Posts Tagged ‘civic center’

KRON-TV’s Big Stanley Roberts vs. the Little Lebowski of the Southern Wiggle: “I Don’t Want To Release This Footage”

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:

Oh No, Shaming! – “Referee the Wiggle” Event Coming April 23rd to “Red Card” Cyclists at Infamous Waller and Steiner

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:

FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN

That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.

Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.

Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.

Here it is:

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“Referee the Wiggle
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
Waller and Steiner st – The Wiggle

While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!

Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”

*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.

**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.

***Named for Landsford Hastings, a distant cousin, surely, of UC Hastings’ Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings.

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.

Gothic Civic Center, Sunrise

Monday, March 16th, 2015

California Supreme Court and the 100 McAllister Building:

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San Francisco’s “Night Ministry” Ventures Out in the Daytime

Monday, March 16th, 2015

As seen in Civic Center:

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I’ve never seen this.

A Cry for Help: Young Man Runs a Red Light in His Grandma Car near Civic Center – Colorado? Duke?

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Maintaining this aging beast must be a bear:

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In any event, maybe people drive different in Colorado, but even the SFPD will catch up to him soon if he continues to run red lights, and maybe they’ll suggest he get a California plate from the DMV if he decides to stay here…

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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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…

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*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.  

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

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I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.

Advice for San Francisco Newcomers: What’s “Rent Control?” It’s Something You Might Want – Not Now, But Next Year

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Or not. It’s hard to say how much rent control would benefit you next year once your lease is up.

But these days, there’s a ton of SF newcomers who are just figuring out the big benefit of RC.

Check it:

“Unfortunately most residents can’t afford to stay longer that 1 year. We’ve been living at Argenta for 10 months and have been very happy with the apartment. But we began to suspect that things weren’t quite right with management shortly after moving in. People we met in the elevator, lobby and our floor were all saying the same thing — rent had been raised to ridiculous heights and they were moving out. Over the last 10 months we have watched many of the tenants on our floor leave because of the rent increase.”

So that’s what you get with your brand-new building – a huge rent increase after your first year.

Generally speaking, older buildings have rent control and newer buildings do not. One exception is federal land, like Treasure Island and The Presidio. In those places, you can live in an older building but still get with huge rent increases.

Of course, it always pays to check.

Here’s a test – can you tell which places are rent controlled?

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You see, it’s hard.

Choose wisely.