BART recycling

The eight recipients were selected after submitting a proposal to BART describing what they planned to do with the vehicle. The selected few will transform the old cars into beer gardens and short-term rentals, museum objects and more.

None of the proposals sought to use the legacy cars for affordable housing projects or homes for the unhoused -- two of the major problems facing the San Francisco Bay Area. Other public transit agencies have sunk their legacy cars into the ocean to serve as artificial reefs, but this is unfeasible for BART's cars due to their aluminum composition. Likewise, BART cannot sell the cars to other transit agencies because its vehicles operate on a nonstandard gauge or track width.

Repurposing old BART cars is no easy feat -- nor is moving and installing them. BART estimates the cost of transporting, installing, and permitting the vehicles will cost somewhere in the range of $8,000 to $15,000. Applicants were asked to provide plans for the vehicles' retrieval, as well as a description of how they intend to dispose of the cars when they've served their purpose. It's all about creative upcycling and a dash of creative thinking.

The remaining decommissioned legacy cars -- there are 531 still in-service, as of Jan. 30 -- will be mostly recycled, a few cars at a time, by Schnitzer Steel in Oakland.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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London Breed's big COVID failure

Breed had the single easiest job in the world.

After failing upwards into mayoral seat left vacant by her late mentor Ed Lee, she followed his example of cozying up to big business as countless SF natives were displaced by rising prices. She did all of this coasting off the city's reputation as welcoming and eclectic, but everyone saw through her façade. [...]

Then came March 2020. She didn't wait for Gavin Newsom, she didn't wait for Trump, she didn't wait to see what other big cities were doing -- she went ahead and shut down San Francisco (schools, nightlife, churches, everything) to stop the spread of the coronavirus. She had homeless people given housing in empty hotels. If at no other time in her career, this was the moment that London Breed did the right thing. It was so right that every other city in the world looked at us with envy.

That was then. [...]

Look up each and every statement Breed has made about COVID in the last, oh, six months or so, but replace "COVID" with "HIV" or "AIDS" and replace "masks" with "condoms." How does that sound to you?

Imagine the mayor of any city holding a press conference and declaring that no one needs to wear condoms ever again. Imagine that same mayor being seen publicly shirking the very anti-AIDS protocols they themselves put into effect and calling their critics "fun police."

Imagine that same mayor originally touting an anti-HIV vaccine -- one made in record time with astounding efficacy -- only to suddenly reverse course and say that everyone, infected or not, should just learn to "live with HIV/AIDS".

I know, I know: That's an absurd metaphor. After all, HIV isn't airborne.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we are still requiring vaccinations

Noted public-health policy scofflaw Mayor Breed recently announced that proof of vaccination will no longer be required to enter restaurants, bars and nightclubs. She framed this as helping our businesses. Well, this business does not need or want that kind of "help". And I know of quite a few other San Francisco bars and clubs that feel the same way.

DNA Lounge's policy is unchanged: we will continue to take steps necessary to reduce the risk of infection to our staff, families and customers:

  • Proof of full vaccination is required for entry.
  • Fully vaccinated means 2 weeks after your booster, if it has been 6 months since your first round.
  • Masks are required inside.

The Mayor and SFDPH are playing politics with peoples' lives. Pretending that the pandemic is over does not make it so. These are the facts:

  • SF is only 65% fully vaccinated -- not 83% as the mayor continues to disingenuously claim.
  • If you aren't boosted, vaccine efficacy drops to 50%. These days, unboosted is the same as half vaccinated.
  • The BA.2 variant is outstripping Omicron in our wastewater samples. It is 30% more infectious.
  • Most SF cases are breakthrough infections.
  • Long COVID is a real threat to everyone, even the young and healthy, and it is still poorly understood.
  • The bars are going to be packed for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Kids are going to go away for Spring Break, return, and spread their new infections to schools, families and workplaces.
  • Then cases will spike again, just like last time!
  • When you are 3/4ths of the way to the finish line is not when you stop running.

Short of another lockdown, the most effective ways to fight the pandemic are:

  • Vaccinations -- we require them of our staff and customers.
  • Masks -- we require them of our staff and customers.
  • Airflow -- ours is very good.
  • Testing -- we continue to test all of our staff weekly.

Also, just a reminder: CDC recently re-colored the maps to declare victory. These two maps represent approximately the same data:

They made the new "low" threshold be twice the old "high" threshold.

That old map, the all-red map on the left, is a map of new infections per 100k people: it correlates well to your chance of exposure and infection. CDC's term for this is "Community Transmission".

The map on the right is the new one that they say we should be paying attention to instead: the "Community Levels" map, which is basically new infections DIVIDED BY available hospital beds.

So they're saying that it's ok to unmask as long as there is still freezer truck morgue capacity available in your city.

This is all just so exhausting. We are finally almost back down to pre-Delta-surge levels, and that's when they decide to go full YOLO and eliminate every possible mitigation measure. Like all of you, I would also like the pandemic to be over. But, again, wishing does not make it so.

In other news, DNA Pizza opened 11 years ago today. Happy birthday to us!

Update: I have disabled comments on this post because it had become a honeypot for antivaxxers and out-of-state trolls. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our policies, you can email me directly. Thanks, and stay safe!
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