Rec & Park Has Been Doing Nothing
to Contain Toxic Lead Paint Exposure
at the Stow Lake Boathouse (PDF)
The civil lawsuit begins March 2012 and will expose the truth about all the many laws that Rec & Park broke in order to bring in an out-of-state chain, with no boating experience to take over this historic boating recreation site.
Sandi Wong, Photographer
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|Comparison of Stow Lake Boathouse Concession Bids
Prepared by Save the Stow Lake Boathouse Coalition
|Ortega Enterprises, LLC
aka “Cloudless Skies”
|Stow Lake Corp.
|Are they local?||NO! They are based in New Mexico, so profits flow out of state. No community pride of ownership.||YES! Has a 67 yr. history & commitment to buying & hiring locally. Strong pride of family ownership.|
|Annual rent revenue to the City||$140,000/yr guaranteed||$215,000/yr guaranteed, $1,500,000 more over 20 yrs.|
|Percent rent: boats||33% of gross||36% of gross|
|Percent rent: food||10% of gross||27% of gross|
|Preservation of Boathouse interior||NO! Will GUT the entire top floor and move boat repair & storage to parking lot level, to add large cafe and souvenir sales area||YES! Plan to add indoor seating, upgrade kitchen & food service, while preserving character of the building. Boat repairs & storage stay at lake level for safety of public & staff.|
|Preservation of the historic boat hoist||NO! Will abandon the historic & still functioning boat hoist.||YES! Will continue to preserve character, integrity and use of the boat hoist.|
|Preservation of the exterior||YES. Extensive refurbishing to maintain historic look.||YES! Extensive refurbishing to maintain historic look.|
|Permanent space for Nature Education||No!||YES! Plan includes donating lower level for nature education|
|Boat rental experience*||None. Plan to “partner” with absentee New Mexico operator.||YES! Have been renting all types of boats to the public since
|Proposed number of boats||50 new boats. More if “needed” but no indication how “need” is determined.||85 new boats. Same as current lease requirement based on historic need.
|Responsiveness to community||Unknown. No local history.||YES! Strong allegiance to Stow Lake seniors, visitors & tourists. YELP rating = 4.5 stars|
|Community support||Very little.||YES! Over 2,700 signatures in support of current leaseholder.|
|SAFETY||NO! Plan to trailer boats up & down pedestrian ramps to parking lot level = SERIOUS SAFETY RISK.||YES! Has a 67 yr. perfect safety record. No costly lawsuits for taxpayers.*
|Handicapped accessible boats||NO!||YES! Plans include ADA accessible boats.|
|Follows the Golden Gate Park Master Plan adopted 1998||NO! Diminishes boating and prioritizes café/souvenirs.||YES! Boating recreation is prioritized over food and souvenirs.|
|Preservation of existing boathouse culture||From New Mexico. Unknown attitude.||YES! Seniors & others can continue to enjoy present quiet & caring atmosphere.|
|Collaboration with Mayor’s Youth to Work Program||Not Indicated||YES!|
|Employ SF high school students||Unknown, no guarantee||YES! For 67 years has provided entry level jobs for hundreds of high school students.|
|Maintenance reserve & equipment fund||YES. 2% and 1.5% of gross.||YES! Will exceed Ortega’s percentages.|
|Liability Insurance including watercraft||Unknown if available to Ortega or their “boating partner”.||YES! Has current policy with watercraft endorsement.|
|Alcohol sales||Probable.||NO! Alcohol & boating don’t mix!|
|Boat rental prices||Set by Rec & Park Commission.||Set by Rec & Park Commission.|
*FOOTNOTE (Boat Rental Experience)
Based on the RPD staff report prepared for the August 19th Commission meeting, Ortega’s response to the RFQ stated that they had 22 years managing a boat rental operation. A Google search proved that information to be false. Boat rental experience is a key qualifying requirement to operate the Stow Lake Concession. After bringing this to light, it was later reported that Ortega had a New Mexico “partner” with boat rental management experience. The original Commission report prepared by staff was silent as to the existence of this boating partner although their food partner was disclosed from the beginning.
What other misrepresentations were made in the original Ortega response to the RFQ that the evaluators accepted at face value without any due diligence, resulting in Ortega being selected as the next concession operator?
Stow Lake Boathouse Article in Sunset Beacon July 2010 issue (PDF)
Stow Lake Boathouse Article in Northside SF July 2010 issue (PDF)
WE HAVE OVER 3,000 SIGNATURES IN SUPPORT OF PRESERVATION OF THE BOATHOUSE (without even trying!)
Rec & Park received a Sunshine Ordinance violation 67.27 on 6/23/10 by unanimous vote (10-0) from the Sunshine Task Force in regards to their secrecy surrounding the boathouse selection panel. Rec & Parks also received a scolding from the Task Force for excluding the community in the process.
Seniors will no longer be able to gather freely at the boathouse. Prices will be more than doubled on all food items. Middle class and low-income families will be driven out of this spot that is designed to be for all...not just the wealthy.
A hot dog (veggie or regular) at the Stow Lake snack bar now costs $3.50
A hot dog at the deYoung Museum Cafe costs $8.50
Historic Boathouse renovation may leave 65-year leaseholder up Stow Lake without a paddle -- Marina Times news story -- PDF file (800 KB)
~ Post card view of the Stow Lake Boat House from 1950's
"Since the lake was named for my great grandfather, I think that it is reprehensible that a restaurant would be considered a desirable substitute for the boathouse. The lake and Strawberry Island are so peaceful, why should it be subjected to a commercial establishment? This possibility came to my attention a few minutes ago and I am totally against it."
~ Vanderlynn Stow, 2/11/10
Rec & Park tells the press that the leaders of the Save Stow Lake Boathouse Coalition work for the current tenant... to that we say:
Bring on the lie detectors! We have nothing to hide.
Our coalition is comprised of volunteers donating hundreds of hours of their time to preserve the unique character and environment of Stow Lake, because we LOVE it and want to see it restored for boating and for low-income users, such as the seniors who have been completely ignored in this process by Rec & Park and Supervisor Eric Mar.
Look who swiped the heart shaped lollypops!
Artist: Blossom Gee, Valentine to the Boathouse!
Artist: Alyssa, age 9
Left to right: Jeff Fones, Boathouse manager (in white cap), Bruce McLellan, current Stow Lake Boathouse lease holder and Julian Jordan, documenting the event with his Flip camera (in yellow t-shirt)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If the process is unjust, the public has an obligation to protest.
. . . . .