Posts Tagged ‘tower’

This Tall Palm Tree has a Secret Purpose – You’ll Never Guess What

Friday, August 11th, 2017

I guess somebody promised to put up a non-ugly cell phone tower and this is the result what looks like it was created by someone unfamiliar with what real trees look like:

7J7C7408 copy

IDK…

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

7J7C6741 copy

So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

InSoc_DBA_booklet copy

And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

Interloper!

Monday, June 12th, 2017

7J7C4117 copy

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Frisco’s New Tourist Parking Ban at Coit Tower is a Huge Success, or Failure, Your Choice! – Let’s Take a Look

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

It took me a while to figure this one out:

7J7C1618 copy

So residents are allowed to park but tourists, or “visitors” euphemistically, well you can all go to Hell.

I can see how touristas should be limited to two hours or whatnot, but the top of Telegraph Hill is special, apparently.

Anyway, the real reason you can’t park there is that the locals don’t want you queuing up in a line of twenty cars, which was happening last year during construction time.

So guess what, the scary signs have scared away a good percentage of tourists, so the waiting time to park has gone way down, but the vast majority of the spaces are occupied by tourists anyway. Take a look – all these rides are owned by tourists:

7J7C1626 copy

But a handful of tidy German luxocars owned by local millionaires were on hand, see?

7J7C1636 copy

In theory, all the 20 or so rides up here should have these red stickers, but only three had them when I was there.

7J7C1627 copy

In other words, enforcement appears to be VisionZero or zero or whatever this year’s phrase for goose eggs is.

So there you have it. Is this sitch a success or not?

7J7C1630 copy

Scaring away half the tourists makes things easier for the remaining tourists and our local millionaire BMW and Audi owners too.

Of course, Frisco thinks all you tourists are deadbeats who should pay something like $5 or $10 just for the right to drive into town. (I’m srsly.) So you all are lucky to be able to drive up to Coit Tower without having to pass a toll booth.

Anyway, this program is a huge success or a small failure of democracy – it’s your choice.

(Now don’t go crazy and park up there overnight or anything.)

Take a Look at These Phoney Baloney California Cell Phone Tower “Trees” – Is This What We Want – How Did We Get Here?

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

I’ll let you spot them, Gentle Reader:

7J7C9775 copy

What’s the point of this?

7J7C9656 copy

Do these fake plastic/metal trees really fool anybody?

I cry foul.

Our New Skyline – Salesforce Tower Dominates the Dojo

Monday, December 5th, 2016

And as they say, “Bedrock, Baby!

7j7c4395-copy

Tower Cranes, Post Street – Or, How to Address a Group of Developers at a Political Fundraiser

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Oh, did I say “political fundraiser?” What I meant to say was event, or better yet, soiree. Never call a fundraiser a fundraiser – that’s the rule.

Anywho, what you do is start off by saying that the official bird of Frisco is no longer the California Quail, it’s the crane. The construction crane! (‘Cause you don’t know to call it a tower crane.) And then you laugh at your own “joke.” And then you blow a few dog whistles, you know, scary names like CHRIS DALY or AARON PESKIN afore you remind one and all how critical their “support” is to you and how, basically, all of us in this room are on the same team.

7j7c2712-copy

That’s how it works.

In closing, build, build, build.

Salesforce Tower is Coming Along Nicely in SoMA – Giant “Eye of Sauron the Great” to be Installed Next Week

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

As it looks from my ‘hood at Zero Dark Thirty:

7j7c2609-copy

Artist’s conception of finished tower after installation:

eye-of-sauron

The Terrible Zigûr will keep an “eye” on Mount Sutro, depicted at right, and maybe buy Twitter, who knows.

When asked for comment, Gorthaur the Cruel cryptically bellowed, “Bedrock, baby!”

That’s a good one, Sauron. Keep ’em coming.

Welcome to town, Dark Lord.

Frisco’s Skyline is Filling in Nicely, I Suppose – V for Victory

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

7j7c2548-copy

Multiple, Multiple COYOTE ADVISORY Signs, Telegraph Hill, Frisco

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

They mostly come at night, mostly, I assume, since I’ve never seen one in the daytime.

20160808_130441 copy

(Here are the older signs, for the record.)

Anyway, I don’t know how much more our SFGov can do, you know, than what they’re already doing. These critters were here before us and they’ll be here after we’re gone.

Get used to it…