Tag Archives: Politics

LA’s Sit/Lie Law in San Francisco

LA's Sit/Lie Law in San Francisco; photo by BayView Times/Sheet Roots
Photo by BayView Times/Sheet Roots

This article in the SF BayView doesn’t pretend to be neutral on the issue. It does, however, provide a helpful perspective on the proposed law:

If we want to compare Proposition L with another city’s sit/lie law, we should really look to our tougher, rougher, bigger neighbor to the south: Los Angeles. The enforcement program for the sit/lie law there was designed while our current chief of police Gascon was second in command. The San Francisco law looks and feels eerily familiar compared to the Los Angeles one…

The main features of the initiative were described in a 2002 internal LAPD memo entitled “Homeless Reduction Strategies.” The public relations campaign for SCI was designed by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow George L. Kelling, who was paid about $500,000 in consulting fees…

The San Francisco proponents of sit/lie are currently quoting arather long article by Manhattan Institute writer Heather Mac Donald, who has been described as “the thinking bigot’s Ann Coulter.” …

Much like the LA law, the major proponents of Prop L are financial, real estate and hotel interests and the upper police department brass. Both initiatives were introduced by seemingly liberal mayors. In both San Francisco and Los Angeles, the image of the white mother and baby under threat were used repeatedly in their public relations work.

Several SU readers have spoken out in support of Sit/Lie here, where I pointed out the Manhattan Institute’s connections with Giuliani’s remaking of Times Square.

What do you think? (Read the whole BayView article here.)

An Almost Cleverly-Named Marijuana Delivery Service

An Almost Cleverly-Named Business

I refuse to engage in the perpetual punnitry (ha!) that wafts around the medical marijuana conversation in this country. It’s just not funny anymore.

Seriously, people, we are on the verge of voting to make this plant legal in California. I, for one, am proud to live in a city where it’s been effectively legal for years. The first time I was motivated to vote was when I moved here in 1996 and Proposition 215 was on the ballot. Since then, things have evolved, tons of other states have legalized medical pot – America has actually become more like San Francisco.

But the stoner jokes and wordplay mania are embarrassing. Thus, this business, as earnest and probably useful as it is, is embarrassing.

It’s a shame, because one thing I love about the site is its appropriation of the pharmaceutical industry’s aesthetic.

Also, this was totally inevitable.

Pony Express Turns 150

Pony Express Turns 150; photo by bikingantoine

Amidst all the furor over the impending USPS apocalypse, we might take a moment to remember that April 3rd is the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express.

It delivered mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and San Francisco in about 10 days – half the time claimed by stagecoach (it promised 23 days, but was almost always much, much longer). But the Express operated for only 18 months until the telegraph’s westward expansion obsoleted it.

During its short life, it embodied and perpetuated cultural motifs such as “cowboy vs. Indian,” “man vs. technology,” and the gold/silver rush.

It has remained highly romanticized to this day, with both Wells Fargo and the USPS appropriating the “Pony Express” mark for subsequent branding efforts.

Some fun facts:

  • 600 “horses” (some were mules!) and 75 riders were in the fleet, each galloping about 60 miles until reaching the next relay station.
  • The riders were usually teenaged boys.
  • Horse and rider rode a riverboat from Sacramento to San Francisco for the final relay of the trip.
  • Stories exist of ads saying, ““Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 a week.” The stories have never been corroborated.

Links: 1, 2, 3

Google Teases SF With Promise of Fiber Internet Roll-out

Google Laying Fiber in San Francisco?

The SF Examiner reports that Google will make its initial presentation to the Committee on Information Technology (COIT) regarding its desire to bring ultra high-speed internet access to the city as part of a nationwide trial program. According to Google Project Manager James Kelly:

“We plan to provide fiber to the home service with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people. In selected locations we’ll offer Internet connections up to 100 times faster than many Americans have access to today – and at competitive prices.”

Google will speak to COIT on Thursday morning.

I want to believe. Having said that, some of us remember the whole free city-wide wi-fi debacle, and even past promises of fiber.

(spotted @)

National Anti-Prohibition Group Likes San Francisco (but not LA)

National Anti-Prohibition Group Likes San Francisco (but not LA), image by Troy Holden

You’d think that Los Angeles’ 800-1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries would be considered some sort of success to pro-legalization advocates in Washington, D.C. According to an article in today’s Chron by C.W. Nevius, you would be wrong:

“If you wanted to write a textbook on how to screw up medical marijuana,” said Bruce Mirken, the San Francisco-based communications director for the national Marijuana Policy Project, “the first thing you should do is hire the Los Angeles City Council.”

Mirken’s low opinion of the state of medical cannabis in California’s most populous city isn’t a case of pious provincialism, it’s the worst-kept secret in the entire pro-pot movement. More after the jump…
Continue reading National Anti-Prohibition Group Likes San Francisco (but not LA)

1962: SAVE the BAY AREA from CHOKING to DEATH (with BART)!

BART Proposition A 1962, courtesy Prelinger Library

My favorite bit from this scan of an original flyer in support of Proposition “A”: “All statements in this leaflet are accurate and factual.” That reassuring disclaimer apparently made this passage adequately persuasive:

Who endorsed Proposition “A”? Taxpayer’s groups… labor… doctors, lawyers, merchants, housewives, educators, Republicans, Democrats – everybody who wants a prosperous Bay Area. Opposition? Scattered, local, self-interested.

Indeeeed. The proposition required a district-wide 60% “yes” to pass; it got 61.2%, with the help of folks who cynically voted for it even though they wanted, and expected, it to fail. More after the jump…
Continue reading 1962: SAVE the BAY AREA from CHOKING to DEATH (with BART)!

Statistical Fibs Will Not Make Pedestrians Safer

Pedestrian on StreetsBlog

Is it true that pedestrians die in San Francisco at a 70% higher rate than the national average?

I saw this claim come across my Twitter feed today from Walk San Francisco, the local pedestrian advocacy organization, and it immediately got my attention. It didn’t smell quite right to me. More after the jump…
Continue reading Statistical Fibs Will Not Make Pedestrians Safer