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Through the cracks journalism

The latest catch.

Tech mogul Sean Parker befriends politics (and parking)

October 23, 2014

Shalene Gupta : Fortune – excerpt

Sean Parker, the former Facebook president and Napster co-founder, is in the cross-hairs for his support of a car-friendly ballot initiative in San Francisco.

All Sean Parker wanted to do was help San Francisco’s poor. The tech billionaire who co-founded Napster and served as Facebook’s first president donated $49,000 to a San Francisco initiative that would make life easier for drivers. The result? Local papers have labeled Parker the enemy.

At first brush, the referendum seems innocuous enough. It would set a number of car-friendly goals like rolling back parking fees outside of peak hours and letting residents approve new parking meters. It also asks that motorists be given more seats on the local public transit board and encourages city planners make congested streets flow more smoothly.

“I have a long-standing frustration that the only people who are significantly disadvantaged by onerous DMV regulations and parking tickets are the working poor,” Parker says…

“There’s been press that’s framed [Proposition L] as anti-public transportation which is bizarre because I support public transportation,” Parker says. “We don’t have great public transportation and poor families don’t have access and it’s a huge problem.”… (more)

Death of Ted Gullicksen and Bay Guardian blows to progressives

October 20, 2014

By Heather Knight : sfgate – excerpt

On Tuesday night, Quintin Mecke and a few dozen progressive activists gathered at the Mission District office of the San Francisco Tenants Union to grieve two sudden and shocking deaths.

Ted Gullicksen, the dogged tenants union director, had died in his sleep at age 61. And the longtime voice of the progressive movement, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, had been abruptly shuttered and its entire staff laid off. Standing in the Capp Street room decorated with posters celebrating rent control and Gullicksen’s numerous arrest citations saved like souveniers since the 1980s, Mecke and his comrades came together for a community wake…

But progressives lost control of the Board of Supervisors, fielded hardly any challengers in next month’s election and haven’t held the mayor’s seat since Art Agnos left office in 1992.

And its whack-a-mole attempts to block Google buses and force Airbnb to pay back hotel taxes have failed to make much of a dent in the economic boom that’s contributed to San Francisco’s rash of evictions and growing income disparity.

Cheering for Campos

Progressives are hopeful Supervisor David Campos will stage a come-from-behind win for an Assembly seat next month, but are less optimistic about the passage of Proposition G, an antispeculation ballot measure designed to slow real estate flipping and evictions. They have not yet found anybody to challenge Mayor Ed Lee next year… (more)

Dreamforce and OpenWorld may be fun for attendees, but for SF residents, it’s tech money run amok

October 20, 2014

by Carmel DeAmicis : gigaom -excerpt

Now that and Oracle have released their grip on downtown SF, let’s take a moment to marvel at the tech excess of their outdoor conference arenas.

Man, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for anyone living or working in downtown San Francisco. I do both, and let me tell you, Oracle and are both on my sh*t list.

The two companies, in quick succession, rented out an entire city block in front of Moscone Center in traffic-heavy downtown San Francisco for their conferences. They turned Howard Street between Fourth Street and Third into little tech conference cities, even going so far as to carpet the road – in turf green for Dreamforce, Oracle red for OpenWorld. They set up giant swaths of comfy chairs and lounge chaises under umbrellas, and permanent enclosures for shade facing large screens.

It’s an ongoing tradition, a few years in the running. And it’s the tradition from hell… (more)

Soda Tax Liberals and the Conservatives

October 18, 2014

 : opednews – excerpt

The political geniuses of San Francisco have an idea. They want to put a two-cent-an-ounce tax on soda. Their reasoning, if you can grace it with that description, is that soda is toxic and bad for the people.

They’re half right. Soft drinks won’t be the death of America, but the soda tax will help kill the hope of America: Liberalism.

Once upon a not so distant time, when you asked Americans their political philosophy, most of them called themselves liberals. Now the number of self-described liberals in America is down to about 20 percent.

Liberals have a proud history. For a hundred years and more, from woman’s suffrage to gay marriage, liberalism has moved the nation forward, towards justice, towards equality. Yet the liberal brand stinks on ice.

Can you blame the soda tax for that? Of course not; white resentment, right-wing demagoguery and various other pathologies all contributed to the decline of liberalism. The soda tax isn’t the cause, but it’s a perfect symptom of what’s gone wrong.

Sometimes it looks like everything liberals do to help the people costs the people money. Soda taxes and grocery bag tariffs, extortionate parking meters and pay-to-play toll roads, the list of trivial annoyances goes on and on. And people notice.

What is it about otherwise sensible, normal folks that drives them to the Tea Party? They are tired of being messed with(more)



The San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco’s longest running independent voice, was shut down and brought back to life within two days.

October 16, 2014


By Mari Eliza, zrants – excerpt

This story is a fast moving train which I will attempt to follow and share as it unfolds.

The demise of one of the oldest, most consistently progressive, liberal, left-leaning publications, in one of the most liberal cities in the America, is disturbing to all journalists at a time when the profession is under attack from many angles, and independent voices are being silenced.

Even though we didn’t always agree with the editorial slant, and were not favored by the SFBG’s recent endorsements, the possible loss of open dialogue in the press is of grave concern to all of us, and one that we hope will be corrected soon. We need to hear from all sides in order to make informed decisions.

To get this fast changing story out in a timely manner I will limit my comments and post links to as they turn up. We are tracking the news of the shutdown two days ago and the sudden disappearance of the online archives, to what appears to be a reappearance of some of the issues today. This story is changing fast and we will may with updates as the situation changes, so stay tuned…


The Bay Guardian shuts down
By Tim Redmond, former SFBG editor : 48hillsonline – excerpt
I was teaching my San Francisco State class from 10 to noon, on the sixth floor of a building right next to the Westfield Mall, and about 11:45 my phone started to buzz like crazy. I finished class, checked the messages …. And found out that the Bay Guardian, the newspaper I helped run for 30 years, the voice of the San Francisco left, a community institution … was just shut down… (more)


San Francisco Bay Guardian Shuts Down
By Jon Brooks : kqed – excerpt

Its founding mission was to “print the news and raise hell.”
After 48 years of doing just that, the San Francisco Bay Guardian has shut down. The San Francisco Media Company, the alternative weekly’s current owner, made the announcement on the Guardian’s website this morning. The rest of the site is now offline.
Tomorrow’s edition, which will be the annual “Best of the Bay” issue, will be the last published… (more – including audio interviews)


Can we save newspaper archives — and history?
By Tim Redmond, former SFBG editor : 48hillsonline – excerpt

OCTOBER 16, 2014 – The owners of the Bay Guardian, who shut the paper down Monday, have at least gotten one message: It’s not okay to take offline the website and digital archive of the paper.’

After going down for two days, was live late this afternoon. So the years and years of back stories can once again be found, the former staff have a chance to link to their work if they want to apply for jobs, and the links many other publications have used to connect to Guardian stories will once again be live.
I wonder how long that will last… (more)


The Bay Guardian back up
By Tim Redmond, former SFBG editor : 48hillsonline – excerpt

OCTOBER 16, 2014 – The owners of the Bay Guardian, who shut the paper down Monday, have at least gotten one message: It’s not okay to take offline the website and digital archive of the paper.’ After going down for two days, was live late this afternoon… (more)

Link to 192 publication archives:  Read Bay Guardian issues going back to 2010:


Bay Guardian says Good bye

October 14, 2014 – excerpt

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, a leading voice for progressive San Francisco since 1966, has stopped publishing. The San Francisco Media Company, which has published the Guardian since 2012, will publish the final issue on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014.

As a company, we are proud of the SF Bay Guardian’s legacy as a community watchdog, a publication with stellar reporting and its passion to push for a better city. It gave a voice to many in the city who might have been otherwise shut out of the corridors of power, kept countless city leaders honest and inspired a new breed of journalism across the nation.

We say good-bye to a member of our media family and to an institution that has been a vital advocate for its vision for San Francisco for nearly half a century. The Guardian leaves San Francisco a better city for the role it has played in shaping it these last decades… (more)

It remains to see whether or not the archives will remain online. If not, quite a few of our material will disappear.

Bad Citizen Urges Supervisors to “Pass this Motherfuckin’ Home Sharing Legislation ‘n Shit”

October 11, 2014

By Rachel Swan : sfweekly – excerpt

Supervisor David Chiu’s Airbnb legislation coasted through the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, albeit with scads of amendments to be evaluated later.

It turns out the bill had a powerful lobbying effort behind it — launched by the Airbnb front group Home Sharers of San Francisco — and at least one rogue citizen who thought he’d persuade city supervisors to “pass this motherfuckin’ home sensible home sharing legislation ‘n shit.”

Garrett Hebert, a potty-mouthed homesharing enthusiast whose email handle, ironically, is “stayoutdoors,”  and whose tagline, ironically, is “sent from a payphone,” thought he’d add a little editorial color to the Home Sharers form letter.

“Dear Supervisors,” he wrote, “Stop being a bunch of bitches…”… (more)

This one fell through the cracks. The activists who would be protesting this one are swamped by other urgent matters this week.


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