The billionaire who bought the LA Times: ‘Hipsters will want paper soon’

By Rory Carroll : theguardian – excerpt

Patrick Soon-Shiong despises clickbait and says the future belongs to quality journalism. Will his gamble pay off?

Patrick Soon-Shiong has spent decades trying to cure cancer and made a biotech fortune in the process, making him one of California’s most successful, enigmatic billionaires.

Born in South Africa to Chinese parents, he rose from humble origins and ended up in Los Angeles where he has thrived as a surgeon, scientist and entrepreneur. “The richest doctor in the history of the world,” Forbes magazine declared in 2014.

A bright, restless mind, Soon-Shiong is now seeking to remedy a very different source of malignant metastasis: news.

Fake news, superficial news, clickbait news, shrill, shouty, polarising news, he plans to tackle all these ailments in his latest incarnation as a media mogul…

Soon-Shiong has bought the Los Angeles Times and a handful of other California newspapers for $500m, vaulting him into an exclusive club populated by Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Bezos and a handful of other proprietors…

Soon-Shiong bought it in April for twice what Bezos paid for the Post. He also got the San Diego Union-Tribune, Spanish-language Hoy and several small community papers, now grouped under a corporate moniker, the California Times… (more)

“I can get there in entertainment, sports, healthcare, bringing value in different ways. Getting into the attention economy is what we’re going to be doing.”

Can we anticipate a comeback for journalists? Let’s hope so.

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From Co-op to Co-op

By Laura Flanders : commondreams – excerpt

Worker-owned co-ops are part of Labour’s larger plan to put national investment into locally-determined development through spending locally, owning locally, and making local decisions… (more)

This is the British story, but, co-ops are popular among many cultures that believe in the true meaning of sharing. Not the corporate kind version, we are seeing so much of lately, that is based on disruptive technologies.

 

The Horrors of the Recession to Come

by Peter Lawrence Kane : sfweekly – excerpt

You think America is falling apart now? Wait until it actually does.

The San Andreas Fault is the best-studied seismological feature on the planet, but immediately to our geological north is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a comparatively enigmatic tectonic boundary. In the 2015 article for the New Yorker that won her a Pulitzer Prize, Kathryn Schulz examined the history of that quake-prone coastal region, which extends from just south of Eureka, Calif., through the middle of Vancouver Island. It’s a time bomb, capable of unleashing earthquakes vastly more powerful than the San Andreas can, and it’s overdue for the next one…

These are the good times.

In all the frenzy about the country buckling apart, its craven leaders unwilling or unable to confront the crises at hand, it’s hard to remember that the U.S. is currently enjoying a growth streak nearly without equal. Since the nadir of the 2007-09 Great Recession, we’ve added 15 million jobs and wages are rising (albeit slowly, and often because progressive cities and states force them to). Politically, the situation may be dire, but economically, it’s been much worse. If the current economic expansion lasts another year, it will be the longest in American history…

But we don’t care. What worries us is that we know deep down that it all has to come crashing down at some point — and like tectonic plates, we, too, may be overdue for a jolt…

The next recession, when it comes, has the potential to be catastrophic. Like reports of strange riots in a distant city that herald the zombie apocalypse, it will likely begin with whispers from people who play experts on TV. They will get their information from actual experts, people who are reluctant to put their thumbs on the scale, inadvertently setting in motion a self-reinforcing sense of panic. The recession’s beginning will be amorphous, truly apparent only in hindsight…

This sounds like yet another in a long string of dystopian fantasias, political torture-porn like the Handmaid’s Tale scenes set in Toronto’s “Little America.” And misfortune is always ghoulishly popular as long as we macro-dose on it. No one wants to see their house burn down; everyone wants to see the wave destroy the Golden Gate Bridge or the aliens annihilate the White House. It’s unlikely that tariffs on badger hair, turnips, and lawn mower parts will unravel the fabric of space-time, but a country whose president pledges fealty to a foreign autocrat is a grievously sick country. Sooner or later, like the fault lines deep under our feet, the current prosperity will buckle and the United States may face a test of its endurance like never before… (more)

I started reading about he earthquake to come, and got suck into this article. Here are a few teasers that may grab you.

RELATED article by the author:

Horrible Rich Lady Takes Out Full-Page Anti-Homeless Ad in the Chron

By Peter Lawrence Kane

Have we reached peak tone-deafness? Probably not, but a $30,000 anti-homeless broadside from a fake advocacy organization will be hard to beat… (more)

 

Mission nonprofit seeks to buy historic Redstone Building to keep tenants in place

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Mission Economic Development Agency is seeking to purchase the Mission District’s more-than-a-century old Redstone Building after its owner put it on the market earlier this year, placing its nonprofit and artist tenants at risk of displacement.

Formerly known as the Redstone Labor Temple, the historic building at 16th and Capp streets once served as the organizing hub for city unions and now houses over a dozen community groups and many independent artists.

MEDA, a nonprofit Mission District housing developer, is currently involved in negotiations with longtime landlord David Lucchesi over a potential purchase of the building in an effort to retain it as a community resource.

“The Mission cannot afford to lose this vital asset, so we are currently exploring public and philanthropic financing options — contingent on ongoing feasibility studies of the property and feedback from tenants — so that MEDA can preserve the Redstone for our community,” MEDA Senior Project Manager Feliciano Vera said in a statement on Monday…(more)

This is the story in all gentrified cities. Out with the old and in with the new money. Is it any wonder America has turned to “fake news” and comedy for relief?

Joe Goode’s new dance is an ode to a vanishing San Francisco

By Andrew Gilbert : mercurynews – excerpt

Joe Goode knows that relentless change is baked into San Francisco’s civic DNA. Rather than pining for the good old days, the inveterately creative dance theater innovator wants to explore what we’re losing in the ongoing boom, how we persist in the face of tectonic economic forces, and what’s worth hanging onto.

His new site-specific work “Still Standing” turns San Francisco’s historic Haas-Lilienthal House into an immersive environment where various narratives unfold, stories evoked via his finely-honed mélange of music, movement, drama, and audience interaction…

In the midst of another era of rapidly increasing economic inequality, “Still Standing” draws on stories from the performers and Goode, who was inspired by the community-building Jewish ethos known as tikkun olam (to repair the world)… (more)

It just so happens that Joe Goode and Kal are both connected to Project Artaud. Two San Francisco artists with different stories this week.

Pioneering machine artist Kal Spelletich is being evicted: Help save his robots!

By Marke B. : 48hills – excerpt

kal

The teacher and inventor who brought robots and flamethrowers to Burning Man must leave his home and studio of 25 years.

“On a troubling note, after 25 years, I am getting evicted from my home base and studio space,” artist Kal Spelletich tweeted this morning. “I provided housing and/or studios for countless artists, freaks, traveling activists, and radical journalists. Save Kal’s Robots here:  Thank you thank you Thank You”

So much of Bay Area arts culture is indebted to Kal, from Survival Research Laboratory shenanigans like giant fire-spewing robots (he was the first to bring both robots and flamethrowers to Burning Man) and interactive machine art that helped pave the way for today’s creative developments, to constantly helping and hosting artists (he teaches at the SF Arts Institute) and causes like Green Party fundraisers, Streetopia, and so many more … well, this just sucks… (more)

Kal is probably being evicted to build a new art school facility or student housing for such. That is what San Francisco real estate has turned into. Dog eat Dog or Demolish the Old and Rebuild it again for the next artist sucker, who will have a limited time before they go the way of Kal. The lesson in this game is buy what you can afford and don’t get attached to anything you don’t own. I only hope it is better somewhere else because it sucks here.

 

California net neutrality bill strengthened after lawmakers reach deal

: sfchronicle – excerpt

SACRAMENTO — After efforts to create net neutrality protections for California consumers appeared to fall apart last month, state lawmakers announced a deal Thursday to move forward with the widely watched bill.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced SB822 in January after the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn regulations that banned companies from blocking or slowing down internet traffic.

After it was passed by the Senate, Wiener’s bill was gutted in an Assembly committee during a tense hearing in which the senator announced that he no longer supported his own legislation and internet regulation experts said it no longer qualified as a net neutrality bill.

On Thursday, Wiener said the key protections that were removed, making him want to walk away from the bill, will be restored. Wiener declined to make the exact language of the bill public until August, when the Legislature returns from summer recess and it can be officially amended into SB822(more)

So, we get to take their word for it until August.