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?

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

By Marke B. : 48hills – excerpt

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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.

 

Protesters in San Francisco dumped a huge pile of scooters in the street and blocked 11 tech buses — and then things got tense

By Rachel Sandler and Katie Canales : businessinsider – excerpt

 

Activists piled scooters in front of buses and unfurled signs that said “Techsploitation is toxic.”

  • Anti-tech demonstrators in San Francisco blocked tech buses with piles of electric scooters.
  • They told Business Insider they were protesting tech companies’ using city streets to experiment and city officials’ increasing use of sweeps to force homeless people off the streets.
  • In total, a full intersection, 11 buses, and several cars were blocked for about two hours.

Anti-tech demonstrators in San Francisco on Thursday used piles of electric scooters to block shuttles ferrying Google and other tech company employees to work. The blockade was to protest what they see as the failure of the tech industry and lawmakers to address the city’s income inequality and sizable homeless population.

“What you’re seeing here is that scooters have more rights than people,” Chirag Bhakta told Business Insider. “Our priorities shouldn’t be people first, scooters second. We’re tired of being seen as an experimental playground for the tech industry.”…(more)

Gentrification and the corporate takeover of our cities by disruptive products and services is now complete. There is no product or service too dangerous or disruptive. Wait until Tesla’s flamethrowers get into the wrong hands. This seem like a bad idea at the start of fire season, but, the gun lobby likes them. A bill to restrict them was buried in committee.

Pick your conspiracy theory, but, you can’t ignore the takeover of our streets by Uber and Lyft. The day of the Tech v Tech bus protest, that received international coverage, we got news that Lyft is buying GoBikes. They are going head to head with Uber who just bought out another bikeshare Jump.

Tossing the tech scooters under tech buses was a brilliant statement about tech vs. tech. If you haven’t see this video yet you might want to watch this anti-gentrification direct action film, that covers SF and Oakland, among other cities around the globe, and share it with your friends and associates. https://sub.media/video/trouble-13-defend-the-block

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Protesters toss scooters into street to block tech buses in SF

 

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.

It’s Time To Get Real About Power in Silicon Valley

By Ryan Holiday : medium – excerpt

It could be said that the first few years of this current tech boom were fueled by mostly harmless, relatively easy products — websites for sharing your photos, for looking up stuff, for connecting with old friends. And the people who made them were seen as mostly good people.

Yet this feel-good perception has slowly and then suddenly disappeared. Users have begun to regard once trusted sites with suspicion over issues of privacy. The same reporters who previously lavished unthinking praise on every new startup now search with equal enthusiasm for scandals and mistakes. Those once harmless social networks, now at a scale unprecedented in human history, no longer look so innocent. The acronym we have for what were once upstarts or underdogs — Facebook to Amazon to Netflix to Google — hints at the now ominous nature of their place in the world, F.A.N.G.

What happened?…(more)

Resistance and feminism: what to expect from this year’s Armory Show

By Nadja Sayej : theguardian – excerpt

The much-anticipated contemporary art fair hits New York with a range of provocative pieces, taking aim at Trump and highlighting the work of female artists.

It’s that time of year again, when black-clad art enthusiasts descend upon New York’s Armory Show, the labyrinth-like contemporary art fair at Piers 92 and 94 in midtown Manhattan. Kicking off 8 March, over 200 international art galleries will set up their booths in the white wall jungle to dazzle, sell and sizzle on Instagram. Let’s hope they have free wifi.

On top of your painting and photo fare, there will be tech-inspired artworks in the new Focus section, where 34 artists imagine a post-human world. From 3D-printed sculptures to digital spiritualism, it’s curated by Gabriel Ritter, who is fascinated by our online personas… (more)

The new direction of art in a world of tech and the internet shares the stage with traditional media in a show of international moods and modes. Art as always leads the way into our future. This is a good show to catch if you can.

Summer of Love concert promoter won’t give up — seeks ballot measure

By Sam Whiting : sfchronicle – excerpt

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Promoter Boots Hughston, rejected over and over by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission in his bid to stage a free 50th Anniversary Summer of Love Concert in Golden Gate Park last summer, is now planning to take it to the voters and stage it for the 52nd anniversary…

“No Cost Permit for Summer of Love Anniversary Concert” is the title. If a simple majority of voters approve, the concert will be held in September 2019.

“We are talking about calling it ‘The 50th Anniversary of Woodstock featuring the Summer of Love’,” Hughston said. The initiative calls for Hughston and his organization, the Council of Light, to hold a free event with no fences at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park. There will be 26 or 27 bands and 17 featured speakers. He expects the crowd to be 70,000 — minimum…

As part of the initiative Hughston has asked that all permit, inspection, landscape and management fees for the event be waived.

“The Summer of Love is an earmark for our generation,” Hughston said. “We are in our 70s and our 80s and we saved the world. We should be able to do one last big show and promote peace, love and compassion.”… (more)

One last attempt at one last bash for freedom peace and love before we throw in the towel on San Francisco’s role in history. Will these San Francisco residents support a “free” historical event to honor the fearless freedom fighters who got us where we are today, with our legal buds?