHY IS SAN FRANCISCO THE PERFECT SPOT FOR A OVERSIZED CATAMARAN RACE?

I continue to think that even people who don’t know a spinnaker from an anchor will find these races unexpectedly compelling.

SO, YOU’RE EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED BECAUSE. BECAUSE WHY? YOU’VE BEEN CONSISTENTLY WRONG ABOUT THIS EVENT FOR YEARS NOW – HAVEN’T YOU LEARNED ANYTHING YET, CW NEVIUS?

It will be a showcase for the city and the bay, and I will be extremely surprised if it isn’t a killer event.

IT WON’T BE A KILLER EVENT. SURPRISE!

There will be inevitable doomsayers as the expectations are downsized, but other than learning a good lesson about promising too much too soon, I don’t see this as a problem.

BUT NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT THE AMERICA’S CUP. EXPECTATIONS AREN’T BEING DOWNSIZED BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T ALL THAT BIG TO BEGIN WITH.

For starters, good for the city, the port and Cup organizers to reach a compromise for the repairs to Piers 30-32.

SO, CW NEVIUS HAS BEEN CHEERLEADING FOR ANY PROPOSAL PUT FORTH BY LARRY ELLISON OVER THE YEARS AND NOW HE’S SIMPLY DOING THE SAME, HAVING LEARNED NOTHING, SEEMINGLY.

The big, flat eyesore has been used as a parking lot, and there were high hopes of spending nearly $100 million to completely redo the pier and begin large-scale development.

THAT EYESORE MAKES MONEY FOR SAN FRANCISCO, NOT THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THAT, NEVIUS.

When that deal fell apart amid inflated expenses, concerns about development and deadline pressure, Supervisors Mark Farrell and some newspaper columnists howled at the lost opportunity. The city, we complained, lost an opportunity to build something modern and cool on that asphalt wasteland and ruined the Cup’s plans too. The idea was to stage the teams there, right in the middle of the waterfront, so spectators could come check out the boats.

BUT PEOPLE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE BOATS. YOU KEEP FORGETTING. SAN DIEGO JUST SNORED THROUGH THEIR VERSION OF THE AMERICA’S CUP SO WHY SHOULD SAN FRANCISCO BE ANY DIFFERENT?

Organizers compared it to getting a pass to the pits at a NASCAR race.

NO NO, YOU SEE, TV PEOPLE PAY MONEY FOR THE RIGHT TO BROADCAST SOMETHING POPULAR LIKE NASCAR, BUT TV PEOPLE GET PAID MONEY FOR THE OBLIGATION TO BROADCAST SOMETHING UNPOPULAR LIKE THE AMERICA’S CUP.

And now that expectations have been toned down, we can stop looking at this as a transformative real estate event or an economic boondoggle, and just see it for what it is – a boat race.

IT _IS_ AN ECONOMIC BOONDOGGLE.

Public No-Shows Public Meeting Regarding the Future of the Stow Lake Boathouse – Plus, Spurious Lead Paint Issue

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I don’t know, when you have like just one member of the public show up at a meeting hosted by Rec and Park, would you call that a successful joint?

This was the scene for last Thursday night’s big PowerPoint presentation. You had people there from the new tenant and the new tenant’s Marin operation and RPD and etc.

Is this low turnout due to the fact that grand battle has already been won by the new tenant, or is it due to the fact that there was zero publicity for this particular meeting,* or maybe a combination of both reasons?

Click to expand

Anyway, the latest developments at Stow are detailed here by Rachel Gordon.

And oh, the lawsuit against the City from the old tenant should have some activity soon, maybe something is scheduled for Superior Court in March 2012.

And the latest from the absurdly-named Save Stow Lake Coalition has to do with paint with lead in it, which, Gentle Reader, I’m sitting two yards from right now. And, this is true for you too, G.R. You know, ’cause paint with some amount of lead in it is everywhere. Simply everywhere. (If it turns out that this coalition is some long-running anti-NIMBY performance art project, I won’t be surprised…)

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Enjoy your upcoming rain-free, vernal paddle-boating season, everybody…

*I don’t know, was this meeting posted on the internet anywhere at all? NTMK.

The Next Big Public Meeting for the Stow Lake Boathouse is on January 26th, But, Shhhhhh, It’s a Secret

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Here’s the word on the street:

“The Recreation and Park Department and Ortega Family Enterprises are hosting a community meeting to discuss the upcoming renovations of the Stow Lake Boathouse. The work will include creating an indoor seating area so that the building is open to the public for the first time, adding an accessible bathroom, upgrading the building systems as well as upgrading the general condition of the building.

Date: January 26, 2012
Time: 7PM
Location: Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building)”

But, am I getting punk’d here? ‘Cause I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.

Now, I can find the Save Stow Lake insanity* webpage, right here.

And, I can find the Official Twitter for Stow Lake Boathouse LLC, right here.

But, to review, I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.

Oh hey, look, it’s Ortega Family Enterprises’ Armand Ortega hisself, at the last big Boathouse meeting (the last one that I know of, anyway) at the Hall of Flowers.**

Click to expand

Oh well.

*Uh, Ortega Family Enterprises has “boating experience” now, doesn’t it? You might want to change that. And do you want the City and County poking about buildings in your real estate empire looking for paint with lead in it? I’d bet they’d find some. Oh no! And shrillness-wise, you’re giving us a 9. How about giving us a 3 instead? All right, take two, roll film, action.

**Yes, that’s the actual color of the interior of the Hall of Flowers. I call it indescribable green.

OMG, Now CW Nevius is on KGO Radio!

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Well here’s the news, CW Nevius has taken to the air, once again.

Here’s an early review, from Rich Lieberman 415 Media:

“I heard Chronicle metro writer, Chuck Nevius’ new report on the 810 “news” Tuesday. It was plain horrific and god-awful. Nevius’ forte is as a writer. He’s NOT a radio guy. His voice was tantamount to listening to wallpaper. He tried in vain to be funny. He was not. The subject matter was the lights going out at Candlestick at the 49ers game Monday Night. It would have been merely bad if the segment ran a couple minutes. Nevius’ piece droned on well past four minutes. If this is supposed to draw listeners, then some moron needs to get his head examined.”

(Meesa say, “How wude!”)

Anyway, listen for yourself:

SF Chronicle columnist CW Nevius has joined the KGO 810 news team as a daily news commentator.

Nevius is well known to Bay Area readers for his unique look at the Occupy Movement, San Francisco politics, and even street toilets. His first commentary for KGO is a sad farewell to Candlestick Park, where Monday Night’s blackout during the 49er’s game may have signaled the end of the stadium.

C.W. Nevius has been a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle for over 20 years, covering sports, reviewing movies, and spotting trends. He is currently a metro columnist, appearing on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

As a sports columnist he climbed the ski jump at the Norway Olympics, ate bee larvae in Japan, and skied in the French Alps. In all he covered eight Olympic Games, from Australia to Spain to Korea. (And the strangest place of all, Los Angeles.)

He also wrote about riding the “Straight Talk Express” with John McCain during his first presidential bid, parachuting out of an airplane, and running the Boston Marathon. Although he only reviewed movies for a year, he did rate a blurb with his byline on the DVD box of “Santa Clause II,” to the undying embarrassment of his kids.

He co-authored “Splash Hit,” about building the Giants’ new waterfront stadium with Joan Walsh. His latest book is, “Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler. A Zen Guide for New Dads.”

News and Program Director Paul Hosley said, “We’re thrilled to have a journalist of CW’s caliber join the news team. We look forward to hearing his perspective on the Bay Area’s news stories.”

Realize that this might mean that you’ll have less Nevius to kick around, SF Chronicle-wise.

Oh well.

Invisible airwaves crackle with life 
Bright antenna bristle with the energy 
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength 
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free 

 

Yelp Fraud: New Stow Lake Boathouse a Huge Success in Golden Gate Park, But Old Regime Just Can’t Let Go

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

[UPDATE: Bagdad by the Bay just looked into things.]

Well, everything’s going great at your new and improved yet-pretty-much-the-same-except-for-the-food Stow Lake Boathouse in Golden Gate Park.

Here’s what it looks like these days:

Click to expand

Just check the Yelp for early reviews. They’re almost all highly positive.*

But what’s this? Some “brother” from Oakland, “Les. L,” is not happy, not one bit! He’s the only Yelper giving a less than positive review.

I’ll allege that Les is not some youngish dude from Oakland, but rather a wealthy, white, preservationist-minded, NIMBY-mentalitied, real-estate-obsessed, highly-opinionated woman of a certain age who lives in the West Bay.

Let’s check it out her one-star report:

“What happened to the cool local people that worked there?”

Um, this is an improbable start to a Yelp review. Gee, maybe they busy themselves with sock puppetry on Yelp these days, just like you, “Les L?”

“Everyone we saw was white, which is weird for SF. We drove over from the East Bay to rent boats with my 2 kids and my mom.”

Oh what’s that, Les? There’s not enough flava for you over here in the West Bay? That’s funny? Did you know that all the people behind the old boat house and the Save the Boat House Coalition are white, or pretty much? What were you expecting?

“The kids couldn’t reach the pedals in the boat we rented. How’s that? It’s for kids, right?”

The old boats, the ones sold off for $500, maybe they were inappropriate for adults? Maybe the kids can just come along for the ride? A paddleboat is a paddleboat, pretty much.

“After a unhappy boatride, my mom tripped on the crappy stairs in front of the boathouse. She was bleeding, the kids were crying, and no one bothered to help us.”

What were you unhappy about, Les? That Bruce lost his lease? It happens. Or you were unhappy because there were too many Whities about?

“An old man sitting on a bench helped us and said the boathouse was just taken over by a New Mexico chain. We won’t be back.”

More improbability. Oh well.

Oddly, Les L., straight outta Oak-Town, also has a big beef with Chicago Title Co. in lily-white Campbell, CA, the wealthiest(?) part of the South Bay.

And, oddly, “his” dentist, with whom “he” also has a big beef, is clear all the way in the burbs of the West Bay.

On It Goes…

*Perhaps too positive. “Ashley c.” is a another one of those Yelp fraudsters, it would appear.

Stow Lake Boathouse Update: Open for Business – New Paint, Slow Pace, Room for Old People – Photos

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Well, lots of things are pretty much the same these days at the Stow Lake Boathouse, which was reopened by the new tenant on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011.

See? 

Click to expand

Check the new photo gallery – it’s quite complete.

But, here’s something new. It’s a sign in honor of boathouse founder Mr. Cal Tilden & the McLellan* Family, 1946-2011:

(Quite civil to post this sign, if you ask me.)

Get more deets via Aaron Sankin – here’s Huffington Post San Francisco going long-form on this issue: Stow Lake Boathouse Fight: A Battle For the Soul Of Golden Gate Park. Or there’s this here, if you want to click through the lengthy history over the prior months and years…

Le mise-en-scene:

If anything, the pace of life is even slower than that of the era of the prior tenant. Nobody’s hurried at all. And there’s more room, more benches for “old people” to lollygag about.

And here’s your new Boathouse Dog, which is from a better supplier and which is being sold at a cheaper price:

Yes, pink popcorn from Wright’s:

All the players:

And what’s this, new paint, finally, after all these years? These guys started working on Wednesday:

So there you have it.

*Yes, that’s a rapping raven, a confabulating corvid at the end of the first video, calling for a boycott of the boathouse.

Presenting Your Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe “Restoration Time” Menu: $3.25 Hot Dogs, $6.95 Sustainable Tuna Salads

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

At long last, it’s here. It’s the interim menu for our Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe.

Is this menu too foo-foo yuppie for you? Is $3.25* too much for a Let’s Be Frank grass-fed beef** hot dog?

As always, You Make The Call: 

Click to expand

*Well, I’ll tell you, that’s cheaper than what the former tenant was charging. Here’s some more from the clinically-absurd SaveStowLake.org crowd:

“Seniors will no longer be able to gather freely at the boathouse. Prices will be more than doubled on all food items. Middle class and low-income families will be driven out of this spot that is designed to be for all…not just the wealthy.”

I’ll tell you, everything that the Save Stow Lake people have predicted has turned out to be shrill, alarmist bullcrap. JMO.

** These snappy dogs are loaded with flavor, not junk! Using premium cuts from cattle raised on pasture in California (naturally high in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids!) and organic spices, we’ve crafted a delicious dog that’s lower in fat, calories and sodium than conventional franks. No nitrites, nitrates, hormones, or antibiotics, ever.”

It’s Official: The Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe Will Open Wednesday – And Here are the New Boats

Monday, October 10th, 2011

[UPDATE: Rachel Gordon has the deets of Opening Day right here.]

I don’t know, if I had an expired lease with the City and County of San Francisco and they asked me to leave by a certain date, I think I’d leave by that date. But the former tenant at the Stow Lake Boathouse doesn’t roll that way, so he kept on running the place, overstaying his lease, defending an eviction action through the drier $pring and $ummery tourism months. The result is that the new tenant is taking over in Autumn, in the rain. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Also, the old tenant charged $25 per hour for paddleboats and $20 for rowboats until he got caught, even though the contracted rate was for $20 and $15 per hour. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Oh, and the workers for the former tenants left little surprises for the new tenants haha. O.K., did that help San Francisco? No.

Oh, and the trial pitting the former tenant against all of us is skedded for March 2012.

Moving on…

Your new Stow Lake Boathouse & Cafe will open on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011, rain or shine, boats and food. It’s official ‘n stuff.

Meet your new fleet:

1. Electric boat – lead-acid type batteries, like from Your Father’s Oldsmobile;

2. Paddleboat – Captain and First Officer/Stoker facing forward with two passengers facing rearward;

3. Rowboat

Click to expand

And actually, the forecast is for Cloudless Skies on Wednesday, so you’ll be richly rewarded if you skip out of work to see the soft opening.

See you there!

Rain Delay: Our New Stow Lake Boathouse and Cafe Won’t Be Opening This Week – How About Next Week?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Well, it seems that rain has delayed the planned quick fixes to our historic Stow Lake Boathouse, so don’t expect it to open by the promised October 6th deadline. The place is a ghost town right now.

Oh, and there were a few unanticipated electrical issues in the kitchen too.

Oh, and a little while back there was a hole in the Stow Lake levy that cropped up right near the boathouse during the long-planned repaving job for, among other places, the Stow Lake area and a good section of JFK.

Oh, and the swan boats, well, you’re going to have start a petition to get those any time soon. But they’ll have plenty of regular, non-avian-themed paddle boats.

In any event, work proceeds. Get all the deets on the new and official website.

Click to expand

And if you want to rent a bike in Golden Gate Park, you’ll need to go to the new vendor:

ParkWide Activities LLC

You’ll find them operating behind the bandshell in the Music Concourse betwixt our de Young Museum and California Academy of Sciences.

Their Grand Opening will be next week but they’re open for business now, even during these rainy days.

Bon courage, SLBH and ParkWide.

Stow Lake Boathouse and Café to Reopen by October 6 – New Website, Blog, Twitter Account, Manifesto

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Well, per the people at the Stow Lake Boathouse, the joint will reopen soon:

“We will reopen operations with food service and boat rentals no later than October 6th.”

Here’s how it looks today, with a fresh layer of asphalt:

Click to expand

Here’s the Twitter and the Facebook and the blog.

And here’s the manifesto:

“A trip to Golden Gate Park isn’t complete without a sojourn to Stow Lake Boathouse. Join us for a relaxing boat ride that will transport you to an idyllic retreat in the heart of San Francisco. Share time with friends and family at our nostalgic boathouse café. Invite the peace of nature to your day with an excursion to one of America’s most visited city parks.

We are very excited about our proposed vision for the Stow Lake Boathouse and Café. Our highly sustainable new caféimprovements to the boathouse itself, and our new and improved fleet of boats offer a number of benefits to the City and visitors to Golden Gate Park.

Stow Lake is a valuable part of San Francisco’s heritage and it needs to stay that way. It should remain a venue for grassroots and other volunteer organizations, while becoming a place where future generations can learn firsthand about the variety and complexity of nature. Stow Lake is also home to many plant and animal species. It hosts so many natural wonders, that it’s hard to believe such a marvelous ecosystem exists so close to downtown San Francisco.

We pledge to be outstanding stewards of Stow Lake, and to work with our community partners in order to further the awareness and appreciation of this beautiful microenvironment. By establishing meaningful partnerships with local groups, we plan to continue and curate the legacy of Stow Lake for the San Franciscans of today as well as tomorrow. We are dedicated to meeting and exceeding existing stewardship standards in order to preserve and protect the richness of these plant and animal species, as this community has done in the past.”

OK then.

But at least 36 people on Gaia’a Green Earth don’t approve of the new tenant:

It’s not over yet! The civil lawsuit begins March 2012 and will expose the truth about all the many laws that Rec & Park broke in order to bring in an out-of-state chain, with no boating experience to take over this historic boating recreation site.”

March 2012, huh? Sounds like a long ways off at this point.

Anyway, bon courage, new Stow Lake Boathouse and Café.