San Francisco June 2022 Ballot Measures

San Francisco June 2022 Ballot Measures

How I hate all the propositions. Here's the ITHCWY official (hastily scratched together and possibly idiotically wrong) voter's guide to the June 2022 batch:

A - MUNI Reliability and Street Safety Bond

Yes. I hate that the largest line item is bus yard upgrades rather than more frequent and reliable service but they make a good case for it - i.e. being able to repair broken equipment faster and not in a century old earthquake prone death trap of a building. Hopefully this is all true and they're not just installing hot tubs and keg fridges. But sure, MUNI, take my money.

B - Building Inspection Commission

Yes. Because it seems widely supported, not because I have a strong opinion here.

C - Recall Timelines and Vacancy Process

No. I hate recall elections (foreshadowing H below) but this is too restrictive. We shouldn't recall politicians for doing what they said they were going to do when we elected them. We should consider their performance when deciding if they deserve another term. But if they are egregiously bad it doesn't make sense to prevent the recall process for two full years, and I don't see any reason why an appointed successor shouldn't get a crack at the next election either.

D - Victims and Witness Rights

No. Creating a department for Victims is within the power of the city government. Doing this by ballot measure will mean they can't stop if it doesn't make sense or needs reform or turns out to be a bad idea.

E - Behested Payments

No. A majority vote of supervisors seems enough to modify the rules here.

F - Refuse Collection and Disposal

No. Replaces the City Controller with an appointed 'ratepayer representative' who is not really going to be able to represent all ratepayers. I think I'd rather stick with the Controller.

G - Public Health Emergency Leave

No. Sick leave should cover this and should be set at the state level. We don't need more businesses leaving San Francisco right now.

H - District Attorney

No. I don't think Boudin has done anything that rises to the level of recall, and he should be judged at the next election. He's unlucky enough to be holding the hat during a post-pandemic crime surge, but mostly it's a surge back to pre-pandemic levels. Murder is up, but is everywhere. I generally support locking fewer people up and a consequence of this is more unlocked up people. Hard to see how you can have this both ways. The fentanyl situation in the city is a tragedy. I don't think recalling Boudin fixes this. I think we need legalized, safe, tested drugs and treatment rather than criminalization.

(Related: San Francisco November 2020 Ballot Measures; California November 2020 Propositions; Legislative Service)

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Treasure Island Perimeter

Updated on Sunday, April 24, 2022

Treasure Island Perimeter

Treasure Island Perimeter

Treasure Island Perimeter

Treasure Island Perimeter

Today, for no great reason, I decided to see if it's possible to walk the full perimeter of Treasure Island. I parked at the Treasure Island Museum and headed north up the Avenue of the Palms. I've been here many times and it offers stunning views of San Francisco and both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The path continues around the north of the island and then you need to work around a blocked off area to get back to the coast. The east side is less appealing with a lot of garbage along the path and a view of many barges and the Port of Oakland peeking out under the new section of the Bay Bridge. Finally I was fully thwarted as the entire south west corner of the island is a mess of construction (and a rather unpleasant portable toilet staging area). I had to head inland all the way to 9th Street before cutting back over to the Avenue of the Palms. Overall I'm glad I tried but I can't recommend it.

Hike starts at: 37.817257, -122.371726. View in Google Earth.

(Related: Remnants in the Sunset; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse; Lands End)

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(Hike Map)

Both sides of the Golden Gate, a Time Lapse

Both Sides

A timelapse of the Golden Gate, shot from Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands and then from Grand View Park in San Francisco.

(Related: Kirby Cove; San Francisco; TLOTW #6)

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(More Timelapses)

TLOTW #5

TLOTW #5

South from Golden Gate Heights Park, Sutro Tower from Twin Peaks, south from Golden Gate Heights again with more clouds and west from Grand View Park. Photo is a panorama of Golden Gate Park from Grand View.

I'm switching from the more ambitious specific weeks to a timelapse of the week (TLOTW) when I have one.

(Previously: Timelapse, Week of Jan 31 2022)

(Related: Timelapse, Week of Jan 24 2022; TLOTW #7; TLOTW #6)

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(More Timelapses)

Timelapse, Week of Jan 31 2022

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Timelapse, Week of Jan 31 2022

Sun halo over Lake Merced, a container ship entering the bay, the SkyStar ferris wheel in the Golden Gate Park, Farallon Islands, and some nice clouds over the Pacific. Photo is from Lake Merced.

(Previously: Timelapse, Week of Jan 24 2022)

(Related: Timelapse, Week of Jan 24 2022; TLOTW #5; Timelapse, Week of Jan 17 2022)

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(More Timelapses)

Timelapse, Week of Jan 24 2022

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Timelapse, Week of Jan 17 2022

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Jan 17-23

Three different perspectives of downtown San Francisco. Shot from Twin Peaks (with a great view all the way down Market Street), Mount Davidson (the highest point in the city) and of course Grand View Park.

(Previously: Timelapse, Week of Jan 10)

(Related: Summit Loop, San Bruno Mountain; West Portal Timelapse of Timelapses; Timelapse, Week of Jan 10)

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(More Timelapses)

Mount Davidson

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Mount Davidson

Mount Davidson

Mount Davidson

Continuing my series of local coronavirus hikes, Mount Davidson is the highest peak in San Francisco and this three mile hike takes you there from West Portal. Take Ulloa to Kensington and then cross Portola on the footbridge. Juanita takes you to one of the Mount Davidson trails and up to the top. You can come back the same way, or follow Kensington all the way over to Taraval.

The cross at the top is a memorial to the Armenian Genocide and while most of Mount Davidson is a San Francisco park the area at the top is owned by the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California (due to a church/state separation lawsuit). It's a great spot to look (slightly) down on the Twin Peaks set who just think they've reached the top of San Francisco.

(Previously: Mount Davidson 360 4K)

Hike starts at: 37.741614, -122.471306. View in Google Earth.

(Related: Hill 88; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse; Lands End)

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(Hike Map)

What is the San Francisco Rent Board Fee?

Updated on Sunday, March 13, 2022

SFRB

I got a Rent Board Fee Annual Notice for the first time this year which says:

"The owner of each residential unit in San Francisco, as specified in Administrative Code Chapter 37A, shall pay annually to the City and County of San Francisco a Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board fee."

Which sounds like they really want you to pay. They go on to say that from the 2021-2022 tax year the Rent Board has to collect directly from the property owner rather than being bundled on the property tax bill.

This seems crazy. Not that I'm advocating kicking off another recall election but it must be a monumental waste of resources. Suddenly you're sending me letters and wasting my time as well as paying extra credit card / check processing fees all for $59 which is a pretty trivial fraction of my property tax.

It turns out that I don't even need to pay - owner occupied units are exempt. This made me wonder if I have been inadvertently subsidizing the Rent Board for years but as far as I can tell this has never been included with my property taxes. It certainly isn't broken out like other special fees (and San Francisco feels like it needs to let me know that 0.05% of my tax is going toward restoring the bay). You can opt out of the tax on a sumptuous new Rent Board portal, which can't have been cheap to build.

So what gives? I haven't seen any press on this. Please let me know if I missed something. My best guess is that whatever records were used to add the tax to the property bill were thought to be incomplete and so the Rent Board is trying to expand its tax base to all of the undeclared in-law units and casually rented rooms in the city. Less charitably they might be hoping that a lot of property owners pay the new bill without checking the details. Regardless, if we need a Rent Board can it not just be paid for out of city funds instead of wasting trees and time and money on an elaborate separate payment system?

(Related: San Francisco November 2020 Ballot Measures; Even Shitier - Citibank Remortgage Scam; California November 2020 Propositions)

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Timelapse, Week of Jan 10

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Jan 10-16

An experiment in creating a timelapse from a week of walking around San Francisco. Not sure how long I'll keep this up for and only managed four sequences this week: three different views from Grand View park (I go there a lot) and one of the penguin sculpture at Lake Merced.

(Related: Crystal World; Mariposa Loop; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse)

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(More Timelapses)