Posts Tagged ‘F’

Whoo Boy: “LEGAL REVIEW FINDS PROP. F LAWSUITS MAY RESULT IN $435,000 AWARD FOR MINOR, ALLEGED VIOLATIONS”

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Airbnb is pulling out all the stops here.

Let me just say that first of all, no “minor” violations of San Francisco’s short term rental laws will result in anything like a $435K award. Sorry. And also, by the time any “awards” are handed out, said violations are no longer merely “alleged,” but actually proven.

And now, on with the show:

“Noted Law Firm Browne George Ross LLP Provides Review of Legal Impacts of San Francisco’s Prop. F

Proposition F creates a profit-motivated private right of action even if the City and County of San Francisco finds no violation.

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. A PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION ALREADY EXISTS, RIGHT? YEP. WHAT PROP F ADDS ON TOP OF THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY OF $250-$1000 A DAY, ASSUMING THAT THE RESIDENTS BRINGING SUIT ACTUALLY WIN. THE REASON THAT THIS ACTION WOULD BE ALLOWED INDEPENDENT OF WHAT SFGOV DOES IS THAT SOMETIMES SFGOV LIKES TO SIT ON ITS HANDS AND DO NOTHING, SIMILAR TO THE WAY THAT IT’S DONE VERY LITTLE TO REGULATE SHORT TERM RENTALS THE LIKES OF WHICH WE’VE BEEN SEEING THE PAST TEN YEARS, AND, IN FACT, THE LITTLE THAT SFGOV HAS BEEN DOING LATELY WAS SPURRED ON BY THE PROSPECT OF PROP F. SO ACTUALLY, PROP F IS GOOD BECAUSE IT’S ALREADY PAYING OFF. AND, AS FAR AS “PROFIT-MOTIVATED” IS CONCERNED, SOMETHING SIMILAR IS ALREADY IN CALIFORNIA LAW REGARDING LANDLORD REFUNDS OF RENTAL DEPOSITS. SO IF A LANDLORD IMPROPERLY RETAINS AN APARTMENT SECURITY DEPOSIT, THE TENANT CAN SUE FOR NOT ONLY THE WRONGFULLY RETAINED PART BUT ALSO AN AMOUNT DOUBLE THE DEPOSIT AS A KIND OF SPECIAL DAMAGES. SO A LANDLORD’S MOUTHPIECE COULD ARGUE THAT THE TENANT SUING IS “PROFIT-MOTIVATED,” BUT THAT WOULDN’T ACTUALLY BE TRUE, RIGHT? AND IN FACT, THIS RENTAL DEPOSIT REFUND LAW SCARES LANDLORDS INTO DOING THE RIGHT THING, SO THAT NO LEGAL ACTION EVER NEEDS TO GET KICKED INTO ACTION. SEE HOW THAT WORKS?

In other words if someone wishes to sue their neighbor even after the city and County of San Francisco has determined there is no violation, an unscrupulous individual can still file a lawsuit and simply claim damages amounting to as much as $435,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

WELL, THIS LOS ANGELES-BASED LAW FIRM IS SIMPLY ASSUMING THAT THE PROPERTY OWNER USING AIRBNB OR WHATEVER TO VIOLATE OUR LAWS WOULD BE A NEIGHBOR OF THE SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS AFFECTED. BUT LOTS OF AIRBNBERS DON’T EVEN LIVE IN SF, RIGHT? SO IT’S RATHER MORE RESIDENT SUING AIRBNBER AS OPPOSED TO “NEIGHBOR SUING NEIGHBOR,” RIGHT? AND HEY, HOW CAN AN “UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUAL” GET AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT? AND HEY, “NOTED” LA LAW FIRM WHAT I’VE NEVER HEARD OF AFORE, HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER REPRESENTED AN “UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUAL?” HMMM… THAT’S SOMETHING TO THINK ON. IN ANY EVENT, UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUALS  WITH WORTHLESS CASES WON’T WIN AT COURT SO THEY WON’T GET ANY DAMAGES AT ALL, RIGHT? AND LET ME JUST SAY, ANY AIRBNBER WHO ACTUALLY ENDS UP PAYING $435K PLUS HAS REALLY REALLY REALLY SCREWED UP. THESE WILL BE UNIQUE PEOPLE, CERTAINLY.

Because litigation is so incredibly expensive, time consuming and stressful many people will pay to get out of suits even though they have done nothing wrong.

BOY, WHAT A PITCH FROM A LAW FIRM – YOU DON’T NEED US, JUST PAY ALL THE MONEY ANYBODY EVER ASKS FOR AND THEN WAIT FOR THE NEWS TO SPREAD AND THEN GET SUED AGAIN AND AGAIN. AND NOTE HERE, I’M NOT ARGUING THAT PROP F IS GOOD FOR AIRBNBERS (ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR SOME) – I’M SAYING THAT PROP F IS GOOD FOR SAN FRANCISCO. AND ACTUALLY, PROP F WOULD BE GOOD FOR LOS ANGELES LAW FIRMS, POSSIBLY, IF LA-BASED AIRBNBERS GET SUED IN SF AND THEY WANT TO HAVE A LOCAL ATTORNEY, THEN MAYBE EVEN THIS LA FIRM COULD GET IN ON THE ACTION.

Proposition F will exponentially exacerbate the problem by encouraging an untold number of new lawsuits, thus delaying even more those who appropriately seek justice through San Francisco Superior Court

WELL LET’S SEE HERE. PROP F WILL BE BUT A DROP IN THE BUCKET AS FAR AS SF SUP CT IS CONCERNED. IT’S NOT GOING TO EXPONENTIALLY DO ANYTHING.

FIN.

SURPRISE! Local Airbnb-Type Room Letter OPPOSES Prop F – Let’s Read “Emey” Meyerson’s Take on SF’s Airbnb Mess

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

[UPDATE: Another reaction here. Oh, and another reaction here, from Sara Shortt.]

I don’t know who Medium Corporation‘s Emey is – what, a Scott Wiener fan, an Airbnb room/unit letter, a person who also makes money from “marketing, politics?”

Anywho, I sort of asked for somebody to tell me why Prop F is bad right here, so I’ll read through this and respond, you know, in real time.

1. So Prop F is worse than I think? So you think I think it’s bad, but you’re here on Medium telling me that it’s even worse than I think it is? Well, that’s not right at all. I think Prop F is great.

2. So like I’m not responsible for what signature gatherers say, right? ‘Nough said. Should I point out how Airbnb says/does similar things? OK then.

3. Yes, STR’s are already regulated by SFGov, but poorly. That’s why we have the Prop F, to fix what they call regulatory capture.

4. Airbnb-type outfits are the primary problem, right? I’ll concede that there are others out there. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t regulate Airbnb, right? Airbnbers oppose Prop F because, unlike the current regs, it wasn’t written with input from Airbnb itself. Like, should VW write our air pollution laws?

5. Well, Prop F isn’t the worst way to go about things. A worser way to regulate Airbnb is to have Airbnb write the rules what cover Airbnb’s business, right? What we’ve had so far from Supervisor Chiu has been a disaster, right? And then our dominant political faction assumed that something like Prop F wouldn’t make the ballot. And that takes us up to now. Hey, let’s take a look:

“After Mayor Lee and the Board of Supervisors screwed up short-term rental legislation not once but twice, voters now face a choice: keep current law or replace it with Prop F. Those upset over “ballot box planning” should blame City Hall for not enacting the handful of changes that would have either prevented Prop F from going to the ballot or ensured its defeat.”

6. Uh, is it “really hard to find the text online,” like actually? Uh no. Google “PROP F SF” and then after you click on the first hit, click on THE MEASURE. Easy peasy, huh, LIAR?

7. “It’ll blow your mind.” O rly? We’ll see. Hey, you know, my mind’s already blown by the number of meetings that David Chiu’s office had with Airbnb reps to create the first unworkable regs – is it 60 fucking meetings? 60 meetings to create an unworkable mess? Mind blown. Already.

8. So, you promise us Prop F but now you’re coming in with how it’s existing hotels what don’t want private Airbnb hotels in the Parkside. Let’s see, who’s against Prop F – it’s Airbnb and the superhosts, right? As expected, right? (And I’m thinking your hotel worker union types would be big Prop F boosters as well.)

9. You know, some Airbnbers who let out rooms support Prop F, right? Are they crazy?

10. I’ll field this one. Cleaning a house before guests arrive is not assisting anyone to offer a short term rental.

11. Well, if your neighbor “prevails,” then your neighbor gets money. If you neighbor doesn’t prevail, then not. Simple. You’re missing the “prevailing” part, Mediumer.

12. And if a taxi driver refuses to pick you up because s/he doesn’t like your color, creed, whathaveyou, that’s a misdemeanor too, right? Laws need to have teeth, right?

13. Yep, a quarterly report. No biggee, it would seem.

14. So let’s see here, illegal in-law units shouldn’t be on Airbnb, right? Is this so surprising?

15. What Airbnb should do is keep track of its own rentals, for a start, huh? Shouldn’t be too hard.

16. People will still be able to Airbnb after Prop F passes, right? But Prop F should really put the hurt on Airbnb hotel buildings.

17. Prop F can totally be fixed, if necessary, by a judge or two or more, or by a vote of The People. Yes, we can visit this issue again later.

18. What’s this?! “I have been a part-time homesharer in SF since last year.” This should have been the first line of your bit, non? Ah, man, I don’t think I would have read your whole bit if you had been upfront about your conflict of interest. And why is my Google Chrome underlining “homesharer?” Oh that’s right, it’s because you made it up. Let’s try something else, something honest, like “room letter.” See? No underlining. Case closed.

19. Oh, this Medium bit is ending abruptly, after the Big Reveal. All right, yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

YES ON PROP F Fever Sweeps Over Frisco (AFAIK) – Spotting New Posters About Town – “FIX THE AIRBNB MESS”

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

I looked for signs like these afore, but didn’t see them.

Now, in mid-September, I’m seeing them – that’s the update:

7J7C4995 copy

Here’s a nice write-up from a neutral source:

“Prior to February 2015, the city banned private, short-term rentals, but did not dedicate sufficient resources to fully enforce the law.”

Yep, pretty much.

Prop F Update: Let’s Look at Both Sides of SF Proposition F (2015), the Airbnb Law – Fixing Frisco’s Broken Short-Term Rental Mess

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

(I’ll tell you, I don’t care what you do or where you rest your noggin at night. Fundamentally, I’m not a NIMBY – I don’t care what you do. I’ll admit I think it’s noteworthy when I spot Airbnb users in the Western Addition or the Sunset or wherever, ’cause they stand out (without realizing it) like a sore thumb, but I don’t have anything against tourists milling about, you know, per se. It’s funny, they ask me about parking laws. I try to help out. I tell them which way to curb their tires, ’cause a lot of them just don’t get it. And I’ll add that I know people who use Airbnb, and I know people who make some money letting rooms and units via Airbnb and the VRBO. But obvs I don’t own Airbnb options or anything and I’ll also note that I don’t own any hotels or anything.)

So that’s where I stand. No conflicts of interest – how refreshing, non? Now let’s take a look at Prop F via ShareBetterSF:

1. Limits short-term rentals to 75 nights per year, regardless of whether a ‘host’ is present

THIS LOOKS GOOD TO ME. THE WHOLE “HOST PRESENT” THING APPEARS TO BE A GIANT LOOPHOLE COOKED UP BY AIRBNB ITSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR DAVID CHIU. THE RULES THAT HE AND AIRBNB CAME UP WITH ARE A HUGE, UNWORKABLE MESS, IMO.

2. Requires quarterly reports to the Planning Department on the number of nights a unit is rented to tourists

IF YOU’RE RENTING OUT A ROOM OR A UNIT, YOU’D NEED A REGISTRATION NUMBER AND YOU’D NEED TO REPORT HOW MANY TIMES YOU DID IT EVERY THREE MONTHS. SOUNDS PRETTY SIMPLE TO ME. SOUNDS A LOT SIMPLER THAN, SAY, THE EXTRA WORK YOU’LL HAVE TO DO WHEN ANNUAL TAX TIME COMES. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH OF A BURDEN ON YOU, THE PERSON RENTING OUT ROOMS, PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS BIDNESS?

3. Fines ‘hosting platforms’ (like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway) for listing unregistered units

BAM. IF YOU HAVE A REG. NUMBER, YOU CAN LIST. IF YOU DON’T, YOU CAN’T.

4. Provides other building tenants, neighbors and neighborhood associations with notice when a unit is registered as a short-term rental

SO SFGOV WOULD SEND OUT A BRACE OF LETTERS EVERY TIME A UNIT GETS REGISTERED – THIS IS A ONE-TIME DEAL, RIGHT? AGAIN, DOES THIS SEEM SO UNREASONABLE?

5. Allows other building tenants & neighbors to go to court to protect their rights to the quiet enjoyment of their homes when the City fails to enforce the law

SO THERE ARE YOUR TEETH. THIS IS WHY AIRBNBER’S WILL ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO SF PROP F 2015.

[INTERMISSION]

NOW LET’S HEAR FROM AIRBNB::

CaptureFSFFHH

1. WELL, YEAH, I GUESS, AIRBNB – YOU COULD CHARACTERIZE THINGS THAT WAY. BUT LET’S SAY AN AIRBNBER FROM WALNUT CREEK BUYS A BUILDING IN SF AND THEN AIRBNBS ALL THE UNITS 365/366 DAYS A YEAR – THIS IS WHAT THE PROP F PEOPLE WOULD CALL “RUNNING A HOTEL.” IF I WERE SAID BUILDING OWNER LIVING IN WALNUT CREEK, I’D BE VERY AFRAID OF PROP F, SO I’D FOLLOW THE NEW RULES, RIGHT? IS THAT SO BAD?

2. WELL, I LIVE IN SF, AIRBNB. SO I DON’T THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO ME. BUT i’LL SAY THAT I THINK THE “DATA” WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW MANY TIMES A QUARTER AIRBNBERS ARE IN BUSINESS, SO NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT? SO FAR, YOU’RE NOT REALLY SCARING ME AWAY FROM PROP F HERE, AIRBNB. LET’S SOLDIER ON…

3. SFGOV AND AIRBNB HAVE MADE A HASH OF THIS PROCESS SO FAR. THE CURRENT SYSTEM ISN’T WORKING, SORRY. THIS IS WHY PROP F QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT, RIGHT?

4. HEY, AREN’T MOST IN-LAW UNITS IN TOWN ALREADY “BANNED?” I THINK SO. I THINK IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T CODE COMPLIANT. WHY SHOULDN’T WE LEGALIZE THESE UNITS FIRST, IF THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AFORE WE START WORRYING ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN MAKE OFF OF THEM? AND IF THIS IN-LAW ISSUE IS SUCH A BIG CONCERN A FEW YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AFTER THE POSSIBLE LEGALIZATION OF THESE UNITS, WELL, THEN WE CAN VOTE AGAIN, RIGHT? PERHAPS THIS WILL BE A BIT CUMBERSOME, BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE A REGULATORY CAPTURE SUCH AS THE ONE WE’RE IN.  

So, IDK, am I missing something here? What am I missing? Any beef anybody has against Prop F is displaced anger – the people who created the current situation are the ones responsible. Oh what’s that, Airbnb, you say the rules from Prop F are “too extreme?” Well, that’s because, unlike the current regs,  you didn’t write them. See how that works, Airbnb? Perhaps you should have cooked up a fairer set of rules for yourself, and then Prop F never would never have gone on the ballot, right?

So tell me, Gentle Reader, what am I missing here?

Otherwise, I’m a-voting YES ON PROP F.

Word On The Street: I Bought This Audi to Honor Your Memory, JFK – “4UJFK”

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

That’s theory #1.

7J7C1593 copy

I’m all out of theories!

RFK Jr. at USF! Big University of San Francisco Law School 100th Anniversary Celebration This Wednesday

Monday, September 17th, 2012

All the deets below.

“USF School of Law Celebrates 100 Years in San Francisco – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to Speak at Convocation

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 17, 2012  — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will kick off a year-long celebration at the University of San Francisco School of Law, which is commemorating its 100(th) birthday and a century of providing a premiere legal education at the city’s first university.

Kennedy will deliver a keynote address during the public convocation on Wed., Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. inside St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus. Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at Pace University and co-director of that school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping restore New York’s Hudson River.

“Our centennial celebration is about far more than longevity,” said Jeffrey Brand, dean of the USF School of Law. “It’s about one hundred years of offering an education with a conscience, and graduating top attorneys who empower the powerless and help change a world plagued by injustice. As we begin our second century in this magnificent city, we rededicate ourselves to our vital mission of educating for justice.”

Social justice is a cornerstone of the school’s identity. In 2011-12 alone, USF law students provided 22,000 hours of pro-bono legal work to underserved communities, and the school-sponsored seven free law clinics, including the Investor Justice Clinic where students represent investors in actions involving allegations of wrongdoing by securities firms or their employees, and the Child Advocacy Law Clinic in which students receive training and, under the supervision of the clinic director, represent abused, neglected, or abandoned children in child welfare proceedings.

The USF School of Law began on Sept. 18, 1912 on the corner of Market and 7(th) Streets in downtown San Francisco with three faculty and 39 students. Today, it has 40 influential legal scholars who teach 700 students on the USF Law School campus near Golden Gate Park. The school is proud to be one of the nation’s most diverse with nearly half of its law students identifying themselves as ethnic minorities, and 53% are women.

The USF School of Law is sponsoring a number of notable events during its year-long centennial celebration, including:

    —  Sept. 27: Presentation by Clarence B. Jones, former speechwriter,
        attorney, and advisor to the late Martin Luther King Jr.: “Pivotal Legal
        and Leadership Policy Decisions Faced by Martin Luther King.”    

—  Nov. 9: Public Interest Law Foundation Annual Auction and Award Ceremony
        honoring David Boies, chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller &
        Flexner. This is a fundraiser to provide grants to law students working
        in unpaid public interest law jobs during summer break. 

—  Feb. 7: Centennial Gala Dinner, San Francisco City Hall.

For a detailed calendar of all centennial events, please visit www.usfca.edu/law/about/centennial/events/

About the University of San Francisco School of Law

The University of San Francisco School of Law is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities. The law school pursues excellence in a humane, diverse, and intellectually vibrant learning community of outstanding teachers and scholars dedicated to training ethical professionals. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and innovative programming that educates students to be skilled and effective lawyers ready to practice law. Now celebrating its centennial year, the USF School of Law is ranked as one of the “Top 170 Law Schools” by Princeton Review and the 10(th) most ethnically diverse law school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, please visit www.usfca.edu/law.

Journalists interested in covering the Sept. 19 convocation, or any other centennial event, must register in advance by contacting Anne-Marie Devine at (415) 422-2697 or abdevine@usfca.edu.

SOURCE  University of San Francisco, School of Law”

The Saddest MUNI-Related Scene I’ve Seen This Year So Far – Historic F-Market Streetcar Driver, Post-Accident

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Here’s your accident scene* on Market betwixt Battery and Sansome on August 3rd, 2012…

Click to expand

…and here’s the streetcar driver, sitting inside of his streetcar, old 1811, pondering developments:

Wow.

Just because the SFMTA MUNI DPT is corrupt and evil and the worst large public transit agency in America and it has spokespeople who are famous for lying all the time, just because of that, doesn’t mean that the average SFMTA MUNI DPT is a bad person or anything…

*Maybe there’s some blame to go around here, having to do with maintenance or procedures or maybe the Mom-ish Subaru driver went on the wrong side of Market for a while only to suddenly pull in front of the streetcar and slam on the brakes – these things are possibilities, I suppose. But, man, things don’t look good for this operator.

OMG, Lexus “Laws of Attraction” at City View Metreon – SF’s Party of the Year – World Premier of New LS 460 F Sport

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Now why did Lexus choose San Francisco, of all the cities of the world, as the place to debut its “Laws of Attraction” exhibit and to unveil it’s brand-new LS 460 F Sport model?

I don’t know, I guess we’re special.

Hey, look who was there, high atop the Metreon at City View:

It’s  the Stars of the Lexus Laws of Attraction Photo Exhibit as they pose with the 2013 Lexus LS: (left to right) Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan, Devon Aoki, James Bailey, Jaime King, Kyle Newman, Brady Cunningham and Jason Schwartzman.

Man, this Monday night party was off the hook – I was transformed from an overweight Dell Jockey into an overweight Dell Jockey at the City View:

Oh, and what’s this just outside but four stories up, a Lexus supercar, the likes of which I’ve only seen once before? How did they get this halo vehicle to the roof of the Metreon? Crane, chopper, ramps, giant elevator? It’s a mystery:

(You can’t just buy one of these, Lexus has to invite you to buy this $400,000 car. There’s just 500 in the world, that’s it.)

The place was packed, hundreds and hundreds of party-goers were up there:

Oh, here we go, the moment of unveiling:

Do people take iPads to parties to take photos these days? People do:

See the photos behind the car? That was the point of this shindig, deets below:

A good time was had by all, all the dolled-up gals from the east and south bay and all the older dudes from Marin…

If you ever get invited to a free party hosted by Lexus, jump at the chance, is all I can say.

Get all the deets, see all the art photos of the couples, see the new, sportier Lexus, see the new “spindle” grill, see the less-luxurious, performance-oriented SPORT F sedan, see it all, right here and/or after the jump.

(more…)

Pacific Electric “Red Car” From Los Angeles is Back in the Road – Now, It’s MUNI’s F-Market Streetcar #1061

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

[UPDATE: Or from Pittsburg, PA, or someplace. See Comments.]

Your Market Street Railway has the deets on the December 13, 2011 return of Pacific Electric Railway #1061 to Market Street.

Friendly hippie, Red Car, Ferry Building:

Click to expand 

Look for Big Red Cars the next time you watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

“The Bumblebee,” Historic Streetcar #1057, is Back on the Road – Yellow and Green Pay Tribute to Cincinnati

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Click on over to the Market Street Railway Blog to see what’s up with our shiniest Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcar

Check it:

“F-line PCC streetcar No. 1057, painted in tribute to Cincinnati, is known to many of its fans as “The Bumblebee” because of its eye-popping yellow paint and stripes (admittedly dark green instead of a bee’s black). Well, now it’s even more eye-popping following a renovation by Muni’s maintenance team, including an entirely new roof, body repairs, and a complete repainting.”

Fresh paint:

The Muni maintenance team who restored and repainted Cincinnati PCC No. 1057. Top row (L-R): Steve Chu, Carole Gilbert, Arthur Leary, Willie Alexander, Khalil Ali, Leon Bernal, Ontoniel Granados, Patrick Louie, Jose Granados, Alfredo Solis, Raul Alvarez, George Bernal, Peter Kuang, Dick Wie Shi Lui, Priscilla Steuban. Bottom row (L-R): Karl Johnson, Joselito Viernes, Arvin Camposagrado, Carlos Montez, Robert Donahue, Gino Ganoza.

Look for its icon soon here, on the live map.

Hurray!