Posts Tagged ‘university of california’

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“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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, 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: 

7J7C0082 copy

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. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, 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 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 now 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 that way, anyway. What happened 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. Then, 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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News Release: “Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Statement on the University of California’s Threat to Increase Tuition Fees”

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

It’s on. Here’s Gav’s reply to this recent effort from President Janet Napolitano

***News Release*** - Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom statement on the University of California’s threat to increase tuition fees

Contact: Andrea Koskey, Communications Director

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement on the University of California’s threat to increase tuition unless the state appropriates additional funds, thereby breaking its two-year old tuition-freeze agreement negotiated in 2013 in exchange for increased state funding:

The University of California cannot bestow pay raises on its top earners with one hand, while continually taking more from students and their families with the other and deflecting criticism by laying its solution at the door of taxpayers. New funding must be tied to earnest and innovative attempts to reduce the university’s cost structure and promote affordability and accessibility, not threats that reward the status quo.”

Background

The proposed increase to students comes just two months after the same board approved up to 20 percent increases to four chancellors and increased a base salary for a new chancellor by 23 percent of his predecessor. These decisions are not tied to performance or outcomes.

Lieutenant Governor Newsom believes that high-level solutions could be factored in to meet the growing costs.  For instance, UC facilities system-wide could save $500,000 per contract if in-house employment was used over outside contractors; another $160 million could be saved if UC offered an Associate Degree to Transfer Program from California Community Colleges, similar to existing program between community colleges and California State Universities; and millions could be saved if the failed IT implementation of UC Path was addressed. That program’s repayment costs have ballooned to $200 million over the next 20 years.

The University of California system has received numerous increases to financial resources including full funding of State’s Cal grant program; expansion of the middle-income fee grants covering one-half of tuition and fee increases for middle-income students from families earning up to $120,000; 20 percent increase in state funding as part of a multi-year stable funding plan; a 5 percent increase from the 2014-15 state budget contingent a tuition freeze through 2016-17; and $50 million to promote innovative models of higher education at the campus level that result in more bachelor’s degrees, improved four‑year completion rates, and more effective transfers between the community colleges and the universities.

Oh Ho! Move Over Jeff Adachi, There’s a New PUBLIC DEFENDER in Town – Here’s the University of California’s New Ad Campaign

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Arresting:

Here’s the pitch from this new SFMTA MUNI DPT bus stop ad campaign:

In short, UC kicks ass.

That stupid logo proposal is still being defended for what reason I don’t know, but Life Goes On at the UC.

UCSF Architecture Update: One of These Things is Not Like the Other – Spot the “CIRM Worm”

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Click to expand

All the deets.

San Francisco Law Schools React to the New 2015 Rankings from US News – US Hastings and USF

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Here’s the news, from a couple days back.

Let’s start with Hastings.

Here’s the reaction:

Rankings Update: US News & World Report 2015
US News & World Report magazine has released its annual rankings of institutions of higher education. UC Hastings remains among the top law schools in the nation, with a reputation score on par with the top 25 from lawyers, judges, and peers. In “Law Specialties,” UC Hastings ranked #12 in Dispute Resolution and #25 in Clinical Training. Nevertheless, our overall rank has moved from #48 to #54.”

And this is from a year ago:

Rankings Update: US News & World Report 2014
Last night, US News & World Report magazine released its annual rankings of institutions of higher education. UC Hastings remains among the top fifty law schools, tied with several others at #48. UC Hastings programs also rank in the top tier of “Law Specialties” this year, including Dispute Resolution at #9, Tax Law at #17, and Clinical Training at #27.”

And this isn’t from Hastings, but it touches on some relevant issues. From two years back:

LAW SCHOOL DEANS, LAW SCHOOLS, RANKINGS, U.S. NEWS – The Hastings Gambit By ELIE MYSTAL

Now on to University of San Francisco School of Law:

Tonight’s Town Hall Meeting is at 5pm in Room 100, Dean Trasvina will be discussing the rankings news; however, the majority of the meeting will be Q&A. Please attend and share your thoughts on the state of the law school, programming ideas you may have, curriculum changes you want to see, or anything else you have on your mind. The Q&A should start around 5:15/5:20, so if you have class until 5:20 you will still have an opportunity to be heard.”

And there’s stuff like this and this out there.

I imagine this situation is like having a twelve-month headache and thinking, upon awakening, oh yeah, the headache, the constant, nagging headache I gotta deal with…

Ouch, a Bad Year for SF Law Schools: UC Hastings Drops from the Top 50, USF Law is “RNP,” No Longer Ranked by US News

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Well, read it and weep, San Francisco. University of California, Hastings College of Law, which used to be a Top 20* law school, is now out of the Top 50, per the US News:

51. Baylor University (+3)

51. Penn State University (+13)

51. University of Richmond (+2)

54. Pepperdine University (+7)

54. UC Hastings (-6)

54. University of Connecticut (+4)

54. University of Nebraska—Lincoln (+7)

And the news is worse for University of San Francisco:

RNP. San Francisco (five-way tie at #144 last year with Duquesne, South Texas, Memphis, and Suffolk)

And RNP stands for Rank Not Published.

Ouch.

*It was in the teens for a bit of the 1990′s.

It’s the “CIRM Worm” in Situ – San Francisco’s Craziest Building is at UCSF – Hanging Off of Mount Sutro

Friday, January 24th, 2014

See it on the right?

Click to expand

All the deets.

Wow, the Push to “STOP THE MASONIC PLAN” Seems to be Growing – But It’s Too Late, Right?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?

None, zero, nada.

But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.

I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could  have any effect at this point.

The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:

You can’t fight City Hall, right?

*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.