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or, better yet, give him a job."
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

SF's 10 Cent Restaurant Take-Out Bag Ordinance - Another Stupid Law from Your City Government

The San Francisco city government is going to regret this...

Starting this Tuesday, October 1, 2013, a city ordinance will now require all food establishments to stop giving out plastic bags, and all delivery and take-out bags will cost a minimum of 10 cents each.

Due to the end of plastic bags, food establishments can only give out: paper bags with a minimum 40% post recycled user content (most commonly used), compostable plastic bag, or a washable checkout bag that can be used more than 125 times (e.g. cloth bag).

But there are a few exceptions that has no ten cent charge that I'll highlight: Bags for things like bulk foods, candy, and to serve popcorn are exempt.  A bag used to contain seafood, meat, and frozen items.  A plastic bag is acceptable to seal items to prevent damage, mostly liquid items like soups and curries.  Lastly, there is no fee if you receive a doggy bag for your leftover food.

It Hurts Businesses
What does this mean for our city's restaurant establishments?  For those that has mostly dine-in patrons, the law won't impact them as badly because as I stated before, a doggy bag for leftovers is free.

But for those whose business is a majority of take-out, delivery, owns a bakery, or a fast food establishment, this bag law will be a problem.  It casts a negative aspect that every time a patron comes to order a meal, they will be forced to surrender an extra ten cents, by law, just so they can bring it in their office or bring it home to feed their family.

I'm predicting that if the ten cent bag law casts huge negative attention, people will stop going to establishments that exclusively depends on giving customers a bag to take their food items, baked goods, and their burger.  And what does that mean to everybody?  Businesses will lose their loyal customers, businesses will lose profits, the city and state will have less tax revenue to receive, and with less tax money coming in, less money can be spent by the government for the services used by the public.

Fast Food Restaurants Will Take a Hit
Take a look at McDonalds and Burger King, a majority of their restaurant patrons take it to-go.  I feel a lot of patrons will be grumpy that they are forced with the choice of eating-in (if they have the time), bringing their own bag which will then get all greasy and sticky, or fork over the ten cents in the name of greedy city government stupidvisors.

The 10 Cent Bag Law when comparing a Restaurant versus Grocery Store
When you compare food establishments versus grocery stores, there's a big difference with the 10 cent bag law.  At least when you buy groceries, bringing your own bag is fine because the products you buy are unlikely going to leak or stink up your bag.  But if you buy hot food items from a restaurant, bringing your own bag is a horrible idea because the smell of the food might stay into the fabrics, it might leak and make a greasy or sticky mess, and in the long run, reusable bags means after a small amount of use, people will likely throw it away and not wash it.

Akit's Opinions
I don't like the idea of forcing a 10 cent bag law on food establishments.  Restaurants that heavily depend on deliveries and take-out will get hurt the most.  Some of you might say it's just ten cents, but for someone like me who doesn't always have money to burn, I might as well get my take-out dinners from Daly City since I work not far at SF State.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Being Patient and Being Rude on the Streets of San Francisco

I've mentioned before that driving can be stressful, but it can also be a pleasure when things go right.

I'd like to share with you something that happened yesterday (Monday) while driving from a neighborhood restaurant to a store where I needed to pick-up something.

An instance of being nice:
I've blogged before about the law requiring all drivers to stop behind a Muni metro vehicle while it is accepting and discharging passengers.  On Judah, the street is notorious for stops that would discharge passengers and the possibility of a car would zoom by with total disregard of the people.

While waiting just a block from Sunset Boulevard, I stopped behind a two-car Muni metro N-Judah vehicle and had to wait over a minute for the traffic signal to turn green and the train to start moving.  While waiting behind the second car, I noticed several cars behind me, including a taxicab; but fortunately, none of them honked at me or drive like a fool to get around me.  When the signal changed and the train moved, everyone just drove on.

An instance of being rude:
While driving on Winston on the north side of San Francisco State University, I noticed a pedestrian wearing black standing at a crosswalk.  The crosswalk is not at an intersection, but a dimly lit one that connects one of the university's parking lot to a stairwell leading to the university's corporation yard.

Upon approaching the crosswalk, I slow down and stop.  The car going in the other direction does the same by slowing down and stopping.

I lowered my window because the pedestrian was hesitant to cross the street and I wanted to encourage the person to cross as both directions of traffic has stopped.  But the driver behind me became quickly impatient and started blowing their horn and flashing the high beams multiple times.  I pointed my finger at the pedestrian indicating the reason why I stopped, but the jerk continued to be a prick.

Soon later, the pedestrian crossed the street and thanked the drivers who stopped.

Akit's Opinion
Being calm and polite is the best way to drive.  If you want to be a jerk, just don't.  I wasn't fond of the driver who was blowing their horn and flashing their high beams while I stopped for a pedestrian waiting to cross the street.  I've had some instances where I've stopped behind a metro vehicle, to have another driver get angry that I'm not passing, but I'm not going to risk hitting and killing a Muni passenger.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

How I Almost Got Killed Crossing the Street at 9th & Judah Today

Not long ago I posted a blog entry about bad drivers and pedestrians around 9th Avenue and Judah, and out of coincidence later that day, a pedestrian was hit by a turning N-Judah Muni metro vehicle at the same intersection (via SFist).

Just an hour ago, I left my house and stopped over at Sunset Bakery to pick-up some baked goods, and I waited at the intersection of 9th Avenue and Judah for the pedestrian signal to cross.  Once I received the okay from the signal, I crossed the street.  At about halfway through the crosswalk, I saw a fast moving SUV making a left turn to go eastbound, and had to slam his brakes because I was still crossing in the middle of the crosswalk.

I yelled "FUCK!" loud when the SUV was approaching and the driver was able to stop with only a few feet between me and death (the bumper).

I was both ticked and really freaked out that this jackass in a red SUV was about to run my ass down and send me on a one-way trip to UCSF or the morgue.  He apologized with barely any sincerity, and I gave my last choice words to the fucker.

After handling some other business in the neighborhood, I waited at the 9th Avenue and Judah bus stop to wait for my bus coming in five minutes.  I took some time to note down the following violations that was happening in just FIVE MINUTES:
  1. Three cars violating pedestrian right of way, including one when a woman was pushing a stroller and a car making a right turn right in front of the stroller.
  2. Six pedestrians starting to cross the street while the red hand was flashing and less than six seconds left on the clock.  Two of the six started crossing the street with less than two seconds.
  3. Several pedestrians crossing against a solid lit red hand during a priority signal for the N-Judah; all pedestrian signals are ordered to stay at no-crossing when the metro has the special signal to turn.
  4. A pedestrian blatantly crossing street against the red while there's incoming traffic; the incoming car with the green light had to blow their horn to warn the idiot.
What a great way to start the weekend.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nasty Revenge on Neighbor's House in Inner Sunset

Living in the Inner Sunset district has its perks, including the easy access to great restaurants, the N-Judah metro line, and the friendly neighbors.

But this incident I noticed was quite the opposite of "friendly."  Last week, I was told by a source that someone's house had graffiti on the walls and the F-word sprayed multiple times.

Seeing that it sparked my interest, I went down to the house and snapped a photo and enlarged them for you to see.

Someone decided to spray paint this green house in the Inner Sunset with the words "FUCK U" three different times.  The photo shown only shows it sprayed twice, but it was also sprayed on the far right side of the house.

What I've been told about this particular property is the homeowner is notorious for calling the police on a regular basis because someone parks their vehicle too close to the edge of their driveway.

In some cases the car is determined to be within the legal limits, while other times the car is ordered to be towed by the city's contracted towing company and the fee to retrieve the car is well over $400.00 right next door to the Hall of Justice.

The parking stall is not that large, but not too small.  It can comfortably take a sub-compact car and likely a compact, but not a full size.

The homeowner really drives the point home that he/she doesn't like anyone overlapping their driveway by just even an inch by installing the yellow sign on the utility pole (as seen in the photo).  Unfortunately, what the owner has done is not a legal parking sign on public property, and does not meet the criteria for posting bills on utility poles.

A legal parking sign is something the city owns and approves, such as a street sweeping sign or temporary tow-away sign.  The criteria for private citizens to post items on utility poles is it must conform to the pole (a piece of paper wraps around the pole, a sign doesn't), and it must be no larger than a letter size sheet of paper (which the sign doesn't).

Akit's opinion:
While it's illegal for any person to graffiti someone's house; but frankly, I believe the homeowner deserved it.  From asking around, the homeowner loves calling the city to ticket and tow cars on a regular basis, making the person a marked man.

If I was a property owner,  I'd be frustrated if someone deliberately blocked my driveway to the point where I can't leave my garage; but if it's a vehicle that encroaches just a tiny bit over, but doesn't cause me turmoil that I'm unable to exit my driveway, likely I'd just leave a courtesy note.  The courtesy note would simply just remind the person to not block the driveway in the future.

If I wrote a threatening note or constantly called the cops for the smallest issue, I might as well pray my house won't get spray painted, shot with paintballs, have a rock thrown into the window, or my car getting keyed.

If that green house property owner wants to take some real action without pissing-off the neighbors, do the right thing and pay the $348 fee for the city to paint driveway red tips so people are warned ahead of time to not park within the red zone.  If the guy paints his own red tips, that's illegal.

Lastly, if the property owner doesn't want to look like an asshole, please take down the yellow sign.  It's like painting a big target on your chest.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Ten Annoyances Akit Experiences Almost Daily

I haven't blogged in weeks!  Things have been quite busy at my job and now I have a little relief to blog again.

Being a native San Franciscan has its perks, you always know the fastest way on Muni and alternate routes to get to where you need to go, you know the restaurants that are good and pure crap, and you have a bullshit alarm.  I'm quite an observant person and that bullshit alarm goes off a ton of times for people doing some stupid crap on the streets of my city; so I want to highlight them:

(1) Idiot Pedestrians - There's nothing worse than the entitled pricks who thinks it's absolutely okay to cross a street against a red signal or jaywalk; and then there are those super entitled pricks who cross in front of an approaching car, as shown in the video above.

(2) Nail Clipping - Nail clipping ain't cool in public.  Just yesterday while riding the 6-Parnassus, a lady sitting behind me was clipping her nails during for about 10 minutes.  After she finished clipping her nails, I could hear her feet shuffle and her hands sweeping from her clothing; SHE WAS LITTERING HER CLIPPINGS ON THE FLOOR!

(3) Hogging a Muni seat, WITH YOUR FEET - Come on people, don't put your feet on the seat, especially when the vehicle is standing room only.  You look like an asshole, and if it was legal, I'd slap you in the face.

(4) Parking #FAIL - It's something I always take with my cell phone when I'm walking the streets.  People think it's absolutely fine to park illegally where ever they want.  There might be that lucky chance the fine folks at the SFMTA will be around to give a nice fat ticket to the car, but likely car owners will get away with it; and even if they get a ticket, they'll say it's well worth that fine.  In the photo above, I caught this car on Saturday parked on 9th Avenue in front of Kiki's restaurant; having a disabled placard is not an excuse to park like an idiot.

(5) Bad bicycle riders - There are some good bicycle riders, then there are the ones who deserve to get hit by a car.  On Saturday, I was waiting my turn to cross the street directly across from the Exploratorium at Pier 15 and I see two bicyclists decide to go through the intersection while an incoming car was approaching and had the green light to proceed through the intersection.  If it wasn't for the actions of the driver to slam his brakes, swerve, and blow the horn, the two helmet-less bicyclists would have been likely dead.  Just yesterday, I can't believe how many people blow the stop signs on the bike route known as "the wiggle."

(6) Illegal U-Turns - Ever since I moved into the Inner Sunset district, I'm not too far away from the 9th Avenue business district.  I see tons of drivers making u-turns in the middle of the block, and most of the time, do it unsuccessfully in the first attempt.  It turns up to be more like a nine point turn.  But as you see in the video, making a u-turn in a business district is a traffic violation, and especially since 9th Avenue has metro rail tracks, those who u-turn might as well be lucky a train hasn't slammed into their car, because in the battle of Muni metro versus a car, Muni metro wins with a flawless victory.

(7) Bad neighbors - I hate my next door neighbors because they don't shut the hell up.  They like to talk loud with their window open at 3AM.  One night, the idiots decided to crank the music so loud, I can feel my walls vibrate.  At least when I yelled at them that I would threaten to call the cops, that's when they stopped.

(8) Stopping at intersections - Driving my car is stressful, especially when approaching an intersection.  I always follow the rules, such as stopping completely before the limit line, and at an all-way stop, making sure to go when it's supposed to be my turn.  But you always see those who pull a "California stop" by only slowing down at the limit line, but then hits the gas and goes through.  There's also those who go out-of-turn at the all-way stop intersections, which frustrates me because they know the basic rule: First come, first served, and if two vehicles stops at the same time, the right vehicle goes first.

(9) Last minute lane changes - Another instance of why I hate driving.  People try to make a last second lane change because they don't want to be in the turn lane they are in.  Here's a bad one I was nearly a victim of: Three lanes, a Muni bus in the far left lane, and I'm in the middle lane.  At the green light, the Muni bus speeds forward to cut me off and cut from the #1 lane to the #3 lane to reach the curb for the bus stop.  Not cool.

(10) - I'm leaving this one blank for you, my blog fans.  What would you suggest for number ten?  Leave a comment.