Posts Tagged ‘Katharine Mieszkowski’

So-Called World Capital of Innovation Can’t Seem to Solve the Bedbug Problem – Here’s the Letter You Will Get

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

You know, after you been bitten hundreds of times by bedbugs, which, you know, are all over the place in San Francisco. Still.

Like at your hotel, dear Visitor.

Like, I don’t know, did the Hotel Whitcomb,change its name owing to some issue with bedbugs?

The old Ramada is now the new Whitcomb. But it’s still the same place:

Click to expand

Oh, here we go:

Downtown Bedbug Attack Costs Ramada $71,000

(I don’t know if I’d call this area “downtown,” but anywho, wow.)

Now, let’s hear from Kris Betz, Hotel Whitcomb Director of Operations, to get a (somewhat) canned response to a relatively recent allegation of infestation:

“19 July 2011

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for any discomfort that you may have experienced and we are very concerned about what happened. We want you to know that it is our highest priority to provide our guests with the cleanest rooms possible. We have a dedicated inspection team of trained staff that inspects all our rooms to ensure that these cases do not arise.

As you mentioned that you did not find any evidence, so it is possible you could have encountered them elsewhere. Please note that this incident has nothing to do with the cleanliness of our rooms. Please rest assured that this is not a reflection of our facilities cleanliness, as we take pride in providing excellent service and the cleanest accommodations, for all our guests.

Please feel free to contact me at your convenience so we may discuss any circumstances which may have occurred and please accept our sincerest apologies.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations”

I don’t know, man, I feel sorry for the Euros what stay at this place. They’re pretty much all gorgeous,* in-shape,* natural blond(e)s,* who just want to have fun in the 415, you know, they just want to pose for photos with big American police cars and fire trucks and stuff like that and what’s so wrong with that?

I feel sorry for them when they get shot and killed on Mason in Union Square or run over and killed by drunk drivers on Masonic or bitten 400 times by bedbugs during one stay.

I kind of feel that we’re letting these people down. I feel we’re shirking our obligations to our tourists. 

If I were Director of Operations at Hotel Whitcomb, I would engage in total war with the bedbugs.

And I wouldn’t write “Dear Guest” letters what discuss possibilities and evidence.

Just saying.

*Unlike me.

Last Night’s One-Year Anniversary Party for The Bay Citizen a Huge Success, As Far As I Know

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

[Oh, here we go, it's the Citizen of Tomorrow Awards, just posted.]

Now, the problem I had last night was being too ambitious, thinking I could drop by the First Birthday Celebration of The Bay Citizen and then hustle it uphill to the Specfic Whites neighborhood by nine-ish, thinking that this year’s party would be like last year’s, you know, the one they had in the Twitterloin. That one was off the hook.

Anyway, here it is at the stated 8:00 PM starting time. (A dozen people to park your car, but only one to check you into the place.)

(Why, yes, Terra _is_ 200 feet away from a bridge and two miles away from a tunnel – why do you ask?)

And here are your food trucks. (Everything seems to taste better when it’s from a truck, non?)

Click to expand

I guess things got going later in the evening. But I’ll tell you, if you skipped the first hour of last year’s soiree, which was off the hook, you would have missed a lot.

The good thing is that The Bay Citizen produced, as designed, a lot of good stuff the past year.

Anyway, Bon Anniversaire, The Bay Citizen.

Bay Citizen Launch Party at the Great American Music Hall a Huge Success

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

[Whoops, spoke too soon - turns out that the SFGate/San Francisco Chronicle's Katie Baker was en la casa. The conspiracy of silence broken.]

Despite all the obituaries written earlier this year, The Bay Citizen celebrated its launch yesterday at the Great American Music Hall. Some TBC editors on the scene were fretting about getting a new batch of “stately idiom” finished up for the following morning, but a good time was had by all.

They literally rolled out the red carpet in the Tenderloin last night:

Who was there? Everybody. (Everybody excepting some of the hAtERz in local media who feel any new investment should go to existing concerns, you know, the ones that employ the hAtERz themselves. The hAtERz that showed somehow even managed to generate, with noticeable effort, Mona Lisa smile/smirks for the camera.) The place was packed from the get-go, baby. Check out the Party Pix from E.B.Boyd showing who all was there.

Standing room only:

Bay Citizen CEO Lisa Frazier (pronounced fraze-yah) started things off by inviting Founder Warren Hellman to play a  song.

Lois Beckett snapped the chorus and here are the full lyrics to the sing-a-long tune Hardly Strictly News.  Note the A-A-B-B rhyming scheme. Also note:

“We met with Lisa Frazier who pronounced ‘for now it will be free’/
A multi-layered news hub is the only way to be.”

What, “for now?” Uh oh:

Click to expand. It’s quite legible at 1200 pixels.

Anyway, F. Warren appeared to be somewhat irked by the constant chatter of the assembled throng. Oh well.

Here’s the mise-en-scene from up on the catwalk:

A big thank you to all the founding investors, founding members, patrons, and corporate sponsors. Notably, Dede Wilsey’s name isn’t on this list, so perhaps she just recently kicked in her seven figure donation? (Or let’s call it a $500,000 donation with Uncle Sucker kicking another half mil., mas o menos. That’s the thing with non-profit journalism – the federal govmint lowers your taxes by about 50 cents for every dollar you donate, assuming you pay a lot of taxes in the first place. This is the Unfair Advantage that the Chronicle people complain about. Speaking of which, nothing yet about TBC from the SFC – check for yourself.)  

Everybody’s a star:

$5 tote bags just like Trader Joe’s and the KQED, plus loads of free bumper stickers:

The lives of the party: 

Anyway, had to bail early to get down to Massive Attack at the Warfield while Arcadio was playing the TBC party. The booze was flowing and the place was still packed when I left, anyway.

Bon Courage, Bay Citizen!

All the deets, after the jump

(more…)

Just $50 Makes You a Founder of the Bay Citizen – Includes Tickets to Party on May 26th

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Here’s the lastest about the much-talked-about media joint The Bay Citizen.

Matt Baume gives fresh details of everthing a potential freelancer could want to know at this point;

CEO Lisa Frazier today extends a final invitation to get on board before launch. See below; und

Kevin Montgomery gives us a sneak peek* on what the site might look like.

That’s the wind-up, and here’s The Pitch:

Dear LADIESMAN217:

The Bay Citizen’s launch is just two days away, and we can’t wait!  Some exciting things have happened over the last few weeks:

We now have fourteen journalists in our newsroom, including twelve full-time journalists and two paid summer interns from the UC Berkeley Journalism School;

Our reporters are busy producing stories on topics including the environment and land use, health and science, education, arts and culture, and more;

We’ve started hosting partner meetings to explore collaborations with local independent media organizations, bloggers, and writers;

We recently moved into our new office at 126 Post Street in San Francisco

Become part of Bay Area history

You still have time.  Until midnight on Wednesday, you can become a Founder of The Bay Citizen by donating $50 or more.  As a Founder, your name will be permanently listed on our website and you’ll also receive two tickets to our launch party this Wednesday evening at the Great American Music Hall, where you’ll get the chance to meet hundreds of other founding members.

Become a Founder now!

And, don’t forget to check out www.baycitizen.org on Wednesday morning when it goes live.

With thanks,
Lisa Frazier, CEO

P.S. Our long-term sustainability depends on support from community members like you. Thank you for supporting The Bay Citizen.

See you there!

*I had a similar experience over the weekend when I decided to visit my giant Toyota sitting in the shop getting fixed. Even though the place was closed I was able to walk right in and take it for a quick test drive – now they told me last week my car would be ready this coming Wednesday but I wanted a sneak peek. Fuck man, the brakes sounded like shit! All screeching metalicky and whatnot. I called them up today and it turns out that they’re saying the new pads are coming in Tuesday. I don’t know, man, maybe they’ll get it done proper, but that’s a lot of work they still have to do…

The Bay Citizen Reveals its Newsroom Staff, Plus It Makes Bloggers a Cash Money Offer

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Read today’s announcement after the jump but first learn all about the new $25 Bay Citizen Partner Program for bloggers right here. Not satisfied with that? Well, then join the club.

The blogger meeting you weren’t personally invited to last week via scented, hand-delivered letter. Actually, you don’t need to go to tonight’s alternate meeting either if you don’t want. But you can still get in the game.

Click to expand

So, here’s the thing: If you don’t want to make a deal with The Bay Citizen, then don’t make a deal with The Bay Citizen, in’nt?

Seems pretty simple.

Also it seems that some reporters could report more better. For instance, “….rumors that reporters were being paid huge salaries are untrue.” Um, how do you know that? In fact, there were out-of-hand rumors about what reporters would get paid. And, in fact, there was a lot of disappointment around town when people found out that:

The salaries for reporters aren’t going to be all that high; und 

It matters not because lots of people didn’t get hired anyway, owing to the competitive environment

Oh well. (In addition, the office is just regular, nothing fancy or nothing, right?)

So, with Mother Hellman’s contractions coming faster and faster, things are the way you’d expect for our soon-to-be-bouncing baby Bay Citizen, with:

Jealousy-fueled* ankle-biting from below;

Jealousy-fueled* back-biting from the side; and

Silence from above, pretty much**

Anyway, the latest TBC sonogram, after the jump.

*Envy-fueled, more precisely, but you know…

**Could it be that the replacement for the old San Francisco Chronicle will be the current leaner and meaner San Francisco Chronicle? Yep, it could be. Certainly.

(more…)