Posts Tagged ‘City Hall’

Come See the 1979 “White Night Riot” Reenacted at City Hall – ABC’s “When We Rise” Miniseries to Disrupt Traffic Friday Night

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Here’s the background and here’s your traffic advisory

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It’ll be just like when they shot that Milk movie…

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…except without Sean Penn

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Man, These Residents of Fell Street are Hopping Mad About a Possible Facebook Employee Bus Stop / Terminal in Front of their Homes

Monday, March 21st, 2016

I don’t know how the SFMTA’s big meeting on March 18th, 2016 ended up, but this was the scene aforehand, on Fell near Masonic:

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There were multiple three-page flyers everywhere:

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What the Facebook Teamsters wanted last year was their own terminal in the 94117, so they wouldn’t have to sit around idling, and I’m srsly, in the slow lane of outbound/southbound Masonic (betwixt Fell and Oak, you know, the one that MUNI buses use all the time) OR in the MUNI stop at Hayes and Masonic (as they’ve been doing every working day, including this morning at 6:43 AM). It looks like they’re getting what they want. Enough space for two buses.

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And I call it a terminal since there’s now nothing to prevent the Teamsters from staging in their own dedicated bus stop, AFAICS…

Corporate Shuttle Bus Terminals / Dedicated Bus Stops are Coming to YOUR Neighborhood – Here’s the SFMTA’s New Wishlist of Locations

Monday, March 7th, 2016

Our incompetent SFMTA* has been sending out postcards that look like this:

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So in this case, Hayes won’t have the same old load of corporate buses because Fell Street will be picking up the slack.

Here’s what Hayes looks like these days, sometimes – there’s conflict betwixt MUNI operators in MUNI buses and the Teamsters in the Facebook Buses, who know staging (sitting around) is against the rules but they do it anyway because They Just Don’t Care:

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(It’s hard to tell without expanding the photo, but the MUNI bus driver was glaring at the idled Teamster. I’ll tell you, Bro was pissed at the big FB bus, that’s for sure.)

Anyway, forget all that, cause this is what’s coming:

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So, using the same example, we’ll say good-bye to parking on the first 116 feet of the north side of Fell past Masonic:

“ESTABLISH – TOW AWAY NO STOPPING PERMITTED COMMUTER SHUTTLE BUS ZONE, 6 AM TO 10 AM AND 4PM TO 8PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY
Fell Street north side, from Masonic Street to 116 feet westerly (restricts parking at 3 residential permit parking spaces)”

You can look forward to seeing Facebook buses sitting in front of these buildings, especially in the AM:

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Basically, these new stops will turn into bus terminals, ’cause the drivers will end up simply parking here on Fell the same way they routinely (and improperly) do so at the outbound #21 Hayes stop one block north. Maybe even non-driving Facebook “starters” will come back, like last year when they hung out across the street closer to Oak.

Oh well.

“PUBLIC HEARING FOR PROPOSED PARKING & TRAFFIC CHANGES
Pursuant to SFMTA Order No. 5550 adopted March 4, 2016, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will hold a public hearing to solicit public input on the following proposed changes. The hearing will be held as follows:
Date/Time: Friday, March 18, at 10:00 am
Location: Room 416 (Hearing Room 4), City Hall, San Francisco (located on Van Ness Avenue between McAllister and Grove Streets)”

All the deets at the official link above, and after the jump.

*Our SFMTA is the operator of MUNI – case closed.

(more…)

What, No More Christmas Trees in Front of SF City Hall? – Annual Tradition Lost – A Brief History of “Holiday Trees”

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

All right, I promised a history of the giant Christmas trees of San Francisco Civic Center in front of City Hall (aka the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere, believe it or not.*)

Here we go, from the mid to late Aughts, complete with a Star of Bethlehem atop. A shot from my office:

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You know, keeping with Christian Tradition, as they say.

Well that didn’t go down good. So, in part due to some of my photos on SFist, back when Blogging Was King, and due to complaints of City Hall / SFGov workers objecting to having Christmas sort of imposed upon where there work – look it up on SFGate, Matier and Ross were on it – bye-bye Bethlehem star and bye-bye other overt displays of Christianity in and around City Hall.

But the tree stayed, and each and every year it came back, starless of course. And it was labeled a “Holiday Tree” in case there was any worry about it being a Christmas tree. Fine

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Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

And then, oh no, the garish lights on the tree! All those colors! Well, some rich white ladies about town thought they looked tacky, so away they went.

So that left us with this:

O.K. fine. Matier & Ross also had this story, about how the new, classier, white lights for white people cost RPD five figures, but that was OK, they said, because the colored Christmas tree lights would be able to be used in Golden Gate Park on Stanyan and perhaps they’re still in use, IDK.

Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.

So then came this:

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Via Julie Blaustein

So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.

And then Mayor Willie Brown wanted ever more color.

Were these changes “improvements?”

No. But that’s what they were called at the time.

Oh well…

Anyway, that takes up to 2014, when we didn’t get any giant tree at all? NEWS TO ME! Did I not notice it wasn’t there? I forget. I tend to notice new things, I don’t tend to notice things what should be there and aren’t.

A Commenter just hepped me to the ABSENCE OF GIANT TREE, and I can see these photos from last year proving her point – no tree.

Here’s her beef:

“Hello. I was online trying to find info on why there was no Christmas tree outside of SF’s city hall in 2014, and I came across your post about the lights’ history during recent years. Regardless of any decor inside of city hall, i just don’t see why the tree was not part of last Xmas. I looked around online for info about the tree going up again this December, but any info on SF lighting ceremonies did not include a city hall plaza tree. I suppose the mayor’s argument for no tree is cost cutting and that people can go inside city hall to see some festive decor or head down to Union Square to join the tourists, but I find it pretty stunning that a major city has nixed its plaza tree. If you have an answer on this subject, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it.

Thank you,

Kay”

It’s a Christmas Mystery!

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*No no, the dome you’re thinking about (US Capitol Building) aint actually higher, OR it (San Jose City Hall or SuperDome) aint classical, OR it (St. Peter’s Basilica or Dome des Invalides) aint in the Western Hemisphere. Sorry. Look it up!

“SF Sheriff’s Statement: Quick Action by SFSD Sergeant Facilitates Resuscitation of Man Found Overdosed at SF City Hall”

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Just released:

“August 20th, 2015:

SF Sheriff’s Statement: Quick Action by SFSD Sergeant Facilitates Resuscitation of Man Found Overdosed at SF City Hall

San Francisco, CA – Quick thinking on the part of a Sergeant in the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) saved the life of a man who was found unconscious and not breathing in a City Hall bathroom on Tuesday after an apparent drug overdose.

Sgt. J. Caramucci responded at about 11:30pm to a call from a facility custodian reporting that a man in his 30’s was unconscious in a bathroom stall. Sgt. Caramucci used a pocket knife to open the locked stall door and found the man unconscious, with a needle in his arm, and not breathing. He immediately called for paramedics, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and assistance from deputy sheriffs. The man was resuscitated by paramedics who arrived on the scene within four minutes of the Sgt.’s call. The man was transported to a hospital.

A liquid substance found later at the scene tested positive for heroin.

“We’re proud of our deputies for their swift and effective work in this case,” said Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. “Overdosing in City Hall couldn’t be more emblematic of a resurgent drug crisis hitting San Francisco. Heroin usage is way up and existing treatment centers are not enough. Nationwide, reports suggest that we’re looking at a burgeoning public health and public safety crisis.”

Game of Thrones: Ed Lee’s Handler’s Ignore Advice from Jim Ross – A Photo Op in the Iron Throne

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

First there was this, from a couple years ago:

And then yesterday, there was this warning, from political consultant Jim Ross:

 If any elected official sits in this, their staff should be fired.”

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And then a couple hours later, there was this, via Villy Wang:

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Oh well.

Scenes from the Tibetan March 10th, 2015 Protest Against Chinese Communist Party at SF City Hall

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Attended by Nancy Pelosi, Ross Mirkarimi and John Avalos.

(In years past, protests like these have taken place at the Chinese Consulate at Geary and Laguna. I wonder how Nancy Pelosi’s cell phone(s) would have done against a Man In The Middle (MITM) hack attack coming from inside the consulate, which of course is the locus of spycraft in Northern California. My GMail got hacked several hours after I checked out a Tibetan protest while carrying a Galaxy S1 years ago – this was the only time Google has ever contacted me about its concerns over possible hacking. Coincidence or not, I take out the battery of my new(er) phone when I’m walking about the area, which isn’t all that much these days, since, you know, there are fewer protests there these days. Even at this one yesterday, I was just passing through and happened to notice all the commotion. Needless to say, this kind of thing is very off-message for area “friends” of the Consulate, such as Ed Lee and the powerful and influential Rose Pak.)

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Just For The Record, the Reason Why There’s No Old-School Traffic Light at Polk and Fulton is 100% SFGov’s Fault

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

There are some gray areas in how the SFPD enforces CA’s Failure To Yield Vehicle Code section upon drivers, certainly, but take a look here to see a case of black and white. The white Nissan on the right failed to yield to the ped on the left, smack dab in front of the Main Entrance to City Hall:

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Fundamentally, this is Fulton and Polk, and I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a traffic light here. Of course City Hall takes up two city blocks and that’s why Fulton disappears here, but wouldn’t the driver compliance rate be orders of magnitude higher with a simple red-amber-green light?

Did I say simple? What I should have said was stupid, because all the SFMTA and the DPW does is “smart,” right? Smart this and smart that. And that means that basic design, the likes of which drivers generally understand the world over, must be stupid, right?

So yeah, that tour bus operator blew though crosswalk and SFGov lost a retiree/contractor and it’s hard to see how the SFPD could write a police report placing the blame upon anyone other than the driver.

But…

But what if the NTSB took a look, what would it say? Would it say, yeah there should have been a light here from the get-go? I think so. I’m saying it would parcel out some of the blame to SFGov, right? As with the pilots of that Asiana flight at SFO, yes, sure, pilot error, of course, but also some blame for SFO operations, some blame for Boeing perhaps as well, and some blame for the SFFD.

But SFGov don’t see things that way. SFGov’s solution is to ban tour bus drivers from yakking to passengers and, oh yeah, let’s put in a non-smart red-amber-green stoplight, but we only have enough money to put in like five traffic lights per year, please give us the SFMTA more money.

So are you “all about safety,” SFMTA? I don’t think so.

Oh what’s that, this is the Great Hall of the People we’re talking about so peds shouldn’t ever have to wait at a red light or at an “upraised hand” signal? Mmmmm…

So really, you all aren’t all about ped safety, you’re about pedestrian rights, right? Like “I’m the NRA, except for pedestrians” or “I’m the NRA, ‘cept for bike riders?”

Here’s a quote:

“…less inviting. Plus pedestrians have to wait at red lights before crossing, slowing down walking. Given that Haight is a commercial corridor the pedestrian environment is key for business.”

None of this “advocacy” against what’s altogether a quite-sensible plan for Haight Street from the SFMTA has anything to do with safety, with keeping peds safe from others but also safe from themselves.

Oh what’s that, you want to cite safety as your goal, but you actually have quite different goals? OK fine.

SFMTA’s Polk Street Parking Space Removal Plan has Spawned a Yelp War – A Five-Star Counterattack – Poor Dr. Hiura, Poor Other Dr. Hiura!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

All right, get up to speed here.

And now, the latest salvo – if you’re an earnest Yelper who feels that Drs. Hiura & Hiura have been treated unfairly in the whole SFMTA Polk Street Parking Space Removal Plan, well all you can do is post a five-star review, you know, to help out:

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Except that this doesn’t help – the last thing that Hiura To The Power Of Two or Yelp need is a political debate carried out on Yelp.com.

Speaking of which, here’s something new from the Hiuras themselves:

I’m confused – whom’s this video for? IDK. Is it for patients so they’ll post five-star reviews? Or is it for potential patients? But who’s going to see it? (And who’s that woman in front of the green screen? Are we meant to think she works there? IDK.)

And I’ll tell you, at this point, no YouTubers have seen this video, like literally nobody.

Hey, did you see that storefront in the background of this clip? Look at all that metal security grating! That’s a reminder that this is Polk Gulch – an area that’s still “in transition,” as they say.

Oh, did I write Polk Gulch? What I meant to write was “Polk Village,” as that’s what some millionaire small-biz owners tried to rename the area a few years back. (I’m not sure how that turned out – certainly, I haven’t heard that term in a while.)

In any event, all that grating sure would be helpful if you’re ever battening down the hatches, like in preparation for another San Francisco Giants World Series riot, or if you were expecting ever more unwelcome visits from the StreetsBlogSF crowd, right?

Well guess what, the hatches have been battened – that means that the Hiuras no longer have anti-SFMTA propaganda posted in their window and the iconic red PEOPLE LOVE US ON YELP storefront sticker – well, that’s now gone as well, almost as if the Hiuras don’t want transit activists thinking of this bidness and the Yelp at the same time.

So on it goes. Perhaps this YelpWar will settle down after today’s big vote at City Hall*

*OMG, these people use so many buzz-phrases and “framing” words, I wonder if they’d even be able to translate their NewSpeak into regular English. Let’s have a try here, an “improvement” as any change that SFGov has ever made and/or something that it wants to spend tax or fee-payer money on, whether that change turns out to actually be an improvement or not IRL. And a “complete” street is one that has had tax or fee-payer money spent on it recently, as best I can figure. IRL, Polk Street was “completed” about a century and a half ago, right? And an “investment” is any spending done by SFGov, like the way my cousin used to invest his money at the slot machines inside the big airport in Vegas. Hey, how would a cosmetic surgeon propose to “improve” your body? How could s/he “complete” yourself? IDK, an “investment” in breasts implants? Hey, that’s what you should do, you should give me your money and you’ll be lifted and enhanced. Except sometimes that’s a bad choice, and other times it’s a meh choice, like whatever. And certainly, your life wasn’t “transformed,” as promised by those who literally make money off of selling an idea that may or may not be a good idea. Hey, is the SFMTA all about safety? Oh, Lord no, not really. IRL, it’s an inefficient organization that makes some good choices but also some bad choices in the name of “safety,” that’s what it is. Oh well. 

The Empire Strikes Back: Comments on Yelp from the More Rabid Elements of the StreetsBlog Mob Stricken – Drs. Hiura on Polk

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: Oh, Peter Lawrence Kane asked Yelp about these matters just this morning, so that prolly played a big role in Yelp’s very fast response.]

Oh, it’s all good – all the recent negative reviews for Drs. Hiura & Hiura Optometrists have been shuffled down the memory hole as of lunchtime today.

I’m a little surprised at the speed of the deletions.

From what I learned about Yelp from the famous SoMA Legacy Lunchtime Restaurants vs. New School Food Trucks Battle of a few years ago, it can take a long time for demonstrably false or self-serving Yelp postings to come down, if ever.

And I distinguish between reviewers who have brand-new accounts with just one review vs. reviewers with longer histories, and I thought Yelp sort of did as well, but no, they’re all gone.

Oh, here they are, right here, at the bottom of this page.

So I suppose that the penalty for speaking out against the plans of the SFMTA has just dropped, by a whole bunch.

So, Yelp wins once again…