Posts Tagged ‘2013’

You Can’t Keep Flappy Bird Down – Remember, Christmas is Coming – Recalling the Biggest App of 2013

Friday, November 20th, 2015

This is Flappybird’s last hurrah, I’m afraid.

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2013 is now long, long ago…

The Kubb Bros of Golden Gate Park – Jeux Sans Frontieres – From Scandinavia, With Love

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

More dudes, relative to gals, this year:

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It’s a knockout.

Kubb Fever – Catch It!

Hey Look, All the Invasive Frogs are GONE from Golden Gate Park’s Lily Pond – Now Back to Normal – Photos

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Here it is, looking pretty normal, or about as normal as you can expect for a quarry pond in human-created Golden Gate Park:

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Now here’s your background:

Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park overrun by Vivian Ho

And here are the troublesome critters themselves – never seen one myself:


Poor little feller. Michael Linnenbach (

And this was the proposal, from a half-decade back:

Let’s just drain the Lily Pond and kill the frogs by Matt Smith

Clearly, it was time to call in the Frog Doctors:


It was time for some rehab. Yes yes yes.

Or, in the words of Rec and Park, “adjusting the PH level” was called for.

“Another example of biological controls to manage pests is the collaboration between the Department and the California Department Fish and Wildlife, in this case, the partnership has eradicated the invasive African Clawed Frogs by adjusting the PH level in the water in Golden Gate Park’s Lily Pond”

By that, they meant this – going to the sto’ and then pouring in some motherfucking bleach, man:


Chemicals were everywhere:

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Parks Chief Phil Ginsberg et. al. cooked up a batch of white powdery stuff…

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…and they went to town:

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It was a powdery wonderland, filled with all kinds of urban flotsam and jetsam…

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Check this one-minute video of the place at that time:

PETA, well PETA was NOT happy about any of this:

“According to media reports, the California Department of Fish and Game and the city of San Francisco are considering draining Lily Pond at Golden Gate Park in order to kill thousands of African clawed frogs who reside there. Reportedly, the frogs were released from research laboratories only to be deemed “invasive” through no fault of their own. Once the pond’s water levels drop, these animals will slowly suffocate to death. PETA apprised officials of our concerns, and while they stated that other methods were on the table, they did not guarantee that this cruel initiative would be stopped. Now it’s your turn to weigh in! Please urge the California Department of Fish and Game and city officials to halt all plans to drain the pond while aquatic animals remain at the location. Also, ask them to mercifully euthanize the frogs rather than subjecting them to agonizing deaths if alternative methods of control are impossible.”

I don’t know how all that worked out, but this was the scene a couple months back, via Tony T – ‘dozer and digger:

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And that brings up up to present day, what you can see from the first photo up above.

You can’t visit just yet, as RPD is behind sked, oh well:

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And there you have it.

Nous salouns le retour, Lily Pond!

May you remain frog-free forever…

Five Seconds of Masonic: How Trader Joe’s Shoppers Play a Deadly Game of Frogger Every Day – And No One Cares

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

From west…

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…to East:

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And here’s the caboose of this jaywalking / jay-running train:

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I’ve been tilting at this windmill for a while now. At first on SFist back about 2007 or so and then on this tiny blog. The first TJ’s shopper death came a few years back. The next will come tomorrow or next year or in another five years, something like that.

What’s that, the speed limit here is 25 MPH and cars come through “speeding” all the time? Well, not really. Average speed for southbound traffic is fairly low. And for northbound, it’s not all that fast either. And oh, the limit on this stretch of Masonic is 30 MPH.

What’s that, Planning and DPW and the all-knowing, all-seeing SFMTA have a plan for Masonic and it’s coming soon? Well, not really. The project wasn’t as “shovel-ready as promised so they’ve loaned the Masonic-designated pork for other stuff. A “new” Masonic will eventually come, but not above Geary and TJ’s and all the photos you can see are all from north of Geary.

That’s the update for 2015.

Twitterloin Update: How Do I “Live NeMa?” – I’m Glad You Asked, New Market Building! – SF’s City Part of Town

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Here’s the question, from the new NEw MArket Building on Market in our Twitterloin / Mid-Market /South of Market / Tenderloin Adjacent area, you know, The City Part of Town:

How do you #liveNEMA?

And here’s the answer – like this, via The Lofts at SoDoSoPa:

And here’s your catchphrase:

NeMa: 24 months old and still no rent control.**


* NEW YORK TIMES: The prospective changes to the Tenderloin — a noirish haunt of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and arguably the central city’s last working-class neighborhood — have given rise to a new nickname: the Twitterloin.

* FORTUNE: Welcome to the Twitterloin, where tech-savvy cool meets gritty hood

**After 10 months of living in the NeMa, you just might ask yourself why you’re getting hit with a rent increase what’s 25 times more than most of your coworkers are facing, just saying…

Whoops: Horrible JCDecaux Company Markets 17-Foot-Tall Advertisement Kiosks as “Oversized Landmarks” that “Tower Over” Us

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Here’s the sitch – Frisco locked itself into a 20-year deal with that fucking JCDecaux (JEE-SEE-DE-KOO, mon amie) company, so now we’re stuck with 100-something of these 17 foot tall kioskses

(Hey, that’s what you need more in your life, Gentle Reader – more booze, hurray! Catchphrase: Booze – it’s what’s for dinner.)

(Note now-useless and obsolete newspaper sidewalk sales feature. Also note that this sidewalk monster is labeled as “street furniture,” as if that’s a good thing. Also note cheesy gold-toned metal accents – tres chic, non?)

Of course we’ve been down this road before, Gentil Lecteur, but I wanted to attract your eyes to this – here’s how JCD markets SF’s public property:

Advertising in San Francisco

Overview: In San Francisco, our 113 advertising kiosks cannot be missed. These elegant, 24-hour backlit, 17-foot kiosks tower over the city’s most populated streets, providing advertisers with oversized landmarks to showcase their messages. Our kiosks are the most striking outdoor media platforms to reach pedestrians and vehicular traffic in the Bay Area.

Each kiosk has two ad panels. The panels are divided into pre-set networks, each with equal exposure to top locations.

Kiosks are located throughout the heart of San Francisco’s high-density business, entertainment, and shopping districts including Union Square, the Financial District and Fisherman’s Wharf…”

So help me out here. If we have OVERSIZED LANDMARKS, you know, some “STREET FURNITURE” what TOWER OVER us, you know, what CANNOT BE MISSED so that some rich Euros straight outta, and I’m srsly, fucking Neuilly-sur-Seine, France can make some more Euros, then I ask you, “Is This A Good Thing?”

Just asking, Jean-Charles.

Press Release: “Asiana suit dismissal vindicates firefighters’ ‘heroic efforts’ in tragic crash, Dennis Herrera says”

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Just released, see below.

I don’t know. The NTSB weighed in and the SFFD certainly DID NOT get an A+ grade, to say the least:

“The overall triage process in this mass casualty incident was effective with the exception of the failure of responders to verify their visual assessments of the condition of passenger 41E.

The San Francisco Fire Department’s aircraft rescue and firefighting staffing level was instrumental in the department’s ability to conduct a successful interior fire attack and successfully rescue five passengers who were unable to self-evacuate amid rapidly deteriorating cabin conditions.

Although no additional injuries or loss of life were attributed to the fire attack supervisor’s lack of aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) knowledge and training, the decisions and assumptions he made demonstrate the potential strategic and tactical challenges associated with having non-ARFF trained personnel in positions of command at an airplane accident.

Although some of the communications difficulties encountered during the emergency response, including the lack of radio interoperability, have been remedied, others, such as the breakdown in communications between the airport and city dispatch centers, should be addressed.

The Alert 3 section of the San Francisco International Airport’s emergency procedures manual was not sufficiently robust to anticipate and prevent the problems that occurred in the accident response.”

Here’s some more on Flight 214 from San Francisco Magazine. Some quotes in there from SFFD personnel appeared to show a bit of self deception, IMO.

And there’s this, from the San Jose Mercury News:

San Francisco’s emergency personnel also were criticized. While praising firefighters for rescuing several passengers from the burning wreckage and having more than the required number of personnel on hand, the report said “the arriving incident commander placed an officer in charge of the fire attack” who hadn’t been properly trained. The responders also had communication problems, including being unable “to speak directly with units from the airport on a common radio frequency” and didn’t rush medical buses to the scene, which “delayed the arrival of backboards to treat seriously injured passengers.” In addition, the report said airport emergency officials in general lack policies “for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew at risk of being struck or rolled over by a vehicle” during rescue operations. During the chaotic initial response to the Asiana crash, two firetrucks ran over one of the teenage passengers lying outside the plane. The San Mateo County coroner ruled the girl was alive when she was hit, but the San Francisco Fire Department disputes that finding.

Obviously, this was an aircraft accident that involved pilot error, as most do. Equally obviously, some of the problems on that day showed that the SFFD wasn’t training properly, realistically.

All right, here’s the release:

“Asiana suit dismissal vindicates firefighters’ ‘heroic efforts’ in tragic crash, Herrera says. City Attorney adds, ‘Our hearts go out to the parents of Ye Ming Yuan and to all the surviving loved ones of the three who lost their lives’ in 2013’s Asiana tragedy

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 7, 2015) — Parents of the 16-year-old passenger who was ejected and killed in the crash of Asiana Flight 214 on July 6, 2013 dismissed their civil lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco today. Neither the plaintiffs nor their attorneys appear to have issued a public statement accompanying their dismissal, which was filed in U.S. District Court this afternoon.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement in response:

“Our hearts go out to the parents of Ye Ming Yuan and to all the surviving loved ones of the three who lost their lives in the tragic crash of Asiana Flight 214. We’re grateful for a dismissal that will spare everyone involved the added heartache and costs of litigation, which we believed from the beginning to be without legal merit.
“As we remember those who lost their lives in the Asiana crash, I hope we acknowledge, too, the heroic efforts of San Francisco’s firefighters and police who saved hundreds of lives that day. With thousands of gallons of venting jet fuel threatening unimaginable calamity, our firefighters initiated a daring interior search-and-rescue that within minutes extricated trapped passengers, and moved them safely to medical triage. In the face of great danger to their own lives, our emergency responders showed heroism and selflessness that day. They deserve our honor and gratitude.”

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the crash of Asiana flight 214 was caused by the Asiana flight crew’s mismanagement in approaching and inadequately monitoring the airspeed of the Boeing 777 on its approach to San Francisco International Airport, according to the NTSB’s June 24, 2014 announcement. The NTSB also found that the flight crew’s misunderstanding of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems contributed to the tragedy.

On July 3, 2014, NTSB Member Mark R. Rosekind issued a concurrent statement that praised San Francisco’s first responders: “The critical role of the emergency response personnel at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the firefighters from the San Francisco Fire Department cannot be underestimated. Although certain issues regarding communications, triage, and training became evident from the investigation and must be addressed, emergency responders were faced with the extremely rare situation of having to enter a burning airplane to perform rescue operations. Their quick and professional action in concert with a diligent flight crew evacuated the remaining passengers and prevented this catastrophe from becoming much worse. In addition, the emergency response infrastructure and resources at SFO that supported firefighting and recovery after the crash are admirable, significantly exceeding minimum requirements.”

Asiana Flight 214 struck the seawall short of SFO’s Runway 28L shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, 2013, beginning a violent impact sequence that sheared off the tail assembly, rotated the aircraft approximately 330 degrees, and created a heavy cloud of dust and debris before the aircraft finally came to rest approximately 2300 feet from its initial site of impact. The sheared-off tail assembly and force of rotation resulted in the ejection of five people: two crewmembers still strapped into the rear jump seats, and three passengers seated in the last two passenger rows. All three ejected passengers suffered fatal injuries: two died at the scene, and one died six days later.

With nearly 3,000 gallons of jet fuel venting from fuel lines where two engines detached during the crash sequence, a fire started in one engines that was wedged against the fuselage. A fire also began in the insulation lining the fuselage interior, beginning near the front of the aircraft. The interior fire produced heavy smoke inside the aircraft and posed extremely dangerous conditions given the volatility of leaking jet fuel and its proximity to potentially explosive oxygen tanks. In the face of imminent explosion, the rescue effort safely evacuated and triaged of some 300 people. Asiana flight 214 carried 307 individuals: 4 flight crew, 12 cabin crewmembers and 291 passengers. Three of the 291 passengers were fatally injured.

The case is: Gan Ye and Xiao Yun Zheng, et al v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, case no. C14-04941, filed Aug. 13, 2014. Learn more about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office at”

SFGov and Traders Joe’s Both are In Denial of This Persistent Jaywalking Problem at the First Block of Masonic

Friday, July 31st, 2015

I suppose I’ve been harping on this issue over the years.

Who created this problem? SFGOV, including  the Planning Department, for starters.

Who can do a better job of fixing things? SFGOV, including the SFMTA, for starters. And IDK, SFPD and DPW? And Trader Joe’s as well.

Here’s a recent example, just a couple of Bros on the west side of Masonic wanting to get to a parked car on the east side, just above the SFMTA’s Presidio Yard. (Note that they might not even be TJ’s customers, but their transit across four lanes of traffic is at the same place where shoppers do it.)

All these southbound cars have stopped for the red light at Geary. So far, so good:

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But uh oh, cars are now coming up from Geary in the northbound lanes – it’s time to rethink and try again later:

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Or, in this case, spend 2.5 minutes going down the hill to Geary, wait for the green light, and then ascend back up Masonic.

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This is the choice people face. Sometimes they err and get hit by a car.

I’ll tell you, if you look at the death rate in Frisco due to earthquakes the past century vs. the death rates of Trader Joe’s shoppers jaywalking in front of TJ#100 the past decade or so, they’re about the same.

What can SFGov and TJ’s do now to fix things, to account for Human Nature?

Beat Sweetening Goes Sour: Writer CW Nevius vs. Judge Susan Illston – Dishonest Reporting in the SF Chronicle

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Meet Senior District Judge Susan Illston, Duke University (B.A., 1970) and Stanford Law School (J.D., 1973). Publications. She was appointed by Bill Clinton:


Photo via Jason Doiy

And in the other corner, comes now CW Nevius, known for his “breezy writing style” and also known for “having lived in the suburban East Bay until May, 2010, whereupon he moved to San Francisco.Publications. (He was not appointed by Bill Clinton, nor by anyone else.)

Introductions finished. So here you go – Losing a lawsuit can mean financial gainby CW Nevius:

“As Judge Susan Illston said in her ruling, ‘plaintiffs did not prevail on a single substantive motion before the Court.’”

But now let’s look at the entire sentence:

“First, although the Court has found that they gained their desired outcome, plaintiffs did not prevail on a single substantive motion before the Court.”

See how that works? Judge Illston awarded attorneys fees of $300,000-something to the plaintiffs in this particular Sharp Park Golf Course case because they gained their desired outcome.

So Avuncular East Bay Everyman Chuck Nevius chopped up the judge’s sentence because, because why? Because it would have weakened his point? Is this an honest approach for a writer to take? I don’t think so.

And then a reader of The Nevius, the Blessed Nevius, might read his bit and think to ask:

Shouldn’t we blame the judge instead of the environmental group?

And the answer is … no, no we shouldn’t, because the plaintiffs won, at least sort of:

“…[t]he Court finds that plaintiffs’ litigation goal was the halt defendants’ taking of the Frogs and Snakes without first obtaining authorization pursuant to the ESA.”

I’ll tell you, Judge Illston looked at a host of evidence when making her decision, including this bon mot from SFGov:

“…it is extremely important to be able to dispose of the litigation at long last.” 

Here you go, read the whole thing yourself, Gentle Reader. You don’t need to be up-to-speed on “catalyst theory” or whathaveyou to understand what the judge is saying.

Oh, and quoth The Nevius:

“Take the ruling in U.S. District Court on July 1, 2013, which, by any measure, rates as a legal smackdown of the institute.”

But as we’ve seen, in fact, this ruling was NOT “a legal smackdown” “by any measure.”

So, Judge Susan Illston isn’t crazy after all.

(One wonders why the City and County of San Francisco wishes to operate a money-losing White elephant of a golf course in the first place. Our Board of Supervisors has tried to unload it back in aught-eleven, to no avail. And now, in 2015, we’re in a drought what rivals what we experienced in the 1970’s. Oh well.)

IMO, the job of CW Nevius is to promote the goals of his local political faction, the dominant one. That’s why I refer “beat sweeteners” and “source greasers” and the like. He slavishly promotes SFGov’s department heads, among others, and, in return, he gets rewarded by them. That’s his gig. But sometimes the way he promotes his faction is wrong.

Simply wrong.

But What’s The Rent? – A 65 Square-Foot Studio Trailer Gets Parked on Market, to “Activate” the “Street Scene”

Friday, July 10th, 2015

This is what it looks like:


Sam Whiting explains here in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Art studio on wheels moves down Market Street

Mmmm, no comments? Perhaps this attempt at a paywall is working too well.

But all right, here’s the SFGate version – surely the rabble will chirp up with comments like, “Well, what’s the rent?” Or maybe, “Smallest Studio in the Twitterloin, 0 bdrms, o bths, reclaimed wood?” 

Art studio on wheels moves down Market Street

Nope. Just one comment. This is the least amount of NEMA-mocking I’ve ever seen, when the topic of the NEMA is raised:

“So, if Studio One were to break down, would it be NEMA-towed?”

Get it? Nematode – cause like “worms,” right? (Oh, I don’t get it, oh well.)

Hey, speaking of NeMA, there’s still no rent control there, so giant rent hikes are coming your way. It will happen like this:

“We looked at what we’re charging for new rents and what the rent trends are in the market. We came up with the following renewal offer by lease terms…”

And then BAM! You get hit with a 24% (or whatever) rent increase (on top of an already high rent) after just one year. Speaking of which, here’s what one Yelper recently had to say about the NEMA. So many details!

I’ll tell you, lots of SF newcomers move into buildings without knowing that rent control won’t apply to them. And they don’t know the first thing about rental deposit refunds until they hit for charges that they don’t have to pay and that they shouldn’t pay. IMO.

And I’ll tell you, I don’t work for SFGov, so it’s not my job to “activate” the “New Market” “Streetscape” with umpty-up art displays. IMO. SFGov should focus on the basics.