Posts Tagged ‘fm’

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

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So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

InSoc_DBA_booklet copy

And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

Catching Up with the NEW Stow Lake Boat House – Photos – It’s Just the Same, Except for the “PRIVATE EVENTS”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Well, I guess the transition to the new vendor at our Stow Lake Boat House in Golden Gate Park is fully complete, not that you could really tell. Four Yelp stars, currently.

Things were a little contentious for a while there, what with the crew from Save Stow Lake, who supported the former vendor what operated this place. Get a taste of that conflict here. (And see what became of SaveStowLake.org down below – it’s kind of funny.)

Here it is, looking more like Camp Crystal than what you’d expect to see in Frisco:

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Here’s your seating area for the cafe. The worry back in the aughts was that this room was going to go upscale, become an upscale dining establishment. That didn’t happen.

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Now back in the day, the old vendor simply raised prices without telling/getting permission from Rec and Park, so today’s prices are basically the same as back in the aughts. The new Family Boat seats six, I figure.

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Le Cafe, complete with pink popcorn for sale, as was desired by the alarmist preservationists who supported the former vendor:

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Oh, this is new – room rentals

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I don’t think the Save Stow Lake people saw this coming, ’cause I don’t recall them complaining about the specter of private parties in a public park, oh well. I think it’s like $100 an hour to have a birthday party in a rented room these days. Naturally, visitors will think a bathroom is where all the people are milling about, so this sign keeps them out and points them across the street, fair ‘nough.

Now if conditions get too rough for you out on the high seas of this quite artificial “lake,” well you can always dial the snack bar and they’ll talk you home, like the air traffic controllers from Airport ’75

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So that’s your update.

Now, here’s what’s become of SaveStowLake.org. So who’s selling what here? IDK, but, from Japan, it’s the “Telephone Lady” who has tax tips for you:

Capturelkjlkjkkkk

Anyway, that’s the bizarre end to the bizarre movement to “save” Stow Lake, which of course is still with us even though these Save Stow Lake people lost, big-time.

Happy Boating!

OMG, KQED Touches the Third Rail by Dissing West AND East Oakland – See the “Offending Paragraph” Here

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Start here:

A San Franciscan’s Guide to Living in Oakland” –  | November 19, 2013 | 123 Comments

Then read the inevitable retraction here:

Oakland, We Hear You!” –  | November 19, 2013 | 18 Comments

Then read this graf here, the one that got deleted, never to return:

“Don’t Be Scared

The only rule to living here is to find where to go and not to go. The places I am going to take you on a tour through will label me as “bougie” by Oakland standards, but I don’t think there is anything elitist about coming home in one piece. So stay out of East Oakland and West Oakland. That doesn’t sound like it leaves much, but it does. Trust me, my friends have been violently mugged in East Oakland and had the same house robbed three times in West Oakland. But be my guest if you want to go to either for ‘cool points.’”

Oh, here it is:

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If KQED wants to do this kind of stuff, it should label the post as an editorial or as a reader contribution or something like that. I’ll tell you, another big corporate website in town, carpet-bagging Gannett Co Inc’s west coast loss-maker,* The Bold Italic, similarly runs into trouble when it runs similar kinds of posts.

I’m saying that this kind of post, presented the way it was, damages the KQED brand.

Could KQED Forum do a radio call in show about this incident for a full hour? Heck yes.

That’s certainly an option, KQED people.

*Millions and millions of dollars all told. 

The Simpsons had a Monorail, We have the America’s Cup: “Benefits” Slashed 90% from $10 Billion

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Oh, no no no no no. The original estimate of the “economic benefits” (whatever the Hell that amorphous amorphism means) of the 34th America’s Cup was $9.9 B-as-in-boy billion.

Check it:

So that means that the supposed “benefits” of AC34 have dropped more than 90% as the costs continue to rise.

This mounting scandal is the talk of the town – it’ll be on Forum at 9:00 AM:

“America’s Cup organizers are falling short in their efforts to raise private donations to help pay for the cost of bringing the America’s Cup sailing competition to San Francisco — and that could leave the city on the hook for about $20 million. The Board of Supervisors holds hearings Wednesday to discuss the shortfall. Supporters say even without all of the promised private funds, the city still benefits financially from hosting the America’s Cup.

Host: Michael Krasny 

Guests:

  • Jane Sullivan, city spokesperson for the America’s Cup
  • John Avalos, San Francisco supervisor representing District 11″

In closing, fuck you, you deadbeat Larry Ellison.

And here’s the news from last year:

I understand that Mayor Ed Lee has a cheerleading function as a part of his job. Fine.

But what’s this? What the Hell?

“We expect to have some 500,000 people on a daily basis…” 

Just take a look on the YouTube, at around 9:30 and, mind you, this is AFTER everything blew up and people started realizing that the 2013 America’s Cup won’t be anywhere near as popular as advertised:

So, does Ed Lee actually believe that there’s a chance that the America’s Cup will attract anything close to a half million people “on a daily basis?”

No he does not.

So why does he say it?

Mmmm…

Now, speaking of cheerleading, @olivaglobal is the dude who was hired by the San Francisco Chronicle to promote the America’s Cup over the next 1.5 years. Here he goes:

That est was only for final match wknd. Rainy Tues est is 10K-20K LOL. Srsly look at plan.” 

So what’s the estimate, for real, for the crowd size on a off day during the AC? Appears as if these two AC34 cheerleaders are out of sync.

Now, speaking of studies, what the Hell is The America’s Cup: Economic Impacts of a Match on San Francisco Bay?Is it the “Independent Study” what everybody cites as proof of how great the AC is going to be?

I think it is!

Let’s take a look at the first line:

“The America’s Cup is the world’s third-largest sporting competition, after the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup.”

Here it is in the flesh:

So, let’s think about this here. I guess the bullshit Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) organization is allowing that the Summer Olympics and the World Cup just might possibly be bigger than an America’s Cup. But what about the Winter Olympics? Oh, and what about the Super Bowl?

Who actually believes that the America’s Cup, that thing where half the staff just got laid off and NBC needs to be paid in order to broadcast, is actually going to be bigger than a Super Bowl?

Nobody.

Not even the cheerleaders.

So why do they say these kinds of things?

All right here’s one more from the messed-up study what’s going to cost the taxpayers of San Francisco tens of millions of dollars. It discusses, and I’m srlsy, the “fleet of super yachts” what are going to be attracted to the bay area due to the America’s Cup, and then it talks about how much money we’re going to make by gassing them up and Windexing the shiny parts and stuff like that.

I’m srsly.

These cheerleaders are members of a modern day Cargo Cult and we’re all along for the ride.

And oh, we’re going to get the Golden State Warriors without funding the stadium at Piers 30-32? All right, so why then are we funding Larry Ellison’s ego trip of a boat race? Why are we allowing Him to get away with this?

I know not.

Screw the America’s Cup.

The world’s most popular sport may be soccer, but in cold, hard dollars, nobody throws a party like the National Football League.

• 1. Super Bowl

• 2. Summer Olympics

• 3. FIFA World Cup

• 4. Daytona 500

• 5. Rose Bowl

• 6. NCAA Men’s Final Four

• 7. Winter Olympics Games

• 8. Kentucky Derby

• 9. World Series

• 10. NBA Finals”

Girl With A Pearl Earring: You’ve Seen the Movie, Now See the Real Thing – Dutch Paintings at the de Young in January!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Look, it’s the Girl With A Pearl Earring:

Oh, wait a sec, here she is:

Johannes Vermeer (Delft 1632–1675 Delft) Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665. Oil on canvas, 17 1/2 x 15 3/8 in. (44.5 x 39 cm) Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague, Bequest of Arnoldus des Tombe, 1903 (inv. no. 670)

Well, guess what. They’re going to pack her up and send her to Golden Gate Park to be put on display for the first half of 2013 at our de Young Museum.

This is huge.

All the deets:

Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis – At the de Young Museum January 26—June 2, 2013

San Francisco, October 2012–The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce that on January 26, 2013, the de Young Museum will be the first North American venue to present Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis, a selection of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. The de Young will host 35 paintings from the collection, including the renowned Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, and four works by Rembrandt van Rijn. Highlighting the spectacular artistic achievements of the Dutch Golden Age, these works reflect the culture of artistic, economic, and technological innovation that allowed the Netherlands to prosper in the 17th century.

At the center of this exhibition is one of the world’s most famous paintings, Vermeer’s masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring. This work, sometimes called “the Dutch Mona Lisa,” is one of only 36 known paintings by the artist and rarely travels outside the Netherlands. Though little is known about Vermeer’s life, the quiet grace and virtuoso technique evident in his paintings, and in particular his rendering of light, have placed him among the most important artists of the 17th century. Many of the details of his technique can only be appreciated through close examination of the painting surface, such as the few tiny brushstrokes that indicate the reflection on the pearl, and the broader, more expressive painting of her ultramarine and yellow turban.

Ever more deets, after the jump.

(more…)

OMG, It’s the Official California Proposition Guide for 2012 from KQED – This is All You Need to Look At

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Right here, and below:

We’re Already Well Into May 2012, So Whatever Happened to that Long-Promised Lawsuit over the Stow Lake Boathouse?

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I haven’t heard word one about the long-promised lawsuit what was going to overturn SFGov and re-install the old tenant as the operator.

The civil lawsuit begins March 2012 and will expose the truth about all the many laws that Rec & Park broke in order to bring in an out-of-state chain, with no boating experience to take over this historic boating recreation site.”

Oh well.

Just saying.

Ah, Stow Lake:

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Oh, and the early reviews are in. And they’re pretty good, those reviews.

Leave us close this chapter of wealthy, white, real-estate-obsessed, dingbat, millionaire homeowner Preservationists vs. the Boathouse at Stow.

Central Subway Update: Aaron Peskin and Quentin Kopp Object to World’s Shortest and Most Expensive Subway Line

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

It looks like it will be up to Congress to stop the horrible, out-of-control Central Subway Project. That’s our last chance.

Click on the 13-minute video below to listen to former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin succinctly make the case for killing this turkey.

And here’s some coverage from the local press:

Joe Eskenazi of SF Weekly: Central Subway Critics: Costly Boondoggle Can Still Be Stopped

Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle: Reinforcements enlisted in battle against Central Subway

KQED: SF Central Subway Opponents Worry About ‘Blank Check

And oh, hey, what about San Francisco’s #1 Mayor Ed Lee Kiss-Ass / Suck-up, you know, San Francisco Chronicle writer CW Nevius, what does he think of the Central Subway?

Nevius: Chinatown subway plan makes me wince

Oh, but that was all the way back in 2008 and, you know, these days The Nevius doesn’t have the stones, apparently, to comment about this particular boondoggle anymore. Oh well.

Enjoy:

(Is Aaron Peskin a good public speaker?

Yes, Aaron Peskin a good public speaker.)

And oh, how can Federal Transit Administration leader Peter Rogoff get away with saying that the Central Subway will reduce trip time from 27 minutes to 7 minutes?

This is a complete fantasy.

Is he seriously misinformed or is he lying? I can’t tell.

Does he mean that the pink bag mafia will spend an average of seven minutes descending 30+ yards down into Mother Earth and waiting for the short line? Is that what he means? But that by itself doesn’t get you anywhere you want to go. It just gets you 30 yards beneath C-Town.

Anyway Congress, please, please, please kill this boondoggery.

Public No-Shows Public Meeting Regarding the Future of the Stow Lake Boathouse – Plus, Spurious Lead Paint Issue

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I don’t know, when you have like just one member of the public show up at a meeting hosted by Rec and Park, would you call that a successful joint?

This was the scene for last Thursday night’s big PowerPoint presentation. You had people there from the new tenant and the new tenant’s Marin operation and RPD and etc.

Is this low turnout due to the fact that grand battle has already been won by the new tenant, or is it due to the fact that there was zero publicity for this particular meeting,* or maybe a combination of both reasons?

Click to expand

Anyway, the latest developments at Stow are detailed here by Rachel Gordon.

And oh, the lawsuit against the City from the old tenant should have some activity soon, maybe something is scheduled for Superior Court in March 2012.

And the latest from the absurdly-named Save Stow Lake Coalition has to do with paint with lead in it, which, Gentle Reader, I’m sitting two yards from right now. And, this is true for you too, G.R. You know, ’cause paint with some amount of lead in it is everywhere. Simply everywhere. (If it turns out that this coalition is some long-running anti-NIMBY performance art project, I won’t be surprised…)

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Enjoy your upcoming rain-free, vernal paddle-boating season, everybody…

*I don’t know, was this meeting posted on the internet anywhere at all? NTMK.

The Next Big Public Meeting for the Stow Lake Boathouse is on January 26th, But, Shhhhhh, It’s a Secret

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Here’s the word on the street:

“The Recreation and Park Department and Ortega Family Enterprises are hosting a community meeting to discuss the upcoming renovations of the Stow Lake Boathouse. The work will include creating an indoor seating area so that the building is open to the public for the first time, adding an accessible bathroom, upgrading the building systems as well as upgrading the general condition of the building.

Date: January 26, 2012
Time: 7PM
Location: Hall of Flowers (County Fair Building)”

But, am I getting punk’d here? ‘Cause I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.

Now, I can find the Save Stow Lake insanity* webpage, right here.

And, I can find the Official Twitter for Stow Lake Boathouse LLC, right here.

But, to review, I can’t find any evidence of this meeting online.

Oh hey, look, it’s Ortega Family Enterprises’ Armand Ortega hisself, at the last big Boathouse meeting (the last one that I know of, anyway) at the Hall of Flowers.**

Click to expand

Oh well.

*Uh, Ortega Family Enterprises has “boating experience” now, doesn’t it? You might want to change that. And do you want the City and County poking about buildings in your real estate empire looking for paint with lead in it? I’d bet they’d find some. Oh no! And shrillness-wise, you’re giving us a 9. How about giving us a 3 instead? All right, take two, roll film, action.

**Yes, that’s the actual color of the interior of the Hall of Flowers. I call it indescribable green.