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No Flock of Seagulls, Crows Descend of San Francisco

By: Kamala Kelkar 

Mike Koozmin/Special to the Examiner
Mike Koozmin/Special to the Examiner

Amid the dark skies on a rainy day when observers set out to count birds in San Francisco, there was an ominous sign — a flock of about 27 crows.

The Golden Gate Audubon Society for the last 28 years has documented the numbers and types of birds in The City and on the Peninsula.

In the 1980s, crows and ravens were not even on the checklist of about 50 types of birds that more than 100 observers saw during the count. The once-rare predators are known for sabotaging other birds’ eggs and chicks.

The American Crows on Tuesday hid in the tops of eucalyptus trees at Stern Grove and almost went unnoticed until their caws disrupted the stillness around Pine Lake.

Dan Murphy, who helped start the San Francisco chapter of the society, said last year the group documented 413 American Crows and 616 ravens, which also used to be uncommon.

“I’d say 27 at the least,” yelled a binocular-wearing Murphy, while the flock swarmed the sky. “They’re at the top of the food chain. … It might not be a good thing.”

As for the implications of the soaring number of crows, Murphy says he will leave that up to the experts.

He and his group of eight others — among 16 teams scattered throughout The City and a boat in the Bay — document everything they see.

In the afternoon, Murphy’s group was about halfway through their portion of the bird count and had seen species that ran the gamut. That’s when they spotted a White-Throated Sparrow, a bird that nests all over the East Coast but never on the West Coast.

“It’s been years since I’ve seen one of those,” said Tom Bacon, who was known among the group for hearing and naming the birds before he sees them.

The details of who saw what would be hashed out later during a dinner — inside a warm building, not out in the rain. The full tally from the annual count will be completed within a few weeks, Murphy said.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/bay-area/2011/01/no-flock-seagulls-crows-descend-sf#ixzz1OoocaOHi

 

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There is Nothing Like a Good Long Storm to Make You Appreciate The Sunshine

Joni Mitchell was right; you don’t know what you have till it’s gone.  The past couple of weeks it has rained pretty much nonstop.  I feel like we’re back in my wife’s hometown of Hazel Dell, a suburb of Portland.  Never knew how people could live there, too freeking rainy.  The big difference between here (San Francisco area) and there is that we get breaks between showers.  They can go for literally weeks without seeing the sun.

Today we had a break for a couple of hours and I took a walk.  There were kids out playing on their skateboards, women washing dogs, others taking walks or riding bikes.  It was like the old Chicago song:  Saturday, in the park… It felt just like the 4th of July.  All that was missing were the Mexican vendors with their push-carts full of ice cream.  It was T-shirt weather for that hour, even though the temperature read 49’.  In the sun it felt like we were back in Cabo San Lucas.  Funny, when we were down there I didn’t even go for a walk last time.  It seems as though we appreciate things when they are scarce, as the sun was today.

There is much to the texture thing.  Humans often don’t appreciate things without it.  Three years ago who would have thought that we would be ecstatic that the market was back up over 12,000?  When the Silicon Valley was in its “heyday”, a thousand dollar lunch bill just went into the Advertising and Entertainment budget.  Now Mary and I get excited by a free vendor dinner at the Fairmont.  There used to be secretaries and admins to do things like typing and filing.  The internet was a tool and emails were a means of communication, not a burdensome task to filter through in the morning.

Belt tightening can be a good thing.  People learn to do their own typing, publishing, and organizing.  It is a better head space for most of us to be responsible for all of our own actions instead of blustering through the day only to dump the follow-up on someone else’s desk.

Cigarettes used to be 50 cents, gas 29 cents a gallon and what did we do as a country?  More people died from tobacco than anything else, and the average car was a V-8 that got 8 miles to the gallon.  There was no concern for health, carbon footprint, global warming, or anything other than how much steak and potatoes we could fit into our bloated bodies.  Our businesses were every bit as bad.

The new era has brought about many changes:  My car is a Prius that gets 50 miles to the gallon, my office is a converted bedroom in my house, that (the house) is a tremendously downsized version of the one where my kids were raised (but it’s paid for), my business is on the internet helping other folks sell what they do, and my sirloin habit has been cut down from three days a week to once a month.

I actually appreciate it all now.  The walk in the sun, the occasional steak, that I can now type 50 words a minute, all came from necessity.  The contrast in life is what makes us appreciate what we have.

 

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Hooters has it both ways, sex and kiddies!

By Matt Coker, Fri., Dec. 17 2010 @ 8:57AM
hooters-150.jpg

Hooters restaurants in Anaheim and Costa Mesa routinely violate local and state laws regarding sexual entertainment and children, alleges the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Orange County’s NOW chapter is among four across the state that have filed formal complaints with their respective district attorneys. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has not yet disclosed if it will launch and investigation.

The complaints boil down to this: to comply with the law, Hooters must either ban kids or sexual entertainment.
“Marketing to young children and advertising as a family restaurant while in reality being nothing but a provider of ‘vicarious sexual entertainment’ amounts to sexual exploitation and attempts to legitimize sex discrimination and hostile work environments for women,” says Patty Bellasalma, president of California NOW, in a statement released Thursday by the organization

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“Every local county or city with a Hooters should consider a ban on marketing sexual entertainment to minors,” she continues, “and require that sexual entertainment businesses check IDs at the door.”

NOW’s complaints–also filed in Sacramento, San Bruno and San Francisco–break down as so:

 

  • The chain has used this designation to avoid compliance with regulations against sexual discrimination in the workplace.

 

  • Hooters advertises itself as a family restaurant.

 

  • Hooters does not comply with regulations for providers of sexual entertainment.

” It’s time to end this legal bait and switch,” reads the NOW statement, which also includes this:

On a typical evening, Hooters, Inc. serves children younger than 18 years of age and offers child menus, high chairs and booster seats.  They also display and sell products of prurient nature, including t-shirts in child sizes with statements such as “Future Hooters Girl.”  According to Hooter’s own employment material, a “Hooters Girl” is employed as a sexual entertainer and as part of her employment can expect to be subjected to various sexual jokes by customers and such potential contacts as buttocks slaps.  Hooters of America Inc. v Phillips, Case 173 F3d 933 (4/8/99).

The NOW complaints call on government authorities receiving them to either force Hooters, Inc. to comply with EEOC prohibitions against sexual discrimination (if they wish to be a family restaurant that serves children) or comply with regulations covering providers of sexual entertainment (which prohibit children from the premises).

So far, Hooters, Inc. has not reacted publicly to NOW’s complaints.

 

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You will not BELIEVE I carried this on an airplane – 10 times!

I tend to be a creature of habit.  When I travel, lots of little items end up in my shaving kit.  I noticed last night that one of them had leaked, and resolved to empty the thing out and wash it thoroughly.  What I found in there was scary:  one  5” nail file, two pairs of razor pointed scissors, a box of matches, a flashlight, and 3 oversized  tubes that could have held enough plastic explosives to … well you get the idea.

This by itself is not so scary.  What is scary is that I always have this shaving kit in my carry-on in case they “misplace” my checked-in luggage.   This same shave kit has made it through security at the following airports at least once in the last year:  San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Los Cabos, San Jose and Ft. Meyers Florida.

I have no editorial comment to share on this one; it kind of speaks for itself.  The last time I got on a plane from SFO to Denver there was a gun in my backpack, but that’s a story for Friday’s blog.  You don’t want to miss that one.  

BTW you can subscribe to these articles via e-mail at: https://bayintegratedmarketing.wordpress.com/

 

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