Posts Tagged ‘government’

Facebook Buses are, Once Again Improperly “Staging” in SFMTA Bus Stops – Zuckerberg vs. the 21 Hayes – Idle, Idle, Idle…

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

To review, corporate shuttles aren’t allowed to “stage” (hang out, idle around, wait for the next run to start) in MUNI bus stops. Here is staging in action, just yesterday:

7J7C1063 copy

READER NOTES:

Arguably, the whole SFMTA Commuter Bus Pilot Program does not comply with CA state law. Arguably.

Having said that, this Facebook vehicle isn’t in compliance – disallowed staging and no green SFMTA Pilot sign front and rear.

And what’s this, homemade-appearing Florida license plates – looks legit!

Of course it’s good for drivers to take a break to walk around sometimes, but there’s no official place for these buses to do so.

Astonishingly, FB drove these drivers into becoming fully-unionized Teamsters. I understand the distance that Zuck wants to keep from liability – from accidents and the sometimes-crazy actions of workers, but man, there’s been a signif. cost to its corporate image. Couldn’t FB have said it wants the lowest bidder but that the drivers must be paid like $50 an hour? IDK.

Oh, really this is a Loop Transit bus? Well no, it’s a Facebook bus, you know, IRL

7J7C1066 copy

7J7C1062 copy

 

On It Goes…

Cold Busted: Facebook Buses are “Staging in a Travel Lane” in the 94117 Again – “Hayes Valley-MPK” Idling on Ashbury, Again

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Get up to speed on corporate bus “staging” right here – just keep going down.

So a couple months ago, the Facebook got busted by blithely staging its buses on Masonic. Then all of a sudden the buses went away – you could still see them moving but you wouldn’t see them sitting around at a makeshift bus terminal on Masonic complete with a supervisor standing about in the Panhandle, fine.

So where do all these buses sit around these days? Well, all over. The Facebook Bus Teamsters are trying to hide out around the neighborhood for 10-15 minutes at a time. And, through trial and error, they’ve found some better places.

Like here on Ashbury, as seen yesterday AM. This location is much less disruptive than the slow lane of Masonic, certainly. But I don’t think this routine is SFMTA-approved either.

unnamedfff copy

Anyway, this idling bus bothered at least one person, who took a snap and sent it over to me.

I’ll tell you, I’ve seen more buses about lately, but I can’t ID them very well from a distance, oh well.

Now to some, this isn’t a Facebook bus, to them it’s a Loop Transit bus or a WEDRIVEU or whathaveyou. But I don’t look at things that way. IMO, this is a Facebook bus, because it’s a Facebook bus, right? Tell me if I’m wrong.

Anyway, where should these giant buses stage?

IDK.

Here’s How the SFMTA’s COMMUTER SHUTTLE PILOT is Going – Corinthian IPS “Staging” in a Bus Stop – Leather vs. Pleather

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Here’s a snapshot of our SFMTA’s corporate bus 18-month pilot deal.

It’s a “Corinthian International Parking Services” truckvanbus blocking a 21 Hayes MUNI bus (and even though this might look like one vehicle with an articulated bend in the middle, you’re seeing two different vehicles parked nose-to-tail):

7J7C6164 copy

Sort of blocking, anyway.

(Now I’ll tell you, I’m in my 40’s, so I know all about Corinthian and its soft leather courtesy of Ricardo Montalban – this truckvanbus has gotta be totally pimped out on the inside with a name like Corinthian on the outside. Compare that with the MUNI bus with its pleather (at best!) driver’s seat and hard plastic surfaces for the passengers. And any wood you see inside a MUNI is unlikely to have been claimed in the first place, much less reclaimed.  MUNI buses aren’t baller at all.)

Now, where was I? Oh, here we go, it turns out that the Corinthian IPS driver was “staging,” you know, just chilling out waiting for the time to move on. You can see the Windex he’s holding as he TCBs shortly after the MUNI bus moved on:

7J7C6167 copy

Point One: I, for one, would be afraid of getting a parking ticket via MUNI’s forward-facing video cams, so I would have gotten in the trackvanbus and then simply have driven around the block with a quickness, in deference to America’s Slowest Big City Transit System.

Point Two: Also, it just seems rude to sit there blocking the stop, so I would have gotten in the trackvanbus and then simply have driven around the block with a quickness.

Point Three: Staging in a designated MUNI stop is specifically against the rules. [See below.]

So, on it goes with the pilot program, which sure as Heck seems to me to be agin current California law.

I’m not calling 311 to report the SFMTA pilot number to be put on hold forever the way The Man wants me to, I’m just updating you, the Gentle Reader.

(And I’ll tell you, this is small potatoes compared with Facebook double-parking on Masonic day after day.)

And BTW, our SFMTA is in complete denial about whose employees /contractors are riding around in which bus – I guess they’re under a lot of corporate pressure…

Read on for all the rules of this game:

(more…)

So Sure, the SFMTA Regulates Corporate Buses, But What About the “Staging” Problem – Where Should They Park in SF When Idling?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This was the problem a few weeks back, when Facebook buses would “stage” on Masonic by double-parking in the slow lane.

Staging means buses sitting and waiting for the next run to start. (It’s a necessary part of running a reliable “transit” system.)

But where to stage has pretty much been left out of the SFMTA’s vaunted 18-month corporate bus stop “trial” – it’s pretty much up to the drivers / on-scene dispatchers on where to park buses for breaks / waiting time. (Contrast that with when are where the buses pick up workers – that’s highly regulated now.)

Oh look, here’s some staging as it’s currently practiced, by a non-Facebook* bus:

7J7C4627 copy

This is Fell in the 94117. This is a great place to stage for like 15-20 minutes, cause cars have cleared out for the SFMTA’s weekly unnecessary $treet $weeping program. If the meter maids come, the driver will simply move along, plus s/he isn’t blocking any driveways. This is a great place to stage, but only on Tuesday mornings. Where do drivers stage on other days? I know not.

Here you go, a Google contractor bus chilling out by the infamous Fell Street DMV. The next day at the same time, it will be at another place:

7J7C4628 copy

I’ll tell you, the Teamsters** who make the buses run on time are at their wits’ end trying to find places to stage without blocking traffic or pissing off residents.

ATTENTION MEDIA: This issue is a STORY.

Anywho, the particular problem on Masonic involving FB got solved in about 30 hours last week. Due to a lengthy construction project at Fell and Masonic, the slow lane of Masonic southbound was blocked, like for months. So the Teamsters made that lane their staging place and nobody complained. But when construction ended and the lane was no longer blocked by sawhorses and whatnot, they didn’t adapt the way they should have. Only after having this issue pointed out to them did they adapt. And to their credit, the Facebook bus operators cleared out tout de suite – they’ve found other places to stage in a matter of hours and they haven’t come back.***

And here’s the result, the return of native species to the area. Here’s a #43 Masonic cruising through the #3 lane, exactly where the FB buses have been blocking MUNI and everybody else for months:

7J7C4621 copy

File this small issue in the RESOLVED file.

Ey yo the government is lies, son
United States of Google, Verizon
They all spies son,
I’m Pisces, risin’

And you ain’t Hoover, you suck like James Dyson
Google the devil but I feel lucky
Extreme Home Make-Over couldn’t touch me
Backyards, kittens, puppies, 401k’s, libels, yuppies
Yeeah, I’m talkin’ bout wine drinkers
Bald-head men, Klux Klan
swine-thinkers

*Is is a Loop Transport or a WEDRIVEU, or an SFO Airporter bus? That doesn’t matter. IRL, this particular one is a Google bus.

**Some of them aren’t Teamsters, not yet. 

***I’ll tell you, I was literally in the room when issues like these came up eight freaking years ago. The corporate reps seemed to know what they were doing. Somehow, things fell apart a few years back, IDK why. Millions of dollars donated to SFGov and the relatively recent hiring of insider Rebecca Prozan seem to have fixed things. JMO.

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

[UPDATE: This sitch got fixed in about 30 hours after the first post on this tiny WordPress. The office of Supervisor London Breed handled this within an hour after being contacted.]

Get up to speed here.

And now for an update since that last post.

Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:

7J7C3989 copy

But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

7J7C3990 copy

With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:

7J7C3991 copy

Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

7J7C4012 copy

Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.

The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.

Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:

7J7C4048 copy

Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?

I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.

7J7C4049 copy

So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.

And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.

*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…

SFGov’s New, All-Electric, Two-Seat Smart Cars – They’re Here

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

7J7C2918 copy

UPDATE: The Quasi-Unconstitutional Prayer Book Cross is STILL on Public Land in Golden Gate Park

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Our four-star Yelp-rated Prayer Book Cross doesn’t really belong on public land.

Here’s a repost from 2009. I haven’t kept up on things, but I don’t think much has changed. It’ll take somebody to sue SFGov to have a chance to change this situation, the way things happened with the big cross atop Mt. Davidson.

Just look at this monstrous cross, complete with rune grafitti, on govmint land in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park:

“The Prayer Book Cross was erected in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 1894 as a gift from the Church of England. Created by Ernest Coxhead, it stands on one of the higher points in Golden Gate Park. It is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive, near Cross Over Drive. This 57 ft (17 m) sandstone cross commemorates the first use of the Book of Common Prayer in California by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain on June 24, 1579.”

Didn’t the City have to sell off the similar Mount Davidson Cross (Yelp-rated) after a lawsuit back in the 1990s? Yes it did.  So, do you think the Prayer Book Cross creates an “appearance of governmental endorsement of religion” as well, particularly considering that we’re living in a post-Everson world?

Do these trees help to make this cross kosher, cause fewer people see it? Potentially, yes. Click to expand:

IMG_6293 copy

In other words, does the City’s ownership and maintenance of Prayer Book Cross violate the No Preference Clause and the Ban on Aid to Religion Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution?

Or maybe it’s all good, because the  cross communicates “primarily non-religious messages” ala the shorter Mount Soledad Cross down in Fun Diego County? This is a close call.

Read all about the Mount Davidson case here, where the  United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit lays down the law. It’s pretty accessible.

IMG_6295 copy

You see it on the right here, as seen back in the day, during the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Electric Tower at Night, with Search Light on Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park:

I0015220A copy

The PB cross was a big deal back in the 1800’s, even making the New York Times.

But should it be on government land today?

Just asking…

Presented to Golden Gate Park at the opening of the Midwinter Fair, January 1, A. D. 1894, as a memorial of the service held on the shore of Drake’s Bay about Saint John Baptist’s Day, June 24, Anno Domini 1579, by Francis Fletcher, priest of the Church of England, chaplain of Sir Francis Drake, chronicler of the service. Gift of George W. Childs, Esquire, of Philadelphia. First Christian service in the English tongue on our coast. First use of the Book of Common Prayer in our country. One of the first recorded missionary prayers on our continent. Soli Deo sit semper gloria.”

The Never-Ending Vigil: Falun Gong vs. the Chinese Consulate on Geary – Continuing Rain or Shine

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Here’s how things look on Geary during our recent rains…

7J7C0094 copy

…and here’s a 14 year old San Jose Mercury News report on the same group at the same location:

They’ve become part of the landscape on Geary and Laguna. Every morning they wave and say, “Good morning,” to the San Francisco police officer on duty, Xu said. Every evening, they say, “Good night.” They are so familiar with the postal carrier they know when a substitute is walking the route and greet both warmly.

Across the street, a San Francisco police officer sits in his vehicle, reading a paper. The cops hardly think a dozen old people and mothers with kids in tow are a threat to the People’s Republic of China, but as a matter of policy, the police dispatch an officer whenever there is a demonstration in front of the consulate.

The officer on the scene may change, but one keeps in contact with the protesters and the consulate: officer Jeff Roth, the event coordinator at Northern Station, which handles more than a few consulates because the district straddles the Western Addition, Pacific Heights and the Marina.

“They aren’t happy about it, but they don’t really have a say in the matter,” Roth said of the consulate officials.

Other protests — over Tibet and the like — have brought requests from the consulate in the past for police to stop protesters, Roth said. “We’ve explained, ‘Yes, the consulate is Chinese property, but this is America — the protesters have their First Amendment rights.'”

I’ll tell you, it’s not my habit to repost SJMN articles, but this one appears to have gone missing. If somebody can find an official link, please send it my way, by all means. (I hope it’s archived somewhere – it’s a bit surprising to me how it’s been lost in the sands of time after just 14 years.

In the meantime, this is my best guess as to how this article appeared back at the turn of the century:

(more…)

Whoa: Asiana Airlines Flights To and From SFO “Likely” to be Suspended for as much as Four Months – Punishment for Flight 214

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

From San Francisco-based military writer Kyle Mizokami comes word of a plan to temporarily suspend Asiana Airlines flights between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and SFO:

Asiana Faces Suspension of San Francisco Flights

“Under the plan, the ministry will ask Korean Air to use larger aircraft on the Incheon-San Francisco route to increase the number of seats, bring in chartered planes, or channel passengers on transit routes. A senior ministry official recently visited concerned lawmakers at the National Assembly to brief them on the plan.”

Does this seem real to you? It seems real to me. Or perhaps elements of the Republic of Korea are trying to scare Asiana straight after the Flight 214 disaster?

Korean Air currently uses Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft on this route – might it be tough for it to expand capacity just for a few months? IDK. I can’t think of too many options for KA to use planes larger than these, excepting for one or two of their ten newish double-decker superjumbo Airbus A380’s, but it’s not like those aircraft are just sitting around waiting to be used this way.

This suspension idea doesn’t make sense to me – I suppose we’ll find out tonight…

[UPDATE: Well, a 45 suspension just got handed down, but Asiana wants to appeal the decision.]

Early Book Review: “Citizenville” by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom – It’s “Angry Birds for Democracy” – I’m Srsly

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Oh, so Gavin Newsom “wrote” a book what’s due to be released early next year?

And the ghostwriter did so much work on it she gets her name on the cover too?  Delicious.

Enjoy:

Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government

Now, here’s Gavin Newsom’s brief dalliance with San Francisco politics, in a nutshell:

Boasting about planting a bunch of trees but not caring about paying for taking care of the trees he planted.

Multiply that by 1000 and that was what he accomplished here.

So it’s a little humorous to read the blurb below about how great Mayor Gavin Newsom was, you know, when he was here.

Of course, he moved on up to Marin County with his kids a few years back.

Hey, remember this from 2007?

“…a quote from @GavinNewsom, speaking to SF parents in 2007: “Please stay in SF and don’t move to Marin!”

What a jackass.

Anyway, here it is.

(Please note the critique of the Willie Brown administration.)

(And note the nonsensical Angry Birds reference.)

(And note the claim of “amazing results.”)

“By integrating democratic government with cutting-edge American innovation, the lieutenant governor of California charts a bright future for open-source America

Citizenville is the story of how ordinary citizens can use new digital tools to dissolve political gridlock and transform American democracy. As social networking and smart phones have changed the way we communicate with one another, these technologies are also changing our relationship with government.

In a world where people can do anything at the touch of a button—shop, communicate, do research, publish a blog, transfer money—government cannot keep functioning in a twentieth-century mind-set. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom explores the many ways in which technology can transform government and empower citizens: Opening up vast troves of government data, then letting people create apps to use them wisely. Harnessing the popularity of online games to establish a kind of “Angry Birds for Democracy.” Inventing new feedback loops so people can take active part in every facet of governing.

Drawing on wide-ranging interviews with thinkers and politicians, Citizenville is the first book by Lieutenant Governor Newsom. He broke new ground as the mayor of San Francisco, one of the most high-tech, experimental, and progressive municipalities in the nation. But when Newsom’s tenure as mayor began, he found that San Francisco was behind the likes of Estonia and South Korea in terms of digital governance. Newsom’s quest to modernize one of America’s most modern cities—and the amazing results he achieves—form the backbone of this far-reaching book.

Lieutenant Governor Newsom explains how the problems of twenty-first-century America are too big and too expensive for the government simply to buy solutions. Instead, we must innovate our way out. Just as the post office and the highway system provide public infrastructure to channel both personal and private enterprise—a platform upon which citizens can grow—so too could a modern digital government house the needs, concerns, information, and collaboration of an enlightened digital citizenry.

Citizenville shows that the only way Americans can secure their future is by reinventing their relationship to government, just as they have countless times before.”

Here’s the cover:

And here’s the early review: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

On It Goes…