Of course there are pros and cons to the proposed sugar tax you’ll get a chance to vote on in November
Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.
1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.
2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?
3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.
4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.
5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:
6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what's that, RPD - this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don't you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]
And that’s the end of this story.
For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between the bad, terrible, bumpy old Kezar (seen in the background) and the new, wonderful, freshly-paved Kezar (seen in the foreground), you know, except for the color.
Click to expand
[UPDATE: Here's a FaceBook posting from June 20th, from a less-than-reliable-source, one that earlier stated that this job already would have been done by now, that I don't think you could find even if you searched for it, that's designed mostly to take credit for a "job well done" (as opposed to informing the affected public (most of whom don't even live in District Five)), that doesn't even mention the terms SFMTA or DPW, that I suppose is a kind of official notice.]
Earlier, I read this sign as Kezar Drive Closed From June 23rd to July 30th, so I was baffled as to why there was nothing posted online on this topic.
So now, after taking a photo and looking at it, I see that the closure is for just 11 scheduled days and only at night.
Click to expand
I’m still baffled as to why no SFGov entity has posted anything about this online, oh well.
Anyway, this thing kicks off tonight – here’s the foreperson getting ready for work.
[UPDATE: The mystery, she is solved - this closure will be at night only.]
Uh, is Kezar Drive going to be totally shut down 24-7 for weeks starting next week?
I think so. Here’s the ominous sign:
Click to expand
So here’s something I didn’t know:
Actually, it’s not scenic at all, but no matter, ’cause apparently it’s “bumpy?”
So who’s the poster child for this particular issue? Comes now Sunset District resident Wesley Dere:
“Sunset District resident Wesley Dere watches cars navigate bumpy Kezar Drive. Dere says his car has been knocked out of alignment twice.”
So this is nice because we’ve got the word “says” in there. (Like, “Fisherman Buford McGee says he was abducted by Martians.”) But, oh man, if the alignment on your Impala has gotten “knocked out” twice by Kezar Drive, then there’s something wrong with you, the owner-operator of said Impala.
Who, oh who, will solve this problem for us? Well guess what - London Claus is coming to town with a grand gift for the residents of the western reaches of District Five, Supervisor London Breed is Fixing Kezar Drive:
“I am very happy to report that after some rather insistent lobbying from our office, the Department of Public Works has identified funding to grind and repave Kezar Drive, the street that connects Lincoln to Oak and Fell. This is a major East-West artery that has been left crumbling for years. My office navigated a bureaucratic maze to see this project through (the road is technically Rec and Park’s responsibility and is somehow ineligible for most paving funding sources). Now it looks like we will have a smooth road by the end of June.”
Well, substitute “July” for June, but this thing is a “go.”
So, who deserves the credit for this grand gift? IMO, credit should go to the little elves, all those tax- and fee-payers who did the work that got taxed and fee’d enough to provide the funding to pay for this project. OTOH, in the opinion of the Office of London Breed, credit should go to London Claus. As always, You Make The Call, Gentle Reader.
Now I suppose it’s good to pave roads, but this looks like a Cadillac solution to a Chevy kind of problem, this looks like weeks (or months?) of trouble for Our Neighbors In The Sunset, those poor souls out there in San Francisco County, all for sake of letting Wesley Dere’s Chevrolet slide.
Of course I don’t really care about all this, not really, as I’m not likely to be affected and I wouldn’t care even if I had to deal with this each and every day. I’ll note that the grid’s ability to recover from temporarily losing the use of this choke point has been degraded over the recent years, so Waller’s not going to be an option and “cutting through” the Music Concourse isn’t going to be an option and yada yada.
Perhaps Kezar really is in bad bad shape and I just don’t notice because my aging Toyota had unfashionably small wheels even when it was new and, you know, the City and County should go out of its way to accommodate drivers with 22 inch wheels and 30-profile tires.
Perhaps. I just don’t know how a regular town, one without district elections, would handle* something like Kezar Drive…
*And I also wonder if other towns would try to post something on the Internet once it’s decided to do something, as this electronic sign was my only clue about this big news.
Alvord Lake Bridge is not a bridge, it’s a pedestrian tunnel. Discuss. Oh, I’ll start – it’s wider than it is long, so how many bridges fit that bill?
Alvord Lake isn’t a lake, it’s a very small pond, smaller than some koi ponds people have in the backyard. Discuss
Inbound Kezar Drive should have two lanes instead of just the one in the area of Alvord Lake Bridge. Make It So. Oh, what’s that? No, I don’t care, just make it so.
The news of the day:
Boy, it wouldn’t take too much effort from a few members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to hop on this particular bandwagon.
Now, which street to rename?
Hey, how about Laguna, the location of our Chinese Consulate? My, wouldn’t that be “provocative?”
In related news, here’s what a small stretch of Laguna looks like now, right in front of the consulate – see the brand-new NO STOPPING ANY TIME signs?
They’re also on Geary, so that means the Western Addition has lost maybe ten parking spaces, in the name of security, one supposes.
Actually, I’m surprised that parking lasted as long as it did, as it was such an obvious security issue.
On It Goes…
This trial of shutting down Lombard Street to tourists looks unstoppable now.
Some rich property owners in Russian Hill have had their aesthetic sensibilities offended by those, those people known as tourists. So these richers want to gate off Lombard Street and make part of it a private.
Except they don’t want to pay for making it a private road. Oh. And the purpose of roads in California is so that people can use them – it’s like burned into the vehicle code or someplace.
So the next best thing for these white millionaires is this trial to cut down on tourism. And the way to get that is to turn an aesthetic issue into a safety issue.
For example here’s how this works when rich white property owners decide they don’t want telephone poles and MUNI wires lousing up their enclaves. Here we go, from “Report of Meeting with Supervisors Farrell and Chiu”
“Supervisor Farrell is also looking for ways to pitch it beyond aesthetics.”
So then the people who don’t want to see telephone poles and MUNI poles starting talking up the “safety issue.”
You see, ’cause if you tell the truth about your motives, then you give the rabble, the masses, the Proles a chance to undo your self-described “improvements.”
OTOH, if you say your concerns are about safety, then your biases will be given more deference if and when it comes time for higher authorities to give a stamp of approval. Of course, sometimes this safety argument works, sometimes it doesn’t:
1880: “There are too many Chinese working in San Francisco” – let’s do something about it.
2014: “There are too many Chinese* visiting Hyde and Lombard” – let’s do something about it.
One problem with district Supervisor elections is that a handful of property owners can have an outsized influence over matters that should be decided on a citywide basis. If tourists, all those millions past, present and future, threw house parties for Mark Farrell to raise money in, then maybe he’d consider what they want.
But they don’t, so he doesn’t.
*And Euros and upper-middle-class-and-lower domestic tourists as well, but just look at the worst case scenario photo here.
Well, here it is, an actual real 8-page newspaper “serving Cole Valley, Alamo Square, Hayes Valley and the Haights” – it’s the brand-new HAtCHBeat, Issue One*
Now meet Liz Fedak, Publisher.
Somebody who tried something like this a little while back was Eve Batey. Her online-only effort didn’t work out.
And speaking of online-only, Hoodline (mostly covering “Divisadero, Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, Upper Haight,” mostly) comes to mind as there’s a lot of overlap there. Liz has carved out an area that we can call District 5 Less The Inner Sunset.
Who’s taken notice already? How about D5 Supervisor London Breed** with her City Hall column and SFPD Park Station Captain Gregory Corrales with his Police Beat?
And add to that an alphabet soup of SFGov departments, including advertisers with big ads such as the Department of Elections and the SF Public Library.
Check it out if you can. You’ll see a bit about Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic (1988-2013) that takes a decidedly anti-RPD position.
That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:
“Do you have interest in writing, photography or videography? Whether you have experience or not, send an email to email@example.com to get involved.”
Leaving you with the categories to be covered:
Business + Money — HATCH Beat
Parenting — HATCH Beat
Profiles — HATCH Beat
Community — HATCH Beat
Calendar — HATCH Beat
Pets — HATCH Beat
Food + Drink — HATCH Beat
Police Blotter — HATCH Beat
Entertainment — HATCH Beat
Bon courage, HAtCHBeat!
Here’s what Annual 420 Day looks like, not too far from the Haight Street McDonalds on Stanyan.
That’s not fog, that’s a cloud of exhaled Mary Jane:
All right, Happy 420 Day 2014!
And now, let’s hear from London Breed:
“April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 20th Activities in Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Ashbury
This Sunday, April 20th, will see not only Easter celebrations throughout the City, but the likely return of an informal and unpermitted “4/20” gathering in Golden Gate Park and the Haight, which has caused significant problems in the community over the years and was particularly problematic last year.
Crowds strained police, Muni, and park resources, overwhelmed residential streets, and in several instances, damaged public and private property. Traffic came to a standstill as cars swarmed thearea. Garbage overflowed from curbside cans that proved unequal to the occasion. And on Sunday, 4/21, staff and volunteers with the Recreation and Parks Department had to laboriously collect over 10,000 pounds of litter left in the parks, not to mention the trash collected by the Department of Public Works from the upper Haight to Hayes Valley.
I am determined not to allow these impacts again this year. Over the past months, I have worked closely with the Police and Parks Departments, Mayor Lee’s office, and the MTA on a comprehensive city approach to this event. There is no sponsor for 4/20, no organizer to hold to account. But I want the community to know that their Supervisor and their government are doing everything possible to ensure a safe, peaceful April 20th for both visitors and residents.
San Francisco, as always, welcomes celebrants with open arms, but this Sunday there will be boundaries to keep the community safe, and there will be no tolerance for anyone using 4/20 as an excuse to harm our parks or neighborhoods.
There will be increased law enforcement presence both uniform and plainclothes—including Juvenile Probation Officers—in the Park, upper and lower Haight, and surrounding neighborhoods with a strict enforcement approach to all code violations.
Parking is very limited in the area, and there will be Parking Control Officers (PCOs) ticketing and/or towing vehicles parked illegally in any way, e.g. on lawns or in neighbors’ driveways. PCOs will also be deployed at busy intersections to keep traffic and transit moving.
Unpermitted booths and concessions in the Parks will not be allowed. Such enterprises will be immediately cited and removed.
Traffic control officers, SFPD, and Muni will be on hand in the afternoon to help move visitors out of the neighborhoods quickly and safely. Muni will reroute buses off Haight Street between Stanyan and Masonic to avoid delays.
If our neighborhoods and parks are expected to continue hosting a large gathering, without an organizer or any resources beyond those provided by the taxpayer, we must all be vigilant in ensuring the event is safe, clean, and responsible.
LONDON N. BREED
City Hall 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, California 94102-4689 (415) 554-7630
Fax (415) 554 – 7634 TDD/TTY (415) 554-5227 E-mail: London.Breed@sfgov.org
I say “pages” as I assume that this was printed in yesterday’s SF ‘Xam.
The most interesting observation: We weren’t hanging in the Mission. We were in the Outer Sunset, that foggy Siberia mostly known for extended Asian families living in rows of attached homes built on barren sand dunes.
THERE’S A REASON WHY REAL ESTATE VALUES ARE LOWER IN THE OUTSET, RIGHT? DO YOU WANT TO GET INTO THAT?
Yet the trend behind the toast tweeted around the world started at Trouble Coffee on Judah Street.
If trendy cafes are copying Trouble Coffee’s fancy toast, how did the Outer Sunset become a trendsetter? “My office can’t take credit for it,” said Tang, who recently turned 30 and is the youngest member of the Board of Supervisors. “What you see just sprang up and has a life of its own.”
WHETHER THE SUPERVISOR OF THIS AREA IS KATY TANG OR ED JEW, THAT HAS ZERO EFFECT ON WHAT THE OUTER SUNSET IS LIKE, RIGHT. KATY TANG, YOU DON’T “CREATE” ANYTHING, CAPISCHE? SIMILARLY, YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE MANY ISSUES THIS AREA HAS – SEE HOW THAT WORKS?
I love that it’s so organic. People have a more independent attitude out here. They don’t like bureaucracy and government intervention. They are free spirits. It might be something about being by the beach.”
KATY TANG IS AGAINST “BUREAUCRACY” AND “GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION,” REALLY?
Westside residents have historically been against growth, but Tang said she’s “hearing a tone of change.” She will discuss her ideas for “responsible development” at the Sunset Recreation Center at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
(LOTS OF LUCK WITH THIS ONE, KATY. IT COULD BE A BUMPY RIDE.)
“For so long we made it difficult to grow neighborhoods. Now we just keep going in circles with sensational eviction stories and legislation against property owners,” Tang said. “I feel bad about evictions, but we need balance because more burdens on property owners will only create a backlash. They’ll just throw their hands up and refuse to rent anymore. That’s why we have to create more supply.”
WOW, SOMEBODY FEELS SECURE IN HER JOB!
Tang said she is troubled by City Hall’s volume of reactionary legislation, like last year’s creation of a decadelong ban on converting rentals into condominiums. It was touted as a way to keep tenants in rent-controlled units but had the reverse effect.
SCORECARD PLEASE: “PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATION” = “REACTIONARY LEGISLATION?” REALLY?
There used to be an economic incentive to not evict tenants because a building with a clean eviction history was eligible for the lucrative condo lottery. With that hope now gone, petitions for Ellis Act evictions increased substantially (32 affecting 130 units were filed in the six months leading up to the condo ban compared to 50 for 211 units during the six months after). Predictably, with nothing to lose by an Ellis eviction, property owners are now cashing out to buyers willing to sell units as tenancies-in-common.
I DON’T KNOW WHOSE WORDS THESE ARE – I DON’T THINK THEY’RE OPERATIONAL, IRL. LANDLORDS NOW HAVE “NOTHING TO LOSE BY AN ELLIS ACT EVICTION?” REALLY? I DON’T THINK SO.
“I worry that we’re ignoring the unintended consequences of all the legislation in the pipeline,” Tang said. “Instead of solving our housing problem, we may end up hurting more tenants in the long run.”
CERTAINLY, RENT CONTROL CREATES WINNERS AND LOSERS. KATY TANG, ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF RENT CONTROL? YES? SORT OF? MMMM…
“I never expected to be in elective office,” said Tang, who was appointed to complete her predecessor Carmen Chu’s term and can serve two terms of her own.
KATY TANG WAS APPOINTED TO DO WHATEVER SHE’S TOLD TO DO BY THE PEOPLE WHO GOT TOGETHER TO APPOINT HER, OBVIOUSLY.
“I don’t need to introduce quick-fix legislation five times a week.”
THIS IS A LITTLE, HOW DO YOU SAY, COMBATIVE, HUH?