Zuckerberg and Musk can save their reputations by acquiring newspapers

: sfchronicle – excerpt

When you don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

Both of you are suffering through self-inflicted public relations crises. Mark, growing alarm about social media’s health effects and about how Facebook’s self-serving policies polarize society have turned you into a lightning rod.

Elon, your bizarre behavior — attacking financial analysts, crying during a New York Times interview (which included the revelation that you use Ambien and recreational drugs), tweeting yourself into a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, and appearing to smoke pot during a podcast — have you over a barrel.

I don’t expect you to clean up your acts — you are who you are. But why haven’t you taken advantage of the obvious way to launder your reputations and improve your media relations?

Buy your local newspaper!

There’s no better balm for a billionaire’s press clippings than saving a newspaper… (more)

 

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Los Angeles billionaire’s hospital system declares bankruptcy

New owner of the LA Times

California hospital chain Verity Health filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday and will attempt to sell some or all of its six hospitals after the failure of a yearlong effort by Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong to save the system.

In an official news release, as well as a letter provided by union and hospital employees, the nonprofit system said its hospitals will remain open during the bankruptcy proceedings with $185 million in secured financing…. (more)

It has been a busy year for Patrick Soon-Shiong. In one of the strangest of billionaire moves this year, the purchaser of this bankrupt hospital chain just bought the LA Times, sold off the historical property it was located on and moved the entire operation, including archived properties outside the city.

 

San Francisco’s dearly departed nightclubs and music venues

By Amy Graff : sfgate – excerpt

How much would you pay to hop into a time machine and visit San Francisco’s long-gone Winterland Ballroom on Jan. 14, 1978, the night of the Sex Pistols’ last performance before the legendary punk band’s big breakup?

Johnny Rotten addressed the crowd hollering “Welcome to London,” and then he and his mates launched into a blitzed take on “God Save the Queen.”…

Winterland is one of the city’s many nightclubs and music venues that hosted golden music moments and great jam sessions before disappearing from the scene.

Many of us grew up throwing ourselves into mosh pits and twirling ourselves into oblivion in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s at these places, filling the memories of our youth in a freer, more vibrant and experimental San Francisco. In the gallery above, we pay tribute to some of our favorites with help from the recollections of the San Francisco Remembered Facebook group(more)

Of course Pinellas County lost Beaux Arts, the home to decades of art, poetry, politics, and underground films, fun and games for adults and wayward teens. Culture is killed by the society it tries to describe. Artists are left on their own to figure out how to move on. We dubbed it “culture clash”.

 

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.

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.

Say hello to the FBI mole inside the Trump campaign

By Jon Rappoport : opednews – excerpt

thevote

Well, you see, the mole wasn’t a spy, he was an informant. Aha. Let’s use a microscope to tell the difference.

The mole: Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor.

Supposedly, Halper was gathering information for the FBI about a suspected Trump-Russia connection…

Glenn Greenwald: “…the CIA operative and FBI informant [Stefan Halper] used to gather information on the Trump campaign in the 2016 campaign has, for weeks, been falsely depicted as a sensitive intelligence asset rather than what he actually is: a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election.”

But don’t worry. Nothing untoward is going on here. The FBI merely needed a man on the inside of the Trump campaign, to make sure Russia wasn’t exercising undue influence on the 2016 presidential election. Nothing more. No problem. Just ask the FBI. They’ll confirm this. The FBI high echelon is squeaky clean. They never lie… (more)

Everyone can draw your own conclusion on this one. The name and details are out in the media. If you are a scriptwriter, you might want to consider writing the script on this one. Don’t forget to change the names to protect the guilty.

If you are a writer and aren’t familiar with opednews, you may want to check it out as a possible publishing site for your work. Also consider medium. We are covering some of their stories that relevant to our elections and considering the options they offer writers.

The California Housing Crisis: Beyond SB 827

By Daniel Shimmy Li : medium – excerpt

In January 2018, Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill that stirred up controversy and discussion across California. Here’s a summary of the first draft of Senate Bill 827, also known as the Transit Zoning Bill:

Senate Bill 827 would usurp certain local building restrictions for new construction near transit hubs, setting looser state standards instead. It would allow residential developers to skirt local rules on height, density, and parking — if their buildings are within a half-mile of a train or subway station

Although SB 827 was rejected in its first committee hearing in April, it’s important to analyze the discourse surrounding the proposed solution and the encompassing issue — the housing crisis. For this article, I’d like to spotlight the discussion on the most controversial idea proposed in SB 827: increased market-rate housing…

SB 827’s push for more residential development on land that only allowed single family homes, also known as upzoning, made it the most aggressive bill recently pitched in California to address the housing crisis. The San Francisco Planning Commission said the bill would have effectively upzoned close to 96 percent of city parcels. With an interactive map, you can see that large portions of LA, San Diego, Berkeley, and several other cities would have been upzoned…

Shift the Discourse

SB 827 may be dead, but it sparked national discourse and drew mainstream attention to the crisis of housing and development. More thoughtful and committed citizens have joined the conversation and have begun thinking about new directions to establish the fundamentals of a new community….

Though not necessarily the case for new home owners, most NIMBY opposition to development is rooted in simply being a good capitalist and defending one’s major asset…

Decommodifying housing simply means preventing housing from being treated as a commodity. The goal is to prioritize housing that is a place to live, not an investment vehicle or an asset to accumulate wealth…

Other bills are at the forefront of the conversation with elections coming up. With strategic decisions and demands, it is possible to lay the groundwork for a community-sustaining and democratizing transformative change…(more)

Special thanks to Jimmy Wu, Shrinu Sivakumar, and Magdalene Lim.

Who determines the capacity of a community? Many communities that set limits have been overruled by the courts, now our state representatives are trying to force more housing growth on us.

How do we protect the existing affordable housing ? The answer seems to rest on a need for protections for renters and small landlords and homeowners, who are all threatened by the privatization and corporate takeover of land and property by wealthy developers and financial giants.

Attempts to pit the landlords against tenants is showing signs of failing.