Posts Tagged ‘twin peaks’

Something New: Checkpoint Charlie Atop Twin Peaks – SFPD “Community Policing” of a Sort

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

I’ve been up to Twin Peaks seven days out of the past eight – this is the first I’ve seen anything like this:

There was an SFPD presence up here even before the killing of last week, but it has stepped up quite a bit now.

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VIDEO: San Francisco police step up patrols on Twin Peaks after 71-year-old man murdered by thieves

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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:

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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.***

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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.  

Falun Gong Practicing Atop Twin Peaks – And Lobbying the Tourists

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Haven’t seen this afore:

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Everybody’s doing it, if you’ll notice:
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It’s quite a scene up there, sometimes:

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SFGov Paves Over Its Problems Up at the Twin Peaks Tourist Area, After Taking Away Most of the Available Parking

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Here you go, new pavement:

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Well, mostly. This was a couple weeks ago. Rec and Park is on a paving rampage lately, so maybe they’ve gone further by now, or maybe this is where they’re responsibility ends, IDK:

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Infamous TUTOR SALIBA is in the house. I can’t say that I understand NO PEDESTRIAN & TRAFFIC ALLOWED. This doesn’t appear to be an official SFGov sign, it’s just something that somebody made. I don’t understand it, oh well.

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Anyway, that was your “transformation” project to not have so many people hanging out up at Twin Peaks. And it’s worked – fewer people go up there and stop to wander around these days. It used to look like this:

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You can still park in the middle section there, but cars are now banned entirely on the left side and officially banned from parking on the right side.

And here’s one part of the problem – it’s one of two sad notes left by a visitor who had a bunch of stuff stolen:

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I suppose locals learn that Things Are Different Here after experiencing a few break-ins in Frisco, or maybe their friends tell them. But the people who don’t know that Stealing Things From Cars is a Way Of Life for many in the 415 make up the endless stream of visitors coming to town, be they out-of-state peace officers with guns left inside or whoever.

(A couple license plate scanners mounted high on poles ala Tiburon could be highly effective, just saying. Because of the geography / layout.)

Anyway, that’s the update. Feel free to click here and read down about Twin Peaks issues over the years.

Apparently, the Top of Twin Peaks is Closed Now, But Our Tourists Don’t Seem to Care – Four Fences Knocked Down

Monday, February 13th, 2017

I don’t exactly know how our SFGov wants people to ascend Twin Peaks these days – perhaps not at all.

Here’s how you get down, through the trampled down part of this fencing:

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The western peak lacks fencing, for now.

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And here’s the eastern peak again, also with trampled down fencing on its west side as well:

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I mean no big deal, but if SFGov wants to keep ppl out of here, it’s doing a bad job. The thundering herd will simply mow over flimsy fencing such as this…

“V-O-Cal?” – RPD Chain Gang, Twin Peaks – “You can make friends and earn community service hours!”

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Here’s the scene, located hundreds and hundreds of feet above us Frisco Flatlanders:

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And here’s the pitch, from the RPD, and from V-O-Cal (Volunteer for Outdoor California).

IDK, man, I think they’re pushing this outdoor metaphor a bit far, you know, for an urban area:

Friday
5pm – Registration and camping opens
Saturday
7:30am – Registration, light breakfast, and lunch prep begin.
8am – Morning greeting, announcements, stretching and safety talk. Project begins.
12:30pm – Break for lunch on trail.
3:30pm – Head back to camp.
4pm – Drinks, appetizers and socializing. Showers available.
6:15pm – Dinner and entertainment.
Sunday
8am – Registration, hot breakfast, and lunch prep.
8:30am – Morning greeting, announcements, stretching and safety talk. Project begins.
11:30am – Break for lunch on trail.
1:30pm – Head back to camp to pack gear and truck.
2pm – Celebrate the work and say goodbyes

(It’d be like “camping” at Piers 30-32 and then “hiking” to Pier 39 to do some yard work, IMO.)

Anyway, thanks for your work, V-O-Cal volunteers.

And I’ll tell you, TP is a “smaller” place now – it seemed to be at capacity and yet there wasn’t a whole big crowd of people there the way we had, on dreaded sunny days, back before RPD and the SFMTA took away all those parking spaces…

Our SFMTA Wants to Claim It’s Increasing Parking Up at Twin Peaks, But It’s DECREASING Parking – One Simple Trick!

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

What the SFMTA’s Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project is a gonna do is get rid of these, these people from the top of Twin Peaks, particularly on busy dreaded sunny days, like this one:

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Most of the tourists on top of that twin came from all the cars you can see on the left side. But all that parking is gone now, so tourists aren’t going to go to the top of Twin Peaks as much anymore.

What’s that, “good,” you say? Well OK, but why doesn’t the SFMTA just come out and say that? Instead, we get this:

Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project Frequently Asked Questions – April 8, 2016 version:

Will any parking be added or removed? No parking is being proposed for removal. Today, informal (illegal) parking takes place at the center of the Figure 8 and occasionally in the outer lane of the roadway. This project will formalize parking at both the center and south intersections, increasing the number of available stalls. Parking in the travel lane will no longer be possible.

So they’re not “removing parking,” they’re simply blocking cars from getting to the parking spaces? And you can’t park on the side of a highway in CA anymore, is that correct, really?

So the real answer to the question Will any parking be added or removed is:

Yes. Hell yes.

But who are these people so uncouth and “informal” that they think they can park their rental cars on the side of the road and walk up a hill for a look-see? Just fucking tourists, that’s all. And it’s not even the same ones day after day and year after year – it’s a constant flow of new people from all over the Bay Area, California, ‘Mericah, and The Rest Of The World. Those are the people the SFMTA and the Rec and Park (RPD – it’s Frisco’s name for the Parks and Recreation Department) are getting rid of, at least on busy days.

As with most things in Life, there are trade-offs. Our SFMTA wants to deny that, oh well (at 2:10)…

Wow, the New “Red Carpet” Transit Lanes of Market Street Really Stand Out

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Or “so-called red carpet,” if you’d prefer.

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‘Cause that’s what people call them.

Even though they’re not.

Crows Have Replaced Hawks at the Top of the Food Chain the Past Decade Atop Twin Peaks – Good-Bye Raptors, Hello Corvids

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

A decade or two ago, you’d see hawks hunting for mice above Twin Peaks, like every day. There were hawks, like this one, all over:

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But they’re gone now.

Replaced by crows. Here’s one with a field mouse from a few weeks ago:

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Anyway, hawks out, crows in, for whatever reason…

A Few Beefs with the SFMTA’s Marketing of Its Plan to (Somehow) “Increase Access” to Twin Peaks

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Here you go:

Making Room to Enjoy Spectacular Twin Peaks by Aaron Bialick
Friday, April 15, 2016

But the SFMTA isn’t really making anything is it?

Access by foot and bike is pretty limited, the road that loops around the mountain top in a “figure 8” is underused by car traffic and the loop’s intersections are confusing.

OK, well, “access” by foot and bike will still be “pretty limited” after the SFMTA completes the scheme it came up with, right? And let’s take a look at that road, on a dreaded sunny day:

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Now, would you say that the east (left) side of this figure 8 is “underused?” No, not at all!

car-free access

Hey, is being “car-free” a good thing? Like is it as good as being something like herpes-free? One wonders.

On Tuesday, the SFMTA Board of Directors will consider approval of a pilot phase…

This means that the SFMTA is going to do what it wants to do, with the little bit of money it can scrape up to enact its ideology.

The project was shaped with community feedback…

First of all, there’s no community up there atop Twin Peaks. Second of all, if there is, it’s tourists (international, national, regional, and local) and this plan cooked up by the SFMTA is about as anti-tourist as one could imagine.

We’d also create legitimate parking spaces at the center and south intersections to address the illegal parking that already occurs.

WHAT WHAT? So all these People With Cars, the hundreds of People what congregate up there sometimes, they’re parking on the side of the highway “illegitimately?” So it’s legal but it doesn’t comport with SFMTA ideology? Or maybe it’s illegal, but our SFMTA hasn’t seen fit to put up signage what explains things nice and clear for visitors who don’t really have a good handle on English? And so all the scores of places where people park now and, indeed, the past century, all of that was not and is not “legitimate?” Whoo boy.

So the plan is to decrease access IRL and advertise this paint job (that doesn’t add ANYTHING) as one what will “increase” access.

Will that cost anything? Yes.

Will it cost the vaunted SFMTA anything. No, not really. Just a bit of paint…