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After neighborhood pushback, first Ford GoBike stations headed to Marina District

February 20, 2019

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Ford GoBike rentals are bound to the Marina District for the very first time.

That’s the culmination of a half-year long tussle between Supervisor Catherine Stefani and Motivate, the entity behind Ford GoBike. Lyft bought Motivate last year.

Stefani announced she blocked Ford GoBike stations from being built in the neighborhood in a newsletter to neighbors in July last year, citing a lack of outreach from the company that had angered neighbors who wanted a say in where the stations would go — or if they could be built in the neighborhood at all.

Now, Stefani confirmed she’s in support of the first two stations set to be built in the Marina, though she was still cautious on Lyft’s relationship with the neighborhood… (more)


Why force Lyft GoBikes on a neighborhood that doesn’t want them? San Francisco politicians are good at ignoring the public. Question is why and what is driving the anti-public social engineering programs the public so obviously opposed when they voted against the YIMBY lineup of supervisor candidates in November?

Most people would say, “follow the money”. Will the Ethics Committee and our supervisors figure out a means to that end soon? We just need to know where the money is coming from. Forget trying to up the anti each time a cap is reached. The point is to limit the money in politics by making the donations transparent. Get the priorities straight.

Follow the money and find the contract with GoBike.


Ethics Commission rejects plan to eliminate spending caps


Instacart Workers’ Revolt Over Tips Reveals A Big Problem For The Gig Economy

February 19, 2019

By : buzzfeed – excerpt

Companies like Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber rely on workers to report problems with the app, creating an opening for both regulators and the public to criticize them.

In the face of widespread public outcry, Instacart last week scrapped a controversial policy that used tips to subsidize the minimum payments it promises workers. The policy caused customers to feel misled and workers to feel cheated, and the ensuing dustup — which was noted by members of Congress — called attention to other unseen exploitations of gig economy workers, among them time spent doing unpaid troubleshooting and tech support for the well-funded platforms built on their labor… (more)

Liberal Activists Didn’t Kill the Amazon Deal. Robert Moses Did.

February 19, 2019

Marc J. Dunkelman : politico – excerpt

The most lasting legacy of New York’s power broker is that it’s now impossible to build anything in the city.

Just like with Amazon’s recent proposal to build a new corporate campus in Queens, local residents opposed Robert Moses’ plans to construct the Cross-Bronx Expressway through the working-class neighborhood of East Tremont in the early 1950s. Determined to save scores of residential buildings by forcing Moses, then New York’s most powerful public figure, to alter the route, members of the East Tremont Neighborhood Association lined up a raft of political support.

As Robert Caro tells the story, led by a local “housewife” named Lillian Edelstein, activists extracted a promise from the soon-to-be-mayor, Robert F. Wagner, that he would “vote against any resolution” allowing Moses to acquire private property for the roadway. As Caro explains in The Power Broker, up until the night Moses rolled them, Edelstein and her neighbors believed they were going to win. Not long thereafter, Moses’ wrecking crew plowed through.

More than a half-century later, that narrative has been turned on its head. As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”… (more)

Who is missing the irony in the state power grabs against both local and federal jurisdiction? How wise is it for the states to take on both sides from the middle position?

Partisan politics aside, this is a class war that is taking a strange twist as local politicians and leaders fight to retain their authority from the states that are fighting to retain their powers from the Federal Government.

The Top Down power model is crumbling and the electorate is fighting back. The citizens have the most to lose, but, there is some question as to whether or not the states can fight both sides at one time and win?

Election 2020 will decide who stays and who goes. The 2018 election was just a warmup.

Now is the time for politicians to shut up and listen to what the public wants instead of telling them what they are going to get.

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

February 17, 2019

By Kieren McCarthy : theregister – excerpt

Yet it’s still whining that New York City didn’t offer enough for HQ2

Amazon’s pre-tax profits more than tripled last year to an extraordinary $11.2bn but, for a second year running, the web giant has paid not a single cent in US federal taxes.

Not only that but, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the tech titan was actually paid $129m by US taxpayers thanks to an income tax rebate.

With the average American paying an income tax rate of between 10 and 15 per cent, and the corporate tax rate reduced recently from 35 to 21 per cent, Amazon as one of the largest corporations in the world paid a tax rate of minus one per cent… (more)

According to ITEP, the entire company has been specifically constructed to avoid paying tax


A billion-dollar empire made of mobile homes

February 15, 2019

By Peter Whoriskey : washingtonpost – excerpt

— It’s not fancy. But in the exurbs of Nashville stands part of a billion-dollar real estate empire.

The Florence Commons community consists of about 300 mobile homes of varying vintages, mostly single-wide, many valued at less than $30,000 apiece, set 20 feet apart from one another. The occupants of some will tell you: The floors buckle. The ceilings crack. The doors don’t shut right. Their homes are sinking.

“Okay — it’s a trailer park, not a fancy gated community,” said Jessica Boudreaux, 33, who lives there with her two daughters. “If people could, they’d live somewhere else.”

Yet Florence Commons, along with more than 200 other mobile-home parks around the United States, has produced hefty returns for Stockbridge Capital, a $13 billion private-equity firm, and its major investors… (more)

How Amazon blew its chance in New York

February 15, 2019

 : cnn – (includes video)

Amazon put two years and untold amounts of staff time and money into negotiating with New York to save about $3 billion on a new campus in one of America’s most dynamic cities. It bypassed legislative bodies to avoid getting bogged down in local politics.

And it kept the whole process secret, allowing the company, the mayor, and the governor to present the agreement as a fait accompli.

All those carefully laid plans vaporized when Amazon declared the Long Island City project dead Thursday morning.

Where did Amazon go wrong? After staging a highly public auction that drew bids from hundreds of cities, the company attempted to craft uncrackable deals with its chosen cities that would avoid community input until most of the details were worked out. In New York, that may have ultimately led to the agreement’s demise…(more)

Will the state Democratic Party support public power?

February 14, 2019

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plus: Kicking the NRA out of the SFPD, protecting the rights of minors to have a lawyer when they are questioned by the local cops — and a Right of First Refusal for nonprofits to buy multi-family housing. That’s The Agenda for Feb. 11-17.

The collapse of Pacific Gas and Electric Company is leading to serious efforts on both the statewide and the local level to replace the failed private utility with public-power agencies.

The grassroots movement is in place. The political and financial information is clear…

A group of Democratic Party activists, led by party delegates Glenn Glazer and Lowell Young, working through the Coalition for a Power Safe California, is circulating a petition asking the party at its May convention to approve a resolution calling for statewide public power. The current draft, which is still a work in progress, says the following:.. (more)


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