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Your Call: How long will the current tech boom last?

July 2, 2015

David Talbot on KALW – (audio track)

On the June 30th edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the explosion of the tech industry. Billion dollar companies were once rare.  Today, there are more than 50 billion dollar companies in Silicon Valley, with more added every other week.

The tech explosion is gentrifying cities, raising property values and changing urban landscapes.  Will this latest tech boom lead to another bust? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

David Talbot, journalist, and the author of Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love
Jason Benlevi, long time technology marketing communications professional in Silicon Valley and the author of TOO MUCH MAGIC: Pulling the Plug on the Cult of Tech…

Web Resources:
TIME: What Did We Learn From the Dotcom Stock Bubble of 2000?
Quartz: Facebook is now worth more than Walmart
Bloomberg: Uber Bonds Term Sheet Reveals $470 Million in Operating Losses
Huffington Post: Bay Area Poverty Rate Still Near Record High Despite Tech Boom
Salon: Why we hate the new tech boom

Don’t be a Stanford asshole
Neighbor David Talbot Shares What He Really Thinks of His New Neighbors In Precitaville
Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love   Salon founder David Talbot chronicled the cultural history of San Francisco and from the late 1960s to the early 1980s when figures such as Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin, Jim Jones, and Bill Walsh helped usher from backwater city to thriving metropolis in “The Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love”


June 26, 2015

by Steven T. Jones : byline – excerpt

Developer of the InnerMission site agrees to subsidize the artists he’s displacing, but will that be enough to save his controversial project?

Developer Nick Podell was scheduled to go before the San Francisco Planning Commission today seeking approval to demolish the InnerMission (formerly CELLspace) art and community space and the surrounding block of buildings along Bryant Street between 18th and 19th streets, and to build a few hundred mostly market-rate apartments in their place. That hearing is set to be postponed to Sept. 10 — giving this newly wised-up developer a chance to deflect some of the activist opposition that has been roiling the Mission District these days.
[Note: An updated and edited version of this article appears at]… (more)

Read more…


June 26, 2015

By Steven T. Jones : byline – excerpt

Pope Francis’ landmark environmental encyclical calls out the city that shares his chosen name, a place that now embodies the greed and technology worship that we must overcome to save the planet.

The landmark environmental encyclical issued by Pope Francis last week implicitly called out his namesake city, San Francisco, where capitalist greed and the reign of the technology industry have effectively subverted the San Francisco values of compassion, conservation and connection to world’s poor and disenfranchised.
Laudato Si, or On Care for our Common Home, is easily the most portentous document to come out of the Vatican in 124 years, when Pope Leo XIII weighed in workers’ rights and private property. But in this traditionally Catholic city, which takes its name from the same St. Francis of Assisi that this cardinal from Argentina chose when he ascended to the papacy, the response has been strangely mute.
Perhaps that’s not surprising given the pope’s stinging indictment of global capitalism, which he squarely blames for the devastating environmental problems we face, from pollution and toxic runoff to global warming and ocean acidification. As he writes, “The earth’s resources are also being plundered because of short-sighted approaches to the economy, commerce and production.”
Pope Francis correctly identifies our growth-based economic system, which can’t possibly exist in a finite world without depleting and degrading its natural resources, as putting society on the path to ruin unless we take significant, collective steps to counter that trend. As he writes, “We fail to see the deepest roots of our present failures, which have to do with the direction, goals, meaning and social implications of technological and economic growth.”… (more)

Read more…

Confused Guv Brown FORCED to Give Back Stolen Water to Owners

June 26, 2015

By Stephen Frank : capoliticalreview – excerpt

California Hedges on Water Cuts; Managers Call Situation ‘Chaotic’

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM, Courthouse News, 6/25/15

SACRAMENTO (CN) – The California Attorney General’s office backtracked Tuesday, surprising senior water rights holders by saying in court that the curtailment notices they received were merely advisory and not compulsory.
The turnaround happened in San Joaquin County Superior Court during a hearing in Banta Carbona Irrigation District’s challenge of curtailment notices the State Water Resources Control Board issued to 114 senior rights holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region on June 12.
The Banta Carbona Irrigation District is south of Tracy in San Joaquin County, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. California produces more than one-eighth of the nation’s agricultural revenue, and the valley, known as California’s Breadbasket, produces most of the state’s output.
The notices directed certain owners of water rights dating back to 1903 to immediately stop diverting waterand threatened daily $1,000 fines plus $2,500 per acre-foot of water drawn if they did not comply. An acre-foot of water is enough to supply approximately two homes for a year.
Several water districts responded by suing the water board, claiming the state does not have the right to restrict the senior water rights holders’ water use.
In court documents rebuffing the lawsuit brought by Banta Carbona, state officials seemed to change their stance by characterizing the curtailment notices as “courtesy notices” that were “advisory” only.
Water managers said that hardly seemed to be the case.
South San Joaquin Irrigation District General Manager Jeff Shields said the notices told rights holders they had seven days to sign a compliance statement under penalty of perjury.
“That doesn’t sound like a general courtesy notice. That sounds like an order,” he told Courthouse News.
Steve Knell, general manager of Oakdale Irrigation District, said the state’s change of position surprised everyone.
“They basically said, ‘I don’t know why you’re all upset, these are just advisory notices, they’re not enforceable, they are in no way intended to make folks do anything.’ There’s a lot of confusion right now,” Knell told Courthouse News.
This is just the second time in history that the state has sought to curtail water rights of farmers and agencies whose claims date back before 1914. They have historically been protected by their longstanding water rights.
Shields said the state’s curtailment notices violated due process.
.. (more)

Due process rights are slipping away due to a prevalence of administrative laws put into place by unelected administrators who are appointed by government officials. In this case, the government seems to have made a mistake and owes the injured parties an apology and compensation, not an excuse.

Mission luxury housing protest

June 25, 2015

By  : sfexaminer – excerpt

Plaza 16 Coalition members gather at the corner of Mission and 16th Street Wednesday, June 24, 2015 to protest Parkmerced Apartment leasing Management owner Robert Rosania who terminated the employment of an entire staff of janitors and handymen. The workers were replaced with Preferred Building Services janitorial and maintenance company. The coalition marched to Rosania’s house located at 555 Florida Street. (Michael Ares/Special to the S.F. Examiner)… (more)

SF supes committee, mayor reach budget deal

June 25, 2015

By  : sfexaminer – excerpt

After three days of behind-the-scenes negotiations, a budget deal was struck Wednesday between the Board of Supervisors and the mayor with $25 million of changes to the $8.9 billion budget proposal for next fiscal year to fund homeless resources, child care and food services.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, led by Supervisor Mark Farrell, came to the agreement Wednesday afternoon, bringing to a close what is among the chief duties of the board each year.

In total, the committee voted on $44 million of funding changes to the mayor’s two-year budget submission comprising some 198 different items, encompassing everything from $300,000 for immigration legal defense to $265,000 for capital needs at the San Francisco Zoo to $1.5 million for child care slots for low-income families.

As the local economy shows little sign of slowing down, there are revenues to make greater investments in city services, like police and Muni. But San Francisco’s income inequality and soaring rents has translated into some deep needs for below-market-rate housing, eviction protections and other services like child care and feeding the hungry. Those needs were reflected in the committee receiving funding requests totaling more than $30 million by one coalition of nonprofits for next year alone…

But while there was much praise of the budget during the committee hearing, there wasn’t lack of controversy swirling around. Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, alleged about $1 million requested for tenant eviction defense was denied because of politics, pointing to November’s District 3 supervisor race between the mayor-appointed Supervisor Julie Christensen and former District Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who is vying to get his seat back.

Tenant advocates have sided with Peskin in the race. The added money, Friedenbach said, would have provided defense for every tenant facing an eviction. “The tenants of San Francisco shouldn’t be held hostage by the petty politics of the Peskin-Christensen race,” Friedenbach said…

To look at the budget’s add-back list, click Addbacks Budget and Finance Committee FY 15-16 and 16-17_FINAL… (more)

Supers decide that more cops are the answer to crimeDespite evidence, the board votes 6-5 to link police staffing to population

Proposals For Renovated Palace Of Fine Arts Include Two Gym Complexes, And An Arts Center

June 22, 2015

by Jay Barmann : sfist – excerpt

An initial RFP (request for proposals) went out last fall to gauge interest a revamped and reimagined Palace of Fine Arts complex. The Marina-adjacent complex, which along with the outdoor promenades and landmark portico, includes a 962-seat theater space as well as the big warehouse space that used to be home to The Exploratorium. And after 2016, the current leases for the indoor spaces will expire and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department is now entertaining seven separate proposals for renovating and reusing the complex, all of which will be presented for public comment in a meeting on Tuesday.

As the Business Times notes there’s some “heated competition” between a couple of these proposals, which will require significant investment on the part of the bidder, including a required $10 million for historic preservation restoration work.
The Palace of Fine Arts dates to 1915, when in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and fire and the subsequent rebuilding of the city, San Francisco re-emerged as a shiny city by the Bay via the Panama-Pacific International Exposition world’s fair…

You can see all the proposals in detail here, and you can show up for the presentations by the bidders themselves at the public meeting Tuesday, June 23, at 6 p.m. at the Palace of Fine Arts… (more)


One of the Bay Area’s most important examples of the Beaux Arts style of artchitecture built during the period the Palace of Fine Arts was designed by Maybeck for the Pan-Pacific International Exposition. It has survived a number of earthquakes. Will it survive SF’s disdain for historical landmarks that stand in the way of hideous new stack and pack housing projects?


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