Friday, December 29, 2006

Mt. Diablo in December (1)

Michael at the summit (brrrrrr!!!)
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Mt. Diablo in December (2)

Near Curry Point - down the mountain a ways where it wasn't so cold and windy
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LGCSF: Form for venue database

We can always sing on the street...

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Criminal justice reform next year in CA?

Interesting op-ed in the SF Chronicle of December 26 by Daniel Macallair, Executive Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, located here in San Francisco. He writes:
Since 1990, the state Legislature has attempted to create a sentencing commission on three separate occasions only to have it vetoed once by Gov. George Deukmejian and twice by Gov. Pete Wilson. With the overcrowding and the state's prison system on the verge of collapse, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has now proposed establishing such a body. Let us hope that the current crisis-driven initiative will usher in an era of responsible stewardship of the state's criminal-justice system that has long been absent in Sacramento.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

New plant for the office

I found a new plant from a store on Market Street last week and took it to the office: a fern called an Asplenium Nidus.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fall update

My blog postings have fallen off because I began working again on 10/30. I'm at the California Endowment's office in San Francisco.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blogger Beta, here I come

I converted to Blogger Beta tonight and it was easy. It looks like this may mean the end to my FreshTags tagging process, and if it's just a little bit easier for me to set each one up and easier for users, that's probably all for the best.

Fran gets recognized by REI

My old friend Fran T. was picked by REI as a 2006 "Steward for the Environment" for her longtime bike and pedestrian advocacy. Fran designated the SF Bicycle Coalition to receive her $20,000 award.

Thanks, REI, and congratulations, Fran!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Still like summer here - visit to Kirby Cove

The weather is HOT in the Bay Area, so on Saturday we headed to Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 02, 2006

Big Wheels: my latest pub

I contributed two interviews and one photo for the article "Big Wheels: See Who's Riding Now," which appears on the front page of the Oct.-Nov. 2006 Tube Times. The 5,500 Bike Coalition members are getting their copies in the mail now. My interviews are available online here and here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

PARK(ing) day video

Here's my favorite video from last week's PARK(ing) day project in San Francisco...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NO on 1A & 1B / YES on 1C, 1D & 1E

Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E form the "Rebuild California Plan." They are endorsed by the Democratic Party and by the Governor. I have a mixed verdict: NO on 1A & 1B / YES on 1C, 1D, and 1E.

Prop 1A is one of those anti-democratic bills that require the state to spend money gathered from X and category Y. I believe we've got to trust the legislature to set spending priorities. The more measures like this we have, the more we cheapen our governmental system.

The "traffic" measure (1B) would dedicate $20 billion for transportation, including San Francisco projects like the Central Subway, the Caltrain-Downtown Extension to a Rebuilt Transbay Terminal, and Geary Light Rail, and 3rd St. Light Rail, and Doyle Drive approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. I am going with my compadres at the SFBC, and recommending NO on Prop 1B because the mix of investment is too heavy for cars and not enough for bikes, peds, and transit.

I have previously stated my support for Prop 1C, which provides $2.8 billion for housing.

Prop 1D is a bond to get $10 billion for California schools. We need this support for education.

Prop 1E is a bond to get $4 billion for flood prevention. Though I'm not sure we need this prop in addition to the $5.4 billion for water, coastal, flood projects in Prop 84 (which I support)...I think this investment is going to be worth it in the long run.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pema Chodron on public television

Last night I saw part of Bill Moyers' program called Faith and Reason. Here's a clip from the show with Pema Chodron. The Richard Rodriguez interview was also interesting, though the YouTube channel only captured a part of what I saw on the broadcast.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Turn the World Around: LGCSF concert 11/3 and 11/4

The Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco's next concert in 11/3 and 11/4 at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, at101 Gold Mine Drive in the Diamond Heights neighborhood. This modern church has great acoustics for a choral concert. If you'd like to join Michael and Saturday night, contact us!

Tickets $15 to $30, sliding scale. Call 415-865-ARTS (2787) for tickets through a community box-office.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

NO on 88

I will vote NO on Prop 88 in the November California election. This measure would create a $50 parcel tax and dedicate the money to specific education initiatives. I'm no expert on education policy and I am kind of jumping on the bandwagon on this one - it's not being supported by the state PTA or by either political party and has little chance of passing. It was bankrolled by Reed Hastings of Netflix and venture capitalist John Doerr, and some say they will yank their support before the election.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Utz Ipetik / Welcome / Bienvenidos y bienvenidas

Happy autumn equinox!

I'm working on a short movie about the Mayan Cultural Center, from video I took while in Guatemala last month. Here's a still for the initial title. I'm learning subtitles this time. It's easy and fun.
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MacArthur recognizes a genius helping Guatemala

James Fruchterman of Palo Alto CA was one of the MacArthur Foundation Fellows (i.e., "geniuses") awarded a nice cash prize this week. According to the MacArthur Foundation:
In 2000, Fruchterman founded a non-profit, Benetech, as an incubator for socially-oriented technology applications...Initiatives include Martus, a secure, computer-based reporting system to assist the human rights sector in collecting, safeguarding, and disseminating information about human rights violations...
Martus has been used in Guatemala and over 15 countries around the globe. A case study about Martus in Guatemala explains that the human rights abuses from the time of the Guatemalan civil war are echoed in ongoing violence against activists working for human rights NGOs, of which there are more than 100 in Guatemala City. Martus helps these workers keep their case reports and the identities of witnesses secure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

YES on 84

I recommend yes on Prop 84 in the California election in November. This measure allocates $5.4 billion for safe drinking water and flood control (i.e., repairing old levees in the SF Bay Delta) in California. Just about everybody is endorsing this measure.

Prop 84 also helps California get ready for the global impacts of climate change.

I would have preferred that the legislature had accomplished flood-protection this year with a tax increase, to avoid the extra costs of financing this with debt. Unfortunately, California's government doesn't operate that way. Curious about why? Check this post at The California Progress Report about the 3 a.m. deal in May that created the package of 5 bond measures that California faces in November.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Helping children with AIDS by tax on airfare

Unitaid in Geneva has convened 5 nations (France, Brazil, Britain, Norway and Chile) who will collect a "solidarity contribution" from air passengers to raise $300 million a year for children with AIDS other infectious diseases. Some experts warned against allocating money to drugs when the infrastructure and medical personnel aren't in place. But Ira Magaziner of the William J. Clinton Foundation said the new program would provide a reliable source of financing for the medicine and diagnostics.

France already supports Unitaid with a 4 euro charge on every international economy ticket and a 40 euro charge on first class ones.

FreshTags added to my scene

Today I deployed FreshTags, a blog tool by Greg Hill to help readers find posts by category. I learned about FreshTags through FreshBlog.

Setup, including tagging my entries, was simple - about a half-hour job. Right now I've got 13 different tags for the'll be interesting to see what happens if that number gets unmanageable.

For-profit philanthropy (Tierney column)

A John Tierney op-ed ("Capitalism with a Heart," 9/16/06) commented on trends in corporate philanthropy. A doing-well-by-doing-good philosophy is emerging, led by John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods. This movement rejects the businessperson's rationale of doing philanthropy in order to buy public good will. Instead, they want corporations to do more than enrich shareholders, they want them to improve the health and well-being of everyone on the planet.

This idea is being put into practice at, which has $1 billion in seed money and is set up as a for-profit organization. Tierney was skeptical about's potential for reaching goals, such as developing a car that gets 100 miles per gallon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Late bloomers emerge

Mid-September is a little late for it, but we have a few dahlias that have just produced their first bloom- like the big dinner-plate size pink ones,

The first of the medium-size pale yellow ones have emerged as a trio:
According to the American Dahlia Society, the shape of these dahlia is known as "incurved cactus," according to the ADS. This shape is described as:
Ray florets are pointed, uniform in length; they uniformly curve toward the face of the bloom, are revolute for the majority of their length and are fully revolute for at least half their length."

Friday bike ride with Presidio streetscape pictures

I headed out Friday morning to enjoy the awesome weather. Taking SF Bike Route 65 into the Presidio, I found a new bike lane on Washington St. that helps west-bound bicyclists on the approach to the housing near Nauman Road. Though usually a quiet area, development of the Presidio will increase traffic and make these new lanes essential for comfortable biking. Better yet, there are bike lanes in both directions on the road through the housing.

The Presidio's traffic planners have also created two chicanes on Washington (defined by the Double-Tounged Dictionary as a barricaded, tightly curved, or zig-zagged roadway that forces traffic to slow while still permitting it to pass) in the area. Bikes are separated from traffic going throught the chicane. Here's the PresidiGo just after taking the turn.

I took Route 65 to the end, and snapped this photo of Sea Cliff and Lincoln Park before joining Route 95 heading west on Lincoln Blvd.

After an exhausting climb up El Camino del Mar, the next amazing sight was a line up to get into Monet in Normandy at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.
Leaving Lincoln Park, I decided to stick with the coastal bike route (#10/95) which meant one final climb up about 15 blocks of Clement St. That brought me out to a view onto work in progress at the west entrance to Fort Miley. A lot of brush was gone and the seal rocks were shining through.My last sight to share was 1000's of SF High School students taking a walk in the park on Martin Luther King Drive.

These are some examples of what makes SF a fun city to explore.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yes on 1C

I'm following the lead of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC), a hard-working and trustworthy activist group in the Bay Area, and supporting Prop 1C in the November election.

TALC's reasons:
TALC is strongly supporting Proposition 1C on the November ballot. This $2.85 billion bond would continue state funding for affordable housing production, and it includes a new $850 million fund for infill and supportive investments and $300 million for Transit-Oriented Development.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Soros pledges support to Sachs

George Soros has pledged $50 million to a project led by Jeffrey D. Sachs to help people in Africa.

According to Sachs, his project, Millenium Promise, builds on the work done in improving health status to the next essential phase: economic growth in rural areas. The project distributes fertilizer and high-yield seeds, and helps people build small-scale irrigation. Below is a video about the project with Sachs and Angelina Jolie. You'll like it, I promise!

Results Int'l calls for more help fighting TB in Africa

Results International yesterday released a report saying that the World Bank is helping India, China, and Russia fight tuberculosis more than African nations. Tuberculosis kills many people with AIDS - more than any other infection, according to Stephen Lewis, UN special envoy for AIDS in Africa.

Public health policy: mandate cancer vaccine for schoolgirls?

A new vaccine from Merck, Gardasil, prevents HPV infection, and thereby prevents cervical cancer, presenting interesting public health policy issues. In Michigan, a woman Republican state senator, Bev Hammerstrom of Temperance, has sponsored the first legislation that would require girls entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated. By supporting comprehensive, universal use of the vaccine before women become sexually active, policies such as this could eliminate cervical cancer from the next generation of women.

NO on Prop 90

I urge a NO vote on California Prop 90 in the November election. Under the cover of the recent New London-eminent domain controversy, right-wingers and libertarians are using money from New York real estate investor Howie Rich (pictured) to attack our legal and government systems.

The issue is well-covered in today's SF Chronicle story by Patrick Hoge and by Eliza Strickland in the SF Weekly last month.

Beyond eminent domain, the prop requires the public to compensate property owners for "regulatory takings" - in other words, if we want new policies but they get in the way of property owners making a buck, we have to pay them for it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SF Bike Coalition on CSM Front Page

The work of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition was featured in a front-page article of the Christian Science Monitor. The article focused on a gradual change of attitudes in San Francisco that has accompanied the Bike Coalition's long-term work of organizing and activating bicyclists in SF while gaining the confidence of the larger public, as well.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dale and Ian go to Alcatraz

I visited Alcatraz with my nephew Ian in July 2006. Here's the trip including car, train and ferry.

Bike tricks also follow near the end.

Monday, September 04, 2006

No on Prop 83

Vote no on Prop. 83 (go to opposition site of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.)

This is a "get tough on sex offenders and protect the children" bill. It really bugs me. Here's something I wrote and put on the message board:

This law would cost California taxpayers a lot of money and not make anyone safer.

Republicans like Sharon Runner raise money to get these issues on the ballot to distract people from important things.

Meanwhile, these laws chip away at the foundation of our justice system bit by bit. Each time we create new lifetime penalties for another offense (where you can live, jobs you can hold, GPS, etc), we increase the number of people who are unable to thrive and support themselves and their families, adding to the permanent underclass.

This is not the way things have to be.

Say no to these republicans and vote no on this measure.
For more background, check out this story in the Capitol Weekly that contains courageous statement by Mark Leno:

"It is a sad irony that the very people who claim to be protecting our
children are using our children as a political weapon," he said.
Now try not to be too depressed - everyone says this piece of garbage is going to pass in November. - see my choices

For my recommendations for the ballot in November - well, all of the candidates and all of the state propositions - check out my VoteCircle webpage. I still have some choices to make, but my card will be filled out soon.

The idea of telling the whole world who your voting for seems a little weird, but I have a much bigger problem with not being able to figure out what's on the ballot, and not being well prepared to vote. So check it out.

VoteCircle doesn't have the SF initiatives, where we get to consider fun stuff like whether or not to impeach Bush. I'll get around to them soon.

Krugman on Health Policy

Today's NYT has a Paul Krugman column in which he calls the Bush Administration on its mistakes -

1. Missing the opportunity to expand eligibility for more veterans to receive medical care from the highly functioning and efficient Veterans Health Administration medical benefits;

2. Increasing subsidies to the poorly performing Medicare Advantage programs that have failed to improve care and cost taxpayers more than traditional Medicare.

Sounds like more of what we've come to expect from this administration: back away from public programs that work and direct the money to programs that funnel money to Republican interest groups.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

YES on 86

I've taken a close look at California Prop 86 and recommend you vote for it, for two simple reasons:
1. to reduce smoking
2. to improve the financing of health care in California.

YES on 89

Vote YES on California Prop. 89 in November, for fairer elections and to make politicians accountable to voters instead of big financial contributors. Come on - supporters include Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, and Mark Leno - we can do it!

pablo out back

pablo the cat
Originally uploaded by Dale331.
Pablo wishes everyone a happy Labor Day weekend. He will spend most of it relaxing!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sunday in Golden Gate Park - Ian and Dale

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Ian and the Cardinal

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Ian in Half Moon Bay

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NO on Prop 85

Please vote NO on Prop. 85 in November. Respect teenagers' rights.

RWF story in September "Out Now"

Please visit OutNow Magazine to read this article by Patrick Letellier about Rainbow World Fund. The article tells about our recent trip and about the background and vision of the group's Executive Director, Jeff Cotter.

The issue of the magazine can be accessed as a .pdf file - and the article appears on page 30.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Join the Yes on 87 campaign at this website
. Passing 87 is even more important now that California is tackling the CO2 problem with this week's legislation.

Guatemala video: Music from the Internada de Ninas

Click > to play. The video is about 7 minutes and begins with clips of the girls playing marimba. Singing of the Guatemalan national anthem starts at about 4:20.