The cards are reshuffled in San Francisco politics. It looks like common sense is emerging and a wider range of people might be represented by city government. We are living in one of the luckiest cities in the world and now our leaders have to try to catch up. The city was not prepared to be as successful as it has become. Private companies had to put their own buses on the street to get their drivers to work. There had not been any significant housing stock added in years. Protecting the status quo was and for some still is their idea of governing a great city. While we don’t necessarily need a lot of 4,000 sqft houses, we do need many more places for people to live. The time has come to be forward-looking and to plan for the future so we don’t end up as a city only for the rich and the fortunate few with rent-controlled apartments that are subsidized by private landlords. The beginnings are there with lots of building going on all over the city. Let’s hope that Board President Breed and new Supervisor Christensen will help accommodate our great companies and at the same time handle the housing shortage, public transportation and the other well-known issues.
Our City is humming with activity, new buildings, great companies and people who love living here.
Creativity abounds in the start-ups, tech companies and the biotech, here and in Oakland. Even though it looks like there is a lot of building going on we still need many more homes. About 72,000 new jobs were added in the last 2 years and almost no new properties had been built for a long time. Hayes Valley, SOMA and Valencia Street are impressive with all the new restaurants, bars and other venues. San Francisco has become a BIG small city in its own stylish way. Unique stores and innovative businesses make for great new neighborhoods. For those of us who embrace the new San Francisco and appreciate the old the change has been refreshing and exciting. Now all we need are more homes to buy and sell.
The interest in the World Cup could not be higher. It has been a long road for the American public to get interested in soccer as a sport. But this time we have soccer fever. It is fun and exciting. When different national teams play we can see much about the characteristics of every country. Some are more organized and team-oriented and others have a light footloose approach and others are somewhere inbetween. Strategy, emotions, attitudes and even fairness are different with every team. Even though the US team was defeated and had to go home, 2014 interest in the World Cup continues. The US trainer Klinsman predicted that our team was not ready to win the Cup and he was right. Many people called him unpatriotic but he knew that the players needed a lot more work. Hopefully there will be money to sponsor our national players so we can show a better more experienced and ready team. They fought valiantly but it was not enough.
Now the heavy hitters are in the semi-finals:
Germany vs. Brazil and Argentina vs. The Netherlands.
We are going to see masterful soccer games in the play-offs.
Hopefully in four years the US Team is going to be in the play-offs.
CHEERS TO THE US TEAM AND CHEERS TO THE NATIONAL TRAINER KLINSMAN!!
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Businesses, services and companies always have to improve, think about better ways to serve people and put their clients first. If not, somebody will step in to deliver what is missing. It happened to the taxi business. Heavily regulated and having restricted numbers of permits with constant money pressures to pay for the use of the vehicles resulted in discontent and struggle for taxi drivers to make a living. Uber and Lyft and other deregulated entrepreneurs took market share allowing people with cars to transport the public. Muni and Caltrans did not rise to the challenge to transport people to their jobs and the companies solved the problem putting their own buses on the street. There is a lot of protesting now about it. The genie is out of the bottle and the people responsible for protecting and serving the public will need to work with the new situations.
The best way to vote is by absentee ballot. As soon as my ballot arrives in the mail I vote and send it in. Voting early allows me to make decisions about the issues and the people running for office in peace. I don’t have to listen to negative campaigns that politicians wage against each other. That alone is worth being an absentee voter. Any negative advertisements leave me cold. I just ignore them. Negative campaigning is an acceptable practice that I find unbearably hurtful. Most people run for office because they want to make a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens, at least initially. As soon as they are elected the politicians are constantly attacked. The issues are not complicated and if they are, there are precise and clear summaries in the voting pamphlet. I love to vote because it gives me a say in what happens in my City. Well, at least much of the time. It is a pleasure to be able to exercise my constitutional right. Try it, you might really like it!
There is excitement in the air in Oakland. First Friday Art shows, Farmers Markets, a beautifully redone Lake Merritt, the New Chinatown and affordable homes are drawing new people to Oakland. The city has an expected population spike of 30% in the next 20 years. The growth is more than likely going to be faster than anticipated. There are cute affordable houses, elegant mansions, great architecture, panoramic view homes, fun little neighborhoods and a general feeling that the people of Oakland can help create their city as the vibrant authentic urban city San Francisco used to be. Oakland is developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, a feeling of community among start-ups and there is enough space for everybody. It is wonderful to see Oakland thrive.
For a few minutes I was so lucky to see the perfectly round blood moon globe suspended red in the sky. It was a once in a lifetime experience to view of the depth of the Universe so close to us, right from my backyard. Then our San Francisco fog arrived and covered up our view. I am filled with joy at having seen this natural wonder in real life for a brief moment.