Posts Tagged ‘students’

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down now so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won't really affect me, myself, I don't think. Seems selfish to think that way, anyway. What happened with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it'll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it's hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project. Then, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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A Grisly Warning for SFSU Students from the SFPD and Stonestown Galleria: Parking at the Mall Will Cost You $600 in Tow Fees

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

A pithy message from Zoo Station, aka SFPD Taraval:

SF STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: Don’t PARK at Stonestown Mall & go to class or to any SCHOOL function!

Achtung, baby!

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OMG, Saturday Was Move-In Day 2014 at the University of San Francisco – The Great Tow-Away on Fulton

Monday, August 18th, 2014

If you ask me, Fulton should have traffic signals in the USF area. But nobody asked me, so what our horrible SFMTA did recently instead of that was to take out a couple lanes.

So now this stretch of has a lower capacity in exchange for a dubious stab at increased safety.

Anyway, this is new on me, but it looks like Fulton can no longer handle annual USF Move-In Day without it being a big event complete with cars getting towed, with extreme prejudice.  Ivan Valladares has the details:

I saw around 20 cars getting towed away this morning on Fulton street, I’m sure it was more then that, just because students were moving in to SF STATE [sic] and were exclusively using the right lane to line up. This city sucks.”

Here it is, complete with home-made signs directing traffic:

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Later in the day, the owner of this minivan parked at what’s normally a legal space for about ten minutes but then got swarmed by the popo with a quickness:

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“White House Maker Faire” + “President Obama’s Call To Action” + “Brit Morin + Co” = ???

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Sooooo, if Obama hadn’t issued his “call to action,” then “Brit + Co” wouldn’t have introduced these “four new programs?”

That’s how I’m reading this.

Enjoy:

“Responding to President Obama’s Call To Action, Brit + Co Announces Four New Programs to Reach Makers of All Ages

SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, 2014 — In support of the first ever White House Maker Faire, San Francisco-based company, Brit + Co, has created four new programs in a new effort to reach makers of all ages.

Founded in late 2011 by CEO Brit Morin, Brit + Co’s mission is to unlock creativity by educating, inspiring and supporting makers. The programs announced today are designed to further bring this mission to life and highlight the importance of creativity, STEM and making to women and girls across the United States.

“The Maker Movement is re-defining the American dream. With new advances in technology enabling the democratization of ideas, skills, and products, citizens young and old are now able to turn their creative passions into real businesses. This new economy is reigniting American manufacturing and employment, while bringing together communities of makers who are producing innovative products for less cost than ever before. It’s an economy that could total nearly $700B.” stated Morin.

Since the beginning, Brit + Co has focused on inspiring and enabling women and girls to learn how to make, using tools and skills both new and old. As part of today’s White House Maker Faire, the company is announcing four new programs to continue igniting this audience:

These new programs include:

 –  Campus Ambassadors. Brit + Co’s new cohort of campus ambassadors will host local maker events once per quarter in their college or town, reaching as many as 20,000+ new makers per year.

–  Makeathons. Brit + Co will host a large-scale yearly ‘Makeathon’ to take place at their annual makers event, Re:Make, attended by thousands of people. Each Makeathon will focus on creating a new tool, app, gadget or program to solve a broad issue. The participants will be able to build relationships with leaders in technology for personal mentorship at the event and beyond.

–  Makers in Residence. Brit + Co will sponsor a select group of women to be “makers in residence” at Brit HQ each year, allowing them free co-working space and access to machines and DIY tools ranging from 3D printers to laser cutters.

–  Free E-Classes for Students. Brit + Co will engage K-12 students in making by developing a series of free e-classes that introduces kids to maker skills like 3D printing, graphic design and electronics. The e-classes will be designed for teachers to use in the classroom, or as an after school program. Each e-class will be paired with a DIY kit that provides students with hands-on materials to learn that particular skill or technology.

In addition, Morin will be in attendance at today’s White House Maker Faire and participating in a National Day of Making using #NationOfMakers on Twitter.

Brit + Co is an online media and e-commerce platform that provides tools to teach, inspire, and enable creativity among women and girls. From traditional crafts to high-tech manufacturing, Brit + Co connects millions of users with makers, designers, chefs, and inventors, together building a community of creativity.

For additional information on these programs, please visit the Brit + Co website at www.brit.co.

For more information on the White House Maker Faire and to watch live, please visit  www.WhiteHouse.gov/MakerFaire.

Press contact:

Amanda Duncan

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Reaches $4.4 Million Settlement with California Art Institute – Students Getting Cash

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The News of the Day, re: Argosy University:

“Herrera reaches $4.4 million agreement in dispute over for-profit college’s marketing. California Art Institutes’ ownership to settle for $1.95 million; fund returning student and new student scholarships; and re-calculate graduation and job placement rates

SAN FRANCISCO (June 17, 2014) – City Attorney Dennis Herrera today settled an unlitigated claim against California Art Institutes’ parent company in a consumer protection dispute over marketing tactics that allegedly underestimated program costs for students and inflated job placement figures for graduates.

Under terms of the agreement with Educational Management Corporation, the Pittsburgh-based for-profit educational provider will pay San Francisco $1.95 million to settle the dispute; endow a $1.6 million scholarship fund for non-graduating California Art Institute students who wish to return to finish their studies; and offer $850,000 in general scholarships to new students.  The agreement—formally an “Assurance of Voluntary Compliance” that is legally binding and enforceable in court—includes provisions for a sweeping array of reforms to Educational Management Corporation’s marketing and reporting practices.  The accord, which avoids litigation, includes no admissions of wrongdoing.

“I hope this agreement is a bellwether for other for-profit colleges, highlighting the need to fully inform students about their education costs and job placement prospects,” said Herrera.  “In a workplace where so much depends on education and training, students deserve accurate information about the schools they attend—and that’s exactly what California law requires.  I applaud Educational Management Corporation for its industry leadership in working with us cooperatively and productively.  They’ve shown a commendable willingness to address concerns about their current and former students, and to avoid similar problems moving forward.”

The $1.6 million Returning Student Scholarship Fund will be distributed to students who withdrew from California Art Institute programs between 2009 and today, and will be available to returning students for five years or until it is exhausted.  EDMC and the City Attorney’s Office will work together to publicize the fund to reach out to eligible former students.  EDMC has also agreed to new methods of calculating the percentage of enrolling students that graduate with degrees, and the percentages of students that are employed and that are employed within their field of study; and to publicize those recalculated figures in their promotional materials.  The school also agreed to train advisors to counsel students on the long term effects of student loan debt and default.

As is common with Assurances of Voluntary Compliance reached outside of litigation, the agreement also includes enforcement provisions that compel EDMC to notify the City Attorney of any breaches of the agreement on its part, and a stipulation that a material violation by EDMC will be considered evidence of an unfair business practice that the City could make the subject of a future lawsuit.”

UCSF Architecture Update: One of These Things is Not Like the Other – Spot the “CIRM Worm”

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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All the deets.

OMG, Selena Gomez, Seth Rogen, Magic Johnson & Orlando Bloom are Coming to Oakland on March 26th! It’s “We Day California”

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Well, this is different.

All the deets:

“Natalie Portman and Magic Johnson bring largest youth empowerment event to California featuring Selena Gomez, Seth Rogen and Orlando Bloom

- First-ever We Day California will bring together 16,000 students and teachers on March 26 -

- Media accreditation is now open at www.weday.com/press -

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, international charity and educational partner Free The Children announced that its stadium-sized youth empowerment event, We Day, is coming to California for the first time on March 26, 2014 at Oracle Arena with the support of Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft, Allstate and Unilever. Selena Gomez, Seth Rogen and Orlando Bloom were among the first revealed as part of the star-studded lineup of speakers and performers who will take the stage at We Day California alongside 16,000 students from over 400 schools across the state.

The announcement was made at Philip & Sala Burton Academic High School in San Francisco in front of over 700 students who were joined by players from the Oakland Raiders and a surprise appearance by Glee star, Jacob Artist.

Organized by Free The Children, We Day is taking the philanthropic world by storm and going global with events in the United States, Canada and the UK. Over 180,000 youth this school year alone will come together to take part in an unprecedented educational initiative which inspires students to become active local and global citizens.

Spearheading its arrival in California are long-time Free The Children supporters and We Day California Co-Chairs, Natalie Portman, and Magic Johnson along with philanthropic thought leaders Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media and the Skoll Global Threats Fund and Daniel Lurie, CEO and Founder, Tipping Point Community. National businesses are also lending support to We Day including Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft, Allstate and Unilever, and professional sports teams including the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, the San Jose Sharks and the Oakland Athletics.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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It’s the “CIRM Worm” in Situ – San Francisco’s Craziest Building is at UCSF – Hanging Off of Mount Sutro

Friday, January 24th, 2014

See it on the right?

Click to expand

All the deets.

The Models on the Cover of the CCSF’s Spring 2014 Schedule are Much More Attractive Than Those Hired by the NEMA Building

Friday, December 13th, 2013

[UPDATE: Hey, is this an official modeling agreement from CCSF? Mmmm… “Valuable consideration means money, you know, generally, right?]

Cf. NEMA

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(I wonder which modeling agency CCSF used, if any.)

(And, oh yes, Crisis, What Crisis?)

 

Wow, the Push to “STOP THE MASONIC PLAN” Seems to be Growing – But It’s Too Late, Right?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?

None, zero, nada.

But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.

I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could  have any effect at this point.

The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:

You can’t fight City Hall, right?

*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.