Posts Tagged ‘towing’

I’ve Never Seen an Aircraft Flying Around Without a Registration Number – And Yet This Was Over the Stanford Game

Monday, September 15th, 2014

This is new on me:

7J7C6708 copy

Boy, this aircraft/banner combo seems familiar:

7J7C6709 copy

Here are some of my other beefs against the flying banner ad biz in the bay area.

That Geico Banner Dropped on Fremont

Friday, July 25th, 2014

[UPDATE: Ad-Viation says it wasn’t them. Fair ‘nough.]

All right, work with me here, people – this one’s going to take a while to pay off and my theory may be incorrect, but anyway.

Here’s a post from earlier this year:

Hey Look, That Plane That Caused a Blackout in SoMA Last Year is Back in Business – The Dangers of Towed Banner Ads

“Well, here it is, a rare 1947 Sintson 108-2 over Golden Gate Park towing a banner, so that means it’s the very aircraft that dropped a different banner on SoMA last year, causing a blackout.

Ah memories:

“The aircraft, a Stinson 108, operating as a banner tow, experienced a release of the banner for reasons unknown. The banner displaying “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” fell onto power lines at Fifth & Brannan Streets in San Francisco, California, causing a brief interruption of local power.  Note: Ad-Viation has registered two Stinson 108′s, N331C and N6053M, possibly out of Hayward Executive – KHWD.”

Well let’s hope this doesn’t happen again….”

And this was the feedback I got from “Ad-Viation Inc” of San Ramon just a month ago:

Ad-viation says:
June 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The pilot that was towing the banner that cased the power out SoMA had over 10,000 of flight time & 7,000 plus hours of banner time without accident or incident. The banner release was do to what the pilot reported as the most sever wind shear he had ever encountered. The system that is designed to release the banner in the event that it is caught on something that could bring the plane down was activated by the wind shear. Wind shear has downed more that just “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” Let’s be thankful it was not another DC 10.”

Now this is what just occurred down in Fremont a week ago per Hamed Aleaziz of SFGate.com / The San Francisco Chronicle:

Geico banner plunges from sky onto Fremont home

And here’s a Fremont Fire Department selfie to prove it: 

Now here’s what I saw just yesterday down in San Mateo County – it’s a Stinson / Piper 108 / Voyager towing a different GEICO banner:

So now I’m thinking, gee, is this the same outfit what dropped a banner on power lines in San Francisco last year dropping a different banner on power lines in Fremont this year?  

Isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think? I mean it’s like rain on your wedding day/ It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid.

So I don’t know. I don’t have a pilot name or an N-number to go on, so I don’t know who dropped that banner on Fremont and I don’t know if somebody / the bay area / PG&E / FAA / NTSB has an advertising-banners-keep-dropping-on-our-power-lines problem…

Hey Look, That Plane That Caused a Blackout in SoMA Last Year is Back in Business – The Dangers of Towed Banner Ads

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Well, here it is, a rare 1947 Sintson 108-2 over Golden Gate Park towing a banner, so that means it’s the very aircraft that dropped a different banner on SoMA last year, causing a blackout.

Ah memories:

“The aircraft, a Stinson 108, operating as a banner tow, experienced a release of the banner for reasons unknown. The banner displaying “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” fell onto power lines at Fifth & Brannan Streets in San Francisco, California, causing a brief interruption of local power.  Note: Ad-Viation has registered two Stinson 108′s, N331C and N6053M, possibly out of Hayward Executive – KHWD.”

Well let’s hope this doesn’t happen again….

Doberman + Skateboard + iPhone = Fun on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

See?

Click to expand

Holy Toledo! Official San Francisco Contractor AutoReturn Advertises Bible Verses While Towing Cars in the 415?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

WTF is this? Is this a tow truck towing cars in the Financial under authority of the contract AutoReturn has with SFGov?

I think so!

And yet, in addition to charging you $500 for towing away your ride for being just 13 minutes late, AutoReturn wants to be involved with giving you a lecture from the King James.

Check it: 

Click to expand

I cry foul.

For the record, PSALM 23:

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

And then I’ll tow your car.

Sometimes, I just don’t know…

“The colonel’s hostility softened gradually as he applied himself to details. “Now, I want you to give a lot of thought to the kind of prayers we’re going to say. I don’t want anything heavy or sad. I’d like you to keep it light and snappy, something that will send the boys out feeling pretty good. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want any of this Kingdom of God or Valley of Death stuff. That’s all too negative. What are you making such a sour face for?”

“I’m sorry, sir,” the chaplain stammered. “I happened to be thinking of the Twenty-third Psalm just as you said that.”

“How does that one go?”

“That’s the one you were just referring to, sir. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I—’”

“That’s the one I was just referring to. It’s out. What else have you got?”

“‘Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto—’”

“No waters,” the colonel decided, blowing ruggedly into his cigarette holder after flipping the butt down into his combed-brass ash tray. “Why don’t we try something musical? How about the harps on the willows?”

“That has the rivers of Babylon in it, sir,” the chaplain replied. “‘…there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.’”

“Zion? Let’s forget about that one right now. I’d like to know how that one ever got in there. Haven’t you got anything humorous that stays away from waters and valleys and God? I’d like to keep away from the subject of religion altogether if we can.”

The chaplain was apologetic. “I’m sorry, sir, but just about all the prayers I know are rather somber in tone and make at least some passing reference to God.”

“Then let’s get some new ones. The men are already doing enough bitching about the missions I send them on without our rubbing it in with any sermons about God or death or Paradise. Why can’t we take a more positive approach? Why can’t we all pray for something good, like a tighter bomb pattern, for example? Couldn’t we pray for a tighter bomb pattern?”

“Well, yes, sir, I suppose so,” the chaplain answered hesitantly. “You wouldn’t even need me if that’s all you wanted to do. You could do that yourself.”

“I know I could,” the colonel responded tartly. “But what do you think you’re here for? I could shop for my own food, too, but that’s Milo’s job, and that’s why he’s doing it for every group in the area. Your job is to lead us in prayer, and from now on you’re going to lead us in a prayer for a tighter bomb pattern before every mission. Is that clear? I think a tighter bomb pattern is something really worth praying for. It will be a feather in all our caps with General Peckem. General Peckem feels it makes a much nicer aerial photograph when the bombs explode close together.”

Another Salvo Against that “AutoReturn” Towing Company from One of Its “Victims,” Writer CW Nevius

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Here’s the latest anti-Auto Return bit from CW Nevius.

I don’t know, Neve, what do you want? It sounds like you want the City Family to fight harder for the Commonweal, to make better deals when it deals with private companies.

And that’s fine, but you’re a little inconsistent, you dig?

Speaking of digging, what about the corrupt Central Subway project? The last you wrote about that was all the way back in 2008. Why is it that you write about little fish like Auto Return but not big fish like, I don’t know, AECOM?

Oh what’s that, you actually think the Central Subway is a horrible execution of a bad idea but you don’t want to offend all your sources in the City Family? That’s pretty weak, Neve.

Or what about the America’s Cup boondoggle that you used to cheer lead for so much. Didn’t The City strike a bad deal with AC34?

And what about Recology? You seem to support that expensive monopoly and its dealings.

But that’s small potatoes compared with the deal San Francisco made with Auto Return?

What do you want, you want to get rid of the AutoReturn contract and then hire a bunch of expensive new City employees to tow cars? I guarantee you that that would cost SF more money.

Or maybe you want tow fees to be increased overall in order to subsidize police tows?

Or maybe you want revenge against the company what towed your ride last year, you know, when you were a naive newcomer in the 415?

I think that’s it!

We’ve made a lot of progress today, CW. Leave your check with my secretary on the way out…

Ah, mem’ries:

The Biggest Mistake That AutoReturn Towing Company Ever Made was Towing C.W. Nevius Earlier This Year

Right? ‘Cause after the car of C.W. Nevius got towed in February, he stepped up his campaign against AutoReturn, the company what gets called by DPT / SFMTA when your car is blocking rush hour traffic.

So nowadays, he considers San Francisco’s policy of towing away cars blocking rush hour lanes a “scam,” which means he thinks the whole process is a “fraudulent business scheme.”

Does he think that the SFMTA should just leave cars untouched, making all those “NO STOPPING, NO PARKING” signs merely advisory?

It’s not clear.

Oh well.

AutoReturn: Our name makes us sound like we’re a department of the SFPD – isn’t that funny? WERE UNDER UR FREEWAY, DETAINING UR CARZ:

Click to expand

Now, what the Auto Return tow truck driver should have done was make up some excuse instead of towing the ride of The Nevius on that Fateful Day. You know, “technical difficulties” or something like that to buy some more time for the San Francisco Chronicle’s least intelligent employee. That would have allowed the Neve to correct his mistake by simply hopping in and driving off to the East Bay or wherever the hell he lives these days.

It wouldn’t be hard to implement a NO TOW NEVIUS policy. You know, back in the day, Willie Brown used to get pulled over all the time by the CHP when he was driving waaaaay too fast* on the I-80 back and forth to Sacramento. After Willie got stopped twice in one trip, he put a hold on the CHP’s budget. So the CHP issued Willie’s photo to all the officers on I-80 with instructions to “memorize this face” in order to give Willie favorable treatment. (Read the whole story below.) The point is that AutoReturn should find which cars CW Nevius parks illegally on the Streets of San Francisco and then give a picture of each one to all their tow truck drivers and then tell them“DO NOT TOW THESE PARTICULAR CARS!”

Bingo bango.

“From UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 (formerly eScholarship Editions), it’s: 

Willie Brown, A Biography by James Richardson

From four decades ago, Chapter 15, Mr. Chairman:

“One afternoon Brown briskly walked into a budget conference committee meeting late and looking angry. He immediately sat down next to [Senator] Collier and asked for a “point of personal privilege.” Collier granted him the courtesy, and Brown asked to return to an item in the budget to appropriate funds to purchase guns and other equipment for the California Highway Patrol. Brown then demanded that the funds be deleted from the budget. The trust between the two was so great that Collier asked no questions, immediately complied, and struck the CHP equipment appropriation.

At the end of the meeting, [aide Robert] Connelly asked his boss what was going on with the Highway  Patrol. “He was so mad, he wouldn’t talk about it.” Finally, Brown told Connelly that he had been stopped not once but twice by CHP officers that day on his way to Sacramento from San Francisco along Interstate 80 in his bright red Porsche. Each time, the officers walked over to Brown and said, “Hey, boy, where’d you get this car?”

Connelly quickly found the CHP’s lobbyist and told him what had happened. “The guy’s eyeballs rolled clear back into his skull. He said, ‘We’ll fix it.’” By the next morning, the CHP was distributing photographs of Willie Brown to officers along the Interstate 80 corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento with orders to “memorize this face.” The CHP got its appropriation back—and more.

Brown championed pay raises for CHP officers by authoring a bill that tied their salaries to a formula based on the salaries of large municipal police forces. The measure gave Highway Patrol officers a windfall raise, and then an automatic pay raise every time one of the unionized city forces got a new contract.”

*You’d see him go past as a red blur, hauling ass. He had a Porsche 911, a Mazda Miata (sold to him at a discount, you know, cause Willie is special), an Acura NSX (sold to him at a discount, per the instructions of Honda USA, you know, because Willie is special), and others.

The Biggest Mistake That AutoReturn Towing Company Ever Made was Towing C.W. Nevius Earlier This Year

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Right? ‘Cause after the car of C.W. Nevius got towed in February, he stepped up his campaign against AutoReturn, the company what gets called by DPT / SFMTA when your car is blocking rush hour traffic.

So nowadays, he considers San Francisco’s policy of towing away cars blocking rush hour lanes a “scam,” which means he thinks the whole process is a “fraudulent business scheme.”

Does he think that the MTA should just leave cars untouched, making all those “NO STOPPING, NO PARKING” signs merely advisory?

It’s not clear.

Oh well.

AutoReturn: Our name makes us sound like we’re a department of the SFPD – isn’t that funny? WERE UNDER UR FREEWAY, DETAINING UR CARZ:

Click to expand

Now, what the Auto Return tow truck driver should have done was make up some excuse instead of towing the ride of The Nevius on that Fateful Day. You know, “technical difficulties” or something like that to buy some more time for the San Francisco Chronicle’s least intelligent employee. That would have allowed the Neve to correct his mistake by simply hopping in and driving off to the East Bay or wherever the hell he lives these days.

It wouldn’t be hard to implement a NO TOW NEVIUS policy. You know, back in the day, Willie Brown used to get pulled over all the time by the CHP when he was driving waaaaay too fast* on the I-80 back and forth to Sacramento. After Willie got stopped twice in one trip, he put a hold on the CHP’s budget. So the CHP issued Willie’s photo to all the officers on I-80 with instructions to “memorize this face” in order to give Willie favorable treatment. (Read the whole story below.) The point is that AutoReturn should find which cars CW Nevius parks illegally on the Streets of San Francisco and then give a picture of each one to all their tow truck drivers and then tell them “DO NOT TOW THESE PARTICULAR CARS!”

Bingo bango.

“From UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 (formerly eScholarship Editions), it’s: 

Willie Brown, A Biography by James Richardson

From four decades ago, Chapter 15, Mr. Chairman:

“One afternoon Brown briskly walked into a budget conference committee meeting late and looking angry. He immediately sat down next to [Senator] Collier and asked for a “point of personal privilege.” Collier granted him the courtesy, and Brown asked to return to an item in the budget to appropriate funds to purchase guns and other equipment for the California Highway Patrol. Brown then demanded that the funds be deleted from the budget. The trust between the two was so great that Collier asked no questions, immediately complied, and struck the CHP equipment appropriation.

At the end of the meeting, [aide Robert] Connelly asked his boss what was going on with the Highway  Patrol. “He was so mad, he wouldn’t talk about it.” Finally, Brown told Connelly that he had been stopped not once but twice by CHP officers that day on his way to Sacramento from San Francisco along Interstate 80 in his bright red Porsche. Each time, the officers walked over to Brown and said, “Hey, boy, where’d you get this car?”

Connelly quickly found the CHP’s lobbyist and told him what had happened. “The guy’s eyeballs rolled clear back into his skull. He said, ‘We’ll fix it.’” By the next morning, the CHP was distributing photographs of Willie Brown to officers along the Interstate 80 corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento with orders to “memorize this face.” The CHP got its appropriation back—and more.

Brown championed pay raises for CHP officers by authoring a bill that tied their salaries to a formula based on the salaries of large municipal police forces. The measure gave Highway Patrol officers a windfall raise, and then an automatic pay raise every time one of the unionized city forces got a new contract.”

*You’d see him go past as a red blur, hauling ass. He had a Porsche 911, a Mazda Miata (sold to him at a discount, you know, cause Willie is special), an Acura NSX (sold to him at a discount, per the instructions of Honda USA, you know, because Willie is special), and others.

When a #1 California Bus Breaks Down in Chinatown, MUNI Needs the Biggest Tow Truck in the World

Friday, April 8th, 2011

A Peterbilt with ten wheels, actually.

It looked longer than the California 1AX Express it was set to tow…

Click to expand

CW Nevius Blocks Traffic, Gets Towed, Pays $500. And Yet, Naked People Get to Walk Around for Free

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

[UPDATE: OMG, I’m too late to this particular Nevius-bashing party – turns out intelligent attorney 40 Going On 28 has had this effort up since last year. Please don’t sue me, 4GO2! I’ll gladly turn over all proceeds (net) garnered from pointing out The Nevius Parking Fallacy.]

Suffer The Nevius. You see, other people break the rules with impunity, but when The Nevius breaks the rules, he gets a big fat penalty of $515. Check it:

“So to review: Walk down the street stark naked – nothing. Get back to your parking spot 13 minutes late – $515.”

Welcome to San Francisco, newcomer.

You see, the $85 ticket goes to pay the salary of the meter maid and the $400-something tow job goes to pay the salary of the lobbyist for the oddly-named Auto-Return company. It’s a public/private partnership, right? Is that a bad thing?

All right, you guys are giving me about a 3 right now. Why not let’s do it again, but at level 9. You can do that, right? Think energy! Think happy! Like you just won the lottery together. That’s it. Hold it, hold it. Click:

via John Curley

So, what’s the solution Chuck? Pick one:

We should hire more City workers just to tow cars away?

We should have Auto Return make less of a profit?

We should arrest naked people and not let them go until they pay $515 just like you had to?

We should let drivers park wherever the Hell they want during rush hour?

You got to pick one of these, Chuck, you know, for the coherency…

Things You Can Display on Your Dash to Make DPT Think Twice Before Ticketing or Towing – This Car Has Them All

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

First up is the handicap placard, natch. Really, some will consider you a sucker if you don’t have one by now. I mean, tens of thousands* of San Francisco drivers can’t be wrong, right? (Just do a little doctor shopping the way Winona Rider used to. High triglycerides? Give it a shot, why not?)

Gordon Young’s piece from 1996 here tells the story – nothing’s changed** since then.

But that blue piece of plastic can only get you so far. Click on the shot below to see what you’re missing. Stuff like:

A photocopied piece of paper labeled PRESS,*** and an American flag pin, and a giant SFPD pin, and an expired San Francisco poll worker one-day pass from June (a “Polling Place Parking Permit”), and a few other seals and crests and odds and ends designed to make sure that any PCO will decide to leave well enough alone.

You could probably park this rig on the very steps of City Hall with impunity:

Click to expand

Aging Ford Tuarus FTW!

*Or 52k, per the StreetsBlog, but of course that doesn’t include the counterfeits or the valid placards from commuters who live outside of San Francisco County.

**Has any CA doctor ever received any kind of discipline for authorizing a handicap placard at any time in state history? Hells no. It’s totally wide open.

***If the driver is a member of the press, then so everybody else in America.