Posts Tagged ‘SanFrancisco’

Mean and Green, hopefully lean

Earlier today the Mayor signed into law the nations most ‘stringent’ green building codes, for both residential and commercial construction. This being a continuing effort by the mayor to put San Francisco in the spotlight when it comes to progressive politics. All politics is local as they say, and energy policy is probably the most pressing issue the world is facing today.
From the Chron earlier today:

The new codes are to be phased in by 2012. Projects will be evaluated on a point system with credit given for materials used in the building, the location of the building site and water and energy efficiencies…..

Despite those predictions, the city’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated that the new codes would cost the city between $30 million and $700 million a year in economic output, as it could lead to higher rents and businesses choosing to locate elsewhere.

Newsom called that report inaccurate and predicted the new regulations would actually attract businesses to the city. That opinion was echoed by Phil Williams, an executive at San Mateo-based Webcor Builders, who sat on the city task force on green building that developed the new regulations.

The LEED certifications for green building will apply to larger projects, both residential and commercial and the Greenpoint system will apply to smaller projects.

The opposition are crying that the added expense will further drive up the cost of owning a home or a business in SF, and I cry bullshit on that. For far too long people have not paid the true cost of housing, energy and other resources. And this is where government certainly has a role, protecting the commons.

There will be cost savings aplenty as people fall in line with the added up front expense of building to codes that make sense in today’s world.


Photograph CC by Chance Gardener.

J-Pop Center Opening This Year in Japantown

J-Pop CenterI’ve been very curious to find out what was going to happen at 1746 Post since it’s been torn apart… and I’ve discovered quite some news!

Anime, Manga and overall Japanese culture fans will be ecstatic to hear that Viz Pictures (an offshoot of local Anime and Manga publisher Viz Media) is a partner in building a “J-Pop Center” in Japantown! The Center will include a theatre for showing releases from Viz Pictures, Anime and other Japanese features. Also expected are a branch of the already popular Kinokuniya Bookstore, a cafe and some Japanese clothing shops… a one-stop J-Pop shop!

The website for the Viz Cinema does not show a lot of information at the moment, but it does state that it is slated to open in Winter of this year.

Is SF a “Sparkling City”?

Sparkling Cities
[yellow tail] wines conducted a survey to find out what cities in America are the most “Sparkling”. Survey respondents were asked to think of a place that is Sparkling – a place that is vibrant and makes them feel alive the moment they arrive – and then rank how top U.S. cities might make them feel on a scale of 1-10. San Francisco was chosen by 62 percent of Americans… which puts our fine city in the top ten!

The top 10 nominees were ranked by the highest percentage of respondents as being “sparkling” cities, according to a survey of 900 adults ages 21 and older. Most of the survey respondents said that what makes a city sparkle is “breathtaking scenery” and “great night life” and unique food.

Now it’s up to online voters to determine the winner! You can vote for the top Sparkling City on the [yellow tail] website. Voting is open until June 15th.

“The inaugural Search for America’s Most Sparkling City is designed to uncover the most animated, brilliant, lively and vivacious city in the United States,” said Mark Lyle, vice president of marketing for [yellow tail] wines. “We thought honoring the cities across the United States that make Americans feel the most ‘switched on’ would be a fun way to remind them to ‘always sparkle.’”

The winner will be revealed during an event in the winning city the week of July 4.

SF is Totally Metal

SF in Cookware

Metal cookware, that is. Beijing artist Zhan Wang has sculpted a metal version of San Francisco as a part of the exhibit On Gold Mountain: Sculptures from the Sierra at the Asian Art Museum. He has painstakingly crafted a model of San Francisco with mirrors, pots, pans, and rocks specially selected from the Sierra Nevada Mountains that were then transported to his studio in China to be integrated into his sculptures.

Zhan Wang has also created similar sculptures for other cities, such as London, Beijing and Chicago. On Gold Mountain: Sculptures from the Sierra is on display at the Asian Art Museum until May 25th.

Please don’t cough on my meal…

Back in January the the new local ordinance (or law, not sure) which mandated that local eateries provide a health care option for their employees went into effect. Maybe you have noticed new surcharges appearing on your tabs, as many eateries are complying with this law already.

Today, on the WSJ’s blog, they make note of the fact that this new ordinance is taking effect. Not that notable, but the comments are pretty obnoxious. E.g.

Great posting. It seems that the communists got what they wanted. How sad. I moved from New York City to Texas. I considered moving to CA, but could not bring myself to life with all that red tape, high taxes and nanny state. It is a pity, though. The nature in CA is stunning.

A pretty complicated issue no doubt, curious as to whether people think it’s the right thing to do, that is mandating that businesses provide healthcare for employees?


Bourbon and Branch Updates

We have a follow-up to the news about Bourbon and Branch‘s Todd Smith stepping down from his management position…

Smith’s successors are Joel Baker and Yanni Kehagiaras (pictured above), a couple of local comptetion-winning bartenders (or as B&B calls them, “Bar Chefs”), both who have been working at B&B for a while now.

As mentioned previously, Smith remains connected with Bourbon and Branch’s Beverage Academy, participating in upcoming classes Cocktails 101 and A Taste of Absinthe.

Rumor has it that Bourbon and Branch is polishing up a new “secret” room dubbed “Russell’s Room”, occupying a space that was formerly J.J. Russell’s cigar shop during prohibition in the 1920’s. Hm, how many secret rooms can a speakeasy have?

Photo courtesy of Bourbon and Branch

Five Long Years – Iraq War Protest

Starting early this morning hundreds of people gathered around the top of Market street and began a protest march on this fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. I caught up with the march as they were held back at 3rd and Market. Riot police lined up across all four intersections and held a line, not allowing any traffic to pass. Things seems pretty peaceful, with people laying in the street. There were chants of “Occupation is a crime, from Iraq to Palestine”.

On a personal note, I celebrated my daughters fifth birthday this weekend. You see, she was born two days before the bombs started dropping on Baghdad. She now knows what war is, at least in a five year olds sensibility.

And on the subject of children, Bush is holding fast to his position that we are on course in this war.

UPDATE: There will be a gathering at Civic Center at 5pm this evening. Then a March into the Mission.




More pics after the jump

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