Monday, November 28, 2022

Opposition to closing the Great Highway


FROM:
Mary Miles (SB #230395)
Attorney at Law
San Francisco, CA 94102

TO:
Erica Major, Clerk, and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the
Land Use and Transportation Committee (“LUC”)
Room 250, City Hall
San Francisco, CA 94102

BY EMAIL TO: Erica.Major@sfgov.org

DATE: November 28, 2022

PUBLIC COMMENT AND REQUEST FOR CONTINUANCE ON ITEM 1 OF THE NOVEMBER 28, 2022 LUC AGENDA: “[Park Code - Upper Great Highway - Pilot Weekend and Holiday Vehicle Restrictions]” BOS FILE NO. 220875

This Comment OBJECTS to and OPPOSES Item 1 of the LUC Agenda, and also requests a continuance of that Item. Please distribute this Comment to LUC members and place copies in all applicable files, notably BOS File No. 220875.

The Project proposes to close Upper Great Highway to vehicles “on a pilot basis, on weekends and holidays until December 31, 2025.” (Agenda, Item 1.) On November 8, 2022, more than 100,000 of your constituents Citywide voted to reopen the Upper Great Highway.

This Comment also objects to the omission in the Board’s File 220875 of numerous public comments opposing the Project.

I. THE BOARD MUST CONTINUE ITEM 1 TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PUBLIC NOTICE

A. Inadequate Public Notice: This hearing of Item 1 should be continued, because public notice was inadequate due to the Thanksgiving holiday and closed City agencies that might otherwise provide public access to the voluminous Board file on the Project. (See, Cal. Gov. Code, §54957.5 (b)(1-2); Sierra Watch v. Placer County (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 1, 10-11.)

B. The Proposed Legislation Is Unclear And Needs To Be Amended For Clarity: The proposed Ordinance amending the Park Code section 6.13 fails to specify the times of the proposed closure of the Upper Great Highway.

The proposed Ordinance at § 6.13(b) [Page 6 of proposed legislation] states that the Recreation and Park Department “shall restrict private vehicles from the Upper Great Highway from Friday afternoons until Monday mornings at 6:00 a.m.” The Agenda states only that “private vehicles” would be “restrict[ed]” “on weekends and holidays until December 31, 2025.” Other descriptions include Fridays. Both the proposal and the Agenda must be clarified to provide adequate and accurate public notice of the Project’s proposed closures.

The “CEQA Exemption Determination” (2022-007356ENV) also fails to describe the hours of closure. (2022-007356ENV, pdf pages 6 and 11.) That document states that the “exact time of private vehicular closure to be determined.” (Id. at Exemption Determination, page 11.)

This Board must make clear to the public in the proposed ordinance and in the CEQA Determination exactly what is being proposed, both to provide an accurate Project description to the public, and to state this Board’s rationale for any weekday closure.

Until the proposed legislation is amended to provide the exact times and days of closure, the Board must continue the Item to amend both the proposed ordinance and CEQA Determination to provide an accurate description to the public.

Friday closure of the upper Great Highway is not needed for the alleged purpose described in the proposed ordinance.

The public cannot meaningfully comment on the proposed legislation without an accurate Project description.

C. Time And Public Notice Are Inadequate To Provide Comment At This Hearing

Since time is inadequate to submit public comment at the Land Use Committee, the hearing must be continued. Scheduling hearing on this important Project on the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend effectively deprives the public of the opportunity for meaningful comment.

II. THE PROJECT IS NOT EXEMPT UNDER CEQA

The Project continues the closure of the Upper Great Highway implemented with no public process in April 2020, which blocked access with locked gates to 20,000 or more vehicles every day.

The Project now proposes closing the upper Great Highway to vehicles from Friday afternoons [time unstated] through Monday mornings at 6:00 a.m., on holidays, and “special events” until December 31, 2025. (Proposed Ordinance, page 6.) The Ordinance claims its purpose is for a three-year “pilot” to allow City’s Municipal Transportation Agency (“MTA”) to collect data. (Id. at pages 6-7.)

The closure of Great Highway Project originated in April, 2020 with a private text exchange between outgoing Supervisor Gordon Mar and Jeffrey Tumlin, the unelected Director of the MTA. (See, April 6 and 8, 2020 text exchanges between Mar and Tumlin, and Mar's 5/26/21 email, producing those texts in response to a Public Records request.) [1]

This public highway was then closed in April 2020 with no public proceeding or opportunity for public input. Since the Upper Great Highway already had dedicated bicycle paths, the covid “social distancing” did not apply.

Since the closure of Upper Great Highway, many public comments have been submitted in proceedings before City’s MTA, SFCTA, Recreation and Parks Department (“Rec-Park”), and discussions with City officials documenting the Project’s significant impacts on traffic congestion; public safety, including emergency services by police, fire, ambulance, and evacuation in emergencies such as earthquakes and fire; VMT; GHG; energy consumption; noise; public access to the beach by disabled and senior residents and visitors; biological resources, including damage by bicyclists and recreational users to the habitat of an threatened species unique to the area, the Snowy Plover; and impacts on residents’ peaceful enjoyment of neighborhoods throughout the area. 

All of those comments are incorporated by reference to this Comment and are part of the administrative record of this Project.

More than 16,000 people signed a petition opposing the Project, also part of the administrative record. Their complaints have gone unaddressed by City agencies.

On August 21, 2021, the City issued a notice through its Rec-Park Department re-opening Upper Great Highway to vehicles from 6:00 a.m. Mondays to around noon on Fridays. However, the significant impacts of closing the public street continue on the days per week that it remains closed to vehicle travel. 

After refusing to provide information pursuant to the City’s Sunshine Ordinance and several Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (“SOTF”) complaints, Mr. Ginsburg, Director of Rec-Park, was held in willful violation of the City’s Sunshine Ordinance.[2] 

City later unconvincingly claimed the Friday closure was necessary due to lack of staff to lock the gates blocking Upper Great Highway because staff apparently went home early on Fridays.

The City closed upper Great Highway for several months from April 1, 2022 to October, 2022 when its Department of Public Works (“DPW”) refused to clear sand from the Highway and instead locked the gates blocking vehicles from entering the Upper Great Highway. That agency implausibly claimed it lacked funds to sweep this public street.

The City additionally lent its support to the illegal obstruction of Great Highway on Thursday p.m. commute hours by around 20 bicyclists who ride in slow motion in the middle of the public Upper Great Highway. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=432W3YjaqAA ) Instead of arresting them, the City provided them with a special police escort to assist their illegal obstruction of traffic. Again, public complaints have been ignored by every public agency.

In spite of the hundreds of letters documenting the Project’s negative impacts, the City has ignored those impacts and the travelers and residents affected by them.

On November 8, 2022, more than 100,000 of your constituents Citywide voted to reopen the Upper Great Highway.

District 4 voters voted against re-election of Supervisor Mar, who for nearly three years has ignored his constituents on the issue of Upper Great Highway. Now, in Supervisor Mar’s last days in office, he proposes to close the four-lane public street Upper Great Highway to travelers in cars for up to three days per week and holidays for another three years.

There is no need to close Upper Great Highway for another three years for the proposed “pilot program.” Data showing the Project’s impacts is already available. Given those impacts, closing the upper Great Highway to vehicles requires an EIR and effective mitigation measures that do not add to the impacts on neighborhood streets. (See, e.g., Letter from Sierra Club, packet at pdf pages 237-238.)

Better yet, this Board should reject the ill-conceived closing of this public street.

Collection of additional data on bicyclists, pedestrians and full-time recreationists on the four-lane highway is unwarranted, because the impacts have been established of diverting 20,000 already-counted drivers, there is no “social distancing” rationale, and there are already dedicated bicycle paths and a beachside pedestrian path on the Upper Great Highway. If more counts were needed for any reason, they could be collected without closing the Upper Great Highway to 20,000 daily vehicle travelers.

Vehicle counts can be made when the Great Highway is open to vehicles. The failure of MTA to assess the impacts of diverting 20,000-plus vehicles to neighborhood streets does not require continuing that illegal policy.

A. Closing Upper Great Highway Is Not Exempt From CEQA

Closing a major public street is a Project under CEQA that requires an environmental impact report (“EIR”). The magnitude of the Project, its significant impacts, and its change of use of the upper Great Highway do not qualify for an exemption from CEQA.

B. The Section 21080.25 Exemption Does Not Apply

The City’s Planning Department incorrectly claims that CEQA does not apply to the Project. (“CEQA Exemption Determination” 2022-007366ENV.)

The Project’s impacts preclude any CEQA exemption, and those impacts were documented long before that Exemption dated September 28, 2022.

1. The Exemption Contains No Accurate or Adequate Project Description

As already discussed, the Exemption fails to accurately and adequately describe the Project, precluding meaningful public input.

2. The Claimed Exemption Under Section 21080.25(b) Does Not Apply, Because That Exemption Only Applies To Streets Open To Vehicle Travel

The claimed exemption under Pub. Res. Code § 21080.25 does not apply to this Project by its own statutory definition.

Section 21080.25(a)(2) defines “Highway” as “a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. ‘Highway’ includes a street.” (Pub. Res. Code §21080.25(b)(2). [emphasis added].)

Here, the Project proposes to close the Upper Great Highway to vehicular travel. The claimed exemption therefore does not apply.

3. The Claimed Exemption Under Section 21080.25(b)(1) Does Not Apply Because Upper Great Highway Is Not A “Pedestrian and bicycle facility[ies], including new facilities” Nor A “bikeway[] As Defined In Section 890.4 Of The Streets And Highways Code.”

The claimed Exemption (pdf, page 6, Table 1) claims that the Project is exempt as “(1) Pedestrian and bicycle facilities, including new facilities. For purposes of this paragraph, ‘bicycle facilities’ include, but are not limited to, bicycle parking, bicycle sharing facilities, and bikeways as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code.” (CEQA Exemption Determination Case No. 2022-007356ENV, pdf, page 6.)

The Project, however, does not qualify for that exemption, because the Upper Great Highway is not a pedestrian and bicycle facility, and it does not meet the definition of a “bikeway” in section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, which defines “bikeways” as facilities that provide “primarily for, and promote, bicycle travel.” (Sts. & Hwys. Code §890.4 [emphasis added].)

Moreover, the Project’s purpose is explicitly stated in the proposed legislation: to “restrict private vehicles from the Upper Great Highway” until December 31, 2025. (Proposed Ordinance, pages 1, 6, and 7.) The purpose is to collect and publicly report data on uses of the Upper Great Highway and surrounding streets, and make traffic recommendations based on traffic conditions and community outreach during the pilot period. (Ibid., pp. 6-7.) That purpose does not include developing “pedestrian and bicycle facilities.”

The claimed exemption under Pub. Res. Code § 21080.25(b)(1) therefore does not apply to this Project.

4. No Other Exemption Is Claimed Or Applies To This Project

III. THE PROJECT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH GENERAL PLAN, CHARTER, AND PLANNING CODE SECTION 101

Contrary to the “General Plan Referral” of September 28, 2022, the Project is not consistent with Planning Code Section 101.1 “Priority Policies.”

For example, the Project plainly conflicts with Planning Code §101.1(4), since it clearly has impacted and will continue to “overburden our streets or neighborhood parking.” Closing the Upper Great Highway to 20,000 cars per day obviously diverts those vehicles to neighborhood streets, as already documented in public comment for more than two years.

The Project also clearly conflicts with section 101.1(6), which requires that “the City achieve the greatest possible preparedness to protect against injury and loss of life in an earthquake.” Disaster preparedness is not accomplished by closing critical public streets allowing emergency vehicles and evacuation in the event of earthquakes, fires and other disasters.

IV. THE PROJECT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH VEHICLE CODE SECTION 21101

The proposed Ordinance falsely claims that it is “consistent” with Vehicle Code section 21101. It is not.

V. THE PROJECT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE COASTAL ACT OR THE CALIFORNIA ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

These issues cannot be addressed here due to lack of adequate notice and time for public comment. City’s documents fail to address these issues.

CONCLUSION

The Board should re-open upper Great Highway every day of the week, and it should not adopt any closures of this critical public street.

Mary Miles

[1] Tumlin was appointed to the $342,483-per-year MTA position in November 2019. He was then a principal director of the Nelson\Nygaard Consulting firm, which received City funding for consulting documents on City projects, many of which advocated for adverse impacts on car travel on public streets.

[2] According to the San Francisco Ethics Department, Rec-Park Director Ginsburg and other Rec-Park staff contributed hundreds of dollars to defeat the ballot initiative Proposition I to reopen Great Highway.


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Trump and white supremacy


....Trump has expanded the Republican coalition to the right, activating and encompassing undisguised white supremacists, who, through their entry into the two-party system, have gained newfound influence. 

This is a dangerous and historically significant change to the American political scene. And hardly anybody in the GOP — certainly not Ron DeSantis — intends to reverse it.

Trump’s campaign in 2015 had an immediate galvanizing effect on white supremacists, a once-marginalized faction that saw recognizable themes in his rhetoric and came off the sidelines to work on his behalf. 

Trump’s response has always been to profess ignorance without condemning white supremacists or their ideas. 

This allows a David Duke to shrug off Trump’s claims of never having heard of him but still share in the glory of his success. (“We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”)

Trump has woven white-supremacist themes into his rhetoric, sharing Groyper videos and hailing his Nazi-loving loyalists as J6 martyrs

Pro-Trump Republican members of Congress such as Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene — now a Republican power broker who is set to have her committee privileges restored by the new GOP majority — participated in a white-nationalist conference

The status of these ideas is revealed by the refusal of the party’s leadership to cast them out....

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Elections Commission dumps John Arntz

Photo: Lydia Chavez

From Mission Local:

Elections director John Arntz, who oversees one of the few San Francisco departments that unambiguously accomplishes its core mission, has not been renewed for his post by the city’s Elections Commission.

By a vote of 4-2 after a lengthy Wednesday closed-session meeting, the commission opted to not re-up Arntz for the position he has held since 2002. The position will come open in May, 2023.

The vote to not renew Arntz’s five-year term came not quite eight days after the city’s fourth election in the calendar year, and fifth election in one year’s time.

In 2021, the Elections Commission wrote to the mayor that “San Francisco runs one of the best elections in the country and we believe this transparent process has allowed us to continue to improve our elections.” 

In 2020, it wrote Arntz a commendation “for his incredible leadership … The Department successfully ran two elections this year while facing significant challenges, including national threats to election security, mandatory vote-by-mail operations to all registered voters, anticipated increase in voter participation, budget cuts, and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The reaction across the city’s political spectrum has been one of disbelief — and anger.

“I think some folks have forgotten the history of this department,” said City Attorney David Chiu. “Before Director Arntz, we had five directors in as many years, ballot boxes floating in the bay and an intense lack of confidence in city elections. Many of us are mystified.”

Supervisor Aaron Peskin added, “This is commission malfeasance. It almost becomes a justification for Mayor Breed to have letters of resignation from people who go do things that are completely insane”....

....Elections Commissioner Cynthia Dai, who voted to not renew Arntz’s contract, said there was no performance-based reason for the commission’s decision. 

She did not dispute that San Francisco has run free, fair and functional elections for 20 years. Rather, she says, it was time to open up this position to a more diverse field; the city, she said, could not make progress on its racial equity goals without opening up its top positions....

Rob's comment:
This is the kind of shit that gives even an attempt at political correctness a bad name. 

What is really behind that bafflegab: She and the other morons who voted against Arntz are saying they don't want a white man in charge of the city's elections department. 

Better to have a woman or a person of color here in Progressive Land---or maybe a gay man, though it's not clear what Arntz's sexual orientation is.

That is not "progress." It's bullshit and shameful political malpractice.

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Mass shootings: The Republican policy choice

Andrea Junker

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Friday, November 25, 2022

Crime in the Mission

Mission Local

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Mostly "ours"

Jim Morin
 

The US has had more than 600 mass shootings so far in 2022.

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Rob Rogers
 

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Where the progs live

The most "progressive" voters in SF

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Let us now praise Pelosi

Letter to the editor in today's SF Chronicle:


On Oct. 9, 1987, fate put me in a seat behind Nancy Pelosi at a San Francisco Giants playoff game. She was in a tight race in her first run for office. I leaned forward and told her how proud I’d be to tell my wife that I’d sat behind a future Congresswoman, rare at the time.

Since then, she’s become, as a Washington Post column’s headline said Thursday, “the most consequential speaker of our time.”

As she steps down as speaker but continues to serve in Congress, her advice will be a treasured asset by House Democrats, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries if he takes the gavel as the new speaker in 2024.

Let us now praise a woman of history and thank her for representing us so ably and so well.

Dennis Aftergut
San Francisco


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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Trump's captive audience

Alternet

Donald Trump’s 66-minute speech announcing his third consecutive run for president was thoroughly panned Tuesday night by experts and critics, but one reporter’s video appears to redefine the term “captive audience.”

“A crowd has formed by the exit of the ballroom as some try to leave Trump’s announcement speech before he has finished,” tweeted ABC News’ Olivia Rubin. “But security won’t let them.”


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At the wheel

Rob Rogers

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Recalling Chesa Boudin: The backstory

Photo: Paul Kuroda

In The San Francisco Standard:

by Michael Barba

The leader of the Chesa Boudin recall confirmed for the first time that she connected District Attorney Brooke Jenkins to the three nonprofits that paid her six figures at the same time that the campaign cast her as a volunteer.

The acknowledgement came Monday after the politico initially denied getting Jenkins the jobs at the nonprofits closely linked to the recall.

“I provided a connection for District Attorney Jenkins to the nonprofits that she consulted for,” Mary Jung told The Standard. “The leadership of those organizations ultimately made the decision to bring her on as a consultant.”

After Mayor London Breed appointed her to replace Boudin, Jenkins disclosed earning more than $170,000 working as a consultant for the nonprofits during the recall. While she maintains her work for the charities was unrelated to the recall, the payments raised questions about whether she deceived the public....

Her denial in the case of one of the nonprofits, Neighbors for a Better San Francisco, initially seemed to contradict a statement Jenkins made that Jung and an associate put her in contact with the nonprofit.

“It was a conversation with Jay Cheng and Mary Jung,” Jenkins, who reported earning $153,000 from the nonprofit, told The Chronicle....

How Jenkins landed her employment with the nonprofits is important because the payments could put her in legal jeopardy depending on whether she was indirectly paid to act as a spokesperson for the recall.

An anonymous complaint filed with the San Francisco Ethics Commission and California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) accuses Jenkins of failing to register as a campaign consultant—a possible misdemeanor....

Jung chaired the deep-pocketed recall campaign that propelled Jenkins to power. She also had connections to the nonprofits that paid Jenkins, including as the CEO of one of them, Sister’s Circle Women Support Network....


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Monday, November 14, 2022

Dark journey

In today's LA Times:

David DePape’s dark journey from Obama backer to QAnon extremist

To co-workers who knew David DePape a few years ago, he was a gentle, quiet carpenter who liked to watch the “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things” series and brought sunflower seeds to his worksite to feed birds and squirrels.

“Everybody liked him,” said Frank Ciccarelli, 76, a carpenter who employed DePape in the Bay Area.

But when DePape began talking about politics, his outlook grew darker, they said.

“It was right-wing, all the way down the line,” Ciccarelli said. “He thought climate change was a hoax and Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor. It was so ridiculous that it was hard to take seriously.”

Ciccarelli and others in DePape’s life were stunned when he was arrested for allegedly attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in what authorities said was a plot to kidnap and torture the lawmaker....

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Saturday, November 12, 2022

 

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Before the election, the right hyped ‘red wave’ that didn't happen

Big brown wave of bullshit before the midterms, a study in wishful thinking.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Bush speechwriter: Election an "absolute disaster" for Repugs


A liberal analysis of Theissen's remarks.

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Election results


"Everything is going to be okay. Hold on. No, it's not."

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Saturday, November 05, 2022

Bicycle Coalition, Walk SF: Campaign violations?


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Vote No on Proposition L

  zrants@gmail.com


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Thursday, November 03, 2022

The mural---again?

Click on "The Mural" below for more on the issue.

See also ‘Town Destroyer’ about George Washington.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Mental contortions on the right


....The story told by conservative media is one in which innocent conservatives are relentlessly persecuted by an all-powerful progressive cabal. 

This persecution justifies the right’s increasingly illiberal methods, which they present as a necessary defensive response to stave off political annihilation. If they were to acknowledge even one episode of a violent maniac attacking their enemy, it would mean contemplating a reality in which evil and blame are more complex.

....deflecting this reality allows them to avoid having to confront a faction within their own coalition. If they conceded DePape was on the political right, they would concede that ideas like Trump’s stolen-election lie or QAnon contained at least the potential to inspire violence and criminality. 

Their denial grew out of an impulse to close ranks. They might be able to afford cutting DePape loose, but they could not afford to alienate those who shared his most important beliefs.

As the Republican Party has attracted a greater number of bigots, conspiracy theorists, and paramilitary members, the need to engage in these mental contortions has grown increasingly common on the right in recent years. 

The right has responded in a similar way to every new appearance of an unacceptable element of its coalition: QAnon, election truthers, antisemites, insurrectionists, and anti-vaxxers. Insisting the unacceptable idea does not merit condemnation is a bridge that usually leads to reconciling with that idea....

The Republican Party’s response to January 6 is the most vivid example of the dynamic. At first, nearly the entire party recoiled in horror. (Even the likes of Sean Hannity and Donald Trump Jr. sent messages of concern on the day of the insurrection.) 

But then some Republicans seed false-flag cover stories and other reasons to question the narrative. The party’s mainstream decides it is sick of being asked to condemn the episode. Eventually, it becomes perfectly acceptable for Republicans to embrace the insurrectionists as heroes and martyrs.

The right’s response to the Pelosi attack has followed the pattern. Rather than directly praise DePape, they cast doubt on the “official” account of his crime. “No one should accept at face value the strange account of what happened to Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), at their California home last week …” writes Julie Kelly. “Details continue to change while leading Democrats including Hillary Clinton blame the incident, without evidence, on Republicans and Donald Trump"....

The attack on Pelosi, like the January 6 invasion, becomes fundamentally another episode of conservatives suffering persecution....


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Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Yesterday in the Mission: Princesses!

Mission Local

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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Elon Musk is a crackpot

From Daily Kos:

Elon Musk shared a lurid, baseless conspiracy theory on Twitter about what transpired the night of the violent hammer attack on Paul Pelosi – just days after he took over the social media platform on the promise of stripping away content moderation.

On Saturday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hit out at members of the GOP for spreading “hate and deranged conspiracy theories” after it emerged that Mr Pelosi’s alleged attacker had been spewing far-right conspiracies online in the lead-up to Friday’s assault.

“The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result,” she tweeted. “As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow”.... 

More nuttiness from Musk. 


Interesting to note that, unlike the online version, the hard copy of the Times has a more explicit hed on the same story: "In Tweet, Musk Amplifies Baseless Claims About Pelosi Attack."

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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

SFCTA: $791,758 for bike projects

Photo: Kate Quach

To: Elijah Saunders
Clerk of the Transportation Authority
1455 Market Street, 22nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
By email to: clerk@sfcta.org
and elijah.saunders@sfcta.org

cc: Tilly Chang, Director of SFCTA
tilly.chang@sfcta.org

From: Judi Gorski, San Francisco resident
judigorski@gmail.com

Date: October 24, 2022

Dear Clerk, Director Chang, and Members of the SFCTA Community Advisory Committee,

Respectfully I object to my tax dollars in the amount of $41,758 being spent to sponsor "Bike to Wherever Day 2023." I object to constributing $110,000 to "Bicycle Safety Education and Outreach," and $640,000 to the "Beale Street Bikeway," and any amount to any other bicycle-related projects.

It is my understanding that a very small percentage of San Franciscans use bicycles as their main means of transportation. This can be verified by checking SFMTA's own statistics. In their Travel Decisions Survey 2021 Summary Report on page 5. 

Published information indicates that only 3% of San Franciscans used bicycles as their preferred mode of transportation.

In my opinion, the special interests of bicyclists should be financed privately by the 3% who are engaging in bicycle-related activities such as "Bike to Wherever Day" and "Bicycle Safety and Education." These events can be privately paid as one does for skiing lessons or for a gym membership. To deplete city funds to clog up our streets by diverting thousands of motor vehicles to higher injury networks in the name of creating something like the $640,000 Beale Street Bikeway is a gross misuse of our taxpayer money.

Please do not recommend the expenditure of Prop K funds to be used for any of the bicycle-related things listed in item 7 on your agenda. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,
Judi Gorski
San Francisco Resident for 40+ years


The SFCTA is not to be confused with the SFMTA, though both city transportation organizations favor the Bicycle Coalition's anti-car agenda.

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Stop eating animals

Credit...

Letter to the editor in today's NY Times:

'Stop eating animals'

Re “I Took 2 Piglets That Weren’t Mine, and a Jury Said That Was OK,” by Wayne Hsiung (Opinion guest essay, Oct. 21):

Mr. Hsiung’s powerful essay reveals the horror of animals being raised for meat. 

Meat production creates catastrophic global warming and tortures sentient beings. Stop eating animals.

Ann Bradley
Los Angeles

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Saturday, October 22, 2022

Game this out

"He doesn't seem to understand
the historical significance of this moment."
 
When I saw the following hed in my inbox, I thought of this cartoon in The New Yorker: Scientists Are Gaming Out What Humanity Will Do If Aliens Make Contact.

Game that out, pal!


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Tough on crime

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Worker surveillance

 

From Kevin Drum:

Surveillance of workers is on the rise, and it turns out this even applies to retired people. After all, you may be retired from ordinary, unimportant human work, but you're never retired from crucial cat maintenance duties. The feline community likes to keep a close eye on its underlings to make sure they understand this, and Charlie is no exception.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Stanford is sorry

Photo: Jessica Christian

Letter to the editor in today's SF Chronicle:

Stanford experience

Regarding “Stanford issues apology for ‘antisemitic activity’ ” (Bay Area & Business, Oct. 13): I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the story on Stanford’s apology for its historic antisemitism.

I was a Stanford student in 1950. When I got word that the dean of women wanted to see me, I felt absolutely no reason to be alarmed. I went to her office and experienced the first of several diatribes in which she spat these words at me: “We don’t like the way you walk, we don’t like the way you talk, we don’t want people like you here at Stanford.” “What have I done?” No response.

My “crime?” I was a New York Jew. But to a terrified 18-year-old, it was as if the world had suddenly gone mad. I was aware that antisemitism existed, though I had never knowingly experienced it before, but felt it was a cop-out to attribute this bizarre episode to that, frantically trying to find another explanation.

I no longer recall how many times this occurred, though she actually tried to get me expelled on bogus charges, but when I finally demanded to speak to the dean of students, and the nefarious campaign ceased after that.

I quit at the end of the quarter.

Serena Bardell
San Francisco

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