Posts Tagged ‘2013’

Official Yelp Map of San Francisco’s “Sketchy” Areas: Now with Annotations! – Bad News for NeMA Building

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Check it, “Reviews that mention ‘SKETCHY’ in San Francisco

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(Now of course there are plenty of other places in town that could similarly be considered “sketchy” by the Yelpers, except the Yelpers would never have a reason to go there.)

Now let’s take a look at these blips on San Francisco’s CT scan:

North Beach – Stay off of Broadway and out of its strip clubs and you should do fine. The epicenter is Kearney and Broadway.

The Tenderloin – This is the big one. AKA the Uptown Tenderloin, per some Berkeley residents. AKA the Twitterloin. AKA the 6th Street Corridor. AKA Downtown. AKA Civic Center. AKA New Market / NeMA. AKA Central Market. AKA Mid-Market. AKA the ‘Loin. The epicenter is Turk and Taylor.

The Fillmore – AKA the Western Addition. The epicenter is the Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits in the Safeway mall.

NoPA – AKA North of Panhandle Area. AKA Northeast of the Panhandle Area. AKA the Divisadero Corridor. AKA DivCo. AKA the Western Addition. The epicenter is the Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits at Hayes, I suppose, but the drug dealers who hang out at McAllister and Divis might disagree.

Lower Haight – AKA Lower Fillmore. The epicenter is Haight and Webster.

16th and Mission – The epicenter is the BART Station.

24th and Mission – The epicenter is the BART Station.

30th and Mission – The epicenter is where they want to build a new BART Station.

The Lower Third – NB: The cross-streets are alphabetized, more or less. The epicenter is Oakdale and Third

END OF LINE.

Oh No, Now Even Our San Francisco Zoo is Working Blue – “The Scoop on Poop” Opens January 25th 2014

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Taking a cue from our naughty, naughty PUC, your San Francisco Zoo has a new exhibition called The Scoop on Poop.

I’m appalled.

But your kids will love it.

And afterwards, check out the brand-new ELINOR FRIEND PLAYGROUND.

All right, see you there!

All the deets:

The Scoop on Poop! Opening Day

Special Members-Only Preview: January 25, 9:00 – 10:00 am
Open to Public: January 25, 10:00 am in the Pachyderm Building

Poop. Doo-doo. Dung. Number 2. No matter what you call it, you’ll be able to learn all about it at The Scoop on Poop, our latest special exhibition on view in the Pachyderm Building. Based on a popular children’s book by the same name by Dr. Wayne Lynch, The Scoop on Poop leads visitors on an investigation of what poop is and how animals and humans use it.

Animals use poop to build homes, hide from enemies, attract mates, send messages, and cool off – some even eat it! Veterinarians, farmers, naturalists, paleontologists, Maasai tribesmen, and power companies use it, too. Poop is a scientific puzzle, and with a little detective work, you can learn a lot about an animal by what it leaves behind.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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San Francisco’s Gaudiest Native Bird Has Got To Be the Northern Flicker – Bright Orange with Polka Dots in Sutro “Forest”

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) woodpeckers were hot  in San Francisco back in the day, back when they were getting attention from former City Lights Luminary and craigslist founder Craig Newmark, and the SFWeekly.

Here’s a female spotted back in aught-nine at the ”Blair Witchy“ Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve on University of California land above UCSF. Maybe she was the life partner of the male Craig used to see in his backyard located lower down the hill? Could have been.

Work it, GF!

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Also known as a ”clape, gaffer woodpecker, harry-wicket, heigh-ho, wake-up, walk-up, wick-up, yarrup, or gawker bird.”

Love your polka dots, little Flicker.

So the Deadly “80 MPH” Mercedes Benz Accident of Jennie Zhu was due to “Pedal Misapplication?” That’s One Theory

Friday, January 10th, 2014

This is news to me:

Zhu reportedly told police that the car may have malfunctioned and that it began accelerating* on its own. ABC7 news has learned that investigators brought in an engineer from Mercedes Benz and experts from the California Highway Patrol to look into that possibility. Court records state that they ‘found there were no mechanical issues that could explain unintended acceleration.’”

Other reports had driver Jennie Zhu even unwilling to speak to her attorney.

That makes this accident look more like a run-of-the-mill case of pedal misapplication.

I’ll just say that if her foot had been on the brake and she was pressing hard, there’s no way that her car would have done what it did.

Here’s a brief checklist of things you can do when your car takes off on you:

Make sure your foot is on the brake pedal (because it’s not there the way you think it is**)

Use your emergency brake

Throw the gear selector into Neutral.

Turn off the ignition by turning your key to the left (or do whatever you had planned to do to turn your car off after you arrived at your destination)

Scrape up against parked cars on either side of the road in order to slow down

Those are just a few ideas.

Solving this mystery would have been helped if driver Jennie Zhu had been more forthcoming. At this point, it’s very possible we’ll never know the full details of what occurred.

But her telling the police that the Mercedes just took off on her is probably good enough to keep her from any jail time in SF, IMO. This is a much better story than her saying that she was in a hurry and was trying to beat the red lights on a street that, more or less, has timed*** lights.

At the end of this thing, nobody’s going to believe that the car just took off on its own and she had her foot hard on the brake the whole time.

*”Unintended acceleration resulting from pedal misapplication is a driver error wherein the driver presses the accelerator when braking is intended. Some shorter drivers’ feet may not be long enough to touch the floor and pedals, making them more likely to press the wrong pedal due to a lack of proper spatial or tactile reference. Pedal misapplication may be related to pedal design and placement, as in cases where the brake and accelerator are too close to one another, or the accelerator pedal too large.”

**Now if you want to make your brakes fail by boiling your brake fluid through misuse like that guy in SoCal did with his Prius, well then be my guest. But the accident you cause will be on you.

***More or less. But on this stretch of Pine, it’s possible a jackrabbit start will get you through a few yellow lights and on your way westward. Depending on the traffic, this might save you a minute or two when travelling from Polk to Buchanan on Pine.

NEVIUS TRILOGY: Big Central Subway Booster CW Nevius USED TO HATE the Central Subway – Why the Change?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Let’s check in with San Francisco Chronicle writer CW Nevius on the topic of the Central Subway:

S.F.: City of whine aficionados” - January 9, 2014

“A subway will take traffic off some of the busiest streets in the city – try riding Muni on Stockton Street in the morning – and provide quick north-south access across the city, and it’s mostly paid for with federal funds. Who wouldn’t like something like that?”

So that was Nevius 2014. Now let’s check in with Nevius 2008 on the same exact topic:

Nevius: Chinatown subway plan makes me wince” - February 21, 2008

“There’s really only one question to ask about the proposal to bore a light-rail subway deep under the heart of downtown San Francisco. You’re kidding, right?

“Just the initial math makes your head hurt. Basically it works out to somewhere between $1.22 billion and $1.4 billion for an underground railway that runs for less than two miles and has only three stops. That’s not a transit system, it’s a model railroad.

“Throw in a few of the inevitable cost overruns and this could work out to a billion dollars a mile.”

“No matter. This is the kind of big, splashy project that city officials love to put their name on.”

“Basically, the argument seems to boil down to this - we’ve got the money (as if federal tax dollars grow on trees), the Chinatown community is behind it, why not build it? Oh, let me count some of the reasons.”

“But, critics say, a stop on Market beneath which BART and other Muni lines already run might have made this whole thing an easier sell. That would have created an opportunity for a single station where riders could make connections between regional and local trains, almost like Grand Central Terminal in New York. Instead, riders will have to walk all the way up to Union Square.”

“Oh, and did I mention that in order to get under the BART tube, the subway station at Union Square will have to be at least 95 feet below the surface. That’s nine stories.”

“What is it about that image of deep, underground dirt-munching machines in earthquake country that makes me wince?”

Has CW Nevius offered any explanation for this 180 degree turnaround?

‘Cause I’ll tell you, this subway-to-nowhere project has gotten worse since 2008.

Let’s review:

CIVIL GRAND JURY, CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO – “CENTRAL SUBWAY, TOO MUCH MONEY FOR TOO LITTLE BENEFIT

Wall Street Journal: Off the San Francisco Rails – $1.6 billion for 1.7 miles of subway.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Central Subway gravy train shows how City Hall work

SF Weekly: Portmistress Pelosi

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera: It’s time to rethink the Central Subway 

San Francisco Examiner: Dennis Herrera comes out against San Francisco Central Subway project

CalWatchdog: S.F. Subway Derails Into Boondoggle

SAVEMUNI: Central Subway – Background – An Opportunity Gone Wrong

Former Richmond District Supervisor and San Francisco Transportation Agency Chair Jake* McGoldrick: S.F. must stop Central Subway from being built

Get the point? Good, let’s dance!

Nevius 1988, artist’s conception – perhaps this particular Nevius had yet another strongly held position on this corrupt SFGov boondoggle:

Post sponsored by Nevius Nation 1414 – “We are a part of the Nevius Nation

*Forget about it Jake, it’s Chinatown

And San Francisco’s Worst Parkers are the Drivers of … Smart Cars – Here’s Why – “FIRST TO PARK…WINS”

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

When Smart Cars started showing up in the 415, what I thought we’d see was:

1. Smart Car tipping (Naughty naughty!); and

2. French-style, nose-to-the-curb parking

But what we’ve gotten is just bad parking, like this.

Why’s that? Well, it has to do with the attitude of ” I can park it anywhere!”

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So the smartCar drivers come home to Russian Hill at 10:00 PM and then they find nowhere to park and then they  park their rides illegally.

You see, it’s the lofty expectations what makes them bad parkers.

If You See a BMW and Mercedes Parked Next to Each Other, Which is More Likely to Have a Fraudulent Handicapped Placard?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

(This is a trick question BTW.)

As seen on Geary:

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The answer is that BOTH the Mercedes Benz AND the BMW will have handicapped placards.

Why is that? Well, it has to do with handicapped parking fraud.

Oh, and the owners of these cars think that you’re a sucker for not having a free parking pass of your own.

Oh well.

A Courthouse Victory for CCSF: “City College Wins Reprieve, as Court Enjoins ACCJC from Terminating Accreditation”

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The Big Battle of Boxing Day 2013 is over and here’s the result:

“City College wins reprieve, as court enjoins ACCJC from terminating accreditation - Herrera grateful to court ‘for acknowledging what accreditors callously won’t: that the educational aspirations of tens of thousands of City College students matter’

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 2, 2014) — A San Francisco Superior Court judge has granted a key aspect of a motion by City Attorney Dennis Herrera to preliminarily enjoin the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from terminating City College of San Francisco’s accreditation next July.  Under terms of the ruling Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow issued late this afternoon, the ACCJC is barred from finalizing its planned termination of City College’s accreditation during the course of the litigation, which alleges that the private accrediting body has allowed political bias, improper procedures, and conflicts of interest to unlawfully influence its evaluation of the state’s largest community college.  Judge Karnow denied Herrera’s request for additional injunctive relief to prevent the ACCJC from taking adverse accreditation actions against other educational institutions statewide until its evaluation policies comply with federal regulations.  A separate motion for a preliminary injunction by plaintiffs representing City College educators and students was denied.

In issuing the injunction, the court recognized that Herrera’s office is likely to prevail on the merits of his case when it proceeds to trial, and that the balance of harms favored the people Herrera represents as City Attorney.  On the question of relative harms, Judge Karnow’s ruling was emphatic in acknowledging the catastrophic effect disaccreditation would hold for City College students and the community at large, writing: “There is no question, however, of the harm that will be suffered if the Commission follows through and terminates accreditation as of July 2014.  Those consequences would be catastrophic.  Without accreditation the College would almost certainly close and about 80,000 students would either lose their educational opportunities or hope to transfer elsewhere; and for many of them, the transfer option is not realistic.  The impact on the teachers, faculty, and the City would be incalculable, in both senses of the term: The impact cannot be calculated, and it would be extreme.”

“I’m grateful to the court for acknowledging what accreditors have so far refused to: that the educational aspirations of tens of thousands of City College students matter,” said Herrera.  “Judge Karnow reached a wise and thorough decision that vindicates our contention that accreditors engaged in unfair and unlawful conduct.  Given the ACCJC’s dubious evaluation process, it makes no sense for us to race the clock to accommodate ACCJC’s equally dubious deadline to terminate City College’s accreditation.”

Judge Karnow adjudicated four separate pre-trial motions in today’s ruling following two days of hearings on Dec. 26 and 30.  Herrera filed his motion for preliminary injunction on Nov. 25 – three months after filing his initial lawsuit — blaming the ACCJC for procedural foot-dragging and delay tactics, which included a failed bid to remove the case to federal court and its months-long refusal to honor discovery requests.  Judge Karnow granted in part and denied in part Herrera’s motion, issuing an injunction that applies only to the ACCJC’s termination deadline for City College’s accreditation, and not statewide.

Apart from Herrera’s motion, AFT Local 2121 and the California Federation of Teachers also moved for a preliminary injunction onNov. 25, citing additional legal theories.  That motion was denied.  A third motion by the ACCJC asked the court to abstain from hearing the City Attorney’s lawsuit for interfering with complex accrediting processes largely governed by federal law; or, failing that, to stay Herrera’s action pending the outcomes of City College’s accreditation proceeding and ACCJC’s own efforts to renew its recognition with the U.S. Department of Education.  A fourth motion, also by the ACCJC, requested that the court strike the AFT/CFT’s case under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute, which enables defendants to dismiss causes of actions that intend to chill the valid exercise of their First Amendment rights of free speech and petition.  (SLAPP is an acronym for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”)  Both of the ACCJC’s pre-trial motions were denied.

The ACCJC has come under increasing fire from state education advocates, a bipartisan coalition of state legislators and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier for its controversial advocacy to dramatically restrict the mission of California’s community colleges by focusing on degree completion to the detriment of vocational, remedial and non-credit education.  The accrediting body’s political agenda — shared by conservative advocacy organizations, for-profit colleges and student lender interests — represents a significant departure from the abiding “open access” mission repeatedly affirmed by the California legislature and pursued by San Francisco’s Community College District since it was first established.

Herrera’s action, filed on Aug. 22, alleges that the commission acted to withdraw accreditation “in retaliation for City College having embraced and advocated a different vision for California’s community colleges than the ACCJC itself.”  The civil suit offers extensive evidence of ACCJC’s double standard in evaluating City College as compared to its treatment of six other similarly situated California colleges during the preceding five years.  Not one of those colleges saw its accreditation terminated.

The City Attorney’s case is: People of the State of California ex rel. Dennis Herrera v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 13-533693, filed Aug. 22, 2013.  The AFT/CFT case is: AFT Local 2121 et al. v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 534447, filed Sept. 24, 2013.  Documentation from the City Attorney’s case is available online at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org.”

The Cover Story of Tomorrow’s Bay Guardian is a (Very) Left-Handed Endorsement of Tom Ammiano for Mayor of SF

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

[UPDATE: An easier linkhttp://www.sfbg.com/2014/01/01/rise-candidate-x ]

I’m just at a loss over the cover story of the January 1-7, 2014 San Francisco Bay Guardian - “The Rise of Candidate X”

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

Comments:

- Whoo-boy, where to start? Does anybody at the SFBG really believe in this Robert Frost-y, fork-in-the-road, the-Mayor-makes-all-the-difference-in-SF theory? I can’t tell. IRL, there are institutional factors that push the two roads close together, sorry. The biggest difference would be for the actual people involved, like Ed Lee, and some department heads, and some commission members, and the SFGov nomenklatura. I don’t think the City itself would be changed all that much, sorry.

- Now if there’s a fake article from a real reporter on page 10 and a reference to a real article from the same reporter on page 6 and the reporter works for the same company as everybody at the SFBG, would that be cool? Or perhaps confusing to readers?

-Which of the real-life reporters should be most offended by the fake stories on pages 9-13? You Make The Call:

Phil Matier

Andrew Ross

Joe Eskenazi*

Jessica Kwong*

John Wildermuth

Ellen Cushing

Andrew Dalton

Steven T. Jones* (Yes, even STJ)

-Which one of the bits was even remotely entertaining/funny? IDK

-Is there even a remote chance that Scott Wiener or Mark Farrell will both lose reelection? Like IRL and not in a some fever dream prog circle jerk?

-And Candidate X is described as being a man but then also a man or a woman, like it was still unknown by the fake reporters? (I guess I there could be some sort of point here, but somebody’d have to explain it to me.)

-And then it turns out that Candidate X is (sort of) Assemblymember Tom Ammiano after all? I still have a button from his 1999 campaign - and he’s the heretofore unknown candidate?

I’ll be curious to see how people take this.

Appears to be a misfire, JMO

*All employed by “San Francisco Newspaper Company LLC”

 

The Bold Italic Finds a New Way to Suck: Is This Tweet an Ad for Ford? Gannett Co Inc’s Failed West Coast Operation

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

[UPDATE: Who says nameless, faceless, S&P500 corporations never listen to the little guy? 'Cause now the unpaid(?) interns(?) at Gannett, Co. Inc are putting "sponsored" on their sponsored Tweets. Just like I asked them to, below. Excelsior! ]

Here we go:

Except it’s an ad for Ford.

(And how about, instead, calling it a _pointless_ trip to Mount Tam?)

SFist handles things differently – it would use the term “sponsored post” or something.

Why not do that instead, TBI?

Of course, if you gained a lot more readers you could pay for your expensive clubhouse with advertising but how can you do that if you trick the few readers you have with ads for Ford?

Or maybe TBI’s role is just to lose millions of dollars for the home office in VA to offset profits made from the profitable part of Gannett?

Mmmm…