Monday, June 10, 2013

Scott James redux

Good to see that Scott James is alive, well, and still writing with some edge, like his stories on the Bicycle Coalition and the Bicycle Plan a couple of years ago that were the first in the city's mainstream media to question either. I was pleased and blogged about the stories here and here
James wrote a piece in the NY Times last week about his travails as a small property owner when renting out his extra housing unit. In ultra-prog San Francisco, where most are renters, he'll get little sympathy. But it's not an uncommon problem, and one wonders how many housing units are kept off the market for that reason.
Since we haven't heard from James lately, I wondered if he was purged from Bay Citizen because of his critical pieces on the Bicycle Coalition.
Those stories hold up well: here, here, and here. But then I would say that.
His story on the push by the Coalition and the city to put bike lanes on the Panhandle now seems prescient. The question in the head to his story on the start of that campaign---"Does SF Really Want to Engage Car Drivers?"---can now be answered with an emphatic no.
But Polk Street may be the Waterloo of the great, planet-saving bicycle revolution in San Francisco.
One of James's stories cited the Bicycle Coalition's claim that 7% of all trips in the city are by bicycle. Turns out that the city's own subsequent study shows that to be untrue by at least half. The percentage is an even less impressive 3.4% of all trips in the city by bike, a meager increase of 1.3% in the ten years between 2000 and 2010.

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Creeping sharia in Progressive Land 2

As reported by Matier and Ross in the SF Chronicle:
Here’s a sign of the changing times---Muslim cabbies now have their very own place at San Francisco International Airport to wash their hands and feet before they pray. Under Islamic law, Muslims are required to pray five times a day---a ritual that also calls for a ceremonial cleansing. For many cab drivers, that’s meant either lugging bottled water around or using one of the bathrooms inside the terminal to wash---a practice not always welcomed by airport passengers. So Royal Cab driver Hasan Khan, 52, a Pakistani immigrant, collected some 300 signatures from fellow cabbies, urging the airport to give them their own cleansing station. Airport brass obliged---and the wash equipment was installed on the ground floor of the main garage, right next to where the drivers congregate for their breaks. “The way we look at it…this was in the interest of maintaining a good relationship with ground transportation providers,’’ says airport spokesman Doug Yakel. As for using public resources? Yakel says the costs were nominal.
"Changing times"? I read the Chronicle every day, but maybe I missed the story about amending the Constitution to change the First Amendment that keeps the government out of the religion business. What next, a chapel for Christians to pray in while they wait for their flights? A synagogue for Jews?
It was bad enough that City Hall and Muni thought the First Amendment was a nuisance with their dumb reaction to the anti-jihad ads on Muni buses. 
Clueless bureaucrats like Yakel---cabbies are "ground transportation providers"!---shouldn't be allowed to unilaterally abrogate the most important amendment to our Constitution.

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