Posts Tagged ‘vote’

Oh My, Airbnb’s Huge Donations to Local Dems Pay Off! – Scott Wiener as Puppet – Annual SFFD X-Mas Toy Drive Now Stripper-Free?

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline.

Ever since I can remember, SFFD Local 798 has sponsored an annual Christmas Toy Drive, you know, for kids! And our local strip clubs have been involved – imagine smiling faces and giant checks for 25 large.

(I can recall riding my bike to the stoop of the Gold Club (aka Conference Room G? Good one, Yelp!) on Howard Street back in The Aughts during my lunch hour – somebody (some blogger/media type, I forget who) wanted a photo of the scene. I get there, and it was so sad. Three strippers had been driven there just for a press conference, but at least one of them didn’t get it. “Is my picture going to be in the paper? I don’t want my family to see that!” (Girl, do you have agency? No? OK fine.) Obvs, there wasn’t a meeting of the minds on this deal and it gave me a sad, so I left. And then they decided to move the venue of the presser, ’cause people were worried about have the embarrassing GOLD CLUB marquee in the photos.)

Anywho, this whole program with the strippers…

stripper

…has not been without controversy.

Oh, check it, from our local Paper Of Record:

Firefighters, strip clubs’ holiday connection seen as odd, sexist, by Heather Knight, December 15, 2014.

Now let’s think here – who could replace the strippers this year? It would have to be an image-sensitive entity with a worser image than the sex trade, but with loads of cold hard cash to spend all over town.

Uh, what about Airbnb? (You know they have a big election coming up come November.)

Hey look, no strippers, but it’s Supervisor Scott Wienerhe‘s Airbnb’s biggest friend in town, right?

fdgf

Hey what about Airbnb itself – take a look at what they have to say about all this, after the jump.

Hey Airbnb, is this the kind of thing you were looking for when you gave the SFDems five figures not too long ago?

Hey Airbnb, you let the strippers do this work for years and years just until you have a big election coming up and you want to show yourselves as a great corporate citizen?

Just asking.

(And also asking: What of poor Lexus, Mercedes, and Porsche? They’re OUT, after all these years of giving to the kids?)

I’ll tell you, I have no beef against the idea of Airbnb per se, but man, your sausage factory isn’t pretty, A.

In fact, it’s offal.

All right, click on over to get Airbnb’s side of the story from their fresh news release. (And don’t forget to read the fine print – see if you have to sign away your first-born when you  click on an ad for Airbnb…)

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The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Wants Its Members to Vote Away Members’ Voting Rights? – A Rebellion

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

The Vote is On at our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Let’s take a look:

Why is the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition updating its bylaws?

“In response to concerns from our members, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Board of Directors proposed an update to our bylaws that bolsters members’ privacy.”

Bolster member privacy? How are you going to do that?

“…the only effective way to properly respond to members’ privacy concerns is to provide members a chance to vote on eliminating the member-elected Board structure in our bylaws, and instead elect future Board members by a vote of sitting Board members. This would relieve the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition of the legal obligation to turn over our membership list referenced above.

Oh, so you want the Members to vote to take away the Memberses’ right to vote? Are you fucking serious?

(I’ll tell you, I don’t care all that much ’cause I, like most longtime cyclists in the 415, am NOT a member. And, you know, even with the Members’ existing rights, there was nothing to stop the board from endorsing Ed Lee for Mayor back in 2011, as it did, even though a fair polling of SFBC membership would NOT have yielded such a crass endor$ement, but oh well.)

Comes now Save the SF Bike Coalition to ask:

Capturefsfff

Here’s the peanut gallery:

“I personally suspect the mass mailing was used as a pretext. SFBC’s new Executive Director, Noah Budnick, comes from Transportation Alternatives in New York City, which has a governance structure similar to what SFBC seeks in this by-law change.”

So Members, I don’t care if you vote away your voting rights, but the legal arguments forwarded by the SFBC on this topic are absurd.

Simply absurd.

MTB Legend Gary Fisher Calls for Ouster of Ed Lee – The Mayor’s Misstep on Polk Street – Small Biz vs. Big Urbanism

Friday, February 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: It begins. The lily-white urbanists vent against Asian-American optometrists on Yelp. JUST ONE STAR FOR YOU, DR HIURA! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!]

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

Here’s MounTain Biking (MTB) legend Gary Fisher on appointed Mayor Ed Lee:

“OUT! This guy can not get away with this, are we this stupid?”

And here’s what GF was riffing on:

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

Now mind you, this is from an “urbanism” advocacy outfit straight outta Park Slope, so I’m sort of wondering why the Mayor’s handlers even let him make off-the-cuff remarks on this topic. Here’s the offending graf, which one assumes is properly transcribed:

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

First of all, why would you even have your executive speaking directly with activists in the first place? It’s like sending President Nixon out to the Lincoln Memorial at 4:00 AM to talk with the hippies about the Vietnam War. Second of all, Ed Lee can’t even handle a little Question Time at the Board of Supervisors without having the questions submitted in advance and without having an underling type up a reply for him to read into the record, so why would you have him give the bad news to the activists themselves? The StreetsBlog isn’t an SFGov-funded non-profit like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition or the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, right?

And Ed Lee thinks he’s playing it safe with all this talk of a “balanced” approach, but look at what he says – he’s literally saying, “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety…” Now that sounds like a complete sentence if you quote only that part. But the Mayor’s talking about cyclist safety vs. ped safety, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about. I was thinking the design of the SFMTA-designed “bulbout” at the deadly southwest corner of 6th and Folsom could be an example of this, but I don’t think this was on Ed Lee’s mind. Frankly, I don’t know what the Heck he was talking about.

So all that leaves Mr. Mayor wide-open for castigation. I’m not sure how much pull any one particular optometrist has on the SFMTA (check out this doc – it’s amazing*), but this coincidence allows a reference to SF’s VisionZero 2024 to come into the headline. Ed Lee ends up seeming like an out-of-touch Mr. Magoo:

Capturelkj copy

I don’t know, if you’re pushing a “balanced” approach, but you don’t have an exec who can talk right, because he’s out of practice, because he was appointed to his position so he never really needed to get into practice, it seems foolish to afford advocacy journalists a chance at actual journalism.

But that’s what happened here, on the topic of Polk Street.

Wow.

*Wow, these people with bidnesses in Polk Gulch are mostly American millionaires, but look how they self-describe: 

gffhgg

Click to expand

And what about the poor guy who can only describe himself as “European?” Poor little feller.

And I’ll tell you, I’m shocked at the amount of time SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin has spent on the back-and-forth about a single solitary block of SF when his primary mission should be sweating the details of getting MUNI up to par…

Marquee of Historic BRIDGE THEATRE on Geary Repurposed to Promote Area Supervisor Mark Farrell – Meet Your New Baseball Academy

Friday, November 7th, 2014

This is the scene days after our most recent election – one hopes this promotional effort for the incumbent Supervisor won’t stick around* for too much longer.

In any event, you can never be too careful when your Conditional Use authorization is under such scrutiny.

Hey, guess how many NIMBY’s complained about the Bridge being turned into the brand-new San Francisco Baseball Academy? Zero.**

So, PLAY BALL, somehow, inside of an old 1930’s-style movie house:

20141106_115628 copy

On It Goes…

*It was part of my job to change the marquee at this Landmark-owned theatre, back in the day. That was no picnic. (Another part was to console the owners of cars that had been stolen from our parking lot. Back then, criminals wouldn’t  smash and grab – they’d steal the whole car. Ah mem’ries…)

**It’s the West Side, nobody cares. Target? Bring it. Chipotle? Coming soon, just up the street near Masonic. Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell? Maybe someday…

Campaign 2014: Here’s What 3.3 Pounds of Mail in a Mailbox Looks Like – Plus, David Chiu is Very Very Evil

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

(Yes, there is white powder on the LCD screen of this digital scale - why do you ask?*)

(And no, I don’t think David Chiu is evil, but man, you ought to see some of these fliers I’m getting…)

Anyway, here’s what I pulled out of the old mailbox yesterday – 52 ounces of garbage, plus, somewhere in there, a small check from State Farm, a diamond in the rough:

P1160921 copy

Now, granted, there was a B&H catalog in there, plus a Costco Connect magazine, but the bulk of the bulk was campaign 2014 flyers what cost more to mail than they cost to produce.

My poor letter carrier!

*It’s flour, fool, purchased in bespoke fashion [25 pounds at a time] from my local purveyor of comestibles [Amazon, Fuckin’ A, bubba, back when it was only $27 a bag – now it’s like $40 for some reason?] 

World Series Update: “FUCK SFMTA” – “Only in SF Do People Hate the Transit Agency More Than the Cops”

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Word on the Street, via @SFNick, @robertol, and @kevinmonty:

 RT : Only in SF do people hate the transit agency more than the cops. (photo via )”

Capturedsddfff copy

Hey, how’s Prop A doing? The last polling I saw it wasn’t doing so hot, but that was a while ago.

Oh look, media coverage:

The Ides of “May”: The Language of the Mayor’s Pet $500 Million Bond “May” Alarm You

Meanwhile, the people at the SFMTA claim to be offering, “Excellent Transportation Choices.” And they ask the public for advice about MUNI can become “more perfect.”

Something’s gotta give here – I suppose we’ll find out next week…

Will This Fall’s Half-Billion Transit Bond Allow Your Landlord to Raise Your Rent, Costing You Thousands? – “Pass-Throughs”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

I don’t know.

But check this out:

“Ordinance calling and providing for a special election to be held in the City and County of San Francisco on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, for the purpose of submitting to San Francisco voters a proposition to incur the following bonded debt of the City and County: $500,000,000 to finance the construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation and transit related improvements, and related costs necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes; authorizing landlords to pass-through 50% of  the resulting property tax increase to residential tenants under Administrative Code Chapter 37…”

All right kids – you do the math. Start with $850,000,000 and divide that up among the denizens of the 415 / 628.

I don’t know how to do that but when I tried, I came up with a $30 a month rent increase for you, Gentle Reader, for the next 7-10 years.

Would the average landlord take the trouble to do a pass-through? IDK. I’m thinking the typical rent-controlled renter in SF doesn’t have to deal with pass-throughs currently. But maybe this big old honking bond would be the trigger for a wave of passthroughs?

Here’s what former SFGov employee Howard Wong has to say:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The SFMTA wants more money, certainly. But the question is what will the SFMTA do for us in order to get the money, right? Otherwise, we’re just shoveling more coal into a broken-down machine. Why not use the bond as a carrot to get the SFMTA to reform?

Perhaps our SFMTA doesn’t deserve this bond?

Anyway, if I were promoting this bond, I’d figure out what the odds are that landlords would pass through 50% of the burden and also how much rents would be increased, on average, and for how long. And then I’d say, well this is what the SFMTA is going to do with your money and this is how much it will cost you, the renter, or you, the owner.

Is this massive transit bond a good idea?

I don’t know.

8 Washington and the Infinite Sadness – These People Against the “Wall on the Waterfront” Were on the Cusp of Victory in 2012

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

But they sure didn’t look it back in 2012.

They looked so, so sad.

Click to expand

I hadn’t realized the intensity of their movement until this night at the  San Francisco Public Library on Page Street in the Upper Haight area.

And then, in 2013, they won, big-time.

So what’s next for 8 Washington – what’ll happen with the parcel?

I know not.

Oh, so here’s what the national media doesn’t know about the sainted San Francisco Planning Commission:

It’s a political organization run by the Mayor of San Francisco.

So, is it  really”thoughtful,” “considered,” and “professional?”

Perhaps not.

Here’s an example for you, national MSM.

The SFMTA is similar to Planning Commission except the SFMTA takes care of transit in SF.

The SFMTA recently had a big push to turn on parking meters on Sundays instead of having them flash “FREE PARKING” from Saturday night to Monday morning every week. (They had studies and everything.) So then people had to pay for parking meters on Sundays. Fine.

But then the Mayor of San Francisco said he didn’t like having meters charge for parking on Sundays. And then the SFMTA voted, unanimously, to make Sunday parking free again less than a year after deciding to charge for Sunday parking.

So similar things happen with the Planning Commish? Yes – it;s the same dynamic.

So, IRL, the SFMTA and the Planning Commission are captives of the Mayor of San Francisco. So that’s why builders donate money to and say nice things about the Mayor of San Francisco.

If you aren’t aware of this, national MSM, then you don’t understand what happened with the 8 Washington proposal, just saying.

A $23 Cap on Parking Tickets? Could San Francisco Survive Something Like the “Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative”

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Read the news and turn the pages, from the LA TImes:

“The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative wants to cap fines at $23 for violations that don’t affect public safety.”

Mmmm…

[CALL:] Hey, could an initiative like this pass in San Francisco County?

[RESPONSE:] Hell to the yes.

Could the SFMTA handle the loss of revenue?

I suppose. But it would turn a solid money-maker – paying well-compensated PCO’s to run around all over the city – into a decided money-loser.

Mmmmm…

San Francisco’s Appointed Mayor Ed Lee Talks About Raising the Minimum Wage, But Election Day Poll Workers Make Less Than That – Why?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

All right, c’mon, “Apply to be a Poll Worker!

Attend one training class that will clearly explain Poll Worker duties.”

“All Poll Workers must arrive at the polling place no later than 6:00 a.m. on Election Day. Although the polls officially close at 8:00 p.m., Election Day does not end until all materials have been picked up (usually around 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.). There will be meal breaks during the day. 

So let’s do the math:

Training in Civic Center before the election: 3 hours or so.

Game Day: 15.5 hours, less breaks = 8 hours straight time and let’s say 6.5 hours of OT at time-and-a-half

So what’s that, 3+8+6.5+3.25 = 20.75 effective hours of work?

Multiplying by the official City and County minimum wage of $10.74 yields $222.86 total pay.

And using the vaunted $15 per hour minimum promised by quasi-governmental spokesperson and noted Berkeleyite Randy Shaw, we arrive at $311.25.

And what is appointed Mayor Ed Lee offering these poor souls? Well apparently no pay at all for the mandatory training, and then:

“Depending on your assignment, Poll Workers are paid between $142 and $195  for working on Election Day.”

Is this a joke, you ask?

No, Gentle Reader, it’s not. They’re srsly.

I cry foul.

In any event, if you’re an inspector you can make  a bit more, but then you gotta deal with high school seniors with their Katy Perry and cell phones and whathaveyou. They’re intelligent, you know, but lazy. And if their work doesn’t add up the way it should shortly after 8 PM, well that’s tough cookies – you’ll hear the beep beeps from the waiting cars and then the kids are gone and you, the vaunted elections inspector, will be left to fix things up.

Anyway, you get something like this for your troubles …

…but you won’t get minimum wage.

Now why is that?