Posts Tagged ‘Chairman’

QANTAS Abandons S.F. for Texas – No More Qantas Rolls-Royce Ka-Booms over the 415 – SFO’s Airbus A380 Cargo Cult

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

How long has it been since three-star-rated former Mayor Gavin Newsom left office – has it been a week or two? Well, we’ll leave that to the judges and justices ‘n stuff, but, irregardless, it’s been long enough* for Qantas Airways Limited to announce that its abandoning the San Francisco Bay Area, g’night, mate.

Why? Well it’s ’cause they’ve been losing mad dollars on non-stop flights betwixt SFO and Cindy, Australia for donkey’s years. Enough is enough they figure, so future flights from Down Under will alight in Dallas, Texas. (Some Bay area travel(l)ers are not amused, not at all.)

Now, weren’t we due for superjumbo Airbus A380 double-decker service by now for those non-stop flights to Oz? Oh yes, but instead of getting that, we’re losing the non-stop, regular-jumbo Boeing 747-400 service we have now. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking how could this be, San Francisco is a “natural amphitheater,” a “world-class” city even. Well, not anymore, or at least SFO isn’t a “world-class” airport anymore.

However, there’s a silver lining. You see, them Rolls-Royce engines, those RB211′s and those Trents 500 and up, well they blow up sometimes, ka-boom! Call it an “uncontained failure” they do. And QANTAS well, that’s pretty much all they run these days, the Rolls-Royce. (Just look at Australia’s national flag, why not, for the reason.) So, less Qantas = less less RR = less ka-boom over our heads.

For example, check out this Qantas flight out of SFO just last summer. It had passed the Farallones with almost full tanks and then, kaboom, Rolls-Royce engine #4 exploded. Oh well. Everybody made it back safe tho. Check it on the YouTube.

Flight 74 getting a little sparky high above the deep briny – not what you want to see looking out your window. Time to dump your avgas and circle back to Millbrae:

Click to expand

I hear you, you’re saying that’s the old Rolls-Royce. But, you know, that Qantas A380 engine that blewed up just after leaving Singapore late last year, that’s the new RR – indeed, that was a fairly recent vintage Trent 900 engine that destroyed itself. Oh well. The Aussie A380s have been patched up and now Qantas is flying them as far as they want again, to Los Angeles among other places. But not very long after the flights started again, yet another Qantas Rolls Royce engine went kaboom - this one was a contained failure, so that’s some consolation, anyway. Check it:

“A Qantas spokeswoman said yesterday the Rolls-Royce RB-211 engine would be replaced and the aircraft would be in service shortly. She said the latest incident involving Qantas jets and Rolls-Royce engines did not indicate any pattern of trouble. ”We certainly don’t view it that way at all,’ the spokeswoman said.”

O.K. fine. Whatever you say, lady.

Now with the SFO cargo cult. Leave us review:

“Cargo cult activity increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these in some Pacific islands observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”

See where I’m going here? Didn’t we just get done re-doing SFO so that we could handle five or six A380 superjumbos at a time? Hells yes! We saw a few test runs from aircraft with Airbus, Emirates and Qantas livery over the past few years.**

But those big metal birds didn’t come back.

No cargo for us.

So am I saying that it was a stupid idea for SFO to prepare for the Age of the Super Jumbo Jet? No, not really. I don’t know all the deets of how things costed out, and who knows, it wasn’t impossible that official San Francisco’s dream of somehow besting Los Angeles could have eventually worked out. But if you could have seen how proud SFO officials were of their A380-only, double decker jet bridges in the new International Terminal back in the day, well, you’d be thinking cargo cult too.

Who knows what the future will bring. International air travel will increase like gangbusters over the coming decade, so we’ll probably get some use out of those dusty double-decker jetways sooner or later. And maybe then Qantas will be back, with or without A380s. (The Q has abandoned us before, and we made do.) Or maybe Emirates will get a little more MPG from the non-Rolls-Royce, American-made GP7200 engines on their A380s so they’ll be able to make a non-stop superjumbo hop to the Bay Area from the Mid-East. Maybe.

(And maybe by that time SFO will be called Willie Lewis  Brown Jr. International Airport, I’m seriously, that’s what the other former Mayor of SF wants, he wants us to chuck the extremely well-known SFO moniker for WLB. Can you imagine?)

Anywho, if you want to go Sydney after May 2011, your only choice will be United Airlines. Now, that flight is on an old jet that the President of United says is “unacceptable,” but at least you don’t have to fly to Los Angeles on your way Down Under.

So long, Qantas.

*They waited a only a few days – what a joke!

**Man, what a load this was:

“Sensitive to the politically charged nature of outsourcing and offshoring, the Airbus chairman for North America, Allan McArtor, said 50 percent of the A380′s components are being made in the United States. McArtor hailed the new aircraft as quieter and more fuel efficient than wide-body jetliners of the past. Final assembly of the plane will be done in Toulouse, with the first test flights scheduled for next year.”

50% American content? Absolutely not. There’s a bit of American content in A380′s (some of them have more and some less) but it ain’t nowhere near 50% and there’s no way it could have been 50%. Airbus is run by the Euros – why would they go out of their way to employ Americans?

“G’Day Airbus!  Qantas A380 Arrives at SFO

Qantas' A380 arrives at the International Terminal“On January 14, 2009, SFO welcomed Qantas Airways’ new A380 as it arrived from Sydney – the first Airbus A380 to bring scheduled passengers to SFO. The aircraft’s arrival was celebrated with a party at its gate in the International Terminal.   Sponsored by Tourism Australia, the party featured Australian music, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a kangaroo.

The International Terminal, which opened in December 2000, was specifically designed to easily handle the arrivals and departures of large capacity airplanes such as the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.

SFO’s International Terminal, with the country’s only built-in A380-ready gates, is the future for comfortable and convenient international air travel,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “We welcome visitors from our sister city, Sydney, and look forward to offering regularly scheduled Airbus flights and connections for all of our international visitors.”

The International Terminal features five gates that can be used by the A380 – three with double loading bridges and two with triple loading bridges. SFO was the first airport in the United States to offer triple loading bridges. The third loading bridge extends to the A380’s top deck, which allows the aircraft’s 500-plus passengers to be conveniently and directly loaded or off-loaded from the gate to the aircraft in 40 minutes – approximately the same time it takes to load a 747-400. Moreover, SFO can accommodate a rapid turnaround for the Airbus. SFO is the only airport in the United States with such a high level of built-in readiness.

Qantas currently offers daily nonstop service between SFO and Sydney on its 747-400 aircraft. The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Wow, $278 Million! Saleforce.com Buys 14 Acres for New Corporate Campus Global HQ in Mission Bay, San Francisco

Monday, November 1st, 2010

[UPDATE: Welcome Salesforcers! I'm just teasing you all, man. Mission Bay was supposed to be About Biotech and the synergy and whatnot. So it would have been nice to have had a Genentech going  large in Mission Bay, but you all are welcome, of course....]

Wow, Salesforce.com must be bullish on San Francisco, based upon today’s big announcement.

“The purchase price for the eight parcels of land, including parking rights in an existing garage and other entitlements and improvements associated with the land, was approximately $278 million. No date for construction has yet been set on the land, which includes the undeveloped portions of Mission Bay lots 26 and 27 and all of Mission Bay lots 29 – 34.

And, bonus, CEO Marc Benioff will be able to visit the Children’s Hospital that he’s building for UCSF right across the street.

Course it would be nicer to have a Genentech in there, but we’ll take what we can get. All the deets, below.

All the deets:

Salesforce.com Purchases Site for New San Francisco Global Headquarters

14 Acre Corporate Campus Planned Over The Next Decade; Provides for Almost 2 Million Square Feet of Space

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 1  – Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), the enterprise cloud computing company, today announced the purchase of approximately 14 acres of undeveloped land in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco from Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE). The company plans to build a facility that will become its new headquarters. The land, which is adjacent to the UCSF campus on one side and the San Francisco Bay on the other, is part of the San Francisco Mission Bay redevelopment area. It is located directly on the San Francisco Muni T line at the UCSF station, and is also directly accessible from the Mariposa Street exit off of 280.

“We are excited to start work on building a new San Francisco global headquarters,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. “Our planned, nearly 2 million square-foot campus over 14 acres at Mission Bay will help us continue to attract and retain talented, world-class employees. This new home for salesforce.com will provide an innovative, dynamic environment for our future growth.”

The purchase price for the eight parcels of land, including parking rights in an existing garage and other entitlements and improvements associated with the land, was approximately $278 million. No date for construction has yet been set on the land, which includes the undeveloped portions of Mission Bay lots 26 and 27 and all of Mission Bay lots 29 – 34.

And, bonus, a statement from the Mayor’s office, after the jump.

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Senator Leland Yee Throws Down: Gets PG&E to Reroute Natural Gas Pipeline in San Bruno Disaster Area

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

PG&E President Christopher P. Johns says that the 30-inch, long-haul natural gas pipeline that goes under San Bruno will be rerouted. That’s the news of the day from the office of Senator Leland Yee. Details below.

[UPDATE 10:45 AM: Then there's this from The Bay Citizen, which is saying the commitment level of PG&E is less than 100%...]

[UPDATE 11:09 AM: Leland's people are adamant that there is a 100% commitment from PG&E to get that pipeline out of that neighborhood in San Bruno. Here's the latest: "Sen. Yee: PG&E made a commitment to move the pipeline and we will hold them accountable to the commitment and work with them to get approval."]

A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu

“Gas Pipeline to be Moved Out of San Bruno Neighborhood. At the urging of Senator, Mayor, and Families, PG&E Commits to Finding New Pipeline Location
 
SAN BRUNO – PG&E President Chris Johns has committed to moving the gas pipeline that ruptured on September 9 out of the San Bruno neighborhood, according Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane. Yee and Ruane, as well as several of the families impacted by the explosion, had requested that PG&E find a more suitable location.
 
“These families deserve an opportunity to rebuild without the possibility of this ever happening again,” said Yee.  “The only way these families can recover is to move the pipeline out of their neighborhood.  I look forward to working with Mayor Ruane – who has done an extraordinary job in leading his city during this difficult time – to find a more appropriate location.”
 
“We simply can not rebuild the neighborhood as long as that pipeline exists in its current location,” said Ruane.  “Our families will not live there under those conditions and our city will never be able to heal.”
 
Johns made the commitment to relocate the pipeline yesterday while meeting with Ruane.  Today, Yee and Ruane will meet with PG&E officials to begin the process of finding alternative locations for the pipeline.
 
“There are several competing interests in finding the appropriate location, but surely there must be a better place than through the middle of a residential neighborhood,” said Yee.  “I am confident we can come together as a community and get this done right.”
 
Earlier this week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) signed into law a bill first introduced by Yee to provide disaster relief for the affected families of the San Bruno fires and to assist the County of San Mateo, City of San Bruno, and local schools. 
 
Specifically, the bill allows a continuation of the $7,000 property tax exemption for homeowners who would have qualified for the exemption if their home had not been damaged or destroyed.  In addition, the bill allows taxpayers (personal and business) to deduct income loss as result of the incident. Finally, the bill includes assistance to the County of San Mateo, City of San Bruno, and local schools by providing a one-year reimbursement from the State for any tax losses related to the lower property assessments of damaged or destroyed homes.
 
Following an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a responsible party determined, the responsible entity would then have to pay back the state for the cost of the tax relief provided for in the legislation.

Brace Yourselves: “New Neighborhood” of “Yerba Buena” to be Unveiled this Saturday – It’s SoMA From 2nd to 5th

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Don’t you think we need more micro-neighborhoods about town? Sure, why not?

So get ready to party this Saturday, October 16th, 2010, when you can officially start calling the area bounded by Market, Harrison, 2nd and 5th “Yerba Buena.”

People haven’t called it that for 163 years, so it’s about time.

And if you live on Yerba Buena Island and you’re worried about place name confusion, we’ll you can just go pound salt.

Learn It, Love It, Live It:

There’ll be some party too – the Yerba Buena Neighborhood Fair

And, if you’re in the media, you can get all the deets personally.

Campaign to Benefit Local Businesses and Brand Yerba Buena as New Neighborhood to be Unveiled.

Major Contributions to Neighborhood Nonprofits also to be Announced
 
Date:                     Saturday, October 16, 2010
Time:                    11:15 a.m.
Place:                    SOMA Room, Metreon, Enter at Garden Entrance, Mission Street, Between 3rd and 4th Streets
 
What:                   The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District will unveil a comprehensive campaign to establish and promote Yerba Buena as San Francisco’s newest neighborhood and announce its first Community Benefit Fund grantees at a media briefing at Metreon held in conjunction with the first Yerba Buena Neighborhood Fair. The campaign is designed to benefit neighborhood businesses and establish a sense of place for this burgeoning district that has seen rapid growth in its eclectic residential and business base. These efforts supplement YBCBD’s recently enacted services that foster a safer and more secure community, create a cleaner and greener neighborhood, and reinforce the viability of its economic base.
 
Who: 

Heather Almond, Chairman, Yerba Buena Community Benefit District
Barbara Kaufman, Director, San Francisco Office of the Governor
Representatives from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency
Nonprofits receiving grants
YBCBD board members and community leaders

See you in the YB!

Everybody’s Giving Money to UCSF These Days, So Why Not You Too?

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Your kids, don’t give money to them, else it’ll just go up their noses like so many times before, am I right?

So when you decide who deserves your hard-earned, start with UCSF at the top of the list why not?

Now, speak of the devil, UCSF is crowing today about all the money that people are giving them.

Check it out.

Marc Benioff talks about the reasons why he and his wife Lynne are giving $100 million to build a new children’s hospital, which is part of UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, during a conference in San Jose on June 22:

UCSF Exceeds Philanthropic Goals in Fiscal Year 2010

In the midst of ongoing economic challenges across the globe, UCSF exceeded all of its philanthropic goals for fiscal year 2010. 

For every major target, the University surpassed its objectives – resulting in more than $268 million in private support. This total includes more than 28,000 individual gifts made by nearly 21,000 donors, according to Carol Moss, vice chancellor of University Development and Alumni Relations.

UCSF received a particularly special show of support from alumni, who contributed a remarkable 30 percent more than last year.

“These results signify the incredible dedication of the broader UCSF community, which continues to demonstrate its belief in the University’s mission even in the face of unprecedented adversity,” said UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. 

One of the highlights of 2010 came in June, when Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, announced the $100 million philanthropic gift he and his wife Lynne have pledged to UCSF Children’s Hospital.

The Benioffs’ historic donation is both the largest gift the donors have ever made and the largest gift ever granted specifically to the children’s hospital. It is the fourth largest philanthropic gift in UCSF’s history.

The gift will help fund the construction of the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay, part of a 289-bed integrated hospital complex for children, women and cancer patients scheduled to break ground this month.

In fact, philanthropic giving to the $1.5 billion Mission Bay medical center has been robust. Mark Lariat, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center, in September announced that the hospitals project has recently received two pledges of $25 million each. These anonymous gifts bring the total raised to $375 million – nearly two-thirds of the fundraising goal of $600 million.

UCSF is historically among the top institutions in the country – private or public – in its ability to attract significant philanthropy. Last year, UCSF’s fundraising results ranked fourth in the country among all public institutions.

For six consecutive years, revenue from private support has surpassed the revenue UCSF receives from state appropriations, making philanthropy an ever more vital piece of UCSF’s $3.3 billion budget.

Regents clear way for UCSF to break ground on Mission Bay Hospitals
News Release, September 16, 2010

Benioff Announces $100 Million Gift to Build New Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay
UCSF Today, June 23, 2010

Ushering in the Age of the New Philanthropist
UCSF Chancellor’s site
July 16, 2010

Here It Is: The Complete NTSB Preliminary Report of the San Bruno Gas Fire – The Cause Revealed – PG&E Responds

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Appears as if the Feds have determined what happened in San Bruno.

Basically, some electrical box failed 40 miles away in Milpitas and the result was death and destruction in San Bruno. They’re still working on why the steel was so weak. Expect a full report next year sometime…

A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu

First up is PG&E’s reply to today’s release, filled with palliative cliches. I mean, you can skip it as it probably isn’t aimed at informing you of anything:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13  — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) issued the following statement today from President Chris Johns in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) release of its preliminary report on the pipeline accident in San Bruno, California, on September 9, 2010:

We thank the National Transportation Safety Board for today’s release of its preliminary report on the tragedy in San Bruno. Although a final report and a conclusive set of findings are likely to be many months down the road, this initial release of information is an essential first step. We welcome it, and appreciate the painstaking efforts of the NTSB experts to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of this terrible accident.

“It is critical to the people of San Bruno, our customers and the industry that we get to the bottom of this accident and take the necessary steps to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

“With that goal in mind, PG&E will continue to do everything we can to cooperate with and supportthe NTSB’s investigation.

“Our pledge to everyone who relies on PG&E to operate our gas infrastructure safely and securely is that we will take any and all appropriate steps to ensure we’re meeting this fundamental commitment.

“Since the accident, we’ve re-inspected the three major pipelines that serve the San Francisco Peninsula. We are in the process of conducting aerial inspections and ground leak surveys of our entire gas transmission system. And we continue to take steps to share information about our system with public officials, first responders and our customers.

“We continue to extend our support and our sympathies to the San Bruno community and the residents affected by this tragedy.”

And next up is the NTSB Report itself. It’s accessible. See it after the jump

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PG&E Announces the “Rebuild San Bruno Fund” – $100,000,000 for Recovery from the Gas Fire

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Well, it looks as if the folks at our local utility monopoly have been working overtime this past weekend trying to get ahead of developments.

(Will PG&E‘s billion-dollar’s worth of insurance coverage be available? Don’t know. Will it be enough? Don’t know.)

This a bold move, IMO. Pigs Giraffes and Elephants is already definitely on the hook big time so why stonewall, right?

Anyway, the announcement is not good news for the local plaintiff’s bar, that’s for sure…

A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu

Here it is: 

PG&E Establishes ‘Rebuild San Bruno’ Fund. Uses Include Reimbursing City, Providing Residents Additional Immediate Financial Assistance

SAN BRUNO, Calif., Sept. 13 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) today announced the creation of the “Rebuild San Bruno Fund,” which will make available up to $100 million for the residents and city of San Bruno to help recover from last Thursday’s tragic event.

PG&E Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Peter Darbee and Pacific Gas and Electric Company President Chris Johns met with San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane and San Bruno residents to announce the fund and pledge their commitment to rebuilding San Bruno, which includes covering the city’s costs associated with its response to the event.

“We know that no amount of money can ever make up for what’s been lost,” said Darbee. “This program is just one piece of our promise that PG&E will live up to its commitment to help rebuild this community and help the people of San Bruno rebuild their lives.”

To administer these funds on behalf of the company, PG&E will partner with government officials, community leaders and organizations, including the American Red Cross and the United Way of the Bay Area.

Funds will be used to provide both immediate and long-term support to San Bruno residents and the city for three primary purposes:

 –  Ensuring that residents are reimbursed for costs or losses that may not be covered by their insurance.

 –  Providing additional direct immediate financial assistance, in the form of cash disbursements, to residents in the affected area.

 –  Reimbursing the city of San Bruno for costs it incurs to respond to this incident and to rebuild or repair public infrastructure and facilities.

PG&E today provided San Bruno officials with an initial check for $3 million to help compensate the city for its estimated expenses incurred to date. The company is also taking immediate steps to provide assistance to affected residents. For residents in the affected area, PG&E will provide disbursements of $15,000, $25,000, or $50,000 per household depending on the extent of damage incurred.

Residents are not being asked to waive any potential claims in order to receive these funds. Also, these funds are being provided in addition to the company’s ongoing provision of funds to ensure affected residents continue to have access to temporary housing and other basic necessities.

“We are here today, and we’ll continue to be here,” said Johns. “We are going to be here as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to help the people and the city of San Bruno rebuild their lives and their community.”

PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

Free Books! Former HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr Speaks About Kids and Drugs September 27th

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Joseph A. Califano, Jr wants to give you a copy of his latest book, How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents.

To get it, all you need to do is register and show up to hear him speak on Monday, September 27, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Emanu-El up there at 2 Lake Street.

Easy peasy, right? But act now – you need to be among the first 400 to register to be able to claim your tome gratis

Did you know that JAC is ”now one of only two living former secretaries of Health, Education, and Welfare?” Wiki makes mention of this factoid. Srlsy.

All the deets:

Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA* Chairman and Founder, in San Francisco to Discuss His Parenting Book, ‘How to Raise A Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents’

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 — Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Founder and Chairman of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, will discuss his new book How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents on Monday, September 27, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. at The Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA.  This is a free community event.  Complimentary books for the first 400 people to register at www.emanuelsf.org/register.

Califano will share almost 20 years worth of insight and research on what really prevents children from using drugs and alcohol and will help parents understand that they have the greatest influence on their children’s decision to use drugs and alcohol.

Califano will offer advice on how to discuss many of the most daunting parenting topics like:

 –  When and how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.
 –  How to respond when your kid asks, “Did you ever try drugs?”
 –  How to know when your child is most at risk.
 –  How to prepare your teen for the freedoms and perils of college.

Califano will be introduced by Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, D.D., Ph.D.  Following the presentation will be a Q&A session and book signing.

WHAT: Advice driven presentation based on parenting book How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents

 WHO: Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA Founder and Chairman

 WHERE: The Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA.

 WHEN:        Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as “CASA”) or any of its member organizations, or any other organizations with the name of “CASA”.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

https://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=44849