Posts Tagged ‘fee’

OMG, the BIGGEST 18-Wheeler Tractor Trailer Allowed in CA – On Masonic, by San Francisco Day School – CityTarget Truck

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

IMO, it’s more fun to not explain things, but here we go, let’s pay off that headline:

1. God damn, this trailer is freaking huge – I’ve never seen one bigger. This aint no 20-footer and it aint no 40 footer. It’s a 53-footer. It’s Harder Better Faster Stronger. It’s as big* an 18-wheeler tractor trailer as you’re ever going to see, Gentle Reader.

Click to expand

2. Now here’s what pisses some people off about San Francisco Day School. These parents enter their kinder into the San Francisco SFUSD school busing program lottery. And, because they don’t already have an older kid already in a good public school AND because they don’t live a “low test score area” (like in parts of The Mission or near The Projects), they lose out in the lottery. So then they say, all right, well, we’ve lost the lottery, but we can simply pony up $27k(!) to put our four-year-old into a private school. But then they have to qualify by being interviewed. And then, sometimes, they get rejected. And then they get seriously pissed off. Anywho, Masonic Avenue / Boulevard is reason #1 why SFDS will never be a high status school (in comparison with the tonier outfits up in Specific Whites Pacific Heights.) Masonic is how the Jennie Zhus of this world get back and forth betwixt San Francisco Proper and the westside, The Avenues, the West Bay neighborhoods like The Richmond and The Sunset. Masonic, for better or worse, is a freeway substitute and it will always be that way and, for the worse, it’s the front door of SFDS. These days there’s a plan afoot to put in trees and a median that will slow down all the cars and the occasional MUNI bus, but that won’t really change things for SFDS. All the parents and nannies will still double park on neighboring streets, oh well. Look at the photo and there it is, the SFDS.

3. Oh man, the millionaire property owners of the lily-white “NOPNA” Northeast of Panhandle Homeowners Association DID NOT want to see those, those people shopping at a retail store up at Geary and Masonic again, oh no, but that’s what’s happening despite their best efforts. I myself didn’t object to the CityTarget, you know, but even I’m a little surprised to see such a big rig heading up Mervyn’s Heights with the Target targets on the side.

Just saying.

Of course, all of the above was implied by the simple photo and short headline…

*Unless you move to Texas, and even then…

**Who’s getting interviewed, really, the parents or the kid? IDK. I’ll tell you, I bet if Will Smith tried to get his kid into this joint, there’d be no problem, no problem at all. But if you don’t impress SFDS enough to get a green light, you’re money’s no good there.

Bay Area Media Road Trip: “Investigative Hearing on Asiana Flight 214″ – Dec. 10-11 in Wash DC

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

This is it, this is the big one. Details below.

And if you don’t think that PILOT ERROR was the primary cause of death of the only passengers killed in a Boeing 777 in its entire two decade history, well, I have a drug test for you, you know, one just like the drug and alcohol tests that WEREN’T GIVEN to the three Asiana pilots who were on the flight deck on Flight 214.

And hey, could it have been Sully who emailed the fake pilot names to KTVU? IDK – we never heard about the details of that fiasco, die we?

Fresh from the Feds:

NTSB releases agenda and media logistics for Investigative Hearing on Asiana Flight 214

December 5

The National Transportation Safety Board today released the agenda for the two-day investigative hearing on the ongoing investigation into the July 6 crash landing of Asiana Airlines flight 214.

The hearing will be held on December 10th & 11th at the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center at 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington D.C. and begins at 9:00 a.m. on the first day and 8:30 a.m. on the second day.

Hearing witnesses, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, Asiana Airlines, Korean Office of Civil Aviation, and International Federation of Air Line Pilot’s Associations,Commercial Air Safety Team will testify and answer questions from NTSB Board members, technical staff, and parties about flight deck design concepts and characteristics, pilot training on automated systems and visual approach procedures, pilot awareness in highly automated aircraft, emergency response, and cabin safety. The full agenda, including a list of witnesses is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/asiana214_hearing/agenda.html.

Investigative exhibits for the hearing will be placed in the electronic docket at the start of the hearing and will be available athttp://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/asiana214_hearing/index.html once the hearing begins.

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will be available to answer questions from the media at the conclusion of each day. Additional details about those availabilities will be announced at a later date.

Television coverage of the proceedings will be by network pool. Escorted cutaway for video media will be permitted for brief periods throughout the hearing. Still photographers will be permitted in the seating area of the Board Room and by escort to areas in front of the witness panels.

Because of construction at and around L’Enfant Plaza, satellite and other media trucks will have to obtain credentials for parking and running cable through the construction zone. To expedite this process, media must RSVP to keith.holloway@ntsb.gov by December 9. Access to the Board Room is available beginning at 7:30 a.m.

A media room is also available with tables, chairs and an audio mult box with interpretations of the proceedings into English, Mandarin and Korean. Audio headsets will be provided. Generally-accepted media credentials will be required for access to the media room. In addition, a fully equipped overflow room has been established and will serve as a storage area for video equipment during the hearing.

Seating for the general public in the Board Room is on a first-come, first-served basis. Given the international makeup of those onboard Asiana flight 214, the hearing will be webcast live in English, Mandarin and Korean. Access to the webcast can be found at www.ntsb.gov.

There will be standard federal security procedures for entry into the Board Room and Conference Center. All persons entering the facility will need to show a photo ID and their possessions will be subject to inspection. Persons leaving the facility will have to pass through screening again to gain re-entry.

Directions to the Board Room are available at www.ntsb.gov/about/conference_center.html.

Office of Public Affairs
490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
Keith Holloway
(202) 557-1350
keith.holloway@ntsb.gov

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…

This Guy Must Be San Francisco’s Best Parker – Just Look at All His Residential Parking Permits – Dr. Woof Abides

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Look at this guy – see all the stickers he has from San Francisco’s ridiculous residential parking permit program?

He’s probably paid, all by himself, for two or three day’s worth of retirement benefits for a Parking Control Officer.

Hurray!

Click to expand

And look, he bought a bunch of parking permits the right way, you know, one after the other.

Unlike some other people:

Danielle Steel’s “Parking Orgy

Remember, Transit First (except for participants of the Residential Parking Program).

Brace Yourselves, Transit Riders: “$3 Acquisition Fee for New Adult Clipper Cards Takes Effect Sept. 1, 2012″

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Sounds fair enough.

I had a Clipper Card once:

Turns out that it couldn’t handle a simple two-day acetone bath, you know, the better to help see what’s inside.

Actually that was the predecessor to the Clipper, the Translink. Same basic thing though. Now here’s a real Clipper in a flashlight shot to show you where the heart is, that dark square at the bottom:

I think I got it for free.

I think I gave it away.

Anyway, all the deets:

“$3 Acquisition Fee for New Adult Clipper® Cards Takes Effect Sept. 1 - Fee Will Cover Costs, Encourage Long-Term Use

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 20, 2012 – Beginning September 1, 2012, new Adult Clipper cards will cost $3. As an incentive for customers to try automatically reloading their Clipper cards, Clipper will waive the $3 fee for customers who sign up for the Autoload feature when they order a card online at clippercard.com.

The new $3 fee is only for new Adult Clipper cards; Youth and Senior Clipper cards remain free, and the fee for a Regional Transit Connection Clipper card, for transit riders with qualifying disabilities, remains $3.

Clipper is the reloadable card that allows Bay Area transit riders to load cash value and monthly passes over the phone, online at clippercard.com and at a variety of retail locations, including most Bay Area Walgreens stores. Clipper is accepted on San Francisco Muni, BART, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, Caltrain, SamTrans, AC Transit, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Dumbarton Express, and San Francisco Bay Ferry (currently only on the South San Francisco/East Bay route).

Clipper cards have been free since the transit card program launched in June 2010. Clipper provided the cards free of charge over the past two years as an incentive for the hundreds of thousands of Bay Area transit riders to try the card. The incentive appears to have been successful, with more than 15 million trips taken using Clipper cards in July 2012. On an average weekday, transit riders take more than 600,000 trips using the card.

“We want to encourage people to keep their cards, reload them automatically and use them for a long time, rather than throwing them out and getting new ones,” said Carol Kuester, director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Electronic Payment section. “Charging a fee for the card also helps us be better stewards of public funds.”

Clipper offers convenience by keeping track of passes, discount tickets, ride books and cash value that customers load onto it, while automatically applying all applicable fares, discounts and transfer rules. Since Clipper cards can be registered for added security, customers whose cards are lost or stolen can have their card replaced and balance restored for a fee. Clipper customers with questions about their Clipper account can log in to their accounts at clippercard.com or call Clipper Customer Service at 877-878-8883 or TDD/TYY: 711 or 800-735-2929.

Clipper is a project of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.  A question-and-answer page about the $3 Clipper card acquisition fee may be found on the MTC Web site at http://www.mtc.ca.gov/news/press_releases/rel575.htm.

SOURCE  Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Metropolitan Transportation Commission”

Attention Shoppers: Grocery Stores to Start Charging for Bags October 1, 2012 – BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This new tax is a done deal.

Check it: 

Click to expand

Wow, Those SmartMeter Crazies Almost Make Me Feel Sorry for PG&E, America’s Worst Big Utility Company – But Opt Out If You Want

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Well, here it is, your brand new PG&E SmartMeter opt-out option.

Click to expand

David R. Baker was on the scene at the big CPUC meeting yesterday, actually engaging with the crazies, so check that out if you want.

And if you think that a SmartMeter has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with your health (and, oh yes, you yourself are somehow particularly affected by infinitesimal amounts of additional non-ionizing radiation in your life, I hear what you are saying) you’re barking up the wrong tree. People who don’t tell you that are just patronizing you, just saying.

Now here’s what PG&E has to say. Enjoy:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2012 — Residential electric and gas customers who have concerns about wireless technology can now choose either a new SmartMeter(TM) or a traditional analog meter, following the final decision today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) supports the CPUC’s decision and will respond quickly to customers who opt-out of the utility’s SmartMeter(TM) program.

“We know personal choice is important to our customers when it comes to the meters on their homes,” said Helen Burt, PG&E’s Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “This final decision in support of analog meters is a positive step forward for those who have concerns over wireless technology. We understand some customers have been waiting for this decision, and we are actively reaching out to those who have expressed their desire for a SmartMeter(TM) alternative.”

PG&E is installing digital, wireless SmartMeters(TM) throughout its service area in Northern and Central California as part of a statewide effort to help customers save on their bills by offering them more control over their energy usage, improve reliability and customer service, and conserve natural resources to help the environment. As part of a global effort to modernize the energy grid and transform it into a digital network that will deliver more reliable power to homes and businesses, similar metering programs are now underway at utilities throughout the country and around the world. To date, PG&E has installed nearly nine million gas and electric SmartMeters(TM), on its way to about 10 million meters in 2012.

Independent studies repeatedly have affirmed the safety and accuracy of SmartMeters(TM). However, in response to comments from some customers, PG&E in March 2011 proposed offering them a choice to turn off the radios in their SmartMeters(TM), and then provided customers with the option to delay the installation of new SmartMeters(TM) pending the CPUC’s final decision. In December 2011, PG&E asked the CPUC to approve analog meters as another alternative to receiving a SmartMeter(TM), which was the central element of the CPUC’s decision today.

Burt added, “The vast majority of our customers are already seeing the many benefits of SmartMeters(TM). By choosing to stay with our program, our customers will continue having control by seeing where they can save energy throughout the course of the day and making simple but effective changes around the home to save money.”

PG&E customers who want to opt-out of the SmartMeter(TM) program can submit their request online at www.pge.com/smartmeteroptout or call 1-866-743-0263. PG&E plans to remove the gas and electric SmartMeters(TM) from the homes of those opt-out customers who already have SmartMeters(TM); those customers who still have analog meters will be able to keep them.

The CPUC’s final decision requires customers who opt-out of the program to pay a $75 initial setup charge and a $10 monthly charge. This will cover the costs of manual meter-reading and associated operational and billing issues. Income-qualified customers will pay a $10 initial setup charge and $5 a month.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 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/.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

Hurray! Chase Bank Announces it Won’t Charge Customers a Monthly Debit Card Fee – Thanks Chase!

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Say what you will about our corporate overlords at Morgan Chase, you can’t deny that they can tell which way the winds are blowing these days.

Proof of that is this announcement, below.

My favorite Chase Bank is the one on Oak and Divisadero. Isn’t it kewl? 

Click to expand

That’s right, it’s hella cool.

On a somewhat serious note, thanks for Chase Community Giving, Chase. That’s better than spending your money on a Super Bowl commercial or whathaveyou.

(But don’t get on my bad side, Chase, else it will be smashy smashy like what happened to your nearby competitor on Fell a couple Halloweens back.)

Anyway, you all can join the boycott,* I don’t care. As long as the Chase customers can have their bank branch on Oak, that’s fine.

Or take your money to a credit union, I don’t care.

And, oh, goran nasai, Amerika no Ginkoo. Mite, mite:

“Chase Announces it Won’t Charge Customers a Debit Card Fee - Consumers Union Calls On Bank of America to Drop its Plan to Charge a $5 Fee for Debit Card Purchases

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28, 2011 — JP Morgan Chase announced today that it will not charge its customers a $3 monthly debit card fee after testing the charge in Wisconsin and Georgia.  The bank announced that it would drop the idea following negative reaction from its customers.

Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, today commended Chase for its decision and reiterated its call on Bank of America to end its plan to charge a $5 debit card fee beginning in 2012.

“Consumers Union has heard from thousands of consumers across the country who are outraged that Bank of America is instituting the $5 monthly debit card fee,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program.  “It’s time for Bank of America to listen to its customers who are saying loud and clear: drop the fee or we’ll drop you.  All banks that are considering debit card fees should ditch those plans.”

SunTrust has also started rolling out a similar debit card fee and Wells Fargo has been testing one in select markets.  Earlier this month, Consumers Union called on Chase, Bank of America and these other banks to abandon plans to charge customers a fee for debit card purchases.

“It’s unfair for banks to stick consumers with a monthly fee just to use their own money,” said Garcia.  “The banks that charge debit card fees risk losing customers who are fed up with financial institutions that got bailed out that are now turning around and hiking fees.”

Consumers Union has published a set of tips for consumers who want to switch banks.

Saturday, November 5, has been dubbed Bank Transfer Day by grassroots activists upset with rising bank fees, including the new $5 debit card fee that Bank of America will start charging its customers in 2012. Consumers are being encouraged by Bank Transfer Day organizers to switch their accounts to credit unions or community banks on that day.

SOURCE  Consumers Union”

Oh, there’s an updated version of this release. See it after the jump.

*Facebook, really? Heh. Home of the ephemeral…

(more…)

Fishermans Wharf is Just Like Burning Man, But For Cars

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

See? They all gather together for some big party, looks like.

And then they all sort of circle around

Click to expand

How many cars do you count?

Oh Hell Yes: UCSF Allows Emergency Room Check-In Online – Wait Just 15 Minutes with InQuickER Service at Parnassus

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The average wait for an emergency room visit at UCSF‘s Parnassus Heights campus is 4.5 hours for people with mild medical emergencies? Wow.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to pay $5 to check-in online and then wait at home rather than in the ER?

That’s what UCSF thinks.

Check it:

“UCSF patients with minor medical needs seeking treatment in the Emergency Department now can make an appointment to be seen – waiting at home rather in the hospital – via a new online check-in service called InQuickER.

UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Medical Center is now offering patients with mild medical emergencies a chance to reserve a time to be seen in the Emergency Department using a new online system.

UCSF Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) at Parnassus Heights is now offering InQuickER designed for patients with non-threatening minor medical needs.

UCSF patients can register online for a $4.99 fee and pick an open slot for an emergency room visit. The fee will be refunded if they’re not seen within 15 minutes.

In April, UCSF did a trial run with the online service, which 22 people used. UCSF Medical Center launched the system a few weeks ago.

“One thing we encountered during the trial was that a lot of patients were using it inappropriately,” said Jennifer Dearman, the Emergency Department’s patient care manager. “The online registration is screened by ED nurses and we have had to advise some patients to come directly to the ED. This service is for a fast-track kind of patient.”

“For example, a cancer patient on chemotherapy with a fever can have complicated issues and should be seen in the regular ED, so InQuickER is not appropriate for that person.”

Waiting at Home vs. Hospital

About 105 patients a day visit the emergency room at UCSF Medical Center on the Parnassus campus, Dearman said, and the average time between arrival and departure, for those not admitted to the hospital, is four-and-a-half hours.

That’s in keeping with the average wait in 2009 for ER patients throughout California: four hours and 34 minutes –  27 minutes longer than the U.S. average, according to a 2010 report by health care consulting firm Press Ganey.

Dearman said patient satisfaction was the main reason UCSF Medical Center adopted InQuickER. “It also helps us control the flow,” she said. “The general population doesn’t think the emergency room ever has slow times. But it does.”

UCSF is one of 55 health care facilities in 13 states partnering with InQuickER, said spokesman Chris Song. The service, based in Nashville, began in 2006 after its founder, Tyler Kiley, had to go to an emergency room and spent hours witnessing stasis and frustration.

“He just thought there had to be a better way,” Song said. “With our service, you still have to wait but you get to do it somewhere else. Like on your couch instead of being surrounded by other sick people.”

Song said InQuickerER provides patients with convenience, comfort and some level of control. And it allows emergency department staff to know who’s coming and what symptoms they have, so that they can better prepare.

“It can help reduce the burden of peak times and spread it out,” Song said. “It creates more efficiency and a better environment in the waiting room.”

So far, more than 10,000 people have used the service; 95 percent have been seen within the 15-minute window. In a triage situation, of course, even people who have registered will have to wait. When there are delays, users are notified through text messages and emails with updated projections on treatment times.

The service is available online at https://ucsfmedicalcenter.inquicker.com/. It is growing rapidly, Song said, which is not surprising: A study led by San Francisco General Hospital emergency physician Renee Hsia, MD, MSc, found that the number of hospital-based emergency departments in the United States is declining, despite an increase in the number of patients seeking emergency care.

The study by Hsia, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UCSF School of Medicine, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in May. It reported that 27 percent of urban and suburban emergency rooms have closed in the last two decades.”

Hurray!