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Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
But what a shame when it came to accepting applications for the job as a firefighter today. They only took 1,000 applications, which only gave you about a 12 to 13 percent chance to even submit your application for just the chance for consideration.
Just watching the news about this problem is sad, some people camped out for days for the opportunity to turn-in their application, but things flipped around when it turned out that there was no official line that day, and people were picked at "random" to be the one of the 1,000 applicants to turn-in their paperwork.
I really criticize this idea of picking people at "random" to take applications. There could be the problem that people were chosen because maybe one of the officials picking the applicants had connections, like they are a friend. Another idea is that this could have been racially or gender motivated, meaning that the fire department did this "random" picking by choosing the 1,000 applicants based on satisfying a male to female ratio or by race, which is technically against the law.
As a consequence of their "random" policy, there were very qualified people in line with previous fire department, EMT, or public safety experience that did not even have an opportunity to apply, versus the regular joes without any training or experience. If I were to hire people for a fire department, I would accept all applications and take the people with the most experience.
I don't understand how the Oakland Fire Department could have not been better organized for this event. Many HR departments just do the easy way: establish a window of time of when the application needs to be turned-in, and accept every single application. After reviewing every application, they should review every single one and filter out the ones that are improperly filled-out, not qualified based on education, etc. More than likely, they would hire the ones with past experience or have taken college classes on the science of firefighting (available at community colleges).
Hey Oakland Fire Department! FUCK YOU! Yo mayor, fire the Chief Daniel Ferrell and the person in charge of HR.
Friday, November 23, 2007
For the last two or three years, I've been driving down to Daly City and Colma to visit the major big box stores to get my hands on some great holiday bargains, but mostly for myself. Yeah... I'm a tad selfish, but when you really need something very badly to fix or upgrade, you'd just have to get up by 4AM and suffer some cold weather.
Today, all I did was that I visited my neighborhood Radioshack, which is about twenty blocks away by car, but only a short 10 minute drive on the non-busy streets. The only two things that I was really attracted to at the store was:
- Emergency Hand Crank radio (my old one is broken) for just $20.00 versus $40.00
- 2 Gig XD camera memory card for $40.00 versus other places that sells it for nearly $80.00.
Luckily, that Radioshack was not too busy, there was only about 5 people ahead of me.
Several hours of sleep later, I went to Costco to buy another case of Mexican Coca Cola, a bottle of juice, and a box of gum. Still, a good bargain for 80 cents a bottle of Coca Cola, and gum that is only about 60 cents a pack (versus $1.25 at the grocery store).
After some years of experience of this massive bargain hunting, here's my quick tips to a not so pissed off holiday:
- Shop at night, you might not get those super hot bargains, but you'll experience smaller crowds and still find some decent deals, especially on DVDs.
- If you go for openings at 4 or 5AM, stick to the smaller chain stores like Radioshack, Kohls, and any Mervyn's location not attached to a mall.
- AVOID BEST BUY AT ALL COSTS! Last year, the line was so long, it wrapped around the entire building.
- Go for online purchases, "Cyber Monday" is just a few days away, and some places will offer FREE shipping.
- Go bid on stuff on eBay, they are significantly cheaper than going to your favorite store.
- This is also a good time to sell stuff on eBay, I've sold an xbox system for over $70.00.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Scarface too: "Say hello to my brown bag friend!"
Say goodbye to your favorite plastic grocery bag folks. That's the way nutty San Francisco goes folks, I guess I can't use those bags to bag-up stinky trash that I thrown down my kitchen garbage anymore. I'll just have it leak through the paper bag, and I'll be smelling rotting things all week long until pick-up day.
Sure, it makes sense to eliminate plastic bags: They don't decompose, it comes from petroleum products, kill animals, and creates a choking hazard for kids and just the outright stupid adults trying to get a rush.
But on the opposite side, paper bags aint so pretty too. We may now have the reputation for killing more trees to make our paper bags, regardless if they are partially recycled or not. Ever watched "Penn and Teller: Bullshit?" They say that recycling sucks anyway. Paper only has a limited recycling life, and you have to blend it with some virgin tree pulp to create a suitable bag.
Ever tried those bag handles? Um... they suck!
So how do we get around this problem? You could...
- Go to another city, such as the Safeway at Daly City. Get a plastic shopping bag and also a .25% tax discount (Daly City is 8.25% tax vs. SF at 8.5%)
- Buy those grocery plastic bags at an inexpensive price at your favorite wholesale store (aint that just ironic?).
- Buy a longer lasting plastic bag or a reusable bag.
- Costco sells three huge bags for $3
- Safeway gives three cents for each bag you reuse at the store (just 3 cents?). They also sell reusable cloth like bags, but they are small and of cheap quality.
- Andronico's gives a bag discount
- Lucky's (a.k.a Albertsons) sells a 99 cent bag and gives a 25 cent discount every time you use that specific bag at their stores.
- IKEA sells those huge blue tarp like bags for 79 cents.
- It's just another sign to go shop at your favorite mom and pop store, because at least you can still get plastic bags. The grocery stores got the fuck you heave ho by our city government.
I want my plastic bag!
Damn, now I have to haul those reusable sacks around in my car.
No more Styrofoam, now no more plastic. Let's kill more trees!
Friday, November 9, 2007
That's right boys and girls, Costco "El Camino" in South San Francisco (not the SFO airport location) is selling cases of Mexican Coca Cola.
It's the real stuff! No corn syrup, but real cane sugar.
What does this taste like? I haven't opened one of the bottles yet, but I've heard that it takes much better and cleaner than the corn syrup product. I have tried Jarrito's several times, and they use real cane sugar and juice, and it takes better than your classic American sodas.
Costco sells these right now for $17.99 for a 24 bottle case. CRV is $1.20 per case. When adding the CRV, it makes it just $0.80 per bottle. Sure, it's not a 20 ounce bottle for $1.35 these days, but it's definitely worth the bargain.
I was at Costco today because I needed gasoline and my folks wanted me to also purchase a chicken to eat for tonight. So I'm roaming up and the down the aisles to look for anything else to take home (other than a hot dog). I was shocked that I ran over these cases of Mexican coke because you can't find it in this size of bulk anywhere else. You might be able to score a couple of bottles at a Mission District Mexican restaurant, but I can't find it at my grocery store.
I BOUGHT TWO CASES! I've got so much soda in my fridge now, I can't fit the second case in there. Maybe I'll drag it to work on Tuesday and stuff it in my office fridge.
The only pure cane sugar product that the American Coca Cola company produces is the Kosher version for Passover, but you may need to go to a specialty store to find that.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Since today is election day in San Francisco, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the upcoming holidays with the classic 10 days of [San Francisco] Christmas.
10 red light runners
9 dead pigeons on the street
8 Ed Jew criminal charges
7 disgusting Muni buses
6 anti war protests
5 homeless people!
4 Mean Muni drivers
3 Supervisor Duffy Porta Toilets
2 Chicken John purple vans
And a Newsom voodoo doll.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
- There were far fewer people, but there were still hundreds of people on the sidewalks.
- Now sure, it kept people off the street, but at least nobody not stabbed, shot, or went on live TV to say "Fox news is bullshit!"
In one way, it could be a success, but just at what financial cost?
Critics (including myself) say that this was a financial nightmare.
- 600 police officers in the area alone, at an estimated $50/hr for six hours (6PM to midnight) = an estimated $180,000 in taxpayer money. $210,000 if it was seven hours.
- Additional parking/meter maids to enforce parking policies: Definitely thousands of dollars.
- City paid portable toilets: Thousands of dollars, and neighbors smelling blue chemical toilet scents.
- Steel fencing on the sidewalks: Gotta pay the city workers to put those up.
- Tow trucks: $250 towing fine
- Closing down BART at 16th street & Mission station: Paying for transit employees to transport riders and ADA passengers by van from 24th st. & Mission.
- Providing a bus bridge due to closure of Muni Metro stations: Plenty of dollars to pay for diesel gasoline.
- Hiring Muni drivers to transport 600 cops: Bus driver salary + gasoline cost.
- And of course, my favorite: Hiring David Perry & Associates to make a lame poster campaign and cheap youtube quality videos: $40,000.
Talking about party poopers, here's a list of people who had to ruin the event for everyone:
- Mayor Gavin Newsom
- Chief Heather Fong
- The FBI (what the hell? Was Osama going to pee on the sidewalk?)
- Supervisor Duffy (hmmm... hiding the fact to the press that porta toilets were coming? Fuck! They were going to find out anyway!)
- David Perry & Associates
- The SFPD's SWAT Team for putting sharpshooters on the roof (as stated by KTVU).
- Restaurant and Bar Operators who shut down (if you have two dozen people waiting in line at an open bar, sure as hell, you should have opened-up!)
- Muni (a.k.a. SFMTA)
- The SFPD for arresting a person for j-walking (damn, they usually just give a ticket)
Ok... then why didn't you organize this year's? Since there was "9" shootings, you had since November 1, 2006 to organize something safe, sure seems that they pulled this one off in their butthole at the last minute.
LET'S SEE IF THEY WILL KEEP THIS PROMISE.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
So, I get home, and I turn on the TV because I'm a little stressed and tired. Since we lived in earthquake country, an earthquake here or there may just put a little ten minute "breaking news" report on the channels, in which they did, and the occasional scroll bar on the top of the tube; yet there was one station that really pissed me off.
If you read my blogs, you know the TV news station I hate the most, KRON. They were the only station that kept bleeding the news from at least 8PM, and now it's 11PM, and it's time for their regular 11PM news broadcast.
When I say "bleeding the news," I mean, they were trying to squeeze every single thing out of the damn news. Hey, IT'S JUST A FUCKING EARTHQUAKE! Things get broken here and there, but there's no fire, no panic, no deaths reported, so why did KRON just send the TV news straight to hell?
Oh I get it, you get people to send photographs on the air, and have stupid hicks call LIVE on TV so that they can get their 15 minutes of fame to mention their "story" (which I don't honestly give a fuck). Like many of us would say "just the facts ma'am;" but it seems that KRON DIDN'T GIVE A SHIT.
I might HATE KRON, but the only two interesting programs that I watch on a Tuesday night is "The Academy" (LA Sheriffs academy school for wusses to become cops), and "Jail" (recycled stuff from Court TV about the jail system). It's interesting reality stuff, especially when I'm not into repeats of Law and Order. So by running their LAME earthquake coverage for THREE STRAIGHT HOURS, I DID NOT get to see that new episode of "The Academy" that I've been waiting for.
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SLAP THE NEWS PRODUCERS OF THIS STATION?
AND YES, I WILL STILL SAY IT: KRON NEWS STILL SUCKS, AND ROB BLACK (THE STUPID FINANCIAL JACKASS WHO RUINED THE 4PM NEWS) SHOULD BE FIRED.
So who did San Francisco hire to do this FUCKING LAME campaign? Well, David Perry & Associates. Go watch their lame quality videos on YouTube, where they used the KRON studios to make their cheap videos with F-grade celebrities that I don't know who the hell they are.
Do you see these PSA videos on other news stations (KTVU, KPIX, KGO, and KNTV)? Fuck no! That's because the video quality is lame, and nobody wants to present something that is sponsored by KRON (the worst TV station in town, full of people beating the shit out of each other, dumb reality programs, their poorly rated telenovelas, infomercials during the weekends, "D" movies at night, and a guy named Dr. Phil, who doesn't really have a PhD in his "appropriate" field).
I just love my own YouTube video, and IT WAS FREE TO MAKE!
The videos and poster campaign is so lame, that it ENCOURAGES people to go.
It makes you wonder, where really did the $40,000 go? I'm betting that it's in their pockets. To go cheap on the production of those color fliers, just produce the massive number of posters at some child factory in a foreign country (just like your clothes from the GAP).
So, will you go and resist Newsom and David Perry & Associates? I think so.
Remember folks, be safe, and if the riot cops want to fuck with you, remember to bring a camera to record the evidence.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
As many local Bay Area residents know, the Castro Halloween party is always a popular street event in the Castro district of San Francisco. But last year's developments, including a shooting and some stabbing have made the the government leaders of San Francisco turn their backs on this popular event.
I don't usually go to Halloween parties in the first place, because I enjoy staying home and giving out candy to the neighbor kids who always visit. But I support the Castro party for these particular reasons:
- The City and County of San Francisco FAILED to follow through with an alternative event to be held somewhere on the Port of San Francisco or at AT&T Park. By being a sanctioned event, there can be an appropriate investment into assuring the safety of guests.
- The campaign to force people to stay away from the Castro has gone cheap. Have you seen their PSAs lately? They just look like shit. See the three ads on Youtube here, here, and here. Also, who the fuck are these people? Never heard of them in my life. Also, I've learned that the ads were produced in the KRON studios... yeah, KRON, San Francisco's shittiest news station in town. The only thing good about KRON is getting my lotto numbers and staring at Darya Folsom in the morning before I switch back to "Morning's on 2." If KRON viewership is at a low, why would people watch these PSAs in the first place?
- The city gave a lot of money to do ad campaigns to resist this event, but by looking at the quality of their child made posters and TV ads, you could have asked those media majors at a college to make much better quality material.
- Do you really think the cops will be arresting and beating-up people? Looks like we are going back to the days when the SFPD dragged gays out of the bars of the Castro to seek revenge for burning their cop cars during a protest rally after Dan White got a slap on the wrist for assassinating Moscone and Milk?
IF YOU DO GO:
Bring a camera and/or a digital video recorder.
--Record cops in action if things start going wrong.
Go in large numbers.
Don't bring alcohol or weapons.
The big goal: Make it look like things are normal and that the event is going so well that everyone is happy.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
San Francisco Muni just outright sucks!
Checking the news lately? The Chronicle reports that a man had his hand caught in the door of a metro train and was dragging him to nearly his own death. Muni's spokeperson Maggie Lynch blamed the passenger, and not the driver for not looking at the incident in the mirror.
How about this one? CBS5/KPIX did a story about leaking pipes on fifteenth avenue in San Francisco that ran next to a muni metro line. There was leaky water pipes into people's homes and experts believe that the leak was due to a stray current. The only source of the stray current is from the Muni metro tracks because in order for the train to operate, the current must run above one wire, and the remaining current is in the metal tracks. Muni does not want to admit to this problem, so their press talkin' bitch Maggie Lynch decides to basically say "fuck off" to the lady doing the story when the interviewer put the pressure on when muni denied the claim, then documentation was shown that this was happening on the 3rd street light rail project.
FIRE MAGGIE LYNCH!
And just out of my own experience, I don't like Muni. There's a reason why I drive around town these days.
Here's just a "short" list of incidents I witnessed or involved in that made me hate Muni:
- Late vehicles.
- Incompetent customer service people that talk so slowly and speak so poorly, that it is not funny.
- Violated speed limit laws.
- Drove way too slow on route.
- Ran red lights.
- Went five seconds before green light lit to get ahead of cars waiting for green.
- Violated pedestrian right of way (I nearly got hit by a bus that way).
- Failure to make complete stop at stop sign.
- Skipped stops intentionally to make-up time.
- Sat packed bus for five minutes to not get caught by supervisor for being too early.
- Same driver intentionally skipped a major bus stop multiple times, continued to complain to driver and officials.
- Broken metro stairwell in down position while train operated in subway. Doors would open and pose major safety risk.
- I said to a driver that a crime was committed on the train, and that I already reported it to police on the phone. Driver just shrugged and kept driving.
- One station agent per station. Many stations have two booths. Wonder why people just break the law and ride free.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
How about ED Jew's "Hello" name sticker? What would it say? Just a parody...
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Lets take a look:
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So now what happens? Good ol' Ed will be facing the ethics board at City Hall to face the charges that may oust him out of office.
Ed is one very stubborn man, he refuses to resign because of two very tough legal cases that he needs to fight to keep him out of prison, and having two legal cases must put a lot of pressure on the quality of his work as a city supervisor. So I say, it's good that he's been kicked out of office temporarily while he tries to get away from being possibly shived by a guy name "Ball Buster" in prison.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
California State Senator Carole Migden has her damn driver's license back.
So how did she lose it? She drove impaired on the state highway system by speeding, hitting guardrails, swerving, and rear-ending someone, causing the victim to go to the hospital.
What's the alcohol of choice? Actually it was a drug. She took medication.
Just look at these 911 calls:
Then the fucking woman gets off SO DAMN EASY. Why? She deserves to be charged with DUI. Even this bastard on SFist tries to go after me (going for the low blow) for demanding that Migden gets a DUI.
Here's a fun news report! Stay off the streets!
Let's summarize my rants:
Migden should get a DUI.
Midgen should drive a bumper car to work (oh wait, we don't have overhead electric power, so I guess you'd have to take the Capitol Corridor)
Friday, September 14, 2007
- Why do we go after only teenagers that are able to be legal to drive (16 to 17.9)? This might sound strange, but it seems easier to pass laws and policies against people that are under the voting age because they can't vote to recall elected public officials. If they were to ban the use of cell phones to adults, then just watch voters get revenge on the governor by not supporting him. But when thinking of "protecting the children," it is easy to target children.
- Think of it this way, some of those curfew policies that target under 18 year olds is not exactly fair because there is this stigma that people under 18 don't have a voice and can't complain, so adults always thinks of what is 'right' or 'wrong.'
- Why not try to pass a law to use headsets? I drive with a bluetooth headset, even though the law for adults has not been enforced yet.
- How the hell can you enforce the teenage cell phone ban law if the cops can't pull you over (see article)?
- Did Arnold use those statistics from AAA about cell phone use?
- Lets remember that statistics can lie and can be tweaked just right to make it in their favor.
- Only 1,000 were surveyed. JUST HOW MANY TEENS LIVE IN THIS STATE?
- If you were asked if you ever used a mobile device while you drive, nearly everyone would agree (even me, I've callled 911 at least once). If you worded the question differently, like do you use it everyday or at least three times a week, then the results would be drastically different.
- Would the statistics be different if they asked the question:
- Do you use a mobile device while driving without a headset?
- Do you use a mobile device while driving with a headset?
- How much money did AAA feed down Arnold's throat? Plus, the DMV contracts out AAA to do some of the car registration stuff at their offices, why do I have a feeling that this may be biased?
- The decent thing I will say is, I don't support anyone using a mobile device like a PDA, notebook computer, or DVD player while driving. That's a little too extreme.
Let's summarize my rants:
There's always another way to get around the system.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Is our Mayor just flat out nuts? I would never try to terminate so many employees, especially for a complex system like the government just so that things can possibly be "better." If we eliminate all the top positions at once, we are going to expect some hell from our government when it comes to services. Lets say that the police commission is all fired and a new one is put into place, doesn't it just seem that the new commission will not be in full swing for at least several months? Sigh... we'll be having some out of control cops for a while...
Also, I know some great city commissioners that might lose their positions in the city government. One of them was appointed when Mayor Willie Brown was in charge, but I hope he is able to keep his position or leave without a fight.
Just one more thought, if Newsom wants to wipe out all his appointees, then he will have a government that simply works in favor of him for everything; honestly, we need some past appointees to question the mayor's every single move around here. Remember, always question authority!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
So after drinking that tasty sake, he got some nice photo ops with some cute ladies...
Oh yeah... this fancy photo below... did he get some?
Why does this similar to Family Guy when Meg was interning with Mayor Adam West?
Oh well... the event was fun! I was dancing too!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
When I first saw the advertisement for this, I thought that this is a smart idea, but then when the news got around that the idea may be too controversial, I had to really think about this again.
People have accused the program of the following:
- Child exploitation
- Child abuse
- Child neglect
- Parents signing away their children
- Child labor laws
- Actor union violations
One in particular is that the parents sign away their children to television producers to make this program. The contract itself is so restrictive that the children must follow orders 24/7, otherwise they can be kicked out. Then the parents must understand that if they yap about the show to the media, they get sued for $5,000,000 versus the shitty $5,000 per child stipend for participating. How about the injury or death policy? It says that CBS is not held responsible if they get injured or die as a result of participating. So let me get this straight, if I were to die because of negligence of a producer or a contractor who lets say built the property or equipment, my folks can't sue them?
This almost sounds like the parents are really just pimps and are prostituting their young to follow orders from producers to get the stipend, which is eventually given to the parents. Are parents really that gullible to sign that contract? Sometimes I don't like the idea of child actors, just look at Gary Coleman! Everyone knows that his parents were just pimpin' him out and taking his money/income.
Makes me wonder if those "nanny" reality TV shows does the same concept, parents pimp their "out of control" child to producers to psychologically brainwash them to be "good."
Also, don't we have some really decent child labor laws in this country? I know that in California, they must have a permit from the Labor Commissioner's office and understand that they cannot do certain work and work so many hours in a week/day. How can New Mexico be that stupid to not really put some decent child labor code laws on the books?
I can totally understand if adults want to sign their own contract to be on a reality program, but to sign-off for your kids might be a really bad idea, even if the child originally says yes to participating. Ever think of the long term psychological consequences of this?
One parent said to the press (with CBS's interview coaches feeding shit into this mother's brain) that it's like camp... Yeah, labor camp. Would someone please slap these parents?
Let's summarize my rants:
BOYCOTT KID NATION
Please slap the parents and producers.
Reality shows suck, big time.
CBS has hit a real new low this time... and I thought Big Brother sucked ass.
I did a past blog about a controversial racial comment on CBS, read this.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
So I thought I'd share my views about the Little League World Series today...
First of all, the idea of a "World Series" where kids of the age of 11 and 12 can get their 15 minutes of fame is just a terrible idea. Kids baseball is not supposed to be competitive, but an opportunity to get some exercise, meet friends, have fun, and to learn baseball skills. But having young kids at young as 11 to compete for a "world" title is just outright silly.
It's so competitive that even the coaches, parents and kids are really getting nuts.
Some of these kids really show their bad side on national TV, and just watch the coach in this one, he slaps the damn kid!
For the parents, some reasons why sports that are extremely competitive than just for fun is just a really bad idea:
(Above: Parent arrested at Little League game)
(Above: Football brawl from parents)
(Above: Parent shoving kid at wrestling match)
Sometimes, parent involvement just goes to the extreme. I understand that some parents really want to be protective of their children in things like the PTA and sports, but sometimes, just think of them enjoying the fun, and respecting the other team's parents or opposing views.
Fights at PTA meetings:
OK... back to the Little League World Series:
And all the emotions... waa waa waa, just stop your damn crying that you fucking lost! In the most recent final game, the winning (American) team went to their crying counterparts, the Japanese team. So you lost, don't cry about the damn thing. Maybe its time to just head home and enjoy your young life before college starts chipping away at your youth.
What about the corporate sponsorships in this stuff? Do we really need ESPN to broadcast the world series to the entire nation? Do we really need sugary cereal companies promoting their product over the airwaves as well? Come on, all we need now is to promote some kind of muscle building herbal product for kids!
Has the Little League gone nuts? A few years back, a World Series winning team had to surrender their championship because the team pitcher was too old to participate. I mean, come on, how low do you have to go to win a major title? I wonder, will STEROIDS be the next scandal for the little league kids?
Even then, I'm a little bit suspicious about this one (on video below): The tallest kid in Little League. Did they feed this kid some testosterone to give it a growth spurt? Someone check if this kid has facial hair, and give him a piss test.
Let's summarize my rants:
Sports for youth is not supposed to be competitive, but it seems that the Little League organization believes that competition is necessary to survive as an organization.
There's some really bad rotten apple parents, coaches, and kids in these youth organized sports.
If you as a parent want to put your kids in sports activities, find things where there is no competition through such programs as tournaments. Martial arts works because it is self-achievement, as long as you don't do tournaments.
Corporate sponsorship? Is Little League going to go extreme like NASCAR?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So... it's been about five or six years since they started the pilot project, and I thought things were going really well. Turns out, the goal of December 2007 for SF Muni and BART looks like it is delayed (again!).
Can't we just get on with this project? Muni is one huge system, so you would expect some issues, but I don't think any major problems.
BART is acting like little whiny children ever since they installed those new faregates. Why not just make it EASY for everyone and go with the one card system?
If they can create a one card system for places like New York and Hong Kong (which has multiple transit companies), I don't think there should really be any problems.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
--The Chronicle reports that California State Senator Carole Migden will be charged with a misdemeanor for stupid driving. How about a DUI charge?
--The manager at FedEx Kinkos did not call me back yet in regards to the $37 charge for laminates that really costs $20.
--A response back from complaining via e-mail to San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick:
Dear Mr. Akit:
I have been asked by Supervisor McGoldrick’s office to respond to your email with regards to the San Francisco Marathon.
The San Francisco Marathon site has a lot of very good information on the route with a map and course description. The course description can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/images/PDF%20MARATHON%20ROUTE.pdf and the map can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/course/full.pdf. In addition, they have information on traffic detours which can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic-impact-2007.doc. All of these can be found under the heading of Race Info which is on the Marathon Home page. While I do not agree with you on the difficulty of finding this information on the website, I am happy to bring this issue up with the SF Marathon organizers to see if there can be a separate category created on the website which would contain this information.
Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner had articles related to the Marathon several days before the event. In addition, they both published a map of the route. This has been a big help in getting information out to the public. The SF Marathon mailed out letters to residents and businesses in the area of the marathon which described the closures in their area and suggested detours several weeks before the event.
I made the decision to refer people to the SF Marathon website for detailed information as the information on their website was more complete than what we would be able to put up on the SFMTA website. It seemed like a waste of time to try to duplicate what they had already done. 311 had been notified of the information and they should have referred people directly to the SF Marathon website rather than to the MTA website.
I can not say why the officer who answered the phone at the Richmond District Police Station did not have information on the Marathon . The SF Police Department is very involved with the planning of this race. However, the information may not filter down to the police officers who answer the phones at the district stations. I will bring up this issue with the police department to ask the Special Events officers from the impacted district stations to be sure the information is available to the station staff.
All street closures for special events are handled by the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT). ISCOTT is a staff level committee made up of representatives of various City departments including The Department of Parking and Traffic; MUNI; SFPD; SFFD; DPW; Taxi Commission; DPH; Port of SF and the Entertainment Commission. There is a lot of coordination which happens between the event producer and the various impacted City agencies. The information on all of the closures are distributed to a wide number of agencies and individuals. We have no control over what other agencies do with the information which we provide.
We are continually looking at ways to improve events in San Francisco. We appreciate your feedback and we will look to improve the communications with the public about the closures.
If you have any further questions, please give me an email or a call.
Department of Parking & Traffic
1 South Van Ness Ave., 7th Floor
S.F., CA 94103-5417
AND MY REPLY:
I feel that you misunderstood my point about the Marathon's website. The Chronicle and other information sources referred readers to their traffic page that should have included a PDF copy of their full course map, however they failed to include on that specific page on that site. To view what I was referred to from the Chronicle's online website, see this link: http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic.html There is a simple map on that page of how to get around the short course in downtown (that basically omits Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, Richmond, etc.), but no full map. They put the full course map on another page on their site, something that just demonstrates that there was poor oversight by the event organizers. If the average citizen has to look at that specific page, I think they would expect to find all the information without clicking in other regions of the website to learn more.
Also, is there a response from the SFMTA on why some of the event information on the bus lines were incorrect and/or obsolete on their website? Why was the 15 Third still on there?
Also, I disagree that the SFPD are "very involved" in this process. How can the information to the higher ranks not go down to the lower ranks? In the first Nike women's marathon, they didn't know, and for this year's SF Marathon, they did not know either. And just to add insult to injury, they don't even know where to tell me to contact for more information. If a police officer on the phone can agree with me that not knowing information about events happening in their district is "B.S." (and yes, I did say the exact word to the officer), this is just a flat-out embarrassment.
Citizens of this city expect clear and concise information; consider how many constituents of Supervisor McGoldrick complained about the first Nike Marathon, and how much improvement came after that. I always expect that our city leaders and officials will always make an effort in the best interest of its citizens to provide fun events for everyone and making the impact on citizens as minimal as possible.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Today, I went down to that FedEx Kinko's location so that I can get a couple of signs laminated for an event coming up. Since I knew Kinko's had a bad reputation for higher prices than their competitors, I had no choice but to visit them. I went down to Office Depot to take care of a majority of my laminates that were 8 1/2 X 11 inches (like a buck a page) , but the 8 1/2 X 22 documents I had was too big for Office Depot to do, so Kinko's was the only choice.
When I went in, I was waiting for like five minutes while a dumb lady trying to get her FedEx stuff put it in the wrong envelope and had to refill out forms and use another envelope. Another guy named "Ronnie D." (says it on my receipt) came up to me and asked of what I needed. I explained I needed these two 8 1/2 X 22 inch documents laminated.
Behind the counter was a large laminating machine and he laminated both of them. I noticed that he used an enormous waste of laminate when I noticed that the entire laminate was like a yardstick and a half on both length and width. He then had to cut it up, but he had to use the cutting blade device that was for the public's use. After chopping up the oversized laminate and throwing away the excess waste, he started joking with his fellow co-worker (which got me a little more steamed).
At the register, "Ronnie D." had some difficulty ringing up the price of the two laminates. After finding out the price, he charged me $37.00. I immediately turned from mildly upset to full on pissed. I asked him to breakdown the charges for me. He said to me that my laminates used 7 square feet of laminate, and that was $5 per square foot (plus tax is $37).
I said to him, that this is not right. My two laminates are both 8 1/2 X 22 inches, and the maximum use of square footage should only be four square ft. HE WAS TRYING TO CHARGE ME FOR THE EXCESS LAMINATE WASTE!
I told him that the FedEx Kinko's at Lakeshore Plaza in San Francisco doesn't even rip me off this badly. He reduced the price down to four square feet for $20, and I knew in my mind that it was still a rip-off price.
After paying for my charges, I walked-out and said out loud "this place is going on my blacklist."
Sure, I hate Officemax's copy center, but they would only charge me TWO DOLLARS, yes TWO DOLLARS per square foot of laminate. So my total for doing the two small banners there would be a whopping FOUR DOLLARS.
THANKS FOR THE 16 DOLLAR RIP-OFF, FEDEX KINKO'S on Stanyan.
Let's summarize my rants:
I've already lodged a complaint to FedEx Kinko's main customer support line, and I hope the manager calls me back within 48 hours.
I aint' happy.
Why do laminates cost like five times as much than Office Depot, and Officemax?
Fine, if they were to charge me $37 for the excess laiminate waste, I would say: HEY, WHY NOT GO DIG IN THE TRASH CAN AND GIVE ME THE EXCESS LAMINATE WASTE I'M ABOUT TO PAY FOR!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Is our government really that stupid?
Starting now, you are allowed to bring on your possession, a lighter on your person when going through security screening.
The question I'm wondering... WHY?
Sure, the government says that they collect 20,000+ cheap-o lighters every day and it costs them $4,000,000 a year to dispose, but isn't it just a good idea?
I'm not a smoker, but it seems to just be simple common sense to ban all lighters from your carry-on, but it is OK to put in your check-in baggage, which they have looser restrictions on items like pocket knives.
Now, if you are a smoker, why doesn't our government give $4 million dollars a year's worth of nicotine gum for those who got the cravin' but are not allowed to smoke?
Anyway, it's just simple common sense. Eliminate fire, eliminate the risk of a nasty fire by using hard liquor they sell on-board.
Sometimes it is worth asking yourself, is $4 million worth saving people's lives, I say it is.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Word around is that during the preliminary, the judge decided that there is enough evidence to go forward with a trial on nine (yes nine!) felony counts about lying on his residency to be able to be eligible to be a candidate on the ballot.
What do we have? Two sides:
Prosecution is saying that Ed lied about his residency eligibility. Uses evidence such as testimony from neighbors, officials from the post office, and officials from numerous utility companies on the house's usage.
Defense is saying that Ed is eligible to be a resident, yet Fazio (the lawyer) says that his wife "owns" the property in Burlingame and Ed must sleep there on "occasion."
What's my point of view on this case? Ed is just putting another nail in the coffin of his political career. Why not just plead guilty, and quit your supervisor job? Ever heard of saving face dude? I wonder how he takes showers in his sunset district home, oh wait, the waterman says that very little water is used, so he goes to his flowershop to do the damn job. Oh come on, everyone knows that we want to sniff and vomit to body odor!
Here's some great ways to make Ed Jew embarrassed in public or pissed-off:
- Go to a Board of Supervisors meeting (full board) and when it is public comment time, just laugh and point your finger at him for the entire two minutes.
- Send the Supervisor a penny for his legal fund. The idiot is actually begging for money! Why give him nothing when you just piss him off by making an effort to send him a penny taped onto a piece of paper! Send it here.
- Make your own "RESIGN: Supervisor ED JEW" bumper sticker here.
- Attend a pro rally, be the lone counter-protester, and be on a bullhorn laughing out loud at Ed supporters.
- Did you know that it is legal to protest in front of his house(s)? Why not do it? He's at 2450 28th Avenue, in San Francisco's Sunset. Or even more embarrassing, why not do it in front of his Burlingame house?
I'll be on a microphone going haa haa ha aaahhhaaa hahaha hahahahahahahaaaaahhhhaaaa!
Monday, July 30, 2007
For example: I contacted my local police station in the Richmond district, and inquired about the SF Marathon, their response, THEY DIDN'T KNOW! How can your local police station DON'T KNOW about events that will directly impact the citizens' quality of life when they don't know shit?
To just add insult to injury, I complained to my district supervisor (Jake McGoldrick) TWICE BEFORE, and I clearly said that the neighborhood police station and its cops should know what is going on, but after calling the cops last Saturday, this is just getting stupid.
Also, lets add some salt to the wound: I called the non-emergency police number Saturday afternoon to request for someone to remove the barricades blocking the entrance to Golden Gate Park at the intersection of Lincoln Blvd. and La Playa St. The reason behind this is that the event was WAY OVER, like at least a few hours over, all the barricades were moved off the street, and this one was just blocking cars to go in the park, but not out. At other entrances to the park, barricades were already moved-away.
The dispatcher said to me that she would not do the request (WHAT THE HELL?), and said to contact either the Richmond or the Park Station. I said to the dispatcher that the Richmond Station doesn't know shit (I didn't really say "shit," but something close enough), and she save me the number to the Park station. I called the Park station, talked to a female officer who listened to the problem, and just referred it to her Sergeant. This morning (Monday morning) the problem barricade was already moved away.
I believe that calling 911 or the non-emergency police number gets recorded, so if you want to request for a recording, ask for Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 4:26PM (Nextel time), and the length of the call is 2 minutes, and 45 seconds.
So here we go... I'm pasting an unedited copy of the e-mail I recently sent to Jake McGoldrick and past e-mails I've sent to his office, and replies from his assistants.
Note: In order to secure my privacy, the only edits include changing my actual name to "Akit," removing my job titles, and removing my e-mail address to stop the spammers.
Since this communication had no specific request for privacy, unlike some of my lawyer friends to contact me, citing confidentiality; since I sent it to a public government official, the following is going public, and on the record.
----- Start of message -----
As a resident of district 1, I am particularly disturbed by the lack and difficulty to research information on the impact of the San Francisco Marathon that will affect the Richmond. Although this marathon has not happened yet, this is just an information nightmare.
Here is a brief summary of the lack of information available:
1) SFgate, also known as the SF Chronicle online gave a brief article, and referred readers to the marathon's website for more information. Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/27/BAG1CR84UK1.DTL&hw=marathon&sn=003&sc=173
2) The Marathon's "traffic" page has lacking information, including to not include a map of the marathon route. The details of the marathon is difficult to understand without knowing every street in the city and using your imagination because the information is in text, and they called our avenues "streets," which confuses the heck out of me because the term "street" on roads with digits are mostly in downtown. Source: "traffic page" http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic.html
Eventually, I found a map, but it was on a DIFFERENT page on their website, in which the average citizen might not be able to find it without looking at the page that the Chronicle and others are referring people to look at. Source: "course map" http://www.runsfm.com/course/map.html
3) I called 311 and received no information other than to visit the SFMTA website.
4) The SFMTA website referred me to the "hidden" map page on the marathon's website, but the bus information is out of date. We still have a "15 third?" And why does our neighborhood's 18 line on the page says "18-48th avenue" and when you scroll down for details: "18-28th avenue?" I believe the correct bus line info is: "18 46th avenue." Source: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/malerts/SanFranciscoMarathon.htm
5) I called the Richmond district police station at 6th avenue (Saturday evening), and asked them for information, they didn't have any.
I'm satisfied that there is a map available, but it is difficult to find online. Also, the lack of information from the sources above is just not good. How can our government representatives from 311 and our local police station DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, especially the neighborhood cops? I've spoke to the local police station numerous times on similar events, and they don't know a thing. How can this police station represent the people and its neighborhood when they can't even refer you on who to call for more info?
Overall, this is my third complaint about marathon events coming through this district. The first one was the first annual Nike Women's marathon, in which things drastically improved the year after because of a hearing established by you, in which I attended. I testified that the lack of information, including our local police officers, plus making the route to practically "choke" our neighborhood from getting in or out was an embarrassment. Second was last year's SF Marathon when my parents were stuck for nearly 30 minutes to get out of the Richmond by being stuck in a "traffic valve." If you would like to read the two previous complaints and their responses, feel free to read them below my signature.
I don't understand why this city does not create straightforward rules and standards in regards to all large events happening in this city. Particularly good examples of getting the information to people is the recent All-Star Game and the favorite Bay to Breakers. By keeping the same standards for every event, it makes it easier for residents to easily find a reliable source for information. Easy examples: all operators at 311 are provided the same detailed information, the impacted police station neighborhoods, and a centralized website like the SFMTA. It may be also useful to set a policy that in order to get a permit, the particular event's website always has all the information available at a centralized location, including a map, text directions, and contact information to government services to learn more.
Thanks for your time, and expect to see a reply within a week.
------Copies of past e-mails on events-------------------------
Dear Supervisor McGoldrick:
Once again, the City of San Francisco failed to satisfy the citizens of the Richmond district with the recent San Francisco Marathon that went through 26th and 27th avenues. My parents were victims of extremely heavy traffic on Geary Blvd. where the marathon organizers were supposed to make their runners switch back and forth from 26th to 27th so that traffic going east/west can be a little smoother.
My parents were waiting 20 minutes to get through 27th avenue, then were stopped again to be stuck at 26th avenue for an additional 15 minutes. Wait times this long is very very poor!
I thought that this city's DPT fixed this problem when the 1st annual Nike Marathon had the same problems and basically "choked-off" the whole outer Richmond district. After the Nike Marathon failed to satisfy the residents of our neighborhood, a hearing was established by you, and I spoke-out saying that this did not have to happen if planned right. It seems that there needs to be a better route for the SF Marathon too.
Hello Cindy Shamban,
I was referred to you by Janet Michaelson, DPT Director of Constituent Services, I understand that you are in charge of coordinating large events, including the "Nike Run." I am writing to follow up on the City's notification procedures regarding street closures, alternate routes, and traffic calming for large events. Neither our office nor Richmond residents were ever notified about this event. We only found out after the fact.
Our office has received a continuous stream of complaints over the weekend until today. The event impacted our constituents enormously. Folks were unable to get in and out of the Richmond and their "quality of life" was dramatically impacted. Here are just a few examples,
- An elderly couple on foot could not catch the MUNI to return home.
- A mother could not take her daughter to swim practice nor could she get to her own appointment. She still had to pay the babysitter.
- People woke up to loud noise from a steady stream of big vehicles rolling down Cabrillo street at 5 a.m..
- Traffic was gridlocked causing road rage and heavy noise.
- Driveways were blocked.
- A woman could not get to her Macy's job downtown.....
- and more.
As I understand, the Richmond District was cordoned off on all three sides: south, north and east. Our office would like to know the following:
- Which department issued the event permits?
- Who is responsible for planning the marathon course?
- How was the event coordination done between your department, other city departments (e.g, SFPD) and Nike?
- What are the notification procedures for large events like this?
- Were Richmond residents notified of the street closures, alternate traffic routes, bus routes, etc.? How?
- Is it protocol to also notify our office?
- What amounts to a street closure? What are the procedures for a street closure?
- Do large vehicles including trucks and tour buses need permits to drive through residential areas?
I am Ccing this email to Bond Yee and our constituents. Thank you for your time and help.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
San Francisco, District 1
Phone: (415) 554-7413
Fax: (415) 554-7415
Thank you for contacting our office. Supervisor McGoldrick may not be able to reply to your email personally due to the high volume of letters, emails, and phone calls he receives everyday. However, he will review and consider your correspondence closely. He values your input and ideas.
Thank you again for your email. If we can help in any other way, please feel free to contact our office by telephone at (415) 554-7410.
10/23/2004 04:25 PM
Please respond to [BLOGGER REMOVED THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR PRIVACY REASONS]
Dear Supervisor McGoldrick,
I have serious concerns over the City of San Francisco's handling over the "Nike 26.2 Marathon" event being primarily held in District 1 this Sunday. I live on Geary and 47th Avenue, and there is not any CLEAR notice to any resident that their nearby streets are being blocked off, preventing access to our homes, and there is NO NOTICE in the Saturday's Chronicle. Many of our parades and other running events, such as the Bay To Breakers, always has a map of street closures in the local paper.
I've called my local Police station, was told to call the Park station, then the Park captain in charge told me to call another official at the Department of Parking and Traffic. But hey... it's Saturday, nobody works! I called my local cop station again today (Saturday) and they say that these permits were issued by someone at City Hall, and the cops are just putting no stopping signs all over the area. The officer agreed with me when I said that this event is total "bullshit" because nether he or I can get any clear-cut info. Not even Muni has the correct info (the "18" line has to drive 30 blocks to get around the event by going to Park Presidio via Crossover drive to get back to 46th avenue, south of GG park).
I'm contacting you because as my supervisor, it should be known that residents must have the right to know of what's going on around our neighborhood! Many residents don't know that Fulton is blocked off, and the only way to get to the southern region of SF is to go through crossover drive in GG park.
I would like to suggest that the Board of Supervisors make certain rules (resolution) to major events, such as this Nike 26.2 like, required public notice to the mass media (similar to how court settlements always make the Chronicle's Parade section), Police stations should have a copy of all street closures and alternate access with the public to freely visit the police station and get a copy of that for themselves, and a number that any resident can call for answers, not being shoved around to different departments.
I personally hate any major event that does not give clear notice to its residents of how to get around this. I work at SF State on most weekends, and I don't ever want to get caught in traffic just because some lazy city official gave the OK to give a permit for a large event without public notice. I nearly yelled at a cop on the phone one day for some Dave Matthew's band concert because some stupid idiot just blocked off the access road on 47th and Fulton and just said that nobody can drive through without giving drivers a reason why.
----- End of E-mail -----
Let's summarize my rants:
Seems like citizens just can't get straightforward information.
I won't promote a recall of McGoldrick, but be aware that this counts as a strike, and may change my decision on re-electing you, if possible.
How many more complaints do I need to file to get major events to fix the problems?
Hopefully this blog will bring attention to this issues.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
It's Barry's 754th home run, now just one away from tying Hank Aaron's record.
It was also "Until there's a cure day" at the park, and a fireworks tribute was also there too.
RIP Rob Beck, the Giants player that pushed for this to continue for years to come.
Rob's family throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
For more photos of the event and fireworks, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agentakit/sets/72157600812633931/
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Makes me wonder, do they serve alcohol at the international space station?
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
What an interesting story, good old drunk-o Lindsay Lohan, a woman who was carrying cocaine on her possession when checked for any contraband, gets caught by the cops. Haven't you ever heard of the term, "you have the right to remain silent?" How the hell are you going to deny the possession charge if you have the damn illegal narcotic in your pocket?
What is interesting to read is that she did not deny the DUI in the recent Access Hollywood interview for alcohol on her most recent arrest. So she must have been drunk when the cops were giving her the sobriety test.
Either way, she's screwed. Time for her to visit a nice jail or prison cell! I'm sure the ladies at the big house will give her the "special treatment" (with the shiv!).
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Just posted on the news this morning, Lindsay Lohan is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (misdemeanor DUI), driving with a suspended license, and possession of cocaine (felony) and transport of a narcotic (felony).
Plus, just to add insult to our morning coffee and cereal, she was just released recently from a rehab center after being in a six week detox program. She had to wear a tamper-proof ankle bracelet that constantly monitors her blood alcohol levels for alcohol, but it seems that device that is supposed to keep her sober, made her get buzzed and possibly "high" again. Now she's arrested with a blood alcohol level of .12 to .13 percent (legal limit is .08 percent).
Does it seem that Lindsay Lohan is becoming the next "Paris Hilton" to be sent to a jail for some real life treatment? But wait, there's more! If she gets convicted of a felony for the drugs, she would not go to a county jail (where she'd get the "special" treatment), she'd go to the overcrowded, awful, and orange jumpsuit world of the state prison system! You know, the place where Governor Arnold doesn't give an honest crap about you and you just have to eat stale hot dog buns with some mystery meat product on the side.
My suggestion, lets get her into a "scared straight" program where we send Lindsay to an infamous female or even a male prison. There, a trustee of the prison will give the ultimate tour of the facility, including giving a scary lecture about life behind bars, a tour of prison cells (which I don't think they are "model" rooms) and a good lecture about why you should not drop the soap in the damn shower.
Or how about we shove her into the Maury Povich show (not to do the paternity test) and bring in some ex-military sarges to bust her butt with good old-fashioned push-ups and scream at her until she cries; waaah waah wah!
Here's my point of view about this, how in the hell did this goody goody girl turn into a piece of turd? Did she get "the talk" by her parents and by her teachers about people who abuse alcohol and drugs? Remember the classic South Park "drugs are bad" episode when Mr. Mackey said "drugs are bad... m'kay?" I wonder what her private school taught this little stupid lady?
Lastly, whenever she does get her driving privileges back, I hope that the judge orders that all her vehicles has to be installed with a breathalyser to start the engine.
Let's summarize my rants:
Drugs are bad.
Alcohol is bad (especially for her!).
Driving with a suspended license? Can we create a lifetime ban?
Let her wear a sandwich board that says "this is my second DUI and I had drugs in possession, and I was and still am stupid" and she should stand at a very busy intersection from 9AM to 5PM for an entire week, including weekends.
Have a nice time in prison! Watch out for the shivs!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Waste Management, the contractor hired by Alameda County to handle all trash pickup has locked out its workers for three straight weeks, but Alameda County resident Dolly Paez who lives on Octavia street in Oakland took the problem in her own hands on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 when it came to the three weeks worth of trash, recyclables, and compost that is piling up on her residential block.
Dolly was being covered by KTVU and KRON's morning news programs when they were interviewing her about the large amount of trash piling up on her street and that the Waste Management "replacement workers" were always driving down her block and just passing by, and not picking up the trash.
Luckily, the TV cameras were there to record her going apes (video 1) (video 2) on a Waste Management truck that was to pass by her neighborhood again. She dragged the trash cans from her home directly into the pathway of the oncoming Waste Management collection truck, and the truck was forced to stop in the middle of the road. Dolly then proceeded to grab as many trash cans from her neighbors and block the road, demanding that the trash must be picked-up immediately. Her neighbors noticed what she was doing and joined in the action, including one neighbor that pulled her car out to surround the Waste Management truck so that it could not escape. Eventually the replacement worker was forced to pick-up the trash and all the cans were finally emptied.
Here's what Dolly Paez said on camera on KTVU's 10 O'Clock News:
Here's a transcript of what Dolly Paez said on KRON:
- Dolly Paez: "What do you expect us to do!?!?"
- Garbageman: "(Talking on a cell phone) alright."
- Dolly Paez: "Is this what it takes to get the garbage to get picked up!?!?!"
- Reporter Renee Kemp: "This woman, Dolly Paez took matters into her own hands today when it looked like garbage trucks were about to pass-up her street for the third week in a row."
- Dolly Paez: "It is extremely aggravating to see a truck come-up and only pick-up only truck one trash bin and leave; I just could not let the truck go by again."
As a resident of San Francisco and being a caring activist for when I feel my neighborhood problems are never being resolved:
- Dolly Paez: "I am just so upset. This truck has been comin' for the last two weeks, every Wednesday. He drives down here, sees all this debris, and will never pick it up! I can't take it no more. We need garbage picked-up we've been since June 28, with no service, and I think it's time they picked-up this trash, bottom line."
- Darya Folsom of KRON: "It was truly amazing to see. The neighbors started joining in; another woman got her car and blocked-in that trash truck right there, and really the replacement workers had no choice, but to deviate and take everybody's trash as they handed the bags over to the workers..."
I personally salute Dolly Paez for taking direct and swift action to get her garbage picked-up. When something is wrong and nobody is taking care of it, it is necessary to take action by doing it yourself in a non-violent manner.
If you live in Alameda County, your trash has not been picked-up, and nobody cares to pick-up your trash: do it like Dolly, organize your neighbors and throw your cans in the middle of your street. If possible, get it recorded on video and post it on YouTube.
For video information:
KRON (yeah, I still don't like the news station, but at least they covered Dolly Paez) - click here for an extended (not full raw footage) video of her tossing cans into the street and taking the "law into her own hands."
KTVU 10 O'Clock News - To view the video of Dolly going apes on Waste Management (2 minutes, 13 seconds in the video), here's a clip that will automatically open-up in Windows Media Player. Click here for the clip. The file is not downloadable, but it is a streaming video link off the KTVU website.
Let's summarize my rants:
Kudos to Dolly Paez for taking action when Waste Management replacement workers ignored pleas to get her block's trash picked-up.
Waste Management, get your union workers back on the job.
Waste Management, you better pray that when your contract renewal is up with the local cities and Alameda County, that they do allow you to renew. But I hope NOT ANYMORE!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Yet, while this tragic event is horrible to hear, and will attract negative attention to the theme park for a long time, the theme park has its share of accidents with deadly results. One in particular was in 1998 on the popular "Top Gun" inverted roller coaster attraction where a man intentionally went over a fence to retrieve an item he dropped. The man was killed instantly when the incoming train with dangling feet (due to the inverted trains), was kicked in the head at a high rate of speed and impact.
With the pool accident, it is unfortunate that someone that young had to die, yet there is heavy criticism from the general public, as well as me (Mr. Complaint Department) that the responsibility lies within the parent. Let's take a look at what happened.
The child is about 4 ft. tall, and about six lifeguards were on duty at the pool. The mother was concerned that she couldn't find the son and asked the daughter to look for the child. The child was found unconscious in the shallow end of the wave pool and the girl screamed for help from the lifeguards. The lifeguards responded, provided CPR, got the EMTs, and transported the child to the hospital. The medics were unsuccessful to resuscitate the child and were declared dead at the hospital.
What the big outcry in this incident is not the park's policy on lifeguards on-duty, but that the parent was irresponsible by not directly supervising the child in the pool. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes: "Carlos was found unconscious in the wave pool shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. His mother, Yolanda Flores, and sister were nearby but not with him."
(This author intentionally put the topic in question in italics and put in bold the key word)
In this blogger's opinion, "NEARBY" does not mean direct supervision by being next to the child. An interesting thing to think about is, will the parent have a decent legal claim to this accident, and that the parent already admitted the fact that she was not directly supervising the child (parental neglect)?
Yes, it is tragic that someone had to die at a wave pool, but lets use an analogy and think of different locations where no direct parental supervision will cause high risk of injury or death to a child:
- Parent and young child at a BART station, and parent is not directly supervising child at station. Potential harm to child: Hit by train, falls on train tracks, touches high voltage electric third rail.
- Same scenario as above, but at a Caltrain station. Potential harm: Hit by high speed Baby Bullet train, and plays on tracks.
- Child chasing a soccer ball that fell out of his/her hands and ran loose on a busy street. Parent not paying attention to child, therefore is not "directly" supervising child. Potential harm: Hit by speeding vehicle.
By not being in direct supervision ("nearby" or not even paying attention) is a much bigger risk than being in direct supervision. In many cases, being "nearby" will more than likely result in no major incident happening, but the "what if" comes into question. The "what if" factor would then have a parent or appropriate adult supervising a child is much better than just being "nearby" and only paying-half attention.
A big question to ask is, should parents directly supervise young children at the pool? I believe that it is necessary for young children, child non-swimmers, and child weak swimmers should be supervised by their parents and wear life vests. For young adults and adults that are below a certain height, have limited swimming abilities, or no swimming skills, these people should be required to wear life vests, and participate in the "buddy" program.
I think the best way to fix the problem is that in order to be allowed to participate in the water park is to test them by providing a small length and shallow pool to test people at their swimming skills. Only people that wear a special wristband can be allowed to use the water park facilities and each wristband has a certain color that allows access to certain attractions. If a person is "disqualified" to use a certain attraction, then admission to the attraction requires use of a life vest and direct supervision by a qualified wristbanded adult. In order to make it speedy, people that have passed a qualified swimming program that is typically supported by someone like the Red Cross with a card that proves their skills would automatically receive the proper wristband to their age and skills. Not participating in a test will automatically give the person the lowest grade on the wristband system. By wearing no wristband will automatically get the person in trouble and could be potentially ejected from the park. If theme parks and airports can do metal detector screenings for contraband with a short wait, I think a simple swim test with a similar wait time period can assure that there will be less of a liability to operate water themed attractions at a theme park.
Here's an easy color scheme to ID skills of swimmers:
RED - Child, no swimming skills, requires life vest and requires direct supervision at all times.
RED & YELLOW striped - Child, some swimming skills, requires direct supervision at all times, and disqualified from certain attractions unless if wearing life vest.
RED & GREEN striped - Child, has swimming skills, no life vest required (but may be recommended by parent's request), but requires direct supervision at all times.
Note: The color RED identifies at the person is a child, and always requires supervision (no exceptions).
For teenagers, young adults, and adults:
BLACK - Adult or young adult, no swimming skills, life vest required. Also includes adults of a very short stature and requires a life vest at all times. Having a skilled swimmer buddy is highly recommended.
YELLOW - Adult or young adult, some swimming skills, but disqualified from certain attractions unless if vest is worn. Having a skilled swimmer buddy is suggested.
GREEN - Adult or young adult, qualified swimming skills, no life vest necessary.
Note: The color RED is never used for teens, young adults, and adults to distinguish them as the proper age to be in this group. That is why the color BLACK is used as the lowest ranking instead of RED.
Currently, Great America's management is requiring vests for children, and I think it is a great idea to start-off with. But, I also think that my color wristband idea may also help in sorting out the young vs. old swimmers, and the weak vs. strong swimmers. For the wave pool, restricting certain areas of the pool to certain color wristbands may help in saving lives.