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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hate Speech Throws Fuel on Fire of Recall Ed Lee Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall  on July 15. - JOEL ANGEL JUÁREZ/SPECIAL TO S.F. EXAMINER
  • Joel Angel Juárez/Special to S.F. Examiner
  • Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall on July 15.

Something went down at last Friday’s rally to recall Mayor Ed Lee, but what exactly happened is up for debate - unless, of course, you’re allied with the mayor himself.

In that case, the Recall Ed Lee group has a bigoted and racist member among it. Proof of this can allegedly be found in a video posted to YouTube by Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition, formed, in their own words, “to oppose an extremist effort to foist a $3.5 million, taxpayer-funded recall election on the City of San Francisco.”

The video shows supporters of the ambitious, if not misguided, recall effort chanting their intentions outside City Hall on Friday when an unidentified woman appears and silences the crowd by twice saying, “Go back to China.” She later makes a few more disparaging remarks, including, “You take your Chinese asses back where you came from.”

The woman’s statements can be heard clearly enough in the 29-second clip. And there’s no denying that her words are the antithesis of constructive criticism. However, what’s unclear, and somewhat baffling, is why supporters of the mayor are now claiming this woman is part of the group pushing for a recall. Watch the video and it seems quite apparent the recall folks, and everyone else present, are as shocked as anyone to hear such hateful speech.

Nevertheless, the Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition issued a news release Monday condemning the Recall Ed Lee group, complete with reactions from prominent city figures:

"It is shocking and deeply offensive to hear such openly hateful language used against Chinese Americans - and on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, of all places," Assemblyman David Chiu is quoted as saying. "I urge every San Franciscan to join me in opposing this divisive recall effort."

“San Franciscans now finally see the hate that stands behind the proposed recall of Mayor Ed Lee: anti-Chinese sentiment that has no place in the City’s political debate. I call on every San Franciscan to oppose this wasteful recall and denounce these racist comments,” Fiona Ma, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, is quoted as saying.

The Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition held its own rally at 12:30 p.m. today outside City Hall to address the woman’s statements.

There’s no denying her words were offensive, but condemning the entire group based solely on the video is a reach. However, it does paint the Recall Ed Lee folks in the worst light possible, which might be enough to quash their intentions. We smell political maneuvering at work here.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Big Day For Airbnb: Sues City, Seeks Funding at $30 Billion

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 2:39 PM

One way to announce to someone you're suing. - AIRBNBACTION
  • Airbnbaction
  • One way to announce to someone you're suing.

Airbnb is all growed up. The San Francisco-based company — which was a literal air mattress in its co-founders' apartment just a few years ago — is now an international juggernaut offering hotel alternatives in 200 countries (where in at least a few places it's also blamed for exacerbating housing shortages).

The company is currently seeking funding based on a valuation of $30 billion, according to the New York Times, and may even turn a profit (!) as soon as later this year (!!). What might help its profitability? Not having to pay San Francisco $1,000 a day for every illegal listing it offers.

To that end, Airbnb is suing its hometown. In a lawsuit filed Monday, Airbnb is asking a federal judge, as the Times observed, to not enforce a law regulating Airbnb units that Airbnb had a hand in creating.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

VIDEO: ISIS Threatens San Francisco — Sort Of

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM

That's Arabic for, "Damn, it's windy." - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • That's Arabic for, "Damn, it's windy."
San Francisco has the unfortunate honor of appearing in a new propaganda video for the Islamic State released Sunday, no doubt to coincide with the city’s massive Pride celebration, since persecution of LGBT people is a hallmark of deranged fundamentalists.

Several alleged terrorists appear on screen to praise Omar Mateen, the Orlando gay nightclub shooter, and Larossi Abballa, the man who attacked a French police officer and his family June 13, the day after the Orlando shooting.

The trio reportedly encourages more attacks in the U.S. and Europe, and this is when the footage of San Francisco starts to roll (Las Vegas is also threatened, likely for its questionable buffet restaurants). Were we recently visited by some famous fundamentalists?

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Friday, June 10, 2016

SF Sheriffs Discovers Unfinished Disciplinary Records Hidden in Brown Paper Bag

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 1:40 PM


When law enforcement bungles something, we grab for that familiar dig by likening them to the silent film era’s comedically incompetent police force, the Keystone Kops.

But when it comes to the paper bag containing disciplinary cases that was found recently at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, the comparison could not be more fitting.

Last week during an office cleaning at City Hall, a paper bag — with handles, mind you, not some tiny school lunch-size waste of paper — was discovered stuffed in a filing cabinet under other paperwork, according to the SF Examiner.

Inside the bag were three incomplete Internal Affairs cases, two of which reach their statute of limitations for taking action in June and July.

Oh boy!

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

So Much For Gun Safety: Another Law Enforcement Gun Stolen in S.F.

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 11:34 AM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner file photo

It seems high time for people authorized to carry firearms to stop leaving them unattended in vehicles, especially in the Bay Area, or they should at least find funding to upgrade every FBI, Secret Service, city cop, and ICE vehicle to a Bat Mobile.

San Francisco police reported Monday that an FBI agent lost his .40-caliber Glock handgun after his vehicle was broken into in Alamo Square. The theft took place during a ten-minute period (was the fed taking selfies in front of the Painted Ladies and was thus terribly distracted?). The g-man’s ID badge and FBI credentials were also pilfered. That’s all the info anyone has on this latest embarrassment.

Last year was a terrible year for law enforcement firearm thefts in the Bay Area. In September, a stolen ICE-issued gun was used in the killing of Oakland artist Antonio Ramos. And, of course, two months earlier in the now-infamous killing of Kathryn Steinle, the alleged murder weapon belonged to a Bureau of Land Management agent who had reported it stolen.

Guns are even just lost sometimes, as evidenced by the ICE agent who in February just left his firearm on top of his car before driving off. Or they are stolen from sheriff’s deputies in home burglaries.

Perhaps the saddest part of it all is that this is fairly common, perhaps even accepted. And that the guns are almost never recovered. 

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

After Uproar, Dolores Park Lawn Reservations Nixed

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2016 at 11:02 AM

  • Original photo: Kevin Montgomery. Dog photoshop job: Todd Standish.
  • The overwhelming sentiment.
You know you’ve touched a nerve when your cause generates two petitions in less than 24 hours. But it appears fans of Dolores Park can rest a little easier — and sit upon the DoPa grass without fear of being booted by someone who paid for the privilege of securing that sod. 

This month, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department began a two-month pilot program that, along with picnic tables, allows sections of grass in the park to be reserved, as SFist first reported. Picnic table reservations are nothing new, and they are allowed at parks citywide, but including the lawn space riled up the masses.

Two petitions seeking to stop this were created almost immediately after the news broke Monday, and as of this morning the more popular one already exceeded its goal of 10,000 signatures.

However, Castro district Supervisor Scott Wiener, in a statement posted to Medium this morning, said he worked out a compromise with Rec and Park to limit the reservations to picnic tables only.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Content of Latest Racist SFPD Texts Revealed; Pattern is Not Good

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 10:07 AM

The second batch of racist texts exchanged between San Francisco police officers are now public. The second batch — that we know of. 

One of the more troubling revelations to stem from this latest SFPD racist texting scandal — this one at Taraval Station — is the fact that in both cases the messages were discovered by accident. What does this say about the SFPD? 

Both Jeff Adachi, the public defender, and George Gascon, the district attorney, are right in suspecting — or flat-out knowing — that San Francisco’s police force has more racist and bigoted officers than police Chief Greg Suhr or Mayor Ed Lee will admit.

As Adachi told CNN, "What are the chances of two officers being arrested … and there's racists texts on [their phones]? I don't know what the odds would be in Vegas.”

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Death Threats, Rape Threats: Woman From Infamous SFSU Dreadlocks Video Speaks Out

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Bonita Tindle speaks. - CHANGE.ORG
  • Bonita Tindle speaks.
The missing voice in the fracas following publication of the now-viral San Francisco State University dreadlocks video has spoken. Apparently, the worldwide media who largely derided Bonita Tindle in the aftermath of her encounter with fellow student Cory Goldstein over the latter fellow's dreadlocks has been uninterested in airing her side of the story.

It appears only the SFSU student newspaper, the Golden Gate Xpress and our friends at SFist have published her response, in which she outlines the death threats, rape threats, and racist backlash that forced her to go underground for a few weeks. 

On April 11, according to the Xpress, Tindle wrote a public post on her mostly private Facebook page addressing what happened in a video — and what was not shown on camera — that has been viewed more than 3.7 million times since it was posted March 28.

Tindle rightfully points out that no matter what happened between her and Goldstein, the reaction to her has been nothing short of dehumanizing, horrific, and potentially criminal.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

How Reliable Is SF’s Earthquake Emergency Water Supply? (Spoiler: Not Very)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM

The fireboat Phoenix, which helped put out the flames in the Marina in 1989 after the water supply failed. - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • The fireboat Phoenix, which helped put out the flames in the Marina in 1989 after the water supply failed.

Today marks the 110th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire, which means it’s a good time to take stock of the things that could save San Francisco when another major temblor strikes the region.

One of those things is water for the Fire Department to put out infernos. In 1906, the 7.8-magnitude quake did some serious damage on its own, but the fires it created wreaked the worst havoc. To ensure that high-pressure water would be available after another temblor, San Francisco built what remains the only backup water system in any U.S. city.

However, much of the 1913 system’s infrastructure is weak and outdated. After the Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the auxiliary water supply system failed in the Marina District. According to an October story in the Chronicle, published 26 years after that dire warning, less than 50 percent of the system would be reliable after another earthquake.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

The Bubbles Situation: T.L. Bartender Fired For Refusing to Serve Queer Fellow

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Bubbles, Tenderloin bar regular and sui generis-looking individual. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Bubbles, Tenderloin bar regular and sui generis-looking individual.
Meet Bubbles. Bubbles, also known as Anthony Torres, is what you might call a unique-looking individual. Bubbles has blond dreadlocks, a fu manchu, and a healthy chest. By most standards, perhaps even our own, Bubbles is what the churchgoing set might call a freak.

Bubbles is also a 6 a.m. regular at Ace's, a blue collar sort of sports bar at Sutter and Leavenworth streets in the Tenderloin. (It's a New York Giants bar.)

And it was sometime after 6 a.m. on Thursday that Bubbles was apparently denied service at Ace's for the way Bubbles looks, as Broke Ass Stuart first reported. 

And while it's still not entirely clear what happened, the bartender who denied Bubbles another pour has since been let go, Ace's management confirmed Friday.

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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.'"