Posts Tagged ‘rpd’

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.

(more…)

Writer C.W. Nevius Makes Amends for “This Isn’t Oakland” with His Gay Games Bit? – SFAA v. USOC IRL

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Poor CW Nevius is still smarting over the drubbing he took over “This isn’t Oakland.” Check it:

 Dec 9  Hey Jessica. If you are going to write something like that, you might want to check in with me. I’m pretty reasonable.
Here’s what he’s so mad about:

SF CHRONICLE COLUMNIST BASHES OAKLAND

See how that works? You all need to check in with CW himself before you criticize him – that’s the rule. It’s a kind of YOU DON’T KNOW ME! defense, one supposes.

So that’s the context.

Now look! San Francisco Chronicle’s right-of-center Everyman has lurched across the aisle with this recent effort about the local history of the Gay Olympics / Gay Games:

S.F. backstory to Olympics’ new policy on gays, by C.W. Nevius

Now here’s your real back story. First, bone up on this:

Amateur Sports Act of 1978

And then see the court case that explains why the term Gay Games is kosher but Gay Olympics isn’t. A 7-2 decision, more or less:

San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee

Here’s my point – what Nevius is saying is that the USOC’s effort to defend its “brand” back in the 1970′s was “pointless.” Except the USOC won and now the Gay Olympics is known as the Gay Games and life goes on.

Do you want to get into why the IOC / USOC and all the other OC’s of the world tolerate people using a term like “Redneck Olympics,” at least until it grows into a big event? Be my guest.

(Oh, but wait, the official name of that event in Georgia is now the Redneck Games. Is the USOC against rednecks? IDK.)

Speaking of points, here’s one:

Mess with the Olympic brand long enough and you just might end up with a lien on your house.

Which is fair enough, I suppose.

(And actually, the USOC lifted the lien anyway.)

Hey remember what CW Nevius had to say before the disastrous 34th America’s Cup came to town? He called it:

a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

Except we ended up with a lot of downsides.

And now he’s cheerleading for the 2024 Olympics to come to town. And while he’s doing that, he criticizes the USOC for stuff from a third of a decade ago.

Of course, he could criticize the current USOC, but no, Nevius doesn’t want to do that.

Hey look, it’s gay rights champion Vladimir Putin chilling with CW Nevius hero Larry “The Good” Probst:

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And when was this shot taken, was it a third of a century ago?

Oh no, it was this year.

Oh well.

CW Nevius Roundup: An Apology to Oakland! – Plus Nevius the Union Activist – Plus Errors re: Golden Gate Park

Friday, December 5th, 2014

1. The Apology. Normally I’d just do a retweet but I’ve been blocked from doing just that, so here’s a back-and-forth on the recent “This isn’t Oakland” bit:

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Now actually, in defense of The Nevius, I think he was merely channeling what the SFPD brass had to say, as Nevius is wont to do, about comparing the SFPD response to a protest situation vs. how the OPD handled things in the recent past. So the stood aside and let the looting and window shattering play out” comment just might have been a reference to comments made a few years back by the Oakland Mayor or by the OPD. So the “this isn’t Oakland” stinger could have been referring to that.

In any event, even the Nevius Wife didn’t like the Oakland Comment, so Nevius apologized on Twitter (and maybe ten people read it). It’s a real apology, but it was made to just a handful of people. 

2. Nevius the Union Activist. Check out this recent bit about San Francisco taxi drivers and then ponder this:

In his own personal life, CW Nevius is a union activist. Like, he goes to meetings ‘n stuff

That means he’s not just a union member, oh no. I’ve been a union member, but I wasn’t no shop steward, I wasn’t no agitator the way CW Nevius is in some kind of media guild thing.

So, isn’t it ironic, dontcha think, that union activist CW Nevius takes such an anti Labor tone?

3. Nevius the right of center megaphone for the San Francisco’s dominant right of center political faction. I’m specifically referring to this bit about Stow Lake Boat House.

He goes on and on about how great the Stow Lake Boat House is now:

And now it looks terrific, and I haven’t heard a word of complaint.

IRL, not a whole bunch has changed there. Tourists come, pay their money, get a boat for an hour, and then do a lap around Strawberry Hill on Stow Artificial Pond.

(Of course, CW Nevius is a newcomer to San Francisco, so he missed out on most of the action at Stow Lake.)

In any event, yes, the opposition to the new vendor was absurd, but that doesn’t prove his point that all opposition to the corrupt right of center political Establishment is absurd. Let’s take a look:

At yet, at the end of the day, not only do we end up doing the right thing, everyone seems to move on and forget and forgive.

So what, did “we” do “the right thing” voting down 8 Washington – did we “forget and forgive” “at the end of the day?” Mmm… Moving on.

Now here’s a load of BS:

To Park Commission President Mark Buell, that’s not just a theory. He’s lived it. “When I became president, I was given some advice,” he said. “I was told there were four things I would never get accomplished: getting a new vendor at Stow Lake, closing the recycling center at Golden Gate Park, charging a visitors fee at the arboretum, and putting artificial turf at the Beach Chalet soccer fields.”

All right, note the passive voice here in the quote from an area right of center apparatchik. Who said these words? Oh, you don’t want to say? Oh, your quote only discusses your victories and leaves out your losses? So, how did the unnamed person making this quote know back then what you would “get accomplished?” I don’t know, you could put Mark Buell through a polygraph session to prove that he believes all this stuff, but it doesn’t mean his memory is correct.

And actually, it was a piece of cake to get a new vendor at Stow Lake. Somebody paid a lobbyist $10k a month for months and months to lobby the Board of Supervisors. That’s the source of this “accomplishment.”

And is closing a recycling center at the request of millionaire NIMBY homeowners an “accomplishment?” IDK.

And is clearing out out-of-towners at Strybing Arboretum an “accomplishment? Not really. RPD wanted to pay more than a million dollars to build two kiosks to pay workers minimum wage to collect seven dollars a head? Yes. And how have things worked out? Well, the number of visitors has fallen dramatically. Is that a good thing? Well, in the eyes of millionaires who like plants more than people, the answer is yes.

I disagree.

IMO, is it short-sighted to fuck over Helene Strybing by renaming the joint and throwing up a paywall in a fruitless pursuit to make the place “world-class,” to impress all the arboretum societies Back East? Yes.

And while I don’t personally object to the new soccer fields at the Beach Chalet, that doesn’t mean that all is well with the political faction that runs Rec and Park. Hey, how about putting parking meters in all over GGP? Wasn’t that an “accomplishment” that the right of center faction wanted? Hell yes. But we don’t have no meters, huh? And the whole issue is forgotten now? How convenient!

Moving on, to San Mateo County:

He might have added saving the Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica.

I know why SF runs a jail complex and an international airport in San Mateo County, but I don’t know why on Earth it runs a golf course. Perhaps SF should get rid of it? Is that on the table? No? All right.

His point, of course, was that while each of those initiatives proved to be controversial and difficult, they’ve all been accomplished…

My point is, of course, is that this a highly biased view of the recent history of the RPD.

Moving on to another falsehood:

“Think about the (AT&T) ballpark,” Buell said. “How many people fought the idea of a downtown ballpark? And once it is built, everybody takes credit for it.”

This sounds like the way people talk when they’re drunk, boasting at a bar. It’s not based on reality.

And here’s the stinger, from the newcomer who just moved here, who wanted to move here:

Don’t look for logic. It’s just how we do things.

Is simple-minded CW Nevius, the Fallacy Spewing Machine, on the side of “logic,” really?

OK fine.

FIN

The Train was Already Full, But Area Cyclist Manages to Squeeze in Anyway

Friday, December 5th, 2014

As seen on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park during RPD’s 85th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event:

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Beach Chalet Soccer Field Turf Protesters, Golden Gate Park – These People are Still Out There – They’re Not Giving Up

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Didn’t we just have an election on this topic just a few weeks ago?

I think so.

Here they are yesterday, still. Defeated, and yet not:

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CALL: Defeat does not exist in this dojo, does it?
RESPONSE: No, Sensei!

The Metal Detectors of Stanyan Street

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I’ve seen this hobby in Hawaii and Fun Diego, but never in the 415 / 628 / 650, never in Frisco

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Phil Ginsburg Breaks Bad! – Drains Lily Pond, Applies Sodium Hypochlorite and Calcium Hydroxide – Video of White Wasteland

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

I just caught a sneak peek of the sixth season of Rec and Park and boy, it’s a doozie:

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Parks Chief Phil Ginsberg et. al. have cooked up a batch of white powdery chemicals…

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…and they’ve applied it to the now-drained Quarry Lake / Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park.

Here’s what the place looks like now:

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It’s a powdery wonderland, filled with all kinds of urban flotsam and jetsam…

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…but there’s nary a peep out of those troublesome frogs.

Check this one-minute video of the place – it would be a good place for a seance or some kind of Wiccan ceremony this Halloween.

Here it is, a vast wasteland with the silence broken only by the occasional the calls of Belted Kingfishers (and, for all I know, Everdeen’s Mockingjays as well):

Proof That SFGov Has a Sense of Humor: A Parking Ticket for Just $23?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

This ticket was issued in July 2014. The officer wrote $26 but the actual fine was just $23.

It was for “parking on grass” except there wasn’t any actual grass parked upon, oh well.

Anyway, it’s obvious that Rec and Park hasn’t caught up with the SFMTA in the ticket price inflation competition:

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Why isn’t this ticket $123 or $223?

And why does the SFMTA, operators of the worst big city transit agency in America, have the highest parking ticket prices in America?

Oh well.

Anyway, if you want a parking violation that you can laugh off as you’re paying it off, this is the one for you

The Goofy-Looking Blue and Green Fire Hydrants of the Remote Outer Richmond District

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Or I suppose they’re really called “suction” hydrants:

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Here’s the Trouble with Phil Ginburg’s Rec and Park: The Soul is For Hire, And They’ve Sold the Heart – Two Examples

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Here’s one example:

After 30 years, medieval archery event leaves Golden Gate Park due to fees

And here’s another:

After 25 years, steep permit fees shut down Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic in GGP

Instead of those events, we now have corporate events, because they provide thousands of dollars to Phil Ginsburg, no questions asked.

Like this tent going up in the Panhandle now. What’s this, Jimmy’s New Car Picnic, sponsored by Ford?

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Prolly not, but this tent is from some entity that has effectively outbid all those community events that Phil Ginsburg’s new-school approach has literally chased out of town.

Oh well.