Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Sympathy for the Landlord Who Inherited the Apartment You Rent: Writer CW Nevius Cries a River over Rent Control

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

HERE ARE JUST TEN OR SO THINGS WRONG WITH THE LATEST EFFORT FROM CW NEVIUS:

“Real estate attorney Elizabeth Erhardt has an incredibly unpopular outlook. She’s sympathetic to San Francisco landlords. And before being drowned out by a chorus of boos and hisses…”

THIS MIGHT COME AS A SURPRISE TO THE NEVIUS, BUT THIS “OUTLOOK” IS NOT “INCREDIBLY UNPOPULAR.” HOW ABOUT SOMEWHAT UNPOPULAR, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD?  STRIKE ONE

“They inherited a…. It’s her sole source of income.”

SO NEVIUS, YOU COULDN’T FIND ANY RICH SAN FRANCISCO LANDOWNER WHO DIDN’T INHERIT PROPERTY? EVERYBODY YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE GOT THEIR LAND FOR FREE WITH A STEPPED-UP BASIS, AND AT LEAST ONE IS LANDED GENTRY WITHOUT A J-O-B? WHAT IS THIS, ANOTHER EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY? IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP (LAND)LORD? DON’T YOU SEE THIS AS A PROBLEM FOR YOUR HARD-LUCK LANDLORD STORIES HERE? STRIKE TWO

“Oh come on, you say. Subletting without the landlord’s permission is illegal. Just toss them out.”

FIRST OF ALL NEVIUS, SUBLETTING WITHOUT THE LANDLORD’S PERMISSION ISN’T “ILLEGAL.” STRIKE THREE. AND SECOND OF ALL, WITHOUT REALIZING IT, YOU’RE CALLING INTO QUESTION THE MANAGEMENT SKILLZ OF THE OWNERS. OF COURSE MOST OF THESE ISSUES ARE WORKED OUT AT THE SF RENT BOARD, BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT, OK FINE. BUT, FOR THAT, STRIKE FOUR.

“Erhardt says she had a case where the original tenant was paying $19 a month for his apartment because he’d installed sub-leasers to pay most of the way.”

SO FINE, TAKE IT TO THE RENT BOARD – WHAT’S THE PROBLEM HERE? PROVE UP YOUR CASE AND YOU’LL WIN, EASY-PEASY. AWWWW, THAT’S TOO HARD FOR YOU, YOU DON’T HAVE STOMACH TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF LANDLORDING IN SF? WELL, WHO PROMISED YOU, THE INHERITOR, THAT IT WOULD BE EASY, WHO PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN? WHY NOT INSTEAD JUST SELL THE PROPERTY AND ENJOY YOUR UNEARNED INCOME? FOR NOT STATING THE OBVIOUS, THAT’S STRIKE FIVE FOR THE NEVIUS.

Critics say these are just a few anecdotal examples. 

WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, NEVIUS? WHO ACTUALLY SAID THIS? AND HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF  STRAW DOGS HAVE YOU BIRTHED OVER THE YEARS, YOU LAZY WRITER, CW NEVIUS? STRIKE SIX. (LET’S BRING OUT THE “T”)

“…poperty owners.”

HEY NEVIUS, YOU DON’T HAVE AN EDITOR, HUH? I KNOW THAT BECAUSE OF TEH TYPOS. AND THAT’S NOT A PROBLEM IN ITSELF, BUT AN EDITOR WOULD PREVENT YOU FROM SAYING STUFF LIKE HOW NOT GETTING A LANDLORD’S PERMISSION TO DO SOMETHING IS “ILLEGAL.” WHAT YOU NEED IS SOMEBODY TO GO THROUGH ALL YOUR SENTENCES AND THEN SAY, “NOW IS THIS ACTUALLY TRUE?” SO YEAH, SURE, YOU CAN FIX THE TYPOS, BUT WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE ERRORS WHAT _AREN’T_ TYPOS? STRIKE SEVEN

A simple concept, rent-controlled apartments for those who need a financial break, has become as Byzantine as the tax code.

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. NUMBER ONE, SF RENT CONTROL IS NOT “AS BYZANTINE AS OUR TAX CODE,” NOT BY A LONG SHOT. FOUL TIP. NUMBER TWO, RENT CONTROL WAS MEANT FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST “THOSE WHO NEED A FINANCIAL BREAK.” RIGHT? ‘CAUSE OTHERWISE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MEANS-TESTED, RIGHT? IN THAT WAY, IT’S SIMILAR TO PROP 13, RIGHT? HEY NEVIUS, DO YOU PROPOSE MEANS-TESTING PROP  13? OH YOU DON’T? MMMM… AND HEY, AREN’T YOU A SAN FRANCISCO NEWCOMER WHOSE SOMA CONDO IS UP IN VALUE BIG-TIME SINCE YOU BOUGHT JUST A FEW YEARS AGO? HEY, DON’T YOU BENEFIT FROM PROP 13? DO YOU REALLY NEED IT, NEVIUS? HEY, WHY DON’T WE MEANS-TEST YOUR PROP 13 BENEFITS, NEVIUS? STRIKE EIGHT

“Rent control was enacted in 1979,” said New. “The law has been changed, like, 72 times since then.”

AND SOME OF THOSE CHANGES WERE, LIKE, AT THE BEHEST OF … THE SFAA, RIGHT? IS JANAN NEW COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NUMBER OF CHANGES HER ORG INSTIGATED? WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK HER THAT, MR. EVERYMAN? STRIKE NINE 

“It’s the haves against the have-nots,” Erhardt said, “and every tenant attorney thinks they are Robin Hood.”

AND DOES EVERY TENANT ATTORNEY THINK THEY ARE ROBIN HOOD, IRL? NOPE. STRIKE TEN, AND YOU, CW NEVIUS, THE MIGHTY CASEY, ARE OUT.

AUDI 5000…

Our Local Gannett Co Inc CorpoBlog “The Bold Italic” Asks, “SHOULD ALL WOMEN UNINSTALL UBER?” – Why This Is Funny!

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Well, first off, I don’t know where the question comes from. Is it about stuff like the hammer attack and the “inefficient route” thing from LA?

Prolly.

And, IMO, it’s not even a sincere question. Hey, how about this instead?

“Should women consider uninstalling Uber?”

Something like that would have a better chance of NOT being dismissed as a straw dog.

Anyway, I’ll bet you that there are some PR people at UBER who might not exactly approve of this straw dog headline.

Having said that, I know what the answer is, without even looking at the bit, because UBER is the kind of place what “partners” with our local Gannett CorpoBlog.

See?

Capturefdfffffd copy

So that’s why it’s funny.

[UPDATE: Whoo, well, I might have skipped through a few grafs there, but I just read the bit and here you go:

"For the record, I’m not suggesting that anyone uninstall Uber."

So, the insincere question is answered with no, women should NOT uninstall Uber. So, the longstanding "partnerings" betwixt Uber and TBI are free to continue. Whew! 

And actually the whole bit was more about the sexy Lyon, France marketing stunt gone wrong as opposed to physical assaults, so that surprised me.

But this is fucking appalling:

"There have been a few incidents lately where Uber drivers have harassed their female passengers..."

Uh, abductions DO NOT EQUAL "harassment," right? Uber drivers "harass" women each and every day, right? But didn't these allegations relate to something like kidnapping and false imprisonment? I think so. Minimize that all you want, Gannett Co Inc. Feel free. And also feel to take your Women's Studies major and ... whoops, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean. Well, keep them coming, TBI. Keep them coming until your Virginia-based overseers ship your Page Street clubhouse on down to LA, reclaimed wood and all...]

How I Can Tell How Alluring a Bay Area TV Weather Woman’s Breasts are, on Any Given Day

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Ooh boy, I can tell I’m in hot water already, so I’ll have to pay off on this headline tout de suite

So there I was, years ago, riding up Market coming home from work, as I am want to do, and I noticed an ad, 17 foot tall, for a local network affiliate’s new weather woman and I thought, wow, that’s not very Bay Arean, it’s more old-school, 50′s-style, come-look-at-our-beautiful (that was the actual word on the ad) new weathergirl.

So I took a shot of the ad and posted it.

So now, years later, I have a rough gauge of how many people are Googling her name at 5:00 or 6:00 or 7:00 AM on any particular day. On a day she’s wearing something particularly revealing, this site will get hundreds of visitors looking at the old post, which means thousands(!) of people must be Googling her name that morning – isn’t that a lot?

As stated, this has been going on for years. And this isn’t a small effect, this outfit-based popularity, it’s a huge effect. So, a frumpy outfit might generate ten times less “interest” than, how shall we say, a non-frumpy, more revealing outfit.

Here’s what it looks like when that old post is bringing in 17% of the audience to this small WordPress blog:

Capturesdffds copy

Now I don’t look at the TV news myself, as I don’t have cable and I live in a high multipath area, what with the hills* and all, but this is my peek into what’s going on in the news biz, TV-wise.

END OF LINE

*We call them** “mountains,” our hills a few miles from the ocean what are less than a fifth of a mile high…

** Mount This and Mount That…

NBC’s Today Show Dedicates Five Minutes to Bike Theft – Ed Lee’s San Francisco a National Laughingstock – Video

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Our little town, second-largest in the Bay Area, got some national attention yesterday. See the video below.

Do you think appointed Interim Mayor Ed Lee knows about it? IDK. Prolly not, as he’s being pressured to raise more money to run for reelection and his people probably don’t have reason to tell him.

Anyway, enjoy:

“TODAY   |  September 02, 2014

Rossen Reports: Bike bandits caught on camera
According to the FBI, nearly 200,000 bikes are stolen every year. To show how quickly it can happen, NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen and his team locked a bike to a tree in San Francisco and not only captured its theft on camera, but followed it on its journey after being stolen.”

Poor Ed Lee.

Poor San Francisco.

Baseball-Themed Newspaper Truck – Catch Everything – Ballpark Edition – The Chronicle

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

As seen on Van Ness:

7J7C5798 copy

Downgrading San Francisco Magazine for Spreading Misinformation ala CW Nevius – Plus a Few Notes

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

[UPDATE: What you might consider the absence of expensive fact-checking, others might consider the presence of a half-assed attitude. It certainly makes sense for a "luxury" mag to be the house organ for the GGRA, to be the collector of ridiculous quotes from Yelp, so that's fine. How daring the little people are to contradict the experts from SanFranMag, how daring the little people are to think that any member restaurant of the GGRA is less than average. IMO, "fact-checking" would be digging up the filed 1040 of the bartender who makes a supposed $180k per year - and boy, I'd like to see that as I don't believe such a return exists. In any event, the way to handle these types of issues is to be all, "the passenger said she smelled diesel from the burning plane," or "the GGRA spokesmodel said tip pooling is illegal in CA," you know that kind of thing. No fact-checking is needed and we'll just have to trust you on the words betwixt the quotes. But a reader seeing things s/he knows to be wrong might affect his/her opinion of the whole magillah, right?]

A few observations…

In fact, at $10.74, San Francisco already has the nation’s highest minimum wage, though Seattle’s is set to surpass it in April.”

1. Well, in fact, the oddly-named city of Seatac, Washington has the nation’s highest minimum wage currently. Of course, it’s not much of a city and its minimum wage doesn’t cover all workers, but still, it covers thousands and thousands of people.

“The Labor Code forbids mandatory tip-pooling—that is, sharing tips between the front and the back of the house, ostensibly to prevent back-of-the-house managers from taking advantage of employees. It also mandates that tips are the property of the worker—meaning that tips can’t count toward wages and, by extension, that paying tipped employees less than minimum wage is illegal.”

2. I think I’m going to dispute every part of the first sentence above. In any event, “the Labor Code” DOES NOT forbid mandatory tip-pooling in CA, and I’ll note our Labor Code specifically forbids front-of-the-house managers from taking any part of of any money left as a tip.

3. Hey, speaking of the CA Department of Industrial Relations, it has a biiiiig problem with unpaid internships performed by non-students. Mmmm, now why did I mention this just now, mmmm? I’ll note that some larger operators in this town, such as the Hearst Corporation and the San Francisco Newspaper Company LLC, appear to have observed the new rules…

4. Speaking of employment:

San Francisco Magazine Is Hiring! Wanted: Photo editor to join the Bay Area’s finest editorial team.”

Let’s hope that’s not an unpaid internship.

5. Speaking of making money off of SanFranMag, I’ve sold some photos to them over the years, except they were photos of things shown the way they look, instead of photos of composed studio arrangements ala Annie Leibovitz or Austin Powers. Let’s see here, they used to have a feature in the front called “Click!” I think and they used to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a double-truck image and they usually printed three photos in a row over six pages. Then the payments were set at $400 I think and then the payments were lowered to $300 AFAIK and then instead of having three shots in each issue, they only had two shots and these days I don’t think they have any Click! shots at all. Oh well. A sign of the times.

6. And let’s see here, I don’t know a soul in the world who thinks that the big jets we see at airports SFO use diesel fuel except for the people at SanFranMag. Oh well.

OTOH, this was an impressive piece.

Reader Notes:

351. No employer or agent shall collect, take, or receive any gratuity or a part thereof that is paid, given to, or left for an employee by a patron, or deduct any amount from wages due an employee on account of a gratuity, or require an employee to credit the amount, or any part thereof, of a gratuity against and as a part of the wages due the employee from the employer. Every gratuity is hereby declared to be the sole property of the employee or employees to whom it was paid, given, or left for.

Forget About Gannett’s Money-Losing “The Bold Italic” Website, Check Out “The Sans Serif” Instead!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Here it is, The Sans Serif from “Joel Finkelstein.”

It mocks The Bold Italic, which is the local chain store website from the national Gannett Co. Inc chain. You know, the one that used to not pay minimum wage.

Anyway, it has stuff like this:

WHICH WALGREENS IS REALLY THE BEST IN SF?

You know how everybody complains about The Bold Italic but nobody does anything about it?

Well, area resident “Joel Finkelstein” is finally doing something about it.

And for that we should cheer.

Well Look, Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Venture is Operating a _Paid_ Intern Program – But What About Before?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

[UPDATE: IMO, The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner (and family) are conducting their intern programs properly. IMO, San Francisco Magazine is not. Those are the ones I’ve looked at.)

Here’s the current ad from TBI:

“Hello writers! Are you a Bold Italic fan looking to get on the other side of the screen with us? We’re looking for two social media-savvy bloggers interested in interning at The Bold Italic HQ (Hayes Valley, SF) for the fall season. The gig lasts four months (mid-August through December), and is for 3-5 days a week. And yes, we pay our interns ($15/hr). We can give you school credit if you need it.”

That appears to be fine, so it’s time to take TBI off of secret double unpaid intern probation.

But how did Gannett / the Bold Italic get on intern detention in the first place? Well, it was the offers of unpaid internships. You can see an example of one below. (It’s the sort of thing that can get a Fortune 500 chain store outlet like The Bold Italic sued, you know, for not paying at least the minimum wage.)

All right, TBI, Go Forth And Sin No More.

Ah mem’ries:

The Bold Italic is looking for an intern!

The Bold Italic is a website about local discovery in San Francisco. Our mission is to help people become better locals by equipping our members with rare intel, backstories, and potential adventures. The Bold Italic is a project of Gannett, the publishing company that owns USA Today and other media outlets.

Most recently our writers engaged in shooting guns, performing stand up comedy, working a day at a pot club, and getting hands-on lessons from a butcher – all right here in San Francisco.

We’re looking for a cracker-jack intern to help us inspire San Franciscans to interact with their city.

Duties to include:
– General office administrative duties.
– Helping to draft promotional material.
– Contributing ideas for editorial, publicity, and marketing projects.
– Assisting with events.
– Other duties assigned by the Producers and Merchant Relations staff.

Skills we are looking for:
– Strong familiarity with San Francisco.
– A people person.
– Detail oriented.
– Responsible and on time.
– Excellent communication skills; writing experience a plus.
– Social media savvy.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is looking to get involved with an online publication.

This is an unpaid 3-month internship, but we can offer hands-on experience and college credit.

Please only apply if you can dedicate 10-15 hours per week.

Send your resume and cover letter to info@thebolditalic.com

24 Hours of Gannet Co Inc’s The Bold Italic Website: “Sexy Time,” “Sex Toy,” “More Sex” – A Triumph of Form Over Content

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

This was the promise, a few years back:

“From the beginning, art elements and overall design featured prominently in strategy discussions and were kept at the forefront. Inventive and well-known global design firm IDEO was brought in early on to work with Gannett’s innovation team incorporating relevant research into the human-centered design* that was being developed for The Bold Italic.”

The cost to Gannett? Well, millions were spent on just one website / defunct magazine. How many millions? Well, as with Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, No Man Can Say.

But let’s check the water cooler chitchat over at The Gannet Blog:

“The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous dot.com fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

And that brings us to July 2014, where these bits came out within hours of each other:

Sexy Time: An Oil to Get Your Lady Parts Stoned (NSFW)

Men Can Bone Their iPads with New Sex Toy

Help This Horny Gal Have More Sex with Her BF

My point is that you didn’t need to go There to get Here.

My other point is that:

1. Aging east coast media baron Gannett Co. Inc. is Charles Foster Kane; and

2. West coast corporate money-pit vanity-project The Bold Italic is its Xanadu, and perhaps, eventually, its Waterloo

Oh here it is, 34 Page Street – so sexy! You can see the glow from all that reclaimed wood upstairs:

In closing … Rosebud!

END OF LINE

*What on Earth does that mean? I’m clueless. It’s just blah blah blah while the meter’s running at $500 per hour…

Saving Private Nevius: The Good and the Bad of the Latest CW Nevius Effort Regarding the Mid-Market Area

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Here you go, writer CW Nevius becomes a guide for your ride through the gritty 6th and Market area – he’s been in Pentonville and he’s been in Battersea, he’s your Sightsee M.C:

The toughest corner for Mid-Market to turn

1. If this is about the good, the not bad and the ugly of CW Nevius, let’s start with the Good. Check out these quotes:

“In the sunshine and rainbows world of Mayor Ed Lee…”

“…much-promised revitalization of Mid-Market.”

These are very un-Nevius. Could you imaging mayoral spokesmodel Christine Falvey ever taking this kind of tone when discussing our Dear Leader? I can’t. So this column is the rare instance of the Nevius holding a perspective from outside our reigning political establishment. These lines are in no way beat sweeteners / source greasers and that’s refreshing.

2. Instead of Nevius getting quotes from people in the Mid-Market and then holding those statements out as facts, here he  generally lets the quotes speak for themselves. This is what reporters should be doing, so let’s classify that as Not Bad.

3. Now, it’s time for a little Ugly. Here comes the dogmatic Nevius with completely unsupported statements:

“It’s a fascinating moment in Mid-Market. We’re either reaching a critical tipping point, with new construction and businesses driving the revival, or smacking futilely into the familiar dynamic of poverty, drugs and scary sidewalk theater.”

“Because Mid-Market won’t change until the corner of Jones and Market changes.”

So, what makes 2014 different from 2013 or 2011 or 2007 or 1999 or any other year in the history of Mid-Market? That’s not stated. And where’s the support for the purported Malcolm Gladwell-esque “tipping point?” It’s like Chuck is sitting in a bar pontificating about how if the Giants hire some new pitcher they’ll either win the World Series or they’ll have the worst record in the Division. Doesn’t really make sense, huh? Perhaps, just perhaps, Mid-Market might just muddle through with some changes here and there and later on 2014 wont be seen as some watershed moment? Well, that probability simply isn’t allowed for in Nevius-land.

And what makes Market and Jones the supposed linchpin intersection out of all the others in the area? Again, the Neve doesn’t even offer a theory.

That’s the good, the not bad, and the ugly of CW Nevius on the topic of the Mid-Market of 2014.