Posts Tagged ‘2’

Frisco’s Highest Elevator Car

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Here it is:

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I don’t think it ever gets level, so you’re standing on a sloping floor the whole time:

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And then you go up up up to the highest horizontal point of Sutro Tower:

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I haven’t seen it in action lately, but here’s a shot from aught-four:

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And more recently:

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Or you can take the stairs I guess…

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

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So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

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And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

What’s MARSEC (Maritime Security) LEVEL 1 at Our Ferry Building? Well, It’s Nothing Like DEFCON 1

Monday, May 8th, 2017

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BGSTR 1, BGSTR 2 and BGSTR 3, 1560 Pacific Ave

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

As seen by Man About Town James Corrigan:

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SFPD Tells Local News Choppers to Buzz Off During Standoff in Chinatown

Monday, June 6th, 2016

This copter for one:

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There were a couple others too.

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:

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(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:

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That’s It, the Golden Age of Airbnb in San Francisco is Over: City Starts Accepting Short Term Rental Applications Feb 2nd

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The always-reliable Socketsite has the bad news.

Here it is, just posted by the Planning Department.

Oh, be sure to show them your half-million dollar liability insurance policy that I’m sure you already have (haha!).

If Airbnb is your bidness, you might even welcome these new regs. But if you are the more casual renter-outer, well, brace yourself for dealing with SFGov.

And here’s the kicker:

“You may not rent your unit (in all or a portion) as a short-term residential rental until you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration number from the Planning Department.”

Choose wisely, Airbnbers…

“Short-Term Residential Rental Registry

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications Accepted Beginning February 2nd, 2015.

What is the SF Short-Term Residential Rental Ordinance?
On October 27th, 2014 Mayor Lee signed San Francisco Ordinance No. 218-14, amending the Administrative and Planning Codes to allow some residential properties to conduct short-term residential rentals without violating the requirements of the City’s Residential Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41A) or the Planning Code. A short-term residential rental is a rental of all or a portion of your residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights. This law will become effective on February 1st, 2015. At that time, eligible Permanent Residents (owners and tenants) will be able to apply to place their residential unit on the Planning Department’s Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.

What can I do with a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration?
With a valid Short-Term Residential Rental Registration you may rent your primary residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights without violating the requirements of the City’s Residential Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41A) or the Planning Code. This includes renting a portion or your entire unit while you are also present for an unlimited number of nights per year and renting a portion or your entire unit while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per year.

How can I apply to be on the Registry?
Short-Term Residential Rental Applications will be made available online and at the Planning Information Center (PIC) located at the ground floor of 1660 Mission Street. To register your unit, you will need to make an appointment with the San Francisco Planning Department to meet with staff and submit your application.Applications must be filed in person by the permanent resident whose name will appear on the registry. Applications may not be filed by representatives or agents. Drop-ins or dropped off applications will not be accepted. The Planning Department will begin conducting intake appointments on Monday, February 2nd. To schedule an intake appointment, please call 415-575-9179 after Monday, January 26th.

You may not rent your unit (in all or a portion) as a short-term residential rental until you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration number from the Planning Department.

Who is eligible to register?
In order to conduct a short-term residential rental you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You must be the Permanent Resident (owner or tenant) of the residential unit that you wish to rent short-term. This means you must live in that specific residential unit for at least 275 nights of any given calendar year. If you are a new resident you must have occupied this specific unit for at least 60 consecutive days prior to your application. If you own a multi-unit building, you may only register the specific residential unit in which you reside.
  • You must obtain liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000 or provide proof that liability coverage in an equal or higher amount is being provided by any and all hosting platforms through which you will rent your unit.
  • Your residential unit must not have any outstanding Planning, Building, Housing, Fire, Health, Police, or other applicable City code violations.
  • You may only register one residential unit.
  • Please note that residential units that are subject to the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program and residential units designated as below market rate (BMR) or income-restricted under City, state, or federal law are not eligible to register.
  • Important note for tenants:  The Planning Department strongly recommends that you review your lease before submitting an application. The registration of your residential  unit on the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry does not override any lease agreements, homeowner’s association bylaws, Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), or any other agreement, law, or regulations that prohibit subletting or use of your unit as a short-term residential rental.

Is there an application fee?
Yes. The fee for the initial application is $50.00. Your registration will remain valid for two years (pending the registered unit remains in good standing)

At your appointment you will need to provide all of the following items:

  • A completed Short-Term Residential Rental Application (download application packet here)
  • A Business Registration Certificate issued by the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office
  • Driver’s License or State Issued ID Card issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date and valid for at least the next 6 months
  • Proof of  liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000
  • A signed affidavit agreeing to abide by all conditions of the short-term residential rental ordinance included within the application (download application packet here).
  • A check made out to the San Francisco Planning Department for $50.00
  • At least two of the following listed documents to confirm your primary residency at your residential unit:
  • Proof of a Homeowner’s Tax Exemption. Accepted as a form of residency confirmation only if the proof of a Homeowner’s Tax Exemption is for a property that is either a single-family dwelling or condominium; 
  • Voter Registration Card or Certificate with the address on the application, issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date. You may obtain a copy through the San FranciscoDepartment of Elections;
  • Proof of Vehicle Registration with the address on the application, issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date;
  • Proof of car insurance, showing address of registration, issued at least 60 days prior;
  • Original utility bill, issued by a public utility or PG&E, at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential application date. Copies and printouts will not be accepted. You may only use utility bills as one form of residency confirmation. Cable, cell phone, and internet bills do not qualify.

If you are a tenant of your residential unit you will also need to provide a copy of your lease or rental agreement. Please note that upon receipt of your completed application, the Planning Department will send a notice to the owner(s) of your unit, informing the owner(s) that your application has been received.

What will happen at my intake appointment?
Staff will review your application and related materials for completeness and intake. Only applications deemed complete at the time of submittal will be accepted for intake and further review. Additionally, staff will go over conditions and limitations of renting your unit as a short-term rental.

What happens after I’ve submitted my application?
It is expected that the Planning Department will review a completed application within fifteen (15) business days. If the Planning Department determines that your application meets the criteria then your unit will be added to the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry. You will you receive a “Short-Term Residential Rental” certificate by mail, which contains your assigned Registration Number. This registration number must be included at the top of all short-term rental listings’ descriptions (online or otherwise). We recommend that you place this certificate in plain view within your unit.

What can I do and not do once I have obtained a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number?
Once you have obtained a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number, you may use your residential unit as a short-term residential rental without violating Administrative Code Chapter 41A or the Planning Code  under the following conditions:

  • You may rent the residential unit (in all or a portion) while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per calendar year.
  • You may rent a portion of the residential unit while you are present for an unlimited number of nights per year.
  • You may advertise your residential unit on any and all hosting platforms under the condition that you list your registration number at the top of all listings’ descriptions.

What you may not do with your Primary Residence registered as a Short-Term Residential Rental:

  • You may not rent your residential unit or a portion thereof for more than 90 nights per calendar year while you are not also present during the time of the guests’ stay.
  • You may not rent illegal residential units or unpermitted spaces associated with your property.
  • If you are a tenant, you may not make more than your monthly rent from your short-term rental fees charged to guests.

Due to the expected volume of requests and inquiries related to this matter, please continue to check back on our website for the latest news and updates pertaining to the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.

$2.99 per Gallon Gasoline has Come to SF – And $1.99 Gas in the Rest of ‘Merica – SFMTA’s Reason to Drive?

Monday, December 1st, 2014

How much is a gallon of gasoline at the Fell Street ARCO station right now? $2.99

And how about the rest of America? Well, some places are at $1.99 and there are more coming soon.

Hey, remember when the SFMTA used to talk about how people should take MUNI because a one-way fare was less than a gallon of gas? I do. Not too forward-looking, huh?

And remember this ad campaign, to teach stupid car drivers about how gasoline actually costs money?

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I do.

The SFMTA has stated that increasing gasoline prices are a reason to take MUNI, so, conversely, would falling gasoline prices be a reason to NOT take MUNI?

Think on that.

IMO, the SFMTA needs to deal with its numerous problems honestly.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t even coming close to doing this.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t even close to offering, in its words, EXCELLENT TRANSPORTATION CHOICES.

IMO.

JMO

IMO, MUNI’s service is worse than a quarter-century ago, despite the dramatic growth in its budget and its fare prices.

So, real gas prices are historically low and the SFMTA’s prices are historically high.

Just saying.

Board of Supervisors President Game of Thrones: Mark Farrell as King Joffrey, London Breed as Khaleesi

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Who will ascend the Iron Throne?

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Mark Farrell as King Joffrey:

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Joe Eskenazi of SFWeekly has all your Board of Supervisors President handicapping needs met right here.

London Breed as Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons:

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Nike Women’s Marathon Media Van #2 Going Waaaaaay Too Fast for the Narrow Streets and Lanes of the Western Addition

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Uh, it’s just the 2013 Nike Half-Marathon, it’s not Armageddon, or even Deep Impact. Where’s the fire, minivan lady? I mean, nobody really cares about the Nike (excepting for the concomitant silver bling from Tiffany’s that Finishers so covet), but people will care if you run over a ped, right?

Also, Nevada plates?

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Now, Oregon plates, you know, from California’s Other Deadbeat Neighbor, from Nike’s Home State, well, I’d almost go for that.

In conclusion, I cry foul.