Posts Tagged ‘12’

San Francisco’s Best (If Scariest) Commute: Riding the Elevator Basket Up Sutro Tower

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

As seen a few days back – that square, that’s your elevator car. Haven’t seen it in a while:

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And here’s the close-up color version, from all the way back in 2004:


(I remember thinking how the workers in the basket should have appeared clearer in this photo. I guess I was super-far away, oh well.)

In closing, take that, Great Pyramid. Pwned:


Good Idea: The Panhandle Bike Path Should Be Widened

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

It used to have four foot wide lanes.

Then it got six foot lanes, but now it’s lots busier these days, with all manner of transport upon it:

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And the SFPD and Rec & Park drive upon this path with Crown Victorias all the time too, right?

So what’s wrong with eight foot lanes, I ask you.

(Oh, no other “improvements” are required, no beautification efforts are required, or desired. Just work on the basics, SFGov.)

It Looks Like Somebody Wants a Wider Golden Gate Park Panhandle Bike Path – Or, is Planning for One, Anyway

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

I’ll tell you, in my day the Panhandle Bike Path was a mere eight foot wide. And then it went to twelve foot, the way it is now.

But how about 16 feet – what the heck would be wrong with that? JMO.

Anyway, they just got finished repaving the southwest corner of Fell and Masonic, so the bike path got widened to 14 feet, if only for a short section:

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I’ll get my 16 foot bike path, someday. (Prolly with a laundry list of expensive aesthetic “improvements” that I won’t notice, but anyway, someday…

Ouch: Membership Dues Have [Fallen] at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[UPDATE:  Per the SFBC, “…you should have read Part VIII, lines 1b and 2a, of the 990s for both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Education Fund.”

So, here’s 2010:

1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And 2011:

Again, 1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And here’s 2012:

(And the Bicycle Coalition Education Fund 990’s don’t really factor in all that much, like $10 or $20 grand each.)

So IDK, would you, Gentle Reader, suppose that different strategies were applied for 2010 and 2011 vs. 2012? I would. Because the “non-contribution portions of membership dues” went from $0 in 2010 and 2011 all the way up to $135,933 in 2012. Is there any explanation for this? Did the accountant(?) for 2011 and earlier fill out the 990 forms incorrectly? IDK. Is this kind of a thing a big deal, worth amending a bunch of other recent returns? IDK.

(Did IRS laws on this topic change the past several years? I don’t think so, as this guide from 2008 remains unchanged.)

Now when I say “membership dues,” what’s actually written in there for 2012 is “memberships.” Now memberships is a different thing, IMO. Memberships is what the SFBC spent a lot of time crowing about when memberships were actually increasing. But these days memberships are decreasing. Why is that? I ask.

So, what the SFBC is now calling it a 3% “membership income change” I’d call it a 3% membership dues decrease. And this comes at a time when the population of San Francisco is increasing and at a time when SFGov and the SFBC officially “expect” a sixfold increase in the number of trips made by bicycle in San Francisco by 2020, all the way up to 20%. (“20 by ’20” or something.) I don’t think anybody believes in this fantasy, you know, actually, but, well, there you go.

So, membership dues at the SFBC have decreased more like 3% year over year, rather than 40-something percent.

But if I were running the SFBC and I were as sensitive about giving out my 990’s as this…

“The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual reports discuss our biggest successes and challenges, and present a broad picture of our income and expenses. If you have specific questions about our finances, please contact Leah Shahum, Executive Director, 415/431-BIKE x306.”

…I’d amend my returns so that they would be self consistent, at the very least. END UPDATE]

And by the past year, I mean let’s use the most recent Form 990, the one* that was filed about four months ago, and compare it with the one what was filed for the year before.

Check it. Here’s the 990 for 2011 – $344,663 in reported membership dues:

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And here’s the 990 for 2012 – just $185,921:

Now, what could explain this sudden and dramatic drop in “support?”

Well, we had the Chris Bucchere accident in the first quarter of 2012 and some members didn’t exactly approve of the way that SFBC officers dealt with the issue. Perhaps revenue went down in the following quarters?

And we had the shocking SFBC endorsement of Republican-backed Mayor Ed Lee near the end of 2011 – I doubt that paying members would have approved of that had they been given the opportunity.

You know, this guy, the one who always looks up to the formerly-despised Willie Brown:

Of course, people can always do a Barter Membership, but you’d think that dues-paying members would volunteer anyway, right?

Take a look at the numbers on the tax returns, it seems as if the SFBC is just another arm of the SFMTA or, indeed, of SFGov. (Except it’s an agency that can officially endorse Ed Lee for Mayor.)

Oh well.

Anyway, this is why the SFBC no longer boasts of increasing membership anymore.

[UPDATE: Did the 10% discount for SFBC members at Rainbow Grocery really make that much of a difference? IDK. See Comments.]

*There’s also something called the Education Fund, which also gets membership dues – $10k for 2011 and $20k for 2012. But if you throw those numbers in you’re still looking at a 40-something percent decline year over year.

If Hertz is Using All-Electric Buses These Days, Than Why Can’t Google, Apple and Genentech?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

You know, to move their employees around, as in the Google Bus, the Apple Bus, the Genentech Bus, and others?

That’s the question you might have after hearing that Hertz is going electric with the eBUS-12 from Warren Buffet-approved BYD. Deets below.

A range of 155 miles per charge, that’s pretty good, right?

Here it is:

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Wouldn’t this be an upgrade from the diesel buses what are being used to take workers back and forth betwixt San Francisco and Silly Valley these days?

First off, a lot of those corporate shuttle buses are being operated by that cheesy Bauer’s Transportation Company, right? So that’s not good.

(To review, Bauer’s doesn’t have a “solar bus,” despite what self-appointed Bauer Brand Ambassador / San Francisco Chronicle “City Bright” / corporate sell-out Zennie Abraham tried to sell people last year in the electronic pages of SFGate. (Ooh, how embarrassing for all concerned!) No no, if anything and at best, Bauer’s can get you a regular old diesel bus with solar panels on top, big whoop.)

Second off, you could be the first, the first company in the bay area to go electric. Sure, it’d be a pain to recharge these rigs every day, but you could figure it out. And think of the bragging rights.

O.K. fine.

Hertz First Car-Rental Company to Deploy a Zero-Emissions All-Electric Bus – Hertz uses the BYD eBUS-12 at LAX

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Oct. 24, 2011  — The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), the world’s largest general use airport car rental brand, announces today the use of BYD’s eBUS-12 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the first such use to be conducted by a rental car company. Hertz is testing the all-electric on its main routes to gain data on this new platform.

“Hertz is aggressively moving forward with its Global EV program, introducing electric vehicles into its worldwide fleet and testing other electric vehicles as they become available,” says Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Hertz’s mission is to provide the most technologically advanced mobility solutions to our customers, including the buses we use as part of our everyday operations at airports. We continue Hertz’s track record of innovation by being first to deploy an all-electric shuttle bus in the US.”

The BYD pure electric eBUS-12 is able to run 155 miles on a single charge in urban conditions, more than enough for Hertz’s use at its airport locations, and its energy consumption is less than 100 kWh per 60 miles. The eBUS-12 is designed with the customer in mind, with a low floor and ample space to allow easy passenger loading and unloading and the bus has specially engineered sound insulation for a quieter cabin experience. The eBUS is being tested at Hertz’s Los Angeles Airport location, shuttling car rental customers between the terminals and Hertz’s rental facility. With a lower cost of ownership than a traditional gas powered bus, replacing just one traditional bus with the eBUS will reduce emissions by over 320 kg of CO2 (per 150 miles traveled) and save Hertz an average of $76* per day, per bus in fuel costs! (*32 gallons of diesel at $3.20/gal are replaced with $25.92 in electricity for $0.08/Kwh — the night time EV charge rates in LA).

BYD America President, Stella Li, stated, “BYD is thrilled to partner with HERTZ to demonstrate this significant breakthrough in zero-emissions buses. Not only is this eBUS a third less expensive to operate, but the total life-time costs are much less expensive than any other comparable 40-foot bus. Hertz is a leader in electric vehicles and other innovations and we are pleased to see that Hertz is the first rental company to deploy an all-electric bus.”

Hertz recently expanded its EV initiative to China, making it the first global rental car company to offer electric vehicles (EVs) on three continents. In its first year, the Hertz Global EV initiative has grown from a vision to a market presence cities around the world including New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London and Shenzhen, offering the most diverse fleet of EVs from manufactures including BYD, Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi, Renault, Daimler and Tesla. Hertz is uniquely positioned to introduce multiple groups of consumers – urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations – to all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As part of its strategy, Hertz is forming partnerships with automakers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGOs, corporations and other stakeholders.

Hertz plans to increase its global EV presence by deploying vehicles in other countries in the coming months. Hertz Global EV will continue to leverage the company’s rental and car sharing locations as bases for vehicles and charging stations, and tap into its technology – including sophisticated fleet management tools and the consumer-facing GPS systems, including the NeverLost GPS system in the U.S. – to help form an EV grid.

For more information, visit or

About Hertz

Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand operating from more than 8,500 locations in 146 countries worldwide. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 81 major airports in Europe, operating both corporate and licensee locations in cities and airports in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the Company has licensee locations in cities and airports in Africa and the Middle East. Product and service initiatives such as Hertz #1 Club Gold(R), NeverLost(R) customized, in-car GPS system, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and unique cars and SUVs offered through the Company’s Prestige, Fun and Green Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition. The Company also operates the Advantage car rental brand and the global car sharing club Hertz on Demand. And, Hertz operates one of the world’s largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, from approximately 325 branches in the United States, Canada, China, France, Spain and Italy.

About BYD:

BYD was ranked #1 at the top of Bloomberg’s and BusinessWeek’s 2009 Tech 100 List ( and is the leading manufacturer of advanced, environmentally-friendly battery technologies like the BYD’s Iron Phosphate battery used in BYD electric vehicles and electric buses. BYD’s solar panels and LED Lighting systems have CEC, TUV/CE and UL listings, and the company enjoys rapid growth in consumer electronics space and electrified transportation sector manufacturing under its BYD brand. BYD is the fastest-growing Chinese automotive and green energy technology enterprise. The Company trades on the Hong Kong Exchange (HKE) under the ticker numbers (HK.0285 – BYD Electronics) and (HK.1211 – BYD Company Ltd.), as well as on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange under the ticker number (002594 – BYD Company Ltd.). For more information, visit, or email

Supervisor Eric Mar and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma Host Meeting Regarding Alcohol Sales at Self Checkout Machines

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Word from District One Supervisor Eric Mar:

“Please join me this Friday along with Assemblywoman Fiona Ma for a community meeting to discuss Assembly Bill 183, regarding Alcohol and Self-Checkout machines at grocery stores/supermarkets. Leaders in our community have expressed concerns about the sale of alcohol to minors and intoxicated persons through automated self-checkout machines. Learn more about what we’re doing and how we can work together to make our communities safer.

When: Friday September 16th
Time: 5pm – 6pm
Location: Richmond Branch Library, 351 9th Avenue”


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I’ll spare you my thoughts (cough regarding unions! NIMBYs! cough) on this matter.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma Teaches Us How To Deal With the Urban Coyotes of Golden Gate Park, West Bay

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I’m not up to speed on what Fiona Ma is telling people today up in the Richmond District, but i do know that there aren’t as many coyotes now as there were back in the aughts, you know, years 2000-2009.

They were all over the place back then.

And then a man from the Dept. of Fish and Game came with a rifle and plumb blew away some of these critters.

Here’s one of the coyotes that was shot and killed a few years back in Golden Gate Park:


As long as we don’t feed them, things should work out. Don’t get too excited. These animals aren’t big like wolves, so mostly people just ignore them. Mostly.


Can’t we all get along?

I can’t imagine being afraid of a ten-pound wild dog, but some people are.

Or a red fox – I consider them five-pound wild dogs.

As seen in Strybing Arboretum, back before they started charging admission:

People you have nothing to fear…

Oh No! Stock Up on Refreshing Anheuser-Busch “Tilt” Energy Drink Now Cause It’ll Be Limited to Just 8% Alcohol Soon

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

It’s happening again! Our corporate overlords at Anheuser-Busch have agreed to lower the alcohol content of Tilt from today’s 10-12% all the way down to a maximum of 8%.

First they came for the Sparks
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Sparkser. [Orange, yish.]

Then they came for the Booya Espresso Silver Tequila with Caffeine
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Booya Espresso Silver Tequila with Caffeine drinker.

And then they came for refreshing Tilt Premium flavored malt beverage RED BLUE AND GREEN
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Oh well.

Farewell to the whole Tilt Family.

It was a good run…

TILT Family

April 2010
Beer Category/Style:
Specialty – Premium flavored malt beverage.
Taste Profiles:
TILT Red has an intense blend of fresh fruit flavors reminiscent of cherry, orange, lime, and tropical fruit.
TILT Blue has an intense fresh blue raspberry flavor.
TILT Green has an intense blend of lemon-lime citrus flavor.
Brewed using the same high-quality brewing process as all our malt beverages, each TILT flavor is then infused with fruit flavor.
Interesting Facts:
Adults will enjoy the bold flavor of the TILT family. TILT RED contains 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), TILT Blue contains 11 percent ABV and TILT Green contains 10 percent ABV. Each flavor is available nationwide in clubs, lounges and liquor/convenience stores.

Somehow, This Hipster on Market Street is Profitting Off of Frank Chu’s 12 Galaxies Sign

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Not sure how this guy is making money, but I hope that famous Frank Chu is getting his fair share…

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Jerry Brown Takes Down: “Operation Knockout” Arrests 94 Norteños and Sureños in Salinas

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide gang wars in Steinbeck Country. So today he’s telling us about the people in his Gang Suppression Enforcement Program, along with a whole bunch of other California and federal peace officers, arresting 94 suspected Montery-area Norteños and Sureños.

And to keep things going, Jerry just announced a local, Salinas-area gang task force.

Anyway, there was a big press conference today – look at who all was there.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello (Northern District of CA), Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, Salinas Chief of Police Louis Fetherolf, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue and a host of others down in Salinas :

Check it:

“Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today discussed “Operation Knockout,” in which agents from Brown’s Gang Suppression Enforcement Program (GSEP) of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement arrested gang members after an eight-month, wide-ranging investigation and sweep targeting the most powerful gang leaders in the Salinas area.”

via Thomas Hawk

All the deets:

Brown Announces Major Gang Takedown in Salinas

SALINAS – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that more than 200 agents from his Gang Suppression Enforcement Program and other law enforcement agencies today arrested 37 members of two vicious gangs responsible for a rampage of violence — including more than three dozen murders and 200 shootings — that terrorized the citizens of Salinas and nearby areas.

Today’s mass arrests culminated an eight-month operation, code-named “Operation Knockout,” aimed at apprehending members of the Norteños and Sureños gangs that turned Salinas into a hub of murder, robbery and drug dealing.

The operation targeted the most dangerous gang leaders in the Salinas area. In addition to the arrests made today, agents seized 40 pounds of cocaine, 14 pounds of marijuana, nine ounces of methamphetamine, $34,000 in cash, and 12 guns. An additional 57 arrests were made before today’s sweep.

“Operation Knockout was designed to restore safety to the streets of Salinas,” said Brown. “Citizens in John Steinbeck’s hometown deserve better than having to endure a violent crime rate that’s three times the national average. We owed it to the people of Salinas to arrest these out-of-control gang members and ensure a heightened sense of personal security throughout the city.”

Ever more deets after the jump