Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

SFGov Invites YOU to a FREE DINNER at the Park Branch Library Tonight – New Panhandle Playground – Bring the Kids!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Here’s the news from a few years back and here’s what’s going to happen tonight at our SFPL’s Park Branch Library at 1833 Page near Clayton at 5:30 PM:

“Panhandle Playground Project – Planning Workshop – May 31 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

A workshop to discuss future improvements to the Panhandle Playground as part of the Let’s Play SF! Initiative – a partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

Food provided! Children and youth welcome as we will have planning activities geared towards them!

For more information about the Panhandle Playground Project, please visit tinyurl.com/PanhandlePlayground or contact Project Manager Melinda Stockmann at Melinda.Stockmann@sfgov.org or at 415-581-2548.”

But oh, there are a few issues.

1 So who’s paying the millions of dollars SFGov is proposing to spend? Well, they don’t get into that. I assume it’s local tax- and fee-payers. So that’s one of the costs of this project, right?

2. I mention that because destroying the current setup, the popular Kid’s Kingdom playground what’s the current Panhandle Playground, and then putting in a replacement will take, what, months, years? I mean, delays are baked into the cake, right?

Oh, here it is. “WELCOME TO KID’S KINGDOM – DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL SATURN DEALER.” Or at least it used to say that. But area residents didn’t cotton to this kind of marketing, so chop chop:

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3. One way to take care of this lengthy shut down issue would be to build the new playground someplace else nearby. THIS IS ONE OF THE CHOICES THAT YOU MIGHT POSSIBLY HAVE INPUT ON TONIGHT. Frankly, I don’t think Rec and Park would really be into moving the site JMO. The current location has a bunch of exotic trees around it, which many find appealing, but given the half-assed way RPD conducts its bidness, there’s a heightened risk of a big old branch coming down and killing somebody someday. Anyway, our RPD seems to think nothing of shutting down playgrounds for basically no reason for like a year, so I don’t think it cares oh well.

Getting rid of the rats should be high on the agenda regardless:

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RPD’s hands are tied about getting rid of rats. They can cull the herd, but getting rid of them altogether, well that’s a gonna be hard. They have some helpers though, to swoop down and carry away the poor little rattus rattus:

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4. But here’s the thing: Once you wrap your head around building the new playground while keeping the current one open, then who’s to say that people would prefer the new one? In fact, the current Kid’s Kingdom Panhandle Playground is remarkably popular, drawing in kids from all over the city. Why? Well mostly it has to do with all the tons of sand. People love the sand. And these days it’s a rare thing in Frisco. You know who hates sand, or at least hates taking care of sand? That’s right, your RPD. Speaking of which, RPD isn’t all that popular and yet the current playground is. So why not get a new RPD and leave the current playground alone?

5. Or better yet, take the money set aside and use it to take care of the Panhandle Playground better – is that so crazy? Ask people who are there and they are shocked that RPD and associated non-profits run by millionaires consider this place a “failing” playground. What makes it a “failure?” Its popularity? The current playground is a beat up Toyota Land Cruiser with 100,000 miles, which means that if you take care of it, maybe spruce it up a bit, then it will last for decades more, right?

6. But, RPD is already set upon getting rid of Kid’s Kingdom, without asking anybody. (Our SFMTA once made the mistake of actually asking if people wanted the crazy, I mean just crazy traffic circles they randomly put on Page, among other places. And the answer was no, we want our stop signs back, by a three to one margin. So this kind of thing is on RPD’s mind when it considers asking people what they want.) And they’re already paying a project manager and they’ve selected the main contractor, so RPD would think it “sad” if they had to give back the millions of dollars set aside.

7. Oh well.

8. And let’s see, is all that sand what’s there bad because of parasites? Well that could be true but it’s not because we don’t have no cats around, at least the way the ‘burbs do.

9. And is there arsenic in the wood at the playground now? Oh, yes there is. But it’s not all that big a deal. Typically, if there’s arsenic in your kid, then it’s going to be from something other than CCA wood. And you’re supposed to wash your hands after leaving, at least that’s what an RPD sign says what’s posted near the eastern entrance.

10. Oh, what’s that, playgrounds have changed so so much in the two decades since (Old) General Motors simply gifted us $100k to put in Kid’s Kingdom? Noooooope! You’re wrong, RPD.

11. But you have a new Theory of Playgrounds that you’re happy to share and discuss? Well, that’s fine, but the people who made Kid’s Kingdom also had theories and I’ll bet if you put them together, cut them up and then presented them to RPD employees, they wouldn’t be able to distinguish betwixt the bad old theories and the great new theories.

12. Oh well.

13. So the current playground is “failing” but the current users don’t have the foggiest idea of what that means, so why doesn’t RPD face up to this?

14. Anyway, you’ve paid for this project, so you deserve some free food at the library. They’ll ask you about your feelings about this and that, like what color should this be kind of thing. One supposes.

15. If the food’s not to your liking, Mickey D’s on Haight has 2 for 1 Happy Meals today, via their app.

16. Adieu Kid’s Kingdom. Many people will miss your ocean of sand, especially the Little Ones. Expect a playground geared more for Big Kids. For Better or Worse. Eventually.

17. OIOW:

“long-suffering playground” [IRL, it’s an extremely popular playground. Its current Yelp rating is 4.5 stars, which is the very definition of almost perfect, right? And hey look, what about the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Yelp rating – it’s much lower, it’s actually just 2.5 stars, right? Is RPD “failing?” Should we simply fire everybody and start over? Hey, why don’t we start using objective measurements, like asking the playground’s existing customers what they think? Is that too radical a notion?]

“finally” [This “framing” assumes 100% of what the millionaire-run Parks Alliance nonprofit says is accurate]

“Victim to time” [Well sure, you could replace this or that at this location, but what’s so wrong with it? What makes it a useless tear-down?]

“frequent wear and tear” [Because it’s popular? We’re going to change it because it’s popular and it gets used?]

“grown-up play” [Turns out it was sixth-graders who busted the slide, per the word on the street]

“the playground pales in comparison to other high-tech kids’ play areas in the city.” [What on Earth could  make a playground “high tech?” Like, “sure this playground is great, but I feel it doesn’t employ the most recent application of science?” Like, who says that? IRL, it’s perfectly fine.]

“failing playgrounds” [But the Panhandle Playground isn’t “failing,” right? Ask all the people who use it and try to find one person who would give it a letter grade of “F“]

“low household income” [Is this area a low household income area? WTF to that. In fact, the 94117 is an extremely high household income place, right? It’s off the charts, actually, nationally speaking. And even locally, it’s anything but a low household income area.]

“low Parks Alliance Report Card grades and rankings.” [Oh, here we go, here’s the problem. What’s the PARC and why does it matter?]

“an early holiday gift to District 5.” [London Breed is thinking “CHRISTMAS” but she says holidays – good for her. But who’s paying for this gift? Oh, we are? So it’s not really a gift, is it, London Claus?]

“high-tech play matting” [I have no fucking idea what this means. Currently, the joint is basically a giant sand box. Is this a bad thing? One supposes that some think so, but one doesn’t know.]

“What would you like to see improved upon in our small neighborhood playground?” [Keeping it the same, except for maintenance, which, if it’s lacking, then whose fault is that? Cough RPD, cough]

Wouldn’t it be ironic, dontcha think, if the Yelp ratings of the Panhandle Playground go down after we spend all those millions of dollars on this simple, functional playground?

We’ll see.

 

Here’s a New One: “GRHCBD Clean Team,” Patrolling Market Street

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Looks as if the “Greater Rincon Hill Community Benefit District Clean Team” doesn’t cost me money, yet, so that’s good.

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I think they’re new, else I’d have seen them afore.

How did we survive without CBDs back in the long long ago, one wonders…

Frisco Traffic: Historic Streetcars, Bike Riders and Unregistered Ferraris

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

As seen on Market Street:

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Properly registering and insuring a pricey weekend car is prohibitively expensive in California, on a per-mile basis, so that’s why so many people don’t do it. You gotta pay them “use taxes” to get started and then you face annual ad valorem taxes.

Oh well.

Historic Koshland Mansion, Frisco’s Most Expensive Listing, is Taken Over by HandyCam-Toting Skateboarders – Another Indignity at 3800 Washington

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

For one brief shining moment, some thought Taylor Swift would buy this long-empty fixer-upper up in Presidio Heights.

Then there was the art-thieving squatter – he’s imprisoned now, AFAIK.

And now this is how things looked last week:

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I count five sk8tr boyz recording their tricks up there.

Look for the results on the YouTube.

Our poor, poor Koshland Mansion…

Why is Appointed Mayor Ed Lee So Unpopular, Ch. LXXVI: Owner of Popular Cassava Restaurant in the Richmond Questions Twitter Tax Break

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Let’s see if I can pay off on that headline here. So yeah, Ed Lee’s not popular these days, for a host of reasons. Look it up. And I believe this person could be described as an owner, of Cassava, which certainly is popular

And Twitter Tax Break, well that’s a term people use. Here’s how things* got started, but we’re not only subsidizing Twitter in the Twitterloin area – there are other outfits too. It’s complicated.

But anyway, here you go:

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*Part of the problem the tech bros had was a law signed into law in 2004 by Gavin Newsom, which was designed to close a “loophole” in the payroll tax having to do with IPOs. Anyway, the loophole’s back. 

The Reason Why Samy’s Camera of SoMA Should Have a “We Pay Your Sales Tax Sale” Instead of a “No Tax Sale”

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The reason why is that California tax officials don’t like the idea of some items not having sales tax. When you say “no tax sale,” it makes it seem that you the store might not be forwarding sales tax to Sacramento.

IRL, Samy’s is forwarding the money, but the FTB and the BOE both want to make sure consumers know this.

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This might seem like a small deal to you, but it’s a big deal to the authortahs…

Our Inefficient, Wasteful San Francisco Film Commission is Desperately Trying to Justify Itself – Potential Marketing Efforts

Friday, October 31st, 2014

These aren’t real ads, not yet. But they show you how the SFFC is thinking:

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(BTW, what the SFFC calls a “job” is what I’d call a gig, some of which are offered at less than minimum wage, just like the America’s Cup)

All film commissions are bad.

How is the SFFC better than any of the rest?

How is the SFFC better than SF’s recent hosting of the disastrous America’s Cup?

BTW, NBC’s Trauma medical drama was a big piece of shit, you know, frankly. Now people might say that I shouldn’t say that, but I don’t think they’d contradict me. Yes, the Trauma people spent some money and some people benefited, but there’s no reason why they should be treated any different than any other group of visitors coming to town. Anyway, Trauma sucked, big-time, despite what the SFFC people said about it. And part of the reason why it was cancelled had to do with how damn expensive it was to film on the Streets of San Francisco. So, what I’m saying is that maybe the whole concept of filming Trauma on location in SF was a bad idea – I’m certainly not saying we should have subsidized its production even more than we did.

And if Hollywood says it doesn’t want to come here to film, that’s O.K. Some productions, the ones that make sense, will come anyway.

Anywho, look for one of these feel-good banner ads to appear on your screens soon…

Fin.

So Who Owns the Koshland Mansion at 3800 Washington Anyway? Taylor Swift or CNET’s Halsey Minor or “Miss Xia Xu?”

Monday, May 19th, 2014

[UPDATE: Well, as of December 2014, 3800 Washington is, once again, off the market, or so they say. See the old webpage, below.]

Well, this was the big rumor of May 2014:

Taylor Swift Rumored To Buy Historical Presidio Heights Mansion for $18M

Then the Taylor Swift people said no way, Jose.

But hey, look what’s on the front door now, a weathered posting:

Here’s my stab at it:

MR HU XU AND I MISS XIA XU

OWN OUR PERMANENT RESIDENCE

3800 AND 3810 WASHINGTON STREET

IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

THIS PROPERTY IS NOT FOR SALE

MISS XIA XU

But here’s the For Sale sign that’s still there. (Note the smallish 3810 Washington next door on the left.)

And here’s the web site still offering the place for sale. Check it out – the floor plans make this place look amazing, with levels up and down into the earth

And here’s the current listing.

This certainly is a mystery…

Subterranean by design
I wonder what I would find
If I met you, let my eyes caress you
Until I meet the thought of Miss Princess Xu?

3800

The Empire Strikes Back: Board President David Chiu’s AirBNB Legalization Proposal Gets Opposed by the SFAA, Tenant’s Groups

Monday, April 28th, 2014

A fresh press release:

“NEWS RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO CITYWIDE COALITION SAYS NO TO PROPOSED CHIU LEGISLATION – Board of Supervisors trying to convert residential housing to short-term rentals

Press conference Tuesday April 29, 2014 Steps of City Hall at 10:00 am

San Francisco — Organizations representing usually divergent interests ranging from tenants to landlords, and from hotel workers to the hospitality industry have joined forces with neighborhood and homeowner associations to oppose legislation introduced by Supervisor David Chiu to legalize the short term rentals of residential property throughout San Francisco.

“In the face of an unprecedented housing crisis, Supervisor Chiu’s legislation to legalize the short term rentals of residential property will only exacerbate the housing crisis. This practice is detrimental to our rent-controlled housing stock”, said Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association.

“Our studies have shown that with over 10,000 units of housing being rented out over Airbnb, HomeAway and other websites this practice is having a negative impact on hotel workers and San Francisco’s hospitality industry”, said Mike Casey, President of UNITE HERE Local 2.

“The proposed legislation would rezone the entire city from residential zoning to commercial zoning in one fell swoop. We hear complaints from almost every neighborhood about the detrimental effects of short term rentals on the quality of life of tenants and residents”, said John Bardis, former President of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods and former San Francisco Supervisor.

“Supervisors Chiu’s legislation would repeal hard won controls on Single Resident Occupancy housing, threatens current affordable housing provisions for over 30,000 permanently affordable units, would transform newly approved “in-law units” into high priced motel rooms and make “below market rate” units lifetime luxury hotels. It is the single biggest threat to affordable housing ever proposed by a San Francisco Supervisor” stated longtime affordable housing advocate Calvin Welch.

“Airbnb and other hosting platforms owe the City millions of dollars in unpaid hotel taxes. It is high time that the City collect these taxes which pay for the arts and vital city services and programs. The proposed legislation does not clearly hold Airbnb and similar organizations responsible for collecting and remitting the hotel tax”, said former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

All of these organizations are calling for Supervisor Chiu to withdraw his legislation at a press conference on Tuesday April 29 on the steps of City Hall at 10:00 am.”

Disgraced Michael Milliken Has an “Institute” That Wants to Give More Taxpayer Money to Hollywood? Oh My!

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Read the news and turn the pages:

Viewpoints: New York is eating California’s lunch with bigger, smarter film incentives, by Priscilla Hamilton and Kristen Keough

As California sits back in the incentives race, will New York’s incentives enable the state to surpass California as the leading entertainment cluster in the United States? Thanks to these incentives, New York produced four critically acclaimed films in 2013: “American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.” In all the categories excluding animated, foreign and documentary films, movies made or produced in New York collected 20 Academy Award nominations. Cate Blanchett won best actress for “Blue Jasmine,” which was filmed in San Francisco but which had most of its production in New York.

California even fell behind Louisiana, which collected 14 nominations and six wins including best picture for “12 Years a Slave” and best actor Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club.” California only had four nominations and one win for “Her,” best original screenplay.”

Uh, in fact, California had no nominations for any Academy Award.

In fact, California is ahead of Louisiana because we don’t spend as much money per capita on film production corporate welfare.

In fact, there is no “race” among states except for the race to the bottom.

Why not this, why not have California stop paying Hollywood any “incentives” at all? Then they people who want to make movies here can do so and the people who don’t can move to NYC or Louisiana or Vancouver or wherever.

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