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Or so they say:
“This morning from 10-11 am a large military watercraft will arrive on Ocean Beach. This is part of an exercise and is only a drill.”
“This morning 11am-1pm there will be an exercise w/2 helicopters at Sunset Blvd & Lake Merced Blvd. Noise will be elevated. It’s only a drill”
Here they are:
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[UPDATE: Upon further review, these aren't Chinese naval uniforms after all:
At first I thought they could have been from the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy.
And oh, look what's on the PLAN's to-do list:
See that? In addition to taking over Japanese islands (the Senkakus and others), the neo-Imperial Chinese Navy wants to take over Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino, and Bruneian islands as well. And don't forget about Taiwan.
But we're being visited by a South Korean ship so it's all good.]
How would you like to volunteer as a docent helping out with the new-school / old-school E-line on October 6-7, 2012?
First, some background about how busy the 415 will be this weekend:
“Looking at what’s scheduled for that weekend, there might not be room in the city for many more people, much less cars. First, there’s the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, a three-day event that drew about 800,000 people last year. That Sunday afternoon, the 49ers play the Buffalo Bills at Candlestick Park, while the Giants are hoping for weekend playoff games at AT&T Park, all guaranteed sellouts. About 60,000 people typically attend the Castro Street Fair, scheduled for that Sunday, while thousands more will jam North Beach for the annual Italian Heritage Parade at 12:30 on the same day. A different crowd will probably be at the Burning Man Decompression street fair, also that Sunday afternoon. To add to the fun, two mega cruise ships are expected to dock at Pier 35 over the weekend, disgorging thousands more tourists. Then, of course, there’s Fleet Week, which brings thousands of sailors and as many as a million visitors to the waterfront for the weekend.”
So you’ll be needed to help out all the visitors moving around on the Twin Torpedos, streetcars 1006 and 1008:
“We need several more docents to work the stops along the E-line on October 6 and 7, helping riders find the right platform and providing information about the service. We have docent books prepared by Paul Lucas, so it’s easy to learn what to do. If you’re interested, send us an email and we’ll get back to you.”
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So today’s the day of the big ceremony with elements of the single-party state known as the People’s Republic of China announcing some kind of trade deal with the City and County of San Francisco.
So let’s check the international news. Seems as if the Chinese Navy recently went down to the Philippines to establish a new “city” called Sansha. I think it was yesterday.
“Beijing’s planned deployment of a military garrison to Sansha brought a swift response from President Aquino. He said, “If someone entered your yard and told you he owned it, would you agree? Would it be right to give away that which is rightfully ours?” Protesters hold banners while chanting slogans during an anti-China protest along a street in Hanoi, July 22, 2012. Vietnam has also criticized the establishment of Sansha, calling it “serious violation” of Hanoi’s sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly chains, which it claims as part of Danang city and Khanh Hoa province respectively.”
Here’s a map of territorial claims in the oceanic area betwixt Vietnam and the Philippines. Do you see which county is farthest away? That’s right, it’s China. And do you see which country has the biggest claim? That’s right, it’s also China. Why is that?
Historically, other countries have had imperial ambitions in this part of the world, of course. But these days it’s all China all the time.
Is that a good thing?
Now let’s hear from Chinese Consulate advisor / Mayor Ed Lee advisor Rose Pak – perhaps she could shed some light:
“When asked what message she would like to convey to the Chinese government, Pak said, “On what moral ground do we have as United States citizens lecturing what China should do when our own President would drum up falsehoods and bomb Iraq back to the stone-age, killing several hundred thousand innocent Iraqis.”
“Look at all the problems in the world, (they) are all created by Western countries with their phony-baloney moral standards,” Pak added.”
Just like it was on eBay.
The auction ends on Friday May 4, 2012. The buyer will be required to cut up this stealth ship for scrap. Current bid is $300k.
This boat was built here in the Bay Area and now it’s about to die here.
All the deets, below.
Remember back when Bay Areans could espy the straight-outta-Redwood-City $200-million Sea Shadow stealth ship bobbing about in San Francisco Bay? Check this video from down Fun Diego way over at Telstar Logistics to see this baby in action.
Say it aloud: Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship, Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship, Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship! This project was so secret that it didn’t make the Bay Area newspapers up until 1999, when this boat was identified as an airplane three times by the San Francisco Examiner.*
Now the first time the Navy tried to get rid of this historic boat, in 2006, they had all sorts of rules. Then they tried again in 2009 with more flexible rules. But the problem is that you can’t just take the Shadow, you also have to take the Hughes Mining Barge (HMB-1), a floating drydock boat that was developed as part of Project Jennifer. (That was the semi-successful, top-secret effort mounted by the Central Intelligence Agency to salvage the remains of the Soviet submarine K-129 from the ocean floor.)
Here’s a shot of them together, ignore the two conventional warships in the background:
But wait, there’s more. Here’s how the Sea Shadow is laid out on the inside:
The bridge of Grant Imahara’s future evil lair. (Boy, talk about a glass cockpit, huh?)
And here’s how she looks from the outside:
You want. However, nobody set up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and take these things off of the Navy’s hands. So now an important piece of Bay Area military history (and film history what with it inspiring the bad guys’ floating lair in Tomorrow Never Dies) is a gonna get scrapped.
Here’s what came next, after the Shadow got mothballed – it’s the all-aluminum Sea Fighter, as seen back in 2006:
The point being is that the aging Sea Shadow is the ur-ship, the JetFire of the stealth boat world. Why didn’t anybody save her?
Check out the owner’s manuals - pretty soon, that will be all that’s left…
Ever more deets, after the jump.
*From 1999: “The combined Navy-Marine exercise included overflights of the Bay Area by the Sea Shadow, the Navy equivalent of the stealth bomber.” No, this thing can’t fly, it just floats. Veteran SF Chronicle writer Henry K. Lee got that right but others did not. Nevertheless, SFGate.com, San Francisco’s online newspaper, remains an invaluable resource.
I’ll tell you, if you like to see people walking around 415 dans l’uniforme, then late 2001 would have been the time for you. Military-types were all over town.
But these days, you don’t see that anymore, for some reason. These days, you need to go down the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in the sleepy North of Financial District area to see men and women in uniform.
See the door on the left? They’re* hiring!
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“Navy Recruiting Station San Francisco
670 Davis Street
San Francisco, CA 94111 (415) 434-0195″
*The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, all of them, and maybe even the Coast Guard