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July 22, 2010


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Another non-answer from Kathy Jana about a snake being killed in the past few weeks. How can you continue to say things that you can't back up with facts or just a straight answer, Ms. Jana? I guess in your defense, you said a snake was just "found dead," so I guess it's possible a cat, fox, bird, or just old age was the cause of death.

As for your last post, the course does make money and that money is used to fund other SF Park operations. You know it and I know it.

The snake and frog have not lost any habitat and in fact it has increased with the new sensitive areas and fencing. Golfers are now prohibited from entering these areas surrounding the Salt Pond that is Laguna Salada.

The only boondoggle here is Plater's & the WEI/CBD ever changing tune in how they are trying to destroy the recreation choice of thousands of men, women, children, and seniors who enjoy Sharp Park Golf Course annually!!!

It is my understanding that the entire operating cost of the course is paid for by the golfers who use it, through greens fees and restaurant receipts. In fact, I believe the City of SF makes approximately $300,000 annually from this operation.

No tax money is involved.

Hey, Kathy, who do you think will pay for your plan? I do believe it will be the taxpayer, aka "the public," unless you have a very big bank account and plan to pay for it yourself. And who is most of the public that does not approve? Brent Plater's interns hoping to get a good grade if they stand up at the meetings and read their prepared speeches?

The jewel of Laguna Salada was greatly damaged by 14 months of dumping dirt on a coastal back barrier lagoon system, and then adding a pump to pump water out onto the beach. In the process, frog and snake habitat was destroyed. Between getting run over by lawn mowers and loss of habitat, Sharp Park is fast becoming a mausoleum for the San Francisco garter snake.

Asking the public to pay for this boondoggle is just out of line, especially since most of the public does not approve of taking out species for a substandard golf course that does not make money in these difficult economic times.

"Let's hope some hydrologists, ecologists, and climate change scientists not bought out by SF Rec and Park find time to review the work."

Yeah, we'll believe the scientists that are bought and paid for by the WEI & CBD.

'The photo above comes from the Arcadia Publishing book "Pacifica" by Chris Hunter, Bill Drake, and the Pacifica Historical Society, page 34.'

Plater said the photo came from the UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. I'd still like to know if he can provide a link via their online database of photos, because otherwise, I have to conclude he was trying to give his statements a phony veneer of scientific credibility. He does that sometimes.

The photo above comes from the Arcadia Publishing book "Pacifica" by Chris Hunter, Bill Drake, and the Pacifica Historical Society, page 34.

"Sometime in the past few weeks another San Francisco garter snake was found dead."

When, where, how? That is a very general statement, Ms. Jana. Are you accusing the golf course of killing a snake? As for your claim of the course being "literally subpar," aside from the bumpy greens, which are that way because no chemical fertilizers are used, the course is anything but subpar. It is a gem of a course designed by a master golf architect.

Sometime in the past few weeks another San Francisco garter snake was found dead. It's amazing there are any left. To create the golf course, which is literally subpar, the natural back barrier lagoon system was filled in with dirt for 14 months. Thatsalottadirt. Swaim's report on this project will not withstand peer review. Let's hope some hydrologists, ecologists, and climate change scientists not bought out by SF Rec and Park find time to review the work.

I don't think that's Mori Point Ridge in the background. For all we know, the photo could be from Half Moon Bay or Oregon.

If this photo is available from the Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Biology's online database, I'd like to get a link to it, or know what keywords I can use to find it. I've spent a few minutes searching, and haven't been able to find it. I don't trust Plater enough to buy into his interpretation of what's in the picture.

In 1946 the San Francisco garter snake (SFGS) was not considered endangered, and if a golfer did kill that snake, it would not be surprising. Not having the benefit of 60+ years of foresight, golfers--like most people of that time--would kill any snake on sight. But the interesting bit not mentioned here is that no one on the golf course killed more San Francisco garter snakes than Wade Fox, who was a virtual one-man SFGS holocaust. Since he also did not benefit from the gift of 60 years of foresight, the scientist killed 46 SFGS all by himself over a two-year period doing this study.

Biologist Karen Swaim explains:

"1946 is the very first year that the San Francisco Garter Snake and the California Red Leg Frog were documented. Wade Fox, the grad student, was out here on his scientific study, at that time science meant you collect things and you put them in a jar. So over a two year period Wad Fox collected 46 San Francisco Garter Snakes from Laguna Salada, which are now museum specimens. And again - just to point out - there are 46 that he gets over two years - and golf has already been here for 16 years......We fast forward to when Sean Beary is doing his work... In 1978 Sean Beary is doing his studies around this, and he observes 37 garter snakes along this area in an autumn... golf has been in place 46 years."

Now, exactly how does 46 snakes collected in 1946 over two years and 37 snakes observed during one season in 1978--all while the golf course is in operation--translate to a "precipitous decline" due to golf ?

Regarding the picture, since it is not dated, neither Plater nor anyone else knows whether it was taken before or after the golf course. If we could get a decent-size image of this photo, it could probably be dated by the dump truck. My guess (which is at least as good as Plater's) is that this photo was taken closer to 1941, when four of the original holes were moved and the first seawall was built. It would be interesting to try to duplicate this shot, to see if the golf course would even be visible today from this angle.

I like the pictures of the canals on Mars that prove a civilization once existed there.

Apparently Brent has never seen the old pictures of Laguna Salada (English translation: "salty lagoon") connected by a short channel to the ocean. Or maybe he has, but he hopes nobody else has.

And apparently Brent has never been in Pacifica during a strong winter storm to see how the ocean waves wash up onto the beach. That's why the berm was built in the first place.

Give it up, Brent!!! So we are now to take the word of a probably long since dead person that a snake was killed by golfers in 1946? Does Plater really think that anyone will take this seriously? More wide, sweeping accusations by Plater and his crew that have no factual basis whatsoever!!!

In 1946 he found a dead San Francisco Garter Snake at Sharp Park, which he concluded was "probably killed by golfers--they probably die frequently in this manner."

In 1946 Dr. Fox made several broad assumptions after finding a single dead snake. The assumptions were "probably based on very shaky evidence--they probably were made frequently in this manner."

See how it works!

So you lost the money argument, Brent, and now you are going back to this! Give it up and go on to something worthwhile. The course is a moneymaker that supports other activities in San Francisco. I've played golf there for years and never encountered a snake. No golfers would hurt the snakes, not like the kids on bicycles, who purposely aim at them as they ride on the berm. You live in Oakland, not in the fog bank that is Pacifica during the summer, when kids are out of school, so just how many folks do you think are going to picnic at this "National Park" you want to destroy the golf course for? Last, have you really looked at the entrance to Mori Point lately? If not, I guess you will this Saturday. It is a mess and degrades our property values. We neighbors just love the big blue outhouse and the thugs who smash out hikers' car windows to steal their belongings left in plain view inside the cars. Thank you so much for bringing all that to our once quiet neighborhood.

Wild Equity needs to see a professional for its institutionalized obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).

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