Posts Tagged ‘california’

Rec and Park Turns a Ford Econoline Van into a Victorian Mansion – You Won’t Believe Your Eyes! – One Simple Trick!

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

At first glance, the “wrap” on this Golden Gate Park shuttle van allowed it to blend in with all the nearby Victorians. Imagine my surprise when I noticed it moving!

I was like, AHAHAHAHA … remarkable!

Boy, you got me good, RPD.

CORN HOLE, Octavia Street

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

In the words of San Francisco’s Famous Akit:

“Just got back from a church bazaar. Who calls a children’s game ‘corn hole?’”

Click to expand

I won’t even tell you what was happening on the very same day, the last Sunday of July, on nearby Dore Alley…

Possibly Legal But Stupid Nevertheless: Riding Bikes Side-By-Side Slowly Uphill on Pine Street

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Now some cops in California will give you a ticket for this, for riding side by side at 5 MPH on a street like Pine.

Legal or not, I don’t recommend this kind of thing: 

Click to expand

(And actually, the CA code section that was written to limit the right of cyclists to block other traffic is now interpreted by some to give special rights to cyclists. It depends on how you look at things.)

“TO BE TAKEI” Opens at Our Sundance Kabuki Theatres in Japantown August 22nd

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

I haven’t seen this one, but you might want to:

“TO BE TAKEI” (90 minutes)
Directed by Jennifer Kroot
Co-directed and edited by Bill Weber

Opens August 22
Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco

Additional information is available at: http://tobetakei.com/

A documentary portrait of famed Japanese American actor, and LGBT activist George Takei, TO BE TAKEI is an Amplify/Variance Films and Starz Digital Media release, runs for 90 minutes, is in English, and is not yet MPAA rated.  

Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of the starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans and his activism of LGBT rights. TO BE TAKEI takes viewers on George and his husband Brad’s playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.

TO BE TAKEI premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In June of this year, the film screened as the Centerpiece Documentary at Frameline38, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. Additionally, George Takei was awarded the Frameline Award for his achievements in the media arts, as well as his unparalleled activism and community service.

About the Director Jennifer M. Kroot   
Jennifer Kroot directed the documentary feature IT CAME FROM KUCHAR about the legendary underground filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar. Jennifer also wrote, directed and starred in the gender bending, sci-fi, narrative feature SIRENS OF THE 23RD CENTURY. She has received grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Frameline, the Pacific Pioneer Fund, California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and the Fleishhacker Foundation. Kroot lives in San Francisco and studied film at The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where she now teaches film. She has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and Denver University.

About the Editor/Co-director Bill Weber   
Bill Weber is a San Francisco based documentary editor. He directed and edited the documentary feature THE COCKETTES, which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Bill co-directed and edited the documentary feature WE WERE HERE, which played at the 2011 Sundance and Berlinale festivals. Bill recently edited THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR, which premiered in 2013 at the Telluride Film Festival and the Oscar nominated documentary short film, THE FINAL INCH. He also edited the award winning documentaries LAST LETTERS HOME and THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT amongst other projects.

A Few Issues with the New Traffic Signals on Masonic Paid for (and Influenced by?) Target Stores

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Get up to speed here and here.

I passed by O’Farrell and Masonic a couple times the other day, so I’m noting what I noticed.

This pedestrian appeared to become irate both at the unorthodox delay she had for the green and at the driver of the orange Scion car for turning left on a yellow:

If SFGov wanted to engage in pedestrian calming, it would adjust the left turn time for traffic on southbound Masonic.

Next up is this driver, who hung a U-turn on a red light since it looked like there was no traffic coming east on O’Farrell. There’s no way that’s legal:

Here’s the prize – the quite small lower level lot of City Target West:

Hey, I know that Target paid for a couple traffic signals on Masonic, but perhaps there could be some adjustments? Perhaps we could just eliminate U-turns on southbound Masonic at O’Farrell? I mean, northbound traffic on Masonic has no chance to getting to nearby Trader Joe’s, right? So why should we bend over backwards for people driving to Target?

Moving on, down the street to quiet Ewing Terrace, where the brand new lights have just been turned on. It seems that all traffic on Masonic has to stop at random times even though nobody wants to cross Masonic? Why is that?

In most places outside of SF, there’d be a pad to detect the presence of a car coming out of the cul-de-sac and buttons for peds. Shouldn’t we be doing it that way instead? Mmmmm… These red lights for no reason delay MUNI buses, right? I seen it. Perhaps in the near future this signal will be able to detect the approach of a bus and then not turn red for no reason? We’ll see…

Downgrading San Francisco Magazine for Spreading Misinformation ala CW Nevius – Plus a Few Notes

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

[UPDATE: What you might consider the absence of expensive fact-checking, others might consider the presence of a half-assed attitude. It certainly makes sense for a "luxury" mag to be the house organ for the GGRA, to be the collector of ridiculous quotes from Yelp, so that's fine. How daring the little people are to contradict the experts from SanFranMag, how daring the little people are to think that any member restaurant of the GGRA is less than average.]

A few observations…

In fact, at $10.74, San Francisco already has the nation’s highest minimum wage, though Seattle’s is set to surpass it in April.”

1. Well, in fact, the oddly-named city of Seatac, Washington has the nation’s highest minimum wage currently. Of course, it’s not much of a city and its minimum wage doesn’t cover all workers, but still, it covers thousands and thousands of people.

“The Labor Code forbids mandatory tip-pooling—that is, sharing tips between the front and the back of the house, ostensibly to prevent back-of-the-house managers from taking advantage of employees. It also mandates that tips are the property of the worker—meaning that tips can’t count toward wages and, by extension, that paying tipped employees less than minimum wage is illegal.”

2. I think I’m going to dispute every part of the first sentence above. In any event, “the Labor Code” DOES NOT forbid mandatory tip-pooling in CA, and I’ll note our Labor Code specifically forbids front-of-the-house managers from taking any part of of any money left as a tip.

3. Hey, speaking of the CA Department of Industrial Relations, it has a biiiiig problem with unpaid internships performed by non-students. Mmmm, now why did I mention this just now, mmmm? I’ll note that some larger operators in this town, such as the Hearst Corporation and the San Francisco Newspaper Company LLC, appear to have observed the new rules…

4. Speaking of employment:

San Francisco Magazine Is Hiring! Wanted: Photo editor to join the Bay Area’s finest editorial team.”

Let’s hope that’s not an unpaid internship.

5. Speaking of making money off of SanFranMag, I’ve sold some photos to them over the years, except they were photos of things shown the way they look, instead of photos of composed studio arrangements ala Annie Leibovitz or Austin Powers. Let’s see here, they used to have a feature in the front called “Click!” I think and they used to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a double-truck image and they usually printed three photos in a row over six pages. Then the payments were set at $400 I think and then the payments were lowered to $300 AFAIK and then instead of having three shots in each issue, they only had two shots and these days I don’t think they have any Click! shots at all. Oh well. A sign of the times.

6. And let’s see here, I don’t know a soul in the world who thinks that the big jets we see at airports SFO use diesel fuel except for the people at SanFranMag. Oh well.

OTOH, this was an impressive piece.

Reader Notes:

351. No employer or agent shall collect, take, or receive any gratuity or a part thereof that is paid, given to, or left for an employee by a patron, or deduct any amount from wages due an employee on account of a gratuity, or require an employee to credit the amount, or any part thereof, of a gratuity against and as a part of the wages due the employee from the employer. Every gratuity is hereby declared to be the sole property of the employee or employees to whom it was paid, given, or left for.

(415) (628) (650): San Francisco Will Soon Have _Three_ Different Area Codes – Plus, 10-Digit Dialing is Already Here for Some Of Us

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

[UODATE: I almost forgot - there's going to be a 628 test number to call:

"A test number has been established to enable business customers to verify that their equipment can complete calls to the new area code.  The test number, (628) 628-1628, will be available beginning Dec. 21 and will be in operation through April 21, 2015."

Gentle Reader, do you remember when the East Bay used the 415 area code? Well, I do. The switchover to the nickel-and-dime occurred back in 1991. And in a small way, it divided the East Bay from the West Bay, just how Elaine Benes felt isolated from 212 Manhattan by the 646 area code overlay back in the day.

Well, get ready for some more changes, 'cause the new 628 overlay means that you'll be dialing the 415 area code even from the 415 - this is called ten-digit dialing.

Anyway, here's the news - ten-digit dialing has arrived already. By that, I mean that I can no longer dial my 415 land line with my T-Mobile 415 cell phone without first punching in the area code. This change occurred a few weeks back. Welcome to The Future. [But apparently, seven digit dialing is still working for some or most of the rest of San Francisco - see the Comments section. They'll be phasing things in, optionally at first, and then mandatorily.]

Of course we could have handled things differently, but the small-minded people of our Small Business Commission wanted to do things this way, because, you know, business!

Let’s see, what else? Oh, yeah, for some reason, some people in SF have 650 area codes, like down in Ingleside Heights:

So, SF will soon have three area codes for just 46-something square miles. What a country!*

Anyway, enjoy:

In closing:

“No, it’s just like 212 except they multiplied every number by 3… and added 1 to the middle number.”

*In Soviet Russia, phone dial you!

Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

If You’re Worried About Your Bike Getting Stolen While Shopping at Lucky, Just Bring It In With You No Big Deal

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I’ve parked my ride in front of this Lucky, the so-called “Ghetto Lucky” of the NoPA Western Addition without locking it up about 20 times now. With no trouble.

It would never occur to me to just bring a bike into a gro sto…

Here She Is: Le Grand Doyenne de San Francisco – Cruising the Financh with Driving Gloves in a Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Saw this woman a couple years ago on Battery in the Financial – very striking, like something out of a movie.

Anyway, I just saw this ride parked on the street in a location that would make you say, “Well of course that’s where this lady lives.”

Click to expand

Look for the woody with JMG monogrammed on the door…