Posts Tagged ‘2014’

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…)

Tech Bros Waiting for the Market Street “Amazon Web Services” Pop-Up Hacker Dojo to Open

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

This is How We Live Now:

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County Living at SUMMIT 800: The Top Seven Reasons Why Foreigners Should NOT Buy a Condo Townhouse Near Parkmerced

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

What’s that, you’re not a foreigner? Well fine, you know what you’re doing, move on in.

But I’m assuming that you’re a foreigner, you know, if you’re thinking about buying at Summit 800.

1. And you know what? The people who are selling to you are assuming you’re a foreigner as well. Look at the name, look at the marketing. You’re rich and naive, that’s what they’re telling you.

2. This is a giant warning sign:

The New Townhouses at Summit 800 Are Already Cutting Prices

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3. Yes, you’re living just inside the county line of San Francisco, but so what? This is the slogan: “City Living. No City Limits.” It took me a while to figure things out, because I didn’t see the two sentences together. What they’re saying is that you have the best of both worlds – you’re living in San Francisco, but your apartment/condo/townhouse/townhome/whatever you call it as long as you don’t call it a “house” has a lot of space and is new construction and you have room for two cars and you have a lot of things that are hard to find in SF. BUT YOU’RE NOT REALLY LIVING IN SF, not really. They’re showing you images of Shanghai, but you’d be living in Chengdu.

4. Schools. Ask about schools. OMFG.

5. Weather / Climate. Hey, how’s the weather down there?

6. Traffic. OMFG. What they call State Highway 1, I call the 19th Avenue Parking Lot. Things are a bit better if you head south, but then why live in the far south / far west of SF? Oh, just so you can say you have a place in SF? OK, if that’s what you want.

7. What are people saying about this place? Check it. And pay close attention to what Eric has to say.

What if you gave one of these places to your kids and told them they’d only have to pay the monthly homeowner’s fees and annual property taxes, something like $2000 a month? Would your kids even want to move in? IDK. So what happened to your million-plus dollars?

JMO.

ONLY IN MARIN: Bridgeway Gas Station in Sausalito Charging $8 Per Gallon? Highest Prices in America

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Things were bad before, but I think we’re entering performance art territory here, up in Marin County.

Via Yelper Eddie H:

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The Yelpers, they are not happy.

Suffer Deb:

“I feel like I just got mugged. They are charging $6.97 for regular (other yelpers posted pics). The average price for gas in northern California is $3.43. I will never EVER go here again even though it’s on my way home from work, FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS GO TO BRIDGEWAY GAS.”

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody, anybody up there to ask, “Hey, what’s the deal with the $8 gas?” Before that, buy a few gallons to see what the experience is like. Also, check for the purported dirtiness. Like “can you believe this is the bathroom of a gas station what charges* $200 to fill your** tank?!” And then you say, hey, I gots to fill up my right rear with air, and then see if Dude makes you pay for the privilege – well that’s agin the law, right? (But don’t send CW Nevius – he’d find a way to get rejected on this slam dunk, like he’d tell this story from the poor gas station owner’s ‘sperective, something like that. SPROOOOING off the rim, that’s what I’m talking about.) Anyway, engage, make it so.

*And call your economist buddy and ask about elasticities of demand for low-margin bidnesses. So let’s say the Shell down the street only makes a few pennies per gallon (and possibly makes more money selling high-margin snacks, you know, the way movie theaters do it), well, maybe it makes sense to cut your business by 95% if you can increase your margins by 10,000%, that kind of deal. Who knows, maybe Dude makes money some other way off of the property…

**I can remember the first time I paid $20 for a tank of gas. It was back in the 1990’s for a rusty Audi 5000 I bought from a doctor in Manoa Valley. And then back in the aughts, I remember paying $100 to fill the tank of a Land Cruiser up in, you guessed it, Marin County. I’ll remember the $200 threshold too, if and when I ever achieve it. (And if I filled up at Bridgeway today, I think I could almost, just almost make it to $200.)

Twitterloin Update: Adieu Big Boy Market – More Uncritical Source Greasing from CW Nevius – La Muerte del Niño Grande

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Here’s a statement about the northern Twitterloin from CW Nevius inTenderloin nonprofits vs. bad apple corner stores:

“He hired a security guard and installed lights and cameras, but he and the people at the neighborhood’s other service agencies know where the real problems originate — the handful of lawless corner stores.

So, the “real problems” of the Tenderloin originate from a handful of lawless corner stores?

Uh, nope!

The test will be when the handful of corner stores get shut down and then the New Day doesn’t dawn, of course.

(One supposes that Nevius needs to “add drama” in order to justify his high-salary, low-effort gig.)

Now obvs, if SFGov is sufficiently motivated, it can “dramatically” change the character of a high-crime corner or a block pretty much at will. (Like at Jones and Market, the former open-air, stolen iPhone Apple store in front of the check-cashing place. Post an officer not just for one shift, but for all shifts and then people will get the message to move on.) But I’m skeptical of SFGov doing much more than that, of it “bringing a new day” to the TL. I heard the same type of thing when I lived in the area, back before Nevius white-flighted to The Creek in the East Bay, and periodically I keep hearing the same-old-same-old from some of the bad apple service agencies that Nevius is in communication with. (You know, like the one with the chief exec who sometimes threatens to sue and almost always belittles The Neviusese’s employer, for instance.)

Naive newcomer Nevius is far more optimistic than I on this score.

In any event, if SFGov can shut down an individual store and CW Nevius wants to cheerlead from his empty nest condo in SoSoMA, that’s fine. But it’ll be a long wait for a “new day” in the TL.

Oh well.

Background: The Big Boy Market at 180 Golden Gate is no more as of 2014.

And here’s a shot I took, from 2011 – it seemed to piss off the people hanging about. (Everything’s filtered ‘cept for the DRUG-FREE SCHOOL ZONE (or should it have been SCHOOL-FREE DRUG ZONE?) sign:

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Hey Nevius, why don’t you spend a Night in the Twitterloin ala this guy? You know, have a hat cam on, or have a drone hovering overhead to record your interactions. Or, just keep on doing the same old, waiting for Randy Shaw to email you with his latest Crusade, that kind of thing. I suppose you get paid the same either way…

‘Til next time, Niño Grande.

The death of a giant baby
Well, it happens a lot ’round here
And if you think peace is a common goal
That goes to show how little you know
The death of a giant baby
Well, I’d rather not get involved
I never talk to my neighbor
I’d rather not get involved
Love, peace and harmony?
Love, peace and harmony?
Oh, very nice, very nice, very nice, very nice
But maybe in the next world

How the SFMTA Gave Up Its Experiment at the Deadly Intersection of Yorba and Sunset

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

I’ll tell you, our SFMTA is addicted to crazy new ideas. So like if you have an idea that’s untested, and it’s a little out there, you know, a little crazy, or crazy enough that it just might work, well our SFMTA would just loooooove to hear about it.

As it was at Yorba and Sunset. This place was a mess, with HAWK lights that never turned red – what was the point of having a pedestrian-activated light that never turned red? What other cities do things this way?

Here’s what things looked like last year:

 

And here’s how things look now, with a normal signal, one that’s much more effective than the SMART-whatever experiment that was going on before:

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So who was responsible for the HAWK beacon idea?

Nobody?

Oh, okay.

How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

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Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

Look Who Else was Doing Chalk Ads on the Sidewalks of San Francisco: Paramount Pictures – “What is CLOVERFIELD? 1-18-08″

Monday, February 9th, 2015

This one flew under the radar, AFAIK:

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Seven years later, here in 2015, you can’t get away this kind of thing anymore…

Uber Beats Lyft Again! – They Both Put Illegal Chalk Ads on Our Sidewalks, But Only Lyft Gets Busted – Plus, a Shakedown

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

A couple years back I passed by this scene on Market, so then I contacted the Uber people by email on my cell…

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…and I was all, “Can you do that? I don’t think you can do that.”

Why? Because it’s a chalk ad on a Frisco sidewalk and that aint kosher. I mean, I didn’t know for sure, maybe somebody had approved this and the Uber people had permits, who knows. I was simply “issue-spotting,” as they say.

So then, a half-hour later, the Uberers had these ads hastily obliterated, more or less, as best they could.

And that was that, back in 2013.

And now comes Lyft in 2015 with hopsc0tch chalk on the Streets of San Francisco:

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Except that SFGov is now lowering the boom on Lyft.

(And there might be some shakedown to take money from Lyft to give it to those ugly “SF Beautiful,” people, who are now infamous for suing the City and County of San Francisco? That sounds wrong.)

Anyway, Uber beats Lyft, once again.

NBC Spoils Its Own Internet Broadcast: Super Bowl XLIX Shown Time-Delayed, But the Score Ticker is Updated in Real Time

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Slate weighs in: NBC’s Super Bowl Live Stream Was Hugely Popular. It Was Also Terrible. By Will Oremus. OhI guess a couple interruptions delayed my feed so I could have pressed a button to catch up and then have had only a 30-second delay. IMO, this NBC live stream was BTN, Better Than Nothing – consider that praise if you want.]

Here’s a screen grab from NBC’s webcast of today’s Super Bowl:

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So if you had noticed the live score seen at the top of the screen, then you’d have known that the Seattle drive you were watching would end, SPOILER ALERT, in a field goal.

Cord cutting* comes at a price, so very high.

Just saying.

*Believe it or not, my town, the second-largest in the northern half of the state, has no NBC affiliate, so my aging 70 inch Sharp has zero chance of receiving KNTV out of San Joser using my rabbit ears, as I’m on the wrong side of Twin Peaks. Plus, I can’t go satellite as I have no view of the southern sky. And Comcast, well, Comcast is the Devil. Now last year, that was different, that was par-tay time (at least until the end, the very end of the game) at 720p on a decent, non-spoiler network. But this year, meh. Oh well.