Archive for May, 2007

Did You Know Northern California Is At War & Under Quarantine ?

Despite officials in both San Francisco and Berkeley promising stronger efforts to pursue & convict those who commit “Quality of Life” life crimes, and the federal gov’t imposing tougher deportation measures on illegal immigrants, one of the most dangerous threats to California’s citizenery remains relatively obscure.

We’ve all heard the media warnings of various Middle Eastern terrorists, not to mention Russian/Asian/Mexican and South American drug cartels & gangs coming across borders to reek mayhem, but few seem aware of the latest uninvited light brown guests from Australia & New Zealand that have hit California this year. Officials have logged almost 4,000 sightings of these destructive and deadly invaders, and there’s surprisingly little panic in the streets. State officials have put out an APB and are asking all citizens to be on the lookout, to immediately report any sightings, and some go as far as to suggest you kill on sight if you must to detain the suspect.

I’m talking about the Light Brown Apple Moth, who made his US debut right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, click here to see the PDF map. 80 percent of the moths trapped have been in Santa Cruz County, but the first sighting occurred in February in the Berkeley backyard of a retired entomologist.
apple moth.jpg
It’s apparently a real menace to us all, with capability to produce three generations a year with an unparalleled appetite for foliage of all sorts. The state’s agriculture industry faces $100’s of millions in losses if this interloper gets a more serious foothold in the agricultural zones of the Central Valley, and already nursery stock & cut flowers from 8 Bay Area & Northern California counties are quarantined and not allowed to ship interstate.

More photos, and info and even what you can do, about this perplexing problem after the jump…

San Francisco State graduates over 8000+

Under a blanket of chilly fog around 20,000 friends and family of students gathered at SF State’s Cox stadium on Saturday for the University’s 106th graduation ceremony. The largest number of graduates and most diverse class in the University’s history grabbed diplomas, over 8,000 students from over 100 nations.

While booze, beach balls and bare breasts were officially verboten during the ceremony based on ye olde 12th century English scholarly tradition, that didn’t stop this re-blog-porter from seeing all three of the banned items. Unfortunately though for me, the breasts were hairy and those of a decidedly male persuasion.

To prove the point that SF State is a diverse and unique institution University President Robert Corrigan welcomed guest speakers Arthur Dong, an alumnus & noted Emmy award winning gay asian documentary filmmaker, and SF’s District Attorney Kamala Harris, the nation’s first black female to hold such a position.

Once at the dais, Dong humorously shot footage of the crowd as a “screen test”, said hello to his Mom, and admonished his child to note how big he seemed on the projection screen, and that he better eat his vegetables. Dong gave a shout out to the Ethnic Studies college grads, and delivered semi meandering remarks on bigotry that eventually brought up the death of Jerry Falwell as “good”. He also mentioned that dropping out of SF State for 10 years was one of the best experiences of his life.
San Francisco State Graduation

more on the ceremonial hoopla at SF State after the jump…

Bay Area Biz Briefs

As we head into a long weekend, here’s a summary of some things bubbling under in the Bay Area’s busy biz community…

more after the bump in the blog…

Facebook Facelift : The 23 year old CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about opening up the company’s software development to about 750 invite only programmers attending the company’s first developer conference this week at The San Francisco Design Center. Facebook who claims 55% of it’s members are now outside of college, also announced 65 companies who have already created 85 apps for the new platform, including, Warner Bros Records, Digg, Microsoft, and Twitter. Amazon’s app gives Facebook users the ability to embed product & book reviews into their online profiles.

WiFi w/ That SUV ? With AC Transit already offering wi-fi for rush hour commuters, Avis rental car will be testing wi-fi service within cars rented at SFO and through it’s San Jose and Oakland airport locations later this year. The service will be called Avis Connect and will run an additional $10.95 a day . Avis customers will be reminded that the service is not intended to be used by the driver while operating the vehicle.

Bay is Big in Nano Tech : The SF Bay Area is apparently in the top 2 of emerging nano technology research hubs in the country, the other city being Boston, according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies’ website and a new interactive map made available online . A story recently published by ZD Net reports that the map could be a tool for “local community groups concerned about the dangers that specific types of nanotechnology could potentially cause in their community if not regulated properly”.

Cash to Burn For Feedburner, The RSS metrics & ad service Feedburner who maintain a west coast HQ at 336 Brannan, are reportedly in mid deal and about to be gobbled up by Google for about $100 Million. The main company HQ is in Chicago and it’s unknown whether the (as yet unconfirmed) acquisition will mean transferring more of their the workforce out west or not.

Pac Bell Hotel ? :The San Francisco Business Journal is reporting that the Old Pacific Telephone Company building on New Montgomery may become a luxury hotel according to a developer trying to purchase the 26 story deco-esque tower built in 1924. Their would be condos too, as well as a spa, restaurant and bar if WMS and financial partner Stockbridge Capital Partners get the their way. First they must get the building from AT & T and that alone iis likely gonna cost somewhere around $118 million, before the remodeling begins.

More local biz blurbs after this bump in the blog…

A Cathedral grows in Oakland

If you’ve rounded Lake Merritt near Harrison St in Oakland and taken a look up lately, it’s hard to miss the Cathedral being constructed there…

The last undeveloped piece of lake front real estate in Oakland, a former parking lot, was secured by the local Diocese in Dec 2003, and they’ve been making a bit of progress each year along the way, some of it quite dramatic lately. But what else would ye expect for a project entitled “Cathedral of Christ the Light, the Light of all Nations”…

It’s not very many times in a lifetime one gets to watch an actual cathedral being constructed I suppose. With the appeal of the Catholic Church in decline in SF ( R.I.P poor ol’ St. Brigids on Van Ness, now fated to become part of the Art Academy ), who knew we’d get a chance to see these mighty religious construction wheels a spinning…

If anything I figured the Scientologists were due next, not the same fabeled & faded folks that brought us bland wafers, the Spanish Inquisition, fish on Fridays, and apparently way too many rightfully afraid altar boys, …

That’s show biz staying power folks… the Catholic Church is bigger than Barry Bond’s biceps & has more local members than the state’s entire Correctional Workers Union…In fact Catholics claim they have over 500,000 followers in the East Bay alone, and account for total 22% of the local population.

Don’t have enough faith to visit Oakland lately?

Well just watch progress on the web…

More on the who , what , and when it is gonna be done after the jump…

Aim for the head!


The hordes of undead are about to swoop on our fair city yet again and this time we have much better intel to their plan of attack. As much as brainless ghouls can plan that is… Here is a map of the planned route of carnage.

The mob will be leaving the north corner of Market & Sansome at 6pm on Friday May 25th and heading up Market street towards Geary where they will then head towards the final showdown at Union Square at 6:30 pm. For full details on the mob check out See ya there!

Life Without The 15

10 Townsend I keep hearing from neighbors about the demise of the 15. From North Beach we now have very constricted ways to get downtown and to the BART lines. This is fallout from the T-Third. The 15 was discontinued in April, and now all roads basically point to Chinatown. It sucks. Taking the 30 means: sitting through the madness of produce trucks unloading, with a glittering prospect of Union Square shopping madness afterwards. The old 10 route went quickly down a one-way street.
MUNI news report.
Discontinued 15 route: PDF
Two neighbors now make the haul out to the 10. The issue I have with the 10 is that if it’s having issues, I don’t have a backup out there, except for the F-Ferries, which has an even more infrequent run. Twice I’ve just taken cabs because both failed me. The 15 was a great route. The one-ways on the other side of Telegraph are a key to getting folks out of the North Beach area. Funnelling through Chinatown is not a wise idea.

This Saturday, Come for a Cause

masturbateathon.pngYou don’t even have to be an exhibitionist to put out for progressive sex education in this town. This Saturday, at the Masturbate-A-Thon, put on by the Center for Sex and Culture at’s Porn Palace, don’t expect Jerry Lewis, just some good old-fashioned getting off.

It’s not too late to join in, recruit a team, collect some pledges, and really, really give back to the community. Not in San Francisco, or prefer, like many great local philanthropists, to remain an anonymous donor? You can always pledge yourself at home, or pledge one of the live performers at the Porn Palace and watch your good works in action on the streaming webcam feeds.

After the jump, a clip featuring the Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Carol Queen, giving a preview of the last year’s first international Masturbate-A-Thon in London, to hint at what one can expect at the world’s quite possibly most immediately gratifying charity event:

Better Streets ? Pedestrian Master Plan ? Voice Yer Opinion

Pedestrian Master Plan… sounds like an oxymoron to me… if it’s already “pedestrian” in nature, a word that generally signifies something unexceptional or dull, how can it really qualify as a “master plan”? I guess to City Planners selling the unexceptional or dull requires boldly ignoring such things…

San Francisco ‘s “master plans” and “general plans” are legendary documents that get referred to glowingly in hearing rooms and in various ballot measures. Over the years they’ve evolved as various “stakeholders” and “interest groups” get their digs in…

That’s how we come up with things like the concept to the right, where already congested San Francisco traffiic lanes are re-appropriated for clunky Traffic Slowing concepts that take away parking as well, yet, are “attractive & fun” and please people with Urban Planning degrees who think this crap up and like spending tax money.

I was surprised today when I received a survey in the ol ‘ e-mail box asking for my opinion on the city’s Better Streets plan, only to find that this was conducted via the specious sounding Survey Monkey. Leave it to city planners to find the somewhat dubious multiple choice format provided by Survey Monkey to adequately meet the needs of their queries.

The elements of the Better Streets plan carefully omit reference to bicycles due to the ongoing litigation over the environmental impact of the proposed bike-ification of major traffic arteries, but Pedestrian Master Plan issues are I guess still allowed to be addressed.

Anyhow, if you’d like to get involved and tell em what you think… the link to the survey is below the jump…

Accident on the Bay Bridge

tunnel Heading home last night around 7pm, I witnessed an accident on the bridge. Phew. Not going to get involved in specifics for the victim’s sake- but I will tell you it wasn’t that bloody. Some random observations on accidents on the bridge after the jump.

Mahjong @ Zeitgeist

IETF Graffiti Random last minute plan to get some beers and sit out on the very, very crowded beer garden of Zeitgeist. Because we’d played there before, I brought along a plastic, cheapo Mahjong set. It was crazy crowded- not sure if it was because of the ever more frequent sunny days, or just Bay to Breakers. New (to me) things: the door guy checks for booze and cameras. The security guy was really friendly, but the barback was short of energy and rather rude. The kitchen was closed more than it was open. Random stories and best Bay to Breakers costumes after the jump.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.