Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

If You’re Worried About Your Bike Getting Stolen While Shopping at Lucky, Just Bring It In With You No Big Deal

July 30th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I’ve parked my ride in front of this Lucky, the so-called “Ghetto Lucky” of the NoPA Western Addition without locking it up about 20 times now. With no trouble.

It would never occur to me to just bring a bike into a gro sto…

Here She Is: Le Grand Doyenne de San Francisco – Cruising the Financh with Driving Gloves in a Jeep Grand Wagoneer

July 30th, 2014

Saw this woman a couple years ago on Battery in the Financial – very striking, like something out of a movie.

Anyway, I just saw this ride parked on the street in a location that would make you say, “Well of course that’s where this lady lives.”

Click to expand

Look for the woody with JMG monogrammed on the door…

OMG, I’m Confused: Rent a Tiny “Sleeping Room” on Page Street for $1250/Mo? But What About Rent Control?

July 30th, 2014

Or $1150, that’s the latest price for 1880 Page Street #3B. Excerpts from craigslist:

“Video Tour at http://youtu.be/8OEgeklUCDQ
Large sleeping room has newer carpet, sink with granite counter & closet. There is a shared hall bath. No Kitchen.
This is a rent control apartment.
Students, international students, co-signers all welcome.
Studio / 1 Bath in Haight Ashbury
Rent: $1,150
Square feet: 200″

So I’m thinking there’s gotta be a kitchen associated with this apartment somewhere, right?

Hey, what about 1880 Page Street #3A?

Well, I think I’ve found the kitchen.

Mmmm. It might be hard to believe but when we were deep into our Great Recession back in aught-ten, you could rent a two-bed on Page in the Upper Haight for a mere $1600 per month. See?

“Price: $1,595
2 Bedrooms
1 full Bathroom
650 sqft”

If this two-bedroom unit rented for $1600 back in 2010 and the same tenant(s) is/are still there, then the current rent is going to be $1600-something per month, let’s guess, assuming no pass-throughs from the landlord.

Let me now direct you to Topic No. 359: Section 6.15c(3) Petitions Based on Proportional Rent.

Uh oh.

But hey, maybe a new master tenant moved in to the two-bed just this year in high-rent 2014. In that case the rent could be what, like $4000 per month? IDK, I’m not up on things, pricewise. Anyway, imagining this, then maybe $1,000 or $1,250 or something like that per month is a fair price for just 30% of the apartment?

But then, no kitchen.

Uh oh:

California Civil Code section 1941 states that when a landlord rents property to a tenant as a place to live, the property must be in a “habitable” condition. (“Habitable” means fit to live in; “uninhabitable” means not fit to live in.) Section 1941 also states that the landlord must repair problems that make the property uninhabitable – except for problems caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests, children or pets. In order for the property to be habitable, it must have … [a] kitchen with a sink, which cannot be made of an absorbent material (for example, wood)…”

Oh, and lastly, “SLEEPING ROOM?” Hey, you’re a naive international student right? Well, here’s your new sleeping room, hurray!

In the words of John Malkovich, WTF to that.

Or maybe Unit #3 used to be a three bedroom?

In closing, “Amenities:  Carpet”

In closing, never forget Kitchens.

[UPDATE: "This posting has been flagged for removal." But you can still find the ad below - just click on over.]

$1150 / 200ft² – Page Street Sleeping Room – No Kitchen (haight ashbury)
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© craigslist – Map data © OpenStreetMap
1880 Page Street
(google map) (yahoo map)

0BR / sharedBa 200ft2 apartment available aug 01
laundry in bldg street parking

Open House Dates
tuesday 2014-07-29

1880 Page Street #3B

Bill Harkins Brokerage #01230576
www.billharkins.com

Video Tour at http://youtu.be/8OEgeklUCDQ

1880 Page Street is located close to Golden Gate Park, USF, UCSF, Haight Street & transportation and much more.

Large sleeping room has newer carpet, sink with granite counter & closet. There is a shared hall bath. No Kitchen.

This is a rent control apartment.

Lease Terms:
12 months then month to month rent control apartment. No pets. Students, international students, co-signers all welcome.

Tenants provide current downloaded pdf file of credit report showing FICO score by e-mail along with application provided by broker.

Please no applications prior to viewing. Co-signers provide same application and credit report. Students under 21 with co-signers do not need to provide credit reports. Some California high value property owner co-signers do not need to provide credit report. Service animals welcome please submit all requests for reasonable accommodation with application for owners approval.

PG&E, water and garbage included.
Coin laundry room off 1st level lobby.
Square feet is estimate.
Smoking designations follows.

10 unit complex designated non smoking building
Final smoking designation not yet named or due till 12/31/14
#3C, #4 and #6 are smoking optional
#1, #2, #3A, #3B, #5, #8, #9 non smoking (no unit #7 exists)

Details:
Studio / 1 Bath in Haight Ashbury
Rent: $1,150
Square feet: 200

Location:
1880 Page St #3B, San Francisco (Haight Ashbury)

Amenities:
* Carpet
* On Site Laundry

Contact:
Bill Harkins, Bill Harkins Brokerage, Inc

Wow: San Jose Mayor and Democrat Chuck Reed Endorses Republican Ashley Swearengin for State Controller

July 29th, 2014

I don’t know what’s behind this:

Wow.

Joe Eskenazi and John Wildermuth weigh in.

(Yeah, but even so, you just do a “no endorsement” deal, right?)

And this is Chuck Reed’s daughter, the 39-year-old the Air Force Lt. Col? Hatchi matchi! 

A Query at the Lucky Super: “ARE YOU ARMY STRONG?” – Our US Military is Now Actively Recruiting in the 415 / 628

July 29th, 2014

I used to see these military recruiters on Davis Street like every day. They’d park their small American-made cars at the meters all day long, but they’d never pay, oh well.

Anyway, I’m strong all right, but I’ve never asked myself if I’m, you know, ARMY strong, so I found this banner intriguing…

Remembering the Aughts: When San Francisco Hippies Wore Crocs Shoes, Srsly

July 29th, 2014

As seen in Civic Center back in the aughts:

How will we remember The Aughts? IDK.

This is how I’ll remember the aughts, a time when you (well, not you yourself, but some people, well, maybe just one person, for some reason) could easily recover from big, big mistakes like this

Confession: I still have a pair of Crocs (pink, size XXL, thank you very much) from that time Costco sold a few container ships worth, back in the aughts. Of course they weren’t counterfeit, but they were less than $15 and that pissed off the Crocs people oh well.

Is This Piper Cherokee Over San Francisco Operating at Minimum Safe Altitude? You Make The Call

July 29th, 2014

Was this airplane at least 500 feet above Pacific Heights as it journeyed north the other day?

I don’t know. I don’t think so.

Planes is dangerous.

Burning Daylight: Why are the Streetlights of Presidio Heights ON in the Daytime?

July 29th, 2014

Let’s see here, Presidio Heights has had fancier-than-average street lights for a while now, ’cause why not, right?

These days, LED lights are the new thang, so Presidio Heights is getting them as well. And SFGov puts up signs for the rich denizens asking, “Hey what do you think of the new lights, let us know,” kind of thing.

But these new lights are on like all the time. Like this:

Oh well.

Our streetlight people must think we’re made of money.

AND THAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS!*

Pick a stupid catch-phrase for the SFPUC to use about LED lights, which I’ve had in my crib for years:

1. leading edge

2. state of the art

3. world-class

The answers are #1 and #2 – I haven’t come across the SFPUC talking about the “world-class” lights they leave on all the live long day yet, but one of these days I prolly will.

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feelin’
Streetlight people

*Not really. But I’m pointing out just one example of a pretty big difference betwixt how our PUC sees itself and how it actually is IRL.

Reader Notes:

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission invites interested community members to attend a public meeting to discuss our upcoming Street Light Wireless Control Pilot Project.

The purpose of this pilot project is to test a suite of leading edge wireless technologies which will be mounted on several new, environmentally friendly LED street light fixtures in the vicinity of Washington Street between Arguello and Presidio. Some of the wireless technologies will enable more effective monitoring and control of LED fixtures (including adaptive lighting, which allows for off-peak hour modification of street light levels), and some technologies will support other services, like electric meter reading, pollution monitoring and traffic signal control. The pilot project will allow us to try out the proposed technologies before the City begins converting all City-owned street lamps to LED fixtures.

MEETING DATE AND LOCATION:
January 16, 2013
6:30pm to 7:30pm
Presidio Branch, SF Public Library
3150 Sacramento Street, at Lyon
Downstairs Meeting Room
For more information, contact:  Kenya Briggs, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Communications Division,415-554-0715kbriggs@sfwater.org.
(Please note: this is not a Library Sponsored Program.)

And there’s this:

We’re testing a state-of-the-art street lighting system comprising light-emitting diode (LED) street lights and wireless monitoring and control equipment. The new remote controls and ultra-efficient LED fixtures, which replace high-pressure sodium street light fixtures, have been installed in these neighborhoods:
The Inner Sunset, on Irving Street between 7th Avenue and 14th Avenue
Presidio Heights, on Washington Street between Walnut Street and Maple Street
Our public survey period ended at close of business on February 24, 2014. Many, many thanks to everyone who participated in the online survey and live demonstration events. You can read a comprehensive analysis of the survey results here.

Residents and businesses in the test areas were briefed on the installations during community meetings last winter. The new, ultra-efficient LED street lights will consume 50% less energy and burn three-to-four times longer than existing lamps. In addition, the LED’s will be:

monitored and controlled remotely (removing the need for members of the public to report broken lamps)

equipped with an adaptive lighting feature which allows for energy-saving off-peak hour adjustment of street light levels

powered by 100% greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric energy (just like all City street lights)

Thanks for your support! Please feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions at: LED@sfwater.org.

(NOTE: A third LED street light system with wireless controls, installed downtown on Pine Street between Davis and Montgomery, was not included in the online survey or live demonstration events. Live, on-site demonstrations of the Irving and Washington Street installations took place on January 22 and 23, 2014.)”