Posts Tagged ‘Recreation and Park Department’

The SF Recreation and Park Department Picks a Cold December Day to Confiscate This Communal Tent in GGP

Monday, December 9th, 2013

I’ll tell you, it’s just 59 degrees up near the ceiling of my living room this chilly AM, but I think I’m getting used to our current cold snap. People who might feel differently would be those who were making this big-ass tent their home in Golden Gate Park as recently as Thursday night.

Man, that was a big-ass tent:

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Do hippies really try to pitch tents within a couple hundred yards of the Conservatory of Flowers? Hippies do. Apparently. I guess it makes for an easy commute to Upper Haight or wherever.

Anyway, here’s the scene about an hour later, with this woman yelling, incredulous, saying, “The tent’s gone? They took the fucking tent?” And dude up the hill was all, ” I tried to stop them.”

I know that RPD staffers get irked by homeless people living in GGP but the 415 is experiencing a pretty epic cold snap these days and Golden Gate Park has the coldest places in the city, like four or five degrees colder than what gets officially reported for San Francisco.

So I think I’d probably let the hippies be until things warm up a bit, just saying.

Beach Chalet Soccer Field Decision is a Clean Victory for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Or so it would appear.

Watch RPD take a victory lap right here:

“Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Renovation in Golden Gate Park

Beach Chalet Soccer Fields Renovation To Proceed

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the City Fields Foundation announced today that California Superior Court Judge Teri L. Jackson has ruled in favor of the renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

“After considering the evidence, arguments and applicable law, the court DENIES the petition for writ of mandate and DISMISSES the Complaint in entirety,” Judge Jackson stated in her decision,

Judge Jackson found that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and subsequent approvals were conducted in accordance with the law, paving the way for construction to begin. Judge Jackson ruled against the plaintiffs on all four major motions they filed.

“This is a huge victory for the youth in our city who need clean, safe places to play,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks. “Perhaps the most vetted project in the history of the city, the new Beach Chalet soccer fields will be a welcome addition to the west end of Golden Gate Park and will help activate the area with fun, appropriate activities.”

“Our partnership with Recreation and Parks started nearly eight years ago with one simple goal, making sure that every San Francisco child has a place to play ball,” said Susan Hirsch, Project Director for the City Fields Foundation. “Today, we’re one big step closer to achieving that dream thanks to the tireless commitment of San Francisco’s kids, families, athletes and hundreds of donors making this project possible.”

Primarily used by kids (more than 12,000 play there each year), the Beach Chalet fields are in dangerously poor condition and closed 50% of the time to preserve the condition of the grass fields from heavy use and rain. Currently, the fields are only open by paid reservation and lack spectator seating and amenities.

Today’s judgment is the most recent affirmation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields renovation, continuing a multi-year design, review, approval and appeal process that has included eight votes in front of six different government bodies, including the California Coastal Commission, the SF Board of Supervisors, SF Planning Commission, SF Recreation and Parks Commission, and the Board of Permit Appeals. Each of these bodies has voted in favor of the project, San Francisco Recreation and Parks and the nonprofit City Fields Foundation are jointly funding the $14,000,000 renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields. Construction is anticipated to begin in winter-spring 2014 with completion in 2015.

By installing synthetic turf and field lights, playtime on the fields will triple to more than 14,000 hours of annual playtime, 5,700,000 gallons of water will be saved annually, and the entire facility will become more welcoming with rehabilitated restrooms, spectator seating, a new plaza and small play structure for kids, plus new picnic tables and barbeques for all to enjoy. As synthetic turf can be used continuously with no need to rest for rain or regrowth, free, open play time will also be guaranteed on the fields – something not possible on most other city soccer fields.

http://webaccess.sftc.org/minds_asp_pdf/Viewer/DownLoadDocument.asp?PGCNT=0

Is Somebody Pouring Bleach into the Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park? Sure Looks That Way – Bye Bye Froggies

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The invasive frog-fighting Breaking Bad-style tents are gone from our Lily Pond and now we’re left with this:

Are those empty bleach bottles being used as floaters?

Sure looks that way.

Oh, here you go, just inside the fence which surrounds the pond now

They’re using bleach to kill something, right?

Last I heard, they were trying to kill tadpoles, but I don’t know if tadpoles even exist in November.

Anyway, those Fish and Gamers might finally be winning this battle…

Groove on These Crazy Colors Atop Golden Gate Park’s Lily Pond – SF is Killing Frogs There – PETA Objects

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

They tried to make Golden Gate Park’s Lily Pond (aka Rock Quarry) go to rehab and it said, “yes, yes, yes.”

So pretty soon, there will be no more invasive African clawed frogs to worry about, probably.

Get all the deets from the Recreation and Park Department.

But PETA, well PETA aint happy:

“According to media reports, the California Department of Fish and Game and the city of San Francisco are considering draining Lily Pond at Golden Gate Park in order to kill thousands of African clawed frogs who reside there. Reportedly, the frogs were released from research laboratories only to be deemed “invasive” through no fault of their own. Once the pond’s water levels drop, these animals will slowly suffocate to death. PETA apprised officials of our concerns, and while they stated that other methods were on the table, they did not guarantee that this cruel initiative would be stopped. Now it’s your turn to weigh in!

Please urge the California Department of Fish and Game and city officials to halt all plans to drain the pond while aquatic animals remain at the location. Also, ask them to mercifully euthanize the frogs rather than subjecting them to agonizing deaths if alternative methods of control are impossible.”

Or maybe PETA is happy now, I don’t know.

But most or all of these troublesome critters are now in Froggy Heaven, where they belong.

Here’s what the colorful tarps look like these days:

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Ever more deets:

“In partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is rehabilitating the Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park. Phase one of the rehabilitation includes the removal of the highly invasive African clawed frog. The African clawed frog is a species of concern due to its ability to rapidly degrade aquatic ecosystems. Because of the frog’s invasive nature they are illegal to own, transport or sell without a permit in many states, including California. Under the supervision of the California Department of Fish and Game, an integrated, least-toxic approach to frog removal has been developed, which involves hand capture of the frog and the use of carbon dioxide in solution. In addition, the removal requires fencing the pond, cutting the vegetation within and around the pond, as well as covering the pond with netting and tarps. Following the removal of the African clawed frog, the Lily Pond will be positioned for future beautification and renovation, once funds are made available. We anticipate the 1st phase of the rehabilitation to be completed in Spring 2013.”

“The infestation of African clawed frogs at Lily Pond in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has been known for several years. The estimate is that at this time less than ten adult frogs remain in the pond.  The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) has been assisting the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) in its efforts to implement an effective Eradication Plan, and subsequently restore the pond and its environs to a visually pleasing public use destination.  The recent PETA Alert Notice contains erroneous information regarding the joint efforts.

The establishment of a population of this species outside of its natural habitat (the arid/semiarid regions of southern Africa) are of particularly concern because of it profound disruptive impacts to aquatic ecosystems.  African clawed frogs are scavengers and will eat almost anything living, dying or dead and any type of organic waste.  African clawed frogs are highly invasive producing many hundreds of eggs each reproductive cycle, which in San Francisco’s Mediterranean climate can occur up to four times a year. Translocation of this species outside of its current location could easily and significantly impact critical habitats for a number of California’s aquatic organisms, including species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act, such as red-legged frog, coho and coastal Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, California and giant garter snake, etc. The expansion of established populations within California associated with translocation of frogs from this location is a very real threat.

The recent PETA Alert Notice contains erroneous information. CDFG and RPD have not proposed draining the pond to suffocate the African clawed frog population. Such an action would be counter-productive in that it would likely result in dispersal of adult frogs and have little or no impact on aestivating adults or the eggs which would remain viable for some time.  Further, adult African clawed frogs, although a fully aquatic species, are air breathers.

Another apparent error in the PETA Alert pertains to the number of African clawed frogs at this location indicating that it is likely that the pond contained over a thousand frogs. However, this is no longer the case as most all of the frogs have been removed.  The joint efforts are now directed at the eradication of any remaining eggs and tadpoles with as much care as possible to undertake the eradication program in a humane a way.

For more information about the eradication plan, please contact California Department of Fish and Game:

Eric J. Larson,

Environmental Program Manager

Bay-Delta Region

California Department of Fish and Game

7329 Silverado Trail

Napa, CA 94558

707-944-5528; FAX: 707-944-5563″

Here’s Why London Breed Will Be Appointed District Five Supervisor Within a Week

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

This is just my WAG.*

Oh, Meet London Breed, courtesy of the Western Edition.

And Meet London Breed, through her own words, courtesy of the Twitter.

Now, let’s let Lee Hubbard of the Oakland Post Online take over:

“Among those reportedly interested in the District 5 seat are Julian Davis, president of the board of Booker T. Washington Community Service Center; Gabriel Haaland, political director of SEIU Local 1021; Phil Ginsburg, Recreation and Park Department Director; and Michael O’Connor, the co-owner of the Independent Music Hall. Breed, who directs the African American Cultural Center on Fulton Street, has expressed interest in the position.  She has a large segment of the Black activist community behind her, pushing Mayor Lee to appoint her as supervisor. “London is a woman who is definitely qualified to sit in that seat,” said Bridgette LeBlanc, with Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA).  ’She is a native San Franciscan who was raised and works in the community. She is a leader who is electable, and she can build bridges.’”

OMG, it’s LB with the POTUS!

Here are the reasons:

1. She is the choice of Willie Brown.

2. She is the choice of Willie Brown. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but why should Chinatown power broker Rose Pak have any say in D5, which, historically, anyway, is/was, along with D10, an “African-American district?”

3. She is the choice of Willie Brown and she has waaaaaaaaay less baggage than recent mayoral appointee Mohammed Nuru. I mean, how could she have as many closet skeletons as he? So, he makes the cut and she doesn’t – would that make sense?

4. She is the choice of Willie Brown and as a matter of fact, about four years ago, Willie the Sorting Hat actually tried to place London into the Assembly(!), or into the Tri-Wizard Tournament or somewhere. That seemed a stretch at the time, but appointing LB as Supe doesn’t seem a stretch at all right here and right now. 

5. She is a 2008 “graduate” of Emerge California, which encourages women to run for elective office. And when I say “encourages,” I mean pressures. (Signing up for Emerge** is kind of like saying that you plan on running for office (or higher office) sooner rather than later.) Anyway, the questions Mayor Ed Lee’s people would have for London concern her commitment for becoming and maintaining her position as Supervisor, right? So, London, if not now, when? 

6. She is the Worst Case Scenario for San Francisco’s progressives, IMO. She would be a train wreck for them, actually. So as far as Ed Lee’s political faction is concerned, picking anybody else would be an unnecessary risk.

7. She is the choice of the Internet, más o menos.

Those are the reasons – the strongest are #1 and #6.

So, if I know my Ed Lee, London Breed will be the appointee.

Bank on it.

As that Omar Khalif guy recently said:

Ed Lee is going to pull a G. Newsom n D5 appointment. Keep yo eye on my sister.”

*Which means I’ve figured this out on my own, unlike say, a year and a half ago when I got a phone call telling me the game plan about how Mark Farrell was going to win in District 2, which he did. 

**And pay your money, but, srsly, it’s a pretty sweet deal, if you’re a woman planning on running for office soon, and if you’re not a Repub or a Green, and if you’re fortunate enough to get picked.

Replacing Ross Mirkarimi as Supervisor of District Five is Easy: Simply Email Joaquin Torres for Fame, Fortune

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Per the brand-new District Five Blog, the contact person for those seeking to be appointed Supervisor of District Five is Joaquin Torres.

Speaking of which, there’s a new Sheriff in town. Here he is in the basement of City Hall just after declaring victory last month:

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This Car is Evidence of Parking Fraud, or Tough Times at the Rec and Park Dept, or Both

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The notice on the dash of this car merely invokes the name of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, but that by itself might be enough to help the owner avoid tickets in certain areas, don’t know.

I’ll tell you, I bought an Audi 5000 from a Filipino physician once in Hawaii – I considered that ride rusty, but this one, this one takes the cake:

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However, it has a Toyota “A-series” engine from the 1990′s so it will last forever, regardless.

Keep on trucking, RPD employee…

 

Chinatown’s Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation Gets a 40-Year Lease for the Great Garage of Kearny Street

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Our 3.5-star-rated Portsmouth Square Plaza Garage has a new 40-year lease. Hurray?

Is this arrangement a “Transit First” kind of deal?

Sure, why not.

Will this arrangement please Mayor of Chinatown Rose Pak?

Only Time Will Tell.

Anyway, all the deets, below.

“Board of Supervisors Approves New Lease with Community non-profit Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation for the Portsmouth Square Garage - Chinatown based non-profit will operate the Portsmouth Square garage for the next 40 years.

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a 40-year lease with the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, Chinatown based non-profit for the operation of the Portsmouth Square Garage.

The lease, which was sponsored by Board of Supervisors President and Supervisor for Chinatown, David Chiu, will ensure that the garage will continue to be overseen by Chinatown community leaders. Under the terms of the lease, the Recreation and Park Department will receive all operating profit from the garage while the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation operates the garage without receiving a management fee or share of the profits.

“In 1962, the Chinatown community banded together to build the Portsmouth Square Garage,” said Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Today’s approval means that this neighborhood asset will remain in the hands of the residents and businesses that it serves for generations to come.”

The Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation was founded by Chinatown business and community leaders in 1960 in response to the growing need for a parking garage in the neighborhood. Since that time the non-profit Board of Directors has constructed, financed and operated the garage for nearly five decades, all without ever receiving any compensation.

“For 50 years the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation has served the Chinatown community both in operating this garage and in providing small grants to other community based non-profits,” said President Chiu. “For the next forty years, this community non-profit will provide high quality local jobs, help develop the Chinatown and San Francisco economies and support the numerous non-profits that provide services to Chinatown.”

Built in 1962, the Portsmouth Square Garage has 504 parking spaces and generates approximately $1.3 million annually to support the Recreation and Park Department. The Garage is one of five City owned garages operated by non-profit Boards including the City’s two largest Garages, the Fifth and Mission and Sutter-Stockton Garages.

“Our Board and the entire Chinese Community are pleased that the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the new 40 year lease,” said Jerry Lee Chinatown based Attorney and Treasurer of the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation. “Now comes the challenge of updating the garage to increase parking, energy efficiency and revenues to benefit both the City and community.”

Rich White People Prefer “White-Only” Christmas Lights in Civic Center – Everybody Else, Not So Much

Friday, December 10th, 2010

This is how the Holiday Tree in front of San Francisco City Hall was lit at night two years ago:

3135050190_216855f66b_b

Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

And here’s how it looks this year, with all the color drained out:

See the difference?

Apparently, it costed five-figures to remove the color from the lights on the Great Christmas Tree of Civic Center.

O.K. fine…

Bocce Ball Courts Go Into Justin Herman Plaza Just Under the Wire – New Area Residents Not Organized Enough to Stop It

Monday, November 15th, 2010

All’s I can say about this one is that we’ll have to wait and see how it works out. Deets below.

You know who likes today’s news? It’s Benji Tosi, American Grand Champion:

As seen in San Francisco Magazine, back in the day


MAYOR NEWSOM BREAKS GROUND ON BOCCE BALL COURTS AT JUSTIN HERMAN PLAZA

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Gavin Newsom today joined community partners including Laborers Local 261, salesforce.com, and Webcor Builders and seven-time U.S. Bocce Ball Champion Benji Tosi to break ground on two regulation size bocce ball courts in the south lawn of Justin Herman Plaza along the City’s waterfront.

“These two new bocce ball courts are a great example of activating unused public space,” said Mayor Newsom. “This innovative public-private partnership shows creativity in finding solutions to positively impact our City as a whole and help foster a community of new bocce ball lovers.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.