Police in Violation of Parking Laws in San Francisco – @SFPD

A couple of years ago, I received a parking ticket. Not an ordinary ticket because my car was parked in the wrong section, or forgot to fill up the meter, no I got one because I was 10 Centimeter in the lower section of the curb. The ticket claimed I was blocking potential handicap people crossing the street. The ticket was $350,-! I had my fair share of parking tickets in San Francisco. I always paid these just right away, even the expensive one, as it's just hard to fight these tickets and you'll have to go to court. Since I'm not a US citizen, but a green card holder, I rather stay away from rubbing the court system the wrong way, even if I know I could win.

I already spotted SFPD officers not following those same parking laws as ordinary citizens have to obey to. A couple of times I took some pictures of police vehicles being parked in red zones or next to a fire hydrant. See the two below here. One police car was even parked in the red zone for more than 24 hours (post in Dutch). Just imagine if a fire would have broken out, while the cop car was blocking the SFFD to get water out of the hydrant.  The San Francisco parking police sometimes also totally ignores the signs.

This morning, while walking in the Richmond neighborhood I spotted a police officer parking his car in a way which blocked the pedestrian crossing completely. As neither his light or his sirens were on, this could not have been an emergency stop. The officer hopped out of the car, and went into the little convenient store. Probably to pick up a quick doughnut. I started to make pictures, and was thinking to switch my camera to video to document the parking violation. Should I confront the police officer? Based on video's I've seen online, I chose not to do this. The SFPD hasn't been very nice to people exercising their 1st amendment rights. And, although a green card holder has the same rights as citizens with regards to making pictures in a public place, I don't want to test these cop on how nice he will be.

Police parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 finePolice parking in the pedestrian crossing. Normally this would be a $350 fine

Sometimes the SFPD thinks they are above the law. While the officer was just doing a little shopping, and it took only 5 minutes, maybe, he should have just parked his car somewhere within the parking laws.

This is not the first time I've seen SFPD park in a way which violates all parking laws. Check out these two I made pictures of earlier:

SFPD parking in red zone, next to fire hydrant

Police car SFPD parked next to fire hydrant, for more than 24 hours, in red zone

Converse Chuck Stars & Stripes

While walking on Market Street in San Francisco, I walked by the Converse store. Check out the Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers Stars & Stripes wall for 9/11!

Converse Chuck Taylor Stars & Stripes

Never forget!

Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third street in San Francisco

Last Sunday I learned there is a specific Neighborhood in San Francisco with a big Hellenic Heritage. It's a part of SOMA where Greek immigrants settled in the early 1900's. I learned this by paying attention to the signs and plagues placed on the sides of the streets to remind people what has happened in the past. I happened to see the following sign at the corner of Third street & Folsom, which is at the south-east corner of the Moscone Convention center, right next to the Yearba Buena Ice skating & Bowling Center.

San Francisco Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third street


San Francisco Hellenic Heritage at Folsom & Third Street

San Francisco's Hellenic Heritage
An Affirmation of the Promise of America

In tribute to the Greek immigrants who settled in the vicinity of Third and Folsom Streets in the early 1900s

And in Commemoration of their pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, faith and pride in their Hellenic Heritage.

We, the beneficiaries of their vision, recognize and acknowledge the significant and vital economic, social and political contributions Hellenes made to their beloved adopted city, San Francisco.

The Hellenic American Professional Society of California
Dedicated in the year 2001

Just two weeks ago, I listened how Dr. Mike presented at BlueGlassX how he liked to take pictures of local signs of historical events or things to remember about the history of a local neighborhood. I had never expected to learn so much new stuff about the area's in San Francisco. Opening up your eyes, and take pictures of the signs and plagues around the city can educate your kids about why there are a large number of Falafel and Mousaka restaurants around Folsom & 3rd street.


Dreamforce 2012 San Francisco Traffic Nightmare

Another week, another technology conference. Just short of a week after the announcement of the iPhone 5 by Apple, is now SalesForce taking up the whole of the Moscone Center in San Francisco for their yearly Dreamforce conference.

Dreamforce 2012, the tenth edition of the SalesForce conference

The city of San Francisco is probably very happy right now with SalesForce. Not only do they bring a large number of people to The City for the conference, who all stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and go to dinner during the time they stay in San Francisco, I bet SalesForce has paid a large sum of money to get all the permits for the conference.

Dreamforce 2012 in San Francisco

Howard street is closed off, and in the middel of the street, there are two large podiums built, with all kind facilities around these to make the conference guest happy.

Two podiums middle of Howard street for SalesForce Dreamforce 2012 conference

With big names as speakers, the Dreamforce conference is drawing big crowds. And on top of it all, a free concert of the Red Hot Chili Peppers! I just would love to see Sir Richard Branson's keynote...

Sir Richard Branson keynoting at Dreamforce 2012

Wonderful for the city of San Francisco, however, Howard street and the streets around the Moscone Center are full with traffic all day long, and we get crazy of the horns of all the cars stuck in traffic just below our window of the office. Parking fees for the public parkings have doubled for this week, where the demand vs supply are controlling the prices and free market spirit of capitalism are winning!

Howard street full with traffic because of the Dreamforce conference

The Social Enterprise - SalesForce

Ustream Flashmob at Apple iPhone 5 Launch

Where can you get free publicity with a Flashmob? Right at an Apple launch event. So with the launch of the iPhone 5 this morning, here in San Francisco, Ustream organized a flashmog. I saw the group early on making preparations, so I kept my camera ready to film. Here are two video's of the Flashmob, where the news anchor mand did a really good job keeping his face straight!

Apple iPhone5 Launch Event San Francisco

Earlier this week, I posted some pictures of a classy Apple logo with a colorful background. It reminded me to the old Apple Logo, which I still love. Don'te get me wrong, I like the white style as well. Here are some more pictures of this morning...

Robert ScobleJoshua Topolsky meet each other and exchange some laughs. Robert even interviews Joshua in the line waiting to get in.

Robert Scoble & Joshua Topolsky greet each other outside in the press line for Apple event iPhone 5 San Francisco

Apple fans from around the world making pictures in front of the colorful Apple logo

Apple fans from around the world pose for pictures in from of the colorful Apple logo

Apple employees in green shorts right before the iPhone 5 launch event kicks off.

Apple employees in green shirts at iPhone 5 launch event

Full news studio's on the sidewalk for the press to broadcast live

NEws studio on the side walk at Apple launch event for the iPhone 5

iPads being used to make pictures. How convenient..

iPads being used for making pictures iPhone 5 launch event

Ustream Flashmob in front of the Yerba Buena hall

UStream Flashmob at iPhone 5 Apple event

Channel 2 Anchor watches the Flashmob, while he is waiting for his cue

Channel 2 anchor watches Ustream Flashmob at the Apple iPhone 5 launch event

News anchor man ready to go live, is actually be able to keep a straight face

News Anchor ready to go live, keeps a straight face during Ustream iPhone 5 Flashmob

People Behaving Badly: Dumping Paint

Here in San Francisco, KRON4, the local TV station has a recurring item: People Behaving Badly with Stanley Roberts. It is a view how people in the city of San Francisco break the law, or just don't think about the consequences of their actions. All in all, people behaving badly towards the city, the environment and the people who live around them.

People Behaving Badly

Littering is a big problem in and around San Francisco. If you drive on the highways around the City, you see plastic bags with building material and waste everywhere. Dumped by contractors who don't want to pay the fees for bringing the waste to the official dumping place. Especially paints, and other hazardous materials can be a great risk for the environment if these get into the water.

Today I was driving on Junipero Serra Boulevard in San Francisco, when I a large number of old paint buckets just dumped next to the road. This would be one of those items for Stanley to go after, and showcase what would happen if these paint buckets would split open, or taken by little kids.

People Behaving Badly in San Francisco dumping buckets of paint next to the road

People Behaving Badly in San Francisco dumping buckets of paint next to the road

People Behaving Badly in San Francisco dumping buckets of paint next to the road

These old paint buckets don't belong next to the road, these should be taken care of at a recycle centre and the owner should have paid for the recycling. This is just what Stanley is reporting on: People Behaving Badly dumping old paint next to the road...

From Contra-Costa.Ca.US website:

What is the County currently doing about Illegal Dumping

Sites used for illegal dumping vary but may include abandoned industrial, residential, or commercial buildings; vacant lots on public or private property; and infrequently used alleys or roadways. Because of their accessibility and poor lighting, areas along rural roads and railways are particularly vulnerable. Illegal dumping can occur at any time of day but is more common at night or in the early morning hours during warmer months.  If not addressed illegal dumps often attract more waste, potentially hazardous wastes such as asbestos, household chemicals and paints, automotive fluids, and commercial or industrial wastes.

Offenders can include: construction, demolition, remodeling, roofing, or landscaping contractors, general hauling contractors, operators of junkyards, automobile repair or tire shops, scrap collectors, local residents and "do-it-yourselfers".  A resident may dump wastes that did not get picked up by local waste haulers, such as bulky items, carpeting, or household hazardous wastes.  Dump sites serve as magnets for additional dumping and other criminal activities.  In many cases, illegal dumpers are breaking other laws relating to vehicle licensing, insurance, drug possession or theft.

The costs to local government and industry associated with continuous clearing of illegally dumped wastes are significant.  In recent years the County has spent up to one million dollars per year on cleanup, hauling, and disposal associated with illegal dumping. Without adequate revenue, the funding available to establish and maintain effective illegal dumping prevention programs is limited. These costs may be passed along to residents in the form of higher service fees or property taxes.

For detailed information regarding activities the County has undertaken to combat illegal dumping, please see the below Illegal Dumping Task Force Report to the Board of Supervisors and related attachments.

Power Outage San Francisco Inner Richmond

Most people would not do what I just did during a power outage, making pictures of the blackout block of houses. For just 45 minutes the power was out in the Inner Richmond district in San Francisco. I checked with the neighbors, just to make sure it was not me owing the PG&E some outrageous bill. Nope, the whole block was without power. And while we have sufficient number of flashlights, I was more interested in making pictures of the blacked-out block of houses in our street. An opportunity I couldn't resist...!

Here is the first picture of our block of houses completely in the dark without any power, while the block further down the street has regular electricity!

Power outage in San Francisco Inner Richmond district. Blacked-out street, while other block has electricity

While it was all dark, I took a couple more pictures in Black & White, to give the whole experience a more interesting look.

Power outage in San Francisco. Blacked-out houses while cars go by

Power outage in San Francisco. Blacked-out houses in Black & White

Angry Birds Halloween Costume

Just one more week, and the kids will go house to house to pick up some candy. It's Halloween time. I just got in time to secure a great costume, which I'm afraid of being really popular this year: Angry Birds Costume...I just bought this Yellow Angry Birds costume last Friday, just in time for delivery this week. The pictures of Halloween at the Geeknet office will follow, as I intend to wear my full outfit not only in the office, but also going to work with the Muni.

Yellow Angry Bird Costume, buy it now!


If you are still looking for a costume this week, you are almost too late to secure the savings buying online. You rather go to the store to pick up a costume, but who knows if they would sell the Red Angry Bird Costume in the Wallgreens...Otherwise you might be walking in this...:

Halloween costumes on sale advertisementsBuy quickly an Angry Bird Costume for yourself, or a cute Blue Angry Birds Costume for kids...

FAIL: Parking in San Francisco

You know the feeling. You run to your car, because you know there is street cleaning today. Unfortunately you are already too late, and there is a parking ticket on your car... $50 wasted. Well at least the city can put that money to work... Yeah Right!

But how funny is it that these little parking police cars will park anywhere, even when there is a sign they can't!