Posts Tagged ‘passengers’

The Floating Helicopters of San Francisco – How Inflatable Airbags Help When Crash Landing in the Bay

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

These tourist choppers sometimes conk out near the Golden Gate Bridge and when that happens then only thing for the pilot to do is pop open the compressed gas container you can see there in order to inflate the six airbags you can also see there.

Then a call to the Coast Guard, which will give you a friendly tow to land, hurray!

It happens sometimes

San Francisco Corruption Revealed on the Floor of the House – Central Subway to Nowhere – A Short Speech

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The Subway to Nowhere. House Chamber, Washington, D.C. June 27, 2012. Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA).”

“Mr. Chairman:

This amendment forbids further federal expenditures for the Central Subway project in San Francisco.

The project is a 1.7 mile subway that is estimated to cost $1.6 billion –– and those cost estimates continue to rise.  Its baseline budget has more than doubled in nine years and shows no signs of slowing.  The current estimate brings the cost to nearly $1 billion per mile.  That’s five times the cost per lane mile of Boston’s scandalous “Big Dig.”

It was supposed to link local light rail and bus lines with CalTrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit, but it’s so badly designed that it bypasses 25 of the 30 light rail and bus lines that it crosses.  To add insult to insanity, it dismantles the seamless light-rail to BART connection currently available to passengers at Market Street, requiring them instead to walk nearly a quarter mile to make the new connection.  Experts estimate it will cost commuters between five and ten minutes of additional commuting time on every segment of the route.

The Wall Street Journal calls ita case study in government incompetence and wasted taxpayer money.”

They’re not alone.  The Civil Grand Jury in San Francisco has vigorously recommended the project be scrapped, warning that maintenance alone could ultimately bankrupt San Francisco’s Muni.  The former Chairman of the San Francisco Transportation Agency has called it, “one of the costliest mistakes in the city’s history.

Even the sponsors estimate that it will increase ridership by less than one percent, and there is vigorous debate that this projection is far too optimistic.

I think Margaret Okuzumi, the Executive Director of the Bay Rail Alliance put it best when she said,

Too many times, we’ve seen money for public transit used to primarily benefit people who would profit financially, while making transit less convenient for actual transit riders.  Voters approve money for public transit because they want transit to be more convenient and available…it would be tragic if billions of dollars were spent on something that made Muni more time consuming, costly and unable to sustain its overall transit service.”

This administration is attempting to put federal taxpayers – our constituents — on the hook for nearly a billion dollars of the cost of this folly through the “New Starts” program – or more than 60 percent.  We have already squandered $123 million on it.  This amendment forbids another dime of our constituents’ money being wasted on this boondoggle.

Now here is an important question that members may wish to ponder:  “Why should your constituents pay nearly a billion dollars for a purely local transportation project in San Francisco that is opposed by a broad, bi-partisan coalition of San Franciscans, including the Sierra Club, Save Muni (a grassroots organization of Muni Riders), the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, and three of the four local newspapers serving San Francisco?

Why, indeed.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But those who vote against this amendment had better have one when their constituents ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”

# # #

This amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (HR 5972) was approved by the House on June 29th.  The legislation next goes to the Senate.

The Coked-Up Cruise Ships of San Francisco’s Pier 35 South – A Recent Bust for Cocaine Up in Fishermans Wharf

Friday, February 17th, 2012

The P&O* Cruises Aurora was just in town up near Fishermans Wharf at Pier 35 South for part of her 2012 World Cruise.

But three of the passengers on this ship got busted for blow, deets here.

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*Peninsular and Oriental

That Hulking Cruise Ship at the End of the Street – MV Aurora Graces San Francisco, Briefly – Next Stop: Hilo, Hawaii

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The P&O* Cruises Aurora was just in town up near Fishermans Wharf at Pier 35 South for part of her 2012 World Cruise.

(Man, it must be tough running a cruise ship, with all the passengers having nothing to do on around-the-world trips except colluding on class-action lawsuits.)

Click to expand

Anyway, Bon Voyage, Aurora!

*Peninsular and Oriental

Meet Your MUNI #38 Geary Bus Pickpocket Team – Busted By SFPD on November 29th in Union Square

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Well, look what the SFPD is crowing about today:

SFPD Arrest MUNI Pickpocket Trio
11-132

San Francisco police officers arrested three men acting together to pickpocket Muni patrons. Taken into custody November 29 were Miguel Lucana, 42, of San Francisco; Antonio Martinez, 34, also of San Francisco; and Juan Gonzales, 38, of Oakland.

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“On November 29, shortly after 3:00 P.M., two plain clothes SFPD officers assigned to the Muni Task Force were at the bus stop at Geary and Powell streets preparing to board a bus as part of ongoing efforts to help prevent pickpocket thefts on buses. One of the officers recognized Lucana, who has prior police contacts, standing at the bus stop with a t-shirt draped over his shoulder. Typically, a pickpocket will conceal his arm and hand during the theft attempt.

Standing next to Lucana on the crowded 38 Muni, one of the officers saw him attempt unsuccessfully to furtively open the purse of a woman standing next to him. Lucana then moved to another part of the bus, where he spoke with suspects Martinez and Gonzales. Pickpockets often work in pairs or more. One passenger on the bus reported that his wallet was missing

All three suspects were detained in the vicinity of Post and Fillmore streets. Police recovered the victim’s wallet, which had been in Lucana’s possession.

All three suspects were charged with theft and conspiracy and remain in custody.

“I am extremely proud of our Muni Task Force for everything they do to help keep this system safe,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Their dedication and hard work further ensure that those who commit crimes on Muni will be brought to justice.”

The San Francisco Police Department reminds the public to be vigilant of their belongings and surroundings in crowded public spaces, and especially on public transportation. Keep wallets in a front pocket and purses within sight at all times. Be wary of any abrupt physical contact or suspicious behavior. Citizens are also advised to use electronic devices sparingly in public, as criminal opportunists take advantage of citizens distracted while using these devices.”

A Remarkable Safety Record: No Passengers Have Died in an American Jetliner Crash the Past Ten Years – We Made It

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Well we made it. We’ve gone ten years without a passenger dying on a commercial jetliner flying above America, or coming to America or leaving from America. (Now that doesn’t include regional jets – I’m talking about jet airliners, narrow-body or wide-body, made by Airbus, Boeing,  Lockheed, or McDonnell Douglas.)

The last day passengers died was November 12th, 2001 on American Airlines Flight 587.

Of course, we’ve had some close calls since then, like with that shoe bomber guy or with Sully Sullenberger and his famous water landing.

Military flights, well that’s a different story. Capt. Christopher Stricklin punches out (and lives to tell the tale) 200 feet above Idaho:

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(And this no-deaths record doesn’t include smaller aircraft like regional jets or turboprops or private airplanes.)

Needless to say, this streak of good luck hasn’t happened before. Back in the day, back in the 1960′s, 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s, people would die on big jets all the time.

But not anymore.

Hurray.

Showdown at Masonic on the #5 Fulton Bus: Did a MUNI Driver Discriminate Against a Disabled Rider?

Monday, September 26th, 2011

It’s hard to say.

Famous San Francisco photographer Justin Beck was on the scene:

“Photo: #Muni rider who refused to leave the bike rack of the 5 Fulton bus, and the driver whom he called a motherfucker. http://pic.twitter.com/jIphZ9Cw

Via Justin Beck – click to expand

Here’s the prior scene.

And here’s the aftermath.

I don’t know what to make of this one…

Harsh: Physician of Slain BART Passenger Charles Hill Criticizes BART Police – She Will Attend OpBART III Protest

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Jessica Lum of Mission Local has the deets on Rupa Marya, MD, who will be there at Civic Center for OpBART III – Tokyo Drift on Monday, August 29th, 2011.

Here’s here “Dear San Francisco” letter, below.

“Dear San Francisco,

I am one of your local physicians and have taken care of many different kinds of people during the past 9 years of my appointment as an internist at UCSF, where I have worked at SF General Hospital as well as at the VA and the UCSF campuses. San Francisco is a surprisingly small town, and when you spend enough time in the health care industry, you come to recognize many of the city’s residents. You hold their stories and watch over them, in the hospital when they are ill and in the chance occurrences of running into them on the streets, in the market or painting the town red. It is an honor and great privilege to take care of the people of this city that I love so dearly.

Last month, I learned that one of my former patients Charles Hill was shot and killed by BART police. Per the police, he was armed with a bottle and a knife and had menacing behavior. Per eye witnesses, he was altered and appeared to be intoxicated but did not represent a lethal danger. I remember Charles vividly, having taken care of him several times in the revolving door which is the health care system for the people who do not fit neatly into society. Charles was a member of the invisible class of people in SF–mentally ill, homeless and not reliably connected to the help he needed. While I had seen him agitated before and while I can’t speak to all of his behavior, I never would have described him as threatening in such a way as to warrant the use of deadly force. We often have to deal with agitated sometimes even violent patients in the hospital. Through teamwork, tools and training, we have not had to fatally wound our patients in order to subdue them. I understand the police are there to protect us and react to the situation around them, but I wonder why the officer who shot Charles did not aim for the leg if he felt the need to use a gun, instead of his vital organs. I wonder if he possessed other training methods to subdue an agitated man with a knife or bottle.

I feel this situation quite deeply. It is hard to watch our civil servants (police) brutally handle a person and their body when i spend my time and energy as a civil servant (physician) honoring the dignity of that person, regardless of their race or social class, their beliefs or their affiliations. I know it is not my job–nor the police’s job—to mete out justice or judgment of a person’s worthiness. It is also hard because Charles has no voice, no one to speak for him now that he is gone. It would be easy to let this slide and move on with our busy lives, as we all struggle to make ends meet in this expensive city during a recession. I believe this situation shows us how powerless we all feel to some degree.

I feel outraged and am trying to find the best ways to express it–through creative outpouring, through conversations. I would like to lend my voice to the growing protest of the BART police’s excessive use of violent force and know that weekly protests are being organized on Mondays until demands are met for BART to fully investigate the shooting of Charles Hill, disarm its police force and train them properly, as well as bringing the officer who shot him to justice. The media is portraying the annoyance of the protests to commuters more than the unbelievable horror that an innocent man was shot dead by the force that is meant to protect us. I don’t want to upset commuters or be a nuisance. I would like to be part of educating and not letting this slip under the proverbial rug, in honor of Charles Hill and in order to help prevent something like this from ever happening again.

I will be present at the peaceful demonstrations on Mondays in front of the BART Civic Center station, not to prevent commuters from getting home, but to educate a population that may need to pause and think about the value a human life has and the kind of San Francisco we want to live and work in.

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.

Respectfully,

Rupa Marya, MD”

Sean Elsbernd vs. Transit Union at Save MUNI Summit – Monday Night, July 19th

Monday, July 12th, 2010

(Cue Heavy Action. Oh, if only H.C. were still around to introduce the QB’s on one more Monday Night…)

It’s on! The SaveMUNI.com First General Meeting is on!

Excellent, excellent SF FYI Net has the deets:

When: July 19, 2010 – Monday 6:30 p.m. Where: Northern Police Station, 1125 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
What: Save Muni.com’s first general meeting. Discussion and voting on Supervisor Sean Elsbernd’s ballot measure designed to remove the salary-setting for Muni drivers from the City Charter. A ballot proposition can only be endorsed if it receives the approval of 2/3rds of the members of the Organization in attendance at a General Meeting. Those who participated in the December 5th planning meeting, or registered at the March 6, 2010 Save Muni Summit, or both, constitute the voting membership of SaveMuni.com and have a vote on endorsement. Supervisor Elsbernd and the Union have been invited.
 
Look for the Elsbernd side to win by a Raul Castro-like percentage on this vote, based upon the stringent requirements for suffrage. Still, everybody loves a thunderdome, everybody loves a MUNI cage match.

via DerekA

Get all the deets after the jump.

(more…)

MUNI Promises to Deliver You to Fine Art at a “Fare” Price – CultureBus Now Truly Dead

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Check out MUNI’s latest slogan:

“MUNI: Delivering customers to fine art at a fare price.”

Get it? The fare is fair!

Now, remember the CultureBus? Didn’t it deliver “customers” to fine art as well? But wasn’t it like 400% more expensive than today’s inflated MUNI fare?

Yes it was.

Who came up with the idea for CB? Is this information lost to history already? Are we already on to newer New Ideas (most of which turn out Bad) and Improvements that aren’t?

Yes, yes we are. Will we ever get a post mortem for the CultureBus?

No, no we won’t.

Oh well.