Posts Tagged ‘help’

OMG, Ride the E-Line “Twin Torpedos” for Free This Weekend! Volunteer to be a Temporary Streetcar Docent

Monday, October 1st, 2012

How would you like to volunteer as a docent helping out with the new-school / old-school E-line on October 6-7, 2012?

First, some background about how busy the 415 will be this weekend:

“Looking at what’s scheduled for that weekend, there might not be room in the city for many more people, much less cars. First, there’s the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, a three-day event that drew about 800,000 people last year. That Sunday afternoon, the 49ers play the Buffalo Bills at Candlestick Park, while the Giants are hoping for weekend playoff games at AT&T Park, all guaranteed sellouts. About 60,000 people typically attend the Castro Street Fair, scheduled for that Sunday, while thousands more will jam North Beach for the annual Italian Heritage Parade at 12:30 on the same day. A different crowd will probably be at the Burning Man Decompression street fair, also that Sunday afternoon. To add to the fun, two mega cruise ships are expected to dock at Pier 35 over the weekend, disgorging thousands more tourists. Then, of course, there’s Fleet Week, which brings thousands of sailors and as many as a million visitors to the waterfront for the weekend.”

So you’ll be needed to help out all the visitors moving around on the Twin Torpedos, streetcars 1006 and 1008:

“We need several more docents to work the stops along the E-line on October 6 and 7, helping riders find the right platform and providing information about the service. We have docent books prepared by Paul Lucas, so it’s easy to learn what to do. If you’re interested, send us an email and we’ll get back to you.”

Click to expand

Act now.

Uh Oh: Is Our Cafe Gratitude Running Afoul of CA’s “Tip Pooling” Law? – “Direct Table Service” and “Chain of Service”

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Comes now Cafe Gratitude server Sarah Stevens, who alleges that she is:

“…required to participate in an unreasonable and uncustomary tip pooling scheme that leaves her with a very small percentage of the tips she earns as a server. Specifically, Stevens alleges that after tipping out 20% of her daily tips to the “central kitchen” — an offsite kitchen on 14th street — Stevens then splits the remaining 80% of her tips equally with all of the Café Gratitude staff, including the “shift leaders” and retail employees.”

Improper involuntary tip pooling? No thank you!

Today’s special – Greens ‘n Gruel. All right, eat up, after you thank me!

Via Johann F

Per John Birdsall, CG is engaging in shady behavior:

“I Am Shady RT @EastBayExpress Cafe Gratitude sued for labor-code violations http://t.co/Dr9qHQd

Uh Oh. If Sarah can prove what she’s saying, she’ll have a nice case against CG, leaving aside other issues, like her not getting proper breaks ‘n stuff like that.

‘Cause our Department of Industrial Relations does not approve of servers splitting tips with anyone who doesn’t provide “direct table service.”

Check it:

“According to a California court, Labor Code Section 351 allows involuntary tip pooling. Therefore, your employer can require that you share your tips with other staff that provide service in the restaurant. In this regard, it’s DLSE’s position that when a tip pooling arrangement is in effect, the tips are to be distributed among the employees who provide “direct table service.” Such employees could conceivably include waiters and waitresses, busboys, bartenders, host/hostesses and maitre d’s. Employees who do not provide direct table service and who do not share in the tip pool include dishwashers, cooks, and chefs, except in restaurants where the chefs prepare the food at the patron’s table, in which case the chef may participate in the tip pool. Additionally, tip pooling cannot be used to compensate the owner(s), manager(s), or supervisor(s) of the business, even if these individuals should provide direct table service to a patron.”

(California’s laws are biased towards waitstaff at the expense of food preparers, IMO, for whatever reason.)

[UPDATE: Stop the presses! An employment lawyer in the Comments section has just pointed out the "chain of service" concept that some judges worked out a couple years ago. News to me. Anyway, the trend is that our courts are more accepting of mandatory tip pooling schemes than they were a few years back. But still, management has to keep its paws off of tip money in CA no matter what.]

Anyway, from where I’m sitting, this looks like game, set, and match for server Sarah. You hear that, restaurant owners? This is a dead bang, this is a lead pipe cinch. Just saying.

Thank you!

Senator Leland Yee Throws Down: Gets PG&E to Reroute Natural Gas Pipeline in San Bruno Disaster Area

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

PG&E President Christopher P. Johns says that the 30-inch, long-haul natural gas pipeline that goes under San Bruno will be rerouted. That’s the news of the day from the office of Senator Leland Yee. Details below.

[UPDATE 10:45 AM: Then there's this from The Bay Citizen, which is saying the commitment level of PG&E is less than 100%...]

[UPDATE 11:09 AM: Leland's people are adamant that there is a 100% commitment from PG&E to get that pipeline out of that neighborhood in San Bruno. Here's the latest: "Sen. Yee: PG&E made a commitment to move the pipeline and we will hold them accountable to the commitment and work with them to get approval."]

A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu

“Gas Pipeline to be Moved Out of San Bruno Neighborhood. At the urging of Senator, Mayor, and Families, PG&E Commits to Finding New Pipeline Location
 
SAN BRUNO – PG&E President Chris Johns has committed to moving the gas pipeline that ruptured on September 9 out of the San Bruno neighborhood, according Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane. Yee and Ruane, as well as several of the families impacted by the explosion, had requested that PG&E find a more suitable location.
 
“These families deserve an opportunity to rebuild without the possibility of this ever happening again,” said Yee.  “The only way these families can recover is to move the pipeline out of their neighborhood.  I look forward to working with Mayor Ruane – who has done an extraordinary job in leading his city during this difficult time – to find a more appropriate location.”
 
“We simply can not rebuild the neighborhood as long as that pipeline exists in its current location,” said Ruane.  “Our families will not live there under those conditions and our city will never be able to heal.”
 
Johns made the commitment to relocate the pipeline yesterday while meeting with Ruane.  Today, Yee and Ruane will meet with PG&E officials to begin the process of finding alternative locations for the pipeline.
 
“There are several competing interests in finding the appropriate location, but surely there must be a better place than through the middle of a residential neighborhood,” said Yee.  “I am confident we can come together as a community and get this done right.”
 
Earlier this week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) signed into law a bill first introduced by Yee to provide disaster relief for the affected families of the San Bruno fires and to assist the County of San Mateo, City of San Bruno, and local schools. 
 
Specifically, the bill allows a continuation of the $7,000 property tax exemption for homeowners who would have qualified for the exemption if their home had not been damaged or destroyed.  In addition, the bill allows taxpayers (personal and business) to deduct income loss as result of the incident. Finally, the bill includes assistance to the County of San Mateo, City of San Bruno, and local schools by providing a one-year reimbursement from the State for any tax losses related to the lower property assessments of damaged or destroyed homes.
 
Following an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a responsible party determined, the responsible entity would then have to pay back the state for the cost of the tax relief provided for in the legislation.

Here It Is: The Complete NTSB Preliminary Report of the San Bruno Gas Fire – The Cause Revealed – PG&E Responds

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Appears as if the Feds have determined what happened in San Bruno.

Basically, some electrical box failed 40 miles away in Milpitas and the result was death and destruction in San Bruno. They’re still working on why the steel was so weak. Expect a full report next year sometime…

A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu

First up is PG&E’s reply to today’s release, filled with palliative cliches. I mean, you can skip it as it probably isn’t aimed at informing you of anything:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13  — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) issued the following statement today from President Chris Johns in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) release of its preliminary report on the pipeline accident in San Bruno, California, on September 9, 2010:

We thank the National Transportation Safety Board for today’s release of its preliminary report on the tragedy in San Bruno. Although a final report and a conclusive set of findings are likely to be many months down the road, this initial release of information is an essential first step. We welcome it, and appreciate the painstaking efforts of the NTSB experts to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of this terrible accident.

“It is critical to the people of San Bruno, our customers and the industry that we get to the bottom of this accident and take the necessary steps to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.

“With that goal in mind, PG&E will continue to do everything we can to cooperate with and supportthe NTSB’s investigation.

“Our pledge to everyone who relies on PG&E to operate our gas infrastructure safely and securely is that we will take any and all appropriate steps to ensure we’re meeting this fundamental commitment.

“Since the accident, we’ve re-inspected the three major pipelines that serve the San Francisco Peninsula. We are in the process of conducting aerial inspections and ground leak surveys of our entire gas transmission system. And we continue to take steps to share information about our system with public officials, first responders and our customers.

“We continue to extend our support and our sympathies to the San Bruno community and the residents affected by this tragedy.”

And next up is the NTSB Report itself. It’s accessible. See it after the jump

(more…)

PG&E Announces the “Rebuild San Bruno Fund” – $100,000,000 for Recovery from the Gas Fire

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Well, it looks as if the folks at our local utility monopoly have been working overtime this past weekend trying to get ahead of developments.

(Will PG&E‘s billion-dollar’s worth of insurance coverage be available? Don’t know. Will it be enough? Don’t know.)

This a bold move, IMO. Pigs Giraffes and Elephants is already definitely on the hook big time so why stonewall, right?

Anyway, the announcement is not good news for the local plaintiff’s bar, that’s for sure…

A shot from the aftermath from photographer David Yu

Here it is: 

PG&E Establishes ‘Rebuild San Bruno’ Fund. Uses Include Reimbursing City, Providing Residents Additional Immediate Financial Assistance

SAN BRUNO, Calif., Sept. 13 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) today announced the creation of the “Rebuild San Bruno Fund,” which will make available up to $100 million for the residents and city of San Bruno to help recover from last Thursday’s tragic event.

PG&E Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Peter Darbee and Pacific Gas and Electric Company President Chris Johns met with San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane and San Bruno residents to announce the fund and pledge their commitment to rebuilding San Bruno, which includes covering the city’s costs associated with its response to the event.

“We know that no amount of money can ever make up for what’s been lost,” said Darbee. “This program is just one piece of our promise that PG&E will live up to its commitment to help rebuild this community and help the people of San Bruno rebuild their lives.”

To administer these funds on behalf of the company, PG&E will partner with government officials, community leaders and organizations, including the American Red Cross and the United Way of the Bay Area.

Funds will be used to provide both immediate and long-term support to San Bruno residents and the city for three primary purposes:

 –  Ensuring that residents are reimbursed for costs or losses that may not be covered by their insurance.

 –  Providing additional direct immediate financial assistance, in the form of cash disbursements, to residents in the affected area.

 –  Reimbursing the city of San Bruno for costs it incurs to respond to this incident and to rebuild or repair public infrastructure and facilities.

PG&E today provided San Bruno officials with an initial check for $3 million to help compensate the city for its estimated expenses incurred to date. The company is also taking immediate steps to provide assistance to affected residents. For residents in the affected area, PG&E will provide disbursements of $15,000, $25,000, or $50,000 per household depending on the extent of damage incurred.

Residents are not being asked to waive any potential claims in order to receive these funds. Also, these funds are being provided in addition to the company’s ongoing provision of funds to ensure affected residents continue to have access to temporary housing and other basic necessities.

“We are here today, and we’ll continue to be here,” said Johns. “We are going to be here as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to help the people and the city of San Bruno rebuild their lives and their community.”

PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

San Bruno Gas Explosion: Levi’s Offers $250 Gift Cards, U-Haul Offers Boxes and Free Storage

Friday, September 10th, 2010

All the deets are below.

The first of a series of photos of the aftermath today from photographer David Yu:

Click to expand

[UPDATE: And District 2 Supervisorial candidate Kat Anderson writes in to say that she's matching donations to the Red Cross up to $1000. Just send her your receipt.]

Now, first Levi’s and then U-Haul:

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10 — Levi Strauss & Co. today announced a clothing donation program for victims of the San Bruno, California gas explosion. Victims of this disaster are eligible to receive a $250 gift card for Levi’s® brand clothing. Gift cards can be claimed through the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and can be redeemed at any Levi’s® Store.

In addition, the Levi Strauss Foundation has made a $25,000 donation to the local chapter of the American Red Cross to aid in the community’s recovery from this disaster.  The company will also match employee donations. Victims can receive Red Cross disaster relief by calling 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5772) or visiting redcrossbayarea.org.

As a San Francisco-based business, Levi Strauss & Co. is committed to serving the needs of its community and neighbors.  The company extends its sympathy and support for those impacted by this tragedy.

About Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest branded apparel companies and the global leader in jeanswear, marketing its products in more than 110 countries worldwide.  The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.(TM) and Denizen(TM).  Levi Strauss & Co. reported fiscal 2009 net revenues of $4.1 billion.  For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com/.

 

U-Haul Offers 30 Days of Free Storage to Residents Affected by the San Bruno Natural Gas Fire

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10  — The U-Haul Company of San Francisco is offering 30 days of free storage to residents whose homes or businesses were damaged by the San Bruno natural-gas fire.

In addition to the 30-days-free self-storage assistance being offered, people needing boxes can take advantage of the U-Haul Take a Box, Leave a Box Program. The program enables customers to return their reusable boxes and allows others to take them as needed – FREE. U-Haul encourages anyone who has any type of reusable box to drop it off at the nearest U-Haul location and allow another family to reuse the box, free of charge, instead of throwing the reusable box into the recycling bin.

Families needing more information about the 30-days-free self-storage assistance program should contact the following regional office to locate the participating storage facility nearest them.

 U-Haul Company of San Francisco
 500 Paul Avenue
 San Francisco, CA 94124
 (415) 570-4000

“This natural-gas fire has caused tremendous damage and inflicted extreme hardship on our community,” stated Joseph Krueger, president, U-Haul Company of San Francisco. “I hope this effort will provide assistance to those that may truly need a helping hand.  We will continue to help our friends and neighbors in this time of need.”

About U-Haul

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the best choice for the do-it-yourself mover, with a network of more than 15,800 locations in all 50 United States and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul customers’ patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to approximately 101,000 trucks, 76,000 trailers and 34,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers more than 395,000 rooms and approximately 35 million square feet of storage space at nearly 1,090 owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the consumer’s number one choice as the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. As one of the nation’s largest retailers of propane, U-Haul supplies alternative-fuel for vehicles and backyard barbecues.

U-Haul was founded by a Navy veteran who grew up during the Great Depression. Tires and gas were still rationed or in short supply during the late 1940s when U-Haul began serving U.S. customers. Today, that background is central to the U-Haul Sustainability Program: “Serving the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle includes fuel efficient moving vans, neighborhood proximity, moving-box reuse, moving pads made from discarded material, and packing peanuts that are 100 percent biodegradable.  Learn more about these facts and others at uhaul.com/sustainability.

Haitian Education and Leadership Program Benefit at the MoAD Museum Tomorrow Night

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Via Alisa Carroll of Carroll Public Relations comes word of the First Annual San Francisco Benefit for the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP)tomorrow night at the Museum of the African Diaspora(MoAD)

Read all about it, below.

HELP_SFFundraiserInvite.01[1]

See you there!

H.E.L.P. Benefit at MoAD

Haiti is a country with such endemic and intractable troubles that it’s sometimes difficult to know how to lend a hand. But on Thursday, September 24, bay area art lovers and humanitarians alike will have an exceptional opportunity to help the country through an organization called The Haitian Education and Leadership Program (H.E.L.P.). At 7:00pm that evening, H.E.L.P. will host its first annual San Francisco fundraiser at the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) at 685 Mission Street. Guests will enjoy an evening of live Haitian music, authentic Haitian cuisine, cocktails, a silent auction, a raffle of local prizes, and a presentation introducing H.E.L.P. to the San Francisco community. Participants will also be granted after-hours admittance to MoAD’s exhibitions and galleries. Tickets for event are $50 in advance and $65 at the door.

H.E.L.P. provides merit-based university scholarships in Haiti for top high school graduates from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. Beginning with just one student in 1996, H.E.L.P. has since grown into Haiti’s largest university scholarship program. For the academic year 2009/2010, H.E.L.P. will sponsor 110 students studying education, medicine, law, engineering, accounting, agronomy, chemistry, computer science and communications in various universities throughout Haiti.

H.E.L.P. has a yearly retention rate of over 90%, and its graduates have a 100% employment rate in Haiti at an average starting salary of over $8,000. (Haiti’s employment rate is estimated at 60% and GDP per capita is $480.) During a recent visit to H.E.L.P. accompanied by President Bill Clinton, Secretary General of UN Ban Ki-moon described H.E.L.P. students as the “hope of this country.”

Eighty percent of Haiti’s population lives in extreme poverty. The World Bank ranks Haiti as the fourteenth poorest country in the world and the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Decades of political repression and instability have forced Haiti’s educated class to emigrate. Today, 84% of Haitians with a university degree live abroad and the university enrollment rate in Haiti is only 1%. H.E.L.P. scholarships contribute significantly to the growth of Haiti’s professional class and change Haiti’s long-standing inequities and rigid class structure.