Posts Tagged ‘4’

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

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So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

InSoc_DBA_booklet copy

And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

Anti-Bicycling Sign on Rec and Park Property, Golden Gate Park

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Meesa thinks, “HOW WUDE!”

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IDK how official these signs are. (Suppose they were ginned up by the RPD, but I didn’t see the typical coding letters what most SFGOV signs have.)

Anyway, such riding is not allowed, per KRON 4’s world-famous Stanley Roberts

UPDATE: Ferry Building Taco Parlour Charges a SECRET 15% Surcharge – Tourists Outraged

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Get up to speed here:

“Celebrity Chef” Traci Des Jardins Goes Beyond the Pale with a 15% “Surcharge”

So here’s the old sign, from three months ago…

olkjlkjl

And here’s how things stand today:

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See that? The notice about the 15% surcharge is gone.

So what’s up with that? Oh, our poor tourists are supposed to find out when and if they scrutineer their receipt after they’ve already been charged?

WTF to that. I mean, is this kosher, Bouboule?

So that’s my beef.

I’ll note that the printed receipts now just say “15% surcharge,” which is a big improvement over any reference to taxes, which could get you in big big twubble with our big big CA State BOE.

Let’s see, what else… oh, our tourists fucking hate this BS. Take a look:

Stale food. Added 15% surcharge over the posted prices. Rude staff.

Dishonest pricing with a bogus 15% surcharge. They should add this to the stated price of food instead of adding this to the bill.

Fundamentally dishonest. Their menu quotes a price, then sales tax, and then a surcharge of 15% – and no tip worthy service. Plus, why 15% of the sales tax?

Mucho rippo offo!!! Food was mediocre at best. And to add insult to injury they add an extra 15% surcharge?!?! Six tiny Tacos, a small basket of nachos, a kids quesadilla and a carne sandwich for over $80 is obscene!!!

Are some street tacos for happy hour! They seem to nickel and dime you, on top of adding a 15% surcharge to every order (they don’t accept tips), which it thought was interesting.

Food was decent, disappointed with the customer service. There was no explanation about the 15% surcharge until after she swiped our card, a heads up would have been nice.

If you’re willing to spend $40+ for chips and salsa, tacos and a bean burrito, this is the place for you.

Illegal labeling practice and should be shut down! The restaurant illegally labels “tips” as part of taxes on the receipt and enforces customers to pay tips. When I asked the staff why the taxes are so high (23%) out of the total bill, her answer was ” we consolidate city, state and surcharge taxes into one and it shows as taxes on the receipt”. I replied:” the surcharge is tips in this case?” She said yes. The question is how could tips be labeled as taxes? Absolutely sneaky! Absolutely illegal!

Mijita – San Francisco, CA, United States. Illegal labeling practice and should be shut down! The restaurant illegally labels “tips” as part of taxes on the receipt.

The 15% surcharge is absolutely absurd. Almost an entire extra $5 for tax and bs fees. Future patrons beware.

We just wanted to sit out in the sun and enjoy some kind of food. I didn’t know about the 15% surcharge tax they tack on, in addition to the regular tax till I looked at my bill! My tortilla soup for $8.50 turned out to be $10.83. I wouldn’t bitch so much if the soup was good. Which it wasn’t. Lukewarm and more like a stew. There were carrots in there. yuck. I won’t be back. Plus all those damn pigeons outside picking at leftovers. Can people please read the fricken signs to bus your own dishes? Jesus! Not Mjjita’s fault but still .. I am just irritated.

Beware!! A 15% Surcharge?? when asked about what the charge was for the cashier said it was their tip. TIP?? really!? Yeah it’s already over priced and not that great; and they’re charging this ridiculous 15% charge? yeah, straight bananas. I didn’t even realize the charge since the cashier didn’t give me the receipt until my friend noticed it on her order. (He was too busy trying to fix the paper on the machine). Fool me once and that’s enough, not worth coming back.

Pretty bad food (bland and tiny portions) for about 2x the cost of the fantastic Mexican food found elsewhere in the city. Then again, this restaurant probably gets enough business from tourists that accountability for their bad food doesn’t matter because repeat business is not common. Oh, and LOL: 15% surcharge “to help with employer’s rising costs”? That is just embarrassing for so many reasons. Go elsewhere.

So IDK, man.

Hey, are there any other businesses at the Ferry Building with a low low 2.5 star Yelp rating? 

Toddler Racing! – “2016 Strider Cup World Championship” Coming to Pier 35 July 29-30, 2016 – Youths Aged 2-5 on Balance Bikes

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Here it is:

2016 Strider Cup World Championship Presented by FedEx

It’ll look something like this:

People will be traveling from all over the world to get here.

StriderCupWorldChampionshipPoster

(Of course, you’ll want to get the Pro version, to give your bike tyke that extra edge.)

See you there, FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY!

“Celebrity Chef” Traci Des Jardins Goes Beyond the Pale with a 15% “Surcharge” – Mijita at the Ferry Building – Our Poor Tourists!

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Via Reddit comes news to me:

Can someone please explain to me this SF specific tax?

And here it is:

“A 15% surcharge has been added to your bill to help offset rising employer costs in SF”

olkjlkjl

The degredients are listed so it wasn’t hard to see that this is poorly-rated Mijita Cocina Mexicana (1 Ferry Bldg,  Ste 44, San Francisco, CA 94111, Embarcadero, SoMa, South Beach) we’re talking about here.

SO, I’m familiar with the high costs of doing business in San Francisco.

AND, I know aboot bogus 4% surcharges already, eh?

But FIFTEEN (15!) PERCENT? That’s beyond the pale.

Now let’s here from the horse’s mouth (or whatever), you know, herself: From Fast Company: Educate customers about cost increases, and find creative ways to pass them on.”

An excerpt:

When the health-care mandate was passed three years ago, Des Jardins was already paying half of her employee’s health care, so as a line on her P&L, the costs were already significant. The change made them “unsustainable,” she says, and even then they didn’t impose cost increases for customers for six months. Today, each bill at Jardiniére comes with a 4% line-item surcharge labeled “Stay healthy, San Francisco.” “We tried to build the cost into [the menu], but you’ve got different trends in what sells and what doesn’t, so it didn’t work to cover the cost,” she says. “It was rough in the beginning, but local people have gotten used to it—they realize that they voted it in. It’s harder for people from out of town, but it’s a lot like staying in a hotel—you get the hotel price, and then 20% later, you’ve paid your bill.”

So, this was back in the day, and at another joint (the not poorly rated Jardinere), but it shows the mindset. Let’s go:

1. So, there are “creative ways” to pass on cost increases and there are HONEST ways, right?

2. It “didn’t work to cover the cost?” What does this mean? Does it mean that you couldn’t simply raise prices? But oh yes you could!

3. “They voted it in?” IDTS! First of all, the “voters” in this case were the eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, not your typical customer of Traci Des Jardins. Second of all, they didn’t vote to impose a surcharge, which is simply something that some local restaurateurs decided to do on their own.

4. And it’s “harder for people from out of town” because, because some of them realize, only too late, that they’ve been led down le chemin de [Traci] Jardin[s], or led down the garden path, right?

Now I’ve seen gas stations do the same thing, do the same kind of pouting, but, similarly, it’s tout a fait inapproprie, amiright?

And, speaking of which, what if a gas station advertised on its big signs the price per gallon BEFORE a random “15% surcharge” gets added in – would we tolerate that?

Oh, and another thing – this, this here is wrong wrong wrong:

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Now what if somebody from our CA State Board of Equalization (The Nation’s Second-Largest Tax Agency, I’m srsly) looked inside the four corners of this receipt. S/he would say, “Oh, the owner of this joint has gone stir crazy and is now charging customers a 23.75% sales tax. Ergo, all this money needs to be remitted to the great State of California.” I’m srsly.

So, what “Celebrity Chef” Tracy Des Jardins should do is raise her prices 15%, or whatever she wants – I don’t care, and then ditch the absurd surcharge, which, you know, should be illegal. (Oh what’s that, you’ll go out of bidness? Fine, who cares. Make room for somebody else at Ferry Building Stall #44.)

END OF LINE

Photoshopped Folk Art Mocks San Francisco’s Disastrous Hosting of Super Bowl 50 Party – “Super Tent City”

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

This is not the problem for the NFL…

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…but it’s a symptom of the problem, for the NFL.

The Big Wheel Bike Craze Goes Mainstream: Bicycles with 4″ Fat Tires Available at City Target West

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Or online:

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Choose wisely

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Nevertheles, I’ll continue recommending the Marin Bikes Factory Sto

KRON-TV Journalist Blamed for SFPD Crackdown: On Craigslist: “FUCK STANLEY ROBERTS – $100,000” – More People Behaving Badly

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Here’s the call:

And here’s the response:

Post

Mayors Behaving Badly: How This Photo from KRON’s Stanley Roberts Doesn’t Necessarily Show Oakland Mayor Illegally Texting

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

All the deets from Channel 4’s Stanley Roberts, he of People Behaving Badly fame.

If she was texting, then that against CA law, but if she was using her iPhone(?) as a wayfinding device, then this starring performance might not have been against the law.

Here it is:

You Make The Call

The Fattest Bicycle Tires You’ll Ever See – Presenting the Mighty 26 x 4.0 – It’s Like a Motorcycle Without an Engine

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

As seen on Ashbury:

Click to expand