jump to navigation

Scientology’s Fort Harrison hotel hosts mass transit pitch May 14, 2016

Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts.
add a comment

By Tracey McManus : tampabay – excerpt

CLEARWATER — A pitch by a local advocate trying to interest City Hall in a fledgling transit technology took an atypical turn this month when one City Council member received what appeared to be a special briefing at the Church of Scientology’s Fort Harrison Hotel…

Although Cundiff, a member of Lakeside Community Chapel and former Baptist preacher, said he didn’t over-think the venue beforehand, the Fort Harrison meeting marks a distinct departure from the historically tense relationship between city officials and the church.

That relationship has been marked by a decades-long territory struggle over real estate as the church, the biggest property owner downtown, continues to expand its worldwide spiritual headquarters while the city tries to revitalize downtown business and retail.

After the Clearwater Marine Aquarium publicly identified a 1-acre parcel on Drew Street for a parking garage, Scientology snapped it up — adding one more roadblock that prevented the aquarium from relocating into downtown last year. In addition, the church ran up $435,000 in fines for construction delays on its massive Flag Building, which opened in 2013, and has clashed with the city over illegal tree cuttings and code violations…

Sounds like the problems San Francisco has with the Art Academy University. The bigger they get, the more problems they stir up. Don’t let these guys fool you. The pie-in-the-sky smart tech concepts are being used for one major purpose, to remove you from your money and homes. They want to take over the real estate under your feet and will use any means to do so. We are referring to it as displacement and it is an international phenomenon.

Say No, to any and all smart tech transit systems and any and all regional schemes that promise to protect you from the consequences of climate change. Your National, state, county and local governments are all the levels of authority and tax you need. Good luck.

Beaux Arts Fence’s May 4, 2016

Posted by zRants in Art, Beaux Arts.
Tags: , ,


Hi there,

Back in the 70’s I remember the wood fencing around the patio near the police station, that’s too funny in it self, anyway in the 80’s I picked up free fencing and was told it was from Beaux Arts. Each section had it’s own art work (painting) on it. I painted all of them white when I put the fence up. I just replaced that fencing and there is one that I didn’t paint white, and I wanted to check before I trash it.
You just never know.

Thanks,  Michael T Dragon

Looking for a story April 16, 2016

Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts, History, Humanities, Politics.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

I know there are a number of writers who are getting these messages and now I need some help from you.

The big story is how Beaux Arts was one of the first cultural institutions to be shut down. Your shutdown came about early but the damage and the shutdown of arts and culture is now universal. San Francisco culture is pretty much on life support. More on that later.

I have my theories on why Beaux Arts was one of the first, but, you who stayed there should be better qualified to answer that question. How do you explain a city that kills the independent artists at Beaux Arts and embraces the international fame of Dali? Or did I just answer my own question? Is it all about embracing money and fame?

Maybe someone has already written this story. If so let me know. Our concerns about the culture are much broader than just art and creative endeavors.

What spurred this request is my concern that San Francisco’s fresh produce stands in the Mission District and most of our ethnic neighborhoods are at risk due to the extreme anti-car policies that are making it difficult to deliver fresh produce.

I was shocked by the lack of fresh produce stands that were left in St. Petersburg the last time I was there. Does anyone know how they disappeared? I would like to know if any of the issues that killed yours are at play in San Francisco. We are literally looking at a fresh food deprivation situation that is being exacerbated by the anti-car mania at City Hall. Eliminating produce shops in San Francisco will kill the small farms that are providing the produce to them. This also applies to the cafes and restaurants serving local food that San Francisco is famous for. Killing our traditional food sources would usher in a new wave of formula retail that many neighborhoods are fighting against.

For anyone who is not aware, the Interior Department threw out a huge Oyster Farm that reportedly supplied 40% of California’s fresh oysters, claiming that the farm was an environmental hazard to the area. Oysters clean the water. They do not soil it. Now the state is considering how to “develop” the area. Across the street from the Oyster farm there is an organic beef farm. Wait till they close that. Less organic beef will drive the costs of beef up. During a drought, the ocean side grass grows because of the fog. No need to irrigate. Perfect place to produce food. This is why many people around the area are up in arms with the government.

I am working with SF merchant groups to warn people and we are hoping to turn that around during the next election. Many of us feel this is the last stand. In November we either win or lose the heart and soul of San Francisco.

We have many examples and sites about the vestiges of our fading San Francisco culture, and the fight to salvage it, but the following video by a New Yorker explains our situation really well:

Just watch a few of the first minutes of this video if you don’t have time to watch any more. He goes into a lot of economic theories etc. later in the tape if you are interested and have the time.


Douglas Rushkoff Deconstructs the Digital Economy

New Yorker writer who used to come to San Francisco for respite from the Wall Street rat race comments on how tech has sucked the soul out of San Francisco.

Douglas Rushkoof : 92Y (video) part of the transcript below…

In my early writing days I would go to SF to find out what‚s happening next and get this sort of spiritual, deeply humanistic recharge and then come to New York and argue why all these great things are going to happen and how human potential is gonna∑ and I would be arguing against publishers who would just laugh me out of the room.

I remember my first book on San Francisco internet culture, it got canceled in 1992 because the publisher thought the internet would be over by 1993 when the book would come out. And they saw those crazy San Francisco people and their peace and love stuff.

And I was out there for a week, and there was really not a vestige of that sensibility. If anything it felt to me, this New Yorker was going to San Francisco to remind them of the humanity underneath these technologies and the possibility for peer to peer interaction and all that. And it is strange.

And now I come back to New York and you would think, oh here it‚s this New York thing and we are in the Bloomberg Bubble and all, and∑ it‚s very relaxing for me. It‚s a strange sort of homecoming. And you would think, this is Wall Street, that this would be the more severe place. And it‚s actually the opposite. And I don‚t know quite how I‚m going to deal with that.

I guess I should be glad I didn‚t move out. I stayed and you know if you wait long enough, you end up in the human place∑

What‚s going on there, it‚s in the title of the book. it was really crystallized by my twitter stream when I saw that people were laying in front of the buses that Google was using to transport its workers from San Francisco to the Google place down in Mountain View… (more)

– Douglas Rushkoof


More later. Just need some help figuring this out. What are root causes are to fight the cultures we love. All Theories welcome.


Cultural challenges on the globle stage January 23, 2016

Posted by zRants in Art, Beaux Arts, History, Humanities, Politics.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Editorial – for the Beaux Arts community who remember when…

Elif Safak, is a Turkish author discussing discussing theories about the cultural aspects of violence on France 24. She feels the violence is based on cultural conflicts born out of unmet economic challenges and not so much rooted in religious conflict. I shall leave it up to you to investigate that further.

In San Francisco we are going through a more subtle version of a cultural shift away from art and cultural diversity toward a didactic capitalist Disney Vegas sports arena transient lifestyle. Artists and cultural leaders are fighting to preserve our historical roots and keep our cultural institutions intact and out of the hands of gentrifying developers who want to destroy them. Our goal is preservation of our lifestyles and cultural institutions. Their goal is unlimited personal wealth and power. They want to lease the Palace of Fine Art, one of our most famous historical tourist sites, to a hotel for 55 years, and have already tainted it with a hideous sports label seen here.


The ultimate in crass commercialism on display at the Palace of Fine Arts now.

San Francisco is going through the cultural revolution that destroyed Beaux Arts during the 1980’s. It is also easy to see how the battle is lining up.

Their tools are money, political power, corruption, (for which there are ongoing investigations) forced gentrification and housing density leading to displacement of long-time San Francisco citizens. They are hire young, inexperienced, out-of-state socially primed urban planners from outside to re-design our city. These planners are  promised a piece of the shrinking economic pie. They do not live in San Francisco, have no knowledge of our history, land or communities. The ultimate insult is the PR and lobby machine they use to push their plans at our expense to convince us that we have no choice in how our communities are is developed.

Our goal is to keep our historical roots and the properties that have weathered earthquakes and the strains of time. We are trying to protect San Francisco’s heritage and reputation as a cultural and spiritual center for creative people who revere peace, love and understanding to keep the dream alive.

Our tools are a strong political will that has crossed many social barriers. We know how to use the law to protect ourselves and we have truth on our side. The Bay Area natives are getting restless and preparing to rebel.

The local transit authorities have overplayed the anti-car position by creating one of the worst traffic zones in the nation. You may not be concerned about a new tower going up downtown, but the traffic jam outside your door will get your attention. Irate drivers know who to blame. Add the tent cities filling up the sidewalks all over town by the growing homeless population and you have an uncomfortable populace demanding changes.

Here is how San Francisco got here and why the Mayor barely won the last election.

First they claimed “parking is a privilege not a right”.  Some of us fought them and we won a few battles. Next they told us we don’t need our cars (the ultimate symbol of independence). More people fought back but some folks trusted them and gave up their cars. Now they are coming for our homes, jacking up the rent, Ellis Act evictions, foreclosures, owner buyouts, threats, fires, whatever they can do to grab more land, claiming, “If you can’t afford to live in San Francisco, you shouldn’t live here.” 

Now imagine this happening in the middle East or a trendy European city full of disenchanted youth. Could that be the cultural divide Elif is talking about?




Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts, Music.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

By Paul Freeman [June 2012 Interview] popcultureclassics – excerpt

For Mill Valley, California-based vocal great Lisa Kindred, the appeal of the blues was simple. “The songs just always touched me,” she says.

As a child in Buffalo, New York, Kindred’s musical fire was ignited by a local disc jockey known as The Hound Dog…

It was a very small village. All these places, you could go in, play three songs and pass the tip jar. First time I made a dollar, I thought I was going to fall over. I thought I was the richest person I’d ever met. It was exciting. You got to meet everybody who came through.”

Dave Van Ronk and Fred Neil were mentor figures to her. “Dave Van Ronk was the kindest person in the universe, as far as I was concerned. He was wonderful. He looked at me and said, ‘Kid, don’t sing a song, if you don’t like it, no matter how much they pay you.’

Fred Neil, there was a place called the Fat Black Pussycat and you could sit in the corner and play guitar and sing – as long as you didn’t interrupt everybody who was playing chess – all night long. And I got to play with him for hours and hours. And various other people would come in and play, just sit there and play. It was an amazing situation. And he was from Florida and had a lot of blues history. So all of these people sort of influence you without even knowing that they’re doing it. It was absolutely wonderful.”…

She’s putting her voice to work, completing a new album, tentatively titled ‘”Hello Stranger.” Guests include Charlie Musselwhite and Freddie Roulette(more)

Strange morning news January 11, 2016

Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts, Music.
add a comment

I woke up this morning to news of David Bowie’s passing and the surprising news that our dear departed friend Michael Baldwin had released a fourth CD on CDBaby. A cool trick. Someone must have done it for him. “Telephone Tape” is a described here: “These previously unreleased original songs were informally captured in New York in the 70s and preserved on a cassette tape. They encompass folk rock styles of the day from ballads to psychedelic to protest. Like so many song writers, Michael, although a dynamic performer, was primarily an author and poet and his lyrics are as meaningful today as they were insightful then.”If you didn’t hear from CDBaby the link is here. The photo is more recent and the sound is Baldwin and Leps, but, I don’t know about 1970’s.

Rick Norcross Plays First Night Burlington December 28, 2015

Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts, Music.
add a comment


Greetings Friends of Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band. First, Thank You ALL for the warm and wonderful cards, messages and calls that have flooded in to Rambler Ranch over the past 10 days from all over the world. The very best part of the Holidays for me is reconnecting with good friends, old and new, who reach out to say Howdy during this very special time of the year. It brings back many many memories of times and music shared over the years and brings the promise of more good times to come. And speaking of good times to come, I want to invite everyone to come out and join me for a New Year’s Eve performance at First Night Burlington in just three days! I’ll be doing a rare solo show at 5 pm at the Fletcher Free Library on College Street, playing some Rambler favorites and a couple of brand new songs we’re going to record this Winter for a new CD project set for release in early Summer of ’16.
Take Your Time
Would love to see all our Rambler Pals at First Night Burlington!
I am also attaching a very much appreciated note we received from Senator Pat Leahy on Christmas Eve. Thank you, Senator!
Happy New Year, everyone!
Rambler Rick

Pat Leahy Song Ltr

In the Waves December 24, 2015

Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts, Music.
add a comment

Hi Folks!

I recently posted video and audio of a old song reborn. An approximate sea chanty about a whaler who’s killed by a pregnant whale and comes back as her offspring. Proximate reincarnation.

The basic song first appeared as ‘Waves Sing’ on Meat Wheel News, a 2003 collection of Ferriss and Leps recordings. Since then, the lyrics and mix have continued to evolve and tweek, now reborn in 2015 as In the Waves.

There’s a video:

& there’s paid downloads:

and there’s free lo-fi downloads of an alternate mix till january 1st or so:

thanks for listening,

Rick Ferriss

How Quickly a “Genius” Startup Can Tank October 20, 2015

Posted by zRants in Art, Environment, Politics.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

By Kevin Montgomery ; VALLEYWAG – EXCERPT

Bloodhound had everything going for it. TechCrunch once hailed the tradeshow app as “genius” and Peter Thiel led a $3 million investment round in the “blowing up” company. So when a landlord drove out apopular arts collective from its home in the heart of the San Francisco’s Mission District, Bloodhound was quick to sign as the new tenant. Fifteen months later, the company is out on the street and being sued for unpaid rent.

The company’s rapid fall serves as cautionary tale of the consequences a startup faces when it aggressively burns through their funding. But it also shows what can happen to a neighborhood when landlords chase the high rents paid by venture-fueled tech companies.

Million Fishes Art Collective sat at the corner of 23rd and Bryant for nearly a decade, reportedly paying over $13,000 a month in rent for a space deep within gang territory. The 10,000 square foot collective housed dozens of artists and was routinely open to the public for shows.

But soon the neighborhood became trendy among techies and the gang violence subsided. And in the fall of 2012, Million Fishes’ landlord booted them from the space with the hopes of attracting a monied startup to the space.

It was around the time of Million Fishes’ displacement that Bloodhound was in the middle of raising their Series A round. When the round closed in January 2013, it brought the company’s total funding to $4.8 million. Flush with cash, Bloodhound responded to a Craigslist ad for the recently refurnished ground floor office at 2501 Bryant Street. They ultimately signed a five-year lease for $31,667 a month in rent (plus $564 in fees)—nearly two and a half times the amount the arts collective had been previously paying.

Criticism poured in. Million Fishes’ warned of the “the fast-track erasure of a neighborhood we love” on the eve of their eviction. Many in the Mission agreed tech money was decimating the local artist community…. (MORE)

 San Francisco follows the trend of killing off the artists and art spaces that is running rampant all over the country. It is really all about land values an what deserves a spot in the city. Money or culture. The two don’t mix well.

The Gentrification of our Livelihoods: Everything Must Go… October 4, 2015

Posted by zRants in Art, Beaux Arts, Environment, History, Humanities, Politics.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Update from an earlier post.NoCulture

Artists join Mission residents in the “Taking of City Hall”. The summer of 2015 saw a growing lack of confidence in San Francisco’s city leaders ability to stop the displacement of thousands of families. 

First to go is Art and Culture: Once again, Beaux Arts lead the world in the loss of culture. It started in Pinellas Coutny long before it hit New York and San Francisco. Long before the culture ever blossomed in SOMA or the MIssion. A dubious public let it slip away in Florida, never realizing the extent of damage that was coming to us all, because, whether we realize it or not, art is one of the most delicate parts of our American heritage. It is also the engine that supplies us with our creative entrepreneurial spirit that use to make us a great nation. As the art falls away, so will our soul, replaced by the cold shoulder of political power bought by cold hard cash.

Gentrification leads to displacement: The result of the growing unrest lead to  Prop I, which calls for an 18 month moratorium of market rate development in the Mission and a Better Plan than the  Mayor’s Affordable Housing Bonus Plan.

Data confirms our fears: It didn’t take a study for residents to figure out the correlation between the tech buses and displacement, but now that one has been completed, the proof is in the data. Release of the results has lead to a huge power struggle between the major players in Bay Area Planning, MTC and ABAG.

Power Struggle ensues: The struggle spilled over into the Sierra Club, where developers are trying to take over the local office that is a huge legal thorn in their side. SFBARF backed by the developers are also threatening to sue the sue the cities, for not building the “right kind of housing.

Pay to Play: It looks like you have to pay to get any coverage including to your followers on facebook. That is how they control you. No more free anything now that they have everyone hooked on the internet. Here is an article that describes who benefits from the millions of dollars being spent by the No on F team: The Top 9 People and Companies Cashing in on Airbnb’s $8 Million Campaign

Beware of the lies: The Transit rich corridors governments are trying to cram down our throats do nothing to save the planet or the environment. What they do is set us up for more displacement and larger homeless communities. Don’t you want to bike to work instead of drive in your air-conditioned cars on a hot day? Or how about biking through the snow during the winter? That is what they have in store for you if you let them get away with it.

– zrants

by Megan Wilson : stretcher – excerpt

Preface: When I began researching and writing The Gentrification of our Livelihoods in early March 2014 one of my primary interests was the impact that the collaboration between Intersection for the Arts and developer Forest City’s creative placemaking 5M Project is having on the existing communities that have invested in and called the South of Market home prior to the tech booms. Having worked with many community-based organizations within the SoMa community for the past 18 years, I’ve had deep concerns about the development’s impact for the neighborhood and its impact on the future of Intersection.

However, I would not have predicted the announcement that Intersection made on May 22nd to cut its arts, education, and community engagement programs and lay off its program staff would come as soon as it did. What began as a reflection on the shortcomings of creative placemaking as a tool for economic development and its implications on gentrification and community displacement has become a cautionary tale for arts and community organizations to question and better understand the potential outcomes of working with partners whose interests are rooted in financial profit.

 Over the past two months I’ve spoken with many of the stakeholders involved with the 5M development, as well as the creative placemaking projects that are helping to shape the changes in the culture and landscape throughout San Francisco, these include: Deborah Cullinan, former Executive Director, Intersection for the Arts; Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America; Angelica Cabande, Executive Director, South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), Jessica Van Tuyl, Executive Director, Oasis For Girls, April Veneracion Ang, Senior Aide to Supervisor Jane Kim, District 6 and former Executive Director of SOMCAN; Tom DeCaigney, Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Art Commission; Bernadette Sy, Executive Director, Filipino-American Development Foundation (FADF); Josh Kirschenbaum, Vice President for Strategic Direction, PolicyLink, and an anonymous source within Forest City Enterprises.,, (more)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 314 other followers

%d bloggers like this: