Posts Tagged ‘kqed’

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.  

“Retired” SF Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Errs When Relating a Story About How He Errs – Let’s Go To The Videotape!

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Well, not really videotape. But anyway, here it is:

Let’s note a few things.

1. Uh, how many times does our Board of Supervisors issue a proclamation when somebody leaves the Chronicle? Who was behind this proclamation? Would most journalists be so proud to be honored for years of fawning coverage?

2. Did Supervisor John Avalos really go on a “rant?” And didn’t the topic have to do with Chuck, you know, purportedly, misquoting Avalos?

3. Did John Avalos really “slam” his microphone down? (I don’t know for sure, but I didn’t see it. Of course, neither did Chuck. Maybe I’d say Avalos pushed down or turned off the mic?)

4. Hey, did Peaches Christ really do that thing with the purported dildo?

5. Hey, I could go on and on. And he’s not even being honest when he says, well, that’s how I look at things. I’ll leave you with this, Gentle Reader – two bits on the wasteful expensive Central Subway. One, written before City Hall told Chuck how to feel and the other after. He was like Donald Trump on the Twitter, contradicting himself, seemingly without without realizing, and certainly without acknowledging…

Nevius: Chinatown subway plan makes me wince” – February 21, 2008

“There’s really only one question to ask about the proposal to bore a light-rail subway deep under the heart of downtown San Francisco. You’re kidding, right?

“Just the initial math makes your head hurt. Basically it works out to somewhere between $1.22 billion and $1.4 billion for an underground railway that runs for less than two miles and has only three stops. That’s not a transit system, it’s a model railroad.

“Throw in a few of the inevitable cost overruns and this could work out to a billion dollars a mile.”

“No matter. This is the kind of big, splashy project that city officials love to put their name on.”

“Basically, the argument seems to boil down to this – we’ve got the money (as if federal tax dollars grow on trees), the Chinatown community is behind it, why not build it? Oh, let me count some of the reasons.”

“But, critics say, a stop on Market beneath which BART and other Muni lines already run might have made this whole thing an easier sell. That would have created an opportunity for a single station where riders could make connections between regional and local trains, almost like Grand Central Terminal in New York. Instead, riders will have to walk all the way up to Union Square.”

“Oh, and did I mention that in order to get under the BART tube, the subway station at Union Square will have to be at least 95 feet below the surface. That’s nine stories.”

“What is it about that image of deep, underground dirt-munching machines in earthquake country that makes me wince?”

 

S.F.: City of whine aficionados” – January 9, 2014

“A subway will take traffic off some of the busiest streets in the city – try riding Muni on Stockton Street in the morning – and provide quick north-south access across the city, and it’s mostly paid for with federal funds. Who wouldn’t like something like that?”

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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What This, Church Goers Regularly Illegally Double-Park ALL DAY LONG on Bush Street, with the Blessing of the SFMTA and SFGov?

Monday, May 11th, 2015

This is where this ride was parked on the left side of Bush in the Western Addition on a Saturday morning, around brunch time:

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And here it is, after being moved forward a couple car lengths, on the same day, around dinner time (Early Bird dinner time, anyway):

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I’d always wondered about how long people double park on San Francisco’s Major Eastbound Substitute Freeway and now I have my answer. People aren’t just popping in for a service, they’re blocking traffic all the live-long day.

A few notes:

1. Jesus Christ! I mean, WWJD? Or WWJP, WHERE WOULD JESUS PARK? ‘Cause I sure as Hell don’t think He’d illegally double-park his chariot like this all day all day.

2. Let’s talk about Time, Place, and Manner: I myself double-park, but not on fucking Bush, which is half of the Bush-Pine Corridor, which has one-way streets and 30 MPH speed limits for a reason.

3. I myself double-park, but not for eight fucking hours at a stretch.

4. I myself double-park, but not two fucking feet from an intersection, ’cause when Parishioners do that they force the hundreds and hundreds of cars that get stalled over the course of a day into an intersection, and that’s not good, right?

5. Obviously, this double-parking behavior has become institutionalized by San Francisco gov’mint, so perhaps these pious Prius owners don’t realize how much they’ve been sinning. But let’s check it, from Katrina Schwartz of KQED:

Why Doesn’t San Francisco Enforce Double Parking on Sundays?

Now she’s talking about Sundays and I’m talking about Saturdays, but it’s the same deal, right?

Oh, and check out this bon mot, Gentle Reader:

“Are you seeing the contradiction here? Double parking is still illegal on Sundays, but the SFMTA has rules for how churches should manage their double parking.”

Indeed.

6. Our SFMTA, operator of MUNI, America’s Slowest Big City Transit System, might be working on a fix, a fix that might actually earn some money for the SFMTA to boot, but this fix could take years, so the current course is to say, oh, give us more money, oh, we can’t afford to enforce traffic laws on the weekends, oh we’ve let a bunch of Work Rules build up over the decades, so we’re inefficient as all get out, so, oh give us more money. SFGov is basically saying, “So sue us.” Like with “Mount” Davidson, the highest point in town – there was a Christian Cross on public land for decades and SFGov told San Franciscans to Go To Hell if they didn’t like it. (I myself wondered how this sitch could possibly be constitutional when I first came here.) So the upshot was that, finally, somebody sued SFGov, and won, and now that land aint private anymo’. The same thing with calling cell phone taxes “fees” to be able to generate ever more revenue for SFGov without troubling to get permission – somebody sued SFGov and now our cell phone taxes are properly called cell phone taxes. Simply, SFGov is in denial over this issue because it doesn’t want to get sued.

7. And hey, speaking of churches in the Western Addition, Jim Jones had a church on Geary a few blocks down the hill and he had SFGov wrapped around his finger. Here’s a snip:

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I’m not suggesting that Mayor Willie Brown is failing us now as much as he was back in the 1970’s when he was in the Assembly, but this is yet another example of a failure of San Francisco democracy.

Anyway, this is How We Live in 2015.

When an MSM Reporter “Stalks” You at Your Favorite Corporate Bus Stop, Feel Free to Photograph Him Right Back

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Here you go, it’s a photo from area reporter/producer Sam Harnett, as he was laboring for KQED en la Mision:

Wary Employers, Stigma Have Some Tech Workers Keeping Low Profile

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A techie is recording right back, to even the odds, one supposes.

Now, which corporate PR team is behind this?

One company pressured an employee to recant an interview we had already done. The PR team told me that story could be “weaponized” against the company, which was “under a microscope.” 

I can guess.

Can you?

Proud License Plate Owner Locks “MATHS” onto Mini Cooper – But Who Would Steal It? – Also, KQED —> QED

Friday, November 21st, 2014

It’s a Mathemagician!

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Or a Mathlete.

Q.E.D.

Look Out, NIMBYs, It’s a Eurocopter 135 Above Mission Bay: “BEAR FORCE ONE” Comes to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

I have clear memories of the time those rich, property-owning, eastside NIMBYs taped an anti-helipad flyer to my bike, parked en la Mision.

Well look what’s moving on up to the east side now – it’s “BEAR FORCE ONE,” which just happens to be a Eurocopter EC 135 P2+ with the UCSF Benioff logo right on the side, straight outta YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (Yolo) County.

As seen by KQED’s David Mariuz just this afternoon:

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I’m like YES YES YES.

So, where’s your messiah now, NIMBYs?

(And who’s on the helipad batter’s circle now? Could it be SFGH?)

Anyway, SF has been bereft of medical helipads since the NIMBY’s came to power – it’s nice to see a reversal…

Wow, a Master Tenant Tells KQED He Rents Out Room for More Than Allowed by Rent Control – WTF? Plus, a Simple Solution

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

All right here we go:

In San Francisco, Rooms for $1,000/Month Are Now Scarce – Sam Harnett | April 2, 2014

“Brian Harrigan is on the other side of the equation. He is on the lease of an iconic four-bedroom Victorian in the Lower Haight. He could probably rent the rooms out for as much as $1,500 each, but he doesn’t want to be greedy. At the same time, he said, ‘If I was to rent it out at like $500 I would have hundreds of emails. You would get everyone applying for it, and it wouldn’t be manageable.’ Harrigan recently had a room open up in the apartment and he decided to put it up at $1,000 — about double the rent-controlled rate and $500 below what he could have charged. Even with the inflated price, he received about 50 applications for the one room.”

What what what – the rent for the room is “about double the rent-controlled rate?”

Non non non! You can’t do it that way in SF.

Here are the three rules, IIRC:

1. Total rent paid by the subtenants may not exceed the rent paid by the master tenant to the landlord.

2. Rent paid by subtenants to the master must be proportional to the total rent – so if the rent controlled rate is for a two-bedroom is $1000 per month to the landlord and the master and sub each share 50-50 (like the rooms and everything else are identical) then the rent charged to the sub should be $500, or close enough to $500.

3. The rent paid by the master to the landlord shall be disclosed in writing to the sub before the sub moves in in the first place.

Those are the rules – live it love it learn it.

Now, can a subtenant get back money from the master if the rent charged is deemed to be disproportionate? Hell yes, going back years.

So is it wise to tell KQED how you set the rate for a room in rent-controlled San Francisco if you’re not sure you’re doin it right? No.

So what should master tenants do then? ‘Cause if you advertise a room for $400 a month on craigslist the world will beat a path to your door, right?

Here’s what you do, you figure what the rent should be for a room but you keep it a secret at first. Then you advertise the room at a market rate, $1400, whatever – and that will cut down on the riff-raff, that will avoid a 50-person beauty contest from every state in the nation, right? And then after you pick somebody to be your new roomie, then comes The Reveal, which is actually the rent is only $400 a month are you cool with that. And it will be, I guarantee it.

What’s that, this strategy isn’t for you because ____? Well all right, have it your way. But just make sure* you split the rent proportionally, that’s what I’m saying.

*Heavy is the head what wears the master tenant crown, right? Of course, there are pros and cons to being a master tenant in rent controlled SF – it’s not for everyone.