Posts Tagged ‘rainbow grocery’

The Only Time I’ve Seen Rainbow Grocery Without a Line of Idling Cars Double-Parked Out Front

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Hippies love cars. Did you know that?

These cars are legally parked – I’m used to seeing another row of cars queuing up, parked in the slow lane, all the live-long day…

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BTW, these days there are more vehicles registered in San Francisco County than ever before.

And let’s not talk about all the extra unregistered vehicles we have, like owned by people who move here from a different state and never get CA plates, like for years and years.

Anyway, maybe I caught RG on a slow day, but Trader Joe’s #100 up on Masonic fixed its similar issue, more or less, years ago, so why can’t Rainbow?

Brutal: Membership in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is Down More Than 20% the Past Couple Years – Actual Numbers Here

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

[This blog isn’t about me, Gentle Reader, and it might not look it, but I have more hours, miles, years, decades, whatever on a bike on the Streets of San Francisco than anybody at the SFBC, which is practically an arm of SFGov these days, relying on the gov’mint for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and, in return, endorsing Ed Lee for Mayor without, of course, having a vote from its Members. Speaking of which…]

Oh, wow, Man. I knew that membership was down big-time at the SFBC, but hadn’t realized it had fallen to 9315.* Now let’s hear from SFBC member Edward Hasbrouck:

“Did you know that the membership of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has fallen by more than 20 percent in the last two years? The cover of the Winter 2013 “Tube Times” had the tagline “12,000 members strong.” By November 2014, there were only 9,315 members on our rolls! Why has our membership gone down? Why so dramatically? And why now?”

Well I’ll field that one. The SFBC lost its discount at Rainbow Grocery – that was huge.

And here’s another stab at it:

“Looks like a large decline in membership. I was a member for only one year, back when Ms. Shahum was always boasting about 12,000 members. I let my membership lapse because I concluded that the SFBC was a faith-based evangelical mission more concerned with people who don’t (yet) ride bikes** than people like my friends and me who ride thousands of miles every year.”

The SFBC doesn’t want to lose influence with SFGov, so it wants to hide this embarrassing decline, simply.

(Hey, has the SFBC endorsed Ed Lee for Mayor again this year? IDK. Perhaps the Board enjoys real estate inflation, the way most of its Members do not…)

OK, have at it, it’s all there, after the jump.

*The SFBC switched accountants and tax strategies changed at the SFBC, so it’s difficult to divine the drop of the number of SFBC Members by looking at what’s available online. Oh, and that was before the SFBC decided to hide a lot of information that had previously been freely posted online. Also, you don’t know if they’ve filed amended returns or how the IRS has reacted to the newer approach. This a touchy issue for the SFBC, needless to say.

**Indeed. For ex, the SFBC considers getting faster riders to stop using the estern end of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park a kind of victory. 

(more…)

Here It Is: The Infamous Line of Double-Parked Cars in Front of Rainbow Grocery – How Do We Solve This Longstanding Problem?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

I don’t know, but SFGov is powerless, it appears.

Here’s some history on the issue.

And here’s how things look in 2014 – nothing’s changed:

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Oh well…

Ouch: Membership Dues Have [Fallen] at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[UPDATE:  Per the SFBC, “…you should have read Part VIII, lines 1b and 2a, of the 990s for both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Education Fund.”

So, here’s 2010:

1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And 2011:

Again, 1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And here’s 2012:

(And the Bicycle Coalition Education Fund 990’s don’t really factor in all that much, like $10 or $20 grand each.)

So IDK, would you, Gentle Reader, suppose that different strategies were applied for 2010 and 2011 vs. 2012? I would. Because the “non-contribution portions of membership dues” went from $0 in 2010 and 2011 all the way up to $135,933 in 2012. Is there any explanation for this? Did the accountant(?) for 2011 and earlier fill out the 990 forms incorrectly? IDK. Is this kind of a thing a big deal, worth amending a bunch of other recent returns? IDK.

(Did IRS laws on this topic change the past several years? I don’t think so, as this guide from 2008 remains unchanged.)

Now when I say “membership dues,” what’s actually written in there for 2012 is “memberships.” Now memberships is a different thing, IMO. Memberships is what the SFBC spent a lot of time crowing about when memberships were actually increasing. But these days memberships are decreasing. Why is that? I ask.

So, what the SFBC is now calling it a 3% “membership income change” I’d call it a 3% membership dues decrease. And this comes at a time when the population of San Francisco is increasing and at a time when SFGov and the SFBC officially “expect” a sixfold increase in the number of trips made by bicycle in San Francisco by 2020, all the way up to 20%. (“20 by ’20” or something.) I don’t think anybody believes in this fantasy, you know, actually, but, well, there you go.

So, membership dues at the SFBC have decreased more like 3% year over year, rather than 40-something percent.

But if I were running the SFBC and I were as sensitive about giving out my 990’s as this…

“The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual reports discuss our biggest successes and challenges, and present a broad picture of our income and expenses. If you have specific questions about our finances, please contact Leah Shahum, Executive Director, 415/431-BIKE x306.”

…I’d amend my returns so that they would be self consistent, at the very least. END UPDATE]

And by the past year, I mean let’s use the most recent Form 990, the one* that was filed about four months ago, and compare it with the one what was filed for the year before.

Check it. Here’s the 990 for 2011 – $344,663 in reported membership dues:

Click to expand

And here’s the 990 for 2012 – just $185,921:

Now, what could explain this sudden and dramatic drop in “support?”

Well, we had the Chris Bucchere accident in the first quarter of 2012 and some members didn’t exactly approve of the way that SFBC officers dealt with the issue. Perhaps revenue went down in the following quarters?

And we had the shocking SFBC endorsement of Republican-backed Mayor Ed Lee near the end of 2011 – I doubt that paying members would have approved of that had they been given the opportunity.

You know, this guy, the one who always looks up to the formerly-despised Willie Brown:

Of course, people can always do a Barter Membership, but you’d think that dues-paying members would volunteer anyway, right?

Take a look at the numbers on the tax returns, it seems as if the SFBC is just another arm of the SFMTA or, indeed, of SFGov. (Except it’s an agency that can officially endorse Ed Lee for Mayor.)

Oh well.

Anyway, this is why the SFBC no longer boasts of increasing membership anymore.

[UPDATE: Did the 10% discount for SFBC members at Rainbow Grocery really make that much of a difference? IDK. See Comments.]

*There’s also something called the Education Fund, which also gets membership dues – $10k for 2011 and $20k for 2012. But if you throw those numbers in you’re still looking at a 40-something percent decline year over year.