By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
Last One Out of the Rubble's a Rotten Egg!
Well, thank heavens the dreadful heat wave is at an end. Dog Bites has noticed that San Franciscans seem to feel that whenever the mercury hits a scorching 78 degrees, normal rules of the road may be discarded. After all, these are extreme conditions! It's every man for himself! There's no time to check the rearview mirror before swerving into the next lane!
It really leaves us wondering about all those stories we hear about the touching spirit of cooperation allegedly fostered by the last big earthquake. Still, we really, really hope those stories are true. Because if you've been counting on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to organize relief efforts in the city, um ... better count again.
A Dog Bites Special Investigation -- which, OK, was conducted mostly at Hayes & Vine, but still -- has revealed that San Francisco's FEMA team is headquartered in an unreinforced brick building.
The Civil War-era structure in the Presidio's Main Post provides office space for about 60 employees of FEMA's Region 9 headquarters, who are responsible for disaster preparedness and response in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam. But the next time a major earthquake hits San Francisco, we may be digging them out, instead of vice versa.
According to an official at the Presidio Trust, the historic building has received "some" seismic treatment. (Dog Bites stopped by and would like to recommend some air freshener, too -- is that place musty!) But the creaky wooden porch, peeling paint, and cracked plaster didn't exactly leave us with the happy, secure feeling that this "treatment" was some sort of state-of-the-art upgrade.
Nobody at FEMA, which moved into the building before the Army closed the base, would return Dog Bites' anxious and repeated phone calls, so we couldn't get any further details on the agency's, um, earthquake preparedness plans.
Four Wheels Bad! Two Wheels Good!
It's sure odd that there are so many cars on the streets of San Francisco, because apparently no good, true San Franciscan actually owns an automobile. Everyone rides bikes, or takes Muni -- at least, judging by Dog Bites' e-mail.
"Is there anywhere in the city where Muni can't drop you off within a block of?" asks reader Ugdevil666 rhetorically (if ungrammatically). "I didn't think so."
Not that Ugdevil is anti-development. "The city does need more movie screens," he continues. "It is still underscreened compared to other cities. Hopefully, Catellus will decide to go on with their plans to build the multiplex, and don't forget that there will be another multiplex going up with the Bloomingdales project on Market Street."
Well, we're sure tiny, struggling Catellus will be touched by your generous good wishes.
Meanwhile, Paul Dorn, apparently a student at SFSU and an organizer of Bike Summer, huffs self-righteously, "There's an impending parking shortage in SOMA?!? Gee, I hadn't noticed. But then, I travel everywhere by bicycle. ... Don't savor the hassle of finding a parking space? Simple. Don't drive."
Well, Robin -- and you, too, tiresome correspondent Rose Skytta, with your bitter, scrawled notes -- you've given us a new purpose in life. If we ever get a raise, we're going to use it to buy a bigger, fancier car -- the biggest, fanciest one we can afford -- and drive it around your neighborhood ceaselessly, gunning the engine, stereo turned up high, windows wide open, and air conditioner on full, consuming our share and more of the Earth's precious, dwindling supply of fossil fuels as quickly as possible, screaming aloud with the glee we feel at our freedom to add carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulates to the atmosphere, because by God that's what car ownership is all about! We may even buy one of those new Cadillac SUVs, just because they're so damn huge and ugly, and probably get about 14 miles to the gallon!
Anyway, we note that the city now says it will study how it might create several thousand more parking spaces in SOMA and, according to the Chron, may even "revamp [its] decades-old 'transit first' policy." Had this been the case, we doubt it would have made much discernible difference to the quality of public transportation in the city, but mayoral mouthpiece Kandace Bender says it isn't true anyway.
"That story was extremely misleading," Bender tells Dog Bites. "There is no shift in the transit policy. I was asked by the reporter about a single underground garage [in SOMA]. ... We will continue to encourage people to ride Muni and BART."
All Right! Keep the Faith!
Let's wrap things up with a last look at Dog Bites' correspondence for the week, shall we? It's been real.
We received the following more-than-usually-inexplicable communique from Bruce "B3" Brugmann, who has taken to addressing us -- rather familiarly, we think -- as "LW." We will not list the entire contents of the envelope, but note here that the Head of Bruce antenna ball got kind of crushed in the mail, we think, although maybe it's supposed to look that way.