Posts Tagged ‘Judge’

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…

Beach Chalet Soccer Field Decision is a Clean Victory for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Or so it would appear.

Watch RPD take a victory lap right here:

“Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Renovation in Golden Gate Park

Beach Chalet Soccer Fields Renovation To Proceed

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the City Fields Foundation announced today that California Superior Court Judge Teri L. Jackson has ruled in favor of the renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

“After considering the evidence, arguments and applicable law, the court DENIES the petition for writ of mandate and DISMISSES the Complaint in entirety,” Judge Jackson stated in her decision,

Judge Jackson found that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and subsequent approvals were conducted in accordance with the law, paving the way for construction to begin. Judge Jackson ruled against the plaintiffs on all four major motions they filed.

“This is a huge victory for the youth in our city who need clean, safe places to play,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks. “Perhaps the most vetted project in the history of the city, the new Beach Chalet soccer fields will be a welcome addition to the west end of Golden Gate Park and will help activate the area with fun, appropriate activities.”

“Our partnership with Recreation and Parks started nearly eight years ago with one simple goal, making sure that every San Francisco child has a place to play ball,” said Susan Hirsch, Project Director for the City Fields Foundation. “Today, we’re one big step closer to achieving that dream thanks to the tireless commitment of San Francisco’s kids, families, athletes and hundreds of donors making this project possible.”

Primarily used by kids (more than 12,000 play there each year), the Beach Chalet fields are in dangerously poor condition and closed 50% of the time to preserve the condition of the grass fields from heavy use and rain. Currently, the fields are only open by paid reservation and lack spectator seating and amenities.

Today’s judgment is the most recent affirmation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields renovation, continuing a multi-year design, review, approval and appeal process that has included eight votes in front of six different government bodies, including the California Coastal Commission, the SF Board of Supervisors, SF Planning Commission, SF Recreation and Parks Commission, and the Board of Permit Appeals. Each of these bodies has voted in favor of the project, San Francisco Recreation and Parks and the nonprofit City Fields Foundation are jointly funding the $14,000,000 renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields. Construction is anticipated to begin in winter-spring 2014 with completion in 2015.

By installing synthetic turf and field lights, playtime on the fields will triple to more than 14,000 hours of annual playtime, 5,700,000 gallons of water will be saved annually, and the entire facility will become more welcoming with rehabilitated restrooms, spectator seating, a new plaza and small play structure for kids, plus new picnic tables and barbeques for all to enjoy. As synthetic turf can be used continuously with no need to rest for rain or regrowth, free, open play time will also be guaranteed on the fields – something not possible on most other city soccer fields.

http://webaccess.sftc.org/minds_asp_pdf/Viewer/DownLoadDocument.asp?PGCNT=0

What People are Thinking But Not Saying About the Michael Petrelis / Supervisor Scott Wiener Peeping Tom Conviction

Friday, June 14th, 2013

All right, so we have last year’s post, peaking-at-wieners-wiener-in-city-hall,” from blogger Michael Petrelis:

“Scott Wiener was standing at the urinal and had just started to tinkle as I entered and the camera took 4-6 seconds to focus, enough time for him to put away his wiener and zipper up.”

Of course when I think of the word “peeking,” I’m thinking it’s to:

“Look quickly, typically in a furtive manner.”

Now let’s see how California Penal Code subdivision  647(j) might apply here:

“647. Except as provided in subdivision (l), every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor…
(j) (1) Any person who looks through a hole or opening, into, or otherwise views, by means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camera, motion picture camera, camcorder, or mobile phone, the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside. This subdivision shall not apply to those areas of a private business used to count currency or other negotiable instruments.”

So, where’s the “injustice” here?

I’m not seeing it.

Les mise-en-scene. (This shot could be used to show how the mirrors on the second-floor bathroom at City Hall were mounted too low, just saying)

So this…

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that my legal hassle with an elected official, after he abused the power of his office as a member of the Board of Supervisors to put me through the law enforcement wringer over eight months and waste $26,000 in City dollars, has concluded.”

…is wrong. It’s the kind of thing you’d say after getting acquitted perhaps, but it doesn’t apply to this case, IMO.

And this too…

“Had I taken a photo of an ordinary gay citizen in a public men’s room, and he complained to the legal authorities about it, I seriously doubt the complaint would have resulted in the investigation and prosecution I have faced.”

…is wrong. I mean, this is testable, right? Go do the same thing again to an “ordinary gay citizen in a public men’s room” and you just might have another expensive legal hassle from The Man.

Supervisor Scott Wiener is super-human. That’s why he’s so tall and why he only needs to sleep just three hours* every Earth-day, correct? He came to our planet to fight for the rights of millionaire property owners and members** of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which is his right to do.

He should be able to do so without having to worry about camera-toting Mike Petrelis whenever nature calls.

Anyway, that’s not necessarily what people are saying online.

It’s just what most people are thinking.

*Or so I’ve been told, something like that. Prove me wrong!

**The members with unpopular restaurants especially. These crybabies want a free market except when they don’t. Someday we’ll get San Diego-style cleanliness letter grades posted in front of restaurants the way Chris Daly wanted. Someday.

Apocalypto! Hey, What Happened to that Bay Area Mayan Prophecy “Film?” – Plus, Examiner Publisher Todd Vogt Cowardice

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Well if the world ends tomorrow, 12-21-2012, the joke’s on me.

But otherwise…

So, earlier this year some rich whacko up in Marin started making a video* in Latin America what was supposed to be all about the so-called Mayan Prophecy.

But things headed south with the production, so that got written up in a blog down south, down in Los Angeles.

And then the same basic info was posted in the San Francisco Examiner. (It used to be right here.)

And then the rich Marin whacko actually went and sued that film-industry blog earlier this year.

And then the rich Marin whacko lost her lawsuit, big time.

So then I made a post about this affair, you know, because nobody else up here had done so.

Then I got a threatening letter from the same attorney who lost the case in L.A. Read that letter here.

But apparently, that threat was all lies and jest.

Oh well.

Hey, do you like sports analogies ‘n stuff?

This is rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot’s inchoate SLAPP lawsuit against TheWrap blog, IMO:

See? Kicker Garo Yepremien tried to score a few points but then opposing counsel filed a special motion to strike that was so special that discovery was immediately halted. Then he lost the hearing and that was the end of the suit, it looks like. I’m saying Elisabeth Theriot got pwned in court.

With a quickness.

Which, you know, this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day so that’s why I made a post about it.

But now the world is supposed to end tomorrow ‘n stuff and there’s no Mayan Prophecy “film” to see.

Oh well.

Now, what about San Francisco Examiner President and Publisher Todd Vogt? Do you think he got some sort of request or demand or something from rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot or the wire service or somebody to take down the wire story on these topics, you know, that used to be posted right here?

Why would the ‘Xam have a page dedicated to rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot (just look at the URL bar) with nothing to say about her? It’s because the story about her that used to be there is no longer there.
Is there cowardice here?

I’ll tell you, TheWrap.com stood up to rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot and was/will be rewarded with mandatory attorney fees as a kind of reward.

Why couldn’t/can’t the ‘Xam stand up to rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot too?

I don’t know.

Now I’ll tell you, when an actual newspaper (improperly, IMO) caves to some rich lady, that just might have the effect of emboldening her. Then she just might start going after poor, defenseless WordPress bloggers.

But maybe I’m way off on this one.

If so, please somebody disabuse me.

* I call it a video because it was (mostly?) recorded on digicams – no film required. The current title of this still-troubled production is Mayan Revelations & Hollywood Lies. It’s delayed. It’s nonsense. Oh what’s that, we’re going to see just how important that Long Count calendar is tout de suite? No we won’t. Sorry. Oh, over the coming decades? No we won’t. Sorry.

OMG, It’s On! An Appeal Has Been Filed Against the Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements Project

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Via the District 5 Diary of Rob Anderson.

It’s an alphabet soup, 94117-style – NIMBY ADA CEQA EIR, for starters.

Enjoy:

“Mark Brennan
San Francisco CA 94117

Howard Chabner
San Francisco, CA 94117

Ted Loewenberg
San Francisco, CA 94117

TO:

Angela Calvillo, Clerk
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Room 244, City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Bill Wycko, Environmental Review Officer
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission St., 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

DATE: November 2, 2012

NOTICE OF APPEAL TO THE SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, REQUEST FOR STAY and REVERSAL OF IMPLEMENTATION, and REQUEST FOR REVIEW

This is a Notice of Appeal of the October 16, 2012 actions of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“MTA”) Board of Directors approving the Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Improvements project (the “Oak-Fell Project” or “the Project”). The approval of the Project was an abuse of discretion and a failure to proceed as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) (Pub. Res. Code §§21000 et seq.). This is also an appeal of the San Francisco Planning Department’s October 4, 2012 Categorical Exemption of the Oak-Fell Project.

The Project is also a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC Section 12101 et seq (“ADA”) and California disability rights laws, including California Civil Code Sections 54 et seq. (The ADA and California disability rights laws are sometimes referred to collectively herein as the “Disability Rights Laws.”)

This is also a Request for Review of the October 16, 2012 MTA Board actions pursuant to the San Francisco Charter §8A.102 (b)(7)(i).

Appellants request an immediate STAY of implementation of the Project and every part of it, pending final determination on this Appeal and Request for Review, and pending full compliance with CEQA and other applicable laws. Also, because MTA has already begun implementing the Project before the time to appeal the actions described in this Appeal and Request for Review has ended, appellants also demand REVERSAL of all implementation of the Project and restoration of pre-Project conditions on all affected streets and sidewalks.

Copies of the MTA Board’s October 16, 2012 Resolution #12-129 and the Planning Department’s October 4, 2012 Categorical Exemption (Exemption from Environmental Review for the SFMTA Fell & Oak Streets Bikeways Project–Case No.E011.0836E) are attached.

Grounds for this Appeal lie within, but are not limited to, CEQA, the Disability Rights Laws, and other applicable statutes, regulations, and ordinances that may apply, including the following.

1.The categorical exemptions invoked under 14 Cal. Code Regs. (the “Guidelines”) Sections 15301(c) and 15304(h) do not apply to the Project, since the Project: (1) has the potential to degrade the quality of the environment; (2) has possible effects that are cumulatively considerable; and (3) will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly. (Pub.Res.Code Section 21083(b).) Therefore the Project cannot be classified as “categorically exempt.” There is evidence supporting a fair argument that the Project could cause direct, secondary, and cumulative impacts on parking, traffic, transit, loading, air quality, public safety, and emergency services. Among other things, the Project will cause substantial adverse effects on people who need to park near where they live or work.

2. The claimed mitigations do not effectively mitigate the Project’s impacts, and, in any event, cannot be used to claim a categorical exemption.

3. The Oak-Fell Project is part of a larger project, the San Francisco Bicycle Plan (the “Bicycle Plan”). If it applies at all, a categorical exemption must apply to the whole Bicycle Plan project, not just the Oak-Fell segment. The Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) on the Bicycle Plan did not specifically analyze the Oak-Fell Project.

4. The Oak-Fell Project has not received specific environmental review as part of the larger Bicycle Plan or at any other time.

5. The Project does not qualify for an exemption under Guidelines Section15301(c), which consists of the “operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alterationof existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency’s determination,” (emphasis added) and (c) “Existing highways and streets, sidewalks, gutters, bicycle and pedestrian trails and similar facilities…”

The existing conditions are parking lanes, not Class I or Class II bicycle lanes. A parking lane, as defined in the California Streets & Highways Code Section 5871(c), is “a paved area adjacent to the curb which is used exclusively for on-street parking. It does not include any portion of the street used for through traffic or as a bicycle lane.” (Emphasis added) The “facility” does not meet this basic definition, since it would completely remove the parking lane and change its use to a separated bicycle lane for exclusive use of bicyclists. (S&H Code Section 890.4(a).) These definitions are mutually exclusive and involve a complete change of use. The Project, therefore, does not fall within the existing facilities exemption under Guidelines Section 15301.

The Project does not consist of mere maintenance or minor alteration, but makes major changes by, among other things: (a) entirely removing the existing parking lanes on City streets; (b) removing around 100 existing parking spaces on Oak and Fell; (c) constructing concrete and other solid structures in the streets next to moving traffic (raised, landscaped traffic islands); (d) impeding visibility and access to driveways; (e) eliminating, reducing or making dangerous and more difficult streetside, emergency, and loading access to residences and businesses on Oak and Fell; (f) constructing numerous concrete bulbouts that impede traffic by making right turns difficult; (g) adjusting traffic signals to reduce traffic speed on a major East-West traffic corridor in San Francisco; (h) eliminating one traffic lane on Oak Street during morning commute hours; and (i) constructing bicycle lanes where they do not now exist.

6. For the same reasons, the Project does not qualify for an exemption under Guidelines Section 15304(h), which consists of “minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees, except for forestry and agricultural purposes,” and “creation of bicycle lanes on existing rights-of-way.” (Emphasis added.) There is no existing right-of-way in the parking lanes on Oak Street and Fell Street for bicycle lanes, since the right-of-way in parking lanes is exclusively for vehicles. (See S&H Code Section 5871(c).) Nor is the Project a “minor” alteration in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation. Rather it is a major alteration and change of use from a parking lane for exclusive use of parking vehicles to a bicycle lane for exclusive use of riding bicycles.

7. The Project is an exception to any categorical exemption, because substantial evidence supports a fair argument that the Project will have significant impacts on parking, traffic, transit, loading, noise, air quality, public safety, emergency services, and human impacts on two major East-West traffic routes carrying a combined more than 60,000 vehicles per day. (And since many vehicles carry more than one person, the number of drivers and passengers affected will be more than 60,000 per day.) (Guidelines Section 15300.2; and see Pub. Res. Code Section 21083(b).)

8. Impacts on humans require a mandatory finding of significance, including impeding access to streetside parking, affecting disabled people, seniors, children, families, workers, and emergency, maintenance, construction and delivery services. Loading impacts also affect commercial and passenger loading. The Project will also affect public safety by impairing visibility from driveways.Bulbouts also impair visibility and delay traffic by making right turns more difficult. Asserted mitigations do not mitigate the Project’s impacts and cause more impacts that require analysis.

9. Cumulative impacts on parking, traffic, air quality, noise, public safety, and emergency services also exclude the Project from any categorical exemption.

10. The Disability Rights Laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in, among other things, programs of local government, use of streets and sidewalks, and transportation. California Civil Code Section 54(a) provides that “Individuals with disabilities or medical conditions have the same right as the general public to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways…public facilities, and other public places.” Title II of the ADA requires local governments to provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services and activities. Sidewalks, streets and parking are programs provided by ADA Title II entities, and therefore are subject to ADA requirements.

Although the loss of parking would be a hardship for the large numbers of people who live, visit and work in the neighborhood, it would disproportionately impact people with major mobility disabilities, such as wheelchair users and slow walkers. Many people with mobility disabilities rely heavily on private vehicles. Disabled people park in regular street parking spaces far more often than in designated accessible street parking spaces (blue zones). Many people who use wheelchairs or scooters rely on accessible minivans and vans that have ramps or lifts on the passenger side. In effect, all street parking spaces (except perpendicular and angled spaces, those on the driver’s side of a one-way street, and, sometimes, those with sidewalk obstructions such as garbage cans or trees in the exact location of the ramp or lift) are accessible spaces.

The Project would remove all street parking on the South side of Oak, which means that all of the disabled accessible parking spaces would be eliminated for those three blocks. The parking spaces on the North side of Oak would remain, but it would be extremely dangerous for disabled people to use them because the ramp or lift would be deployed into the moving lane. The project includes mitigating the parking loss on Oak and Fell by converting parking spaces on some of the side streets, which are currently parallel parking, into perpendicular or angled parking spaces. This also would eliminate spaces that are currently usable by disabled people, thereby adding to the parking loss on Oak instead of mitigating it. Not only wheelchair and scooter users, but people who walk slowly and with difficulty would also be harmed by the loss of parking spaces on Oak and by the elimination of parallel parking on the side streets.

The Project would also make it more difficult, dangerous and stressful for disabled people, including wheelchair/scooter users and people who have difficulty walking, to be picked up and dropped off in this area, whether by private vehicle, taxi, paratransit or shuttle service.

These effects violate the Disability Rights Laws.

REQUEST FOR STAY and REVERSAL OF IMPLEMENTATION

This is also a Request for an immediate stay of implementation of the Project and any part of it pending final determination on this Appeal and Request for Review, and pending full compliance with CEQA and other applicable laws. Also, because MTA has already begun implementing the Project before the time to appeal the actions described in this Appeal and Request for Review has ended, appellants also demand REVERSAL of all implementation of the Project and restoration of pre-Project conditions on all affected streets and sidewalks.

REQUEST FOR REVIEW PURSUANT TO SAN FRANCISCO CHARTER SECTION 8A.102(b)(7)(i).

This is also a REQUEST FOR REVIEW pursuant to the San Francisco Charter Section 8A.102(b)(7)(i) of the MTA Board’s Resolution #12-129 of October 16, 2012, approving the Oak-Fell Project. This Request for Review incorporates all of the grounds stated in the foregoing Appeal, and additionally requests Review by the Board of Supervisors of the City’s substantive violations of CEQA, the Disability Rights Laws, and other statutes, regulations, and ordinances.

The Board’s action was an abuse of discretion and a failure to proceed under CEQA, since it will cause significant impacts on the environment, including impacts on parking, loading, traffic, transit, and emergency services. The Project also affects accessibility and safety of people with disabilities, and is therefore contrary to the Disability Rights Laws.

The Project also creates public safety hazards by impairing the safety and visibility of drivers accessing driveways. The bulbouts also adversely affect visibility and safety by impairing visibility of oncoming traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians. Bulbouts also worsen congestion and delays.

REMEDIES REQUESTED

1. Set aside all approvals of the Oak-Fell Project, and the October 4, 2012 Categorical Exemption.

2. Declare that any future proposal to implement the same project must be preceded by an environmental impact report fully analyzing all impacts and proposing effective mitigations for each of the Project’s possible impacts on parking, traffic, transit, noise, air quality, emergency services, public safety, and human impacts. Cumulative impacts must be analyzed taking into account all past, present, and reasonably foreseeable projects that will also affect traffic, transit, parking, noise, air quality, and public safety on Oak and Fell Streets and the entire area. Spillover and secondary impacts from removal of streetside parking must also be analyzed, along with any impacts caused by mitigations, including traffic congestion caused by signal timing. The analysis must include real-time on-ground traffic counts during AM and PM peak periods taken at a variety of representative days of the week and times of the year.

3. The EIR must propose effective mitigations that eliminate each of the Project’s impacts, including consideration of avoiding each impact altogether by not implementing the Project.

4. The City must implement effective mitigation before Project implementation.

5. The City must propose a plan to effectively comply with the Disability Rights Laws, provide an opportunity for meaningful input and comment on such plan, and incorporate such plan in a revised Project.

6. Further consideration of the Project must be stayed until City has complied with CEQA, the Disability Rights Laws and other applicable statutes and regulations.

7. Such other remedies as may be appropriate.

Appellants will submit more detailed comment and/or briefing in support of this Appeal, Request for Stay and Reversal of Implementation, and Request for Review at or before a hearing by the Board of Supervisors.

With this appeal, appellants do not waive the right to present any and all issues and other public comment in further proceedings on the Project.

Please notify the undersigned of the date of the hearing, all actions on this Appeal, Request for Stay and Reversal of Implementation, and Request for Review, and all actions regarding the Project. Please schedule the hearing not earlier than 30 days from the date of this document.

DATE: November 2, 2012

Mark Brennan
Howard Chabner
Ted Loewenberg

FROM:

Mark Brennan

San Francisco CA 94117

Howard Chabner

San Francisco, CA 94117

Ted Loewenberg

San Francisco, CA 94117