Archive for February, 2008

Texas tourist tries for Stolpa Award

bdarcy.jpgThanks to Google, I caught a travel dispatch from Austin visitors to San Francisco over New Year’s. Their visit included the major storm of Jan. 4, which they handled with aplomb:

Winds of 70 mph came on our first full day in San Francisco proper. Feeling adventurous, we braved the storm and walked a mile-plus from our hotel to the Exploratorium — an enormous collection of thought-provoking hands-on science exhibits — to spend our day out of the rain.

Yes, they walked all the way to the Exploratorium during the worst weather in several years so they could “spend a day out of the rain.” There’s more.

Tiger Beat: Zoo finishes tiger pen updates, posts video

The San Francisco Zoo has finished the first phase of updates to the tiger enclosure from which the Siberian tiger escaped on Christmas Day, causing mayhem and embarrassment. The project raised the wall separating the public from the enclosure by almost four feet. Just in time for a review tomorrow by a team of zoo safety experts.

But did you know the Zoo has a YouTube channel? To commemorate the new tiger wall, they posted a “Big Cat Update” vid. The reel includes footage of the zoo’s lions and remaining tigers, which is all you’ll see of them for the foreseeable future, as their “exhibits” remain closed.

Vollmann appears today

William T. Vollmann.jpgNorthern California writer William T. Vollmann (on the left) will appear twice in San Francisco today — at 12:30 at Stacey’s Bookstore, on Market between 1st and 2nd Streets, and at 7:30 pm at Booksmith, 1644 Haight St. — reading from his new nonfiction book “Riding Toward Everywhere,” which is about jumping freight trains.

Vollmann, sometimes called an “adventure journalist” for his expeditions to dangerous, faraway climes, is also well known as a novelist. His “Europe Central” won the 2005 National Book Award (which is is shown receiving), and his novels are about subjects as diverse as Tenderloin prostitutes and Pocahontas.

Andronicos stops selling Tobacco products

Progressive Grocer reports that as of last Monday, Andronicos has pulled all Tobacco products from their shelves. Part of a broader initiative called “clean and green” that will be continuing over the coming months.
“We have been contemplating this for several years,” said president and c.e.o. Bill Andronico. Adding, “It’s all part of a rising consciousness at Andronico’s that will include the upcoming Clean and Green initiatives. . .”

I certainly agree that the widespread use of most tobacco products creates a burden for taxpayers, a certain health risk for users and a nuisance for many others. Putting that aside, I wonder if there are any responsible tobacco growers and tobacco product manufacturers out there. It seems that Andronicos could still carry tobacco products under those conditions?

Public Comments Open – UCSF Stem Cell Research Building public comment period for the new Institute for Regeneration Medicine at UCSF is underway (also known as the Stem Cell Research building). If you are interested, UCSF is planning on building over 71K square feet of essentially lab space on the hill behind the hospital located at 505 Parnassus. This project is on a fast-track, expected to break ground in August of 2008. The window for public comment closes on March 3, 2008.

Taking a cursory review of the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (who knows what that means?) the structure looks kind of cool and modern. Built into the slope of the hill to minimize impact to the observer. The document states that the new building will meet the UC Regents minimum LEED rating, I’m not sure what that min is but it’s exciting the building will keep an eye towards LEED cert.

Crime Blotter: Downtown

From Captain Dudley’s Central District email newsletter, always succinct and sometimes entertaining.

On 1/31/08 at 11:17 PM, on Jones at Cosmo, Officers Paul Doherty and
Freddy Alvarez were on patrol when they noticed a car with no license
plates stopped in a bus zone. The Officers stopped the vehicle and
determined that the operator’s license was expired, and that he had an
outstanding warrant for his arrest. The outstanding $10K warrant was for
a previous violation of driving without a license. In fact, at the time
of this arrest, the suspect had three active DMV suspensions of his
license! A search of the vehicle after the arrest yielded some
marijuana, a glass crack pipe, and an open (still cold) 12oz beer can.

This arrest gets points for:
1) Helping MUNI! Now I know who those people are who park in bus zones. Inconveniencing 100s of people for their selfishness.
2) Treasure trove phenomenon: little did they know ticketing one double-parked car would get so many warrants!
3) General stupidity of criminal (see 1&2 above)
4) The snowball effect: Get one warrant, get many more because you never dealt with that one… sad
5) Exclamation points- even jaded SF cops have a sense of wonder sometimes.
6) The “still cold” comment on the beer. And what a nice little Tuesday breakfast that makes- some crack, some dope, and a beer. Breakfast of Champions.

While you were watching football

While you were sitting on your duff watching the Super Bowl:

Plus, Hilary Clinton was in San Francisco Saturday night. Who knew!

BART: 1977 to today and beyond

I ran across this 1977 BART map (on the left) on the Flickr page of a Mr. bobster1985. Contrast it with today’s map (on the right), which includes Caltrain, ACE, Amtrak and the Capitols.
BART map 1977 BART map 2008

Harvey Milk, Eli Stone- SF in Movies

Greg Dewar over at N Judah Chronicles took some fun photos of the Eli Stone set around Nob Hill. SFist has a ton of candids off the Harvey Milk set in the Castro.

End of the rain

San Francisco Skyline, 3 Feb 08
It rained for the umpteenth day in a row, but the forecast was for clearing and several dry days.

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