Lyft, Stripe spend lavishly to kill San Francisco's homelessness relief measure

San Francisco has a homelessness epidemic that is both heartrending and a threat to public health, and it has only worsened for decades, and continues to get worse even now. Read the rest

Federal judge orders car returned to homeless man struggling to pay parking tickets

Sean Kayode, a homeless person hustling to make ends meet in San Francisco unsurprisingly received a lot of parking tickets, in San Francisco. Naturally, the best way for San Francisco to secure payment was to seize his method of earning money. A federal judge has ordered the car be returned, for now.

Via the SF Examiner:

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the city of San Francisco to return a towed car to a homeless man who couldn’t afford to pay the parking tickets he received while working as a food delivery driver.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said Sean Kayode had raised “serious questions” about whether the March 5 towing of his car because of unpaid parking tickets violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures.

White wrote that in a situation in which a car owner can’t afford to pay overdue parking tickets, “it is not clear…that seizure is reasonable in an effort to secure repayment of the debt owed.”

The judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring return of the car. The order will remain in effect until there is a full trial on a lawsuit filed by Kayode, 52, and James Smith, 64, whose car was towed on Dec. 28, 2017.

Kayode’s car was towed from a street-cleaning zone outside a homeless shelter where he was staying. In the previous 10 months, he had received about 30 parking tickets and had paid some but not all of them.

A state law allows local authorities to tow a car whose owner has five or more unpaid parking tickets for at least three weeks.

Read the rest

Homeless people in San Francisco are hotwiring electric scooters

San Francisco's giant fleet of semi-illegal electric scooters have come to symbolize the tech industry's worst excesses, inspiring all kinds of creative resistance Read the rest

San Francisco's poop-on-the-streets heat map

Over 20,000 reported cases of crap on the streets of San Francisco wins it a funny smelling crown.

Via KRON4:

San Francisco has been named the 'doo-doo' capital of the United States with 20,899 poop complaints reported in 2017, according to RealtyHop.

RealtyHop did a comparison of 311 poop complaints in Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco.

This study includes dog and human poop sightings.

While 2017 was the worst year on record in San Francisco, research shows that 2018 is on track to beat that.

The 'Doo-Doo Map' from RealtyHop shows the which neighborhoods have the most poop complaints in the city.

Don't blame the dogs, tho:

San Francisco Department of Animal says that the city has 120,000 dogs, but the real issue is the number of homeless people without shelter.

The research conducted says there is no correlation between a neighborhoods home value and poop complaints.

According to the study, the poop crisis in San Francisco reflects a social crisis and the problem has continued to increase since 2011.

Read the rest

Legendary cultural icon John Law to speak on 'How Everything Started in San Francisco'

This looks great. For the San Francisco History Association, John Law is giving a presentation on "How Everything Started in San Francisco (While We All Thought We Were Just Fooling Around)" at Congregation Sherith Israel on Tuesday, October 30.

Here are the details:

John Law will discuss how the Free University movement and other pivotal former scenes, including the hippies, Beats, Situationists, Dada, adventure and pulp fiction, B-films, and a ton of other stuff prominently influenced San Francisco (and national) scenes. He will also examine related influences on the rise of Silicon Valley and its connection to the SF underground “art” scene.

John Law has been involved in the S.F. underground art and pranks scene since 1977. He co-founded the Billboard Liberation Front and the Burning Man Festival, and has crewed for Survival Research Labs and S.F. Cyclecide. He was an original member of the infamous San Francisco Suicide Club, and helped to establish the Cacophony Society. He is the coauthor of Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society (out in paperback from Last Gasp in 2019), the definitive history of the group that birthed Burning Man and SantaCon (sorry 'bout that one!) and influenced underground culture worldwide. He is owner and steward of the Doggie Diner Dog Heads, the ten-foot-tall, six hundred pounds (each) fiberglass symbols of an iconic post-computer-age San Francisco. He lives in North Beach and has an office atop the signature Oakland Tribune Tower.

Doors open at 7 p.m. with refreshments and a historical book sale; presentation begins at 7:30 p.m.

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Beloved 94-year-old teacher visits her (now-adult) students in her old classroom

A couple of years ago, PBS NewsHour interviewed Flossie Lewis, a delightful and sharp 91-year-old teacher/writer who, in her words, still thinks she's 15 (Don't we all?). In the video, she spoke frankly about growing old. Over 7 million people saw her video, including many of her former students. All of them, including Lemony Snicket writer Daniel Handler, had words of praise for her.

Flossie is now 94 and documentarian Steve Goldbloom decided to visit with her again. This time, he took her to her old classroom in San Francisco and asked a few of her former students to come along. Watch.

World Teachers' Day is Friday. This one goes out to Flossie! Now, can someone PLEASE get this woman a ride on Ocean Ave.? Read the rest

Treasure Island Music Festival on the San Francisco Bay, October 13-14

It's almost time again for Boing Boing's favorite annual music event, the Treasure Island Music Festival (TIMF), taking place October 13 and 14 on the San Francisco Bay! This year, the festival takes over the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, California! As always, the stellar lineup is wonderfully eclectic, featuring Tame Impala, A$AP Rocky, Lord Huron, Santigold, Sharon Van Etten, and a dozen other artists. Orchestrated by our pals at Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment, the festival will offer plenty of artisanal food and drink to fuel you along with DIY activities, art installations, and indie vendors. Dig it.

Buy tickets: Treasure Island Music Festival

Read the rest

UC Santa Cruz asks professors to rent their spare rooms to students who couldn't get housing guarantees

The director of housing for UCSC's Silicon Valley campus asked the university's 6,000 professors to consider sheltering their students to help bridge the shortfall between university-subsidized housing and the student body's needs, amidst the whitest of white-hot property markets in the nation. Read the rest

San Francisco can not generally ban sleeping in public

A general ban on people sleeping in public places, allowing the San Francisco Police to arrest homeless people for having no place else to go, has been ruled cruel and unusual punishment by the US 9th Circuit Court.

KRON4:

Police can no longer arrest people for sleeping on the streets if they have nowhere else to go.

KRON4’s Lydia Pantazes at San Francisco police headquarters this morning.

She says a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled arresting people who are sleeping on the street with no where else to go is cruel and unusual punishment.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with six homeless people from Boise, Idaho, who sued the city in 2009 over a local ordinance that banned sleeping in public spaces.

The ruling could affect several other cities that have similar laws, including San Francisco.

For example, In San Francisco it is a misdemeanor sit or lie down on a public sidewalk, or on a mattress or other object on a sidewalk, between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

The question now is whether cities can ban sitting, lying, or sleeping outside during a particular time and at a specific location. While that may still be allowed, an all out ban is not.

Read the rest

Nearly-forgotten all-female 'Summer of Love' band's debut album drops in the fall

You may remember Ace of Cups, the all-female band who once opened for Jimi Hendrix but whose musical careers got sidelined by motherhood. I wrote about the group in January after seeing a short KQED documentary about them. At that time, four out of five of the original band members, now septuagenarians, were cutting their first album. That 20+ track album, which features collaborations with Bob Weir, Peter Coyote, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taj Mahal and others, debuts on November 9, 2018 through High Moon Records.

In the Summer of 1967, San Francisco’s first all-female rock band burst onto the scene. They were legendary from the beginning; 5 uniquely talented woman writing fantastic songs, rocking as hard as any band out there and harmonizing like beautiful, psychedelic angels. Their star burned bright – and briefly. Despite making a big impact as a live act, and making friends with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to The Grateful Dead, the band split up without ever making a record. 50 years later, they are finally releasing their debut studio album, a stunning collection of songs that reflect their unique origins and deep life stories. As the news began to spread that the Ace was recording, old friends and allies began to catch word and come by the studio to offer support and musical contributions. People like Bob Weir, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taj Mahal, Jorma Kakounen, and others. When the dust and smoke had cleared, 36 songs had been recorded, and what started out as a chance to set the record straight turned into a history-making second-act.

Read the rest

San Francisco's public defecation problem really stinks

San Francisco's new mayor, London Breed, blames homeless people for the piles of poop and ever present scent of urine that characterize the city. There is also awesome avocado toast.

Via the Modesto Bee:

“I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Breed told the station. “That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

Breed encouraged charities and nonprofit agencies aiding the homeless to urge them to do more to keep the city’s streets clean, KNTV reported.

“What I am asking you to do is work with your clients and ask them to at least have respect for the community — at least, clean up after themselves and show respect to one another and people in the neighborhood,” Breed told the station.

Read the rest

Help save artist Kal Spelletich's robots and the future of tech-art

For 25 years, my friend Kal Spelletich of Seemen and Survival Research Labs has lived and worked in a San Francisco warehouse studio where he's built myriad robots, fire machines, and sculptures, hosted music, art, and political action events, and provided support for more than 100 other artists, activists, and fringe characters. Guess what. Kal's been evicted. This is yet another gut punch for the Bay Area's creative community that inspired so many technologists but is now being eviscerated by today's big money tech bubble. Kal has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help him push through: Save Kal's Robots

Rented way back in 1995, my space is was one of the last remaining raw warehouse art spaces and I made it into a home for experimental, non commercial art. I hosted jaw-dropping, fire spewing, ear shattering robot performances, music, noise and art events with the likes of Chris Johanson, Johanna Jackson, Marie Lornez and her epic boat, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Matt Heckert.

I did all this without grants or outside support.

No trust funds, patrons or high paying side jobs here. I passed along the cheap rent.

I provided housing and studios for countless artists, freaks, traveling activists and radical journalists like Trevor Paglen, AC Thompson, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, worked on Survival Research Laboratories shows, and countless others.

My life and warehouse were the inspiration for Rudy Rucker’s sci-fi novel Realware. Another book that wouldn't have happened without my warehouse is Streetopia.

I ran my studio as an experimental art/live space that housed and supported over 100 other artists and activists.

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To do in San Francisco on July 15: The Fifth Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge!

JWZ -- proprietor of San Francisco's DNA Lounge -- writes, "This is one of my favorite events that we do all year: it's time for the Fifth Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge! Come see maniacal Rube Goldberg contraptions pour delicious cocktails for you! Mad Science Guaranteed. You probably won't get wet, probably." Read the rest

Restaurant servers can't afford San Francisco rents so restaurants are going self-serve

San Francisco is one of the most expensive places in the world to live -- six figure incomes are considered "low" and even the tiniest homes are farcically expensive. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: an evening with science fiction writers Ellen Klages, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, and Meg Elison

The next installment of the excellent SF in SF series is tomorrow night, June 10, starting at 630PM and featuring Ellen Klages (previously), Lucy Jane Bledsoe, and Meg Elison, moderated as always by Terry Bisson. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: an evening celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whole Earth Catalog

I was practically raised on the Whole Earth Catalog and its successors like the Co-Evolution Quarterly, the Whole Earth Review and the WELL -- pioneering publications whose motto, "access to tools and ideas," turned into the maker movement and helped create the movement for free, fair and open internet infrastructure. Read the rest

Just the Tip: Documenting San Francisco's (undeniably phallic) Salesforce Tower

If you've been to San Francisco lately, no doubt that you've seen the 1,070-foot architectural monstrosity known as the Salesforce Tower. The new skyscraper is hard to miss as it's now the tallest building in the city's skyline and because it looks like a big, shiny phallus.

You can't escape it. It can be spotted from nearly everywhere you go in the city. I can even see it from various points in Alameda.

Married couple Nikki and Stone Melet noticed it too. They were so amused by it that they started the site "Just the Tip SF" as a humorous way to document what I have dubbed, the "TechBro Dick."

Nikki told ABC7News, "I was dropping my daughter off at school and I saw the tower. I was driving down the street and I saw the tower. I'm like, this is crazy, you can see the tip from everywhere."

People are encouraged to send in their own photos of "just the tip" from wherever they may see it.

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff, taken from Pier 39 pedestrian bridge Read the rest

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