Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Surprise! The PG&E Union Doesn’t Want Us to Have a Choice About Getting Public Power or Not – A Facebook Campaign

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Last week I saw banner ads from IBEW 1245, you know, the People Who Brought Us The San Bruno Pipeline Explosion, but at first I wasn’t able to click on them and then when I was able to, all I could find were recently-deceased FaceBook webpages, as if some people had posted something* and then changed their minds.

But now everything’s clear owing to this bit from Tim Redmond in the SFBG. Check it out.

And here’s the latest propaganda from PGE IBEW, for the record:

IBEW 1245 launches “Shell Shock” campaign. Disastrous city proposal could cause rates to spike

shell shocked logo

IBEW Local 1245 launched a “Shell Shock” campaign on Sept. 10 to highlight the spike in energy costs and potentially disastrous consequences that a contract between San Francisco and Shell would bring.

San Francisco city government is considering a proposal to partner with Shell Energy of North America to inaugurate the city’s so-called “clean power” program. If the Board of Supervisors approves the proposal, San Francisco would pay millions to Shell, one of the most notorious environmental violators in business today.

According to the City’s Controller, if the San Francisco Shell Shock contract goes through:

“Raising generation rates by 77% would Shell Shock San Franciscans,” said Hunter Stern, a San Francisco resident and a business representative for IBEW Local 1245 in San Francisco.

“In these tough economic times, the last thing the City should be considering is a plan that would lead to service reductions and job losses. And Shell’s values, especially their abysmal environmental record, aren’t in sync with what most San Franciscans want to support,” Stern said.

CARE customers, who are typically low-income customers, are being asked to pay a larger portion of the increase than other customers. CARE customers will pay an additional $22 a month, compared to the $9 monthly increase Tier One customers are expected to see, Stern said.

IBEW Local 1245 urges San Franciscans to get the facts and sign the petition to stop the San Francisco Shell Shock contract. Go to www.Facebook.com/SFShellShock.”

*Perhaps due to the San Bruno Disaster anniversary? I mean, why else would PG&E have its union launch a big FaceBook campaign and then have all the links from the banner ads go to defunct FB pages?

“Cloud-First Policy” Comes to SFGov: San Francisco’s Department of Technology Implements New IT Strategy

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

So, basically, SFGov will soon be doing more stuff through a network instead of doing stuff on-site, for better or worse.

Check it:

We implemented a cloud-first IT strategy as part of our effort to address a multimillion-dollar, city-wide budget deficit, avoid staff reductions and implement business-enabling IT solutions. Our cloud-first strategy has allowed us to roll out a wide-ranging series of transformative virtualization and cloud initiatives with CommVault Simpana software as the foundation of our data management strategy,” said Gina Tomlinson, Chief Technology Officer for the City and County of San Francisco. “These successful initiatives have helped us expand our footprint in the cloud and anticipate future demands to ensure our cloud services fulfill and grow with the needs of our agencies and community.”

Here‘s the PowerPoint.

OK, then. We’ll soon have Cloud Computing First to go with our existing Transit First policy. What other Firsts will we soon have?

Anyway, all your local government data, your parking ticket payment history records and the like, are heading up to the sky. Let’s hope they stay safe up there.

It’ll look something like this:

The company that got the contract to do this has a lot of blah blah blah about it.

See it after the jump

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Scraaaaaaaape: DPW Truck vs. MUNI Bus on Market Street – But No Harm No Foul – The City Family Abides

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Is it easy to drive a big ol’ Ford F-450 Super Duty pick-em-up truck around Market Street what with all the MUNI buses and streetcars, and with all the peds walking around like a chicken with its head cut off?

Probably not.

As here, on Market the other day, when the driver of this white DPW truck, which has stickers on it saying “Tax Dollars At Work,” cut a corner too close and loudly scraped up the left rear corner of a MUNI bus.

The aftermath  – a little bit stuck:

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Now when you think about it, there’s really no point in reporting this one, because the bus still works and the truck still works and is the City Family going to write a check to the City Family to compensate for the losses of the City Family? I think not.

So all you can do is pick up the stuff what fell off the back of the big pickup and offer it up to the embarrassed DPW worker.

Dude, here’s your shovel back:

So, no harm no foul, except for a scraped-up bus, which probably had its fair share of scrapes already.

And it’s all, well yeah, I screwed that one up but no biggee.

Too bad others in SFGov can’t similarly admit mistakes…

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:

Click to expand.*

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…