Posts Tagged ‘fremont’

How Tesla CEO Elon Musk is WRONG WRONG WRONG About How the Fremont Assembly Plant Has Been in Operation for “Over 60 Years”

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Here’s the background:

How Elon Musk Hustled $1.4 Billion Out Of Nevada For Gigafactory

Now here’s Musk’s defense of the Nevada Gigglefactory battery tax incentive deal.

Which you can swallow or not, but I have a beef with this part in particular:

“However, the 20 year mark is simply when the last of the incentives expires. The Gigafactory itself will continue contributing economically to Nevada for much longer. Our automotive plant in California has been in operation for over 60 years with no foreseeable end in sight.”

Well, first of all, there’s nothing to stop Tesla or its successor from threatening to move away unless it receives another massive subsidy from the people of Nevada, right? So that’s just wrong.

But, more importantly, what’s up with this “over 60 years” thing? Let’s take a look.

Fremont Assembly began operations in 1963, right? 2014 minus 1963 = 51 years, right? 51 years is less than “over  60 years,” right?

And that doesn’t mean that this place was “in operation,” all that time, right?

And actually, it didn’t make sense to have such a big old GM factory in the Bay Area so it shut down in 1982. Let’s get some more deets:

“Operated as GM plant from 1963 to 1982, then became the site of NUMMI, GM’s joint venture with Toyota and the only major auto assembly plant remaining in California. Closed April 1, 2010, partially reopening as the Tesla Factory, an automobile assembly plant for Tesla Motors”

So Fremont Assembly was massively downsized when Toyota was coerced into starting up NUMMI, which lasted just 16 years.

Then NUMMI got massively downsized and now what’s left has been a Tesla factory for a couple years.

Now you might think that that’s good or bad, but this record sure doesn’t match what Elon Musk has to say.

END OF LINE

I’ve Never Seen an Aircraft Flying Around Without a Registration Number – And Yet This Was Over the Stanford Game

Monday, September 15th, 2014

This is new on me:

7J7C6708 copy

Boy, this aircraft/banner combo seems familiar:

7J7C6709 copy

Here are some of my other beefs against the flying banner ad biz in the bay area.

The US Attorney’s Office Throws Down: Reaches $80k Settlement with Fremont Apt. Complex for Discrimination Against Families

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

First, take a look at this review on YP.Com:

“This place is awful!!! DO NOT MOVE HERE IF YOU HAVE KIDS!!! They act like they are family friendly but they most certainly are not. We were constantly harrassed for our 2 yr old’s night mares. We were threatened with calls to CPS because "we let him cry for more than 10 minutes", we called the police department to find out what our rights were and go figure we were doing nothing wrong. I would wake up to nasty messages from the manager about my bad parenting. Right before we moved they posted notice on all the tenants’ doors saying that kids were no longer allowed in the courtyard regardless of supervision. It said more specifically that parents were lazy and needed to make time for their kids and take them to park to play…

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

Justice Department Obtains $80,000 Settlement In Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against California Landlord

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 25, 2014 - WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owners and operators of Woodland Garden Apartments in Fremont, California, to settle allegations of discrimination against families with children. Under the consent order, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the defendants are required to pay $77,500 to the victims of their discrimination and an additional $2,500 to the government as a civil penalty. The settlement resolves a complaint filed by the department on Oct. 25, 2013.

The lawsuit alleged that the apartment complex maintained rules that discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the lawsuit challenged a rule that prohibited children from playing outside in the common grassy areas of the complex and provided that families would be evicted if they violated this rule. The lawsuit also alleged that the actions of the defendants constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination.

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That Geico Banner Dropped on Fremont

Friday, July 25th, 2014

[UPDATE: Ad-Viation says it wasn’t them. Fair ‘nough.]

All right, work with me here, people – this one’s going to take a while to pay off and my theory may be incorrect, but anyway.

Here’s a post from earlier this year:

Hey Look, That Plane That Caused a Blackout in SoMA Last Year is Back in Business – The Dangers of Towed Banner Ads

“Well, here it is, a rare 1947 Sintson 108-2 over Golden Gate Park towing a banner, so that means it’s the very aircraft that dropped a different banner on SoMA last year, causing a blackout.

Ah memories:

“The aircraft, a Stinson 108, operating as a banner tow, experienced a release of the banner for reasons unknown. The banner displaying “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” fell onto power lines at Fifth & Brannan Streets in San Francisco, California, causing a brief interruption of local power.  Note: Ad-Viation has registered two Stinson 108′s, N331C and N6053M, possibly out of Hayward Executive – KHWD.”

Well let’s hope this doesn’t happen again….”

And this was the feedback I got from “Ad-Viation Inc” of San Ramon just a month ago:

Ad-viation says:
June 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The pilot that was towing the banner that cased the power out SoMA had over 10,000 of flight time & 7,000 plus hours of banner time without accident or incident. The banner release was do to what the pilot reported as the most sever wind shear he had ever encountered. The system that is designed to release the banner in the event that it is caught on something that could bring the plane down was activated by the wind shear. Wind shear has downed more that just “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” Let’s be thankful it was not another DC 10.”

Now this is what just occurred down in Fremont a week ago per Hamed Aleaziz of SFGate.com / The San Francisco Chronicle:

Geico banner plunges from sky onto Fremont home

And here’s a Fremont Fire Department selfie to prove it: 

Now here’s what I saw just yesterday down in San Mateo County – it’s a Stinson / Piper 108 / Voyager towing a different GEICO banner:

So now I’m thinking, gee, is this the same outfit what dropped a banner on power lines in San Francisco last year dropping a different banner on power lines in Fremont this year?  

Isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think? I mean it’s like rain on your wedding day/ It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid.

So I don’t know. I don’t have a pilot name or an N-number to go on, so I don’t know who dropped that banner on Fremont and I don’t know if somebody / the bay area / PG&E / FAA / NTSB has an advertising-banners-keep-dropping-on-our-power-lines problem…

OMG, Nine Bay Area High School Seniors Picked as Finalists for Beach Blanket Babylon Scholaraship! Big Show on June 6

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Well there’ll be a cavalcade of stars (including hat lady Jan Wahl and area billionaire Gordon Getty) judging the live performances of nine high school seniors at Club Fugazi at 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard in North Beach on June 6th, 2011.

All the deets, below.

Click to expand

The deets:

SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS CHOSEN! THE STEVE SILVER FOUNDATION AND BEACH BLANKET BABYLON SELECT NINE HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS TO COMPETE FOR THREE $10,000 CASH SCHOLARSHIPS

FINALISTS TO PERFORM LIVE AT CLUB FUGAZI ON MONDAY, JUNE 6th

SAN FRANCISCO (May 9, 2011) – Jo Schuman Silver, producer of Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, announced today the selection of nine Bay Area finalists for the Steve Silver Foundation and Beach Blanket Babylon “Scholarship for the Arts.” One winner in each category will be presented with a check for $10,000 towards their college education. The nine high school seniors who will perform live on Monday, June 6th are:

ACTING
JESSICA CHANLIAU – Marin School of the Arts at Novato High School, Novato
TAYLOR EDELHART – Lowell High School, San Francisco
ANYA RICHKIND – Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco

DANCING
MADELINE BAGBY – Castilleja School, Palo Alto
DARIUS DROOH – Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, San Francisco
ALEX LYASHEVYCH – Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, San Francisco

SINGING
JILLIAN BUTLER – Liberty High School, Brentwood
ZACHARY PISER – Piedmont High School, Piedmont
CARA WODKA – Fremont Christian High School, Fremont

“Every year I’m impressed by the talent and caliber of the entries we receive, and this year was no exception,” said Schuman Silver. “Narrowing the field down to just nine finalists was not an easy task.”

Master of Ceremonies for the evening is Star 101.3′s Don Bleu. The celebrity panel of judges scheduled to appear include: San Francisco Ballet’s Principal Character Dancer & Choreographer Val Caniparoli, singer and actor Franc D’Ambrosio, KGO Radio’s Jerry Friedman, Composer Gordon Getty, San Francisco Opera’s General Director David Gockley, KMEL’s Chuy Gomez, California Shakespeare Theater’s Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone, American Conservatory Theater’s Artistic Director Carey Perloff, ABC7′s Don Sanchez and KRON4/KCBS Radio’s Jan Wahl.”

(I don’t know about ticket availability or anything at this point – they’ll be tough or impossible to get, one might imagine.)

Bon courage, contestants!

Meet MUNI’s Most Popular Bus Route, the #76 Marin Headlands – Only on a Sunday

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Finally, the Yelpers agreethe 76 Marin Headlands rulez!

Check it, Per Helen L:

“I hate that this bus ONLY runs on Sundays and certain holidays.
I hate that this bus ONLY runs once an hour.
I hate that this bus stops running in the evening.
However, this is still the bestest MUNI route EVER!!!”

Here it is, in action near the Golden Gate Bridge:

Click to expand

See you on the 76!

All the deets after the jump

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They Rank Bay Area Hospitals, Don’t They? Yes, U.S. News Does That Now – UCSF Tops the List for 2011

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Well here’s the debut list from U.S. News (and World Report):

Of all 44 hospitals in the San Francisco, California metropolitan area, the 14 listed below are the top-ranking. This metro area, also called the Bay Area, includes Oakland and Fremont.

1. UCSF Medical Center — San Francisco, CA
2. John Muir Medical Center — Walnut Creek, CA
3. California Pacific Medical Center — San Francisco, CA
4. John Muir Medical Center — Concord, CA
5. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center — Berkeley, CA
5. Seton Medical Center — Daly City, CA
7. Kaiser Foundation Hospital — Antioch, CA
7. Kaiser Foundation Hospital — Walnut Creek, CA
7. Kaiser Foundation Hospital — Oakland, CA
7. Kaiser Permanente San Francisco — San Francisco, CA
7. Mills-Peninsula Health Services — Burlingame, CA
7. San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center — San Francisco, CA
7. Sequoia Hospital — Redwood City, CA
7. Washington Hospital — Fremont, CA

Click on over for all the deets. They look like this:

Click to expand

And UCSF Benioff Children”s Hospital is tops in its field in the Bay Area.

This whole thing is a national deal with many more urban areas covered, including:

AtlantaBaltimoreBostonChicagoCincinnati,

DallasDenver,DetroitHoustonLosAngeles,

MiamiMinneapolisNewYorkPhiladelphia,

PhoenixPittsburghRiversideSan Diego,

SeattleSt. LouisTampaWashington DC

And you people down in San Joser haven’t been left out – you all have your own list. It’s topped by Stanford Hospital, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and the Regional Medical Center of San Jose. South Bay in the hiz-ouse.

Anyway, read what UCSF has to say about all this, after the jump

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Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Demands Response from 414 Mason, Site of Tourist Slaying

Friday, August 13th, 2010

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J Herrera is going after the owner / operator of 414 Mason, the site of the recent Union Square shootout that resulted in the death of German tourist Mechthild Schröer. (The SFPD is still working on this case – they were down in Fremont yesterday.)

Mr. Herrera is alleging that the August 8th party was illegal and overcrowded. All the deets are below.

San Francisco’s Happy Warrior, DJH:

Herrera initiates legal action against teen party venue in Union Square tourist shooting. Demand letter to owner, operator of rental space alleges Fire Code violations, unlawful business practices in ‘horrific incident’ 

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 13, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken a step toward suing the owner and operator of a Union Square venue where an illegal, overcrowded party for high school-aged youths last Sunday was marred by gunfire that injured two teens and took the life a German tourist. 

Herrera’spre-litigation demand letter to Joseph Ursino, owner of the building at 414 Mason Street, and Curtis Matthews, who rented out the party space, alleges that the two face, “at a minimum, civil liability for violating the California Fire Code and for unlawful business practices.”  Such violations can be punishable by fines and penalties as well as disgorgement of all profits related to the unlawful conduct.  The letter sent this morning acknowledges that the City Attorney’s Office is also evaluating the potential liability of Labriette Collins, the event’s promoter. 

“Because of the tragic circumstances and grave public safety concerns surrounding the event and how you and others managed it, I will seek full legal redress to affirm public confidence in laws intended to protect the safety of San Francisco’s residents and visitors,” Herrera’s letter states.  “Vigorous enforcement of these laws is additionally essential to guarantee fair treatment to the vast majority of responsible entertainment business operators, who invest the care and expense necessary to abide by the law, and who comprise one of our City’s most important economic sectors.” 

All the deets, and the demand letter itself, after the jump.

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California Officiates a Second Shotgun Wedding for Toyota – First with GM, Now with Tesla

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Sometimes, even shotgun weddings have to end. Like the GM NUMMI deal that got hammered out during the era of “Voluntary” Export Restraints back in the 1980′s. Well, that money-losing fiasco ended last year (along with GM) so we’re on to a new marrriage. This time, Toyota is hooking up with Tesla Motors.

Why? Well, one reason must have something to do with having the California congressional delegation on Toyota’s side the next time people start acting up. Plus, Toyota is good at building cars and Telsa is good at not building cars, so Tesla needs all the help it can get.  

Tesla and Toyota just got married in California. But how long will the honeymoon last?

via Mr. Wright

(Is there nothing PhotoShop can’t do? Oh, wait a minute, yes there’s something!)

Obviously Tesla, which has broken many promises over the years, didn’t have a prayer of keeping all its new promises without a whole bunch of help. This will be interesting…

Vaya con Gaia, Toyota.

California NUMMI Commission Offers Toyota No Carrots and No Sticks

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Here’s the thing about that NUMMI plant in Fremont that’s closing down at the end of the month – Toyota thought about making Prius hybrid electric cars there after the departure of General Motors, but then rejected that idea. So, Corolla production will  be taken care of by an existing plant in Ontario, Canada and pickup trucks, too, will be made somewhere else if necessary. This all got worked out last summer.  

(Here’s Toyota’s current take on the situation from NUMMI spinmeister Lance Tomasu for the record. Enjoy.)

Anyway right now, California’s Toyota NUMMI Commission is coming back from Japan after trying to nag Toyota brass into keeping the Fremont factory going. Take a look at their report. The Question of the Day is why Toyota should remain the only car manufacturer in the entire western United States.

So you’d think that California would offer some carrots and/or wave some sticks around at Toyota but the Commission’s not really equipped to do that all that much.

It’s not like they can’t find some carrots or sticks in their quiver, it’s that their quiver is pretty much empty.

According to the commission, the chance for Toyota to build hybrid electric Corollas in Fremont is somehow some big benefit to Toyota that Toyota is oblivious to. That’s not really a carrot, actually, and you’d think that Toyota would have their own ideas about making cars. Would consumers want to buy a “California Corolla” just because it’s made in Fremont? I don’t think so. Very possibly, Toyota having a big pickem-up factory in Texas helps sell big V8 pickem-ups, but the average Californian would prefer a Made In Japan label, it would seem.   

Another carrot the commission could dangle would be the synergy from making cars in the same state as tiny, troubled Tesla Motors. That’s not really a carrot either, huh?

Well, how about some sticks instead? What will happen to Toyota if it shuts down its money-losing plant in Fremont? Nothing, it would seem. One might suppose that quiet diplomacy would have been used on Toyota last year, to no avail.

Back in the day, down in Fremont:

   

via CanadaGood

Now, let’s read up on the news of the past weekend. Has Toyota really “lost its way?” No. Let’s see here, did Toyota make a mistake with how it handled the floor mat / plastic gas pedal parts / ?????? / issues? Yes, but that’s just a hiccup in the sands of time.

Is Toyota’s decision to discontinue production in California without GM as a partner “suicidal?” No. 

And is the success of the Prius model due to “enthusiastic Californians” or is it due to Toyota spending billions to develop the technology and then selling them at a loss for years and years? You Make The Call.  

And are the people of Mississippi looking forward to making hybrid vehicles for Toyota in a brand-new factory that’s going unused right now? Yes. Toyota decided last year to make Priuseses in Blue Springs, Mississippi instead of California. That’s California’s loss, no argument about that.

All right, here’s entire conclusion of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s report, in bold.

“The collaborative efforts of Californians, which have bolstered NUMMI’s success, are ongoing.”

Was NUMMI a success, really? Didn’t it lose money every year for the past quarter century? Yes.

“A ‘Red Team’ of state, local government, private sector and other officials have proposed significant tax and business incentives to retain the plant.”

Presumably, Toyota knows about this, but is not interested.

 “Closing NUMMI now is a decision of choice, not necessity.”

This is true. If Toyota were really afraid of the consequences of closing down NUMMI then maybe they’d run it at a loss, if necessary, forever.

“Closure abandons a loyal, highly-skilled workforce and places a heavy burden on communities and the state when they can least afford it. The decision is inconsistent with the values that have led Toyota to unparalleled economic success. It elevates narrow, short-term corporate interests above the interests of workers, the public and the long-term interests of Toyota itself.

Don’t really get this. Why should Toyota have a plant in California instead of some other state or nearby country?  

 “Looking at the pending NUMMI plant shutdown, and then you look at larger problems that Toyota is having in America” Richard Holober, from the Consumer Federation of California, told the NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission.

Well, Toyota’s “having problems in America” primarily due to a decision to save a few pennies by using a plastic-on-plastic device to make holding your foot on the gas pedal a bit easier AND not reacting quickly enough to incident reports. This issue will get solved.

“I can’t help but conclude that this is not an isolated plant closure decision, but a symptom of a much, much deeper problem with what has happened to Toyota as a corporation.”

What has “happened to Toyota as a corporation” is that it’s become the best car company in the world. This was true last year, it’s true this year, it’ll be true next year.

“Akio Toyoda, the Toyota president whose grandfather founded the automaker in 1937, admitted at a February 24 Congressional hearing, “recently we haven’t lived up to the standards you’ve come to expect from us or that we expect from ourselves.” He also stated that one of the automaker’s great strengths was facing its mistakes and addressing them. The decision to close NUMMI reflects the period when the automaker pursued a hyper-expansion and abandoned its values in the interest of narrow, short-term financial goals.

“Hyper-expansion” = Making Popular Cars. “Narrow, short-term financial goals” = GM. Now, Toyota changed a bit after getting listed on the stock exchange in New Yawk, and Toyota has more hide-bound corporate culture than it probably needs but it’s doing all right overall.

“Toyota, however, has risen to outstanding heights by building its success precisely on strong core values. These included: 1) building only the highest quality vehicles; 2) customer safety first; 3) lifetime job security for its workers; 4) caring partnerships with communities; 5) concern for the environment. A very visible first step toward returning to this successful corporate ethic would be to keep NUMMI open, and show California and the world that the company has reached into its heritage to define its future.

I don’t know, Toyota participated in NUMMI during a time when there was a threat of massive tariffs being applied to cars imported from Japan. The 1981-1994 Voluntary Export Restraint plan of that era was a disaster for American consumers (and, speaking of “narrow, short-term financial goals,” the long-term health of the American automobile industry.) Something like the threat of massive tariffs on Toyota products would be a nice stick for the NUMMI Commission to wave about, but, for whatever reason, Toyota doesn’t seemed to be all that worried about that issue. 

“This is the moment for political leaders in Washington and Sacramento to address the closure. Millions of Californians are hurting in the worst job market in seven decades and are deeply apprehensive about the future. The most immediate, direct, and cost effective jobs program available is to keep NUMMI running.

There’s no question that keeping NUMMI running would benefit California. The question is why Toyota should lose money to finance an American stimulus plan?

“This stimulus plan delivers 25,000 jobs and could save $2.3 billion. The automaker and California would reap a triple bottom-line benefit: Toyota would restore its image and retain a world-class plant; workers and their families would make it through a dark economic winter; and California would get further down the road to economic growth and a green future.

O.K., the Blue Ribbon Commission is traveling home from Nagoya, Japan now.

Perhaps the their trip to Toyota City will prove useful even if the NUMMI factory shuts down on sked this month.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the Commission got.