Posts Tagged ‘Judge’

Joggers in the Panhandle Have Less Than a 10% Chance of Getting a Green Light at Oak and Masonic, So That’s Why They Jaywalk

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

From Hoodline:

Two Pedestrians Injured In Oak & Masonic Collision

And that comes on the heels of this, back in April:

Pedestrian Struck By Vehicle At Masonic & Oak

The way our SFMTA has this intersection set up now is that joggers only have about 7 seconds to start crossing Masonic during a 75 second signal cycle. Assuming they don’t purposefully speed up or slow down to catch their green, that means they have less than a 10% chance of not encountering a red signal for crossing. Human nature being what it is, people jog across against the light and the resulting accident is the jogger’s fault. Check it:

Anyway, that’s why so many people are getting hit by cars at this intersection.

For whatever reason, the SFPD isn’t motivated to enforce the CA Vehicle Code upon peds, so this is the result.

If you believe in ped safety, you’d be in favor of a ped enforcement action here, to learn the joggers. OTOH, if you get paid to promote ped “rights,” then you’d disfavor a ped enforcement action here – you’d bend over backwards to displace blame. I mean, these peds aren’t “mistakenly” jaywalking, they’re doing it on purpose, right?

Choose or lose…

Beat Sweetening Goes Sour: Writer CW Nevius vs. Judge Susan Illston – Dishonest Reporting in the SF Chronicle

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Meet Senior District Judge Susan Illston, Duke University (B.A., 1970) and Stanford Law School (J.D., 1973). Publications. She was appointed by Bill Clinton:

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Photo via Jason Doiy

And in the other corner, comes now CW Nevius, known for his “breezy writing style” and also known for “having lived in the suburban East Bay until May, 2010, whereupon he moved to San Francisco.Publications. (He was not appointed by Bill Clinton, nor by anyone else.)

Introductions finished. So here you go – Losing a lawsuit can mean financial gainby CW Nevius:

“As Judge Susan Illston said in her ruling, ‘plaintiffs did not prevail on a single substantive motion before the Court.’”

But now let’s look at the entire sentence:

“First, although the Court has found that they gained their desired outcome, plaintiffs did not prevail on a single substantive motion before the Court.”

See how that works? Judge Illston awarded attorneys fees of $300,000-something to the plaintiffs in this particular Sharp Park Golf Course case because they gained their desired outcome.

So Avuncular East Bay Everyman Chuck Nevius chopped up the judge’s sentence because, because why? Because it would have weakened his point? Is this an honest approach for a writer to take? I don’t think so.

And then a reader of The Nevius, the Blessed Nevius, might read his bit and think to ask:

Shouldn’t we blame the judge instead of the environmental group?

And the answer is … no, no we shouldn’t, because the plaintiffs won, at least sort of:

“…[t]he Court finds that plaintiffs’ litigation goal was the halt defendants’ taking of the Frogs and Snakes without first obtaining authorization pursuant to the ESA.”

I’ll tell you, Judge Illston looked at a host of evidence when making her decision, including this bon mot from SFGov:

“…it is extremely important to be able to dispose of the litigation at long last.” 

Here you go, read the whole thing yourself, Gentle Reader. You don’t need to be up-to-speed on “catalyst theory” or whathaveyou to understand what the judge is saying.

Oh, and quoth The Nevius:

“Take the ruling in U.S. District Court on July 1, 2013, which, by any measure, rates as a legal smackdown of the institute.”

But as we’ve seen, in fact, this ruling was NOT “a legal smackdown” “by any measure.”

So, Judge Susan Illston isn’t crazy after all.

(One wonders why the City and County of San Francisco wishes to operate a money-losing White elephant of a golf course in the first place. Our Board of Supervisors has tried to unload it back in aught-eleven, to no avail. And now, in 2015, we’re in a drought what rivals what we experienced in the 1970’s. Oh well.)

IMO, the job of CW Nevius is to promote the goals of his local political faction, the dominant one. That’s why I refer “beat sweeteners” and “source greasers” and the like. He slavishly promotes SFGov’s department heads, among others, and, in return, he gets rewarded by them. That’s his gig. But sometimes the way he promotes his faction is wrong.

Simply wrong.

Lawyer’s Corner: RPD Says Slacklines and Hammocks Violate the Park Code, But Do They Really?

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Here you go, this was just the other day in GGP:

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RPD calls this kind of thing “affixing items to trees” on their newish signs, but I don’t see where this language comes from, you know, in the SF Park Code.

So yeah, if you cut down a big tree to have some fun with the stump, I can see how that’d be citeable.

But I don’t see how slacklining or romantic hammocking is an automatic violation of the SF Park Code.

So, I’m saying the newish signs from RPD are incorrect.

So I’m saying that the RPD should go to the BOS to fix this sitch,

JMO

Wow, SFPD Enforcement Action at Oak and Masonic – Massive Number of Luxury / Electric Cars Pulled Over, Over and Over

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Here’s what it looks like – an SFPD enforcement action, this latest one at Oak and Masonic. (Note modern-looking SFPD Kawasaki Concours 14P (which looks to me like a CHP BMW) juxtaposed with the ancient Harley Davidsons what make up most of the Motor Patrol.)

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This action meant that every driver who commited some infraction turning left from inbound Oak onto northbound Masonic got pulled over at the Masonic Chevron.

One supposes that the new left turn arrow phase at this intersection was the instigation for the enforcement action. (Back in the day, traffic didn’t back up during the Morning Drive due to the Double Left Turn that’s no longer there, owing to concerns over ped safety, one supposes.)

All right, here’s your money shot, here’s your scene at Fell and Masonic with a brace of drivers, drivers who “know” they’re special, so fucking special, you know, your Prius hybrid drivers, your Range Rover drivers, and your new funky BMW i3 (with absurdly tall, absurdly narrow Conestoga wagon wheels) electric car drivers:

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That was the scene I initialy came upon and this is the same area as I left. Note the all-black Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lexus. It’s not a coincidence that the drivers of all these cars got pulled over at the same time, just saying:

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Of course, the SFPD will also pull you over if they notice you doing something wrong going the other way, but the funny thing was that the two cars I saw getting pulled over heading south on Masonic, against the current, heading towards the Financial, were normal ones, like VW Golfs. (I’ll ask you, should you ever be proud of your car? The answer is that no you shouldn’t be, because Pride Goeth Before The Painful Traffic Ticket What’s Going to End Up Costing Your Four Figures. JMO.)

Moving on, to this – peds coming up to chat up the cops to cheer them on.

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Now I’ll tell you, I didn’t see any driver run a red during the time I was at these intersection taking photos of the enforcement action, but I was paying more attention to the cops as opposed to the drivers. And I’ll note that sometimes the traffic lights would cycle red green red green red green without anyone getting pulled over.

I’ll leave you with this, my misfocused shot of a ped giving a black power salute to the SFPD to thank them for this latest enforcement action:

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What Comes After Silk Road? Silk Road 2.0, Of Course – The Feds Crack Down in SF, Once Again – Blake Benthall Arrested

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Did this guy from San Francisco, Blake Benthall, aka Defcon, aka @blakeeb, just get busted by the Feds yesterday? Take a look at the FBI’s press release, below.

And here’s the Complaint – Hotel 1, Hotel 2, Twitter, GitHub, etc

Via Ryan Mac:

yearofhtemac

So, Homeland Security infiltrated SR2 with an undercover agent, one named “HSI-UC?” Gee, just how many undercover feds are operating in the 415 these days? A dozen? Three dozen? Who knows.

Big Blue, the Old Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate in the Twitterloin,will be a busy place today…

“Operator of Silk Road 2.0 Website Charged in Manhattan Federal Court – Silk Road 2.0, Launched in November 2013 After Its Predecessor was Shut Down by Law Enforcement, Has Enabled More Than 100,000 People to Buy and Sell Illegal Drugs Anonymously Over the Internet

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeNovember 06, 2014

Southern District of New York(212) 637-2600
FBI New York Press Office(212) 384-2100

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Peter Edge, Executive Associate Director of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the arrest of BLAKE BENTHALL, a/k/a “Defcon,” in connection with his operation and ownership of the Silk Road 2.0 website, a hidden website designed to enable its users to buy and sell illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services anonymously and beyond the reach of law enforcement. BENTHALL was arrested yesterday in San Francisco, California. He will be presented later today in federal court in San Francisco before Magistrate Judge Jaqueline Scott Corley.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, Blake Benthall attempted to resurrect Silk Road, a secret website that law enforcement seized last year, by running Silk Road 2.0, a nearly identical criminal enterprise. Let’s be clear—this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison. Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will return as many times as necessary to shut down noxious online criminal bazaars. We don’t get tired.”

(more…)

The Goldest Lamborghini in Town – Bienvenidos a Miami! – Let’s Talk License Plate Violations

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Florida plates, BTW.

Or should I say, Florida plate, as this gold exoticar doesn’t have a front license plate, which is a no-no in The Golden State.

And of course, you’ve got less than three weeks after moving to California to deal with the California DMV, but I’ll tell you, most Lambos you see in SF aren’t properly registered with CA DMV.

Anyway, this car reminded of Dennis Rodman’s old ride, one that’s being used as a daily driver by a CCSF student.

Stay gold, Lambo owner. Bienvenidos a 415 / 628 / 650!

SFGate Properly Covers an Offensive Charm Offensive from Ugly Billionaire Vinod Khosla – Plus CW Nevius and Sean Parker

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The first rule of Fight Club is, of course, Don’t Talk About Fight Club!

Similarly, the first rule of managing property that’s a part of the coast of California is It’s Very Hard To Manage Property That’s A Part Of The Coast Of California!

If you don’t already know this, then you might be a naive billionaire like Vinod Khosla. Or Sean Parker, who didn’t know(!) he needed to get permits to do what he done with his recent wedding.

Hey, here we go:

Vinod Khosla blames costly demands for Martins Beach trial, by Peter Fimrite

Now this is a remarkable bit in that the writer had to use the word “said” 19 times. Check it:

So I guess that the Vinod Khosla PR people feel that this new article helps to make up for stuff like this:

Martins Beach billionaire evades questions on stand

But I don’t think so.

In any event let’s praise writer Peter Fimrite for not falling into the CW Nevius trap of believing everything a source says hook, line, and sinker, and then regurgitating it in the pages of the Chronicle. No no, Peter Fimrite plays it straight.

Here we go:

“The ugly courtroom clash over Martins Beach, near Half Moon Bay, would not have happened if government and environmental zealots had not made unreasonable and costly demands, billionaire investor Vinod Khosla said Thursday in defense of a beach closure that has captivated Californians up and down the coast.

Gee Vinod, you didn’t know that doing anything on the coast is hard? Are you stupid?

“If they wanted you to make your backyard a park, would that hurt you?” he asked.

The reply to this is that Martin’s Beach is not anyone’s backyard.

“The Coastal Commission and the county have been completely unreasonable. They have been taking an extreme view and don’t want to compromise on anything.”

Well, IMO, from an outsider’s perspective, is that they haven’t been unreasonable at all.

“The founder of Khosla Ventures characterized the lawsuit Thursday as a dishonest attempt to wrest control of his property regardless of his rights while, at the same time, impugning his reputation.”

Well, make a deal now and your reputation will improve, Vinod.

The fact is, he said, Martins Beach had been run like a business by the previous owners for many decades. The Deeney family set up the first cabin in 1918 and continued building through the 1950s.

 Uh, this was a vanity purchase from a billionaire. Martins Beach really isn’t a “business,” right?

“What’s amazing to me is that we did not change anything about how the property had been run for 50 or 60 years and then one day out of the blue we got a letter from the county saying we had to have 1973 prices and be open 24/7,” Khosla said, meaning he was limited to charging the visitors only $2 and could never close the gate. “Does the county charge 1973 prices?”

So there’s just three paying customers a day and what they get charged will make or break the “business” of Martins Beach? Does that make sense?

Speaking of which, why does this billionaire dude care about the reputation of some business in Marin?

The shellfish operator’s lease was not renewed and Khosla said the organization’s reputation was wrongly and unfairly dragged through the mud in the process.

Oh well. Leaving you with this:

“Who is going to take a half-million dollars in liability and losses for something that is actually dangerous?” he asked…”

I can answer: a naive billionaire.

San Francisco’s Most Famous Car of 2014: A Mirror-Finish Aston Martin Rapide, “Because Eff You, That’s Why”

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

[UPDATE: Word on the street is that the driver lives in The Avenues, where he has a rep for driving too fast out there. Word on the street is that the driver has a “neckbeard.”]

I seen this $200k+ Aston Martin Rapide all over town – I seen it I seen it! In the Financh, the SoMA, the Fillmore, pretty much all over the 1/8th of a pie slice that is northeastern SF.

(This ride has now officially stolen the thunder of that Kandy-Kolored Gold-Flake Streamline Baby Lambo used as a daily driver(!) by a CCSF junior college student.)

So, why the mirror finish, dahling? Well, per Arlen of Flickr, “because fuck you, that’s why.”

And, has this garish Aston been registered in California yet? Well, maybe, but if it has a CA license plate, it’s certainly not mounted on the back where it should be, and that’s odd, because it’s been in town for a while, oh well.

Who can solve this mystery?

As seen being driven, poorly, in the Upper Fillmore area…

Click to expand

This Billboard Against Distracted Driving has Lost Its Punch – Three Judge Panel Interprets Cell Phone Law

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Mmmm, what if these people are just looking at maps – is that OK under California law these days?

Maybe.

Click to expand

Ouch, “Friends” No More: Lawyer for the Agent Lisa Kudrow Stiffed Calls Her an “Unsophisticated Actress Client”

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Boy, there are two interesting grafs here.

In a statement, Kudrow’s attorney Gerald Sauer said, “The jury’s verdict is merely one step in the legal process. This case ultimately will be resolved at the appellate level. Ms. Kudrow has faith in the judicial system, and she believes that the eventual outcome of this contractual dispute will be in her favor.”

How do think jurors feel after hemming and hawing day after day, sweating the details, you know, only to be told their brand-new decision just doesn’t matter?

NOT GOOD, prolly.

But it gets better:

In a statement of his own, Scott Howard’s attorney Mark Baute countered, “What generally happens now with unsophisticated actress clients is they overpay for filing a frivolous appeal that has no chance for success. The verdict is rock solid, and we look forward to collecting 10 percent, 16,000 dollars a month, in post-judgment interest while their frivolous appeal is pending. We will collect that interest for two years, which is how long it will take for the Court of Appeal to affirm this jury’s righteous verdict.”

Oh, so this kind of thing happens all the time, not with actors generally, but specifically with actresses, the “unsophisticated” ones, and just from recent cases, so we can generalize this particular case and know for sure what’s going to happen? Wow.

Now if I were Lisa Kudrow, I’d be thinking, mmm, the math’s off a bit, but mmmm, maybe I should cut a deal right now.

Is what I’d be thinking…