Posts Tagged ‘Ma’

Uh Oh, San Franco-Based Uber Cab is in Trouble Again: Now Getting Sued in Massachusetts for Retaining Drivers’ Tips

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Apparently, if you have your UberCab driver pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd, the tip you pay for that service doesn’t all go to the Uber taxi driver. Deets below.

Is that kind of a setup illegal? I don’t know but we’ll find out soon enough.

Oh Uber Taxi, will you ever win?

Now when Uber drivers aren’t Ubering, they’re illegally picking up people off the street like the drivers of all these vehicles were trying to do on Sacramento last year:

Click to expand

Uber Cab/

Uber Cab/

It IS your fault

All the deets:

“High-tech car service Uber faces more accusations

Lawsuit alleges labor law violations

BOSTON, Feb. 7, 2013  – A class-action lawsuit filed in US District Court last week alleges car service Uber Technologies Inc. is violating state law prohibiting employers from keeping tips earned by employees.

The suit, filed by a driver for Uber, is another strike against the upstart high-tech car service that has prompted legal and regulatory crackdowns in other cities.

“Uber’s practice of keeping a large portion of the drivers’ tips is both deceptive to the customers, who expect that the drivers get to keep the gratuities that they have given them, and blatantly in violation of Massachusetts law,” said Hillary Schwab of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.

The suit comes on the heels of similar action taken by drivers in Chicago and regulations for smartphone applications in the car service industry recently proposed by the International Association of Transportation Regulators. Those proposals, released in November, would curtail the use of GPS devices as a substitute for a taxi meter, prohibit drivers without proper licensing from offering rides for pay, and bar car services from charging extra during hours of peak demand. IATR said its intention was to “bring rogue applications into compliance.” The proposals would have to be adopted by local state and city regulators. New York City, meanwhile, has drafted even more stringent regulations.

Boston fleet owners have said that if smart phone applications in the car service industry are to become standard there still must be uniform rules regarding their use.

In the most recent case, a driver for Uber, David Lavitman, of Milton, alleges Uber kept his tips. He said customers are regularly assessed a 20 percent gratuity but that the company retains as much as half that amount. Lavitman’s suit is seeking class action status and says more than 40 drivers in Massachusetts who served customers beginning Dec. 10, 2012 could join the class. Damages could exceed $5 million, according to statements by the company.

Uber is based in San Francisco.

SOURCE  DBMediaStrategies Inc.

DBMediaStrategies Inc.

Web Site: http://www.dbmediastrategies.com

“Me Dancing” by Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova – Plus, International Auditions for Ballet School Summer Session 2012

Monday, November 14th, 2011

World-famous ballerina Maria Kochetkova is down in Mexico City these days, but she’ll be back to our world-class San Francisco Ballet for the 2012 Season soon enough.

This one is simply entitled, “Me Dancing.”

Via balletrusse

Hey, speaking of ballet, here’s a recent announcement about why you always see gaggles of ballet students congregating around Civic Center every summer:

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET SCHOOL ANNOUNCES - NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AUDITION TOURS

SAN FRANCISCO –San Francisco Ballet School, the official school of San Francisco Ballet, has announced the schedule for its first-ever International Audition Tour. The School has also announced the dates for its 2012 National Audition Tour. Over the course of three months, hundreds of teenage girls and boys from across Europe and the U.S. will audition for an invitation to attend one of two Summer Sessions offered by San Francisco Ballet School. These include Program 1, a three-week program for intermediate students, and Program 2, a four-week program designed for advanced and pre-professional students. Program 1 will be held this summer from June 11–29; Program 2 will be held July 9–August 3.

The 2012 International Audition Tour is scheduled to visit 4 European cities: London; Madrid; Marseille, France and Florence, Italy. These auditions will be held for advanced and pre-professional students, only.

The 2012 National Audition Tour is scheduled to visit 11 U.S. cities: Boca Raton, FL; Boston; Chicago; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Irvine, CA; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica, CA; Seattle; Washington, D.C. and Winston-Salem, NC.

“There are many talented young dancers throughout Europe who are well-suited to participate in our training programs,” said Lola de Avila, associate director of the San Francisco Ballet School. “For the first time ever, San Francisco Ballet School is thrilled to hold international auditions, offering prospective students the chance to receive the highest-caliber training.”

Nearly 1,500 intermediate and advanced-level students are expected to audition on the tour, vying for approximately 125 positions for each of the School’s Summer Session programs. The Summer Sessions will include intensive classes in classical ballet technique, pointe work, batterie, dance history, repertoire, character, and Pilates. Students must attend a Summer Session in order to be considered for admittance to the School’s regular school year program.

About San Francisco Ballet School
San Francisco Ballet School, the country’s oldest classical academy, is directed by San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director and Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and Associate Director Lola de Avila. Now, over 75 years after its founding, the School boasts a distinguished international staff, a Trainee Program for advanced-level students, a dedicated student residence, and an extensive scholarship program. San Francisco Ballet School attracts students from around the world, training approximately 350 annually. In addition to filling the ranks of San Francisco Ballet, graduates have gone on to join distinguished ballet companies throughout the world.

For more information on San Francisco Ballet School’s Summer Sessions, visit: www.sfballet.org/school/summer_session.

It’s Food Day: Watch “Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges” Live from UC Hastings at 1:00 PM

Monday, October 24th, 2011

OMG, it’s Food Day 2011, so check the link to see what’s going on about the Bay Area today.

Here’s the manifesto:

At UC Hastings in Civic Center, the UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy will put on Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges starting at 1:00 PM.

Watch it on the livestream, why not? Or see about heading over to this free event yourself.

All the deets:

“Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges

Start: 10/24/2011 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: 200 McAllister, Alumni Reception Center

The UCSF / UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy is sponsoring a conference entitled “Food Deserts: Legal, Social, and Public Health Challenges” on Food Day, October 24, 2011.
The conference will bring together scholars from the health sciences and the law, as well as policymakers, activists, and food industry members, to discuss two important aspects of “food deserts,” places where access to a nutritionally-adequate diet is severely restricted.

One panel, Nourishing Our Neighborhoods: Insights from Law, Planning, and Industry, will cover the broad issue of geographical food deserts, usually urban areas inhabited by mostly-poor people whose transportation and finances are limited, where food sellers are predominantly small stores that cannot stock a wide variety of fresh food items, and where full-service grocery stores hesitate to locate. Are there policies (such as those in zoning rules) that could be changed to enable oases in these food deserts? What impact does, for example, the addition of a full-service grocery store have on the health of the neighboring area?

Another panel, Food and Nutrition in Correctional Institutions, will consider issues relevant to prisons and jails. While food offerings must meet certain basic caloric and nutritional requirements, the institutional nature of food preparation and food service might make that food less than appealing, and the healthier elements of meals might well be those not regularly or fully consumed. The supplemental food offerings – those for sale in these institutions – are not likely to be nutritious. Some research suggests that improved nutrition in prisons leads to improved penal outcomes. If that is so, what policy changes should be implemented? Would such changes be cost-beneficial, considering penal outcomes and the government’s responsibility for health care of prisoners?

At 5 pm, Dr. David Kessler, former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration and Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF, will give the keynote address on The End of Overeating. This conference will be free and open to the public.”

Ever more deets after the jump

(more…)

That ZenDesk Company Can’t Afford Gavin Newsom’s 2004 “Twitter Tax,” But It CAN Afford $1 Million to Charity?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

[UPDATE: So is Zendesk the only San Francisco company that hasn't threatened to move out of San Francisco lately? Apparently, see the Comments. BTW, did you know that:

"[a]ny tweets that mention Zendesk are immediately turned into what we like to call a “twicket,” that is, a tweet that is converted into a support ticket.

Well, that’s news to me.

Oh, and here’s your chance to get in on the land rush:

“Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion is now publicly available and can be found on the Office of Economic and Workforce Development website, www.oewd.org, as well as on the new Central Market Partnership website, www.centralmarketpartnership.org. Applications are being accepted now, and the deadline to apply for the 2011 tax year is November 1, 2011. Please contact the Office of Economic and Workforce Development at 415-554-6969 with any questions regarding the application for the Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion.”]

I don’t really get this one here. Zendesk needed corporate welfare to move into the Mid-Market and it wasn’t going to do so anyway, do I have that right?

Leave us review. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a payroll tax into law back in 2004. But a half-decade later, Twitter decided that it didn’t like Gavin Newsom’s tax, so an exemption was made for Twitter, and others so bold as to set up shop in an area that was mapped out by real estate interests and others, only Gaia knows.

Now we hear that ZenDesk agreed to expand in Mid Market thanks to the recent Twitter Tax waiver?

Is that the narrative?

A tourist takes it easy after an eventful day in the Mid Market a couple months back. I forget how many people got shot all told:

Via Bluoz – click to expand

So here’s the latest:

“We <3 SF. To prove our commitment to this rad city we’ve pledged $1M to @UCSF @Benioff Children’s Hospital: http://prn.to/pzzYwt

Now, is it possible that ZenDesk didn’t need that subsidy to move into the Twitterloin? Sure seems that way. Mmmm…

And let me assure you that nothing has substantively changed betwixt Dot Com Era I of the late 90′s  and our current Dot Com Era II as far as stock options are concerned. Obviously, a San Francisco company going public might not want to deal with the 2004 tax signed into law by Gavin Newsom. Obviously. So what’s changed the past seven years?

Here’s “interim” Mayor Ed Lee from this year:

We’re not about punishing any companies that need to grow and grow fast,” said Mayor Lee.

So why did Gavin Newsom sign his tax into law back in aught-four? Did he do it to “punish companies?” Did he do it to “kill jobs?” Was Gavin Newsom a “job killer?”

Apparently.

Hey, how about this? Why not treat all companies the same? Why not get rid subsidies for biotech? Why not address concerns about Mid Market without corporate welfare?  

“SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 2011 — Zendesk, the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software, today announced a $1 million pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

“Zendesk was founded in Denmark and moved to San Francisco in 2009,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk’s CEO. “We have been humbled by the wonderful way we have been welcomed to this city and its vital high-tech community. As Zendesk continues its rapid growth, we want to share our good fortune with the city and people that helped make it possible. As a father and client of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, this charity is especially meaningful to me.”

Zendesk is kicking off this year-long effort with a sponsorship of the Salesforce Foundation’s Concert to Benefit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to be held on Thursday, September 1, 2011. Zendesk will host its customers, partners and employees to attend this charity event. Throughout the next year, Zendesk will donate a portion of its sales, as well as hold other fund-raising events, to deliver on its $1 million pledge. In addition, its employees will participate in volunteer programs for the hospital.

“The Salesforce Foundation has been an inspiration to us on how to integrate philanthropy into a company’s culture,” Svane added. “Today’s announcement is just the first of many demonstrating Zendesk’s gratitude to the city of San Francisco. Having just moved into new headquarters in the Central Market, we also look forward to making our new neighborhood a better place to work.”

“It’s great to see Zendesk, one of San Francisco’s rapidly growing tech companies, already giving back to the citizens of San Francisco,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We are grateful to them for their generous pledge to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.”

About Zendesk

Zendesk is the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software. For growing organizations, Zendesk is the fastest way to enable great customer service. More than 10,000 Zendesk customers, including Adobe, MSNBC, Sony, OpenTable and Groupon, trust Zendesk with their most valuable assets, their customers, partners, and employees. Founded in 2007, Zendesk is funded by Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners. Learn more at www.zendesk.com.”

Mayor Edwin Lees Says Payroll Tax is a “Business Punisher,” So Why Did Gavin Newsom Sign It Into Law in 2004?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

All right, work with me here, “Interim Mayor” Edwin Lee is now saying that San Francisco’s unique stock option payroll tax scheme is a kind of “business punisher,” right?

Edwin Lee, seen here with popular new Supervisor Malia Cohen:

Check it, from a recent ditty from Adam Lashinsky in Fortune magazine:

“We have kind of a unique taxing system here in San Francisco where historically we’ve actually taxed employees’ growth, and that’s kind of a business punisher, if you will. If you’re going to grow the employees, why would we punish that?”

All right, so who signed this horrible, terrible, horrible tax into law? None other than former Mayor Gavin Newsom just seven years ago.

Check it:

On February 19, 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom approved recent changes to San Francisco’s Business Tax ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors on February 10, 2004. These changes become effective March 20, 2004, 30 days after signing by the Mayor.”

So, how can we reconcile this? Here’s a stab at it, again from Mayor Lee:

“Now, we’ve never really distinguished stock options; we’ve always taxed compensation just like any payroll tax would. But we didn’t realize that stock options was something very special to the tech companies. And as they’ve grown, they’ve educated us about how valuable those stock options are.”

But didn’t we have stock options and tech companies about back in the dotcom era? Yes we did. Has anything changed since then, are stock options new? No, not at all.

I cry foul.

And I’ll tell you, I don’t see a way out of this one. Tell me, Gentle Reader, how can we reconcile dese tings?

(Also, note how the Supervisors voted back int the day. Do you think Sean Elsbernd, if he had gotten his current gig just a little earlier, would have voted against this “job punishing” biz tax back in the day? Don’t know. It’s hard to imagine him defying Gavin Newsom, but anything’s possible, I suppose.)

Enjoy:

031990

[Business Tax]

Supervisors Ma, McGoldrick

Ordinance amending the Business and Tax Regulations Code to: (1) amend Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) to (i) conform Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) with the amendments to Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions) and (ii) consolidate exemptions, definitions and other administrative provisions, as amended, that apply to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and other Articles of the Business and Tax Regulation Code, and place them in Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions); (2) amend Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance) to conform business registration requirements with amendments to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions); and (3) amend Article 6 (Common Administrative Provisions) to (i) clarify common administrative provisions and conform them with amendments to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) and Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance), (ii) consolidate exemptions, definitions and other administrative provisions that apply to Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance), Article 12 (Business Registration Ordinance) and other Articles of the Business and Tax Regulations Code, and (iii) eliminate the Board of Review. (Treasurer-Tax Collector)

PASSED ON FIRST READING by the following vote:
Ayes: 11 – Alioto-Pier, Ammiano, Daly, Dufty, Gonzalez, Hall, Ma, Maxwell, McGoldrick, Peskin, Sandoval”

Bicycle Wheel Dipping Ceremony in the Presidio Tomorrow – End of 3800 Mile Cancer Ride

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Check it: Dude‘s come a long way from Boston.

Mike and Cyndy Mulhern have been on a quest since mid-May to bring more awareness to cancer - it will all end at Baker Beach tomorrow Saturday, July 17th, 2010 in the afternoon.

They were s’posed to come a week ago for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco 2010, but they’re arriving just now.

Join them, will you?

Front Cleansing in Mountain View – Conan O’Brien Delighted by Google’s $700 Toilets

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

After famous Conan O’Brien performed at his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour 2010 at the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium on April 22-23 he headed south down to San Joser. But on the way, he managed to put in a visit to Google’s HQ in Mountain View. O.K. then.

Well, he was simply delighted with Google’s Japanese-made Toto toilets. Check the YouTube.

Here’s an excerpt, click to expand:

Front cleansing indeed.

San Francisco Delighted by the Return of Conan O’Brien – LPFBFOT Tour 2010

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Conan O’Brien’s 32-city Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour 2010 delighted all comers at the sold-out Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium tonight.

It went a little something like this.

Friday’s show should be a hit as well. Keep up with the action at the Twitter via #cobnob

Bonus: the Masturbating Bear made an appearance tonight as well:

Click to expand

In other news:

Leno Slips to Post-Coco Low — Even vs. Dave Repeats

Post-Coco Low! Post-Coco Low! Post-Coco Low!

The C-man in S.F. – Conan Christopher O’Brien by Troy Holden

O.K. then. Coco is leaving us tomorrow Friday, April 23 2010. It will be tough getting into his final show in S.F., but: 

“Wow. If Conan is coming to your city, find a way to get tickets. I was literally in tears from laughing so hard.”

And the Late Night Talk Shows Examiner seems to like this tour a lot.

Bon Courage, Conan and everyone else on the LPFBFOT Tour 2010.

P.S.: Here are the remaining cities on the tour – check to see if they added another show in your town the way they did in San Francisco: 

4/24/10 Universal City, CA Gibson Amphitheater

4/29/10 San Diego, CA San Diego Civic Theatre

4/30/10 Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre

5/1/10 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl Concert Theatre @ The Palms

5/4/10 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort & Casino

5/5/10 San Jose, Ca San Jose State University Events Center

5/6/10 Sacramento, CA Sacramento Memorial Auditorium

5/9/10 Boulder, CO Mackey Auditorium

5/10/10 Denver, CO Ellie Caulkins Opera House

5/13/10 Dallas, TX McFarlin Memorial Auditorium- SMU Campus

5/14/10 Austin, TX Austin Music Hall

5/15/10 Tulsa, OK Brady Theater

5/16/10 Kansas City, MO Midland Theatre

5/18/10 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre

5/19/10 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre

5/22/10 Toronto, ON, Canada Massey Hall

5/30/10 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Spa & Resort – Event Center

6/1/10 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall

6/4/10 Boston, MA Wang Theater

6/6/10 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena

6/7/10 Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre

6/8/10 Washington, DC Constitution Hall

6/11/10 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival

6/14/10 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre

Conan O’Brien Plays San Francisco April 22-23: $74 a Ticket, Meet Coco for Just $695

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

[UPDATE: OMG COCO is finally here. Follow the action via Twitter at #cobnob.]

Oh, it’s on. It’s going to be Coco a Gogo when Conan O’Brien’s “half-assed“ 32-city Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour 2010 comes to the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium April 22-23. It’ll be just like 2007 all over again.

“Full Price Tickets” from TicketMonster are going right now for $74, all up. And for just $695 you can get in on the Meet and Greet Package- wouldn’t you like a photo of you and Conan to put on the FaceBook for all your “friends” to see? Sure you would.

I don’t know, maybe you can score some cheaper ticks by using your AmEx card or going to the box office or something.

See you there!

All the tour locations, after the jump

(more…)

Assembywoman Fiona Ma and SF Young Dems Host Bipartisan Constitutional Convention Panel Tonight

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Assemblymember Fiona Ma, who represents the interests of San Francisco’s west siiiiide in Sacramento, will be in the bowels of the San Francisco State Building at 455 Golden Gate Ave tonight at 7:oo P.M. to host a special constitutional convention panel being thrown by the San Francisco Young Democrats.

That means that California Forward, the Courage Campaign, Repair California and the New America Foundation will be in the house to discuss l’issue du 2009 a California, our Constitution.

MC FM:

GO8F5718a

(Attention Republicans: This L. Z. is hot. Repeat: Lima Zulu is Hotel Oscar Tango. Expect to be booed)

All the deets after the jump. See you there!

(more…)