Archive for June, 2010

The San Francisco Chronicle Covers the Heck Out of Miss Universe Australia 2010

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

How many photos do you think our San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate (San Francisco’s Online Newspaper) recently devoted to the topic of Miss Universe Australia 2010? Well, take a look here at 21(!)  high heels ‘n bikini-type shots.

Here’s the bulk of the copy:

“The 30 women were judged across three sections: evening-wear, question-and-answer and, of course, swimwear.”

Swimwear, “of course!” Of 19 action verbs in the captions, “parade(s)” led the pack – it was used 17 times. Throw in a “poses” and a “strikes a pose” and then all’s that left to do is wait for the Pulitzer Committee to call with instructions for the awards ceremony.

Let’s round things out and give you an even two dozen. The mise-en-scene, down under:

Oh no, high voltage electronics and hot tubs don’t mix, ladies:

And plunging necklines, as expected, sort of:

What should we expect next – 75 shots from Miss Universe Upper Volta 2010? Something like that.

What has SFGate become, the Huffington Post?

OMG, Tully’s Coffee, Bringer of Free Wi-Fi, Offers Free Coffee Friday Morning!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Don’t drink coffee myself, but that doesn’t stop me from bogarting Tully’s sweet, reliable, free Wi-Fi whenever I feel like it. (Didn’t Mayor Gavin Newsom promise free Wi-Fi for San Francisco in a State of the City address half a decade ago? Yes, yes he did, before he lost interest in the whole deal. Oh well.)

Anywho, I can’t tell you how many people I know who just loooove Tully’s coffee and/or the soft-serve ice cream that they sell for cheap. Well rejoice, ’cause participating stores are going to jump start your long Fourth of July weekend by offering free drip coffee from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM this Friday, July 2, 2010.

Check it:

Click to expand

Collect your booty at these locations:

Crocker 50 Post St San Francisco, CA 94104
225 Bush 225 Bush St San Francisco, CA 94104
425 Market 425 Market St San Francisco, CA 94105
303 2nd Street 303 2nd St San Francisco, CA 94107
1661 Pine 1661 Pine St San Francisco, CA 94109
Embarcadero 2 Embarcadero Ctr San Francisco, CA 94111
Fillmore 2455 Fillmore St San Francisco, CA 94115
Cole 919 Cole St San Francisco, CA 94117
Lakeshore 1509 Sloat Blvd San Francisco, CA 94132

See you there!

And, actually, they’re doing this all over the West, so check it out, after the jump.


San Francisco Public Library Wins Award and Cash for 2009 Fine Amnesty Program

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Remember last year when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and others participated in the San Francisco Public Library’s fine amnesty program? Well, it was such a success that the SFPL just got an award.

And, bonus, the Presidio Branch Library got back a 1947 print of George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. It was 45 years overdue.

Remember, give a hoot, read a book!

All the deets:

San Francisco Public Library Receives National John Cotton Dana Award at American Library Association Annual Conference
Recognition for 2009’s Fine Amnesty Program, “Return the Books”
The San Francisco Public Library was one of six libraries nationwide to be honored with a John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award Sunday at the annual American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Washington D.C. The award recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations.

SFPL was recognized for its 2009 Overdue Fine Amnesty Program campaign, “Return the Books,” which led to the recovery of 29,000-plus items, valued at approximately $730,000, over the two week amnesty period in May 2009.

The low-cost, multifaceted overdue fine amnesty campaign used the tagline, “What’s Your Excuse?” and obtained free participation by local and national personalities including Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Josh Kornbluth, Beth Lisick, W. Kamau Bell, and Marga Gomez, each offering clever excuses in a series of television public service announcements about their excuses for not returning library materials. The campaign netted a 23.6 percent return on overdue materials.

The fine amnesty program was intended to help library patrons cope with the economic downturn by removing one obstacle – overdue fines –allowing them to resume using library resources. The total number of recovered items was 29,228, including 3,151 books that were more than 60 days overdue and were therefore “assumed lost” or unlikely to be returned. The value of those long overdue items was nearly $79,000. Among the older items returned was a copy ofGeorge Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman (reprinted 1947) with a due date stamp of Jan. 29, 1964, making it more than 45 years overdue from the  Presidio Branch Library. San Francisco library patrons also saved themselves $55,165 in overdue materials fines and more than 3,000 patrons were able to obtain a clean slate on their record.

The John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award, which has been awarded since 1946, is sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Company, the H.W. Wilson Foundation and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It is considered to be the most prestigious of all library awards in the field of public relations. The award comes with a $5,000 prize which is being returned to the City to help offset the general fund costs from foregoing the overdue fines over the two-week amnesty period. 

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Warns Against Chinese Jewelry – 97% Lead!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide companies that sell imported leaden jewelry to California teenagers, tweenagers, and kids. All the deets, below.

El Protector De La Gente, Jerry Brown:

via Thomas Hawk

Mostly lead, mostly:

Brown Cracks Down on the Sale of Jewelry Made of Highly Toxic Lead

OAKLAND – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a consumer alert warning of a “serious health hazard” after he demanded that retail stores Rainbow and 5-7-9 remove from their shelves jewelry with parts containing as much as 97% lead, a potentially fatal health hazard, especially for young children.

“This jewelry represents a serious health hazard,” Brown said, “and it is especially dangerous if a child gets a hold of it and puts it in his or her mouth. Some of these bangles are almost solid lead. The jewelry must be banished from retailers’ shelves once and for all.”

Some pieces of the lead-infested jewelry were labeled “KIDS” and one piece was marked “lead free” although its clasp contained more than 80% lead.

There is no safe level of lead exposure. In 2006, a four-year-old Minnesota boy died after he swallowed a pendant from jewelry that was more than 90% lead, and it became stuck in his intestinal tract.

In a letter to the stores’ corporate parent, Rainbow Apparel, Brown said, “Some of the jewelry had components that would be highly toxic, and potentially lethal, if ingested, and all of it contains sufficient lead to contribute to long-term health risks.”

California law bans the sale of jewelry that fails to comply with strict limits on the amount of lead it contains. The law was the result of a 2006 settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Attorney General and two environmental groups, Center of Environmental Health and As you Sow It.

In that settlement, Rainbow and other retailers agreed to stop selling jewelry containing more than traces of lead. But four times in a little more than a year, the Attorney General has sent notices of violation to Rainbow for breaking the law and the terms of the settlement by selling jewelry made of lead.

Using a fund created in the 2006 settlement, the Center for Environmental Health monitors the stores. In May, it purchased 16 items containing lead from Rainbow stores in Northern California. Fifteen of the pieces contained more than 50% lead. One was 97% lead, and one labeled “KIDS” and “lead free” had a clasp that contained 81% lead. It’s all inexpensive costume jewelry made in China.

Brown’s letter to Rainbow Apparel , after the jump


The Great Fell Street ARCO Station Bike Lane Rejiggering is Finally Upon Us

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Michael Helquist of BIKE NOPA is all over the recent changes at the BP ARCO gas station on the corner of Fell and Divisidero.

Here’s what changed a few days ago at the station itself. Looks like we have new macadam and new stencils telling drivers not to go in through the out door. This looked like quite the construction site a few days back:

Click to expand.

I’m not sure what to make of all the changes. As per usual, the “neighbors,” the selfish, property-owning NIMBYs, had far, far too much say on this matter. A normal city would have just taken out a bunch of parking spaces years ago. Oh well.

On It Goes.

Jesse Jackson’s National Transit Roadshow Arrives Con Brio, Sans Jesse

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Well, this is what was promised for today’s noontime transit worker rally at the Old Federal Building on Golden Gate and Polk:

Turns out that Jesse didn’t show. (Here’s what you would have seen and heard.) 

But a couple-hundred or so transit workers and allies were on hand at the plaza in front of Big Blue:

And here’s how they got there. How apropropriate!

Here’s who was there. I see District 9 San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, and TWU 250-a Union President Irwin Lum, for starters: 

Are riders and drivers really united? Not that I can see, not in San Francisco. I’m mean, I’m sure that all involved would like Uncle Sucker to rain cash down upon the City, but beyond that, there’s not much uniting these groups. It would be nice to cancel the already-useless Central Subway and use the extra billion (or two or three) that that would free up to pay for transit people are using today, but the system doesn’t work that way, obviously. Oh well.  

Here’s a take from Greg Dewar at the N Judah Chronicles.

On It Goes:

Anyway, here’s the spiel:

“Transit service cuts, fare hikes and layoffs affect millions of Americans every day. You can help save transit and counteract the nation-wide transit crisis by rallying with the Save Our Ride alliance.

Save Our Ride was formed by the Transport Workers Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and Reverend Jesse Jackson to raise awareness of the transit crisis and to rally for the passage of transit bills that will allow flexibility of federal aid for transit. The alliance is an advocate for more affordable and efficient transit systems, better air quality and a greener future for America.

You can download the full press release here.

Come show your support:

June 29, San Francisco: Noon, Federal Building on Golden Gate Bridge

July 1, Sacramento: Noon, Federal Building, 501 I street

July 7, Houston: 11 am, Mickey Leland Federal Building, 1919 Smith Street

July 9, Miami: 2 pm, Government Center Building

Download the San Francisco flyer here.

Speakers to include: James C. Little, President International TWU; Harry Lombardo, TWU Executive Vice President; Warren George, President of International ATU; Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Other speakers will include TWU and ATU local leadership, legislators, community and civil rights groups, riders who are suffering from service cuts and increased fares. (speakers subject to change)

Stay tuned to and for speaker announcements and more information as the rallies approach.

The reason your fares have increased and your service has been cut is because the federal government has neglected transit for decades and the country’s on-going economic struggle that has slashed transit revenues has pushed transportation systems into their own crises.

“We can not allow our transit systems to crumble from financial neglect,” said President James C. Little. “We must work together to tell the federal government the neglect must stop.”

Federal subsidies to our country’s largest transportation systems do not allow enough flexibility for operating costs. So transit systems can use federal funds to buy news trains and buses (capital expenses), but not to pay the operators. If your bus doesn’t have an operator, you are not going to get to work on time.

Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have proposed bills, H.R.2746and S3189, that would allow transit agencies to flex funding to suit local needs. Also, eight senators from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee introduced a bill, S. 3412, to authorize emergency funding for transit agencies to help reverse fare increases and service cuts.

This legislation will help to save our transit systems, provide thousands of green transit jobs, and keep transportation affordable. If you take the bus, train, subway or streetcar to work and use public transportation to send your children to school and if you want to work towards a cleaner environment, less congested streets and green jobs, then come share your story and your voice and Save Our Ride!

Using Adobe PhotoShop Match Color Command as a One-Click-Fix for Photos

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Sometimes, due to harsh lighting conditions, the people you photograph can turn out all orange or pink or whatnot.


via mayorgavinnewsom

One way to avoid this situation is to use a powerful flash in the daytime to fill-in the shadows. (That’s what that Gene guy does at highly-rated and ironically-named Orange Photography. Saw him on Barry Bonds Day a few years back using a flash along with a strong filter (like sunglasses) on his lens – if you’re paying a pro for photos, why not have them done the right way, right?) Anyway, with an ideal set-up, that’s what you’d do. Oh well.

Now, here’s a shot taken of the same people at about the same time, excepting that this shot doesn’t have the harsh backlighting:

via mayorgavinnewsom

See? More better, less Oompa Loompa.

Now, what if you could throw these two shots into ‘Shop and have the orange-y photo try to copy the colors of the nicer photo. That command is called “Match Color.” Here’s the result with the slider at 100%, full-on Match Color:  

Now, I’m not saying that this is perfect or anything. If it were important, you could do other things as well. But, as a dumbed-down command, Match Color can get the job done with one click.

Or you can convert the whole shebang to black and white. (That might serve to also get you an “arty” look, for better or worse.)  

And There You Have It.

The Tenderloin’s St. Boniface Parish Celebrates 150 Years – Church is 110 Years Young

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

San Francisco’s St. Boniface Parish is celebrating 150 years in San Francisco this month.

It’s an impressive facility, nullus? Check it:

Click to expand

And a random saint from the massive south wall for good measure, let’s call him St. Peter:

Happy birthday, Saint Boniface Parish!

UC Hastings Throws Down: Defeats Christian Legal Society in U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Remember that whole thing with U.C. Hastings (the largest and oldest law school in the West) getting into it with the Christian Legal Society? Well, it’s over, with Hastings winning in a 5-4 decision.

(That means that there will be one less thing for incoming Dean Frank H. Wu to worry about when he takes over on July 1.)

Get all the deets, here and below, and see what the CLS has to say, after the jump, and oh, here’s a nice take already from fast-working Bob Egelko.

The flag of Victory, or something, flying above The Tower at 100 McAllister:

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms UC Hastings’ Policy in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, et al. Decision

The Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, et al., signifying an important win in the country’s highest court for the College’s policy on recognition of student organizations and for higher education generally.

In the ruling authored by Justice Ginsburg, the decision stated: “Compliance with Hastings’ all-comers policy, we conclude, is a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition on access to the student-organization forum.”

“We are very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.  The College’s intent has always been to ensure the leadership, educational and social opportunities afforded by officially recognized student organizations are available to all students attending public institutions.  The Court’s ruling validates our policy, which is rooted in equity and fairness,” said Leo Martinez, Acting Chancellor and Dean, Hastings College of the Law.  

Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Breyer and Sotomayor joined.  Justices Stevens and Kennedy joined the majority opinion in full and filed concurring opinions.  Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Thomas joined.  

COURT’S DECISION:        Available at

BRIEFS:        Available at

As promised, the Christians Speak, after the jump.


Beginning July 1, Golden Gate Bridge “Carpoolers” Will Need to Stop for Inspection

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Remember back in the day, back when you could pose a couple mannequiner in your ride to avoid paying the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge? Well, those days are over as of July 1, 2010. Why? Why not, Our Bridge needs money to pay for ferries and buses and whatnot. That’s why a $3 carpool toll is coming.

So instead of paying nothing, you’ll have $3 deducted from your Fastrak. What’s that, you don’t have the Fastrak? Well then you’re going to have to pay full price, whether you have three or more souls en tu coche or not. Fastrak, vill be (achtung, baby!) mandatory for carpoolers.

What’s that, at least you’ll be able to zip through the tollbooths with your new Fastrak? Guess again. You’re going to have to stop for a carpool inpsection so the toll-taker can count noses and do a manequin check to boot.  That means that Resusci Annie isn’t going to cut it no mo.

These things are being used everywhere:

It was nice while it lasted but now it’s gone.

What kind of improved industrial light and magic animatronics will the George Lucas boys have to ccreate to continue beating the system when they come into the Presidio from points north every weekday morning?

The World Wonders.

“Effective Thursday, July 1, 2010, the Carpool Toll on the Golden Gate Bridge will be $3. To receive the carpool toll rate of $3, carpools MUST do the following:

  • Have a FasTrak account in good standing and a valid FasTrak tag. The FasTrak tag must be mounted in the vehicle per instructions.
  • Stop at a staffed lane so that the toll collector may validate the vehicle as a carpool.
  • NOT use a FasTrak ONLY toll lane (you will be assessed the full $5 FasTrak toll if you use a FasTrak ONLY toll lane).