Posts Tagged ‘merger’

Uh Oh, Now There’s a Lawsuit Against the City for Recent Ellis Act Legislation – SFAA & realtors Fighting Us

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Read it and weep, San Francisco. We’re getting sued:

“For Immediate Release, January 29, 2014:

San Francisco Housing Associations File Lawsuit to Block Anti-Family Legislation

San Francisco – On Tuesday January 28, 2014, the San Francisco Apartment Association, Coalition for Better Housing and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of legislation known as the Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation.

 The legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in violation of building owners’ rights under the state law known as the Ellis Act.

 The legislation prohibits owners of multi-unit buildings from combining units in a building for ten years following an Ellis Act eviction or for five years following an owner-move in eviction.

 On a practical level, the legislation prevents families who own a building from creating a home that meets their needs. For example, the legislation prevents a family from combining two small units into a larger one to provide a home for a growing family. Couples with young children often find themselves in need of additional space they did not anticipate when they purchased a rental building, yet the legislation punishes them.

 Only 2 percent of new housing built in San Francisco since 2001 are single-family homes that provide adequate space for families, often with multiple generations living together. Lack of adequate housing to meet the needs of families has contributed San Francisco losing 5,278 people younger than 18 between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.

 “The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them.  This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

 Because so few single family homes are being constructed, families rely on improving buildings they own, including tenancies in common to add living space. This legislation prohibits them from creating the home they need in a building they own.

 “Families are fleeing San Francisco due to a multitude of reasons that include a lack of adequate space for growing families that often include multiple generations. This legislation exacerbates that problem by punishing and limiting options for families who simply seek to create a home that meets the needs of their family,” stated Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association. “This legislation punishes hard working families, while doing little to protect renters.”

 The lawsuit states that the legislation is pre-empted by state law known as the Ellis Act, which allows building owners to take a building off the rental market and convert those units to condominiums or single -family homes. Under the law, building owners are already required to give occupants up to one year advance notice and provide relocation fees of $5,210 per tenant, up to a maximum of $15,632, plus $3,473 additional for tenants who are senior or disabled.

 “My clients are seeking relief from this just-passed legislation which unfairly takes away the right of individuals and families who simply want to create a home for themselves and their family in a building they own,” stated Jim Parrinello, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Well This is News: “Emirates and Virgin America Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership”

Monday, October 21st, 2013

 

Emirates and Virgin America Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership - International “Airline of the Year” & “Best U.S. Airline” Together Offer Frequent Flyers New Global Reward Opportunities, Award-Winning Guest Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2013 — Emirates and Virgin America today announce a frequent flyer partnership that allows members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs to earn and redeem* points or miles for travel across the networks of two airlines respectively recognized as best-in-class for global and U.S. domestic service. For its part, Virgin America has swept the major travel awards every year since its launch in 2007, including being named  ”Best U.S. Airline” in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for six consecutive years. Emirates, connector of people, places and cultures, with one of the youngest fleets in the sky, has earned scores of awards for in-flight cuisine, in-flight entertainment, and excellence of overall guest service, including the 2013 “Airline of the Year” award from Skytrax.

Starting today, members of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program will be able to earn Skywards miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and can redeem their Skywards miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program can now earn Elevate points when flying with Emirates to one of its 135 destinations in 76 countries, including Dubai and beyond, as well as redeem* their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route flown by Emirates including those out of New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Washington (IAD), Seattle (SEA), Houston (IAH), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Boston (BOS).** Additionally, Elevate members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem* points on Emirates’ new non-stop service between New York and Milan. Emirates is currently the only carrier to offer a First Class cabin service between these two cities.

“Through our partnership with Emirates, we’re able to offer enhanced international travel options; Emirates’ network can take Elevate members to the Middle East and beyond,” said Phil Seward, Virgin America’s Director of Guest Loyalty. “Virgin America is an airline recognized for high-quality guest service and unique tech-forward in-flight amenities. In Emirates we have found a partner that also offers guests an attractive mix of award-winning service, innovative in-flight entertainment and other features.”

“Emirates is committed to providing passengers with a superior product, service and connections,” said Jim Baxter, Vice President for North America, Emirates Airline. “We are delighted to be able to offer our loyal Emirates Skywards members with more options for earning and redeeming their reward miles through our frequent flyer program partner Virgin America.  We also look forward to welcoming Virgin America’s Elevate program members on board our flights, and providing them with more rewarding access to our extensive route network.”

To celebrate the launch of the frequent flyer partnership, one lucky Elevate member will “Win a Dream Trip to Dubai with Emirates.”*** Members may enter at http://woobox.com/dhk73a for a chance to win two (2) round trip Economy class tickets on Emirates to Dubai for an exclusive VIP experience that includes a three-night stay at Dubai’s iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, a Dolphin Encounter at the resort’s Dolphin Bay,  and a unique all-inclusive dinner in the desert dunes.  All Elevate members will also earn 250 Elevate points for entering the promotion.***

Emirates is the fifth airline to join Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program, which also includes Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The partnership will offer expanded redemption* opportunities for both business and leisure travelers on the two carriers.

Known for beautifully designed cabins and unparalleled in-flight entertainment, Virgin America’s new fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment — with live TV including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and more — at every seat. The Red((TM)) platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TVs, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4,000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatbacks any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select option offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.

The Virgin America experience dovetails perfectly with Emirates’ award-winning service and renowned in-flight experience. Recognized for its excellence in service and innovation, both on board and on the ground, Emirates holds an impressive array of prestigious awards, most recently including 2013 “Airline of the Year” award from Skytrax.

Last year, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate frequent flyer program — including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge — the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline’s mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.

Emirates currently serves more than 135 destinations across six continents with a young and technologically advanced fleet of more than 205 widebody aircraft that are equipped with industry-leading comforts in the air.  Its Airbus A380s serve many destinations worldwide, including Los Angeles fromDecember 2, 2013.  Among the many amenities available to Emirates passengers is the ice entertainment system, which offers up to 1,500 channels of entertainment in many languages, in-flight Wi-Fi service, private First Class suites, the Emirates onboard lounge, and private shower spas on the A380. For more information visit emirates.com.

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates, offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – with each membership tier providing exclusive privileges. Members earn Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the program’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. Emirates Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards, including tickets on Emirates and other Skywards partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel accommodation, excursions and exclusive shopping.

In just over six years of flying, Virgin America has expanded to 23 airport destinations and has created 2,600 new jobs. Virgin America currently flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs (seasonal), Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose, Austin and Anchorage (seasonal).

Photos of Virgin America’s unique aircraft: www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html

Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded here.

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. With topnotch guest service and beautiful design, Virgin America has earned a host of industry awards since launching service in 2007. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)’s beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2. With one of the youngest fleets in the U.S., Virgin America offers Gogo((TM)) WiFi, interactive in-flight entertainment systems with the largest media library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red((TM)) platform and power outlets near every seat. Flyers can find the airline’s Best Fares Guaranteed at www.virginamerica.com/

About Emirates: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines, currently serves 135 cities in 76 countries around the globe from its hub in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It operates 63 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the U.S. Daily services are operated by Boeing 777-300ER or 777-200LR aircraft from Houston, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and a triple daily service (including two daily A380 flights) from JFK in New York. The LAX A380 service begins December 2, 2013 and Emirates’ Boston route will begin service on March 10, 2014. Emirates Skywards is the award-winning frequent flyer program of Emirates. For more information on the airline or to join Emirates Skywards, visit www.emirates.com.

* Elevate members will be able to earn points on Emirates beginning today (October 21, 2013) Reward bookings using points on Emirates available fromOctober 24, 2013.

**Emirates flights from Boston start on March 10, 2014.

***Terms and Conditions:  No purchase necessary.  Open only U.S. residents 21 and older.  Employees of Virgin America Inc., Emirates, Atlantis the Palm, as well as the spouse, parents, siblings, and children, and household members of each such employee, are not eligible.  Sponsor:  Virgin America Inc., 555 Airport Blvd., Burlingame, CA 94010. Begins: at 12:00:01 a.m. Pacific Time ["PT"] on October 21 2013, and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. PT on November 21 2013. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute prize (or component thereof) with another prize (or component thereof) of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  The winner is responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of the prize.  For complete Official Rules, including entry instructions and prize details, visit [http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/131015_emirates_woobox_sweepstakes_tc.pdf]

SOURCE  Virgin America

Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Photo:http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131021/AQ00715
http://photoarchive.ap.org/
Virgin America

CONTACT: Jennifer Thomas, Virgin America, +1-650-274-7329jennifer.thomas@virginamerica.com, or Arielle Himy, Emirates, +1-646-500-7761,arielle.himy@mslgroup.com

Web Site: http://www.emirates.com/

Well That’s It, the Big AT&T / T-Mobile Cell Phone Co. Merger has been Cancelled – How Will T-Mobile Make It On Its Own?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

We’ll see.

But I’ll tell you, I’m paying T-Mobile $118 a month (and that includes a whole bunch of tax) for two Samsung Galaxy smartphones, which have  bigger screens, which are lighter, which are better overall than the average Apple iPhone you’ll see about town. And that’s all working out just fine.

AFAIK, I never have network problems. (I have I-need-to-use-WiFi-at-home and I-can’t-get-coverage-in-the-basement-of-the-State-Building issues but I don’t know if that’s T-Mobile’s fault at all, really.)

All right, you go girl:

Make: Kawasaki
Model: 2007 ZX-10 Ninja
Builder: VIP Designs
Paint: Buddha Paint
Swingarm: C&S
Wheels: VIP Cynthia

All the deets from T Mobile:

“Dear T-Mobile Customers:

By now I am sure you have seen media reports that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom (DT) have mutually decided to terminate their agreement for AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA. This announcement effectively ends the acquisition process launched March 20.

What does this mean for T-Mobile USA customers? Our focus is unchanged: make the latest mobile products and services affordable for everyone.

And there are many reasons to choose T-Mobile as your wireless provider:

Great Value. We’re offering our best plan ever – 2 lines for $49.99 each that includes voice, text and data (including 2GB at full-speed) on each line with a new 2-year agreement. We also now offer a Monthly4G no annual contract plan that gives you unlimited talk, text, and web (including 100MB at full-speed) for $50.  

Compelling Products.  We offer a great line-up of 4G smartphones. We continue to rapidly expand our selection of amazing and affordable 4G smartphones, tablets and other devices that make mobile internet service easy and affordable. This holiday, we have cutting edge smartphones including the 42 Mbps-capable HTC Amaze™ 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S™ II. In January, we will begin selling the Lumia 710, the first Windows Phone from Nokia for as low as $49.99 after mail-in rebate with a 2-year agreement on a qualifying plan

America’s Largest 4G Network – now faster than ever. Whether you need driving instructions that are fast enough to keep up with your car, or want to stream a full-length movie uninterrupted, our 4G network delivers. We have expanded our 4G coverage to more than 200 million people in 208 markets and doubled speeds for nearly 180 million Americans in 163 markets.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, we appreciate your business and we will continue to focus on earning your loyalty every day.

Regards,

Jim Alling
Chief Operations Officer
T-Mobile USA, Inc.”

All right, bon courage, T Mobile!

The DMV-like AT&T Cell Phone Flagship Store at Third and Market Has Been Refurbished? Well, Good

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I’ll tell you, I poked my head into the doors of the AT&T at 701 Market Street once and, thereafter, considered the joint the private-sector version of a DMV. You know, owing to the take-a-number-and-have-a-seat-next-to-the-security-guard-and-irate-customer system they had.

Anyway, forget all that. They’re having some ceremony over there today to celebrate a recent refurbishment. (Does this bode well for the T-Mobile store across the street? No, it does not. After the impending merger,* we’ll lose the T-Mobile store, you’d think.)

The pre-refurbished AT&T store what’s in the news today: 

Click to expand

I’ll check that place out again, sometime, to see the changes, but if I need another cellie I’ll head back to the Costco at 11th and Harrison:

That’s a no-brainer right there.

*BTW, the new AT&T/T-Mobile entity will honor existing T-Mobile contracts, so that’s nice. 

Who Supports the T-Mobile AT&T Merger? Almost Everybody in Silicon Valley! Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle…

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Michael J de la Merced has all the deets about how everybody”s telling the FCC how great AT&T-Mobile would be.

How could this marriage go wrong with so many supporters (like AVAYA, Brocade, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, RIM, Yahoo)?

Will Sprint and Verizon be the only ones to object? Will Steve Jobs and Apple weigh in at some point?  

Anyway, read below for what popped up my inbox this AM.

1)      AVAYA, Brocade, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, RIM, Yahoo!: “The challenge of keeping pace with consumer demand and continuing to lead globally in wireless broadband services and products requires that we tackle the issue on multiple fronts. Many policy related efforts will not be able to quickly address near term capacity needs. The  FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it. Such action will help to meet the near term wireless broadband needs of consumers and ensure that we are globally competitive as the world increasingly embraces wireless broadband connectivity.”

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021686027

2)      Sequoia Capital: “From the microchip to the mainframe to the PC to the Internet to mobile computing, venture capital have been an integral part of an economic model that has stimulated growth time-and-time again. The technology start-ups we work with will be a key beneficiary of this more efficient and robust national wireless network. We are in favor of the Commission approving this transaction.”

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021686028

3)      Joint Venture Capitalist Letter (Charles River Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Radar Partners, Lightspeed Ventures): “Many of the fast-growing companies we invest in are technology firms that would benefit greatly from the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile, a merger that will drive job growth, innovation and economic opportunity through a more efficient and robust national wireless network…By combining the physical infrastructure and spectrum positions of the two companies, the merged entity will be able to accomplish what neither firm can do on its own: namely, deploying a 4G LTE broadband infrastructure to more than 97% of the United States population…This merger represents a critical part of the solution to our spectrum crisis in the United States.”

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021686024

4)      Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers: “This commitment would help millions of Americans throughout the United States gain access to a network that can support innovative technologies, applications and devices….We are in favor of the Commission approving this transaction”

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021686025

5)      Information Technology Industry Council (ITI): “Unfortunately, even if Congress were to act today, consumers would not experience the benefits of making new spectrum available for at least five years. Which is why a combined AT&T/T-Mobile has some real appeal for many. The new entity would likely result in meaningful near and long-term improvements to the nation’s networks…The Internet, and Americans’ ability to access it from almost anywhere, has been one of the greatest drivers of our economy. Supporting initiatives that will increase infrastructure investment and enable even greater access to the Internet whether it’s over a wired or wireless connection is smart public policy, smart economic policy, and smart consumer policy. Our nation needs more spectrum, more investment, and broader adoption and accessibility.”

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021685985