I’m getting ready to head out for some of the public events in San Francisco related to today’s inuaguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. In light of the historic nature of this inauguration, I’m pulling my daughter out of school for the day and bringing her with me. I hope waking her up with hot chocolate convinces her that today is as important as I’ve told her it is. Look for liveblogging here at PretePress.wordpress.com and Tweets from http://twitter.com/tomprete as much as I can manage. I’ll wrap up in a post later today.
Today is Parkin(ing) Day, one of my favorite events to develop in recent years. The brainchild of San Francisco’s REBAR Group, Park(ing) Day started as one of their projects combining wierd street theater with a serious urban planning context. The group plunked some quarters into a San Francisco Parking meter, rolled out some sod in the street space they had just
rented, set up a bench and invited everyone to enjoy the park they had just created.
I don’t know if what they did was legal the first time, but I loved the presumption: “Look, I’ve just rented this spot on the street for an hour, right? Why do I have to only put a car on it? Why not a park — if I roll it up and take it with me when the time is up?”
From that single parking space on Mission Street (spitting distance from my old office at the San Francisco Examiner), the idea has grown to an annual event in many cities across the United States.
There are a number of interesting Park(ing) spaces to see in San Francisco, but I’ll put in my plug for the one at David Baker + Partners Architects, at the northwest corner of Second Street and Bryant Street. I don’t know what David has planned (and I’m on deadline today so I can’t go), but he does interesting work and he’s an interesting guy, so I’m sure it will be worth a visit.
Photo by Steve Rhodes under the Creative Commons license “Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.”
The pilot of the Cosco Busan is set to receive a date April 4 for his trial on federal charges related to the crash of the cargo ship into the Bay Bridge and the resultant oil spill into San Francisco Bay.
Pilot John Cota, meanwhile, has indicated that he thinks the Coast Guard shares responsibility for the spill, which killed and sickened birds and other wildlife in the bay and along the nearby Pacific Ocean coast. His lawyers have said Cota will refuse to testify in a National Transportation Safety Board hearing next week.
The Nov. 7, 2007 spill of 50,000 gallons of bunker fuel into San Francisco Bay killed at least 2,000 birds and sickened an unknown but much larger number of others. While all other similar cargo ships in the bay that day remained at anchor because of heavy fog, the Cosco Busan set sail in spite of low visibility.
Today’s court procedure is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on the 15th floor of the San Francisco Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave., in the court of U.S. Magistrate Joseph Spero.
A key state agency will discuss a possible bicycle and pedestrian path over San Francisco Bay April 3, in spite of opposition from the California Department of Transportation.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which oversees long-term uses of San Francisco Bay and regulates development in and around the bay, is scheduled to hear a report on the feasibility of constructing a path for pedestrians and bicyclists on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Another agency that is responsible for setting tolls on Bay Area bridges has offered to help arrange financing and construct a movable barrier — but Caltrans already has voiced the opinion that such a trail would be a hazard to motorists and refuses to build it.
From the published meeting agenda:
“Briefing and Public Hearing on Bicycle and Pedestrian Access on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge The Commission will receive a briefing on the issue of whether a roadway shoulder on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge should be allowed to be used as a bicycle and pedestrian trail during non-peak commute hours or should be reserved for future use as a travel lane by motorized vehicles. Implementing either option will require a permit from BCDC. The Bay Area Toll Authority has determined that the bicycle and pedestrian option is feasible and has offered to help arrange financing the trail and installing a moveable barrier to protect the trail users. The California Department of Transportation has determined that the barrier would pose a safety hazard to motorists and has indicated that it will not construct the barrier and trail. The public will be given an opportunity to comment, and the Commission may provide policy guidance on the issue. (Brad McCrea) [415/352-3615 firstname.lastname@example.org]“
The meeting of the BCDC is set for 1 p.m. April 3, on the second floor of the Ferry Building, at Market Street and the Embarcadero, in San Francisco.
The BCDC also is scheduled to discuss a proposed state law that would allow the BCDC to consider the impacts of climate change in making its planning decisions.
San Francisco is still counting votes from last week’s municipal election, but this afternoon two veteran political observers will review and analyze the results so far in a lunchtime event near Union Square.
At 12:30 today, Monday, Nov. 12, David Latterman of Fall Line Analytics and political consultant Jim Stearns of Stearns Consulting will speak at a forum at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research offices, 312 Sutter St. at Grant, fifth floor. Stearns has steered a number of successful campaigns in and around San Francisco, and Latterman is an astute analyst who can translate statistics into meaning. It should be an interesting hour.
This SPUR event is free for members and $5 for nonmembers.
Island portrait: Tonight the renowned hula dance troupe Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu continues its new show “O’ahu, Confessions of an Island” at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater in San Francisco. In signature style, kumu hula Patrick Makuakane ranges freely among ancient hula forms imbued with deep religious context from Hawaii’s traditional beliefs, contemporary styles accompanied by Hawaiian music played on modern instruments, and Makuakane’s own hula mua — which does nothing less than transform hula movements into a fully modern genre of dance capable of partnering with any music, including the aggressively tactile bass of urban nightclubs. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday main shows (Friday and Saturday at 8, Sunday at 3) are sold out, but some last-minute tickets may be available at the box office, which opens an hour before the shows, and it’s sometimes possible to find tickets for Na Lei Hulu shows on Craigslist. On Sunday, a one-hour “Hula for Families” show suitable for children is still available. If you still think of the “Hawaii Five-O” theme when you think of hula, “O’ahu” will be an eye-opener.
Na Lei Hulu is my wife’s halau, to give full disclosure. The photo above belongs to Na Lei Hulu.
Transportation conference: “Bay Area on the Move,” a joint conference of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments, runs from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. Too late to attend by now (registration closed a while back anyway), but there’s an audio stream available here. The MTC’s Transportation 2035 Plan is the main topic. More information, including some downloadable presentations, is here for transportation wonks who must be somewhere else today.
“Walls of Sound”: Bruce McClure, the visual artist trained as an architect, premieres some new work at the Exploratorium science museum tonight at 7:30. The Explo’s event calendar uses an annoying popup format for program details, so I can’t link directly to the event, but here’s the full October calendar. If you can’t score tickets for Na Lei Hulu when the Palace of Fine Arts box office opens at 7, this might make an interesting backup plan, as the Exploratorium is at the opposite end of the same building.
Lewis Wolff of the Oakland A’s will be at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco to discuss the team’s plan for a new ballpark and “village” in Fremont. Eighteen bucks for nonmembers. Schmoozing starting at 5:30 p.m., substance at 6. 595 Market St., Second Floor.
Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on the plan and Fremont officials’ reaction to it.
Also, famous neurosurgeon Oliver Sacks speaks at 8 p.m. at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater.