Posts Tagged ‘program’

Monarch the Bear Has Had Enough of California: Famous Grizzly Shown Exiting State Flag for Greener Pastures

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

From the official State of California Energy Upgrade California roadshow:

Click to expand

I’m srsly, they’ve got a whole Have You Seen The Bear thing going on these days

Monarch was last seen boarding a Greyhound bus headed to Dallas, Texas.

Who approved this California-backed marketing campaign? Was it Lou Avery?

Assignment Desk: What If SFGov Held a “Free 3-Month Culinary Job Training Program” and Nobody Showed Up?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

You tell me, babe, is this official?

Sure looks official

How’s the attendance these days? I don’t know, actually.

What’s that, they’re promoting it through new channels, they’re still doing outreach for it even after it’s begun?

OK fine.

NoPA Western Addition Millionaires Pressure the SFMTA for Restricted Street Parking – Cost Will be $100-Something per Year

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

camden avery of uppercasing, the haight street blog, has the deets.

Here’s the proposal for a new residential parking permit area:

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Of course, the richers of Alamo Squar-ah won’t be paying for parking per se, ’cause parking is free. No no, they’ll be paying to prevent other people from parking in “their” hood – that’s the way you gotta look at it. Who knows how many more Parking Control Officers the SFMTA will be able to bill to the RPP program after this.

And who knows when a simple permit sticker will cost drivers more than $200 per year. I’m thinking by the year 2020 it will be that high.

Anyway, enjoy your NIMBY paradise, NIMBYs!

The Official Lowrider Police Cars of Oakland, CA – This 1991 OPD Crown Victoria Looks Like Nothing You’d Expect

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Per Angelfire(!) website COPA Lowrider

Patrol Car 1130 – 1991 Crown Victoria. In 1994, a patrol police car was converted into the first Lowrider Police Car in the nation. This program was created to develop better relations and to bridge the gap between youths, citizens of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department. It is also a new approach to educate the youths and citizens regarding the safety and responsibility as a car owner and driver.”

Click to expand

“This fully-equipped Oakland Police squad car, which belonged to slain officer Mike Soto, was transformed with at least $10,000 worth of a low-rider renovations, as part of a unique community outreach program.

Fully loaded ~ Customized Paint ~ 10 Switches* Hydraulic System ~ 6 Batteries ~ Complete Sound System with 4×10 Speakers ~ Dayton Wire Wheels”

The More You Know…

* Cf. Dr Dre: “…bodies bein’ found on Greenleaf with their fuckin heads cut off, motherfucker i’m Dre/ so listen to the play-by-play, day-by-day rollin’ in my ’4 with 16 switches…”

Introducing the “Front Yard Ambassadors Program” – All Stick, No Carrot – Will It “Transform” the Sunset District?

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Here’s the thing. “Planners” back in the day had no freaking idea how many cars would populate the Sunset District.

They also had no idea how much public transit in the West Bay would degrade over the decades.

So it’s hard to park way out there.

So people improperly pave over their front yards for more “driveway” parking, don’t ask don’t tell.

Thusly:

Anyway, here’s what appointed Supervisor Katy Tang has for Fog Country – it’s the FYAP!

But if you participate, it’ll cost you $245 and you’ll have to listen to what SFGov tells you to do.

This is the kind of thing that will end up pissing off some of the people living out there.

This is a program for the sake of having a program. It will “transform” nothing. And it will not “change” the “pedestrian experience.” Sorry.

But, if you want to try this out, by all means:

“The Front Yard Ambassadors Program gives Sunset District residents the opportunity transform their front yards into vibrant, ecologically friendly and easy to maintain spaces in order to accomplish the following:

  • Change the pedestrian experience and demonstrate neighborhood pride
  • Provide permeable surface to take pressure off our combined sewer system and recharge our underground aquifer
  • Educate the community about what plant species are suited to our microclimate
  • Build relationships with neighbors and encourage the community to work together

Our Partners & Sidewalk Landscaping

Sidewalk landscaping programs exist in several organizations. To learn more about why increasing green space and permeable surfaces is important in San Francisco, visit the websites of our partners in the Front Yard Ambassadors Program below:

Apply to the Front Yard Ambassadors Program

Download the Fact Sheet Here
Download the Fact Sheet in Chinese
View Photos of Sunset District Gardens Here (Coming Soon)
Download the Application Here
Download the Application in Chinese

Questions?
Call our office (415) 554-7460 or email ashley.summers@sfgov.org

Front Yard Ambassadors Program Fact Sheet

How do I apply?
Apply by submitting an application, answers to the supplemental questionnaire and photos of
your front yard. You must ensure that a minimum of five residences on your block also submit
an application to be considered for the program. The application can be found on our website at
www.sfbos.org/tang under the “Front Yard Ambassadors Program” tab.

What is the cost?
Residents chosen for the program will pay a nominal permit fee, depending on how many
residents apply. Permit fees can range from $182 – $245.

How do I get my neighbors to participate?
This is a great time to meet your neighbors! Knock on their door and find out if they are
interested. You must have a minimum of five neighbors on your block to apply.

Who maintains the yard after installation?
Program participants will sign a Letter of Agreement that they will maintain the yard as long as
they reside at their current address. We hope that neighbors will get together for a work day each
year to help each other. Additional support will be provided by Friends of the Urban Forest.

What types of plants and landscaping will be installed?
Once chosen, residents will be able to sit down with professional landscape architects to discuss
their ideas. We have included photos of yards in the Sunset on our webpage for inspiration at
www.sfbos.org/tang. All landscaping will be low maintenance, drought tolerant, and able to live
in our coastal conditions.

Other questions can be directed to our office at (415) 554-7460.

Announcing San Francisco’s “Entrepreneurship-in-Residence” (EIR) Program – Only “World-Class” Entrepreneurs Need Apply

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Remember Oskar Schindler and the Third Reich? Would you consider that whole deal a successful “public-private partnership?” I mean, was it “world-class?” Did it address “government pain points?” IDK.

Anyway, here’s the latest – I didn’t see this one coming. (Perhaps Con Ronway did. IDK.)

“SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO INTRODUCE WORLD-CLASS ENTREPRENEURS TO THE $142 BILLION PUBLIC SECTOR MARKET

Mayor Ed Lee invites entrepreneurs to develop technology-enabled products and services for government, the largest consumer of products and services in the nation

SAN FRANCISCO – September 6th, 2013 – Mayor Edwin M. Lee, in collaboration with the White House and other strategic partners, today announced San Francisco’s Entrepreneurship-in-Residence (EIR) program. “We need the top entrepreneurs to work with us on opportunities that are actual pain points and needs of government. San Francisco’s EIR program advances our role and vision as the Innovation Capital of the World,” said Mayor Ed Lee.

The program is inspired by President Obama’s call, “We’ve got to have the brightest minds to help solve our biggest challenges.” San Francisco’s EIR program will select talented entrepreneurial teams and help them develop technology-enabled products and services that can capitalize on the $142 billion public sector market.

“San Francisco’s program is one of the first EIR programs within government, who is by far, the largest customer of products and services in the nation,” commented Jay Nath, San Francisco’s Chief Innovation Officer. “The entrepreneurial products and services developed through San Francisco’s EIR program should drive significant impact such as increased revenue, enhanced productivity or meaningful cost savings.”

The program plans to attract world-class entrepreneurs and technologists by providing them with direct access to government needs and opportunities, staff and their expertise, in addition to product development, ramp-up support, and insights into a gold mine of government problems and opportunities through the City and County of San Francisco.

“Products and services that successfully solve issues faced by San Francisco can easily expand to addressing similar needs of other cities and states across the nation in addition to the private sector,” said Rahul Mewawalla, a senior executive with leadership experiences across Fortune 500 and high growth companies who is leading the program. “We expect to drive significant innovation and growth in areas of pressing importance such as data, mobile and cloud services, healthcare, education, transportation, energy and infrastructure.”

San Francisco’s EIR program will offer selected teams mentorship from senior public leaders across the Mayor’s office and San Francisco departments and from private sector leaders with experience at companies such as McKinsey & Company, Nokia, NBC Universal, General Electric, Yahoo!, and Goldman Sachs. The program expects to select 3 to 5 teams and announce the selected teams in early October, during San Francisco’s Innovation Month. The program will run 16 weeks from mid-October, 2013 through mid-February, 2014.

Entrepreneurial teams are invited to learn more and apply at http://entrepreneur.sfgov.org http://entrepreneur.sfgov.org

What We’re Looking For

  1. Your product or service should address areas of topical relevance to the public sector (e.g. related to data, healthcare, transportation, education, energy, infrastructure, mobile and civic engagement, public assets, etc.)
  2. Your team should be pursuing an opportunity that has large economic potential ($100M+ market) and significant impact potential (increased revenue, enhanced productivity, meaningful cost savings, etc.).
  3. Your product or service should be technology enabled and have broad applicability across SF and other cities and states and across public and private sector customers.
  4. Preference is given for products or services in advanced stages of development and rollout or existing products that could also address government needs. If you are in a position to build out the product or service within 16 weeks, that is fine as well.
  5. Your product shows promise to be self-sustainable.
  6. Your team demonstrates high likelihood of success based on prior professional and personal experiences.
  7. Preference for teams over sole individuals; if sole individual, please elaborate on how you will build a team and accomplish program objectives within 16 weeks.

Example Government Pain Points

The following are just examples of problems facing government. Applicants do not have to solve these particular problems. It is most important to clearly demonstrate how your product could benefit from this program and that it can solve a real challenge.

  • How can we better leverage the growth in open data and enable easier data mining and analysis to enable better decisions?
  • How can we better utilize our public assets to generate additional revenue?
  • How can we make available better healthcare choices and services given the upcoming implementation of the affordable healthcare act?
  • How can we improve our recruiting and hiring applications for more efficient and productive hiring?
  • How can we improve transportation efficiencies to improve transit times and reduce costs?
  • How can we track and optimize our energy purchases and usage?
  • How can we improve our asset tracking system across real estate, fleet, equipment, etc to increase usage, lower costs and enhance utilization?
  • How can we use a digital public notification system for urban interventions and streetscape improvements to help local businesses and their growth?

What You Can Expect

The selection process will be through an open and competitive application process. Applications will be used to assess the qualifications, fit and likelihood of success of the applicants.

Selection will be made by SF EIR selection group composed of public and private sector leaders with innovation, Fortune 500, startup and venture capital experience.

We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis. It is in the applicant’s best interest to apply early. We will announce selected teams in early October, with the program beginning in mid-October and wrapping up in mid-February.

MENTORS

Entrepreneurs can expect to have access to a range of experts and advisors in the private and public sectors. These industry and government leaders will help your team define and achieve success in the civic innovation space with San Francisco agencies and departments as your key focus group and customers over the four month program. Below are just a handful of currently committed mentors.

OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Word comes from the San Francisco Examiner’s Mike Billings of the City of Santa Monica’s new FoldnGo program.

So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?

Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?

Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.

Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA? 

You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:

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Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?

And the  SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?

Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.

‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.

Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage  after it ends? We’ll see.

Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing  a bike program as Pasadena  is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.

But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.

So what’s the diff?**

Oh well.

*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.

**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.  

Surprise! San Francisco Already Has an Operational Bike Share Program – Meet “SFO FlyCycle SoBi”

Friday, April 5th, 2013

It’s new. It’s the SFO FlyCycle SoBi program from Social Bicycles.

Here are some of the bikes parked at SFO these days…

…and here is a short video explaining the program. Note the drive shaft instead of a chain:

I’ll tell you, what Social Bicycles calls a headlight and a taillight aren’t all that bright.

And I’ll tell you, the helmet issue goes unaddressed.

And I’ll tell you, the reservation system looks cumbersome / unnecessary.

And how much this program costs us and how much it gets used, that’s also a mystery.

These bikes would get thrashed in San Francisco proper, say parked at 6th and Market, but they appear to be pretty safe in the San Francisco part of San Mateo County.

 

Meet the Team:

Ryan Rzepecki, CEO

Photo of Ryan Rzepecki

Ryan has a B.S. in Marketing from Penn State University and a Masters in Urban Planning from Hunter College. The bicycle has been his primary mode of transportation for the last four years, and bicycle advocacy has been both his passion and profession. Prior to developing SoBi, Ryan worked for the NYC Department of Transportation in the bicycle program. At the DOT, he sited bike racks, edited the bike map, conducted field research on bike facilities, and organized cycling promotions.

Nick Foley, Product Design

Photo of Nick Foley

Nick is a designer and bike mechanic who loves how bicycles make life more efficient. He studied industrial design at Pratt Institute where he experimented with bicycles that were optimized for ‘non-cyclist’ commuters. Nick gets excited about using design to make urban infrastructure more sustainable, and creating objects that return a sense of wonder to everyday activities.

Marcin Pyla, Software Development

Photo of Marcin Pyla

Marcin has 10 years of experience building websites, applications, and start-ups. He is currently founder and CEO of Leftbrain where he manages the 5 developers working for Social Bicycles. He oversees all software development including embedded Linux, Ruby on Rails, iOS, and Android.

Justin Willey, Business Development

Photo of Justin Willey

Justin has a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley. In 2009, he received a number of grants to establish a bike share and bicycle shop at UC Berkeley. Justin has since been involved in planning, designing, implementing, and managing bike share systems around the country. Justin is excited by the opportunity to transform the urban landscape through bicycles.

Patrick T. Hoffman, Project Management

Photo of Patrick T. Hoffman

Patrick is a LEED AP and has a Bachelor of Architecture from Drexel University in Philadelphia and a M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an experienced Project Manager and has managed complex design, construction, research and product development projects involving public and private partners. Patrick is passionate about empowering people to create dynamic and vibrant communities.

Yelp Throws Down: Starts Up a Shame Campaign Against Businesses That Pay For Positive Reviews

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

So basically Yelp is now announcing a new shame campaign against businesses what break the rules to get an inflated Yelp rating.

(I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen footnotes in a press release before, but that’s how area Yelp flack Stephanie Ichinose rolls, I guess)

Check it:

“Yelp Rolls Out Consumer Alerts to Educate and Inform Consumers

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2012  – Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, announced today that it will be taking additional steps to protect consumers from biased reviews. The company will place a consumer alert message on a business’s profile page when it determines that there have been significant efforts to purchase fake reviews to mislead consumers.

“Yelp has become so influential in the consumer decision making process that some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews,” said Eric Singley, vice president of consumer products and mobile, Yelp. “While our filter already does a great job of highlighting the most useful content, we think consumers have a right to know when someone is going to great lengths to mislead them.”

The consumer alert will call attention to attempts to purchase reviews for a business profiled on Yelp. When consumers click on the alert, we will show them screenshots exposing the effort to mislead our users.

The alert will be removed from the business’s Yelp page after 90 days, unless evidence of ongoing efforts is discovered, which may renew the warning period. Initially, nine businesses will have the consumer alert message posted on their profile page, but the company will be posting alerts like these on an ongoing basis as warranted.

Beyond alerting consumers to attempts to purchase reviews, the next step in Yelp’s Consumer Alert program will be to let consumers know if a business has had a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address, which can be a helpful indicator that they lack authenticity. While the review filter already takes this type of information into account, we believe that consumers also have a right to know if this activity is going on.

Consumer trust is essential to the utility of a user-generated review service. Since early 2005, Yelp has taken an aggressive stance to protect the quality of the content on its site, namely in the form of its review filter which aims to highlight reviews that are helpful and reliable. This automated program is applied continually and equally to all reviews submitted to Yelp. Reviews that have been flagged by the filter can be viewed by users if desired. Yelp has become a trusted source for more than 78 million monthly visitors in large part because of this focused quality-over-quantity approach.

An independent Businessweek(i) report confirmed the success of Yelp’s efforts to protect consumers. The article details the efforts of a Texan business owner who purchased 200 online reviews in an attempt to artificially bolster his business’s online reputation. The report found that Yelp’s review filter returned “impressive results” catching every purchased review, while the shill reviews remained up on seven other review sites.

Academic studies from Harvard Business School(ii )and UC Berkeley(iii), have demonstrated the impact a business’s Yelp reviews can have on its success. These findings indicate a strong incentive for some businesses to try to game the system, and explain why Yelp must continue to innovate in the steps it takes to protect consumers.

Yelp exists to help consumers find and support local businesses. In its ongoing efforts to help local business owners make the most of their presence on Yelp, the company has built a robust online resource (biz.yelp.com) and offers regular workshops for business owners, both via webinars and locally in more than a dozen cities across the US.

About Yelp

Yelp Inc. connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of approximately 78 million unique visitors in Q2 2012(iv). By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written more than 30 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile applications were used on approximately 7.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q2 2012. For more information please email press@yelp.com.

(i) Source: BusinessWeek “A Lie Detector Test for Online Reviewers”, Karen Weise (September 29, 2011)

(ii) Source: Harvard Business School, Michael Luca (October 2011)

(iii) Source: The Economic Journal, Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder (March 2012)

(iv) Source: Google Analytics”

I’ll tell you, shame works. Just look what my local bodega did to me after I passed a whole bunch of bad checks, you know, to get delicious Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the occasional Cheetos Natural Puffs White Cheddar. They posted them for tout le monde to see:

Via Big Rye

All the shame is making me consider not defrauding area business, you know, someday.

Anyway, Yelp is disciplining a total of nine bidnesses in all of Yelp-land, for sdtarters anyway.

Is that enough to stop Yelp Fraud?

What’s This? The “Fix Muni First Initiative” Will Let Us Vote to Kill the Central Subway in 2013? Oh, Happy Day

Friday, October 12th, 2012

So it’s only going to take 9,702 signatures to qualify the proposed Fix MUNI First Initiative for the 2013 November ballot?

Those John Hancocks should be pretty easy to get, I think.

Yes, let’s let The People decide if it’s worth $40,000,000 a year to operate a pretty-much-useless subway shortline.

So maybe Chinatown power broker Rose Pak is smoking her celebratory cigar on the veranda of her taxpayer-funded luxury condo in District Six a touch too soon?

Yes.

Let’s see how easy it will be for her to corral stencil voters outside of Chinatown…

All the deets of the Central Subway fiasco, after the jump.

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