Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's that time of year.

Our Vacation Rental in Healdsburg gives us a couple of unique opportunities to help out some good causes.

We have a pretty decent orchard up there, but since we are in and out, we can't always pick the fruit or the veggies I plant. There is a program in Healdsburg called "Farm to Pantry" and we talked to them at the Farmer's market a few weeks back. They wandered by this week and managed to get some late season fruit.

Hi John,
Thank you for inviting us to glean. We found all of the trees you mentioned and picked 11.5 pounds of hachiya persimmons, 18 pounds of pomegranates and a handful of almonds We took everything to the after-school program at the Healdsburg Community Center where the children will study the almonds as part of their nut unit and enjoy the fruit for their afternoon snack.

We would love to work with you when your garden comes in, the fruit trees are ripe and you have surplus to share. Just email me when it's about time, and we'll swing by, glean what we can and return if needed.

Farm to Pantry
Cultivating Community through Healthy Food

I think this is a really cool program and allows me to plant in the Winter even if I don't think I'll be able to harvest. We have spinach, cilantro, parsley, snow peas, and fava beans in the ground, we'll see what they do.

We are also donating a Wine Country Vacation package to the San Francisco Bike Coalition Winterfest Auction - a 2 night stay at our house, wine from Limerick Lane Winery , 50 dollars in shopping credit at the Healdsburg Farmer's Market , and four 2 day bike rentals from Spoke Folk Cyclery in Healdsburg.

See you at Winterfest!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Notes from a rainy commute

Slogging my way to Caltrain this AM, thinking I probably could have gone riding because it wasn't *that* cold and it wasn't *that* wet, I noticed a couple of interesting things.

On 14th Street, there is a bike lane. That wasn't the interesting thing, it's been there since before Rob Anderson laid down his fatwa. There was a van double parked in the bike lane, also not terribly interesting because that seems to be de rigeur. What *was* interesting was that just as I spotted the van parked in the bike lane, I also spotted a DPT PCO ("Meter Maid" in pre-PC parlance) to my left. The PCOs drive around in little golf cart like vehicles with open windows, so I looked left, pointed forward, and said - "Puuuleeeese tell me you are going to ticket that guy".

She nodded, and promptly drove right past the van, presumably to go after street cleaning duty in some backwater across town.

Disheartened, I continued on my way, but on Division Street my day brightened, as I saw this...

New doorzone free demarcated bike lane. Division Street, San ... on Twitpic

A brand new bike lane on Division Street - complete with a line of soft hit posts - had arisen where formerly there was only car parking.

I also saw these guys on the other side of the street.

DPW starring in "Rob Anderson's worst nightmare" on Twitpic

DPW was curating a similar lane on the other side of Division.

This is a pretty obvious place for a bike lane, it is a highly used bike corridor that runs to SoMa and Caltrain. I stopped to take a photo and tried to catch the cyclist that had been behind me, but they got out of the frame too fast, so I waited for another. All around good guy Janne Karjalainen from SF2G happened by within 20 seconds or so.

While I'm sure Rob Anderson would be very upset at the sight of parking being removed for bike lanes, even if it was happening at Burning Man, these removals would cause a conundrum for him, and no conundrum at all for the local "permanent" residents/businesses. That stretch of Division was pretty much populated by RV's and beater sedans that people were living in. Rob hates the down and out almost as much as he hates the cyclists (I think he pretty much considers the two groups the same, with the addition of rich white hipsters to the cyclist population). I won't say that I'll miss the "Mobile Homes" very much.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mark Simon on Pico Boulevard

I'm in Mark's "inbox", now - he dug out my address by finding an email about the Giants selling Caltrain tickets. I'm officially a "troublemaker".

Hi John -
I just read your online petition and I have to tell you I think it's unfair to say we closed the gate for "unspecified safety concerns." Our concerns are exactly as specific as those who object to be rerouted to Redwood Shores Boulevard - someone is going to get hurt or killed if circumstances remain unchanged. I'm going to forward you a letter to the editor I sent out last week, which includes a link to the initial safety assessment.
In addition, we have contracted with a traffic engineer who is undertaking a safety assessment at this moment.
That should take about 30 days.

Mark Simon
Executive Officer for Public Affairs
San Mateo County Transit District
San Mateo County Transportation Authority
Phone: (650) 508-6340
Fax: (650) 508-6281