Coit Tower battle: How do we fund the parks?


The emerging battle over whether San Francisco should allow private parties at Coit Tower is really part of a much larger political debate: How do we fund public parks? Is public space something that resources are put into, something that's paid for by tax money and preserved and made available for everyone -- or should part of the role of parks be to generate cash?Read more »

Presidio Trust gets sued -- for good reason


The Sierra Club and the Presidio Historical Association have filed suit in federal court charging that the Presidio Trust violated environmental laws when it approved a new luxury hotel for the Main Post area.

The suit reflects the essential problem of the semi-private trust: When you force a national park to make enough money to pay its own way, and you stock the governing board with people who think like real-estate developers, then you create the near inevitability of serious problems.Read more »

The Presidio: Lessons in privatization


So the Presidio Trust, the only private agency ever to control a national park, is going to make some cuts to meet its goal of complete economic self-sufficiency. But in tall the talk about this, it's easy to forget that the creation of the trust changed the mandate of the park -- and for the first time in the nation's history, established that a national park is all about making money:Read more »

City bid to bring vendors into Dolores Parks causes an uproar


Officials with the SF Recreation and Parks Department are attempting to quell the mounting frustrations of some Mission District merchants and residents who feel that the city shouldn’t allow private companies to operate in a public park, as the department is seeking to do. Even those who don't necessarily have a problem with inviting more commerce into Dolores Park say the process should have been more open and transparent.Read more »