Really sure this cyclist has strong opinions about who should become our next Mayor, but I’m not sure what they are.
Perhaps our current Willie Brown Administration (1996-20xx) will end in 2020.
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:
So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.
Were these changes “improvements?”
No. But that’s what they were called at the time.
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.
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.
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!
These Sinners break at least two Parking Commandments each and every week:
Let’s read them, from TK
“DO NOT DOUBLE PARK:
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?
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:
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.
Here’s the word on the street, from fliers posted all over:
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.
Does SFGov tax newspapers to run these green monsters?
Yes. Yes it does.
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, 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.
Here you go:
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?
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.”
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.”
This is where this ride was parked on the left side of Bush in the Western Addition on a Saturday morning, around brunch time:
And here it is, after being moved forward a couple car lengths, on the same day, around dinner time (Early Bird dinner time, anyway):
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:
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.”
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:
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.