Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are you kidding me? A pro-Mehserle rally?

Apparently, there is a pro-Mehserle/pro-law enforcement rally going on next week in Walnut Creek. It may be well intended but this is a recipe for disaster! If the "anarchists" choose to express their opposition to this rally, I won't count on the Walnut Creek PD to handle the looters and rioters. They just don't have the experience and hands-on training to deal with violence.

And why Walnut Creek? Because Mehserle is from the area? Also, the verdict has already been handed out. Isn't it enough that the jury decided that Mehserle's actions were unintentional and not premeditated?? Why incite more anger into those who believed otherwise by holding a rally?

There are so many other ways these folks can show their "support" for Mehserle and other accused cops....why a public rally??

I hope I'm wrong on this.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What's the most disgusting thing you've seen in SF (or while riding BART)?

Interesting blog post here from SFGate. Definitely made me think back to all the various disgusting things I've witnessed while waiting for the shuttle connection near Civic Center BART station.

I can make a long list here but instead, I've somehow selected the three worst observations and here they are!

#3 Homeless man lying in his own urine

#2 The poor dog of a homeless man licking up blood from bird carcass on the sidewalk

#1 Pigeons fighting over a pile of human feces

Got worse ones? Please share!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BART's unanticipated 4.5 million surplus?

Michael Cabanatuan of the Chronicle reported on BART's 4.5 million surplus and how some Board members want to give something back to customers by reducing fares. Very well-intended but I'd much rather have the money go into upgrading trains, maintaining basic bathroom standards and improving handicapped accessibility.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Johannes Merserle jury questionnaire

This trial has come to represent something much more than it should, in my opinion. It should be focused on the underlying issue which is...Did the officer intentionally kill Oscar Grant? Were Grant's actions threatening at the time? If so, is force by the officer (even a taser) justified?

Why does race even need to be in play here? And why is Oscar Grant being painted as a hero/martyr? I don't know all the facts but before I form a personal decision on this trial, I need to know what (if anything) prompted the officer to pull out what he thought was a taser? If Grant was already pinned down, and unable to move aggressively in any way, Merserle should not even use a taser to contain him.

Check out this questionnaire, courtesy of SFGate.

-- Have you ever written a letter to the editor?

-- List any subject matter or genre in reading materials, television programs or movies that you try to avoid.

-- Do you consider yourself an expert on any subject?

-- Have you ever considered working in law enforcement?

-- Have you, friends or relatives ever had a gun pointed at you or them, or been frightened by a gun?

-- Have you ever visited someone in a jail, prison or juvenile detention facility, or have you ever been incarcerated?

-- Have you or anyone close to you ever had a bad experience with a police officer?

-- What should be done to reduce crime?

-- Do police officers lie? If yes, how often?

-- Do you understand the charges are not evidence?

-- Could you fire a gun in self-defense?

-- Should police officers be treated differently than civilians if they break the law?

-- Will the fact that a white police officer shot and killed a black man make it difficult for you to be a fair and impartial juror in this case?

-- Do you have an opinion as to whether racial discrimination is a problem in Oakland?

-- If you are selected as a juror in this case, do you anticipate any negative reactions by friends or family if you find the defendant guilty? If you find the defendant not guilty?

The final question is:

-- Would you like to serve on this jury? Why?

Read more:

Friday, May 28, 2010

"BART's capital outlook is sobering"

Matthew Roth from SF Chronicle outlines why. "Staff said the agency faces a projected $6.8 billion shortfall of capital funding needs over the next 25 years, a stat that is consistent with other transit operators around the region."

Read full article here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kenton Rainey - A good choice?

Kenton Rainey will likely begin his post as BART police chief on June 1. Is it just a move to appease public opinion? Or is he a man who has proven that he represents both racial sensitivity and impartiality in policy and enforcement?

The last thing I want is a BART police chief who allows enforcement to suffer due to over sensitivity to BART's poor image. The aftermath of the Oscar Grant situation is certainly NOT the only problem that Rainey needs to rectify and while racial sensitivity is critical, general station safety concerns still needs to be addressed. For example, why is it OK for people to smoke marijuana and drink at the Civic Center station when BART police officers are less than 15 steps away? Also, why can't BART police effectively get rid of a drunken homeless man who screams obscenities at passengers right in front of their face? Is that not a valid concern?? I know it's been reported multiple times to them, yet why does this man keep coming back??

I hope Rainey is the right man for the job but we won't know until at least end of year.

What are your thoughts on Kenton Rainey??

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BART/Foursquare users, I want to hear from you!!

I found this survey result interesting and am curious in interviewing BART riders who are regular Foursquare users to dig a little deeper. If you fit the profile and have a few minutes to spare, please email me at


6 Reasons why BART Musing has been on hold...

1) Work has gotten very very busy this year with a shrinking team and it's been tough to find time to jot down my thoughts

2) Admittedly, I've been lazy about taking BART-- sometimes, when traffic is lighter, I (shamefully) contribute to the air pollution and drive :( I think I just needed a break from BART.

3) Traffic in this rainy year has been bad but BART in the rain is possibly worse, so I've been commuting in off hours more often.

4) Receiving some extremely hateful emails around the time of BART strike was another huge blow and sort of sucked the enthusiasm out of me for a few months after

5) Sometimes, it's tough to write about something I haven't written about. This blog has been running for 5 years and I feel like I've seen just about everything on BART, but that's not true, the people on and around BART and Civic Center station NEVER ceases to amaze me.

6) I'm planning to revamp this blog some time soon as the BART culture is evolving too with Four Square and other social networks!! It's time to get out of the 2000s and get ON to 2010s!

I know I need to earn back the readership after being on hiatus forever--- stay tuned, because as Arnold says...."I'll be BACK!"


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Found hairs on my coat

Just had to write quickly about this. I know my hair length, texture and color. I found 3 strands of hairs: one thin blond hair, one curly red hair, and one short thick white hair stuck on the back of my gray wool pea coat. I'm fairly certain they came from the seats on BART because that's the only time/place I wear a thick coat-- to work in the mornings. Time to hit the dry cleaners.

Should a station agent assist a vision-impaired man??

That should be a pretty simple question. The logical answer, of course, would be YES! But believe it or not, a man who is blind or vision-impaired loudly asked for assistance near the station agent's window. The station agent saw him but did not run out to assist. The vision-impaired man continued to ask for help, and finally, I, along with another passenger helped direct him towards the exit.

Perhaps the station agent was busy with some critical work? Maybe he didn't see the cane and didn't recognize that the man could not see? But wouldn't the agent offer help to a passenger pleading for assistance?

What is the job of the station agent? We all know they do not give change (so says their sign) and they love to point to the BART route map whenever someone asks them a question. They manage the station to some degree, I'm guessing?

I'd love to know what they do exactly and what qualities BART looks for in a station agent?? We already know that they make a good salary based on the salary reports-- but what do they do for us?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bad mistake-- chose to drive over BART, and out of gas!

I had an early meeting that I joined by phone from home and by the time I was done, it was around 9:45am. I could have taken BART but with the limited shuttle connection that ends at 10am, I didn't want to deal with a bus or pay for a taxi, so I thought I should drive into SF instead. Without traffic, my ride across the bridge is 23 minutes, not bad! But today, with the heavy fog, the bridge traffic was even worse than indicated on, which generously marked the flow as yellow to red. It was more like black all the way until after the toll.

To make things worse, I thought I had 2 bars of gas left on my Prius but for some DARN reason, 2 bars went to flashing zero warning within 3 minutes. This never happens, it must be another Toyota malfunction, even though our model year was not recalled. What the heck????

I had to jam my way to the West Grand exit and find the nearest (not so close!) gas station with my husband's help over the phone since the GPS was down.

Finally, with gas, the bridge traffic was even worse. All in all, it took me over 70 minutes today to get to SF.

Looking back, I should have just taken BART, and pay for the $5 taxi ride.

So lame...

Monday, February 08, 2010

When you know you are too sick to ride BART

5) When you are sneezing so much that you need to use your sleeves to wipe up the drips under your nose every few minutes.
4) When you have an eye infection and your eyes are red with sticky discharges
3) When you are sucking snot and fluids back into your nose every 3 seconds
2) When your chest is so congested that each cough sounds like a small 2.0 earthquake and produces phlegm that you need to spit out or swallow back
1) When continuous strings of coughs from you prompts passengers next to you to ask you if you need the paramedics...which is what I saw today!!!

Please, all, stay home if you are contagious and ill. Work from home or call in sick if you can.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flooding and broken escalators at Civic Center Station and

When it rains, the stations seem to fall apart. With this week's down pour, the Civic Center station (as well as many others I'm sure) was flooded with about an inch and a half of water all around the stairs and escalators. The water, intermixed with the dirt and stains on the station floors, was brownish yellow and thick. Quite a nasty sight and smell. I guess if we can't count on the janitorial staff to get the floors cleaned, might as well let the rain wash out the urine, food, and everything else that's been stuck on the floors.

The flooding caused 2 out of the 3 escalators I usually take to be out of service. Or perhaps the excessive rain was just a good excuse to not fix the elevators for awhile and put up the out of service signs?

This week will no doubt be brutal for BART commuters!! I'm mentally prepared for longer rides, delayed schedules, wet umbrellas and coats jammed in my face, flooding, more homeless inside the stations...etc.

Have fun!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pants Liberation Front - No Pants 2010 Project?

I guess if there's any place to do it, it's in the Bay Area. Those in support of Improv Everywhere, a NYC based performing arts group, paraded free of pants while riding BART yesterday. Call me whatever you wish but I find stunts like this extremely inappropriate. If they want to show their support in public by not wearing pants, do it in a plaza, like at Embarcadero or Union Square where people have the choice to walk another direction, but not on the trains where space is already a premium, where there are little ones around, and fellow passengers are forced to be within inches of you.

Carolyn Jones of Chronicle reports
: "Some wore frayed cotton boxers, others opted for pink satin thongs, and a few forewent underwear entirely."

It's ridiculous. Thank goodness it didn't happen today.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

iBART LIVE iPhone app: Expensive but cool

If you're willing to fork out $4 for up to the second tracking of train arrivals, iBART LIVE is worth the investment. I've had iBART (the free version) for quite some time and found it very helpful, however, to find out about delays, I needed to open up the "advisories" notification and read about them.

Well, with iBART LIVE, you will have the same info as the scrolling ticker that we see on the platform right on your iPhone. Very convenient for someone like me who does not have the patience to wait around on the platform for delayed trains...I do wait, but you'll read about it for sure here or on Twitter!

Why $4 though?? That's a bit much for an iPhone app in my opinion. Can someone explain?

BART Parking Vendor is AWFUL!!!

What a way to start the new year. I have a monthly permit to park at the reserved area in the Orinda Station but I'm thinking of canceling it and buy daily instead since I no longer take BART everyday of the week due to my once a week commitment to go to San Jose and my ability to telecommute on Fridays. It just isn't cost effective anymore.

In case you don't know, BART parking is managed by Parking Carma. You are able to buy and print permits online, although you cannot alter or cancel the permit reservation! You must speak with a LIVE person.

What is the point of an online account management system then?? That's not all. Fine, I'll call a live person to get this done if I have to but my goodness, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER THE PHONE????

The number 415-671-7343 has been BUSY for two days! Actually, one time, I got through, and waited for more than 10 minutes and suddenly, it went silent. I hung up.

What the heck??? Hire more people if you don't have enough operators or reps! Lots of people need jobs right now!

I refused to be charged another month because I cannot get through to Parking Carma.

I'll keep you posted on this!