Posts Tagged ‘commissioner’

Well, As Expected, the $7 Fee at the Strybing Arboretum is Going to Become Permanent – A Little History

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.

Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:

LMA-BOS-Supporter Talking Points-6-4.21.13 Budget Hearing

Arboretum Contract Critique

And here’s a post from 2010:

“Not sure how many people were at last night’s “workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.

Here’s the thing - people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.

Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.

The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:

But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.

Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.

The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:

After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.

But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…

…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.

The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”

This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.

The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.

The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).

The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.

That’s it.

“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”

What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.

What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.

This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:

Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.

But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.

“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”

Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)

Random observations:

The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for  the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.

Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.

Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?

Public Workshop – Botanical Garden

When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.

To Be Continued…

District Five Recovery: LONDON CALLING – “You think I give a fuck about a Willie Brown at the end of the day?”

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

All Hail London Breed:

You think I give a fuck about a Willie Brown at the end of the day when it comes to my community and the shit that people like Rose Pak and Willie Brown continue to do and try to controls things.  They don’t fucking control me – you go ask them why wouldn’t you support London because she don’t do what the hell I tell her to do.  I don’t do what no motherfucking body tells me to do.”

Hey, you think maybe she’s watchedYouTube, just a little?

(Hey, you know, the two times when Mayor Ed Lee did a little independent thinking since Willie Brown and Rose Pak got him appointed Mayor are when he appointed the fairly stupid Christina Olague to replace Ross Mirkarimi and when he advocated for the complete non-starter “stop and frisk program.”Perhaps he should just do what he’s told 100% of the time instead of 90% of the time?)

In any event, HERE COMES LONDON BREED:

And her boosters, including Renel in the Morning:

Kamala Harris, California Attorney General*
Rachel Norton, San Francisco Board of Education Member*
Netsanet Alemayehu, Fillmore Small Business Owner & Resident
Jarie Bolander, Past-President, North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association*
Gwyneth Borden, Commissioner, San Francisco Planning Commission*
Kimberly Brandon, Commissioner, San Francisco Port Commission*
Raven Brooks, Executive Director, Netroots Nation*
Reverend Amos Brown, Pastor, Third Baptist Church*
Juan Cerda, Board Member, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club*
Francee Covington, former SFRA Commissioner* & Hayes Valley resident*
Sheryl Davis, Director, Mo Magic*
David Dupree, Member, Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association*
Roma Guy, Co-founder, The Women’s Building*
Margot Frey, Board Member, Alamo Square Neighborhood Association*
Melonie Green, Member, Lower Haight Merchants & Neighborhood Association*
Melorra Green, Member, Lower Haight Merchants & Neighborhood Association*
Richard Hashimoto, President, Japantown Merchants Association*
Andrea Jadwin, Co-President, Inner Sunset Neighborhood Association*
Mike Kim, former President, San Francisco Young Democrats*
Ted Loewenberg, President, Haight Ashbury Improvement Association*
Dr. Joseph Marshall, San Francisco Police Commission*
Larry Mazzola, Sr., Business Manager, UA Local 38
Larry Mazzola, Jr., President, Asst. Business Manager, UA Local 38
Renel Brooks-Moon, Broadcaster*
Sandy Mori, Senior Service Advocate
Thomas P. O’Connor, President, San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798*
Lateefah Simon, former Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights*
Karen Weinstein, former Chair, Women’s Caucus of the CA Democratic Party*
Brenda Wright, Commissioner, San Francisco Retirement Commission*
Plumbers and Pipefitters, UA Local 38

Now, myself, I voted for John Rizzo.

But that’s just me.

OMG, It’s Zillow-Palooza 2012 – Half Day Real Estate Forum at Palace Hotel Oct. 12th – FHA Commish! USC! Free!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

I don’t know, this whole deal sounds like a lot of cheerleading for the real estate industry, which is still heavily subsidized by the Feds.

Oh, and the state of California as well.

But “post-bottom landscape” and “good time to buy?” Well, after hearing those phrases bandied about, how can you resist?

So if you want to be the next Donald Trump, have at it. After all, you can’t win your share of middle-class welfare if you don’t play.

Just don’t get too optimistic, again…

“Zillow, USC Lusk Center to Host Housing Forum in San Francisco; FHA Commissioner Carol Galante to Give Keynote - “California’s Housing Market: Navigating the Post-Bottom Landscape” - To Explore Whether It Is a Good Time to Buy, Issues Around Prop 13

SEATTLE, Sept. 13, 2012  – After a housing recession that eclipsed the Great Depression, many markets are again experiencing home value appreciation sparked by high demand but a low supply of homes. What are the sources of this situation, and how long will it last? What will come next? What should real estate professionals and consumers know about this “new” housing market?

To help answer some of these questions, Zillow®, the leading real estate information marketplace, and the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate will host the half-day “Forum on California’s Housing Market: Navigating the Post-Bottom Landscape” Oct. 12 at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel.

“When it comes to today’s housing market, it’s a confusing time for professionals and consumers alike,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “The sheer size of California’s real estate market, along with the fact that cities in the state were among the first to enter the housing recession, combine to make California a kind of bellwether for what to expect as other major housing markets begin to stabilize and recover. We’re thrilled to host an esteemed group of national and California-based experts to discuss the state of the market and issues of particular relevance to California.”

“With rising rents and historically low mortgage rates, owning a home appears to be very appealing,” said Richard Green, Lusk Chair in Real Estate at USC. “But underwater borrowers are reluctant – or unable – to sell, tying up supply in a high-demand environment. We look forward to discussing the implications of these factors on the housing market.”

This will be the second housing forum hosted by Zillow this year. The first, “America’s Housing Crisis: Private-Sector Responses and Public Policy Innovation,” was held in New York in April.

Full details of the San Francisco event are below, and guests can register for this free forum at http://cahousingforum.eventbrite.com. More information and updates about speakers can be found at www.zillow.com/blog/category/housing-forum.

       Forum on California’s Housing Market:
        Navigating the Post-Bottom Landscape
              October 12, 8 a.m.-noon
                   Palace Hotel
               2 New Montgomery St.
                   San Francisco

                 Keynote Speech by
                   Carol Galante
       Acting Federal Housing Administration
     Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for
                      Housing

    Top Housing Experts in Public and Private
       Sectors Will Debate and Discuss in Two
                      Panels:
     Is It a Good Time to Buy in California?:
          The Housing Market’s New Normal
    Moderated by Richard Green, Director of the
          USC Lusk Center for Real Estate
                        and
                        —
        Prop 13 in a Healing Housing Market
     Moderated by Colleen Edwards, Owner, EMC
                      Creative
Other speakers include:
    —  Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow
    —  John Burns, CEO, John Burns Real Estate Consulting
    —  Bert Selva, President, Shea Homes
    —  Eric Gutshall, President and COO, Haven Realty Capital
    —  Dowell Myers, Professor, Director, Population Dynamics Research Group,
        USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
With a special overview of the nation’s housing market by Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

About Zillow, Inc.

Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 150 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions(TM) and RentJuice®. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and RentJuice are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Diverse Solutions is a trademark of Zillow, Inc.

(ZFIN)

SOURCE  Zillow.com

Zillow.com

CONTACT: Katie Curnutte, Zillow, +1-206-757-2701 or press@zillow.com

Web Site: http://www.zillow.com

Julian Davis Wins and Interim Supervisor Christina Olague Loses First Big District Five Debate Tonight – Meet the Candidates

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Debate season has come to District Five.

Oh, here they are. London, John and Daniel, anyway:

Click to expand

(Does D5 really have the “best neighborhoods” of San Francisco? Mmmm…)

Oh look, lots of people were there with these signs, regarding the corrupt 8 Washington project.

But I think we’ll get a chance to vote on this issue next year so this isn’t really on the top of the agenda these days.

Here are the introductions:

Andrew Resignato - A “people-powered campaign.” Sort of looks like Ross Mirkarimi.

Daniel EverettOf Folk Law Radio

John Rizzo - He fixes problems, he has an engineering background.

London BreedShe was born in District Five.  She was born in District Five. She was born in District Five. One imagines she’s still turbo-pissed at Mayor Ed Lie for not appointing her earlier this year. She’s raised the most money and has the support of Kamala Harris and Willie Brown.

Christina OlaguePronounced “oh law gee” with a hard “g?” News to me. (Does she have a cold or is that her voice? Wow.)

“Hello. My name is, uh, Christina Olague. I’m Supervisor of this District. I was appointed in January. And I’m very thrilled and excited to be, uh, serving the community as the district Supervisor.”

And then later, more talk about how this inarticulate person is Supervisor.

And oh, here’s the big pitch for supporters, which I’ll tell you I didn’t see any:

“We need your presence!!! Please come out to hold up signs, wear your Tee Shirts and pass out literature. All the Candidates will be there. We want them to see strong support for Christina Olague. Got Questions? Call 415-724-0136 – Shelley B. Bell”

So, the Olague campaign wants the other candidates to see Olague has lots of support? OK fine, if that’s the way you want to do it.

Anyway, she’s a big fat SELLOUT and that’s why she got appointed over a moderate like London Breed.

And oh, she’s lying about that whole perjury issue with the Mayor and Ross Mirkarimi. Oh well.

Thea Selby - “I am super happy to be here…” Apparently, running for Supe is “hecka more fun” than you can imagine. And, apparently, everybody should consider running.

Julian Davis – “There are pro-development interests that are controlling the agenda of City Hall.”

This was the first attack against the Interim Supe during this forum.

“How do they get away with it? I’ll tell you – they get away with it by choosing your leaders for you. Over the past two years in San Francisco we have seen an appointed Mayor, an appointed District Attorney, an appointed Sheriff, and an appointed District Five Supervisor. Ask yourself is that’s participatory democracy the way we envisioned it? The answer is that it is not.” 

Hope Johnson –

“…if those people are really representing you or if they are merely selling out to the highest bidder. And as Supervisor, I would hope to continue to ensure that government acts in our best interests and try to curb the abuse of authority some of which you’ve heard Mr. Davis talk about just a few minutes ago.”

And there you have it.

[UPDATE: Well, surprise surprise, Christina Olague got an endorsement last night. See Comments.]

Here’s Why Tonight’s District Five Debate Doesn’t Matter – Oh, and Let’s Mention Run Ed Run, 8 Washington, Etc.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The reason why tonight’s D5 Democratic Club (warning: links to FB) debate doesn’t matter:

Christina Olague is going to win the election, that’s why.

The reason for that is because she’s already been appointed to the job.

The reason for that is because she sold out her “progressive” values in order to get appointed. Remember RUN ED RUN? That was Christina Olague.

And hey, remember that whole perjury thing involving, speak of the Devil, Mayor Ed Lie and Commissioner Debra Walker? Remember how one protagonist spoke clearly and freely at City Hall and the other panicked and ran away to hide like a stupid cow? That runner and hider was Christina Olague, who said she might have to recuse herself from the Ross Mirkarimi vote due to, due to what? Due to somebody saying something? I don’t get that.

Anywho, there are institutional reasons why it benefits all parties concerned to host/attend this shindig, so here it comes.

All the deets:

AUGUST 8 Meeting Reminder

Dear District 5 Democrat,

Don’t miss out. On Wednesday, August 8, we’ll be hosting the first debate for the District 5 candidates for Supervisor from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Park Branch Library in the Haight.

The D5 Dem Club will also be making our endorsement for Supervisor. All registered club members and Democrats who have attended at least one prior meeting in the past year will have an opportunity to vote for their top-3 preferred candidates at this important discussion.

The debate and endorsement meeting will be held at the Park Branch Library in the Haight, 1833 Page St. The debate will begin promptly at 6:30pm, but members will be able to cast their endorsement vote at any time during the meeting. Voting will end promptly at 8:30pm and votes will be tallied at that time.

All registered candidates have been invited to participate, and once again we want to thank all the members who have join our club and made introductions to our members.

The following candidates have already confirmed:

London Breed
Julian Davis
Daniel Everett
Hope Johnson
Christina Olague
Andrew Resignato
John Rizzo
Thea Selby

We hope to see you on Aug. 8 at the Park Branch Library!

If you have any questions about our Wednesday meeting, do not hesitate to email your club president Alex Doniach at board@d5dems.org.

We hope to see you next week!

Warm regards,
D5DC Board

Oh, and to spoil the surprise, Christina Olague will get endorsed. Kell surprise.

TTFN

Unbiased Report Concludes That CA State Film Credit Program Benefits are Exaggerated – What About SF’s?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Does the “Scene in San Francisco” program work? I’m sure it does for some people, but does it succeed overall, you know, for the Commonweal?

No.

It’s the same deal with the CA state film subsidy program, which was recently looked at by the CA State Legislative Analyst’s Office.

See below.

Did San Francisco subsidize the horrible NBC non-hit show Trauma? Yes. Should it have? No. 

Click to expand

All the deets:

Net Credit Benefit Likely Much Less Than Reported.

We have discussed five issues that could affect the results of the LAEDC and/or UCLA-IRLE studies:

 Unknown assumptions embedded in the LAEDC economic models and their failure to consider the benefits of alternative public or private uses of tax credit funds (which could result in the credit program having significantly less net benefit than shown in the studies).

 In-state film activity that would occur in California without any tax credit (which results in the credit program having less economic and tax net benefits than shown in the LAEDC study).

 In-state economic and employment activity resulting from out-of-state productions (which results in the credit program having less net benefit than shown in the studies).

 Crowding out effects (which result in the credit program having less net benefit than shown in the studies in at least some years).

 Effects of film-related tourism (which would likely not result in significant changes in net benefits in most years).

While the total effects of these issues are impossible to quantify, their combined effects are likely to be negative in any given fiscal year—that is, resulting in the net benefit of the credit program being less than shown in both the LAEDC and UCLA-IRLE studies.

Given the conclusion that the net benefit of the credit program is likely less than shown in the LAEDC study, the LAEDC’s finding that the output-to-credit ratio was about 20-to-1 is likely overstated, as is its estimate of job gains resulting from the credit program. Moreover, given that UCLA-IRLE adjusted downward to $1.04 the projected state and local tax revenue return from every credit dollar and given that we find that this also was overstated, we believe it is likely that the state and local tax revenue return would be under $1.00 for every tax credit dollar—perhaps well under $1.00 for every tax credit dollar in many years.

In any event, even if the combined state and local tax revenue return is right around $1.00 for every tax credit dollar, the state government’s tax revenue return would by definition be less than $1.00 for every tax credit dollar. The credit program, therefore, appears to result in a net decline in state revenues.”

Oh My! Kamala Harris and London Breed Both Oppose District Five’s Accidental Supervisor Christina Olague, a Sellout Progressive

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and future District 5 Supervisor London Breed: Whoa!

Click to expand

Until London Breed takes over, District 5 will have to make do with Sellout Supervisor Christina Olague.

Uh, what has the Sellout Supervisor done lately, you know, asides from running the bogus Run Ed Run campaign for Ed Lee and then getting appointed by Ed Lee?

It looks like she spends time defending her decision to sell out and doing what Ed Lee tells her to do.

Is Christina Olague the stupidest Supervisor since, I don’t know, Michela Alioto Pier? It sure looks that way, so far.

Let’s let her articulate herself:

“…begins a conversation.

it’s just time to have a conversation about it.

So I think there needs to be a conversation

I think it starts a conversation

I’m willing to start the conversation

then it can start the conversation.

So I think the conversation will start”

Why would you make the same fucking point the same fucking way seven times in two minutes? I mean, unless you’re on meth or something.

Moving on…

Mmmm, let’s see here, when’s the last time a sitting San Francisco Supervisor lost election?

That’s right, it was just after the last time a Latina got appointed to the Board. Remember?

Anyway, here’s a partial list of the people who don’t approve of Christina Olague being the Sellout Supervisor:

Kamala Harris, California Attorney General*
Rachel Norton, San Francisco Board of Education Member*
Netsanet Alemayehu, Fillmore Small Business Owner & Resident
Jarie Bolander, Past-President, North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association*
Gwyneth Borden, Commissioner, San Francisco Planning Commission*
Kimberly Brandon, Commissioner, San Francisco Port Commission*
Raven Brooks, Executive Director, Netroots Nation*
Reverend Amos Brown, Pastor, Third Baptist Church*
Juan Cerda, Board Member, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club*
Francee Covington, former SFRA Commissioner* & Hayes Valley resident*
Sheryl Davis, Director, Mo Magic*
David Dupree, Member, Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association*
Roma Guy, Co-founder, The Women’s Building*
Margot Frey, Board Member, Alamo Square Neighborhood Association*
Melonie Green, Member, Lower Haight Merchants & Neighborhood Association*
Melorra Green, Member, Lower Haight Merchants & Neighborhood Association*
Richard Hashimoto, President, Japantown Merchants Association*
Andrea Jadwin, Co-President, Inner Sunset Neighborhood Association*
Mike Kim, former President, San Francisco Young Democrats*
Ted Loewenberg, President, Haight Ashbury Improvement Association*
Dr. Joseph Marshall, San Francisco Police Commission*
Larry Mazzola, Sr., Business Manager, UA Local 38
Larry Mazzola, Jr., President, Asst. Business Manager, UA Local 38
Renel Brooks-Moon, Broadcaster*
Sandy Mori, Senior Service Advocate
Thomas P. O’Connor, President, San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798*
Lateefah Simon, former Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights*
Karen Weinstein, former Chair, Women’s Caucus of the CA Democratic Party*
Brenda Wright, Commissioner, San Francisco Retirement Commission*
Plumbers and Pipefitters, UA Local 38

And what’s the response? This is just about the only thing she’s done so far. (Note which district the Gold Dust Lounge isn’t in.)

Anyway, Christina Olague will have trouble winning election this autumn.

It’s Food Day: Watch “Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges” Live from UC Hastings at 1:00 PM

Monday, October 24th, 2011

OMG, it’s Food Day 2011, so check the link to see what’s going on about the Bay Area today.

Here’s the manifesto:

At UC Hastings in Civic Center, the UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy will put on Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges starting at 1:00 PM.

Watch it on the livestream, why not? Or see about heading over to this free event yourself.

All the deets:

“Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges

Start: 10/24/2011 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: 200 McAllister, Alumni Reception Center

The UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy is sponsoring a conference entitled “Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges” on Food Day, October 24, 2011.
The conference will bring together scholars from the health sciences and the law, as well as policymakers, activists, and food industry members, to discuss two important aspects of “food deserts,” places where access to a nutritionally-adequate diet is severely restricted.

One panel, Nourishing Our Neighborhoods: Insights from Law, Planning, and Industry, will cover the broad issue of geographical food deserts, usually urban areas inhabited by mostly-poor people whose transportation and finances are limited, where food sellers are predominantly small stores that cannot stock a wide variety of fresh food items, and where full-service grocery stores hesitate to locate. Are there policies (such as those in zoning rules) that could be changed to enable oases in these food deserts? What impact does, for example, the addition of a full-service grocery store have on the health of the neighboring area?

Another panel, Food and Nutrition in Correctional Institutions, will consider issues relevant to prisons and jails. While food offerings must meet certain basic caloric and nutritional requirements, the institutional nature of food preparation and food service might make that food less than appealing, and the healthier elements of meals might well be those not regularly or fully consumed. The supplemental food offerings – those for sale in these institutions – are not likely to be nutritious. Some research suggests that improved nutrition in prisons leads to improved penal outcomes. If that is so, what policy changes should be implemented? Would such changes be cost-beneficial, considering penal outcomes and the government’s responsibility for health care of prisoners?

At 5 pm, Dr. David Kessler, former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration and Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF, will give the keynote address on The End of Overeating. This conference will be free and open to the public.”

Ever more deets after the jump

(more…)

Mayoral Candidate Leland Yee Announces Plan for Public Schools – Wants Free Muni Rides for Students

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Here’s the whole megillah from Leland Yee.

Board of Education Commissioner Kim-Shree Maufas, City College Board Trustee John Rizzo, and President of the United Educators of San Francisco Dennis Kelly with Senator Yee before yesterday’s presser in Chinatown:

Click to expand

The highlights of Yee’s plan include:

PUT STUDENTS FIRST

  1. Increase student success with wrap-around “community school” services
  2. Prioritize underperforming schools for community school reforms
  3. Reduce truancy and dropout rates, and expand programs for at-risk youth
  4. Free Muni for public school kids
  5. Promote school-based healthcare services for the entire family
  6. Expand nutrition education to improve healthy eating at home
  7. Bridge the digital divide
  8. Make college a goal for every student
  9. Make the Dream Act a reality
  10. Improve language proficiency for all students

RESPECT AND REWARD TEACHERS

  1. Expand teacher recognition and incentive programs
  2. Teacher Power: appoint educators to city boards and commissions
  3. Develop the best future educators by recruiting the best college graduates
  4. Real affordable housing for educators
  5. Help teachers pay for classroom materials

PROMOTE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

  1. Create network of community partners to expand reach of wrap-around services
  2. Expand and formalize partnerships with universities to share space, service-learning opportunities, and align strategic plans
  3. Expand partnerships with businesses to ensure college and career connectivity
  4. Create alliance of school and parent advocacy groups to improve connectivity and collaboration

ENCOURAGE PARENT PARTICIPATION

  1. Time off to attend school functions and parent-teacher conferences
  2. Support and promote the SFUSD Parent Engagement and Partnership Plan
  3. Community school wrap-around services for parents”

Impressions, Strybing: There’s a Riot of Color Going On in Golden Gate Park These Days, For Those Who Break the Boycott

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

This is what you can see inside Strybing Arboretum this time of year:

Click to expand

And outside, what you’ll see are a bunch of tourists debating the merits of paying $28 or whatever to enter the gates. Usually, they walk off dejectedly.

Oh well.