Posts Tagged ‘willie brown’

Anti-Blight Fix-It Project from 1992 Becomes Blight Itself – Mostly Empty PedMount News Racks are the New “Blight”

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

See if you can follow this one, from the Helen Lovejoys of Frisco, Incorporated:

In 1992, San francisco Beautiful established a taskforce that included publishers, community groups, DPW, and the City Attorneys to forge a plan that would eliminate the clutter and hazards of unmitigated newsracks while preserving the publications right to sell papers. The City instituted a pilot program which resulted in the development of a pedestal mounted newsrack. The response was positive and the Public Works Code was amended to create pedestal mounted newsrack zones. Due to the decline in printed news circulation, these racks have become a contributing factor to cluttering and blighting our sidewalks”

Well, let’s see, some things are just wrong here, with this self-serving account, and other salient matters, like the huge costs this program has stuck all of us with, have been conveniently omitted. Anywho, what comes through is that the ugly busybodies about town collectively known as San Francisco Beautiful got just what they wanted but now they’re not happy.

What would you call this – a tax on the media, a fee on the media? These workers drive over from the East Bay to lovingly maintain mostly empty PedMount news racks and then send the bill whatever media entity what’s still operating in Frisco. It Takes A Village to maintain a news rack – look at all this paraphernalia:


And then they beep the bar code to prove they really came. What is this for?

What a horrible idea this was.

How much has it cost us, over the years?


Just Saying, But Frisco Is NOT 49 Square Miles: Get Your Kicks in the 46 vs. “Shop & Dine in the 49”

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

First of all, let’s play a game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco. If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.

Hint: They’re all islands, some are mere “rocks.”



All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:

Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock

Red Rock

North Farallon Islands

Alameda Island

How’d you do? Check here.

Now, add up all the San Francisco County land area amidst these points and you’ll get 46.something square miles. Sry.

Anyway, this is wrong:

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So that’s your answer, 46 square miles. Oh, you want to round up to 47? OK. No but really you want to round up to 49, you know, for the poetry of it all?

Well, then why not round up to 50, or 100 square miles then?

Of course, back in the day, 49 square miles was a fair guess – 7×7 right? But the problem with that is geography. We were forgetting the Great San Francisco Bight, the part of SF’s northwestern corner that just aint there.

These days, of course, we have the tools to be accurate.

Just saying.

Bike Rider in the Panhandle is a Rare Indication that We Have a Race for Mayor Going On Now

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Really sure this cyclist has strong opinions about who should become our next Mayor, but I’m not sure what they are.

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Oh well.

Perhaps our current Willie Brown Administration (1996-20xx) will end in 2020.


The Tadich Grill, Gene Upshaw, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” the Napa Valley Wine Train, CW Nevius, Yelp, and Willie Brown

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

All right, here’s your background.

And here’s what’s new, via right-of-center columnist CW Nevius. Now you’re up-to-speed.

The new DC location for the Tadich probably won’t make it, sorry, but let’s look at the Frisco joint.

Like literally – can you see the Financh behind a very smoky DC-8 in this shot from 1967, the year the Tadich found its current home? Sure.

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That’s a still from Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, with Sidney Portier. So, this movie was huge back in 1967, back when some(?) of the current(?) owners were what, in their twenties? Wonder what they thought of this flick – they couldn’t have missed all the commotion over it, that’s for sure.

So this is what San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is saying:

“Every tourist should go there. I have been going there for 20-30 years.”

Oh, OK. That’s funny.

And then there’s this:

“In my opinion, they need to clean up their intra-family relationships,” he said. “And do it quickly. If they don’t they are going to be riding the Wine Train.”

I was wondering how this bit from CWNevius could/would turn into a source greaser/beat sweetener and here it is. Willie Brown wants attorney / underling / minion Joaquin McCoy(sp?) to make $4 million(!) off of an out-of-county business and Willie’s doing his best to help that along. OK. (Of course, if the Tadich were in Napa and the wine train were in Frisco, then his positions would be entirely the opposite, but oh well.)

(And I don’t think you can compare the two situations. IMO, this is a serious blow for the Tadich empire – the Wine Train thing is a nothingburger compared to this.*)

Reading down we get to this, where journalist Nevius lets columnist Nevius chirp up:

“And at 23, she was young. Any parent would be concerned.”

Uh NOPE! Actually, some parents would not be so “concerned” IRL. Oh, maybe Nevius wrote an opinion column after all. (Why wouldn’t the Chron use a reporter to report what the daughter is saying? Mmmm…)

I’ll tell you, our Tadich Grill is fully radioactive now. What the half-life will be, well, we’ll see…

*Would I have kicked them off the train? NOPE. Would I have complained about them in the first place? NOPE. Would I myself would have gotten so loud as to disturb others? NOPE. Would I have driven three hours back and forth to Napa for the privilege of riding any sort of wine-related train? NOPE. Such a killjoy am I.

What, No More Christmas Trees in Front of SF City Hall? – Annual Tradition Lost – A Brief History of “Holiday Trees”

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

All right, I promised a history of the giant Christmas trees of San Francisco Civic Center in front of City Hall (aka the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere, believe it or not.*)

Here we go, from the mid to late Aughts, complete with a Star of Bethlehem atop. A shot from my office:


You know, keeping with Christian Tradition, as they say.

Well that didn’t go down good. So, in part due to some of my photos on SFist, back when Blogging Was King, and due to complaints of City Hall / SFGov workers objecting to having Christmas sort of imposed upon where there work – look it up on SFGate, Matier and Ross were on it – bye-bye Bethlehem star and bye-bye other overt displays of Christianity in and around City Hall.

But the tree stayed, and each and every year it came back, starless of course. And it was labeled a “Holiday Tree” in case there was any worry about it being a Christmas tree. Fine


Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.

And then, oh no, the garish lights on the tree! All those colors! Well, some rich white ladies about town thought they looked tacky, so away they went.

So that left us with this:

O.K. fine. Matier & Ross also had this story, about how the new, classier, white lights for white people cost RPD five figures, but that was OK, they said, because the colored Christmas tree lights would be able to be used in Golden Gate Park on Stanyan and perhaps they’re still in use, IDK.

Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.

So then came this:


Via Julie Blaustein

So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.

And then Mayor Willie Brown wanted ever more color.

Were these changes “improvements?”

No. But that’s what they were called at the time.

Oh well…

Anyway, that takes up to 2014, when we didn’t get any giant tree at all? NEWS TO ME! Did I not notice it wasn’t there? I forget. I tend to notice new things, I don’t tend to notice things what should be there and aren’t.

A Commenter just hepped me to the ABSENCE OF GIANT TREE, and I can see these photos from last year proving her point – no tree.

Here’s her beef:

“Hello. I was online trying to find info on why there was no Christmas tree outside of SF’s city hall in 2014, and I came across your post about the lights’ history during recent years. Regardless of any decor inside of city hall, i just don’t see why the tree was not part of last Xmas. I looked around online for info about the tree going up again this December, but any info on SF lighting ceremonies did not include a city hall plaza tree. I suppose the mayor’s argument for no tree is cost cutting and that people can go inside city hall to see some festive decor or head down to Union Square to join the tourists, but I find it pretty stunning that a major city has nixed its plaza tree. If you have an answer on this subject, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it.

Thank you,


It’s a Christmas Mystery!


*No no, the dome you’re thinking about (US Capitol Building) aint actually higher, OR it (San Jose City Hall or SuperDome) aint classical, OR it (St. Peter’s Basilica or Dome des Invalides) aint in the Western Hemisphere. Sorry. Look it up!

Sinner Parking, Weekly Sabbath – On the #2 Lane of Bush Street, Blocking Traffic – How NOT to Double-Park

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

These Sinners break at least two Parking Commandments each and every week:

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Let’s read them, from TK

a. Anywhere near an intersection.
b. Anywhere, at any time, on Fell, Oak, Gough, Franklin, Turk between Van Ness and Divisadero, any of those little tiny streets in Bernal Heights or those alleys in the Mission, or anywhere else you’re going to royally fuck up traffic.

As we can see here, assuming that you’re going to make and take illegal parking spaces every week, because you can, THOU SHALT NOT:

Put your cones so close to an intersection.

You see how that works?

Oh what’s that, the City knows what you’re doing but it’s afraid of blowback from your parishioners come Election Day? Well, Jim Jones got away with similar things, and worse, when he was pushing SFGov around decades ago.

Do you want to be like Jim Jones?

Whoops: Horrible JCDecaux Company Markets 17-Foot-Tall Advertisement Kiosks as “Oversized Landmarks” that “Tower Over” Us

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Here’s the sitch – Frisco locked itself into a 20-year deal with that fucking JCDecaux (JEE-SEE-DE-KOO, mon amie) company, so now we’re stuck with 100-something of these 17 foot tall kioskses

(Hey, that’s what you need more in your life, Gentle Reader – more booze, hurray! Catchphrase: Booze – it’s what’s for dinner.)

(Note now-useless and obsolete newspaper sidewalk sales feature. Also note that this sidewalk monster is labeled as “street furniture,” as if that’s a good thing. Also note cheesy gold-toned metal accents – tres chic, non?)

Of course we’ve been down this road before, Gentil Lecteur, but I wanted to attract your eyes to this – here’s how JCD markets SF’s public property:

Advertising in San Francisco

Overview: In San Francisco, our 113 advertising kiosks cannot be missed. These elegant, 24-hour backlit, 17-foot kiosks tower over the city’s most populated streets, providing advertisers with oversized landmarks to showcase their messages. Our kiosks are the most striking outdoor media platforms to reach pedestrians and vehicular traffic in the Bay Area.

Each kiosk has two ad panels. The panels are divided into pre-set networks, each with equal exposure to top locations.

Kiosks are located throughout the heart of San Francisco’s high-density business, entertainment, and shopping districts including Union Square, the Financial District and Fisherman’s Wharf…”

So help me out here. If we have OVERSIZED LANDMARKS, you know, some “STREET FURNITURE” what TOWER OVER us, you know, what CANNOT BE MISSED so that some rich Euros straight outta, and I’m srsly, fucking Neuilly-sur-Seine, France can make some more Euros, then I ask you, “Is This A Good Thing?”

Just asking, Jean-Charles.

Opposition to SF’s Plan to Destroy 26 Healthy Hardwoods at Geary & Masonic: “SAVE OUR TREES From DEVELOPERS”

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Here’s the word on the street, from fliers posted all over:

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Get up to speed on the coming ARBOR-GEDDON here.

I’m not sure about the reference to “DEVELOPERS.” SFGov is fixing on taking out two lanes of parking / rush-hour lanes betwixt Geary and Masonic. It’s not like they’re cutting down these trees to put up a condo building.

Here’s the proposal for after these old trees get cut down – it’s another “street art” project, complete with new, transplanted palm trees. Kind of an L.A. look.

Here’s what it looks like now – not an “urban forest” but this stand does have an actual “canopy,” which, of course, is unusual since forests, by definition, aren’t urban.


I can’t see anything online yet, but the flier says Judgment Day will be on September 2nd, 2015 – 5:00 PM in Room 416 at City Hall.

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?

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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.