Center of the Universe

Yep, that summarizes it pretty accurately.

via SFist

Logan’s San Francisco and California June 8th Voter Guide

California State Office (Democrats):

Governor: Jerry Brown – I mean, I’d love to vote for the MoveOn founder, but Brown is the only chance the Dem’s have of taking back the Statehouse.

Lt. Governor: Gavin NewsomPro: Gavin is a Democrat who could probably win. Con: I disagree with almost all his positions in San Francisco. Pro: He’s more mainstream which stands out like a sore thumb in SF, but he might be considered progressive statewide. Con: He’s a career politician and he’s very clearly using this a stepping stone/consolation prize for not being able to get the Gov position. Pro: Lt. Governors almost never amount to much. Pro: If he gets elected, he’ll leave SF a year ahead of schedule and Aaron Peskin might get appointed as interim mayor, eventually leading to his election to a full term as mayor. Con: We will be inflicting Newsom on the rest of the state.

Secretary of State: Debra Bowen

Attorney General: Kamala Harris

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson – My friend Matty and I talked about this, since Matty is a teacher. He recommended I vote for Tom Torlakson. Here’s what Matty says: I support Tom Torlakson because I don’t believe that the way to improve California’s public schools is to impose sanctions on them if they don’t do well.  They need more help, through funding and other resources.  Nobody wants to ‘fail.’  Humiliating and chastising teachers who teach in schools that are labeled as ‘failing’ does not improve them.  It’s just common sense.  I completely disagree with his competitor Gloria Romero’s stance on every issue.  She is more about blame and shame (which seems to be very popular among business types when viewing education) than help and support.

DCCC: These are my progressive picks for DCCC. I know a little something about each of their politics, and therefore feel good about endorsing them.
Rafael Mandelman – I know Rafael really well, and fully support him both for DCCC and in his bid for City Supervisor.
David Chiu
Alix Rosenthal
Aaron Peskin
Debra Walker
Robert Gabriel Haaland
David Campos

San Francisco Propositions
Prop A – Yes
Seismic Safety for Schools

Prop B – Yes
Seismic Safety for Fire Houses

Prop C – Yes
Revamp the Film Commission – Only good part about this otherwise useless prop is that it splits authority between Mayor and Board.

Prop D – Yes
Change to Retirement Benefits for new City Employees

Prop E – No
Would make SFPD report how much they spend on protecting local elected officials. While I’m normally for transparency, it seems like there might be some merit in keeping the protection of elected officials secret.

Prop F – Yes
Would let tenants who have been hit by tough times (hello, 12% unemployment and 25% underemployment!) apply for protection from rent increases.

Prop G – Yes
Requires that Transbay Terminal shall be SF’s high speed rail terminus. Somewhat irrelevant, but worth voting yes for anyway.

California State Propositions
Prop 13 – Yes
Exempts seismic retrofits from property tax reassessment

Prop 14 – NO
Open Primaries: Top two vote-getters advance to general election, regardless of party. This would almost certainly prevent third party candidates from ever getting on general election ballots. Booo!

Prop 15 – Yes
CA Fair Elections Act – Creates public financing for Sec of State races.

Prop 16 – NO!!!
PG&E power grab. Would require 2/3 voter approval for any locality to create a public power utility. This is essentially PG&E’s attempt to prevent the public sector from competing with them in any way, shape, or form. This is FUCKED UP.

Prop 17 – NO!
Would allow auto insurance companies to raise your rates if you’ve ever had gaps in coverage. Hi, all you SF bike riders who don’t own cars, this affects YOU if you envision owning a car ever again in this state.

Not Smug

This may well be in response to the South Park “San Francisco Smug” episode.

Don’t Forget to Vote Tomorrow

San Franciscans, check out TheBallot.org:

A – Yes
B – Yes
C – No
D – No
E – No Endorsement

SF Runner-Up in Brainpower, Fresno Brain-Dead

Christian read this article to me from the morning Chronicle, and I LOL’d. The Daily Beast compiled an interesting ranking system for 55 of the nation’s metro areas.

Using Census data, the scoring gave credit for the number of bachelor’s and graduate degrees per capita. It also considered nonfiction book sales, the ratio of universities to residents and the voter turnout in the last presidential election. Each city was then given an IQ that could top out at 200.

Raleigh-Durham topped the list with 170. San Francisco came in 2nd best with 168, and Boston took the third spot. Fresno, sadly enough, took the nation’s lowest (dumbest) IQ with 3. That’s right… just 3. Man, how did I ever escape Fresno able to chew gum and walk at the same time? It’s a miracle.

For more of the rankings, visit The Daily Beast (and criteria here).

Bay Area Cloud Reel

Another Cloud Reel… from Delrious on Vimeo.

SF’s Lombard Street Converted to Candy Land

SFist has finally posted pics of the giant Candy Land set that was created on Lombard Street last week.

San Francisco Candy Land

Flash Mob Sure Plays a Mean Pin Ball in Union Square SF

What’s Going on with Sutro Tower

Have you noticed that Sutro Tower has lost one of its spires? Burrito Justice has the answer.

sutro-before-and-after

And, if you’ve ever been curious what gets broadcast from Sutro Tower, the answer can be found here or in the diagram below.

sutro_diagram

1st Annual Super Hero Street Fair in SF

Whhaaaa?! How did I not know about this until now? This looks like so much fun. More info here.

sfcityback2

To Supporters of SF Public Campaign Financing:

Here’s a note I received from my friend Rob Arnow who has been instrumental in San Francisco’s public campaign finance system. If you’re glad that we have a progressive block on the SF Board of Supervisors, then you have public campaign finance to thank. We are in danger of having this fund obliterated because of budget cuts. Don’t let that happen. Read the message below and take a few simple actions (an email or a call) and help protect the leveling of the playing field in SF politics.

Via Rob:

We urgently need your help. The mayor and his downtown backers once again are on the verge of outsmarting the Board of Supervisors and raiding the public financing fund. We need you to contact Budget Chair John Avalos and Board President David Chiu right away.

HERE IS THE BACKGROUND: The Board of Supervisors Budget Committee, led by Supervisor John Avalos, passed the full budget out of committee last week, WITHOUT restoring the mayor’s secret $2.3 million raid on the public financing fund.

This was in direct contradiction to the pledge Avalos and other Supervisors had signed, and had reiterated in public meetings, in private conversations and to the media.

If this money is not restored, there are not enough funds to cover public financing for the 2011 mayoral race, and possibly the 2011 Supervisorial races as well.

The good news: Fortunately, Avalos and the other Supervisors are now saying that they are trying to figure out how to restore the funding at the full Board meeting next Tuesday. But their commitment has already been shaky. And since this already has passed the Budget Committee without being restored, we know that we can’t take this outcome for granted.

What you need to do: Call and write John Avalos & David Chiu right away (see sample letter below). Ask them to fulfill the campaign pledge that they signed to restore the $2.3 million that the mayor raided from the public financing fund. Your voice is the only thing protecting public financing right now! And if you can make the Board meeting next week and voice your opinion, please do.

Here is their contact info:

Budget Chair John Avalos
john.avalos@sfgov.org
415-554-6975

Board President David Chiu
david.chiu@sfgov.org
415-554-7450

SUBJECT: Restore public campaign financing funds!

Dear Supervisor [__________],

Public campaign financing is the only the thing that can bring our democracy into the 21st Century – a democracy based on who has the best ideas, not who can raise the most money.

Please fulfill the pledge you signed during your campaign last year to ensure full funding for this crucial program.

While public financing costs a very small amount of money in the short run, it saves far more, in the long run, by ensuring a government that acts in the best interests of the majority, rather than a small group of donors.

Thank you,
[Your Name]

San Franciscans Like New York

I saw this the other day and loved it. Pretty much hits the nail on the head:

NYSF

New York: There is one place that San Franciscans believe is better than San Francisco, and that place is New York City. San Franciscans love New York City, and almost all of them aspire to one day make enough money at their humorous bicycle zine to become bi-coastal.

Apparently, there’s just something about ridiculously expensive rent that makes San Franciscans scream for more. San Franciscans think that New York and San Francisco are like The Conservatory and The Lounge in the game of Clue: there’s a secret passage beneath them that allows a player to go all the way across the board in one move.

When their friends and business associates announce that they are moving to New York you will often see a slight tightening at the eyes of any San Franciscan within earshot. This is one way that San Franciscans pretend to have emotions, and the emotion they are affecting here is jealousy. Then they will ask the person where they are moving to, and the answer will almost certainly be either Williamsburg or the East Village.

But it’s not enough for the movee to specify a neighborhood. San Franciscans want cross-streets, because nine out of ten San Franciscans actually knows the geography of New York better than they know how to get around their own neighborhood after 12 Red Stripes. continued…

My Neighborhood: Castro Local Businesses

I love my neighborhood. Sure, there’s beautiful weather in the Castro and the crime is relatively minimal. Pride and the Castro Street Fair are pretty awesome times to live in the gayborhood. But the thing that I love most about the Castro is the community here. I’ve specifically come to really appreciate the businesses and the people who I interact with here. Here’s a short list of some of my faves and what I like about them:

books-inc

Books Inc
Having an independent books store might just be my favorite part about the Castro. Books Inc is a particularly awesome indie book store. My modus operandi is browsing Amazon to research books. Then I give Books Inc in the Castro a call to ask them if the have the book. If they do, then they hold it for me until that night when I can stop by. If they don’t have the book, they order it and it usually arrives in a day or two. In 2.5 years I’ve only ever had one experience where they couldn’t get a book for me.

I also enjoy interacting with the folks who work at Books Inc Castro. One time I was browsing the Travel section for books on hiking in Utah. The slightly older guy who works at Books Inc chatted me up about which travel guide was better. Then, he continued to tell me all about his days traveling through the Southwest. I heard about his peyote visions of buffaloes dancing across the midnight sky. You just can’t get that kind of customer service at Borders!

And recently I was buying two of Orson Scott Card’s books. Adam at Books Inc asked me if I wanted a bag for the books. When I said no thanks (I try not to waste plastic bags) he asked, “You’re okay with people seeing you carry his books through the Castro? You know he wrote a really awful essay supporting Prop 8, right?” We proceeded to talk about the principles involved with reading books written by authors whose political views you don’t support. I really enjoy that kind of involved interaction.

gr8tan

Great Tan
I go tanning about once a week to keep a light-golden glow. Great Tan has lots of options and is particularly well located next to my gym. My favorite part of visiting Great Tan is when Cara or Kahla are working. They’re super awesome and they read Loganotron too! We get into very serious conversations about celebrity gossip, hot gay dudes, naked actors, or gay marriage humor. They’re the best! And, whenever I stop in and ask Josh a question about how much and when to tan, he always has lots of great information. Not to mention, I saw him all decked out in leather for Folsom Street Fair a few years ago… HOT!

great_tan_1 great_tan_2

Great Tan also puts up fun window displays. For a long time they had Ken dolls of varied tan colors rockin a beach-scene diorama. However, my favorite display was their Easter display few years back. (Make sure to click the images to enlarge). Love it!

golds-castro1

Gold’s Castro
After I’ve got my golden glow, I like to hit the gym at Gold’s Gym Castro. You wouldn’t expect a big chain gym to be fun and friendly. But when I walk into Gold’s in the morning, I feel like Norm walking into Cheers. Several of the front desk folks know me by name and greet me. Alex is great and I like to hear the updates on her life with her son. William shouts out my name every time I walk in the door, often making me a little embarrassed.

A lot of the trainers look like badass muscle studs, and you might assume they have the asshat attitude to match the stereotype. But no, that’s just not the case. I regularly see a couple of the trainers being silly, laughing, and hamming it up with each other and with their clients. I always get a big smile on my face when I see the staff at Gold’s setting the mood like that. I mean, seriously… Who needs to go to the gym and put on such bitchy aires?! People should just relax and have fun at the gym. I’m glad the staff at Gold’s contribute to the lighthearted, fun atmosphere.

active-nutrition

Active Nutrition
After I work out I like to go get some supplements. And boy, do the guys who go to Gold’s Castro have a number of supplement store choices — There are stores on three of four corners at Market and Noe. My personal favorite is Active Nutrition. It’s conveniently located next to Books Inc, which makes it easy for me to feed my brain and my muscles in the same shopping stop. Todd and Aaron who work at Active Nutrition always offer great advice on supplements. Not to mention the hilarious side conversations you can be guaranteed. Todd is always ready to talk about the kinky positions he and his girlfriend tried the night before. While Aaron, on the other hand, is more likely to share photos he took from his front row seats at the Madonna concert(s).

hot-cookie

Hot Cookie
Once in a while, my muscles need a different kind of supplement — The kind that’s made with flour, sugar, butter, and chocolate. How lucky I am to have Hot Cookie so close by?! Sure, their prices might be a bit hefty ($2.50 for the average cookie). But, it’s well worth it late at night when you just need something sweet and tasty. If you time it right, you can get day-old cookies for $.85 too! And, if you’re a late-night exhibitionist , you can buy a pair of Hot Cookie red undies, take your picture in them, and have it added to the photo collage in the store.

cliffs-variety

Cliff’s Variety
I recently moved from one apartment in the Castro to another one approximately six blocks away. It’s always useful to have a hardware store nearby. But it’s especially great when you’re moving. The folks who work at Cliff’s are very helpful and willing to take time to figure out a solution to your problem. Recently I’ve been happy to have the folks at Cliff’s offer me a free wood cut on a beam and a free scrap of a 2×4 that they had on hand. Their selection is great too. Their merchandise is a nice combo of Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond. Variety is definitely a well-earned moniker.

17th Street and Market to Become Pedestrian Plaza

Dude, when this happens, I’m sooo gonna sit and eat lunch there. Y’all are welcome to come join me!

castro_detail

Via SF Streets Blog:

Don’t look now, but NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s magic may have rubbed off on DPW Director Ed Reiskin, to San Francisco’s benefit. Reiskin has been leading a multi-agency effort to close a small portion of 17th Street where it meets Market Street to vehicle traffic and convert the space into a trial pedestrian plaza, which he hopes to see operational by May.

The historic trolley that loads at the proposed location will still operate in the area, but the DPW will put out planters and other moderately heavy stone elements that will serve as seating and tables, much like Gansevoort Plaza in New York City.

San Francisco at Night

My buddy StripedHero took this awesome photo the other night from the top of Twin Peaks. I used to go up there a lot when I first moved to the city. Beautiful nighttime views if you can stand the chilly gusts of wind.

(click image to enlarge)
sfatnight

Oh, and pics of my vacay in Mexico are on their way. Stay tuned….


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