Posts Tagged ‘George Gascón’

Video of What It Looks Like to Ride Strava.Com’s “Castro Street Bomb” – Was Chris Bucchere Racing Down Castro Street?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Here’s the latest regarding the Castro District’s international news:

Expect Strava to get subpoenaed if this tragic story of reckless cycling and a pedestrian death goes to court.”

And here’s the Strava.Com segment what used to be called the Castro Street Bomb (and then the Castro Street Descent). It’s not too exciting. Rather sedate, actually. But I’m sure if you’re hauling butt to become the latest Strava.Com “KOM” (King of the Mountain) and you may or may not be “Idaho Rolling” through red lights, then it could be very exciting / addicting:

Strava still has lots of downhill “bomb” segments listed about town of course. How about the Hyde Street Bomb or the 20th Street Bomb?

What if I started a Market Street Drag Race website for car drivers? They could make a segment like “Second Street to Sixth Street Drag” or something and people could keep track of their times using the GPS. Would you say that I was encouraging recklessness? Or not?

And here’s part of the Strava Kills” topic at the MTBR.Com forums:

Unfortunately, there is no simple way for the biking community to pass on the message of “we are really sorry for your loss, please don’t judge all bikers. this particular individual is an a-hole, please stick it to him in every way possible”.

Sad thing is, even as this story makes it’s way around the cycling community, there are people that pull the same **** — running reds/stop signs/etc. from SF down to SCruz — that won’t connect this situation with possibilities around their own actions.”

And I’d link you to what they’re saying at the SF Fixed.Com boards but I don’t know how to do that. (It’s a bit contentious over there these days, I understand.)

And this just in:

…nothing is worse than red lights.

CVC 21456: Did Pedestrian Sutchi Hui Have the Right-of-Way When He Walked Onto Castro Street? Possibly Not

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Let’s review:

“The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions.

So it looks as if cyclist Chris Bucchere didn’t run a red light.

Now, what about the law?

“21456.  Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown….”

What this is saying is that pedestrians in California need to let traffic clear an intersection before walking when the WALK turns on for them.

(Most pedestrians in San Francisco don’t seem to know this….)

Did STRAVA.Com Help Kill Pedestrian Sutchi Hui? Timing Yourself on the “Castro Street Descent” (AKA Castro Street Bomb)

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I don’t know, did Chris Bucchere’s speed going down Castro Street last week have anything to do with STRAVA?

You know, the way it had something to do with a death in Berkeley back in 2009?

You Make The Call:

Do you see the “Castro Street Descent” there? Up until March 29, 2012, that said Castro Street Bomb. Like when you go “bombing” down the street.

Check it:

I don’t know, Strava.

Care to say anything about this?

Michael Horvath 
Co-Founder & CEO
Jordan Kobert 
VP Business Development
Mark Shaw 
VP Engineering
Rachael Parsons 
VP Marketing
Greg Gretsch 
Board Member
Jamie McJunkin 
Board Member
Mark Gainey 
Board Member
Ariel Poler 
Board Member


Rose Pak Melts Down at Chinese New Year Parade – Wants to Attack “D.A.’s Crotch” with Firecracker – Channeling Jabba the Hut

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Well it appears as if Robin Wilkey and Aaron Sankin have beat me to the punch with their post about Chinatown power broker Rose Pak’s 2012 performance at the terminus of San Francisco’s annual semi-official, semi-corrupt Chinese New Year Parade.

Their vid is much better than mine, which is from earlier in her routine.

Here Rose channels Jabba the Hut by haranguing “Solo,” whoever that is:

I have her George Gascon quote a little different* at, “I want to light a firecracker under the D.A.’s crotch!”

Whatever that means.

On it goes…

*Maybe she brought up this topic more than once, I don’t know.

My Thing With the George Gascon for District Attorney Campaign

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

[UPDATE II: I think we’ve come to an accord, via a terse, 13-word email. Hurray! [#bygones] BTW, that’s Jim “The Hammer” Hammer in the background, during the let’s-have-TASERS-in-SF presser. The Hammer was gung-ho for the TASERs on that particular day, but by the following week, not so much. No so much AT ALL. The upshot is that peace officers still don’t have TASERs in SF (unless they’re in the CHP or something), for better or worse. Worse, IMO.]

[UPDATE: Oh, apparently the Jeff Adachi for Mayor campaign recently had a similar issue with a local shutterbug and it ended with the Jeff Adachi campaign no longer using the photo(s) they had no right to use in the first place.]

I don’t know, the digital SLR era for me started a decade ago,* so that’s a while, but I’ll tell you, I’ve never come across anything like this.

I get an email asking me how much I got from the George Gascon for District Attorney campaign for the use of my photos and I’m like, well, nothing?

So I head over to the official website and I see one of my photos, anyway, getting panned (ala the Ken Burns Effect) in some videos here.


So I send out emails to two people with the campaign and there’s no reply, no reply at all.

I’m not a professional or nothing, but I talked with a couple and they said is that this is a straight-up copyright violation and that I should invoice the campaign. (Oh, and that I’m a “wuss”** for “sitting on this.”)

Oh well.

Is this how you roll, George Gascon, with no respect for Da Law?

*With the Canon D30 – no, not 30D, the old-school 3-megapixel one, the kind Bill Biggart had when he was killed at Ground Zero on 9/11/01. Anyway, you can’t take an unprocessed shot like that and get a look like that without a SLR-type camera. (It was with a six pound 300mm 2.8 lens…)

**Or something

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ: More Money Laundering Found in Ed Lee Campaign – Meet CitiApartments’ “Eviction Goon”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Senator Leland Yee is on the case this AM – he’s doing a presser involving this latest allegation. (I guess it’s too late to call this an October Surprise, and frankly, it’s not all that surprising neither. Let’s call it a November Expectation. Brace yourself for more.) Oh, and Leland is onto some Chinatown voting sting operation as well.

And there’s this: “Statement from Chiu Campaign on Money Laundering Allegations – SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2011): Addisu Demissie, spokesman for the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, released the following statement about a San Francisco Chronicle report of potential money laundering by supporters of Mayor Ed Lee:

“This is now the fourth allegation of illegal conduct by Mayor Lee’s supporters, and it should be investigated fully by the District Attorney and appropriate authorities,” Demissie said. “With six days to go before Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide whether this kind of bullying, pay-to-play politics is what they want to see at City Hall for the next 4 years. David is going to spend the last 6 days of this race talking about why he represents a new generation of leadership for San Francisco that will stand tough against the special interests and shake things up at City Hall.

Paid for by David Chiu for Mayor 2011, P.O. Box 641541, San Francisco, CA 94164, FPPC##1337108]

Well, it looks like early-rising City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera is the first one out of the gates to follow up on today’s piece from San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers John Coté and Heather Knight.

Testify, DJH:

“Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it.


Earlier this year, Ed Lee was picked unanimously to be an Interim Mayor. He wasn’t picked to be a Reformer. He’ll never be a Reformer.

In Ed Lee’s world, the notorious Willie Brown Administration deserves an A+, Rose Pak is not a cancer on Chinatown, and corner-cutting PG&E (“KABOOM!“) is simply “a great local corporation” and a “great company that gets it.”

Oh well.

Is Ed Lee Breaking Bad? Has the City Family corrupted him? Or has he corrupted the City Family? A little of both?

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Herrera calls on FPPC to join D.A. in investigating new Ed Lee campaign money laundering charge – CitiApartments’ former eviction goon led reimbursement-for-donation scheme, suggesting political payback for City Attorney’s 2006 tenant-protection lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera this morning called on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to join District Attorney George Gascón in reviewing new allegations reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign received donations that appear to have been illegally laundered to skirt San Francisco $500 per donor contribution maximum.[1] Andrew Hawkins, a property services manager whose harrowing tenant intimidation tactics were central to Herrera’s lawsuit five years ago against the Lembi Group landlords’ once high-rolling CitiApartments empire, promised reimbursements to at least sixteen employees in exchange for maximum contributions to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign at an Oct. 18, 2011 fundraiser, according to the Chronicle.

It is the second major allegation of campaign money laundering to benefit Ed Lee’s campaign. The first, involving GO Lorrie’s airport shuttle, is the subject of separate investigations by Gascón’s office and the FPPC, the state commission responsible to investigate and impose penalties for violations of the California Political Reform Act. Such schemes have been prosecuted as felonies in California for conspiring to evade campaign contribution limits, and for making campaign contributions under false names.

I think San Franciscans have now seen enough,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it. If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they’ll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins. This scheme is clearly a bid for political payback by CitiApartments henchmen for my litigation to protect tenants five years ago. It is patently illegal, and I call on the FPPC to join the District Attorney in investigating.”

Hawkins is listed in Ed Lee’s campaign disclosures as the owner of Archway Property Services. As the one-time head of CitiApartments’ “tenant relocation program,” the gun-carrying Hawkins is reported to have coerced more than 2,500 tenants out of their rent-controlled units, and once boasted in civil court testimony, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.

Several recipients of Hawkins’ email invitation to an Oct. 18 event on Russian Hill made contributions to Ed Lee’s campaign on the same date. All contributed the maximum $500.

Herrera sued the CitiApartments residential rental property behemoth in Aug. 2006 for an array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices, which sought to dispossess long-term residents of their rent-controlled apartments. The coerced vacancies freed the company to make often-unpermitted renovations to units, and then re-rent them to new tenants at dramatically increased market rates. The illegal business model enabled CitiApartments, Skyline Realty and other entities under the sway of real estate family patriarch Frank Lembi to aggressively outbid competitors for residential properties throughout San Francisco for several years — before lawsuits and a sharp economic downturn forced the aspiring empire into bankruptcies, foreclosures and receiverships.

A 2009 San Francisco Magazine feature story on the Lembi real estate empire[2] described Andrew Hawkins as “a burly former nightclub bouncer who headed up CitiApartments’ relocation program.” Hawkins reportedly led teams as large as 14 full-time employees, according to the report, and the company estimated that “Hawkins relocated more than 2,500 tenants.” An earlier exposé in 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian[3] cited civil court testimony in which Hawkins boasted to one tenant’s family member, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.”

# # #

[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011,
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009,
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006,

Sharmin Bock, Bill Fazio, David Onek, and Vu Trinh Set to Star at UC Hastings Debate Wednesday – But Where’s Gascon?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

See, District Attorney George Gascon doesn’t want to pull one of these, so that’s why he’s going to blow off the last DA’s debate.

(Or maybe he’ll show, I don’t know.)

Anyway, head over there tomorrow or watch on the livestream, why not?

Your handy map of McAllister Street’s UC Hastings:

All the deets:

“San Francisco District Attorney Candidates Debate: A Roundtable Discussion for the Legal Community

Start: 10/26/2011 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: 200 McAllister, Alumni Reception Center

UC Hastings College of the Law is pleased to host the last San Francisco district attorney debate for this election. This roundtable discussion will focus on policy issues affecting the City’s criminal justice system in an era of state and local budget austerity. The questions will be developed by UC Hastings students in collaboration with UC Hastings’ nationally renowned expert in criminal law and criminal procedure, Professor Rory Little and other UC Hastings faculty.  Time permitting, attendees may have an opportunity to submit questions to be asked at the end of the debate. Professor Rory Little will moderate.

This event is free, open to the public, and will be livestreamed through this event listing. 

These candidates have agreed to attend:

  1. Sharmin Bock
  2. Bill Fazio
  3. David Onek
  4. Vu Trinh

An invitation has been extended to District Attorney George Gascon.  

Sponsored by:

  • UC Hastings Students
  • UC Hastings Criminal Law Society
  • UC Hastings Democrats
  • UC Hastings Center for State and Local Government Law
  • UC Hastings College of the Law

UC Hastings is committed to making its facilities and events accessible in compliance with the ADA.”

Oh, It’s On! City Attorney Dennis Herrera Calls for Federal, State Investigations into Mayor Ed Lee Campaign

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Get up to speed on this issue right here, courtesy of The Bay Citizen writer Gerry Shih, who’s been nosing around our somewhat-corrupt SFO airport lately.

And here’s the version of the same story what’s in the National Section of today’s New York Times:

Contributions to Mayor Raise Issue of Legality


Your City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera:

Via Luke Thomas of Fog City Journal

And here they are – Interim Mayor Ed Lee and Mayoral Spokesmodel Tony Winnicker along with the Fourth Estate (including feisty Gerry Shih and feisty Luke Thomas) at San Francisco City Hall:

And here’s “City Family” member GO Lorrie’s Airport Shuttle:

All the deets:

“Herrera calls for criminal investigation of laundered campaign donations to Ed Lee

Letter to U.S. Attorney, State A.G. and San Francisco D.A. says only investigators with authority to subpoena records, question witnesses under oath can resolve questions

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 7, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today called for a formal criminal investigation into allegations first reported late yesterday afternoon that donors to interim Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign conspired to exceed contribution limits by laundering money through business associates. Herrera’s three-page letter to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón noted that the published admissions by employees of Go Lorries Airport Shuttle may indicate felony and misdemeanor violations of state and local laws. The California Fair Political Practices Commission has already announced a civil investigation into allegations that donors were reimbursed cash to make campaign contributions to Lee.

Further heightening concerns about the apparently illegal contributions, Herrera wrote, is that the donations closely followed official actions by mayoral appointees that significantly benefited the purported donors’ employer. Those actions include altering shared-ride the loading zone configurations at San Francisco International Airport to favor Go Lorries Airport Shuttles “due to feedback” from unspecified parties. Lee’s campaign has reportedly returned some $8,500 in donations that were questioned yesterday.

“Investigations are warranted when credible allegations risk undermining public trust in our local government — and we’ve certainly reached that point here,” Herrera said. “Only independent investigators with authority to subpoena records and question witnesses under oath can adequately resolve questions to which San Franciscans deserve answers. A formal investigation will best assure justice while protecting innocent parties. I hope interim Mayor Lee’s campaign joins in calling for such an inquiry, and cooperates with it fully.”

Herrera’s letter noted that multiple political endeavors on interim Mayor Lee’s behalf for much of the year have been plagued by ethical and legal questions, including political activities by city contractors, and the advent of a controversial “general purpose committee” that advanced Lee’s candidacy throughout the summer while sidestepping legal restraints that normally apply to candidate committees.

Urging “a full, fair and speedy investigation,” Herrera’s letter to federal and state criminal prosecutors concluded: “Allowing these questions to remain wholly unanswered can only serve to betray San Franciscans’ confidence in the integrity of their public institutions, and potentially diminish the legitimacy of their elected leadership.”

Who’s That Chick That’s Rocking Kicks? She’s Gotta Be From Out of Town – The Race for District Attorney

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Can I tell you what we need to see now (like right now, and not some time later) in the District Attorney’s race? We need to see ads from George Gascon‘s Big Three challengers that look something like this:

X Sharmin Bock

X Bill Fazio 

David Onek 

See how that works? What you all need to say, in so many words, is, “Vote for me and the other two but don’t vote for incumbent George Gascon.”*

And who cares what order the names are listed in? Just list your own name first in your own ads and let identity politics take care of things – so, lots of women for Sharmin, libs for David and most of the rest for Bill. Howzat?

It’s simple game theory, people! Are you happy to fight for second place (and merely be the Best of the Rest) or do you want to have a chance of actually winning?

Instead of that kind of thing, what we’re getting is less-ambitious coordinated actions, like this one yesterday on the steps of City Hall:  

Click to expand

Seems kind of weak to attack the District Attorney’s right to appeal a ruling, especially on an issue that could be a close call, one that the DA has a chance to win. Eventually, we’ll find out every last detail about this issue, but that might come after the election. Oh well.

Now, let’s see here, wasn’t it Sharmin Bock who went to George and said give me a job or I’ll run against you? Something like that. And what else, oh, was there some deal with Sharmin working in Alameda County, maybe in the southern part, ’round about Hayward, where maybe some high level city officials weren’t too pleased with how some witness(es) in some sex crime(s) case(s) were, uh, what’s the word** here, uh, managed? Handled? Prepared? Something like that.

Anyway, by the time I made it over to City Hall yesterday, things were winding down and straight-outta-the-510*** George Gascon Spokesperson Maggie Muir started to dominate the dojo.


So both sides said exactly what you’d have expected them to say. We’re going to need to see more facts to discover who’s in the right.

*Otherwise, it’s game over man, game over.

**Robotic cockpit voice: “Danger, danger, possibly defamatory. Pull up, pull up!”

***George! Repetid después de mi: “I AM A DEMOCRAT, NOT A REPUBLICAN [ANYMORE]. I LIVE AND WORK IN SAN FRANCISCO, NOT ANYWHERE ELSE [ANYMORE].” Repeat as necessary. You couldn’t find a San Franciscan to spin for you? Was Maggie selected by Willie or Rose? Mmmmm… 

Like “Who’s that chick that’s rockin’ kicks
She’s gotta be from out of town

Former District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin Owns Current District 3 Supervisor David Chiu at SFPD Presser

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

(So, you still can’t upload ten-minute-plus videos to YouTube? News to me.)

Anyway, last night’s SFPD Community Meeting on Broadway featured Supervisor David Chiu second-guessing the split-second actions of the SFPD and laundry-listing his obliquely-related legislation, pretty much. Oh, and also Aaron Peskin, who sounded like he knows what he’s talking about.

Click to expand

IMO, David Chiu looked like the Man from Mars, plopped down into North Beach.

Give me a chance to get (or find) something online so I can tell you about this.