Posts Tagged ‘9’

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:

7J7C6741 copy

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.  

If You Liked the (Now-Banned) COSCO Busan, You’ll Love the COSCO Fortune – It’s Twice as Big – As Seen From the Bay Bridge

Friday, January 6th, 2017

The Cosco Fortune is twice as heavy as the infamous Cosco Busan, so I’d call that twice as big.

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Anyway, let’s hope we learned our lesson from a decade ago…

San Francisco’s Best (If Scariest) Commute: Riding the Elevator Basket Up Sutro Tower

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

As seen a few days back – that square, that’s your elevator car. Haven’t seen it in a while:

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And here’s the close-up color version, from all the way back in 2004:

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(I remember thinking how the workers in the basket should have appeared clearer in this photo. I guess I was super-far away, oh well.)

In closing, take that, Great Pyramid. Pwned:

july-david_sutro-tower-height-comparison

Can Homeless People Use Firehouse Bathrooms? YES, from 9A to 6P – Here are the Official Rules from the SFFD

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Get up-to-speed here.

Hey, look at this – an official SFFD operations memo. Just a draft, but nobody’s really working on hammering out the exact wording of detailed Fire Code sections here. No, this is more what you call “guidelines.”

Now arguably, this program is actual SFFD policy now and it’s has been policy since well before 2015, but of course most people in town don’t know about it. The new wrinkle, AFAIK, is that only ground floor bathrooms are covered. That means that a lot of stations won’t be able to help you.

I’ll bet a lot of firefighters don’t want to deal with these issues. I mean, if there’s a big call and a homeless person / anybody else from the general public doesn’t want to leave the bathroom just yet, the official SFFD bathroom escort might not know the best course of action.
Anyway, here it is:

“SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT

DEPUTY CHIEF – OPERATIONS MEMORANDUM

CD2-15-XX

TO: Divisions 2 and 3, Battalions 1-10
FROM: Deputy Chief Gonzales, Operations
DATE: June 19th, 2015
SUBJECT: General Public Usage of Fire Station Restroom Facilities

To all Members:

Fire Station Restrooms: San Francisco Fire Stations with ground floor restroom facilities are available for public use. Members of the general public may use the ground floor restroom facilities between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

If the Fire units within said Stations are called out for any emergency, the member of the public must also leave the facility immediately. Members of the public shall not be left behind alone in the Firehouse. Signs shall be posted by Station Captains on the doors of the facilities stating, “If there is an emergency dispatch and units must leave, anyone using this restroom facility must also leave immediately.”

The Fire Department employee that guides the member of the public to the bathroom facility shall also verbally inform the member of the public that they will have to leave the facility immediately, if an emergency call comes in and no units are available to stay behind.

The Fire Department employee that guides the member of the public into the facility is also responsible for escorting the member of the public back out of the Firehouse.

It is up to the Officer’s discretion if a member of the public is allowed to use the ground floor restroom facility. If the member of the public requesting to use the facility is inebriated or altered in any way, they shall not be allowed to use the restroom facility. The health and safety of our members and the security of the Firehouse shall also factor into the Officer’s discretion/decision.

Regarding visitors to the Firehouse, article 3950 still applies:

3950. VISITORS

Members shall not invite or allow visitors not on Department business to enter Department facilities before 1000 hours or after 2100 hours. Members shall only allow visitors into public areas of a Department station or facility. Members shall not invite or allow intoxicated persons in or about Department property, except for purposes of providing medical care.”

Little-Known Fact: From 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, the Bathrooms at Most SFFD Stations are Public – Anyone May Use Them

Monday, June 8th, 2015

You know, I thought we were done hearing about area blogger/gadfly Michael Petrelis and the bathrooms of SFGov, but we’re not.

Here it is:

SF Fire Dept: Homeless Can Now Use Our Toilets to Poop

And here’s a list of stations.

Hey, wasn’t this policy, or whatever you want to call it, in effect before gadfly Mike Petrelis took wing? I think so.

All the deets, from last month:

“Thank you for your advocacy to increased toilet access for San Franciscans. We are pleased to update you on the following efforts to increase bathroom availability:

Fire Station Restrooms: Nearly all of the San Francisco Fire Stations are open for public restroom use. Any member of the public may ring the Fire Station doorbell and will be let in to use the toilet between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Automatic Public Toilet Program: There are 25 self-cleaning public toilets in San Francisco. Here is a list of the locations:

“1. Fisherman’s Wharf: Jefferson & Powell Sts. 2. Fisherman’s Wharf: Jefferson & Powell Sts. 3. Bay & Taylor Sts. 4. Coit Tower, Pioneer Park 5. Washington Square: Union St. & Columbus Ave 6. Pier 7 7. Justin Herman Plaza 8. Market & California Sts. 9. Transbay Terminal: Mission & 1st Sts. 10. St. Mary’s Square: Pine & Quincy Sts. 11. Union Square: Geary & Powell Sts. 12. MacCauley Park: Larkin & O’Farrell Sts. 13. Boedecker Park: Eddy & Jones Sts. 14. Market & Powell Sts. 15. Civic Center: Grove & Larkin Sts. 16. UN Plaza: Market & 7th Sts. 17. Embarcadero & Harrison Sts. 18. Stanyan & Waller Sts. 19. Market & Church Sts. 20. Market & 17th Sts. 21. Mission & 16th Sts. 22. Twin Peaks 23. Mission & 24th Sts. 24. South Van Ness Ave & Cesar Chavez St. 25. Drumm & Clay Sts.

“Pit Stop Program: San Francisco Department of Public Works has expanded their toilet access program from six toilets in three locations in the Tenderloin to include two toilets in the South of Market and to the Mission District where the Pit Stop program has taken over a JCDecaux public toilet.

“Outreach: To ensure that homeless individuals are aware of the bathroom options, flyers will be distributed at homeless shelters, via SFHOT, and at the Project Homeless Connect Every Day Connect office. Thank you again for your advocacy on this issue.

“Signed,
Chief Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Fire Department Director
Barbara Garcia, San Francisco Department of Public Health Director
Bevan Dufty, Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE)”

The Bay Area Runs on Petroleum – A Dozen Tankers at Anchorage 9, the Former Hangout of the Exxon Valdez

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Here’s four of them:

7J7C9001 copy

The big ships offload to smaller tankers – a process called lightering.

Oddly enough, San Francisco’s inept SFMTA transit agency has spilled more petroleum into SF Bay than any single vessel spill over the past 40 years. We had the Cosco Busan mishap a few years back, but that was a container ship and it only spilled fuel it was going to use on its trip across the Pacific. The Bay Area has never had a big big oil tanker spill.

The 1971 SF Bay Oil Spill was as close as we came…

Well, Here It Is – Here’s Your Newly-Repaved Kezar Drive, July 2014

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between the bad, terrible, bumpy old Kezar (seen in the background) and the new, wonderful, freshly-paved Kezar (seen in the foreground), you know, except for the color.

Click to expand

So Yeah, Kezar Drive Will Be Closed Until July 3rd Starting Today, But Only at Night – From 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: Here’s a FaceBook posting from June 20th, from a less-than-reliable-source, one that earlier stated that this job already would have been done by now, that I don’t think you could find even if you searched for it, that’s designed mostly to take credit for a “job well done” (as opposed to informing the affected public (most of whom don’t even live in District Five)), that doesn’t even mention the terms SFMTA or DPW, that I suppose is a kind of official notice.]

Earlier, I read this sign as Kezar Drive Closed From June 23rd to July 30th, so I was baffled as to why there was nothing posted online on this topic.

So now, after taking a photo and looking at it, I see that the closure is for just 11 scheduled days and only at night.

See?

Click to expand

I’m still baffled as to why no SFGov entity has posted anything about this online, oh well.

Anyway, this thing kicks off tonight – here’s the foreperson getting ready for work.

OMG, It’s Soul Slam #9 – Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Purple Rain, June 7th 2014

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

It’s Soul Slam 9

SOUL SLAM SF 9: PRINCE & MICHAEL JACKSON feat. DJ SPINNA (NYC) with Proof (Massive Selector), Hakobo (fresco), King Most (SF), hosted by: Michael Orange (Top Ten Social…

Saturday, June 7 · Doors 9:00 PM at Mezzanine

“Meat Day” Comes on the 29th of Every Month in Japantown – But Uh Oh: “Except for Sausage, Bacon, Ham”

Friday, October 4th, 2013

This is a monthly thing for four-star Yelp-rated Nijiya Market at 1737 Post St (between Buchanan and Webster) in Godforsaken, windblown, Redeveloped, and concrete-and-clay-and-general-decay Japantown.*

But what’s this,”EXCEPT FOR SAUSAGE, BACON, HAM?”

Those are like the three best animals, man!

A good thing is when the have cases of “imported” Sapporo Draft (aka Premium) (kara サッポロビール株式会社 Sapporo Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha) on sale for $13. (Yeah, imported from Ontario, Canada(!), but I guess an import is an import.)

Anyway, enjoy your Meat Days, San Francisco!

Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.

Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

*I haven’t a clue on how to best fix earthquake-unsafe J-Town. Before the Great Recession, the solution was going to be something like 500 new condos in the nabe, each with a $100,000 fee tacked on to help pay for a new Japantown Garage and whatnot. But some businesses inside the horrible mall buildings are thriving and some are not, so it’s not an easy call to have a giant implosion and just start over. And, up to now, there’s been no money for that kind of thing anyway…