Community policing in action, Market Street USA, from a few years ago:
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Here’s what she sent out a few days back. I don’t think she’ll care if this email is posted – read it and you’ll see why.
The League spilled the beans yesterday:
Pissed Off Voters SF @TheLeagueSF: “Melanie Nutter is the outgoing Director for Dept of Environment. We are sad to see her go.”
“Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope this email finds you well and that you’ve had a restful and rejuvenating holiday.
I’m writing to let you know that I’ve decided to move on from my role as the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The timing is perfect for me to leave a department that boasts many accomplishments. I couldn’t be more proud to have been involved with such an incredible team for the past three and a half years. But now I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and to consulting on a few special projects which will give me more flexibility in my schedule. My last day in the office will be January 31st.
My time at SFE has been the most rewarding and challenging time of my professional career and I’m so proud of all that we’ve accomplished. From the policy and program achievements (80% waste diversion, 14.5% below 1990 levels of carbon emissions, the installation of over 180 electric vehicle charging stations, the successful implementation of the extended plastic bag ban to all retailers as well as the Existing Commercial Building Ordinance) to the organizational milestones (the move of our offices to a soon to be named LEED Platinum office space) to the leadership SFE has had a chance to provide through Urban Sustainability Directors Network & C40 on sustainability issues to the launch of new programs like SF Adapt and the Biodiversity initiative, there is much to celebrate.
I continue to be in awe of the stellar day-to-day work done by the staff at this department to help small businesses through the Energy Watch Program and the Green Business Program, to support the community through our outreach program and the Environment Now Green Jobs Program and to assist larger businesses on their sustainability goals through our partnership with the Business Council on Climate Change.
It was a hard decision to leave but I’m excited about the potential opportunities and possibilities that the future holds.
It has been a great honor to serve former Mayor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Ed Lee and the City and County of San Francisco. Thank you for the ongoing support of the Department of the Environment. Hope to see you on the 23rd!
I’m sure Mel will land on her feet.
There’ll soon be a Department of the Environment open house of sorts – ask them about it if you care.
I’ll tell you, it’s just 59 degrees up near the ceiling of my living room this chilly AM, but I think I’m getting used to our current cold snap. People who might feel differently would be those who were making this big-ass tent their home in Golden Gate Park as recently as Thursday night.
Man, that was a big-ass tent:
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Do hippies really try to pitch tents within a couple hundred yards of the Conservatory of Flowers? Hippies do. Apparently. I guess it makes for an easy commute to Upper Haight or wherever.
Anyway, here’s the scene about an hour later, with this woman yelling, incredulous, saying, “The tent’s gone? They took the fucking tent?” And dude up the hill was all, ” I tried to stop them.”
I know that RPD staffers get irked by homeless people living in GGP but the 415 is experiencing a pretty epic cold snap these days and Golden Gate Park has the coldest places in the city, like four or five degrees colder than what gets officially reported for San Francisco.
So I think I’d probably let the hippies be until things warm up a bit, just saying.
Anyway, Brocephus here is using his bike on an onramp heading north.
And it’s legal. Check it:
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The invasive frog-fighting Breaking Bad-style tents are gone from our Lily Pond and now we’re left with this:
Are those empty bleach bottles being used as floaters?
Sure looks that way.
Oh, here you go, just inside the fence which surrounds the pond now
They’re using bleach to kill something, right?
Last I heard, they were trying to kill tadpoles, but I don’t know if tadpoles even exist in November.
Anyway, those Fish and Gamers might finally be winning this battle…
I remember when Halloween in the 415 was pretend scary instead of DMV scary.
The stage at 16th, Market, and Noe. A kid from one of San Francisco’s housing projects got mad and shot nine people a little later on this particular evening. Nobody died though:
The Raiders and Niners fans what showed up were generally better behaved than the actual fans at the stadiums:
An ocean of people at 17th, Market and Castro, a few years back:
The first I’ve seen of this:
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“Serving the Hastings Community” it says on the side.
So Hastings still has unarmed uniformed security guards? IDK. Back in the 1990′s there was some push for them to cowboy up with sidearms* but some people thought it a bad idea.
Anyway, presenting one of the few police vehicles in San Francisco not made by Ford…
*Or “assault weapons” in the lexicon of our day.
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:
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.
“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.)
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?
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…
Well it’s the morning of the second Sunday of June, so that means it’s almost time for the Haight Ashbury Street Festival.
Lets take a look at some photos from recent years.
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…and all around:
From Bluoz: Upper Haight is for Lovers:
Let your freak flag fly, baby. From the Eastern Stage:
And here’s one from Chris Witte:
There’s a feeling I get/
when I look to the West…
…and the East…
…on Haight Street on the Second Sunday in June.
At least the Yelpers like Frank:
This ganga guy in purple will sue you for $1000 if you take his photo, or something:
And Obama in a Giants cap, just the way they had it at the recent Union Street Festival:
You know who loves the Haight Street Fair? Parole agents
A mass of humanity:
Hookahs! Get your hookahs! It’s Hookahs.com
A dancing baby grooving on Haight Street:
Can you see the superfluity of nuns in white approaching the Fair? Also note the F430 Ferrari supercar (sans license plates), one of many exoticars that made the journey to the Upper Haight today. Also note the sign: “No Open Containers of Alcohol.” Too bad.
Of course, all you need to get around the alcohol ban is a gallon jug of overproofed white rum and a giveaway “water” bottle. As seen on Ashbury.
Former District Five Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi on the scene
Poorbot looking for handouts:
“SHOW US YOUR BOOBS… please.” “FABULOUS PRIZES.” “DON’T WORRY (WE’RE GAY)” These inebriates residing above the Ben & Jerry’s at the corner of Ashbury were true to their word, tossing down trinkets to all flashers male and female.
You kmow why this San Francisco Native baby is better than you? Cause he had the foresight to be born in San Francisco, that’s why. He won the lottery/ when he was born.
And There You Have It.