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July 06, 2017



For more income for the city, why not let a for-profit entity repair and run the recreation center?

Bruce Dickinson

Guys, listen, before the council pats each other on the back in self adulation and felicitations, even prior to any ink being put to paper on a final agreement, we gotta ask ourselves, is this something that Burlingame really wants??

This TopGolf operation is growing extremely rapidly (as are some competitors), popping up everywhere, and in addition to potentially being a product of a tech and economic bubble, Bruce Dickinson's talented staff has unearthed a bad fact pattern for this company. In just a matter of a few months, TopGolf has been involved in encouraging a city to break its own zoning laws, not adhering to another city's contract to hire minority workers, building a location on a former slave burial ground, and two instances of patrons falling from the 3 story driving range within one month! Truth is stranger than fiction:





Given this council's abysmal track record of negotiating or sniffing out any good deals for Burlingame, Bruce Dickinson thinks this TopGolf gig will last 5-7 years, tops.

Don't say that I didn't warn everyone to duck by yelling "Fore!" so that a microchipped golf ball won't hit ya on your noggin'!

We are capitalists. Even Nancy P says so.

Sounds fun! The tennis center cost over $20M. It's a business, so it can afford to invest in itself without taxing anyone.


At least this is an alternative.
I am sorry, but I had to chuckle picturing some body in Golf Regalia falling off a deck.


"Real residents"? Implying that proponents of affordable housing are not real residents??

Burlingame is diverse; just because we don't agree on something doesn't mean we're not valuable members of the same community.

Ivan Korwasky

Guess this Bruce identity wouldn't understand anything if it isn't a bloated government area of space-time with a quantum singularity at its center.

Keep amusing us, Bruce. Bla Bla Bla


Hi Professor, yes that is exactly what I am saying--I'm not implying it, I'm saying it.

The high-priced lawyers "donating their time" from the EPA legal association do not live here and do not give a damn what happens to B'game. They found one mouthpiece who lives here and most of the rest of them are from elsewhere. They have no investment in town--they don't coach teams, they don't volunteer at non-profits, they don't serve on commissions, they don't do squat but whine about the market price of rentals that they don't actually own.

They got their a$$ kicked in the last election and should just go way. I hear Mountain View is better hunting grounds.

Peter Nichols

As I read through the comments on this thread, and see the insults that are being thrown at the other side of the topic of affordable housing and rent control, I find myself becoming more and more doubtful of the civility and integrity of this blog and this conversation as a whole.

Joe, I appreciate your creation of this open forum in which informed citizens can discuss current topics, but the tone of the discussion on many posts has degraded far below this vision. In fact, with all due respect, I find your most recent post offensive and uncalled for.

The stated mission of the Burlingame Voice is to “inform and empower” the community. While many posts on this blog detail important issues that face Burlingame, the posts about more “hot-button” topics often appear to empower acrimony, rather than an honest, civil conversation about our city’s course of action.

Though I am in favor of providing a more stable, affordable environment for renters in Burlingame, that is not to say that I am not open to hearing what those against such a proposition have to say nor that I do not see where they may be coming from.

Just like so many, including myself, learned in the 2016 election, we cannot discount the pain and hardship of others, even though it may seem foreign to our daily life, or even unreasonable. Though many of us, including myself, do not wake up every morning worried if we will be able to pay our rent next month, I feel we still have the responsibility to acknowledge the hardships renters in our community face.

Approximately half of our community rents, and we ALL, renters and homeowners alike, contribute to the vibrancy and livelihood that exists in our city today. Though some may envision a community with only people who can afford a high-cost home, Burlingame would not be Burlingame without the Uber driver, city worker, housekeeper, waitress, landscaper and dental assistant who provide crucial services to our community and often go unnoticed. These people are also the people who just got evicted on Rollins Road.

I challenge you, respond not with vitriol or insults, respond with facts, figures and logical arguments that will enrich this conversation, and lead Burlingame to a brighter future for all.

Bruce Dickinson

Mr. Nichols, the subject of rent control and affordable housing have been discussed by Bruce Dickinson, Joe, and many long time contributors, on this site, for a long time.

I would be remiss if I didn't say that not only the logical, rational, and empirical evidence of for and against rent control and affordable housing have been discussed, but they have been discussed at a higher level than 95% of the publications that are out there, including professional journalists and professional economists!

Concepts such as price floors, their impact on resource allocation, crowding out effects, housing substitution effects and their effects on real estate prices, incumbency favoritism, externalities such has homelessness, crime, drug use, and among other topics, litigious and for-profit forces that are manipulating both sides around the rent control issue in order to exploit the issue. There are so many articles made by professional journalists that fail to cover all these topics adequately, but they were all covered here through posts, posting of other articles, and of course, comments from some very smart and informed members of the community.

Feel free to look up under the tags of affordable housing and rent control, read all the articles and comments surrounding the issues at hand, and I think you’ll come to a very similar conclusion in that the issue has not only been discussed respectfully, based on facts, logic, lateral examples, economic and social concepts, but also on a very deep and nuanced level.




How quaint. Some newbie commenter that no one has heard of is worried about civility on the voice. The tone has degraded and "peter" is here to rescue us all. How quaint.


@Peter Nichols. You are welcome to contribute here at the Voice and to criticize me or anyone else. I've got a pretty thick skin and many pairs of big boy pants.

At the risk of simply reiterating Bruce Dickenson's fact-filled post, you can click on the Rent Control category on the lower right and see tons of fact-based repudiations of the the proposed rent control ordinance terms and the principle of rent control as a whole (an unmitigated failure wherever it has been implemented).

You talk of hardship. We absolutely need the Uber driver, city worker, housekeeper, waitress, landscaper and dental assistant, but I NEVER hear any rent control advocate talk about why the government should discriminate against the housekeeper or waitress who chooses to work two jobs and thus slightly exceeds the arbitrary "affordability" limit. NEVER. EVER.

Why is that? Because some people really do not understand the Law of Unintended Consequences and/or failed Econ 101.

Lastly, your comment appears to say you are sitting on the fence. That's fine, but please do not offer up faux-civility while sitting on the fence. That's a losing proposition for all involved and fails the "Educate and Inform" test we apply here.

Bruce Dickinson

Moreover, to add to Joe's spot-on points, Bruce Dickinson is much more interested in seeking actual truth than to worry about whether a mild pot-shot or jab on a blog is mis-construed, or can be deemed as slightly offensive, when there is a much more important moral concept at stake.

That is the problem with so much discussion these days -- we get so worked up about not offending others or tip-toeing around issues that it gets in the way of actually seeking moral truth. And discovery of truth is not always a pleasant experience. Think about some of the toughest decisions you have made in your lifetime. Almost all of them had to deal the discovery and acceptance of truth and when truth is revealed, almost inevitably, others are bound to get offended, usually not due to facts, but due to emotions tied to a belief/opinion held contrary to actual truth.

Bruce Dickinson is much more offended by those to try to ignore, hide, tap-dance around, or obfuscate the truth because not being willing to seek the truth, no matter how unpleasant, in many cases, will lead to poor decisions and poor outcomes. Discussion of such matters, as Joe said, requires you to "put on your big boy pants" and slog it out every day, as emotions from any side of an issue tend to interfere with making the right decisions.

I see the goal of the BV in providing debate and actual solutions with the goal of providing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Finally, as far as Joe's comment about the "real residents" he was very clearly referring to those who are NOT involved with greedy lawyers trying exploit their cause as a way to get paid. The sheer fact that you have organizations trying to rile up certain vulnerable groups, promising things that can't be delivered, when in the end the only winner in all this is the lawyers involved (due to their getting paid) makes my stomach churn.

Here's a lesson to be learned: try to look at all the facts, the context of history, the rationality and source of all arguments, the credibility of those on this site, to help you seek the truth. Now one may disagree with that truth, but be ready and willing to show that evidence, as many on this site have done for years.

Mr. Civility

Look at Mr. Civility aka Nichols. He can appreciate others hardships, but the bad Burlingmae people can't. He has empathy but "some may envision a community with only people who can afford a high-cost home".

How does he sleep at night when his hypocrisy is so loud its keeping me awake.

Mike Mitchell

So nice to know that socialist Cindy is complaining about outrageous rents. Well a 2 bedroom unit in her building just went to market for less than $2500. This is a prime location in our community and the way she and her socialist associates cry one would think its twice that or more. Let's all remember that we have to continually earn the right to live where we are....location has its price. Location is not a right.


Location is not a right.
However, the transportation of a Minimum Wage work force to travel from "Ghetto" to Burlingame has an enormous cost.
Environmental, Social, and a long term impact on whatever community employs the Mexicans.
Yes, the work force is 93.6% Latin, not all Mexican.
One day, they may all disappear to take care of their own-i.e. Major Earthquake.
Then what?


Holy, please renew your subscription. You are off your meds again. You are 93.6% nuts.

Thank you, Mike Mitchell. Well stated and very informative that Cornell has a softie landlord. Maybe Bruce could buy him out and raise her rent.

Ivan Korwasky


Best describes the rent-control profiteering groups around the Bay Area. If they had any character they would go to Sacramento and protest the states Land-Grab.

But, then again; Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity.


And also on the restaurant theme, I would hope that Top Golf could find a way to accomodate Gabriel & Daniel's Mexican Grill that has been in the pro shop space for several years. Really good and deserving of a decent lease even if the driving range is going upscale. We need local flavor wherever we can get it.

Peter Nichols

In response to my previous post, Bruce Dickinson comments that the Burlingame Voice is discussing topics “at a higher level than 95% of the publications that are out there, including professional journalists and professional economists!” I believe implying that the posts on the Voice are more valuable than the articles written by professional journalists is irresponsible and deeply concerning.

Though many of us may question the validity an article because its message might not align with our personal beliefs, Bruce Dickinson asserts that the “discovery of truth is not always a pleasant experience”. Unfortunately for us, I do not believe the Burlingame Voice is the place where we discover that truth.

The goal of a journalist is not to take a side or reveal his or her personal beliefs, rather it is to convey the truth in a professional and impartial way. In fact, the School of Journalism at the University of Texas-Austin (ranked the number two journalism school by USA Today) says that their mission is to “educate ethical, socially responsible, well-rounded and fair-minded reporters”. Yet, while I want this blog to meet the goals put forth by the School of Journalism, I see quite the opposite. Just in the time since my last post three weeks ago, I have read comments that defy each of the goals stated in the mission.

One post that I found particularly astonishing was hollyroller’s post on July 19th that discussed how the increase in the presence of Asian businesses “started in San Bruno, then Millbrae, now Burlingame,” and how “another Asian business on Broadway will have a long lasting impact on the overall community.” Personally, I don’t think someone would find such a statement in an article by the "Wall Street Journal" or "The Daily Post".

Of course, my view on that comment may be perceived as my getting, as Bruce Dickinson puts it, “worked up about not offending others”. However, while everyone has the right to share their opinions, a place in which such a comment is made (one that undisputedly discriminates and calls out a significant portion of our community on the Peninsula) should not be regarded as a socially responsible or ethical source.

In the response to hollyroller’s post, Joe said that “being a blog editor allows me to EXACTLY share my true thoughts. Duh!”, a statement that violates the journalist’s pledge to be fair-minded.

Overall, the Burlingame Voice offers the opportunity for the people of Burlingame to share their opinions (however provocative they may be), but we should not equate it with work done by journalists, or claim that it is a reliable source for news given how many posts violate the journalists’ ethos to be “ethical, socially responsible, well-rounded and fair-minded.”

Bruce Dickinson

Mr. Nichols, Bruce Dickinson sees nothing but your biases getting the better of you and you are not understanding my comments. I did NOT state that every article or discussion point on the BV was better than 95% of the publications out there. I stated that on the subject of rent control, that is the case and I honestly believe it. Anyone who comes to a different conclusion about how in-depth and nuanced the rent control subject has been covered on the BV in both the articles and many comments is NOT being intellectually honest.

No one has also asserted that the BV is end-all be-all for journalistic seriousness, and such an assertion would be asinine. Within the content, there is local news, events, personalities, and humor pieces. There are also comment fields; blogs by their very nature contain unfiltered comments that also do require your own thinking, in effect, they are editorials. The NYT or WSJ also have the very same comments field allowed, and I do think the contents of those can be far, far more disrespectful than anything seen on the BV.

Bruce Dickinson doesn't claim to be a journalist and frankly, anyone who posts comments doesn't either, nor make a representation as such. However, if you have the ability to filter, research and verify, and spend some time in self-education, there is no question that some of the comments on the BV certain subjects are quite insightful (e.g. rent control). Not to mention, don't expect the NYT, WSJ, or even the "local" papers such as the Mercury News and Chronicle cover the issues of Burlingame in any real breadth or depth. It's local news and a community blog started by two people who care about Burlingame and have done tremendous things for the community outside of the BV (not to mention many of the contributors), and not everything on here is wrong. Seriously, just roll with it!

I don't know what axe you are trying to grind here, you are entitled to your opinion and free to post as often as you please, however taking a person's statements and completely distorting them and drawing sweeping conclusions is doing very little for your credibility my friend, in Bruce Dickinson's humble opinion!


I thought this posting was about golf. Anyone here even know how to swing a golf club? Bunch of flibbertigibbet's in here.

TopGolf is the best thing happening in Burlingame for the next three years so shut your little pie-holes you salamanders.


While I am thinking about new construction on the Bayfront (http://www.burlingamevoice.com/2017/10/20-million-shelter-breaks-ground.html#comments), I should note that the ice rink at Bridgepointe mall reopened last week. Hopefully it will be financially sustainable and we mid-Peninsulans get a twofer--skating and golf.


Here is the notice of the first glimpse of what Top Golf is planning:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Burlingame Recreation Center 850 Burlingame Avenue 6 to 8 PM

Topgolf builds and operates state of the art golf practice facilities and is planning on redeveloping the City of Burlingame’s existing golf driving range at 250 Anza Boulevard. Topgolf is a golf practice facility and entertainment destination. Topgolf provides golf hitting bays, food and beverage service, and other entertainment making this proposal a true community destination.

The Topgolf team will be presenting preliminary plans for the public’s review and comment. The project is still in the early stages of the review process and will undergo a full review by the City of Burlingame. This community meeting is intended to introduce the Topgolf conceptual plans before the City’s review process starts later in April.

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