Posts Tagged ‘neighborhood’

The Tour Buses of Alamo Square are Perfectly Fine

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Like this one.

I suppose you could have heard the tour guide over the P.A. jabbering away, but the noise of the diesel engine was louder.

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So no biggee, right?

So this isn’t actually kind of like the Wild, Wild West at all, right?

Oh, and NEWSFLASH, HOMEOWNERS: You actually live in the Western Addition. And actually, you’re not special.

Oh, and NEWSFLASH, HOMEOWNERS: The pols you consider friends actually don’t like dealing with you.

Oh, and NEWSFLASH, HOMEOWNERS: The white trash visitors you despise are happy people, generally. The white trash visitors you despise are BETTER THAN YOU, believe it or not.

So dry your tears and try to carry on.

Hollywood Has OSCAR Awards, San Francisco Has NIMBY Awards – 2011 NEN (Nimbys Empowering Nimbys) Awards

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

[UPDATE: Ooh, word on the street is that there’ll be a special award for the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners. Let’s hope this rumour proves out!]

At City Hall:

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And best of all, these awards are sponsored by the good people at PG&E, who mostly never kill anybody, mostly.

Leave us not forget the NIMBY Empowerment Act of 2006:

The NEN offers a new paradigm of collaboration which redefines the role of government from “manager” to “partner.” By re-aligning expectations and investing in capacity building resources, the goal is to return residents to their rightful role of stewards of the community.”

(Uh, NIMBY says what now? Moving on.)

All right, read this sentence fragment three times and then try to define what the word “empowerment” means. I defy you:

Empowerment Institute is the world’s premiere consulting and training organization specializing in the methodology of empowerment. Its state-of-the-art empowerment…”

(“State-of-the-art?” Shouldn’t that be “world-class” instead? I get my tired, corporate-speak cliches mixed up.)

But let’s see, who’s winning a pretigious NIMBY this year? Well, how about the Divisadero Corridor (aka DivCo), for one, as Comeback Neighborhood of the Year, or something. (Has the DivCo really changed all that much the past year? No, not all. Oh well.)

Now, how about last year?

“The San Francisco Department of Public Works’s Deputy Director, Mohammed Nuru, was awarded the Most Empowering City Employee Award for his dedication to San Francisco’s neighborhoods and years of work in preserving and maintaining San Francisco’s urban space. “Mr. Nuru is the go-to person in the City of SF for infrastructure projects. If you need a fence, sign or election* fix, Mr. Nuru can help you get it done,” said SF resident Gillian Gillette.”

So there’s no corruption here, then, huh? Pick a graf, any graf:

Nuru also volunteered for Brown’s re-election campaign in 1999, he testified. In that election, The Chronicle reported, three former SLUG employees say Nuru told them their jobs depended on Brown’s re-election and required them to walk precincts, attend rallies and work phones for Brown’s campaign while they were supposed to be cleaning streets.”

“In 2000, Brown hired Nuru to the No. 2 job at Department of Public Works, the 1,500-employee agency responsible for maintaining streets, sewers, public buildings and trees. Nuru was nominally the top aide to director Ed Lee. But employees believed the real power was Nuru, who boasted of his ties to the mayor and sometimes met with Brown without Lee.”

“Nuru quoted Brown as calling DPW’s management “a bunch of racists that were discriminating and holding people back.” Nuru vowed to “get rid of those white managers,” Cone said.”

“In an interview, Humphreys contended that in his early days at DPW, Nuru also ordered city workers to clean up a privately owned, debris-strewn vacant lot near Nuru’s home north of Candlestick Park. Humphreys put the cost of the cleanup at $40,000, and said it violated policies on the use of public resources at DPW.”

“Last fall, DPW asked the mayor’s Office of Community Development for $70, 000 to clean up a debris-strewn, city-owned lot four doors from Nuru’s home. City records show Nuru as the original DPW contact on the request.”

“As Cone later testified, SLUG wanted the city to pay consulting fees of $250 per hour to a retired DPW official who once oversaw the SLUG contract. Cone rejected the $5,863 invoice. Cone said he balked at a $25,000 bill for SLUG uniforms, including bib overalls and baseball caps. Cory Calandra, Nuru’s replacement at SLUG, wrote in a letter that uniforms were needed because SLUG crews “must live up to the reputation of San Francisco as a world class city.”

“I have pancreatic cancer,” he said. “I’ve had a good run, but I’m finished. I have no hatred for Mr. Nuru, but I do want to see DPW get back on track, and I’d like to see the taxpayers get what they’re paying for.”

I’m sure you’ll enjoy your big night, NEN:

GTH, NEN. TTFN.

* One-Word Parody Alert – you know, something “created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target**.”

** The investigation found that while at DPW, Nuru directed employees of the nonprofit he had previously led – the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners – to campaign for candidates in the 2003 mayors and district attorneys races. City-funded nonprofits are prohibited from using those funds to campaign.”

Art is Afoot in the Fillmore – A Call for Submissions from Audio Manifestations – “When It Is Prohibited, It Is More Exciting”

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

If you are interested in creative, art-type stuff and you live or work near the McAllister / Fillmore / #5 Fulton area, then you should check out Audio Manifestations: Voices from the Street, why not?

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And when you’re in the area, always check to see what’s hanging from 1269 McAllister near Steiner – it changes regularly. A sample is below.

And here’s another link: It’s Audio Manifestations, baby:

“Audio Manifestations records the hidden narratives of artists in the Western Addition/Fillmore district in San Francisco, and shares these stories with the wider neighborhood. By creating multi-media stories focusing on our neighborhood’s artists, the project illuminates the passions and talents that have emerged from our local streets. 

Audio Manifestations will culminate in a community listening event that aims to create empathy, solidarity, and engagement by sharing artists’ experiences, and celebrating their commitment to making an impact on our blocks. 

We invite local artists, musicians, radio documentations, and neighbors to submit any sound or audio art that will be featured during the listening party. Reach out to voicesfromthestreet@gmail.com and join in.”

OK then.

A cry for help from a frequent flier?

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See you there!

ATMs of the “Up and Coming” “NoPA District” in the Western Addition

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Oh, here’s one.

As seen on Divisadero, on the same block as the Popeye’s Chicken:

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Keep on chasing those rainbows, area real estate interests.

So many NIMBY meetings to attend, so little time…

1965 Page Street vs. Whole Foods Haight Street: “Bad Neighbors!” – A Kramer-esque Campaign

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Well, it’s not much yet, but this is the biggest reaction I’ve seen so far to the relatively new Whole Foods outlet at the end of Haight Street near Stanyan.

Do you see this Kramer-esque sign hanging off the back of 1965 Page? It’s new.

See?

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Cf. Cosmo Kramer vs. Kenny Rogers Roasters, Inc.

Now I don’t know what these NIMBYs paid for that sign but I’d imagine something like hundreds of dollars. Most passersby weren’t aware of it, cause of how and where it’s hung. But go to the northeast corner of the parking lot and then look northeast and you’ll be sure to find it. (WF employees were doing just that yesterday afternoon, having a laugh.)

MisssAnthrope49 has the details on YouTube.

And I guess that this is the FaceBook page?

Whole Foods Inc Bad Neighbor :-(” “This page is for those who have unresolved neighborhood noise issues with Whole Foods Markets, Inc. Please share your experience, links, pictures, videos. Invite others, anywhere in the universe. Support your local markets.”

(You don’t have a website yet, NIMBYs?)

Now, I’ll tell you, the parking lot at this Whole Foods fills up with regularity, cause it’s too small. (And that’s just the way “the neighbors” or the Planning Department or somebody wanted it to be. By design.) So I don’t know how the people who wanted a small parking lot have the right to complain about a small parking lot. Anyway, the way Trader Joes Masonic handled the parking issue was to take over parking spaces on the right side of southbound Masonic in partnership with the City. (I mean, first you’ve got to exist, and then you can address the issues what pop up, that’s how you’ve got to do it.)

The parking lot attendants at this particular WF will direct shoppers into non-existent spots in front of the store, you know, in order to pack the largest number of cars into the lot. Of course there are signs telling drivers not to block Stanyan, but nobody pays attention to them.

We’ll just have to wait to see how this one turns out.

In the meantime, meet your new NIMBY neighbors, so far:

Susan Leas LathamLeda Nevin AguirreHolly EdsonSoumyaa Kapil BehrensJohnson HorTed DeLongVanessa PictonGabriel HaalandKenneth HeikkilaFran GentryLoraine Cruz CummingsDarlene PolankaMichelleNoel WelchElizabeth KirchnerRichard IvanhoeDickie Clark

Oh, and here’s something that people actually noticed, back in the day, on Stanyan:

This building on Stanyan can be seen from all over, so it would be a better location to launch an anti-grocery store campaign, IMO.

Oh well.

And nascent NIMBY’s, the time to attack Progress is before the gro sto goes in. I mean, did you expect the parking lot to be empty all the time? Did you expect the food to be teleported in via Wonka-Vision?

Oh well.

To close, here are some palliative cliches from Whole Foods itself:

“Sent: Thu, August 25, 2011 7:02:26 PM
Subject: RE: HVAC at 690 Stanyan Street

Susan,
Whole Foods Market Haight Street store has received your concerns regarding HVAC noise. We take all our neighbors’ concerns and questions seriously and work to accommodate requests whenever and wherever possible. The neighborhood we serve is extremely important to us and we want to be a good community member.  We had our HVAC service company come to double check that all the adjustments that we have made the past few months were still up to par . There were only two minor adjustments needed.

While we are within the legal limits for noise required by the city, Whole Foods Market Haight has made many adjustments in response to HVAC inquiries, including:
o   We reprogrammed the HVAC system to shut down between 8PM and 8AM to reduce noise when people are home
o   We also changed our thermostat settings two degrees lower so the heat would kick on later in the morning
o   We installed sound dampening devices on all our rooftop condensing fans
o   We had our own acoustic, electric and HVAC engineers come out to test and fine tune our system for noise reduction and ensure we were within our legal limits
o   Additionally, we had the Department of Public Health Environmental  Services come back out to re-test and ensure we were operating within the legal limits

While the adjustment to any new neighbor may take some time, we truly hope we can peacefully co-exist with our neighbors in the Haight”

If All of San Francisco Government Worked as Efficiently as Street-Cleaning-Day PCOs, Well…

Friday, August 5th, 2011

…we wouldn’t have any debt and we’d run surpluses every year.

This is five minutes before two-hour no-parking-time, you know, for street sweeping. Do these streets look like they need a sweeping? Not to me.

But the Spice Must Flow, right? It’s harvest time, once again: 

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There’s a chance that the owners of the cars parked here on Octavia might saunter (or run) up for a last-minute rescue, but usually you don’t see that.

It’s too bad that San Francisco government can’t “make money” by having an efficient transit network, you know, the way it “makes money” off of forgetful drivers on unnecessary weekly (or, I’m srsly, daily in some places) street sweeping.

This operation didn’t start out as a scam, back in the day, but it turned into one.*

Oh well.

*In this respect, it’s just like the neighborhood parking decal scheme.

Yet Another Japantown “Better” Neighborhood Plan (BNP) Meeting This Afternoon on Sutter Street – Catered by Bushi-Tei Bistro

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I’ll give you this, the Powers That Be are doing a better job with the Japantown BNP this go-around owing, to me not seeing stuff about “no more highrises.”

And, for the first time, I see stuff about “other cultural” what-have-you.

(If that’s too cryptic that’s  all right. Basically, this whole process is a focus group for the City to get reactions about what it already wants to do. If you want to participate, well then be my guest.)

All the deets:

I mean, is it necessarily a good thing to “expand the Special Use District?”

I don’t know. (Last year, a couple Angry Young Men were pretty p.o.’ed about one meeting being “dominated” by aging white hakujin who live south of Geary. These AYM wondered why those residing on the wrong side of the Expressway were even included in a Japantown meeting…)

Anyway, ever more deets:

“Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Start Time: 12:30 pm   End Time: 3:00 pm

Phone: (415) 346-1239

More Infohttp://sfplanning.org/index.aspx?page=1692

Location Details

Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Start Time: 12:30 pm End Time: 3:00 pm
(Time Zone: US/Pacific)

Location: Issei Memorial Hall at JCCCNC (map)

Category: Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan

A Community Vision: Sustainability and Renewal

Preserve, restore and enhance Japantown as a vital, prosperous, and livable community that authentically reflects, embodies and continues its cultural heritage and history into the future.

The Japantown Organizing Committee invites you to attend a series of community meetings. We need your input and guidance on their recommended changes to the 2009 draft neighborhood plan.

We will meet to discuss:

Important neighborhood planning

Development issues

Questions about Zoning

Before the end of 2011, the final Japantown community recommendations are scheduled for consideration by the San Francisco Planning Commission. Your help at these meetings is vital to shape the neighborhood recommendations to the Planning Commission.

Click here to download handouts for this meeting.

Phone: (415) 346-1239

More Info: http://sfplanning.org/index.aspx?page=1692

Location Details

Issei Memorial Hall at JCCCNC
1840 Sutter Street
San Francisco CA 94115 US

“Linear Park?” Word from Japantown: The Webster Street Linear Park (WSLP) is NOT RECOMMENDED

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

What’s this? The first time I hear about a “linear park” and, already, the idea’s been killed.

That’s what I learned last night at the poorly-attended “Better” Neighborhood Project meeting. (For some reason the one they had earlier this month had a lot more people, oh well.)

Now last I heard, a few years ago, the powers that be were going to earthquake safe the Japantown parking garage on Post and then during construction people would be able to park their cars on the northbound lanes of excessively-wide Webster Street. But I suppose that got replaced with this linear park idea.

Anyway, here it is:

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Oh, and here too. See the driveways and whatnot?

Anyway, that’s your Japantown BNP update.

It’s Time for Yet Another Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan: Tonight at 6:30 PM, Public Realm/Transportation

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Today, June 27th, 2011, from exactly 6:30pm – 9:10pm, will see yet another BNP meeting for Japantown.

As with many of these kinds of meetings in the 415, the big decisions have already been made and your input is as a kind of focus group participant, you know, do you like the lighter beige or the darker beige swatch kind-of-thing.

For one thing, Chinese-Americans and Korean-Americans, who are already there in J-Town…

San Francisco’s Japantown at night:

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…have been left out of the process, by design.

Oh well.

Anyway:

Location: JCCCNC – Issei Memorial Hall
Time: June 27, 6:30pm – 9:10pm
Topic: PUBLIC REALM/TRANSPORTATION & CIRCULATION

  1. Japantown Landscape Vision: Install professional, well orchestrated Japan-influenced landscape vision to increase canopy, greenery and Japanese botanical species.
  2. Public Open Spaces: Use the Japantown landscape vision to enhance our central core of existing gathering spaces and create transition areas to other public open spaces.
  3. Transportation/Circulation: Leverage all city projects to fund improvements to traffic, pedestrian safety, signage and connections to adjucent neighborhoods and parks.

Community Meeting
Issei Memorial Hall @ JCCCNC
1840 Sutter Street, SF (between Buchannan & Webster Streets)
Date: June 27, 2011, 6:30-9:10 pm

Topics: Public Realm/Transportation and Circulation

Japantown Landscape Vision: Install professional, well orchestrated Japaninfluenced landscape vision to increase canopy, greenery and Japanese botanical species.

Public Open Spaces: Use Japantown landscape vision to enhance our central core
of existing gathering spaces and create transition areas to other public open spaces.
Transportation and Circulation

Leverage all city projects to fund improvements to traffic, pedestrian safety, signage
and connections to adjacent neighborhoods and parks

More deets after the jump.

(more…)

Deciding What’s “Appropriate” for Japantown: Here’s What the First Better Neighborhood Project Meeting Looked Like

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Community organizer Julian Davis was on hand at last night’s Better Neighborhood Project meeting put on by San Francisco’s Planning Department, you know, the one where it’s been preordained that There Shall Not Be Any More Highrises in Japantown. Anyway, he’s more optimistic than I am about the whole process.

Basically, San Francisco Government, the people who brought us Redevelopment, the people who tore down perfectly good houses (or “drafty old Victorians,” in their words, back in the day), the people who still haven’t apologized for that, the people who messed up Japantown big time with the whole concrete and clay and general decay motif, well, they’re back and they have a Plan.

Now, if you want to affect the plan, you need to be part of the leadership element of an area “community group.” It doesn’t matter all that much how many people are in your group, but you’re going to need a title and a group name to matter. If that’s not the case, then the best you can hope for is a chance to voice an out-of-the-box idea that’s slightly novel or crazy enough to work.

But I’ll tell you, the big decisions have already been made.

Here are the final ten minutes of last night’s meeting on Sutter, with three kind-0f focus group leaders offering feedback on what the audience members were saying. (Don’t mind the alarmingly loud iPhone buzzing at the end…)

Anything that the Planning Department has decided that’s not appropriate for this particular part of the Western Addition (like young people from South Korea, or China, or Taiwan opening up businesses on or near Post Street or a taller building (you know, one that could actually pay for itself and Other Things Too) that could block the view of that horrible Peace Pagoda*) is considered contagion. Oh well.

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On It Goes…

*I looked it up once and that Peace Plaza pagoda thing actually is Ur-Japanese, it actually is just like some stuff that was all over part of the southern part of Japan’s biggest island, but it seems more Pan-Asian or Chinese to most Japanese people that see it. They don’t recognize it as anything Japanese at all. This concrete thing is the Vaillancourt Fountain of the West Side.