Posts Tagged ‘trees’

The Reason Why the Late Winter Cherry Blossoms You’re Seeing in San Francisco ARE NOT Proof of Global Warming

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

What’s that, when you were a mere pup cherry trees blossomed in March or April and now you’re seeing blooms in late January and the start of February?

Like here on Grove yesterday, and all over SF pretty soon:

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But actually, the trees you’re seeing are actually flowering plums, which are known for their early blooms. So what you’re doing is comparing apples with oranges, or cherries with plums.

And actually, the plum blossoms are late this year, at least compared with recent history.

What’s that, plum and cherry are basically the same? NOPE. They’re in the same family, of course, but the flowering plums that you think are cherries are famous for early blooming.

What’s that, you just saw the blooms in Japantown, so you know you saw cherry trees? NOPE. J-town has a lot of new plum trees, for whatever reason.

What’s that, global warming IS happening? Well, no doubt, but that’s not the reason why you think the cherry trees of your youth are blooming three months earlier these days.

I’ll agree that these trees are closely related and that they look very similar.

(If you still don’t believe me, check the Urban Forest Map.)

What Does RPD Burn in Golden Gate Park? – Is All This Smoke From Wood, Leaves, or Trash?

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

In my thoughts I have seen, Rings of smoke through the trees, but IRL I seen RPD making mad smoke by burning stuff in a wooded area east of the Conservatory of Flowers:

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From this chimney:

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See?

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So, RPD burns stuff in Golden Gate Park? Didn’t know that.

UPDATE: The Quasi-Unconstitutional Prayer Book Cross is STILL on Public Land in Golden Gate Park

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Our four-star Yelp-rated Prayer Book Cross doesn’t really belong on public land.

Here’s a repost from 2009. I haven’t kept up on things, but I don’t think much has changed. It’ll take somebody to sue SFGov to have a chance to change this situation, the way things happened with the big cross atop Mt. Davidson.

Just look at this monstrous cross, complete with rune grafitti, on govmint land in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park:

“The Prayer Book Cross was erected in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 1894 as a gift from the Church of England. Created by Ernest Coxhead, it stands on one of the higher points in Golden Gate Park. It is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive, near Cross Over Drive. This 57 ft (17 m) sandstone cross commemorates the first use of the Book of Common Prayer in California by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain on June 24, 1579.”

Didn’t the City have to sell off the similar Mount Davidson Cross (Yelp-rated) after a lawsuit back in the 1990s? Yes it did.  So, do you think the Prayer Book Cross creates an “appearance of governmental endorsement of religion” as well, particularly considering that we’re living in a post-Everson world?

Do these trees help to make this cross kosher, cause fewer people see it? Potentially, yes. Click to expand:

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In other words, does the City’s ownership and maintenance of Prayer Book Cross violate the No Preference Clause and the Ban on Aid to Religion Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution?

Or maybe it’s all good, because the  cross communicates “primarily non-religious messages” ala the shorter Mount Soledad Cross down in Fun Diego County? This is a close call.

Read all about the Mount Davidson case here, where the  United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit lays down the law. It’s pretty accessible.

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You see it on the right here, as seen back in the day, during the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Electric Tower at Night, with Search Light on Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park:

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The PB cross was a big deal back in the 1800’s, even making the New York Times.

But should it be on government land today?

Just asking…

Presented to Golden Gate Park at the opening of the Midwinter Fair, January 1, A. D. 1894, as a memorial of the service held on the shore of Drake’s Bay about Saint John Baptist’s Day, June 24, Anno Domini 1579, by Francis Fletcher, priest of the Church of England, chaplain of Sir Francis Drake, chronicler of the service. Gift of George W. Childs, Esquire, of Philadelphia. First Christian service in the English tongue on our coast. First use of the Book of Common Prayer in our country. One of the first recorded missionary prayers on our continent. Soli Deo sit semper gloria.”

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 dysfunction, 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. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, 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, later on, 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 after all these changes 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 now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  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, this tree planting diversion. So, 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 Riot of Color in Golden Gate Park: Our Dahlia Dell is Still Going Strong, in November

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The Dahlia Dell in Golden Gate Park had a lot more color back in September, but there are still some flowers there in mid-November. See?

The colors, man – groove on the colors:

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And what’s right around the corner? The flowering plum tree blossoms of January

I suppose December is our worst month for flowers – I’ll look for some around town in a few weeks…

One Problem, Just One, With SFGov: Planting Trees Without a Plan to Take Care of Them

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

(There is unrest in the (urban) forest / There is trouble with the trees)

Well, read the news and turn the pages – a good part of San Francisco’s “urban forest” is toppling over this AM because of rain. Not due to wind, just a little rain.

Did former Mayor Gavin Newsom run for CA Governor on the number of trees “he” planted in SF? Yes he did. Is that a good thing? No, it’s not.

Here, take a look at what’s going on down in Los Angeles County these days.

Could it be that local governments want to plant too many trees willy-nilly, the same way an alcoholic wants to drink too much?

A solution for that would be a conscious effort to stop planting trees. And also, getting rid of the policy of keeping trees in places where they don’t belong. This is a money issue, this is safety issue.

Oh, here are some facts:

- There is no urban forest. A forest, by definition, can’t be in an urban area. Oh, what’s that , you’re just being aspirational? Oh, you’re just “framing” the issue because you want more trees everywhere and you’ve been able to send the bill to Other People Later On? Oh, okay, well, keep on keeping on then.

- San Francisco doesn’t have any kind of “canopy.” Just look up – if you can see the sky or the fog, then there’s no canopy. Oh, what’s that , you’re just being aspirational? Oh, you’re just “framing” the issue because you want more trees everywhere and you’ve been able to send the bill to Other People Later On? Oh, okay, well, keep on keeping on then.

San Francisco doesn’t have any kind of “cloud forest.” It can’t. We have trees and we have clouds but that’s not enough to have a cloud forest. Of course we have fog and a whole mess of trees from halfway around the world, you know, that don’t really belong here, but that’s not enough.

- Sutro Forest isn’t a “forest.” Do you want to call it a stand or a grove instead? That’d be nice. That’d be accurate too.

Anyway, Supervisor Scott Wiener’s ideas about spreading the cost of tree maintenance over a larger group of tax and fee payers have merit, IMO.

Goldsworthy, Spire, Presidio, Timeless

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

It‘s still really quite striking, even after all these years

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If the NIMBYs of Alamo Square Don’t Like the Bay to Breakers Party, Then What About This Monstrous Radiation Machine/Cell Phone Tower?

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Be afraid, NIMBYs.

Be very, very afraid.

And make sure to inventory every slight you experience this Sunday and then repeat all of them to everybody you know for the the following two weeks so that everybody can now how  you, the poor millionaire homeowner, has suffered uniquely owing to this street party what existed long before you were even born.

And just look at it – it’s pointed right towards you! Arrrgh!

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Enjoy your cellphone tower, Western Addition.

April Fools! Those “Cherry” Trees You Saw Blooming in January are Actually Plums – Yes, Even in Japantown – Proof

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Here’s your proof, here’s how things are looking in Buchanan Plaza in April 2014:

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That would be a couple plums on the left and genuine cherry on the right.

Why did people plant plum trees in J-Town? IDK, perhaps to make it look like we had cherry trees blooming in mid-winter?

Anyway, proof promised, proof delivered.

The Suessian World of Grand View Park – Also Known as Turtle Hill – You’re in a World of Chert

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I suppose it kind of  looks like a turtle:

Wiki

G+

Yelp