Posts Tagged ‘KPIX’

Frisco’s Highest Elevator Car

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Here it is:

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I don’t think it ever gets level, so you’re standing on a sloping floor the whole time:

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And then you go up up up to the highest horizontal point of Sutro Tower:

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I haven’t seen it in action lately, but here’s a shot from aught-four:

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And more recently:

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Or you can take the stairs I guess…

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

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So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

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And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

Idling News Van Exhaust Problem Solved! – With a Rubber Hose – But How Does This Help?

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

All right, when you’re doing your ENG (Electronic News Gathering) on the streets of San Francisco, as this one was doing the day after Donald Trump somehow got elected President, you’ve got some basic things to worry about.

The first is crime – either somebody will want to steal your stuff, at gunpoint sometimes, or they’ll want to vandalize your mobile news van. One way to handle this is to maintain a low profile. One way to do that is paint your van white in a plain vanilla wrapper, so that’s why most networked news vans are unmarked in the 415.

And the second, well, it’s handling complaints from the Gentle Viewers and passersby who start complaining about all the fumes your news van spews our hour after hour. So you attach a garden hose to direct exhaust up to the roof, thusly:

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Like, how does this help?

Here’s the other way of doing it:

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I’ll tell you, I can see how this kind of thing could lead to problems, you know, mechanically, but my real question is HOW DOES THIS HELP, AT ALL?

 

KPIX Solves Global Warming – I’ve Never Seen This – Idle Idle Idle All the Live-Long Day

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

How on Earth does this help?

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This truck was parked right outside of Black Rock Battery, so couldn’t it use shore-side power ala the Port of Frisco?

Get a Special PP License Plate from the DMV and then You Too Can Park Wherever the Hell You Want – The Joys of Being a PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

It’s mostly video these days, not photography per se:

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Get your own, here

Word on the Street: “DO NOT PAY IMPOSTERS”

Monday, July 18th, 2016

This is a very Frisco kind of sign:

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The scam of collecting parking fees that you shouldn’t has been going on for a while now.

Even our local government fails for this one sometimes, like the time a City Hall worker paid $100 so a bus could park near Broadway and Embarcadero for a mayoral news conference, oh well.

Remember, “DO NOT PAY THIS MAN!!!”

Florida Man Takes Frisco by Storm: Meet Erick Brown & “Deer,” His Pygmy Goat – They’re All Over Town These Days

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Hey look, it’s Erick “Rockclub” Brown and his goat named Deer, straight outta the Florida Panhandle.

Here they are in the Sunset last month and, via lovely Andria Borba of KPIX 5 CBS, in The City Part Of Town just yesterday, and (literally) on Fell Street a couple days back:

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All the deets:

Erick Brown talks about Deer his goat

Man reunited with pet goat

And you know People Magazine? Well they have a Pets Section now. It’s called “PeoplePets.” Srsly:

WATCH: Florida Man and His Goat Share Rainbow Robe-Filled Reunion

All right, let’s bid adieu, as Erick and Deer strut through a four-on-four pickup blacktop game in our Panhandle:

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Take a look at the ballers – click to expand if necessary. They all have the same HEY-BRO-GET-OFF-THE-COURT-WHOA-A-GOAT EXPRESSION, IMO.

Bon courage, Erick

Bon courage, Deer

READER NOTES: Are you aware of the Growing Urban Goat Movement? Check it:

Sarah Hawkins breeds and sells a specific variety of miniature goats. “The Nigerian Dwarf can be for pets and for milk,” says Hawkins, “and for eating weeds – they’ll eat yellow star thistle.” Hawkins owns Castle Rock Farm in Vacaville. Most of her customers live in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland where it’s legal to keep goats in backyards.

And hey, you know who loves urban goats? SFGov, that’s who. Read up our even-toed ungulate laws here:

Regulations on the Keeping of Goats and Other Hoofed Animals by the San Francisco Department of Public Health

“Keeping two or less female goats on private property is legally allowed in San Francisco for the exclusive use of the owner’s family. Keeping more than two female goats or any number of male goats and other hoofed animals (e.g. Horse, mare, gelding, mule, burro, sheep, cow, etc) requires appropriate approval and stable permit according to the San Francisco Health Code. Goats can also be temporarily allowed on public projects for weed clearing and fire hazard abatement activities by special permit with the agency landowner.”

San Francisco’s Best (If Scariest) Commute: Riding the Elevator Basket Up Sutro Tower

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

As seen a few days back – that square, that’s your elevator car. Haven’t seen it in a while:

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And here’s the close-up color version, from all the way back in 2004:

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(I remember thinking how the workers in the basket should have appeared clearer in this photo. I guess I was super-far away, oh well.)

In closing, take that, Great Pyramid. Pwned:

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Proper: “Vince Crop Dusters, Inc” Vest Wins the Prize for Best MSM Camera Operator Garb

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The BMSMCOG Award for 2011 goes to this fellow.

As seen in the basement of City Hall:

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Simply marvelous.

Dirty Harry 1970’s Time Capsule: Groove on KGO’s Orange Chopper and KPIX 5’s Robin’s Egg Blue Van

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Well, Dirty Harry debuted 40 years ago so let’s use his movie series to see what the 415 looked like back in the 1970’s.

From The Enforcer, here’s KGO Radio’s groovy orange Bell 47J Ranger, looking not that much different from the choppers they used on M*A*S*H*.

Above the old Embarcadero Freeway and close to the build site for Embarcadero 4 (our youngest Embarcadero, it turns out) and Embarcadero 5,  the crazy Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Hotel:

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And back then, the Equinox revolving restaurant actually revolved. See it atop the Hyatt?

“The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is a large, imposing exposed concrete structure. It was built in 1972, designed by notorious architect John Portman. He is known for his outlandish designs. The Hyatt Regency here is no exception. It’s hard to describe, but I’ll try. It was built as a modern concrete structure around an atrium with extensive use of odd angles…presumably to take advantage of the odd, triangular-shaped property and beautiful bay/city views. From some angles it looks like a normal building, others like a pyramid, and from yet others like spires shooting up to the sky. It’s extremely unique and enjoyable to look at by us architecture and engineering dweebs. To everyone else, it’s a big gaudy hotel that is seriously starting to look dated architecturally.”

Now here’s Harry leaving City Hall back in the mid-1970’s – can you imagine an uglier color than this blue?

I can’t.

Anyway, stay groovy…