Jenny Kane at the Reno Gazette-Journal breaks an exclusive story “BLM Wants VIP Compound at Burning Man” . It’s about the unprecedented, eyebrow-raising last minute demands from the Bureau of Land Management, which need to be met before a permit for this year’s event can be issued.
That’s right, Burning Man starts in about 60 days, but the permit has not been issued yet. No permit, no event. The negotiation stakes are high, and the big guns are being shown at the table.
Some have speculated that the permit may be held up this year due to complications with festival stalwart CrowdRX taking over the medical responsibilities from proven local team Humboldt General Hospital. Whether that is a real issue or not, the latest problem that needs to be settled before the permit gets issued is this: VIPs need ceramic toilets, goddam it!
Read the full story and watch the video at the Reno Gazette Journal. Emphasis is ours.
The largest event on Federal land is turning into quite the luxury camping adventure for the hundreds of government workers paid to go to Burning Man.
BLM officials contend that their staff can no longer stay in the “primitive” accommodations available in Gerlach, which is about 20 minutes from the event location.
“We’re very concerned about where we put people that are part of our staff and that are part of the support and permitting,” said BLM Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz.
Recently the BLM spent $3 million building these so-called primitive Gerlach accommodations, which feature hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, refrigerators, and other amenities. These are no longer sufficient for the $30 million+, 70,000 person billionaire’s safari experience that is Burning Man 2.0. Perhaps we should be glad that they’re not asking to spend the $1.2 million on facial recognition technologies and x-ray vision that can see through tent and RV walls…or maybe they already did that…
The BLM already gets $3.5-4 million in fees from Burning Man for the annual permit, as well as a 3% cut of the gross revenues of any of the 100+ vendors out there every year.
BLM fees from Burning Man
2012: $1.4 million
2013: $2.9 million
2014: $4 million
2015: About $5 million.
BMOrg convinced a BLM Director to come across to the corporate world and lobby for them. Now it seems that the BLM are demanding perks. More perks.
Details of the request were included in an email exchange obtained by the RGJ between a Burning Man official and Bob Abbey, the former BLM director who is now a consultant for Burning Man organizers.
“Having been a career BLM employee, I expect agency employees to behave competently and professionally in their interactions with the public,” Abbey said in his email. “I don’t see these traits being applied in their dealings with (Black Rock City).”
The proposed layout of the camp, published by the RGJ, shows 8 double VIP rooms. So as many as 16 unnamed VIPs are coming. Could this have anything to do with BMOrg’s recent trip to Washington DC? They were there to meet with bigwigs in the BLM, Department of the Interior, and State and Federal Government representatives.
BLM Winnemucca manager Gene Seidlitz seems to think so:
As to who will be included in the VIP crew making its way to Burning Man this year, Seidlitz said that he likely will not know until the day of the event.
“Right now, I don’t have the exact names. But there are those in upper leadership at the state level of BLM and the national level of BLM,” Seidlitz said. “Based on the issues and concerns of last year, it does have the interest of the Department of Interior.”
Seidlitz said that Washington, D.C., officials are concerned about upholding the standards of the “American public” and they will be coordinating visits to Burning Man while making other stops in the West.
“Burning Man is on everyone’s list. They come out to see the event, and to meet with everyone from BLM
Yep, it’s on everybody’s bucket list now. Great. Swell. Neato.
The VIPs don’t have to participate very long. They can just come, get in a couple of quick rounds of Burner Bingo, enjoy the spectacle put on for them by the freaks, then be on their merry way.
None of the VIPs will be staying the entire period that the Blue Pit compound will be set up, from Aug. 27 through Sept. 11. Many will be popping in for a day, maybe a half-day, Seidlitz said.
Special Agent Love is the bloke responsible, says the RGJ. Is this from Love, or above? Who is next up the chain of command? It definitely isn’t Harry Reid.
BLM Special Agent Dan Love of Salt Lake City was cited multiple times as the person behind many of the BLM requests, according to the emails. He did not return requests for comment. Love also led the BLM operation against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy that ended in a standoff with Bundy’s armed supporters.
Is this really just coming out of the blue from the local team, who have all been working with BMOrg for decades? Perhaps they suddenly decided that if the Founders are handing the reins of Burning Man over to a new non-profit – while they and their Directors and staff are staying in luxury camps that have all these amenities – that maybe it’s time for the BLM boys to retire and enjoy the good life too. Maybe – but that still doesn’t explain the mysterious VIP units. They also have 4 private medical units in the VIP compound. What sort of contingencies are they preparing for?
It’s worth noting that the “Blue Pit” – the name for the BLM’s Caravansicle – is not even at Burning Man.
The VIP encampment, called the Blue Pit, is a new request this year. It is in addition to the more bare-bones accommodations for the employees who will be staying at the BLM’s headquarters, which houses up to 150 working staff during the main event.
That’s 1 BLM agent for every 453 Burners. And this is in addition to the Pershing County Sheriff’s department, and other agencies such as the FBI and DEA. These 150 staff are already styling, compared to most Burners who are forced to use Radical Self Reliance, Participation, and Leave No Trace:
The headquarters also are expected to have trailers with flushable toilets and sinks, though no showers or washers and dryers are requested. The headquarters will be located at the end of the 12-mile playa entry road, 12 miles north of Gerlach. The Blue Pit compound is about two miles past the playa on County Road 34 near an old gravel pit.
The RGJ obtained a number of documents, including this brochure of the bathtroom units. No port-a-potties for these guys.
This is the layout of the “Blue Pit”. It does not say where the stripper poles are located, that is left up to your imagination.
The BLM says that they are concerned about safety after the tragic death of a Burner last year, and that extra security people need to come now to assess things.
The request, unprecedented in Burning Man’s history, has turned into a point of contention as organizers negotiate with the agency for their annual permit to stage the event in the Black Rock Desert. No permit has been issued for this year’s event, which runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 7. Typically permits are issued in early August.
Burning Man has refused to comply with the BLM’s request, which the federal agency submitted on June 1, according to Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham. “We want to work this out. We’re getting close to the event, but we feel that there are more common-sense and cost-effective solutions,“
Look, I fully support officers of the law and servants of our Federal government working in nice conditions and safety. We Burners pay several million dollars a year for their “services”. It’s for a week, not life. Surely they can find cops from around the world who would volunteer to come to Burning Man for free and take care of their own accommodation? Or, spend their own budget on this stuff. Don’t make Burners pay even more – because you know that is what BMOrg is going to do. They won’t be eating this expense themselves – that’s why we have this latest “leak the email chain to the media” move. Permit be damned! We’ve got Harry Reid!
Except that Harry has retired recently. Maybe no-one got that memo. Still, Harry’s written a strongly worded letter to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell – is she on the list for 2015?
Reid wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, an avid outdoorswoman and former head of REI, saying the BLM needs to get over itself about asking for flushing toilets and other amenities. The BLM is in charge of permitting the annual event, which takes place this year from Aug. 30 to Sept. 7.
“While I agree that the BLM should take its permitting duties seriously and work with Burning Man to both guarantee the safety of its participants and the protection of the environment, providing outlandishly unnecessary facilities for the BLM and its guests should be beyond the scope of the permitting requirements. Part of Burning Man’s philosophy is self-reliance and living with the elements is part of the experience. Flush toilets and laundry facilities can be found about ten miles away in Gerlach, Nevada, if BLM’s employees need such amenities,” Reid wrote, noting that he was an author of the legislation that designated the area a federally protected space. [Source: Roll Call]
The RGJ has published the full rider here. Some readers have had problems accessing this story due to the RGJ’s login system. I have reproduced the rider below, presumably this is public information and not some sort of classified state secret. RGJ have filed FOIA requests for more information and we will bring you updates to this story if we hear anything more.
Jenny’s story has also been picked up at reason, boingboing, Roll Call, Fark, the LA Times, Yahoo News, CBS Local, USA Today, and Reddit – where one wag likened the BLM to the IOC (or FIFA).
Dr Yes at Burn.Life thinks this is “attempted extortion”. He has created a petition against this.
[Update 6/28/15 8:38am PST]
Thanks to our reader A Balanced Perspective for providing links to the documentation for BLM’s existing facilities, which opened in 2011 at a cost of $3.5 million – or about a year’s worth of Burning Man’s annual fee payments to them.
From the BLM press release:
Black Rock Station was constructed utilizing almost $ 3.5 million authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The contract provided jobs for about 50 construction workers over a 10-month period, which helped the local economy by making purchases at the local restaurant, gas station and motel…
The facility will be open seasonally from March through November and will be staffed by BLM personnel. A BLM fire crew will operate out of the facility from July to September.
[Update 6/28/15 4:40 pm PST]
Reader Grey Coyote has alerted us to some online ill-will towards BLM Special Agent Dan Love, who ran the failed Bundy Ranch standoff operation last year.
Meanwhile, the BLM have disputed the $1 million cost for the Blue Pit Compound, saying that the event’s organizers are exaggerating.
[Update 6/29/15 8:26am]
Fox News has picked up the story, with further quotes from the BLM. They’re now saying the $1 million cost estimate is “robustly exaggerated”
Burning Man organizers have refused the request, saying amenities such as flush toilets, washers and dryers, showers, air conditioning and refrigerators at the bureau’s on-site camp in the Black Rock Desert would cost $1 million and hike its permit fees to about $5 million.
Gene Seidlitz, the bureau’s Winnemucca district manager, said Sunday that the cost of the portable units is being “robustly exaggerated” by organizers. The compound will offer basic amenities only for top agency officials who oversee the quirky art and music festival event held on public land the week leading up to Labor Day, he said.
The number of Bureau of Land Management personnel on hand at the festival has doubled to 160 over the last five years as the peak crowd size has soared to nearly 70,000, he said, and the bureau has run out of places around the nearby town of Gerlach, Nevada, to house employees. Most of the agency’s employees stay at a motel or rental properties in the tiny town.
“A lot of folks think we’re like participants in that we are out there to enjoy the event and party,” Seidlitz told The Associated Press. “But my staff and I have to be rested, well-nourished and accommodated to the bare minimum so we can ensure health, security and safety at the event.”
Organizers stand by their cost estimates for the amenities and their position that bureau fee increases have outstripped the festival’s crowd growth significantly in recent years, spokesman Jim Graham said.
For example, he said, the crowd for this year’s event is expected to grow by only 2,000 participants over last year, yet the agency’s infrastructure costs will climb by roughly $500,000 to $1 million.
“They include construction of an entirely new facility, and we maintain they have not considered more cost-effective alternatives,” Graham said in a statement. “We look forward to working with BLM on solutions that meet everyone’s needs.”
[Source: Fox News]
I’m inclined to agree. The “million dollar compound” seems to be coming from BMOrg, rather than BLM saying “give us another million”.
If you’ve ever built your own camp, you understand that it doesn’t cost $1 million to rent 10 trailers and 12 containers for a week. However, if your experience of Burning Man is limited to plug-n-play accommodations like Caravancicle and First Camp, with an army of thousands of volunteer and paid workers to do your bidding, it might be harder for you to keep in touch with real world expenses.
As for the Bureau fee increases outstripping the festival’s growth, 5 years ago Burning Man’s ticket revenues were $13.5 million and this year we estimate them at $30.5 million, an increase of $2 million+ just from 2014. 2010 attendance was 51,454; this year 68,000 tickets have been sold to paying participants (as well as another 3000 or so volunteers, and a few thousand children who get in free). This represents a population increase of at least 32%. Part of the BLM fees relate to Outside Services Vendors, and there are now more than a hundred of those.
This issue has now gone to the Bureau of Land Management’s Washington DC spokesman. The food requests are identical to last year’s rider, and apparently the Blue Pit Compound is “not really for VIPs” – those containers labelled “VIP containers” in the map should really have said “high level officials containers”. These officials will be roughing it like they’ve been deployed to a war zone.
Seidlitz acknowledged the bureau erred by billing the encampment as a place to house VIPs. Actually, it would only be for 15 to 20 top state and national Bureau of Land Management officials charged with ensuring safety and security and environmental compliance at the festival, he said.
“When you hear ‘VIP,’ it’s like they’re coming out on the government dime and bringing out friends,” he said. “But I have nowhere to put these senior leaders for a good night’s rest. They come out to interact … and ensure what I’m doing is meeting their intent.”
Most will spend no more than a couple of days at the festival, and the compound would save time because of its location only a mile from the festival and not 15 miles away in Gerlach, he added.
The amenities are similar to what the military provides soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and what federal agencies offer crews fighting wildfires, bureau officials said.
The bureau also is asking organizers to provide them mandatory food items for three meals a day and snacks during the festival. The food choices are identical to those provided under a contract with organizers last year, said bureau spokesman Craig Leff in Washington, D.C.
“We have every expectation that these issues will be resolved,” he said. “We have very good working relations with (organizers), and we want to continue to have good relations. We’re working hard with them to finalize the permit for this year’s event.”
[Source: Fox News]
Sounds like someone in DC has been told “fix this”…
U.S. Representative Mark Amodei, a Republican representing the part of Nevada where the festival is held, said in a phone interview the requests raised ethical questions and appeared to demand “the Black Rock Desert version of the Four Seasons hotel.” [Source: Reuters]
BMOrg are waiting for a response from the BLM today. On Sunday, they told the Reno Gazette Journal that they stand by their cost estimates, and that Burning Man is NOT Afghanistan.
Burning Man officials stood by their estimates of the BLM requests on Sunday. The organization has asked for an official response from the BLM by Monday, according to a letter from Burning Man addressed to Seidlitz.
“We stand by our estimates to accomplish what the BLM has required in the statements of work,” Jim Graham, Burning Man spokesman, said in an email Sunday to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
“They were submitted well into our production cycle for this year’s event, they include construction of an entirely new facility, and we maintain they have not considered more cost-effective alternatives. We look forward to working with BLM on solutions that meet everyone’s needs.”
Graham also questioned a comparison made by a federal BLM spokesman in the RGJ report that likened the amenities requested to those provided by the military to soldiers in Afghanistan.
“Burning Man is not Afghanistan,” Graham said.
[Update 6/29/15 1:27pm PST]
The BLM have said they are reviewing the request:
Update 12 p.m.: BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis issued the following statement Monday…”I am concerned about the reported costs associated with supporting the Burning Man festival. I have directed that BLM staff take a fresh look at the initial proposals for food and facilities at the event. Our priority is to provide for participant and employee health and safety, sanitation, and environmental compliance at this unique event that is attended by up to 80,000 people in a remote part of the Nevada Desert. I have full confidence in BLM staff and their ability to develop a plan that is cost efficient and ensures public health and safety.”
[Update 6/29/15 3:31pm PST]
The LA Times said Harry Reid’s fuming:
The BLM — the Department of the Interior agency that oversees permitting for Burning Man — has reportedly asked for a VIP compound to house staff at the festival’s Black Rock Desert location before it issues a permit for this year’s event.
And that has made Reid angry. Withhold-gifts angry. Leave-a-trace angry. Burn-something-in-effigy angry.
Gotta love the LA Times. Using emotional language to make a dry story more entertaining, and rile up their readers a little while they’re at it.
At the Grateful Dead last night, the Burners from Playa Slumlord told me they only have a few nice trailers left. The BLM should just rent those for their
VIPs senior officials. They can park them at the Blue Pit if they like, but to really experience Burning Man on our Civic Responsibility public dime, we should encourage them to Participate Immediately and get amongst it! Especially if they’re only coming for one bingo day.
Bureau of Land Management: Burning Man Rider
Mandatory Items for Breakfast
• Butter and margarine, instant hot cereal, jelly or jam, peanut butter, salt, pepper, sugar, cream (or substitute). These items shall be individually packaged. Mustard, ketchup, steak sauce, salt and pepper shall be provided in approved dispensers or original bottles in the dining trailer area.
• Salsa, hot peppers, brown sugar and raisins or other dried fruit shall also be made available, in appropriate serving containers, not individually packaged.
Mandatory Items for Hot Lunch/ Dinners
• Butter and margarine, jelly or jam, peanut butter, mustard, ketchup, steak sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, cream (or substitute), tea and hot chocolate. These items shall be individually packaged. Mustard, ketchup, steak sauce, salt, and pepper and other large scale condiments shall be provided in approved dispensers or original bottles in the dining tent area.
• Salsa and hot peppers shall also be made available, in appropriate serving containers, not individually packaged.
• A variety of dessert will need to be served with each dinner.
• Salad bar should be available for both lunch and dinner.
Hot meals between scheduled meal hours (These items are only available during non-meal hours. Please see Attachment 3 for meal times and more details)
• Grilled Cheese Sandwich
• Deli Sandwiches
• Hot dogs
• Grilled chicken
• Chicken fingers
Mandatory items for 24 Hour Service Bar
• Hot Regular Brewed Coffee (regular and decaffeinated). Flavored coffee may be served in addition to regular coffee at the Contractor’s option.
• Hot Water
• Hot Chocolate
• Chilled 100% Fruit Juice
• Brewed Coffee
• Tea Bags (regular and decaffeinated)
• Cold Drinks (Coke Products)
• Iced Tea (regular and decaffeinated)
• Assortment of Dry Cereal (Golden Grahams, Fruit loops, Raisin Bran and 1 other flavor)
• Chobani Greek Yogurt
• Bread both white and wheat
• English muffins
• Milk – Both white and chocolate milk shall be available
• Milk alternative (almond, vanilla, and soy)
• Including but not limited to the following: Personal pizzas, Hot Pockets, burritos, noodle cups, M&Ms, Snickers, Payday, Skittles, licorice, jerky, meat and cheese snacks, cookies, brownies, protein bars, nuts, chips, popcorn, fresh fruit, apples, oranges, bananas, etc.
Ice Cream: This needs to be in a standalone freezer for ice cream available all day long
• Choco Taco
• Individual served ice cream assorted flavors
• Ice cream sandwiches
And here’s a list of meal suggestions by BLM:
• Eggs – 2 fresh eggs (3 when scrambled) or 6 oz. of liquid eggs (no egg product).
• Meat – 4 oz. (raw uncooked weight).
• Bread or Hot cakes or French toast or Waffles – or equivalent starch (equal to 3 (1 to 1½ oz.) slices of bread.
• Potatoes – 6 oz. or equivalent starch
• Fresh Fruit
• Muffin(s) or equivalent – 3 oz.
Lunch and Hot Dinners
• Steak -10 oz. (boneless) or 14 oz. (bone-in), or Beef – 10 oz. (boneless) or 14 oz. (bone-in), or
• Beef and Pork Ribs – 10 oz. (boneless) or 18 oz. (bone-in), or Pork – 10 oz. (boneless) or 14 oz. (bone-in),, or Poultry – 8 oz. (boneless) or 14 oz. (bone-in), or Ham – 8 oz. (boneless) or 12 oz. (bone-in), or Fish – 8 oz.
Non Meat Protein – 4 oz.
• Vegetables – 4 oz.
• Potatoes – 6 oz. or equivalent starch.
• Bread – Two 1 to 1½ oz. slices or equivalent starch.
• Dessert – 4 oz.
Self-Service Salad Bar shall contain:
• Five salad toppings
• One tossed green salad with equal amounts of three types of leafy vegetables
• Three types of salad dressings (regular and/or low/non-fat)
• Three salad condiments.
• Regular and vegetarian sack lunches shall be provided as ordered by AJ Ramos. Vegetarian sack lunches shall be prepared for the Ovo-Lacto vegetarian classification level and shall consist of the same quantities and items as regular sack lunches.
• Definition: Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian – This is the most common form of vegetarianism. Ovo-Lacto vegetarians do not eat meat, chicken, fish or flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products. Sub categories are Ovo vegetarians that eat eggs but not dairy products, while Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs.
• NOTE: Pre-prepared sandwiches shall not be frozen. Sack lunches shall consist of the following items:
Entree 1 – One Meat Sandwich (or Sandwich with Non-meatSubstitute for Vegetarian)
• The sandwich shall be wrapped in plastic wrap or plastic bags.
• The sandwich shall contain two 1 to 1½ oz. slices of bread.
• The meat sandwich shall contain 3½ oz. sliced whole muscle meat or a combination of sliced whole muscle meat and cheese or equivalent vegetarian substitute.
• Appropriate individually packaged condiments shall be provided and not be put directly on the sandwich.
Entree 2 – Variety Item
• Fruit – The fruit shall be one apple or one orange or other fresh fruit of comparable size.
• Factory-Wrapped or Resealable Individually Wrapped Snack – Two (2) or more snacks with a combined minimum nutritional value of at least 600 calories. It is preferred that these snacks be high in complex carbohydrate content. All ingredients shall be identified and attached to the product for easy identification.
• Condiments – Four individual factory-wrapped packets of condiments appropriate for the entrees being served.
• Paper Napkin and Pre-Moistened Towelette
Menu items shall provide variety on a daily basis as to the types of meat and bread used in sandwiches, other sack lunch entrees, snacks, juices and other meal items served. Menus may include a wide variety of recipes. The following are examples of variety options.
• Steaks – rib, loin, T-bone, New York, sirloin, cubed, filet and pepper steak.
• Roast – Prime rib and sliced roast.
• Short Ribs – baked, broiled and barbecued.
• Ground Beef – lasagna, tasty meatloaf, meatballs in spaghetti sauce and ground beef patties.
• Chops – loin cut, spare-ribs, country style ribs and barbecued.
• Roast – sliced and tenderloin.
• Ham – sliced.
• Chops – grilled and barbecued.
• Roast – sliced.
• Sliced, or whole pieces or parts (such as breast, thigh or leg).
• Fish – grilled, baked fillets or steaks.
• Processed Meat Items – pastrami, Polish/Italian sausage and corned beef.
• Breakfast Meat – ham, bacon, sausage, steak and pork chops.
• Eggs – Fried, hard-boiled, poached, omelets or scrambled.
• Bread and Equivalent Starches – wheat, white, 7-grain, rye, pumpernickel, French, garlic, biscuits, muffins, rolls, croissants, bagels, cornbread, donuts, sourdough, tortilla and pita pocket.
• Dry Cereal – Varieties of flaked, toasted, or baked cold cereals and granola.
• Hot Cereal – Oatmeal or grits, Cream of Wheat®, etc.
• Fruit – oranges, tangerines, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, grapefruit, or melons.
• Dried Fruit – apricots, cherries, dates, mango, pineapple, pears, banana chips, peaches, prunes, raisins or other dried fruit.
• Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, corn, peas, green beans, mixed vegetables, etc.
• Non Meat Protein – BBQ beans, vegetarian patty, vegetarian hot dog, Tofu, beans, soybean product, bean burritos, peanut butter, cheese, tempeh, quinoa, hummus.
• Potatoes and Equivalent Starches – baked, mashed, fried, boiled, scalloped, rice, stuffing, pasta, sweet potatoes, or yams.
• Juice – orange, tomato, grape, V8type, apple, cranberry, or pineapple.
• Sandwich Meat and/or Cheese – ham, corned beef, roast beef, turkey, pork, beef pastrami, chicken, cheddar, Swiss, or other natural cheese, excluding American processed cheese.
• Salad Toppings – kidney, garbanzo or pinto beans; carrots, mushrooms, celery, cauliflower, green/red bell peppers, broccoli, cheese, cottage cheese, beets, peas, tomatoes, eggs, cucumbers.
• Prepared Salads – macaroni, carrot and raisin, potato, pea, gelatin, coleslaw, fruit, rice or pasta salads.
• Tossed Salad Greens – romaine, endive, iceberg, green leaf, red leaf, butter, spinach, or cabbage.
• Fruit – melons, peaches, grapes, bananas, strawberries, pears, applesauce or seasonal fruit.
• Salad Dressings – regular and low/non-fat French, Ranch, Italian, vinaigrette, Thousand Island, Blue Cheese, etc.
• Salad Condiments – croutons, wheat nuts, sunflower seeds, crackers and taco chips, bread sticks, olives, pickles, or other fresh pickled or marinated vegetables.
• Dessert – cakes, cookies, pies, cobblers, puddings, pastries or ice cream.
• Tea – black, herbal, green, and spiced. Flavored tea may be served in addition to regular tea at the Contractor’s option
• Milk – white, (Whole, 2%, Skim), and Chocolate.
• Milk alternative
• Snack Varieties – Candy bars, bagged candy, trail mix, cookies, and brownies. Granola bars, energy bars, fresh vegetables, pretzels, shelled nuts. Factory packaged meats such as dried meats, sausage, pepperoni, jerky, etc., are acceptable. Processed cheese and cheese food products are allowed for this item only. The Government retains its full right to reject any product offered under this paragraph if the quality of the product is rejected by users. For variety two different products shall be used each day.
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The soul of the BM died years ago. The greed, interference by government, mainstreaming, commodification and power hunger surrounding it now almost completely eclipses the event it self. It was a good run. My last burn was in 2012 and by reading articles like this I never want to go back. Bitter sweet. I am sad BM is over but glad I won’t be there to witness it’s protracted death which should be complete in just a few short years.
Kudos to Ms Kane for her awesome reporting.
The update to her reporting of BLM’s 20 worries on Burning Man emergencies, sanitation is most shocking.
‘In April, Burning Man submitted a 40-page working document that addressed “every single point” that the BLM made, according to Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell.’, with details, within the newspaper article, of the responses. By appearances, Mr Seidlitz, the BLM Winnemucca Burning Man manager, or whomever stated 13 of the 20 points were not addressed, was not truthful to the BLM Director, and to the newspapers.
Might I do this to an employer, I would be most deserving of being fired.
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I am so glad a dog in this surreal dogfight. Sorry, but after the manipulations, misrepresentations, narcissism and power plays of the BOrg, it is hard to feel sympathetic when they get the same in return.
Sure, you can cry for Grover and the rest of the “burners” whose ticket revenues are being used for self-serving luxuries, but compared to what other uses? The BLM is just cutting themselves in for a piece of the action. After all, modifying a Veyron for playa duty can be expensive. It’s now a contest in excess between those who have cards to play. And you can bet that the BLM has made some promises for more political “appearances” as trumps in their hand.
I just hope someone will promise to have a “Jump-The-Shark” ride on the playa, complete with tickets and photos with your friends you buy with BurnCoins(tm). [You heard it here FIRST!] …No money on the playa, just buy art car rides and theme camp access before you arrive, and then exchange them for BurnCoins(tm) to buy other experiences and trinkets.
Flies to the flypaper. Enjoy!!
The BLM, the BMOrg, and most especially, the BLM police, are in need of adult supervision. The BLM has the Nevada U.S. senators, and the other politicians, and the Reno Gazette Journal making attempts to be adult supervision, and the BMOrg is most in need of the Burning Man Project board to be adult supervision, in despite of Larry, and Marian, do not desire of them to do so. And, the Burners most deserving of cash from the $30.5 million of ticket sales, the artists, the mutant vehicle owners, the DPW, Gate, BRC Rangers, and camps whom provide entertainment towards the ticket buyers, obtain cash for solely a small bit of their costs, might these donors obtain any cash purposed to support their gifts to the BMOrg, and to the ticket buyers.
Don’t see any way for what you suggest to happen, ABP. There is no restoring force that can challenge the NPD motivations of the BOrg to desperately maintain their privileged status. The BLM just see themselves as being used by the BOrg, and want a piece of the action out of self-respect. Don’t see how Harry Reed or any political figure can be seen to “come to the aid” of the wasteful and disingenuous BOrg. If Larry LLC were living in pup tents and eating spam like some of the rest of us (most of the rest of us 10+ years ago), the BLM demands could be seen as abusive. But given the salaries and amenities afforded the inhabitants of First Camp, why should the BLM expect any less?
And who will manage all the BLM amenities? Sounds like a full time job for at least a few people. Yes, seems the BLM wants to be cut in on the sherpa action.
At this point we need Gordon Ramsey to arbitrate.
Talking with CNBC about a new series, “Burner Greed.” I think we have enough material now for two seasons.
Reno Gazette Journal, Burning Man, BLM to discuss VIP compound.
“Our goals for this meeting are to discuss options for better controlling BLM’s spiraling costs,” Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham said in an email Monday. “We believe BLM’s costs for managing the permit should be reasonable, documented and justified — as required by BLM regulations.
“During this meeting we hope to begin the dialogue about ensuring that these cost guidelines are met.”
The Reno Gazette Journal posted, on Sunday, ‘Our view: BLM’s botched Burning Man plan’. It is linked within ‘Burning Man, BLM to discuss VIP compound.’
In addendum, the Las Vegas Review Journal posted, on Sunday, in a most similar manner of the Reno Gazette Journal EDITORIAL: BLM’s Burning Man requests outrageous
Kudos are most deserved, by Ms Kane, in regards of her awesome articles. ‘Were Burning Man to agree to the initial requests, the compound would cost the event more than $1 million, bringing Burning Man’s 2015 permit fees to about $5 million, according to Graham.’ More correct statements, at present, might be ‘BLM compounds would cost the event more than $1 million’, of the cost of the new VIP compound, and the cost of the big BLM compound near to the service entrance of Burning Man, or ‘new requests, by the BLM, would cost the event near to $1 million’ in the manner Jim Graham stated within his radio interview, or, perchance, ‘luxuries, desired by the BLM, would cost the event more than $1 million’. In regards of solely the VIP compound, Burning Man lowered their number from the number they priorly stated, but the costs, of total are a rubbish $5 million, near to one half of a million dollars of each day of the event, for solely providing near to 80 police, and many bureaucrats to minister the permit and
stare at titsenjoy the event.
A thought here ( and there ) If the BLM requests are all about safety on the playa ( cough, cough ) Then Burning Man should make a few requests of their own. All BLM personnel are to be in uniform when on the playa so they can be easily found when a safety issue happens. After dark, 15 minutes after sunset to 15 minutes before sunrise they are to wear a hat with a flashing LED so they can be easily found in case of some safety issue. As there is a great amount of foot and bicycle traffic on the playa they should be on foot, on bicycle or in a motorized vehicle not capable of going more than 10 mph and the wheels are to be shielded to reduce the possibility of running over someone. Said vehicle shall not have enclosed occupant cabins and the only radios allowed will be 2 way for official use. Do not want those dear safety officers distracted by listening to the latest Justin Beiber or Beastie Boy oldie station. Hey, those big pickups and SUVs out there scare me.
If they do not like this they can pound playa dust up their ass.
An item missing in regards of this discussion is of the BLM police are not whom provides safety on the playa, it is solely the awesome, volunteer, Black Rock City Rangers whom provides safety on the playa. Might there be a crime, against Burners, of which there are few, of which requires the police, the Black Rock City Rangers are of the ability to radio the police. The BLM police care solely in regards of busting Burners for illegal substances.
“The BLM says that they are concerned about safety after the tragic death of a Burner last year, and that extra security people need to come now to assess things.”
You will find that up there just below the Blue Pit lay out. But all kidding aside. They do drive those big rigs around a lot where there is a lot of foot and bicycle traffic. Specially next to bicyclist that may not very stable ( me ) Even when sober, I am 65 and morbidly obese, I am not the most stable rider in the world. Add in a rough road and some traffic…… I can easily see a bicyclist getting ran over by a vehicle. It happens a lot in default world.
In addendum, the statement of Jim Graham of “We believe BLM’s costs for managing the permit should be reasonable, documented and justified” is most appropriate. But, the hypocrisy in regards of the BMOrg refuses to document their costs, and revenues, and conflicts of interests, towards donors of cash, stock, art, labour, and entertainment towards their ticket buyers, is most appalling. The BMOrg is of the ability, at present, to publish their 2014 990 form, their 2014 consolidated financial statement, and their statement of revenues and costs of the 2014 Burning Man, but they refuse to do so. Other 501(c)3 public benefit corporations do so, and the BMOrg requires of the regionals to publish this information, including of regionals that are 501(c)3 public benefit corporations.
My belief is of the Burning Man Project board must vote to require of the BMOrg to publish this information prior to the burn, in addendum of voting to require of the BMOrg to negotiate, within good faith, a most fair contract with the awesome artists. Paying solely 25 per cent of the costs of the temple, from ticket revenue, is not what honorable people do.
Might it be time to get out the Choco Tacos purposed to view the fireworks?
BLM director: We are addressing Burning Man issues
Our BLM nanny desires to minister Burning Man towards more of a Disneyland for Adults. Might this be the rationale of the Health and Safety JRS a month prior of the usual? By appearances, the 4 medical containers, within the VIP camp, are for the Humbolt General Hospital Winnemucca mates of the BLM, purposed to minister the new CrowdRX, and pissed in regards of the BMOrg accepted of the HGH termination of the contract. By appearances, the arguements of the BLM are exaggerated, purposed for rationale of their desired $5 million of costs. The plane accident, perchance fatal, was within 2003, most of the 67 trauma accidents were in due of rebar, and in due of bicycles, and, in regards of the drug overdoses, and alcohol poisoning, what was the number that were of a manner that they were of a need to go to Reno? Might the important environmental concerns, of the BLM, be solely oil drops, from automobiles, and blowing dust? The BLM wankers are most pissed in regards of their rubbish VIP camp, $5 million of costs, and other demands, were published of a most appropriate manner.
The rubbish BLM letter in regards of the 20 items of 2014, of total, state, in a manner most similar of Eric Cartman Respect mah authority, the chain of command must be obeyed in a most military manner.
Pingback: Radio Interview With BMOrg’s Jim Graham on ChocoTacoGate | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man
I made similar demands for my one-man, one-tent farting theme camp last year… alas, my demands were largely ignored except for the case of Hormel chili hand delivered by a naked clown.
I think I smelled that tent
Kudos to Ms. Kane in regards of her awesome reporting, and awesome updates to her post. Any manner of sending traffic towards her Reno Gazette Journal is most deserved.
‘In 2011, Burning Man paid $858,000; in 2012, $1.4 million and in 2013, $2.9 million.’ This is solely the cost recovery levy, the 3% levy is in addendum to this. The afterburn report of 2012 stated $1.8 million, of which, $1.2 million was the cost recovery levy, and near to $600,000 was the 3% levy. Within 2013, the BLM states of $2.8 million was the cost recovery levy, and $685,000 was the 3% levy. In addendum of the cost recovery levy and 3% levy of 2014, my belief is the $600,000 of 2014 was not paid to the BLM, the $600,000 was in due of the requirements of the BLM, paid towards others. Might it have been paid to the BLM, it would be within the cost recovery levy.
By appearance, from the plan, the costs of the posh Blue Pit camp are near to $300,000, and the comforts desired at their big BLM camp, near to the service entrance of Burning Man, in addendum of the costs of other places, might be a bigger number, near to $1 million dollars of total, near to $8,000 for each BLM and Pershing County arse for solely 10 days of camping in the desert. By appearance, as is the usual, the BMOrg statements are not true, but, of total, the comforts are near to the stated $1 million dollars.
The crime of the BLM ministers is in regards of their taking of near to $5 million dollars, near to the cash in due of 12,000 tickets, the BLM within Winnemucca, and their police, are much in need of adult supervision. The BMOrg hiring of the prior Director of the BLM, Bob Abbey, is most appropriate, he is mates with the adults.
A part of the difficulties is in regards of the BLM ministers, and their mates, are in due of they do not desire to associate with the great unwashed, they desire their own posh Blue Pit camp, separate from their troops, and their $3.5 million dollar BLM Black Rock Station, and Brunos motel, are not of the proper manner of comfort. The BLM ministers do not desire their troops to associate with unwashed Burners, prior of 2014, they ate in the Burning Man cafeteria at 5:00 and E, conversing with Burning Man staff and volunteers, but that is most unacceptable. At present, they desire their own cafeteria, and washing machines, within their big BLM camp near to the service entrance of Burning Man.
Viewing this again, the numbers for the costs of which I stated are far too small, the costs of managing, and contracting, in regards of the BLM rubbish must be added to the numbers. The response of the BMOrg is most appropriate, it is a no bid, stating towards them, of the BLM is most welcome to eat within the Burning Man cafeteria and converse with Burners, and of might you desire a luxury VIP camp, in the place of your $3.5 million Black Rock Station, you construct it, and of Burning Man is not paying for it.
A difficulty is in due of the DPW, the volunteer labourers whom would construct the comforts, have been treated in a most horrible manner by the BLM police, and the BLM police desire the awesome arses of the DPW to construct the comforts for them. It is within the manner of requesting of a black community, in the manner of Ferguson, Baltimore, or Cleveland, or a Muslim community near to Paris, to volunteer to construct a new police station, it will not be constructed. The comments, below, of Mr Whatever, and Blame the Lame, are most common within the volunteers. Adult supervision of the BLM, and of the BLM police, is most needed.
Might Fox News, or others, desire an awesome interview, contact this gent You don’t need an RV to go to Burning Man, you solely need trucks to transport the other manners of camping for 10 days in the desert.
A person dying on the playa isn’t that big a deal? In a city, first responder response time is expected to be under 4 minutes. Burning Man has proven again and again that it is not equipped to handle a pop-up city of 70,000 people as a municipality would–nor should it, but at the VERY least, it should provide adequate, first world emergency care. Safety and Medical care should be organizer’s top priority, given the remoteness of the location, the searing heat (despite the plethora of air conditioned motor homes, Billionaire’s Row, A/C tents) and recreational drug use. First Responders on duty are not there to partay… They’re there to save lives. They should be in top form, be rested, have quick access, and their necessary gear handy. As you yourself have noted, BM Directors pay themselves enormous salaries to throw this desert shindig–a million dollars is a cheap build in the middle of nowhere.
It’s hard to see how the Blue Pit VIP compound is going to save lives.
So… I guess you have a really low opinion of ESD. How about backing those statements up? I started to quote you so you could respond, but I found myself re-typing your post. So, tell us how they’ve proven over and over they’re not equipped to handle the vent. Tell us how safety isn’t a priority. What would you do different?
“A person dying on the playa isn’t that big a deal?”
Basic straw man argument that BLM is using to justify their demand for a long time slot sucking at the Burning Man money tit.
Their presence (and response) to past injuries and deaths has been secondary to the strong, competent skills that past REMSA volunteer and contractors bring to critical response situations.
Yes, I volunteer for Burning Man. Long time volunteer actually.
Yes, I’m *quite* aware of how the funding request dance works.
Yes, I know what I’m talking about.
Yes, BLM is blowing smoke up the ass of the RGJ, the BM ORG, the attendees, Dept of Interior and anyone else they think they can bullshit about their fucking ridiculous needs and wants.
BLM Winnemucca staff have basically morphed into a bunch of pussified, worthless fuck, Prima donnas. Top of the heap of those gun toting, penile compensating thugs is BLM Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz. A true pussy.
Why is it even a question to provide toilets and a/c facilities for land managers and first responders, who have to be on duty, close to what is by any measure an instant city in a remote and climatically hostile environment? BM is insincere if it’s crying poverty. 70,000 people are shelling out $400-$800 a pop and judging by the array of motor homes, electrical lights and other creature comforts they haul in, this is not a convention of survivalists. It’s the responsible thing to do.
Is that who the VIP containers are for?
Kim, you’re really starting to sound like a shill for the BLM and their antagonistic, head banging thugs.
I don’t think anyone here has suggested that first responders (REMSA, EMTs, Crisis intervention, etc.) are being denied basic accommodations while on the playa doing the work that they’ve elected to do. The contention is that what they’re demanding in their attempts at extorting the event go well beyond any semblance of reasonableness.
That story in the Reno Gazette was so editorialized and utterly lacking in context, it appeared to be a copy and paste of a BM press release, that I went looking for more information. To this Blogger’s credit, there is actually coverage of some of the less artsy, more crass money aspects of BM. A million bucks is a cheap build in the desert, and it makes one wonder why BM hasn’t offered to do more to ensure that participants,who are paying an awful lot of money for a patch of dirt, have the best medical and emergency care available.
Yes a death on the playa is a big deal. There have been others, and there will be more from who knows what cause. On BLM ground how many deaths occur annually? ATV accidents have been going up over the years. Add hunting, just driving around, people getting lost. The response time out there will almost always be greater than at BM. Probably far far greater. Several hours would not be uncommon. Do they say anything about that? BLM also says this is similar facilities they have on fires. Ok, a fire is very different and a fire is an undetermined amount of time, springs up at unexpected places and times and they are dealing with a situation that is constantly in a great amount of flux. Far greater than at Burning Man. From looking at Dan Love’s past, it looks to me he just has a stick up his BYU ass ( my opinion there, I know many fine BYU grads and know of a few that are burners ) against Burning Man and wants posh accommodations so he can go out to the playa and look at the tities while he crushes BM. PS. I am an ex Mormon from a very old LDS family so I kind of know the mind set of some of these people. And probably have a chip on my shoulder.
Is it Larry’s job to separate out the red M&Ms, or does that go to a volunteer?
It’s a classic case of reaping what you sow, imo. BLM knows how decadent First Camp is with their eyebrow-raising delicacies, sherpas, and accommodations. Then BLM looks at their own shit conditions, but they’ve put up with it until now – until Caravancicle was allowed to happen.
I don’t blame BLM for wanting a piece of the good life while they’re busting their asses out there unable to enjoy themselves like everyone else. It’s the least BMorg can do. It’s just a matter of raising the ticket price next year to cover the expense this year and then you just hire people to do the job.
I want to know how I can volunteer to clean BLM’s toilets.
At some point, the BORG needs to buy land for the event and quit renting from the BLM. I know they’ve been looking at a piece nearby. The BLM looks at Burning Man as a cash cow and continues to milk it.
Details in regards of the the primitive accommodations available in Gerlach, the BLM constructed a new BLM center near to Gerlach, with a 2,000 square foot bunkhouse, with a common use kitchen area, a common use dining area/living room, six to eight small bedrooms, two full bathrooms, in addendum of 1,300 square foot of office and work space, and RV hookups. The $3.5 million BLM center opened within 2011 August.
In addendum, BLM might desire to lease the big school in Gerlach, in due of solely near to 10 students are within Gerlach, and they desire the cash.
thanks for these helpful links. I agree that they would be better served helping the school, I bet the 10 kids would love to meet some VIPs in the service of their country!
I know of one undercover fbi that has attended the event while on duty. So tahoe yes they have been there. dEA no question they are there and have even arrested people. Well had county sheriffs do it.
Also,fui that meal request is i would expect quite normal for a long stay for blm employees at an area event such as burning man
FBI has not attended remotely recently. I had a long discussion with this about this with a family member who is an FBI agent. He told me that there is simply nothing going on a Burning Man that is of interest to that agency, i.e. no terrorism, financial crimes, mafia, corruption, that kind of thing. They don’t deal with drugs, that’s the DEA, nor the general federal law enforcement things handled by BLM and maybe some smaller agencies.
Six of one and half a dozen of the other, of course… at the end of the day federal agents are just federal agents, and the playa is crawling with them.
(The memo we saw recently was just a document alerting the regional FBI office that Burning Man exists and is happening.)
You mean this one (from 2010) http://burners.me/2015/04/27/dea-activity-at-burning-man-sorry-thats-classified/
Are you suggesting that the BMorg is in cohorts with the BLM on this? Also can you please provide info on when the FBI and DEA ever showed up at Burning Man, thanks.
What makes you think I am suggesting that?
Click the link FBI and DEA for the source.