Archive for the ‘government’ Category

A Message From the City Family To the City Family: “NEEDS TEETH, DON’T FORGET!”

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Don’t even think about using a Wirtgen W1500 asphalt profiler/reclaimer to repave the streets that area ward healers want repaved without the necessary teeth

See? 

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Unbiased Report Concludes That CA State Film Credit Program Benefits are Exaggerated – What About SF’s?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Does the “Scene in San Francisco” program work? I’m sure it does for some people, but does it succeed overall, you know, for the Commonweal?

No.

It’s the same deal with the CA state film subsidy program, which was recently looked at by the CA State Legislative Analyst’s Office.

See below.

Did San Francisco subsidize the horrible NBC non-hit show Trauma? Yes. Should it have? No. 

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All the deets:

Net Credit Benefit Likely Much Less Than Reported.

We have discussed five issues that could affect the results of the LAEDC and/or UCLA-IRLE studies:

 Unknown assumptions embedded in the LAEDC economic models and their failure to consider the benefits of alternative public or private uses of tax credit funds (which could result in the credit program having significantly less net benefit than shown in the studies).

 In-state film activity that would occur in California without any tax credit (which results in the credit program having less economic and tax net benefits than shown in the LAEDC study).

 In-state economic and employment activity resulting from out-of-state productions (which results in the credit program having less net benefit than shown in the studies).

 Crowding out effects (which result in the credit program having less net benefit than shown in the studies in at least some years).

 Effects of film-related tourism (which would likely not result in significant changes in net benefits in most years).

While the total effects of these issues are impossible to quantify, their combined effects are likely to be negative in any given fiscal year—that is, resulting in the net benefit of the credit program being less than shown in both the LAEDC and UCLA-IRLE studies.

Given the conclusion that the net benefit of the credit program is likely less than shown in the LAEDC study, the LAEDC’s finding that the output-to-credit ratio was about 20-to-1 is likely overstated, as is its estimate of job gains resulting from the credit program. Moreover, given that UCLA-IRLE adjusted downward to $1.04 the projected state and local tax revenue return from every credit dollar and given that we find that this also was overstated, we believe it is likely that the state and local tax revenue return would be under $1.00 for every tax credit dollar—perhaps well under $1.00 for every tax credit dollar in many years.

In any event, even if the combined state and local tax revenue return is right around $1.00 for every tax credit dollar, the state government’s tax revenue return would by definition be less than $1.00 for every tax credit dollar. The credit program, therefore, appears to result in a net decline in state revenues.”

Don’t Look at This Photo, Flag-Wavers – ‘Cause You’re Not Going to Like Seeing the San Francisco Version of Old Glory

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Public Housing Project, McAllister Street, Western Addition (aka The Fillmore), San Francisco, 2012:

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This area is about six blocks from San Francisco City Hall.

Here’s the exact same pair of flags from three years ago, would you agree?

And the DRUG FREE ZONE warning sign is still there as well. (But, of course, this isn’t actually a drug-free zone. Not in the least.)

Oh well.

So, why do we even have flagpoles then?

Perhaps putting them in was a bad idea? Perhaps it’s easier to put in a flagpole than to take care of a flagpole over its lifetime? Perhaps we should take these flagpoles down if this how City, County, State and/or Federal officials are handling things?

Perhaps Redevelopment of the Fillmore was a bad idea?

Perhaps other federally-funded projects, such as the useless Central Subway, are bad ideas as well?

Mmmmm.

American Badass: Ford C-900 Attack Hose Tender No. 1, Still on the Job for the SFFD in the Western Addition

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

This firetruck is older than you!

Still on the job after all these years

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Camping Out in Front of the Bill Graham Auditorium the Night Before Project Homeless Connect #43

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

This is right when the symphony let out:

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It depends on which yardstick you use whether Project Homeless Connect has been a success, or an abject failure, or something in betwixt…

OMG, It’s “Civic Response 2011″ This Morning in Civic Center – A Fire Drill With a Cast of Thousands

Friday, September 30th, 2011

[UPDATE: Famous photographer Steve Rhodes is on the scene right now:

Step 1: Kiss the bride under the largest classical dome in the western hemisphere;

Step 2: Evacuate

Via Steve Rhodes - click to expand]

All that hullabaloo in Civic Center this AM is just CIVIC RESPONSE 2011. 

Deets below.

The calm before the storm:

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All the deets:

“Multi-Agency Joint Evacuation Exercise – Civic Center Area - ”Civic Response 2011″ – September 30th 2011, 10:30am

Exercise Overview
This will be a coordinated multi-organization joint evacuation drill involving the facilities management and security agencies, as well as the involved building tenants from within the San Francisco Civic Center area. This multi-agency drill will involve civilian and uniformed responders from the local and state government levels and is aimed at helping ensure public safety in the event of an actual emergency.

There will be approximately 1,500-1,800 building tenants evacuated and dozens of responders involved in this exercise. The participating agencies will activate their fire alarm plans and evacuate their tenants to pre-designated locations at Civic Center Plaza, UN Plaza, and the War Memorial area.

Participating Buildings – City Hall, Dept Public Health at 101 Grove Street, UC Hastings College of the Law, Veteran’s Building at 401 Van Ness.

The Command Post will be the SF PUC Mobile Command Vehicle (MCV) which will be parked on Grove Street between Polk and Larkin across from the Bill Graham Auditorium.

Mission: All participating buildings will execute their evacuation plans simultaneously and safely while keeping aware of the other facilities tenants.”

More deets, after the jump

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Well, Those Oil Extraction Tax (aka “Oil Extraction Fee”) People are Trying to Get Half a Million Signatures

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Here are the deets on an oil extraction tax / fee proposition that you’ll be able to vote for in 2012, if it qualifies with half a million signatures by next month’s deadline:

Tax on California Oil Initiative (2012)

A Tax on California Oil Initiative (11-0004) has been approved for circulation in California as an initiated state statute. To earn a spot on the state’s 2012 ballot, sponsors of the initiative must collect 504,760 signatures by September 30, 2011. A letter requesting a title and summary for the proposed initiative was signed by Peter Mathews, Frank Dawoodjee, and Paul Garver, and was received by the Attorney General of California’s office on March 14, 2011.

Tax on California Oil. Initiative Statute. Official summary:

“Imposes 15 percent tax on value of each barrel of oil extracted in California. Allocates oil tax revenue to non-capital educational funding: 30 percent to K-12; 48 percent to community colleges; 11 percent each to California State University and University of California. Prohibits producers from passing tax on to refiners, gasoline stations, or consumers. Prohibits loan of oil tax revenues to General Fund. Prohibits reduction of regular education funding based on additional revenues from tax.”

Summary of estimated fiscal impact:

(This is a summary of the initiative’s estimated “fiscal impact on state and local government” prepared by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office and the Director of Finance.)
“Increased state revenues from a new charge on oil extraction of around $2 billion to $3 billion per year, dedicated to education.”

Anyway, I didn’t know about this:

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But they’re out there, trying to finish up the huge job of getting all those sigs…

Will YOUR Post Office Be Shut Down? Bayview 94124, Visitacion Valley 94134, McLaren 94134, Civic Center 94102

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Here’s the news of the day, via the San Francisco Business Times: 3700 post office branches are set to be shut down by the USPS.

Here’s what’s on the chopping block in San Francisco:

BAYVIEW SAN FRANCISCO 94124
CIVIC CNTR P O BOX UNIT SAN FRANCISCO 94102
FEDERAL BUILDING SAN FRAN SAN FRANCISCO 94102
MCLAREN STATION SAN FRANCISCO 94134
VISITACION STATION SAN FRANCISCO 94134

Mmmm.

Now the Federal Building PO is just a little thing, sort of a secret for those in the know – no waiting there. And the Civic Center PO Box Unit, well that’s not really a PO anymore anyway.

So.

We’re going to lose three full-fledged POs and they all just happen to be in the southeast corner?

Two in the 94134…

…and one in the 94124:

Uh….

Uh….

WTF, USPS?

What’s that? You spent all your money sponsoring that drugged-up cyclist? All right, but this one is not going to go down well…

See the entire “Expanded Access study list” for California after the jump.

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Why Does the San Francisco Rent Board Need to Advertise Itself on the Back of SFMTA MUNI Buses?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I hope this ad was for free (because nobody else in the world wants to pay to advertise on this particular bus and the space would go to waste otherwise?).

Hey SFGOV, if you wanted to advertise something, how about the minimum wage in the 415? Lots of people don’t seem to know that one yet.

Anyway, it’s your San Francisco Rent Board. Hurray!

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San Francisco Rent Board

San Francisco Rent Board 8 AM – 5 PM,
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 320 Monday – Friday excluding holidays
San Francisco, CA 94102-6033 Phone: 415-252-4602
(Cross street is Market Street) Fax: 415-252-4699

Senior Staff:

Executive Director Delene Wolf
Deputy Director Robert Collins
Senior Administrative Law Judges Sandy Gartzman and Tim Lee
Rent Board Supervisor Jennifer Rakowski

Counseling: Drop-in
Due to limited staffing, we do not have the capacity to respond to inquiries by email. However, Rent Board counselors are available at the Rent Board’s office from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM each working day. Due to high demand and a limited number of staff, there can sometimes be delays in speaking with a counselor. Counseling sessions at the office are generally limited to 10 minutes.

Phone Counseling – 415-252-4602:
You can receive personal assistance by phone during phone counseling hours, which are 9:00 AM – Noon and 1:00 – 4:00 PM, Monday – Friday, excluding holidays. Because of demand, calls may be limited to 5 minutes. It is helpful if you have your questions written down before you speak with a counselor.

Info-to-Go – 415-252-4600:
Call our 24-hour Info-to-Go phone system to hear automated information on over 80 topics of interest to tenants and landlords. All of the recordings are available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Use the Info-to-Go Table of Contents (pdf) to facilitate your call and access the most relevant information. Printed versions of the Info-to-Go topics are also available on our website and through our Fax Back system.
Fax Back – 415-252-4660:

To obtain copies of the Rent Ordinance, Rules and Regulations, Rent Board forms and other printed information, you can download them from our web site or call our 24-hour Fax Back system and have the documents automatically faxed to you within minutes. Use the Fax Back Table of Contents (pdf) to locate the documents you want to fax yourself. Many of our forms and documents are available through the Fax Back system in Spanish and Chinese.

Other Important Phone Numbers:
Administrative Offices Only 415-252-4601
TTY 415-554-9845
Rent Board Hearing Coordinator 415-252-4629
Rent Board Appeals Clerk 415-252-4644
Duplication Requests and File Review 415-252-4661

Multiple Language Assistance:
We have bilingual staff in the following languages: Spanish and Cantonese. We also have a telephonic language line interpretation service available in 20 languages for limited English speakers who visit our office. Our 24-hour automated telephone information line (Info-to-Go) is available in Spanish and Chinese. In addition, many of our forms and documents are available in Spanish and Chinese through our Website and Fax Back system.
The Rent Board staff does not provide translation services at hearings or mediations. However, if you are unable to afford the services of an interpreter, you can file a Hardship Application for interpreter services and the Rent Board will hire an interpreter for you. Hardship applications for interpreter services can be obtained at the Rent Board’s office and must be filed at least 72 hours before the hearing or mediation. American sign language interpreters are also available upon 72 hours request.

Website: www.sfgov.org/rentboard
Our comprehensive website offers users 24-hour access to printable versions of: agendas and minutes of the Rent Board Commission’s meetings; monthly and annual statistical reports; the San Francisco Rent Ordinance; the Rent Board’s Rules and Regulations; the Uniform Hotel Visitor Policy; over 80 topics of interest to landlords and tenants; 10 in-depth Fact Sheets on major landlord/tenant issues; Rent Board petitions and other forms; news and announcements; our customer survey, and more. Many of our forms and documents are available on our website in Spanish and Chinese.

Deciding What’s “Appropriate” for Japantown: Here’s What the First Better Neighborhood Project Meeting Looked Like

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Community organizer Julian Davis was on hand at last night’s Better Neighborhood Project meeting put on by San Francisco’s Planning Department, you know, the one where it’s been preordained that There Shall Not Be Any More Highrises in Japantown. Anyway, he’s more optimistic than I am about the whole process.

Basically, San Francisco Government, the people who brought us Redevelopment, the people who tore down perfectly good houses (or “drafty old Victorians,” in their words, back in the day), the people who still haven’t apologized for that, the people who messed up Japantown big time with the whole concrete and clay and general decay motif, well, they’re back and they have a Plan.

Now, if you want to affect the plan, you need to be part of the leadership element of an area “community group.” It doesn’t matter all that much how many people are in your group, but you’re going to need a title and a group name to matter. If that’s not the case, then the best you can hope for is a chance to voice an out-of-the-box idea that’s slightly novel or crazy enough to work.

But I’ll tell you, the big decisions have already been made.

Here are the final ten minutes of last night’s meeting on Sutter, with three kind-0f focus group leaders offering feedback on what the audience members were saying. (Don’t mind the alarmingly loud iPhone buzzing at the end…)

Anything that the Planning Department has decided that’s not appropriate for this particular part of the Western Addition (like young people from South Korea, or China, or Taiwan opening up businesses on or near Post Street or a taller building (you know, one that could actually pay for itself and Other Things Too) that could block the view of that horrible Peace Pagoda*) is considered contagion. Oh well.

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On It Goes…

*I looked it up once and that Peace Plaza pagoda thing actually is Ur-Japanese, it actually is just like some stuff that was all over part of the southern part of Japan’s biggest island, but it seems more Pan-Asian or Chinese to most Japanese people that see it. They don’t recognize it as anything Japanese at all. This concrete thing is the Vaillancourt Fountain of the West Side.