Posts Tagged ‘dennis herrera’

If You’re Not Using SFGov Property to Promote Your Business Venture, You’re Missing Out – Here’s Harrison Mills & Clayton Knight of Seattle – ODESZA, ODESZA…

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Here’s our Sunset District as it looked over the weekend. IDK how many of these green utility boxes got hit, but the number could be high based upon what I saw:

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One after the other on the (not Los Angeles-related) Sunset Boulevard:

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Uh, you can’t do this in Frisco, right?

Bad News for Amazon Whole Foods: “Court rules that ‘corrective education’ scheme is extortion – Herrera wins on two key issues in case”

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

(So IDK. I thought that this exact kind of “corrective education” was “offered” to alleged shoplifters at the Whole Foodses of San Francisco, but I don’t know that this Corrective Education Company was the one involved.)

Anyway, I saw this scene at one of my rare visits to the Haight Street WF…

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…and then posted this and this.

And now here comes this, just released:

“Court rules that ‘corrective education’ scheme is extortion – ‘This is textbook extortion,’ court finds. Herrera wins on two key issues in case.

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 15, 2017) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today hailed a key victory against Corrective Education Company after a court ruled that the private, profit-driven business was engaging in extortion and false imprisonment in its “diversion program” scheme.

“We should all be concerned about privatizing our justice system, especially when a business like Corrective Education Company uses the threat of criminal prosecution to intimidate and extort people,” Herrera said. “This ruling goes to the heart of their predatory business model, which is predicated on threats, deception and falsehoods. CEC is enriching itself on the backs of others, and many of the people they prey upon have limited means and are just barely getting by.”

Herrera sued the company in November 2015 over its “corrective education” scheme, asserting that the company’s practices amount to extortion and false imprisonment. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of the People of the State of California.

Corrective Education Company contracts with major retailers, and when someone is suspected of shoplifting, they are taken to an isolated room and threatened with arrest and criminal prosecution unless they agree to watch a video created by CEC. In that video, CEC threatens to have suspects criminally prosecuted unless they sign a confession, agree to pay CEC up to $500, and undergo a six-hour “cognitive restructuring” and “behavioral modification” program. Faced with this Hobson’s “choice” between criminal prosecution and participating in CEC’s program, 90 percent of CEC’s victims — upwards of 13,000 Californians — “consent” to enroll in CEC’s program. After obtaining the forced confessions, CEC follows up with phone calls to the victims, again threatening them with criminal prosecution unless they pay CEC hundreds of dollars. CEC has also sent over 2,000 debt-collection letters in which it cloaks itself with prosecutorial authority in further efforts to enrich itself.

CEC operates in more than 25 states across the country.

In a ruling issued Monday afternoon, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn found Corrective Education Company engaged in extortion and false imprisonment.

“The undisputed facts … establish that CEC’s diversion program runs afoul of California’s extortion laws,” Judge Kahn wrote in his ruling granting summary adjudication on the two central issues in the case. “This is textbook extortion under California law, and has been so declared for at least 125 years.”

Numerous jurisdictions in California, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, offer legitimate, pretrial diversion programs that are overseen by district attorney’s offices. CEC operates entirely outside of the criminal justice system and without the approval of local prosecutors.

In his ruling, Kahn ruled that each iteration of CEC’s diversion program in California constitutes extortion and false imprisonment and that Herrera was entitled to an injunction halting the unlawful practices. CEC’s clients have included Walmart, Bloomingdale’s, Ralph’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, Burlington Coat Factory, and Kroger’s.

In the ruling, Kahn wrote: “By the quid pro quo of asking for money in exchange for forbearance in calling police, the retailer and CEC are acting in concert and are jointly liable for the extortionate conduct.”

The specifics of the injunction are still to be fleshed out, as is restitution and monetary civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation.

The case is: People of the State of California v. Corrective Education Company, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-15-549094 filed Nov. 23, 2015.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Seeks Court Orders Requiring Uber and Lyft to Follow the Law

Friday, July 21st, 2017

IMO:

  • I’m not sure if it’s the job of the City Attorney to “strike the right balance” betwixt UBER / Lyft convenience vs. traffic congestion.
  • This Travis Kalanick sentence is the highlight: “I had hoped with the changes to its leadership that Uber had reformed its corporate culture.” Not necessarily sarcastic, but it has a bite nevertheless.
  • If a San Francisco taxi driver tells you to get lost because s/he doesn’t want to take you all the way out to the Sunset (which would make money for the driver, just maybe not as much as expected, or as average) or says, “I don’t take people to the Potrero projects,” well that’s a misdemeanor called Failure to Convey. IDK if is this kind of law applies to UBER Lyfters right now. Anyway, that’s what they’re getting at with the talk of discrimination.
  • Oh, and the reason why UBER started here in the Frisco bay first has to do with longstanding SFMTA policies of taxi regulation. Late night ballers such as Travis K had a bear of a time getting home at night – at 2:00 AM on a weekend night sometimes you’d see hundreds of people within a block of Broadway / Columbus with their arms up trying hail a cab. This had to do with a taxi shortage what valued certain people more than the general taxi riding public.

JMO

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Anyway, just released:

Herrera seeks court orders requiring Uber and Lyft to follow the law – Herrera moves for court to enforce his subpoenas requiring Uber, Lyft to turn over records on safety, disability access and operations

SAN FRANCISCO (July 21, 2017) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced today that he is requesting court orders to compel Lyft, Uber and two Uber subsidiaries to comply with subpoenas issued on June 5, 2017.  The subpoenas were issued as part of the City Attorney’s investigation into whether ride-hailing companies are creating a public nuisance in San Francisco.

Herrera today filed petitions in San Francisco Superior Court seeking a court order requiring the companies to comply with the subpoenas. The subpoenas are aimed at ensuring Uber and Lyft’s estimated 45,000 drivers in San Francisco do not create a public nuisance by jeopardizing public safety, discriminating or otherwise violating local and state laws.

The administrative subpoenas seek four years of records in eight categories, including miles and hours logged by drivers, incentives that encourage drivers to “commute” to San Francisco from as far away as Fresno or Los Angeles, driver guidance and training, accessible vehicle information, and the routes taken by these drivers in San Francisco.

Herrera is turning to the courts after giving the companies multiple opportunities to comply with the subpoenas.

“Unfortunately, Uber is doing what it always seems to do: raise obstacles and drag its feet— all while continuing to flout the law,” Herrera said. “To its credit, Lyft was more responsive, but in the end they also raised unreasonable roadblocks. They provided a minimal amount of documents before deciding not to comply with the rest of our request. And they have so far failed to execute a confidentiality agreement that would protect any legitimate trade secrets.  From the beginning, we have been clear that the companies must comply with these subpoenas.  These motions are the next step in protecting the rights of the people who live and work in San Francisco.”

On June 22 Herrera won a court ruling requiring Uber to comply with a separate subpoena from Treasurer José Cisneros to help ensure that Uber drivers have business licenses. The court found Uber’s arguments unpersuasive in that case.

San Franciscans and city leaders alike are concerned with public nuisance, public safety, accessibility, discrimination, compensation and other issues arising from the explosive growth of companies like Uber and Lyft.  Herrera issued his subpoenas as he investigates these issues.  He has also requested information about congestion and environmental impacts.

“The status quo is not working,” Herrera said.  “There’s no question that Uber and Lyft offer convenience.  But convenience for some cannot trump the rights of every San Francisco resident and visitor, including the safe enjoyment of our roads and bike lanes. I’m trying to strike the right balance here.  ”

After the subpoenas were issued, Lyft contacted the City Attorney’s Office and worked with the city to try to craft a confidentiality agreement that complies with the subpoena and with public records law, while also protecting trade secrets from public disclosure.  Lyft ultimately was not willing to move forward with a satisfactory agreement, demanding unreasonable provisions.

Uber objected to the subpoenas and refused to produce any documents or data at all. It waited until the June 20 deadline to send a letter telling the city it was declining to produce the information but would be available to “meet and confer regarding Uber’s concerns.”  After that, Uber representatives were slow to meet, late to respond and then non-committal. They have failed to comply with the subpoena.

“Uber was stalling,” Herrera said.  “I had hoped with the changes to its leadership that Uber had reformed its corporate culture. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Both Uber and Lyft were given ample opportunity to follow the law. They chose not to, so now we’re in court.”

Additional documentation from the case is available on the City Attorney’s website at:https://www.sfcityattorney.org/

THEORY: If a Corporation Illegally Markets on the Sidewalks of Frisco, It Will be Coerced Into Buying SFMTA MUNI Bus Ads

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

So here’s the theory. Say your marketing people go hog-wild with the chalk ads on the Streets of San Francisco, like this:

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So then somebody calls 311 or somebody else posts a photo on the Twitter and then an investigator at the City Attorney’s Office takes a look at things and then the people at Parlophone / Warner Bros. get a jingle and then somehow things get smoothed over by the Brothers Warner or somebody else making at buy at the SFMTA MUNI for some hastily-created and more or less useless ads such as:

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Cf. the Blue Wolf at a Dream Force about 1.5 years ago:

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And then these hastily-created and more or less useless ads started to appear:

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Just a theory, man.

And here’s the thing about chalk. You can’t scrub it off your car tires to avoid a citation and you can’t scuff into Frisco’s sidewalks, I’m srsly. What’s that, UBER, Microsoft, Verizon, et al, it’s “only temporary?” Well, yeah, sure, that’s what I’m talking about, it’s agin the rules, temporary or not.

Learn about all the horrible things people do with chalk about town right here – just keep on scrolling, next page etc

Metalcore is Forever, on the Streets of Frisco – Our City Attorney Might Have a Few “Issues” with this Old Ad

Friday, August 19th, 2016

What’s this stuff made of? It’s been there at McAllister and Divisadero in the north NoPA, DivCo, western Western Addition for months now:

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This would be agin the rules even if it were temporary chalk, oh well…

CARMAnation is Still Trying to “Disrupt Parking” in Frisco

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Here’s the pitch..

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and here’s the story, from a couple years back.

“lya Movshovich

Hi All,

You cannot monetize public assets for individual company gain. Just because an app can be built, doesn’t mean it should be.

I’m a Co-Founder and CEO of a San Francisco based startup called CARMAnation (www.carmanation.com). We look to help solve parking issues via the true intentions of the sharing economy – working with the community to benefit the community. Our users share their PRIVATE available parking spots with one another.

Having tech startups trying to solve the parking problems with their own unique approach means there is a need to disrupt the industry. Technology is a wonderful thing, it can solve/simplify a lot of problems, but it has to be done right, otherwise “Monkey Parking” is what happens.”

I wonder how they’re doing.

Cf. SpotOn

Frisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera Goes After Lem-Ray Properties and Broker Chuck Post Over Section 8 Voucher Discrimination

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Just released:

“Herrera seeks injunction to halt discrimination over Section 8 vouchers

City Attorney calls vouchers ‘an essential tool for many San Franciscans to access affordable housing—especially in crisis like the one we are currently experiencing’

SAN FRANCISCO (April 20, 2016)—City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking a tough, enforceable court order to prevent a residential landlord and an affiliated real estate broker from continuing to flout the law by refusing to honor Section 8 vouchers. The motion for preliminary injunction filed in San Francisco Superior Court yesterday would require defendants Lem-Ray Properties, an affiliate of the once-high-flying Lembi real estate empire, and broker Chuck Post to immediately stop their unfair and illegal conduct and comply with the law.

“Housing vouchers are an essential tool for many San Franciscans to access affordable housing—especially in crisis like the one we are currently experiencing,” said Herrera. “Lem-Ray Properties and their real estate broker’s refusal to rent to tenants who rely on these vouchers discriminates against low-income communities. It’s a terrible injustice at a time when city leaders are struggling desperately to preserve San Francisco’s economic, social and cultural diversity.”

The requested injunction follows a March 22 ruling by Judge Ronald E. Quidachay that denied the defendants’ bid to dismiss Herrera’s suit. The ruling affirmed San Francisco’s local law that prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to tenants who intend to use federal housing vouchers.

Section 8 vouchers—so named for Section 8 of the Federal Housing Act, and also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program—are administered locally by the San Francisco Housing Authority. The program allows low-income families to secure housing in the private rental market by requiring qualifying renters to pay thirty percent of their income toward rent, with Section 8 vouchers covering the remainder. The vouchers impose no additional costs on landlords, and landlords’ refusal to accept them violates local law.

Lem-Ray is among the entities associated with the Lembi family’s once expansive CitiApartments-Skyline Realty empire, which Herrera sued in 2006 for an array of lawless business and tenant harassment practices involving at least 30 properties. The defendant, which is still subject to the 2011 civil injunction Herrera secured in his five-year litigation battle, is among the landlords memorably dubbed “the Scumlords” in an award-winning 2006 exposé by investigative reporter G.W. Schulz. Schulz won first-place honors from the California Newspaper Publishers Association in 2007 for his San Francisco Bay Guardian series on tenant mistreatment by the Lembis, who at the time were among the largest residential property owners in the city. Chuck Post, also named in Herrera’s civil suit, is a real estate broker whose ApartmentsinSF.com website and other online rental postings brazenly flouted local law by advertising that Section 8 vouchers would not be accepted as payment for Lem-Ray’s residential apartments.

Under San Francisco law, property owners and real estate agents are prohibited from refusing to accept federal, state, or local housing subsidies as a form of rental payment, or to indicate in rental advertisements that housing subsidies will not be accepted as payment. Post and Lem-Ray are both alleged to have violated the local law, according to Herrera’s complaint, together with provisions of the California Unfair Competition Law that prohibit unfair and unlawful business practices.

If successful, Herrera’s lawsuit could secure civil penalties against Lem-Ray Properties of up to $6,000 for each violation of its 2011 court order, and civil penalties against both defendants of $2,500 for each violation of the state Unfair Competition Law. Both defendants could also be liable for three times the amount of a single month’s rent in which the landlords charged for any unit in violation of the Police Code provision. Herrera is also seeking a permanent injunction against both parties to bar them from business practices in violation of state or local law.

The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Chuck M. Post, Lem-Ray Properties I DE, LLC et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 548551, filed Oct. 21, 2015.”

Hey, is That Notorious “Bluewolf” Salesforce DreamForce Chalk Ad Company Making Amends with SFMTA Bus Advertising?

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

IDK.

Here’s your background.

I’ve never seen an ad like this afore:

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How long did it take to create, one wonders? About two seconds?

No matter, I’m sure SFGov is starting to think of the bluewolf as a good corporate citizen now…

Dreamforce Nightmare: Ohio-Based Advertising Firm Glee-fully Mocks SF – Boasts of “Earned Media Impressions” from Illegal Graffiti

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Here’s a typical tweet about yesterday’s L’Affaire du Bluewolf:

“Why not tell what you think of his blithe, scofflaw attitude in smearing his graffiti all over SF?

And here’s the write-up by Joe Garofoli: “Tech company defies San Francisco graffiti ban at Dreamforce.”

Now let’s hear from the people at CivitasNow, the company what promised to clean up the sidewalks of SoMA and the Financh yesterday afternoon:

You see that? They think this whole sitch is funny.

I think I see the problem here, I think the CivitasNow people are thinking they might get a ticket for two or three or four or five figures, but, IRL, what they might end up with is a settlement for six or seven figures if they continue to embarrass / piss off / mock area residents, such as a Mayor, or a City Attorney, or even a Benioff or two.

Hey CivitasNow, hey Bluewolf, do you think there might be a reason why some DreamForcers covered up some of your numerous chalk ads?

Perhaps you all have reached Pariah status, but you don’t even know it?

Marc Benioff’s DREAMFORCE 2015 Starts Off on the Wrong Foot: Illegal Ads from “Bluewolf” Mar Sidewalks of SoMA

Monday, September 14th, 2015

[UPDATE 2: Tech company defies city ban against putting logo on sidewalks]

[UPDATE: This webpage (“Dreamforce Swag”) was just pulled by “Bluewolf.” Here’s what it used to look like:

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So that takes care of that.

So, no you didn’t have permits, right, Bluewolf people? Or if you do, then share the info – it sure would interesting to see that. Thank you, drive through. END OF UPDATES]

Via KatieOnViolin, you can’t do this:

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Oh, what’s that, it’s only temporary? Well, that’s what they all say.

And there’s this:

“Citizens can obtain permits for sidewalk stencils, but there is no legal means for a company to advertise using sidewalk stencils, Gordon said. Still, many companies throughout the years have created guerrilla marketing campaigns on city sidewalks, including Zynga and IBM.”

What you bluewolfers ought to do, you know, wikiwiki, is come on downstairs, buy some brushes at a CVS, and then start scrubbing…