Posts Tagged ‘herb caen’

How Will the Signs for the Willie Brown Span of Our Bay Bridge Get Defaced? The Latest Odds

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Ah, we’re just finding out about today’s big event.

So just as Herb Caen (1916-1997) got a party for Herb Caen Way in 1996, Willie Brown (1934- 20__) is getting a party for the Willie L. Brown Junior span of the Bay Bridge in 2014.

What are the odds, which type of attack will come first?

Spray Paint: 1 to 1 favorite

Willie Brown is almost universally despised. The naming of this bridge was never put to a vote because Willie Brown would never win it. Ergo, the masses will speak with spray paint, most likely.

Ranged Weapon: 3 to 1

A drive-by shooting with a paintball gun certainly is a possibility. Shooting at a sign with a handgun or rifle, well that’s getting cray-cray.

Close Quarters Combat Weapon: 5 to 1

Shotgun blast, also cray cray.

Chemical attack: 10 to 1

I don’t know how this would work. Perhaps using paint thinner or acid.

Other: 12 to 1

Who knows, medieval mace hurled and embedded, baseball bat, bowling ball, truckasuarus? The mind boggles.

So, do I think it’s appropriate to troll the voting (and non-voting) public into action with this misguided sign deal? Yes.

So, do I think that CalTrans or whomever should have a GoPro or two in the areas of these signs? Yes.

And who will be the happiest when the attacks make the news?

One Willie Brown, srsly. He’ll love the attention

Actual Sailors Weigh In on Christopher Caen’s Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Well, I guess you have to start off with this:

Cup of Caen: Follow the Money

So that’s what I’m calling a Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury.*

(Speaking of our ill-starred America’s Cup, here’s the latest estimate on how much money we’re going to lose on it, from SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi.)

Of course, all the jurors are Sailors.

Is Chris Caen, son of Famous Writer Herb Caen, a Sailor? I don’t know. He sailed a bit in colledge and probably some since, but IDK.

Am I a Sailor? Nope, but oddly enough, I have more experience sailing cats around San Francisco Bay (even if you throw in his recent quid pro quo joyride on an overly-expensive, overpowered and fragile “AC72″ boat, which I don’t).

Oh, but here are some Sailors, and here’s their reaction to what you can find in the link above:

“ISAF’s been shoved in the background over a few AC cycles now. Caen’s premise is way off base. If ISAF wanted to ‘get back at’ or ‘discredit’ the EA, they’ve had a couple of cup cycles to do so.”

“Wow! That really IS tinfoil hat material, isn’t it?”

“Of course the ISAF’s trying to elbow the ACEA out of the picture for the money. Yes, “follow the money!” Starting with the millions San Francisco taxpayers sunk into this unlucrative venture, the tens of thousands the ACEA is spending on unpopulated spectator facilities, etc, etc. Oh, and those fat broadcast contracts? Anyone else notice that the principal sponsor for the U.S. LVC coverage was ORACLE?”

“Yes, he is way, way off the mark on this one.”

I don’t know if Caen is just stupid, lazy, or deceitful, but that article is so full of fallacies and false pretense that it is embarrassing.  He mentions the Oneworld scandal of stolen design information, but then says points have never been taken away from boats in the AC in this way (Oneworld was penalized one point exactly in the same way Oracle has been penalized – two points in each round they would have gotten to including the AC…the fact they didn’t get to the AC is irrelevant as the penalty was there).  He claims ACEA is a new way of managing the cup, but it follows very similarly to the model set forth by Alinghi with ACM.”

“What a ridiculous article. All you need to do is look at the IJ members and their past to know that these are not ISAF lackeys. Guys like Bryan Willis have been involved with the AC for years and years and are not part of the whole ISAF scene. The article couldn’t be further from the truth and is a rather pathetic piece of journalism.”

With sloppy journalism like this, I suspect he could have easily been “fed the story” by someone else with an agenda. Journalism around the world aint what it used to be.”

“…conversant with things like ISAF, AC protocols, the IJ, the ACRM and the ACEA, yet he wrote as though he had a really good handle on things. He clearly did not. HuffPost should be straightened out on that fact, but not by me. Mr Caen should clearly be educated before he passes out more incorrect ,critical, information/disinformation.”

“Quite. It’s a very silly piece indeed. The assumption that it is the IJ that wanted confidentiality is risible and the conflation of the IJ with ISAF is either ignorant or mischievous. Oh and it’s not “respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder”. I’m afraid it is “formerly respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder.”

“My general feeling is I don’t expect the average person let alone viewer to have an intimate understanding of the history of the Cup, but then I also don’t expect them to write an opinion piece on the subject either.  If you are going to write such and article, and portray an opinion such as his, then you damn well better check your facts.  He had some clue as to the Oneworld case as he mentions it as a past transgression, but didn’t bother to do the research to determine what the penalty was.  My point is we shouldn’t respect an opinion that is so ill informed as the basis of his opinion is wrong.  You can’t come to an informed opinion if you are not informed.”

“I replied to his twitter link to the article yesterday that he should check his facts with regard to the OneWorld case and a similar penalty which was retweeted by the SFCitizen, but have not received a response.  I would think a respectable journalist would want to make a correction if he was ill informed.  I am not a professional journalist, but have written a few articles for sailing mags (and won two marine writers awards for them) and if I made a mistake, especially one that was important to my conclusions, I would certainly do everything in my power to correct that.”

The jury is an ACEA body hired by GGYC and Oracle in conjunction with their challenger of record/poodle and now you say they are ISAF? I hope ISAF (the real ISAF jury) goes ahead and penalize all of the perpetrators even further so that there is NO mistake who is who.”

Oh, and here’s “Bob303,” who may or may not be a Sailor:

“The penalty only doesn’t make sense if you seek a lack of sense. Oracle created the situation by which they have been penalised when they wrote the protocol for this cup cycle. It is entirely their own doing.

Their efforts to intertwine the America’s Cup World Series (AC45s) and the America’s Cup (AC72s) to attract more sponsors/viewer, plus making it a requirement for entry to the AC that teams field at least one boat in the AC45 series, clearly joined the two at the hip. That was a specific intention of the protocol they wrote. It ensured all teams conducted themselves in a sporting manner throughout the cup cycle and couldn’t get away with stuff which attracted bad PR (or worse, cheating) in the ACWS and then just say “different series guys.”

Similarly, there HAVE been instances of teams being docked points for future round in the America’s Cup. In Valencia 2007 a One World team-member was found in possession of property of Team NZ property. They were docked a point for every stage of the round robin series (3 points in all) before they even started racing.

Just saying this since the writer took a position which ignored salient details which didn’t suit the story narrative. Coutts & Oracle didn’t attempt the “different series” defence line because they knew how ironic it would haven been to attempt that given they wrote the protocol that has now seen them pinged for clear cheating according to the Jury.”

And here’s a simple lament: “Oh please.

Yep.

*Here they are, the International Jury. Remember to “follow the money” if that makes any kind of sense.

David Tillett (Australia) Chairman
A lawyer in Australia, David has been an International Judge for over 20
years and was the Chairman of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee from
2000 until 2012. He is presently a member of the ISAF Council and ISAF
Constitution Committee. He has been a juror at the 31st, 32nd and 33rd
America’s Cups as well as an Umpire at the 28th and
29th America’s Cups. He has been a Jury Member at five Olympic Games, and
Chairman in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

John Doerr (Great Britain)
A graduate Mechanical Engineer specialising in project management
and management development for the petrochemical and construction
industries. John was a dinghy World Champion in 1978 and Olympic
trialist in the Finn class in 1980 and 1984. He has been an International
Judge since 1987 and an International Umpire since 1990. He is a past
Chairman of the ISAF Race Officials Committee and currently a member of the ISAF
Racing Rules and Race Officials Committees. John was Jury Chairman and Chief
Umpire for the 29th America’s Cup and a Jury Member for the 33rd America’s Cup. He
has served on the International Jury at the last five Olympic Games.

Josje Hofland (The Netherlands)
Josje has a ‘Doctoraal’ degree in English Literature and Linguistics. She
has been an International Judge since 1992 and was an International
Umpire between 1992 and 2000. She is a past Chairman of ISAF Judges
and Umpires sub-committees and past member of the Racing Rules and
Race Officials Committee. She was a Jury member
in the 29th and 33rd America’s Cup. For the 29th America’s Cup she filled the role of
Chief Umpire in the Challenger Finals and Deputy Chief Umpire in the America’s Cup
Match. Josje has also been a member of the Jury in four Olympic Games.

Graham McKenzie (New Zealand)
Graham is a Barrister at Law and a Solicitor in New Zealand and has
extensive experience as a commercial lawyer. He holds a Masters of
Law degree from Warwick University, England and is a Notary Public. He
is a Director of companies listed on the stock exchange and unlisted
companies in the hotel, aviation and finance sector businesses. Graham
is a competing sailor in keelboats. He is a member of the ISAF
Constitution Committee. He was a member of the combined Jury and Arbitration
Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup & and member of the Jury for the 33rd America’s
Cup.

Bryan Willis (Great Britain but lives in Malaysia)
A Marine Arbitrator and a past Magistrate (judge) in the lower criminal
court in Great Britain, Bryan has been an International Umpire, and an
International judge since 1976. He was an integral member of the ISAF
Racing Rules Committee for 20 years, and has chaired the Race
Officials Committee and Race Management sub-committees. Bryan
was a Jury member and Chief Umpire in the 28th America’s Cup, Chairman of the
Jury and Chief Umpire in the 30th and 31st America’s Cups, Chairman of the
combined Jury and Arbitration Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup and member of the
Jury for the 33rd America’s Cup. He was a Jury member for the 1992 and 1996
Olympic Games and Jury Chairman of the 2000 Olympic Games and three Volvo
Ocean Races.

San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius, Freshly-Arrived From the East Bay, Vs. San Francisco’s Beloved Gold Dust Lounge

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

It’s hard to believe that the Nevius what just wrote this is the same Nevius what wrote this just last year.

Anyway, off we go:

“I can sum up controversy over closing the Gold Dust Lounge in four words. The lease is up.”

YOU ALSO COULD SAY SOMETHING TRITE LIKE, “A DEAL’S A DEAL.” YOU KNOW, NEVIUS, THIS IS EXACTLY THE SITUATION WHERE YOU’D GO THE OTHER WAY, THE FULL-MAUDLIN APPROACH WHERE WE OUGHT TO LISTEN TO OUR HEARTS OR SOMETHING. BUT I SUPPOSE THAT YOU DON’T CONSIDER THIS PARTICULAR WATERING HOLE AS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL TO YOU. OK FINE.

Loyal patrons wish it weren’t. People in the Bovis family, which has been renting the space since 1966, wish they’d read their agreement more closely. Preservationists wish there weren’t so many formula retail stores on Powell Street. And I wish I still weighed 167 pounds.

OH DEAR, THE MAUDLIN SIDE* OF NEVE WILL _NOT_  BE COMING OUT IN THIS BIT, NOT AT ALL.

The lease is up.

HERE WE FIND THE NEVIUS ONCE AGAIN IN A FAMILIAR ROLE, THAT OF RELENTLESSLY BLEATING A MESSAGE THAT HE THINKS HIS FRIENDS IN SAN FRANCISCO’S DOMINANT CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL FACTION WANT HIM TO SAY. INSTEAD OF “FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD” WE GET SOMETHING LIKE “THE LEASE IS UP.”

In most places that would be the end of the story.

OH, LIKE MOST OF THE REST OF AMERICA, LIKE THE EAST BAY COMMUNITY THAT’S YOUR REAL HOME? WELL, IF YOU LOVE REGULAR AMERICA SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT, NEVIUS? AND HEY, WHY DON’T YOU MOVE BACK THERE, SAFE FROM THE AVALOSES AND THE CAMPOSES ‘N STUFF?

But here it is just the first chapter. Supporters have pulled in Tony Bennett, Chronicle columnist Herb Caen and Janis Joplin. (Joplin, it is said, sang “in front” of the Gold Dust, then bought drinks there.)

UH, SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE WAVERING…

And inevitably, of course, lawyers.

OH, I SEE, YOU’RE NOT WAVERING AT ALL.

“They’ve sued us. We’ve sued them,” said Jon Handlery, whose family owns the building. “Now, unfortunately, it goes down that path.”

NOW WE’RE UP TO SPEED – THIS IS THE NEVIUS GETTING QUOTES FROM THE ONE-PERCENT AND PUTTING THEM INTO THE CHRONICLE LIKE THE GOOD BOY THAT HE IS. IRL, BEING BORN INTO THE ONE-PERCENT, THE WAY JON HANDLERY WAS, IS A KIND OF A HANDICAP FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. BUT NEVIUS DOESN’T SEE THAT. NEVIUS JUST ADMIRES THE ONE-PERCENTER AND SAYS TO HIMSELF, “GEE, I WISH I WAS A ONE-PERCENTER LIKE MY NEW GOOD FRIEND JON HANDLERY.” AND THE FACT THAT HANDLERY WAS BORN INTO THE ONE PERCENT, WELL THAT’S EVEN BETTER FOR NEVIUS. NEVIUS SAYS, “BOY, I WISH I HAD THE FORESIGHT TO HAVE BEEN BORN INTO THE ONE PERCENT AS WELL.”

I don’t get it. Up Powell just off Union Square, the Gold Dust is small, gritty and unremarkable – although often crowded. The drinks are cheap, which is good, but the idea that it represents the deep inner soul of San Francisco is a reach.

OMG, IT’S A NEVIUS STRAW DOG ALERT!

OK, NEVIUS, HELP US OUT HERE. WHO THINKS THAT THE GOLD DUST “REPRESENTS THE DEEP INNER SOUL OF SAN FRANCISCO?” IS THIS WHAT MOST SAN FRANCISCANS BELIEVE? IS IT WHAT THE “SUPPORTERS” OF THE GOLD DUST GENERALLY BELIEVE? IS IT WHAT ANY PARTICULAR PERSON IN TOWN BELIEVES? NO, NOT AT ALL. IT’S JUST YOU, THE NEVIUS, TRYING TO CONSTRUCT AN ARGUMENT. NO ALARMS, NO SURPRISES.

The idea that San Francisco residents regularly fight their way through crowds around the cable car turnaround to make the Gold Dust their regular watering hole seems far-fetched.

OMG, IT’S ANOTHER NEVIUS STRAW DOG ALERT!

AND ACTUALLY, IT’S FAIRLY FAR AWAY FROM THE TURNAROUND, AS YOU WELL KNOW, NEVIUS.

So does the claim from the tenants’ lawsuit, that it is “one of the last welcoming places to buy a drink in the Union Square neighborhood.” Actually, you could go around the corner to a real San Francisco institution, Lefty O’Doul’s, which is also operated by the Bovis family. There are plenty of places to buy a drink in the area.

SO NOW NEVIUS, THE AUSLANDER WHO JUST MOVED TO TOWN LIKE WHAT A YEAR AGO, IS NOW THE ARBITER OF WHAT’S A REAL SAN FRANCISCO INSTITUTION.

The crux of the lawsuit is that Handlery changed the terms of the lease several times and that James and Tasios Bovis, the renters, didn’t realize what they were signing.

IT’S JUST LIKE THAT SOCIAL NETWORK MOVIE, HUH?

The issue now is whether the Gold Dust is an irreplaceable part of San Francisco history. A group applied for historical landmark status, and in what I thought was a very wise opinion, the Planning Department said that while a case could be made that the “physical features” of the lounge should be preserved, there was no reason the space couldn’t be repurposed “for another use, such as retail.”

HERE COMES “THE LIMITED!” YOU PUT ON YOUR ANGEL FLIGHT JEANS AND I’LL FIND MY LEG WARMERS AND BORROW DADDY’S CREDIT CARD.

The debate is likely to continue, but at the end of the day it’s a bar, one of many. It’s not historic.

WELL OF COURSE IT’S HISTORIC, NEVE. IT’S JUST NOT HISTORIC ENOUGH FOR YOU, THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE SAYING.

And the lease is up.

AH YES, AND FOUR LEGS ARE GOOD AND TWO LEGS ARE BAD.

*COMPARE WITH THIS NEVIUS EFFORT FROM JUST LAST YEAR: “Throwing senior citizens out on the sidewalk is never a good idea, but it isn’t stopping North Beach developer Peter Iskander. He served eviction notices to four elderly tenants on Greenwich Street in March. And now that they haven’t moved, he’s gone to court. It’s unconscionable, unreasonable and stupid. Mostly stupid. Imagine the sight of Carlo Tarrone, who is in his 70s and uses a walker…” BUT NEVIUS, “THE LEASE IS UP,” RIGHT?

Point/COUNTERPOINT: HuffingtonPost Writer Christopher Caen on the Failed and Debaculous America’s Cup Deal

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

LEAVE US BEGIN:

Friday afternoon the word went out about the lawsuit filed to stop the America’s Cup. And let’s be perfectly clear, chasing the Cup out of town was the exact purpose of that effort, because the requests to satisfy that lawsuit would have blown the Cup deadlines to pieces.

GREAT. NONE OF THE PROPOSALS WERE VERY GOOD. WERE THEY?

By Monday afternoon however, the lawsuit had almost become moot, because the America’s Cup organizers dropped the news on our unsuspecting mayor that they were pulling out of almost all the development anticipated around the races.

I THINK THERE WAS A LOT OF “SUSPECTING” ON SUNDAY – ANYWAY, THE MAYOR _WASN’T_ SURPRISED. HE’S MORE CLEVER THAN HE LETS ON…

The first wave of tweets announcing the lawsuit did not come from San Francisco; instead the first barrage of tweets came from San Diego. This is not terribly surprising because if we do manage to screw this up, San Diego is going to roar in and take our event away from us, given that they already have shore facilities they have been expanding since they hosted the Cup in 1988.

WHO CARES WHAT SAN DIEGO DOES? AND HOW IS THIS “OUR” EVENT? WHO CARES IF SAN DIEGO WANTS TO HOST THE RACE?

It would not be the first time. After all, we lost out to New York City for the right to bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

ACTUALLY, WE WON THAT ONE.

And then we followed that up by enthusiastically coming up short by a country mile for the right to bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

WELL, BRAZIL WANTED IT TOO, RIGHT? THEY’VE NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE. DON’T THEY DESERVE A CHANCE?

This performance mirrored our still unexplained belly flop on the bid to host the World Cup, where people still don’t know whether we actually submitted our bid or not.

OOH, THE WORLD CUP? BUT DIDN’T THE BAY AREA ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THESE?

Right in the middle of all this we also managed to chase the San Francisco Grand Prix bicycle race out of town. So it’s not like we don’t have a track record at screwing this sort of thing up.

WHY DO WE NEED ANY OF THESE EVENTS? OH, AND YOU’RE FORGETTING ABOUT THE WORLD EXPO. YOU KNOW, THE EVENT THAT CHINA LOST A BUNDLE ON, AND BEFORE THAT, THE JAPANESE, AND BEFORE THAT, THE GERMANS.

And at this point it has gone past just your garden variety NIMBY-ism to become a genuine threat to the growth of our city.

WHY DO WE NEED TO GROW?

Which brings us back to the Cup. Three things have to be made clear here. First off, enough of the “we hate Larry Ellison” blather.

WHY’S THAT? HE _IS_ A DEFECTIVE HUMAN BEING, RIGHT?

We can’t negotiate with the America’s Cup because they are backed by a billionaire?

NO, IT’S BECAUSE HE’S A BILLIONAIRE IS WHY HE EXPECTS US TO PAY NINE FIGURES FOR A BOAT PARTY IN HIS HONOR.

Newsflash for the irretrievably clueless: with the exception of the Green Bay Packers, every sports team in the country is owned by a bazillionaire.

THAT’S FINE, BUT WHAT HE WAS OFFERING WAS WAY OFF. IT WASN’T EVEN CLOSE.

It’s odd, isn’t it? When we hear about the city negotiating with the 49ers, the Giants, or even the Warriors, the net worth of their owners never enters the conversation. 

THE WARRIORS AREN’T ASKING US TO PAY FOR THEM. THE GIANTS AND THE NINERS AREN’T EITHER. WHY IS IT THAT THE 1% SPORTS NEED THE MONEY OF THE 99% BUT THE 99% SPORTS ARE ON THEIR OWN?

But when it’s Ellison, people head to the barricades. This is just another sports team, one where none of the sailors racing in the cup make as much as your average football player makes on one Sunday.

IT’S A DECIDEDLY UNPOPULAR TEAM, ONE THAT NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES ABOUT. WHO ARE THE “PLAYERS?” NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES. WHY SHOULD SAN FRANCISCO EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT A SINGLE RACE THAT A SOLITARY BILLIONAIRE CONTROLS?

Yes it’s Larry, yes everyone seems to hate him, but it should have no bearing on this.

WELL, IF HE WERE KICKING MONEY IN, THEN PEOPLE WOULD LIKE HIM MORE. WHY DIDN’T HE OFFER A HALF BILLION OR SOMETHING?

Second, let’s talk about the development deal that just went off the table. People seem to be all bent out of shape about what we were giving up, but here is the thing: We actually didn’t give up anything, as those piers are unusable today. One Supervisor gave me the actual price tag to fix up all the piers on the waterfront, and it’s enough to make your hair stand on end (hint, it’s over $2 billion). The city does not have the money to fix them, and it probably never will. Someone is going to wind up developing those piers for profit instead of the city, and that’s just the sad truth.

WELL THAT’S OK. ANYTHING’S BETTER THAN THE AMERICA’S CUP DEAL.

Third, in current San Francisco fashion, we are only looking at the short-term. Having Ellison’s group lay in some serious investment, including development deals, means greater incentive for them to stay in San Francisco if they successfully defend the Cup.

THE AMERICA’S CUP IS A JOKE, RIGHT? IS IT A LEGITIMATE SPORT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

All this development is for this Cup. If we get another Cup, or even two down the road, then the city makes out like a bandit. But by pulling all their development off the table, the Cup organizers have shaken the hook out of their mouth.

FLY AWAY FISHY. YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HERE, IT LOOKS LIKE, SO WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE?

Once again, San Diego is grinning and rubbing their hands in anticipation.

‘CAUSE THEY MADE SOOOOOO MUCH MONEY ON THAT RECENT WORLD SERIES EVENT WHAT NOBODY WENT TO SEE?

We have arrived at the point where today the only development deal that has a chance of being approved is one that is utterly perfect in every way.

OK.

Zero emission. Local hiring. Affordable housing. Bicycle racks and LEED-certified and non-radiating cell phones and whatever else our elected officials can think of tossing in. It’s ridiculous.

THE PROPOSED AMERICA’S CUP DEAL, _THAT’S_ WHAT’S RIDICULOUS. AND THE CENTRAL SUBWAY TO NOWHERE, THAT’S RIDICULOUS TOO.

And it’s also not coincidental that the same day we get the news about the Cup, Salesforce.com announces they are halting their new development in Mission Bay.

ACTUALLY, DUDE. IT _IS_ COINCIDENTAL.

At some point it has to stop. To never change anything, to never create new development with a new tax base and new jobs and new residents is to risk us becoming the Detroit of the West, with the Hibernia Bank Building as our Parthenon of Passivity.

THAT BUILDING HAS OTHER ISSUES, BUT ANYWAY.

What, you don’t know that building?

I THINK MOST PEOPLE IN TOWN KNOW THAT BUILDING. IT’S THE ONE THAT PATTY HEARST DIDN’T ROB

You should, as it stands as another icon of our inability to get rational development completed in this town.

WELL THAT’S ONE OPINION. BUT DO YOU WANT THE CITY TO PAY TO FIX UP THIS BUILDING? THAT WOULD BE LOTS CHEAPER THAN THE AMERICA’S CUP OR THE CENTRAL SUBWAY.

Even worse, at some point our reputation for being impossible to work with will make all of this a self-fulfilling prophecy. You don’t think that’s likely? When we were shot down for the 2016 Olympics, one of the reasons cited by the bid committee was a “damaged reputation” due to failed negotiations surrounding the 49ers’ stadium.

WELL MAYBE WILLIE BROWN SHOULDN’T HAVE FIXED THAT ELECTION. WHY NOT LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

In other words, if you can’t even get a stadium figured out with own team, how are you going to figure out an Olympics?

WHY DO WE NEED THE OLYMPICS? WOULDN’T MOST OF THE BENEFITS ACCRUE TO THE POLITICAL AND BUSINESS AND MEDIA CLASS? HOW WOULD SAN FRANCISCANS AS A WHOLE BENEFIT?

Then again, we never did figure out the stadium either, did we?

CRIME DOESN’T ALWAYS PAY FOR CORRUPT WILLIE BROWN, I GUESS THAT’S ONE LESSON.

A boat race is a strange place to draw the line. But the Cup really does represent all the political insanity that we seem to trade in these days. Don’t do business with the 1%.

NOT ON THESE TERMS, THAT’S RIGHT, DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM.

Fight anything that smacks of gentrification. Make decisions that are more policy statements than legislation. Get a bunch of piers fixed that we can’t afford to repair? That sounds like a horrible idea.

UNDER THE TERMS NEGOTIATED, YES IT WAS.

All those construction jobs you just wiped out?

THEY WEREN’T WIPED OUT BECAUSE THEY NEVER EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Not a big deal either, because we showed Larry.

ACTUALLY, WE _DID_ SHOW LARRY, THAT FUCKING DOUCHE.

At night we can return to our homes, and smugly watch as our piers collapse into the bay one after another. On the other hand, it will give us something to do before the Cup comes on television.

NOBODY WILL WATCH THE AMERICA’S CUP ON TELEVISION. (BY THE WAY, THE AMERICA’S CUP PEOPLE ARE _PAYING_ NBC TO BROADCAST THIS EVENT. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?)

Live from San Diego.

GOOD FOR THEM.

OH HEY, MR. CAEN, WHAT ABOUT THE GOLD DUST LOUNGE? ON THAT ISSUE, YOU’RE FIRMLY ON THE NIMBY / PRESERVATIONIST / ANTI-BIDNESS SIDE, RIGHT?

ISN’T IT IRONIC, DON’TCHA THINK?

Raygun Gothic Rocket Inspires Supervisor David Chiu to Consider a Burning Man Trip

Friday, August 6th, 2010

That 40-foot-tall Raygun Gothic Rocketship down at Pier 14 is already having an effect on people. For example, it has David Chiu, District 2 rep and President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, pining for the Playa.

Per Steve Rhodes, “after seeing this he might go to Burning Man for the fist time.”

Via Steve Rhodes

Bon voyage!

[UPDATE: Mayor Gavin Newsom was on the scene as well. Read an account, after the jump.]

Via Steve Rhodes:

(more…)

OMG, Forty Foot Tall Raygun Gothic Rocketship to be Unveiled Friday Afternoon at Pier 14!

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

From LiveSOMA comes the news that the Black Rock Arts Foundation is counting down to the Opening Reception / “Landing Party” for the 8-ton  Raygun Gothic Rocketship installation at Pier 14 (at the foot of Mission Street) on Friday, August 6th, 2010 starting at 3:00 PM.

This is a fine replacement for the Bourgeois Spider (aka Bougie Spider aka Crouching Spider) from Louise Bourgeois, R.I.P.  

Photo: Tomas McCabe

Isn’t it awesome? OMG, it opens up!* Check out the insides via an awesome video from Wired.com:

But, as you know, getting anything done in the 415 ain’t cheap - San Francisco has a well-earned reputation of being America’s most expensive city in which to conduct business, west of Chicago anyway. So why not see what you can do to help?

Check it:

“The Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to collaborate with artists Sean Orlando, Nathaniel Taylor, David Shulman, and their talented crew (FiveTonCrane.org) on the installation of the iconic, large-scale sculpture, The Raygun Gothic Rocketship at Pier 14 on San Francisco’s waterfront from August 2010 until September 2011. The 40-foot-tall art piece, The Raygun Gothic Rocketship, offers a retro-futuristic, highly-stylized vision of space travel circa 1930’s-1940’s science fiction and is the latest in a series of temporary public art exhibitions sponsored by BRAF with the aim of enlivening and activating public spaces.

Is this the very same craft that you saw on The Playa last year? Hells yes, playa! (Leave us note NK Guy’s excellent photos of RGR from last year’s Burning Man.)

A nice poster non?

In closing, Raygun Gothic Rocketship! Raygun Gothic Rocketship! Raygun Gothic Rocketship!

(If we can manage to keep the vandals, the taggers (both corporate and non), away from this thing, we’ll be in good shape.)

“Dear Friend:

You are invited to join us in celebration of the Black Rock Arts Foundation’s latest Civic Arts Program project, the installation of the Raygun Gothic Rocketship at Pier 14 in San Francisco, California. Come hear more about this ambitious undertaking from the crew that made it happen. Enjoy entertainment, dj’s, light refreshments and surprises from the Rocketship crew! The Rocketship will remain on view, free to the public, until October 7, 2011!”

*Sadly, the ship’s hatch won’t be open to the public for various reasons, like the ADA and the chance of falls from 15 feet up etc…

A great shot from Nick Winterhalter:

Famous San Francisco Writer Herb Caen Finally Opens a Twitter Account

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Not exactly sure how he managed it, but Herbert Eugene Caen is bringing his brand of three-dot journalism to the Internets via the Twitter.

Not bad for a guy born in 1916, huh?

He’s already developed a following. Good for him…

Photos of 2009 Fourth of July Fireworks in San Francisco – Legal and Illegal

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Tonight’s Fourth of July fireworks show had a fairly high fog ceiling, so it would have to rate as better than average. Better than last year anyway, but not as good as 2007.

Here’s an excellent eight-second exposure of the northern waterfront show from Lafayette Park in Specific Whites Pacific Heights. Click to expand:

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via bendjsf

And here’s a real-time shot of the same show from Twin Peaks:

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Everything is done double – that’s the way they do it. Here’s a double double:

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But this is what happens when the fireworks get too high – you can only see the bottom halves sometimes due to the fog:

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Let’s look across the Bay over at Sausalito. That’s USF in the foreground:

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Now here are some illegal explosions in San Francisco. This was an impressive burst above the northern Mission district:

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And here’s Mission Bay / Dogpatch with Alameda / Oakland in the background – very nice:

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The Mission and points south all had lots of illegal fireworks booming:

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Oh noes, it’s a flare, shooting high above Twin Peaks…

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…and then landing somewhere in the Castro District:

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And there you have it.

Tips on Enjoying Fog-Free Fourth of July Fireworks in San Francisco

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

When they tell you “Fog could shroud S.F. fireworks” up in Fishermans Wharf at 9:30 PM on the Fourth of July 2009, what they really mean is Fog WILL shroud S.F. fireworks, barring some Act of God, or Gaia, or Whomever.

Sometimes the weather is good, sometimes not. This year, not.

Check it out from 2008. Click to expand:

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Eliya via Flickr

This is by no means the worst case scenario. So when they talk about special low-level fireworks and let’s cross our fingers, they’re spinning. And spinning is just the polite term for lying. So, what do you do? Head on over to the Mission District, where they’ll have oodles of Yelp-rated, illegal, illicit, MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (now I say that in Spanish because that’s how exotic and not allowed it is) fireworks, fog-free, for free. Just check out this screen saver album from 2007.

Of course, you can always go with the flow and follow the madding crowd northward into la niebla, le brouillard. And who knows, maybe it will be clear the way it was in 2007. Thusly:

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This is the view you had from Crissy Field on 7-4-2007 – those lights at the bottom have something to do with Fishermans Wharf.

But dude, don’t drive up there. Even if they didn’t block off the streets and you already had a parking space waiting for you, you’d still have to drive out of there in a traffic jam when the show’s over at 10:00 PM. Of course, you could always hang out at all the places that will be open up in the Wharf after the show, but maybe you’d be better off driving into the City with your bikes in tow and parking South of the 101 near the Giants’ AT&T Park. Then you could ride up the flat, flat Embarcadero (on the sidewalk – it’s legal) back and forth.

Can you dig the colors, man?

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But if that doesn’t pan out, you could follow the cable cars on Hyde (that’s the one north-south street they don’t block off, in my experience) and drop off the brood. Whatever you do, stay off of Van Ness. Or you could BART it to the Embarcadero Station and then hoof it up to Pier 39. But forget about MUNI, ’cause walking would be faster.  

And most likely it will be foggy anyway, you’ve been warned.

Dress warm. Panthers out.

Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration
Saturday, July 4, 2009
1:00 PM to 9:30 PM

“PIER 39 invites you to enjoy a fun-filled Independence Day celebration. Rock out with ‘Take 2′ from 1-4pm followed by San Francisco’s favorite 80′s cover band, ‘Tainted Love’ from 6-9:30pm. Immediately after the entertainment look to the sky as the City of San Francisco lights up the night with it’s Firework’s Spectacular, accompanied by a musical simulcast from KISS FM 98.1. PIER 39 has the best viewing area on the bay!  In addition, 39 of PIER 39′s businesses will remain open after the fireworks so that guests can miss the traffic, enjoy the PIER, have a drink, get a bite to eat, and shop.  Click here for the list of locations open after the fireworks.  Sponsored by Crystal Geyser ALPINE SPRING WATER, DeLoach Vineyards, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, The San Francisco Examiner, Tawain Tourism and Asus.”

Miniskirted Accordion Player versus Patrons at San Francisco’s Ferry Building

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Would have to say the patrons won this one, as they outlasted this fetching accordion player, who performed for no one in particular while standing atop a soapbox on Herb Caen Way.

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Update: Apparently, elements of the squeezebox community felt “dissed” by the prior line that existed in this space, despite the self-mockery contained in their very own self-chosen name. Fair enough, consider any disseses cheerfully withdrawn.

Update II: Whoops, that link went down the memory hole. Try this one instead. NB: This scene wouldn’t have seen the light of day but for the gratuitous aerophone amplifier in the lower left corner.