Posts Tagged ‘Corporation’

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)

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW

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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP THIS HARMFUL FEE:

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 david.chiu@sfgov.org
Malia Cohen – 554- 7670 malia.cohen@sfgov.org
Scott Weiner – 554- 6968 scott.weiner@sfgov.org

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…

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…

Potrero Hill’s Potrero Power Plant To Go Offline in Early 2011?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Rebecca Bowe has the story of the coming end of San Francisco’s 362 MW Potrero Power Plant early next year.

Perhaps we should rename the PPP’s iconic red tower “Coit Tower South” and charge tourists admission to take rides to the top?

It’s a landmark now, right?

Click to expand

Cutout, 2 levels:

Cutout, 3 levels:

Cutout, 4 levels:

Cutout, 5 levels:

Cutout, 6 levels:

Cutout, 6 levels, version 2:

Cutout, 7 levels:

Our RAND Corporation Releases Update of the Famous 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Study – Read It For Free

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Our Rand Corporation has a new .pdf for you to peruse: Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND’s 1993 Study.

I’m afraid to click on RAND’s new EULA*, but you should have no problem with it:

*End User License Agreement or whatever it is. I’m all like, I’m not agreeing to that, just the way I reacted when I saw similar click box as I was trying to make a post at SFist one day back in ought-eight. The upshot of RAND’s new policy is that I’m now afraid to even read their pdfs, much less borrow text from them. Oh well. I mean, if people for whom I’m doing favors want to sue me, they’re welcome to do so, but I’m not going to make it easy for them, I’m not going to make their case a lead-pipe cinch through a written contract right from the get-go…

Anyway, all the deets, license and pdf-free:

“At the request of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Secretary of Defense, the RAND Corporation conducted a study on sexual orientation and U.S. military policy in order to provide information and analysis that might be considered in discussing the possible repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). The study examined DADT implementation; U.S. public and military opinion about allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the military without restriction; and the scientific literature on group cohesion, sexual orientation, and related health issues. RAND conducted focus groups with military personnel and a survey of gay, lesbian, and bisexual military personnel. RAND researchers also examined the comparable experiences of other institutions, domestic agencies, and foreign militaries, as well as how repeal of DADT might affect unit cohesion and military readiness and effectiveness.

“Most polling data suggest that a majority of Americans support allowing gay people to serve in the military without restriction. The research concludes that there would be little impact on recruiting and retention of military personnel and on unit cohesion and performance. Current research and the experience during World War II shows that cohesion of combat units comes from the common threat of the enemy, not from prior shared values and attitudes. The majority of gay and lesbian service members who responded to RAND’s survey reported that, although they did not talk about their sexual orientation, many unit members already knew that there was a gay service member in their unit. The vast majority indicated that they would remain circumspect in how they make their orientation known to other service members. Many military focus group participants said that they knew gay men and lesbians who were serving and respected their contributions. Many major U.S. allies, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, have allowed gay individuals to serve without restriction for a number of years. They report no effect on unit performance or on their ability to meet recruitment goals. No country provides special accommodations for privacy or special training on sexual orientation. Police and fire departments, as well as federal agencies, major corporations, and colleges, all report that they have integrated gay individuals without serious problems and without negative effects on performance — and without making specific accommodations — by applying a strict policy of nondiscrimination.”

Pretty soon, “Ask, Tell” will be the Law of the Land, unambiguously…

Reunification = Denuclearization: Our RAND Corporation Says We Should Just Buy Our Way Out of Trouble in the Koreas

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, has something to say today about denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Check it:

“Alternative to Futile Negotiations with N.K.”

It’s pithy so it won’t take to long to see his point.

China’s little buddy certainly is upset about something or other these days, it would seem.

The gist:

“So a reunification strategy would need two main thrusts. First, South Korea and the United States would need to prepare for a potentially massive, possibly violent stabilization effort, as well as a humanitarian relief operation. China would react to any instability in North Korea, especially if South Korean and U.S. forces move into North Korea’s territory. There must be an effort to coordinate South Korean and U.S. plans with the Chinese.”

Sounds good to me.

Remembering Strybing Arboretum Before They Put Guards at the Gates – Boycott of Botanical Garden Enters Third Month

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I remember our former Strybing Arboretum (home to red foxes, pink berriesorange hummingbirds,  yellow poppiesgreen beer cans, or rather, green heronsblue heronsindigo blue jays, and violet flowers – I think that’s pretty close to Roy G. Biv, that rainbow mnemonic I learned in junior high school back in the 80′s, back before you were born).

I remember Strybing, currently known as the “world-class” San Francisco Botanical Garden, back before the boycott started a couple months ago. It was a colorful place.

I remember thinking that if people temporarily stopped going to Strybing during the 12 month trial period, then the workers getting paid $11 an hour to collect your $7 admission / scrutinize your photo ID would have the chance to find new jobs instead huddling in a wooden pillbox on caster wheels all the live long day. And then, once again, anyone could enter, just the way it was for the past 65 years.

I remember.

I think these trees are the ones atop Heidelberg Hill – they’re whichever ones you can see looking south from the Waterfowl (Wildfowl?) Pond. (300mm lens plus a lot of digital zoom.) Click to expand

RAND Corporation Study: Older Americans are Less Healthy than Older English People, But Americans Live Longer

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Here’s some news from our RAND Corporation:

“Older Americans are less healthy than their English counterparts, but they live as long or even longer than their English peers, according to a new study by researchers from the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London.

Researchers found that while Americans aged 55 to 64 have higher rates of chronic diseases than their peers in England, they died at about the same rate. And Americans age 65 and older — while still sicker than their English peers — had a lower death rate than similar people in England, according to findings published in the journal Demography.

The paper was co-authored by James Banks and Alastair Muriel of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and James P. Smith, distinguished chair in labor markets and demographic studies at RAND.

If you get sick at older ages, you will die sooner in England than in the United States,” Smith said. “It appears that at least in terms of survival at older ages with chronic disease, the medical system in the United States may be better than the system in England.”

Mmmm…

iconRead Article at muse.jhu.edu
iconPopulation and Aging Research Area

The Return of “Epic Bearded Man” Thomas Bruso of AC Transit Fame – Bus Fights Behind Him – Cheering for the Giants

Monday, October 25th, 2010

CaliberSF‘s Travis has a doozie today. Click on over to see the original version of this shot and also to catch up with Vietnam Tom.

Via Travis of CaliberSF