Category: San Francisco

Maria Ayerdi Kaplan, SF Salesforce Transit Center Builder, Under Unfair Attack

San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center is undergoing a retrofit and it to reopen on Wednesday of this week. Fremont Street has already opened as of today.

Over at Oakland News Now is a retrospective on what now former Transbay Joint Powers Authority Founder and Executive Director Maria Ayerdi Kaplan had to do to get what is now called Salesforce Transit Center developed. In particular, we have a segment on security at the facility. That is here at this link: Maria Ayerdi Kaplan and Salesforce Transit Center Security.

In this update, it appears that Ms. Ayerdi Kaplan may have been the victim of some undermining on the part of contractors for the Transbay Project. She is made to be the target of a new lawsuit against the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Read about it, here.

Stay tuned.

Maria Ayerdi Kaplan Salesforce Transit Center Speech

Maria Ayerdi Kaplan, Salesforce Transit Center Builder, Gave A Must-Hear Speech

Lost in all of the current talk about the woes of Salesforce Transit Center, is the fact that it’s the realization of the dreams and hard work of one person: Maria Ayerdi Kaplan.

There have been a lot of wrong or just plain mean media accounts written about her work, and all of them wrong. Maria Ayerdi was never responsible for cost overruns caused by the steel market. She also did the right thing in increasing the budget spend for security after September 11th. Maria Ayerdi Kaplan was rightly praised by the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

To understand just show special her work was, read and listen to the speech Maria Ayerdi gave at the Salesforce Transit Center grand opening.

Thank You Mayor Brown. Ladies and gentlemen. Leader Pelosi. Mayor Breed. Distinguished guests.

Good morning everyone! It is a pleasure to be here at the inauguration of the Salesforce Transit Center.

For nearly 20 years, I’ve been visualizing what the new Center would look like. Feeling it. Thinking about it. Having a lot of sleepless nights.

But I never experienced the joy that I feel today – that’s finally seen it in its full grandeur! It’s really a wonderful feeling and I’m very happy about it.

It’s also very humbling to have been a part of creating such a timeless landmark. And I’m honored to have worked alongside the thousands of men and women both in the public and private sectors across the entire United States, who contributed to this historic achievement.

Envision the millions of visitors who will pass through the NewsCenter, many will be young people with hopes and dreams. It’s these young people that I think about today and as I think about them I reflect on the little girl that I was when I came to this country as an immigrant.

Immigrants can achieve great things when given the opportunity. Mayor Willie Brown gave me that opportunity when I was entrusted to leave this project in 1998 and for that I will be eternally grateful.

I hope my contribution to the center will inspire young people to learn about the math and science behind the gleaming Penroze. To appreciate art and nature to marvel at the engineering and technology behind the structure and to want to make the world a better place and leave a lasting positive mark.

Most of all I hope these young people will learn what it takes to make their dreams come true to have faith in yourself to have faith in your vision. To have curiosity, passion, uncompromising integrity, decisive leadership, and above all: to have courage.

Speaking of leadership, I want to recognize and thank the people who have worked with me over the many years to make this dream a reality. Speaker Leader Pelosi was our angel investor: she was the person who believed from the very beginning that this project was worthwhile and that it was worth pursuing. She gave us the first seed funding of close to ten million dollars to get it off the ground.

And remember the surprise that had been studied and debated since at least 1967? It wasn’t until Mayor Willie Brown and leader Pelosi that we were able to get that first seed money to start the studies.

Then of course there was Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer, who were all by my side, as well throughout all those years.

Senator Burton deserves special thanks and recognition because he made this project possible by working to convince Caltrans to transfer the 19 acres of land that built this project and the surrounding neighborhood which of course now includes also the iconic Salesforce tower. We can all be grateful that he also helped us secure, with the help of Leader Pelosi, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, the $400 million to build the rail levels which will fulfill the mandate of the public to bring commuter and high-speed rail into the Salesforce Transit Center.

I want to acknowledge all of them.

There’s too many people to thank, but I thank all of you for all of your support.

In closing, when you visit the new center, give yourself some time to experience all it has to offer.

Reflect on the words circling the beautiful light column that’s in front of me. Walk through the terrazzo floor. Can you identify the cultures represented by the patterns found in the floor? Can you find the hidden key? Make your way to the rooftop park. Breathe in the lush plants that come from all over the world. Have fun observing the whimsical water fountain as it announces the arrival of the buses below. Stroll along the park’s pathway. Relax in the amphitheater. The possibilities are simply endless.

The dawn of a new transportation era has arrived, embracing, treasure our new jewel in the city. Protect it for the next generation and most importantly make it something special and memorable to you.

Thank you.

YouTube Must Answer For Theft Of My 30,000 Eclipse Video Livestream Views

For some time, I have suspected that YouTube has installed a code that results in the theft of video views for vlogs on my Zennie62 YouTube Channel. I have over 35,000 subscribers and videos that in the recent past (early 2016) received views that were commensurate with the popularity of a search topic, suddenly did not get them, starting around July of 2016.

YouTube had this “rule” that was, and still is, preached to what are now called “YouTube Creators” rather than “YouTube Partners” (why this designation changed, I do not know) and that was to focus on daily vlogs that were “topical” and followed the “trending topics” of the day. In fact, that is still true today. Trouble is, when I do this, I’m not rewarded for it in views.

When I talk about this, some non-thinking types say “just make quality content” – well, I do. Quality is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s really dishonest to get folks wrapped up in a ‘no-win’ scenario where they make videos, and then when one does get seen the observer says “well, that was quality content.”

Well, it was my cat jumping on a large truck from the ground up. If that’s quality content, then something’s wrong – it’s a cat jumping high in the air!

But, I digress.

On the day of the Total Solar Eclipse, I made this livestream of the event:

It was a really intense two hours and we got the partial eclipse here, as the video shows. But while I was live-vlogging, my view count was low – even as other livestreams of the same basic event had thousands of views. So, I figured maybe I just had one of those vlogs that was not in the “zone of totality,” as they call it. That’s where the Earth got real dark like night.

Then, one of my viewers Barry Lee happened to take this screenshot of my livevlog, and sent it to me via Twitter direct message. The photo you see reports that I had over 30,000 views! I was gobsmacked. Wow.

“30,838 watching now” – that’s what the system reported. You can see it. Right there.

That’s what I expected my dashboard to report. I never saw that number. And even now, I do not see that at all.


Something is wrong, and I feel YouTube is not doing right by me here.

For some reason, YouTube only wants certain types of people to succeed on the site – not like the recent past at all. Remember, YouTube is not even 15 years old in total – it was launched in 2005.

I joined in April of 2006. I do classic vlogging – not staged shows – get the camcorder and show your life, and report the news from your point of view. That is what I do.

But all I see of late, like the last two years, are images of just young people – that’s it. It’s like Logan’s Run, the movie where if you were 30 years old, you were terminated. That’s how YouTube acts, today. Age discrimination? Yes. Completely.

I think YouTube has some code that dials in your channel’s information on how old you are or some other indicator, and retards your videos from the views they get. I really believe that. All the better to discourage you from making more vlogs.

Does YouTube care that I’m on the White House Press List? No, and I have proof of that. Democratic National Convention coverage? YouTube turns a blind eye. NFL Draft? YouTube pays no attention. San Diego Comic Con Press List? YouTube could give a care. The old, old YouTube under Chad Hurley would have cared – not this version.

But then Chad was the founder.

Now, YouTube might come up with a garbage argument about “quality views” but I look at it this way: if someone came to my channel and stayed long enough to get information on what I’m doing, that’s a quality view, and because they made a decision based on what they saw: they either stayed longer or left. I don’t care if it was for a second, it was an impression. I should be compensated for that.

YouTube has reached a period where it’s doing a lot of evil with respect to its content creators. There’s no reason for that at all. Honesty is the best way to stop this problem – tell me why this is happening so we can talk.

But give me my stolen views, and the money, please.

I earned it.

Stanford Health Care Cuts 168 Jobs, Finds $2 billion For New Building

Stanford Health Care is the producer of the strangest business news I’ve seen in a while. Take this:

“Stanford (Calif.) Health Care in January declared plans to cut 168 positions, or more than 1 percent of its total workforce. Stanford Health Care has had a decade of strong financial performance and a period of significant growth over the past five years,” SHC President and CEO David Entwistle said in the statement. “We have been investing to meet the increasing healthcare needs of our community, to advance human health and to support our vital mission as a leading academic medical center. To continue this progress requires that we operate in a fiscally responsible manner.” He added: “We highly value all members of our dedicated staff and regret that reducing expenses is necessary.”


“Moving forward, the health system anticipates construction on the new Stanford (Calif.) Hospital to reach completion in 2018, and a new Stanford Health Care outpatient center to open in Emeryville, Calif., March 16.”

It costs $2 billion.

Oakland Needs A New News Blog: “Oakland News”

Since 2004, when I started Oakland’s first true blog (and not a news website) Oakland Focus, Oakland has seen the following online publications come and many go:

Grand Lake Business
Oakland Local
A Better Oakland
Make Oakland Better
The Oakland Tribune

And between 2004 and today, 2016, the ways that media is published and distributed have expanded and changed at the same time. Back then the concept of micro-blogging was just that. 2006 gave us Pownce and Twitter. And now, even though the basic micro-blogging platform is easy to build, it seems like everyone has just counted on Twitter without challenge.

But this growth and change has caused many established news sites to reduce in both web traffic and staff size. And many offline media publications did not successfully make the leap to the Internet. And so the Oakland Tribune is, for all practical purposes, dormant.

The last Oakland news website standing, The Oakland Post, is a fantastic publication ran by the legendary Paul Cobb. But The Oakland Post’s problem is, it hasn’t successfully monetized its content, nor widely expanded from it’s base in the African American Community of Oakland to fill a news void that has gotten only larger with time.

This is also true of the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. Blogs like SFist and 7×7 have tried to cover Oakland culture, but they just don’t get it, and only know that after decades of being ignored by the white media in the Bay Area and the World, Oakland is now mainstream.

The hunger for Oakland news has become so great, some have turned to The New York Times, but even that has failed to meet the demand.


There has to be a publication that has enough Oakland moxy to know that Rod Dibble has played piano at The Alley at 3325 Grand Avenue, and since 1960, and yet pay attention to who’s running for what Oakland City Council seat, and why!

I could go on and on, but you get the point now: this new site is the news venue of Oakland. The main difference here is that you can read about what Oakland’s are doing in their own words, and using there own voice, either in text or video.

Like this:

“Oakland News” is an experiment I am excited to get going.

Let’s go!