Civil complaint alleges that Net Stop’s on-site computerized slot machines violate state and local law, draw more criminal activity, and create a neighborhood nuisance
SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 7, 2013)—City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against an Excelsior District Internet cafe for an illegal on-site gambling operation and related nuisances that have been responsible for more than 200 calls to police since opening its doors a year ago. The complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning alleges that Net Stop Business Center is violating state and local law by maintaining computerized slot machine games that allow customers to purchase electronic “points” and then redeem their winnings for cash.
The opening of Net Stop at Mission Street and Excelsior Avenue corresponded with the beginning of a dramatic increase in criminal activity in the area, according to Herrera’s complaint. Net Stop’s location was the subject of two calls for service made to the San Francisco Police Department between Nov. 2011 and Oct. 2012, but in the year leading up to Oct. 2013, police responded to complaints involving Net Stop’s location on no less than 202 occasions.
“Gambling is strictly regulated in California for a reason, and Net Stop’s owner should know better than to think he can get away with flouting state and local law,” Herrera said. “When one spot in the City sees a hundred-fold increase in police calls in a single next year, the City will move aggressively to protect the neighborhood and send a message to other would-be scofflaws that similar schemes won’t be tolerated. This is criminal activity creating more criminal activity, and we’re asking the court to put a stop to it and impose the maximum penalties under the law.”
The San Francisco Police Department’s ongoing efforts to combat the problems at Net Stop have been critical to the investigation, and to the construction of the lawsuit. “Chief Suhr and the entire Police Department deserve a lot of credit for the work they’ve done to make this possible,” Herrera said. “They’ve built a body of evidence for us that we can take into court with the highest confidence.”
Herrera was not alone in his praise of today’s legal action. “Net Stop's blatant violation of the law is doing real damage to quality of life in the area,” said Supervisor John Avalos, whose district includes the location in question. “It has put a terrible strain on the neighborhood, but today we’ve taken a big step toward shutting it down.”
The civil suit details the connection between illegal gambling operations and the reduced ability of those living around them to enjoy their neighborhood in safety, together with the drain on police services elsewhere in San Francisco caused by the constant need to monitor and respond to problems at a single location year round.
The lawsuit asks the court to declare Net Stop to be a public nuisance, to close its doors for one year, to force the forfeiture and sale of its gambling equipment to offset the damage that the nuisance has caused to the local community, and to impose civil penalties for each act of unfair competition.
The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Thomas Lacey et al, San Francisco Superior Court, filed Nov. 7, 2013.
Planning Commission Adoption Hearing for Bike Parking Requirements and Bike Policies: May 16th, 2013
The Planning Department invites you to participate in a hearing this Thursday, May 16th regarding the City’s policies for bicycles. At the hearing, the Commission will consider the first comprehensive update to bicycle parking requirements in San Francisco’s history. Currently, the Planning Code sets requirements for bicycle parking associated with development.
In August 2012, the Commission approved the initiation of the Bicycle Parking Requirements Legislation. This legislation would repeal the existing bicycle parking requirements in the Planning Code and provide new bicycle parking requirements commensurate with the surge in use of bicycles in San Francisco and updated national and international standards for bicycle parking. The Planning Department consulted with many stakeholders to understand their concerns with the proposed changes. An informational hearing was held in December 2012 to obtain further comments from the public, followed by further changes to the Ordinance to address those comments.
On April 4, 2013, the Commission initiated amendments to re-adopt the previously approved General Plan Amendments related to the San Francisco Bike Plan. This re-adoption was a result to a California Court of Appeal decision made on January 14, 2013, which deemed the CEQA findings of the Bike Plan inadequate. These General Plan Amendments established the City’s policies regarding bicycles as an important component of the City’s transportation system.
On Thursday, May 16th, 2013, the Commission will consider:
If approved by the Commission, both proposals would be forwarded to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for final approvals.
The Planning Department invites you to attend this hearing to express your thoughts about bicycle parking. The case report for this hearing, including the complete proposed ordinances can be downloaded from the Planning Commission’s webpage on: http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=3470#documents.
Please find information on location and time of the hearing here: http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=3469.
City Attorney's Code Enforcement Team developed innovative app to empower neighborhood groups, individuals and merchants
SAN FRANCISCO (April 1, 2013) -- City Attorney Dennis Herrera today launched a new smartphone app that offers San Francisco residents an easy way to report and track non-emergency code enforcement and nuisance issues. Herrera's Code Enforcement Team has long maintained a code enforcement telephone hotline to enable neighborhood residents to report violations of housing, building, police and other local and state health and safety codes, but with the popularity of smartphones, the new mobile app leverages the latest in communication technology to improve government responsiveness and transparency.
Over a year ago, Herrera initiated a move to explore more innovative, user-friendly ways for the community to report and track municipal code and state law violations utilizing smartphone technology. The result is theUP2CODE smartphone app and web widget (web page) that is now available to residents via iPhone, Android and any browser with an internet connection.
"UP2CODE is an easy way for San Franciscans to report and track code enforcement issues to my office," said Herrera. "It encourages residents to be proactive by using the on-the-go smartphone app to combine efforts to improve neighborhoods and protect health and safety. Thank you to the community groups who helped test the app last year and provided feedback which refined the app. It's one tool we can all use to make San Francisco a safer and beautiful place to call home."
The UP2CODE app was developed to interact with SF311, San Francisco's citywide call and information center. The app utilizes mobile phone camera and global positioning system, or GPS, technology to streamline and coordinate code violation reporting with corresponding city departments. SeeClickFix, the New Haven, Conn.-based mobile application developer, worked in partnership with City Attorney staff to customize the app for San Francisco's codes and neighborhoods.
Data collected is used to better build code violation lawsuits, collect evidence and speed up remedies of nuisance code violations. It will help other city leaders, department heads and agencies better identify and prioritize code enforcement issues. In an effort to strive for transparency in City government, much of the data collected is accessible to app users in near-real-time. Reported violations are viewable on interactive maps, as is the status of each individual report. Users can even use advance features to set up "watch areas" -- from a single block to an entire neighborhood -- to monitor all reports within a specific geographic area.
For more information (including important safety tips), social media plug-ins, and to use the web widget, visit: http://www.UP2CODE.org.
To download the UP2CODE app on your mobile device visit:
• The App Store for iPhones, or
• Google Play for Android
The Office of the City Attorney's Code Enforcement Team coordinates the efforts of the Building, Health, Planning, Public Works, Fire and Police Departments to identify and respond effectively to health and safety and other public nuisance issues in San Francisco's neighborhoods. When a code violation is reported, the Code Enforcement Team responds by coordinating the investigation and abatement process by the relevant city agencies and, when necessary, pursuing additional remedies against violators through civil court action.
The City Attorney's Community Relations Division is available to make UP2CODE presentations and conduct group trainings on how to use the app and its numerous functions. Contact Jen Drake, Deputy Director, Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 554-4695.
Want to save money and make your business or home more sustainable? If your building uses a lot of hot water, then solar water heating could be right for you.
How solar water heating works
A solar water heating system is a simple and reliable energy source for your home or business. Sized to fit the location’s needs, solar collectors are mounted on a sloped south facing roof or flat roof. Fluid flows through the panels and is heated by the sun. It then runs to a solar storage tank connected to your existing hot water heater. Your water heater only turns on if the solar-heated water still needs a temperature boost. Hot water flows out of your taps just like it always has, but your hot water heating bill could be cut 60-80%. You will also reduce greenhouse gas and other air polluting emissions from your home or business!
Incentives are available
Fortunately, California Solar Initiative rebates now cover about 30% of the cost of a solar water heating system. In addition, 30% of the cost can be claimed as a federal tax credit. Together these financial incentives dramatically cut the cost of adding solar to your building.
To help get a sense of how solar water heating would pencil out for your home or business, use the SF Dept. of the Environment’s solar water heating calculator. In addition, you can find out more about solar water heating with these resources:
· SF Dept. of the Environment’s webpage (including information about financial incentives and contractors)
· SF Dept. of the Environment’s solar water heating fact sheets for commercial buildings, multifamily residential buildings, and single-family homes.
· PG&E’s solar water heating webpage
· PG&E’s solar water heating booklet
If you are interested in a solar photovoltaic system (to produce electricity), the department has information on that too.
Contact Jason Barbose, SF Dept. of the Environment Renewable Energy Project Manager, with any questions at 415-355-3790 or email@example.com.
Improvements to the Emergency Firefighting Water System will be made as part of the $412 million Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond
After a major earthquake, the San Francisco Emergency Firefighting Water System (also known as the Auxiliary Water Supply System or AWSS) is vital for protecting against the loss of life, homes and businesses, by providing an additional layer of fire protection to supplement the domestic water system. The system delivers water at high pressure and includes approximately 200 cisterns, two pump stations, two storage tanks, one reservoir, and approximately 135 miles of pipes.
The Emergency Firefighting Water System Program has three major project outcomes:
Construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2013 and the program completed in 2018.
The First Phase of Construction will begin with the installation of 16 new cisterns for fire protection and is anticipated to begin by summer 2013 in the following neighborhoods: Bayview, Excelsior, Merced Manor, Outer Sunset, Portola, St. Francis Wood, Richmond and Westwood Highlands. Installation of all 16 cisterns will not occur simultaneously and it is anticipated that construction will last approximately 4 months per cistern location. More detailed information will be provided to nearby residents and local businesses prior to construction.
What to Expect
The SFPUC will communicate with all nearby residents and businesses prior to and during construction. You may see crews performing survey work in your neighborhood in preparation for construction.
The SF JOBS Initiative Combines Mayor Lee and Supervisor Avalos Measures for a Progressive, Fair and Revenue-Generating Business Tax
San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 to place the consensus business tax reform measure that will move the City away from payroll tax to a system that is based on gross receipts. The measure include progressive business license fee that will bring in $28.5 million new revenue and grow with the CPI each year.
“This November, we finally have the opportunity to fix our archaic tax system--which penalizes job growth and exempts too many large corporations from paying their fair share,” says Supervisor John Avalos. “This new measure will protect small businesses, encourage job growth, and bring in the new revenue needed to support our recovering economy” he added.
The vote followed a unity rally at the steps of City Hall that brought together community, labor and business leaders. Mayor Lee and Supervisor Avalos and other co-sponsors of the measure spoke about the great effort made by all stakeholders to come to a compromise measure. The SF Chamber of Commerce’ Steve Falk and Wade Rose, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s Rob Black, and Scott Hauge of the Small Business Commission joined with Conny Ford of the SF Labor Council and other community leaders to speak in support of the measure.
“I applaud the Mayor and John Avalos for moving this forward. The majority of small businesses will see their costs come down and this will help create jobs” said Scott Hauge of the Small Business Commission.
“With the additional revenue, San Francisco can develop its residents for jobs in the 21st century with academies in construction, healthcare, technology, and hospitality” said Christina Canaveral of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth. “We can build more affordable housing so that working families that are struggling in this city can afford to live in the place they call home” she added.
Yesterday, Supervisor John Avalos, along with his two kids, Mayor Lee and Supervisor Chiu and Cohen visited Veritable Vegetables, an organic vegetable distribution business that will save 8% in taxes from the move from payroll to gross receipts. The business is a model company who has been in the City since the 70’s and is committed to staying in the City, hiring local residents, and contributing to the local economy and local food movement.
SFMTA Receives $49 Million from State Department of Transportation to Fund Central Subway, Persia Triangle ProjectsRead Now
State bond funds allow further progress on critical transit upgrades
San Francisco--The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees transportation in the city, today announced the receipt of more than $49 million in state bond funds to support the Central Subway and Persia Triangle projects.
The Central Subway Project will receive $48.4 million in state Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement, and Service Enhancement Account Program (PTMISEA) funds, allowing for continued progress on extending the T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown. The Persia Triangle Project, which will improve pedestrian amenities and transit circulation at three intersections in southern San Francisco, will receive $675,734 in PTMISEA funds.
“The continued support of our funding partners reaffirms the importance of these projects in creating jobs, building community connections and improving the quality of life in our city,” said Mayor Lee. “We are investing in the future of our city with these crucial transit improvements that will serve generations of San Franciscans.”