Archive for February, 2011

Know Your Bay Area Broadcast Towers: 1250 Clay Atop the Le Club Building – If Towers Sutro and Eiffel had a Baby

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Well, lookie at what stretches 50 feet above the top of the residential tower at 1250 Clay Street  at Talor in Nob Hill – it’s WNEQ991!

This structure combines the paint scheme of Sutro Tower with the build of the Eiffel Tower. Check it:

STATION, 1250 Jones St (Lat: 37.793250 Lon: -122.414111), Structure height: 94.5 m, Overall height: 109.1 m, Call Sign: WNEQ991
Assigned Frequencies: 21825.0 MHz, 23125.0 MHz, 23375.0 MHz
Grant Date: 08/07/2008, Expiration Date: 08/06/2018, Certifier: Deborah A Mcdermott
Registrant: Brooks, Pierce, Et. Al., Raleigh, NC 27602

The view from California Street near the western terminus of the cable car line:

Click to expand

Is this where former NBC affiliate KRON Channel 4 transmits? Mmmm, could be. Maybe it’s a back-up or something.

Irregardless, it’s quite a handsome tower.

(Can you imagine what the anti-PG&E SmartMeter people would think if they had this monster humming just above their noggins? Man, they’d freak out.)

Try to spot it the next time you’re in the Specific Whites neighborhood – it will be the red-and-white tower obstructing your view of the Transamerica Pyramid.

Look to the Skies for Signs and Wonders

Small Plastic Cable Ties Can Foil the Little Monsters? Apparently – Taking the Extra Step to Protect Your Bicycle

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Check it, this aging Schwinn Varsity ten-speed has a U-lock for the frame and front wheel, a cable lock for the rear wheel, but also, a bunch of yellow plastic cable ties on all the critical areas!

That means that members of the San Francisco Bike Thieves Guild will have to use two tools at least to get any booty off of this ride:

Click to expand


SFMR11: City Attorney Dennis Herrera Kicks Off Campaign Headquarters on California Bet. Polk and Van Ness

Monday, February 28th, 2011

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera kicked off his new campaign HQ at 1645 California Saturday morning.

Due to the size of the crowd and the room it was in, this is the best I do. Cold camera immersed into a warm room =

So, I couldn’t stick around. Would have been nicer to have a bigger space for the latecomers…

Oh, here we go, here’s the Big Board, showing where some of his supporters live:

The San Francisco Examiner’s Bruce Begin has the deets of the busy weekend past…

SFMR11: Hundreds Gather to Help Assessor Phil Ting Kick Off “RESET San Francisco” in Golden Gate Park

Monday, February 28th, 2011

A crowd of 200-something was on hand to help San Francisco Assessor and mayoral candidate Phil Ting kick off RESET San Francisco at the Hall of Flowers on Saturday morning.


Control Alt Delete:

Click to expand

Let’s see, what are the names that I remember, the Castro’s Rafael Mandelman, the Police Commission’s David Onek (formerly, really? Didn’t know that), and Storefront’s Eric Jaye were all there, along with a few others I recognized.

All the deets:

“For Immediate Release

February 26, 2011


More than 250 Gather to Help Reset San Francisco
Group Launched by Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting Is Dedicated to Creating a More Effective City Government

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The community of San Franciscans dedicated to better government gathered this morning at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park to help identify solutions to some of the city’s most pressing problems.

Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, who helped launch the group, praised the incredible dedication of so many San Franciscans who were willing to spend time addressing tough issues like better transportation, improving our schools, creating jobs and reforming city government.

“It’s time for San Francisco city government to be as creative and innovative as the rest of San Francisco. And it is going to take all of us to make that a reality,” Ting told the crowd of 250 gathered for the event billed as “Food for Thought.”

Phil Ting, who is a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, summarized the mission ofReset San Francisco: “If politicians could solve our problems alone, we wouldn’t have so many pressing problems,” Ting said.

The participants split into work groups addressing such issues as transportation, education, tax reform, the environment, job creation and other topics. After nearly an hour of group discussion, the smaller groups reported back to the entire Reset San Francisco community on both key problems and possible solutions.

In the next week, the proceedings will be discussed online and the entire community will be able to vote online for which potential solutions to prioritize. is an online organizing platform designed to give San Franciscans the tools and support they need to change city government. The community is scheduled to gather in person every month to help identify community issues and explore and implement solutions.

For additional information, please visit”

The Absurdity of 21-Inch Ice-and-Snow Tires on Your Audi Touareg 4WD Station Wagon

Monday, February 28th, 2011

I don’t know, you see all kinds of wheel set-ups in the Western Addition but this rig, an Audi Q7 owned by a NoPA yuppie on Divisadero, takes the cake.

1. The ginourmous wheels have interlocked rings, so that goes to show that Audi made these ridiculous things just for this vehicle. These aren’t aftermarket wheels or nothing.

2. And the  low-profile, 295/35 tires say “ICE & SNOW” right on the sidewall, so that shows that Pirelli made some ridiculously-wide tires just for the snow.

So the owner didn’t make any great customizing effort or anything on his/her own, but the result is, if anything, more absurd than what you’d see on Pimp My Ride or whatnot.

Sure, 295/35-21 = 29.1″ tall but things still don’t add up:

Click to expand

Is this a “premium” set-up? No.

Is this a “performance” set-up? No.

But did it cost a lot of dough to buy and maintain? Yes.

And is it only really useful for leaving a pair of foot-wide-plus tracks in the snow? Yes.

But do your expensive wheels mean that, at some point, you will:

need to get towed off wet grass?”

Oh well.

When oh when will the absurdly-big wheel craze come to an end?

San Francisco’s World-Class Ship-Repair Capability Gets that Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship Working – And a Mystery Solved

Monday, February 28th, 2011

You know why that Carnival Splendor cruise ship got towed to a San Francisco dry dock all the way up from Fun Diego last month, you know why her owners chose the 415 as the place where she’d get a new engine and get a whole bunch of work done?

Because they didn’t really have a choice, that’s why. If your 300-yard+ vessel needs to come out of the briny somewhere in the Eastern Pacific, odds are you’ll bring it here. Hurray!

So, why did the fire in one engine room affect the other engine room? Answer here.

And did the passengers really eat airlifted Spam and Pop Tarts for three days? Not really. Answer here.

The view from our world-class San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. (It’s only been two decades since that earthquake and we’re almost done fixing it up already!) Now-defunct Potrero Power Plant camera right:

Click to expand

Anyway, the Splendor is loaded up and chugging towards Mexico, back OTJ.


Decommissioning of Our Shut-Down Potrero Power Plant Starts Tomorrow, March 1, 2011 – Whither the Iconic Tower?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Today, the old girl is sitting around waiting for the order to fire up to make you some electricity, should the need arise.

But tomorrow? Not so much. All the deets.

As I’ll remember her, chugging away heating up Warm Water Cove. Circa aught-seven:

And as she looks today, in front of the historic Sugar House (which is now a cleaned-up DHL warehouse). No more steam:

Good-bye, PPP.

OMG, Haight Ashbury Recycling Center Needs Padlocks to Chain Up Protesters! Plus CW Nevius vs. GC Newsom

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Work with me here. According to simple-minded former sportswriter C.W. Nevius, our Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center has been

“…a noisy, industrial bone of contention for decades.”

O.K.? And, according to simple-minded former sportswriter C.W. Nevius, the reason why San Francisco Shadow Mayor for Life Gavin Newsom hates the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center is because, because:

“…because the industrial recycling center doesn’t belong in Golden Gate Park.”

All right. But, hold on a second. Does this add up?

Now, maybe I’m just a simple country lawyer,* but didn’t Supervisor Gavin Newsom vote in favor of the HANC Recycling Center a decade back? Check it:

Let’s see here, isn’t the HANC RC just as noisy a “bone of contention” in Golden Gate Park now as a decade ago? Yup.

Did it move or something? Nope.

So why then would Gavin Newsom vote in favor of the hated, terrible, hated recycling center back in 2001?

Was he for it before he was against it? Mmmm.

That’s something to ponder as you read the latest missive from the HANC. Sure looks like they have something cooked up for Judgment Day, aka March 4th, 2011:


HANC Recycling, under attack for years may go out in a blaze of glory if neighborhood NIMBYs ably led by CW Nevius finally get their way. HANC is seeking to acquire thousands of feet of old chain, padlocks with or without keys, so long as they are open to accommodate the more than 1000 people expected to link up in civil disobedience on the final day.

Executive Director of HANC Recycling, Ed Dunn says, “1000 people have already pledged to chain themselves together on our last day, so we’ll need a lot. But in any case, if things work out scrap prices for steel are through the roof, so this is a good time to recycle.”

All right then, the battle is well and truly joined.

Wake me up on judgment day.

All the deets, after the jump.

* I was born on the bayou, more or less – Choctawhatchee Bay in Okaloosa County, just below Alabammy.


What’s Wrong with San Francisco District Five Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi Saying Japantown has Bad Feng Shui?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Absolutely nothing, that’s what’s wrong. And yet, people complain.

In fact, Japantown is laid out all wrong. (And, in fact, Geary does function as a kind of “Berlin Wall.”)

What do you want him to do, pronounce the characters in Japanese? That might come off as a tad patronizing, non? And what would be the point of that?

Soul Patch on Post Street. Ross is Mayor of the Fillmore – he’s out there and engaged, which is more than you can say about some other supes:

I don’t know, was anyone offended by the use of the term feng shui?

Does anybody think that Ross thinks feng shui is a Japanese phrase?

And has some authority suspended Ross Mirkarimi‘s poetic license?

Not that I’m aware of.