Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category:

End of Summer

What an awesome summer.  My first one in Chicago, and it went by so fast and kept me so busy I didn’t have time to write any blog posts.  ’twas full of chicago biking, sunshine, friends, and music – my favorite things.  I also worked on some good projects, and met many cool people.  Besides Chicago, I took a few roadtrips around the midwest, ventured to NYC by train, Atlanta by plane, and spent almost a month in California and Nevada.

Chicago Corner Farm

One of the biggest things I did this year was help start a community garden.  Shayna wanted to grow plants for making fiber, and she found a couple other locals, Noah and Margaret, who were looking to start a garden.  With some grant money from Shayna’s school and a lot of hard work, we cleared land, built some beds, and planted many edibles, a few ornamentals (flowers and such), and fibers for making paper.  We busted our ass on the weekends in the beginning, but was definitely worth it.  I enjoyed being outside, working with my hands, meeting neighbors, and of course eating tomatoes, basil, and other herbs and vegetables.  We also made a smaller garden in our backyard, too, with our upstairs neighbor, Andy.  You can read more on the website Shayna and I put together – chadnorwood.comC/a>.

Chicago Critical Mass, May 2009

Summer had a cold start this year.  In fact, I think we only turned on the AC once this whole summer.   But that didn’t stop us from having lots of fun.  I already blogged about Indiana Dunes camping, but we also started out in may doing the Chicago critical mass bike ride.  I spent way more time on my bike than in a car, bus, or train .. the way life should be.  Chicago makes it easy – it’s flat and its never too cold at night. We rode to brunch, to the beach, downtown, to bars .. I even rode over 10 miles home at 4am from the south side of Chicago. I also rode crazy bikes at the Tour De Fat festival sponsored by Fat Tire beer.

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Speaking of festivals .. Chicago wins.  Every weekend, all summer long, there are several street festivals in various neighborhoods throughout Chicago.  Blues festivals, House music festivals, Irish/Scottish/German/Polish Festivals, Beer Festivals, Ribs Fest, Wings, Taste of Chicago (biggest one ever), and the list goes on.  Chicago city law requires them all to be free, but they usually ask for $5 or $10 donation.  They always have street vendors – food, shirts, art, etc.  They usually have 2-5 stages where bands, djs, or somebody performs.  And the people go nuts if the weather is beautiful – unlike California, rainy days will keep you inside, but that makes the sunny days even more precious.

We also enjoyed many visitors – especially our SF friends !! Juan, Jason, Damian, Ramon, and Monica came out for a weekend making me feel at home.  We showed them the beautiful Millenium Park, the view from the top of the Hancock tower (2nd tallest bldg in chicago), the beach, summer street festivals, and chicago deep dish pizza.  A month or so later Checkoway visited and we had a similar experience – drinks, tall buildings, beach, and enjoying friends.

Shayna and I also loved the scenic and surprisingly comfortable 20 hour train to NYC for a wedding of an old friend, Sarah Bates, to Leo De Alvia .  I’m very happy for them and enjoyed seeing all our friends in NY.  In addition to NY,  I also made it to Atlanta for Fathers Day.  Got to give it up for good ol’ Dad !! And it was nice seeing my sisters families and nieces and nephew.  They grow up so fast. heh.

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We had lots of fun with our new Chicago friends – monthly dinner parties, rooftop BBQ on 4th of July, lots of biking around to bars, cubs game, and other summer activities.  Best event with Chicago friends was the camping trip to Oregon IL.  Oh man was that fun. We camped and made s’mores over the fire, told stories and went on hikes.  But the main event was on sunday – the Demolition Derby.  Oregon is the home town of Miss Amanda, and she showed us how they have fun in the midwest – crashing cars.  Booya !!

One of my favorite trips this summer was Lakes of Fire – a regional Burningman in Michigan, about 3 hours from Chicago.  It was about 500 people (instead of the 40,000 at burningman in nevada), and it felt more like home than i could have imagined. I met amazing people, saw some cool art, and had tons of fun.  I especially enjoyed meeting the freakeasy and illmeasures peeps – they throw good parties in chicago for the bman crowd.

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Last but not least was our trip to Burningman.  We joined Brasstax (our SF crew) in the Boombox camp.  It was my 10th year at bman, and altho i love it, i love my friends more, so i spent most of my time in the camp.   We flew to SFO on thursday, drove up early (friday before it started) and left 8 days later (sat night as they burned the man).  We assembled the boombox in 4 days and tore it down in 1.  We “burned” it … altho most of it was good wood so it got recycled.  I could go on and on about bman but pics are worth a thousand words.  Anyway, it was great to spend some quality time with my crazy friends.   After that I spent some time in California hanging out, Eumi’s and Lori’s bdays, a day hike at mt. tam, and did another trip to Tahoe for Fritz’s Bachelor Party.  I love tahoe – could be my favorite natural place on the earth.

The summer ended with one final trip to St. Louis for Shayna’s 30th birthday.  The main event was the city museum, which is my favorite man-made place on earth.  If you haven’t been, and you are still part kid, you MUST go.  It was also nice to do a road trip and see friends in another city.

Fall is supposed to be nice in chicago but pretty short .. in less than 2 months it will be cold for a while.  Then spring and summer again !!!  If you want to visit, plan now, cuz it’ll give you something awesome to look fwd to.

Cheers,
Chad

Financial Bailout

This is the hot topic of the year, if not the decade, so I might as well comment on it. First let me summarize some well known facts, than I’ll point out a few things I learned after some digging in Wha? below.

As you may know, last Friday October 3 the 451 page “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” was passed – $700 billion bailout of the financial markets by US Government – $250 billion now, $100 billion later with president approval, $350 billion later with congressional approval.  Money comes with an oversight board, new office of financial stability, and a few other good moves.   It also contained an estimated $150 billion in earmarks or pork spending.  “Thats just the way things are done in Washington DC” – Senator McCain. Some of these are not bad, but they have nothing to do with the financial bailout. US Government must end this “bill rider” practice (earmarks, most importantly).

Here are top 10 sweeteners (all are basically federal tax breaks)

  1. Wooden Arrows .. worth $200,000 to Rose City Archery in Oregon
  2. Motorsports Racing Tracks .. worth $100 million
  3. Rum imported from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands .. $192 million
  4. Research in US .. $19 billion (Microsoft, Boeing, EDS, etc)
  5. Exxon Valdez plaintiffs ..$49 million
  6. Subsidize Rural Schools .. $3.3 billion (OR, ID)
  7. Deduct sales tax from federal income tax .. $3.3 billion (TX, NV, FL, W,A, WY)
  8. Keep Film/TV production in US.. $478 million (CA)
  9. Wool Fabrics .. $148 million
  10. American Samoa .. $33 million
  11. BONUS – Employers paying employees commuting on bikes .. $10 million (OR)


WHA?

Getting back to the bailout – What caused this problem? That’s the hard question, and nobody knows the answer, but there are several contributing factors – Banks should not have given loans to people who could not pay them back.  Financial markets should not have blended and repackaged these riskier loans into things that were considered “safe”.  Government should not have left the CDS market unregulated.

What is CDS?  Credit Default Swaps.  This is a relatively new market that is entirely unregulated and limited to huge financial institutions.  When i say huge, i mean those that afford to pay billions.  For example, a hedge fund might want $1 billion insurance on Risky Corp. So they pay morgan stanley $20 million a year, and in return, Morgan Stanely would pay the hedge fund $1 billion if Risky Corp went bankrupt. Sounds like insurance, right? Well, if it was, insurance laws would require Morgan Stanley to keep cash reserves to cover the $1 billion, making it safer. So it is not called insurance .. keeping all that cash around to cover your promises limits how much you can promise, limiting the amount of profit you can make on these promises. In fact, in 2000, Everybody (president, senate, house, sec. treasurer, SEC, greenspan) agreed to keep the CDS unregulated.

How bad did it get in the CDS markets? First you have to understand hedging. In the example above, we have Morgan Stanley promising a hedge fund $1 billion if Risky Corp goes bankrupt, in return hedge fund pays 2%/year to Morgan Stanley. This is the CDS Contract. Now Morgan Stanley might turn around and buy $1 billion insurance on Risky from Lehman. Therefore if Risky goes bankrupt, Morgan can pay the hedge fund $1 billion using the $1 billion they get from Lehman. That is hedging – covering one position with an opposite position. Now understand speculation. If Risky looks like it is more likely to go bankrupt, more hedge funds buy $1 billion CDS contracts on it – they wanna get paid big if Risky goes under. Of course, they will be charged a higher fee per year, maybe 5% or 10%. But a smart hedge fund speculating on dozens of companies going bankrupt will bring in far more cash on bankrupt payouts than cash spent on those fees. That is speculation – betting on an asset going up or down. So lets say in the end, there are 10 CDS contracts on Risky Corp, $1 billion each, totalling $10 billion on the CDS market on a $1 billion company. Risky goes bankrupt, only able to pay off half its debt to its investors. Investors lose $500 million. However, $5 billion is lost on the CDS market. OUCH. One of the key things here is that you can buy/sell CDS contracts on any company at any time. This speculative nature in CDS markets is bad. In 2008, CDS maket was $60 trillion in contracts on $5 trillion in assets.

Let me repeat.  In 2008, there was $60 trillion in an unregulated CDS market – that’s more than all the money in all the stock markets in the world.  Thats insane. This is why Warren Buffet famously described derivatives bought speculatively as “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) are also problematic.  When you get a home loan from your bank, the bank packages up various loans and they turn into MBS.  These are regulated, unlike CDS, but the risk was not accurately rated.  No need to dissect this one – you’ve heard it all before – banks should not have been giving loans to people who couldn’t pay, markets should not have been buying these risky things and trading them like they were not risky, and these big banks should not have put all their eggs in one risky MBS basket.

A bit confusing, a bit interesting.  So what does that tell you?

I’ve learned that at least one area needs work – Assigning risk accurately.  Also, debt in the financial system is made extremely complicated by very smart people, so nobody really knows how big the problem is.

What’s the solution?  I’m not sure regulation helps, but transparency does.  Create rules that require transparency, and fine heavily (millions) when people do not abide.   For time-sensitive things, force transparency to a neutral agency that will hold information for a short time, fining heavily those whose actions don’t match what they said they did. Transparency helps math geniuses at the financial institutions assess risk more accurately, and leaves a trail for CEO accountability.

CEO’s who move debt around for years while they pay themselves millions should be forced to return cash when debt is revealed. If a bank robber steals $100 million, the bank and the feds go after the robber and the $100 million, even if the robber gives the $100 million to his mom as a bonus.  So if a corporation goes bankrupt, why do the CEO’s get to keep the millions they received?

Thats all for now .. if i missed any big points, please leave a comment.

Vote: Feb 5 Primary

Update: Election Results in Parenthesis  182K (45%ish) votes cast in SF (from Usual Suspects), California results from sfgate, from LA Times. Now back to original.

Everybody should vote – AND should spend some time understanding what they are voting on. Like my voter guide last fall, i’m listing my recommendations with links to more info. Do your homework – Official SF Dept of Elections and these local voter guides – SFBG, SPUR, Green Party, SF Chronicle, Usual Suspects. Here’s my recommendations for San Francisco – Endorsements for February 5, 2008:

USA
President, Democrat: Obama (Obama: 52% in SF, 42.4% in CA; Clinton: 44% SF , 51.8% in CA)
President, Republican: McCain (McCain: 53% in SF, 42% in CA; Romney: 22% in SF, 34% in CA)

CALIFORNIA
Proposition 91: No – Gas Tax (No 58%)
Proposition 92: No – Community Colleges (No 57%)
Proposition 93: Yes – Term Limits (No 53%)
Propositions 94–97: NO – Gambling (Yes 56% – all 4 same)

SAN FRANCISCO
Proposition A: YES – Parks Funding Increase (Yes 72%)
Proposition B: No – Police Retirement (Yes 65%)
Proposition C: No – Alcatraz into Peace Center (No 72%)

DETAILS

PRESIDENT

Oh jeez. this is a national issue, with lots of coverage. Here’s a few summary ones: On The Issues, 2008 Election ProCon, Financial view from opensecrets, NYTimes, and as a honorable mention sidenote: GlassBooth, MoveOn, Vote Smart. And everybody has their opinions on the candidates, so here’s mine. For Democrats, i like Obama for his vision, speaking skills, where he stands on many issues, and things he says he will do. But I also like Clinton on many issues. Most importantly, I think she has the experience to get her agenda accomplished. I like McCain alot for a republican. He’s a non-nonsense, tough fighter – wants to end global warming (YAY), fiscal conservative (yay), fix campaign financing (YAY) but also wants to stay in Iraq (Boo). He’s also been around, and will make a good leader. Did i successfully avoid the question? Maybe I should get into politics.

Update: Voted for Obama. Why? well, I think an Obama-McCain battle will be better for Dems. I also feel idealistic, wanting a strong leader and change .. even if he doesn’t have experience. And it seems republicans really hate Clinton, often for personal reasons, which makes me think more would rally for McCain if he was against Clinton in November. However, I learned Obama’s health plan is not as good as Clintons.

Prop 91, transportation funding: Strong NO

Everyone’s voting no on this – shouldn’t even be on the ballot (but legal foo keeps it there). Something about Gas tax.

Prop 92, community college funding: Weak No

In 2004, when the legislature raised student fees to $26 a unit, 305,000 students dropped out. By comparison, the UC system has 180,000 total students. Wow. I guess we better give Community colleges more money. Wait a second .. this does alot more than that, good for community colleges but good for education? And it doesn’t specify source of funds. UC system will prolly lose, as other things from the general fund. Another sounds good, but financially unsound. And with budget issues in sactown .. i say no.

Prop 93, term limits: weak Yes

This one is tricky. Right now elected officials can do 6 years in state assembly (3 2-year terms) and 8 years in the state senate (2 4-year terms) for a total of 14 years. This proposition changes the term limits 2 ways – from 14 years max to 12 years max, but allowing those 12 years to be in either senate or assembly (so can do 6 2-year terms or 3 4-year terms). Some say prop 93 is an attempt to shift power from lobbyists back to elected officials – lobbyists don’t have term limits, and often win over newly elected officials. I never found any statistics that showed how many senators/assemblymen hit that 14 year mark, not sure how that matters. But it will allow incumbants to keep on doing what they’re doing. Specifically, 42 incumbants who are being forced to retire due to term limits, will have more time if prop 93 passes. Some say the real problems still exist, such as gerrymandering, and this does nothing to fix that, making elections more competitive. I’m not a fan of prop 93 per se, However, i say yes cuz i think it sends a message that we want to fix things.

Props 94-97, Native American casinos: Weak No.

Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 are basically the same, just different tribes. They seem to help the richest tribes, and not help most of the poor ones. Doesn’t really help out California budget issue, either, altho it does give some money. No clear reason to vote yes.

Prop A, park bond: Strong YES

This bond will give $186 million to new and existing parks in SF. The money spent will be monitored more closely than before, with monthly reports available on the web, hopefully raising the bar for financial accountability in our government. I love parks, and it would take alot for me not to vote for them. I am also fiscally responsible, and even tho this one ain’t perfect, it tries.

Prop B, police retirement: Weak No

SF needs help with its police force, especially since many of them will be retiring soon. This prop allows retiring police officers to defer retirement for 3 years. Financially, its unclear if this is good or bad – retiring officers get paid more than younger ones, but not if you include training. I agree police need help, but this clearly does not solve the problem of police force size, it merely delays the problem. Some suggest having civilians do desk jobs, and put those officers on the streets. Cbanging policy so police focus on violent crime will work. Of course hiring more young officers is beneficial.

Prop C, peace center: Weak No

Having a peace center on alcatraz does sound appealing. But i like history, and i enjoy the alcatraz tour, so losing that does not sound appealing. And since this plan for the peace center is a plan without alot of details, i can not endorse it.

Tagging Friends

January 30th, 2008

Social Networking is hot right now. Myspace is huge, facebook is growing super-mega fast, and even Google is backing open standards with OpenSocial (tho, not perfect).

Tagging is also a somewhat new (few years old). You can tag photos (flickr), tag websites/blogs (digg, del.icio.us, technorati, furl, etc) .. why not tag friends? Specifically, I have different circles of friends, some friends overlap, and would love to be able to group them more effectively than i can today. Examples

  • babysitters
  • coworkers
  • work project A
  • work project B
  • lunch friends
  • church friends
  • hiking friends
  • drinking buddies
  • college friends
  • star trek fans
  • DJ/dancing crews

One thing to point out is how this compares to the existing concept of groups on social networking sites. Tagging people with “hiking” is promoting MY view of the world – I get to control who i want to talk to when i want to go hiking. In contrast, a hiking group I join is not my view – I don’t have control on that case. It’s more random, usually controlled by the loudest people (loudest meaning more volume of info and higher frequency), and most likely less personal, therefore a different usage paradigm. But the most important difference is that friends tagged with “hiking” are friends first, hiking people second. Social networking groups are groups first, and may or may not contain friends.

Everybody likes to spend time with friends, so why not change the paradigm to make friends come first?

How would it work? Simple – while looking at profiles on a given social network site, there’s always a section that has “add friend” or “marked as friend”. Around there you could add a tag to that person. Then, on your home page, you could have a friend tag cloud or list of friend tags. You pick a tag and it jumps to a dynamicly created page containing summaries of each person you tagged, with the following options:

  • email – easier to manage than creating new email lists all the time
  • calendar or event planning – requires them all to use the same calendar system so it can find time when all are free .. not easy
  • person summaries, including existing tags (with ability to add/delete here, too), latest posts, pictures, status, …. optionally filtering posts/pics by the current tag (oooo.. advanced)

I’m looking at you, google.

Pirates and the Economy

January 11th, 2008

Who doesn’t love Pirates? Matt Mason points out another reason to love them – they are good for markets in the long term. For example, William Fox didn’t want to pay Edison royalties to do movies, so he went out west to what eventually became Hollywood. Today pirates still do illegal activity, but is it really wrong? Read more on the Pirate’s Dilemma.

A New Year

The New Year has arrived. And with it people pause, look back, look forward, figure out where they want to be and what changes are needed to get there. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing the last two years. Mostly looking back on my career and trying to figure out where i want to be in 5 years. So far nothing has presented itself as the clear winner. But during this time I’ve lived life – traveled, learned, had fun, and did what i wanted to. Here’s what I’ve concluded

  1. Spend time thinking about what’s really important to you. Be honest. Write them down. Look at it everyday. Make changes as you need to so it is accurate, but work towards a final list. Revisit only when you have major life changes.
  2. Implement it. That is, do things that are directly related to what is on that list. For example, If family is important, do activities with your family (watching TV does not count). If they are not around, make something for them. The point is to consciously spend time on the things that matter.

The steps are simple, but they have definitely improved my life and reduced some of the anxiety I’ve felt about “what do i want to do with my life”. Here is my list, still in flux, and kept concise – note the last one – more of reminder on how to live life, to be applied no matter what i’m doing. Likewise, i can combine things like have fun listening to new music with friends (triple play).

- Friends, Family
- Fun, Music
- Learning, New Experiences
- Exercise, Nature
- Giving Back
- Love, Honesty, and Respect

This is not a “New Years Resolutions” List. This is just a list of what’s important to me. I also made a new years resolution list – some of it is personal, but i’ll quickly list a few things

- Work on patience – especially for those i love.
- Perfection – Be more comfortable with lack of it.
- Start getting paid again (5 year plan)
- Be more Green (see Understanding Green Business, coming soon)
- Spend more time appreciating friends and my blessing (thanks to Otto for reminding me to give thanks)

2007 In Review

This was another big year for me. Not as life changing as 2006, but still very significant. The 2 biggest things were traveling around the world for 6 months and getting serious with Shayna Cohen. Most everything else could be lumped into 2 groups – working on my 5-year plan and having fun (and how).

Similar to last year, i like to look at flickr pics to give me a recap on what i did. Starts off with a couple events before my Round The World trip – Dinner and Trivial Pursuit at 126 and My sendoff. Then there’s Round The World 2007, My return, Fred and Megan’s Wedding, Burningman, Moving into 116 San Jose with Shayna, Treasure Island Music Festival, halloween and Brasstax Renegade, Birthdays (Shayna, Eumi, Rick, Carrina, Sarah Bates) and Quality time with the Family over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Besides all the fun with friends and family covered in those pics, I also spent time looking inward. Organizing and Prioritizing my life. Some of the fruits of this led me down paths such as getting an MBA (postponed for now), Understanding Green Business (lots more on that later) as well as starting my own business, among other things. I also got closer to Shayna. I feel so lucky and blessed to have her in my life. Looking forward, she is moving to Chicago in August to attend grad school. So the big question is .. do i go with her?

Kooza, Santa’s, and my TV

Friday we went to see Kooza for Fritz’s Birthday. Kooza is the name for the Cirque du Soleil show here in San Francisco. It was amazing. It’s my third Cirque du Soleil show, not the best, but none were better – they are all awesome in their own way. Music, Lighting, Showmanship, Story (yes, the show sorta had a story), and unbelievable acts. My favorite act was the 2 dudes running in 2 giant metal circles as they spin around like a ferris wheel. I also love the couple dancing while the guy rode a unicycle, as well as the 3 crazy gymnastical girls. But the whole show was awesome and I highly recommend going. They’re in SF till Jan 20 and then San Jose till March 16.

Like last weekend, this was another busy one with friends. Too many parties and events. Even with my cold, I still made it to House of Things party friday night, a little bit of Santacon Saturday, and still had enough energy to help my friend Juan move on Sunday. Last weekend involved Amnesia, Shooting Ranges, more house parties, and Birthday expedition to the Exploratorium.

I also returned my 42″ Panasonic to Costco (after 88 days and no box, no questions asked, cash back, Hurray) and bought Juan’s Sony 40″ Bravia. I did it cuz i wanted a better picture (the panasonic sometimes was off with the colors), but some have complained about a sony backlighting issue. We’ll see.

Green Festival

This weekend, from Friday to Sunday November 9-11 2007, is the Green Festival in SF. As you can guess, its a conference about all things green related – greentech, sustainable business practices, working with your environment, and many other good and wholesome things. They have tons of speakers, millions of booths (ok, not really a million), and lots of cool peeps.

Oh chad, what is this hippy crap? No, seriously – Learn a little bit about the environment you live in. You vote on election day, why not vote with your dollar and make the world a better place? Wow, this kool aid is gooood. Try to check it out.

And its not too late to help out – if you volunteer for a 4.5 hour shift, you get in for free and get prizes. I signed up, so should you!

Chad Volunteer – Friday 12-4:30pm – Box Office Lobby Host
Shayna Volunteer – Saturday 2-6:30p – Gift Center host

Sarah Gill – Saturday 1-6 Green Team

Friday 4pm – Global concerns, local actions
Friday 5pm – Innovation for Sustainability
*Friday 6pm – Bennet Freeman from Calvert – Investing Green
*Friday 7pm – Deepak Chopra

*Sat 2pm – Marisa Handler (brasstax friend)
Sat 3pm – Lessig – Green culture (using technology)
Sat 5pm – Mark Anielski – Economics of Happiness
Sat 6pm – Riane Eisler – Real wealth of nations

*Sunday 12pm – Marie Kerpan – Green Careers
Sunday 3pm – Chris Daly – Sustainable SF
Sunday 3pm – Fair Trade
Sunday 4pm – Derfel and Fenster – Sustainable Business

SF Voter guide

Update: Elections Results added in parenthesis
From sfgov – 35% voter turnout: 150,000 of 420,000 registered SF voters

Everybody should vote – AND should spend some time understanding what they are voting on. Do your homework – Official SF Dept of Elections (my sample ballot) and with these voter guides – False Profit, SFBG, SPUR, Green Party, SF Chronicle, Usual Suspects.

Here’s my recommendations for San Francisco:

Mayor: Newsom will win by a landslide, so have fun – Chicken John (Newsom got 74%)
Sheriff: Michael Hennessey (74% for Hennessey)
A – Yes – Muni reform (Yes 55%)
B – Yes — Commisioner Hold-over (71% Yes)
C – No — Ballot reform (68% Yes)
D – No — library (74% Yes)
E – Yes – Mayor MUST meet with Supervisors – (51% No)
F – No — Airport Police – (51% Yes)
G – No — GG Park Stables – (55% Yes)
H – NO — Parking – (No 67%)
I – Yes – Local small business – (59% Yes)
J – Yes – Wifi – (62% Yes)
K – —– Street Ads – (62% Yes)

A – Muni reform – Yes

Muni has got problems, so you might want to vote no on this, but more important is that we send a message that saying public transportation is more important than adding more parking spots

B – Commisioner Hold-over – Yes

Closes loophole reducing political pressure commissioners and board appointees, letting them focus more on their jobs.

C – Ballot reform – NO

In effect, fixes half of a broken system, allowing special interests to get away with stuff.

D – library – NO

This seems good, but not fiscally responsible enough. Hopefully this will fail and a better one will appear on the ballot next year.

E – Mayor MUST meet with Supervisors – Yes

Forces Mayor to do Q&A with Board of Supervisors once a month. Last year 55% voted yes on a similar measure – but that one was not legally binding, this one is. Some say this is just squable between Mayor Newsom and Chris Daly, some say it may won’t help and just take people’s time away from other things .. i say its a step in a right direction,

F – Airport Police – No

Give airport police retirements same as SFPD. I say no, SFPD is tougher job, more expensive city, they should get more retirement

G – GG Park Stables – No

Not fiscally responsible – doesn’t follow normal procedures – why are stables that much more important than other stuff?

H – Parking – NO NO NO

Backed by billionaire Don Fisher, this just adds parking downtown so he can easily sell more condos. Bad. But worse, is the magnitude – you want 20,000 more parking spots? HELL NO.

I – Local small business – Yes

Help local small businesses get on their feet – Good for SF, doesn’t cost much. Matches with my theory that big corporations are better for many things economically, but not ALWAYS better for society. This gives local small businesses more of an even playing field.

J – Wifi – Yes

A step in the right direction on helping get wifi to everyone

K – Street Ads – Maybe

I don’t really care about this one. Gives muni money for selling ad space on bus shelters. Good cuz it brings in money to Muni, bad cuz we don’t need more clear channel ads.