Kimball Livingston

Peskin Point

26 Feb

“If” lead negotiator Stephen Barclay and his America’s Cup cohorts were a trifle nave regarding San Francisco politics when they first blew into town, trumpeting the splendors to come, an 11th hour lawsuit filed last week by former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and still-local chairman of the Democratic Party Aaron Peskin should complete their education. This is a blood sport, and you don’t have to be certifiably sane to play.

I remain on-message, however. Relax. The America’s Cup is going to be fine.
Unless it’s the San Francisco waterfront you care about. Then you might worry. ...

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Ocean Film Festival: Evening of Sailing

24 Feb

A San Francisco treat since 2004, the Ocean Film Festival is growing in new directions, and you should know.

Will it go international come 2013? Don’t bet against it, and meanwhile there is a pre-event on Friday, February 24 at the Aquarium of the Bay to launch their first Evening of Sailing with three shorts and two, um, mediums.

Nancy Ogden’s Madstreak is the feature of the evening. It’s the story of Clay Burkhalter’s Mini-Transat race, and you’ve probably read about that venture in the sailing media, but the film is aimed to please your nonsailing friends as well. Think ...

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SF-AC Negotiations: Exclusive Pictures

22 Feb

Okay, we hope it’s not quite that . . .

Even as negotiations continued between the city fathers of San Francisco and the America’s Cup Event Authority, with Stephen Barclay as the lead, Oracle Racing held a media day on TuesdayI suspect the sailing team would rather have had the time for other businessand my takeaway was a comment from Russell Coutts that he knows of a fourth challenger who has begun work on an AC72 catamaran for the 2013 America’s Cup match.


We’ve downsized from the total of nine or ten AC72s that were thrown out as pie ...

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Love Letter to Sailing

13 Feb

It’s such a common phrase, such a common feeling, that we take it for granted. The romance of the sea. Even those who dwell far from the sea are not immune to it. Red sails in the sunset. The very notion of sailing away to paradise. Those who heed the call, those who love the sea and sailing, will not find it strange that a sailor would choose Valentine’s Day to write a love letter to the sport.

Once upon a time there lived a young man so enamored of sailboat racing that he couldn’t look out from the deck ...

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Coming to a City Hall Near You

11 Feb

I’m not old enough to write a whole column about my digestion, but I will confess that I read the San Francisco budget analyst’s report/recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, parsing the latest business negotiations between the Port, the Office of the Mayor and the America’s Cup Event Authority, without fully digesting it.

That is, there wasn’t any sentence or paragraph that I didn’t understand, but

It’s 36 (thirty-six) pages long, and it peels the onion on where negotiations have gone since the Supervisors unanimously approved the Host City Agreement on December 14, 2010. I’m not going through it here. ...

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2 Feb

Everybody please relax. The America’s Cup is going to be fine.

Through the lens of Gilles Martin-Raget

The recent spate of negative headlines from Auckland to San Francisco will someday make comic collectibles. I seem to recall, not so many years ago, a great handwringing around the building of a ballpark that was sure to drag the City of San Francisco straight to gridlock-perdition . . .

A “disappointing turnout” at the America’s Cup World Series event in San Diego? I wasn’t disappointed. I was validated. Before the event I had told contacts in the office of the mayor, the ...

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Time for a New Tall Ship?

30 Jan

Number one question of the day: WHAT IS IT?

Answer of the day number one: Plankton.

Number two question of the day: Who sailed 27 of 31 days last October?

Answer of the day number two: The schooner Seaward, operated by Call of the Sea, an educational nonprofit focused on marine sciences, nautical heritage, and the environment on and out of San Francisco Bay. Aboard the Seaward it is an everyday thing to troll up plankton . . .

And study them under a microscope, then match up the tiny wigglies with the big board that shows what’s ...

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10-0 Vote But . . .

25 Jan

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night voted 10-0 to reject two appeals against the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Review.

Though not until the AC Event Authority agree do re-site its JumboTron from a barge anchored in Aquatic Park – where swim clubs argued it would stir up toxic silt – to a spot on land instead.

The vote does not preclude civil action, but I note that certain parties to the appeal, such as the Sierra Club, are on record as wanting the America’s Cup to be sailed on San Francisco Bay. Things need to get moving ...

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AC Priorities: View from Down Under

24 Jan

Howzabout a little guest editorial from someone who has made the rounds of America’s Cup. You should know the name Keith Taylor. If not, what’s below is self-explanatory. Keith’s missive arrived at San Francisco City Hall yesterday, in advance of today’s hearing before the Board of Supervisors – the hearing to decide the fate of an appeal to the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Review:

Supervisors . . .

I urge you to hew to the greater good when considering the challenges to the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Report. Yes, you should respect the environment, but that’s not a mandate to ...

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The Cup

23 Jan

One of my takeaways from a heap of 2011 trips to San Francisco City Hall was a higher opinion of city government than I had when I started. Knowing that some of the best minds in what they call down there the “city family” have spent the last year working with the America’s Cup Event Authority to develop a plan that will work for 2012-13, it strikes me as almost an insult (though it’s inevitable, I suppose) that an appeal has been filed against the Environmental Impact Report recently approved by the SF Planning Commission.

The San Francisco Board of ...

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