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Debbie Downer

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Belligerent Laziness": Dolores Park Was a Mess Again This Morning

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane

Dolores Park isn't named for Mission Dolores. It's named for El Grito de Dolores, more or less the Mexican equivalent of the Boston Tea Party and the 1810 event that precipitated the Mexican War of Independence. (That's why there's a statue of Miguel Hidalgo, the priest who initiated El Grito, or "The Cry.")

Well, there's another Cry of Dolores these days and it's a little closer to the tear shed by the Native American in those Keep America Beautiful ads from the 1970s. Weekend after weekend, people just can't stop trashing Dolores Park.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Urge to Kill Rising: Dolores Park Was Full of Trash This A.M.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM

This was Dolores Park at 7:20 a.m., with Rec and Park already on the cleanup job. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • This was Dolores Park at 7:20 a.m., with Rec and Park already on the cleanup job.

Dolores Park
is back! The place where stroller moms, off-leash pit bulls, blond dreadlocks, twinks in boy shorts, illuminated white jellyfish on poles, ecstatic twirlers, and Tecate tall boy connoisseurs can all coexist is fully open and operational, as of yesterday evening.

The bad news? It was full of trash this morning. A three-man crew was already well into bagging it up when I walked my dog there at 7:15. Yep, that brand-new turf, fresh from the free-range sod farm where it was raised in open pastures (because it was open pastures), and as pristine as something Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood could romp around on was quite covered in refuse. I found paper plates with half-eaten pizza, a trail of Fig Newtons, and infinite bits of paper and plastic. And a huge swath of it smelled like beer.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Drought: How Much Water Will You Have To Save Under New Mandatory Water Restrictions?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Getting worse.
  • Getting worse.
Earlier today, Gov. Jerry Brown strode across a patch of grass near Lake Tahoe, trailed by a man carrying a long pole. The pole is used to measure snowpack, of which there was none. This was ceremony to confirm what we already knew: there is no snow

Snowpack is at an abysmal five percent of normal, which means year four of the worst drought California has ever seen is, well, even worse. 

Brown used the snow-less spectacle as the backdrop to proclaim the state's first-ever mandatory water restrictions. Water use across the state must drop by 25 percent, or consequences — beyond environmental devastation and collapse of the social order — will occur.

But that number is misleading. Do you have to cut your shower by a quarter right now? No — but you may need to cut it by half, or be moved from your home entirely. You may also be asked cut water use less. How does this work, exactly?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dogs and Cats Are Also Getting Screwed by San Francisco Housing Prices

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Affordable housing victim - SPCA
  • SPCA
  • Affordable housing victim
Unless you're able to afford the unaffordable, there's not much hope in this housing crisis. 

Especially if you're a cat or dog. 

The SPCA is reporting that as housing prices (and evictions) have skyrocketed, so have the number of pets being dumped at local shelters by teary-eyed owners who can't afford a housing setup for the whole family (furry friends included). "This disturbing trend is due to the fact that pet-friendly housing is becoming scarce in San Francisco," says Krista Maloney, spokeswoman for the SPCA. 

Here are some more depressing stats:

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Friday, December 12, 2014

San Francisco Schools Could Lose About $2 Million From "Rain Day" (Update)

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Don't celebrate yet, kids.
  • Don't celebrate yet, kids.
Update below.

Kids might have rejoiced over yesterday's school closure in San Francisco — even as their parents scrambled to find child care — but the district itself took a huge financial wallop. 

Per KQED education reporter Ana Tintocalis, closing schools for one day cost San Francisco Unified some $2 million in lost revenue, or about $42 a student. The district hopes to recoup that money from an emergency relief fund distributed by the State Department of Education.

San Francisco Unified certainly qualifies, given the spate of power outages that occurred throughout the city yesterday, district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe told KQED. The resulting shutdown turned the city's downtown corridor into a virtual dead zone, with luxuriantly empty BART trains and unclogged sidewalks.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

RIP Marian Brown, Iconic San Francisco Twin

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Sad news: Marian Brown, the 87-year-old society dame  who was famous for roaming the streets of San Francisco in orthopedic sandals and leopard print coats alongside her twin sister, Vivian, has reportedly died.

The Brown twins were known for wearing stylish identical outfits and saucy bobbed haircuts, and for dining together at Uncle Vito's pizzeria in Nob Hill. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, they were valedictorians at Mattawan High School, where they played clarinet in the school band. Both went on to study business education at Western Michigan University and then work as secretaries at the Upjohn Company, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

The twins eventually cultivated their own brand identity, moving to San Francisco in 1970 and appearing in numerous commercials. In 1995 they were featured on a 40-foot Times Square billboard to promote Joe Boxer shorts.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Green Cab Closure Signals More Blood-Letting Ahead

Posted By on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Green Cab, the city's carbon-neutral, worker-owned taxi cooperative, shut its doors Thursday at midnight, the moment its insurance policy runs out. With accidents on the books and ever-diminishing financial reserves, the company has struggled to find a new insurer that SFMTA approves.

"As a small company, we're not attractive to insurers," Green Cab co-founder Mark Gruber says, explaining that larger entities can absorb the cost of accidents, and allow insurance writers to make up the money in premiums. Green only has 16 cars in its fleet , making it modest, by San Francisco standards.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Copies of Last San Francisco Bay Guardian Now Selling for $29.99 on eBay

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 7:29 AM

"So that sucks that this week's Guardian is the last one," Facebook user Jason Storm wrote in a despairing status update. "And," he added, "now I can't find a copy anywhere cuz some assholes are taking them all to sell on eBay."

In fact, the most enterprising such asshole is hawking yesterday's edition of the free newspaper for $29.99. Now a collector's item, it's described as " a clean, fresh, near-mint copy of that final issue, dated October 15 2014, taken from a street distribution box, never opened, never read. A piece of San Francisco media history!"

"PayPal only, please," the seller adds.

So far, no one has placed any bids.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Burners Warned of West Nile Virus

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM


The annual Burning Man festival got off to a rocky start this year, what with a desert rain storm that marooned would-be celebrants in Reno, and a 29 year-old woman killed after she fell underneath a bus at the Black Rock City camp.

Such calamities were enough to fuel superstitions among other participants — namely, that bad things happen in threes, as one blogger warned on the Burner community forum Burners.Me.

Indeed, the Nevada Health Department sent an advisory last week, warning that West Nile was found in mosquitoes caught near Gerlach, Nevada, about 14 miles away from the event. A spokeswoman says Burning Man staff confirmed the details last week, and dispatched a mass warning via its Jack Rabbit Speaks newsletter, which reaches some 200,000 subscribers. 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Burning Man Closed Due to Rain, Cars Forced to Turn Back

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Those making the annual pilgrimage to the desert playground in Nevada might be severely disappointed today.

Burning Man has tweeted that its gates will be closed until mid-day Tuesday, due to rain and flooding. Law enforcement are apparently turning cars back at Wadsworth, Nevada, about 30 minutes east of Reno.

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