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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

City That Spends Millions Criminalizing Homeless Might Criminalize More Homeless

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 4:46 PM

Left, Mark Farrell. Right, his nemesis.
  • Left, Mark Farrell. Right, his nemesis.

Look: San Francisco is rich. It may not necessary feel that way while walking down any number of potholed streets strewn with detritus (and that's a nice euphemism), but S.F. is filthy loaded. We have $9.6 billion in the coming annual budget, buddy. That's Baltic nation status

That could be one reason why it's NBD the city spends $20.6 million a year on sending police and other city agencies after our 6,500-plus homeless population whenever they violate one of the currently 36 "quality of life" laws on the city's books. (Why public complaints about the homeless and violations of laws aimed at the homeless have risen more than 35 percent since 2013, in a time frame when the homeless population increased only 16 percent, according to the city's Budget and Legislative Analyst, is less certain.)

Nationally, there's been an increase in laws aimed at curbing homeless activity — and yesterday, Supervisor Mark Farrell and three other elected officials proposed one more.

This fall, Farrell — along with Supervisors Katy Tang, Malia Cohen, and Scott Wiener, the latter of whom is trying to be elected to state Senate — will ask voters to enhance the city's existing ban on sidewalk tent encampments, which could then be removed with 24 hours, by — you guessed it — the police, as the San Francisco Examiner reports.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

SF Gov't Could Save Old Tree From Axe of Redevelopment

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 12:22 PM

SF government is in the pines. - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • SF government is in the pines.

Sometimes the controversies in San Francisco can get so heated that it’s hard to remember that grassroots — and tree-roots — NIMBYism is still going strong here.

As the Police Department struggles to maintain face under the weight of its biased officers, with its five biggest enemies continuing to fast in the name of justice while giving Mayor Ed Lee the cold shoulder, a less intense albeit just as fiery debate is heading from a backyard into a board room this afternoon.

Added to the Board of Supervisors agenda late on Friday by Supervisor Mark Farrell, he and his colleagues will decide if a century-old, 100-foot tall Norfolk Pine hybrid growing on private property should be axed by the owner or spared felling and granted landmark status.

The Associated Press reports that neighbors have been trying to save the tree for a year now. (This is, of course, about more than just a tree.)

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why San Francisco Has Had a Major Sinkhole Every Year Since 2011

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Not the actual sinkhole. Not even San Francisco. - STEFAN POWELL/FLICKR
  • Stefan Powell/Flickr
  • Not the actual sinkhole. Not even San Francisco.

You didn’t think 2015 would end without our annual San Francisco sinkhole, did you?

We were seriously in danger of missing the deadline this time, but a 10-foot cavern (with a modest 2 by 4 surface opening) appeared beneath 24th and Church Streets in the wee hours of the morning today and kept our record secure. (It also snarled service on the J-Church Muni line.)

We’ve averaged a little over one large sinkhole per year since 2011, in case you haven’t kept score. See, for old time's sake, the craters that opened in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014

This time the culprit is almost certainly a burst sewer line.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Identifying the Human Remains Found in Alamo Square Requires A Lot of Science and A Bit of Luck

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 2:39 PM

  • mauro.bosio/Flickr

A gruesome surprise for an Alamo Square woman yesterday — human remains unearthed in her planter box — poses something of a forensic puzzle today: How do police begin an investigation when there’s not yet enough information to determine if a crime was committed?

Granted, human bones don’t usually appear in the yard through a series of legal events. But stranger things have happened, albeit few recently. (SFPD spokesperson Grace Gatpandan admits she can’t remember the last time something like this came up.)

Police will confirm only that the recovered bones are human. Previous reports identified the first remains as the jawbone and teeth of a child (more apparently turned up later), but SFPD says that only the medical examiner can confirm that, while a clerk in the medical examiner’s office says they can’t confirm that statement because it was made by the police. So we’re going to have to just stick a pin in that for now.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Happy International Men's Day, O Ye Men of San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Men in line in San Francisco. - PHIL PARKER/FLICKR
  • Phil Parker/Flickr
  • Men in line in San Francisco.

It's International Men's Day, a holiday celebrating men.

Here in San Francisco, our population skews male, with 2014 Census figures putting us at 49.1% female and 50.1% male. (California is 50.3% female; the U.S., 50.8% female.) 

During the day, that gender imbalance feels like it gets even higher, as thousands of men pour into city to go to the tech jobs where men are highly over-represented. 

We have a lot of men. A whole honking lot of men. In fact, there's a whole Tumblr of men standing in line at various places in San Francisco.

Here's to you, men of San Francisco. May your checkered shirts never need ironing.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Watch BART Riders Get Pissed at Guy Filming Exercise Tutorial on Train

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Reddit, a trusted resource among journalists since 2005, has dredged up this gem featuring San Francisco’s most prolific video asshole:

If this guy looks familiar, that's because you’ve probably seen his previous shitshows “It’s your constitutional right” and “Burger King customer service ftl.” He’s easy fodder for local blogs searching for afternoon pick-me-ups, and there’s something undeniably compelling about watching a trainful of people experiencing this in real-time.

Remember, folks: use your environment.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Publicity Stunt Captures Everything That's Hilarious and Awful About SF Startups

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 12:01 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Jack Morse

For most people, spending an afternoon in the park means picnicking with friends, putting back a few beers, and maybe playing a halfhearted game of catch. For the French company behind the dating app happn, this past Saturday at Dolores Park was the perfect opportunity to make an awkward first impression on the people of San Francisco.

How did happn, which launched in 2014, choose to make its SF debut?

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Woman Abandons Solo Row Journey From Japan to SF

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 1:27 PM

  • Sonya Baumstein

Earlier this year, Sonya Baumstein made headlines when she announced she would row solo from Chosi, Japan, to San Francisco — the first woman to do so. A week ago, she embarked on the epic 180-day, 6,000-mile journey, but KTVU reports that on Saturday she was forced to call it quits after a steering system failure, bad weather, and a sense that “things weren’t going right,”

The solo trip was just the latest adventure for Baumstein, who previously rowed from the Atlantic to the Caribbean, paddle-boarded across the Bering Strait, rowed from Washington state to Alaska, and biked from the Mexican border to Seattle.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Why You Don't Need to Freak Out That a City Worker Peed in S.F.'s Reservoirs

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 3:57 PM

Can you taste the rainbow? - SFPUC
  • Can you taste the rainbow?
This is a freaky city, but one with limits. Pee-play has to be consensual in order to be acceptable. It certainly cannot be one-sided secretive act carried out by ...  a city employee.

Revelations that San Francisco has apparently been drinking Martin Sanchez's urine for some time now have earned the city headlines in CNN and other national outlets. Sanchez, a $111,000-a-year worker with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, was recently busted peeing into an  empty reservoir.

This wasn't his first time making water in our water: he'd made it a ritual of his to relieve himself in a city reservoir on special occasions, the Chronicle's Matier and Ross reported.

This begs the question: are we drinking other peoples' pee, too? And does it matter?

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Guy Seen Riding a Penny-Farthing Down Market Street Like It's No Big Deal

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 3:06 PM

Headed to meet friends at the bar? - JASON DEIBEL
  • Jason Deibel
  • Headed to meet friends at the bar?

Well, this guy took us very seriously when we warned commuters to stay away from BART today and find some other form of getting around town. 

Much to the chagrin of Market Street drivers (and maybe other cyclists), this very normal-appearing guy was reportedly taking up more than his fair share of the lane as he casually pedaled his penny-farthing through downtown with a backpack in tow. 

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"