Monday, January 18, 2010


I was checking out the latest with the Wild Equity Institute, and ran across a web page entitled Wild Equity Institute in the News (below). Look at the language regarding the golf course debate..."our successful debate against golf privatization advocates on KQED's Forum".

Did I miss something? When was this ever an issue of golf privatization?

Steve Sinai


Wild Equity Institute in the News
17 January 2010 - 15:27
In our short existence we’ve already made a splash with Bay Area media outlets. You can read news coverage about our work on our media page, including interviews with Wild Equity Institute’s Executive Director Brent Plater, our successful debate against golf privatization advocates on KQED’s Forum, coverage of our efforts to protect the last wild Franciscan manzanita in the international press, and much more. Check it out and let us know what you think!


Butch Larroche said...

Steve, any golf course ran by a leassee can be considered privatization as is Lincoln Park, Harding and yes, Sharp Park. The city of SF does not run these courses themselves. As is the arguement with Sharp Park, SF does not really lose any money, the current leaseholders are on the hook for the bar tab, the restaraunt and the golf tab to an extent. This is the same at Lincoln, Gleneagles but not Harding where Kemper Corp has a great deal with SF.

Steve Sinai said...

Jeez Butch, that was a fast comment!!

The private golf course management idea came to mind when I read this, but I thought the primary issue was about whether Sharp Park should be turned into a "National Park" to save frogs and snakes.

Maybe they talked about privatization in the KQED debate, but I don't remember it, and I'm not about to go back and listen to it again.

Butch Larroche said...

Just another misinformation campaign by Ian & his buddy Plater. When they harp on the privataztion issue, they try to make it sound elitist or like a private country club, which Sharp Park could not be futher from.

mw said...

I listened to the KQED forum. Privatization was not mentioned by anyone at anytime in the broadcast, unless is was Plater bringing it up himself to argue against a straw man.

He did say this in the forum though:

"What we know is, over the long run, if we want to preserve a golf course at Sharp Park, we're going to have to invest millions of dollars in improvements to the berm to armor it. The existing expense on models for that berm, which, again, were not included in Phil's report... it would cost about $32 million to create a berm that will defend the golf course from the coastal sea rise that we expect with climate change... We need upland areas were these species to retreat to... The best, cheapest solution for Sharp Park is to create better seawall protections closer to the communities that would be at risk."

If you read this carefully,it is truly astonishing what he is saying. He is advocating either destroying seawall or letting the seawall fail by not maintaining it. He complains about the cost to maintain it (which is considerably less BTW, as documented in the engineering report presented to Rec and Park). He then promotes building a new seawall on the other side of the golf course and park, to protect neighborhoods and highway 1 (how much would that cost?). As a direct consequence of these actions, he is actually advocating the ultimate destruction of the existing habitat of the frog and snake in Laguna Salada, in the hope of them moving uphill to a habitat where there are none now, and there may never have ever been any.

Really. This is what he is saying. I don't understand why anyone takes anything he says seriously. I just don't get it.

mw said...

I just checked. The word "privatization" was never used in the KQED forum piece. Not by Plater, not by the moderators, not by any of the guests. No one ever used that word. The word "private" was used once by Plater in this context "We can do what we did at Crissy Field, which is build a better public park through a public, private and philanthropic partnership."

He is just making stuff up, or has a faulty memory, or was on a similar show in a parallel universe, or has a very rich and active imaginary life and the whole thing happened in his head. But it wasn't mentioned on the broadcast. The other guests on the show were Ross Mirkarimi, Jackie Speier, Phillip Ginsburg, and Richard Harris. No golf privatization advocates were in attendance. Factually inaccurate.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Why does it surprise anyone that Butler and Plater are incapable of making a consistent argument or sticking to the truth? They're like Judge Smails, not happy with their lie and arrogantly kicking the ball back into the fairway hoping no one will challenge them for doing so (I knew I could eventually throw a Caddyshack reference into the golf course discussion!)