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Cops bloodied an 84-year-old man and put him in the hospital Sunday when he jaywalked at an Upper West Side intersection and didn’t appear to understand their orders to stop, witnesses said.
Kang Wong was strolling north on Broadway and crossing 96th Street at around 5 p.m., when an officer told him to halt because he had walked against the light.
Police were targeting jaywalkers in the area following the third pedestrian fatality this month around West 96th Street.
Wong, who lives a block away, appeared to not understand the cop, the witnesses said…
The violence unfolded in front of several news reporters, who had been at the intersection documenting an accident that killed Upper West Side pedestrian Samantha Lee 12 hours earlier.
After Lee’s death, police resorted to the old-school tactic of writing up pedestrians for jaywalking at $250 a pop.

read more: nypost, 19.01.14.via treehugger, 28.01.14.
How “organized motordom” squeezed pedestrians off the streets.
via treehugger, 28.01.14.top photo by John Massengale. Lexington Avenue at 89th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan. read more about NYC’s vision zero on streetsbook, 24.01.14.
"never pass on the right"

"it’s really dangerous."

said a skinny guy who passed me on the hawthorne bridge this morning after i had passed another cyclist on the right just in time to catch the small gap between him and a dog-walking lady coming the other direction.

i hella got told.

but wtf i see and pass by cyclists who do “dangerous” things, not abiding by informal cycling rules. but when i pass them i don’t tell them what they should have done. i just get on my way.

yeah, maybe i should have slowed down and stayed behind the cyclist in front of me until there was more room to pass, but that doesn’t mean i wouldn’t have passed on the right.

i’ve gotten passed on the right before when i’m cycling on the left “bike” side of the path, unaware that there are faster people behind me (not many people seem to use bells). there are times when it’s okay to pass on the right. just use your own judgement.

anyway.. now i feel like if i were driving i’d be one of those risk-taking drivers who drive a little too fast and then quickly change lanes to avoid hitting the slower cars in front of me.

also, during my bike tour from sf to santa cruz in june, i was cycling on the left side of the decently wide shoulder when a speedy lycra-clad fancy road bike cyclist passed me on the left. he immediately got honked at by a driver in the adjacent lane. that’s dangerous, too! there was more than enough space on the right side of the shoulder for him to pass me on the right, and it would have been totally fine!

and yeah.. cyclists are the only group who self-regulate and chide each other.

Transformation of North San Jose into urban tech hub under way.
…crucial to the city’s success in transforming North San Jose will be attracting high-profile companies. That effort recently got a boost when Samsung broke ground on what is expected to be an iconic campus on First Street near East Tasman Drive. The complex will be dominated by a pair of 10-story office towers and total 680,000 square feet.
To encourage more projects and corporate expansions in North San Jose, city officials have slashed development fees, cut red tape for developers and are allowing higher density than was previously permitted…
"Higher density is the future, and if the demand is there, then it makes sense to build more in North San Jose," said Chad Leiker, a vice president with realty firm Kidder Mathews. "San Jose is betting on light rail and on BART to really make this work."
read more: oaklandtribune/sanjosemercury, 21.01.14.
» It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

really good article about the tech industry in the sf bay area, going beyond news and elaborating too much about the regional housing/planning problem to offer new ideas of how the tech sector and communities can interact, outside of blocked employee buses.

excerpts in case it’s tl;dr for you—now not as long:

  • example of service as part of company culture:

Zendesk, a San Francisco-based IPO candidate that was originally founded in Denmark, is running the “gold standard” of community benefit programs in the Tenderloin.

“Other startups do all this stuff to build a culture. They bring in ping pong tables. They have happy hours,” Tiffany Apczynski of Zendesk said. “But what we do to differentiate ourselves is our social responsibility. We want to avoid an Ivory Tower syndrome.”

Del Seymour, a former drug addict who now sits on the city’s Homeless Coordinating Board, gives tours to new Zendesk employees, so they can understand the history of the neighborhood they’re working in.

Seymour takes Zendesk employees to places like St. Anthony’s and the Gubbio Project, where hundreds of homeless people get to rest every day in the pews of the Tenderloin’s St. Boniface Church. He points out where he used to sleep in an old refrigerator bin during his six years on the streets, when he fell into drug abuse after working as a paramedic and firefighter for the city.

“I never thought I would end up there,” he told a crowd of Zendesk employees in front of St. Boniface’s doors.

  • broader-based giving from employees across the industry:

In October, the founders, investors and employees of Helsinki-based gaming startup Supercell sold slightly over half of the company for $1.5 billion to Japanese mobile carrier Softbank and GungHo.

Around that time, the city’s local children’s hospital reached out to the company, because they hadn’t yet raised enough funding to replace their old, dilapidated location. The 100 or so employees stepped up to collectively give about 3.4 million euros ($4.6 million) to cover a budget shortfall for constructing a new hospital. Participation was voluntary and the total amount raised was less than 1 percent of the proceeds from that deal.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen employees of any tech company in San Francisco or Silicon Valley collectively donate a sum of that size. In fact, a friend of mine, who spent at least four years at Facebook, tried to rally his former co-workers to do something similar around the time the company IPO-ed. No such luck, which is an incredible shame.

  • leadership from google, facebook, apple and twitter on regional housing:

Frankly, it’s a waste for Google to spend its time media coaching employees at a hearing for $1 fees on bus stops, when it could be joining forces with Facebook, Apple, Twitter and other large tech companies to push for regionwide housing solutions.

Surely, if Apple, Facebook and Google can drop a few billion dollars and commission architects like Norman Foster and Frank Gehry to thoughtfully design their future headquarters, they can think intelligently about how to house all of the employees who will commute to work there. This may mean becoming more organized about confronting NIMBYists who are inadvertently denying others affordable housing in favor of preserving their own property values.

full article: techcrunch, 24.01.14.

one thing, though: companies can get a payroll tax break if their community benefit programs are approved. they should still be paying their fair share of taxes. they’re not thanks to current laws (and ed lee’s tax breaks to get tech companies like twitter to move to sf).

» Why I love Oakland, in four photos

Oakland isn’t built for praise from 21st Century media. The city is defined largely by the 50 or so negative headlines it receives every year. Those are more than balanced 200-fold by positive stories. But few if any of those 10,000 smaller headlines are going to get the public’s attention.

It’s not a city that can be explained in 140 characters or less, or with a series of GIFs. And yet it’s so easy to take it down with a few words. Occupy. Murder rate. State takeover. Fruitvale BART. Jean Quan.

Oakland falls easily into misconception. And yet …

Oakland is a city filled with fragile beauty, and triumphs that feel truly cinematic.

That’s the fight that defines this city. We’re often engaged in a losing cause, but it’s still worth the effort, because the fight makes us better people. Live in Oakland and your senses get heightened. 

peter hartlaub, sfgate, 22.01.14.

» US's Cheap Chinese Crap Creating Whole Extra LA Smog Day

la.curbed, 21.01.14.

» New Gatto Legislation Requires License Suspension for All Hit and Run Drivers

On Tuesday, Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced legislation mandating that any driver who commits a hit and run offense, even if the victim is not seriously injured, forfeit their driver’s license for six months. Gatto’s legislation is his second effort to criminalize hit and run crashes following last year’s Assembly Bill 184 which extended the statute of limitations for hit and run drivers.

“A.B. 1532 will give victims of hit-and-runs solace, knowing that cowards who drive recklessly, and purposefully avoid responsibility for their actions, are no longer driving the streets,” said Assemblyman Gatto. “This is a sensible fix to the law that will lead people to think twice before leaving the scene of an accident.”

Gatto’s legislation adds a penalty of a six month driver’s license suspension to anyone found guilty of a misdemeanor hit and run crash. Currently, most hit and run drivers are either given a probation and fine, although law does allow for up to a six month stay in jail. This latter provision is rarely enforced…

Hit and run crashes, and the seeming helplessness of the LAPD to stem the crisis level of these crashes in Los Angeles, have been a major issue in Gatto’s hometown for years. The Los Angeles Police Department records 20,000 hit-and-run crashes are recorded annually, and the L.A. Weekly considers this number a low estimate. State data shows that 4,000 hit-and-run incidents a year in Los Angeles lead to injury or death. 2014 has already been a deadly year in Gatto’s district. A 24-year-old veterinary student was killed in a hit-and-run in Northridge just last week.

read more: la.streetsblog, 22.01.14.

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