Posts Tagged ‘willie brown’

The Large, Wasteful, Obsolete, Expensive “PedMount” News Boxes of the Streets of San Francisco – Aesthetics vs. Our 1st Amendment

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Does SFGov tax newspapers to run these green monsters?

P1270150 copy

Yes. Yes it does.

Mayor Willie Brown didn’t like this, so now we have this.

Most of these green boxes are empty most of the time.

Every so often, people come by to clean the big, green mostly-empty-all-the-time Pedmounts by illegally parking in bus zones, or simply double parking. The workers need to scan a barcode inside the Pedmounts to prove that they actually visited, cause, you know, it’s hard to actually tell what good they’re doing.

These Pedmounts were a bad idea from the beginning and they’re an even worser idea now, in this day and age. (We also have to pay for them by having all these giant 17-foot-tall ads on sidewalks.)

Oh well.

Uh Oh: “New Violations Escalate Mel Murphy Case” – “Yet Another Illegal Conversion” – More Trouble in the Troubled Mission District

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Oh, this guy is still a Port Commissioner?

(Oh fuck, Man.)

Hey, I’ll give you just one guess as to who wrote this mini-hagiography:

“Mel Murphy, Commissioner 

Commissioner Mel Murphy is a licensed California Real Estate Broker, Licensed California General Contractor and successful real estate developer in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. Commissioner Murphy manages Pattani Construction, a development property management firm. He is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Murphy & O’Brien Real Estate Investments.

Commissioner Murphy was appointed to the Port Commission by Mayor Edwin Lee in March 2013. He previously served on the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission from 2006 to 2012. Appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Commissioner Murphy served two terms as President and two terms as Vice President of the Commission. Commissioner Murphy is a founding member of the San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth, a group that has a mission to promote public policies which will provide responsible growth and rational community development in San Francisco.

Commissioner Murphy was born in Westmeath and educated with the Christian Brothers and St. Mel’s College of Technology in Longford, Ireland, where he developed a lifelong interest in construction engineering and management.

In the early 1970’s he moved to San Francisco where he was headhunted by Bechtel Corporation who appointed him to manage large construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Commissioner Murphy’s technical and managerial competencies were further recognized and he was selected for other projects including the Alaskan pipeline and oil rigs in the North Sea and Chile. Commissioner Murphy returned to San Francisco in 1976.

News from Dennis Herrera’s City Attorney’s Office:

“New violations escalate Mel Murphy case. – Yet another illegal conversion of a residential development by city commissioner demonstrates ‘a pattern that is well-devised, carefully-executed and, above all, willful’

“SAN FRANCISCO (July 28, 2015) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has amended his civil suit against city commissioner Mel Murphy to include another residential property that the veteran developer converted in violation of state and local laws, and then deliberately concealed for years from his annual disclosures to the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

(more…)

Gadfly Blogger Michael Petrelis Deftly Makes USF Look Stupid on the Bill Cosby Commencement Address / Rape Issue

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Here you go:

USF Scrubs Bill Cosby Page & Makes Statement on Degree

You see, back last year:

“The university was waiting for facts to be established by a court of law before undertaking any action.”

Man, that’s an absurdly high standard, in’nt? It’s like a Mayor Willie Brown standard, right?

Oh, here’s USF’s latest – a newer/better standard:

‘”The volume and nature of these allegations are deeply disturbing, and the University of San Francisco (USF) takes sexual assault seriously. USF leaders are closely monitoring the legal developments surrounding Mr. Cosby to determine the proper next steps regarding his honorary degree.'”

Ah, there we go.

But what’s this?

“In recent days, Noah Zimmerman, an alumnus of USF, unhappy with his alma mater’s association with Cosby, alerted me to the scrubbing of the communications office’s page containing a news release about Cosby receiving the honorary degree.”

So USF, you keep the webpage up but you delete its text?

http://usfca.edu/templates/ocm_media_relations.aspx?id=6442471715

I’ll tell you, in all my years, I aint never seen this kind of thing.

In the words of Petrelis:

“Quite odd to delete the body of the page but leave the headline intact.”

Indeed.

Oh, here’s the former text, right here, and what the Heck, after the jump as well.

Let’s see, how to close. Take it away, Mike:

“Meanwhile, it was time yesterday for USF to find its spine on their relationship with Cosby and finally take full and substantive stand on the allegations and such piling up against him. Two terse statements in eight months just don’t cut it.”

Indeed.

(more…)

What This, Church Goers Regularly Illegally Double-Park ALL DAY LONG on Bush Street, with the Blessing of the SFMTA and SFGov?

Monday, May 11th, 2015

This is where this ride was parked on the left side of Bush in the Western Addition on a Saturday morning, around brunch time:

7J7C6812 copy

And here it is, after being moved forward a couple car lengths, on the same day, around dinner time (Early Bird dinner time, anyway):

7J7C6820 copy

I’d always wondered about how long people double park on San Francisco’s Major Eastbound Substitute Freeway and now I have my answer. People aren’t just popping in for a service, they’re blocking traffic all the live-long day.

A few notes:

1. Jesus Christ! I mean, WWJD? Or WWJP, WHERE WOULD JESUS PARK? ‘Cause I sure as Hell don’t think He’d illegally double-park his chariot like this all day all day.

2. Let’s talk about Time, Place, and Manner: I myself double-park, but not on fucking Bush, which is half of the Bush-Pine Corridor, which has one-way streets and 30 MPH speed limits for a reason.

3. I myself double-park, but not for eight fucking hours at a stretch.

4. I myself double-park, but not two fucking feet from an intersection, ’cause when Parishioners do that they force the hundreds and hundreds of cars that get stalled over the course of a day into an intersection, and that’s not good, right?

5. Obviously, this double-parking behavior has become institutionalized by San Francisco gov’mint, so perhaps these pious Prius owners don’t realize how much they’ve been sinning. But let’s check it, from Katrina Schwartz of KQED:

Why Doesn’t San Francisco Enforce Double Parking on Sundays?

Now she’s talking about Sundays and I’m talking about Saturdays, but it’s the same deal, right?

Oh, and check out this bon mot, Gentle Reader:

“Are you seeing the contradiction here? Double parking is still illegal on Sundays, but the SFMTA has rules for how churches should manage their double parking.”

Indeed.

6. Our SFMTA, operator of MUNI, America’s Slowest Big City Transit System, might be working on a fix, a fix that might actually earn some money for the SFMTA to boot, but this fix could take years, so the current course is to say, oh, give us more money, oh, we can’t afford to enforce traffic laws on the weekends, oh we’ve let a bunch of Work Rules build up over the decades, so we’re inefficient as all get out, so, oh give us more money. SFGov is basically saying, “So sue us.” Like with “Mount” Davidson, the highest point in town – there was a Christian Cross on public land for decades and SFGov told San Franciscans to Go To Hell if they didn’t like it. (I myself wondered how this sitch could possibly be constitutional when I first came here.) So the upshot was that, finally, somebody sued SFGov, and won, and now that land aint private anymo’. The same thing with calling cell phone taxes “fees” to be able to generate ever more revenue for SFGov without troubling to get permission – somebody sued SFGov and now our cell phone taxes are properly called cell phone taxes. Simply, SFGov is in denial over this issue because it doesn’t want to get sued.

7. And hey, speaking of churches in the Western Addition, Jim Jones had a church on Geary a few blocks down the hill and he had SFGov wrapped around his finger. Here’s a snip:

fghhjjjuy

I’m not suggesting that Mayor Willie Brown is failing us now as much as he was back in the 1970’s when he was in the Assembly, but this is yet another example of a failure of San Francisco democracy.

Anyway, this is How We Live in 2015.

Germinator 2: Judgment Day – Interim Mayor Ed Lee Wants to Kill All These Street Trees on Masonic – Public Protests April 27th

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

At first the notices were white.

The Public protested the white notices, so now the follow-up notices are here. They’re yellow:

P1210569 copy

One assumes that tree lovers will show up at this DPW meeting on April 27th and DPW will (sort of) listen to them for two minutes each and then most of the hundreds of sidewalk trees on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic Avenue will get chipped later on this year.

One assumes.

Ironically, SFGov Plans to Remove This Actual Urban Tree Canopy from Masonic and Geary – Aesthetics vs. Safety, Again

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Now I say ironically because it’s standard practice for our local pols to talk about San Francisco’s “urban canopy” as if we were close to having one already IRL.

But here’s an actual canopy, on Masonic near Geary, that’s doomed for the chipper because of some bogus art project called “Points of Departure.”

P1200957 copy

One supposes it’ll be a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of the big new federally-funded, state-funded “Streetscape” / pork-barrel project go down? (Our SFMTA is working, slowly but surely, on this gig what has turned out to be less “shovel-ready” than advertised…)

One local, beloved blogger has gone as far as calling this slow-motion disaster Arbor-Geddon 2015.

Now here’s a little history about how SFGov works, courtesy of San Francisco Mayor (1996-present) / local lobbyist Willie Brown:

“I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return. So bless me, father, for I too have sinned. I just did it before everyone had a cell phone camera.”

Delightful story, Willie. Simply delightful.

Anyway, kiss this small grove, improbably near a big #38 MUNI stop, good-bye.

Appalling Corner Cutting from the Vaunted SFMTA: Newly-Installed Clean-Sheet Traffic Signal Poles on Masonic

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

[All right, a little background. Who’s been in charge of the crosswalk in front of City Hall on Polk? IDK, somebody in SFGov, like the SFMTA, or an agency from before the SFMTA, or DPW, or, no matter, somebody in SFGov, anyway, right? And these people know that driver compliance rates with whatever half-assed “smart” control scheme they installed is a lot lower than the compliance rate with simple red-yellow-green signals. But then, with regular dumb traffic lights, pedestrians would have to wait, at least part of the time, to cross the street to get to the Great Hall of The People and we can’t have that, right? So when a tour bus driver runs over an SFGov worker going back to the office, it’s all the tour bus driver’s fault, right? Well, yes and no. The BOS can vote 11-0 to regulate tour bus operators, but that ignores its own responsibility, non? Oh what’s that, you were going to get around to installing a traffic signal there, but you just hadn’t gotten around to it? And what’s that, you can’t figure out how to do it with the money we already give you, so we need to give you more more more? All right, fine, but that means you’re a part of the safety problem, not the solution, SFTMA / SFGov, at least in this case. Moving on…]

What the Hell is this, this brand new aluminum(?) light pole above Masonic betwixt the Golden Gate and Turk “high injury* corridors.” Believe it or not, you’re looking at signal lights for northbound Masonic traffic at Golden Gate AND ALSO, on the other side, for southbound Masonic at Turk:

7J7C5083 copy

Here’s how things look up the hill heading southbound – no problems here:

7J7C5117 copy

But this is what you see going north, you see a red light on the left and green light on the right, and the farther away you are, the more it looks like one intersection with contradictory signals:

7J7C5082 copy

I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere in the world.

This is appallingly poor design, IMO.

So, what, give you more money and you’ll put in another pole, SFMTA? IDK, you can see that they spent money on three new poles, so why did they cheap out with this half-assed creation?

Tree branches? So, the SFMTADPW wants to cut down hundreds of “diseased” trees** on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic, but it can’t trim a couple trees in the name of Safety?

OK fine.

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Why did the deciders decide on this half-assed design? This one will write itself.

*Are there any low injury corridors in San Francisco? No there are not. So the phrase “high-injury corridor,” as used over and over again, recently, in SF, is meaningless. Oh what’s that, there are no accidents on Willard Street North, for example. Except that WSN aint a corridor, it’s a just a little street. So “high injury corridor” simply means corridor, which simply means, of course, “a (generally linear) tract of land in which at least one main line for some mode of transport has been built.”

**This is how SFGov works:

I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return.”

Arguably, this occurred a while ago, but, arguably, Willie Brown is still the Mayor, so there you go.

Cranelandia – How Much Money Does SF Mayor Wilie Brown Make Off Of Each One? – A Dozen Cranes from This View

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Start counting:

7J7C4310 copy

La mise en scene from Mission looking south:

P1190886 copy

Cranes = money, for certain people, right?

Once Again, We The People Have Failed Our Mayor, Willie Brown – What “Crushed” His Spirits Will Amaze You

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Hey, is this new, this OPINION header for Shadow Mayor / professional SFGov lobbyist / San Francisco Chronicle columnist Willie Brown, you know, for his columns? IDK.

Anyway, check it:

OPINION

Hillary Rodham Clinton and the perils of being early front-runner

By Willie L. Brown, Jr.March 6, 2015

“What a mess. The public and the press love to slam Gov. Jerry Brown and me for holding up the building of the new span, but in hindsight, maybe we should have held it up even longer.

“On the subject of the bridge: I was at the ceremony Thursday night commemorating the light show on the western side going dark for repairs. Speaker after speaker got up and praised the lights, praised the generous folk who made them possible, praised the generous folk whose money will bring them back next year — and not a single person referred to the span by its proper name: the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge. 

“I was crushed.”

So:

1. Somebody held a ceremony to turn off some decorative lighting project on part of a historic public works fiasco? OK fine!

2. And is Willie serious here? The proper name of course is the Western Span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, right?

3. And I think the NAACP got things wrong here, because it’s properly called a span and not a bridge. So even though the new bore of the Caldecott Tunnel is a tunnel itself, ’cause it certainly meets the definition of a tunnel, we call that bore a bore. That’s why we would call the so-called Willie Brown Bridge the Willie Brown Span, except…

4. Except nobody that calls it Willie Brown anything IRL. We call it the western span, to distinguish it from the eastern span. I mean, what does he want, does he want the Cosco Busan to come back and hit the delta tower of the western span and spill 50,000 gallons of bunker fuel again so that headlines will read “Container Ship Strikes Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge?”

5. Speaking of which, that expensive tower on the eastern span is merely decorative, meaning that it wasn’t necessary, right? We don’t need big ships going under the eastern span, right? Meaning that we should have gone the cheap and easy route of retrofitting what was already there or gone with the cheaper, easier “freeway-on-stilts” option. Willie now seems to be trying to blame his massive bridge failure on others. Moving on…

6. To this! Here’s Willie’s sandwich board from when he was shilling for renaming the entire length of Third Street to honor … the honorable Willie Brown, natch:

7. And then there was the time back in the 1990’s when Willie had a push to rename SFO, the whole thing, not just a terminal, after, wait for it, Willie Brown, of course! No no, not Harvey Milk, me, Willie Brown!

Oh well.

Here’s What San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius Gets Wrong About Our Failed Bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics

Friday, January 16th, 2015

I guess this will close out SF’s attempt to host the 2024 Olympics.

The weird thing about San Francisco’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics was that the local committee was this close to pulling off a terrific plan.

The vote was Boston 15 and San Francisco (and the other two) 0, was it not? That’s not all that close, huh? Or does he mean that the bay area’s bid was sub-terrific, like it was just one unit below being terrific? One can’t tell what the Nevius is trying to say here. San Francisco always was a long shot, right? And if SF got picked by the USOC, then it would have been a long shot to get picked by the IOC. And if the corrupt IOC had selected SF, then there was always the chance of things not working out anyway, ala the inchoate Denver 1976 Olympics. So, was this thing “close” or actually far far away? I’ll tell you, if I were the USOC, I’d tell all the boosters from all the cities how close things were and if I were the spokesmodel for SF2024, I’d tell Larry Baer how close he almost came. (“We were this close Lare-Bear!) But I’m not so I won’t. OTOH, CW Nevius got paid by the Chronicle to publish, more or less, what Nate Ballard wanted published, so here we are. “So close!”

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you thought a temporary, pop-up $350 million Olympic stadium in the Brisbane wind tunnel was a good idea? 

The IOC doesn’t want any more images of white elephants haunting them through the decades. So, in their opinion, which is the only one that matters, pop-ups might be a good thing. As far as Brisbane vs. Oakland is concerned, how could it matter? Our hosting would have ended up costing 5, 10, 15 billion dollars more than the “official” bid, right? Isn’t that the real issue?

More on Oakland:

It would not only have been a terrific solution for the Games — better weather, easy access, waterfront views — it would have penciled out financially.

This is the same Nevius who moved to town and then a few months later determined that the failed America’s Cup would come “without a downside.” But it did come with a downside, or two or three or four, right? Moving on.

And, by the way, don’t think the United States Olympic Committee wasn’t hoping to make San Francisco work. Conventional wisdom was that Los Angeles had the facilities, Boston and Washington had the East Coast bias, but San Francisco was “the sexiest.”

Why does the Nevius use the term “conventional wisdom” here? What does he mean? Is he suggesting that this view wasn’t accurate? I don’t think so.  And what’s “East Coast bias?” Have the Summer Olympics ever been held on the East Coast of the United States ever in history? Nope. So there doesn’t seem to be too much bias there. Our Summer Olympicses have been held in the West (twice), the South and the Midwest. So WTF. Now, time zone-wise I can certainly see how advertisers worldwide would strongly prefer the EDT for live events, and that certainly was a factor favoring Boston. And I’ll say, that DC had no chance at all, as the IOC hates DC and all it stands for. And then the Nevius puts quote marks around “the sexiest?” Is this a an actual quote or is it merely the conventional wisdom? Hmmm

So what happened? Well, San Francisco happened. Or more specifically, the Bay Area, and particularly the fractious shenanigans in Oakland, made everyone nervous.

So, nothing happened, right? The USOC did its own polling and figured out that we don’t really want the Olympics here. That’s what happened. I wouldn’t describe that as San Francisco happened since this was and is a known known, right?

Every time someone touted the Bay Area as a location, someone else cued up the video of the Oakland protesters trashing a Christmas tree.

Whoa, Nelly! Is this literally true? Like “every time?” No, so who was actually doing this at all? Like, even once? Is the Nevius aware of the non-disparagement agreements that all the bid cities signed on to? Is he suggesting that somebody from the Boston bid “cued up” some video literally or is this a Nevius tone poem? I can’t tell. Not at all.

As one local Olympic insider suggested: “We are like the hot, crazy girl that everyone wants to sleep with. You never know what you’re going to get when you wake up in the morning.”

This quote is from Nate Ballard but he doesn’t want to own up to it? Weak. I’ll note that Nate Ballard isn’t quoted anywhere else in the Nevius bit. And did Larry Baer’s money go to somebody getting paid to talk about hot, crazy “girls” everybody wants to sleep with? That’s amazing. Anyway, this came from Nate Ballard – prove me wrong! I won’t disagree with the sentiment though. Yes, SF was the most “appealing” bid city, the city that the corrupt IOC would have the warmest feelings for, most likely.

Now make no mistake. It wasn’t just Oakland. Accounts of the years of debate and acrimony over the harmless Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park made the national news.

OK, so what are you saying here, Nevius? That spending money and effort trying to get the Olympics to come here is/was a bad idea, you know, considering? Is that what you mean to say, Nevius?

Nor was it helpful to hear that collecting enough signatures to get an initiative on the San Francisco ballot is incredibly easy.

So, CW Nevius from Walnut Creek doesn’t want the people of SF to be able to weigh in on spending 10, 15, 20 billion on an Olympic-sized boondoggle? Mmmm…

Suppose, for example, an initiative was passed that said no public money could be used for the Games.

Yep, that was what was coming, no doubt.

Would that mean no increase in funding for public transportation, which would be stressed for the Games? Or police and emergency services.

The answer to this question is that it doesn’t matter as such a vote would be more than enough to scare away the corrupt IOC and why would you continue along the boondoggle path after the People voted thumbs down? I mean, what kind of monster would do that? Here’s the thing – this is the IOC:

Capturesfffs

That’s in terms that CW Nevius, that white, wizened, wine-drinking, Walnut Creekian Downton Abbey fan can appreciate. In fact, the IOC is like 10-15% royal blooded, like literally. The IOC has lots of ideas about how best to spend Other People’s Money on projects to glorify the IOC. But the IOC itself can’t afford to put on the show. That’s why it forces cities to guarantee the games with taxpayer money. There’s no way ’round this. So the IOC will not grant the Games to any city that doesn’t have a guarantee that the bill for the inevitable overruns will get sent to taxpayers. This is the Denver 1976 situation. It doesn’t take all that much to scare away the IOC.

Would we ever be able to get this together? Sure. It’s possible. The timing couldn’t have been much worse this year to put something together.

So, our bid was All About Oakland? I don’t think so. Perhaps this notion is comforting to Larry Baer, but I don’t think so. Perhaps SF bidding on the Olympics is fun, but it’s a bad idea? Perhaps?

But don’t think Boston is a slam dunk to win the international bid.

Who thinks Boston is a “slam dunk?” Where does this come from?

If anything, the anti-Olympics political forces in Boston — there’s a “No Boston Olympics” coalition — are more organized and more vociferous than the little band of naysayers here. 

Well, Nevius, the USOC did its own polling and it concluded that the political environment was worse here in SF. The reason why Boston’s citizen effort had a higher profile is that the bid in Boston had a higher profile, for whatever reason. And if a “little band” of naysayers would have had a very easy time winning its no-taxpayer-funds-for-the-Olympics vote, then they aren’t such a little band, right? Maybe SF doesn’t want to pay for the Olympics to come here – is that a possibility?

So now Nevius is rooting for Boston to lose the 2024 Olympics so that we can get the 2028 Olympics – that’s what Larry Baer and Nate Ballard are thinking?

OK fine, but I don’t think that’s going to work either.

CW Nevius should be able to do a better job than this.