Posts Tagged ‘aaa’

Recycling Dead Batteries is Surprisingly Easy in Frisco – One Simple Trick!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

[UPDATE: Herb Caen eventually recanted re: the Frisco Issue – see Comments. Or here’s the short version:“Balderdash,” Caen wrote. “The toughest guys on the old S.F. waterfront, neither rubes nor tourists, called it Frisco, and no effete journalist would have tried to correct them.”]

Are you like  – do you pine for an Uber For Dead Batteries?

Person that comes to your house to remove your used AA batteries because you’re too lazy to ‘dispose of them properly.'”

Here you go – they’ll come right to your place for pickup if you put your used batteries in a baggie:

Curbside Battery Recycling Service – Most residents may place their batteries in a sealed plastic bag taped to the top of their black bin for curbside collection.” 

Capturefsdfs copy

This baggie system is news to me, as I’m accustomed to the Big Orange Bucket:

“Residents of multi-unit homes (4 units or more) should place batteries in their Orange Battery Bucket. If your building does not have one, ask your building manager to order one at (415) 330-1300. For more information on battery recycling, please visit:

Like this:

P1230593 copy

So who says our local garbage monopoly is all bad?

*As opposed to the actual Elon Musk. I’ll tell you, BEM is much cheaper for us than the real deal:

Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies

Can the Managers of the New 100 Van Ness Apartment Building Get Away with Making “Security Deposits” Non-Refundable? We’ll See

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Click on “Lease Now” to see this:

“*To reserve your new home, please click the “Get Approved” button above to complete our rental application and start the screening process. You will be required to submit a payment of $35.00 for the non-refundable Application Fee and the Security Deposit of $500-$1000 for the apartment is due within 72 hours by drop off or overnight mail. After three days from the date of application, the Security Deposit is non-refundable.”

Well, first off, “home.” Like, it’s not even a condo, man. How about “apartment” instead?

And second off, I ain’t never paid no nonrefundable application fee. What you do is ask how much the  credit / eviction check costs them and then offer to pay that. If that’s a no-go, then perhaps you shouldn’t move in? (I realize that building employees have to deal with flaky people all the time, but I’m not the flaky people category, I don’t think.*)

What really grinds my gears is the idea of any building manager talking about any kind of “non-refundable” deposit. Such a deposit does not exist under California law.

Check it:

(m) “No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.”

You want to quibble? Fine, quibble, but this non-refundable status is agin the law, agin the law I tells you!

Most people in Cali can market apartments without prima facie violations of Cali law. So why can’t you, 100 Van Ness? Why can’t you?

Just asking.

Oh what’s that, what’s $35 to somebody who thinks moving into the Outer Twitterloin at $4000 for a one-bedroom is a good idea? All right, well, maybe it’s not a good idea to move into this building. Realize that most of the non-BMR people are probably not going to renew after their first year (just like at the abysmal “luxury” Fillmore Center apartments near Japantown, where you can pay thousands and thousands per month in rent, and for what). So, why are so many people going to move out of 100 VN after just a year? Think on that. Part of the reason might have to do with dealing with the 20-somethings in “building management.” Are they going to come in and say, uh oh, you walked on our cheap, brand-new hardwood flooring in high heels so here’s a bill for $7,000 for reflooring? Maybe. (Stuff like that happens just around the corner of 100VN all the time.) And there’s the nabe, which might wear you down over the months. OTOH, maybe this building is a dream come true for you, right next to Van Ness Station and not too far from the Civic Center BART Station. Fine, be my guest. Enjoy. But the same 20-something chicas who don’t understand why it’s not kosher to expropriate four-figure “Security Deposits” in the Great State of California just might not be aware of all the other laws what protect you.

Oh, what’s that, it’s OK to retain a “holding deposit?” Well, we aren’t at that point yet, because you all labeled it a “Security Deposit.” I’m now satisfied that you all don’t know what you’re doing. Welcome to Cali, 100VN Management. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…


*Like the last time I bought a car, I didn’t even test drive it. No salesperson neither – the “big guy” had to assign a salesperson to me at the end of the sales process in order to “get the transaction to go through.” This sales process took about seven minutes. Later on, the salesperson had to “orient” me. I asked for the 30-second version of his 20-minute spiel. It was basically this: “Never press this button.” And I’ll tell you, that was good advice. I had already figured the downsides of pressing the button and if I hadn’t, then I would have figured things out fast, like during the times that I pressed that button by mistake. In any event, what he meant was, never press this button unless you know what it does and the conditions are right for it.  The point is that I’m not a flake so I never pay no nonrefundable application fee and you shouldn’t either. Sometimes, like back during Dot Com 1 in the late ’90’s, landlords would harvest thousands of dollars in application fees for just one unit over one weekend. Did the LLs actually run the checks potential tenants paid for? Nope. That’s what made it a scam. A nice, four-figure, income tax-free scam. These days, they charge you $35 to run a check that costs them even less than before, like a few bucks max. Oh well.  

Two Views of the Refurbished AAA Building – 100 Van Ness is Now Move-In Ready – Studios Start at $3090 per Month

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

That was the windup, and here’s the pitch, for our old AAA car club building / brand-new apartment building:

100 Van Ness combines elevation with elegance offering highrise living with sweeping multi-million dollar views. Our amenity filled Rooftop Terrace elevates 374 feet above ground creating panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Twin Peaks, and everything in between! This world class building is conveniently located within walking distance to public transportation, shopping, dinning, and entertainment.”

(Remember, these aren’t just million dollar views, they’re “multi-million dollar views,” whatever the Hell that means.)

(And remember, 100 Van Ness is a “world class building” – it’s all they talk about at Versailles these days, I’m sure…)

Now, why do they charge $3090 (and up!) per month for small studios? Well, so you can subsidize the rent of all your new BMR neighbors, so that people who lived in SF longer than you auslanders can pay just $1139 a month for much larger two-bedrooms. It’s the Circle of Life, or something.

Oh, and even tho this building be old, there’s no rent control, having to do with the date on the Occupancy Permit. So maybe you’ll get a $1000 a month rent increase after you first year’s lease is up, who knows.

Anyway, the refurbishment looks pretty much done these days. The current view from the south:

7J7C2775 copy

And from the north, with City Hall, with the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere (yes, classical, highest, Western, if those are the parameters, SF wins the contest) in the foreground:

7J7C2776 copy

And where’s the closest gro sto? IDK. One supposes the “ghetto Safeway” at Church and Market, but I’m not sure.

Golden Gate Park’s Ragtag Fleet of Liveaboard RV’s Usually Needs a Little Help When It’s Time to Move On

Monday, January 6th, 2014

You know, like this, on Oak:

Click to expand

The $100 a day you’ll save by not paying rent in the 94117 can be used to buy a new battery now and then.

And an RV is way cheaper than paying for AirBnb, right?

President Barack Obama Picks Paula R. Collins and Alex Mehran as New Board Members of the Presidio Trust

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Here’s the news of the day from our Presidio Trust, or perhaps it was last week’s  – I’m kind of slow on the the uptake sometimes:


Presidio of San Francisco (August 14, 2012) — President Barack Obama has named two prominent Bay Area leaders — Paula R. Collins and Alex Mehran — to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors. The White House also re-appointed Nancy Bechtle as board chair. Ms. Collins and Mr. Mehran are replacing outgoing board members J. Michael Shepherd and Bill Wilson.

Paula R. Collins is the chief executive officer of WDG Ventures, Inc., a real estate development company in Northern California, and president of Portfolio Real Estate Consulting.

Part of the original project development team for the Moscone Convention Center, Ms. Collins is a founder and director of Presidio Bank in San Francisco, a member of the national board of the Automobile Association of America and has served as an appointee to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. In addition, she is co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, a member of the board of the Special Olympics for Northern California and has served on the Board of Directors of the BRIDGE Housing Corporation. Ms. Collins has been awarded the prestigious Silver Spur Award by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research organization, in honor of her dedication to improving the quality of life and economic health of San Francisco; and has been honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and the San Francisco Business Times. She graduated cum laude in urban studies from Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts and received her master’s degree in city planning from MIT. Ms. Collins replaces Mr. Shepherd on the board.

A Bay Area native, Alex Mehran is the president and chief executive officer of Sunset Development Company, a San Ramon based real estate development, investment, construction and management company founded by his father almost 60 years ago.

Mr. Mehran is chair of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, a trustee of the San Francisco Ballet and a member of the University of California, San Francisco Chancellor’s Associates. In addition, he is a past chairman and current executive committee member of the Bay Area Council and is a former trustee of the Urban Land Institute and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Mr. Mehran received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, where he graduated with honors. He earned a law degree, also with honors, from England’s Cambridge University. Mr. Mehran replaces Mr. Wilson.

“Alex and Paula are joining the board at a very exciting time – the Presidio Trust is now financially self-sufficient and we are seeing the benefits of a decade worth of investments in the park,” said Craig Middleton, Presidio Trust Executive Director. “Alex and Paula will be instrumental in helping us expand the public benefit of the Presidio to the local community and the nation.”

A fourth generation San Franciscan, Nancy Bechtle grew up across the street from the Presidio, and, as a child would scale the base’s walls to play in Julius Kahn Park. Once, she was even kicked out for riding her horse on the base. Appointed to the Trust’s board by President George W. Bush in 2008, Ms. Bechtle was first elected chair in 2009. She is chairman of the board of the Sugar Bowl Corporation, serves on the board of directors for the Charles Schwab Corporation and is a former chief financial officer and director of J.R. Bechtle and Company. A past president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Symphony, Ms. Bechtle has served on the symphony’s board of governors since 1984 and has also served on the board of the San Francisco Opera Association. In addition she has served on the board of the National Park Foundation, holding the board’s citizen chair from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Bechtle recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and has received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the California Arts Council and the Investment in Leadership award from the Coro Foundation, among her many other honors.

“I am pleased to welcome these very talented and accomplished people to the board,” said Nancy Bechtle. “The experience that Paula and Alex bring will be great assets as the Trust expands its public-serving programs while continuing to keep an eye on ensuring the park’s self-sufficiency.”

The Presidio Trust is governed by a seven-member board of directors. Six members are appointed by the President of the United States. The seventh is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior or his designee. An executive director reports to the board and oversees a staff with expertise including environmental science, historic preservation, operations and maintenance, landscape design, planning, resource management, real estate development, public affairs and programs, law, and finance.

Biographies of all Trust board members are available at

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio’s status as a National Historic Landmark District.”

The Absurdity of Promoting Free Cab Rides or “Tipsy Tows” from AAA or a Shyster Lawyer on New Years Eve

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Blessed are the non-shyster lawyers, people like 40goingon28, who bring it all home for us:

The funny thing about all these free cab rides is people thinking they’re going to GET THROUGH TO A CAB COMPANY. Good [*]ucking luck!”

Indeed. So what’s the idea here, you’re supposed to come to the 415, get hammered, then call AAA, not just for a free(!) ride home but a free ride home for your car as well? On gridlocked streets? How long would that take per average call – about an hour? How many trucks does AAA have?

And perhaps AAA should just tell those $80-a-year-dues-paying grandmothers who need a jump start / tire change to go pound sand while drunk, Internet-savvy freeloaders take priority?

Now, maybe it makes sense for ambulance chasers around the country to promote themselves this way, but it sure doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense in this town…

Telling people about these annual marketing plans for area corporations and partnerships seems like an example of handing out bad advice…

New Today at the Asian Art Museum – Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam & Burma

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

San Francisco’s highly-rated Asian Art Museum launched a new special exhibit today – it’s called Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam & Burma.


sb copy

Read all about this great show from Candace JacksonNancy Ewart, Carol Canter, and Janos Gereben. (Civic Center Mike? Hello-oooo?)

So, let’s cue the monks and then check the Facebook:

“The opening ceremony went well! Peaceful, calming chanting and praying culminating in a monk blessing everyone by lobbing water droplets on the audience. Emerald Cities is now officially open, the orchid display goes down after Sunday, and on Sunday we have our Fall Family Festival — daylong festivities for all ages, and families don’t have to pay the Emerald Cities surcharge!”

And if you drop by the AAA in the next few days, you’ll get to see the orchids.

And win some free tickets here!

Check out this white elephant on Objet 136:

IMG_9414a copy

That’s got to be the angriest-looking olliphant ever:

IMG_9414 copy

(‘ll post some more shots when they get back from the Photomat.)

A lot of work went into this exhibit so check it out, why don’t you?

See you there!