“New sign in the doorway of Marinello’s School of Beauty in Mid Market, San Francisco, where all this takes place“
“Help us have four more years of this. Vote for
Randy Shaw Jane Kim for District 6 Supervisor in San Francisco.”
[UPDATE: So I've been looking for any kind of support for The San Francisco Chronicle's objections to Sodexo, but I'm not finding much. Throw in this rewrite from well-trafficked EaterSF of the Chronicle bit linked below and see that the obviously-well-trafficked Chron got a total of four comments on the matter.
And, oh look, The Terrace is now officially approved by District One Supervisor Eric Mar and District Four Supervisor Katy Tang.
And here's what the place looks like on a foggier day.
And now we've also got these posts:
New academy restaurant maintains Bay Area culinary trend by David Boitano, Steinhart Aquarium[!] Examiner
And here’s the new menu of The Terrace
So that’s a wrap on the Academy’s new eatery.]
Or The Terrace, if you prefer, at our California Academy of Sciences
Believe it or not, this is a color photo:
Oh, this is better:
Comes now the San Francisco Chronicle’s Paolo Lucchesi to complain about the choice of vendor for this eatery (and BTW, it’s also the new vendor for Academy Cafe, about which more anon).
So I don’t know – basically what’s happening is we’re losing the subterranean fine dining Moss Room but gaining the more casual Terrace. I’ll tell you, I was invited to sample the food twice at the Moss Room, both for the first iteration a while back and then for one of the more recent efforts, and I declined because I’m not really competent to judge food, frankly. (But at the time I wondered how the place would do considering its location, which aint good for several reasons…)
Anyway, I don’t get the beef over the new vendor. I assume that everything will work out fine.
Speaking of which, here’s the new menu from the Academy Cafe, which just started up October 1st or so:
Now back to the Terrace – here you go, some bites with goat cheese. It was yummy:
And here’s a salad:
And here’s what’s in the salad:
And here’s the pizetta:
And so on…
Do you see what I mean here? The Terrace isn’t a replacement for the Moss Room – it’s just what came next after the Moss Room didn’t work out. And the basement location of the Moss Room would appear to make a great semi-hidden event space…
(I can recall how upset some people were about getting a new vendor at the nearby Stow Lake Boathouse a few years back. The “local” vendor basically responded to the RPD beauty contest with a real half-assed attitude – he thought he deserved the contract no matter what. I didn’t agree with that either.)
Anyway, if the food writers of the Chronicle want to head out to the Park to see the set-up, I’m sure they’d be welcome to do so…
All the deets:
Here’s what Annual 420 Day looks like, not too far from the Haight Street McDonalds on Stanyan.
That’s not fog, that’s a cloud of exhaled Mary Jane:
All right, Happy 420 Day 2014!
And now, let’s hear from London Breed:
“April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 20th Activities in Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Ashbury
This Sunday, April 20th, will see not only Easter celebrations throughout the City, but the likely return of an informal and unpermitted “4/20” gathering in Golden Gate Park and the Haight, which has caused significant problems in the community over the years and was particularly problematic last year.
Crowds strained police, Muni, and park resources, overwhelmed residential streets, and in several instances, damaged public and private property. Traffic came to a standstill as cars swarmed thearea. Garbage overflowed from curbside cans that proved unequal to the occasion. And on Sunday, 4/21, staff and volunteers with the Recreation and Parks Department had to laboriously collect over 10,000 pounds of litter left in the parks, not to mention the trash collected by the Department of Public Works from the upper Haight to Hayes Valley.
I am determined not to allow these impacts again this year. Over the past months, I have worked closely with the Police and Parks Departments, Mayor Lee’s office, and the MTA on a comprehensive city approach to this event. There is no sponsor for 4/20, no organizer to hold to account. But I want the community to know that their Supervisor and their government are doing everything possible to ensure a safe, peaceful April 20th for both visitors and residents.
San Francisco, as always, welcomes celebrants with open arms, but this Sunday there will be boundaries to keep the community safe, and there will be no tolerance for anyone using 4/20 as an excuse to harm our parks or neighborhoods.
There will be increased law enforcement presence both uniform and plainclothes—including Juvenile Probation Officers—in the Park, upper and lower Haight, and surrounding neighborhoods with a strict enforcement approach to all code violations.
Parking is very limited in the area, and there will be Parking Control Officers (PCOs) ticketing and/or towing vehicles parked illegally in any way, e.g. on lawns or in neighbors’ driveways. PCOs will also be deployed at busy intersections to keep traffic and transit moving.
Unpermitted booths and concessions in the Parks will not be allowed. Such enterprises will be immediately cited and removed.
Traffic control officers, SFPD, and Muni will be on hand in the afternoon to help move visitors out of the neighborhoods quickly and safely. Muni will reroute buses off Haight Street between Stanyan and Masonic to avoid delays.
If our neighborhoods and parks are expected to continue hosting a large gathering, without an organizer or any resources beyond those provided by the taxpayer, we must all be vigilant in ensuring the event is safe, clean, and responsible.
LONDON N. BREED
City Hall 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, California 94102-4689 (415) 554-7630
Fax (415) 554 – 7634 TDD/TTY (415) 554-5227 E-mail: London.Breed@sfgov.org
Man, San Francisco sure seems to be getting sued a lot by property owners a lot these days.
Get used to it, 2014′s going to be a bumpy ride.
“January 29, 2014
SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE LAWSUIT TO BLOCK LAW
New Ordinance Would Discriminate Against Families Who Move Into Their Own Buildings
SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – Today, the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed a lawsuit challenging Supervisor John Avalos’ Nonconforming Unit Ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance violates state law and fails to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The Nonconforming Unit Ordinance would legalize the practice of renovating and expanding “nonconforming units.” Nonconforming units are “grandfathered” residential units that exceed local zoning laws’ density limits. Controversially, the ordinance would also discriminate against nonconforming units that have been the subject of lawful “no-fault” evictions, which are allowed under state and local law. Such units would be denied building permits for up to 10 years following a lawful eviction – even for regular maintenance and minor repairs. Property owners would also be barred from rebuilding their units after a fire or earthquake.
“This legislation punishes families who move into their own buildings,” stated Noni Richen, president of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI). “It could cause thousands of lawful housing units to sit vacant while the City denies permits for basic upkeep. Given the current housing shortage, this is unconscionable.”
“As we have shown again and again, we will not allow the City to violate property rights with these illegal schemes,” stated Andrew M. Zacks, SPOSFI’s attorney. “The state’s Ellis Act prohibits this kind of discrimination against lawful evictions. Moreover, cities are required to evaluate a new ordinance’s environmental impacts under CEQA. This legislation was rushed through without proper review.”
Nonconforming units are different from “in-law” units, which are generally unpermitted and illegal. For example, a permitted third unit on a parcel zoned for two units is considered a nonconforming unit. The City Planning Department’s Information and Analysis Group estimates that approximately 52,000 units in the city are nonconforming, comprising some 14% of the city’s housing stock.
A copy of the Nonconforming Unit Ordinance is available at http://zulpc.com/small-
The Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (“SPOSFI”) is a California nonprofit corporation. SPOSFI advocates for the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization that works to promote and preserve home ownership in San Francisco. Its focus is to protect the rights of small property owners and foster opportunities for first-time home buyers. SPOSFI members range from young families to the elderly on fixed incomes, and its membership cuts across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic strata. Its members include San Francisco residents who own nonconforming residential units in San Francisco.
Zacks & Freedman, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of property owners. With experience and knowledge in rent control issues, zoning, permitting, transactional disputes and other real estate matters, Zacks & Freedman, P.C. has successfully advocated its clients’ positions before local administrative tribunals and at all levels of the State and Federal courts.
Read it and weep, San Francisco. We’re getting sued:
“For Immediate Release, January 29, 2014:
San Francisco Housing Associations File Lawsuit to Block Anti-Family Legislation
San Francisco – On Tuesday January 28, 2014, the San Francisco Apartment Association, Coalition for Better Housing and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of legislation known as the Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation.
The legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in violation of building owners’ rights under the state law known as the Ellis Act.
The legislation prohibits owners of multi-unit buildings from combining units in a building for ten years following an Ellis Act eviction or for five years following an owner-move in eviction.
On a practical level, the legislation prevents families who own a building from creating a home that meets their needs. For example, the legislation prevents a family from combining two small units into a larger one to provide a home for a growing family. Couples with young children often find themselves in need of additional space they did not anticipate when they purchased a rental building, yet the legislation punishes them.
Only 2 percent of new housing built in San Francisco since 2001 are single-family homes that provide adequate space for families, often with multiple generations living together. Lack of adequate housing to meet the needs of families has contributed San Francisco losing 5,278 people younger than 18 between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.
“The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them. This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of Realtors.
Because so few single family homes are being constructed, families rely on improving buildings they own, including tenancies in common to add living space. This legislation prohibits them from creating the home they need in a building they own.
“Families are fleeing San Francisco due to a multitude of reasons that include a lack of adequate space for growing families that often include multiple generations. This legislation exacerbates that problem by punishing and limiting options for families who simply seek to create a home that meets the needs of their family,” stated Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association. “This legislation punishes hard working families, while doing little to protect renters.”
The lawsuit states that the legislation is pre-empted by state law known as the Ellis Act, which allows building owners to take a building off the rental market and convert those units to condominiums or single -family homes. Under the law, building owners are already required to give occupants up to one year advance notice and provide relocation fees of $5,210 per tenant, up to a maximum of $15,632, plus $3,473 additional for tenants who are senior or disabled.
“My clients are seeking relief from this just-passed legislation which unfairly takes away the right of individuals and families who simply want to create a home for themselves and their family in a building they own,” stated Jim Parrinello, attorney for the plaintiffs.
Say it again, y’all: Absolutely nothing.
Background: District One (aka The Richmond, more or less) Supervisor Eric Mar is a bird of another feather – he wasn’t satisfied with issuing edicts from Academia oh no. He descended from the ivory tower to put dreams into action. And his father passed away from lung cancer (AFAIK, pretty sure), so it would make sense that he wanted to do something for San Francisco renters who have to deal with secondhand smoke coming in from other units.
Get all the deets on San Francisco’s 2013 Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy as of last year via this excellent article from Christian Watjen right here.
So that’s the background. What’s going on now is that tenants all over the City are getting alarming/confusing letters from landlords. To wit:
Now here’s what you’ll get* if your landlord toes the party line of the San Francisco Apartment Association – an excerpt of the pledge they want you to make:
“For purposes of the Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy and SF Health Code 19M, I would like to designate my apartment as non-smoking. I verify that neither I nor my guests will ever smoke tobacco within the rental apartment listed below.”
Uh, so why should tenants make this pledge? It’s not explained in this official SFAA letter now is it? And what if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton drops by your pad a few years from now? They puff puff every now and then, right? So what about your signed pledge, what about that?
And here’s what the lawyer(s) of the SFAA have for you at the bottom of the letter:
“If you do voluntarily decide to designate your apartment as non-smoking, which you are not required to do, the designation is permanent and becomes a consensual change in the terms of your tenancy.”
If you’re living in rent-controlled San Francisco, I think you should get some kind of benefit when you change the terms of your tenancy, you know, as a general rule .
And later on, is your landlord going to complain about how you’re violating the terms of your tenancy when you allowed your future bud / date / friend smoke one cigarette to help her get through one of her stressed out moments?
Or your Euro fiance can’t move in with you in 2015 because your “designation is permanent?”
And should we assume second-hand smoke from clove cigarettes and/or the Mary Jane is good for you, since it’s not covered?
Now, IRL, is this issue going to affect you? Prolly not. But I’m just saying.
So, sign your pledge or just ignore it – choose or lose, maybe.
*Assuming that you’re living in a building with fewer than 50 units and you aren’t restricted from smoking now. This is the notification you’ll get otherwise, possibly, and it’s fair enough. And here’s the full rundown from the SFAA. Again, no objections.
All the deets, after the jump
And I’ll tell you, the ban, if enacted, will work about as well as our ban on “rolling billboard” trucks, which is not well at all.
Hello, BOS? You can’t rely on the Honolulu decision. Well, maybe technically you can.*
But if they millionaires of SoMA are crying, I guess you all should pass whatever unconstitutional crap you want, what do I care.
As seen (over Union Square) (and heard only a little) yesterday, the scourge of millionaire condo owners everywhere:
Click to expand
*But not IRL, not really.
Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.
Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:
And here’s a post from 2010:
“Not sure how many people were at last night’s “workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.
Here’s the thing - people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.
Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.
The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:
But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.
Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.
The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:
After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.
But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…
…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.
The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”
This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.
The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.
The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).
The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.
“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”
What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.
What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.
This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:
Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.
But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.
“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”
Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)
The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.
Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.
Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?
When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.
To Be Continued…
Let’s see here, in one corner we have super nerd and Board President David Chiu, who almost always wears a fucking suit* when he drives his bicycle hither and yon.
He even goes Down Peninsula Way sometimes, to check out the reverse commute some San Franciscans do.
Now, you’d think that’d earn him huzzahs from the monomaniacal “livable streets” StreetsBlog crowd, but you’d be wrong.
You see, he ran afoul of that crew by being on the fence with the recent SFTAMUNIDPTSFBC effort to remove street parking from the bulk of Polk.
For that reason he now gets criticized for riding his bike in the wrong fashion, like how he pedals ‘n stuff.
Isn’t that absurd, to say that about this supernerd?
Yes. He does fine on Market Street, AFAICS.
Click to expand
OTOH, Strava-obsessed Chris Bucchere, who was involved with death of a pedestrian near an intersection of the very same Market Street, well he, apparently, is/was the victim of a “lynch mob” (look it up, you’ll find it) when he got/gets called an “asshole” (most typically from fellow self-identified cyclists) for his actions before during and after the death of pedestrian Sutchi Hui.
Isn’t there a lesson to be learned form the Chris Bucchere case? Shouldn’t the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition be willing to even mention his name? Yes, I know it doesn’t help fund-raising and membership and whatnot, but wouldn’t it be a good thing to debate?
Because really, what eventually happens with the Chris Bucchere case doesn’t really matter. It’s the future Buccheri we need to worry about, right?
Anyway, David Chiu is a better cyclist than Chris Bucchere.
*Something to do with “respect for the voters,” or something