Posts Tagged ‘renaming’

Once Again, We The People Have Failed Our Mayor, Willie Brown – What “Crushed” His Spirits Will Amaze You

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Hey, is this new, this OPINION header for Shadow Mayor / professional SFGov lobbyist / San Francisco Chronicle columnist Willie Brown, you know, for his columns? IDK.

Anyway, check it:


Hillary Rodham Clinton and the perils of being early front-runner

By Willie L. Brown, Jr.March 6, 2015

“What a mess. The public and the press love to slam Gov. Jerry Brown and me for holding up the building of the new span, but in hindsight, maybe we should have held it up even longer.

“On the subject of the bridge: I was at the ceremony Thursday night commemorating the light show on the western side going dark for repairs. Speaker after speaker got up and praised the lights, praised the generous folk who made them possible, praised the generous folk whose money will bring them back next year — and not a single person referred to the span by its proper name: the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge. 

“I was crushed.”


1. Somebody held a ceremony to turn off some decorative lighting project on part of a historic public works fiasco? OK fine!

2. And is Willie serious here? The proper name of course is the Western Span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, right?

3. And I think the NAACP got things wrong here, because it’s properly called a span and not a bridge. So even though the new bore of the Caldecott Tunnel is a tunnel itself, ’cause it certainly meets the definition of a tunnel, we call that bore a bore. That’s why we would call the so-called Willie Brown Bridge the Willie Brown Span, except…

4. Except nobody that calls it Willie Brown anything IRL. We call it the western span, to distinguish it from the eastern span. I mean, what does he want, does he want the Cosco Busan to come back and hit the delta tower of the western span and spill 50,000 gallons of bunker fuel again so that headlines will read “Container Ship Strikes Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge?”

5. Speaking of which, that expensive tower on the eastern span is merely decorative, meaning that it wasn’t necessary, right? We don’t need big ships going under the eastern span, right? Meaning that we should have gone the cheap and easy route of retrofitting what was already there or gone with the cheaper, easier “freeway-on-stilts” option. Willie now seems to be trying to blame his massive bridge failure on others. Moving on…

6. To this! Here’s Willie’s sandwich board from when he was shilling for renaming the entire length of Third Street to honor … the honorable Willie Brown, natch:

7. And then there was the time back in the 1990’s when Willie had a push to rename SFO, the whole thing, not just a terminal, after, wait for it, Willie Brown, of course! No no, not Harvey Milk, me, Willie Brown!

Oh well.

Showing How STRAVA, Inc is Dealing with Its Legal Challenges: Here’s What the “Hyde Street Bomb!” Looks Like

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Take a look at this segment created by the “Strava Community” of troubled Strava, Inc. owners, managers, and/or users.

See? This is a bike trip down Nob Hill through the Tenderloin to the Mid Market:

Click to expand

Note the innocuous-sounding title: Hyde/Market st.

But also note the URL up there. The name of this segment used to be “Hyde Street Bomb!” But that doesn’t look so hot when you’re in the national news for getting sued.

Oh, here it is, have a go on the YouTube – will the cyclist beat all those cagers in Priuseses what stop for red lights? Hells yes:

Now, do you think that the “Strava Community” might have had an effect on the behavior of this cyclist?

You Make The Call.

And oh, here’s how that Strava webpage looked before, was it just a day ago? Two days ago? I don’t know. But this is quite a recent change. Alls I know is that somebody in the “Strava Community,” be it an owner, manager, legal advisor, person following instructions from a legal advisor, cyclist, or, really, anybody in the entire world, created this segment and/or edited it.

The people at Strava, Inc. aren’t what you call transparent, so it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, here’s your Hyde Street Bomb!

Does registering for Strava and racing down Nob Hill in this fashion make you an “athlete?”

Again, You Make The Call.

Occupy Oakland Update: Google Maps Now Shows Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza as “Oscar Grant Plaza”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Editor Jon Brooks of News Fix, “KQED’s bay area news blog,” has this today:

So our morning anchor, Joshua Johnson, was doing a story on the Clorox earnings report, and in the process of finding exactly where their headquarters is located, came upon this:

Click to expand

Try it yourself – type “Oscar Grant” into Google Maps:

Oscar Grant Plaza, of course, is the name that the Occupy Wall Street people have given to their tent city location.

KQED has made a call down to Mountain View saying, “Hey Google, what’s the deal?”

We’ll see.

(I’m sure no one intended any dis for Frank H Ogawa.)

Great catch, Joshua Johnson.

Great post, Jon Brooks.

[UPDATE: Get more details right here. “NAParish” took steps to change the name back to Frank Ogawa Plaza at 8:44 AM this morning but that action is still pending. (It’s like a Wikipedia editing war. Remember those, back in the aughts? Just like with that tiresome “Violet Blue” woman – I guess you can do the same thing on Google Maps. See below.)

[UPDATE II: Oh no, now, per Google Maps, Frank Ogawa Plaza has two names. See?

I imagine that “Oscar Grant Plaza” won’t be on Google Maps at all in the very near future.]

[UPDATE III: And now it’s back to normal, back to plain old Frank H Ogawa Plaza. “Google Reviewer Sanjeevi” has, once again, put the big DENIED stamp on the idea of any political name-changing. Google’s “Local Names” feature is being abused no longer. Case Closed.]

“Negative note 38 mins 24 secs ago by NAParish
Reason: The edit could be misleading
This is not an “official” name, and this edit should have been denied. See commentary on previous edits.”
“Denied on Oct 31, 2011 7:39pm by NAParish
Reason: The edit could be misleading
There are two problems with this edit. One is that Google doesn’t seem to allow this type of political commentary by “renaming” an official feature. The name that some Occupy Oakland protesters are using doesn’t fit into any of the categories Google allows (Local is for the name in the local language, like using La Tour Eiffel as the “local” name for what speakers of English commonly call the Eiffel Tower). See for the types of names that are allowed. The other problem is that the official name is Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, not just Frank Ogawa Plaza — and the official name should not have been removed a few edits back.”

Remembering the Time When “South San Francisco” was Actually In San Francisco – The Bayview’s “Avenues, South”

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

This H. A. Candrian map from 1909 (on display at 100 Van Ness) shows no respect for the then-new City of South San Francisco (founded 1908) – you know, that town that used to be called “Baden” that’s about five miles to the south.

I say that because the Bayview / Hunters Point area is clearly marked “South San Francisco.”

See all those “avenues south” (both actual and planned)? They perished in the Great Renaming of 1909. Check it: 

“There were three sets of numerical streets. First through Thirty-first streets ran from downtown into the Mission District. The growing Richmond and Sunset Districts had First through Forty-ninth avenues. The Bayview District had a similar list of avenues, First through Forty-fifth, which were suffixed as “Avenue, South.” In a pre-zip code era, these variations in designations for numbered or lettered byways just added to the other street name confusion in the city. The Post Office estimated that 500 letters a day were mishandled due to the problem of street names in San Francisco.”

Click to expand

Of course these streets are labelled alphabetically now, but not without a pitched battle at City Hall:

“When the dust cleared, and the final vote was taken on December 21, the commission did placate the priests by naming one street for Padre Palou (instead of Payne), another for Charles Carroll(instead of Cromwell), and a third for the California historian Hubert Howe Bancroft (instead of Belfast, the Protestant city in North Ireland), although Bancroft was still living. The north-south streets in the Bayview were lettered “A” Street, South, through “T” Street, South, with the letter O omitted. These were renamed using mostly prominent San Francisco pioneers, but met with no protest. Two non-pioneers’ names were chosen: Colonel George H. Mendell, who was responsible for laying out much of the coastal defense system and had just recently died, and William Keith, the popular California artist, the only other living person to have a street named in his honor.”

Thank goodness we don’t argue over street names anymore…

The Reason Why Arguello Isn’t Called First Avenue, Plus Bloggish Snark from a Century Ago, Plus NIMBYs!

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Arguello Boulevard used to be called 1st Avenue, back in the day. (That makes sense since it’s right next to 2nd Avenue.) The story of how it got its name changed to honor José Darío Argüello a century ago can be found in the SF History Encyclopedia.

Check it, there was an official San Francisco street renaming commission with a sweeping proposal:

“The scheme called for First Avenue to become Arguello, Second Avenue to become Borcia, Third Avenue to become Coronado, continuing for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Starting with Twenty-seventh Avenue, the streets would be designated by male or female saints, starting with San Antonio and ending with Santa Ynez at Forty-Seventh Avenue. Unable to find Spanish saints with names beginning with K, Q, W, X or Z, they chose first Alcatraz, then Ayala for Forty-eighth Avenue and La Playa for Forty-ninth Avenue.”

See? So when you talk about your favorite new restaurant on the 200-block of Clement, just tell your friends the joint is between Borcia and Coronado – they’ll love it.

This cartoon from the ‘Xam certainly is irreverent, borderline snarky:

And The Embarcadero used to be called East Street?

“Lost! Lost in barbarous Mexico”

But the renaming scheme ran into a little blowback from racist NIMBY landed gentry residents and insular neighborhood associations, much as it would today.

“The neighborhood newspaper, The Richmond Banner, editorialized on November 19: “If the wishes of the twelve of our “patriotic” supervisors are carried out, our Sunset and Richmond districts will soon be known as the Spanish Town of San Francisco, and ‘The Spanish will then have taken San Francisco’ notwithstanding Dewey’s victory at Manila Bay several years ago.” The editorial contrasted the twelve who voted for the name changes against the five “true Americans” who resisted the proposal to “Spaniardize” the districts. “The people of Sunset and Richmond are fully aroused and will never submit to the insult and injustice heaped upon them by the majority of the Board of Supervisors.” In closing, the editor pledged, “Sunset and Richmond districts will stand together and fight this miserable surrender of American names to a finish.”

O.K. then.

But, as you probably already know, everything got worked out in a Grand Compromise:

“Bowing to the pressure, the Commission agreed that the avenues could remain unchanged except for First Avenue and Forty-ninth Avenueand the alphabetical cross-streets would be the only other western district streets to be renamed, except for the Geary Street extension. The name of Point Lobos was removed from most of the Richmond, but would be given to the curving road that extended from Fortieth Avenue to the Cliff House.”

And here’s the conclusion:

“The street naming of 1909 started with the noblest of motives. It soon took on the atmosphere of a farcical comic opera. The outraged citizenry made exaggerated claims rife with bombastic racism, nationalism and religious partisanship.”

Same As It Ever Was