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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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UncategorizedTom's Town: Making Google shuttles pay -- and cutting...

Tom’s Town: Making Google shuttles pay — and cutting party promoters some slack

By Tom Temprano

In today’s San Francisco, $1 doesn’t stand to buy you a whole lot. Sure, it can get you a can of Tecate at El Rio on Monday’s or 1/3,000 of your monthly rent in an SF apartment — but clearly the best deal in town for a buck is a place to park your private, 24-ton shuttle bus while forcing public busses to queue up in your wake.

48hillstomstownThat’s the deal that tech companies have gotten from the deft negotiators in Room 200 for the use of our city’s bus stops.  Companies like Google, Genentech, Facebook and others, whose shuttles have become the rallying point for community members fed up with the soaring costs of everything (except a place to park your shuttle) in San Francisco, will now have to pay a whopping $1 per day per stop to operate their busses on Muni turf. Let’s crack a Tecate and call that a coup!

This should have been an opportunity for these companies to acknowledge community concerns and agree to a more reasonable fee that could help fund desperately needed transportation services for non-shuttled people, like Free Muni for low-income youth and increased Muni infrastructure in lower-income neighborhoods.  Instead, we see a continuation of the trend that we’ve come to expect in The Tax-Break-By-The-Bay-that our city has become.

Long waits are par for the course on the 500 block of Valencia, with people spending eons waiting for a pitcher of margaritas at Puerto Alegre or a drunken slice of Arinelles on a Friday night. This past Wednesday evening, however, the waits had nothing to do with munchies and everything to do with who will be our next Assembly representative.

Politicos under 35 spent upwards of half an hour in line at the Eric Quezada Center waiting to sign up to become members of the San Francisco Young Democrats at the group’s January meeting which, conveniently enough, happened to be the qualifying meeting for the upcoming endorsement in the AD 19 race between David Campos and David Chiu.

I was heartened to see a healthy helping of queers and hipsters (and hipster queers) in the queue seemingly lining up to support Campos. Maybe this election will mark the death of the use of hipster as a pejorative term and the birth of its description a block of intentionally dressed progressive people.

Congratulations to the newly hired Executive Director of SF Pride, George Ridgely! I know George personally and think he is a fantastic choice to right the ship that so publicly sunk under its previous leadership. Plus, he has a resume that indicates that Pride will be no less of a party under his watch.

I’ll put my faith in anyone who was able to book Peaches to sing Sylvester, which he did as the ED of the Castro Street Fair, and who was able to routinely get 30,000 straight men to run around the city playing drunken grab-ass in the homoerotic spectacle that is Bay to Breakers.

George, and other folks responsible for producing the many events that keep San Franciscans dancing in the streets, may be able to trim their budgets in the near future if this week’s testimony at the Entertainment Commission is any indication. Event promoters for street fairs like Pride, Folsom Street Fair, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass have long been required to pay for the presence of SFPD to get the green light for their parties. The “10B” officers, as they are referred to, get overtime and promoters are mandated to foot the bill.

The Tuesday night hearing, called by Entertainment Commissioner Glendon Hyde, brought together a group of nonprofits and for-profit event promoters who complained of high costs and inconsistent requirements.  Sherriff  Ross Mirkarimi attended and espoused the potential cost savings of allowing his deputies to provide the needed services, something he discussed at length with myself and other members of the nightlife community while running for office.

Any changes to the 10B program (named after the section of city law that lets cops moonlight and make nice paychecks providing security at private events) would have to come at the behest of the Board of Supervisors. Rumor has it that Supervisor John Avalos, never one to skirt a showdown with the SFPD, might soon look into legislation to help party people save some funds.

Modifications in some form are certainly in order: Having your party broken up by the police may be the mark of a good time, but not being able to get your party off the ground because you can’t afford to pay them to be there certainly isn’t.

MOVIE TIME: tried to go see American Hustle this past Saturday but apparently wasn’t the only one who thought a 9:45 weekend showing in the drinking section of Kabuki was a thing to do. Having been turned away with a sell out, I instead went back to my boyfriend’s house to watch My Cat From Hell. Jackson Galaxy made for a decent Christian Bale stand in and I had the added pleasure of hyper-analyzing my own cat’s hellish behavior for the next several days.

 Tom’s Top Two Things To Do This Weekend

The Castro Tenants Convention. Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the LGBT Center.

Renters are pissed, organizers are organizing, and the Castro is the epicenter of an eviction crisis that his reached epidemic proportions. A coalition of housing rights organizations is bringing the community together this Saturday to generate some solutions.  This needs to be a year of action if we hope to dig in our heels and stay in our homes — and the action starts here.

Fundraiser to Help Christina Olague. Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 3-8pm at El Rio.

For those who haven’t heard, former Supervisor Christina Olague lost her home to a fire on Christmas Eve. Christina has dedicated her life to keeping San Franciscans in their homes and now it’s our turn to help her get back into hers.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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