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Monday, May 2, 2016

$10K, No Way: Elite Tech Interns Encouraged To Fight For Their Worth

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 1:36 PM

  • Flickr/Tax Credits

When UC Berkeley undergraduate and self-described serial hacker Rodney Folz released the results of a survey he conducted on intern salaries at a couple dozen local technology companies last week, most of the coverage focused on the crazy numbers.

The offers are genuinely staggering: Fifteen tech firms — Twitter, Uber and Slack to name just a few — supposedly offer more generous compensation than investment bank Goldman Sachs, which itself gives college students nearly $10,000 per month for summer work.

But Folz, who said he will soon be taking a job with Yelp, did not conduct the second annual survey just to brag about the cushy pay in his chosen industry. Releasing the survey results on Twitter under the hashtag #talkpay (, Folz told SF Weekly that he hopes to encourage prospective interns to bargain for fair pay.

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How Will the SFPD Train Away Its Racist Officers?

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:28 PM

Repeat after me: "Don't be bigoted..."
  • Repeat after me: "Don't be bigoted..."

San Francisco’s police chief is in full damage-control mode, as Greg Suhr's department attempts to reshape its image following yet another scandal involving bigoted and racist text messages between officers

Much of Suhr’s Friday news conference and the ensuing coverage focused on outrage and apologia over the newly released texts.

The chief did announce that all 2,100 officers must complete an anti-harassment class within the next month, according to the Associated Press, although it remains to be seen what kind of impact such efforts will have on a police force that appears to be tainted.

And some of the new texts revealed by Suhr — prior texts had been made public by attorneys — show not only do officers display racism and bias toward the public, but also their own colleagues.

The Chronicle reported a female officer was referred to as “a hot mess” and “a senile grandmother,” while a gay officer in the media relations department was called “flaming.” Is this something you can train away?

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Making the Bay Area Hate Again: Donald J. Trump's Bizarre Visit to Burlingame

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 5:08 PM

  • Steve Rhodes/SF Weekly
Donald J. Trump — himself, his presence, his aura — does not fill a room.

Whether it was the odd route he took to reach the California state Republican convention on Friday — his motorcade's approach to a Hyatt near the San Francisco International Airport blocked by protesters, he exited his motorcade and hopped a median on the US-101 freeway to enter the business traveler's hotel via a back entrance, a process he later compared to "crossing the border" — or the odd route he is traveling to win the Republican nomination, working and making deals with the same "party elites" insiders he's been railing against for almost a year, Trump himself put on a subdued performance during his brief time in the Bay Area on Friday.

But his supporters do. They fill arenas and hotel conference rooms and convention halls. They were the easiest to spot on Friday: sporting the same air of detached and defiant triumph as their man, Trump supporters are the ones who look the most like they're having a party. 

And his haters do. Where Trump appears, they follow, as happened Friday. Protesters infiltrated the Hyatt to shout and unfurl banners, and hundreds more squared off with police outside, turning the Hyatt and the convention into a fortified compound in hostile territory. 

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Millennial Problems: Going Viral

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 1:09 PM


Last week, a millennial in Texas decided enough was enough after she witnessed a fellow millennial leave an elderly man to fend for himself against a closed door. With a smartphone and 2-plus minutes of her life, Alexis Bloomer made a video apologizing to “elders” for the behavior of her generation.

"Sorry, Elders," her apologia and tea culpa pinning any millennial's problem on olders, has since been viewed more than 40 million times on her Facebook page, which is open for public consumption.

A millennial TV reporter in Texas, Bloomer's viral video has made her even more famous. It’s received tens of thousands of comments on her FB page (we recommend skipping all of them), and inspired at least a few saucy responses from other millennials.

Fusion declared her rant “the most millennial thing to do” in such a situation. Cosmo advises affected millennials: Don’t let it bring you down, “[j]ust live your best, best life.” Meanwhile, she's appearing on Fox and Friends, a decidedly non-millennial move.

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Did We Lose Prince to Prescription Pills? (Probably)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 12:24 PM


Yesterday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune confirmed via public records what TMZ reported last week in a blind, unsourced item: Prince overdosed on prescription opiates on his private plane while en route from what would be his final concert in Atlanta. The plane was diverted and landed in Illinois so paramedics could give the musician a shot of Narcan, the same opiate overdose antidote used to revive overindulging heroin users (and with which San Francisco police are currently equipped).

All this happened six days before Prince was found dead back at home at Paisley Park in Minnesota a week ago today, after being seen out and about over the preceding few days: going to a jazz club, buying music on Record Store Day, and — again, according to TMZ — visiting a Walgreen's, where he may have collected one of the 259 million prescriptions American doctors have written for legal opiates.

Though results from Prince's autopsy won't be known for weeks, multiple sources are reporting more pills were found at the home following his death. 

In the last seven days, tributes have been paid to Prince from presidents and nearly every important musical artist still alive. Thus far, absent from the elegies have been any calls to action. It may now be time. He may have been our generation's greatest musician — meaning, it looks awfully like we lost our greatest musician to our country's ongoing prescription pill addiction.

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Yesterday's Crimes: "Butt" Riley, King of the Hoodlums

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 11:24 AM

  • Randy Heinitz/Flickr
James "Butt" Riley claimed he had "the hardest head in all Christendom," and proved it by battering down doors and people with his impervious dome.

Born in New York in 1848, Riley sailed to San Francisco in 1868 where he quickly established himself as the "King of the Hoodlums." Although he wasn't part of any gang, "there wasn't a band of rowdies in the city that wouldn't flock to his support when he called upon it," according to The Barbary Coast, Herbert Asbury's 1933 history of our city's seedy beginnings.

Riley was also reportedly so handsome that he sold nude photographs of himself to the city's prostitutes.

"The greatest pride of scores of San Francisco's most popular and prosperous courtesans was the signed photograph of the King of Hoodlums which hung above their beds," Asbury wrote.

Riley even roamed the red light district with a black satchel filled with images of himself in the buff, selling them to ladies of the evening for 50 cents a pop.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DA Charges Former Cop With Blocking Rape Investigation

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 3:39 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons
A day after more racist texts exchanged between San Francisco police officers were revealed, this time between officers posted at Taraval Station — including one officer initially suspected of rape — District Attorney George Gascón has charged a former Taraval lieutenant with obstructing the investigation into the alleged rape.

Curtis Liu was a lieutenant at Taraval Station in the Sunset District until last summer, when he abruptly retired after Jason Lai, an officer  under his charge, was investigating for allegedly raping a woman twice at her Sunset District home. 

Lai is the officer who sent the racist texts which were unveiled by Public Defender Jeff Adachi yesterday.

After the woman went to police and Lai was named as a suspect in August, Liu then allegedly placed a phone call to alert Lai that his named was mentioned. According to the Chron, Liu told police he did so as a joke because he thought seeing Lai's name was a "coincidence" — but then retired from his $180,000-a-year job just in case. 

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California Lawmakers Like Free Tickets to SF Giants Games

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Our kind of Hardball. - PHIL TING/TWITTER
  • Phil Ting/Twitter
  • Our kind of Hardball.
If the gifts given to state lawmakers are any indication, the San Francisco Giants are much more popular than the Los Angeles Dodgers. But neither baseball team attracts the interests of politicians quite like a golf match.

The Los Angeles Times did the yeoman’s work
, sifting through 2015’s Form 700 disclosures among California’s elected officials and found that $3,690 in tickets were gifted to lawmakers for baseball games, mostly for the Giants and the team’s minor league affiliate the Sacramento River Cats (who conveniently play in the state capital). As the Times pointed out, only two lawmakers attended Dodgers games (it’s unclear if they arrived in the 3rd inning and left by the 7th inning).

Of that total, $1,833 were spent on Giants tickets and only $938 on Dodgers games.

The $3,690 was out of some $32,000 in gifts related to sporting events, with $16,551 tied directly to golf, according to the Times, “including green fees, travel to tournaments and golf balls.”

So who’s footing the bill for these perks?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Did Gurbaksh Chahal Buy a Posse (From a San Jose Sikh Temple)?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 2:22 PM

  • Twitter/EvanSernoffsky

Beleaguered social media-friendly tech CEO Gurbaksh "G" Chahal was in court on Friday to answer charges that he violated the terms of his probation for a 2014 domestic violence charge a few months after it was imposed. (The alleged victim is overseas and is not returning to the United States to testify; an exhausted judge on Friday continued the hearing to May 17.)

He was not alone.

Joining his father and his bodyguards outside the Hall of Justice were about 15 members of the Sikh community from San Jose, where the main Gurdwara, or Sikh temple, has pledged its official support for Chahal, who has met District Attorney George Gascon's efforts to revoke his probation — and possibly put him in jail — with charges of racism and bias against Indian-Americans. Much of that line has been echoed by an apparently-astroturfed Facebook and Twitter campaign.

This is not sitting well with other Bay Area-based Sikhs, who are openly questioning why the committee of the Gurdwara is getting involved at all — and what Chahal or his family may have done to earn the support of a religious institution. 

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Content of Latest Racist SFPD Texts Revealed; Pattern is Not Good

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 10:07 AM

The second batch of racist texts exchanged between San Francisco police officers are now public. The second batch — that we know of. 

One of the more troubling revelations to stem from this latest SFPD racist texting scandal — this one at Taraval Station — is the fact that in both cases the messages were discovered by accident. What does this say about the SFPD? 

Both Jeff Adachi, the public defender, and George Gascon, the district attorney, are right in suspecting — or flat-out knowing — that San Francisco’s police force has more racist and bigoted officers than police Chief Greg Suhr or Mayor Ed Lee will admit.

As Adachi told CNN, "What are the chances of two officers being arrested … and there's racists texts on [their phones]? I don't know what the odds would be in Vegas.”

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