Posts Tagged ‘playground’

Koret Children’s Quarter Playground Update: Still Shut Down to Repair Arson Damage – Grand Reopening Skedded for March 31st, 2018

Monday, March 19th, 2018

From this last year


to this right now:

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Here’s the current state – mostly fixed:

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The tall rope climbing structure to the right is gone – maybe it’ll reappear over the next dozen days:

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In the meantime, a lengthy chain link fence encircles almost everything, leading to tears from children and a string of swear words from an Area Dad, who helpfully pointed out that at least “the fucking carousel” was an option as consolation.

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Mark your calendars:


COMING SOON: “BiRite Cafe at Civic Center Plaza” – Mmmmm, That Sounds … Expensive? – A Million Dollar Microstore with “Bad Ass” Egg Sandwiches

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

You know, for kids!

Check it – this sign makes things official:

The plan comes thanks to a $1 million dollar grant from the Helen Diller Family Foundation to install a family-friendly food purveyor next to the proposed new playgrounds across the park from City Hall, and is also funded with another $10 million from the Diller Foundation.”

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Man, I could list you similar upscale concepts that worked fine somewhere else only to die in, say, Union Square and, well, even Civic Center itself. In fact, opening up such an establishment would seem like “a good way to lose a million dollars.” Except if you pay the owner a million as a kind of guarantee, well, gee, that could incentivise entrepreneurs to come out of the woodwork, non?

So, just as our USDOT operates an Essential Air Service program to provide inessential flights of mostly empty aircraft, local do-gooders are helping to provide Essential McMuffin Service to Civic Center, but you know, in an upscale way.

But don’t count on Dolores Park-style ice cream availability – it’ll be soft-serve only, Brother.

You know, for kids!

Anyway, this is new on me.

Leaving you with this, from Actual Local Joe Kukura:

“Any discussion of Civic Center inevitably turns to the area’s chronic homelessness, which has only gotten worse during a phase of construction and repairs to the Civic Center BART station. The Department of Public Health and Department of Public Works have been particularly aggressive about clearing the homeless from Civic Center lately, the latest attempt in a decades-long effort to clean up the area best known for the terrifying final scene from the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers that has only gotten scarier and scarier since then.”

Continuing to Fail to See the Million Dollars Worth of Damage Due to the Koret Children’s Quarter Arson

Monday, December 11th, 2017

All right, so I had this last week but I suppose I didn’t articulate myself so well, so here you go, this is what the “million-dollar” hole looks like at Koret Chil’rens Quarter some six months after the arson:

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Of course they’ve cleaned up a bit already, perhaps they’ve spent $100,000 so far, IDK, but couldn’t they have filled in this hole with stuff already and couldn’t they have budgeted less than seven figures?

(Note that the clean up so far doesn’t include hauling away all the green plastic melty, as you can still see it right there.)

Anyway, that’s my beef, my Beef Of The Week…

Failing to See the Million Dollars Worth of Damage Due to the Koret Children’s Quarter Arson

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017


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So where’s the million dollars worth of damage? It’s in the middle somewhere. There’s sort of a hole where the non salvageable stuff was.

Apply the Mexico City test – would this damage have been all fixed up by now Down Mexico Way? Oh yes. And would the bill be for _less_ than $1,000,000?

Oh yes.

And you know, a half-year later, some of the melty plastic masses on the ground from the heat are still there, for some reason.

Bucolic Douglass Playground: You Could Film a Western Here, 1000 Feet from 24th and Castro

Friday, October 27th, 2017


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

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Whoo boy:


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.


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:


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.

A “Needle Bandit” Strikes Ford Motor Company GoBike Rental Bikes in the Castro Area

Saturday, August 5th, 2017



That’s Ford, which is a Corporation but also a person that some might not like. In Frisco, that’s two strikes already.

Compare that to what happened to GM back in the day. This is at the Panhandle Playground:


See that? It used to say:


A Saturn was a kind of crummy General Motors car. Anyway, this subtler form of advertising was just too much for area locals.

I know this might be hard to understand if you’re peering in from Cary, NC or Dearborn, MI or Brooklyn NY while trying to make money here…

Parks & Wrecked: Arson Fire Burns Large Playground Structure at Koret in GGP – Photos

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

[UPDATE: Oh, per Andy Bosselman of Hoodline, the arson occurred early this morning.]

Here’s the news, via Peter Chu:

Who burns a playground?


Vandals strike playground in SF’s Golden Gate Park By Evan Sernoffsky

So now the largest play structure at five-star Yelp-rated Koret Children’s Quarter(s) in Golden Gate Park is shut down. And the part that is burned, with the slides and roofs, is connected to the climbing pole / pyramid you can see here on the right, and they’re connected to a few other things as well. All roped off:

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So that’s it for the bigger kids play area at Koret now, and for a long time it looks like.

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Look at the black burned out area underneath. Guzzoline? IDK. There used to be an enclosed slide on the left here – it’s all gone now.

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I’m thinking this is a teardown. I’m thinking this will take months to fix.

Anyway, here are a few shots, showing the melted meltiness, some porno for pyros:

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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 or contact Project Manager Melinda Stockmann at 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:


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:


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:


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.


RPD Takes Down Its Tree Mail in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Friday, May 26th, 2017




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Well there we go.

Thanks, RPD!

While you’re at it, why not fix the walking path along Oak? I don’t think this is a money issue, it’s a something-else issue. It has to do with your priorities, RPD…