Posts Tagged ‘parks alliance’

Surprise: A $3.2 Million(!) Renovation Will SHUT DOWN the Panhandle Playground for about Two(!) Years

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Whoo boy:

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This process started in late 2014. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President called a $2 million earmarking an “early Christmas present” for her District Five. That means that this is going to end up taking a full half-decade.

But that’s not the problem.

The problem is that RPD should just take care of the stuff it has instead of building all-new stuff.

So, some generally well-meaning non-profit people came around with clipboards telling people that the current Panhandle Playground, paid for by a $100,000 grant from (old) General Motors, gets a grade of “C” or “D” and the first thing people did is ask why. About half of them would give an “A” grade, and then say that Rec and Park should do a better job of maintenance.

And actually PEOPLE LIKE ALL THE SAND.

But one of the points of this project is getting rid of the sand. It’s a citywide goal. So it’s kind of sad that the people who want the city to simply keep this playground the way it is butjust take better care of it always ask about the sand issue. The answer I hear from the generally well-meaning nonprofit types is that sand has parasites, from cats. Well, that might be true in general but it’s not true at this location, which has more rats than cats, as you can see:

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Another point is getting rid of the Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) in the wood. Well, again, this is a citywide goal that some have. Check out the Wiki link. Avoid studies by/from the CCA / timber industry. IRL, if there’s arsenic in your kid, it’s not from CCA. Sry.

So what else – oh, what’s also sad is that people don’t understand that the existing playground would have to shut down for more than a year as the new playground has to go in at the same place.

And questions about all these issues are addressed to those who are getting paid to put in a new playground. The question about whether a playground should be put in was never asked.

So, CLOSING THIS PLAYGROUND FOR TWO YEARS FOR BASICALLY NO REASON WILL BE UNPOPULAR (TO SAY THE LEAST) WITH EXISTING USERS. Go over there and ask them – say, yeah, they’re going shut this place down for two years to get rid of all the sand. The most popular reply you’ll get is, “Oh no, that’s terrible, I like the sand.”

And, THERE’S NO GUARANTEE THAT THE NEW PLAYGROUND WILL BE BETTER THAN THE EXISTING ONE. This issue could go either way. The new playground will implement Theories Of Playing, but, guess what, so did the old one. Has Play changed so much the past two decades?

Also, ISN’T $3.2 MILLION A LOT OF MONEY TO PUT INTO A SMALL PLAYGROUND AREA? This isn’t the big beef, but it’s a a factor.

The BEST CHOICE would be to fix up the existing playground with just a small fraction of 3.2 freaking million dollars. And take another fraction and use it to pay the RPD workers who come by to rake the sand. And then do something else with the remaining millions.

The SECOND BEST CHOICE would be to site the playground in a different place. That would address the primary problem of the two year shutdown.

The THIRD BEST CHOICE would be to delay this project for another three years, or for another couple decades.

I realize that people at the Parks Alliance want to do things for the children, but what they’re ending up doing is shutting down their playground for a couple of years for basically no reason.

SFGov Invites YOU to a FREE DINNER at the Park Branch Library Tonight – New Panhandle Playground – Bring the Kids!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Here’s the news from a few years back and here’s what’s going to happen tonight at our SFPL’s Park Branch Library at 1833 Page near Clayton at 5:30 PM:

“Panhandle Playground Project – Planning Workshop – May 31 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

A workshop to discuss future improvements to the Panhandle Playground as part of the Let’s Play SF! Initiative – a partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

Food provided! Children and youth welcome as we will have planning activities geared towards them!

For more information about the Panhandle Playground Project, please visit tinyurl.com/PanhandlePlayground or contact Project Manager Melinda Stockmann at Melinda.Stockmann@sfgov.org or at 415-581-2548.”

But oh, there are a few issues.

1 So who’s paying the millions of dollars SFGov is proposing to spend? Well, they don’t get into that. I assume it’s local tax- and fee-payers. So that’s one of the costs of this project, right?

2. I mention that because destroying the current setup, the popular Kid’s Kingdom playground what’s the current Panhandle Playground, and then putting in a replacement will take, what, months, years? I mean, delays are baked into the cake, right?

Oh, here it is. “WELCOME TO KID’S KINGDOM – DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL SATURN DEALER.” Or at least it used to say that. But area residents didn’t cotton to this kind of marketing, so chop chop:

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3. One way to take care of this lengthy shut down issue would be to build the new playground someplace else nearby. THIS IS ONE OF THE CHOICES THAT YOU MIGHT POSSIBLY HAVE INPUT ON TONIGHT. Frankly, I don’t think Rec and Park would really be into moving the site JMO. The current location has a bunch of exotic trees around it, which many find appealing, but given the half-assed way RPD conducts its bidness, there’s a heightened risk of a big old branch coming down and killing somebody someday. Anyway, our RPD seems to think nothing of shutting down playgrounds for basically no reason for like a year, so I don’t think it cares oh well.

Getting rid of the rats should be high on the agenda regardless:

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RPD’s hands are tied about getting rid of rats. They can cull the herd, but getting rid of them altogether, well that’s a gonna be hard. They have some helpers though, to swoop down and carry away the poor little rattus rattus:

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4. But here’s the thing: Once you wrap your head around building the new playground while keeping the current one open, then who’s to say that people would prefer the new one? In fact, the current Kid’s Kingdom Panhandle Playground is remarkably popular, drawing in kids from all over the city. Why? Well mostly it has to do with all the tons of sand. People love the sand. And these days it’s a rare thing in Frisco. You know who hates sand, or at least hates taking care of sand? That’s right, your RPD. Speaking of which, RPD isn’t all that popular and yet the current playground is. So why not get a new RPD and leave the current playground alone?

5. Or better yet, take the money set aside and use it to take care of the Panhandle Playground better – is that so crazy? Ask people who are there and they are shocked that RPD and associated non-profits run by millionaires consider this place a “failing” playground. What makes it a “failure?” Its popularity? The current playground is a beat up Toyota Land Cruiser with 100,000 miles, which means that if you take care of it, maybe spruce it up a bit, then it will last for decades more, right?

6. But, RPD is already set upon getting rid of Kid’s Kingdom, without asking anybody. (Our SFMTA once made the mistake of actually asking if people wanted the crazy, I mean just crazy traffic circles they randomly put on Page, among other places. And the answer was no, we want our stop signs back, by a three to one margin. So this kind of thing is on RPD’s mind when it considers asking people what they want.) And they’re already paying a project manager and they’ve selected the main contractor, so RPD would think it “sad” if they had to give back the millions of dollars set aside.

7. Oh well.

8. And let’s see, is all that sand what’s there bad because of parasites? Well that could be true but it’s not because we don’t have no cats around, at least the way the ‘burbs do.

9. And is there arsenic in the wood at the playground now? Oh, yes there is. But it’s not all that big a deal. Typically, if there’s arsenic in your kid, then it’s going to be from something other than CCA wood. And you’re supposed to wash your hands after leaving, at least that’s what an RPD sign says what’s posted near the eastern entrance.

10. Oh, what’s that, playgrounds have changed so so much in the two decades since (Old) General Motors simply gifted us $100k to put in Kid’s Kingdom? Noooooope! You’re wrong, RPD.

11. But you have a new Theory of Playgrounds that you’re happy to share and discuss? Well, that’s fine, but the people who made Kid’s Kingdom also had theories and I’ll bet if you put them together, cut them up and then presented them to RPD employees, they wouldn’t be able to distinguish betwixt the bad old theories and the great new theories.

12. Oh well.

13. So the current playground is “failing” but the current users don’t have the foggiest idea of what that means, so why doesn’t RPD face up to this?

14. Anyway, you’ve paid for this project, so you deserve some free food at the library. They’ll ask you about your feelings about this and that, like what color should this be kind of thing. One supposes.

15. If the food’s not to your liking, Mickey D’s on Haight has 2 for 1 Happy Meals today, via their app.

16. Adieu Kid’s Kingdom. Many people will miss your ocean of sand, especially the Little Ones. Expect a playground geared more for Big Kids. For Better or Worse. Eventually.

17. OIOW:

“long-suffering playground” [IRL, it’s an extremely popular playground. Its current Yelp rating is 4.5 stars, which is the very definition of almost perfect, right? And hey look, what about the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Yelp rating – it’s much lower, it’s actually just 2.5 stars, right? Is RPD “failing?” Should we simply fire everybody and start over? Hey, why don’t we start using objective measurements, like asking the playground’s existing customers what they think? Is that too radical a notion?]

“finally” [This “framing” assumes 100% of what the millionaire-run Parks Alliance nonprofit says is accurate]

“Victim to time” [Well sure, you could replace this or that at this location, but what’s so wrong with it? What makes it a useless tear-down?]

“frequent wear and tear” [Because it’s popular? We’re going to change it because it’s popular and it gets used?]

“grown-up play” [Turns out it was sixth-graders who busted the slide, per the word on the street]

“the playground pales in comparison to other high-tech kids’ play areas in the city.” [What on Earth could  make a playground “high tech?” Like, “sure this playground is great, but I feel it doesn’t employ the most recent application of science?” Like, who says that? IRL, it’s perfectly fine.]

“failing playgrounds” [But the Panhandle Playground isn’t “failing,” right? Ask all the people who use it and try to find one person who would give it a letter grade of “F“]

“low household income” [Is this area a low household income area? WTF to that. In fact, the 94117 is an extremely high household income place, right? It’s off the charts, actually, nationally speaking. And even locally, it’s anything but a low household income area.]

“low Parks Alliance Report Card grades and rankings.” [Oh, here we go, here’s the problem. What’s the PARC and why does it matter?]

“an early holiday gift to District 5.” [London Breed is thinking “CHRISTMAS” but she says holidays – good for her. But who’s paying for this gift? Oh, we are? So it’s not really a gift, is it, London Claus?]

“high-tech play matting” [I have no fucking idea what this means. Currently, the joint is basically a giant sand box. Is this a bad thing? One supposes that some think so, but one doesn’t know.]

“What would you like to see improved upon in our small neighborhood playground?” [Keeping it the same, except for maintenance, which, if it’s lacking, then whose fault is that? Cough RPD, cough]

Wouldn’t it be ironic, dontcha think, if the Yelp ratings of the Panhandle Playground go down after we spend all those millions of dollars on this simple, functional playground?

We’ll see.

 

Big-Ass Tent, Fell and Masonic Intersection, Golden Gate Park

Friday, September 16th, 2016

When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.”

Or not, your choice. (This is as wide angle as my Samsung phone can go – had to tilt it a bit.)

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And once you’ve gained access to THE MIGHTY TENT, there’s another tent to aspire to, the “VIP TENT” what’s either inside of or attached to THE MIGHTY TENT.

Massive “Private Event” Coming to the GGP Panhandle – Take a Look at This Tent – Party Goes to Sept 17th

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

How much is Rec and Park making off of this one?

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IDK. Hey look, it’s right next to our giant new Oakland Warriors ad, the largest in the GGP.

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They’ll start towing cars on Friday…

After you pay your $275 to $10,000 for this shindig, and after you’ve had your name plastered on 12,000 invitations and on “signage,” consider that the people who use the Panhandle Playground right now don’t understand why it’s “failing,” in the words of the Parks Alliance crew, and Rec and Park.

So why not send the $2,000,000(!) what was set aside in 2014(!) to, IDK, our underfunded SFGov employee pension fund, or someplace? You know, instead of shutting down this playground for, what, a year or so, like Alamo Square?

Just asking.

Oh, there’s parasites in the sand? Well, NOT REALLY! (That’s more of a suburban thing, cats ‘n stuff. Aint no cats out in the Panhandle. Lots of rats but no cats.)

Oh, sand is high maintenance? Sorry. Take the 2 mil and use it to pay for upkeep why not? Lots of families come here SPECIFICALLY FOR the sea of sand.

Oh, the arsenic in the wood? Well, NOT REALLY! I’l tell you, if there’s arsenic in your kid, it’s not from the Panhandle Playground. They did a big study ‘n stuff.

Oh what else, you have a new theory of playgrounds? Well guess what, the General Motors people who paid $100k for the existing, perfectly fine playground had a theory of playgrounds as well. Who’s to say that the old theory won’t look better than your 2016 theories, you know, 20 years from now?

Anyway, enjoy your private party on public lands…

TICKETS

Benefits

Golden Gate Park – $10,000

  • 10 guests for the cocktail reception, dinner and entrance to exclusive VIP area
  • Golden Gate Park level recognition on 12,000 invitations, signage and Parks Alliance publications
  • 4 regular-day passes to Outside Lands Concert 2016 (subject to availability)

McLaren Park – $5,000

  • 6 guests for the cocktail reception, dinner and entrance to exclusive VIP area
  • McLaren Park level recognition on 12,000 invitations, signage and Parks Alliance publications
  • 2 regular-day passes to Outside Lands Concert 2016 (subject to availability)

Lincoln Park – $2,500

  • 4 guests for the cocktail reception, dinner and entrance to exclusive VIP area
  • Lincoln Park level recognition on 12,000 invitations, signage and Parks Alliance publications

Glen Canyon Park – $1,500

  • 2 guests for the cocktail reception and dinner
  • Glen Canyon Park level recognition on 12,000 invitations, signage and Parks Alliance publications

Park Ambassador – $550

  • 2 guests for the cocktail reception and dinner
  • Invite and encourage 10 or more friends to attend the party
  • Recognition on event website

Individual ticket – $275

Objecting to the Following Dozen Words and Phrases Used to Announce the Seven-Figure Renovation of the Panhandle Playground

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Here it is, on the Hoodline:

“long-suffering playground” [IRL, it’s an extremely popular playground. Its current Yelp rating is 4.5 stars, which is the very definition of almost perfect, right? And hey look, what about the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Yelp rating – it’s much lower, it’s actually just 2.5 stars, right? Is RPD “failing?” Should we simply fire everybody and start over? Hey, why don’t we start using objective measurements, like asking the playground’s existing customers what they think? Is that too radical a notion?]

“finally” [This “framing” assumes 100% of what the millionaire-run Parks Alliance nonprofit says is accurate]

“Victim to time” [Well sure, you could replace this or that at this location, but what’s so wrong with it? What makes it a useless tear-down?]

“frequent wear and tear” [Because it’s popular? We’re going to change it because it’s popular and it gets used?]

“grown-up play” [Turns out it was sixth-graders who busted the slide, per the word on the street]

“the playground pales in comparison to other high-tech kids’ play areas in the city.” [What on Earth could  make a playground “high tech?” Like, “sure this playground is great, but I feel it doesn’t employ the most recent application of science?” Like, who says that? IRL, it’s perfectly fine.]

“failing playgrounds” [But the Panhandle Playground isn’t “failing,” right? Ask all the people who use it and try to find one person who would give it a letter grade of “F“]

“low household income” [Is this area a low household income area? WTF to that. In fact, the 94117 is an extremely high household income place, right? It’s off the charts, actually, nationally speaking. And even locally, it’s anything but a low household income area.]

“low Parks Alliance Report Card grades and rankings.” [Oh, here we go, here’s the problem. What’s the PARC and why does it matter?]

“an early holiday gift to District 5.” [London Breed is thinking “CHRISTMAS” but she says holidays – good for her. But who’s paying for this gift? Oh, we are? So it’s not really a gift, is it, London Claus?]

“high-tech play matting” [I have no fucking idea what this means. Currently, the joint is basically a giant sand box. Is this a bad thing? One supposes that some think so, but one doesn’t know.]

“What would you like to see improved upon in our small neighborhood playground?” [Keeping it the same, except for maintenance, which, if it’s lacking, then whose fault is that? Cough RPD, cough]

Wouldn’t it be ironic, dontcha think, if the Yelp ratings of the Panhandle Playground go down after we spend all those millions of dollars on this simple, functional playground?

We’ll see.

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Ask People Who Use the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Playground to See If It’s Really “Failing”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?

For instance, let’s take a look at the Panhandle Playground. It has 4.5 Yelp stars. Isn’t that a pretty high rating for a “failing” anything?

If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.

I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.

In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”

You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”

(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)

In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.

IMO.

So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…

Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.

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