Keep The Arboretum Free
Recipe for Theft of the Commons. Serves class interests of a few thousand. Hire well-connected lobbyist Sam Lauter. Pay him hundreds of thousands for years. Have him contribute to supervisors’ campaigns. Tell blatant lies to San Francisco Botanical Garden Society members, docents, staff, and visitors. Have Lauter meet with supervisors and RPD Commission members. Keep press mentions of upcoming privatization out of the papers, except when the Chronicle runs a distorted story the day of the vote, which has been moved up by one week.
Never mention that a 30-year contract, which gives free electricity, minimal rent, and other perks to the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and their upcoming $15-million building, is up for consideration. Never mention that locals attempting to enter without ID are criminalized by calling park patrol, while members (and even reciprocal members) who can pay $75 each year can enter for free on Wednesday evenings.
Float with a phony petition, manipulated financials, and supervisors who are on the take. Stir and serve as though you are an environmental organization which serves the public. Continue to collect $7 for each entry and leech off of the City while the lawns remain empty as locals have just stopped visiting.
A plutocrat’s wet dream! Good thing we live in a “democracy.”
Harry S. Pariser
On page 3 of the August issue of the Marina Times, amid an article concerning the controversy about a proposed Pet Food Express store on Lombard Street, there is a statement that the Marina Community Association has lost key members, including the group’s founder. If that comment was intended to refer to me, it is incorrect. I was a founder of the MCA, and I remain a member. I have stepped down from the board of the MCA, but for reasons completely unrelated to the Pet Food Express issue. I would appreciate your publishing this clarification.