Posts Tagged ‘director’

Oh, the Urbanity! Incoming SF Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick is Looking for a 2-Bedroom Apartment for _Less_ than $3K per Month

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Wow, a person made a post trying to help out incoming San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick by getting the word out about an apartment hunt

And check it, the poster is just like me, as he doesn’t agree with with everything the SFBC does AND he thinks the SFBC is an effective advocacy group.

And here it is:

“While I don’t agree with everything SFBC does, it is certainly the most effective advocacy group I’ve ever belonged to. And here’s a way to help them: by finding  their new director, who is moving here from the east coast, an apartment in San Francisco. I know xx#xers care a lot about bicycle advocacy, and we all know that finding an apartment here is a bloodsport where knowing tenants and landlords is a definite advantage, hence this message.

Desired attributes:
• Close to a BART stop
• Two bedrooms
• Less than $3,000/month

If you have any leads, please email me and I’ll make the connection.”

The kicker is that NY Noah wants his crib to be in SF and he wants it to be close to a BART stop.

(IDK, these requirements rule out Crackton as an option.)

I think I’d advise young Noah to lower his expectations, but who knows – it’s in any event smart to get the word out.

This was the first of many replies:

“Awwwww, he’s adorable. I hear Daly City is nice…”

Ouch.

Now lately, the SFBC has stopped boasting of its increasing membership, because lately membership is way down – thousands of people have decided not to re-up. Now why is that?

Mmmm…

Now you tell me – which is a bigger problem to solve? Is it:

1. Finding a “nice” 2-bed close to BART for $2K-something in 2014; or

2. Finding 2K-something more people to join the SFBC AND then get them continue paying dues, year after year.

That’s a toughie.

San Francisco Opposes the Feds Killing Off Mice on the Farallon Islands? Fear of Dead Seagulls Scaring Tourists?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Well, this is news to me.

All the Feds want to do is kill off the mice of the Farallones and San Francisco is standing in the way?

Check out how our Federales scored a “rip-roaring conservation success” exterminating vermin up in Alaska at Hawadex Island, which was known for centuries as “Rat Island.”

I’ll tell you, I can’t name any of the “visionary policies and innovative programs” created by SF Environment that Director Deborah Raphael boasts of.

Can you, Gentle Reader?

One down, a million to go – here’s the big version, via nature photographer Jenny Erbes.

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Our Addled SFMTA Has Decided To Burden the Intersection of Fell and Masonic Even More: A Mandatory Left Turn Lane?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

(You want addled? Try this on for size, from the SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi re: SFMTA Commish Cheryl Brinkman.)

Moving on…

Hey, what problem is this going to solve?

7J7C7902 copy

I can think of problems it will create, but what’s the purpose of this, right?

We know you’re going to do it, SFMTA, so why not tell us why, you know, instead of inviting people to give input you’re going to ignore anyway?

Are you going to add a left turn arrow?

Is this a safety thing?

I’m baffled…

SFMTA, you should be basing your decisions on these two factors:

1. SAFETY

2. flow

That’s it. Not aesthetics, not ideology, not “comfort,” not “liveability,” not any of that.

So, how will this proposal, you know, considering your horrible record so far, improve safety and/or flow?

Tell us.

(Oh, if only you had a blog what wasn’t focused upon getting Prop A passed next month…)

Compare SF (Most Expensive Parking Tickets in the Western Hemisphere) with Downtown San Mateo (50 Cent/Hr Parking Meters)

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Compare A with B, as seen in the City of San Mateo:

P1140358 copy

But the SFMTA wants more more more, so it’s hatched a plan called Prop A, to raise your rent (literally) and/or take your propertah taxes to pay for, among other things, cost overruns on the entirely unnecessary pork-barrel project called the Central Subway.

Hey, speaking of which:

“During a pair of recent presentations at city political clubs, MTA commissioner Cheryl Brinkman, arguing on behalf of Prop. A, stated that a City Attorney’s opinion concluded that, when it comes to bond language, the terms “shall” and “may” are identical.

Huh.

Brinkman now says she’s not entirely sure what she said. Multiple witnesses are more certain: ‘She did say that!’ recalls Potrero Hill Democrats president Joni Eisen.”

So, what’s going on inside Cheryl Brinkman’s head when she says stuff like this? Is it a fugue state? Is it simple lying? Or maybe somebody lied to her? Or she’s under so much pressure to keep her “job,” but what does it pay, like $100 a month and a free FastPass? And she voted FOR charging people at parking meters on Sundays only to change her mind the next year when she voted AGAINST? Oh, so the SFMTA could instead get VLF money from taxpayers, except that plan got shelved right after she voted.

If she were fired from the SFMTA and then replaced with a spineless jellyfish, how would anyone notice, how would anyone be able to tell the diff?

California DMV Lowers the Boom on Deadbeat San Franciscans with “Operation Blue Zone” (OBZ) – Fighting Placard Abuse

Monday, July 21st, 2014

IMO, this DMV “operation” misses the point, ’cause the bigger crime is all the drivers of those new Mercedes-Benzeses parking for free in or near the Financial ALL DAY LONG.

We have a corrupt system in which you can simply ask your doctor(!) for free parking.

But anyway:

DMV Investigators Make Major Disabled Placard Application Bust

Operation Blue Zone Catches Three Fraudulent Placard Applicants

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today the arrest of three suspects in connection with illegal activity associated with the Disabled Person Placard (DPP) application process. On Saturday, July 12, 2014, Qiaoyun Chen, 50 years old, and Guobin Qin, 29 years old, were arrested at their homes in San Francisco. The San Francisco District Attorney’s office charged the suspects with four felonies including filing false information with a state agency, perjury, commercial burglary, and forgery. The third suspect, Yessi Morales, 35 years old from San Francisco, was arrested on July 3, 2014 during a traffic stop by the San Francisco Police Department, she is charged with 24 felony counts.

“The DMV is stepping up Disabled Placard enforcement in a different, more aggressive way by catching the perpetrators at the beginning stages,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “Operation Blue Zone has been very successful in catching fraud placard applications in the Bay Area.”

The San Francisco District DMV Investigations Office started the Operation Blue Zone (OBZ) investigation in February 2014 after receiving a large number of DPP applications that were flagged by DMV field office staff as being allegedly fraudulent. Flag triggers included suspected forged doctor’s signatures, similar applicant and doctor hand-writing, frequent applications being submitted by the same doctor, and suspected false medical diagnosis. These alleged fraud applications began increasing in numbers in late 2013 and the beginning of 2014, with the majority of the placard recipients living or working in San Francisco. The suspected fraud applications were submitted in several DMV field offices with the majority submitted to the San Mateo DMV field office.

“The crimes related to submitting a fraudulent application as opposed to catching someone on the street misusing a DPP for parking is quite different,” said DMV Supervising Investigator Calvin Woo. “Parking misuse violations are typically local ordinance infractions or vehicle code misdemeanors where the abuser ends up with a hefty fine. Fraud DPP application violations are felonies.”

All three suspects could face up to four years in prison. Morales has been freed on $60,000 bail, and Qin and Chen were released after posting $30,000 bail apiece.

If you believe that someone has been issued a Disabled Person Placard in error or suspect placard misuse, we urge you to contact your local DMV Investigations office and submit a written complaint. The complaint can be anonymous. Please be aware that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse may be unfounded. The department considers crimes relating to disabled placards very serious and every complaint of this nature will be reviewed. Complaint forms can be found on the DMV public website www.dmv.ca.gov under the search key words “Record of Complaint,” or under form INV172A – Record of Complaint form. You may also obtain a complaint form from your local DMV field office.

DMV’s Investigations Division enhances consumer protection including auto and identity related fraud, car dealers, driving schools, traffic violator schools, and other DMV occupational licensees, as well as Internal Affairs Investigations. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

Save Time, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Website including online advance appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777–0133. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

California Coast: Our California Academy of Sciences Unveils a New 2,000-Gallon Aquarium Tank Brimming with Colorful Marine Life

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Here’s your brand-new 2000-gallon tank downstairs at our world-famous California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park – let’s see here, we’ve got a Strawberry Anemone, a Greenstriped Rockfish, and a Vermillion Sea Star all in a row:

Click to expand

That’s the Rocky Reefs part of the new California Coast Exhibit.

(And if you want to see more of our California coasts, check out these great shots archived at Cold Water Images – it’s a colorful world down below.)

All right, see you there!

All the deets:

“Explore new views of the California Coast: California Academy of Sciences unveils new 2,000-gallon aquarium tank brimming with colorful marine life

SAN FRANCISCO (June 6, 2014) — Today, the Academy unveiled the latest addition to its aquarium—a colorful and charismatic 2,000-gallon tank filled with strawberry anemones, painted greenlings, and rosy rockfish, giving visitors a glimpse into the vibrant communities that thrive in California’s National Marine Sanctuaries. This striking addition to the Academy’s California Coast aquarium exhibit will become a permanent fixture and will offer spectacular new views and insights into these rich underwater ecosystems, from kelp forests filled with leopard sharks and wolf eels to rocky reefs blanketed in vibrant pink anemones and colorful corals.

“Presenting the wonders of the natural world is at the core of the Academy’s mission, and we’re thrilled to share this new addition to our aquarium with visitors,” says Bart Shepherd, Director of the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium. “By showcasing the biodiversity found in our own backyard, we hope to engage and inspire visitors with the importance of studying and sustaining these ecosystems—locally and around the world.”

In addition to the exhibit’s larger tanks, a series of jewel tanks showcase some of the area’s most fascinating marine creatures, while interactive displays illustrate the migration pathways of sea turtles, humpback whales, and sharks that pass through these rich marine habitats.

At a Citizen Science station, visitors can contribute to an ongoing Academy research project—and learn more about how to protect California’s vibrant and vital coastal ecosystems. At the Discovery Tidepool, visitors can touch and examine a variety of ocean creatures, where aquarium biologists and docents help visitors of all ages interact with and learn about starfish, sea urchins, and other marine life native to the California coastline. Special magnifying cameras are also available, encouraging an unusually close look at tidepool residents.

In addition to the many informative and interactive exhibits, visitors can learn about marine biodiversity and the importance of sustaining these vibrant ocean ecosystems during daily programs, including:

Coral Reef Dive
Daily at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm
Watch as a diver suits up in SCUBA gear and plunges into the world’s deepest living coral reef exhibit. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver will answer all of your reef-related questions.

Ocean Action – The Power of pH!
Daily at 1:00 pm
Have you ever wondered what sea shells, the ocean, and our atmosphere have in common? Come find out at this fun, experiment-based program as we explore the ocean and its special chemistry. Learn about the simple steps you can take to help keep oceans and the marine animals that live in them healthy.”

Director Melanie Nutter is Leaving of the San Francisco Department of the Environment

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Here’s what she sent out a few days back. I don’t think she’ll care if this email is posted – read it and you’ll see why.

The League spilled the beans yesterday:

Pissed Off Voters SF ‏@TheLeagueSF: “Melanie Nutter is the outgoing Director for Dept of Environment. We are sad to see her go.”

Here’s most of the email:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you well and that you’ve had a restful and rejuvenating holiday.

I’m writing to let you know that I’ve decided to move on from my role as the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The timing is perfect for me to leave a department that boasts many accomplishments. I couldn’t be more proud to have been involved with such an incredible team for the past three and a half years. But now I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and to consulting on a few special projects which will give me more flexibility in my schedule. My last day in the office will be January 31st.

My time at SFE has been the most rewarding and challenging time of my professional career and I’m so proud of all that we’ve accomplished. From the policy and program achievements (80% waste diversion, 14.5% below 1990 levels of carbon emissions, the installation of over 180 electric vehicle charging stations, the successful implementation of the extended plastic bag ban to all retailers as well as the Existing Commercial Building Ordinance) to the organizational milestones (the move of our offices to a soon to be named LEED Platinum office space) to the leadership SFE has had a chance to provide through Urban Sustainability Directors Network & C40 on sustainability issues to the launch of new programs like SF Adapt and the Biodiversity initiative, there is much to celebrate.

I continue to be in awe of the stellar day-to-day work done by the staff at this department to help small businesses through the Energy Watch Program and the Green Business Program, to support the community through our outreach program and the Environment Now Green Jobs Program and to assist larger businesses on their sustainability goals through our partnership with the Business Council on Climate Change.

It was a hard decision to leave but I’m excited about the potential opportunities and possibilities that the future holds.

It has been a great honor to serve former Mayor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Ed Lee and the City and County of San Francisco. Thank you for the ongoing support of the Department of the Environment. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

Warmly,
Melanie”

I’m sure Mel will land on her feet.

There’ll soon be a Department of the Environment open house of sorts – ask them about it if you care.

 

Virgin America Has an Awesome New Safety Video: “Buckle Up, To Get Down” – Set To Song And Dance

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
San Francisco’s Hometown Airline has outdone itself with its new air safety video. All the deets
  • 36 Total Dancers
  • 26 Hours on Set
  • 14 Dance Styles Used: animation, b-boy, break dancing, Broadway, contemporary, contortion, finger-tutting, jazz, lyrical, pop-and-locking, tango, and waving–just to name a few.
  • 10 So You Think You Can Dance Alum
  • American Idol Semi Finalist: Todrick Hall
  • 1 Character from the Original Safety Video: the “Nun”
  • 2 Former Olympians: Tamara Campos as the “Nun” and Emilie Livingston as the “Teacher”
Check it:

“Virgin America Remixes The Safety Video:  Airline’s New Safety Video Set To Song And Dance

Hollywood Director Jon M. Chu and American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance Alums Tapped to Create First-of-its-Kind Video

Flyers Can Win Chance to Be Cast in a Future Version of Video by Showing off Their Best Freestyle #VXsafetydance Moves

Today Only, Airline Launches “Buckle Up, To Get Down” Special Offer of Up to 20% off Flights Nationwide* (restrictions apply)

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29, 2013 — Virgin America, the airline that first put an irreverent twist on the in-flight safety video in the U.S., is taking its pre-flight safety education to new heights with the first-ever domestic safety video set entirely to music and performed in dance.  Launching on Google Play, YouTube and live on digital billboards across Times Square including the American Eagle billboard (at W. 46th Street & Broadway) at 12 p.m. ET today, the video will take to the skies on flights nationwide in November. Virgin America first made waves in the safety video genre in 2007, when it became the first domestic airline to feature a cheeky in-flight safety video across its fleet.  The cult favorite animated video will still be featured onboard the airline’s Red(TM) in-flight entertainment platform, but the new “VX Safety Dance” video will freshen up the rotation with a unique pre-flight safety experience that flyers will enjoy – and pay attention to. The new video was directed by Hollywood blockbuster film director (and Virgin America frequent flyer) Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2) and includes some of the top dancers, singers and choreographers from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance – with production by Virgin Group’s entertainment arm, Virgin Produced.”

Ever more deets, after the jump

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OMG, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (Fox, 2014) is Filming RIght Now in North Beach – San Francisco is NOT Looking Its Best

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Per Twitterer AlexSavidge

“North Beach looks like a disaster. Luckily it’s Hollywood magic, filming scenes from new “Planet of the Apes” movie pic.twitter.com/yoLpHuN6jZ

As seen Saturday AM, July 27, 2013:

Click to expand

And here’s a shot from lovely @katieutehs, Freelance Reporter @KTVU/Cyclist/Skier/@UW  katieutehs.com

This is 800 California near the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Stockton Street:

And here are your teaser trailers.

Directed by Matt Reeves
Produced by Peter Chernin
Dylan Clark
Rick Jaffa
Amanda Silver
Screenplay by Rick Jaffa
Amanda Silver
Scott Z. Burns
Mark Bomback
Story by Rick Jaffa
Amanda Silver
Based on Premise suggested by Planet of the Apes
by Pierre Boulle
Starring Andy Serkis
Gary Oldman
Jason Clarke
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Keri Russell
Judy Greer
Music by Michael Giacchino[1]
Cinematography Michael Seresin
Studio Chernin Entertainment
20th Century Fox
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • July 18, 2014
Country United States
Language English
Budget $120 million

Well, As Expected, the $7 Fee at the Strybing Arboretum is Going to Become Permanent – A Little History

Friday, June 28th, 2013

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:

LMA-BOS-Supporter Talking Points-6-4.21.13 Budget Hearing

Arboretum Contract Critique

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.

That’s it.

“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.)

Random observations:

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?

Public Workshop – Botanical Garden

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…