Tag: san francisco

SF Muni Ignores Harassment Allegations and open Pandora’s box

By Bobby Mardis

A brief conversation with Muni Transit Car Cleaner Lead Person, Valerie Taybron, led to spewing an emotional colloquy on why she has been unable to retire from SFMTA.  She stated that she and others are victims of the mismanagement of their retirement funds, and of years of service.  When digging deeper into what was seemingly an obvious error in paperwork, or maybe a simple accounting mistake has opened up Pandora’s box of gross internal mismanagement on surprising levels.  Sexual harassment allegations and retaliation has hit transportation giant, San Francisco MUNI.  Court documents show that Key management officials at Muni have been under investigation for not only blatant harassment, but also the mismanagement that has plagued SFMTA that has led to endless litigation.

Richmond Resident Valerie Taybron is preparing her case with authorities to address not only the sexual harassment allegations, but also retaliation and racial discrimination actions.  Most recently Muni Chief, John Haley stepped down from Sexual Harassment charges towards his assistant, Sabrina Suzuki, who filed a suit, which led to his early retirement. In an SF Examiner article released on October 31, 2018, the problem runs deep with approximately 60 women giving written testimony to the SFMTA on October 22 addressing sexual harassment allegations. In 2016 Sherri Anderson, a SFMTA employee was another victim of sexual harassment and retaliation by management that recently settled her case based on court documents. (Case #: CGC-16-555748)

Although Ms. Taybron has her own separate complaints against Muni, it is well documented that her case is not an isolated incident.  She has reported her allegations to Ed Reiskin, General Manager Public Transportation, John Haley Deputy Director, Donald Ellison, Deputy Director of HR, and Hector Cardenas Local of 1021 with no resolution, or an attempted investigation. Employees suggest that not only are a good number of sexual harassment issues ignored by management, but also accusers have been continually retaliated against for their complaints. 

In the case of Joycelyn Lampkin, a Muni car cleaner, who alleged sexual harassment by her supervisor, Darryl Person, she filed an official grievance with the HR EEO supervisor Maria Valdez with no resolve.  After Mrs. Lampkin took some time off, she returned to work and inquired about the results of the investigation and Mrs. Valdez responded to the alleged incident by stating, and I quote, “You will rot in hell before I will do anything,” per Mrs. Lampkin.  Much like in the recent February 12th Examiner article that spotlighted change, women who formed SFMTA change see the first change in the stepping down of Mr. Donald Ellison.

In a complaint written on October 17, to Mr. Ed Reiskin by Ms. Taybron, she alleged that her complaints were intentionally ignored because she was an African-American Female who had previously won a judgment for similar complaints in the past. Lee Summerlot, the Acting Deputy Director at the time, supplied Taybron with surveillance footage of the theft of her personal property along with tracking for her case.   (Continued)…

Ms. Valerie Taybron, Muni Car Cleaner Lead Person, alleges that not only has the harassment continued, but it has also taken on the form of retaliation. “MUNI management, John Catanach, Acting Deputy Director, and Berry Gehret, supervisor, have allowed me to be violated by being sexually harassed, exposed to continued death threats on the job, the stealing of my personal belongings, denied opportunity on promotions, and maliciously stealing from my 40 years of service so that I cannot retire.” stated Ms. Taybron.  Mr. Taybron also alleged that after she took a fall on the job and that Mr. Gehret refused to call an ambulance for assistance. This continued effort to retaliate against her compounds the mismanagement and harassment abuse.

Ms. Taybron has mentioned that she has gone to the retirement board and Michael Guess, Asst. Manager of Retirement for 11 years to date in hopes of retiring with her full benefits. She was repeatedly denied because of suspiciously missing files that substantiate her retirement.  On October 28, she submitted a request for documents to Kate McClure, Senior benefits analyst, which Taybron stated should have only taken three days based on advisement from her union. She has yet to receive the documents.

The HR department is currently under investigation among other issues, for pressuring the closure of pending cases without investigations. As of 11-28-18 Ms. Taybron has yet to receive proper paperwork for her retirement and her complete years of service.  Per Ms. Taybron, Management called her on 11/8/18 to set up a meeting involving a separate issue, however Ms. Taybron would not agree to meet in person without her representatives.  Hector Cardenas, the Union Senior Operations Manager surprisingly informed Ms. Taybron that he did not get involved with retirement issues. Mr. Cardenas also represents the Parking Controllers within the same union who most recently came out in their harassment allegations and blasted him for not supporting them on allegations of sexual harassment with no response.

Muni Execs have their hands full as a result of mismanagement. They are currently also in a racial discrimination case with a Muni employee, Mr. Sampson Asrot who was denied a promotion as a Mechanic supervisor who he contends was purposely overlooked.  This court case is still pending with a continuance in January of 2019.  Per court documents, it appears that a number of issues surfaced in this case within the discovery process have caught the attention of Government officials.  They are currently investigating other serious issues as they have their eyes set on further sanctions. (Case #: CGC16-552737)

Muni is not alone. Sexual harassment is currently going strong in San Francisco, which is even affecting the tech giant, Google. They most recently ousted close to 50 people in the last two years for sexual harassment in the workplace. None of those fired individuals received exit packages.  Muni’s systemic management problems are running deeper than their ongoing discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment issues.  In a September 2018 Examiner article, even Sarita Britt, the former highest-ranking SFMTA female official stated, “They don’t do thorough investigations.”

Muni is just another SF City and County Department that is suffering from sexual harassment and discrimination issues.  After numerous attempts to contact Muni management, Ed Reiskin and Mr. Canatch as well as Mr. Paul Rose in the media division for a statement, they have not responded, or commented to date.

Accusers say that its time SFMTA management to step up and resolve their internal management issues so the company can run more efficiently. Ms. Taybron apparently has to stand in line and wait her day in court. “My lawyer is currently preparing my complaint,” she stated.  Mayor London Breed has gotten involved because these cases and judgments are undoubtedly costing the city significant resources that trickle down to a single bus fare of MUNI customers citywide.

Down and Out in San Francisco, on $117,000 a Year

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The threshold for classifying a family as “low-income” in the Bay Area is the highest in the nation — and no surprise…..

It’s beyond laughable that a one-bedroom apartment can sell for $1.5 million in San Francisco — and get multiple offers within a day. Or that dumpsters sport satirical “for rent” signs. Or that the asking price for a side order of brussels sprouts at many restaurants is $16.

Beyond laughable because such stories pass like a Bay Area breeze in the city named for a pauper from medieval Assisi. But the latest assessment of the out-of-reach quality of one of the world’s great places to live came as a real jolt:

A family of four earning $117,000 a year is now classified as low income in the San Francisco area. This threshold, used to determine eligibility for federal housing assistance, is the highest in the nation — and no surprise.

Once upon a time in the American West, the most exclusive places — Sun Valley, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, the San Juan Islands in Washington State — were known as “golden ghettos,” an imperfect term used by trendy demographers.

But now the entire West Coast, from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia, is a string of gilded megalopolises. These are the tomorrow cities, the tech cities, the cities of the young and educated. And each of them is struggling with a prosperity crisis that threatens the very nature of living there.

A New Yorker would say, “So what, get used to paying through the nose to live in a tiny space on limited land.” Manhattan, Brooklyn and now Queens have seen it all. But people on the West Coast, perhaps naïvely, are not ready to say, “Fuhgeddaboudit.” Not yet. With varying degrees of success, they are fighting for the soul of their cities.

Residents of San Francisco are troubled by the same things that we are in my hometown, Seattle — the homeless and the high cost of living. The issues are linked, but not entirely.

“Walking the streets of San Francisco can be a frightening, demoralizing, even unhealthy experience for residents and tourists alike.” This commentcame not from the medical association that just pulled its convention because its members no longer feel safe in a city of 7,500 homeless people. It came from the woman just elected mayor of San Francisco, London Breed.

Raised in poverty, and the first African-American woman chosen to lead the city, Breed has vowed to remove homeless encampments within a year. There is nothing compassionate or financially sound in spending $250 million a year on homeless services that still leave thousands sleeping on the street.

In order to do the other thing that Breed wants to do, build more housing of all kinds, she has to secure the social contract. That is: Can people accept more crowded neighborhoods, in a city that is already the second most densely populated among big cities in the nation, if they feel that elected leaders do not have a decent plan — or a clue?

As Breed notes, San Francisco has created only one home for every eight new jobs between 2010 and 2015. She may not be ready to utter a hard truth that some residents already have: that not everyone who wants to live there can.

In Seattle, the nation’s fastest-growing city for this decade, the social contract is nearly broken. The city used to be run by creative problem solvers. Now, an ideologically driven City Council dreams up new things to anger residents while seeming to let the homeless have the run of the place.

The latest backward move was a tax on jobs — quickly repealed after a citizens’ revolt. While the council was trying to target Amazon, the city’s biggest private employer, the tax would have also hurt grocery stores and family-run businesses, as if they had caused the homeless crisis and spike in real estate.

An unholy alliance of socialists and developers threatens to destroy the city’s single-family neighborhoods with a major upzoning — further disrupting trust between residents and politicians. If the intent is to make Seattle more affordable, this approach has failed. The city has built more new units of housing over the last five years than in the prior half-century. And yet Seattle continues to lead the nation in home price increases.

Vancouver has taxed speculation, hitting foreign buyers and those who own homes that sit empty. Prices have stabilized somewhat. But the globalization of the housing market is a problem more particular to British Columbia.

No matter what you hear anecdotally, people will continue to move to the West Coast. The City of St. Francis has seen far worse than the present crisis. More than half the population was homeless after the 1906 earthquake. But by midcentury, it was the American city, birthplace of the United Nations.

We need a new urbanism. For all the grumping about how great the cities facing the Pacific used to be, they can be greater still if the bright minds now trying to “disrupt” a grilled cheese sandwich can focus on the biggest challenge of this generation. We know what doesn’t work. The task is to find a creative mix of solutions that do.

Crab price set; fishermen drop pots

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.  — Dozens of crab fishermen roared out the Golden Gate at dawn Wednesday to set their pots in time for the midnight opening of crab season, after crabbers and fish wholesalers reached agreement on a price.The creamy, buttery Dungeness crabs should start arriving at local markets by Friday morning.Crab fishermen will get $3 a pound, meaning the retail market price will be a little more than $6 per pound, according to distributors who approved the agreement Tuesday.The usually contentious negotiations between crabbers and wholesalers were cut short this year when distributors quickly agreed to pay fisherman from Bodega, San Francisco and Half Moon Bay $3 a pound.Last year’s price dispute delayed the start of the season for almost two weeks.”I’m more surprised than anything else,” said Tim Ports, the general manager of Ports Seafood Inc. in San Francisco. “It is not very often that we have such a smooth start to the crab season.”Recreational fishermen have reported catching fewer crabs this year compared with previous years.”I think there is less product in the water than they thought originally – you would not see the buyers line up that easily behind what the fishermen wanted otherwise,” Ports said.Last year, wholesalers paid fishermen $2.25 a pound. But increased labor and fuel costs, as well as the smaller supply of crab, all led crabbers to ask for an extra 75 cents per pound this year.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Crab-price-set-fishermen-drop-pots-4037383.php#ixzz2CGKkAUht

4th Annual Styling The Modern Man Presents “Hipster”

WHAT: Join us for the 4th Annual Styling The Modern Man Gala, which will take place at the Novellus Terrace Lobby on Friday, July 27, 2012 from 7-11pm. Guests will experience a greater sense of this brand, as we focus our compass on the idea of the modern Hipster. Of course attendee’s and invited guests will have access to an open bar, catered food (yes people food), grooming and spa services, prize giveaways, a static fashion presentation and a rocking good time. We have a handful of EARLY-BIRD tickets priced at $30.00. Please get your before the price goes up to $40.00. For more details, please visit www.stylingthemodernman.com

WHEN: Friday, July 27, 2012 | 7pm – 11pm
WHERE: Theater Terrace Lobby, 700 Howard Street @ 3rd, San Francisco, CA 94103

Afrolicious: Thursday April 12, 2012 Elbo Room

About Afrolicious

For the last three years the Afrolicious party has established itself as a worldwide destination for dancers, djs, bands and music lovers. Afrolicious is a weekly party, a series of mixtapes, and a remix team made up of brothers Pleasuremaker and Señor Oz (who are founders and hosts of the weekly party), Afrolicious offers a broad appreciation of groove oriented music from around the globe, and the people and cultures this music is derived from. Afrolicious began as a weekly party every Thursday night 3 years ago at the Elbo Room in the heart of the Mission district of San Francisco. The infectious mix of tropical and electronic beats, live drummers, live musicians, live remixes and seductive dance floor along with the brothers party rocking dj skills and crowd pleasing antics brings out hundreds of the most diverse party seekers every week.

BOSSINI FASHION SHOW: FEATURING LUXURY DESIGNERS – VERSACE COLLECTION, MUGLER, GIMO’S, ZANELLA, ETON, ALBERTO AND MANY MORE…

Hosted by Santa Clara-based Retailer Bossini and Produced by Mélange Guests traveled from as far as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and more to attend the Bossini Fashion Show at the Regency Center in San Francisco on March 31, 2012. This historic fashion event was a sold out show with 400+ guests including prominent CEOs, celebrities, leaders in the fashion community, and Silicon Valley’s elite. The Bossini Fashion Show featured some of the world’s most elite designers, including Versace Collection, Mugler, and other top designers that are retailed at Bossini’s luxury boutique in Valley Fair. The Bossini Fashion Show was produced by Mélange Productions, a fashion entertainment company based in the Bay Area, and partners for the event included Phyto, Sephora, Donald J Pliner, and more. All profits from ticket sales for the event benefit Breast Cancer Action (BCA.org). Bossini and Mélange are proud to be supporting this charity that empowers healthy lifestyle choices and consumer awareness about breast cancer. Bossini has maintained a seventeen-year relationship with Versace, and this fashion show marks the store’s premiere launch of the Versace Collection women’s wear. Bossini is a Santa Clara-based luxury retailer at Valley Fair mall and offers high-end clothing for men and ladies; the store is the largest authorized Versace dealer in Northern California. The Bossini Principals, Mr. Anjum Sandhu and Mr. Fazel Mojadidi, say, “We are very excited to be hosting this exclusive event. Versace and Mugler are some of the fashion world’s premier designers. Hopefully, this will be the first of many more shows to follow.” In addition to the milestone evening fashion show at the Regency Center, Bossini hosted top executives from Versace at Valley Fair mall to promote Versace by hosting a vignette style fashion show from 12 PM – 3PM on March 31, 2012. This vignette style fashion show was open to the public with a live photo shoot set up along with a performance by DJ River and Ella Cooley from the award winning band, The Sea People. Bernice Johnson from Mélange Productions hosted the event, as Bernice is the official model choreographer for both the vignette and evening fashion show. Mélange has played the lead producing agent in both of these fashion events, and the Board of Advisors of Mélange includes Oscar-winning movie producer, Bill Guttentag, and Jean Paul Gaultier’s Creative Director, Guila Kessous. Mélange was founded in January of 2011 with the mission of celebrating diversity in the fashion world, and since then, the company has worked with top brands, including Sephora, Nicole Miller, SKYY Vodka, and more. With the leadership of Mélange team members Patrisha Bailey and Serena Malkani, Mélange secured sponsorships with Sephora, Donald J Pliner, Phyto, MODE Lifestyle Magazine, Byrdsong Productions, Sukhi’s Organic Indian Foods, Black Tie Desserts, and more to produce the Bossini Fashion Show. Other sponsors for Bossini Fashion Show include: Edmond’s Plaza Florist, MEGA Events, Arts Thread, KIND Healthy Snacks, Hairlights Salons, Salon Blu, Teezers Salon, Evolvh Salon, Charleston Pierce Presents, Classic Party Rentals, Kathryn Kennedy Vineyards, Big Basin Vineyards, JoJo Electro, and more. The Bossini Fashion Show was an evening of glamour, fashion, and live entertainment. Guests and designers from around the nation celebrated with excitement about this chic and edgy event. Mélange and Bossini are excited about the success of the first ever Bossini Fashion Show, and the two partners look forward to collaboration for future fashion shows in the Bay Area. Be sure to visit Bossini’s flagship store located in the Valley Fair Mall or visit their website at http://www.bossiniusa.com to shop the latest designer collections.

Vernon and Vontae Davis Raise Money for the Arts

All-Pros on the field and off the field, Vernon Davis and Vontae Davis held a fundraiser at the prestigious Hamlin Mansionl for chidlren’s advancement in the arts.  The 2nd annual event was hosted by Free and raised money by auctioning off rare sports memorabilia and showcased a celebrity fashion show.  Proceeds went toward Bay area inner-city arts programs and the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship Fund. http://mediacast.realgravity.com/sharing/f992aef0-d974-012d-2b09-12313b079c51.html