Posts Tagged ‘soma’

Militant, Market Street

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Or he’s a federal informant, either way:

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Can the Managers of the New 100 Van Ness Apartment Building Get Away with Making “Security Deposits” Non-Refundable? We’ll See

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Click on “Lease Now” to see this:

“*To reserve your new home, please click the “Get Approved” button above to complete our rental application and start the screening process. You will be required to submit a payment of $35.00 for the non-refundable Application Fee and the Security Deposit of $500-$1000 for the apartment is due within 72 hours by drop off or overnight mail. After three days from the date of application, the Security Deposit is non-refundable.”

Well, first off, “home.” Like, it’s not even a condo, man. How about “apartment” instead?

And second off, I ain’t never paid no nonrefundable application fee. What you do is ask how much the  credit / eviction check costs them and then offer to pay that. If that’s a no-go, then perhaps you shouldn’t move in? (I realize that building employees have to deal with flaky people all the time, but I’m not the flaky people category, I don’t think.*)

What really grinds my gears is the idea of any building manager talking about any kind of “non-refundable” deposit. Such a deposit does not exist under California law.

Check it:

(m) “No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.”

You want to quibble? Fine, quibble, but this non-refundable status is agin the law, agin the law I tells you!

Most people in Cali can market apartments without prima facie violations of Cali law. So why can’t you, 100 Van Ness? Why can’t you?

Just asking.

Oh what’s that, what’s $35 to somebody who thinks moving into the Outer Twitterloin at $4000 for a one-bedroom is a good idea? All right, well, maybe it’s not a good idea to move into this building. Realize that most of the non-BMR people are probably not going to renew after their first year (just like at the abysmal “luxury” Fillmore Center apartments near Japantown, where you can pay thousands and thousands per month in rent, and for what). So, why are so many people going to move out of 100 VN after just a year? Think on that. Part of the reason might have to do with dealing with the 20-somethings in “building management.” Are they going to come in and say, uh oh, you walked on our cheap, brand-new hardwood flooring in high heels so here’s a bill for $7,000 for reflooring? Maybe. (Stuff like that happens just around the corner of 100VN all the time.) And there’s the nabe, which might wear you down over the months. OTOH, maybe this building is a dream come true for you, right next to Van Ness Station and not too far from the Civic Center BART Station. Fine, be my guest. Enjoy. But the same 20-something chicas who don’t understand why it’s not kosher to expropriate four-figure “Security Deposits” in the Great State of California just might not be aware of all the other laws what protect you.

Oh, what’s that, it’s OK to retain a “holding deposit?” Well, we aren’t at that point yet, because you all labeled it a “Security Deposit.” I’m now satisfied that you all don’t know what you’re doing. Welcome to Cali, 100VN Management. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

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*Like the last time I bought a car, I didn’t even test drive it. No salesperson neither – the “big guy” had to assign a salesperson to me at the end of the sales process in order to “get the transaction to go through.” This sales process took about seven minutes. Later on, the salesperson had to “orient” me. I asked for the 30-second version of his 20-minute spiel. It was basically this: “Never press this button.” And I’ll tell you, that was good advice. I had already figured the downsides of pressing the button and if I hadn’t, then I would have figured things out fast, like during the times that I pressed that button by mistake. In any event, what he meant was, never press this button unless you know what it does and the conditions are right for it.  The point is that I’m not a flake so I never pay no nonrefundable application fee and you shouldn’t either. Sometimes, like back during Dot Com 1 in the late ’90’s, landlords would harvest thousands of dollars in application fees for just one unit over one weekend. Did the LLs actually run the checks potential tenants paid for? Nope. That’s what made it a scam. A nice, four-figure, income tax-free scam. These days, they charge you $35 to run a check that costs them even less than before, like a few bucks max. Oh well.  

Corrupt Twitterloin Update: “Beyond Chron” “Editor” and SFGov Contractor Randy Shaw Strongly Objects to SFPD’s Redistricting Plan

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

So, taxpayer spending on the ineffective Tenderloin Housing Clinic empire is up 2000% the past couple decades and what has that gotten us? Why don’t other cities do things the way we do in the Tenderloin – why is SF so unique in this regard. Why doesn’t Randy Shaw lay out how his operations benefit the city of San Francisco? No, not interested in doing that, Randy? Oh, but you sometimes spend your time threatening to sue the San Francisco Chronicle, the very “Chron” you’ve promised to get us “Beyond?” And you’re too busy singing the praises of San Francisco’s weakest-willed Mayor since … forever? OK fine.

Let’s check in on the latest in the Twitterloin*

“SF’S FOCUS TURNS TO CRIME”

One assumes this is Randy Shaw being aspirational, as they say. For example, here’s Randy Shaw from 2007: “By the summer of 2008, going “uptown” in San Francisco will mean heading to the Tenderloin.” But that’s not what uptown meant in 2008. And it’s not what it means now in 2015. So that’s just an example why whenever Randy Shaw says something, it’s not true. Randy Shaw says that the focus of the entire City and County of San Francisco is now turning to the topic of crime in 2015 – that means that the focus of the entire City and County of San Francisco is NOT now turning to the topic of crime in 2015, it’s just what Randy wants people to believe, for some reason.

“San Francisco’s economy is booming. But many are upset about crime. This is particularly true in the Tenderloin, where residents, merchants, workers, and thousands of children confront public drug dealing on a daily basis.

Public drug dealing from the residents of the residential hotels promoted by … Randy Shaw.

Why does the city allow such flagrantly illegal activities?

I don’t know, like why does the city throw $20 million a year down the Randy Shaw rathole?

After all, the Tenderloin is finally bouncing back from fifty years of decline and there are rising expectations for its future.

Again, if Randy Shaw says that the Twitterloin is bouncing back, that means that’s what he says all the time, going back decades, and it means that it’s not true. You’ll just have to take his word about expectations, and who has them.

It used to be that the Tenderloin attracted drug dealers because the city allowed them to do business there. It was a crime “containment zone,” with the entire criminal justice system backing a policy which forced low-income residents to walk down unsafe streets.

Well, that’s still kind of the case now, right Randy?

Mayor Ed Lee made it clear after taking office that the Tenderloin’s days as a crime containment zone were over.

But it’s still a containment zone, right? Hey, did I mention about how much money the Randy Shaw Twitterloin empire gets from SFGov every year? What does he do for that money? Wouldn’t we be better off just stopping giving him all that money and starting over? And shouldn’t City workers be doing Randy’s job?

And his intervention, along with resident activism, resulted in the biggest positive transformation of any single block in San Francisco.

So isn’t this where Randy Shaw should mention that he’s a government contractor from Berkeley and that’s why he sings the praises of who(m)ever is the Mayor of San Francisco? No, OK. And BTW, the unit block of Turk hasn’t really been “transformed.” It’s just where the Randy Shaw empire has a storefront, that’s why it’s such a BFD to RS.

This was through the elimination of over 100 drug dealers who used to work daily on the first block of Turk Street.

Elimination? Were they all executed by Ed Lee? Oh no, they’re still around, and some of them live in hotels of the Randy Shaw empire? OK fine.

On January 28 at 6pm at the Kelly Cullen Community Center at 220 Golden Gate, the Police Commission holds a hearing on proposed new boundaries for the Tenderloin police district. The Police Commission faces a choice between two very different visions for the Tenderloin’s future. In the vision backed by nearly all residents, merchants, workers and community stakeholders, the new boundaries will keep the Tenderloin together and target police resources where public drug dealing regularly occurs.

All right, now here’s real life: Most residents of the Tenderloin, nearly all of them, aren’t objecting to the SFPD redistricting itself as it sees fit. And I’m not sure what Randy means when he talks of the new boundaries. The new boundaries are what the SFPD is proposing, it’s what Randy Shaw super doesn’t like.

In the vision embodied in the SFPD’s proposal, the national Uptown Tenderloin Historic District is divided among three police districts.

But there isn’t any “national Uptown Tenderloin Historic District,” not IRL. That’s just a designation that Randy Shaw wanted.

It takes historic Tenderloin SROs like the Hotel Union at 811 Geary, the Hartland Hotel at 909 Geary, and the nearby Elk Hotel at 670 Eddy, and puts them outside the Tenderloin police district.

So what, Randy? How does it matter? Hey, don’t you live in Berkeley?

At the same time that core blocks in the Tenderloin are excluded from the “Tenderloin” station, the new district adds shoplifting-heavy Westfield Cente. It is located at 5th and Market, well outside the Tenderloin. The new “Tenderloin” station includes Market Street as far down as 3rd Street and  continues to Market and Van Ness before heading south as far as the intersection of Mission and South Van Ness.

What’s the obsession with maps? Why should the SFPD concern itself with what a Berkeley resident thinks about maps?

Critics of the SFPD plan understand that it is only a draft, and that the January 28 hearing is designed for public feedback.

It’s what the cops want, so shouldn’t they get it? Is there some sort of constitutional issue here? I don’t think so. So you let the cops do the job as they see fit. We want the cops to perform well, right? So why micromanage them? The “draft” map is exactly what they want, right? Oh, Gentle Reader, you have a beef with the SFPD over Some Other Issue? Well that’s different than redistricting, right? Let’s say you don’t want the SFPD to institute an unconstitutional Stop and Frisk program, you know, like the one that Mayor Ed Lee proposed after coming back from New York. Opposing something like Stop and Frisk is not micromanaging, not at all. But nitpicking over district borders is.

Because Tenderloin folks (myself included) were not paying attention in 2007, we allowed Little Saigon (Larkin from Eddy to O’Farrell) to be excluded from the Tenderloin district boundaries drawn that year.

Randy Shaw, you isn’t “Tenderloin folk,” you is longtime mansion-dwelling Berkeley Hills folk, right? Who cares what the borders of the Tenderloin are considered to be? Why does it matter?

If Westfield Center joins the still under construction Market Street Place in the Tenderloin District, the crime priorities of Abercrombie & Fitch, Nordstrom’s and J Crew will prevail over drug dealing on Leavenworth Street.

Well that’s what Randy Shaw says, but it’s not true.

Police will not ignore powerful retail interests whose sales taxes fuel the economy in order to protect seniors and kids walking on Leavenworth Street from drug dealing.

Is this what they call “framing?” IDK. It’s something, anyway. Are there a lot of cops patrolling the malls in SF? I don’t think so.

No police chief is going to throw big national retail chains under the bus by refusing to allocate police to arrest shoplifters. 

Or local chains, or convenience stores – pretty much if you call the SFPD to haul away shoplifters, they’ll go and haul them away, right?

Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron. His book, The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco, will be out this spring.

Oh, there’s sex in the Twitterloin? And there’s crime in the Twitterloin? Wow, thanks for writing the book, Randy. I can hardly wait for it…

*And that’s a New York Times-approved word. How will Randy Shaw occupy his time in the future, will he start up a Beyond Times newspaper and install himself as Editor-For-Life?

Explaining Why the “Haight Street Rat” Isn’t “as close as you can get to the intention that Banksy had”

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Here it is, back in 2010. That greenish building that used to be a bank housed Villains Vault at the time:

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Detail, camera left:

Und camera right:

A thin red line connects these two elements, one assumes.

Here’s the update:

Banksy’s ‘Haight Street Rat’ graffiti holes up in an S.F. gallery by Rachel Howard

Now let’s say that Banksy caught Villains Vault displaying and selling unlicensed Banksy reprints as well as stuff from other street artists, you know, flagrantly, back in 2010. So then Banksy was all enough is enough, so he was all THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE.

And then he drew the line.

So really, the line is the piece, instead of the rat, right?

So if you just have the rat, you’re missing part of the story, right?

So it’s not just The Rat In The Hat Comes Back, right? I’m not saying that Banksy is all that deep but he’s deeper than a simple put-a-beret-on-it.

Now I understand why that KRON guy just went for the rat, but to do this job “as close as you could get to the intention Banksy had,” you’d have gotten the rest of the piece.

Just saying.

Or, IOW:

“The original Haight Street Rat stencil is a beret-wearing rat clutching a marker and a red line that extends from the rat to the neighboring building on the corner of Haight Street and Belvedere Street. On the adjacent building, the rat has seemingly written the text “THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE” in red which can be seen from the street above a clothing store that allegedly took street artists’ works and printed them on T-shirts and other apparel for sale without giving the artists any credit or revenue.”

Or IOW:

“Named the Haight Street Rat for its placement atop a Victorian building on Haight Street, the stenciled rat clutching a red marker is now neatly framed and displayed in a location entirely unlike the one in which it was created: the lobby of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown L.A., the city’s tallest tower and perhaps its most conspicuous symbol of capitalism. It’s a baffling venue for a piece of site-specific street art that initially wrapped across two buildings…

The Nordstrom Effect: SFPD Response at 5th and Market vs. 6th and Market – It’s Quite a Difference

Monday, January 12th, 2015

These two shots from longtime Twitterloin resident Bluoz certainly square with my understanding of what’s tolerated on these two neighbor streets.

5th Street, home to Norstrom’s “Flagship Store” (or second flagship, if you count all those Nordie buildings up in Seattle):

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6th Street:

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Advice for San Francisco Newcomers: What’s “Rent Control?” It’s Something You Might Want – Not Now, But Next Year

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Or not. It’s hard to say how much rent control would benefit you next year once your lease is up.

But these days, there’s a ton of SF newcomers who are just figuring out the big benefit of RC.

Check it:

“Unfortunately most residents can’t afford to stay longer that 1 year. We’ve been living at Argenta for 10 months and have been very happy with the apartment. But we began to suspect that things weren’t quite right with management shortly after moving in. People we met in the elevator, lobby and our floor were all saying the same thing — rent had been raised to ridiculous heights and they were moving out. Over the last 10 months we have watched many of the tenants on our floor leave because of the rent increase.”

So that’s what you get with your brand-new building – a huge rent increase after your first year.

Generally speaking, older buildings have rent control and newer buildings do not. One exception is federal land, like Treasure Island and The Presidio. In those places, you can live in an older building but still get with huge rent increases.

Of course, it always pays to check.

Here’s a test – can you tell which places are rent controlled?

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You see, it’s hard.

Choose wisely.

The Reason Why Samy’s Camera of SoMA Should Have a “We Pay Your Sales Tax Sale” Instead of a “No Tax Sale”

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The reason why is that California tax officials don’t like the idea of some items not having sales tax. When you say “no tax sale,” it makes it seem that you the store might not be forwarding sales tax to Sacramento.

IRL, Samy’s is forwarding the money, but the FTB and the BOE both want to make sure consumers know this.

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This might seem like a small deal to you, but it’s a big deal to the authortahs…

Here It Is: The Infamous Line of Double-Parked Cars in Front of Rainbow Grocery – How Do We Solve This Longstanding Problem?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

I don’t know, but SFGov is powerless, it appears.

Here’s some history on the issue.

And here’s how things look in 2014 – nothing’s changed:

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Oh well…

VAN DZL: If Actor Vin Diesel Owned a Full-Sized Van…

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

As seen in SoMA:

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Click to expand

It’s probably powered by gasoline though…

Christmas CalTrain, 2014 – Old Engine #920

Monday, December 8th, 2014

(Oh, so that’s what the inside of a CalTrain station looks like. I’d never been.)

Engine 920, dolled up for the holidays, as seen in SoMA:

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