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Off-Topic

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This thread is for off-topic discussions for users in California to discuss issues that may not warrant a dedicated thread or do not fit in an existing thread. Please feel free to speak whatever is on your mind, but please keep in mind that forum rules still apply.

We also have a site-wide Coffee House for general discussions (not state or city specific) here: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/Coffee-House-f4.html

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Hey everybody. I'm Yekaterina, and I moved to the bay area in August '08 from Providence, RI. If you want to know about where I used to live, check out these links...

http://quahog.org/

http://artinruins.com/

...or just watch Family Guy.

I'm an undergrad at the local community college, as a double major in Econ and Urban Planning, and I hope to see some great things happen in California with regard to planning and development.

I am looking forward to some interesting discussions about California, especially since I'm still a newbie.

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I do not, nor have I ever lived in California, but my dad is from Concord, and I had family there untill just last year when my grandparents passed away. I love the Bay area, and have visited many times including for a few years when I dated a girl from Lafayette.

Not sure how many more times I will head out there from now on, but my wife and I both like San Fran, and I might throw my resume around the city a little and see if something happens.

I like to keep up on whats happening out there and I dont mind doing a little research to bring it to light.

besides I never sleep and think about this kind of stuff way too much, so I might as well contribut to the bay area and California because there is not enough happening here in Hartford to keep me distracted enough.

Cheers!!

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A good column by The Chronicle's urban design writer John King about what we might or can do with unattractive vacant lots that have been created by proposed highrises gone bust due to the recession...

"More and more, that's what people want.

The future of healthy urban centers is the attraction of the place itself. Large empty lots - whether filled with cars or covered with weeds - detract from what can be. Conversely, imaginative use of prominent spaces could signal that San Francisco is a city of innovation, where unpredictability is part of the allure.

It deserves a try..."

Link

Edited by Zahc

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As the Penguin World Waddles

...it looks like "trouble" or a new "direction" in the burrows of Penguin Island at San Francisco Zoo. After six years of cohabitation and even hatching a surrogate chick together and raising it as two proud gay daddies, Harry has strayed the blissful burrow he shared with mate Pepper for Linda, who lives in the burrow next door, and who was recently widowed when Linda's mate Fig died...

What will Pepper do now after all those wonderful years of preening feathers and love-tap beaking with Harry who has found a new love with the neighbor next door--Linda? Is that Linda a burrow-wrecker? Has Pepper gotten Harry out of his system after a monthlong trip to the Avian Conservation Center on zoo grounds to chill out and meet other bachelor penguins while Harry played burrow with Linda who layed two eggs?

Edited by Zahc

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Is it really the bitter end to IOU's in California, the world's 8th largest economy, with a patched up budget deal? Big losers will be our cities and counties...with everlasting pothole streets and roads we'll just have to get use to...

The Chronicle's Spin...

Edited by Zahc

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A bike-friendly San Francisco? C.W. Nevius's Chronicle column for Thursday, 6 August, focuses on the controversy... saying we shouldn't hold our breaths since the pilot program has too many kinks including lawsuits, name-calling and rowdy meetings at City Hall...

San Francisco, after all, is not Paris.

Link

The Afternoon Rush Hour: Market Street at Polk, a block & half south of City Hall...

IMG_0022.jpg

Edited by Zahc

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...the real San Francisco? 30Stockton through the heart of Chinatown is usually a nightmarish experience...overcrowded with always one person, as in this case the African American woman in the video was wrong to hog up two seats on a crowded bus...When downtown I say walk or bicycle whenever possible. Fortunately there were no knives or guns..

Fight on Muni lights up YouTube

A fight between two female passengers on Muni, captured by an amateur photographer on his cell phone video camera, has lit up YouTube -- and is now under investigation by the transit agency.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/matier...s#ixzz0Tayk0fP7

Edited by Zahc

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The Way We Were: A Simpler Time of America in Color, 1939-1943

Photos by Photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information

Link here

Edited by Zahc

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Biologists Find Drug-Resistant Bacteria On BART Seats

By Yahoo! Local yahoo! Local – Mon Mar 7, 9:42 am ET

KTVU-TV2

SAN FRANCISCO -- The seats of some well used methods of public transportation have been analyzed by a biologist and the results might keep commuters on their feet...

Article

IMG_6528-38.jpg

Edited by Zahc

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Twitter, which is expected to relocate from Folson street and occupy the old San Francisco Mart building in 2012, says it will stay in SF if given a tax break. Most businesses in the area, including Blick's (which doesn't get any tax incentives) store manager, support a tax break for Twitter to bring in more businesses to Mid-Market. A new credit union and Anderson Bakery have recently added businesses to Fox Plaza across the street from Twitter's new future home...

Twitter stays!

Edited by Zahc

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*Top urban center stats where the most 1% (Link: http://blogs.wsj.com...r-rich-ranking/) worth more than $30 million live among us:

1. New York 7,270

2. Los Angeles 4,350

3. San Francisco 4,230

4. Chicago 2,550

5. Washington 2,300

6. Houston 2,250

7. Dallas 1,885

8. Atlanta 960

9. Boston 890

10. Seattle 885

*But NY, LA & SF (the top 3) do not have a monopoly on the super-rich. According to the WSJ with 55,000 people worth $30 million or more in the U.S., Wealth-X figures that the top three cities combined still only account for less than a third of the nation’s total. Two thirds of the super-rich are spread out among other cities and towns across the U.S.

*Source: Wall Street Journal

Edited by Zahc
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Hmmmmm......... that is very interesting Zahc. I do not see Charlotte NC on this list anywhere, and it is one of the major banking centers in the U.S. :o

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Double-edged sword: San Francisco's minimum hourly wage is the highest in the country. It's good for waiters collecting tips while not-so good for small business owners and kitchen workers without tips...

SFGate

Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"San Francisco is known for its love-it-or-hate-it, cutting-edge firsts, and this one's no exception. It will be the first city in the nation where the minimum hourly wage will top $10.

The lowest-wage workers will earn $10.24 an hour, up from the current rate of $9.92. Those 32 cents may not amount to much in one of the country's costliest cities - but business owners say the increase represents yet another unfair burden imposed on them by City Hall, while workers say it's essential..."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...L#ixzz1jK6RceAe

Edited by Zahc

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San Francisco, not so gay...

Crime

2-1_normal.jpg

SF Weekly news blog

Man attacked in gay hate crime near SF State tinyurl.com/79by6ek

-----------------------------------

Only in SF: Seniors Shut down Bank of America Branch

FACES122215_normal.jpg

Charles Pearson

Occupy Geriatrics: Seniors in Walkers Shut Down Local Bank of America bit.ly/zcC5Ep

Edited by Zahc

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Popular & touristy watering hole on Powell Street rolls back cocktail prices to 25 cents (as they were in 1933) in an all-out attempt to win over the landlord and garner community support to keep iconic Gold Dust Lounge open. Landlord has other plans for the site, which he says will be a bigger asset to Union Square and bring in more jobs...

Edited by Zahc

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LA TIMES endorses Obama for President...

"Obama brought a certain levelheadedness to the White House that had been in short supply during the previous eight years. While his opponents assailed him as a socialist and a Muslim and repeatedly challenged the location of his birthplace in an effort to call into question his legitimacy as president, he showed himself to be an adult, less an ideologue than a pragmatist, more cautious than cocky. Despite Republicans' persistent obstructionism, he pushed for — and enacted — stronger safeguards against another Wall Street meltdown and abusive financial industry practices. He cut the cost of student loans, persuaded auto manufacturers to take an almost unimaginable leap in fuel efficiency by 2025 and offered a temporary reprieve from deportation to young immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents. He ended the morally bankrupt "don't ask, don't tell" policy that had institutionalized discrimination against gays in the military. "--latimes

ENDORSEMENTS: The Times' recommendations for Nov. 6

108_1236latimes.jpg

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LA UNION STATION

Edited by Zahc

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How is California doing these days? I went there in '09 and my hometown of Milpitas looked pretty well worse for wear. How is public opinion on the high-speed rail after its passage? Unemployment getting better? Any prospects for Siiicon Valley regaining its total leadership in high-tech? How is it looking for mixed-use developments near transit options? What about that grand plan to divert water from the Delta to SoCal? Valley cities struggling or still gaining exurb residents? Man, I feel so disconnected!

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A horrible little heatwave with high humidity (very unusual) in the City since Friday. I would imagine its hotter in Concord and Walnut Creek across the bay. The office I work in has no ventilation for some strange reason. Opening the windows is no good since there hasn't been a single sea breeze. It's been miserable at work. However, I'm thinking about resigning very soon. Thought I was ready to return to the office life but so far I can't stand how much it's changed...at least in property mgmt, which I knew nothing about (background is banking and consulting) until recently...plus, it takes up too much time at backwards place! I would rather work parttime since I don't need the benefits...

I never knew that Silicon Valley ever lost its leadership status...High-speed...don't know...The city is been completely rebuilt. So many places have been torned down and being rebuilt...After more than thirty years finally a mixed used development is taking shape at Market and Noe in the Castro, where a church used to stand and burned down upon my arrival in San Francisco...I didn't realize until the other day that the Thai House and later Mexican restaurant was completely torn down...More housing...Welcome, also in the Castro, at Church and 14th bit the dust. Otherwise, the city is growing ever more crowded with skyscrapers planned for Treasure Island in the near future. Muni Metro remains...a nightmare...though I usually bike or walk everywhere and avoid transit unless it's BART. The City finally elected its first Chinese-American Mayor, Ed Lee, who filled in for Gavin Newsome when Newsome became Lt. Governor...Lee is very popular...Several new piers are being developed on the Embarcadero...one to include a new arena for the Warriors, currently based in Oakland...The 49ers are leaving town to play in their new stadium, that we wouldn't build, in Santa Clara/Silicone Valley...but will retain SAN FRANCISCO in their name...And, I haven't voted yet...so I have to run to the poll. For some reason Californians want to bring back the DEATH PENALTY, Measure 34, which I am totally against...

Edited by Zahc

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I guess it's the same old-same old then. Bay Area teams have been moving around for ages. Kind of silly to play in the South Bay and still be an SF team, but hey, what do I know. Incidentally, since you mentioned BART, have they made it 'round the bay yet? And I heard something about Caltrain expanding?

As to Silicon Valley...yes I sort of see the bloom being off. There are tech hubs popping up all over - Austin, TX, Seattle, NC's Research Triangle among others - and we have seen a lot of Silicon Valey be consolidated again in Japan, take IBM's campus in S. San Jose which was pretty well emptied after Hitachi and Lenovo purchased major parts of their business.

Edited by FromCityToRural

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Yes, BART has almost extended to San Jose...from the East Bay approach. Finally, BART goes to SFO, which certainly saves from paying high cabfares to the airport...

All that heat is now past. Glorious fog, the cool air and all that grey and wet and lovely has returned and my brain doesn't feel so overheated and restless...

That's great about the High tech expanding all over. I read that even Big Apple (my favorite USA Big City minus Donald Trump) New York has put up a tech challenge...

Edited by Zahc

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Cutting edge California is falling behind.

Washington state, Maine and Maryland legalizes same-sex marriage; in addition, Washington State along with Colorado made recreational marijuana use legal rather than California, the home of Harvey Milk...Unlike California the Catholic Church, though divided on the issue of same-sex marriage, was more unified in Washington than in California with some 1,000 Catholics placing their names on a full-page ad in the Seattle Times publicly supporting same-sex marriage. Too, there was was no opposition in Washington from the the Church of Latter-day Saints, which wasn't the case in the fight over Prop. 8 in California. Washington state's leading corporate voices, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, donated millions of dollars to the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, seven times what opponents gave...

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Its narrow downtown peninsula sits between two rivers (Ashley and Cooper) that juts out into a natural harbor "to form the Atlantic" while the entire corporate city limits encompasses four rivers (Ashley, Cooper, Stono and Wando). It is one of the world's most beautiful places and Zahc's 3rd favorite American City:

#3 CHARLESTON

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Edited by Zahc

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