Sonoma County challenges for pot supremacy as others turn away

By Peter Fimrite : sfchronicle – excerpt

Sonoma embraces craft cannabis as one of its prize crops. photo by zrants

Locally sourced bat guano and other manure-based fertilizers will power Erich Pearson’s biodynamic pot farm outside the city of Sonoma, which seeks to harness the forces of the earth, the cosmos and the free market.

Craft cannabis is becoming a cousin to craft beer in Sonoma County, and the venture by the founder of the San Francisco Patient and Resource Center, or SPARC, is among several operations awaiting permits to grow and manufacture medical marijuana — and, presumably, recreational pot in the future.

Around the state, the mainstreaming and legalization of marijuana is prompting many cities, even liberal ones, to fear trouble and shun the exploding industry.

But parts of Sonoma County, and especially Santa Rosa, are making the redolent herb their own, viewing it as more akin to beer, wine and fine food as a driver of jobs, tourism and tax revenue.

“Sonoma County is very welcoming,” said Pearson, who plans to organically grow an acre of cannabis from seed using a variety of sustainable techniques, including the loving application of bat excrement to roots, preferably during the summer solstice. “This county is known for high-quality food and high-quality consumable products. I think cannabis in Sonoma County will follow that path.”… (more)

PG&E Helps Build a Dry-Run Burning Man Temple

By Peter Lawrence Kane : sfweekly – excerpt

Synergy between two for-profit entities with extensive experience with humongous fires.

This year, the Man pairs up with “The Man,” as in one of the worst corporate citizens in California.

In a dry run before the actual Temple goes up on the playa next month, noted shitty corporate citizen Pacific Gas & Electric will build a test version on Friday along with 100 volunteers. According to a media advisory from PG&E corporate relations, the company donated more than 100 logs to Burning Man, sourcing them from “drought-stricken, pest-impacted dead trees” in Tuolumne County. Having since becoming usable lumber at a sawmill in Richmond, the wood will be #blessed at an Oakland warehouse tomorrow… (more)

This is one of the best put-downs of a dual corporate art project that merges the former hip with truly awful art production teams. If this is the future of big art I am all for staying small.

Should Uber be shut down?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

2015 press conference on the steps of SF City Hall before the corporate culture before the Uber’s corporate profile was revealed –  photo by zrants

Harvard business professor says the real problem in the tech industry is a “contagious” culture of lawbreaking that society shouldn’t tolerate

Everyone’s talking about Uber’s latest problems with management style, sexual harassment, company culture … and CEO Travis Kalanick, who embodied all of that, has been forced out.

Big investors hope Kalanick’s resignation and a deep internal investigation will help position the company for an IPO. They want Uber to go public pretty soon, and all of these scandals are tamping down the stock price.

But there’s another interesting perspective on Uber (and Lyft, and some of the other tech disrupters) that has appeared not in The Nation, or Mother Jones, or 48hills but in the Harvard Business Review, the voice of the eminently establishment Harvard Business School.

Harvard Associate Professor Benjamin Edelman presents what sounds like a radical hypothesis, but it actually makes perfect sense. He says that Uber can’t be fixed, that the corporate culture was poisoned from the start – and that the only solution is for regulators to shut it down.

The company’s cultural dysfunction, it seems to me, stems from the very nature of the company’s competitive advantage: Uber’s business model is predicated on lawbreaking. And having grown through intentional illegality, Uber can’t easily pivot toward following the rules (more)

What a coincidence that a Harvard scholar picks the “Summer of Government Overreach”, to acknowledge “Corporate Overreach” and lawless disruptive behaviors. When corporate “shared-property” schemes proved popular with the public, politicians helped pave the way. Now, they are trying to clean up the mess they created by disrupting communities and displacing millions of law-abiding citizens to make way for visions of a perfect future in 2040. Et is must be easier to fix the future than the present.

How a Canadian City Ended Homelessness With a Simple Idea

goodnet – excerpt

Everyone deserves a home

When Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, Canada, pledged to put an end to homeless in 2009, there were many sceptics who thought it couldn’t be done. A good six years later, the city says it has fulfilled its promise with the help of a surprisingly simple idea: giving every person living on the streets a home with no strings attached.

While traditional housing programs ask that prospective participants get clean and seek psychological treatment before being admitted into the system, the Housing First approach doesn’t make any of these demands. Whoever is in need of a permanent place to stay will get help, no matter what their circumstances are. “We take the stance that people are worthy of a home and it is a fundamental human right to have shelter and a roof over one’s head,” Jamie Rogers, who ran the Housing First program in Medicine Hat told the BBC. “Of course it is recovery-oriented, and we help and support people in making different choices in their life, but we don’t withhold housing because of who they choose to be.”… (more)

What can we learn about humanity from our Canadian neighbors? How can we use existing resources to solve social problems? This story gives us some hope.

Closures, overcrowding, rats: New York City commuters face ‘summer of hell’

By Tom McCarthy : theguardian – excerpt

Being trapped is a common thread in fictional future forecasts. Our urban planners’  future perfect plans for tiny crowded units with public transport ride-shares feel a lot like the futuristic city depicted in the 1985 Terry Gilliam movie, “Brazil”. where there is no easy way out.

The city’s aging subway has been declared ‘a state of emergency’. Combined with closures on other rail lines, riders are bracing for the worst

There was a time – somewhere between the 1990s exorcism of violent crime from much of New York City and Thursday, when a “state of emergency” was declared for the city’s transit system – when a nightmare scenario on the subway meant a rat crawling up your leg, over your chest and nearly into your hoody.

That remains a vividly awful prospect. But in the summer of 2017, rats are competing with a ballooning number of alternative potential torments for commuters (the term is used optimistically) who venture into the city’s aging underground.

Dangerously overcrowded platforms. Chronically delayed trains. Terrifying and injurious derailments. Tunnel strandings. Signal malfunctions. Fisticuffs. Electrical outages. Garbled announcements. Knockout stenches. Non-rat wildlife. Stairs, shoulders, backups, backpacks, bad attitudes and bad breath.

A particularly unlucky group of rush hour F-train riders last month were stuck inside overheating train cars for so long that video of their desperate fingers prying open fogged-up doors looked not so much like the scene from a commute as footage from a zombie movie… (more)

Breitbart Rages Over New SF Mime Troupe Play, Which Premieres This Weekend

by Joe Kukura : sfist – excerpt (includes video)

We don’t usually link to or screenshot the right-wing news site Breitbart, but the headline “Trump NEA Grants $20K for Lesbian Illegal Alien Musical” is just too good to resist. That wonderful word salad of wingnut agitprop refers to our very own San Francisco Mime Troupe, the guerrilla musical theater ensemble who have been bringing free outdoor shows to the parks for more than 50 years. This year’s annual Mime Troupe production is called Walls, and it premieres this weekend in Berkeley and will have its traditional July 4th show in Dolores Park next week. And it is indeed a “lesbian illegal alien musical,” as described… (more)

 

Jobs Are Being Automated. The Solution? Give Everyone Free Money.

By Paris Marx : thebolditalic – excerpt

The idea of a “basic income” is not as far out as it seems.

The “next wave of economic dislocations” will not come from outsourcing or immigrant labour, declared Barack Obama during his farewell speech, but from automation.

This is news to Donald Trump, who places the blame for American job losses on China and Mexico, but the data show his statements reflect racism, not reality. Between 2000 and 2010, 5.6 million manufacturing jobs were lost, jobs that Trump has promised to “bring back” to America.

But here’s the thing: these jobs never actually left. Up to 85 percent of them were automated, not outsourced, and even Carrier has acknowledged it will automate the jobs it didn’t send to Mexico after its deal with Trump.

People are rightfully scared of automation because they have leaders who prefer to ignore the problems it is creating instead of offering hopeful solutions. The middle class is being hollowed out; more people are being forced into low-wage work; and their insecurity is leaving them open to the lies of Trumpian snake-oil salesmen (and saleswomen)… (more)

The Driverless Future…
Transforming How We Shop…
Financial Security for All…