Posts Tagged ‘lead’

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.  

Catching Up with the NEW Stow Lake Boat House – Photos – It’s Just the Same, Except for the “PRIVATE EVENTS”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Well, I guess the transition to the new vendor at our Stow Lake Boat House in Golden Gate Park is fully complete, not that you could really tell. Four Yelp stars, currently.

Things were a little contentious for a while there, what with the crew from Save Stow Lake, who supported the former vendor what operated this place. Get a taste of that conflict here. (And see what became of SaveStowLake.org down below – it’s kind of funny.)

Here it is, looking more like Camp Crystal than what you’d expect to see in Frisco:

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Here’s your seating area for the cafe. The worry back in the aughts was that this room was going to go upscale, become an upscale dining establishment. That didn’t happen.

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Now back in the day, the old vendor simply raised prices without telling/getting permission from Rec and Park, so today’s prices are basically the same as back in the aughts. The new Family Boat seats six, I figure.

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Le Cafe, complete with pink popcorn for sale, as was desired by the alarmist preservationists who supported the former vendor:

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Oh, this is new – room rentals

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I don’t think the Save Stow Lake people saw this coming, ’cause I don’t recall them complaining about the specter of private parties in a public park, oh well. I think it’s like $100 an hour to have a birthday party in a rented room these days. Naturally, visitors will think a bathroom is where all the people are milling about, so this sign keeps them out and points them across the street, fair ‘nough.

Now if conditions get too rough for you out on the high seas of this quite artificial “lake,” well you can always dial the snack bar and they’ll talk you home, like the air traffic controllers from Airport ’75

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So that’s your update.

Now, here’s what’s become of SaveStowLake.org. So who’s selling what here? IDK, but, from Japan, it’s the “Telephone Lady” who has tax tips for you:

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Anyway, that’s the bizarre end to the bizarre movement to “save” Stow Lake, which of course is still with us even though these Save Stow Lake people lost, big-time.

Happy Boating!

Exploring Alternatives to the Crowded, Problematic “The Wiggle” Bike Route – “RIDE OAK?” – Sure, or McAllister

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Here you go:

Due to police harassment on the SF Wiggle we have no choice but to ride Oak.”

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Well, let’s see, there are LOTS of reasons to not ride the vaunted THE WIGGLE route and also, there are other options asides from OAK.

But let’s consider Oak now. Oh, here’s famous fixie-riding Andy on the left side of Oak, from all the way back in aught-seven.

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And look, the dashed lines made a sort of bike lane on the left side – good times. (Unfortunately, this space for bikes is no longer there, due to subsequent restriping.)

Anywho, going straight on Oak instead of taking the Wiggle at Scott is nice because you’ve only got one sort of steep block. I see people take Oak all the time. Oak is good. Oak is fast. Oak is congested a lot of the time due to horrible horrible Octavia Boulevard (what was dreamed up by wealthy homeowners in Hayes Valley), so you’d spend some time weaving about, getting around drivers trying to get on the I-80 / the 101 superslabs, but that’s OK. I’ll add that Oak is for the adventurous, certainly.

So, Oak is far from being a ridiculous choice, a choice TO TEACH US ALL A LESSON about the dangers of the SFPD handing out citations. It’s a viable option.

Or what of Oak and Baker to Fulton to Divisadero to Mcallister to Market? This is THE UNWIGGLE with no wiggling at all betwixt Divis and Market. And look, you’ve defeated the rich people of HV who put a 105 foot wide BOULEVARD betwixt you and your destination, ’cause Octavia is but a nothingburger walking path / federal housing project parking lot on this route – it won’t slow you down at all.

Or Fulton? It’s a bit hillier than McAll and you’ve got big old City Hall in your way, but it’ll do.

Or Golden Gate? That works too.

Or Haight all the way to Fillmore, just to avoid the congested THE WIGGLE?

Notice that all these routes avoid “cycling” a bunch of people through the stop signs at WALLER and STEINER in the Lower Haight.

Those are some of your inbound routes.

As far as using Fell to go back home, well that’s CRAZY TOWN, that’s ill-advised. I rarely have seen that, in all my years.

IMO, the best way to get back is MCALLISTER

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…of course, there are other non-THE WIGGLE choices as well.

But feel free to do whatever you want, commiserate with this knucklehead, who lacks self-awareness, as you both deal with $238 tickets from John Law.

Just saying…

KRON-TV’s Big Stanley Roberts vs. the Little Lebowski of the Southern Wiggle: “I Don’t Want To Release This Footage”

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:

Oh No, Shaming! – “Referee the Wiggle” Event Coming April 23rd to “Red Card” Cyclists at Infamous Waller and Steiner

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:

FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN

That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.

Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.

Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.

Here it is:

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“Referee the Wiggle
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
Waller and Steiner st – The Wiggle

While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!

Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”

*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.

**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.

***Named for Landsford Hastings, a distant cousin, surely, of UC Hastings’ Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings.

Harsh: “Hitler Reacts to Oracle Team USA’s America’s Cup Loss” – This is How the “FaceBook Generation” Rolls

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

This bit here has elements that are somewhat old and hackneyed, and yet it’s also brand new and it’s also informative:

Quintin Mecke, Second Place Finisher in Mayoral Race and Now Director at Barbary Coast Consulting, Yells at Traffic, Good-Naturedly

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

And then he got out of the saddle to pump up the steepest block of McAllister what’s on the Snickerdoodle route.*

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*It’s the UnWiggle, it’s the better choice to get west of Divisadero from Market

Cyclists Have the Choice of Going North or South over Alamo Heights – Which is Better, McAllister Street or the Wiggle?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

If you want to get there and back again from the Panhandle bike path and Mid Market (and beyond), your best choice is McAllister Street.

It’s waaaaaaay better than The Wiggle route.

Why?

Well, why not? McAllister Street (aka the Hastings Cutoff) is shorter and swifter and straighter and safer

Actually, The Wiggle is The Rookie’s Choice, full of part-timers like CW Nevius (oh he just quit cycling in The City, hardly surprising) and fast fixie riders who don’t know any better.

And The Movement prefers the Wiggle, for some unknown reason. But if you just want to get from A to B, then its Market McAllister Divis and eventually Fell for you.

Like this – that’s UC Hastings, your Hastings Cutoff lodestar, there in the background on the left: 

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So you climb a bit more using McAl, like 20 more vertical feet if you add up all the ups and downs, but big whoop.

All right, see you out there on the HC!

Uh, What Exactly is That Equinox Company Selling in the Pacific Stock Exchange in the Financial District?

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Here are two ads for Equinox Fitness on Pine Street what are about three yards high:

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I think things were a lot more wholesome at the Pacific Stock Exchange Building when it was the Pacific Stock Exchange. You know, back when Kevin Bacon filmed that Quicksilver bike messenger movie in 1986 before you were born. It went a little like this, with KB acting as a besuited yuppie stock broker at the PSE at Pine and Sansome.

You see, back then, everybody wore clothes and open outcry was the order of the day.

See?

Good times.

Suntory times

San Francisco’s Former Pacific Stock Exchange Has Been Reduced to a Gymnasium Outfit What Thinks It Owns Our Sidewalks

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Apparently.

I’ll bet his name is Bruno, something like that:

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Now, is Equinox Fitness supposed to be tearing up the sidewalks of 301 Pine Street with their lead sled contraptions?

No, not at all.

Oh well.

First sidewalk bowling and now this.

Sic transit gloria mundi