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Posts Tagged 'murder'

UPS Shooting In San Francisco

Just thought I should write something about this because yesterday morning I had just dropped a rider off at 16th & Kansas and continued down to go around the block to reverse my direction. Then it happened. I was on 17th St and hear what I thought were firecrackers that maybe one of the guys in the tent city was playing around with and then I saw UPS guys running yelling SHOOTER! SHOOTER! My heart started racing and my first thought was to yell over to them to get in the car, but because of morning traffic they were running faster than I could drive. 

Then I thought of me as I watched the UPS workers running past me. I couldn’t go faster or turn left or right. I didn’t even know which way was safe other than it seemed kind of obvious to get away from UPS if all the people running I saw had UPS uniforms on. 

I ducked down with just my eyes up high enough to see over the dash stupidly thinking a stray bullet wouldn’t go through the car door like everyone thinks, but I didn’t know what else to do. Luckily while the traffic was moving slowly it was at least moving. By the time I got a block away there were already police cars and an ambulance on the way. How they were able to get there so fast is beyond me, but at least they were able to.

I saw the police car and my heart slowed down a bit. I lifted my head up because the police drove by so they’ll protect me and just kept driving on. I decided it was a good time to quit for the morning since I was shaking a bit still from the whole thing.

The whole thing was just crazy and the three drivers who were killed were all well known and loved by the people they delivered to. Big Mike, Benson Louie and Wayne Chan have been identified as the victims. While we never got many UPS deliveries when I saw Benson’s picture I knew it was our guy. I didn’t really know like a lot of other people did out here that I’ve been reading about, but he was a nice guy just like Big Mike and Wayne. 

The shooter on the other hand, Jimmy Lam was a bit of a hot head and had been busted twice for DUI’s. I can’t say for sure, but the news made it sound like they were associated with his UPS driving. I don’t know what to say about that other than maybe he should have been let go, but that might have just made this happen sooner. This is an unfortunate part of living in a big city like San Francisco and when you’re that close to it when it happens I think I’m going to be a little on edge for the next couple of days. Hopefully I won’t have to keep looking over my shoulder. I’m just glad that police response was so quick.

Put The Shark Fin Down…

Would you like a shark fin or two?Today is the day all the animal welfare people have been waiting for and the Chinese traditionalists have loathed. As of today it is officially illegal to engage in the trade of shark fins within California.

Specifically this will hit Los Angeles and San Francisco the hardest so I’ll focus on San Francisco because I suppose we hear about it more here.

Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy by the Chinese and served to celebrate births, weddings, nowadays pretty much any celebration comes with shark fin soup, or at least it did until AB 376 was passed. This caused quite a brou-ha-ha within the Chinese community with cries of racism being throw around like the shark fins themselves. While being seen as an attack specifically against the Chinese which is actually more collateral damage since the Chinese are the only ones who eat it, it was more about saving the wildlife of our oceans, mainly the top of the food chain predators of the ocean — sharks.

AB 376 was passed because there was a huge amount of sharks, including endangered species of sharks being harvested to make the delicacy with no taste. In some cases there has been a 90% reduction in the population of sharks who’s fins and only fins are used for the soup. No other dish uses shark fins and the less economically feasible rest of the shark is worthless in comparison and is thrown back in the ocean allowing the finless shark to die.

If you’ve read my articles on the subject before you’ll noticed that I was called a racist by Senator Leland Yee’s twitter account along with several other lovers of shark fin soup who tweeted to me questions such as, what about sharkskin suits? They use shark [No they don’t. Sharkskin is a smooth worsted fabric with a soft texture and a two-toned woven appearance. No sharks are harmed in the making of a sharkskin suit]. Shark meat that was said to be sold at Costco and other food outlets was shown not be sold any longer and it’s next to impossible to find shark meat for sale anymore.

Because of the ban going into affect today there has been a few more articles on the subject noting that the stores and restaurants who still have stock on hand were trying to unload it before today with everything from a Father’s Day 20% discount to $999/lb to discounted shark fin soup with a whole chicken for $138.

In one article I did find information on why this delicacy with no taste because popular. It dates back to ancient China when killing a shark took some major cojones or however one says cojones in Mandarin or Cantonese. To show off your masculine prowess by killing a shark meant you had to get your hands dirty and risk your life. So after risking your life you have to show off to guests by making them eat it. Makes me think of something along the lines of, I had to work hard for this food so you’re going to eat it. Kind of like something your parents would say to you when you were a kid, but in this case you were celebrating the prowess of the shark killer by consuming the flesh of the animal that would have consumed the flesh of your host. Now I’m thinking of some of the hunters I know and that works out pretty similar.

There’s a difference here you have to take into account. It doesn’t take any physical prowess to ask, how much is that shark fin in the window? The whole ceremony behind eating shark fin soup has been lost today and in some ways that’s a shame. I’d like to see how much a person really wants a cornerstone of their culture if someone hands them a knife and points to the ocean and says, help yourself.

I have to admit that I am no vegetarian and a far cry from it, but when I was a Boy Scout and handed a live rabbit and tossed into the woods over night the rabbit got to run free and I was a vegetarian for the night. It might have been different had I been stranded for more than a couple of weeks, but I could go a night without meat. Most of us that were raised in cities don’t have the hunter instinct anymore so the idea of you’ve got to kill it before you grill it is lost on us. I can understand the original reasons why it became a delicacy and that also helps explain why someone would want to eat something that’s tasteless. It’s not about what it tasted like, but how you got it and that part has been lost in today’s Westernized culture.

I enjoy cultural traditions and do think that in San Francisco the retaining of cultural traditions should remain. You also have to keep in mind though that there are some cultural traditions that need to change. Slavery was an American cultural tradition at one time. There are many cultures that cannibalism was a cultural tradition as well, but they had to be let go. I’m sure the Chinese have more cultural traditions to focus on than one that has been destroying the natural eco-system of our planet to support a cultural tradition that is outdated and anachronistic.

On the other hand, here’s a knife, there’s ocean. Have at it.

How Safe is San Francisco?

Where would you expect to find more criminal acts committed…the Sunset District or Hunter’s Point? The answer…the Sunset District with a ratio of 123 criminal acts to Hunter’s Point’s 18.  Now granted, the Sunset is the largest district being cut into the inner, central and outer Sunset, but still. I’ve always remarked how quiet it was here.

Where did I get this information? There’s a website called Trulia.com that gives people in the market for a house information on the houses available and the neighborhoods surrounding them. Now they’ve added a crime map to map where the crimes are occurring and what type of crimes they are. The worst part about this is when you move around and compare other cities on their list to San Francisco, we top the list as the highest crime city overall. We’re higher than bigger cities like Los Angeles and Chicago in overall crimes which was a pretty big shock to me. At least in the Sunset they’re usually indecent exposure and public intoxication with the occasional car break in or theft. We’re basically drunks and pervs out here for the most part.

The majority of crimes occur in the mid-market area from Civic Center down to 6th street followed by a line down Mission Street and oddly enough there’s a hot spot around North Beach/Chinatown. This is shown on their heat map where you’ll see blotches of red to indicate a higher amount of criminal activity. The total number of crimes for the last month in San Francisco was 2500. By comparison, Chicago had 818 and Los Angeles had 1504. These are two huge cities covering more miles than San Francisco, yet they have less crime than we do. New Orleans came closest to us with 2471 and they beat us in violent crimes.

My question to all this local crime is what gives Mayor Lee? There is talk of cutting back the police force in the city to ease the budget, but when San Francisco tops the list in overall crime [note, I couldn’t compare NYC as they aren’t on the lists.] This might make the crime rates go up and we’re already on top. This city needs to do something about the crime or else not only are we going to start losing residents, but we’ll start losing tourist dollars as well. I can’t say how accurate this is, but it is set up by geocaching reported crimes, so that counts for something in the overall equation.

Be safe and have a nice weekend now.

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