Posts Tagged ‘“Your Call Radio”’

Fees, Fees, Fees Coming to Strybing Arboretum, 1937-2010 R.I.P.

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Oh well, the Board of Supervisors just voted to allow the operators of San Francisco Botanical Garden to check for residency or charge fees.  

I know I’M not going to step foot into the place ever again. You can make your own choice of course, that’s fine.

Now, if Rec and Park stumbles into a small fortune by happenstance, OR if the fee scheme doesn’t net the expected amount of money, then maybe the fees will go away. But probably not. What will happen is that the fees will go up and be applied to more people. Oh well.

Who’ll feed you now, little vixen and cub (or kit or pup – our foreparents were a little hazy about whether foxes are more like dogs, cats or bears)? As seen in the New World Could Forest:

Click to expand

Certainly not me. I’d never feed a wild fox, but Rec and Park employees used to carry cans of cat food around, just in case of an encounter. This vixen’s gone now. She might have been poisoned or run over, probably one or the other. Oh well.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi frets that the $7 fee approved today is a “harbinger of fees to come.” Similarly, Supervisor Eric Mar frets that the new fee is “a step towards eventually charging everyone.” Yep.

The remaining question is how much this program nets over the first year of operation. They’ll make some money on it, but the issue is how much.

We’ll see.  

Oh well.

SF Supervisors Vote Tomorrow on $7 Fee Proposal for San Francisco Botanical Garden

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Don’t you just hate those free-loading out-of-towners who come here to spend their money?  Me too! So, after cranking the sales tax and the hotel tax as far as they’ll go, what else can we do to show the auslanders they’re not welcome here? Mmmm.

How about let’s charge them $7  per capita just to get into Strybing Arboretum, aka the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum?

Click here to get up to speed on this issue (and don’t forget to click on “older entries” – it just goes on and on). Tomorrow will be Judgment Day. Check out this bit to see if the fee plan is just “inching forward” or if it has just “cleared a big hurdle.” (It’s the latter, probs. I mean the time for the anti-fee forces to put this puppy down was in committee – now this proposal is a snarling St. Francis Terrier, loaded for bear.)

Anyway, here’s the latest. Look at what just popped up hanging off of a bunch of trees in our tree “museum.” It’s a sarcastic ad campagin from the anti-fee people. Check it: 

See? The anti-fee people speculate about the possible future of Strybing, where individual trees may carry sponsorship ads. To support this, they have a pretty good an alleged quote from Botanical Garden Society President Michael Mckechnie:

“The Fees will open new sponsorship opportunities.” 

Myself, I don’t look at the situation from this angle. I look at it from a broader perspective, like

“Is Strybing for people or is it for plants?”

We’ll find out tomorrow, maybe*

The deets:

Outcome of May 19th Hearing of the Budget Committee

During two hours of public commentary, 30 people spoke-up in City Hall in opposition of the fee. Budget Committee Supervisors John Avalos, Ross Mirkarimi and Sean Elbernd decided to forward the fee ordinance with no recommendation to the full board. They added two amendments that provide a sunset date to end the non-resident fees in one year and a provision to rescind it should tax revenue come to the Recreation and Park Department in the interim to cover the amount sought from the fees. The full board of supervisors will vote yes or no on Tuesday May 25th. While we have the support of several board members, we need six to commit to defeat the fee.”

 Final Vote This Tuesday May 25th

This Tuesday May 25th, the full Board of Supervisors votes on whether to impose fees at the Strybing Arboretum/Botanical Garden. This is a historic, permanent and unwarranted political action that alters 70 years of tradition, heritage and values held dearly by San Franciscans and visitors alike.

We need 6 Supes to vote ‘No’ so please keep up the pressure! What you can do:

1) Continue to send out e-mail to the Supervisors through our click-through link: Click here to send a letter to the City Board of Supervisors

2) Make calls to potential swing Supervisors (leave a message if you get a machine please):
Sophie Maxwell 554-7670     David Campos 554-5144
Bevan Dufty 554-7410           David Chiu 554-7450

There will be no public comment at this hearing. During the meeting in Room 250 in City Hall at 2:00pm there will be an in-chambers silent protest (arrive 1:30pm to co-ordinate).

Thanks to all of you for the volume of continuing efforts being made. Every contribution at this time is making a valuable difference.

All right, a list of public officials to contact, if you want to be on record as pro or con, after the jump.

*Or some later date. Those “in-chambers silent protests” can serve to rattle electeds.


KALW’s Rose Aquilar to Star at Botanical Garden Meeting, Plus Here’s Strybing’s Master Plan

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

The upcoming May 6th, 2010 meeting at the San Francisco County Fair Building/ Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park should be the last one before the political process decides the fate of the proposed $7 fee.

Here’s the latest –  it’s the newly released (but kind of old) Master Plan for Strybing:

Arboretum_Master_Plan_plus (8MB)

Plus there’s a recent survey in there about who would pay $5-7 to get past the gates for a visit. (Actually, I don’t know the all deets of who did the survey and why – oh well.) No matter how you spin things or which side you’re on, predicting attendance after fee implementation is tough to do…

Click to expand

Now, the latest line from the people getting paid $10k per month to get a $7 fee scheme approved is that Strybing is a “museum.” O.K., maybe. You see, museums generally charge entrance fees and don’t have a bunch of lollygagging sunbathers like these… 

…hanging about in their lobbies. Some of the Botanical Society people about town consider the fun-loving folks who pass through the gates a burden, with their garbage and vandalism and whatnot. The Society people don’t want zombies on the Great Lawn, in other words.

IMO, there’ll be something lost when twenty-somethings stop reading their trashy summer novels at the Botanical Garden. The thing is that there’s plenty of room for all at the place, so the idea of setting out to reduce attendance strikes me as the wrong way to go.

Anyway, this’ll be the last chance you have to express yourself before the votes start…

See some anti-fee people make their point, after the jump.


Fight Mayor Newsom’s Proposed $7 Strybing Arboretum Fee on May 6th – A Public Meeting

Friday, April 30th, 2010

First, get up to speed on the concept of charging fees for the first time in history at Strybing Arboretum here. Now, check out the news of this upcoming meeting at the Hall of Flowers coming up May 6th, 2010, below.

The scene in front of a recent San Francisco Budget Town Hall informercial taping at the Hall of Flowers not too long ago. The “protesters” shown, a group of Plant People and gardeners, actually want the fee. The other side is composed of Strybing’s neighbors, users, and a smaller group of Plant People.


(We’re reaching endgame on this one.)

And here’s your draw – KALW’s “Your Call Radio” talk-show host Rose Aguilar will be there to moderate a discussion after the brief presentation.

You’re invited. See you there!

Host: Inner Sunset Community 

Location:  Hall of Flowers (San Francisco County Fair Building) Auditorium, Ninth and Lincoln,  San Francisco, CA 94122 US

When: Thursday, May 6, 6:30PM to 9:30PM   

Preface: This general invitation is being sent out to individuals who have either expressed or are believed to have an interest in preventing the implementation of a discriminatory fee at Strybing Arboretum (now called SF Botanical Gardens by the Society). It is also being sent to proponents of this fee, in the interest of creating a community dialog.

A Facebook version of this invite is here:

We also invite you to join the yahoo! group and peruse its file section:

A Public Forum and Open Discussion Concerning the Fee for the  San Francisco  Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum

Thursday, May 6, 2010
6:30pm – 9:00pm

Hall of Flowers (San Francisco County Fair Building)

Ninth Avenue and Lincoln, San Francisco, CA

Too often in San Francisco a chosen few make major decisions without public input. This has been especially true with the Recreation and Park Department.

Please join us on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at the main auditorium of the Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building) to discuss the issues surrounding the proposed $7  nonresident fees for the San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum.

We will begin (at 6:30 PM) with a brief informative and humorous presentation about the history of the Arboretum and the Society’s decades-long role in proposing a fee.

The role of City administrators and bureaucrats in pushing for this fee, and the lack of public input will also be covered.

A discussion, moderated by KALW ‘Your Call Radio” talk-show host Rose Aguilar, will follow the presentation. All points of view are welcome, and, in contrast to most public meetings, question/comment cards will not be used. Participants will stand in line in order to comment.

We expect a lively discussion and welcome questions and comments on a variety of topics (detailed in the Facebook link above and omitted here for lack of space).