Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two of Lucca

Lucca's becoming a sunloving cat.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Thanks to Hank

Henry "Hank" Ruhe Wilson, April 29, 1947 - November 9, 2008

Earlier this month, the community gathered in the Castro for "Thanks to Hank: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Hank Wilson." Hank had a hand in many, many community causes, and groups such as the GLBT Historical Society put together altars, tables, and displays showing some of his work. I remembered seeing Hank many times giving people information about poppers, I took a shot of this scene: his provocative black and white flyers were pasted, taped, and tossed around a small trio of folding chairs. It evoked Hank's commitment to getting the word out by any means necessary. 

Many people helped with the event, and afterward we were led by Extra Action Marching Band to a final celebration at Harvey Milk Plaza. Here's one of their dancers! 

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sanchez St., part 2

This recent photo shows the ongoing work on Sanchez St. north of Market. See Part 1 for more info.
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New 3-speed Mikado Commuter

Thanks to local bike store Citizen Chain and the bike coalition's winterfest, I've now got a "new" bike!  I just took it for a ride to Golden Gate Park, and wearing my green jacket, I looked just like Christmas. It's a mint-condition, vintage 1979 Japanese bicycle. From what I can tell, "Mikado" was a minor bike line, and the Mikado Bicycle Division was a small part of Toyoda America, Inc. (an importer of Japanese manufactured goods, which must have translated the bike's Owner's Manual). Toyoda America, Inc. is still around, only now it's called Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. and it's owned by Toyota. So I guess my new bike is a Toyota.  
A Massachusetts cyclist named Sheldon Brown - who, sadly, died in 2008 - has interesting background on Japanese bicycles at his website.  
The bike comes with a cartridge-type Shimano three-speed hub. I got the paperwork on that, too, and it's copyright Dec. 1978.  

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lucca and Luisa's first two weeks

Since coming home with us on Nov. 22, Lucca...

...and Luisa first got to meet Annie...

...then Amani...

...then Will and Cynthia...

and then John and Rick.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rahaim pulls it off by Thanksgiving (Day 890)

Yesterday was the 890th day since an injunction stopped all city progress toward making San Francisco more bike-friendly. It was also the day that the Planning Department, led by John Rahaim, had pledged to finish work on its Draft of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the San Francisco Bike Plan Project Project. They submitted it at 4:40 pm yesterday! Congratulations to all who worked on it!

Gay Hero: Remembering 30 years ago

The murder of Harvey Milk was 30 years ago today. A new movie about his life and accomplishments is now out, and tomorrow at City Hall, my chorus will join with SFGMC to lead a community commeration. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sanchez St. upgrade? Part 1

Sanchez St is a great street for bicycling, but the pavement quality is a real pain in the a**.  But change may be afoot. Below is some information that Michael found yesterday. He adds that he got the from the five year plan, and the dates for start-up may have changed. When we rode it today, we found lots of work underway ... lots of metal plates are covering up different excavations.
I found the current schedule for repaving parts of the Wiggle and nearby streets. The info might be useful for the Parks Ride tour through the Wiggle area next Tuesday....and for SFBC efforts to get a higher priority given to some of our prime bike routes.

DPW's Street Construction Coord Ctr. 554-5810 said that the PG&E work permit for Sanchez is valid until January 2009, or at least the Duboce to Market stretch (all of Sanchez from Duboce to 30th will be getting the PG&E treatment). The rep said the Duboce to Market stretch should be paved, curb to curb, "soon" after that.

According to the Five Year Plan http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/sfdpw/bsm/sccc/PavingPlanDPWInternet.pdf ,
Sanchez at the Duboce intersection is due for paving June 1, 2009. (it also notes "232 days"...for completion? yikes)

But the rest of Sanchez, including the shredded part from Duboce to Market is not scheduled for paving until July 1, 2012. And soon it will have the several cuts/wide patches from the PG&E work adding to the overall surface. (This work is tagged at "150 days")

Bush countdown

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

334 Obama, 155 McCain ... for now!

Still waiting for Missouri, Montana, Indiana and North Carolina.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beach day today!

77 degrees in San Francisco.

The pathway to the beach near the bridge has been re-built since my last visit. If you know where you're going, the new path makes the climb down much easier. The eco-system of the area will hopefully benefit from some improved management. One of the invasive species that will be suppressed is Cape Ivy. Today, though, everything just looked and felt very dry. We need rain soon!
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Election 2008

We filled out our mail-in ballots today, a process that took more than a half hour since there were 42 separate local, state and federal measures and races to consider! Here's a video from a local candidate I'm supporting in his race for District 11 Supervisor.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

i vote! i bike!

Originally uploaded by firesigned

We helped 10 people register to vote last night on Market St. Last day to register to vote in CA: October 20.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

California Academy of Sciences: open!

Today was beautiful day for the re-opening of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.
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Good week for Obama!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bicycle Traffic Signal

New in NoPa. Checked it out yesterday and tried it on my bike today.  This accomplishment took a huge amount of work from neighbors, and the city even had to fight for it in court.
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Monday, September 01, 2008

More blooming succulents

These potted succulents are finally in gorgeous bloom.

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Better biking for the bridge-bound

A new multi-use path in the Presidio has improved the connection for cyclists between Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge. This curve is near a parking lot to the east of the main bridge parking lot. The path features two zones - a larger zone of smooth asphalt, and a smaller zone that seems to have a rougher surface with some gravel-like material embedded. That seemed like an interesting way to separate cyclists and walkers.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

40 Globes at Chrissy Field

picture by Michael
There are 40 "Cool Globes" at Chrissy Field, each one decorated to create more awareness about environmental issues facing the planet. The show is sponsored by the car company with the best-selling hybrid. Here's part of a globe depicting cities. On the right is what looks like the bandshell designed by Gehry at Chicago's Millennium Park.
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Red cobweb in bloom

Our "Red Cobweb" Hens & Chicks are flowering - kind of s nice surprise since we planted them in April. Our other succulents also have some nice blooms that are beginning to open.
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Monday, July 28, 2008

Victory Garden

The Slow Food garden is blooming down at City Hall. I want to check it out soon!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Washington DC

In Washington, DC, last month, I saw lots of changes since my years there in the 90s. The most remarkable change was the re-invigoration of the area around the old U.S. Patent Office, which houses the National Portrait Gallery. That building is situated on the north side of F St, and that block has been named Walt Whitman Way, in tribute to the poet who cared for wounded soldiers in the building during the Civil War. The street, which was pretty dank and edgy in the 90s, is so alive now, especially because the old Washington Post Office (built in1839, and built by Robert Mills, like the Patent Office), on the south side of the street, had been vacant but is now a lively hotel.

How great to be in an east coast city in June and see the trees and flowers in full leaf.
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Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day

Contact your representatives today!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Singing for pride

The 30th Annual Pride Concert
Thursday and Friday, June 26 and 27 2008, 8 pm
First Unitarian Church
San Francisco

Cyclist Pride

Watch for us in the parade Sunday morning with the Bicycle Coalition!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Sex Positive" at Frameline 32

l to r: Michael Helquist, Richard Berkowitz, Hank Wilson

Richard Berkowitz was the subject of a film, "Sex Positive," that screened tonight at the Roxie as part of the Frameline 32 film festival. Richard was living in New York City when the AIDS epidemic began, and he spoke up to educate the community about what was going on and eventually about safer sex. At the time, he openly described his own sexual experiences in his writing, despite others who feared that if the mainstream labeled gay men as promiscuous, they would not give the community any help.

The film, directed by Daryl Wein, is an important documentation about what happened during those crucial years. My partner Michael met Richard Berkowitz in 1983 during the 5th National Lesbian Gay/Health Conference, and tonight, he got to meet Richard again. Hank Wilson also joined us for a snack on Valencia St. after the show.

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