Posts Tagged ‘sfgov’

Divisadero Update: New Graffiti Goes Up Before the Paint Dries from the Prior SFGov-Mandated Clean-Up – WET PAINT WET PAINT WET PAINT

Friday, May 16th, 2014

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San Francisco’s Appointed Mayor Ed Lee Talks About Raising the Minimum Wage, But Election Day Poll Workers Make Less Than That – Why?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

All right, c’mon, “Apply to be a Poll Worker!

Attend one training class that will clearly explain Poll Worker duties.”

“All Poll Workers must arrive at the polling place no later than 6:00 a.m. on Election Day. Although the polls officially close at 8:00 p.m., Election Day does not end until all materials have been picked up (usually around 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.). There will be meal breaks during the day. 

So let’s do the math:

Training in Civic Center before the election: 3 hours or so.

Game Day: 15.5 hours, less breaks = 8 hours straight time and let’s say 6.5 hours of OT at time-and-a-half

So what’s that, 3+8+6.5+3.25 = 20.75 effective hours of work?

Multiplying by the official City and County minimum wage of $10.74 yields $222.86 total pay.

And using the vaunted $15 per hour minimum promised by quasi-governmental spokesperson and noted Berkeleyite Randy Shaw, we arrive at $311.25.

And what is appointed Mayor Ed Lee offering these poor souls? Well apparently no pay at all for the mandatory training, and then:

“Depending on your assignment, Poll Workers are paid between $142 and $195  for working on Election Day.”

Is this a joke, you ask?

No, Gentle Reader, it’s not. They’re srsly.

I cry foul.

In any event, if you’re an inspector you can make  a bit more, but then you gotta deal with high school seniors with their Katy Perry and cell phones and whathaveyou. They’re intelligent, you know, but lazy. And if their work doesn’t add up the way it should shortly after 8 PM, well that’s tough cookies – you’ll hear the beep beeps from the waiting cars and then the kids are gone and you, the vaunted elections inspector, will be left to fix things up.

Anyway, you get something like this for your troubles …

…but you won’t get minimum wage.

Now why is that?

Seen on the Street: Fiji Water “Lemonade”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Fell Street, actually – home of the Bay to Breakers.

This is the kind of thing an SFGov worker would label “toxic waste,” and then s/he’d call the hazmat team.

Funny story: Gavin Newsom, who’s obsessed with Hollywood and what Hollywood people do, had a real strong Fiji Water* habit back in the day. So much so, that he’d get bottles delivered to his office at City Hall. A woman saw these plastic bottles being delivered all the time so she called him on it and then he started his crusade against plastic water bottles back in the aughts. Less funny story: Later on, she also called him out on some scheme he had, criticizing the wildly exaggerated benefits of a fanciful project. Because of that, she lost her job. Oh well.

*I don’t know how much more unsustainable you can get with the Fiji Water. There’s one giant aquifer in the South Pacific that’s being drained and when it’s gone, it’s gone. I’ll agree it’s tastes different, but what’s the big deal, I don’t get it.

SFGov Isn’t For Sale But, “GROUP AUCTION: Four Highest Bidders Will Meet With the Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee”

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Read the news and turn the pages:

SunnyKarma ‏@Sunny_Karma  42m

San Francisco #Mayor Ed Lee is highly interested in tech! Win a meeting, present your company and help a good cause! http://bit.ly/meethemayor 

Sunny* Karma?

The soul is for hire/

And they’ve sold the heart

* I think I know this gal – she’s a realtor, #1 on the west side

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.

Does the San Francisco Unified School District Have an “ADA Tiger Team?” Yes, Here’s Its Big Old Truck

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Let’s review:

tiger team is a group of experts assigned to investigate and/or solve technical or systemic problems. A 1964 paper defined the term as “a team of undomesticated and uninhibited technical specialists, selected for their experience, energy, and imagination, and assigned to track down relentlessly every possible source of failure in a spacecraft subsystem.”

So our school district employees drive around the 415 to put the beat down on noncompliant handicapped ramps and whatnot?

Yes, yes they do.

See? 

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But why doesn’t the van have tiger stripes painted on the side? This seems like a missed opportunity…

Why on Earth Does the SFGov.Org Website Concern Itself with Censorship in China – Isn’t This Off-Message?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Take a look:

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Answer: Yes, it sure as Hell is off-message.

“smeraldolacr821
Basic Info
The search engine is one particular of the most popular sites in the planet and its Chinese language version was widely utilised in the nation. Beijing routinely blocks access to websites run by the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong, human rights groups and some foreign news organisations like the BBC.”

Incredibly, Official San Francisco Celebrates the Destruction of Hetch Hetchy Valley – 100 Years of Raker Act

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Here’s the real story.

And here’s today’s feel-good press release from SFGov:

“The Pen That Changed the Bay Area Forever

Bay Area Leaders Celebrate the Centennial of the Raker Act with a New City Hall Exhibit

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today, Bay Area leaders joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to celebrate the centennial of the signing of the Raker Act into law at a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall.  The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a new City Hall exhibit featuring the pen that President Woodrow Wilson used to sign the legislation 100 years ago today.

“The Raker Act enabled the construction of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System and Hetch Hetchy Power System,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly. “Once President Wilson signed the act into law, the San Francisco Bay Area began to construct a public water system that now serves 2.6 million people across four Bay Area counties. It also allowed for construction of a public power system that provides clean hydroelectric energy for San Francisco city services like public buses, schools, firehouses, and more.”

The Raker Act provided the rights of way to construct water and power facilities over federal land in Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest. Named after its chief sponsor John E. Raker, Congressman from Manteca, the bill granted the rights to build O’Shaughnessy Dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley, and construct water-collection and power-generating facilities stretching from the Sierras to the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The communities and businesses in the Bay Area were able to develop and thrive because of access to high quality water,” said Nicole Sandkulla, Chief Executive Officer of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA). “A true engineering marvel, this system supports the health and economic vitality of nearly 7% of California’s population.”

Despite, countless earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters, each day, 2.6 million people in the Bay Area turn on the tap and quench their thirst with Hetch Hetchy Water – some of the most pristine, cleanest water found anywhere in the world. While this water is delivered to its customers, the system also generates on average 1.7 billion kilowatts hours of clean, greenhouse gas-free electricity for San Francisco and its electricity customers. With no carbon footprint from its electricity supply, the SFPUC is considered one of the cleanest electric utilities anywhere.

The City Hall exhibit features a redwood plaque with a silver facsimile of the letter President Wilson wrote which explained his reasoning for signing the Raker Act. Mounted on the plaque is the actual pen the President used to sign the bill into law.

The plaque was originally presented to former San Francisco Mayor James Rolph, Jr. at the dedication of O’Shaughnessy Dam in 1923. Governor Rolph passed this heirloom on to his son, James Rolph III. Rolph was close friends with SFPUC Commissioner Oliver M. Rousseau, and because of this friendship he gave the plaque to Commissioner Rousseau. In 1970 Commissioner Rousseau officially presented the plaque to our commission as the logical and permanent home for such an historic piece. Until a few years ago, the location of the pen was lost to all.  Curators have now refurbished the piece in time for its public debut in City Hall.

Passage of the Raker Act met with a great deal of opposition at the time, having more to do with protecting states and local water rights. Its most well-known opponent was John Muir, environmentalist and founder of the Sierra Club. The merits of the Act are still debated by some today.

“Love or hate the Raker Act, it is undeniable that its passage was truly historic for the San Francisco Bay Area,” concluded General Manager Kelly. “The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water and Power Systems  have reliably served the region well for nearly 100 years.”

Ouch: Membership Dues Have [Fallen] at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[UPDATE:  Per the SFBC, "...you should have read Part VIII, lines 1b and 2a, of the 990s for both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Education Fund."

So, here's 2010:

1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn't help.

And 2011:

Again, 1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn't help.

And here's 2012:

(And the Bicycle Coalition Education Fund 990's don't really factor in all that much, like $10 or $20 grand each.)

So IDK, would you, Gentle Reader, suppose that different strategies were applied for 2010 and 2011 vs. 2012? I would. Because the "non-contribution portions of membership dues" went from $0 in 2010 and 2011 all the way up to $135,933 in 2012. Is there any explanation for this? Did the accountant(?) for 2011 and earlier fill out the 990 forms incorrectly? IDK. Is this kind of a thing a big deal, worth amending a bunch of other recent returns? IDK.

(Did IRS laws on this topic change the past several years? I don't think so, as this guide from 2008 remains unchanged.)

Now when I say "membership dues," what's actually written in there for 2012 is "memberships." Now memberships is a different thing, IMO. Memberships is what the SFBC spent a lot of time crowing about when memberships were actually increasing. But these days memberships are decreasing. Why is that? I ask.

So, what the SFBC is now calling it a 3% "membership income change" I'd call it a 3% membership dues decrease. And this comes at a time when the population of San Francisco is increasing and at a time when SFGov and the SFBC officially "expect" a sixfold increase in the number of trips made by bicycle in San Francisco by 2020, all the way up to 20%. ("20 by '20" or something.) I don't think anybody believes in this fantasy, you know, actually, but, well, there you go.

So, membership dues at the SFBC have decreased more like 3% year over year, rather than 40-something percent.

But if I were running the SFBC and I were as sensitive about giving out my 990's as this...

"The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's annual reports discuss our biggest successes and challenges, and present a broad picture of our income and expenses. If you have specific questions about our finances, please contact Leah Shahum, Executive Director, 415/431-BIKE x306."

...I'd amend my returns so that they would be self consistent, at the very least. END UPDATE]

And by the past year, I mean let’s use the most recent Form 990, the one* that was filed about four months ago, and compare it with the one what was filed for the year before.

Check it. Here’s the 990 for 2011 - $344,663 in reported membership dues:

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And here’s the 990 for 2012 – just $185,921:

Now, what could explain this sudden and dramatic drop in “support?”

Well, we had the Chris Bucchere accident in the first quarter of 2012 and some members didn’t exactly approve of the way that SFBC officers dealt with the issue. Perhaps revenue went down in the following quarters?

And we had the shocking SFBC endorsement of Republican-backed Mayor Ed Lee near the end of 2011 – I doubt that paying members would have approved of that had they been given the opportunity.

You know, this guy, the one who always looks up to the formerly-despised Willie Brown:

Of course, people can always do a Barter Membership, but you’d think that dues-paying members would volunteer anyway, right?

Take a look at the numbers on the tax returns, it seems as if the SFBC is just another arm of the SFMTA or, indeed, of SFGov. (Except it’s an agency that can officially endorse Ed Lee for Mayor.)

Oh well.

Anyway, this is why the SFBC no longer boasts of increasing membership anymore.

[UPDATE: Did the 10% discount for SFBC members at Rainbow Grocery really make that much of a difference? IDK. See Comments.]

*There’s also something called the Education Fund, which also gets membership dues – $10k for 2011 and $20k for 2012. But if you throw those numbers in you’re still looking at a 40-something percent decline year over year.

Back in the Day, Fire Escapes / Wooden Decks Like These Would Collapse a Lot – But Not Anymore

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

For some reason.

A couple decades back, people at house parties would overload these decks and then come crashing down, due to dry rot people would say.

I suppose SFGov is doing a better job regulating things nowadays.