Posts Tagged ‘san andreas’

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

7J7C6741 copy

So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

InSoc_DBA_booklet copy

And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

Ungradeable Backyard, Frisco, Just a Few Miles from the San Andreas Fault

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

This is the high-rent district of Sea Cliff, where you can’t expect much from your backyard except making sure your house doesn’t slide away during the next Big One:

7J7C9209 copy

Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake Struck UC Berkeley at 2:41 PM, October 20th 2011 – 3.8 Aftershock at 8:16 PM

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

[Or rather, make that a 4.0 on the Richter, final answer. That was for the afternoon earthquake. This evening’s aftershock at 8:16 PM was a 3.8.]

People in the West Bay could definitely feel this this one today, the one centered beneath UC Berkeley.

It felt like a succession of sharp bumps for a few seconds and then there was some generalized shaking – perhaps it all lasted about six seconds.

The Did You Feel It Map:

The initial estimate was a 4.2:

Magnitude 4.2
Date-Time
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 21:41:04 UTC
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 02:41:04 PM at epicenter
Location 37.864°N, 122.249°W
Depth 9.8 km (6.1 miles)
Region SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 2 km (2 miles) ESE (112°) from Berkeley, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NE (47°) from Emeryville, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NNW (341°) from Piedmont, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) NNW (346°) from Oakland, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 90, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.18 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3
Source
Event ID nc71667366

Better Know Your Pacific Ocean Beaches of the Bay Area: NASA Photos Shows Half Moon Bay to Point Reyes

Friday, July 15th, 2011

NASA just posted a photo from the last Space Shuttle flight. It’s big, like 4000 pixels.

Here are some annotations. (The white line is the mighty San Andreas fault.)

Click to expand.“This image featuring the San Francisco Bay area was recorded with a still camera using a 180-mm lens by one of the Expedition 26 crew members aboard the International Space Station, flying 220 miles above Earth.”

And here’s the plain version at 1800 pixels:

Surf’s up.

A Moderate Earthquake Just Hit San Francisco – Thursday, January 7th 2010 at 10:09 AM

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

It felt like a quick initial jolt followed up by three seconds of shaking to those of us in San Francisco. See what people thought about the latest rumblings of our San Andreas Fault over at SFist.com.

The updated report from the USGS indicates a 4.2 near the city of Milpitas.

Right here, “A” marks the spot:

A light earthquake occurred at 10:09:35 AM (PST) on Thursday, January 7, 2010.
The magnitude 4.2 event occurred 10 km (6 miles) ENE of Milpitas, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).


Magnitude 4.2 – local magnitude (ML)
Time Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 10:09:35 AM (PST)
Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 18:09:35 (UTC)
Distance from Milpitas, CA – 10 km (6 miles) ENE (62 degrees)
Alum Rock, CA – 12 km (8 miles) NNE (12 degrees)
Sunol, CA – 16 km (10 miles) SSE (150 degrees)
San Jose City Hall, CA – 17 km (11 miles) NNE (29 degrees)
Coordinates 37 deg. 28.6 min. N (37.477N), 121 deg. 47.8 min. W (121.797W)
Depth 9 km (5.6 miles)
Location Quality Excellent
Location Quality Parameters Nst= 89, Nph= 89, Dmin=3 km, Rmss=0.08 sec, Erho=0.1 km, Erzz=0.4 km, Gp=36 degrees
Event ID# nc71336726
Additional Information map with fault names
Google Earth KML (Requires Google Earth.)
ShakeMap shaking intensity maps
NCSS First Motion Mechanism 1

As per usual, t’was the Northern Calaveras (it means “skulls”) branch of the San Andreas. Alum Rock, will you ever win?

Minor Bay Area Earthquake of June 6, 2009 – 3.2 on the Richter Scale

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

We certainly could sense it in San Francisco, anyway, but it definitely was smaller than what occurred on March 30, 2009.  No reports of injuries or damage so far.  See the deets below. It felt very small in San Francisco. It felt “short and sharp” to those a mile away from the epicenter in the East Bay. At least one “weenie Texan” transplant “thought it was a five.” And Commenter Jane says “It felt like a big truck drove up the street in Point Richmond.”

Those in the State Building in San Francisco’s Civic Center probably didn’t feel a thing. Mayor Gavin Newsom would probably like to remind you about upgrading your “soft story” structure. And good thing City Attorney Dennis Herrera is Suing  for Seismic Safety Upgrades at the Mirant Power Plant, right?

Gaia is stirring…

 quake

An earthquake occurred at 3:30:56 PM (PDT) on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
The magnitude ? (not yet determined) event occurred 1 km (1 miles) NE of El Cerrito, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 6 km ( 4 miles).


Magnitude 3.2
Time Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 3:30:56 PM (PDT)
Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 22:30:56 (UTC)
Distance from El Cerrito, CA – 1 km (1 miles) NE (37 degrees)
Kensington, CA – 2 km (2 miles) NNW (330 degrees)
East Richmond Heights, CA – 3 km (2 miles) SE (139 degrees)
Berkeley, CA – 6 km (4 miles) NNW (345 degrees)
Oakland, CA – 16 km (10 miles) NNW (339 degrees)
Coordinates 37 deg. 55.5 min. N (37.925N), 122 deg. 17.6 min. W (122.293W)
Depth 6.1 km (3.8 miles)
Location Quality Excellent
Location Quality Parameters Nst= 25, Nph= 25, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Erho=0.2 km, Erzz=0.5 km, Gp=39.6 degrees
Event ID# nc40237749
Additional Information map with fault names
Google Earth KML (Requires Google Earth.)
Waveforms

The Minor Bay Area Earthquake of March 30, 2009 – a 4.3 on the Richter Scale

Monday, March 30th, 2009

That didn’t feel so bad in the 415. A little scary at first, for a second or two. After that you could tell it wasn’t going to be a big deal…

Magnitude 4.3
Date-Time
  • Monday, March 30, 2009 at 17:40:29 UTC
  • Monday, March 30, 2009 at 10:40:29 AM at epicenter
Location 37.285°N, 121.620°W
Depth 6.2 km (3.9 miles)
Region NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 18 km (11 miles) N (7°) from Morgan Hill, CA
  • 19 km (12 miles) E (91°) from Seven Trees, CA
  • 20 km (13 miles) ESE (117°) from Alum Rock, CA
  • 25 km (16 miles) ESE (104°) from San Jose City Hall, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.1 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters NST=250, Nph=250, Dmin=7 km, Rmss=0.08 sec, Gp= 58°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Source
Event ID nc40234037