"Akit is the man. He knows Clipper." (spenta)
"It’s a fantastic blog for any San Franciscan."
"Your blog is always on point, and well researched!" (Nina Decker)
"Everyone's favorite volunteer public policy consultant..." (Eve Batey, SF Appeal)
"You are doing a great job keeping on top of Translink stuff. Keep up the good work!"
(Greg Dewar, N Judah Chronicles)
"...I don't even bother subscribing anywhere else for my local public transportation info. You have it all..."
(Empowered Follower)
"If anyone at City Hall wants to make public transit better for all San Franciscans, it would be wise to follow Akit religiously...
or, better yet, give him a job."
(Brock Keeling, SFist)

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm Convinced - Translink on SF Muni Works Fine

With all the reporting I do on this blog about the Translink program, I finally gave it a shot in the arm aboard San Francisco Muni last Saturday. I hopped aboard BART to stop at 24th St. Mission Station (regular BART ticket) for a tasty burrito, and went to downtown to look around and snack on food at the Westfield (SFSU students, staff, and faculty gets 15% discounts by showing your ID). I hopped aboard the F-Market shuttle bus, (I guess the historic trolleys were not enough to cover the passenger loads that day), and asked the driver if he will accept "the card" (a.k.a. Translink card). He said to take a shot at it, and I tagged the card at the reader, and sure enough, IT WORKED!

Sure, the bus was packed, but this young guy (passenger), a little younger than me, heard the beep sound, and asked me about the card. He was actually shocked that the device installed on the bus actually worked, and was not just an ornament installed to make Muni look fancy. So I told him a quick summary about how it works, and how I got an automatic transfer on my card.

So after venturing around town, I used the card again at the Muni metro platform at one of these gates:

and it worked perfectly. I was still within the 90 minute limit of the electronic transfer I was issued from my ride on the F-Market, so the ride was free. If you watch the YouTube video I posted (also seen here), you notice that when I "tag" my card at the "exit" Muni metro gate at Powell, it lets me through. It's like my own personal express entrance to Muni metro. Even one of the Muni supervisors monitoring the gates at the Embarcadero station (who was letting the folks with tickets for the Cal bowl game at AT&T Park) was familiar with the program.

It's actually nice that I used the card about three times that day, and every operator/agent I asked knew what the card does. Unfortunately, I haven't encountered the feared Muni fare inspectors.

What's really interesting from being a pilot tester for the Translink program is that I made many suggestions on improving the program, and one of my best suggestions has actually made it through the bureaucrats' ears!
  • I suggested that the vehicle card readers should emit a louder beep tone when cards are read and confirmed as paid. During the pilot test, the readers installed on station platforms like on select Caltrain stops and Muni metro stations were LOUD, but on the vehicles, it was more of hushed tone, like a softer than a normal conversation voice. My primary argument is that people with even minor hearing issues may not hear the beep (ADA requirements), so Translink cranked up the sound to be as loud as the station platform readers on the Muni bus readers.
Since the SFMTA/Muni and Translink representatives are now reading my blog entries and responding in my comments sections, maybe they can answer some of my questions:
  • Does Muni's "Culturebus" and the "Special Event" (a.k.a. Candlestick) buses allow Translink use with the proper fee charged? ($7 on Culturebus with an all-day transfer for free rides on Culturebus and other Muni services, and $7 for the Candlestick express with a free transfer for the return trip). Of course, I could just rip-off Muni and pay $1.50 for the Culturebus.
  • If a Translink cardholder on Muni accumulates the value of a one day Muni passport ($11), is the rest of the rides on the system free? It is possible for passengers to accumulate more than $11 in Muni fares, especially the high price for a Cable Car ride ($5 per ride, that is, when Translink offers the service on Cable Cars with portable card readers with the conductors).
  • Do the Muni fare inspectors carry Translink card readers?

Another nice thing, Translink accepts my Commuter Checks!
One thing I did today (Monday morning) is I brought my $30 Commuter Check to the Transbay Terminal AC Transit ticket office. The lady at the counter was so nice and said that my Commuter Check voucher is accepted to add Translink money to my account. This means that I don't need to buy anymore of those Muni token coupon books, and I can use the funds for other transit services using Translink, like the Golden Gate Ferry.

I haven't tried using my Commuter Check voucher at the SFMTA Customer Service office yet. AC Transit has been using Translink for a good while, but STMTA/Muni is brand new to the full rollout of the program. While Commuter Check can be linked directly to my Translink account, I still want the flexibility of a claim voucher so I can save it up or claim it for a non-Translink fare media like BART tickets.

Cool tip, if your employer offers Commuter Check, WageWorks, or a similar pre-taxed automatic payroll deduction transit ticket/voucher program, I suggest signing-up for it.

Instead of paying $1.50 for a ride on Muni, I only pay $1.15, or a 17% average savings (I claim it on token tickets). You can save even MORE by buying high value BART tickets that gives an additional 6.25% discount, and loading cash on a Translink card and using it on Golden Gate Transit/Ferry services which automatically gives all cardholders the "commuter" discount, regardless of how often you ride. But now that I can claim it on Translink e-cash, no need for physical tickets.

With this slight change in heart, I might just sign-up as a "victim" of Muni's testing of the Translink program (just don't reject my registration).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Exclusive Translink Entry Gates for Muni Metro

Muni is really taking Translink to the next level. I took a photo of this "exit" gate at the Powell St. station that has been converted into a Translink entrance to Muni metro.

Now how soon until the "pilot" or testing phase is fully over and the entire public can start using it? Please don't say 2010...

If all goes well, this is the future of Translink (a video of Japan's "IC" card in use on the subway):

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Did SF Muni's PR person Maggie Lynch get fired?

I was just watching KPIX today and they were mentioning about their investigation program, showing the big bosses and PR people refusing to talk to reporters. Then it was a just a few second shot of Maggie Lynch, a San Francisco Muni public relations person who walked away from pressure from a reporter about leaking pipes due to Muni's mistakes. (If you can't take the pressure, maybe you should fart a few times to clear it out).

Oh yeah... and covering Muni's ass for the dragging of a passenger on a metro platform, with total disregard of Muni operators usually reading their newspapers and not looking in their mirrors.

I knew that something did change around SF Muni, Judson True is the current head public relations person for San Francisco Muni.

So what happened to Maggie Lynch?

Did her wild PR campaign force Muni/SFMTA to terminate her or push her to some desk job?

Maybe pressure from my blog entry in October 2007 demanding for Maggie Lynch to be fired was the last straw. Who knows? At least she isn't blabbing to the news cameras.

Public relations aint that fun... but that guy who used to do PR for Caltrain was a cool guy, he was old, but he told the blunt truth, without sugar coating it. Someone got hit on the tracks? He'd say something like this: "You have to be stupid to cross the tracks when the lights and gates are down."

California's State Economy is Falling and I'm Worried

I'm an employee of the State of California, in particular the California State University system. I love working at San Francisco State University, and I'm also proud that I am going to earn my second degree (M.A.) at this university as well in the coming weeks.

But I am not just an employee and a double graduate, I'm also an ambassador to San Francisco State, almost like the perfect poster child of SFSU; a young educated professional who works hard, representing the University, and working for the university as a student employee for nearly four years and being hired as a regular employee. I even enjoy meeting random new students and parents on the University campus and providing them help on their way to an enjoyable day and to a successful future.

I worry about how the economy and state budget is doing. In fact, while everyone in the University tries to keep their morale up, we also notice morale going down, especially the faculty who realize that some of their classes they normally teach will practically be double the size, particularly the cutting of sections, thereby forcing students to fight for a seat in one of the few remaining classes. A fear throughout my employee's union is that some of us may be laid-off, and that has to be one of the worst feelings in the world to know that you will be let go, regardless if you were a good employee with high marks on your evaluation.

Our state legislators keep bickering over how to resolve this crisis, but doesn't seem to find a good solution. Even if the legislature passes something from the democrats, we just know that the "Governator" will just turn it down (veto), and we the regular employees take the brunt of the government leaders' failures. I am neither a Democrat or Republican, I consider myself to be an "independent thinker" because I feel that I should never be influenced by any political party and I make decisions based on what I feel is right and good for everyone. This is why I am an outspoken person who is a blogger.

We can never forget that we are a cash strapped state, and everyone is tightening their belts a little bit more just so that the state can provide the essential services needed to keep the state running.

Us state employees always get stereotyped as lazy people who sit on our butts all day to get a paycheck every month. That is a terrible stereotype. I work very hard because I have pride in my line of work, I might just be an Administrative Assistant, but I know that when I get my paycheck, I truly earned it. My supervisor expects me to work hard, and I clearly show it when I work on projects, speak with concerned students and parents, and my other daily tasks I am committed to doing. I even put a little bit of my own money into getting my uniform professionally cleaned and pressed so I can give a lasting impression to our students and parents that hard working professionals, as myself, are serving the University community with honesty, pride, and professionalism.

I am very grateful that I have a job that I can serve with pride. I am honored to be a member of CSUEU (California State University Employees Union) and a double alumnus. There must be a fair solution to assure that we don't have to lay-off people, and minimize the suffering of every citizen of the State of California.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Xbox 360 Broke Down - Best Buy Replaced it for Free, but also wanted $150

It's the thing I most dread about video game systems... it breaks down and doesn't work anymore. That's what happened to me Thursday with my Xbox 360, but it wasn't the "red ring of death" (three red lights), I had an overheat signal (two red lights in left quadrant) when the system was completely cold.

So after several attempts, I totally confirmed that it does not work, unhooked everything, and packed it in the original box to send to Best Buy. Fortunately, I purchased a two year replacement plan for $59, knowing that the odds were high that my system would break down. That replacement plan sure came in handy.

So I head down to the Best Buy store in San Francisco (Geary Blvd.) with my receipt and the box packed neatly with everything. I was served very quickly by a lady, but then the long nightmare started. She asked a Geek Squad member to test out the system, and it supported my theory that the overheat mechanism was not working properly and kept shutting down the console. Then she called over a co-worker because there was some sort of problem with the registry about my purchase and I had to wait over 20 minutes to get it resolved. I eventually got my new Xbox 360 system, and it was actually an upgrade from my previous console (old console: 20 GB, new console: 60 GB with two free games).

The really bad news is that initially they told me that I could keep my old hard drive because it had all my saves, map downloads, and my Xbox Live registration. But when the new console was near ready to leave the store, I asked them about my old hard drive. The employee stated a "new" policy that forced me to leave my old hard drive and I was forced to accept the new hard drive. I was a little confused, so I asked them if it is possible to transfer the data from the old hard drive to the new one.

So the employee talks to the Geek Squad guy and comes back and says "sure" they can transfer the information to the new hard drive, for $150. I yelled out, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS?!?! ARE YOU CRAZY? Even the folks waiting to return items were in shock. I told the employee, hell no, and walked out with the console, but I also expressed grief with the store manager when leaving.

I told the manager, "it seems a little unfair that Geek Squad wants to charge me $150 to transfer the information to the new hard drive." The manager said to me that the price seemed odd to him even though he knew that I had to get the console REPLACED, and after said "bye" to me. I was half-way pissed, but happy that I got a new system. Then I suffered 3 hours of updating the Xbox 360, including the 400 MB map pack for Call of Duty 4. I also lost all my saves, except for Call of Duty 4, which remembered my high scores and my full completion of the game.

Here's my summary of why I'm a little disturbed at Best Buy:
  • They took much longer than expected to replace my console.
  • They initally promised to swap my old hard drive with the new one.
  • They backed away from the swap, attempting to scam me out of $150 to transfer the data, when the system broke down and should have been done as a courtesy, since I had the replacement plan.
  • After explaining my concerns to the manager, he should have taken action immediately to find out why the price is so high, especially after giving his comment that the price that high was so odd.
Now I just noticed, 360 sells a hard drive transfer cable. They should have told me about this and let me keep the old hard drive so I can do it myself (since the old console is dead). You rip-off bastards.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Small Holiday Budget? Time to White Elephant!

With the economy going really bad, we all can agree that we've had to tighten our belts and put a padlock on our wallet. One way to make the holidays more affordable and share it with friends is to do a "White Elephant" event at your annual family and/or work party.

What is a "White Elephant?" Well, it's basically a gift exchange, but instead of buying something new, you give away something that you own and don't need anymore. This is especially good for folks who have a lot of old (but useful) junk.

Here's the rules I play:
  • Each person brings one wrapped gift to the party.
  • Depending on the number of participants, a person will write digits on slips of paper.
  • Every person draws a number out of the jar.
  • The lowest number (number one) goes first to pick a gift and opens it.
  • The second lowest number can "steal" number one's gift or open a new one. If person one's gift is stolen, the person can open a new gift.
  • Continue following the pattern until everyone goes around once. The limit for steals PER GIFT is two. Once the gift is stolen the second time, that's theirs to keep.
One tip to give: Bring a backup gift, sometimes people forget to bring one.

It's a fun laugh riot full of mysterious surprises. Bring your camera to take photos of shocked reactions. Some people can also put a mysterious theme on their gift box, such as the "Mayor Gavin Newsom mystery box."

Happy holidays everyone!
My big holiday gift is coming soon... my Master's degree! I submitted my thesis on Monday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What happened to Adam's Block (Webcam)?

This is really weird, Adam's Block was really starting to get popular on the web. Adam set-up two cameras covering the Tenderloin District of San Francisco (and let me tell you, it aint tender).

It was really addicting to watch the cams and talk about it in the chat room because you got to see some really cool things like people crossing the street, the chat room yelling out taxicab and cop car numbers, drug deals in front of the camera, and Leroy the crazy bum.

But I just checked the site this afternoon, and it was showing reruns of popular clips, and now it's showing a different cam operated by someone else (sfchemist cam).

Nobody knows what the heck is going on between Adam and Justin.tv. There's no official updates anywhere about what's going on, and checking Google blogsearch shows that this is going to be the first blog entry asking "Where's Adam?" Some have put some really crude rumors on the Adam's Block chat (which I won't describe here), and whenever anyone asks about Adam, the moderator just says "e-mail Adam" and nobody else has an answer (maybe because they fear getting kicked out of the room).

So help me and the entire world folks... Where did Adam's Block go?

UPDATE: Adamsblock.com has been updated with an "apology" letter, which the context says some harsh stuff. I won't give an opinion on the letter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Muni is Committed to Translink Card Program

San Francisco Muni... where the buses are sometimes late, and the NextBus system is broken (like today).

Some new news came out from Muni officials (first found out by SFist, then the SF Chronicle) is that the Translink program is going to the public with a select group of regular average citizens testing the system in exchange for taking surveys and reporting back any problems.

Well... finally! Sheesh, about time Muni to get the bugs out of the system. Translink will work well, but needs to shake out those buggers, especially the select bus drivers and other employees who are complete morons and doesn't know what Translink or what the program does.

The Translink readers used to state: "Testing in progress." Now it states: "Tag Card Below" with yellow stickers giving very simple instructions on how to tag the card.

Some advice for you people who are going to test the program for Muni:
  • Always assume that every Muni driver, station agent, fare inspector, etc. is a complete idiot. With that in mind, always make sure that you conduct your Translink business very out in the open so they know what you are doing. (Similar to casino employees who always clap before leaving the table to show they have nothing hiding in their sleeves and exposes their hands to the camera)
  • Register for the test program, it might save your butt if you get a citation for fare evasion. Muni and the MTC can provide you support to appeal the citation.
  • Always carry enough pocket change just in case it does not work.
  • If at a Metro station, make sure you grab the agent's attention before using the card. I witnessed a lady who tagged her card, but the agent was not paying attention and denied her entry to the system even though her fare was deducted. But the new thing is Translink installed the readers on all "exit" gates, so you can easily skip the agent.
  • If you get tired of Muni, hop on Golden Gate Transit and Ferry and you save a lot of money on your ride. Golden Gate charges Translink users the "frequent commuter" rate, which is cheaper. It also works on AC Transit too.
Let's hope this works. How soon until Muni is up and ready for full public use?

Lastly, if you use "commuter checks," you can ask to have the funds electronically transferred to your Translink account. But unfortunately, there's a long delay between the fund transfer from the Commuter Check program and it being updated on your Translink account. I am using Commuter Check, but won't risk it until they get it streamlined or I can find a place where Commuter Check vouchers can be loaded in-person at a retail location (like the SFMTA customer service location).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Terrible Take Out Boxes in San Francisco - Thanks Styrofoam Ban

As many of you Bay Area folks know, San Francisco passed a law that forbids restaurants to serve take-out food in styrofoam containers. This was a great idea by our city leaders since styrofoam causes harm to the environment. Our wacky tree protesting neighbors in Berkeley also have a similar law.

But now... when you order items, most of the time they serve it in this lid box made out of paper. Yeah... it's great for composting, but it's terrible to hold your food in it. Got something fresh from the kitchen, and it's so hot that the damn box starts getting all moist and soggy (like a couple of minutes after receiving the box)? Got something a little bit moist, say the juices of the chicken? In just a couple of hours, it'll LEAK THROUGH the bottom of the take-out box!

Last week, I ordered a Japanese style curry dish over a lot of rice, and although they handed me bag to haul it in, the box was so unstable due to the heat and moisture, that the box nearly snapped in half. I had to pull out a grocery paper bag to haul it in, because the bottom of the bag is flat.

No offense city officials, but the paper take-out box is a terrible idea and is a big pet peeve on my list.

Here are the boxes I like take-out food to be served in:
  • The classic Chinese take-out box, never leaks, well protected, and easy to transport. There's also a wider one that's more like a tray that can be a perfect substitute for that paper thingy.
  • The tray style with lid take-out box made of CORN. That stuff won't destroy your meal (but you might eat it!).
  • Plastic tubs and lids. These are used for soups and even better than styrofoam because they don't crack that easily, and you can wash it and reuse.
Just a thought about the plastic tubs and lids: It's a great idea, but I think there are some people who question if it is allowable to recycle. The answer is, yes, please throw them in the bin. You can literally recycle anything with a "recycle number" that's usually on the bottom of products. It's not just soda cans, bottles, and newspapers folks.

But here's the thing folks, if you still love your styrofoam (and plastic bags), go buy your takeout food in Daly City (San Francisco loses tax money, but these days, who really gives a damn about Mayor Newsom and his supervisor nutjobs passing insane laws?). Just head across the border into Westlake.

If you want to be EVIL, go head down to your local Costco or Smart and Final and get yourself a set of styrofoam boxes and plastic bags (and YES, YOU CAN GET STYROFOAM BOXES AT COSTCO AND SMART AND FINAL LOCATIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO). So the next time you visit your favorite restaurant, just bring your own styrofoam product and give the middle finger to city politics.

Lastly, Akit's Complaint Department is going on a little hiatus. I have just over a week to finish my graduate school project before I earn my M.A. degree. Please cheer me on, I really want to get this over with and share my research with the Japantown community.

But don't worry, I'm haven't gone on temporary insanity... that's when I do my blogging. Thanks to all of you for reading my blog and subscribing on your RSS or similar feed program. I noticed that 15 people subscribed on the Goodle feeds program!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

San Francisco wants CONGESTION TOLLS? Is our city leaders STUPID?

In just the past week, the following "revenue generating" ideas were created by our city government idiots:
And now... our city is proposing that we also include "congestion tolls" within the downtown region of San Francisco.

And have you seen the map of where they want to put the tolls? It's totally screwed up! They want to create a border on the west side on Divisadero and also cut the Castro district in HALF.

What does this mean for our city? It might mean millions, but also pissing off a ton of residents and commuters to our lovely city. Bridge tolls are already $4 and even higher at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Here are some easy examples of pissing people off:
  • Say a commuter lives in Marin county and drives to SF Downtown to do some shopping. They pay $5 to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, pay another $2 for the Doyle Drive congestion toll, plus another $3 for entering the downtown zone. If you have to park at a downtown variable rate meter, you might as well get nailed with another $5 per hour.
  • Do you live next to one of the congestion rate borders? What happens if you have to drive to your supermarket to get groceries? You would probably get nailed with a $$$$$ crossing fee every single damn time.
  • On the Divisadero "border," I would not have any trouble getting to Kaiser Hospital for my doctor appointment, but how about when I want to visit JAPANTOWN? It's only a short hop away from Divisadero and IT'S NOT CONGESTED. Hell, I can find parking most of the time.
Lastly, if our city wants to make this congestion toll, how about fixing the infastructure of MUNI? If you are forcing people to get out of their cars and take public transit, are they ready for the influx of THOUSANDS of more paying (or cheating) customers to take the worst public transit system around? Delays, missing buses, and overcrowding... yeah... great idea. It works in LONDON because they have an excellent public transit system. Ours is crap.

I don't have any money, but if someone would like to volunteer some cash, the prize winner would be the one who gives the most headaches to city government officials. Go after the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and the SFMTA.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

UPDATE - Japantown's Festivals: David Zisser (President Homeowners Association 1600 Webster) Abuses Powers

If you recall my past posting in late August about Japantown's festivals being threatened by a homeowners owners association and the building's developer, I learned about a month ago that the letter that was written by the 1600 Webster's Homeowners Association's president (David Zisser) was not a letter that was agreed upon by the by the tenants.

In fact... the association's president ACTED ALONE.

As the letter states:

To Nihonmachi Street Fair Committee

As you are aware, this Association (along with other members of this neighborhood) must tolerate what seems to be an endless use of Post and Webster Streets for a series of look-alike street fairs with the same purveyors of schlocky souvenirs, mediocre food stands and exhibitors who have absolutely no relationship to the community. There is no other neighborhood which is asked to put up with these sorts of disruptions, and that, of course, doesn't include the disruption presented by the Fillmore Street Fair which is only one block away.

Thus, we find it astonishing that the Fair organizers would propose an event that would leave the neighborhood in worse condition than you found it and then impose your clean-up costs on this Association and other property owners. The streets and sidewalks of this neighborhood are usually filthy, especially those that surround that appalling mall, and 1600 Webster already devotes part of its yearly budget to the maintenance of its sidewalks and street trees from which this neighborhood receives a direct benefit.

We want to make it very clear to you that if the neighborhood sidewalks are not cleaned in an adequate fashion this year, this Association will file a protest with the City when you seek a permit for next year's street fair.

David H. Zisser

President, 1600 Webster Street Homeowners' Association


So the guy literally abused his powers as "president" of the association by MISREPRESENTING HIS ASSOCIATION. Or I think that the guy abused his powers as president. See the RED and BOLD highlights in the letter? These are my supporting arguments of his abuse of powers.


And you may be asking: What is your supporting evidence?

I learned about this through a discussion on SFist, talking about the Mervyn's closure and what will be used for that building. I posted a comment insulting the 1600 Webster building that it's a bunch of NIMBYs (Not in my back yard) for writing those hurtful letters to the Japantown community. One of the tenants wrote back and said:
  • "Akit, please don't characterize the whole Webster building as NIMBYs...most of us are regular people who worked hard to buy housing, and had no idea about the letters that were sent."
I wrote back and asked:
  • "I have to know, you never had any idea that the letters were sent to the J-town community about the street fair in August? That's really screwed up, then the building owner and board president was acting alone."
The commenter wrote back and said:
  • "No, we had no idea. I found out when I read it here or on curbed, I can't remember which. The neighbors to whom I spoke also had no idea. (and these are condos, so there is no one building owner)"

I also provide the following supporting evidence during a brief e-mail discussion with Paul Osaki, Executive Director of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC):
  • Hey Paul,

    This is going to sound really screwed up, but I was having a discussion with users of one of the city's popular blog news sites known as "SFist" and someone from the 1600 Webster site noted that the condo tenants didn't even know that the developer and the board president sent out the letter. If this is right, those two acted alone in pissing-off the community, and the board president abused his powers as president by misrepresentation.

    See here: http://sfist.com/2008/10/21/_with_the_mervyns_heights.php
He wrote back:
  • Hi Akit,

    That’s correct, the other owners did not know about the letter as far as I can tell.


So there's my evidence. The owners did not know anything about the president writing such a hurtful, hateful, and disgraceful letter to the Nihonmachi Street Fair and insulting the Japantown community. Many non-profit organizations depends on these festivals so they can provide services such as elderly care, childcare, after school groups, church groups, etc.

Plus, NEVER call our food mediocre. It's good stuff, for good causes, and done by hard working individuals, who in some cases have been doing it for OVER 40 YEARS.

I learned through the Nichi Bei Times that Zisser insulted the community even more, by stating he stands by his letter to the community "100 percent." So... there's no real apology. Thanks for the insults.

Now when a business wants to think about occupying that vacant space at your facility, they'll know that the Homeowners Association and Developer hates Japantown, and will not occupy the space.

Maybe it's time for those condo owners to fight back. Recall (kick) the jackass out of his presidency seat for abuse of powers as president of the association.


Other resources:
A letter I wrote to Nichi Bei Times
AsianWeek: Palate Pleasing Philanthropy at the Nihonmachi Street Fair
Hokubei Mainichi: Street Fair Starts Off With a Bang
Hokubei Mainichi: City Agency Says Festival Permits Can't Be Blocked
Photo credit: Hokubei Mainichi

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Variable Meter Rates - San Francisco's BAD Idea

Are we San Franciscans at the boiling point? It seems to be that our city government thought of this "great" idea to replace our existing parking meter system with a meter program that will have variable rates for parking.

(I put quotation marks over "great" so you can replace it with other fine words like: stupid, idiot, and f***ed up)

The SF Chronicle reports that the meter rates can vary from as low as 25 cents to as high as $18 per hour. The highest rate will be used for areas nearby festivals, large concerts, and other similar large gatherings.

The Chronicle also reports that the SFMTA Board has UNANIMOUSLY given Executive Director Nat Ford the discretion to set rates and the authority to change the price. WHAT THE HELL? You give the guy who can't even control Muni the MASTER KEYS TO THE PARKING METER PROGRAM? The VILLAGE IDIOT should not get the powers to set rates, because all he'll do is mismanage the whole damn program and all that money will just fill-in for raises for his salary and make the Muni union happy that they are getting another raise directly from the taxpayers and meter profits.

There are a lot of doubts and questions to ask:
1. What is the criteria for setting these meter rates? For example, if the city wants to charge the $18 per hour rate, how many city blocks away from a major event will this rate be used? Where is the cut-off?

2. Will there be an independent audit of this new program to monitor fairness of the meter rates?

3. How can citizens get a fair hearing if they notice frequent abuse of higher rates and want to contest for a lower meter rate?

4. If credit cards will be accepted, what guarantees their protection in transmitting data to charge the card?

5. Just how safe are these meters? Will citizens eventually revolt and the expert hackers will hack the machine to cut the $18/hr. rate to a mere 25 cents?

6. Will there be additional enforcement of disabled parking placard and license plate abuse? (Since they get free parking regardless if it is a meter, timed parking limit, or green painted curb).

7. In what areas of San Francisco will generally get the lower meter rates versus the higher meter rates? (Currently: Downtown, Fisherman's Wharf, SOMA (including near the Ballpark), and even SFSU have higher rates versus other neighborhoods. These are well defined with maps showing the boundaries)

8. Will there be an easy way for citizens to find out what the meter rate is currently, and give an accurate prediction on when the rate may rise and fall? I.e. online, automated phone system, web cell phone access.

Citizens, it is your responsibility to also monitor the program's effectiveness. Use your cell phone camera and take pictures of any abuses to the system. Auditors will not always be out there, but the watchful eyes of citizens will. You can't always trust your local city government and the village idiots who run our city.

Readers, just something to think about:
In the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco, there is a pilot program offering the use of cell phones to be used to pay for meters. One would simply text message the meter code number and the money is added. The service will also text you when the meter is running low and give you an opportunity to "feed" the meter.

But thinking about this concept, isn't the chance to "feed" the meter ILLEGAL? It's illegal to park longer than the posted limit on meters, and "feeding" the meter with coins after the posted limit will get you a ticket (especially if the meter maids chalked your tires). So why is the city permitting cell phone users to also break the law?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ex-Supervisor Ed Jew - Pleads Guilty Again! Now for Lying about Residency

Dear Super Shameful, Scumbag, Ex-Supervisor Ed Jew,

I'm so happy that you plead guilty for a second time to charges about lying about your residency. Your career is over! But your career in a maximum security prison is just starting!

What a great moment in San Francisco history for everyone! You never really did live in the Sunset after all. You were just housed in your Burlingame home and driving to City Hall everyday. I don't know why the media just didn't follow you around, but it's so nice you admitted guilt.

You still haven't answered my previous question before: when Kamala Harris got the warrant for your arrest, why did you surrender to police in Burlingame? If you were smart, you would have surrendered with the SFPD or at least in Daly City. But instead, you go to Burlingame? Where your other "home" is located? And let's remember, Burlingame is much farther away than Pacifica, Colma, and Daly City.

So be prepared for prison. That's what the people want. You will be made an example to anyone who wants to pull that kind of crap. You won't get off easy like Julie Lee who got F***ING probation. You are a government official, and the people trust you to do your job legitimately.

Lastly, don't blame the Asian American population that got you in this situation. I'm also Asian American, and it's your own damn fault.

Akit of "Akit's Complaint Department"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hey BART - why keep pushing EZ Rider when Translink is coming soon?

A lot of people today complain that BART's trains are a little dirtier, the employees are overpaid, the BART board is a bunch of nutjobs, and the frequent demagnetized tickets.

And now with the future of the all mighty universal transit fare card known as Translink, BART still keeps on developing their EZ Rider program.

OK... so the EZ rider pilot program was the genius idea of BART officials to give RFID fare cards to passengers so they can get through their gates without inserting a magnetic ticket into a machine.

What an interesting program... isn't there something called TRANSLINK that will be taking over this process within the next year?

Now... BART puts out a press release explaining that users of the EZ Rider program can now get a special hang tag to put on their car when they park their car, so all they do is tag their card at the parking payment station and they are registered in the system.

But, with BART officials continuously complaining about budget shortfalls and not being able to run their system with clean cars and whatnot, why are they pushing their EZ Rider program further? Why are they wasting money on this program when Translink is going to be taking over BART's EZ Rider program and making the entire Bay Area Transit system a "one card Bay Area?" BART should stop enhancing their EZ Rider program and use the funds to help test and develop the Translink program so it works well when the program comes to be.

I think BART feels addicted to waste money on these types of projects.

For example:
  • EZ Rider should have never been developed for public use since Translink will eventually take over.
  • Even after installation of new BART vending machines and gates, the plastic fare cards still kept getting demagnetized. So they are trying to invest in thicker, and magnetically resistant fare cards... but the new cards cost money. They could have saved money if they just used the thicker, more resistant fare cards when they first installed the gates and vending machines. Everyone knows that the cards can easily demagnetize, so why piss tons of passengers off?
  • Remember when BART wanted to allow passengers to carry coffee aboard the train cars? BART thought... well let's spend money on a new mug that is spill proof!!! Then Lynette Sweet, BART director, goes around with the SF Chronicle to demonstrate the new mug they spent their money on developing (perhaps thousands of dollars?) and she SPILLS THE DAMN COFFEE, with the SF Chronicle photographer taking photos of her cleaning it up. Yeah... very embarrassing BART folks... then the BART Board realizes that Lynette Sweet screwed-up big time in front of the media with the spilled coffee and cancels the program. Just HOW MUCH MONEY DID THEY HAVE TO WASTE ON THIS BULLSHIT PROJECT?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is San Francisco's Muni Going Cheap on the Lights?

Today, I was riding the 18-46th Avenue towards Stonestown and I noticed that the lights inside the bus (as seen in the photo) are a little different.

It looks like the agency might be trying to cut back on their costs, but um... I don't really think it's a good idea to replace the fluorescent bulbs with LED lights. It doesn't even look like they are even bright enough when darkness falls. Plus, these new lights look ugly.

And what's wrong with the fluorescent lights? They are bright and they are the standard for literally all transit applications in the country.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cool things about Election Day in San Francisco

I have to say that yesterday's election day was historic for not just the United States of America, but also for San Francisco.

Of course, we have a new President-elect and that happened at the stroke of 8PM when I was watching KTVU and Fox News broke the word to me, then I flip the channels rapidly and all the news networks announced it literally seconds apart.

Once thing I did notice, the over-the-air digital TV reception was good during the results, went sour when Obama went on the stage. I wonder if our country's investment in the new digital TV equipment is ready for something extreme like that. It's like cable internet services, everyone gets a piece of the pie, but if there's too many people in the pie, the service goes slow.

Back to San Francisco...

I think it's really interesting that we had an extreme turnout. I work at San Francisco State University and the line at the residence hall community was huge! I heard that SFSU's polling place is the largest precinct (based on population) in the entire city of San Francisco. The line was at least 100 feet long and two to three people wide.

And all those freebies! I got myself some free ice cream from Ben and Jerry's too.

I think the one big thing about our ballots this year is that there was a lot of material to vote on, and that may be a reason why the lines were so long at places like SFSU. I live in the Outer Richmond District, and other than voting for the Presidency, state and local propositions, school and college board members, and a judge; I had to also vote for a supervisor. That's four ballot cards with most of them using the back side as well. That took me at least an hour to do an absentee ballot.

(Big tip: When you get your ballot book, read it, then use the practice sheet inside to fill it out so you can quickly do your official ballot later)

In other news, San Francisco's "George W. Bush sewage plant" won't exist. Rats. I thought that was some amusing stuff. But the 30% of San Franciscan's who voted "yes" can still call it that unofficially. Could we change the Main Library to be named the "George W. Bush "leberry?""

All I can say now is, what a relief that this is all over. No more political bickering over the news, no more political ads on the radio during every commercial break, and no more killing trees to put those hanging ads on my house's gate.

I forgot to mention, I gave the finger to a person holding a "Yes on 8" sign when I was driving towards Costco. Discrimination in this country, and especially laws that prohibit people based on their ethnicity, race, skin color, and sexual orientation is just wrong. If prop. 8 passes, this will be one of the worst human rights issue in this nation in recent history (although many of us acknowledge that the Japanese internment camps was the worst human and civil rights violations in American history).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can't Wait for Election Day to be Over - No More Advertising!

It is always great that we as Americans can use our constitutional right to vote, especially for the Presidency of our country and for big issues, especially Proposition 8 in California.

But the best part after all the hype... no more advertising of "vote for this" and "vote for that" on the phone, television and radio commercials, and by mail.

It makes me sick that when I turn-on the radio to my favorite station, all I hear during every commercial break is to say yes to this and say no to that. Then it's also on your TV too! I want to watch the Simpsons in peace dammit! And if I collected all the political ads I got in the mail, it would be a couple of inches thick. I got ten in one day, and I don't read any of them.

So celebrate my fellow Americans... no more sick to your stomach, vomit political ads to bother you any more.

Now... how long until the news stations cut-off their elections coverage and replace it with normal TV broadcasting?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Castro Halloween 2008 Lives Again & AT&T Park Halloween Fizzled

Hot from the news folks at KPIX, their 11PM news broadcast reports that while the streets are closed in the Castro for this Halloween 2008, people still came to celebrate in the sidewalks and the businesses were wide open. Looks like the Castro's economy will prosper from this event, you need food and drink when you wear a costume and sweat to death in a mask.

And as for the city's "Official" event in the parking lot at AT&T Park... it fizzled! KPIX reports that attendance was only 2,000 and an official from the Entertainment Commission was expecting five times that number. The city estimates the event they planned, costs $500,000, and it looks like by the very dismal attendance, the city would have likely lost about $430,000 (2000 people, and multiply that by $35 admission fee per person, subtract that by 500,000).

The Entertainment Commission representative blames poor publicity (naa, blame yourself for thinking of this idea out your asshole).

Well hell, it was poor publicity from the start. Who the hell would want to party at a parking lot, where the vendors charge insane prices for food, charge money for admission, get pat searched down before entering, the T-Third line only runs single train cars (limited capacity), and AT&T Park's insane parking rates for these "special events."

So once again, our beloved (now moronic) city officials, and as always, David Perry, screwed-up again!

Let's point out the real bad things that went wrong:
  • The city more than likely wasted even more money than last year. Last year was just a shut-down of the Castro (estimated $300,000) with anti-Halloween promotion by David Perry ($40,000), but this year is the huge financial loss of the AT&T Park festival ($430,000) and still paying for cops and city officials at the Castro (unsure, but at least $50,000).
  • The retailers who paid for a space at AT&T park with the expectation of 10,000 people, got no business.
Oh hell, I'll just make it simple, Castro next year!

If you went to the Castro, thank you for giving a big middle finger and "FUCK YOU" to Gavin Newsom, Bevan Dufty, and David Perry. Now do you trust your city officials? No... that's why I should be Mayor. I'd kick anyone's ass who really deserves it. Up first, Muni's union.

Lastly, my poll shows a landslide victory for me to wear the Arnold outfit. So here's the photos!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why do people insult Ethnic Studies?

40 years ago, San Francisco State University was home to the longest student led strike in American history, and this created the school (now college) of Ethnic Studies, and is the only such "College" in the entire United States.

I respect that, regardless of the insane violence, police clashes, and everything else. SFSU is home to something really special.

Even for me, I thought I would go into a career of being an English teacher for the public high schools, but my new love came to Asian American Studies. I knew I had a great background way before college because of my deep connections to the Japanese American community (Japantown) in San Francisco, and the respect of the members of the community who believe my late grandmother is the hero of the community for being one of the major leaders of the Japanese American redress movement.

The 40th anniversary is a proud moment for SFSU, and it's not just history. The classes offered today provide a wide opportunity to learn about ethnic cultures (other than white/European American), and especially amazing is you can learn about one specific ethnicity in three different courses including history, psychology, and literature. Even more is that the interdisciplinary courses discover things like the film industry, how it relates to today's modern U.S. government, and even mixed heritage studies. And whether or not you realize it, some popular local celebrities were also part of our family, including Malou Nubla who attended Professor Dan Gonzales' class and also was head of PACE (Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor), and comedian Rex Nevarrette who respects the college for giving him a career in comedy.

And I'm proud to be part of this wonderful group, not just a B.A. degree holder in Asian American Studies, but also I'm close to earning my M.A. in the same topic too.

Yet... out of all this great news and pride, comes the sour part to all of this. I recently posted a comment on the SFGate comment boards noting my appreciation for the College and its programs, but soon later got pelted by others saying that Ethnic Studies is an insult. Including one literally pointing out that I won't have any kind of career (stating that I will be working at some fast food joint).

It almost seems that Ethnic Studies in college today has to be defended every single day in this country.

So here's my arguments/defense towards those insults:
  • Yes, I do have a career. I work part-time as an Administrative Assistant while I work on my Master's degree. My knowledge in ethnic studies earns a high degree of respect in my field because of the uniqueness and very diverse population of people we work with.
  • James Hirabayashi was the first dean of the school of Ethnic Studies at SFSU, and he stated that as students and graduates of the Ethnic Studies program, it becomes our responsibilities to use the knowledge we received and apply that to our communities. So therefore, there is a career for people like me!
  • Elementary through high school teaches the Eurocentric point of view, and people rarely learn about the other views of so called "American history." Ethnic Studies gives that other view of history. Ethnic Studies also tells about the history that the Eurocentric view would never talk about, for example the International Hotel controversy in San Francisco's Manilatown, and why San Francisco's Chinatown looks "Oriental" when rebuilt after the huge fire after the 1906 earthquake.
  • Without Ethnic Studies, ethnic communities in the SF Bay Area would lack the leadership and proper knowledge about the history of the ethnic group(s) they represent. The Japantown community has leaders who are well versed in the topic of Japanese American culture, with many who have taken ethnic studies or have teached Asian American Studies to other students.
  • Without Ethnic Studies, who will teach their children (or future children) about their ethnic background(s)? I don't have a child, but if he/she asked me about their ethnic heritage, I would tell them the whole story about my Japanese and Chinese heritage, thanks to the folks of Ethnic Studies.
  • A particular example of passing on Ethnic Studies to the young is a program known as PEP. Volunteer students from SFSU teaches young Pilipino students in High School about their culture through a very unique teaching style that is being recognized nationally as a way to teach ethnic studies to people who are not of college age.
  • Research about ethnic groups (other than whites) is absolutely necessary today. The birth of Asian American Studies has spurred a lot of research in just the last forty years, investigating issues from Chinese Americans involved with Christianity, and how ethnic beauty pageants can be controversial.
  • Without an Asian American Studies background, I would have not been able to lead and defend Japantown in 2006 when major properties were put up for sale, equaling about 1/3 (one-third) of the entire community. Without my vast knowledge about Japanese Americans, I could not have started a petition drive that received over 16,000 signatures, and write empassioned messages to other ethnic communities asking for their help. For example: I contacted a bunch of my Pilipino American friends and explained to them that losing Japantown is just like losing the I-Hotel, and Japanese Americans were there when the I-Hotel was under attack by riot cops trying to evict the tenants.
  • Ethnic Studies is not a waste of a college's/university's money. It demonstrates that educational institutions needs to teach about other views of American history. One example: Eurocentric American history might just seldom mention about the Japanese American Internment Camps and a brief history about how they won redress. Asian American Studies focusing on Japanese American Studies gives their take to the whole camp and redress experiences through many readings and since it's specific to Japanese American history, can really focus on what makes this topic so important. Try asking detailed questions to a Eurocentric American history teacher... they might say "go see an Ethnic Studies professor for help" (then, they'd get fired for lack of knowledge).
There's my main points to this. If you still feel that Ethnic Studies is a waste of college resources and an insult to Universities, then come see me, and I'll drag your butt to people I know who will whip you into shape. I used a similar defense during the time when Japantown's festivals were recently threatened and noted that those people who wrote those mean spirited letters should come see me, and I'd let them meet the people in-person, the hard working volunteers that gets paid nothing other than seeing their community thrive and be proud. Some of them have been active in the Japantown community for over 40 years, now that's real respect and pride right there.

There's a reason why I quote Professor Dan Begonia on the bottom of my blog, I respect that guy for giving me the power to be a proud Asian American, and to continue on the tradition of promoting Ethnic Studies by leading our ethnic communities to a bright future.

(Photograph from left to right: Jon, Melissa, and myself. The three of us are part of the Master's program in Asian American Studies at SFSU.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wasted San Francisco Tax Money on Lame 2008 Anti-Halloween Campaign - Again!

Looks like the city invested more of our wasted tax dollars on that bastard David Perry and Associates to make another "Home for Halloween" bullshit.

(If you are wondering why I feel that David Perry was paid with taxpayer money, look at the website, on the bottom left of Perry's site has the City and County of San Francisco's seal and sponsored by Newsom himself!)

So... let's see what kind of David Parry created shit he did this time.

It looks like my tax dollars went into updating his childish looking "Home for Halloween" website: http://www.homeforhalloween.com/

And notice the good ol' graphic (down below)? Yep, once again, it looks like a damn five year old made the graphic. And it's the same one he used last year! So really, his expense for creating this childish graphic is ZERO.

And now they have... YouTube (or they call "BooTube" videos)... but I like to call them BullshiTUBE videos because they once again make low quality commercials/PSAs that these local TV stations will NOT likely air it:
  • KTVU (Fox 2)
  • KNTV (NBC 11)
  • KPIX (CBS 5)
  • KGO (ABC 7)
  • KQED (like who in their right minds would put it on PBS?)
  • KOFY (TV 20)
  • KBCW (CW 44)
But of course, there's always one station that will air the shitty commercials... KRON! Where do you think they got the studio space to make their BullshiTube quality videos? And if you produce a commercial at one TV station, the competitor stations will realize that "I don't want to air that material on my station because we are competing against them."

So make an effort to piss off David Perry... vote with "one star" on his stupid ass videos. And also... YouTube comments on his new vids are open! So go ahead and piss him off that way too. Remember David Perry... if you delete YouTube comments, you sponsor government censorship, since taxpayers are paying for you to promote "Home for Halloween."

Oh... and don't forget his "Home for Halloween" blog too! It seems that although he is getting a huge wad of cash to promote "Home for Halloween," he uses BLOGGER a FREE SERVICE to conduct his "official" blog.

Makes me wonder... for the wad of taxpayer money he gets... how much is he spending? Hey Newsom, get your auditors out there and check on David Perry's expenses. If he doesn't use all the money you gave him, get it back, even if that means getting the City Attorney involved.

Let's add up David Perry's expenses (a hypothetical estimate):
  • Re-using homeforhalloween.com: Zero dollars.
  • Re-using childish looking pumpkin, skull, and ghost graphic: Zero dollars.
  • Using Blogger to make his "Home for Halloween" blog: Zero dollars.
  • Making low quality commercials at the KRON studios: Zero dollars.
  • Getting it aired on KRON: Zero dollars.
  • Getting it aired on other TV stations: Not applicable.
  • Hiring unknown celebrities to be part of the commercials: One $1 cheeseburger at McDonalds.
  • Using YouTube to promote the commercials: Zero dollars.
  • A make your own "Home for Halloween" contest for money: $750 of taxpayer money (given as a prize) for something that hardly anyone wants to make an ad for.
  • (And just to add to this, I learned that last year's winner was the ONLY person who entered, and let me tell you, his video was crap... and the guy who made the video agreed!)
  • People coming to the Castro on Halloween to give Bevan Dufty and David Perry the middle finger: Priceless.
Taxpayer money can buy a P.R. organization to tell you to get the fuck away from the Castro, but the people will still come.

Always remember... Akit's Complaint Department is watching you David Perry. Akit is always looking out for the San Francisco taxpayers to make sure that our government leaders are not wasting money on bullshit stuff.

And... Bevan Dufty is still a liar. I love this photo I found on Castro Halloween's website!

Did anyone notice that the Castro Halloween website is now in cohoots (better known as having sex with or sleeping with) the folks making up that 2008 Halloween event at AT&T Park? So now... the organization for "Halloween in the Castro" and David Perry's PR business is both supporting the AT&T Park Halloween bash. What the hell is going on around here? Last year it was the "Halloween in the Castro" organization did not want the city to shut down the neighborhood, and David Perry was sponsored by Newsom and taxpayer money to tell you to scram.

For all you readers, do me a favor, go have fun in the Castro for Halloween. Last year's closure crippled their economy. So buy that slice of pizza and get your beer and enjoy. Make sure you don't tick off the cops, it looks like the city will waste (once again) hundreds of thousands of dollars of our tax money to "shut down" the Castro once again. Just please, don't bring the FBI (is Osama going to pee on the streets?) and the SWAT sharpshooters (as confirmed by KTVU news last year).

Disclaimer: I can't really prove that David Perry received a wad of taxpayer money to sponsor the 2008 anti-Castro Halloween campaign, but if you see the City's official seal and noting that is sponsored by Mayor Newsom's office on Perry's website, then there is a very good possibility that there was some kind of financial payment of taxpayer dollars made to David Perry.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Goodbye KFRC-FM, San Francisco Will Miss You

CBS Radio has just dug its own grave today. Word from the folks at the San Francisco Chronicle is that KFRC-FM radio will be changing formats to something entirely different. They are planning to drop the music segment and simulcast their KCBS-AM news station on the FM dial.

KFRC has been a San Francisco institution for decades. I remember as a kid listening to all the great oldies songs, including all the Beach Boys and Beatles tunes. I still remember that KFRC on the 610 AM dial was the only San Francisco station that can be heard all the way from Donner Summit, about 300 miles away from San Francisco, and they even played the oldies at Ikeda's in Auburn, which is about 200 miles away and the official halfway point for the trip to Reno.

I really got disappointed when KFRC was kicked-off the 99.7 portion of the radio dial for their new "Movin" themed music station and KFRC had nowhere to go.

Then a glimmering light came out of the sky, that annoying talk radio station on 106.9 was kicked off (Adam Carolla must have done a bad job) and KFRC was reborn, but it felt like it was missing a leg and an arm by rebranding it as "Classic Hits."

It was nice to hear both oldies tunes and some of the best of the 70's and 80's, and these tunes that I've heard on the station now compliment my great iTunes collection. But then... an unnecessary evil came around: A's Baseball. Who would have knew that putting A's baseball broadcasts on a music station would be the most annoying crap ever? I want my tunes! Sports games are supposed to be aired on AM stations. Literally, AM stations are made for news, talk, and sports. FM stations are made for music.

Anyone remember Z 95.7 (KZQZ) and really made themselves a niche in this competitive radio market in San Francisco? They always played the most popular and newest tunes coming out on MTV. They really had the ball going, and I even won $100 by being caller #9. But the radio managers had to do the worst investment ever to the station by turning it into... (grumble) country music. I mean, they switched just like that and ruined the station's reputation forever.

It's so bad that radio stations pull this switcharoo in the worst manner. In nearly all cases, they simply light a stick of dynamite with a very short fuse, and boom! the station changes in a snap. All the personalities gets laid off immediately, and here comes some new genere. Us KFRC fans are being given a week's notice to prepare for this, but this is the end for KFRC.

Bye bye KFRC, I will sure miss you. Please come back soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Idiot Parks in USPS Drive Thru Mailbox Lane

What's wrong with this photograph? (If you can't see the photo, please go directly to: http://www.akit.org)

Well today, I had to drop off some very important mail at the post office at the Lakeshore Plaza USPS post office in San Francisco. They also feature a drive thru drop-off mailbox since parking can be a little difficult at this location.

So I get there, and this clown messes it up for everyone. What's wrong with the photo?
  • Parks car in the drive thru.
  • Parks car the wrong way.
  • Parks car in a no parking zone.
  • Pisses off everyone.
  • Driver is nowhere to be seen, not even the post office.
And just to add to the suspense and humiliation, other than posting it on my blog and Flickr photo page, the security guard came by and took a photo of the license plate to send the driver a citation.

Do you know who this person is? California License Plate: 6BUA854.

Lastly, vote for Akit's Halloween costume! Will he wear the Bill "I Miss Monica" Clinton costume, or will he wear the Arnold "KAA-LEE-FORN-YA" Schwarzenegger costume? Vote on left column on my blog site: http://www.akit.org.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fed Up with Political Advertising - LEAVE ME ALONE

An open letter to any political group, organization, and individuals involved in political advertising:

Please STOP telling me to vote for somebody, some state or local proposition, or participate in some kind of political survey.

Why am I telling you to stop? It's so simple that if you don't understand it, maybe you should ship your dumb ass back to college or get your GED:
  1. I've already voted.
  2. I've voted by mail.
Maybe there should be a law that if you register as a permanent absentee that citizens should stop getting daily advertising in the mail, and harassing phone calls once the ballots are mailed out. If people have already voted via mail or visiting City Hall, what a waste of trees and people's time to mail crap and call you.

And I honestly don't care if you are from some labor union telling me that somebody is an evil person and should not be voted. I don't give a crap what you say. I vote for who I want, I don't care if my votes support one political party over another because I vote for what I feel is RIGHT.

And out of personal experience, I used to work for a polling place and a lady asked for some help filling out her ballot. She pulled out this card she got from her mail that told her to vote for such and such candidate and proposition, and I was saying to myself: "you have to be fucking kidding." If you can't think about the truth and consequences of your vote by looking at an ad telling you to vote for, maybe you should not vote.

And especially for any of you who call people for hours on end... JUST STOP CALLING ME. I'm really serious, DON'T CALL. I am about this close to getting a lawyer to cram a lawsuit so far up your butt, or demanding to speak to your supervisor for your resignation. And you call at the most obscure hours too, like when I'm EATING DINNER. Hey, I just want to watch the Simpson's and eat my dinner, leave me be.

And another thing, how about those automated messages? I think there' s a law where if you hang up, the message must stop after five seconds. Well the last few annoying ass calls I received DIDN'T HANG UP IN 5 SECONDS. And how about saying at the beginning of the message: "If you do not want to listen to this message and NEVER BE CALLED AGAIN, PRESS ONE." Simple, easy, and bother free. Or how about for every message you leave, you at least say "This is a political message," then I can simply hang up.

And for all you jackasses out there: I shred any mailed political ads immediately without reading them. I may just consider blacking out my address and mailing it back to you in big black letters in saying "go fuck yourself." Phone calls get the standard treatment (for now), a pissed off Asian American guy ready to cuss like a sailor.

So to summarize this, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE.

Friday, October 10, 2008


That SCUMBAG ED JEW is going to have a pleasant time in PRISON...

HE just pleaded guilty in Federal court to charges of bribery, extortion, and plans to accuse others.

Now... we just need to get is stupid ass convicted for LYING about his RESIDENCY (a.k.a. elections fraud).

Why would this bastard lie about his residency? When DA Harris issued the warrant for his arrest, he surrendered to police at Burlingame. Burlingame is where his other "home" is located.

Stupid stupid stupid.

Remember Ed, prisons don't offer tapioca drinks, and extortion and bribery only works on fellow inmates so you don't become someone's "bitch."

More about this story here.

Also, I just fucked around with his wikipedia page. Hope he likes it.

SF Supervisor Bevan Dufty - Liar and Castro's Halloween Killer

Word is going around that the City and County of San Francisco is not going to host the 2008 Castro Halloween.

As you can recall from last year and postings here at the Complaint Department, the 2007 Castro Halloween was canceled by the city and the city actually spent their money paying for insane amounts of police overtime, and other city staffing expenses to shut down the Castro, and that really hurt the neighborhood's economy and reputation.

Oh, and don't forget the wasted $40,000 of MY TAX MONEY campaign by David Perry & Associates to tell people to stay away from the Castro in 2007. They made cheap and crappy PSAs/TV commercials that received one to three star ratings on YouTube (see here) and every local TV station refused to air the commercial except for KRON (the least watched and worst station in the city), used Blogger (a free service) to make blog postings, and made posters that looks like a kindergarten student did it. Plus, they used my tax money for GOVERNMENT SPONSORED CENSORSHIP, they erased and blocked all comments and ratings on their YouTube videos, and erased all negative comments from their "Home for Halloween" blog. And just to note, I made those negative comments that got erased. If they didn't want comments, they should have shut it off before posting those YouTube videos and that blog.

Now, the "City that knows how" to fuck up San Francisco wants you to get the hell away from the Castro again. If I can, I'd slap the Entertainment Commission people in the back of the head, with my belt.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty
And you are wondering, why do I have San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty's photo on here? Well, this person PROMISED ON LOCAL TV CAMERAS and the NEWSPAPERS that he will return the event to the Castro in 2008.

Straight from the horse's mouth (or may I say ass):
""I'm not shutting down the neighborhood again," Dufty said Friday, acknowledging that the city's request cost some owners tens of thousands of dollars in revenue." (Chronicle 11/3/08, click here for article)
So now the liar says this in a recent article from the Bay Area Reporter:
"With Castro bars not facing a similar shutdown this year, and the city's plans to hold a free event near the Giant's ballpark moving forward..." (Bay Area Reporter Online 10/9/08, click here for article)
Well well well... Bevan Dufty makes promises that are not true. Do you know what I call people who don't tell the truth? A LIAR! A BIG FAT LIAR. DON'T EXPECT TO GET RE-ELECTED WHEN CAMPAIGN POSTERS IN THE CASTRO SAY:
So now, the City is sponsoring this "San Francisco Halloween Festival 2008" on Halloween at the parking lot at AT&T Park, one of the worst places to even hold an event in this city.

AT&T Park Lot "A" equals bad idea

Let us go over the list of reasons why AT&T Park's Lot "A" is a terrible place. One: AT&T's parking lots are not easily accessible by Muni. We've got the "T" line, which stops right next to it, but do you realize that the platform they use for that line is only suitable to run one-car trains? That means LOW CAPACITY. Also, AT&T Park will try to gouge you as best they can, and they'll do it by charging for parking. Regular baseball games run about $30 a car, but special events similar to the shows like Cirque at the parking lot charges $20 a car. And don't forget the food, the City is already looking for greedy for-profit food booths that are used in events like the Fillmore Jazz Festival who charge a huge amount of money for food to its patrons.

So what does that mean for the Castro? That means an especially bad time for their economy. When they did have these festivals, the Castro's economy got a big boost because people needed food to eat and things to drink. So by cancelling Castro again and this economy going into a possible big recession, the Castro will suffer with the loss of revenue to the neighborhood. Why not bring it back to the original home of Halloween fun? And even last year during the shutdown, a couple of bars were open and lines were out the door! That shows you what kind of brisk business would have happened if the Castro was opened.

(Photo from City and County of San Francisco's website; public domain since my tax dollars pay for that photo and website)

Please note: My apologies if you subscribed and received a blank posting with only Dufty's photo on it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Costco Gives Back Early Hour to Executive and Business Members

Two postings ago here at the Complaint Department, I noticed on September 26, 2008 that Costco changed their operating hours to permit their Gold Star members to enter the El Camino Real (South San Francisco) location at 10AM instead of 11AM, thereby screwing the Executive and Business members who get this special early privilege to conduct their shopping.

Well... here's something new. The photo shows now (October 3, 2008) that the policy has been reversed and Gold Star Members now have to enter at their regular time at 11AM.

Cheers to Costco for giving us Executive and Business members back our special hour!

I wonder why they reverted back the hours so quickly, like in just one week's time. Maybe it is because of my posting here at the Complaint Department and possibly the posting thread I started on Yelp. Click here for the Yelp conversation.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Translink and Muni - "Secret" Information about the Future

Is Translink ready for San Francisco's Muni? That's the big question. In a previous posting here at Akit's Complaint Department, I informed you that Muni and the folks at the Bay Area's MTC are starting to find volunteers (I call victims) to try out this new system.

Well I'm going to give you a big "secret" that only a select number of people in the public knows about the future of this project. You can't find this in any local newspaper, but you can just look at the SFMTA meeting that was held on September 16, 2008; the same day the board was going to hear comments about Muni's TEP program. Now, you can watch five hours of video, but who really wants to get tortured all day long watching a government meeting?

So I'll give you the brief here at the Complaint Department!

I got tipped off by the folks at "BART Rage" a blog forum for people who want to rant about BART. One writer gave a brief update about Muni's future role in the Translink program, and pointed a link towards the SF Government's online video library. In the 9/16/08 SFMTA meeting video, the SFMTA got a presentation from representatives of the Translink authority about the future of Muni and Translink (21 minutes and 30 seconds into the video) and they blab on about the three phases they will go through before the public gets their hands on giving the system hell.
  • The first phase is active right now and is about 1000 Muni employees doing a dry run of the system.
  • The second phase is coming in November where 1000 employees, plus a select group of riders will be testing the system and providing feedback through surveys and focus groups.
  • The third phase is in April 2009, and they will push for more of the public to test the system, and all Muni employees will be handed a card to try too.
  • Eventually, Translink will inform the SFMTA/Muni if it is fully ready to bring the system up to full speed with mass public use in 2009 (however it sucks that they won't tell us when, maybe to cover their ass from people like me who expect people to stick to their word).
At about 37 minutes into the damn presentation, there's a really interesting timeline of what is going to happen for the future of the program with the entire SF Bay Area systems. Muni is expected to be ready by April of 2009, and BART and Caltrain in "early 2009" (once again, no official date really just means... "we'll get it done in 2010").

Also, the presenter admitted to the SFMTA board that the metro faregates are really near the end of their useful life and mentions that there may be issues with the card readers installed on the "exit" gates which can be used to scan cards for entry to the system. On the brighter side, Muni plans to replace the gates in 2012 (damn... those old gates will be dust by then).

Next, Cable Car usage for Translink. The presenter noted that Translink is finding a solution for the Cable Car operators to use the Translink program. Since they can't modify Cable Car equipment to install readers (one of those historic landmark laws or something), the conductor will carry a portable card reader that can deduct fares.

Lastly to sum up this 20 minute video of hell, one of the SFMTA board members asked about Muni metro and those fare enforcers that has been pissing off the citizens of this city for a looooooonggg time. Well, the Translink rep says that they will carry card readers to check on these cards. Personally, my fear is that they won't be armed with readers for a long time when the public is testing out this program, and the testers will get pissed when they see $100 fare evasion tickets (here come the lawyers!!!).

So are we ready for Translink now? Things are looking up for Muni, but damn... why do we have to wait until April? It's proven itself on Golden Gate Transit and AC Transit, can't we use the lessons they learned to make this program come out a little faster?

And if you want to know, will I be a volunteer? I've been a pilot tester since 2001 when Translink first came to the scene with very limited routes and stations on multiple systems. Most bus drivers and station agents were curious, but in some cases, I've had some operators who went from super nice to full blown pissed off when I used my card; and in one situation a driver nearly threw my card out the window. I went nuts and started blowing steam at Translink and Muni, and that guy is either working behind a desk or is fired. I still have my card today in my wallet, but I won't dare to use it on Muni. But for Golden Gate? Sure! 20% discount every time! F-yeah!

So will I volunteer? Nope. Until I feel that there's enough trust and education provided to all Muni drivers and agents about how this thing works, I won't use my card.