Union Workers to Hand Out Bittersweet Kisses to Twitter Employees

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The unions truly love giving the city a hard time.
Cupid's next target: Twitter headquarters.

At lunchtime today, union workers and city residents will be delivering Twitter their own special Valentine, and let's just say it's not going to be a dozen roses.

In a Valentine's Day-themed demonstration led by union members-turned romeos, demonstrators will march to the headquarters of Twitter to protest what they're calling "sweetheart deals" for corporations. Specifically, they're referring to the healthy tax breaks Twitter receives in exchange for keeping its headquarters in San Francisco.

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Will there Be More Semen in the Mission than Usual Tonight? Sort of.

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Coming to a street near you...
The latest skirmish in the gentrification wars reached its climax last night, when upscale haberdashery Jack Spade capitulated before the onslaught of peeved Mission activists, opting to throw in the towel and pull out of its planned location at 3166 16th Street.

SF Weekly had heard, however, that one motivating factor was a planned onsite protest tonight by masturbating anti-gentrifiers, intent on "washing away" the well-dressed invaders in a wave of effluvia.

Since this is a Chicken John Rinaldi-organized effort, two things are clear: A. It's going to be cleverer than you'd expect, and; B. You're a goddamn sucker if you take the threats at face value (as Jack Spade honchos may have).

Will there be more semen than usual in the Mission tonight? Well, it is Friday. Who's to say? But, Rinaldi promises, they'll be plenty more seamen.

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Purple Star Pot Club: Gus Murad's Dispensary Was Robbed of Its Weed

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Flickr.com/bcefphotos
Another night at Medjool for Murad (right)
You might not recall who Gus Murad is, but you probably remember his bar. To children of the mid-2000s, no evening of Mission debauchery was complete without a visit to Medjool and its legendary rooftop bar.

Political types, of course, will never forget Murad, the Gavin Newsom intimate who used the bar to curry favor with City Hall (which led to embarrassment when it came out that the rooftop party space violated height exemptions).

These days, Murad is out of the restaurant business, but he's still a landlord -- and still involved with selling drugs out of the space at 2520 Mission Street, though of a different kind, and to a different clientele. Last week, the Murad-funded Purple Star medical marijuana dispensary -- downstairs from the roof and the former hostel space that now houses veterans -- was robbed by armed gunmen.

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Pet Food Express Spurned By Planning Commission

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Joe Eskenazi
Staying neutral...
Pet Food Express is a great company that showers an inordinate amount of money and resources upon rescue animals and animal welfare organizations -- and Lombard Street is a disaster that could use the foot traffic.

Pet Food Express is a chain that could put small pet shops under, and was in 2009 denied permission by the Planning Commission to move into the very same Lombard Street digs it now hopes to occupy -- and has allowed to go to seed in the years since.


And there you have it -- more than 100 public speakers at Thursday night's Planning Commission meeting spent a great deal of time making those points in various manners and at various decibel levels during a lengthy hearing. (After more than two hours of public speaking on this issue Planning Commission President Rodney Fong asked "are there any more speakers?" In the silence that followed, one of his colleagues could be heard to whisper, "Quick! Close it!").

In the end, the commission opted to spurn Pet Food Express for the second time in four years, by 6-1 vote. This is a a major step -- but not yet the concluding one -- in an exceedingly nasty neighborhood development battle covered in this week's SF Weekly.

See Also: Pet Food Express Tries to Be the Most Adorable Franchise in Town


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Pagoda Palace: Restaurant Owner Discovers Brick Fragments on Roof, Gets Angry

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Dario Hadjian
J'accuse!
Yesterday we noted that the Piazza Pelligrini restaurant received a pair of unwelcome guests: Bricks, which fell from the Pagoda Palace demolition site next door.

Restaurateur Dario Hadjian was less than thrilled with the notion of construction debris coming to a rest next to his outdoor cafe tables (the bricks purportedly tumbled within the construction zone, then rolled beneath a fence). So, this morning, when he found more bricks, he was even less than less-than-thrilled.

And he called the cops.

After finding "15 to 20" brick fragments on his roof this morning, Hadjian filed a police report. He then got his insurance agent involved. "Basically, this is giving them fair warning that if this happens again they will definitely be negligent because they have been warned," said Farmer's Insurance agent Thomas Madden, who drafted a polite but terse letter encouraging the segregation of brick fragments and restaurant property.

The long-abandoned Pagoda Palace will serve as the extraction point for the boring machines digging the Central Subway. Muni spokesman Paul Rose countered that the brick fragments from the site on Hadjian's roof were very small.

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Twitter: Clock Outside Company HQ Is Right Six Times a Day


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Time Further Out

As the powers-that-be assure us that the mid-Market area is poised for a renaissance -- this time for real -- those without watches or phones in their pockets are still hard-pressed to know just what time it is.

The graceful, hulking structure at 1355 Market Street is Ground Zero of the for-better-or-for-worse transformation of mid-Market from a boarded-up cesspool to a realm of tech companies the city bent over backwards to cater to with hints of cesspool (and a number of businesses that formerly served the area driven out by the high rents that accompany "progress").

This edifice, owned by the vast and vastly influential Shorenstein Properties LLC, houses Twitter, among other tenants. So, it's interesting that the three-faced clock outside the office of the company whose eponymous tax break spurred the area to transform from what it was to whatever it will be offers three different times -- none of them correct more than twice a day.

Building staff tells SF Weekly that not only do they not know of any plans to fix the clock -- they cannot recall a time the clock actually functioned. Time marches on in mid-Market. But it does so on its own.


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Cruise Ship Terminal Finances Terrified Port Director

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How's that penciling out?
The news that the city's nascent cruise ship terminal could well lose the city boatloads of money is disturbing -- but hardly unanticipated.

Last year, SF Weekly obtained a January 2012 e-mail from Port of San Francisco Director Monique Moyer to members of her staff lamenting the proposed cruise ship terminal's financial baggage:

"I just don't see how we can commit the Port to financial instability by committing to these obligations. Frankly, the cruise terminal isn't worth the risk. ... Sorry to be the 'Debbie Downer' on this, but I spent a sleepless night and I came to the conclusion that I can't be the one who does this to the Port."

See Also: America's Cup Sailor Refers to Boats as 'Godforsaken Deathtraps'

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8 Washington: Who's Gonna Pay for Rivers of Sewage?

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Problems beneath the city?
The notions of luxury condos and torrents of raw sewage do not exactly jibe. Nor does the idea of the residents of those condos -- and the city -- being on the hook for said fetid rivers.

But that was the picture painted by Supervisor David Chiu today during a provocative hearing regarding the 8 Washington condo tower's proposed construction just a yard from a sewer line pumping 20 million gallons of waste daily.  That effluent is generated by 375,000 city residents and represents about a quarter of the city's sewage. You do not want that coming out of the pipe.

Chiu -- an outspoken opponent of the development -- alleged that he and his colleagues on the board were willfully kept in the dark about engineering concerns regarding the proximity of the proposed structure to the century-old sewage line. This, he says, was the case even as the supes were deliberating -- and ultimately approving -- the project.

"I do not have faith in the departments involved there has been an adequate investigation here," Chiu said. "I think there was information that people knew that should have been disclosed. I have e-mails and letters to show that. Staffers were either told or decided to keep that information to themselves at great risk to the public. I have a problem with that." 

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Warriors Arena Booster Group Trims Swollen "Steering Committee"

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Anna Latino/SF Examiner
Yesterday we reported that the noontime City Hall rally planned by the nascent group "Warriors on the Waterfront" came as a surprise to even those listed as part of the organization's steering committee. 

The surprise was two-fold: Not only were groups taken aback there was a rally going on, they were unaware that they'd been drafted to be part of this organization. 

"I just gotta say, I have no idea what this group is or how our name came to be used in affiliation with them," Josh Arce, the executive director of the Brightline Defense Project, told SF Weekly Tuesday. "I guess we'll find out at some point." 

Arce's nonprofit was erroneously listed as "Brightline Defense Group" on Warriors on the Waterfront's steering committee page, and was also miscategorized as a labor union. The Carpenters' Local 22 -- which actually is a labor union -- was also listed on the page, though no one there knew anything about a rally or the organization throwing it. 

But, in a way, that problem has been solved. 


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"Warriors on the Waterfront" Rally Catches So-Called Allies Off-Guard

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The Wilt Chamberlain Group labor union was not listed on the steering committee, though...
The battle for -- and against -- the Golden State Warriors' proposed waterfront arena is heating up. So it wasn't a surprise to see a group calling itself "Warriors on the Waterfront" throwing a noontime rally on the City Hall steps today. 

Unless you're a member of the group's "steering committee." 

"We've been getting calls about a rally or a group, and, I just gotta say, I have no idea what this group is or how our name came to be used in affiliation with them," says Josh Arce, executive director of the Brightline Defense Project, a local nonprofit focused on sustainability and local hiring issues. "I guess we'll find out at some point." 

On the Warriors on the Waterfront steering committee page, Arce's organization -- which is supporting the arena project -- is, oddly, listed as "Brightline Defense Group" and erroneously categorized as a labor union. 

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