Archive for October, 2005

Explosion and Fire

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KRON 4 is reporting:

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A large fire has broken out in the Mission District at 15th and South Van Ness Ave.

There are reports that the fire is being fueled by propane at an industrial building of some sort.

According to a dispatcher for the San Francisco Fire Department, the call was first reported as a propane tank explosion that ignited a building near 17th St. between South Van Ness Ave. and Shotwell St.

Witnesses in the area reported hearing multiple explosions.

Halloween In The Castro

So, I’m walking down the street yesterday …

And, walking in front of me is a young mother pushing a stroller.

Ahead of us on the sidewalk walking towards us, is a small group of men – dressed in drag, and leather, and other (scary) costumes.

The young mother bends down to her young child and says, “oh honey, look at the pretty costumes!”

As I walk by … I say to the lady, “Those aren’t costumes. Honey, this is the Castro. They dress like that all the time!”

*******

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween! No Booze, No Drugs, No Bashing

Boo!

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While the late Sarah Winchester lived in her sprawling, ever growing Victorian mansion she had her welcome mat out to the spirit world. Some think she still may. This is a spooky time of the year to visit.

Shootings Downtown at Hip Hop Club

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One Saturday night, at about 9pm, as I was pulling up to the De Anza Hotel with a cab load of out-of-towners, one of the men announced he was going to walk around and check out our city. I warned him to do so at his own risk. “Mr. Southern California” thought I was pulling his leg. Hope he still has it.

San Jose has three types of citizens that come into town for entertainment at night. The limo crowd in for the opera, plays and dinner fundraisers at the Fairmont Hotel. Next, the butterfly tattoo, wine and beer drinking set. And then the bad boys and gals with tattoos that will scare your socks off.

Recently at a local Hip Hop club shots were fired and people were wounded. It has been suggested a change at City Hall could fix problems of this nature. It doesn’t matter if we have one politician in office or another. San Jose is not Los Gatos, Saratoga or even Campbell.

So what to do? Tell a good portion of the citizens we have no room, in downtown San Jose, for them and their Hip Hop clubs and possibly their hot-misguided minds and concealed weapons? Tell them to stay on their side of the tracks? Can you say ACLU?

Posted while iTunes spit out “Low Rider” by War.

They made america free

Cuz I like guns and guns like me
I like guns they made America free

Guns by D.I.

November is almost upon us my friends and it’s voting time! There’s an evil proposition on the books known as Proposition H that states that “no resident of the City and County of San Francisco shall possess any handgun.” Residents would have 90 days to turn them over to the cops or face still-to-be-determined punishments for possessing them in their homes, places of business, or anywhere else. It also prohibits the sale of “all firearms and ammunition” inside city limits. Visitors are free to pack heat though. So if a criminal is in the mood to go on a crime spree, why not go where you know that the law abiding residents are going to be unarmed and easy prey? It tips the balance of power in favor of the criminals and puts common citizens at greater risk.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA), representing men and women dedicated to a life of service to public safety, must evaluate any legislative effort affecting its membership. After careful review and analysis, the POA does not support the proposed ballot initiative that would nullify the personal choice of city residents to lawfully possess a handgun for selfdefense purposes.

Did you get that? The COPS even know it’s wrong and don’t support it. Should you? That’s of course up to you but you should read up a little bit before voting yes. Especially when you look at Washington D.C. and what happened when they enacted a similar law. Their murder rate basically doubled. My personal views are that every citizen should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon of any fashion they desire. You’re a hell of a lot less likely to start some shit with someone or break into a home if you know that anyone and everyone has the right to carry a weapon. Oh yeah, and it’s in that pesky little Constitution.

I highly recommend reading the San Francisco Handgun Ban FAQ and SF Gun Ban Website. You can also read POA Opposes Proposition H for the full text of the Police Officers Association statement.

Only Happy When It Rains

Finally

Coming from a monsoon season country like Malaysia, you’d think I’d had it with rain. Nah, not at all.

Unlike Malaysia, rain around here does not have the ability of hurting you. Yes, a drop of rain in Malaysia could take out your eye. I had to wear raincoats to school. Here, I can stay dry even in a sweatshirt. And keep my eye.

Though with all the events happening around the world, I wonder how much rain I’ll get to see again. I remember two years ago when rain started in September, as my roommate grabbed me and stuck me under a roof drain pipe back in the dorms at Sonoma State University. Mother Nature seems pissed off at us, and not enough people seemed phased about it.

2nd WTF Parking Moment of the Month

Nice parking job

Amazingly enough, this pic was not taken in the San Francisco. This was taken on campus at Sonoma State University, and even though the pic does not exactly show why this is such a bad parking spot, trust me on this. You can clearly see this is not a parking spot.

I guessed the car belonged to a band that was performing University Commons. And as you can see, just cause you are a band, you can’t park anywhere, cause you will get ticketed. And how.

Simple As Do-Rey-Mi, SBC, ATT, Baby You And Me!

Beer companies everywhere cursed their kegs today at the news that their SF themed neon lights will have to be changed AGAIN to reflect the new name of Pac-Be–, er, SBseeyoulater, make it AT&T Park.

Fabu.

So SBC is acquiring AT&T and, much like that rare old-school bride, is taking AT&T’s name. You know, I’m not a business historian, but how is it that all these big communications companies can be re-merging again?

So the change comes because marketing shows that “AT&T” is almost universally recognized in the U.S. It’s cool though, not like San Franciscans aren’t thrilled at yet ANOTHER name change for The Park Fromerly Known As Pac Bell.

As far as I’m concerned, as long as there are garlic fries to eat and Giants to mock, I’ll still go. A ballpark by another name still smells as beer-like! But seriously, settle on something already.

The Sunset, Small Publishers Get Their Due

An article in today’s Chron chronicles the story of Arcadia Publishing, the company responsible for those standard, sepia-tone-covered books about the smallest of small neighborhoods around San Francisco (and elsewhere) – and even slightly bigger small neighborhoods as well. I’ve been procrastinating buying the Sunset book (because I’m broke as a joke, but hey, what can you do), but see it and its neighborhoodcentric bretheren everywhere:

One of the biggest local best-sellers has been “San Francisco’s Sunset District,” which tells of the rise of the Sunset from a nearly trackless wilderness of sand dunes into a racially diverse and densely populated neighborhood that San Franciscans call “the avenues.”

The Sunset book went into two printings and sold 6,000 copies — a niche market blockbuster. One reason, said Lorri Ungaretti, who wrote the book, is that neighborhoods such as the Sunset are ignored, even though they are part of the fabric of a world-famous city.

The Sunset has a colorful history. It wasn’t long ago that people went out hunting rabbits in the sand dunes; on quiet nights, Ungaretti said, residents miles away could hear the lions roar in the zoo.

“Thousands of people live out there, or were raised in the Sunset or still live there, and all those other books ignore them,” Ungaretti said.

Arcadia has no book on Chinatown, or North Beach, or the cable cars. But there are two on San Francisco streetcars and one on Japantown. Arcadia likes the road less traveled.

Ha! Suck it, North Beach!

The books are fantastic collections of historical photographs and tidbits of information. Few people can avoid getting lost in images of their ‘hood when it was sparsely populated or dotted with horses, horseless carriages, and long-skirted, fancy-hatted women. The daydream inducing shots of Sutro Baths alone are worth the volume’s $19.99 price.

Check ‘em out – chances are your neighborhood is represented. Unless it’s already over represented in, say, every other publication on San Francisco. Be an extra good citizen and buy one from your local bookstore. In the Sunset – go for Black Oak Books on Irving.

Spooky Sights Spied In Sky

Many Californians and even some Nevadans reported seeing strange lights in the sky last night. Some called Vandenberg to ask if they’d set off anything particularly fun last night – frequently they launch things that leave rainbow trails in the sky at sunset and generally creep out those who don’t get word of the base’s plan in advance.

They say they know nothing and were testing nothing last night.

Anyone see these? They look plane-shaped from these photos, but light and film (or just lenses and pixels) can be tricky. Here’s a photo from the Chron:

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Oh – and by the way – here’s a story that is even creepier, though not SF related, it should get you in the mood for Halloween weekend.

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