Posts Tagged ‘rates’

Local Gannett Blog Promotes “Uber’s New Lower Rates” without Disclosing Its Recent Uber Partnership

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Here’s the recent Uber / The Bold Italic “partnership.*”

And here’s a post from five days ago.

Boy it sure seems that Gannett has a boner for Uber, but you make the call:

“Uber Will Deliver Kittens to Cuddle Today
Oct 29, 2013 … Uber Will Deliver Kittens to Cuddle Today Hey fellow feline lovers, it’s National Cat Day! If you have a kitty in your life, make sure to give it some …

Breaking It Down: Uber’s New Lower Rates
5 days ago … Breaking It Down: Uber’s New Lower Rates Started in 2009 by serial- entrepreneur Travis Kalanick, Uber, the little-car-service-that-could, has …

To: You, Love: Uber ($20 off for New Users)
Feb 13, 2013 … To: You, Love: Uber ($20 off for New Users) If you’ve yet to jump on the bandwagon, err town car, Uber has a special Valentine’s Day treat for …

Uber and The Bold Italic Present: Romance On-Demand – The Bold …
Feb 11, 2013 … Uber and The Bold Italic Present: Romance On-Demand Oh Valentines Day. You come but once a year and yet there are few other holidays …

On Demand Romance-Valentine’s Day Serenades Recapped – The …
Feb 18, 2013 … The Bold Italic teamed up with Uber to host Romance on Demand featuring one dozen Whole Trade roses from Whole Foods, a gift bag filled …

Update: We Has Uberkittens!
Oct 29, 2013 … Update: We Has Uberkittens! We just had the best afternoon break ever. Thanks Uber for stopping by with the Uberkittens!”

So the way the carpet-baggers at northern Virginia-based Gannett The Bold Italic should handle things is to somehow note the promotional deal, or the “partnership,” or the former or recent partnership, or whatever you want to call it.

Come on, Gannett! You can do it.

*Cf. the same search for Uber partnerships with the blog y0u’re reading right now. It has the word manslaughter in the first line – a bit of a difference.

San Francisco Launches FC2 Female Condom Campaign – Female Health Company Supports Effort

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Uh, “female initiated?” Uh…

Uh, “controlled by women?” Uh…

(All right, I guess in a Wikileaks situation, there is more control, I’ll give them that…)

Uh, “STI?” That’s a new one on me. (Sounds better than “STD,” though, in’nt?)

All the deets. Appears as if this is another one of those public-private partnerships, for better or worse…

“San Francisco Launches Female Condom Campaign – Female Health Company Supports San Francisco’s Campaign to Promote the FC2 Female Condom® for Safer Sex and HIV Prevention

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 14, 2011 — The Female Health Company (FHC) (Nasdaq: FHCO) is supporting the launch of San Francisco’s social marketing campaign to raise awareness and use of the FC2 Female Condom® among people living at risk of HIV infection. The FC2 Female Condom remains the only FDA-approved method of female-initiated HIV prevention available. FHC is working actively with public health departments and other partners to introduce FC2 in U.S. cities with the highest HIV prevalence rates.

According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, from the first recorded cases of AIDS in 1981 through 2009, the city reported 19,080 AIDS deaths. At the end of 2009, nearly 16,000 San Franciscans were living with HIV infection. The city currently accounts for about 18 percent of all AIDS cases in California.

“I am very pleased to see such community excitement about the FC2 being available in our city. It is so important to give our communities another good option for taking control of the sexual health,” said Susan Phillip, MD, Director of STD Prevention and Control, for San Francisco Department of Public Health.

The city’s multifaceted communications and marketing effort is being conducted to promote the FC2 female condom as both an acceptable and affordable HIV prevention option. With funding and technical support provided by FHC and other partners, it is sponsoring train-the-trainer programs to equip San Francisco and Bay Area service organizations with the necessary skills to promote female condom usage amongst their clientele.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Blue Shield of California Announces Independent Review of Rates, Possible Refunds, But Then Takes It Back

Friday, January 14th, 2011

[UPDATE: Not sure why Blue Cross pulled and then re-issued this press release. Some background on the rate increases here.]

I don’t know, here’s the release that Blue Shield of California sent out this AM, which wouldn’t be all that interesting excepting for the fact that they just went and called it back, they’re saying right now they want you to disregard it.

The Blue Shield, they want a Mulligan on this one looks like, but they don’t say why so that’s bad cricket, IMO.

I can’t decide that for you. You’re going to have to choose whether you wish to avert you gaze or not. Starting…. now!

As seen at AT&T Park during that whole Icer Air ski jump thing back in ought -seven. That’s a Blue Shield, right?

Blue Shield of California Agrees to Independent Actuarial Review of Rates. Company will make refunds to policyholders if rates are unsound

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2011 — Responding to concerns raised about rising individual health insurance rates, Blue Shield of California announced today that it will voluntarily subject its rates to an independent actuarial review and make refunds to policyholders if the actuary finds that the rates are unsound. David Axene, the respected actuary who discovered errors in other California rate filings last year, will conduct the independent review of the not-for-profit health plan’s rates.

Approximately 194,000 Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company members recently received notices of rate increases that averaged 15% annually. Due to a variety of factors, some members received increases much higher than the average.

“We regret that our members have received significant rate increases in recent months and want to be absolutely certain that the rates reflect our actual cost of providing medical care,” said Blue Shield Chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken. “To establish trust and confidence in our rate-setting process, we have taken the unprecedented step of agreeing to be bound by the conclusions of an independent third party. If this independent review finds that the rates are not sound, we will hold our members harmless by refunding the difference with interest.”

Mr. Axene is president of Axene Health Partners LLC, and has worked as a professional actuary since 1971. Last year, he conducted independent reviews of individual rate filings for the California Department of Insurance, where he found errors that, when corrected, resulted in lower rates for hundreds of thousands of consumers.

Mr. Axene will be free to confer with the Department of Insurance on his review, which he hopes to complete in 30-45 days. He will evaluate Blue Shield’s rate filing to determine if its calculations are accurate and its assumptions are sound. He will determine if the rates are “excessive, unjustified, or unfairly discriminatory,” which is the standard suggested by recently proposed federal rate review regulations. Whatever conclusions he reaches, his report will be made available to the public.

Despite Blue Shield’s recent rate increases, the company expects to lose $10-20 million on its individual health plan business in 2010 and another $20-30 million in 2011. Blue Shield’s total costs for hospitals, physicians and prescription drugs have risen by an average of 15% annually for each of the past three years.

“Our premiums are rising because of the rapid increase in healthcare expenses for our members,” said Bodaken. “Reducing medical costs must be an urgent national priority for health coverage to be affordable for the vast majority of Americans.”

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 3.3 million members, 4,800 employees, and one of the largest provider networks in California. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California offers a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed more than $125 million over the past four years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation–which was named one of BusinessWeek’s 20 most generous corporate foundations. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield website at www.blueshieldca.com.

GoogleCache Reveals SFPark Program No Longer Promising That “Drivers Will Love SFPark”

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Remember back in the day, back when the SFPark website promised that “Drivers will love SFPark?” Well, I do, and so does the Google Cache, at least it does for now.

Anyway, below you can see the old SFPark homepage, the one that was up until just recently. (The word “love” is highlighted because that’s the search term I used to find it in the cache.) Click to expand:

Even without the highlighting, that phrase stood out as a boner. Why, for instance, would drivers “love” an extra 5000 parking meters on spaces that are currently free? How on Earth do drivers, in general, “benefit” from that?

But, as stated, that love language is gone now, so that’s a good thing. What’s left is a patronizing, cartoonish website with a patronizing, cartoonish video that talks about how a third of traffic (or something) in San Francisco is made up of people looking for parking.  That, of course, is fucking absurd. I’m sure that stat, employed using the passive voice, if you’d note, might be operational in Chinatown during New Year’s or in North Beach on any given Friday night, but otherwise, it’s fucking absurd.

And do people really all turn into agitated George Costanzas when they park, all raging at the machine? That’s what it’s like, IRL? Really? I’ll bet if you asked what people were thinking about when they’re parking you’d get all kinds of different answers.

But what about these despondent folks waiting for a #5 Fulton for an excessively long time? Could MUNI make a “whimsical video” about what’s on their minds?

(How about a dozen “MUNI sucks” thought bubbles? That would fit the bill.)

The primary beneficiaries of SFPark are those who make money directly off of the program- that includes people making the parking meters, people making commish off of selling the parking meters, people who design the cartoonish website, graphic designers, PR types, people like that. It was the same thing with MUNI’s Culturebus- these types of people make their money whether or not a program succeeds, whether or not a program lives on.

Basically, SFPark will allow the City to collect more money from parking meters. That’s good for some and it’s not good for others. It would be refreshing if the people at SFPark would acknowledge that. Why do they spend so much effort selling a program that’s already a done deal?

SFPark will allow the City to charge up to $18 per hour. That’s something that would be physically impossible with the typical, old-school, non-debit card meters that we’re used to dealing with. Can you imagine putting 72 quarters into a meter to park for one hour? (How often would it have to get emptied?)

Not that it’s not worth it for people to pay $18 per hour to park sometimes. I’m sure that there are lots who would love to pay whatever it takes to park on Columbus right in frontof their restaurant in North Beach on a Saturday night. The problem is that SFPark is going to charge $0 per hour to park in North Beach after 6:00 PM, AFAIK. So does that make sense?

But if  Uncle Sucker wants to pay us eight figures to set up this system, that’s its choice.  

Obviously, there will be winners and losers whenever a government institutes a new program like this, so it’d be nice not to have such a pollyannish, snow-job website.

Anyway, losing the “love” language is a slight improvement, so hurray for that.

FREE! Park Your Motorcycle All Day on Kaplan Lane near the MoMA in the SoMA

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Well there I was looking for four Norwegian gals, trying to find Dow Alley without Google Maps (not functioning due to its monomaniacal obsession with upgrading the software on my so-called smart phone) and I stumbled upon the biggest motorcycle free parking lot that’s anywhere close to Union Square. I’m all like, why aren’t there meters for all the bikes here?

Anywho, take a gander, on the MapJack (as the view from Google StreetView was just too hard to figure out). It’s like a motorcycle showroom just out the back door of the ThirstyBear Restaurant and Brewery (ask about their Great Recesssion lunch specials).

See? On the sidewalk, in marked spaces, unmarked spaces, both sides of the street, not a ticket in sight (uh oh, see the comments, but still…) - it’s Biker’s Heaven. Click to expand:

IMG_9284 copy

How on Earth did the City neglect to meterize this lane when rates have gone up 180% (that’s $100 extra per month for a typical biker, and the SFMTA wanted to raise rates higher) so far this year?

Leave us travel back to 2004, when the towaway signs got took down and unmetered parking began:

TOW-AWAY, NO STOPPING ANYTIME – RESCIND
UNMETERED MOTORCYCLE PARKING – ESTABLISH
Kaplan Lane, east side, from Clementina Street to the northern terminus.”

See that? The MUNI people, the people so rich they could afford to run CultureBuses all over town pretty much completely empty for months and months just for their own pride, actually turned down a chance to raise revenue. It’s amazing. It’s like a trip back in time when you take Clementina off of third to encounter The Alley of Free Parking.

So spread the word to all your two-wheeled buddies. Hurray!

Oh, wait a second, some of the hundreds of riders who regularly use Kaplan to Stick It To The Man want to keep things a secret. For example, Mark W. says:

Shhhhhh!!! :)

So let’s keep things on the low down. This is a secret worth keeping, despite the occasional hit-and-run chain reaction accident. Of course, there are other places to park for free in San Francisco, but they’re not all hidden away like Kaplan.

So, this is how it’ll be. When I see you carrying your helmet at the Gold Club or the Metreon, I’ll just offer my knuckles for your knocking and we’ll both say, in unison: “Kaplan, baby!”

Let’s let Yelp‘s Rachel S. make the final pitch:

“*a*b*u*n*d*a*n*t* motorcycle parking that’s strides away from Moscone center, Yerba Beuna Gardens and SFMOMA.  Tiny note that’s, y’know, likely of little interest… it’s free.  Gratis. No cuesta nada.  Really.  And what’s more, it’s safe at most all hours in my experience.  Which sort’ve stands to reason given the surrounding businesses: the early-morning dark is monitored by the Starbucks’ clientele, the late-evening hours are overseen by Thirsty Bear’s patrons.  Plus, the walk from your parked bike back to the real world is through either an architecturally rich alleyway or a sculpture garden, depending on which direction you’re headed. Win all around.”

See you there!

Kaplan Lane is in my ears and in my eyes/
There beneath the gray-ish urban skies

The Kids in San Francisco Think Ben Bernanke is a Big Fat Zero

Friday, March 27th, 2009

This tattoo’ed youth seen in the Civic Center area of San Francisco appears to have had a football jersey custom made in order to criticise Ben Shalom Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve and the fourth most powerful person in the world per Newsweek.

Either she thinks he’s a big fat zero, or she’s calling for zero percent interest rates, or something like that.

Poor Ben Bernanke!

The full list of the most powerful people in the world, complete with arbitrary groupings, after the jump. Joe Biden and his fans should avert their gaze…

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