Posts Tagged ‘ntsb’

The Difference Between a Serious Safety Organization Like the NTSB and Our SFMTA – “Toward Zero” vs. “Vision Zero”

Monday, March 16th, 2015

(Remember Gavin Newsom’s Vision from 2004 of Zero homeless people on the Streets of San Francisco by 2014? How did that work out? Oh, there are more now? Oh

So now we have a New Vision Zero – SFGov has banned all transportation-related deaths and injuries in San Francisco starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

Compare that with our NTSB, which is a serious safety organization. It wants us to move Toward Zero. See?

See the difference? One goal is attainable and the other is pie-in-the-sky from the get-go.

Hey, what’s the SFMTA’s record of turning tax and feepayer money into transportation safety? Not so hot, right? The SFMTA is good at creating more “work rules” for its employees, but it’s not so hot on its actual core functions.

And how is the SFMTA going to change to do better, to “achieve” its impossible to achieve goal?

Nothing. It’s planning on doing the same old same old, a “streetscape” project here and another streetscape project there, political district by political district.

Hey, does the NTSB have politics? Yes, yes it does, unfortunately. But it’s not mired in le politique the way our SFMTA is.

And here’s a bonus – the chances of any particular NTSB worker killing me on the streets of San Francisco are remarkably low. Compare that with the chances of me getting killed by an SFMTA employee are what, 20-30%, you know, assuming I get killed on the streets of San Francisco.

So why not this, SFMTA? Why not take Vision Zero 2024 SF and start with SFGov employees, starting now?

You see, SFMTA, transportation safety isn’t a problem with the lack of “safe” streets, it’s a problem with the behavior of people.

The way you’re trying to do affect the behavior of people is the most convoluted imaginable. Sorry.

Anyway, if you changed your project’s name to Toward Zero, you’d have a chance at success.

If not, then you don’t.

Just For The Record, the Reason Why There’s No Old-School Traffic Light at Polk and Fulton is 100% SFGov’s Fault

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

There are some gray areas in how the SFPD enforces CA’s Failure To Yield Vehicle Code section upon drivers, certainly, but take a look here to see a case of black and white. The white Nissan on the right failed to yield to the ped on the left, smack dab in front of the Main Entrance to City Hall:

7J7C3502 copy

Fundamentally, this is Fulton and Polk, and I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a traffic light here. Of course City Hall takes up two city blocks and that’s why Fulton disappears here, but wouldn’t the driver compliance rate be orders of magnitude higher with a simple red-amber-green light?

Did I say simple? What I should have said was stupid, because all the SFMTA and the DPW does is “smart,” right? Smart this and smart that. And that means that basic design, the likes of which drivers generally understand the world over, must be stupid, right?

So yeah, that tour bus operator blew though crosswalk and SFGov lost a retiree/contractor and it’s hard to see how the SFPD could write a police report placing the blame upon anyone other than the driver.


But what if the NTSB took a look, what would it say? Would it say, yeah there should have been a light here from the get-go? I think so. I’m saying it would parcel out some of the blame to SFGov, right? As with the pilots of that Asiana flight at SFO, yes, sure, pilot error, of course, but also some blame for SFO operations, some blame for Boeing perhaps as well, and some blame for the SFFD.

But SFGov don’t see things that way. SFGov’s solution is to ban tour bus drivers from yakking to passengers and, oh yeah, let’s put in a non-smart red-amber-green stoplight, but we only have enough money to put in like five traffic lights per year, please give us the SFMTA more money.

So are you “all about safety,” SFMTA? I don’t think so.

Oh what’s that, this is the Great Hall of the People we’re talking about so peds shouldn’t ever have to wait at a red light or at an “upraised hand” signal? Mmmmm…

So really, you all aren’t all about ped safety, you’re about pedestrian rights, right? Like “I’m the NRA, except for pedestrians” or “I’m the NRA, ‘cept for bike riders?”

Here’s a quote:

“…less inviting. Plus pedestrians have to wait at red lights before crossing, slowing down walking. Given that Haight is a commercial corridor the pedestrian environment is key for business.”

None of this “advocacy” against what’s altogether a quite-sensible plan for Haight Street from the SFMTA has anything to do with safety, with keeping peds safe from others but also safe from themselves.

Oh what’s that, you want to cite safety as your goal, but you actually have quite different goals? OK fine.

Formation Flying: 56 Years After The Day The Music Died, Two Beech Bonanzas Buzz SF – Like a G[3]6, Like a G[3]6

Friday, February 20th, 2015

(Your choice – you can play Like a G6 or American Pie* as you look at photos of these Beechcraft Bonanza G36’s.)

This was the scene yesterday over Market Street. I ain’t never seen this:

7J7C3220 copy

What’s this, a joyride? Or is somebody making a video? I don’t get it. This is like the General Aviation version of the Blue Angels.

I’ll just say that this is dangerous flying.

Gee, if I could only get an N-number as this formation circles over South of Market, the Twitterloin, the Western Addition, etc. My aging Canon prolly shouldn’t have been set at ISO 25600 and this pair was a little too far away from my 200mm lens as they flew in and out of the fog, oh well:

7J7C3233 copy

Oh, I know, how about N301RB for a registration number? Hello Brent Wolfe of Phoenix, Arizona.

Welcome to Frisco.

*Yeah, the $70 million Gulfstream G650 was supposed to be called the G6, hence the song title. But it turned out that the name G6 was only actually applied to a kind of Pontiac, which was a car line, back in the day. Speaking of history, Buddy Holly died in a V-tail** Bonanza back in 1959.

**Yeah, 60 Minutes made a big deal about the differences betwixt the accident rate of V-tailed versus straight-tailed Bonanzas, but most of the deaths had to do with inexperienced pilots flying into known bad weather. Another factor was that v-tailed Bonanzas certainly look bad-ass – they have a strong “ramp appeal,” so they attracted the wrong element, you know, people like Steve Wozniak, people who are successful in the non-flying realm. “Forked Tail Doctor Killer” is the phrase that covers this phenomenon. The next step up in status would be a Piper Saratoga or something, or, Heaven forbid, a twin-engined aircraft, and that’s when you know you’re a baller…

How to Watch the NTSB Board Meeting on the Asiana 214 Crash at SFO – Today, Starting at 6:30 AM PDT

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Well fundamentally, this accident was due to pilot error, if you had to sum things up in two words. But the NTSB has been looking into everything that led to that error and now it will present its findings, in English, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

Is it possible that the people who died weren’t belted in for landing? It’s hard to believe, but yes. And how will SFO operations fare in the NTSB’s assessment?

Here’s the link – they are providing many different kinds of connections


Asiana Air Crash Update – Reviewing KTVU TV’s “Sum Ting Wong” Fiasco from 2014 – TRIGGER WARNING: Speculation

Friday, January 24th, 2014

1. So KTVU, the way to make up for your error is to disclose what occurred, IMO. The way NOT to do it is to air “Success Makers*” featuring “Survivor” winner Yul Kwon interviewing other notable Korean Americans. This tit-for-tat, Black-Eye vs. Feather-in-the-Cap, yes-but-is-it-good-for-the-Jews accounting system is a big fat joke and everybody knows it. If you all want to air this kind of “aspirational” bullcrap at 7 AM on a Sunday morning, well then be my guest, but you don’t need to commit the U.S. Media Blunder of the Year 2013 first, right? One thing has nothing to do with the other, IRL. You can throw a bone to the Asian American Journalists Association whenever you want, right? Why connect the two?

2. OTOH, KTVU, if you want to go through the pretty much pointless process of sending out take-down notices hither and yon so that certain people, certain older, out of touch people, can see that you’re trying to placate them, well, at least that makes more sense than Success Makers.

3. So, KTVU, what happened? Your viewing public is confused. And rightly so, since you’re hiding your own story from them. Some think that you all got punked by another TV station as payback for all the crowing you were doing about your Asiana coverage up to that point. Others think that some low-level KTVU employee made a joke and then things got out of hand. But that’s not what I heard.

4. My theory. Some aviation buff from the Midwest, let’s say in Illinois or a neighboring state, posts on a regional forum that the names all the pilots have just been revealed: “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.” This joke just sat out there for a day or so and then it started getting repeated on other boards and Twitter and the like. A retired pilot, somebody that KTVU had dealt with in the past, came across the names but didn’t get the joke. So he earnestly passed the names along to a contact at KTVU and that’s what got the ball rolling. Do you want a guess on who that person is? Well, my WAG is a former United Airlines pilot who’s now living in a leafy East Bay suburb. Someone who is older. He’s younger than my grandmother, who would not have gotten the joke either, but old enough to have grown up in a more sober-minded era. (That’s an era where a kind of blue-collar, single-income fam could actually afford to buy a Brady Bunch kind of house on an ironically-named street just before it massively appreciated.)

5. So then, the KTVU crew runs the names by a Chinese-American(?) woman who  doesn’t wonder why all the Korean pilots have Chinese-sounding names? (NB: If you don’t have a Kim, a Lee, or a Park in there, then something might very well be suspect.) And the news reader lady, who, after all is pretty much mindlessly reading the Teleprompter, pronounced one of the names as Fook instead of Fuck and boy aren’t we clever to not make that mistake

6. I’ll tell you, it’ll take a long time before a carrier like Asiana has four Chinese national pilots on one of its widebodies. OTOH, there were a heck of a lot of Chinese passengers on the Korean plane. Why’s that? Well, I’ll tell you, one of my former co-workers flew to South Korea last year just before the SFO disaster and this person specifically avoided using the two big Korean carriers even though it cost hundreds more to do so. Why? A strong mistrust of South Korean aviation safety. So, a Chinese carrier, Taiwanese, American? Sure, but not Asiana. One assumes that Asiana had pretty low fares in the summer of 2013…

7. So KTVU, as long as your happy, huh? You had a problem, you dealt with it, you fired some people, you paid off some settlement(s) for firing some people, you aired an aspirational TV show to several thousands of viewers and that’s that. What this all reminds me of is what the San Francisco Chronicle went through after it posted DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE, which was a major investment in time and money.** Boy, that one really hit the fan. After this similar kind of backlash, the Chron agreed not to syndicate the series, which prolly cost the Chron big bucks I’m guessing. Oh well.

8. Anyway, KTVU, that’s what some people might be thinking, but not saying. Try to focus on what’s correct, not what’s confirmed, you old MSM dinosaur you. The way you handled this mess is a bigger problem than the initial mess itself is what I’m saying. Go and sin no more. And I’ll tell you, the FAA / NTSB gets an A+ so far for the accident investigation. It’s like a WHAT WENT WRONG SO WE DON’T DO THIS AGAIN kind of thing. Why doesn’t KTVU do the same kind of thing so we can all benefit?

*”I’ll be hosting a special on KTVU tomorrow night after the 49ers-Seahawks game. The show is called “Success Makers” and I profile/interview four Asian American trailblazers, including Gideon Yu (president of the 49ers and former CFO of Facebook) and Daniel Dae Kim (star of Lost and Hawaii 5-0). Their stories are fascinating, and notwithstanding the painfully rusty host, the show is actually pretty eye-opening.”

**The problem was that the important parts were single-sourced. (“Typical college student?” Please.) IMO, that was the real prob with it. 

Bay Area Media Road Trip: “Investigative Hearing on Asiana Flight 214″ – Dec. 10-11 in Wash DC

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

This is it, this is the big one. Details below.

And if you don’t think that PILOT ERROR was the primary cause of death of the only passengers killed in a Boeing 777 in its entire two decade history, well, I have a drug test for you, you know, one just like the drug and alcohol tests that WEREN’T GIVEN to the three Asiana pilots who were on the flight deck on Flight 214.

And hey, could it have been Sully who emailed the fake pilot names to KTVU? IDK – we never heard about the details of that fiasco, die we?

Fresh from the Feds:

NTSB releases agenda and media logistics for Investigative Hearing on Asiana Flight 214

December 5

The National Transportation Safety Board today released the agenda for the two-day investigative hearing on the ongoing investigation into the July 6 crash landing of Asiana Airlines flight 214.

The hearing will be held on December 10th & 11th at the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center at 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington D.C. and begins at 9:00 a.m. on the first day and 8:30 a.m. on the second day.

Hearing witnesses, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, Asiana Airlines, Korean Office of Civil Aviation, and International Federation of Air Line Pilot’s Associations,Commercial Air Safety Team will testify and answer questions from NTSB Board members, technical staff, and parties about flight deck design concepts and characteristics, pilot training on automated systems and visual approach procedures, pilot awareness in highly automated aircraft, emergency response, and cabin safety. The full agenda, including a list of witnesses is available at

Investigative exhibits for the hearing will be placed in the electronic docket at the start of the hearing and will be available at once the hearing begins.

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will be available to answer questions from the media at the conclusion of each day. Additional details about those availabilities will be announced at a later date.

Television coverage of the proceedings will be by network pool. Escorted cutaway for video media will be permitted for brief periods throughout the hearing. Still photographers will be permitted in the seating area of the Board Room and by escort to areas in front of the witness panels.

Because of construction at and around L’Enfant Plaza, satellite and other media trucks will have to obtain credentials for parking and running cable through the construction zone. To expedite this process, media must RSVP to by December 9. Access to the Board Room is available beginning at 7:30 a.m.

A media room is also available with tables, chairs and an audio mult box with interpretations of the proceedings into English, Mandarin and Korean. Audio headsets will be provided. Generally-accepted media credentials will be required for access to the media room. In addition, a fully equipped overflow room has been established and will serve as a storage area for video equipment during the hearing.

Seating for the general public in the Board Room is on a first-come, first-served basis. Given the international makeup of those onboard Asiana flight 214, the hearing will be webcast live in English, Mandarin and Korean. Access to the webcast can be found at

There will be standard federal security procedures for entry into the Board Room and Conference Center. All persons entering the facility will need to show a photo ID and their possessions will be subject to inspection. Persons leaving the facility will have to pass through screening again to gain re-entry.

Directions to the Board Room are available at

Office of Public Affairs
490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
Keith Holloway
(202) 557-1350

What’s That PG&E? You’re Sponsoring a “Green App” Contest for $25k? Well, That Makes Up for San Bruno and EVERYTHING!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I don’t know, PG&E. Sometimes I get the idea that you don’t know that you are the suckiest major utility in the United States…

Hey, I know, why not develop an app what tells you how to do your job without blowing people up?

(And then apply to the CPUC to get reimbursed for all your related expenses. Hooray.)

Via David Yu – click to expand

“PG&E Sponsors U.S. Department of Energy Green Button Apps Contest

Utility Offers $25,000 Toward National Prize for Top Energy Apps

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2012 — After seeing the potential for customers to save energy and money by downloading personal energy data through its Green Button service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is supporting further industry innovation by sponsoring a nationwide search for the best Green Button energy apps.

The Apps for Energy contest is a partnership with the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. technology firms. The developer finalists who create the winning apps for phones and computers will take home part of a $100,000 cash prize from sponsors PG&E, Itron and the DOE, as well as national bragging rights.

“Green Button will arm millions of Americans with information they can use to lower their energy bills,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Innovative tools like these are good for our economy, good for the health of our communities, and an essential part of our approach toward a secure and clean energy future that works for Americans.”

PG&E launched the Green Button in December 2011, responding to a challenge from the White House to design a standard format for customers with SmartMeters(TM) to download their energy use data online. The Green Button aims to promote personal energy awareness and development of phone and computer apps to aid customers in making informed decisions about their energy use and help them save money on their monthly energy statement. To date, there have been about 220,000 Green Button downloads.

“There is incredible power and potential in providing our customers with new visibility into their energy use, with information that’s clear accurate, timely, and easy to use,” said Tony Earley, PG&E Corporation’s Chairman, CEO and President. “Today’s announcement shows PG&E’s commitment to stimulating growth and innovation in the developer community. When it comes to energy management, we are driven to help transform the way our customers manage energy in their home.”

The DOE has long supported energy innovation, driving a nationwide push for more renewable energy sources and encouraging every American to become more engaged with how they use energy.

“Providing consumers with easy access to data on their energy consumption can help give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their energy use,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has said. “Developing applications and services to help consumers understand and control their energy use is a field ripe for American innovation.”

App developers will be able to participate by registering at and submitting a description, video, photos, and a link to their app. The website will be the main resource page for developers. Both sites will go live April 5. Until then, the public can submit ideas for energy apps at The winner is planned to be announced in May.

PG&E customers with an electric SmartMeter(TM) and a My Energy account can log on at, click on the Green Button icon, and download up to 13 months of their hourly electric usage data. About half of the utility’s electric customers – or 2.3 million – are registered with My Energy.

Green Button is one of many energy- and cost-saving benefits available to PG&E customers with a SmartMeter(TM). Other benefits include:

– Hourly electric and daily gas usage data charts via a secure PG&E
— Energy Alerts to notify customers when they’re approaching a
higher-priced electric tier and to encourage a change in their energy
— Outage detection to help PG&E quickly restore service
— Remote service connection as a convenience for customers
— Special time-varying rate programs like SmartRate(TM)
— Enabling in-home energy management devices that display the energy usage
of appliances

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

National Transportation Safety Board Holds Tesla Automotive Employee Responsible for Fatal Air Crash in Palo Alto

Monday, November 28th, 2011

(As always, If You Assume That Any Given Plane Crash is Due to Pilot Error, You’ll Probably Be Right.)

Here’s an article about the new NTSB report.

Does it make sense to commute to Los Angeles for work, assuming you had a pilot’s license and an airplane? I don’t know.

Does it make sense to listen to the advice of your air traffic controller concerning the advisability of taking off into heavy fog, even if you don’t have to? Yes it does.

Is there a reason why pilots are told to turn over the Bay after takeoff? Yes there is.

Oh well.

Here’s what people down Palo Alto Way are saying.

And here‘s the “chilling recording” from a SpotShotter tower. (It’s about what you’d expect, with crashing noises and the yelling of the day care center kids who saw the crash.)

The former N5225J, a Cessna 310R with relatively new, perfectly-fine-at-the-time engines: 

(I’ll tell you, I don’t know why our federal government subsidizes Tesla Automotive (and for that matter, General Monkeybusiness in Detroit). Was Tesla paying for the avgas that this Cessna was burning? Does Tesla reimburse CEO Elon Musk for the jet fuel that he burns as he joyrides around the world, as is his wont? I think Tesla used to, but I don’t know about these days. You know, for an electric car company what’s produced not a whole bunch of electric cars, Tesla seems to burn up a lot of petroleum…)

Anyway, here’s the summary – the whole thing you’ll find after the jump.

NTSB Identification: WPR10FA136

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Wednesday, February 17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA

Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2011

Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N5225J

Injuries: 3 Fatal.

The pilot departed the airport in near-zero visibility instrument meteorological conditions, and shortly after takeoff, struck a power pole and power lines before impacting terrain. Review of recorded air traffic control tower (ATCT) transmissions revealed that the pilot was initially given his instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to turn right to a heading of 060 degrees and climb to 3,000 feet. Shortly after verifying his IFR clearance, the pilot received his IFR release from the ATCT controller and was informed that the runway was not visible to the controller. The controller further informed the pilot that takeoff was at his own risk. Shortly after, the controller notified the pilot that he had two minutes for his IFR release, before it expired. The pilot stated that he did not hear a “cleared for takeoff” instruction from the controller. The controller responded that he could not clear the pilot for takeoff, due to not having the runway environment in sight and that “the release is all yours and it’s at your own risk sir.” The pilot acknowledged the transmission and proceeded to take off. One witness, who was adjacent to the accident site, reported that she observed an airplane “suddenly appear from the fog” left of her position. The witness stated that she continued to watch the airplane fly in a level or slightly nose up attitude until it impacted power lines.

Accident site evidence was indicative of a level impact with a power pole about 50 feet above ground level (agl) and at a high airspeed. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. Examination of the airframe, engines and propellers disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Weather conditions reported five minutes prior to the accident were wind variable at 5 knots, visibility 1/8th mile, fog, and vertical visibility of 100 feet agl. Weather conditions recorded by the ATCT 11 minutes after the time of the accident were visibility 1/16th mile, fog, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet agl.

Local law enforcement provided recordings from a sound recording system, which captured the accident sequence. The recordings were coupled with airport surveillance radar to interpolate a flightpath for the airplane. The interpolated flightpath indicated an approximate 45-degree left turn shortly after departure to the area of initial impact with the power pole and power lines. A sound spectrum study determined both engines were operating near full power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot’s failure follow the standard instrument departure as instructed, and his failure to attain a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.”


Our PG&E Energy Monopoly Attempted Suicide Last Night – KABOOM at Beale and Mission HQ – Call Before You Dig, PG&E!

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Ah let’s review.

- Remember when a mid-level PG&E employee* threatened me at an event sponsored by the Presidio Trust, told me that I should take one of my PG&E-related posts down because, I was done told, “It would be your interest to take that post down?” And I was like, well what does that mean? Oh that’s right, Gentle Reader, you don’t remember, but I do. Strike One. 

- And remember when PG&E killed eight people near SFO last year? Strike Two.

- And remember when Mayor Ed Lee* recently started going on about how “City Family” member PG&E is a great local company who gets it?” Strike Three.

Oh well.

Now, here’s the scene last night at 7:00 PM as I was swinging by the FiDi to pick up my special lady friend at an area law firm. Workers were just setting up the cones. And then a paramedic was telling me, “This one isn’t PG&E’s fault – somebody was digging.” Well yeah, but that somebody was PG&E itself:

Click to expand

Isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think?

Oh, and this was all right in front of Pacific Gas & Electric Building, one of San Francisco’s tallest, you know, at 77 Beale:

“The Pacific Gas & Electric Building is a 150 m (490 ft) skyscraper located at 77 Beale and Mission streets in the financial district of San FranciscoCalifornia. Completed in 1971, the 34 story building is headquarters for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the main utility provider for Northern California, and has been host to a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons since 1987. List of tallest buildings in San Francisco

Isn’t it ironic again, dont’cha think?

Hey, PG&E, why don’t you eat your own dog food and CALL BEFORE YOUR DIG?

Via Daedrius

The easy-to-remember phone number is 811, you remember?

In short, I just can’t believe how much you suck, PG&E.

Straighten up and fly right PG&E.

*A member of San Francisco’s dominant political faction (aka Downtown) along with fellow members Willie Brown, Chamber of Commerce, Gavin Newsom, real estate interests, PG&E, and you know, all those non-profits, among others.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s Big Boner for PG&E: “A Great Local Corporation” – Herrera, Avalos Pounce

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: And here’s Dan Schreiber’s take. And here’s Ron Russell. And oh, check out below for PG&E Currents’ take – appears as if a great deal of our “City Family” was on hand at this fiasco.]

[UPDATE II: And here comes Joe Eskenazi to rip the cover off of the ball:

“Lee presided over a heartwarming, press-friendly event featuring kiddies, baseball, and the company that blew up the adjacent town.”

Mercy! Take the next three days off, Joe. You deserve it. Oh, and readers, don’t miss this part:

“Mayor Lee’s comments praised PG&E’s support of a literacy program — period,” said Lee spokesman Tony Winnicker.

Uh no, maybe that’s he meant to do, Icky Renown Nit (do the math, kids that’s “Tony Winnicker” rearranged – it means, well, forget about what it means – “wonky” is in there too but I couldn’t get the rest of the letters to cooperate), but, in fact, what he did was call PG&E “a great local corporation” and “a great company that get’s it.” Spinning too much, as you oftentimes do, Tony, well, that’s called “lying.”

But, prove me wrong. Tell me, when, exactly, did Ed Lee ever “hold PG&E accountable” for its lies about the issues at hand, you know, the ones that have just recently come to light? Ever? Recently?]

ZOMG. In the words of Hannibal Lecter, what could be more inappropriate?

Per “Interim Mayor” Ed Lee and via writer Amy Crawford:

“Isn’t that a wonderful contribution from a great local corporation?” Lee said. “They’re a great company that gets it.”


Now, truth be told, this “gets it” language comes straight from the Gavin Newsom administration – this was one of Gavin’s pet phrases for the City’s public-private Corporation of the Day. So it’s understandable how it could sneak into Ed Lee’s brain.

But, again, WTF?

Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job:

Via David Yu – click to expand

Anyway, here’s the pouncing. so far.

From City Attorney Dennis Herrera:

“Herrera criticizes Ed Lee’s lavish praise for PG&E on eve of one-year anniversary of San Bruno blast

Against the backdrop of devastating findings by NTSB earlier this week—a day after another gas line blast in Cupertino—Lee calls PG&E ‘a great company that gets it’

San Francisco – City Attorney Dennis Herrera today criticized interim Mayor Ed Lee for poor judgment and insensitivity to the families of San Bruno blast victims for participating in a PG&E public relations event yesterday, and praising the state’s largest utility for being “a great corporation” and a “great company that gets it.” Lee’s quote was reported in this morning’s edition of the San Francisco Examiner, which also questioned the timing of Lee’s participation with PG&E-sponsored corporate publicity just days after the National Transportation Safety Board issued devastating findings that blamed the utility for the deadly explosion of a gas transmission line in San Bruno, Calif. last, which resulted in the loss of eight lives and the total destruction of 38 homes.

The one-year anniversary of that tragedy is coming up next week, on Sept. 9.

“Ed Lee’s lavish praise for PG&E as ‘a great corporation’ on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the San Bruno tragedy, just days after federal regulators blamed the utility for a ‘litany of failures’ that claimed eight lives, is unconscionable,” said Herrera. “It shows insensitivity to victims’ families, and poor judgment for allowing his office to be used as a corporate PR tool. No less troubling, it ignores the serious work my office and others have done to protect San Franciscans from PG&E’s negligence, to prevent further explosions like those in San Bruno last year and in Cupertino on Wednesday. The interim Mayor should reassess his laudatory view of PG&E, and apologize to San Bruno victims’ families.”

PG&E, which according to its most recent annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission generated $13.8 billion in revenue in 2010, donated $250,000 to a local youth program at a corporate PR event yesterday.

PG&E runs three major gas transmission lines whose integrity and safety has come into question under nine high-population-density neighborhoods in San Francisco, where hundreds of thousands of people live and work. One of those includes the very same line that failed catastrophically in San Bruno last year, and another that dates back to the 1930s. Major facilities threatened by the failure of these inadequately inspected transmission lines include numerous schools and recreation centers, San Francisco City College, and San Francisco General Hospital, which typically contains more than 5,000 acute care patients and visitors, medical professionals and staff. Significant stretches of Highway 101 and Highway 280 additionally run over the antiquated lines.

On July 14, 2011, Herrera took the first step toward suing state and federal regulators for not reasonably enforcing gas pipeline safety standards against PG&E as required by the federal Pipeline Safety Act. Herrera’s notice of intent to sue is a legally required precursor to civil litigation by San Francisco, which will seek a federal court order to compel the CPUC and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to enforce federal pipeline safety standards in an effective manner against the utility giant.”

And from Supervisor John Avalos:

Statement from Supervisor John Avalos on Ed Lee Calling PG&E is “A Great Corporation”

I was frankly astonished to read Mayor Lee praising PG&E in the newspaper this morning, mere days after the National Transportation Safety Board found that the 2010 blast in San Bruno that killed 8 people and destroyed 38 homes was the result of PG&Es “multiple, recurring deficiencies” which were “evidence of a systemic problem.”

Ed Lee called PG&E a “great corporation” yesterday–a great corporation who spent $50 million last year trying to pass a ballot measure that would ensure their monopoly in places like San Francisco instead of repairing and inspecting pipes like the one that caused this terrible destruction. Now this “great” corporation want its customers to foot the bills for its negligence and bad practices? Ed Lee says that this corporation “gets it.” PG&E seem to “get” that a symbolic donation to a charity at the height of their unpopularity might help their rate-payers forget the catastrophic results of their negligence and bad practices.

The residents of that neighborhood in San Bruno will not forget. The families of those who lost their lives that day will not forget. And anyone who fought to defeat Proposition 16, in an effort to maintain a city’s right to produce their own power won’t forget the blatant cynicism of this corporation.

I’m deeply disappointed, and I would like Mayor Lee to tell San Franciscans what makes this corporation “great” and what it is besides insider politics and business as usual that PG&E “gets.”


John Avalos represents San Francisco’s District 11, including the neighborhoods of the Outer Mission, Excelsior, and OMI. He is a third generation Mexican-American, the son of an ILWU longshoreman and an office manager. He is one of seven children. John earned a master’s degree in social work from San Francisco State University. He and his wife, Karen Zapata, a fourth-grade teacher at San Francisco Community School, own a home in the Excelsior. Their young children Rene and Emiliano attend San Francisco Community School, a District 11 public school.”

Here’s the old title of this bit:

Dear Mayor Ed Lee: Just Because PG&E Supports Your Political Faction Doesn’t Make It a “Great Local Corporation”

But then I got these releases so I changed it.

Anyway, how much of a bubble is Ed Lee in? How long did that take, less than eight months? Doesn’t he know how the real world perceives Rose Pak? Doesn’t he know that PG&E just got busted by the Feds for it’s behavior before, during and after the San Bruno pipeline explosion?

Holding court at the party for the opening of the new airport terminal, Rose was seated at the table with interim Mayor Ed Lee and his wife, Anita, and a host of other local officials.

“I want every one of you to call his office and tell him he should run for mayor,” Rose told the table. “And do it right away so that there’s no misunderstanding.”

Then she turned to the architect David Gensler.

“Didn’t you do this terminal?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Didn’t you remodel this terminal before?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Then your firm should raise a million dollars for his election campaign.”

Poor Gensler, he didn’t know what hit him.”

 And here’s PG&E’s view of the affair:

San Francisco: With Support from PG&E, RBI Program Goes to Bat for Literacy at Bessie Carmichael School
An innovative program that helps improve the reading skills of students at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School in San Francisco got a boost from PG&E on Thursday, Sept. 1.

San Francisco RBI, in a partnership with Major League Baseball, was created in 2010 to help ensure that local at-risk youth in underserved areas of the city can learn essential life skills and the fundamentals of baseball and softball. San Francisco RBI provides year-round programs to the students at Bessie Carmichael School, with a focus on literacy, the arts, health, nutrition, and baseball and softball skills.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee reads to students at Bessie Carmichael School on Thursday.

On Thursday, PG&E contributed $250,000 to the program at an event at the school and the adjacent Victoria Manalo Draves Park baseball diamond in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.

Local leaders, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, Recreation and Parks Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg and Board of Education President Hydra Mendoza, read to the students. San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia and sports media personalities Vern Glenn (KRON-TV) and Kevin Radich (KGO radio) also took part in the event.

“These are challenging economic times and it is important for us to unite as a community to support the children of San Francisco as they learn and grow in our schools and on the field to become the leaders of tomorrow,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. He thanked San Francisco RBI and PG&E for partnering with the city “to offer a unique investment in our youth as they prepare to compete in the 21st century workforce.”

After throwing out a first pitch to Jim Messemer, executive director of San Francisco RBI, Mayor Lee told about 200 kindergarten and first-grade students to follow the group’s credo: Reach. Believe. Inspire.

He also praised PG&E for its involvement in the project and the community.

“PG&E is a great local company who gets it,” Lee said. “A great corporation has given a grant to RBI to help local kids.”

The partnership with San Francisco RBI is a good example of PG&E’s efforts to support the communities where it provides power and where its 20,000 employees work and live.

“As a longtime member of the San Francisco community, we are proud to team up with San Francisco RBI and Bessie Carmichael School to give these students the resources they need to succeed,” said Chris Johns, PG&E’s president and a board member of the PG&E Corporation Foundation. “Expanding the reach of this exciting literacy program is critical to ensuring that we are developing the young minds that will help shape our future.”

School principal Jeff Burgos spoke to the students in three languages – English, Spanish and Tagalog – while Police Chief Suhr told them, “The better you read, the safer you can be.”