Posts Tagged ‘2005’

Speaking of Abusing Those SFPD Press Passes, What About Parking? 80% of Chinatown Spaces Used by the Working Press?

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Read all about the recent press pass revocation issue at Fog City Journal and Josh Wolf’s Freedomania.

But what about the concomitant parking passes? Remember all the way back six years to aught-five, when the press parking sitch was “out of control?” From a 2005 meeting of the SF Police Commission:

Sergeant Neville Gittens, Public Affairs, gave a presentation in regards to issuance of press passes.  In the past, there were no check and balances in terms of who gets press passes.  All an individual had to do was to show up with some type of ID or some type of letterhead that stated that he was from a news organization and that press pass was issued to that person.  When they started looking at the issue with the press passes, they realized that the situation was out of control.  The numbers were just too high.  There have been issues in terms of parking.  The press pass entitles a person to get a parking permit.  He stated that they have done enforcement in the Chinatown area and 80 percent of the parking spaces were occupied by people that displayed the Public Affairs parking permits”

Good times. Deets below.

You can see this Ford Exploder all over town, parking wherever, whenever. Is a press parking pass better than a handicap placard? Don’t know.

Click to expand

Anyway, as promised, the deets on the parking issue, and the standards for getting a press pass from 2005, below:

March 9th, 2005

“Sergeant Neville Gittens, Public Affairs, gave a presentation in regards to issuance of press passes.  In the past, there were no check and balances in terms of who gets press passes.  All an individual had to do was to show up with some type of ID or some type of letterhead that stated that he was from a news organization and that press pass was issued to that person.  When they started looking at the issue with the press passes, they realized that the situation was out of control.  The numbers were just too high.  There have been issues in terms of parking.  The press pass entitles a person to get a parking permit.  He stated that they have done enforcement in the Chinatown area and 80 percent of the parking spaces were occupied by people that displayed the Public Affairs parking permits. These problems have been ongoing and over the last two years, his unit have tightened up the criteria and have reduced the number of press passes from 1800 to just over 700.

They has also established a good relationship with the judge at Department of Parking and Traffic.  In the past, the judge have expressed issues and problems with people that have misused the parking permits continuously and at any time the judge recognizes some abuse the person is called in and a lot of times the permits were confiscated.  The goal is to get the number down to a reasonable amount where they can reissue these parking permits and press passes yearly.

Commissioner Sparks stated that this is one issue that the Commission should have a public hearing on or at least the ability for the public to respond.  She stated that she finds it distressing that the Department is trying to reduce press passes based on criteria that there is too many. She stated that the Department would be wanting to increase and to do a better job investigating who should be eligible for a press pass and issuing to qualified people and not just arbitrarily reducing the number.

Commissioner Sparks stated that the Department needs to reevaluate how the press passes are issued, what the criteria for issuing, and update the standards.  Sergeant Gittens explained that the criteria that was used is for people that are covering breaking news that required to cross police and fire lines.  He stated that that was the criteria that wasn’t followed.   Commissioner Chan what information is required from the employer in order to credential the applicant.  Sergeant Gittens stated that first they want to verify the employment.  If it’s a situation where the person is doing that, there is also the “stringers.”  The “stringers” cover the police beat, breaking news of police and fire issues.

Commissioner Orr-Smith stated that $50 seems a scant fee for such a privileged credential.  Commissioner Orr-Smith stated that when you consider that, as working press person, the cost of permits and pass are all tax deductible. She asked that the Department takes a look at raising the fee for the press credentials.  Sergeant Gittens explained that currently the press passes are free.  It’s the parking permit that cost $50. Commissioner Sparks suggests a sliding scale might be more appropriate as far as charging.  She stated that if the Department is able to charge more money, that might help to offset the costs of more detailed background investigation or more detailed evaluation of an individual applying.”

[If anybody said, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown," well, it's not in the official record.]

And, lastly, the standards for getting a press pass, AFAICT:

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE

APPLYING FOR A SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESS PASS

What Is a Press Pass?

A San Francisco Police Department Press Pass is a credential that allows the media to pass through police and fire lines for the purpose of gathering news. It does not, however, entitle the holder access to a crime scene or entry into a restricted area if

such entry interferes with the duties of emergency personnel. In addition, a press pass does not necessarily guarantee the holder access to press conferences, since access is generally controlled by the sponsor of the event and not by the San Francisco Police Department.

Who Qualifies for a Press Pass?

Only persons employed by news-gathering media who are required to cover

breaking news and to pass through police and fire lines qualify for a press pass. Feature writers and photographers, editorialists, freelance writers and pbotographers, personnel of dot-com financial and business companies, financial service broadcasters, and all staff not actively gathering news at the scene of an incident are not eligible.

Completing the Application for Press Pass

When completing the Application for Press Pass, be sure to print clearly and fill in all the required information. Sign the application and be sure that the Employer’s Statement is completed. Enclose (2) l” x 1” photographs with your completed application.

Renewing Your Press Pass

You will be required to keep your Press Pass up-to-date and will not receive any

renewal notice. Prior to tbe expiration of your press pass, contact the Public Affairs Office for renewal.

Loss or Theft of Press Pass or Change of Employment

If your press pass is lost or stolen, you must file a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency and notify the San Francisco Police Department Public Affairs Office. You must also notify the Public Affairs Office upon change of employment.

850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA, 94103 Tel. (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415 553-9229 E-Mail: sfpdpbaf@ix.netcom.com

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Owners of Recalled Toyotas and Lexuses Get Loaner Cars

Friday, February 26th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide you fretting over your recalled Toyota or Lexus - so he just struck a deal with Toyota USA so that you’ll be taken care of when getting service.

It’s all going to be on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re totally freaked out and you just don’t want to drive your car no mo, then maybe your dealership can send somebody to come around your place to pick up your car, fix it and return it as good as new. Or you can get a loaner if your repairs go into extra innings.

Read the news, below.

Jerry Brown, automático para la gente:

Brown Forges Deal with Toyota to Help Consumers While Recalled Vehicles are Repaired

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that his office has reached an agreement with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. to provide California Toyota owners with at-home pickup and vehicle return and cost-free alternative transportation while their recalled vehicles are being repaired.

“This agreement goes a long way towards easing the burden caused by Toyota’s massive recall,” Brown said. “It will now be much easier for Toyota owners to get to work and take their kids to school while critical safety repairs are made on their cars.”

Under the terms of today’s agreement, Toyota will provide owners of recalled vehicles the following services:

- Pick-up and return of vehicles by the dealership;
- Transportation to the dealership and/or to the owner’s place of work;
- Alternative transportation, such as a rental car, loaner vehicle or taxi reimbursement for a reasonable period that the customer is unable or unwilling to use his or her car; and
- Expedited scheduling for repair services.

These services will be provided by Toyota through the dealers at no cost to either the owners or the dealer.

The following Toyota vehicle recalls are covered by today’s agreement:
- September 29, 2009 for floormat entrapment;
- January 21, 2010 for sticking accelerator pedals;
- February 8, 2010 for anti-lock brake system issues; and
- February 12, 2010 for drive-shaft failure.

The following vehicles are involved in the recent Toyota and Lexus vehicle recalls: 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2007-2010 ES 350, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2004-2009 Prius, 2010 Prius, 2009-2010 RAV4, 2008-2010 Sequoia, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2009-2010 VENZA, and 2010 HS 250h.

More information on the specific vehicles affected by the recalls can be found at www.nhtsa.dot.gov and www.toyota.com/recall.

Californians are encouraged to contact their local Toyota and Lexus dealers if they believe they are eligible for these accommodations. Consumers can also contact Toyota’s customer service center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.

This agreement will remain in place until all Toyota vehicles subject to the recall have been repaired. If additional safety recalls arise, an extension of this agreement or other appropriate provisions will be pursued.

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. is based in Torrance, CA.

Jerry Brown Throws Down: State AGs Take On Abbott Labs for Blocking Generic Competition

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide big drug companies illegally blocking cheap generic substitutes from coming to market in a timely fashion. Check out the news just released by Press Secretary Christine Gasparac about Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Groupe Fourner SA and how they impeded generic competition for the cholesterol-reducing drug Tricor.

All the deets are below and here’s a pdf of the $22.5 million settlement announced this morning.

El Protector De La Gente, Jerry Brown.

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California and 23 States Reach $25 Million Settlement Against Pharmaceutical Companies that Blocked Generic Drugs

Oakland-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and 23 other state attorneys general today announced a $22.5 million settlement with pharmaceutical giants Abbott and Fournier after the companies “illegally blocked” cheaper generic substitutes for the cholesterol-reducing drug Tricor.

The settlement is the result of one of the country’s first legal actions challenging pharmaceutical companies for “product hopping,” a strategy to block generic competition by making slight changes to the formulation of a drug.

“Abbott and Fournier devised a complex scheme that illegally blocked cheaper generic drugs from entering the market,” Brown said. “They used minor reformulations of the drug to delay competition and filed frivolous patent lawsuits. This scheme cost California and other states millions of dollars.”

Beginning in 1998, Abbott and Fournier, two of the nation’s largest pharamaceutical companies, partnered to manufacture and distribute Tricor, a cholesterol-reducing drug. Tricor’s annual sales were in excess of $750 million.

By 2002, as Tricor’s patents were set to expire, several drug companies sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market a generic drug equivalent to Tricor. To be approved by the FDA, the generic-drug manufacturer must prove that its drug has the same active ingredients and the same labeling as the brand-name drug, in addition to being a therapeutic equivalent of the brand-name product.

Once a generic drug is approved for market, the market share for a brand-name drug like Tricor can decrease by up to 80 percent. Most states and group health plans require pharmacists to substitute the generic drug for a brand-name drug to get the cost benefit of the cheaper generic version.

Knowing generic manufacturers were attempting to enter the market, the lawsuit alleged that Abbott and Fournier devised a complex scheme to delay and prevent the approval and marketing of generic versions of Tricor. The companies made minor changes in the form and dosage strength of Tricor that did not provide any significant health benefits over previous Tricor formulations. These minor changes interfered with and delayed any FDA approval of the generics.

To further delay the process, Abbott and Fournier also filed more than a dozen lawsuits against generic drug manufacturers Teva Pharmaceuticals and Impax Laboratories because the law prohibits the FDA from approving a generic drug for 30 months after patent-infringement lawsuits have been filed. After the 30-month automatic stays expired, all of the suits were eventually dismissed.

As a result of the scheme, Abbott and Fournier recorded Tricor sales exceeding $1 billion at the expense of consumers and state governments.

Today’s settlement agreement requires the companies to cease illegal efforts to block generic competition to Tricor and to pay the states approximately $22.5 million dollars. In California, the Department of General Services, Medi-Cal and the Department of Corrections will be reimbursed for overcharges.

States joining California in today’s lawsuit include: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down – Office Depot Audit Reveals Millions in Overcharges

Monday, December 21st, 2009

San Francisco’s recent audit of office materials supplier Office Depot has prompted City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera to take action today. See the deets below and the .pdf after the jump.

And follow all the action on the Twitter.

San Francisco’s Happy Warrior certainly is unhappy with the Office Depot today.

Herrera Issues Demand Letter to Office Depot in Wake of S.F. Controller’s Audit

City Attorney prepared to ‘vigorously pursue’ $5.75 million in overcharges plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has issued a demand letter to Office Depot expressing his intention to “vigorously pursue” at least $5.75 million in overcharges together with interest, attorney’s fees, and costs incurred by the City in conducting the audit. The demand letter follows the release of an exhaustive audit report by the Office of City Controller Ben Rosenfield. The Controller’s 96-page audit concluded that, among other overcharges, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based office products supplier failed to provide the City with contractually mandated discounts for items covered by the 5-year contract, which was valued at some $18 million.

Wrote Herrera: “Any resolution of this matter must include compensation to the City for the costs of the audit, and for attorney’s fees, as well as full reimbursement for price overcharges, with interest…If the City is unable to obtain a satisfactory informal resolution of this matter, I will not hesitate to pursue the matter in court. Further, if court action becomes necessary, rest assured that my office will vigorously pursue the City’s claims to the fullest, including seeking civil penalties and debarment, if appropriate.”

(more…)

Finally, Tower Crane Replaces Coronet Theatre. Soon, Senior Housing on Geary

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Famed five-star Yelp-rated Coronet Theatre at 3575 Geary near Palm Avenue in the Inner Richmond district done closed down with a final showing of Million Dollar Baby on March 17, 2005. Did people camp out for ages to be first in line for a Star Wars movie premier back in the day? Oh yes. But that’s all history now.

These days, straight-out-of-Hayward Peck and Hiller is laying concrete For The Future, which will take form of a building from the Institute on Aging for housing seniors. We shall take a look-see, non?

The mise-en-scene. Click to expand:

Let’s take a peek up there at The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love. This tower crane operator sits and stands to make everything work.

Rebar sailing above Geary Boulevard. Mind the spilled motor oil

Burly construction workers are on hand to protect the Porta-Potties from the One Who Shant Be Named:

And here’s what it will all look like, if you can see past the chain link and graffiti:

It’s too bad we lost the Coronet, but just try filling a 1300-seat one-screen theater in this Day and Age.

Get ready for the Inner Richmond, seniors!

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Coronet, Coronet the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all bay areans have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her projection, and the kings of Hollywood have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.