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Monday, February 22, 2016

Yelp Employee, Fired Over Housing Concerns, Worked For "Housing Activist" Tech CEO

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Jeremy Stoppelman, tech CEO, erstwhile employer of poor people. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia commons
  • Jeremy Stoppelman, tech CEO, erstwhile employer of poor people.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman was in the news all weekend, for all the wrong reasons.

His company and his erstwhile employee, Talia Jane — the 25-year-old "mysteriously" fired from her entry-level job at Yelp after noting in a Medium post that, in the Bay Area's absurd housing market, she skipped groceries and heat so she could pay her rent — are now talking points nationwide.

For liberals, Yelp is a poster child of the abuses of today's money-first, people-last America; for conservatives, Jane is the embodiment of the entitled millennial (how DARE our children ask for competitive wages!?). 

Lost in this is the direct nexus between Stoppelman's own politics and Jane's situation. Stoppelman, you see, is pro-development and a financial supporter of San Francisco's "housing activists." That might earn him a pass — but it doesn't.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Map: Are Coffee Shops Really Markers of Gentrification?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Which came first: the coffee shop or the hip, young white people inside of it?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Survey Confirms San Francisco Will See a "Wipeout" of its Artists

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 2:07 PM

  • Thomas Hawk/Flickr
A new survey from the San Francisco Arts Commission yields disheartening figures about the city's vanishing creative class.

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Whole Foods Fires Security Firm After Armed Guard Allegedy Beats Customer

Posted By on Sat, Sep 5, 2015 at 3:18 PM

  • Zoe Marks/Facebook
Whole Foods is firing Admiral Security Services, the security firm at its Oakland store, following reports of a violent assault of a customer by an armed security guard on Thursday evening. The announcement comes one day after Whole Foods "permanently removed" the security guard in question from its stores. 

"As a result of the violent behavior of the security guard at Whole Foods Market Oakland, we are replacing this security firm in the store," spokeswoman Beth Krauss wrote in a statement. "The new firm is A.G.S. Private Security, owned and operated by Ms. Gloria Lawrence of Concord."

According to her LinkedIn page, Gloria Lawrence was formerly an account supervisor with Admiral Security Services, where she specialized in "Retail Security/Loss Prevention at all Wholefoods Stores." 

It is unclear whether Whole Foods is replacing Admiral Security Services at all of its stores, or only the Oakland location. 

Graphic images of a customer lying in a pool of blood were circulated on Facebook by Zoe Marks, a witness to the incident, who wrote that she saw the man "slammed repeatedly against concrete pillars, put in a chokehold, restrained, and suffocated until he was thrown face down on the pavement unconscious." Marks wrote that the incident began when the customer was "trying to buy groceries with his EBT card." 

Marks futher described the incident to the Oakland Tribune, saying, "He wasn't shouting at anyone. He wasn't violent or disruptive. There was no threat from him to any of the customers or employees. (We) felt safe until the security guard attacked him."

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What Dreams May Come in this Cozy $600 Glen Park Sleeping Pod

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 11:29 AM

May cause cancer.
  • May cause cancer.
If you search Craigslist “rooms & shares” for a space in Glen Park under $600, only one option comes up — and it’s a blast from the fucking future.

This “comfortable sleeping pod” is available in somebody’s “clean, spacious garage.” Kind of like a cross between a tanning bed and the chamber that Jeff Goldblum emerged from in The Fly, the pod apparently features soothing ultraviolet light, a fluorescent-ring vanity mirror, and, hopefully, enough oxygen to keep you conscious once the pod hatch closes.

Lest you think $600 is pricey for what’s basically a tricked out Speed Racer bed, the pod includes all utilities, plus access to the main house’s bathroom, kitchen, and living room. Sure, the garage holding the pod looks snuff-film stark, but didn’t you love the smell of fresh gasoline as a kid? 

It's hard to say at this point whether the ad is a joke or somebody's sad reality. We reached out to the pod owner for more information and will update the post if we hear back.     

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Whose Fault Are Evictions?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 12:26 PM

  • Shutterstock
There's nothing the media loves more than a counter-intuitive argument (n.b. #SlatePitch), and the San Francisco Chronicle's J.K. Dineen came up with a doozy this weekend in an article titled, "Why S.F. evictions are on the rise," in which he argued that a new pro-tenant law is actually increasing evictions in San Francisco. 

Dineen points to a bump in the rate of evictions since a tenant protection law went into effect on March 7 to suggest that the law is actually incentivizing evictions for landlords:

Since March, the number of eviction notices filed per month with the San Francisco Rent Board is up 32 percent compared with the previous three years’ average, while owner move-in evictions are up 131 percent. During that period, the average number of evictions has climbed from 151 per month to more than 200, while the number of owner move-in evictions per month has jumped from 23.7 to 54.7.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

LGBT Mural Defaced in the Mission and Sparks Backlash Online

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 9:43 AM

  • Maricon Collective/Galeria de la Raza

The corner of 24th and Bryant in the Mission has long been synonymous with murals that address social and racial injustice, but Fusion reports today that the corner’s latest mural, depicting LGBT "cholos," has been defaced.

Entitled “Por Vida,” the mural is a triptych that features two men embracing, a transman with mastectomy scars, and two women gazing into each other’s eyes. According to Fusion, the mural was unveiled on Saturday and by Tuesday had been defaced with red and blue spray paint.

In addition, the artist, Manuel Paul, has been threatened online.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Protesters Attempt to Block Eviction of Disabled Woman From Google Lawyer's House

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Protesters marched on 812 Guerrero last year - JULIA CARRIE WONG
  • Julia Carrie Wong
  • Protesters marched on 812 Guerrero last year
Neighbors and anti-eviction activists have been rallying since 6:00 a.m. to attempt to prevent the eviction of a tenant of Jack Halprin, a lawyer for Google, in the Mission District, Mission Local reports. Halprin's attempts to evict the tenants at 812 Guerrero, a seven-unit building he bought in 2012, have become a symbol of tech-industry driven displacement.

Two of the tenants, teachers Claudia Tirado and Even Wolkenstein, have been outspoken and active in fighting their Ellis Act evictions, thus far successfully. 

But Rebecca Bauknight, the 59-year-old tenant threatened with eviction today, suffers from mental illness and has been unable to effectively fight her eviction, her neighbors say. She received a notice to vacate by June 10 from the Sheriff's Department, inspiring activists with Eviction Free SF and other tenant groups to rally to keep her in her home. 

Mark Nicco of the Sheriff's Department would't confirm or deny to SF Weekly whether the department would attempt to carry out the eviction today. He said that once a notice of eviction has been issued, the department can enforce an eviction order anytime after the deadline. On Twitter, activists proclaimed that they would remain in place until Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi calls off the eviction.  

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ed Lee Adds $50 Million to the Housing Bond Pot

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 9:50 AM

  • drserg /

In the first round of affordable housing bond poker, Mayor Ed Lee came in with a proposal of $250 million. Supervisor John Avalos countered with $500 million, an admitted ploy to get Lee to up his figure. Now, a week after housing activists spent seven hours decrying the city's lack of a plan to address the ongoing displacement of working class and Latino families from the Mission District, Lee is ready to up the ante.

Lee is revising his housing bond proposal to add an additional $50 million specifically for affordable housing in the Mission, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The money will be used to acquire sites and build housing. 

According to the San Francisco Business Times, the additional funds are the result of a deal between Lee and Supervisor David Campos, who sponsored the market-rate housing moratorium that failed to pass last week. A key message from the supporters of the moratorium was that the city needs to act quickly to acquire the limited number of sites still available in the neighborhood that could accommodate 40 or more units of housing. 

Per the Business Times, another policy being explored by Campus is a "right of first refusal" for the City to purchase private land that is put on the market. 

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Round Two of the Mission Moratorium Fight Begins with Ballot Initiative

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 8:35 AM

Just days after a moratorium on developing market-rate housing in the Mission failed to pass the Board of Supervisors, the text and summary of a ballot initiative to accomplish similar ends has been filed with the San Francisco Department of Elections, SocketSite reports

The ballot initiative, embedded below, would halt the issuance of permits for 18 months for any housing projects with 5 or more units and any demolition, conversion, or elimination of Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) sites, unless the projects are for 100% affordable housing. The moratorium could be extended for an additional 12 months by a majority vote of the Board of Supervisors

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"