Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

SF General On Death Bed?

Hey! architecture & safety fans, look at those spanking new fire escapes in Dec 1956… possibly one of the last major revamps to aging SF General.

Reading the continuing saga of SF General Hospital one can only see euthanasia or perhaps the good ship privatization coming into port on the horizon…

Yesterday, Gavin “pumped on privatization, saddened by sunshine” Newsom sent his not entirely friendly pals on the Board of Supes a proposal to float an $887 million dollar public bond to facilitate construction of a refurbished General Hospital before the state’s fix the seismic stability or close it deadline of January 2013.

Even if the Supes could agree on it, then SF voters would have to approve it by a
two thirds margin
in November. Then I assume simple design issues, bids and construction for the estimated $ billion+ dollar project would have to begin fairly quickly and run miraculously smoothly even if we could get a moderate 2 year extension on the state’s deadline. (By the way, legally the bond can only pay for the construction, no equipment or furnishings… so we’ll need even more money to upgrade everything)

All this just sort of happens neatly in a row, or uh, the behemoth institution just gets shuttered, ( or perhaps “privatized”).

Anyone care to surmise that is the real plan anyway?

Lil Mike’s random rant rambles on after the jump…

City changing street sign style

I’ve been noticing the ugly new street signs around town for the last year or two, but this was the first chance I had to actually compare the old style (top) with the new style (bottom).

San Francisco street sign, old style
San Francisco street sign, new style

It’s not just that the new font is ugly; it’s that the text is not even centered. And I’ve seen that on other new-style signs too. What’s up with that?

The (near) future cost of living?

Here is the current state of affairs in SF.

Gas = $4.41 / gallon

Parking ticket = $50 (minimum fine, sfgate story)

“Raising parking fines will lead to more abuse on the streets,” said Luis Estrella, a San Francisco parking-control officer for the past eight years who said he was punched last year by a firefighter who got a $50 ticket.

Downtown meter violations, for example, will be fined up to $60, and parking in a street-cleaning zone will set drivers back $50. The city now makes about $90 million a year from parking fines. The increase would bring in an estimated $13 million more in the new fiscal year.

COLA Formula revealed!

Small Business Geeks Rejoice!

Fellow Metblogger Jason and I attended this event at City Hall last year where the Mayor addressed the SBA members and other small business interests during National Small Business week. If I recall the food was pretty good and abundant, entirely supplied by SF’s most numerous small business population, restauranteurs. Beginning May 12th through the 17th, there will be events around town including the following:

Highlights will include our annual Flavors of San Francisco celebration at City Hall the evening of May 12; Start Your Own Business workshops on May 13; a Green business forum and party May 16; technology summits by both Microsoft and Cisco Systems; and the State of Small Business in San Francisco discussion on May 14.

We hope you’ll join us to network, learn and celebrate. Registration is available at

For more information, please contact Gary Marshall at 415 744 6771.


The LBAM Spray Madness

Californians continue to mount a significant opposition to the state legislatures decision to allow spraying for the LBAM (light brown apple moth). Tomorrow there is a vote scheduled at the state senate that could stop the spraying without the consent of the communities being sprayed. There is transport arranged (pavement reference for those paying attention) from the Ferry Building early am. Taking all interested parties right to Sacramento where you can make your presence felt on this issue.

Interesting the Governator is being quoted as saying that the spray is completely safe for humans. This taken from The SFBG Blog, “Q: Will the Spray Cause Erectile Dysfunction?“:

ABC: Will you comment on LBAM spraying?

Governor: It’s important we do everything we can because it can destroy our agriculture products and harm our environment. Other countries can cut off our agriculture trade. Public safety is my number one priority and there is nothing that shows this program is unsafe.

ABC: Senator Migden is proposing legislation to prevent spraying before an EIR is done. Do u have a position?

Governor: We have done all the studies in the world and nothing says it is unsafe. We wouldn’t spray if it were unsafe.

Ballsy considering that they won’t even disclose the sprays makeup. Duck! Here comes the Trade Secret claim to protect this vendors secret recipe they want to spray on us.

Details From the Flyer in circulation:

THE SPRAY – Come to Sacramento: Wednesday 4/16 1:30 PM CAPITOL, Room 4202

Agriculture Committee hearing Support LBAM legislation: Five bills and two resolutions collectively correct a broken system in California by providing both the information and the process to enable communities to
protect themselves from the dangers posed by aerial pesticide spraying.

The AG Committee hearing is the main hurdle for these bills. Show your support and make your voice heard during the public comment period! Bring your kids!

Fax or call in support of legislation to:
Assemblymember Nicole Parra Chair Agriculture Committee
Fax (916) 319 – 2130
Phone (916) 319 – 2030

“I am in support of the package of aerial spray legislation, AB 2892, AB 2763, AB 2764, AB 2765 and AB 2760 and related resolutions SCR 87 and ACR 117. I support this legislation because Californians have a right to informed consent regarding pesticides sprayed by the state over homes and communities.”

Sample letter and more info on www.StopTheSpray.ORG.



Harvey Milk Memorial at City Hall

It’s a ways away, but you may want to put it on your calendar now, on May 22nd at City Hall there will be a ceremony and a reception open to the public for the unveiling of the new Harvey Milk Memorial. In attendance will be a who’s who of SF local politics including DiFi.


The statue of Milk will be unveiled at a Ceremony to be held in City Hall on May 22, 2008, on what would have been Harvey’s 78th birthday. The event starts at 6 PM, is free and open to the public, and will feature friends of Milk’s, local dignitaries, the Gay Men’s chorus, and special guests.

Newsom Kowtows to Chinese Olympic Officials?

Kowtow, rooted in the chinese language, Beijing, in the early 19th century.

1. “to show obsequious deference: FAWN; 2. to kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in token of homage, worship, or deep respect

One can never be sure if perception is reality, but the Mayor has certainly disappointed a large group of people who turned out to see the Olympic Torch pass through SF. It did pass through the city, and for all we know it could still be out there. But it is being hidden. There is some symbolism in there, I’m sure.

We will be told that it was done for the safety of the runners and the citizens who turned out to see it. Of course, this will only remain as the Mayors rationalization. One would think that with what seemed like the ENTIRE SFPD on hand along with Chinese security, that the route could be secured? The SFPD are the nations foremost experts on riot control, but they weren’t ready for this?

The Mayor and the rest of his organization are cowards today. Or worse, they kowtowed to the Chinese to create a false perception of the Torch Run through SF today.


UPDATE, 4:10 PM: The closing ceremony has officially been cancelled. Reported by the SF Gate.


More posting including pictures and some video from the original starting point of the run upcoming…

SFTTV Live Broadcast of Olympic Torch Run

Things are getting started downtown already. Live broadcast from Students For a Free Tibet on mogulus right now…

SFPD Foot Patrol Pilot, is it working?

2299145507_9a49a9da67_m.jpgThe Controllers office released a report today outlining early findings after the first year trial of the program. The program started under much protest from the SF Police officers association, the Mayor and the Chief of police. The Mayor went so far as to Veto the trial program back in November 2006.

The Supes, led by Ross Mirkarimi on this legislation, went on to override the Mayors veto, and the rest of the department seems to have gotten on board with the program. The SFPD had foot patrols before, this legislation was/is intended to put more officers on foot, and make their presence more apparent in the communities they police. Community policing, or foot patrols have been proven quite effective in other major cities in the U.S.. This legislation is hoping to achieve the same strong results that these other communities have experienced.

Is it working? Lifted from the full report (download PDF here):

  • The SFPD committed 83,475 hours of foot beat staffing in the first six months of 2007, an 86% increase from 2006
  • Foot patrols increase the community’s perception of safety. 82% responded by phone and 73% responded on the written survey that they feel “safer”.
  • The SFPD did not meet all of the legislation requirements including not filing reports when beats were not performed. Lack of compliance was due to out of date tech and insufficient administrative oversight.
  • Both Police staff and the community widely accept foot patrols, with majorities reporting in both groups that foot patrols are necessary tool for addressing crime and quality of life issues.
  • The SFPD is lacking in clearly defined goals and objectives related to foot patrols.

The report goes on to list out many recommendations and strategies for bettering the program. There will be a joint hearing of the Police Commission and the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, April 16th at 6 P.M. in the Board Chambers.

You can also read more about the trial and other reports on it’s effectiveness at the San Francisco Police Effectiveness Review site.

Related on SFMB: SF Cops Make the Big Bucks

Photo by scragz.

Vote Today – Special Congressional Open Primary Election

Don’t forget to vote today. There is a Special Congressional Open Primary Election today for the 12th District House of Representatives seat left behind by the late representative Tom Lantos.

This April 8 Special Congressional Open Primary Election is being held to elect a candidate to serve the remainder of the term for Californias Congressional District 12. All candidates will appear together on the same ballot, regardless of party affiliation, and voters may vote for any of the candidates, regardless of the voter’s party affiliation….

You may vote in person on or before Election Day beginning on March 24, 2008 outside our office in City Hall, Room 48, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

List of candidates (pdf).

  • Michelle T. McMurry, San Francisco, Democrat
  • Jackie Speier, Burlingame, Democrat
  • Greg Conlon, Atherton, Republican
  • Mike Moloney, Foster City, Republican
  • Barry Hermanson, San Francisco, Green

Voter info pamplet (pdf, text)

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