Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Our Changing Presidio: A Military Observation Tower Located Just North of the Richmond Replaced by a Communications Tower

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

First, it was all like this:

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Get all the deets here.

You see I’m six-foot-one and a ton of fun, so things were a bit wobbly on the staircase going up, back in the day. Empty beer cans are what you’d find up there.

But now the Presidio isn’t a military base – there’s no need to have an observation tower for training recruits anymore.

Radio communications, that’s the present need on this ridge, and it’s The Future as well.

Here’s how things look these days:

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This scene makes me think of the Old Days.

XXX OOO

A Man In His Forties

A Steam Clean for the May Queen: SFGov Spends Thousands More on the Panhandle’s McKinley Statue, Once Again

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Here you go, this is what it looks like when the RPD spends thousands of your hard-earned to steam clean the McKinley Statue. (Hey, whatever happened to KKK Katie?)

Get up to speed on this neverending game of cat and mouse here – just keep reading down.

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IDK, are these people contractors paid by the RPD / SFGov? Prolly. Looks like a pretty easy gig, just get some machine and some green vests and then you’re raking in some sweet sweet govt cash:

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And actually, I don’t know how much offensive Nazi graffiti was cleaned up this go-around. I hadn’t noticed any.

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Perhaps these people were just cleaning the steps this go-around and this wasn’t a five-figure budget-crusher for the Arts Commish / Rec and Park Dept? I know not.

I can see why elements of SFGov, politically-connected, white & wizened millionaires who live in million dollar houses far outside the city limits, want to just throw up their arms by throwing up a metal fence around these steps at the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park. Oh, and local real estate interests, the realtors who live and “prospect” in the 94117 – they want an ugly fence as well, around this iconic meeting place.

I can see why, it’s their cry for help. But I don’t approve of no fence.

(And, mind you, the very same people who want the Great McKinley Fence are those who 86’ed the harmless Panhandle Bandshell a few years back…)

Explaining Why the “Haight Street Rat” Isn’t “as close as you can get to the intention that Banksy had”

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Here it is, back in 2010. That greenish building that used to be a bank housed Villains Vault at the time:

Click to expand

Detail, camera left:

Und camera right:

A thin red line connects these two elements, one assumes.

Here’s the update:

Banksy’s ‘Haight Street Rat’ graffiti holes up in an S.F. gallery by Rachel Howard

Now let’s say that Banksy caught Villains Vault displaying and selling unlicensed Banksy reprints as well as stuff from other street artists, you know, flagrantly, back in 2010. So then Banksy was all enough is enough, so he was all THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE.

And then he drew the line.

So really, the line is the piece, instead of the rat, right?

So if you just have the rat, you’re missing part of the story, right?

So it’s not just The Rat In The Hat Comes Back, right? I’m not saying that Banksy is all that deep but he’s deeper than a simple put-a-beret-on-it.

Now I understand why that KRON guy just went for the rat, but to do this job “as close as you could get to the intention Banksy had,” you’d have gotten the rest of the piece.

Just saying.

Or, IOW:

“The original Haight Street Rat stencil is a beret-wearing rat clutching a marker and a red line that extends from the rat to the neighboring building on the corner of Haight Street and Belvedere Street. On the adjacent building, the rat has seemingly written the text “THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE” in red which can be seen from the street above a clothing store that allegedly took street artists’ works and printed them on T-shirts and other apparel for sale without giving the artists any credit or revenue.”

Or IOW:

“Named the Haight Street Rat for its placement atop a Victorian building on Haight Street, the stenciled rat clutching a red marker is now neatly framed and displayed in a location entirely unlike the one in which it was created: the lobby of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown L.A., the city’s tallest tower and perhaps its most conspicuous symbol of capitalism. It’s a baffling venue for a piece of site-specific street art that initially wrapped across two buildings…

McKinley Statue Graffiti, 2015 Update: Yep, It’s Got Some More – Here It Is, More Evidence for Fence Proponents

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Here’s how things stand now:

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And here’s a little history, complete with an artist’s conception of what the anti-graffiti fence would look like – keep reading down, through the webpages of time.

You know, fundamentally, this is the big landmark at the gateway to Golden Gate Park. I don’t like the fence idea but I also don’t like people coming by to see giant KKK letters on the base of this statue for days, weeks and months. And the Rec and Parks and Arts Commission people say it’s a real expensive PITA to keep the graffiti off.

So I don’t know…

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this dysfunction, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If, later on, you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down after all these changes so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won’t really affect me, myself, I don’t think. Seems selfish to think now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it’ll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it’s hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project, this tree planting diversion. So, what will the effects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

(more…)

If District Two Supervisor Mark Farrell Needs To Be Replaced Soon, Two People with Legitimacy are Abe Simmons and Kat Anderson

Monday, December 15th, 2014

First things first, you tell me how big a deal this is:

Supervisor Farrell directed to pay S.F. $190,000 for violation by John Coté

And don’t niss this part:

“Theoretically speaking, I think they then become the same campaign,” said John St. Croix, director of the Ethics Commission.

Kaboom. Did an effort (from Janet Reilly, or some other Reilly)…

FPPC Stipulation, Decision and Order

…lead to this…

FPPC Letter to Charles H. Bell, Jr.

…almost four long years later?

OBSERVATIONS / QUESTIONS:

1. Why does big news always seem to come out post meridiem on a Day of Frigg, you know, like on a Friday evening? Funny that.

2. Could this situation explain why Mark Farrell nominated (law student(!)) Katy Tang as interim Board of Supervisors President?

3. Is Mark Farrell going to serve out his second term? IDK.

4. If he doesn’t, who’s going to replace him? Mmmm…

The election that District 2 held four years ago was narrowly lost by Janet Reilly, but I can’t see her ever getting appointed D2 Supe in today’s political environment.

Now, what about the people who came in third and fourth, the people who myabe could have / should have formed an ANYBODY BUT JANET ranked-choice voting troika / three-way with Mark Farrell?

Meet Ivy Leaguer Abraham Simmons:

Does he still live in the District? IDK.

Now meet Stanfoo-educated Kat Anderson:

I’m thinking either of these two attorneys could slot right into the job.

You know, if necessary.

Here’s what people have been talking about over the weekend:

Agenda – December 16, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING and AGENDA
December 16, 2014, 5:00 P.M.
Room 400 City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco

[EXCERPT]

  • Discussion with City Attorney’s Office regarding potential litigation by the City Attorney’s Office against local committees, including Common Sense Voters, SF 2010; Vote for Mark Farrell for District 2 Supervisor, for violations of local campaign finance laws.  Possible Closed Session.  (Attachments: FPPC Stipulation, Decision and OrderFPPC Letter to Charles H. Bell, Jr.)
    1. Public comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item III, including whether to meet in closed session.
    2. Vote on whether to assert attorney-client privilege and meet in closed session under California Government Code section 54956.9 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.10(d) to discuss anticipated litigation:  San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.114.  (Action.)
    3. Conference with Legal Counsel:  Anticipated litigation.  (Discussion.)
      Number of possible cases: 1
    4. If closed session is held, reconvene in open session.
    5. Discussion and vote pursuant to Brown Act section 54957.1 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.12 on whether to disclose any action taken or discussions held in closed session regarding anticipated litigation.   (Discussion and possible action.)
      Motion:  The Ethics Commission moves (not) to disclose its closed session deliberations re: anticipated litigation.

I suppose we’ll find out more tomorrow…

An “Urbanist’s” Dream: Here’s Your Chance to Help Plan the Future of the Clipper Card – It’s “FutureOfClipper.Org”

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

I had a Clipper Card once. Well, a TransLink, the Clipper’s predecessor. Turns out it couldn’t handle a little acetone:

And now I have no Clipper Cards, AFAIK

But you, you love the (somewhat racist?) Clipper. So why not help the MTC try to make it better?

All the deets:

“Help Plan the Future of Clipper – MTC and Bay Area Transit Agencies Invite Public Input

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Where would you like to use Clipper, and how would you like to use it? That’s what the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Bay Area transit agencies want to know.

Clipper is the transit fare payment system for the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently accepted for payment on 13 transit agencies. The reloadable card was launched in 2006. Today, the system has more than 1.4 million cards in circulation and is used for more than 700,000 daily trips.

Whether you use Clipper right now or not, you can provide valuable feedback that will help MTC and its partner agencies design the fare payment system that best serves Bay Area transit riders.

Visit futureofclipper.com and click the link to take a survey to provide your feedback. You can also share your experiences with Clipper and what you’d like to see in the future via email at feedback@futureofclipper.com or via voicemail at 510.817.5680.

Clipper is a service provided by Bay Area transit operators and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Note: Clipper is accepted on AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Fairfield-Suisun Transit (FAST), Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, Marin Transit, Muni, SamTrans, San Francisco Bay Ferry, SolTrans, Vacaville City Coach, VINE and VTA.”

Assignment Desk: Q. What was Putin’s Buddy Andrey Melnichenko Doing in SF the Past Week? [A. Nothing Good]

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Evil coming at you:

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Evil hitting the road

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How long would you say this ship is – how about way more than a football field?

It’s so big it takes half a million bucks worth of petroleum to fill up its tanks.

It’s so big it needs a bar pilot to board to guide it out of San Francisco Bay, yesterday evening. See?

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All right, MSM, get up to speed on this recent visit here – just keep reading down.

Who did this guy meet with – corporate and government officials, right? Which ones? Why?

What’s that, what about the Ukraine? Indeed, what about Ukraine?

Hey, speak of the Devil:

Another lawmaker said he had been provided photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Andrey Melnichenko, who owns 92 percent of EuroChem’s shares. Putin even made a well-publicized visit to EuroChem’s potash mine in Gremyachinskoye in 2010.”

Hop on it, MSM.

Tracking a Russian James Bond Villain and His Superyacht in San Francisco Waters: Sausalito, Redwood City, What’s Next?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Get up to speed on Russian “mathematician” and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and his floating lair “A” here.

This is a few days back, moored at Sausalito. And then you can see he motored south under the Bay Bridge and the San Mateo Bridge to Redwood Shores:

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Where will he go next? Follow along right here.

(Let’s hope his arrival won’t be followed by The Big One ala Zorin.)

And let’s remember that Redwood City was where the US military’s very own stealth ship, the Sea Shadow, used to be moored for all those years. You know, along with its floating barge, so-called HMB-1 (Howard Hughes Mining Barge One), except that was just a cover for Project Jennifer, a plan from 40 years ago to lift Soviet sub K-129 up from the ocean floor. I’m srsly, Comrades.

And oh yeah, this yacht has a secret James Bond-esque escape pod, just as on the star-crossed K-278

He’s Ba-aack! The Ugly “Stealth Yacht” of Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko Just Docked Near Redwood City

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Here it is, the superyacht named “A,” as seen a few years back in the waters of Marin County:

And here it is again in 2014, like right now at this very instant, down in Silicon Valley near Redwood Shores or Redwood City or whatever:

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And here it was yesterday, in Sausalito again, looks like.

This vessel just fueled up its 200,000(!) gallon tank (that’s more than four times as much as MUNI spilled into San Francisco Bay that one time) to the tune of a half a million dollars up north in Washington State.

So, what are Bro et ux doing down in the Valley?

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody down there and find out. Talk to his hired goons. Ask him about the James Bond-esque escape pod on the yacht. Ask him about what local companies he’s investing in. You know, that whole routine.