Archive for the ‘paranormal’ Category

(415) (628) (650): San Francisco Will Soon Have _Three_ Different Area Codes – Plus, 10-Digit Dialing is Already Here for Some Of Us

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

[UPDATE: I almost forgot - there's going to be a 628 test number to call:

"A test number has been established to enable business customers to verify that their equipment can complete calls to the new area code.  The test number, (628) 628-1628, will be available beginning Dec. 21 and will be in operation through April 21, 2015."]

Gentle Reader, do you remember when the East Bay used the 415 area code? Well, I do. The switchover to the nickel-and-dime occurred back in 1991. And in a small way, it divided the East Bay from the West Bay, just how Elaine Benes felt isolated from 212 Manhattan by the 646 area code overlay back in the day.

Well, get ready for some more changes, ’cause the new 628 overlay means that you’ll be dialing the 415 area code even from the 415 – this is called ten-digit dialing.

Anyway, here’s the news – ten-digit dialing has arrived already. By that, I mean that I can no longer dial my 415 land line with my T-Mobile 415 cell phone without first punching in the area code. This change occurred a few weeks back. Welcome to The Future. [But apparently, seven digit dialing is still working for some or most of the rest of San Francisco - see the Comments section. They'll be phasing things in, optionally at first, and then mandatorily.]

Of course we could have handled things differently, but the small-minded people of our Small Business Commission wanted to do things this way, because, you know, business!

Let’s see, what else? Oh, yeah, for some reason, some people in SF have 650 area codes, like down in Ingleside Heights:

So, SF will soon have three area codes for just 46-something square miles. What a country!*

Anyway, enjoy:

In closing:

“No, it’s just like 212 except they multiplied every number by 3… and added 1 to the middle number.”

*In Soviet Russia, phone dial you!

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

Wednesday, 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

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

Tuesday, 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.)”

SFGate Properly Covers an Offensive Charm Offensive from Ugly Billionaire Vinod Khosla – Plus CW Nevius and Sean Parker

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The first rule of Fight Club is, of course, Don’t Talk About Fight Club!

Similarly, the first rule of managing property that’s a part of the coast of California is It’s Very Hard To Manage Property That’s A Part Of The Coast Of California!

If you don’t already know this, then you might be a naive billionaire like Vinod Khosla. Or Sean Parker, who didn’t know(!) he needed to get permits to do what he done with his recent wedding.

Hey, here we go:

Vinod Khosla blames costly demands for Martins Beach trial, by Peter Fimrite

Now this is a remarkable bit in that the writer had to use the word “said” 19 times. Check it:

So I guess that the Vinod Khosla PR people feel that this new article helps to make up for stuff like this:

Martins Beach billionaire evades questions on stand

But I don’t think so.

In any event let’s praise writer Peter Fimrite for not falling into the CW Nevius trap of believing everything a source says hook, line, and sinker, and then regurgitating it in the pages of the Chronicle. No no, Peter Fimrite plays it straight.

Here we go:

“The ugly courtroom clash over Martins Beach, near Half Moon Bay, would not have happened if government and environmental zealots had not made unreasonable and costly demands, billionaire investor Vinod Khosla said Thursday in defense of a beach closure that has captivated Californians up and down the coast.

Gee Vinod, you didn’t know that doing anything on the coast is hard? Are you stupid?

“If they wanted you to make your backyard a park, would that hurt you?” he asked.

The reply to this is that Martin’s Beach is not anyone’s backyard.

“The Coastal Commission and the county have been completely unreasonable. They have been taking an extreme view and don’t want to compromise on anything.”

Well, IMO, from an outsider’s perspective, is that they haven’t been unreasonable at all.

“The founder of Khosla Ventures characterized the lawsuit Thursday as a dishonest attempt to wrest control of his property regardless of his rights while, at the same time, impugning his reputation.”

Well, make a deal now and your reputation will improve, Vinod.

The fact is, he said, Martins Beach had been run like a business by the previous owners for many decades. The Deeney family set up the first cabin in 1918 and continued building through the 1950s.

 Uh, this was a vanity purchase from a billionaire. Martins Beach really isn’t a “business,” right?

“What’s amazing to me is that we did not change anything about how the property had been run for 50 or 60 years and then one day out of the blue we got a letter from the county saying we had to have 1973 prices and be open 24/7,” Khosla said, meaning he was limited to charging the visitors only $2 and could never close the gate. “Does the county charge 1973 prices?”

So there’s just three paying customers a day and what they get charged will make or break the “business” of Martins Beach? Does that make sense?

Speaking of which, why does this billionaire dude care about the reputation of some business in Marin?

The shellfish operator’s lease was not renewed and Khosla said the organization’s reputation was wrongly and unfairly dragged through the mud in the process.

Oh well. Leaving you with this:

“Who is going to take a half-million dollars in liability and losses for something that is actually dangerous?” he asked…”

I can answer: a naive billionaire.

Sue Ellen Mischke, 94109 – Cruising the Tenderloin Wearing a Bra as a Top – Was This a Sorority Initiation?

Monday, July 28th, 2014

I’m not sure just how serious this woman was. Maybe this was a Truth or Dare situation…

Anyway, here she is, walking down Polk in the 94109, in the part of town I call the Tenderloin, to the contrary of Randy Shaw, an aging white male lawyer who lives in a mansion in the East Bay Hills and who, for some reason, gets eight figures a year from _San Francisco_ taxpayers to basically run the Tenderloin – it’s amazing.*

Sue Ellen Mischke is Elaine‘s nemesis whom she calls the “bra-less wonder.” Sue Ellen is the heiress to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune, and has known Elaine since they attended high school together in Maryland. Sue Ellen is portrayed by Brenda Strong.

“In “The Caddy“, Elaine is so incensed that Sue Ellen doesn’t wear a bra that she gives her a bra as a gift, which Sue Ellen then promptly wears as a top. This causes Kramer to crash George‘s car when he and Jerry see her walking in her bra down the street. Kramer calls upon Jackie Chiles to help sue. Despite the suit, Jerry falls for her when she comes in his apartment. The courtroom scene that follows is a broad and obvious allusion to the O.J. Simpson trial, which ends when she tries the bra on, which does not fit.”

Bonus:

“In the pilot for Happy Days, there is a character mentioned named Sue Ellen Mischke. It is unknown if this name is a reference or just coincidence.”

*Here’s a sampler, from 2007:

“By the summer of 2008, going “uptown” in San Francisco will mean heading to the Tenderloin.”

This was a laughable statement back in 2007, and it came nowhere close to coming true in 2008 or beyond.

And there’s this:

The “Uptown Tenderloin” is the authentic historic name for the over 16-block area north of Market Street…”

And to that I say, “Nope! It’s not.”

Separated at Birth: Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Rapper Vanilla Ice

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

See these guys? They’re like twins!

Click to expand, baby

Oh, but there is a difference. Only one of these twins can tell you the exact make and model of the “product” in his hair – the other one has more important things to worry about in Life. Let’s ask to make sure. Which one of these Vanilla Ices said this when asked about hair care?

L’Oreal. And it’s the Clean Gel. It’s the Total Control Clean Gel, because they’ve got seven or eight products, and the other ones don’t work.”

O.K. fine.

An Unusual Traffic Scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell: Left-Turning Cars > Pedestrians? The Planning Gods Must Be Crazy

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

For some reason, the Golden Gods of the Planning Department / the SFMTA, the very same people who clamored for parking meters to operate on Sundays until they got it only to then say that they DIDN’T want it after all, unanimously, have set up an unusual traffic timing scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell. It’s unique.

Southbound drivers turning left get to go first, before car and bus drivers coming north and before peds on the east side of the street.

This is so that southbound drivers can make a U-turn and then a quick right to make into the small lower-level parking lot of the new City Target. About four drivers go left / hang a Louie at the start of each light cycle:

Click to expand

I approve not.

Now if you want to say that SFGov had a rational basis for doing this after some big study, well then maybe. But having peds wait seven seconds to go after the light turns green is contrary to every impulse every ped has.

For some reason, Planning or the SFMTA or whomever feel that its their responsibility to be at the forefront of experimentation with traffic. Like its their sacred duty or something.

I understand that they would freely admit that this is a kludge fix to accommodate the newly-opened Target store. I understand that they would say that this is temporary until the New Masonic Plan gets going. I understand that there’s a concern about southbound traffic backing up and possibly blocking eastbound and westbound traffic on Geary. BUT EVEN SO, this left arrow scheme at O’Farrell is NOT THE WAY TO GO. There are other ways of doing of what SFGov is trying to accomplish.

There are better ways of doing this.

24 Hours of Gannet Co Inc’s The Bold Italic Website: “Sexy Time,” “Sex Toy,” “More Sex” – A Triumph of Form Over Content

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

This was the promise, a few years back:

“From the beginning, art elements and overall design featured prominently in strategy discussions and were kept at the forefront. Inventive and well-known global design firm IDEO was brought in early on to work with Gannett’s innovation team incorporating relevant research into the human-centered design* that was being developed for The Bold Italic.”

The cost to Gannett? Well, millions were spent on just one website / defunct magazine. How many millions? Well, as with Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, No Man Can Say.

But let’s check the water cooler chitchat over at The Gannet Blog:

“The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous dot.com fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

And that brings us to July 2014, where these bits came out within hours of each other:

Sexy Time: An Oil to Get Your Lady Parts Stoned (NSFW)

Men Can Bone Their iPads with New Sex Toy

Help This Horny Gal Have More Sex with Her BF

My point is that you didn’t need to go There to get Here.

My other point is that:

1. Aging east coast media baron Gannett Co. Inc. is Charles Foster Kane; and

2. West coast corporate money-pit vanity-project The Bold Italic is its Xanadu, and perhaps, eventually, its Waterloo

Oh here it is, 34 Page Street – so sexy! You can see the glow from all that reclaimed wood upstairs:

In closing … Rosebud!

END OF LINE

*What on Earth does that mean? I’m clueless. It’s just blah blah blah while the meter’s running at $500 per hour…

Now, Microsoft / Bing Maps has Jumped on the “SoMissPo” Bandwagon: SoMA + Mission + Potrero = ???

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Does anybody in town actually use the term SoMissPo?

Not that I’m aware of. Yet, here it is:

Sometimes I just don’t know…

Ah Berkeley, Nuclear-Free Since 1986, Sort of – Shutting Down the UC Berkeley Nuclear Reactor at 2521 Hearst Ave in 1987

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The More You Know:

University of California officials have decided to shut down a 20-year-old nuclear reactor on the Berkeley campus, saying the “political hassling” it sparked outweighed its usefulness. University of California officials have decided to shut down a 20-year-old nuclear reactor on the Berkeley campus, saying the “political hassling” it sparked outweighed its usefulness.

The gymnasium-sized basement of Etcheverry Hall (Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering) once housed a complete nuclear reactor. It was removed when the City of Berkeley declared itself nuclear-free…”