Posts Tagged ‘2004’

San Francisco’s Most Famous Car of 2014: A “Mirror-Finish Aston Martin Rapide, Because Eff You, That’s Why”

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

[UPDATE: Word on the street is that the driver lives in The Avenues, where he has a rep for driving too fast out there. Word on the street is that the driver has a "neckbeard."]

I seen this $200k+ Aston Martin Rapide all over town – I seen it I seen it! In the Financh, the SoMA, the Fillmore, pretty much all over the 1/8th of a pie slice that is northeastern SF.

(This ride has now officially stolen the thunder of that Kandy-Kolored Gold-Flake Streamline Baby Lambo used as a daily driver(!) by a CCSF junior college student.)

So, why the mirror finish, dahling? Well, per Arlen of Flickr, “because fuck you, that’s why.”

And, has this garish Aston been registered in California yet? Well, maybe, but if it has a CA license plate, it’s certainly not mounted on the back where it should be, and that’s odd, because it’s been in town for a while, oh well.

Who can solve this mystery?

As seen being driven, poorly, in the Upper Fillmore area…

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The SFMTA’s New “Scott Street Traffic Diversion” Proposal

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Well the SFMTA has a new tack on Scott Street betwixt Page and Fell for this year.

So last year, the SFMTA felt that these particular blocks of Scott were filled with “high speed” drivers “speeding” through the place and the SFMTA felt that the simple four way stop intersection of Page and Scott was “confusing for everyone.” Here we go:

With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone

In fact, Page and Scott is not “confusing” at all. As stated, it’s a simple four-way stop, about as comprehensible as possible. And in fact, Page and Scott does not experience “heavy vehicle volumes.”

Oh well.

But hey, if you want to say that Hayes and Scott has heavier traffic volume these days, especially during the evening drive, well, we agree on that, SFMTA. Before, this traffic would have been on Divisadero, but recent “improvements” to the DivCo have lessened the DivCo’s capacity.

Here is the result of the “improvements” to Divis:

Anyway

But now it’s 2014 and that was then and this is now. The SFMTA is articulating new rationales for doing what it wants to do. They’re contained in the Scott Street Traffic Diversion.

Let’s check it out:

Motorists who drive through a neighborhood – rather than to a local destination – can cause congestion on residential streets.

WELL GEE, I SUPPOSE THAT’S TRUE. BUT MOTORISTS WHO DRIVE TO A LOCAL DESTINATION – RATHER THAN DRIVING THROUGH – CAN CAUSE CONGESTION AS WELL, RIGHT?

The City proposes restricting traffic on Scott Street to make it more comfortable for residents, bicycle riders and pedestrians.

OK, SFMTA, WHY DON’T WE RESTRICT TRAFFIC ON _ALL_ STREETS TO MAKE _EVERYBODY_ MORE “COMFORTABLE?”

An extra-large bulb-out at Scott and Fell will require all southbound automobile traffic to turn right onto Fell Street; bicycle riders and pedestrians can continue on Scott. This will reduce Scott Street’s appeal as a cross-town route, making it a more pleasant place to walk, bike, and live.

SO YOU WANT DIVISADERO TO BE A _LESS_ “PLEASANT” PLACE?

Access will be maintained to all homes and driveways, and changes will be made to improve Divisadero Street to accommodate diverted traffic.

OH, I SEE, YOU WANT DIVIS TO HAVE MORE GREEN LIGHT TIME AND, LET’S SEE HERE, HAIGHT, PAGE, OAK, FELL, HAYES, ETC TO HAVE LESS GREEN LIGHT TIME. ISN’T THIS KIND OF A ZERO-SUM GAME? WHY SHOULD THE CITY BEND OVER BACKWARDS FOR THE RICH HOMEOWNERS OF SCOTT STREET?

Changes to Scott Street were initially requested by neighborhood residents unhappy with congestion and idling vehicles.

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT EVERY OTHER STREET IN SF? ARE YOU GOING TO POLL RESIDENTS OF ALL THE OTHER STREETS TO MEASURE THEIR “HAPPINESS?”

Restricting southbound traffic would greatly reduce this issue for several blocks both north and south of Fell Street. Residents who live on Scott between Oak and Fell would have to approach their homes from the south when driving, but would still have access to their driveways and would be able to exit the block to either the north or south.

WHY NOT THIS, SFMTA? WHY NOT SAY THAT ONLY SCOTT STREET RESIDENTS CAN PARK ON SCOTT STREET? I’LL BET THAT WOULD INCREASE THE HAPPINESS LEVEL OF THOSE MILLIONAIRES EVEN MORE. ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT NEXT, SFMTA?

With the proposed traffic diverter, drivers would still be able to park on both sides of Scott Street on the block between Oak and Fell with a U-turn required to reach parking spaces on the west side of the street. The traffic diverter would not remove any parking spaces from Scott Street, though bulb-outs at other locations in the project area will each remove 0-3 parking spaces.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST COME OUT AND SAY HOW MANY PARKING SPACES YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE OUT, SFMTA? OH, THAT’S NOT YOUR STYLE, HUH?

Biking on Scott Street in the southbound direction will be significantly calmer, with fewer automobiles to share the road with.

FEWER BUSES TOO, RIGHT? IN FACT NO BUSES AT ALL. AND YET, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RIDE ON BUSES ON SCOTT THROUGH THIS SACRED AREA ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT ABOUT THEM?

Scott Street will no longer be a convenient route for driving in the southbound direction.

BECAUSE IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? WELL, WE AGREE ON THAT ON, ANYWAY.

For drivers with destinations within the Alamo Square or Lower Haight neighborhoods, either Divisadero or parallel neighborhood residential streets could be used.

WELL THANKS, CAPTAIN OBV!

For drivers currently using Scott Street for longer stretches, Divisadero will be improved to make it the preferred route through the area.

UH, NO IT WON’T. SIMPLY.

Driving north on Scott Street would not be restricted under the proposal, though raised crosswalks and speed humps will be added.

WHAT’S THE SPEED LIMIT ON SCOTT, SFMTA? HOW MANY PEOPLE “SPEED” ON THESE TWO BLOCKS BETWIXT PAGE AND FELL? OH NONE, ALL RIGHT. BUT YOU’LL PUT IN “SPEED” BUMPS ANYWAY, BECAUSE, BECAUSE…?

Because of improvements the SFMTA will be making to Divisadero in conjunction with this project, neighborhood streets such as Steiner, Pierce and Broderick would not be expected to receive noticeable changes in automobile traffic – in fact, some cross-town traffic on these streets may switch to Divisadero as well.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. IF THE SFMTA WANTS TO FAVOR NORTH-SOUTH TRAFFIC OVER EAST-WEST, IT CAN, OF COURSE, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF EAST-WEST TRAFFIC, OF COURSE. ISN’T THIS A ZERO-SUM GAME, SFMTA?

Changing the traffic signals on Divisadero Street will ensure that the increase in the number of cars using Divisadero will not slow down the 24-Divisadero, and could even improve Muni service in some stretches.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. OH WELL. HEY SFMTA, WHY NOT CHANGE THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS ON DIVIS RIGHT NOW, IF DOING THAT WOULD BE SO GREAT? SIMPLY, DIVERTING TRAFFIC ON SCOTT WILL NOT IMPROVE BUS SERVICE. SORRY, SFMTA. SORRY TO HARSH YOUR MELLOW, SFMTA.

The SFMTA Renames Lower Haight as “The Wiggle Community” – Calls for SFPD Crackdown on Bikes, Return of Hated Traffic Circles

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

[UPDATE: Now let's hear from famous Jim Ross:

"I lived on Scott Street, between Oak & Fell during the last traffic circle experiment. Was nearly hit four or five times walking to Haight Street for coffee. That is a very residential neighborhood, one reason it is good to bike through. But also, a bunch of pedestrians should not have risk life and limb to cross the street…"

Indeed, Jimbo! Pedestrians wanting to cross Page would hear a car coming from a half-block away. What should they do? Would the drivers slow down? The peds wouldn't know. Very bad!  All this so that Page could eventually become a "Bicycle Boulevard?" All this so that cyclists wouldn't have to worry about getting tickets for California stopping? Ridiculoso!]

Here it is, from our incompetent SFMTA:

Wiggle Community Open House

You know what, SFMTA, do you know what you should be “passionate” about? Do you know what your primary function is? It’s to operate the fucking transit system.

So how well do you think you are you doing, SFMTA? Do you think you all are doing a spectacular job? Really?

So why not this, why not say, “We’re the SFMTA, we’re MUNI and we don’t do a very good job these days but we have a pot of money to spend on the Lower Haight and we think this kind of project would be a good use of taxpayer money.” You know, as an introduction, to build credibility with your audience.

Anyway, let’s get to a few of the more glaring issues with the so-called “Wiggle Community,” fka the Lower Haight.

Oh, here we go:

Click to expand

Let’s read the boxes here:

“With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone”

OMFG, SFMTA, WTF? The intersection of Page and Scott doesn’t have “heavy” vehicle volumes. NOT AT ALL. Also, it’s a simple four way stop. It’s not “confusing for everyone.” WTF are you smoking, you SFMTA hippies?

“Heavy vehicle congestion from drivers using Scott as a cut-through to Fell and Oak.”

OK, as stated, Scott Street just doesn’t have heavy vehicle congestion. Hey, SFMTA! Do you know about the ongoing, daily disaster you all created called Octavia “Boulevard?’ Well guess what. It has “heavy” vehicle congestion. As does Oak, which routinely backs up going all the way up to freaking Alamo Heights. As do other streets intersecting with Octavia due to how the lights are timed. What color is the sky in your world, SFMTA? And what’s a “cut-through?” Is it street? I think it is? How about this, SFMTA, you all name me a street and then I’ll make a up a name for the surrounding area and I’ll call it a “community.” How about the “Ashbury Southern Heights (ASH) Community?” Then, I’ll critercise all those mofos who use the southern part of Ashbury Street to “cut-through” my made-up “community.” And then I’ll blame ALL “congestion” on people who don’t live in the “community.” That’s what you’re trying to do here, SFMTA. Every street in SF is a “cut-through,” using the phrase the way you all use it.

“Haight Street has buses and commercial activity, and is less comfortable for biking.”

Biking isn’t necessarily “comfortable,” SFMTA. And it never will be. I know you all are addicted to spending money, but this rationale is exceptionally weak. It’s right up there with using “transit justice” to justify the wasteful nine-figure Central Subway subway to nowhere project in Chinatown.

“Bicyclists don’t yield to pedestrians, particularly in the downhill direction”

Well, yeah, that’s right. Like Haight and Pierce, for example. I’ll tell you, I’m surprised the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition branch of the SFMTA would allow a publication to come out what talks about enforcement actions and what has a photo of an SFPD officer. I guess this is the SFMTA throwing a bone to the peds?

Anyway, read through the whole seven pages for more SFMTA boners.

Speaking of which, the SFMTA is back with the traffic circles.

All right,about a decade ago, the very same SFMTA was dead-set on putting traffic circles in the Haights, specifically on Page and Waller. The SFMTA said it had numerous studies praising traffic circles. The SFMTA said that “the community” wanted traffic circles. The SFMTA was wrong. The SFMTA had a vote by the neighbors and it lost by about a three to one margin – all 11 proposed traffic circles got voted down. Anyway, the plan was to have them become gardens or whatnot. So, for the SFMTA to list unsightliness as the first reason for the SFMTA’s failure, well, that’s a little disingenuous, IMO. So the reason the SFMTA can now claim it has “installed traffic circles with success and community support” in the Richmond District recently is that the SFMTA didn’t allow a vote. If the SFMTA allowed a vote on any particular traffic circle, the SFMTA would lose. So, no more voting, bingo bango.

This is horse doody:

“Traffic Circles Then & Now
In 2003, the SFMTA experimented with removing stop signs and installing traffic circles at several locations along Page Street. Many residents complained that the circles were unsightly and deprioritized pedestrians, and they were removed. However, in recent years the SFMTA has installed traffic circles with success and  community support, using improved outreach, design, and signage.

Are there places in the Wiggle where you’d like to see traffic circles today?”

Is the SFMTA saying that it has “improved” the design of traffic circles the past ten years? Perhaps they’ve done research on the number pi? Perhaps they’re thinking traffic ovals? Traffic ovoids? IDK.

Anyway, just because you lie about stuff, that doesn’t mean people will necessarily believe you, SFMTA.

Ah, mem’ries:

“Subject: Page St. Traffic Circle Hearing TOMORROW
From: joshua@sfbike.org
Date: March 17, 2004 1:30:06 PM PST

“Dear SF bicyclist,

The 9-month long Page and Waller Traffic Circle Pilot program is coming to a
close, and the Department of Parking and Traffic is holding a public hearing
TOMORROW, THURSDAY MARCH 18TH to hear from residents and users of the
street. This is your chance to voice ideas, concerns, and opinions about
this traffic calming experiment. Each of the 11 proposed circles will be
voted on by residents living within a block, and voting will conclude March
25th. The circle receiving the highest percentage of votes (over 50%) will
be installed on a permanent basis, with consideration for others that also
receive 50% or more of the vote.

The meeting will be held:

6:30pm-8pm this Thursday, March 18th
Park Branch Library
1833 Page St. at Cole

The SFBC supports the concept of the traffic calming circles, but shares the
concerns of many other residents and neighborhood groups, including Walk SF
and the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, that:

1) there was not sufficient neighborhood outreach or involvement prior to
circle installation

2) more education and public outreach is needed to users of the street to
convey safe and legal behavior at the circles

3) pedestrian right-of-way is being compromised with the current circle
design

Although we don’t think the current design is perfect, we are encouraging
our members and other residents living along the Page and Waller corridor to
VOTE YES to give the circles a chance to be improved upon.

BICYCLE BOULEVARDS

Given the right education, signage, and enforcement, we believe the circles
will benefit the neighborhood and cyclists by being the first step toward a
true bicycle boulevard on Page St.

A bike boulevard is an innovative bicycle facility that is often applied to
residential streets that parallel major arterials. It consists of three
design elements:

1. stop signs placed only on side streets to give priority to the boulevard

2. traffic circles installed in at least some of the intersections to slow
cars down to 10-15mph while allowing bikes to maintain momentum

3. diverters, barriers or forced turns that prohibit automobile through
access on the bike boulevard while continuing to allow cyclists,
pedestrians, and emergency vehicles through.

A bicycle boulevard treatment applied to Page St. could dramatically reduce
the volume and speed of traffic, and reduce or eliminate stop signs, making
bicycling along Page much easier, safer, more efficient and pleasant. It
would not “close” the street to cars- drivers would still be able to access
every point along Page, but using this neighborhood street as an auto cut
through would be a thing of the past.

Although the DPT is not considering a full bicycle boulevard currently,
Thursday’s meeting will be a good chance to voice your support for this
concept, and build support among local residents.

You can find out more about bicycle boulevards at:
http://www.odot.state.or.us/techserv/bikewalk/planimag/ii1e.htm

DPT’s web page on the circles is at
http://www.sfgov.org/site/dpt_index.asp?id=13573

Because of vocal opposition to the circles, it is particularly important for
people to come and speak at the hearing about the benefits of traffic
calming and a bicycle boulevard along Page St. For more information,
contact me (using the information at the bottom of this e-mail).

TALKING POINTS FOR THURSDAY’S MEETING

- There are problems with the implementation of the circles, but the concept
is good. We need better signage (yield to peds pop-up signs, and stops
where appropriate)

- A full bicycle boulevard (including side street stop signs, circles, and
diverters) will dramatically reduce car traffic on this residential street,
prioritizing the street for cyclists and pedestrians.

- Vote yes on the circles!

Thank you for supporting YOUR Bicycle Coalition and an improved bike
network!”

Did a Community College Student Buy Dennis Rodman’s Gold Lamborghini to Drive to CCSF Every Day? Here It Is

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Why would you paint the top half of your Lambo in flaked gold to make it look like a bowling ball?

This vehicle, spotted in San Francisco’s Chinatown last week, is an abomination:

Click to expand

So Dennis Rodman bought this 2004 Lamboghini Gallardo automatic and then he spent $15,000 to paint the top half in gold flake after an accident and then he sold it last year for $80-something in order to make child support payments?

And then a City College of San Francisco student obtained it as a daily driver to get him to the Main Campus reservoir parking lot each and every day for both the Spring and Fall semesters of 2012?

Really?

OMG. (Please note the tell-tale green CCSF parking sticker in the windshield.)

Let’s hear from a Toyota-driving CCSF student earlier this week:

“saw this lambo today at the school parking lot (ccsf). in fact, it parked 3 cars away from me. easily the most expensive car at ccsf…”

This car is all over town these days, C-Town, J-Town, Upper Haight, Lower Haight, all over.

And just think, when the owner gets around to registering this car (use tax, baby – $7k), that’ll pay for the education subsidy he’s getting by being a stu at troubled CCSF.

Hurray!

Here’s CA plate 6SUG286 during happier times with DR, back in aught-five, back before he accumulated a million bucks worth in unpaid child and spousal support.

Anyway, mail in your photos, gentle readers, when you see this ride about town.

In closing, go CCSF Rams!

Million dollar pig junior / You’re my Bangladesh

I’m crazy dynamite / I’m the cactus man

I drive a Lambourghini / I stop for petrol

You mangle my pig junior / There’s tornadoes in Spain

I’m alone tonight / I’m the cactus man

I drive a Lambourghini / I stop for petrol

Mangle my pig junior / Mangle my pig junior / So far away / So far away…

Gold Mountain Mural in North Beach is Gone, Long Gone, Owing to Graffiti Vandals – Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The news of this mural going away had escaped my attention the past couple of months.

Here’s what it looked like before….

…and here’s what it looks like now:

Click to expand

Here are your reading notes:

Gen Fujioka of the Chinatown Community Development Center is involved with promoting the horrible Central Subway to Nowhere.

Artist Ann Sherry is fortunate to get a five-figure commission for anything, so I’m not sure why she’s so perpetually cranky. 

It’s not smart to put up images of authority figures (you know, people in military of police uniforms) in a sort of wild part of town

I don’t know, maybe this was a bad idea from the start?

I don’t know, maybe San Francisco government has lots of bad ideas, you know, from the start?

What can we learn from this episode?

Wow, Gay San Francisco Stands Up for Dennis Herrera at Harvey Milk Plaza – Ammiano Harshes Ed Lee + “WTF, Chronicle?”

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

[UPDATE: Oh, the Chron* was there. As was Steve T Jones of the Bay Guardian. And here's a short highlight clip.]

Well, a large crowd showed for today’s noontime rally in support of City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera. It came in reaction to this bit from John Coté and Heather Knight in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

Consider this rally, complete with pretty much all of Gay San Francisco (gee, who wasn’t there?), a strong retort.

Click to expand

1 of 4 - Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart and Senator Mark Leno:

2 of 4 – Assemblymember Tom Ammiano: “WTF, Chronicle?” (Ouch.) And then, on a different tack: ”I think we all know who was doing it.” Uh, would that be Ed Lee? And do you think Tom’s talking about Ed Lee here? ”…Healthy San Francisco, supporting it, not trying to decimate it. Honoring Occupy San Francisco and their ability to mediate and to collaborate. How about some fucking leadership?

(Here’s the short version, complete with Henny Youngman-style one-liners.)

And check out Cleve Jones at around 8:00: “And finally, to Ed Lee, whose campaign began with a lie [and] is ending with a lie. And in between the lies, what did we see but cronyism, fake grass-roots organizations coming out of nowhere, vote tampering like we haven’t seen in a long, long time, money laundering, and now we’re ending with a big lie, a slur against Dennis Herrera. And how stupid do you think we are? Please.”

(Here’s the short version.)

This is the clip with the vitriol:

3 of 4: City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the man himself:

4 of 4: Herrera’s closing plus Harvey Milk Club and Alice B Toklas Club, united:

All the deets:

“News conference on Dennis Herrera’s record of support for LGBT marriage equality: TODAY, Oct. 27, 12:00 noon, Harvey Milk Plaza
SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27, 2011) — Leaders in the LGBT community and marriage equality movement including Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Scott Wiener, Molly McKay, Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, Cleve Jones, Julius Turman, Reese Isbell, representatives from both the Alice B. Toklas and Harvey Milk LBGT Democratic Clubs, and a growing list of others will hold a news conference to defend City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s consistent record of support for marriage equality.
The news conference at noon today is in response to political attacks published in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday from anonymous sources who questioned City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s commitment to marriage equality.   
                      LGBT Community Press Conference
                      Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market
                      TODAY – Thursday, Oct. 27, 12:00 noon 
Below is a letter issued yesterday from Phyllis Lyon, the LGBT civil rights pioneer.  Lyon and her late wife, Del Martin, were the first same-sex couple married in San Francisco.”
MESSAGE FROM PHYLLIS LYON: OCT. 26, 2011
Subject: Dennis has always defended us
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - 
Now, we need to defend him!
Please join Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Scott Wiener, representatives from both the Alice B. Toklas and Harvey Milk LBGT Democratic Clubs, and many other LGBT community leaders for:
                      LGBT Community Press Conference
                      Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market
                      Thursday, Oct. 27, 12:00 noon 
With less than two weeks until Election Day, a petty smear campaign is underway to personally discredit City Attorney Dennis Herrera over his years of work for marriage equality.  Incredibly, despite all the heroic efforts of Dennis and his office right from the start, anonymous sources have pushed a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that Dennis wasn’t “supportive” of Mayor Newsom’s decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses back in February 2004.  It’s not true.  These politically motivated attackers are hoping we’ll forget the years of hard work Dennis and his deputies invested — and continue to invest even now, in the federal challenge to Prop 8 — for LGBT equality.
My late wife, Del Martin, and I were the first same-sex couple married back in 2004. 
So I remember the heartfelt and tireless work that Dennis, Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry Stewart, and the City Attorney’s Office committed to defend our marriage from day one.  Yes, it was an uphill battle.  We all knew it, and we all expressed doubts.  But that doesn’t mean we weren’t “supportive” of marriage equality! 
That’s why these anonymous political attacks are such an outrage.
It’s not just insulting to a good man and longtime LGBT ally.  It insults the intelligence of LGBT voters who know that Dennis has been a consistent and effective champion for our community for years:
  • In the 1990s, as Police Commission President, Dennis established groundbreaking protocols to require police to treat transgender detainees with the dignity and respect they deserve. 
  • Dennis successfully defended our landmark Equal Benefits Ordinance in his first years as City Attorney, finally defeating challengers who opposed domestic partner benefits.
  • In 2002, Dennis and the Assessor ended tax re-assessments homeowners faced after the death of a domestic partner — so LGBT survivors on fixed incomes wouldn’t lose their homes.
Dennis’s heart has always been with us.  That’s why he was elected and re-elected City Attorney with overwhelming LGBT community support.  That’s why he’s now the only candidate for Mayor endorsed by both the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club (#1) and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club (#2).   
Dennis Herrera never shrank from defending the LGBT community — not once.  Now, it’s our turn to defend him.  
Please join us at Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market, Thursday, Oct. 27, at 12:00 noon. 
Sincerely,
Phyllis Lyon”
 ~
Mark Leno:

DJH with wife Anne:

And here’s part of the crowd descending the steps of Castro Station:

And, bonus, a special hug for Harvey and Alice:

So, uh, who’s the “political genius” who thought it was a good idea for former Gavin Newsom staffers to go to the Chron a few days back?

Because this whole affair, well, it’s not good for Ed Lee.

Not good at all…

*I swear, I don’t really get photojournalism and that sole shot presented is a good example of why. It doesn’t really transmit all that much info, it doesn’t really show who was there, and it’s not arty or anything. But it does juxtapose “applause” and “Herrera” so I guess that’s telling stories with photos and I guess that’s what PJ is supposed to be about. I suppose. (Is that day’s work, BTW?) Anyway, I prefer the camera-held-level-at-two-yards-altitude, you-are-there look.

Look What the Bicycle Coalition Has in Store: Bringing Back Hated Traffic Circles, Shutting Down Buchanan

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Ah yes, it’s the ThinkBike workshop of September 2011, whatever that was.

Now, remember the traffic circle imperative that was foisted upon us eight years ago? Oh man, did that ever suck. But, there were studies that showed how magical and great traffic circles would be, so the experiment began.

Most considered it a massive failure, but somehow the welcomed death of the Waller and Page Street traffic circles was “sad,” or something, for some people:

“Coalition project manager Josh Hart, however, acknowledges the circles may need some fine-tuning to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists. ‘People should give them a chance,’ he said. ‘It would be really sad to see this experiment fail.’”

No fine tuning was needed as fine tuning wasn’t the problem. The problem was the traffic circles themselves.

Well looky here. They’re ba-ack. Or at least some people somewhere want them to come back in some kind of recent fever dream / workshop.

See?

(That’s Page on the right – imagine a big arrow with an N next to it pointing to the left.)

This plan would ostensibly convert this part of Scott into a “slow shared street” but of course it’s a slow street and a shared street right now already, so I don’t know about that.

I’ll tell you, the San Francisco Fire Department would take a dim view of this plan, but oh well.

IRL back in the day, you’d never know what car drivers would do at traffic circled intersections - sometimes they’d stop anyway at each circle, sometimes they’d treat the circle like a Formula 1 road race chicane and cross over the crosswalks without slowing down. The promised gardens in the middle of the intersections were supposed to make the neighbors happy but that didn’t work.

The graphic also mentions deterring ”cut-through traffic” on Scott Street, but isn’t that the whole point of Scott Street? You know, so people can cut-through from one part of town to another?

Oh well.

Now here’s Market, Duboce, Buchanan which is no picnic for cyclists these days, particularly people using the Wiggle route inbound going behind the Church Street Safeway:

You make the call on this one. I’ll just note that the current situation is a mess.

I don’t think I’d favor slowing down Market Street traffic any more than it’s being slowed down now by, among other things, nearby Octavia Boulevard, which for some reason takes the lion’s share of the minute and a half traffic signal cycle.

That ZenDesk Company Can’t Afford Gavin Newsom’s 2004 “Twitter Tax,” But It CAN Afford $1 Million to Charity?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

[UPDATE: So is Zendesk the only San Francisco company that hasn't threatened to move out of San Francisco lately? Apparently, see the Comments. BTW, did you know that:

"[a]ny tweets that mention Zendesk are immediately turned into what we like to call a “twicket,” that is, a tweet that is converted into a support ticket.

Well, that’s news to me.

Oh, and here’s your chance to get in on the land rush:

“Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion is now publicly available and can be found on the Office of Economic and Workforce Development website, www.oewd.org, as well as on the new Central Market Partnership website, www.centralmarketpartnership.org. Applications are being accepted now, and the deadline to apply for the 2011 tax year is November 1, 2011. Please contact the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at 415-554-6969 with any questions regarding the application for the Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion.”]

I don’t really get this one here. Zendesk needed corporate welfare to move into the Mid-Market and it wasn’t going to do so anyway, do I have that right?

Leave us review. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a payroll tax into law back in 2004. But a half-decade later, Twitter decided that it didn’t like Gavin Newsom’s tax, so an exemption was made for Twitter, and others so bold as to set up shop in an area that was mapped out by real estate interests and others, only Gaia knows.

Now we hear that ZenDesk agreed to expand in Mid Market thanks to the recent Twitter Tax waiver?

Is that the narrative?

A tourist takes it easy after an eventful day in the Mid Market a couple months back. I forget how many people got shot all told:

Via Bluoz – click to expand

So here’s the latest:

“We <3 SF. To prove our commitment to this rad city we’ve pledged $1M to @UCSF @Benioff Children’s Hospital: http://prn.to/pzzYwt

Now, is it possible that ZenDesk didn’t need that subsidy to move into the Twitterloin? Sure seems that way. Mmmm…

And let me assure you that nothing has substantively changed betwixt Dot Com Era I of the late 90′s  and our current Dot Com Era II as far as stock options are concerned. Obviously, a San Francisco company going public might not want to deal with the 2004 tax signed into law by Gavin Newsom. Obviously. So what’s changed the past seven years?

Here’s “interim” Mayor Ed Lee from this year:

We’re not about punishing any companies that need to grow and grow fast,” said Mayor Lee.

So why did Gavin Newsom sign his tax into law back in aught-four? Did he do it to “punish companies?” Did he do it to “kill jobs?” Was Gavin Newsom a “job killer?”

Apparently.

Hey, how about this? Why not treat all companies the same? Why not get rid subsidies for biotech? Why not address concerns about Mid Market without corporate welfare?  

“SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 2011 — Zendesk, the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software, today announced a $1 million pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

“Zendesk was founded in Denmark and moved to San Francisco in 2009,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk’s CEO. “We have been humbled by the wonderful way we have been welcomed to this city and its vital high-tech community. As Zendesk continues its rapid growth, we want to share our good fortune with the city and people that helped make it possible. As a father and client of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, this charity is especially meaningful to me.”

Zendesk is kicking off this year-long effort with a sponsorship of the Salesforce Foundation’s Concert to Benefit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to be held on Thursday, September 1, 2011. Zendesk will host its customers, partners and employees to attend this charity event. Throughout the next year, Zendesk will donate a portion of its sales, as well as hold other fund-raising events, to deliver on its $1 million pledge. In addition, its employees will participate in volunteer programs for the hospital.

“The Salesforce Foundation has been an inspiration to us on how to integrate philanthropy into a company’s culture,” Svane added. “Today’s announcement is just the first of many demonstrating Zendesk’s gratitude to the city of San Francisco. Having just moved into new headquarters in the Central Market, we also look forward to making our new neighborhood a better place to work.”

“It’s great to see Zendesk, one of San Francisco’s rapidly growing tech companies, already giving back to the citizens of San Francisco,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We are grateful to them for their generous pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.”

About Zendesk

Zendesk is the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software. For growing organizations, Zendesk is the fastest way to enable great customer service. More than 10,000 Zendesk customers, including Adobe, MSNBC, Sony, OpenTable and Groupon, trust Zendesk with their most valuable assets, their customers, partners, and employees. Founded in 2007, Zendesk is funded by Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners. Learn more at www.zendesk.com.”

Mayor Edwin Lees Says Payroll Tax is a “Business Punisher,” So Why Did Gavin Newsom Sign It Into Law in 2004?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

All right, work with me here, “Interim Mayor” Edwin Lee is now saying that San Francisco’s unique stock option payroll tax scheme is a kind of “business punisher,” right?

Edwin Lee, seen here with popular new Supervisor Malia Cohen:

Check it, from a recent ditty from Adam Lashinsky in Fortune magazine:

“We have kind of a unique taxing system here in San Francisco where historically we’ve actually taxed employees’ growth, and that’s kind of a business punisher, if you will. If you’re going to grow the employees, why would we punish that?”

All right, so who signed this horrible, terrible, horrible tax into law? None other than former Mayor Gavin Newsom just seven years ago.

Check it:

On February 19, 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom approved recent changes to San Francisco’s Business Tax ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors on February 10, 2004. These changes become effective March 20, 2004, 30 days after signing by the Mayor.”

So, how can we reconcile this? Here’s a stab at it, again from Mayor Lee:

“Now, we’ve never really distinguished stock options; we’ve always taxed compensation just like any payroll tax would. But we didn’t realize that stock options was something very special to the tech companies. And as they’ve grown, they’ve educated us about how valuable those stock options are.”

But didn’t we have stock options and tech companies about back in the dotcom era? Yes we did. Has anything changed since then, are stock options new? No, not at all.

I cry foul.

And I’ll tell you, I don’t see a way out of this one. Tell me, Gentle Reader, how can we reconcile dese tings?

(Also, note how the Supervisors voted back int the day. Do you think Sean Elsbernd, if he had gotten his current gig just a little earlier, would have voted against this “job punishing” biz tax back in the day? Don’t know. It’s hard to imagine him defying Gavin Newsom, but anything’s possible, I suppose.)

Enjoy:

031990

[Business Tax]

Supervisors Ma, McGoldrick

Ordinance amending the Business and Tax Regulations Code to: (1) amend Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) to (i) conform Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) with the amendments to Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions) and (ii) consolidate exemptions, definitions and other administrative provisions, as amended, that apply to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and other Articles of the Business and Tax Regulation Code, and place them in Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions); (2) amend Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance) to conform business registration requirements with amendments to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions); and (3) amend Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions) to (i) clarify common administrative provisions and conform them with amendments to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance), (ii) consolidate exemptions, definitions and other administrative provisions that apply to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance), Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance) and other Articles of the Business and Tax Regulations Code, and (iii) eliminate the Board of Review. (Treasurer-Tax Collector)

PASSED ON FIRST READING by the following vote:
Ayes: 11 – Alioto-Pier, Ammiano, Daly, Dufty, Gonzalez, Hall, Ma, Maxwell, McGoldrick, Peskin, Sandoval”

The Presidio’s Walt Disney Family Museum Celebrates the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Our Walt Disney Family Museum just celebrated the 55th Anniversary of the opening of Disneyland, from way back in July 1955. To mark the occasion they held a three-day star-studded extravaganza up in the Presidio.  

Yes, the Disney Family Museum is in the northern part of San Francisco. Check it: FaceBook / YouTube / Twitter / WDFM Blog

Anyway, the place was awash with rabid Disney fans, with some of them talking about their memories of Opening Day despite the fact that they didn’t look older than 55.

So, just what you’d expect, an extensive recap from a fan, here it is at Jim Hill Media.

And here’s a list of the speakers:

Diane Disney Miller - daughter of Walt Disney
Tony Baxter – current SR VP of Creative Development for Disneyland
Jack Lindquist – former President of Disneyland
Dick Nunis – Disney Legend and former Chairman of Walt Disney Attractions
Matt Ouimet – former President of Disneyland Resort
Buzz Price – Economist who helped Walt Disney find original site of Disneyland
Craig Russell- Current Chief Design and Project Delivery Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering
Marty Sklar- Disney Legend and former Vice Chair of Imagineering
Bruce Vaughn- Current Chief Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

This was the first day, down in the multi-hued movie theatre that you can rent out parties, I think. This was the Founding Members Only discussion with Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller,  Disney Legend Buzz Price, and Disney historians and authors Katherine and Richard Greene as they discuss Walt’s idea, concept, and how Disneyland became a reality:

Photography by Joseph Driste, Courtesy The Walt Disney Family Museum

Former Disneyland executives Jack Lindquist and Matt Ouimet were joined by Senior Vice-President of Creative Development for Disneyland Tony Baxter as they discussed the development of Disneyland, its impact on America, and Walt’s legacy with former Vice Chair of Imagineering Marty Sklar:

Left to Right – Tony Baxter, Jack Lindquist, Matt Ouimet and moderator Marty Sklar. Photography by Joseph Driste, Courtesy The Walt Disney Family Museum

Disney Legends Dick Nunis and Marty Sklar, along with Craig Russell and Bruce Vaughn , currently executives with Walt Disney Imagineering, explored how Walt Disney’s new concept in family entertainment was a catalyst for parks around the world:

Photography by Joseph Driste, Courtesy The Walt Disney Family Museum

How will they top this in 2015 during the Diamond Jubilee of Disneyland?

Bon Courage, WDFM!