Posts Tagged ‘picnic’

Stow Lake Boathouse and Café to Reopen by October 6 – New Website, Blog, Twitter Account, Manifesto

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Well, per the people at the Stow Lake Boathouse, the joint will reopen soon:

“We will reopen operations with food service and boat rentals no later than October 6th.”

Here’s how it looks today, with a fresh layer of asphalt:

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Here’s the Twitter and the Facebook and the blog.

And here’s the manifesto:

“A trip to Golden Gate Park isn’t complete without a sojourn to Stow Lake Boathouse. Join us for a relaxing boat ride that will transport you to an idyllic retreat in the heart of San Francisco. Share time with friends and family at our nostalgic boathouse café. Invite the peace of nature to your day with an excursion to one of America’s most visited city parks.

We are very excited about our proposed vision for the Stow Lake Boathouse and Café. Our highly sustainable new caféimprovements to the boathouse itself, and our new and improved fleet of boats offer a number of benefits to the City and visitors to Golden Gate Park.

Stow Lake is a valuable part of San Francisco’s heritage and it needs to stay that way. It should remain a venue for grassroots and other volunteer organizations, while becoming a place where future generations can learn firsthand about the variety and complexity of nature. Stow Lake is also home to many plant and animal species. It hosts so many natural wonders, that it’s hard to believe such a marvelous ecosystem exists so close to downtown San Francisco.

We pledge to be outstanding stewards of Stow Lake, and to work with our community partners in order to further the awareness and appreciation of this beautiful microenvironment. By establishing meaningful partnerships with local groups, we plan to continue and curate the legacy of Stow Lake for the San Franciscans of today as well as tomorrow. We are dedicated to meeting and exceeding existing stewardship standards in order to preserve and protect the richness of these plant and animal species, as this community has done in the past.”

OK then.

But at least 36 people on Gaia’a Green Earth don’t approve of the new tenant:

It’s not over yet! The civil lawsuit begins March 2012 and will expose the truth about all the many laws that Rec & Park broke in order to bring in an out-of-state chain, with no boating experience to take over this historic boating recreation site.”

March 2012, huh? Sounds like a long ways off at this point.

Anyway, bon courage, new Stow Lake Boathouse and Café.

Stow Lake is Closed From September 19-23, Per This Sign – A Quiet Time for the Boathouse

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Here’s a tour of the Stow Lake Boathouse area these days.

Looks like you won’t be able to park your car around the lake this week:

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They’ll probably let you walk around most of the place most of the time, but the whole area will be getting worked on through the end of September 2011, looks like.

The boats are gone:

 \

And the protest signs as well:

Frank Klein has the keys now:

“Got the keys to Stow Lake Boathouse today! Great feeling beginning to restore this landmark property for the next generations of SF residents”

Mayor Ed Lee’s “City Family” Evicts Stow Lake Boathouse Operator – Rent-Free Blowout Party Sept 10th

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Well, you probably already know all you want to know about the Stow Lake Boathouse, but here’s the latest.

(Oh, Joan, this vendor lost 5-0. Was that competition rigged, do you think? I don’t know, if you don’t like Rec and Park, you take it out on the Mayor, right?)

The case against the current operator:

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IndyBay weighs in:

“The local concessioner is being evicted by SF Rec & Park in retaliation for protesting unfair bidding process.”

Uh no, it’s more like local concessioner refuses to leave after losing competition, legal proceedings. IMO.

Let’s see, I can write maudlin headlines too. How could I spin a different type of possible news:

“Beloved, local 68-year-old rapist apprehended by vacationing, off-duty, out-of-state, evil cop from New Mexico. SaveStowLakeRapist.org”

Or something like that.

Now, realize that the boathouse isn’t going anywhere, IRL, but, anyway here are the last gasps of the most ridiculous grass roots effort I’ve ever seen:

“Yet another treasure lost!”

And Phil Ginsburg Lied, People Died, something like that:

Do the blondie Euro tourists care that the Stow Lake Boathouse will have a new operator?

Not in the least!

The only thing left to do is to have a blowout party on September 10th, since, you know, you’re not paying rent anyway:

It’ll cost $500 each* (or best offer) for the faded paddleboats. Apparently, they went for $3000 when new. Apparently, their faded surfaces will “buff out real good.” (But if you’re 5’8″ or taller, you won’t fit in so hot…)

The KTVU was on hand, for the finale:

Maybe they’ll have something for you to watch, sometime. (Oh, here it is. This report is somewhat more maudlin than expected. Realize that the current operators were given extra points for being local, for being in operation for so long. Even with this kind of affirmative action/legacy/locals-only type of assistance, the current operator lost five votes to zero. Oh well.)

All right, as long as nobody torches the place this month (which would take some doing in this kind of foggy weather), look forward to a revivified Stow Lake Boathouse soon…

*Oh, the old paddle boats “start at $200,” per KTVU-TV. Hey, why not buy one and then put rubber tires underneath? You’d be all set for the Burning Man Playa next year, or a Critical Mass or something. Hey, even better, pilot the thing to La Playa in Nevada next year, why not? That would be quite a road trip…

How Much Money is the City Getting from Renting Out the Busy Stow Lake Boathouse This Summer: How About Zero Dollars?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Well, here’s the answer to the question Whatever Happened to That Promised Stow Lake Boathouse Eviction?

It proceeds, slowly but surely, AFAIK.

That takes time.

In the meantime, it’s bidness as usual at the old boathouse this summer excepting that the tenant running the boathouse isn’t paying rent to the City and County of San Francisco no mo, apparently.

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Are we ever going to see that money?

Is this why the current tenant isn’t leaving the way it should have already?

And didn’t the existing tenant lose 5-0 when compared with the incoming tenant?

Yep.

And yet…

Hey, Whatever Happened to That Promised Stow Lake Boathouse Eviction? The Stow Lake Corporation Carries On, Regardless

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Looks like business is booming in Golden Gate Park these days.

But weren’t we supposed to have our upgrades and whatnot by now?

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Why is the Stow Lake Corporation still onsite at this late date?

Mmmmm….

Stow Lake Boathouse Endgame: The Looming Eviction in Golden Gate Park

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Simple-minded Susan Dyer Reynolds weighs in, once again, on the Boathouse at Stow:

“At a hearing last month, Judge Loretta Giorgi seemed to be leaning the same way, chastising Recreation and Park officials for not turning over e-mail correspondence, and awarding a temporary restraining order allowing current leaseholder Bruce McLellan to stay put, stating that the awarding of the contract to the Ortegas “didn’t pass the smell test.” But at a hearing held May 17, Giorgi did a 180, saying there “is no evidence of favoritism, fraud or corruption.’’

Uh no, Judge Giorgo didn’t seem to be leaning the same way, actually. (TRO’s are easy to get, of course.) And no, Judge Giorgi didn’t say that “awarding the contract” didn’t pass the smell test. So no, Judge Giorgi didn’t do a 180. She looked into things and decided that the Stow Lake Corporation probably won’t win at trial.

(Geez, how simple are you?)

Anyway, I’ll post again when the Sheriff comes by to pick up the boats.

Here’s an update for the meantime…

A somewhat rainy Saturday afternoon in June:

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And these were the sole customers to be seen on Sunday:


On It Goes…

Well That’s It, the Great Multi-Year Battle Over the Stow Lake Boathouse is Over – Judge to Allow New Tenant Tomorrow

Monday, May 16th, 2011

[UPDATE: Well, geez, Rachel Gordon had this hours ago but she didn’t use the words “boathouse” or “boat house” so I didn’t notice her bit. I prob. wouldn’t have made this post if I had known. Oh well.]

Here’s the news, right from the source, about tomorrow’s case number CPF11511130 regarding the contract for the Stow Lake Boathouse:

“ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION/ ALTERNATIVE WRIT OF MANDATE. PETITIONERS’ REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION/ALTERNATIVE WRIT OF MANDATE IS DENIED. PETITIONERS HAVE NOT SHOWN THAT THEY ARE LIKELY TO PREVAIL ON THE MERITS.

THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE RFQ PROCESS WAS CONDUCTED IMPARTIALLY AND WITH FAIRNESS TO ALL BIDDERS. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF FAVORITISM, FRAUD OR CORRUPTION.

THE FACT THAT RESPONDENT REFERRED REAL PARTY IN INTEREST TO A LOBBYIST TO ASSIST WITH PR BEFORE THE AWARD ISSUE WAS PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSION AND BOARD OF SUPERVISORS BUT AFTER THE AWARD, IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ANY IMPROPRIETY INVOLVING THE EVALUATION PROCESS.

IN FACT, PETITIONER ALSO EMPLOYED LOBBYIST IN PRIOR BID PROCESSES AND DURING THIS PROCESS AS WELL.

MOREOVER, THE OTHER ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES PLAINTIFF COMPLAINS OF DO NOT RENDER THE RFQ PROCESS IMPROPER OR INVALID.

FINALLY, THE BALANCE OF THE HARM TO PETITIONERS VS. RESPONDENT AND REAL PARTY IS OF EQUAL WEIGHT. MOREOVER, ANY HARM PETITIONER MAY SUFFER CAN BE MONETARILY COMPENSATED.

(The references to Stow Lake Corporation’s lobbying efforts are right here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Will the Stow Lake Boathouse rise from the ashes of all the vitriol and whatnot? Sure, why not?

(And hey, speaking of vitriol, you know if the City and County paid me five figures a year to express my political views via a small blog, well, I’d take some of that money to pay an SEO optimizer to get old posts from 2009 into search results for the recent news regarding our famous boathouse. Thusly:

A post from 2009 has risen to live again as if it had been made this week – isn’t that nice? Anyway…)

As close as Stow Lake gets to having a real, live Phoenix Rising. Leave Us Begin the Healing, Oh Great Fire-Bird:

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So you can look forward to eating a $3.95* gourmet Boat House Hot Dog come Autumn…

*Uh, and this is just one other thing to add to the record for Santa’s Naughty List Appeals Board (cause you know, if Saint Nick put the people at SaveStowLake! on the Naughty List then the SaveStowLake! people would attempt to crucify Santa in the press and, shortly thereafter, begin endless legal proceedings), the $8.50 price for “a hot dog” at the world-famous de Young Museum is incorrect. That is (or was) the price of a quasi-gourmet hot dog kids meal – you get like three things or something. (No toy though.)

All You Need to Know About Lobbying, Recreation and Park Department “Corruption,” and the Stow Lake Boathouse

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

All right, here’s what you need to know about the Stow Lake thing (oh, more here as well):

The vote against hanging on with the existing tenant, the one what’s filed a lawsuit, was five to zero from those people who poured over all the competing bids.

So, the question to the hysterics at SaveStowLake is why did the existing tenant lose 5-0? Do you wanna say that the five were hand-picked recruits for ghastly pursuits, well, then, come out and say it, allege it. I mean, there are reasons the existing tenant lost, right? They have been detailed, in authentic-looking, hand-written notes. If you want to find corruption, I invite to look there.

(And of course, Supervisor Eric Mar, who seldom finds himself “in the pockets of the corporations” or wherever, stabbed you in the back or something. Fine.)

Oh, in other business, this statement from the Northside rag is a lie:

“The Ortegas even offered to more than double their yearly base rent to $315,000 and run the boathouse as-is, but Ginsburg’s cash-strapped department turned them down.”

I know where this idea comes from, it comes from the end of a hearing at City Hall, but you can’t quote a clause as a complete sentence, that’s the basic problem with that.

All right, first some duckies from Stow Lake, and then, after the jump, all the deets on why Ortega won the contract.

Enjoy.

(more…)

Enjoy Cherry Blossom Viewing in Golden Gate Park This Month Before Rec and Park Figures a Way to Charge for It

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Somehow.

Thusly:

As seen near the Friend Gate of the now-paywalled Strybing Arboretum

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Kirei desu ne!

SaveStowLake, the Worst “Grass Roots Organization” Ever, Gets Crushed at the SFBOS – Stow Lake BoatHouse Revived

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Thank Gaia they didn’t allow public comment at the Stow Lake Boathouse-related drubbing at the Board of Supervisors yesterday.

No matter, this amazing multicolor, multi-fonted, center-aligned one-page website, SaveStowLake.org, should be preserved, in situ, forever.

(And you should have seen it back when it was 30 MB – you could have used it as a speed test for your internet connection.)

Anyway, you community groups should study this case for tips on what not to do, how not to behave.

Just saying, Bro.

And all you wealthy, white, weathering homeowners out there, instead of being so demanding of the govmint, why don’t you all go out and do something?

These quiet, good-natured people are your loadstars:

Emulate them, why not?

Let’s see here, what’s next, landmarking all of Golden Gate Park?

WTF, man, why don’t we just landmark the entire freaking city right now, every last structure from the Farallones to the Alameda NAS, from Candlestick to Red Rock?

All right, play us out of here, Erin Sherbert.

Anyway, all the deets on the boathouse news, from the RPD:

“A New Era Begins at Historic Stow Lake Boathouse

Board of Supervisors Approves Lease with New Operator to Turn Around Concession

SAN FRANCISCO-- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted today to approve a lease agreement with award-winning concessionaire Ortega Family Enterprises to rejuvenate and operate the historic Stow Lake Boathouse in Golden GatePark.

Ortega Family Enterprises (d/b/a “Stow Lake Boathouse, LLC”) will invest $233,000 toward capital improvements to the popular but deteriorating boathouse with the overall goal of improving the visitor experience at the facility.

A new indoor café area will be created from the existing boat repair area to allow visitors a spot to enjoy a snack and take in the charming ambience of StowLake.  The café will recreate the atmosphere of the boat maintenance facility by incorporating boat repair memorabilia, historic photographs of Stow Lake Boathouse, and furniture created from reclaimed materials from fallen piers and old boats.

The Ortega family will also provide healthy, local sustainable food options to the public, as well as traditional Stow Lake favorites like pink popcorn.  Menu items will remain affordable, ranging from $1 to $11.75, with most items available from $4.95 to $8.95.

Ortega will also purchase a new fleet of boats, valued at $152,000, to replace the existing aging fleet.

The new lease will run for a 15-year term, beginning in March of 2011, with a potential five-year extension.  The vendor will provide a minimum annual rent of $160,000 to the City, with projected revenue to the City of $200,000.

“Ortega is an ideal partner to return the boathouse to its former glory,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.  “They have the expertise to rehabilitate such a treasured building and understand the importance of retaining the charm that visitors have come to know and love.”

Ortega Family Enterprises has more than 20 years of experience working in public parkland and 22 years of accident-free boat and kayak rental management experience. It is a family-run enterprise that emphasizes environmental sustainability and best practices in all phases of its business and has a proven track record of turning around underperforming park concessions and maximizing their potential, including concessions at four National Park Service locations: Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument and Muir Woods National Monument in the Bay Area.

In 2009, the Ortega family won the Marin Conservation Council’s Green Business Award for its renovation and rejuvenated operation of the historic Muir Woods concession. They incorporated sustainable construction materials, implemented a trash disposal system that recycles and composts 90 percent of waste, and achieved significant electric and water savings.

The Board of Supervisors’ action follows the Recreation and Park Commission’s approval of the lease back in December.”