Classic Photo from Market Street: Shoplifter, Image of Shirtless Abercrombie & Fitch Model, SFPD Officer

September 2nd, 2015

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Profiles in Courage: SF Bicycle Coalition Claims “NO AFFILIATION” with Critical Mass – And Yet – Supposed Safety Organization

September 2nd, 2015

Let’s take a look:

“‘Critical Mass has definitely brought attention to bicycle issues, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,’ said Leah Shahun, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.”

And now, let’s fast forward to today to get this:

SF Bicycle Coalition@sfbike Aug 31 @HansOngchua We heard and have no affiliation, of course. Terrible news, though we appreciate you looping us.

Now srsly, I don’t think people were accusing the SFBC of being “affiliated” with Critical Mass, I think they were looking for the SFBC to disavow the actions of the U-lock attacker.

So to have a blanket response like “no affiliation, of course” [you ignorant fool], well that doesn’t really cut the mustard now, do it.

‘Cause this is coming from a taxpayer-subsidized org, right? A government-funded organization that takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from us for the purpose of bicycle-related safety, and all they can come up with is:

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OK fine.

Comes now Chris Carlsson to disavow, to fill the void.

What are we spending all our money on, if the SFBC washes its hands of the matter and says, NO COMMENT, like literally to this, to 165k Views and counting?

IDK.

Prop F Update: Let’s Look at Both Sides of SF Proposition F (2015), the Airbnb Law – Fixing Frisco’s Broken Short-Term Rental Mess

September 2nd, 2015

I’ll tell you, I don’t care what you do or where you rest your noggin at night. Now I think it’s noteworthy when I spot Airbnb users in the Western Addition or the Sunset or wherever, ’cause they stand out (without realizing it) like a sore thumb, but I don’t have anything against tourists milling about, you know, per se. They ask me about parking laws. I try to help out. I tell them which way to curb their tires, ’cause a lot of them just don’t get it. And I know people who use Airbnb, and I know people who make some money letting rooms and units via Airbnb and the VRBO.

So that’s where I stand. Now let’s take a look at Prop F via ShareBetterSF:

1. Limits short-term rentals to 75 nights per year, regardless of whether a ‘host’ is present

THIS LOOKS GOOD TO ME. THE WHOLE “HOST PRESENT” THING APPEARS TO BE A GIANT LOOPHOLE COOKED UP BY AIRBNB ITSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR DAVID CHIU. THE RULES THAT HE AND AIRBNB CAME UP WITH ARE A HUGE, UNWORKABLE MESS, IMO.

2. Requires quarterly reports to the Planning Department on the number of nights a unit is rented to tourists

IF YOU’RE RENTING OUT A ROOM OR A UNIT, YOU’D NEED A REGISTRATION NUMBER AND YOU’D NEED TO REPORT HOW MANY TIMES YOU DID IT EVERY THREE MONTHS. SOUNDS PRETTY SIMPLE TO ME. SOUNDS A LOT SIMPLER THAN, SAY, THE EXTRA WORK YOU’LL HAVE TO DO WHEN ANNUAL TAX TIME COMES. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH OF A BURDEN ON YOU, THE PERSON RENTING OUT ROOMS, PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS BIDNESS?

3. Fines ‘hosting platforms’ (like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway) for listing unregistered units

BAM. IF YOU HAVE A REG. NUMBER, YOU CAN LIST. IF YOU DON’T, YOU CAN’T.

4. Provides other building tenants, neighbors and neighborhood associations with notice when a unit is registered as a short-term rental

SO SFGOV WOULD SEND OUT A BRACE OF LETTERS EVERY TIME A UNIT GETS REGISTERED – THIS IS A ONE-TIME DEAL, RIGHT? AGAIN, DOES THIS SEEM SO UNREASONABLE?

5. Allows other building tenants & neighbors to go to court to protect their rights to the quiet enjoyment of their homes when the City fails to enforce the law

SO THERE ARE YOUR TEETH. THIS IS WHY AIRBNBER’S WILL ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO SF PROP F 2015.

[INTERMISSION]

NOW LET’S HEAR FROM AIRBNB::

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1. WELL, YEAH, I GUESS, AIRBNB – YOU COULD CHARACTERIZE THINGS THAT WAY. BUT LET’S SAY AN AIRBNBER FROM WALNUT CREEK BUYS A BUILDING AND THEN AIRBNBS ALL THE UNITS 365/366 DAYS A YEAR – THIS IS WHAT THE PROP F PEOPLE WOULD CALL “RUNNING A HOTEL.” IF I WERE SAID BUILDING OWNER LIVING IN WALNUT CREEK, I’D BE VERY AFRAID OF PROP F, SO I’D PAY ATTENTION TO IT, RIGHT? IS THAT SO BAD?

2. WELL, I LIVE IN SF, AIRBNB. SO I DON’T THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO ME, RIGHT? I THINK THE “DATA” WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW MANY TIMES A QUARTER YOU, THE AIRBNBER, ARE IN BUSINESS. SO FAR, YOU’RE NOT REALLY SCARING ME AWAY FROM PROP F HERE, AIRBNB. BUT LET’S SOLDIER ON…

3. SFGOV AND AIRBNB HAVE MADE A HASH OF THIS PROCESS SO FAR. THE CURRENT SYSTEM ISN’T WORKING, SORRY. THIS IS WHY PROP F QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT, RIGHT?

4. HEY, AREN’T MOST IN-LAW UNITS IN TOWN ALREADY “BANNED?” I THINK SO. I THINK IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T CODE COMPLIANT. WHY SHOULDN’T WE LEGALIZE THESE UNITS FIRST, IF THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AFORE WE START WORRYING ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN MAKE OFF OF THEM? AND IF THIS IN-LAW ISSUE IS SUCH A BIG CONCERN A FEW YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AFTER THE POSSIBLE LEGALIZATION OF THESE UNITS, WELL, THEN WE CAN VOTE AGAIN, RIGHT? PERHAPS THIS WILL BE A BIT CUMBERSOME, BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE A REGULATORY CAPTURE SUCH AS THE ONE WE’RE IN.  

So, IDK, am I missing something here? What am I missing? Any beef you have against Prop F is displaced anger – those responsible are the people who created the current situation. Oh what’s that, Airbnb, you say the rules from Prop F are “too extreme?” Well, that’s because, unlike the current regs,  you didn’t write them. See how that works, Airbnb? Perhaps you should have cooked up a fairer set of rules for yourself, and then Prop F never would never have gone on the ballot, right?

So tell me, Gentle Reader, what am I missing here?

Otherwise, I’m a-voting YES ON PROP F.

“Non-Violent” ZipCar Smasher has an Interesting Shirt from the United Farm Workers

September 1st, 2015

Here’s the latest on this one:

Critical Mass window smasher was wearing T-shirt advocating non-violence by Evan Sernoffsky

Oh, I read it as The Union is Our Strength. And I thought, oh, I guess that makes sense.

But the real quote is much better.

Anyway, here’s the front of the shirt – it depicts the UFW eagle morphing into a white winged dove* with a sprig of laurel:

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Anyway, this is some excellent blogging from Evan Sernoffsky…

*Well, only a regular dove, but it’s just like the white-winged dove.

OMG, the Circus is Coming to Town – Nine Shows At the Cow Palace Sept 3-7 – See the Elephants Before They Retire to Florida

September 1st, 2015

Well, here’s the news from National Geographic:

Ringling Bros. to Retire Its Circus Elephants – The circus will send its traveling Asian elephants to a conservation center by 2018.”

That means a 145-year tradition is about to end and this might be your last chance to see it.

I’m going, I’ll take a couple little squirts down there – I’ve never seen a circus.

At the Cow Palace this month, it’ll look something like this

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Jan. 3, 2015 photo provided by Feld Entertainment Inc. – elephants perform at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL

People seem to like this version of the road-show.

S A N F R A N C I S C O

WHEN: Thursday, September 3 – Monday, September 7

Thursday, September 3 7:00 PM

Friday, September 4 7:00 PM

Saturday, September 5 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, September 6 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Monday, September 7 11:30 AM & 3:30 PM

WHERE: Cow Palace – 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City, CA, 94134

TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $20, $27, $40 (VIP) and $75 (Front Row) Opening Night discount tickets are just $15! (select seating only; not valid on VIP/premium levels) All seats are reserved; tickets available thru Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the venue Box Office. *Tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees

See you there!

(Earworm: I’M BACK IN METROPOLIS, CIRCUSES AND ELEPHANTS, WHERE THE ORANGES GREW)

All the deets:

“Extreme Thrills, Exotic Animals and Extraordinary Performers Take Circus to Max With The All-New Show
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME Coming To Sam Francisco September 17-20, 2015

(San Francisco, CA) – Prepare to be astonished and amazed by some of the coolest acts ever as Ringling Bros. goes to new extremes with the all-new energetic circus production, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME.  Children Of All Ages can let their imagination go wild in an exhilarating adventure with extraordinary circus artists and exotic animals. From the highest mountains to the deepest seas, join us as we explore a world of extreme beauty, flexibility, strength and dexterity in ways you’ve never seen before at The Greatest Show On Earth.®  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME blends extreme circus displays for the ultimate family fun entertainment experience, playing  the Cow Palace in San Francisco on Thursday, September 3 through Monday, September 7.

Guided by Ringmaster David Shipman, Circus XTREME pushes the limits of excitement to features artists who redefine the word extreme in everything they do, magnifying beloved traditional elements of the circus and combining them with never-before-seen contemporary spectacles, original fast-paced performances and incredibly hilarious moments. Featuring an international assembly of over 100 performers spanning 13 countries around the world, the Ringling Bros. 145th Edition is highlighted by several unique acts including:

Xtreme Sports display featuring BMX freestyle riders, energetic parkour performers, trampoline acrobats and slack line gymnastics tricks
Caravan of Camels – the only act of it’s kind in the world featuring 6 twin-humped Bactrian camels
Bungee Skydivers aerial acro-ballet
World’s youngest human cannonball Gemma “The Jet” Kirby has been shot from the cannon nearly 500 times
Mongolian Marvels strongmen create a human pyramid with a combined weight of over 880 pounds

Additional circus elements highlighted in the show including Bengal tiger presenter Taba; daredevil whirling Pendulum of Steel performance;  edge-of-your-seat high wire stunts, hilarious poodle tricks; of course no show would be complete without the Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and treasured performing pachyderms!

Be sure to arrive early to experience several fun-filled interactive elements before the show starts included with the ticket price – visit the Animal Open House to get up-close with our amazing animal stars and the All Access Pre-Show where families can step onto the arena floor to meet our performers, learn circus skills, try on costumes and much more!”

“<--BED BUGS-->” – A Friendly Warning on an Abandoned Couch in the Western Addition

August 31st, 2015

As seen near USF:

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Our Rec & Park Gods Must Be Crazy: Grassy Knoll in the GGP Panhandle Newly Turfed, But Now Deturfed – Brown Brown

August 31st, 2015

Here’s shot of a 2000-something square foot knoll from a couple years back, in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle – keep off our expensive new turf, man is what RPD was saying with the temporary cyclone fencing:

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Nice and green, huh? This was the color of the Mound when the (fake) Rain Garden went in:

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But now here’s how things stand today betwixt the Panhandle Bathroom Building the and Panhandle Bike Path:

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This brown mound will become a “planted area,” whatever that means:

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Trot out any RPD spokesmodel with an explanation and I’ll have a counter for it. Hey, maybe the Panhandle shouldn’t be a lawn? Hey, maybe decisions about how to handle Our Current Drought shouldn’t be driven by the concerns of Area Realtors? Hey, maybe we should repave the Panhandle’s currently abysmal Oak-side walking path now and worry about installing a bunch of “irrigation” later? Or, hey, maybe just forget about irrigation and let Gaia take its course?

Just asking.

*Look at the definition and then YOU MAKE THE CALL, Gentle Reader. This “rain garden” is irrigated, just like the center pivot irrigation you see in Flyover Country. 

Fell Street Blues: Severe Tailgating Edition

August 31st, 2015

Westbound Fell at Masonic.

This might be OK:

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But this isn’t – this is tailgating, CVC 21703:

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A close-up:

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And off and away on Fell, heading into the sunset:

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Cyclist took the lane until he didn’t – any incident would be on the driver.

This concludes Fell Street Blues.

A Tale of Two Pedestrians: WHO’LL BE THE NEXT JOGGER TO GO FROM OAK & MASONIC DIRECT TO SFGH?

August 28th, 2015

Well, I suppose it’s three peds, actually. Now let’s see how they do:

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See that?

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The two peds on the left act properly and the jogger ped does not.

As per usual…

There’s room for improvement at this intersection, SFGov/SFMTA.

Just saying.