Posts Tagged ‘Stow lake’

The Harassed Hawks of Golden Gate Park are Always Getting Hassled by Smaller Birds

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Your crows, ravens, and blackbirds of  Golden Gate Park just won’t tolerate the presence of raptors.

They can’t abide.

Above the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, just yesterday:

Canon 200mm 2.8L

Above what used to be called Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park:

Canon 400mm 4.0 DO IS

Above Stow Lake:

go8f0473a1.jpg

Canon 300mm 2.8LIS + 2x extender

Three Things You Don’t Know About the Bay to Breakers

Monday, May 20th, 2013

1.  THE TOP OF HAYES STREET HILL _ISN’T_ THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE BTOB FUN-RUN. JUST CHECK THE ROUTE PROFILE:

“Here’s your route profile, starting from the SoMA near the bay going all the way to the breakers of Ocean Beach. See that big incline just before mile marker three? That’s the vaunted Hayes Street Hill. (And actually, the highest part of Hayes Street on this part of the course is near Pierce, not “at Fillmore and Steiner“ and not ”between Fillmore and Sutter.”)

And actually, that part of Hayes peaks at around 260 feet, not 215:

Now, here’s your winner. It’s the 270-something foot high saddle on JFK Jr. Drive betwixt Prayer Book Cross and Stow Lake / Strawberry Hill, where ”Kennedy” is written:

2. THE BTOB FUN-RUN IS A 12K, AND YET IT’S NOT A 12K – THE CLAIMED “WORLD RECORDS” ARE NOT, IN FACT, WORLD RECORDS

“Race organizers and media have reported that the course records set by Sammy Kitwara in 2009 and Lineth Chepkurui in 2010 are also world records at the 12 km distance;[31] however, the International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body for the sport of athletics/track and field, does not recognize world records or world bests in either an indoor or outdoor 12 km.[32] The Association of Road Racing Statisticians, a non-regulatory group that collects road running data, does recognize world records in the outdoor 12 km provided that the race course meets certain criteria.[33][34] In order to rule-out the possibility of wind assistancein point-to-point courses, the ARRS stipulates that the course must have “not more than 30% of the race distance separation between that start and finish”, or 3.6 km for a 12 km race.[34] Given that the Bay to Breakers is run on a point-to-point course in which the start and finish of the event are approximately 10.5 linear kilometers apart, the ARRS recognizes two other marks as 12 km world records: Kenyan Simon Kigen‘s 33:46 in Portland, Oregon on May 19, 1985 and Chepkurui’s 38:10 at the 2010Lilac Bloomsday Run.[33][nb 2]

3. MOST PEOPLE _DON’T_ PAY THE ABSURDLY HIGH REGISTRATION FEE. MOST PEOPLE YOU SEE ARE “BANDITS”

HERE’S THE OFFICIAL ESTIMATE: “…more than in the hundreds but less than tens of thousands.” THE REAL NUMBER IS TENS OF THOUSANDS.

“The Bay to Breakers is known for the large number of unregistered runners, or “bandits”, who participate in the race. Ross Mirkarimi, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, reported that over half of the 60,000 participants in the 2010 Bay to Breakers were unregistered.[19] San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was among the runners in 2010 who did not pay the registration fee to obtain a race number.[19][22] Registered participation was 24,430 in 2010,[23] 43,954 in 2011,[24] 23,072 for 2012,[25], and approximately 20,000 for 2013.[26]

Beware, Car Owners: The Great B2B Tow of ’13 is a Coming This Weekend – Hundreds Will Get Towed by SFGov – Will You?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

I’ll tell you, I’m not exactly sure when the tow away signs went up for this year’s historic Bay to Breakers street party – maybe it was today.

No matter, hundreds of cars are going to get towed this Saturday and Sunday.

It’s going to be epic.

Here are the streets to not park your car upon.

Sometimes they give you a week’s notice, but not this year I don’t think.

Click to expand

Let’s review.

Before we can have this…

…or this…

From hard-working Steve Nguyen

…we’re going to have to have this:

(I remember it as if it were just two years ago…)

“The Great Tow of 2011:

One car gets away  in the nick of time, but three others aren’t so lucky:

Ted and Al’s had like ten yellow tow trucks ready to go late Saturday night, in the driving rain. (Note how Bank of America is protecting its windows – the IndyBay crowd got to them, smashy smashy, about a year or so back, unrelated to Bay to Breakers.)

Now, speaking of prêt-à-porters, this is the main body, this is the largest array for the Golden Gate Park Panhandle:

And here’s the second-biggest grouping, along Masonic:

And there are some on the other side of Fell, typically in groups of six on some of the blocks.

But that’s it.

Not sure where B2B is hiding their 1000+ portable toilets claimed for 2011, at this point, just hours before the Kenyans take off on their winning runs.

Oh well.

And there’s no sign of the fencing neither, except for what they have every year.

We’ll see.

The Great Fence of B2B100 is supposed to have upon it either images of Christ hand-selected by P. Anschutz or photos of people who ran the race before white NIMBYs moved into the Western Addition. (You’ll have to tell me about it…). Anyway, here’s the baby fencing they have on scene already along with, and isn’t this cute, a message from San Francisco Natives for a Fun and Buzzed Bay to Breakers. Apparently, the cops can’t arrest for an open container in San Francisco…

And doesn’t this just break your heart – this Vespa scooter has been forgotten on the slopes of the famed Hayes Street Hill, the second highest point on the “racecourse.” Will Auto-Return charge $700 for its return?

Remember, Transit First.

All right, have a great Bay to Breakers 100!

Sucker Watch: Most Participants Won’t Pay to Enter the 2013 Bay to Breakers Fun Run So Why Should You?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Oh, you are a sucker. Well, then be my guest – pay $48 for a number. And actually, and you’ll enjoy this, sucker, it’s already too late to get a good deal on registration for 2013. Prices be higher now.

Most people who aren’t professional runners  don’t pay and here’s a good reason not to pay:

Your money goes directly to “Christian Billionaire” Philip Anschutz.

And then he takes your $$$$$ and uses it to, over the years, oppose the concept of evolution and fund anti-gay efforts.

(It’s funny that he even took an interest in this historic fun run and street party but he likes running so there y0u go.)

The reason that organizers won’t say how many “bandits” show up for the party is because they don’t want you to think that most people don’t pay.

But, IRL, most people don’t pay.

If you don’t believe me then take a NSFW look right here.

How many bibs do you see? Every year they say they will eject all these people and every year they don’t actually do it.

Now the San Francisco Nike Womens Marathon is different. You see, they give out coveted awards and people just can’t help themselves. And then stuff like this happens; “NO BIB NO BIB NO BIB!

But B2B aint like that.

One difference this year will be a limit on the size of the bags you might carry.

It’s like the size of Fook Mi’s backpack, best I can imagine.

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All right, have a great 2013 B2B.

And if you want to pay money to somebody, just take whatever your reg fee is and give it to Pride or whatever.

End Of Line.

Heron Watch 2013: OMG, Great Blue Heron Nesting Season Starts April 13th at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

You’ll soon be able to see a scene like this in Golden Gate Park when you look across Stow Lake up towards Heron Island.

Get on down to the Stow Lake Boathouse area on Saturdays starting April 13th to get involved with Heron Watch. It’s brought to us by Nancy DeStefanis, director of San Francisco Nature Education, every year.

The view from Strawberry Hill –  Dad watches the kids while Mom’s out hunting gophers and whatnot:

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See you there!

Pied-Billed Grebe Mother in Golden Gate Park Tries to Feed Her Baby a Huge Crawdad – It Sort of Works

Monday, September 10th, 2012

This took a while so I’m not sure these photos show the same crawfish. The baby would keep dropping it and the mother would keep diving to retrieve.

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I guess it all worked out…

Better Know Your Pied-Billed Grebes of Golden Gate Park – Adorable, Adorable Chicks Ride on Mama’s Back

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Here’s the father:

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And here’s Mom:

Four young-uns in this nest:

A safe place to be:

Hungry, always hungry:

Warm:

TTFN:

Here are the Three Reasons Why You Were Foolish to Have Registered for the Bay to Breakers

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Three Reasons Why You Were Foolish to Have Registered for the Bay to Breakers:

1. Your money goes to Philip Anschutz, the Christian Billionaire – see below.

2. You don’t get a refund even if the Philip Anschutz people decide to cancel the race – you agreed to that in the oppressive agreement you made on the Bay to Breakers website when you signed up: “…all Race entry fees are non-refundable, even if Race is cancelled…” See after the jump for details on that.

3. Most other participants don’t pay, so why should you? Take a look right here, this is early on during the first hour of the 2012 event  - how many registrants can you spot?

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I’ll tell you, I see just one soul with a “racing” bib. Do you think any of these people cared about getting a “racing” time that shows how long it took them to run the BtoB? Do you think any of them were arrested by the SFPD? Do you think any of them were ejected from the “race” course by “race” organizers? I don’t.

Those were just Three Reasons Why You Were Foolish to Have Registered for the Bay to Breakers.

Sucker!

Often identified as “Christian billionaire Phil Anschutz”,[26] he is a Republican donor who supported George W. Bush‘s administration. He has been an active patron of a number of religious and conservative causes:

  • Helped fund Colorado‘s 1992 Amendment 2, a ballot initiative designed to overturn local and state laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation but was invalidated by Romer v. Evans after it passed.[19]
  • Contributed $70,000 in 2003 to the Discovery Institute, to specifically support the work of telecom guru George Gilder but not matters related to intelligent design. That fact was validated by Discovery President Bruce Chapman in a letter-to-the-editor to the Rocky Mounatain News, “Anschutz never gave that program a nickel,”[27]

The Discovery Institute is a think tank based in Seattle, Washington that also promotes intelligent design and criticizes evolution.[28]

(more…)

Sammy Kitwara and Mamitu Daska Win Bay to Breakers 2012, But Not As Many are Watching the Race This Year

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

There he is this morning, #21, on the right, already breaking away from the pack halfway through the Golden Gate Park Panhandle on Fell:

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Get all the deets on the high-placing runners right here at Fog City Journal from Luke Thomas.

Now I’ll tell you, I didn’t register for the 101st running of the Bay to Breakers, so that means I haven’t signed away my right to ever in my life “attack, embarrass or disparage” San Francisco’s littlest TV news station, KRON-TV.* Therefore, I have the freedom to ask, “What the hell, KRON? You start broadcasting the race at 8:00 AM after all the winners have crossed the finish line?”

Is this the smallest BtoB in recent memory? Seems that way. The past week the Philip Anschutz people couldn’t even give away registrations. Oh well.

LinkedIn won, once again, in the Centipede category:

(The Philip Anschutz people used to call this category “Human Centipede,” with hilarious results.)

Back in the day, there were hundreds of thousands of people out there on Bay to Breakers Day, and no fences, and everything seemed to work out. But in this day, of uptight rich white NIMBYs living in the Western Addition and Hayes Valley and district elections affecting the behavior of San Francisco Supervisors, things are different. OK.

OK fine.

*It’s true. It’s in the waiver you assented to – you can’t ”attack, embarrass or disparage” any Sponsor and KRON’s a Sponsor so there you go. 

Here’s This Year’s Official Bay to Breaker Press Release from the SFPD and Here’s How It’s Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Friday, May 18th, 2012

LEAVE US BEGIN:

“More than ever, City officials and race organizers are serious about keeping the race free from alcohol abuse and nuisance behavior.”

SO THIS IS THE STANDARD LINE FROM SFGOV-APPROVED MEDIA FLACK DAVID PERRY, WHO GETS PAID TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO ATTEMPT TO PROMOTE WHATEVER IT IS THAT SFGOV WANTS PROMOTED. LIKE, “THERE’S NO HALLOWEEN IN THE CASTRO, WE’RE SERIOUS.” FOR THE BAY TO BREAKERS IT’S BASICALLY, “NO ALCOHOL, WE”RE SERIOUS.” AND THEN DAVID PERRY PUTS UP A RECYCLED, HALF-ASSED WEBSITE. (ALL HIS SITES LOOK THE SAME, COMPLETE WITH THE SEAL OF SAN FRANCISCO FOR COLOR OF AUTHORITY.)

NOW, WHAT DOES DAVID PERRY BILL THE CITY FOR THIS SERVICE? $10,000? $40,000? I HAVE NO IDEA. WHAT’S IT WORTH? ABOUT ZERO, THAT’S WHAT IT’S WORTH. BUT FOR SOME REASON, THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO JUST LOVES GIVING MONEY TO DAVID PERRY – TO KEEP HIS BUSINESS GOING, I GUESS.

ANYWAY, HERE’S THE WEBSITE THAT DAVID PERRY GETS PAID FOR WHETHER ANYBODY LOOKS AT IT OR NOT. NOTE THAT DAVID PERRY STEALS PHOTOGRAPHS TO DECORATE HIS WEBSITES. FOR EXAMPLE, FIND THE SHOT THAT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL AND THAT’LL BE THE ONE THAT DAVID PERRY REPEATEDLY USES “COMMERCIALLY.” DO YOU HAVE A LICENSE, DAVID PERRY? NO YOU DO NOT. IS THAT HOW YOU ROLL, DAVID PERRY? YES IT IS. MOVING ON…

“Bay to Breakers has always been a blast for everyone,” said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.

A BLAST? WOW, YOU’RE THE COOLEST POLICE CHIEF EVER, GREG SUHR!

“Last year was no different, with the singular exception of no alcohol allowed. In some years past, because alcohol was allowed, there was a negative impact of our neighborhoods and we don’t want to see that repeated. That said, we hope that everyone will come and have a great time again, absent any alcohol.”

UM, ARE YOU SAYING ALCOHOL WAS OFFICIALLY “ALLOWED” AT THE BAY TO BREAKERS TWO YEARS AGO? NO IT WAS NOT. SO WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT GREG SUHR? YOU SEEM OUT OF TOUCH ON THIS ISSUE.

NOW, HERE’S WHAT THE SFPD WANTS YOU TO DO WITH YOUR ALCOHOL AT THE BAY TO BREAKERS. IT’S A DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL POLICY:

IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. THE SFPD WANTS YOU TO DRINK YOUR ALCOHOL IN A NON-OBVIOUS WAY AT THE BAY TO BREAKERS. IF YOU WALK THE COURSE HOLDING A CAN OF BUD, THE SFPD MIGHT MAKE YOU POUR IT OUT, VERY POSSIBLY. BUT IF YOU TRANSFER YOUR STUFF TO ANOTHER CONTAINER AS THE SFPD WANTS YOU TO DO, THEN YOU’LL BE FINE.

THAT’S WHAT THEY MEAN WHEN THEY SAY, “NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED”

WHAT THE SFPD WANTS TO DO AT THE BAY TO BREAKERS, FUNDAMENTALLY, IS TO LOOK AT GIRLS, TALK TO GIRLS, AND OTHERWISE INTERACT WITH GIRLS:

ALL THE LIVE-LONG DAY

THUSLY:

BUT IF YOU CAUSE TROUBLE, BY GETTING IN A FIGHT OR SOMETHING, THEY’LL HAUL YOU OFF, SIMPLE AS THAT.

MOVING ON…

AH, HERE’S DAVID PERRY AGAIN, PROMOTING HIS USELESS WEBSITE. HELLO DAVID PERRY!

To emphasize the point, a special campaign website is active at www.baytobreakers100.com with public transit information, rules and regulations, video PSAs and links to social media sites stressing this year’s campaign.

WHAT WOULD THE WORLD DO WITHOUT YOUR USELESS EFFORTS?

NOW, THE CITY FAMILY IS DOING ITS BEST TO PROMOTE THE CANDIDACY OF “RUN ED RUN” PROMOTER CHRISTINA OLAGUE, WHO’S PROBABLY SAN FRANCISCO’S LEAST INTELLIGENT SUPERVISOR NOW THAT MICHELA ALIOTO-PIER IS GONE. CHRISTINA IS THE REPUBLICAN-APPROVED SAN FRANCISCO PROGRESSIVE, SO SHE’S ALLOWED TO MOUTH OFF ON HER PET ISSUES, BUT SHE CAN BE COUNTED ON TO SUPPORT REPUBLICAN-SUPPORTED MAYOR ED LEE WHEN HE WANTS HER TO SUPPORT HIM. YOU KNOW, WHEN IT COUNTS. ANYWAY, HERE SHE IS SAYING, “VOTE FOR ME, VOTE FOR ME,” IN SO MANY WORDS:

“This year, will be my first Bay to Breakers as Supervisor for District 5 and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it and share this great event with our community,” said District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague. “Coming off of the successes of last year, I am confident that this race will only continue to improve as it enters into its second century here in the Bay Area. Last year, we saw a very different Bay to Breakers than in year’s prior. The new rules implemented by race organizers clearly made a difference and the sold out race was said to be a success by city officials, neighborhoods, media, and the organizers themselves. We expect the same result of our participants this year.”

SO LAST YEAR’S RUNNING WAS A SUCCESS, OFFICIALLY? WELL THAT’S NEWS TO ME. CONSIDER LAST YEAR’S EVENT A BASELINE, IF YOU WANT. BUT LAST YEAR, IN FACT, EVERYBODY WAS DRINKING, THERE WERE HUGE HOUSE PARTIES ON FELL STREET, DPW’S STREET REOPENING SCHEDULE WAS A COMPLETE JOKE, MOST OF THE PARTICIPANTS DIDN’T REGISTER AND YADAYADAYADA. (AND I’LL NOTE THAT THIS YEAR’S RACE IS NOT A SELL-OUT, NOT EVEN CLOSE.)

ALL RIGHT, MAYBE THAT’S WHY PEOPLE DON’T TALK ABOUT THE BAY TO BREAKERS VERY MUCH ANYMORE, MAYBE PEOPLE THINK IT’S FINE THE WAY IT IS. OF COURSE TICKET SALES ARE WAY DOWN FROM LAST YEAR AND TICKET PRICES ARE UP AND THIS EVENT IS WAY SMALLER THAN IT WAS IN YEARS PAST, BUT THE CITY FAMILY IS COOL WITH THE B2B, APPARENTLY.

OK, WELL, IF OUR CITY FAMILY CAN DEAL WITH THE WAY THE BAY TO BREAKERS IS NOW, THEN SO CAN I.

ON WITH THE SHOW…