ASSIGNMENT DESK: “Corrective Education Company” Now Operates in SF – Shoplifters Pay $320 to Take Course, Avoid SFPD

February 27th, 2015

Gentle Reporter, get a load of this, from Slate*:

Let’s Make a Deal – A startup helps stores like Bloomingdale’s and Whole Foods give suspected shoplifters a choice: Pay $320, or we’ll call the cops. By Leon Neyfakh

CEC is straight outta Texas, as is Whole Foods, you dig? Well guess where the shopliftingest Whole Foods in all Christendom is located – that’s right, at Haight and Stanyan. Oh, here it is. I’ll tell you, this woman, you can barely see her** here, stood out amongst the shoppers even before she got frogmarched past the deli counter by four(!) dudes:

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So what happened? WF checked its records, checked her for warrants and then set her up with CEC?

“Enquiring” Minds Want To Know.

Here’s what you do, you contact WF and/or the other bidnesses cited by Leon, and then somebody at the SFPD, and maybe somebody at the DA’s office, and then of course Jeff Adachi, you know, for the outrage, and then an actual CEC graduate, and THIS ONE WRITES ITSELF.

*Wow, “alleged” shoplifters, Slate? Like the paramilitaries at Whole Paycheck*** frogmarch away the wrong shoppers all the time? Well, if something like that happens to you, Gentle Reader, then you should tell WF, “I’ll take my chances with the SFPD,” right?

**Purple stockings over tattoos, huge clunky heels, clip clop clip clop…

***I don’t spend a great deal of time at WF but I’ll tell you, man, they have cheaper prices now, like they’re trying to match TJ’s, on organic milk, for example. I applaud.

Learn to love me
Assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow and always
My only weakness is a listed crime
My only weakness is… well, never mind, never mind

Oh, shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world
Hand it over
Hand it over
Hand it over

Learn to love me
And assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow, and always
My only weakness is a listed crime**
But last night the plans of a future war
Was all I saw on Channel Four

Shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over

I saw this and it’s clever and cute, but I’m appalled by the ignorantly misunderstood lyrics. “My only weakness is a list of crimes” doesn’t even make sense. “My only weakness is a listed crime” puts the rest of the song in context, and provides a little history lesson about sexuality in England.”

Here’s What Bus Drivers, Bike Riders, and Pedestrians Think of the New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN at Fell and Masonic

February 27th, 2015

This MUNI operator used to be able to pick up at Hayes and Masonic southbound and then easily continue straight on Masonic towards Haight. But now #43 Masonic drivers need to get into the #2 lane as the #3 lane is now a mandatory right turn onto Fell. So click click goes the left turn signal as the bus driver begs the stalled traffic for a little help:

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And if you’re coming from inbound Hayes to southbound Masonic on a bike, you now have two lanes to jink across if you wish to continue on along Masonic:

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This is why some, including those at the SFMTA/SFBC disfavor DOUBLE RIGHT TURNS. Note also the driver who’s improperly cutting across from lane #3 to lane #2.

And of course, now more drivers are blocking the box / sitting on the crosswalk:

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On it goes at Fell and Masonic.

Someday I’ll figure out what the SFMTA is going for here.

Someday.

MTB Legend Gary Fisher Calls for Ouster of Ed Lee – The Mayor’s Misstep on Polk Street – Small Biz vs. Big Urbanism

February 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: It begins. The lily-white urbanists vent against Asian-American optometrists on Yelp. JUST ONE STAR FOR YOU, DR HIURA! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!]

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

Here’s MounTain Biking (MTB) legend Gary Fisher on appointed Mayor Ed Lee:

“OUT! This guy can not get away with this, are we this stupid?”

And here’s what GF was riffing on:

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

Now mind you, this is from an “urbanism” advocacy outfit straight outta Park Slope, so I’m sort of wondering why the Mayor’s handlers even let him make off-the-cuff remarks on this topic. Here’s the offending graf, which one assumes is properly transcribed:

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

First of all, why would you even have your executive speaking directly with activists in the first place? It’s like sending President Nixon out to the Lincoln Memorial at 4:00 AM to talk with the hippies about the Vietnam War. Second of all, Ed Lee can’t even handle a little Question Time at the Board of Supervisors without having the questions submitted in advance and without having an underling type up a reply for him to read into the record, so why would you have him give the bad news to the activists themselves? The StreetsBlog isn’t an SFGov-funded non-profit like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition or the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, right?

And Ed Lee thinks he’s playing it safe with all this talk of a “balanced” approach, but look at what he says – he’s literally saying, “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety…” Now that sounds like a complete sentence if you quote only that part. But the Mayor’s talking about cyclist safety vs. ped safety, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about. I was thinking the design of the SFMTA-designed “bulbout” at the deadly southwest corner of 6th and Folsom could be an example of this, but I don’t think this was on Ed Lee’s mind. Frankly, I don’t know what the Heck he was talking about.

So all that leaves Mr. Mayor wide-open for castigation. I’m not sure how much pull any one particular optometrist has on the SFMTA (check out this doc – it’s amazing*), but this coincidence allows a reference to SF’s VisionZero 2024 to come into the headline. Ed Lee ends up seeming like an out-of-touch Mr. Magoo:

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I don’t know, if you’re pushing a “balanced” approach, but you don’t have an exec who can talk right, because he’s out of practice, because he was appointed to his position so he never really needed to get into practice, it seems foolish to afford advocacy journalists a chance at actual journalism.

But that’s what happened here, on the topic of Polk Street.

Wow.

*Wow, these people with bidnesses in Polk Gulch are mostly American millionaires, but look how they self-describe: 

gffhgg

Click to expand

And what about the poor guy who can only describe himself as “European?” Poor little feller.

And I’ll tell you, I’m shocked at the amount of time SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin has spent on the back-and-forth about a single solitary block of SF when his primary mission should be sweating the details of getting MUNI up to par…

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Has Lost Thousands of Paid Members Lately

February 26th, 2015

[UPDATE: I’ve omitted Stanley Roberts’ video from this post as I mistakenly thought it was new as of this week when in fact it was posted almost two years old now. My apologies, Stanley. As you can see, Mr. Roberts goes after everybody (including fake monks and nuns) and certain people at the SFBC have been irritated by that over the years.]

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has lost thousands of paid members lately.

Now part of that’s due to “churn,” which is something that every organization has to deal with, but most of it has to do with behavior of the SFBC itself. I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around town longer than the current SFBC has existed – no, I’m not saying that I’ve been here since the “early 70’s,” I’m saying that the SFBC didn’t really exist in the 1980’s when I came to SF. I’m saying that before Critical Mass (and its predecessor, the “Commute Clot”), the SFBC didn’t really exist – they were nowhere, man. What _did_ exist, a little later on, was the car-centric Willie Brown Administration. And all those functionaries working for Willie Brown were trying to find some “bicycle people” to cut a deal with, to tame Critical Mass, to give grant money to. But no, all the Critical Mass leaders were saying stuff like, “Critical Mass doesn’t have leaders, Man.” Eventually, the SFBC managed to practically become a part of the SFMTA, you know, conducting surveys for SFGov, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in taxpayer and feepayer money, forcing companies like Twitter to deal with the SFBC, you know, officially, and, in return, the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass, and SFBC now offers pols a nice photo op every year on Bike to Work Day and it actually endorses (without consulting the Members at all) for election Willie Brown protegees like, I don’t know, Ed Lee, for example. So that’s the history, and during this history I’ve seen the SFBC grow in membership, from “over 1000″ to “over 5000″ to “over “10,000” and then “over 11,000″ and then “over 12,000″ and then, uh oh, back down to “over 11,000″ and most recently back down to “over 10,000.” What are the numbers now? IDK, 9000-something? The SFBC isn’t exactly candid about its recent loss in membership. The SFBC certainly doesn’t want people freely looking at its tax forms or its older webpages, so that’s why it recently started suppressing this kind of information. Mmmmm… I’ll tell you, of course, there’s been a huge increase in bicycling in San Francisco since I’ve come here, and for various reasons, fine. (It’s sort of funny about how the big annual jumps in cycling came exactly during the rise of the fixie craze, and exactly when the Bicycle Plan injunction froze all infrastructure changes, but whatevs.) I’ll ask you, why can’t a monomaniacal advocacy organization like the SFBC concede anything? I guarantee you that the SFBC people who went the extra mile to “reach out” to Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV are pissed off about the above video coming out right before the Big Vote on Polk Street, which is supposably [what, no red underlining for a word I purposefully misspelled? Amazing] coming March 3rd, 2015, but who knows how that will work out. I’ll tell you, IMO Polk Street is a triple beam lyrical dream the way it is now. What are the other options to go north south in the area? If I don’t take Polk, then I’d be thinking Stockton, Grant, Kearney or the Embarcadero to the east or, to the west, Steiner (it’s sort of the pass over Pacific Heights, sort of) or Arguello through the Presidio. In your efforts to pursue your goals, SFBC, which I don’t necessarily oppose, you go too far and you end up alienating people like me, a man in his 40’s, and even older people such as Junior the Bike Messenger, and, apparently, THOUSANDS OF OTHER FORMER SFBC MEMBERS.

The question is, WHY IS THAT, SFBC?

 

MUNI Bus Ad Goes Off-Message: “CROWDED BUS DILEMMA” – “PACKED BUS AND YOUR LATE, SQUEEZE IN OR WAIT?”

February 26th, 2015

Oh no, the bus is packed and you’re already late?

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Isn’t it ironic?

Dont’cha think?

In any event, our Exploratorium is doing fine at its new location.

The Angriest-Looking Travel Trailer Ever: VENGEANCE is Yours, on South Van Ness – A Fifth Wheel “Toy Hauler”

February 26th, 2015

You live up front and carry around your ATV or motorcycles or whatever in the back

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Aint that America?

Does YOUR Church Offer Valet Parking Service? CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Fillmore Street, Pacific Heights

February 26th, 2015

As seen on a Sunday morning:

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“We Welcome Everyone. Really”

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Open-Air Bicycle Chop-Shop, 13th Street – These are Just a Few of the Hundreds of Stolen Bikes on Division, 13th, and Duboce Ave

February 25th, 2015

Chop chop, always with the chopping, in this area:

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If your bike hasn’t yet gotten chopped and it has a serial number on it, then there’s something the cops can do about it.

Otherwise, chop chop, always with the chopping, in this area.

Back up in the hood where the rules dont shift
And the gangstas talk trills, sip purp and burn piff
You can call 5-0 and 5-0 might come
But by the time that they arrive all that dirt had been done

Day of Remembrance, 2015, Japantown / Little Osaka, San Francisco

February 25th, 2015

As seen on Post in Japantown:

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Other locations.

Here’s a couple things. This here was something that wasn’t covered when I was in elementary school, just saying. And the Census Bureau sometimes still likes to claim that its data has never been handed over to other governmental agencies, but we learned otherwise a few years back.

News for Urbanists: “U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show” – Also, More Cars in SF

February 25th, 2015

So yeah, I think I know what you mean when you urbanists tell me, “Young people aren’t driving anymore,” or “Young people don’t even want a driver license anymore.”

But, IRL, vehicles registered in San Francisco, per the latest stats from our DMV, are up up up the past ten years – currently it’s around 477K. Compare that with 2003.

And you urbanists are telling me that the Great Recession has nothing to do with the decrease in the growth of driving, well that’s turning out to be wrong as well.

Who knows what the future will bring, is what I’m saying.

Enjoy:

“FHWA 12-15
Monday, February 23, 2015
Contact: Doug Hecox
(202) 366-0660

U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show – Nearly Three Trillion Miles Traveled in 2013 Underscores Call for Greater Transportation Investment

WASHINGTON – New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles in 2013, the highest level in six years, confirming estimates released last year and supporting calls for greater investment in roads, bridges, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to accommodate growing traffic volumes…

“According to FHWA’s “Highway Statistics,” an annual compilation of data from state Departments of Transportation, drivers traveled 2.99 trillion miles in 2013, the highest annual total since 2007 and the fourth-highest since such recordkeeping began in 1936.

The new data also show the number of U.S. vehicles increased to 255.9 million from 253.6 million the previous year, the biggest single-year increase since 2011…