Posts Tagged ‘letter’

After the Airbnb Fiasco, Mayor Ed Lee Says Diane Feinstein is Giving “Enthusiastic Support” to the Assembly Campaign of David Chiu

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Believe it or not, Mayor Ed Lee is saying that DiFi is giving “enthusiastic support” to the Assembly campaign of David Chiu. Check it:

“I am proud to join U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein … in giving David Chiu my enthusiastic support.”

See?

P1160922 copy

Now IRL, here’s DiFi herself on President Chiu’s Airbnb legislation from October 20th, 2014:

Don’t hand San Francisco over to Airbnb

And now Willie Brown is suggesting that DiFi is already on the list of those who are “joining Leno” against Ed Lee?

I’m thinking no, DiFi’s residual support of David Chiu, if any, against David Campos sure aint “enthusiastic.”

Read the news and turn the pages. Moving on…

Hey, speaking of Airbnb, check this out, from San Francisco’s biggest corrupt non-profit org:

“On October 6, Supervisor Jane Kim’s persistence and the last-minute intervention of Mayor Ed Lee ensured that legislation legalizing tourist rentals in San Francisco will have teeth.”

The problem with this, or I should say just one problem with this, is that Ed Lee could have simply not signed the legislation, right? There was no need for any “intervention,” right?

I don’t know how seriously people take all these shenanigans. We’ll see, soon enough…

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Tells “Monkey Parking” to Drop Mobile App for Auctioning City Parking Spots – $300 Fines?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: SFist (lots of comments already), Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle are on the case.]

Gotta say I sort of saw this one coming.

And it’s not just Monkey Parking that’s in trouble today. Check out the craigslist ad from ParkModo (cached website) (@ParkModo – no Tweets yet, or maybe they were deleted?), posted on June 17th, 2014:

Earn $13.00 P/H Just To Park! (mission district)

Our company is launching an awesome app that rewards people to sell their on-street parking spots before leaving to people who need a spot.

To help us promote the app, we are looking for 20 people with cars and iPhones to park around the mission and use the app to offer their parking spots to people looking for parking.

The hours will be from 5:30-9:00 pm Thurs-Sat starting June 26th.

This is how it works:

1. You download the app from the app store.
2. When you want to work, you will contact our field manager to check in.
3. The field manager will then instruct you as to what area and type of spot you are to park in.
4. You will then find a spot in the area and park.
5. Once you are parked, using the app, you will offer the spot for sale. 
6. While you are waiting for someone to purchase the space, you will distribute postcards and promote the app.
7. Once someone purchases the spot, you will complete the transaction with the buyer and then find another space to park in and start the process all over again!

If you are interested, please click on the link below (Paste into your browser) and provide your information so we can contact you and get you started.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1To5Ck5FrPBMrh35SvJp-WDRg0WDyaLLyuo1_MS8pyV8/viewform?usp=send_form

We look forward to working with you!”

I think ParkModo’s operations will now be on hold, for a little bit at least. But do you want some more from them? See below.

Now, all the deets about all these troubled businesses, from Herrera’s office:

“Herrera tells Monkey Parking to drop mobile app for auctioning city parking spots

Motorists face $300 fines for each violation under existing law, City Attorney says — and three startups could be liable for penalties of up to $2,500 for each transaction

SAN FRANCISCO (June 23, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that enables motorists to auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to nearby drivers.   The app, currently available for iOS devices, describes itself on the Apple iTunes App Store as the “the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot.”

The letter Herrera’s office issued this morning to Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup, cites a key provision of San Francisco’s Police Code that specifically prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.  Police Code section 63(c) further provides that scofflaws — including drivers who “enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind” for public parking spots — face administrative penalties of up to $300 for each violation.  Because Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions, the letter contends that the company would be subject to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law were the city to sue.  Such a lawsuit would be imminent, Herrera’s office vowed, should the startup continue to operate in San Francisco past July 11, 2014.

Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work — and Monkey Parking is not one of them,” Herrera said.  “It’s illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate.  Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely — to engage in online bidding wars while driving.  People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so.  But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit.”

Herrera’s cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking includes a request to the legal department of Apple Inc., which is copied on the letter, asking that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store for violating several of the company’s own guidelines.  Apple App Store Review Guidelines provide that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users” and that “Apps whose use may result in physical harm may be rejected.”

Two other startups that similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces in San Francisco will also face legal action in the form of cease-and-desist demands this week, according to the City Attorney’s Office.  Sweetch charges a $5 flat fee when its users obtain a parking spot from another Sweetch motorist.  Sweetch drivers who pass their spots off to other Sweetch members are refunded $4 of that fee.  ParkModo, which appears poised to launch later this week, according to recent employment postings on Craigslist, will employ drivers at a rate of $13.00 per hour to occupy public parking spaces in the Mission District.  As with Monkey Parking and Sweetch, ParkModo then plans to sell the on-street parking spots to its paying members through its iPhone app.  Sweetch and ParkModo members who make use of the apps to park in San Francisco are also subject to civil penalties of $300 per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the Cali04fornia Unfair Competition Law.

A copy of Herrera’s demand letter to Monkey Parking and additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

And here’s a little more from ParkModo:

“We are currently rolling out the beta in the following cities…

San Francisco – As beautiful as city it is, parking is just as bad! Not only is there way to much demand for the supply, but the parking police will catch you if they can! Be among the first 1000 people to download the app and get $5 in free parking!

New York – Instead of calling it the city that never sleeps, they should call it the city that never has parking! Get in on ParkModo and earn some serious cash and stop wasting your time. We know every minute in ny is precious.

Chicago – There may be wind here, but there is certainly no parking! Use ParkModo and fly like the wind when you need a space!”

An Open Letter from the Man Behind @HiddenCash: A Plea for Safety, a Response to Cynical Writers Like CW Nevius

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Here it is:

“One week ago tonight, on May 22, 2014, after a late dinner with a friend in San Francisco, I was telling him about my desire to give back to the community which I love and has given me so much, and to do it in a fun way. We rejected a few ideas I had as too complex, and decided that I would hide money in a few spots in San Francisco, and then tweet about it. We created the Twitter handle @hiddencash, and did just that, hiding envelopes of cash around midnight in SF, and tweeting clues. I contacted a local blog to tell them what we did. They asked me a few questions, and wrote about it, and it exploded from there. 

What was originally meant to be a pay-it-forward scavenger hunt for San Francisco, has become much bigger than San Francisco and more than a scavenger hunt. The worldwide interest that has been spawned is tremendous, and though personally surprising, in some ways it is understandable.
I think we may have struck a chord with people for a few reasons:
1. Everyone likes free cash :)
2. Many people enjoy a real world scavenger hunt. 
3. Many people who don’t go on the hunt themselves, enjoy following the excitement and positive stories of people participating and so often paying it forward. 
4. In many ways, we have become alienated from each other, and perhaps this is a fun way for people to come together. 

We would like to keep this movement going, and we thank you for your support keeping it safe and positive. 

There have been large crowds lately. Please walk and drive safely. A young woman ran right in front of my car a few days ago. I will do my best to pick locations that are safe, but please use common sense and caution. Please also be respectful to the locations themselves and surrounding businesses. And be kind and happy with each other, as that’s what this is all about. 

I have been overwhelmed with the hundreds of emails asking for financial assistance. I like to help people, and do volunteer my time and donate to charities – however I’m sorry I can not read or respond to all of these personal requests, and that is not what the purpose of this account is. I am also doing a media blackout on all interviews in any form for the next couple weeks. 

The growth of @hiddencash has been phenomenal and overwhelming. We will take time in the next several weeks to figure out how to best move forward in a way that keeps @hiddencash fun and safe – as well as logistics for the big announcement we’ve mentioned previously (don’t worry, you’ll like this). 

There really is no agenda here – not political, not business, not religious – other than bringing people together in a positive way and bringing a smile to people’s faces. And, in some cases, happy tears, like the teenage girl tonight who is sending the money she found to her sick grandmother in Mexico. I am so happy that my money is going to help deserving people like this. There will always be cynics and skeptics, especially as a movement grows, but it is truly my intention to give back and make people happy. This is not a promotion for a business. We want to encourage people to be kind, to be generous, and to pay it forward. For those who started similar movements in other cities and countries around the world, we salute you. 

With Love,
@HiddenCash

Domestic Violencer Gurbaksh Chahal Resigns from Board of RadiumOne: Here’s His Nonsensical Open Letter

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

I’m not sure what Gurbaksh Chahal is talking about with this “exoneration” stuff. The best he could have hoped for was a “not guilty” verdict, and that’s not anything close to exoneration, not at all.

Did he have an agreement allowing himself to be convicted in San Francisco in exchange for something from the Board of RadiumOne? Is any such agreement in writing? Would it even be enforceable? IDK.

Did his father have a heart attack from the stress associated with the assault upon the girlfriend? IDK.

And who’s the primary owner of RadiumOne these days? IDK.

Anyway, here it is, entitled “Greed, Betrayal, and Honesty.”

An Open Letter to the Board of RadiumOne

To the Board of Directors of RadiumOne:

As you all know, I resigned from the board of directors on Tuesday. In light of recent events and to stay transparent and forthright, you give me no other vehicle than an open letter to communicate adequately.

I am deeply disappointed by your actions and decisions over the last few weeks.

All of you were well aware of the legal matter I had been struggling with since August, just as you were aware that of the exaggerated allegations against me. You supported me from the beginning both in person and in writing, and you made it clear that you had every intention of standing by me until justice prevailed.

(more…)

Spank the Landlord! – Infamous Owner of 312 Fillmore Gets a Notice of Violation from San Francisco – Tenants Strike Back

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Well some tenant at 312 Fillmore got a letter from the landlord and sent it off to Hoodline.com and the rest is history.

Here’s the update. Some of the tenants contacted DBI. See?

And then DBI sent an Inspector out two days ago.

And then the Inspector looked around and filed a Notice of Violation yesterday.

On 5/21/14 Inspector Steve Mungovan investigated the complaint at unit #25 of the subject property and observed violations of the San Francisco Housing Code which are delineated within the Notice of Violation issued on 5/22/2014 identified by Complaint Tracking #201474055. Pertinent observations are as follows: Peeling paint and damaged wall surfaces.”

This is only going to get worse for this particular landlord.

Oh, and guess what? If the LL tries to evict anybody soon, that action just might be presumed to be a retaliatory eviction.

Ouch.

On It Goes…

Description: The kitchen sink hot water pipe was changed out previously from galvanized to bronze; they didnt change out the cold water, which is still leaking. Because the building and piping is old, there are blockages. He has had water leak out and found standing water in the apartment. **He has had a water leak from rain that is coming through the window and there is damage to the wall below. There was also a large crack about 2-3 inches deep and a crack on the outside, where the water is coming in. The apartment has not been painted since he moved in, in 1989. Cracks in walls.
Instructions: 311 SR# 3649450 , ** 3649409 rec’d by HIS on 5/16/2014

The Reason Why It’s Not “Illegal” for the Landlord at 312 Fillmore to Require $100K Income and a 725 FICO Score

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Here’s the post from Hoodline. It shows part of a letter given to all the tenants at, let’s say, 312 Fillmore on Haight.

Can’t say that I know the purpose, but it could be to give a heads up to tenants who might wish to replace a roommate under the rules laid out by the San Francisco Rent Board. There’s some stuff in there about landlords “unreasonably” withholding consent from existing tenants who want to get a new roomie. Of course there are all kinds of factors that determine who and how many people can live in a unit in rent controlled SF, so it’s not impossible that you’d have two people in a one bedroom and then one moves out and another wants to move in. And at that point, that’s where incomes and credit scores can become factors. And if the LL says no to a potential new roomie, that’s when things can go to the SFRB.

Now if you want to say that this letter means “Make $100k Or Get Out,” well that’s your right, but I think you’re jumping to conclusions. If you want to say that this is a kind of harassment, well, you’re going to need a lot more than this to be able to do anything with it. And if you’re irritated by this landlord coming into your studio all the time without giving proper notice first, well, the lawgivers in Sacramento didn’t exactly specify a penalty for not giving proper notice, so there’s not much you can do there either.

(But, by all means, go ask Robert (or whatever his name is) what his intent was. And if he says, “Well, I’m evicting everybody in the building who makes less than $100k,” well, then the conclusion you all jumped to was OK fine.)

The proper response here is to ignore the letter and store it away along with all the others.

“Mixed use property – 25 residential, 5 commercial  30 unit, 5-story building

 18 studios, 6-one bedrooms & spacious 3 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath penthouse with formal living/dining rooms, extra large kitchen, utility area, fireplace and panoramic views.
Building size: 17,750 sq. ft.
Lot size: 5,980 sq. ft.
Year built: 1925
Zoning: NC2
Parcel #: 0849-020
Current rents are $1800 to $3500 Studio to 1 bedrooms”

Life goes on, in high-rent Frsico, a block from the projects, on Webster…

All right, play us out, Victor Vasquez:

Kool A.D., living contradictory since ’83
Arkansas street, like a block from the projects
HP some more blocks from some other projects
To Alameda, so we not by the projects
Now look at me, getting nods for my projects

The Laughable “Apology” Letter to the Beastie Boys from YouTube Sensation “Debbie + Team GoldieBlox”

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Hey look, it’s GoldieBloxeses’ “our letter to the Beastie Boys.”

Dear Adam and Mike,

We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.

UH, LET ME CALL BULLSHIT ON THIS RIGHT NOW. YES YOU DID WANT TO FIGHT THEM. REMEMBER?

When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions.

WHO WROTE THIS, A LAWYER? THAT’S YOUR CONCLUSION, ABOUT THE PARODY, RIGHT? THIS IS AWFULLY “ON MESSAGE” FOR AN APOLOGY LETTER. AND YOU DID IT WITH THE BEST INTENTIONS? HOW DO WE KNOW THAT? I THINK YOU DID IT WITH THE PURPOSE OF MAKING MONEY. IS THAT A GOOD INTENTION?

We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls.

WHY WERE YOU NOT TOO PROUD OF IT? DID YOU WRITE IT, DO YOU OWN IT? I THINK IT’S THE BEASTIE BOYS THEMSELVES WHO HAVE ALREADY SAID THEY WEREN’T PROUD OF IT AND THAT WAS TWO DECADES AGO.

Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.

IS THIS AN AD FOR YOUR COMPANY?

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously.

YOUR HEARTS SANK? WHOSE? YOUR VC BACKERS’ AND YOURS?

As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? WHY DIDN’T YOU GET PERMISSION FIRST OR CHOOSE A DIFFERENT SONG OR MARKET YOURSELVES DIFFERENTLY? WHY NOT JUST STOP USING THE SONG? DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT? HERE’S WHAT THE BOYS SAID: “When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.” THAT WAS THE “THREAT.”

We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

SINCERELY? BULLSHIT.

We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising.

WELL GEE, IF YOU HAD ASKED, YOU WOULD HAVE LEARNED THAT, POSSIBLY, RIGHT? YOU DON’T REALLY NEED TO KNOW ALL THIS INFORMATION ANYWAY, RIGHT? YOU JUST NEED TO NOT INFRINGE, RIGHT? DON’T YOU KNOW THAT?

Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.

SO, YOU’VE GOTTEN TONS OF FREE PUBLICITY FOR YOUR TOY COMPANY AND NOW YOU WANT TO RESPECT WISHES. OK FINE.

Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video.

NOT ON VIMEO, NOT YET, BUT PROLLY BY TOMORROW, SURE.

In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.

IS THIS FROM YOUR LAWYERS AGAIN? IS THIS THEIR SETTLEMENT OFFER? THE ONLY REASON YOU’RE UNDER “THREAT” IS BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS, RIGHT?

We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles.

EVEN IF IT WILL GET YOU ATTENTION?  I DON’T BELIEVE IT.

We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.

Sincerely,

Debbie + Team GoldieBlox

WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT. ALL RIGHT, WELL, HAPPY HOLIDAYS. OH WAIT, THE CHRISTMAS GIFT SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. WHAT A CONVENIENT TIME TO BECOME “FRIENDS,” WHAT A COINCIDENCE!

Working with experienced innovators from such companies as Pictionary and IDEO…”

A Handful of Rich NIMBY’s in the Western Addition vs. Millions of Good-Natured Tourists – Who WIll Win Today?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

So Hayes Street is about to become a “big commercial bus freeway?”

How is that even possible?

Anyway, the deets of today’s meeting are right here.  And here’s a bit from Haighteration.

Click to  NIMBY

How about no to both options? How about that, NIMBYs?

Coalition of 48 San Francisco NIMBY Groups Opposes the Coming Changes to Masonic Avenue

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Well, this is news to me. See below.

I’m not seeing a path for victory for the SaveMasonic people, just saying. I mean the SFMTA wants to spend money, the money was gotten, so why would the SFMTA change its mind all of a sudden now that it’s gotten what it wanted?

A recent window sign seen on, where else, on Masonic:

All the deets:

“Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 – 8th St
Oakland CA 94607
Re: Agenda Item 9(a) – OBAG – Masonic Avenue Complete Streets — MTC,
September 25, 2013

Dear Ms Worth:

The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods (CSFN) is an “umbrella” organization comprised
of 48 individual San Francisco neighborhood associations representing thousands of the city’s
residents.
At its September General Assembly delegates from the CSFN member organizations voted
unanimously in support the following resolution.
Resolved, that the CSFN urges that elected officials, the SFMTA, the
SFCTA, and the MTC must
1. rescind and withdraw their approval and support of the current
Masonic Ave redesign plan,
2. adopt an alternate plan that maintains traffic flow,
3. retain curbside parking on Masonic Ave,
4. establish a better, alternate bicycle route on nearby streets, and
5. install pedestrian safety improvements.
The proposed Masonic Avenue Complete Streets project is estimated to cost $18 million at a
minimum. This money could be better spent. Many affected residents did not receive notice of the
project; adequate EIR has not been performed.
The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, which reflects citywide neighborhood concerns,
passed this motion unanimously. We urge you to take into account deeply-felt neighborhood
concerns about this. A large part of the city will be negatively impacted by this ill-thought-out
plan. These plans for Masonic Avenue would thwart neighbors’ efforts for real improvement.
In reviewing the plan that you now have before you, we found that there will be significant
impacts that warrant careful inspection and consideration.
CSFN respectfully and very strongly urges you to withdraw the Masonic Avenue
Complete Streets project from OBAG funding until such time as it can be
meaningfully studied, reviewed, and presented to the public.
Thank you for your careful deliberations in this matter; we appreciate your support and
action.

Sincerely,
Judith Berkowitz

President

Cc: Vice Chair Dave Cortese, Alicia C. Aguirre, Tom Azumbrado, Tom Bates, David Campos,
Bill Dodd, Dorene M. Giacopini, Federal D. Glover, Scott Haggerty, Anne W. Halsted,
Steve Kinsey, Sam Liccardo, Mark Luce, Jake MacKenzie, Joe Pirzynski, Jean Quan,
Bijan Sartipi, James P. Sperling, Adrienne J. Tissier, Scott Wiener; Kimberly Hughes,
Georgia Lambert

Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods Resolution Regarding Masonic
Avenue Complete Streets

Whereas, Masonic Avenue is an arterial road used daily by 32,000 vehicles, 13,000 bus riders,
over 1,000 pedestrians; and
Whereas, the proposed Masonic Avenue redesign will permanently remove two traffic lanes during
rush hours resulting in increased not reduced congestion on Masonic and surrounding
streets; and
Whereas, pedestrian safety will be lessened, not strengthened; pedestrians boarding the bus or
crossing the street must step over the bicycle lane; and
Whereas, EMS response time will be reduced; new traffic lanes are inadequate for wide emergency
vehicles; and
Whereas, the loss of 167 parking places will adversely affect residents, disabled, seniors, visitors
and others; and
Whereas, MTA counted 31 bicyclists during peak hours on Masonic Ave; nearby Baker St. with
less than 10% of Masonic Ave traffic provides an alternate bicycle route; therefore be it
Resolved, that the CSFN urges that elected officials, the SFMTA, the SFCTA, and the MTC must

1. rescind and withdraw their approval and support of the current Masonic Ave
redesign plan,
2. adopt an alternate plan that maintains traffic flow,
3. retain curbside parking on Masonic Ave,
4. establish a better, alternate bicycle route on nearby streets, and
5. install pedestrian safety improvements.

So, Mayor Ed Lee Wants Restaurant Health Scores on Yelp But Not Posted On-Site the Way LA and NYC Do It?

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Does area Republican and Mayor Ed Lee backer Ron Conway own a piece of Yelp? ‘Cause that’s all that I can think of after seeing this doozie of a press release, below.

So let’s stop the party for a second here, Yelpers:

First, tell me this, tell me why San Francisco doesn’t require restaurants to post their latest Health Department scores “prominently” for tout le monde to see.  You know, the way the do it in New York City and Los Angeles:

Instead, you want people to log on to Yelp and read the Yelp ads?

Is that “leadership?”

No it’s not, Interim Mayor Ed Lee.

Hey, wasn’t it your political faction what put the kibosh on the effort to require the posting of grades where they belong?

Yes it was.

Wasn’t that kind of an “Open Data movement” kind of a thing back then?

Yes it was.

Hey, Ed Lee! Why not require San Francisco restaurants to post their scores where people can see them?

That’s what most diners want, right?

Check it, right from the Frisco Zagat:

“An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA).”

All right, here it is, the press release from Fantasyland.

(NB: “Haters” aren’t born, they’re made.)

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 — Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Technology and Innovation Task Force, and Yelp CEO and Co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman announced the initial integration of city-provided restaurant health score information on the site that connects people with great local businesses. San Francisco will lead the charge on this innovative effort to make valuable government data more easily accessible to the public; New York City restaurant grades will also be added as business attributes in the weeks ahead.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050511/SFW134LOGO)

Working with the technology departments of San Francisco and New York, Yelp’s engineering team designed the Local Inspector Value-entry Specification (LIVES) which enables local municipalities to accurately upload restaurant health inspection scores to Yelp’s database. Consumers in SF and NYC will be the first to benefit from this partnership upon the full rollout in the weeks ahead. Philadelphia is also expected to participate along with other municipalities that adopt the new specification.

“This new partnership with Yelp to offer restaurant health inspection scores on its site is another significant step in the Open Data movement,” said Mayor Lee. “By making often hard-to-find government information more widely available to innovative companies like Yelp, we can make government more transparent and improve public health outcomes for our residents through the power of technology.”

“Increasing the transparency and accessibility of important public information is another example of how San Francisco, New York and other municipalities are leading the charge in bettering citizens lives by fostering innovation,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and Co-founder of Yelp. “It’s exciting to be a part of an important initiative to disseminate valuable health department information to the 84 million unique visitors that turn to Yelp each month on average.”

According to a study in the Journal of Environmental Health(1) (March 2005), Los Angeles County’s decision to require restaurants to display hygiene grade cards on their entrances led to a 13 percent decrease in hospitalizations due to food borne illness. The study also demonstrated that the mandatory public display of these health grades improved the overall average score of restaurants in Los Angeles by incentivizing improved best practices across the local industry. As a leading website and app for dining decisions, Yelp’s open data initiative LIVES stands to empower consumers and improve the quality of life within the cities that participate in the program.

Details about and screenshots of the LIVES implementation can be found at yelp.com/healthscores.

About Yelp

Yelp (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of 84 million unique visitors in Q3 2012(2). By the end of Q3 2012, Yelpers had written more than 33 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile application was used on 8.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q3 2012.

(1) Source: Journal of Environmental Health,http://kuafu.umd.edu/~ginger/research/JEH-final.pdf

(2) Source: Google Analytics

Examples of LIVES implementation:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/cocobang-san-francisco
http://www.yelp.com/biz/delessio-market-and-bakery-san-francisco-2
http://www.yelp.com/biz/eats-san-francisco

Media contacts:

Christine Falvey
Mayor’s Office of Communications
christine.falvey@sfgov.org
415-554-6131

Stephanie Ichinose
Yelp, Inc
stephanie@yelp.com
415-908-3679

SOURCE  Yelp

Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050511/SFW134LOGO
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Yelp