Tag Archives: California

Anonymous San Franciscan’s full page ad warns residents to “watch your backs” because city can’t do anything about homeless crisis

san francisco ad

Truth.

From Yahoo (via Business Insider): An anonymous resident of San Francisco placed a full-page ad San Francisco Chronicle Friday to draw attention to the city’s homelessness crisis after an alleged experience with a scissors-wielding homeless man in a downtown cafe left her feeling “horrified.”

The woman detailed her account in the ad, titled “Watch your backs — nobody else is.” You can read the entire ad above.

“The San Francisco city fathers and those who should be held accountable for our public safety have for years let us down by catering to the lowest common denominator,” the ad says. “We, the tax paying, responsible contributing members of society have had our quality of life as San Franciscans seriously compromised, dangerously so.”

In the ad, she says that she was trying to enjoy her lunch at a Neiman Marcus cafe in San Francisco’s downtown, when she had a run-in with a homeless person wielding scissors. She says that this “psychotic homeless person” was opening and closing the scissors “erratically,” making her fear for her safety. We’ve reached out to the Neiman Marcus in San Francisco for comment.

The ad claims to have been paid for by the “Fed Up Populace Campaign.” However, this campaign seems to have no online presence — Business Insider couldn’t find a website for the “Fed Up Populace Campaign” at the time of publication, nor does it appear to have any kind of social media presence.

Regardless, the ad comes at a time when the homelessness crisis continues to stoke tensions in San Francisco, as city residents increasingly complain that they don’t feel safe walking around highly-trafficked areas with large homeless populations. It’s started to take a toll on San Francisco’s tourism industry, too, as  at least one major medical conference reportedly decided to cancel its annual convention in the city, citing the homelessness problem.

The city’s homeless problem is attributed largely to the city’s lack of affordable housing, which has led real estate prices to soar. Now, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who was just sworn in this week, has pledged to take action on the homelessness crisis, even as she promises that the city will make way for more housing.

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Saturday smile: Tiniest rescue pup grows up to be a big boss bulldog

To support Road Dogs & Rescue, which rescued Hopelily, go here.

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Appalling street conditions in San Francisco drive away a major convention

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The streets of San Francisco…

SF is a sh*thole. Shocker, not.

From SF Gate: In a move that is alarming San Francisco’s biggest industry, a major medical association is pulling its annual convention out of the city — saying its members no longer feel safe.

“It’s the first time that we have had an out-and-out cancellation over the issue, and this is a group that has been coming here every three or four years since the 1980s,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of S.F. Travel, the city’s convention bureau.

D’Alessandro declined to name the medical association, saying the bureau still hopes to bring the group back in the future.

As a rule, major conventions book their visits at least five years in advance. So when D’Alessandro and members of the hospitality industry hadn’t heard from the doctors about re-upping, they flew to the organization’s Chicago headquarters for a face-to-face meeting with its executive board.

And with good reason: The group’s annual five-day trade show draws 15,000 attendees and pumps about $40 million into the local economy.

“They said that they are committed to this year and to 2023, but nothing in between or nothing thereafter,” D’Alessandro said. “After that, they told us they are planning to go elsewhere — I believe it’s Los Angeles.”

The doctors group told the San Francisco delegation that while they loved the city, postconvention surveys showed their members were afraid to walk amid the open drug use, threatening behavior and mental illness that are common on the streets.

It didn’t help that one board member had been assaulted near Moscone Center last year.  “There was a time when the biggest obstacle to having a convention here was that it can be expensive, but now we have this new factor,” D’Alessandro said.

In recent years, conventions have hired uniformed off-duty police and private security officers to patrol around Moscone and the nearby hotels.

Tourism is San Francisco’s biggest industry, bringing in $9 billion a year, employing 80,000 people and generating more than $725 million in local taxes — conventions represent about $1.7 billion of the business.

“You may not know it, but tourists spend more money outside of the hotel than inside the hotel,” said Hotel Council Executive Director Kevin Carroll. “Everything from restaurants to shopping to taking taxis.”

Industry leaders have been meeting with Mayor-elect London Breed to urge her to increase police foot patrols and mental health services — and to enforce the quality of life laws currently on the books.

In the meanwhile, D’Alessandro said, the rumbling of discontent continues from a number of conventions — “even from local tech companies who hold some of our biggest annual events.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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SF mayor-elect London Breed urges lawmakers to expand homeless conservatorship laws

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Soon-to-be SF mayor, London Breed

Not sure how I feel about this. Yet something has got to be done for the homeless, especially the ones with mental illness.

Then again I’m reminded of that Reagan quote: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

From SF Chronicle: San Francisco Mayor-elect London Breed urged state lawmakers Thursday to approve a bill that she said would give the city more power to help chronically homeless people suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.

In her first trip to the Capitol as mayor-elect, Breed joined state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Supervisor-elect Rafael Mandelman to support a bill, SB1045, that would expand conservatorship laws in San Francisco and Los Angeles County.

“We are talking about people who clearly need help and clearly can’t make good decisions for themselves,” Breed said.

Breed said those include people she has personally attempted to help, such as a homeless man well-known to law enforcement who is schizophrenic and abuses alcohol.

“There is a strong need to do something different that is going to allow us to help an individual like this,” Breed said. “Otherwise, he is going to die on our streets.”

Breed sponsored a resolution before the Board of Supervisors in April to support the measure, but it fell short of passage, with several members of the board’s progressive wing saying they wanted more time to review it.

Wiener said the presence of Breed, a member of the city’s more moderate wing, and Mandelman, considered an ally of progressives, showed there’s broad support in San Francisco for his bill. He noted that it is also backed by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco.

“We are all in unity,” Wiener said. “The city is in crisis when it comes to homelessness on our streets. People want us to solve the problem, and this is a tool that will help us get severely debilitated people off our streets and into housing and services.

The bill would allow the Boards of Supervisors in San Francisco and Los Angeles County to create five-year pilot programs that give them more control over their conservatorship rules, including expanding who can be involuntarily helped.

State law now allows county mental health professionals to hospitalize people for 72 hours against their will if they pose a danger to themselves or someone else or are gravely disabled due to mental illness — what is commonly known as a 5150 hold. A county can ask a judge for a 14-day extension to continue intensive treatment and repeat that process every 30 days.

The criteria on who can be stripped of their decision making is strict and often results in chronically homeless, mentally ill and severely drug-addicted people being returned to the streets. Wiener said his bill will apply to only about 1 percent of San Francisco’s homeless population, but that those are the people who cycle from the streets, to jails, to emergency rooms and back to the streets.

City officials said there are 40 to 50 people in San Francisco who fit this description and show no signs of being able to lift themselves out of it. “It’s beyond inhumane to sit back and let these people die when we have the ability to help them,” Wiener said. “Our current conservatorship laws are inadequate.”

The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed the bill Thursday, 9-0. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which is expected to take up the bill after lawmakers return from summer recess in August. The bill already passed the Senate in a 35-0 vote last month.

“No public policy failure is more obvious, painful and embarrassing to our city than our inability to provide care to so many obviously sick people on our streets and in our public spaces,” Mandelman said.

Opponents of the measure, including the Western Center on Law and Poverty and American Civil Liberties Union, said they worried that the bill would lead to further criminalization of homelessness and that expanding involuntary holds would affront an individual’s civil rights.

Jen Flory of the Western Center on Law and Poverty said the bill is misguided because it fails to address society’s failures that resulted in a person ending up on the streets in the first place.

“Taking away an individual’s freedom, even if for their own safety, is a serious matter in democracy,” Flory said. “We cannot go there if we are not honestly doing everything we can to avoid such situations.”

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Tourists shocked by what they see on San Francisco streets

san francisco

The streets of San Francisco…

Did nobody bother to Google the city they were about to visit? Before you make a trip to San Francisco, see the following:

From SF Gate: It’s something many San Franciscans see on a daily basis, outside their homes or offices and during their commutes. For better or for worse, locals are used to walking by crime scenes, have seen open injection drug use, and have witnessed mental health episodes firsthand.

But when a tourist lands at SFO, guidebook in hand, that reality can be shocking.

“Is this normal or am I in a ‘bad part of town?’ Just walked past numerous homeless off their faces, screaming and running all over the sidewalk near Twitter HQ and then a murder scene. Wife is scared to leave hotel now,” wrote an Australian Reddit user Wednesday.

That person isn’t alone. On Sunday, another tourist from Canada asked the San Francisco Reddit community, “Why is this city so terrifying?”

“I’d been there for probably less than a day, just wandering around the center, and already seen more than enough poverty and suffering to cause me wanting to leave desperately,” wrote another visitor from London in 2017. “I saw many people talking to themselves, or to things that weren’t there. Even in a Macy’s, and there weren’t any police officers to help them or do anything about it.”

Anyone who has hosted friends or family from out of town may have had to field similar questions.

Just those three Reddit posts garnered more than 650 comments, many of which were helpful suggestions (other neighborhoods to explore, safety tips, and more).

But the city’s own visitors’ bureau is struggling to come up with a good explanation for horrified tourists.

The streets are filthy. There’s trash everywhere. It’s disgusting,” Joe D’Alessandro, president of S.F. Travel told the Chronicle’s Heather Knight in April. “I’ve never seen any other city like this — the homelessness, dirty streets, drug use on the streets, smash-and-grabs.”

“You see things on the streets that are just not humane,” Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, also told Knight. “People come into hotels saying, ‘What is going on out there?’ They’re just shocked. … People say, ‘I love your city, I love your restaurants, but I’ll never come back.'”

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California university’s website says its OK for children to engage in ‘sexual play,’ watch porn

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But don’t you dare hand them a toy gun!

From Fox News: A public university in California features a controversial website that encourages parents to react “positively” when 4-year-olds touch each other’s genitals and says young children should be allowed to watch porn.

The University of California, Santa Barbara hosts an online platform, within the sociology department, called “SexInfo Online,” which is maintained by students “who have studied advanced topics in human sexuality” that seek to answer a myriad of questions on sexuality, The College Fix reported.

“The majority of sexual play between children takes place between the ages of 4 and 7,” the website states in a section titled “Childhood Sexuality,” accompanied by a photo of two little girls that appear to be kissing on a beach. “Children might display affection to their friends by hugging and kissing, or touching each other’s genitals, which is perfectly normal. Parents should not react in a negative way because children are just exploring.

It adds that parents should intervene only “if the acts are non-consensual or hurtful.”

In a section titled “Talking To Your Children About Sexparents are encouraged to let their children watch pornography.

“It is important that children understand that viewing pornography is a normal habit, and that they do not need to be ashamed of it,” UCSB students wrote.

(It goes on: “However, parents should discuss with their child that pornography may create certain expectations about sex that are unrealistic, especially when it comes to the appearance, desires, and behavior of women. Emotional intimacy, although severely lacking in most x-rated productions, is a huge part of sex. Finally, parents should remind their child that although sexuality may be a new part of their life which worth exploring, they should resist getting carried away. Children should activities like excessive masturbation, and they should continue to cultivate other productive activities, such as sports, clubs, and friendships.)

The article tells parents how to have “the talk” with their kids.

“Children and teens do not want to be told what to do, especially when it comes to personal topics such as sex,” the website states. “It is important that parents do not lecture their children, but instead try to present information and have an open discussion about sex. Adolescents will make their own decisions regarding sex and it is up to the parent to give them the information and resources needed to make informed decisions.

The school’s department of sociology chair declined to comment and the university did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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Liberal utopia: Nearly half of Bay Area residents say they want to leave

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The streets of the Bay Area: Literally a sh*t hole…

bay area homeless kqed photo

The streets of San Francisco: Littered with homeless/KQED photo

This story largely speaks to the incredible cost of housing in the Bay Area and says that the big problems are “exclusively” the cost of housing.

Don’t forget the other issues: Public defecation, urination & drug use in BART stations as well as urination and defecation on public streets. That has become so bad that infectious disease experts warn that San Francisco is becoming dirtier than slums in India and Brazil.

After the death of American citizen Kate Steinle at the hands of an illegal alien, San Francisco vowed to remain a sanctuary city. And the state has unprecedented protections for those in the U.S. illegally.

The Bay Area also has one of the largest and least sheltered homeless populations in the country hence the streets becoming public toilets.

No doubt the soaring housing prices force some to live on the streets. But if you believe that the Bay Area politicians are going to solve their problems any time soon, then you haven’t been paying attention.

From Mercury News: Despite the Bay Area’s natural beauty and booming job market, nearly half of its residents now want to get out, citing a creeping disillusionment with the high cost of housing.

Forty-six percent of Bay Area residents surveyed said they are likely to move out of the region in the next few years — up from 40 percent last year and 34 percent in 2016, according to a poll released Sunday by business-backed public policy advocacy group the Bay Area Council.

The numbers show a disturbing trend in one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets: Workers desperate for a better quality of life and without housing options will go elsewhere, potentially plunging the region into a financial downturn.

“They couldn’t be more clear what the big problems are — and it is exclusively about the cost of housing,” said John Grubb, chief operating officer for the Bay Area Council. “They don’t see…enough action coming, and so they’re looking at taking matters into their own hands. And unfortunately, what they’re going to take into their hands is the steering wheel of a U-Haul to go somewhere else where there’s a better combination of salary and lower housing costs.”

Bay Area home prices have been climbing for six years, setting another record in April, when the median sale price hit $850,000 — up 13 percent from a year ago, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic. Rents are soaring too, and workers are forced to move farther away to find affordable housing and commute on already crowded Bay Area roads and freeways to get to their jobs.

Meanwhile, recent efforts by policy makers, affordable housing organizations, developers and others apparently have yet to make a dent in residents’ concerns.

The Bay Area Council has thrown its support behind several housing-focused bills that it says will help, including SB 831, which eliminates some fees for building in-law units; SB 1227, intended to increase the supply of affordable student housing; and SB 828, which would force cities to rezone land to allow more homes to be built.

Researchers have been worrying about the Bay Area exodus for some time. A recent report from Joint Venture Silicon Valley found more people left Silicon Valley in both 2016 and 2017 than in any year since 2006. Still, Silicon Valley is gaining more residents than it’s losing — the region welcomed 44,732 newcomers between July 2015 and July 2017, and lost 44,102. But the ominous new data from the Bay Area Council suggests that could change quickly, as the out-migration shows no sign of slowing down.

When asked to pinpoint the most important problem facing the Bay Area, 42 percent of those surveyed said housing — a dramatic jump from 28 percent last year. Meanwhile, 18 percent said traffic and congestion, 14 percent cited poverty and homelessness, and 12 percent said the cost of living.

Those problems spell serious disillusionment for Bay Area residents. Fifty-five percent of residents polled said they feel the Bay Area has “gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track,” compared to 42 percent last year.

“It’s so expensive,” said 38-year-old software engineer Travis Dobbs, who moved his family from Berkeley to Portland last year. “My wife and I both make good money, relatively speaking, and we can’t afford a house there.”

Read the whole story here.

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