Posts Tagged ‘directors’

Allegations About the Troubles of the Koret Foundation: An $80,000 Life-Sized Mural of a Board Member?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

This is news to me:

“Without board approval, commissioned and installed a life-size mural depicting himself and now hung inside the Koret Foundation’s new headquarters in San Francisco at a cost to the Foundation of $80,000.”

I’ll tell you, this one allegation should prolly make you never even consider starting up any kind of foundation.

And what’s the response – a general denial about how all the charges are “bogus” and an ad hominem attack against the widow of Koret?

Spokesmodel Nate Ballard could try to explain the painting / mural – like he could say how it didn’t cost $80k or how it was authorized, but he chooses not to.

OK fine.

Hey is it “erratic” to want to invite non-poor non-Jewish Willie Brown in to the Koret Foundation? Probably. But there’s a lot of erraticism going on on these charitable boards – that’s no reason for a dismissal.

All right, have at it Koret Foundation. Let’s hope the fund will be in better shape and be used for better purposes after all this gets hashed out.

All the deets;

“Lawsuit Filed by Widow of Koret Foundation Founder Demands New Independent Board to Save Half-Billion Dollar Foundation from Spending Down Assets

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The widow of Koret Foundation founder Joseph Koret has filed suit against Koret Foundation Board President Tad Taube, accusing him and the Foundation’s Board of Directors of conflicts of interest in funding pet projects that include conservative causes in the United States and charities in his native country of Poland.

The suit filed October 7, 2014 in San Francisco Superior Court by Mrs. Koret alleges that under Taube’s direction the board has ignored the priorities established by her late husband to help the poor and assist Jewish causes in the Bay Area and Israel.

Instead, her suit claims, the Koret board is using foundation funds to promote programs closely affiliated with individual board members and is purposely confusing the public by putting signage that prominently features Taube’s name alongside the Koret Foundation name on buildings and grants for which the Koret Foundation is the principal funder.

“Defendants’ duty of loyalty to the Foundation has been corrupted by these directors’ close affiliations with many of the Foundation’s recent grants, resulting in tens of millions of dollars distributed due to self-interest,” according to the lawsuit.

(more…)

Koret Foundation Board vs. Mrs. Koret – Open Letter Labels Her Erratic, Unfit to be Lifetime Chair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

The question in this case is how the board is spending the money. Perhaps somebody should look into that.

As far as whether Susan Koret is as crazy as 7/8ths of the board is making her out to be, well, that’s not the real issue.

Read the board’s letter below and then read Mrs. Koret’s side of the story here.

And let me just say, “Mmmm…”

In the late 1970s Taube convinced the Korets, who had no children, to donate their estate to charity.”

Here it is:

An Open Letter from the Koret Foundation Board of Directors

October 8, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

We are seven of the eight Directors of the Koret Foundation Board of Directors, and have served alongside the eighth, Ms. Susan Koret, for decades. Today, we write withone voice to express our regret regarding the actions Ms. Koret has taken in filing litigation against her fellow members of the Koret Foundation Board of Directors as well asthe Foundation.

We are each honored to be a part of advancing the local, national and global work of the Koret Foundation. We are also proud of the fact that the Foundation has provided $500 million in grants to non-profit organizations, and the majority of our funding has been dedicated to supporting the vulnerable and disadvantaged, children, families and the elderly. Our purpose is and will remain to support Jewish organizations worldwide, and to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Bay Area community.

Ms. Koret has voted in full support of 95% of the grant decisions the Foundation has made. We are dismayed that she is now suing in disagreement with these very same decisions. She now makes vicious and unfounded personal attacks on her colleagues.

We believe Ms. Koret is taking these actions in an aggressive attempt to take over the assets of the Foundation. Alarmingly, her behavior has also become increasingly confused and erratic, and it is clear that Ms. Koret is unable to fulfill her duties as a Director.

We, the undersigned, unanimously decided to file a cross-complaint in order to respond swiftly and accurately to Ms. Koret’s false allegations. It is our hope that this matter will be resolved quickly. In the meantime, we assure you that the important humanitarian work of the Koret Foundation will continue, despite the attempted disruption by Ms. Koret.

Sincerely,

Tad Taube
Robert Friend
Koret Foundation Board President
President, Howard Properties of San Francisco
 
 
Michael Boskin
Anita Friedman
Koret Foundation President-Elect and Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics, Stanford University; Senior Fellow,
Koret Foundation President-Elect
Hoover Institution; and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Richard L. Greene
Richard Atkinson
Founding Partner, Greene, Radovsky, Maloney, Share & Hennigh
President Emeritus, University of California and Chancellor
Emeritus, University of California, San Diego
Abraham Sofaer
 
George P. Shultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

President Barack Obama Picks Paula R. Collins and Alex Mehran as New Board Members of the Presidio Trust

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Here’s the news of the day from our Presidio Trust, or perhaps it was last week’s  - I’m kind of slow on the the uptake sometimes:

“PRESIDENT OBAMA TAPS BUSINESS, CIVIC LEADERS FOR PRESIDIO TRUST BOARD – NANCY BECHTLE RE-APPOINTED BOARD’S CHAIR

Presidio of San Francisco (August 14, 2012) — President Barack Obama has named two prominent Bay Area leaders — Paula R. Collins and Alex Mehran — to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors. The White House also re-appointed Nancy Bechtle as board chair. Ms. Collins and Mr. Mehran are replacing outgoing board members J. Michael Shepherd and Bill Wilson.

Paula R. Collins is the chief executive officer of WDG Ventures, Inc., a real estate development company in Northern California, and president of Portfolio Real Estate Consulting.

Part of the original project development team for the Moscone Convention Center, Ms. Collins is a founder and director of Presidio Bank in San Francisco, a member of the national board of the Automobile Association of America and has served as an appointee to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. In addition, she is co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, a member of the board of the Special Olympics for Northern California and has served on the Board of Directors of the BRIDGE Housing Corporation. Ms. Collins has been awarded the prestigious Silver Spur Award by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research organization, in honor of her dedication to improving the quality of life and economic health of San Francisco; and has been honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the San Francisco Business Times. She graduated cum laude in urban studies from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts and received her master’s degree in city planning from MIT. Ms. Collins replaces Mr. Shepherd on the board.

A Bay Area native, Alex Mehran is the president and chief executive officer of Sunset Development Company, a San Ramon based real estate development, investment, construction and management company founded by his father almost 60 years ago.

Mr. Mehran is chair of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, a trustee of the San Francisco Ballet and a member of the University of California, San Francisco Chancellor’s Associates. In addition, he is a past chairman and current executive committee member of the Bay Area Council and is a former trustee of the Urban Land Institute and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Mr. Mehran received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, where he graduated with honors. He earned a law degree, also with honors, from England’s Cambridge University. Mr. Mehran replaces Mr. Wilson.

“Alex and Paula are joining the board at a very exciting time – the Presidio Trust is now financially self-sufficient and we are seeing the benefits of a decade worth of investments in the park,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. “Alex and Paula will be instrumental in helping us expand the public benefit of the Presidio to the local community and the nation.”

A fourth generation San Franciscan, Nancy Bechtle grew up across the street from the Presidio, and, as a child would scale the base’s walls to play in Julius Kahn Park. Once, she was even kicked out for riding her horse on the base. Appointed to the Trust’s board by President George W. Bush in 2008, Ms. Bechtle was first elected chair in 2009. She is chairman of the board of the Sugar Bowl Corporation, serves on the board of directors for the Charles Schwab Corporation and is a former chief financial officer and director of J.R. Bechtle and Company. A past president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Symphony, Ms. Bechtle has served on the symphony’s board of governors since 1984 and has also served on the board of the San Francisco Opera Association. In addition she has served on the board of the National Park Foundation, holding the board’s citizen chair from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Bechtle recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and has received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the California Arts Council and the Investment in Leadership award from the Coro Foundation, among her many other honors.

“I am pleased to welcome these very talented and accomplished people to the board,” said Nancy Bechtle. “The experience that Paula and Alex bring will be great assets as the Trust expands its public-serving programs while continuing to keep an eye on ensuring the park’s self-sufficiency.”

The Presidio Trust is governed by a seven-member board of directors. Six members are appointed by the President of the United States. The seventh is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior or his designee. An executive director reports to the board and oversees a staff with expertise including environmental science, historic preservation, operations and maintenance, landscape design, planning, resource management, real estate development, public affairs and programs, law, and finance.

Biographies of all Trust board members are available at www.presidio.gov

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District.”

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.

Take a Look at Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) After the Admissions Boycott

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Why does our Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) need to become “world-class?”

Nobody’s ever explained that one to me. But that’s the rationale for charging admission these days (after six decades of free admission.)

Now, why isn’t our Strybing Arboretum called Strybing Arboretum anymore?

So it can become “world-class.” (Apparently, naming an arboretum after the woman who gave the money to start things up is considered provincial Back East. Plus Founder Helene Strybing made the mistake of becoming old and dying so nobody gives a ROMEO ALPHA about her anymore.)

Anyway, they started charging admission so the place turned into a ghost town, a “museum of plants and trees.”

Click to expand

Oh well.

They said if things didn’t work out, they’d stop charging admission.

They said.

Check Out the New Ticket Booths for Strybing Arboretum – Would You Want to Work in This Box for $11 Per Hour?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Here are your deets for the new ticket booths at the San Francisco Botanical Garden:

59K for kiosks

And here’s your bill:

And here’s what they look like. Yes, there’s a bathroom in there:

Click to expand

Myself, I haven’t been back into Strybing (except to poke my head in to see how few people are there) since they started charging admission.

Maybe I’ll visit again when they stop charging…

But these booths need hawkers, you know, just like the strip clubs in North Beach. Why don’t you sign up?

You’ll need sales skills of course. Check out the job posting below.

BTW, your pay as a  “Garden Ambassador” will be $9.92 below minimum wage (aka nothing) and your commission will be zero (0) percent. (Can you imagine what hawkers would do on slow days if they got paid a commish of one dollar per entry ticket? OMG,

“Description

Greet visitors at the North Gate of the Botanical Garden and encourage them to visit this outstanding garden. Many visitors approach the admissions kiosk and don’t know about the amazing garden that lies just beyond the gates.

Skills

  • Public Speaking, Sales

Requirements

Willingness to approach the public. Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. Sincere desire to share basic knowledge about the Garden. Genuine love and appreciation for the SF Botanical Garden.”

Remembering Strybing Arboretum Before They Started Charging $7 Per, Before the Boycott: Blue Bamboo

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Blue bamboo (Himalayan Blue Bamboo, Himalayacalamus hookerianus) is totally blue, who knew?

Click to expand

Maybe it will still be there when the paywall comes down in a couple years at the now-emptied Strybing.

I’m going back someday
Come what may
To blue bamboo

 

Wouldn’t Just Shutting Down Strybing Arboretum Generate More Money Than Charging Admission?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Doesn’t San Francisco already pay seven figures a year to run the San Francisco Botanical Garden? So why should people have to pay to get into the thing? Oh, it costs money to run, a whole lot? Well, then why don’t we just shut it down?

One might wonder.

Jim Lazarus, past president of the Recreation and Park Commission, gets it wrong here:

“Some members of the Board of Supervisors want the department to repeal a $7 fee for nonresidents to visit the Botanical Garden…”

Well actually, Jimbo, why not let’s do nothing and then the fee would go away by itself, right? No repeal is necessary, actually, as you already know, huh Jimbo?

Now here comes simple-minded Randy Shaw of Beyond Chron, who doesn’t seem to understand that the purported quarter-million a year that’s “expected” (by whom, some wildly optimistic person, obviously) to be generated by the fee will for pay three “extra” unionized gardeners at the Arboretum. There’s no way on Gaia’s Green Earth that the fee at Strybing will pay for social services.

And here’s the Chronicle, what can look past the almost-certain permanent imposition of fees at Strybing and see that residents will soon be charged admission as well. That”s something that simple-minded Randy Shaw can’t seem to understand. Oh well.

So the temporary boycott of San Francisco Botanical Garden will soon become permanent. O.K. fine.

Good-bye, animals of Strybing Arboreum:

Click to expand

Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey M. Rose Calls Revenue Forecasts at Strybing Arboretum “Highly Optimistic”

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

SF Crime Examiner Thomas Pendergrast has pretty much all you need to know about the plan to make permanent the access fees at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

And looky here, here’s a pdf from Budget and Legislative Analyst  Harvey M. Rose, CPA:

Rose-Avalos-Lee_Arboretum_Fees_Ordinance

Ouch, that’s got to hurt.

When an accountant calls your forecasts “highly optimistic,” what’s he really saying?

Oh well.

I guess the BOS will soon vote to make the temporary boycott of the San Francisco Botanical Garden a permanent boycott.

Oh well.

As seen last Saturday:

Oh, and look what else is coming up:

“Thursday, April 7, 2011
2:00 p.m.
City Hall, Room 416
11a. GOLDEN GATE PARK ACCESS PASS
Discussion and possible action to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve an ordinance amending Park Code Article 12 authorizing the Commission to discount admission fees for the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden as part of a Golden Gate Park Access Pass. (ACTION ITEM) Staff: Brent Dennis.

Hey. what’s a GOLDEN GATE PARK ACCESS PASS? We’ll find out soon enough…

Oh well….

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Keep the Arboretum Free

Keep the Strybing Arboretum (Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park) Free!

Debate Over the Garden Fee


Admission Fee Protest at Strybing Arboretum: A Large Crowd Gathered at the Main Gate of the Botanical Garden Today

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Let’s call it a crowd of 150 today that gathered at the Main Gate of Strybing Arboretum to protest the permanent imposition of admission fees.

See it for yourself – you can catch Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi offering his thoughts:

Quintin Mecke was on hand representing Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s office and somebody else spoke for Supervisor John Avalos. Noticed Aaron Peskin in the audience as well.

All the while, there was absolutely nobody on or near the Main Lawn just inside the admission gate. Presenting your empty Strybing Arboretum:

Click to expand

But that’s the way the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society likes it.

You see, they love plants but they hate people.

Oh well.

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Keep the Arboretum Free

Keep the Strybing Arboretum (Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park) Free!

Debate Over the Garden Fee