Tag Archives: sf

Because we play (with) ketchup

We lay down ketchup over greasy french fries and hot dogs.

We (Oakland) also play catch-up to San Francisco, a city twice as dense as us. (SF density: 17,459 per sq mi. Oak density: 7,966 per sq mi.)

They have sports teams; so do we, for now. They have the Infinity; we have The Grand.  They have the Ferry Building farmers’ market; we have the Jack London Square farmers’ market. Our politics are as corrupt and union/business/developer/mafia-influenced as theirs.

So why not copy off our neighbor? Besides, we’ll beat them to the punch on a high value target acquisition: SF Target by 2012. We also got ourselves a mayor-puppet before they will.

Two items I expect we will emulate shortly, below.

Comment: This looks good, can Audi do this on Grand-Lakeshore or Temescal-Telegraph too? I applaud the below action by luxe car company Audi mainly because at the end of the day it is time for them (and us, along with other car companies) to give back to the public realm what they (and we) took away from it. Streets are for people!

Comment: It’s about time! Midmarket needs to lose its crime and downtrodden elements (people who panhandle me daily asking for beer/ cigarette money–screw off!), and add business/ home/condo owners who are invested in its success.

I have a truly long comment for this (you can too), which is posted below. In any case, our “Midmarket” areas for improvement would include: Broadway Auto Row, 16th Street Terminus, East 14th Street.  (Did I miss any spots?)

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SF Weekly says “SF badly run city”

So if you thought Oakland had its share of corruption, surprise, so does SF.

At least according to the SF Weekly.

Singular problems, or structural dilemma? Among the choice money quotes:

“You can’t get San Francisco running efficiently, because that would require large numbers of unionized city workers to willingly admit their redundancy and wastefulness. Inefficiency pays their salaries. ‘It’s been going on for decades,’ Peskin says.”

“…San Francisco is shedding its middle-class population at double the state rate. The city, however, is not losing low-income people at nearly the state’s pace — and is gaining wealthy residents at far more than California’s overall rate. In short, we are replacing our middle class with a rich elite and a burgeoning underclass. Watkins’ research also reveals that San Francisco is going gray. The number of city residents between ages 45 and 64 has climbed, while the count of those aged 20 to 44 has dropped. The city, it seems, has become a target destination for the wealthy and retirees. These are not the people who want to make sacrifices now to shore up the city’s future.”

The above sounds just like London, Mumbai or… Cambodia.  What’s new? White flight has reversed, and cities like SF and Oakland are ground zero for the returnees. Meanwhile, the poor displaced are having to move out to outlying, cheaper areas such as San Leandro, Vallejo or Union City.

Parking Irony

In today’s SF Examiner, the headline piece is:

“Meters until midnight”

“Controversial plan would extend parking pay hours to late n ight and SUndays to generate $9 million”

Will Oakland’s political-business elites grow a pair and bring back either (A) higher parking rates or (B) longer meter hours, a few months from now?

Perhaps March or April before Earth Day would be a good time for it.

Cows…in Berkeley? Jobs…in Oakland?

Hey, remember when “colored” people were the only ones complaining about jobs? Now it’s “middle class” people too. Except that the latter for now are taking their lumps and paying for their kids’ unpaid internships, stuff-white-people-like style. Nary a complaint, no  [Of course, in the past several years the former have been also complaining about police brutality (Marcel Diallo) or killings within the black community. As the church sign on Telegraph says, “stop black on black violence.” So does that mean start black on  (other) violence?, I had to wonder. Anyway, due to lack of money in the ghetto, it is a bit like watching spiders in a jar. The more you add, the more they start eating each other. It’s genetic. I am ashamed to say I did that once as a kid.]

Big surprise. After 30 years of increasing our debts to “eat the future” and giving away (“offshoring”) our manufacturing base to the world for increased corporate profits, and still with a 70% “consumer spending based” economy, we can’t build/borrow/”innovate” our way out of this mess, much less exit a brown paper bag with arrows pointed toward the opening, or repave Oakland streets properly — that is, to 1940s standards.

Time for triage in Oakland street repaving; time for triage in American job creation. I can tell you one thing. Obama isn’t going to create many long-term jobs. So much for change. Besides repair type jobs, the next big jobs wave will be farming. I feel really certain about this based on all the anecdotal stories about people gardening and beekeeping in Oakland and nationwide more than ever these past few years.

What else do we have really, which could generate enough jobs? Please don’t tell me government. Government and government-run entitities needs to take a severe diet. Car and housing related employment is dead for decades. High tech outsources and centralizes more jobs than creates new ones.

1 in 9 Americans are now on food stamps.

We’re going back to the future, 1849 before Industrialization Part 2 took off in Britain in 1850.

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Rising Sea Level Impact on Oakland

At least once a year I hear about how rising sea levels caused by human-induced global warming will affect our urban environments. Today, SJMerc writes about how rising waters will affect the SFBay.

They base their story on a new Pacific Institute (DTO nonprofit) study. Their server must be overloaded because It’s a slog to see PI’s site to view the original report. 

Here is a good sea level map tool which centers on our fair city, showing that Oakland Airport would effectively be underwater if the bay rises 3 feet. So, chalk up another reason not to build an Airbart “train-in-the-sky” connector from Coliseum station. So would SFO, BART and NYMTA, which is why The Gav, DJ Blumenthal and his SFEnvironment crew are pushing so hard for climate change mitigation, along with their cohorts in other big green cities.

On the bright side, we’ll be able to paddle around downtown and perhaps create a Venitian tourist trap.