The wildfires didn't have to be this bad
  • Cities founded in the fire-prone frontier by anti-government types that didn't want to be told how to build (proper infrastructure, firebreaks etc.)
  • Real estate has been the main wealth generator for a while, "Selling out to a developer was the only retirement plan most farmers knew."
  • "What was once sparse is now densely packed with pine, fir, cedar, and manzanita. A forest that supported 64 trees an acre in pre-settlement times now boasted 160 trees an acre ... 'I don't think we could have managed the forests any worse.'"
  • "as Wilson and his staff studied the fires more closely, he could see that their oddly linear pattern of ignition clusters corresponded to major electrical power lines."
  • “These weren’t outlier events,” Wilson said. “These same spots had a history of fire. They had burned before and were destined to burn again. If you charted it out, we weren’t having far more wildfires than in the past. But the wildfires we were experiencing were far more deadly and destructive, and that had to do with mismanaging the forest and building communities in the wildland-urban interface. The state’s population was exploding in the very areas most susceptible to wildfires.”
  • Forestry management and fire prevention - prescribed burns, reducing fuel load - curtailed in favor of military-style firefighting.
  • "To justify its high costs, [Cal Fire] had to figure out a way to make itself essential throughout the year. This was how it evolved into a 24/7 provider of emergency services to the sprawling mountain communities ... instead of trying to slow down the suburbanization of forestlands, Wilson said, the department served the growth — to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in funding."
  • "In their filings, each attorney traced the historic blazes to a culture of mismanagement, corruption, and cover-up that had taken hold inside PG&E decades before. A pattern of venality, they argued, began in the company’s early years and became more recalcitrant in the 1980s and 1990s, when PG&E, with the connivance of the California Public Utilities Commission, its watchdog, made a decision to place profits and bonuses to top executives — and dividends to shareholders — over safety."
  • "It was fiction that the California Public Utilities Commission exercised any watchdog role over PG&E, he said. “They don’t have the resources, they don’t have the trained personnel or mindset, to monitor and audit PG&E’s compliance with safety regulations. PG&E can literally get away with murder.”"

Cool electronic music events in the Bay Area wow how did I not know about this

edmtrain also has some good stuff on the more mainstream tip as you might have guessed

Interactive map of SF parking rules

Someday I'm going to need this badly enough to sign up.

San Francisco exports more homeless people than it imports
I'm going to need this some day. Data on busing homeless people from the Guardian

"In the old city, we are condemned to bitter struggle over what ultimately may be too little to matter."
The thing about San Francisco is that while greenfields have been exhausted in the city, the San Francisco Bay Area is largely undeveloped. We are always arguing over San Francisco, or Palo Alto (ick). Outside of the 47 square miles of San Francisco proper are almost 3200 square miles in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties.
There's No Substitute For A Substitute

Interesting argument for Singapore-style dense, livable greenfield development. Probably another good idea that will be strangled in its crib by California's tax structure.

Progressive political organizations in SF (and other ways to get involved)
Googled "social democrats san francisco" but was disappointed, although apparently there used to be such a group.

Gonna start this as a list sans commentary but will come back and add notes.

I know nothing about some of these so if some of them are fronts for AppGooAmFace or NIMBYs don't get mad.

Thinking about getting a 'FUCK PROP 13' tattoo on my forearm

Waiting on Valencia to get into a Severed Heads show, a gorgeous lowrider glides past bumping hip-hop.

Recently in California

Getting closer to the bottleneck now
graph of SF sunrise and sunset times over time

Those are months along the bottom, read up: sunrise at 7, sunset at 9, etc.

Paging bikers and map geeks

I should check out these bayimproviser event listings. If you like modern electronic / classic stuff maybe you should too.

Mission rental market stabilizing
a graph showing Mission district apartment availability stablizing
Apparently apartment availability bottomed out in August of 2011. Rents for studios are even starting to decrease. Sounds like it's still hell out there, though.

I made a thing
We were sitting in the Botanical Garden in some kind of faux-classical bit of architecture, looking at a gray sky.

"I wonder if it's sunny in the Mission ... "

San Francisco hillside

Which cuisines are better in NYC/SF?

So it turns out if you keep walking up 17th Street (which is not always easy) you end up in the middle of a forest.

This summer.

Bay Area shows has great event recommendations if you've scrobbled a lot of tracks there, but sometimes you want something more exhaustive:

apparently dead

This isn't winter, but it sure ain't summer
A graph showing historical rainfall data over the year for San Francisco

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