No Public Funds for Politicians!

I am beginning to really get fed up with politicians. When Gavin Newsom left for the Lt. Governor’s position he ended up leaving us in a state of chaos. I read an article today that really horrified me. It said that San Francisco would be paying out $6-8 million dollars in campaign funds to anyone who runs for mayor and raises at least $25,000.

Here’s how it works. If you get $25k in contributions, the city will give you double that amount. If you bring in $125k you’ll get $450k from the San Francisco and if you get  $500k in private funds you’ll get an additional $800k from the city.

Let’s make it a little bit worse. The new rules call for a $1.3 million spending limit per candidate, but if just one campaign – or even an independent expenditure committee, which isn’t subject to the same limits – breaks the cap, all candidates may all be able to get even more money from the city.

Many candidates are already well on their way. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has collected $250,000 in private donations, state Sen. Leland Yee has raised $165,000, and businesswoman Joanna Rees has brought in $150,000. Other candidates who have already qualified for public cash are former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, $100,000, and Controller Phil Ting, $50,000.

The city’s deficit is expected to reach $750 million dollars this year so I suppose adding another $6-8 million won’t help. I’ve done a little math here. Gavin Newsom tried to put into effect his own version of the old JobsNow program which reimbursed employers for the payroll of unemployed parents, but that didn’t work too well. If you took that money and put it into $40k/year jobs it would get 200 people off of unemployment. Not a very big deal in a city of 850,000 people. OK how about this, take that money and divide it equally to all the San Francisco public schools and how much would they get? Almost $51,000 per school.

Our schools are short on cash. My daughter’s teacher has to ask parents if they can donate supplies because she doesn’t have the funding to purchase them. I bet she wouldn’t have to ask for donations from the parents if the money was distributed. Hell, she even had to go out and buy paint to repaint her classroom by herself.

This is wrong and I’m putting a call out to our new Mayor Ed Lee to do the right thing and stop this. Anyone who can fill out the paperwork and raise $25k in funds will get $50k free of charge from the city and that is wrong. This is one of the biggest problems we have to fix and we have to fix it NOW! Going down quickly.

[ad]Today’s rant is brought to you courtesy of, the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle. I being the techno nerd that I am like to get up in the morning and read my news online. Because of this I don’t need to buy the paper. We do get the Sunday paper, but really it’s more for the ads than the news in it.

Now I have to admit that the paper version of the Chronicle is put together right. They put the best written articles on the front page which amounts to about 4 stories. On the other hand the online version at can put somewhere around 30 articles on the front page and when you start to read them you have to scratch your head a bit. Yesterday I saw an article titled, “My Rush hating wife” with a picture of Rush Limbaugh. What? Republican’s in San Francisco writing for the Chronicle?!?!? It turned out to be an article on the band Rush, not Rush Limbaugh and how he loved the band, but his wife didn’t get them and didn’t like them. This is news?

Today I read an article on a Republican Senator that wants to ban the sale of “Drug-Like Bath Salts” that are sold with a wink and a nudge, but you’re supposed to snort them for a hallucingenic high, not take a bath in them. That’s pretty much the story. I’m curious what drug-like compounds are in these salts. What’s more is a quick google search shows that the article was pretty much lifted word for word from the Huffington Post without giving them any credit. This story didn’t give me any information on these so called bath salts that “pack as much punch as cocaine or methamphetamines.”

What has really gotten to me though is that in doing more research on an article on I came to a page which had what looked like a bunch of stories on the right. One was about the “make $5000 a month from home.” We’ve seen this all before, but it looked like they were going to take a look inside the offer and tell you what they expected you to do or how people had their entire income sucked out of their bank accounts by some Romanian hacker kid. No, it was an article telling you to go ahead and buy in. It’s a great idea! Then I looked at the top and realized I wasn’t on anymore. I checked out who owned the web address of that site and one for the page that was linked there where you could earn $5000 a month at home. They were both registered in the Grand Cayman Islands. Interestingly enough, this is were many US moles of the Romanian cyber-criminals open bank accounts., where is your due diligence? You put an ad on your website that looks like a link to an story, yet it sends you to a site that looks like, but is most likely a scam by cyber-criminals. Where are your journalists? I’ve got more meaningful content in this story than most of your articles do. Some of your writers I went to college with, did they learn nothing during that time in college? I earned my degree in Broadcast Communication Arts and we took classes on ethics and responsibility and how we were supposed to report the facts free of opinion. What the hell happened to that? Now it’s made up mostly of bloggers and I won’t say, “bloggers like me” because I think I’m doing more. I don’t even like to call myself a blogger anymore because I don’t tweet that I’m “ordering a tall half-caf latte @ starbucks…mmmm”. I write about things in San Francisco that I think other people care about or want to know about. Not articles about how I don’t understand why my wife doesn’t like Rush [which my wife does like FYI] or that people are snorting some powder that packs as much punch as cocaine, but should be banned even if what’s in it is legal, but we don’t know so we can’t tell you and while you’re at it click on one of our ads to make a Romanian kid rich.

I am about one step away from pronouncing real journalism to be dead, nope, I’m not. It’s dead.

Emperor Norton meet the Duke of Aüsland

Emperor Norton was a very interesting man of the 1800’s. He’s rumored to be of English or South African descent, but his main claim to fame was when he invested his life savings of $40,000 in Peruvian rice after moving to San Francisco in 1849 and the market for Peruvian rice tanked. He tried to have his contract voided to hold onto his money, but wasn’t able to and left San Francisco.

When Norton returned to San Francisco from his self-imposed exile, he had become completely disgruntled with what he considered the vicissitudes and inadequacies of the legal and political structures of the United States. On September 17, 1859, he took matters into his own hands and distributed letters to the various newspapers in the city, proclaiming himself “Emperor of these United States”:

“At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.

NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.”

The announcement was first reprinted for humorous effect by the editor of the San Francisco Bulletin. Norton would later add “Protector of Mexico” to this title. Thus commenced his unprecedented and whimsical twenty-one-year “reign” over America.

In accordance with his self-appointed role of emperor, Norton issued numerous decrees on matters of the state. After assuming absolute control over the country, he saw no further need for a legislature, and on October 12, 1859, he issued a decree that formally “dissolved” the United States Congress. In the decree, Norton observed:

“…fraud and corruption prevent a fair and proper expression of the public voice; that open violation of the laws are constantly occurring, caused by mobs, parties, factions and undue influence of political sects; that the citizen has not that protection of person and property which he is entitled.”

Now we don’t have Emperor Norton anymore. He was a really like able kind of guy who was well dressed, usually. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors even replaced his tattered uniform given to him by officers at the Presidio. He would eat free in local restaurants after which the restaurants would post plaques that said, “by Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I of the United States.”

It’s good to be the Emperor, eh? So who’s this Duke of Aüsland? Well, that would be me. My Father was able to trace back our family’s genealogy to the 1200’s and it turns out we come from a royal family connected with one of the Duke’s of Prussia. We even had a Prussian provence named after us. So that makes me royalty. So where is Aüsland? Well that’s the closest translation to “outside lands” I could find which refers to the Sunset District. Being royalty in the Sunset district is a bit of an oxymoron so I’ve got my first step towards being the next Emperor Norton. I’m also one of the few people from a family that is the original owner of the house I live in.

I’m sure Duke wouldn’t be my proper title, but me being a bit pompous like Norton, I’ll stick with Duke since that’s where we came from, besides, my friend Al has already claimed to be the successor to Norton by proclaiming himself Emperor Al and I don’t want to hackle his feather and become cause an insurgency. So I Eric, Duke of Aüsland have a few royal proclamations to make for my new Duchy:

  1. Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word “Frisco”, which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of one hundred dollars. [I stole that from Norton, but upped the price for inflation.
  2. Police officers shall not ticket cars for parking meter violation while ignoring double parked cars.
  3. City officials will notify all residents of the Duchy of Aüsland before performing construction work in writing and the nature of the work no later than one month prior to start of said work.
  4. Improvement of roads shall take always come before all other city construction work.
  5. All people who are born and raised natives of San Francisco may use the title “Sir” or “Lady”, for they are the true knighthood of San Francisco. Sex does not apply to title usage.
  6. All original homeowners in the Duchy of Aüsland shall use the title, “Baron of Aüsland”
  7. Anyone blocking aisles in grocery stores will be fined twenty-five dollars.
  8. To celebrate the Duke’s birthday brownies will be given out to all who come to meet the Duke at the location of his choosing, free of charge. Donations to the Duchal coffers will always be accepted.

Thank you my loyal subjects. Have a good day!

Eric, Duke of Aüsland

Pot Smoking Rednecks that want to see Michaela Alioto-Pier naked

I know, I know. You’re scratching your head over that one. What could this  article be about. What does this have to do with San Francisco aside from mentioning a former Supervisor.

It’s about my stats program. I love my stats program. It tells me a lot about the people that read my blog.

Most of them come from where I regularly comment. It tells me that the majority of my readers are from the San Francisco Bay Area which makes sense and that most of them are PC users, though the iPhone has the largest amount of mobile users.

The best part is that it tells me what search words they’ve used to find me. First on the list:


Second on the list:


Third on the list:

Michaela Alioto-Pier+naked

Ya’ll are a real high brow crowd now aren’t you? I’ve written many things, but I’ve never been called a writer. I’ve sung many songs, but I’ve never been called a singer. I write one article on Marijuana as the New Commodity and I start attracting all the pot smoking redneck’s who want to see Michaela Alioto-Pier nekkid. Well I guess you can’t always get the real truth out of statistics. After all even Mark Twain even said there are three types of lies: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. I even noticed someone found my site by using the search terms HOT+SISTER+SEX. OK, that one kind of creeped me out and I don’t even have a sister, but I’m just saying.

So even if that isn’t the majority of my readers I decided to dedicate today’s story to you with the picture I’ve included. I hope you enjoy it. Ya’ll come back now, y’here!

San Francisco: Fear the e-Check!

This story starts back in 2010 when I received my bill for the property taxes I owe on my home. Now I could write a check to pay for the taxes [which I should of], but decided to pay online. I wrote maybe 3 checks in the last year as it’s more convenient for me and the companies I deal with to pay electronically and I have never once had a problem. I noticed that all of the online payment choices had a “convenience fee” associated with them.

I’m always hated the idea of a “convenience fee” where by using it makes it a convenience for you and the company you’re paying. There was a convenience fee free option of using an e-check so naturally I chose that. I entered my account info and routing number and got a receipt that my taxes were now paid. I did notice after awhile that in checking my account that it seemed like they hadn’t taken the money out yet, but hey it’s the government, they tend to run like molasses on a cold day.

Last week I receive a letter from the SF tax collector’s office saying that my e-Check had been reject by my financial institution because the account didn’t exist AND I was being charged a $50 fee for the rejected e-Check and an additional $57 for being late with the payment even though I originally had paid it on time.. Funny, no other utility company had sent me a letter like this. So I make a phone call and the woman I talked to immediately told me to talk to my bank and get them to send her and her superior an email stating that it was a mistake and they’d remove the penalty fees.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Apparently at some point my routing number had changed and I didn’t know that. The bank informed me that was why it was probably rejected, but because the letter said it was rejected by my financial institution and didn’t name the bank that was the problem and they couldn’t write the email. So I send an email to the tax lady and she tells me that she can’t say what bank because they only process the e-Check by the numbers that I gave them and sent me a gif file of what they received. As it turns out I had made one mistake in the account number also. The SF Tax Collectors office apparently doesn’t have any way of verifying whether or not the information you gave them was correct.

So I go back to my bank and show them the printed out email that has my account number with the one number wrong and the old routing number which you would think would be enough proof to show them that I tried to pay with the account, but once again, unless the SF Tax Collector’s office could mention the name of my bank even though I could show them the account and routing information they can’t send an email. So now I’m in a bit of a catch-22 situation and while all the other employees at my local bank are being very helpful to me the assistant manager has been blocking me from the branch manager who if I could find him would recognize me and help me. While I could get nasty and name names, I’m not going to do that.

I just wanted to let everyone know that when it comes to the SF Tax Collectors office be very careful as they don’t have a system of checks and balances in place to verify what they’re doing and if anything goes wrong it’s your fault and they make you be the middle man with your bank.

Jack LaLanne the legend is dead.

Jack LaLanne, the he-man before it was cool to be a he-man has died. He was pre-Schwartznegger, pre-Joe Weider. He was the guy who got all the average joe’s to get in shape. Lalanne started by opening a fitness club in Oakland in 1936, a time when it wasn’t considered proper for men and women to exercise. He later opened up another one in the old Stonestown Mall. Those who remember that mall will remember the stairway down in the center courtyard area with the black wrought iron hand rails and the dark red striped velvet and satin wall paper [that my mother always referred to as whorehouse wallpaper].

The San Francisco fitness center opened up after he landed a gig at KGO-TV doing a morning fitness show. It was an early morning show I suppose to get people pumped up to go to work in the mornings. My mother watched him religiously and even got me into the show and had me exercising before I’d walk off to school. When the fitness center opened in SF my mom had to go because Jack was going to be there for the grand opening. Looking back, I think it would have been easy to meet Jack if you just drove over to his Oakland gym, but it was more convenient to hop in your station wagon for the five minute drive over to Stonestown. We got there and there was Jack in his jump suit and ballet slippers [how can a guy look macho in a jump suit and ballet slippers?] Flexing and mugging for the cameras. Then we all got to meet Jack and shake his hand and get a autographed photo of him. I wish I still had that photo now. It’d probably be worth something.

He was a great pitch man for fitness and while he could have turned into a product mill for thousands of products he only had one, The Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. To hear him talk about this you’d think it was the fountain of youth. My mom even bought one and I remember for a few months we enjoyed fresh squeezed juice with our breakfasts until she started to mix carrots and zucchini into my orange juice. I am still scarred to this day about drinking carrot juice because of that incident of which I will speak no further.

It turns out he went a little bit farther in his later years by writing a few books promoting healthy eating and exercise. He even has a website and a blog that his last post was on the 20th of this month only a few days before he passed. I found a few recent pictures of him and I have to say for guy who was 96 he looked like he was in his early 60’s. As a matter of fact to celebrate his 60th birthday he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco while shackled AND towing a boat with camera men filming him. Something no convict had ever attempted. He became a national figure, but he was always a part of the Bay Area. Now if I had only listened to him better when I shook his hand and he told me, “Now you listen to your Uncle Jack, exercise, eat healthy and don’t smoke!” OK, I got two of the three at least. I’m thinking though that his shot of brandy he enjoyed every night helped him add a few years.

Why people hate San Francisco

This question came to mind today as I was looking over SFGate’s website reading the morning news. Every article has a comment section and anything that’s about something going on in San Francisco has lots of people who aren’t in San Francisco, let alone California ranting about how much we suck. I found an article on SFist from a non-resident who lives in a city where everything resembles a strip mall that driving from one town to another gives you no idea that you’re in a different city, but apparently he at least had come here once who said the following:

Top Reasons Why I Hate San Francisco:

2. The lack of parking
3. The plentiful supply of homeless people
4. Hills, hills, hills–good for views, bad for safety
5. Frequent events/protests/parades/festivals that snarl up traffic for no good reason whatsoever
6. The atrociously cold weather
7. The nutball politicians who run the joint
8. The crappy public transportation system, which only seems functional in comparison to the even worse nightmares in other cities. Being the smartest retard ain’t something to be proud of.
9. Every miserable night on the town I’ve ever spent in SF, which seem to devolve into a Sisyphean quest to find “the” right bar or nightclub
10. The  smug, self-satisfied attitude of residents who are convinced that they live the greatest city in the world. It’s the people who claim to love the environment, then commute to jobs in San Jose that really burn me up.

OK, time for me to address each comment:


Perhaps you should try driving somewhere other than downtown. Mainly Market and Mission streets downtown are the only place I see this in a rampant enough form to make this kind of comment. I personally get a chuckle when I see a sign that says, “U turn OK”. Gee, thanks for the complement. I never considered my turning abilities worthy of a sign.

2. The lack of parking

Again, go somewhere other than downtown which has plenty of parking if you don’t mind paying for it. When I used to live in the Mission district I hated that I had to park a block away from my house, but I also lived on a tiny private street that there wasn’t enough room to turn into the garage. Otherwise, I don’t have a problem. When I go downtown I rarely drive, but take Muni, see below for more on that one!

3. The plentiful supply of homeless people

OK, got me there, but then again I’ve seen lots of homeless people in every metropolitan city I’ve been too so that’s not just a problem for us.

4. Hills, hills, hills–good for views, bad for safety

This one I thought was funny. I can’t figure out one reason why they’re bad for safety unless you don’t know how to put on your parking break or are the verge of a coronary collapse. We have lots of hills out in the Sunset and I see elder Asian men and women then walking up and down them without breaking a sweat or getting winded. I’m sure they consider it good exercise, which it is.

5. Frequent events/protests/parades/festivals that snarl up traffic for no good reason whatsoever

Again, downtown and they aren’t really that frequent. I haven’t seen a traffic blocking parade in ages. We have maybe one day a month and if you’re going to one of these, take MUNI!

6. The atrociously cold weather

I’m sorry, you must be talking about Chicago, Illinois, Buffalo, New York or any city up in the northern regions of the US. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen the temperature drop below 40°. Maybe you were born in Hawaii where I hear they pass out from the chill of opening up the refrigerator.

7. The nutball politicians who run the joint

Chris Daly is gone thank you. If you look at the current Board of Supervisors they’re a lot more moderate than they used to be, but seeing as you didn’t name any names you’re just coming forth with an opinionated generalization. On the other hand, I can’t name one politician from Silicon Valley except Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman who dumped tons of money to win an election that they lost, not to mention that they’re former CEO’s and not politicians. Now I personally would have liked to see Emperor Norton on the Board of Supervisors, but then I’d be dead by now.

8. The crappy public transportation system, which only seems functional in comparison to the even worse nightmares in other cities. Being the smartest retard ain’t something to be proud of.

OK, wait a sec, you’re a Silicon Valley person who has VTA and you’re telling us that Muni sucks? Last time I was down in SV I rarely saw public transportation anywhere. When I was working over by multimedia gulch it took me about 30-40 relaxing minutes on the local transit system. It took me close to an hour last time I tried driving down there and I know the fastest way to get around the city.

9. Every miserable night on the town I’ve ever spent in SF, which seem to devolve into a Sisyphean quest to find “the” right bar or nightclub

Ah, there we go. He’s a hipster, possibly from the neo-bridge and tunnel crowd which is now the Silicon “I’ve got this great start up that’s going to make millions when google buys us!” Valley crowd with the $500 distressed Diesel jeans and t-shirts with band names that broke up before they were born. These are the anathema to nightclubs because once they find the right club it’s no longer a cool place to go to and everyone who brings in the money to the clubs stops coming and they have to close down. If you’re from here or at least been here for 10 years you know where the good bars and clubs are. IF you’re in SV and have to come up here for a nightclub or bar then that probably means you don’t have much in SV. My favorite is a small, invite only with a killer sound system and fully stocked bar with no cover charge. It’s called my home and it’s up on a hill with a lovely panoramic view of the ocean from Fort Funston all the way north to the Marin Headlands. The view takes people’s breath away and then the single malt scotch kicks in.

10. The smug, self-satisfied attitude of residents who are convinced that they live the greatest city in the world. It’s the people who claim to love the environment, then commute to jobs in San Jose that really burn me up.

Oh no, you did NOT use the “S” word on us now did you? I rather like being self-satisfied. It means I’ve accomplished something for and by myself. I didn’t need a hand out from someone else to be happy or a pill prescribed by a doctor. I also refuse to commute to San Jose for a job and except for a short 3 month stint in Burlingame [which I hated] I have always worked in San Francisco. If you’re leaving San Francisco during rush hour to go to work you are driving against the commute. More people come here for jobs instead of leave here to work somewhere else. San Francisco is a small city too. It’s 7×7 miles. I know people in lots of other cities who have to drive 30 miles to work in the same city. If I had to drive 20 miles to get to work I’d be in El Cerrito or Palo Alto.

So there is my rebuttal rant. My grandmother had an old saying that was, “If you keep your own doorstep swept, you won’t have time to sweep anyone else’s.” I think that people outside of San Francisco and California even are living in such sucky lives that they have to verbally attack us because they envy us. If people who live here don’t like it, they leave to find a better place to live. Honestly, if y’all think San Francisco sucks so much, don’t tell us because we don’t really care. We’re trying to fix the things we as citizens of this fine city where the United Nations was started think is wrong with it. Perhaps it’s time for you the people outside San Francisco and California who don’t like us to start looking around at the problems you have in your own city. That would give you something more productive to do that might actually bring about some results for you.

Just to finish this off, as I was reading the newspaper this morning I came across an article on Sela Ward, the actress who is from Meriden, Mississippi. This small town named a street after her and one of the residents who was against it reason was, “Well what if she gets all cracked up on drugs out in California? Then what are we going to do with street named after her?”

Yes, we are all drug addict hippies that are so dumb that we have also just killed the “Republican brand” according to the Institute of Governmental Studies, but they’re just lefty pinko commies from Berkeley right?

Why I hate the Bay Bridge

YAY! I have another chance to rant. I’m sure this won’t bring about any changes, but I have to say that I absolutely, positively, HATE the Bay Bridge.

Why you may ask? If you haven’t had the misfortune to have to travel across the bridge you may not understand. It’s not so bad going over it unless you’re trying to during rush hour. The problem lines when you want to come back.

Now I can see why it’s free to leave San Francisco, but you have to pay to come back, after all, we’re San Francisco so we’re really cool and all that. We’re kind of like Disneyland with some gays and homeless people thrown in to mix things up a bit. The toll booths are managed very badly and there are even line ups to get through during the week day outside of rush hour.

Here’s an example. We decided to take a trip over to IKEA one day to get some new furniture. The drive over was about 30 minutes, but the return trip ended up taking us close to an hour and a half and this was around 12:30 on a Thursday. We were crawling along so slow it was ridiculous. Even the fast trak lanes weren’t so fast as you can’t go through the booth at 50 mph unless you’re a stunt driver. We don’t have much reason to cross the bridge so it would take us well over a year to finish off the original payout to get the fast trak device.

[mappress mapid=”24″]We tried a little experiment. There’s an IKEA down in Palo Alto. We decided to try that trip one day. Totally time down there: 40 minutes. Total time back 35 minutes and there was no toll. The big difference is not only in time, but the fact that it’s an 11 mile drive to Emeryville and a 34 mile drive to Palo Alto. Yet we were able to do it in a total of 45 minutes less driving three times the distance. Nowadays we’ve decided to boycott the Bay Bridge until they get things right.

Most of what we really need is in San Francisco and being in the Sunset it’s actually faster to get on the freeway going south than it is to get on the freeway going north towards the bridge. So unless it’s a major emergency, the Bay Bridge is out for us. Well unless it’s a trip to Treasure Island which you don’t need to go through the toll booth to get there or come back.

KUSF: Update from Ian Kallen

For those of you who read yesterday’s post about KUSF, I got an email today from Ian Kallen, one of the founders of Rampage Radio with Ron Quintana. He clued me in to adding geo-tagging to the site for each post which makes it even better, but I visited his blog and he had this to say, so I thought I’d share it with all of you.

BTW Ian, Thanks for the info on the geo-tagging plug in!

KUSF: A village on the airwaves burned down

As some readers may know, I founded Rampage Radio with the guidance and support of Howie Klein back in 1982. I only stuck around for a few years and thereafter left it in Ron Quintana’s able hands. But those were years with impact, I look back at them fondly and the show has been running on the air ever since, the last broadcast was in it’s usual time slot last Saturday night. As someone who grew up in San Francisco, I always felt that KUSF’s presence at 90.3 was a comforting constant. Apparently a deal to sell off KUSF’s frequency was consummated last week and the signal was abruptly shutoff Tuesday morning. A rally and a dialog took place last night at Presentation Theater with USF President Father Stephen Privett. I commend Father Privett for coming out to face the music, all 500 or so of us in the packed theater were upset by these events and I think it took a degree of courage to show up. However, after the two hour question and answer sessions, it became clear to me that Father Privett has suffered a third degree failure.

First, the outcome was poor; the students who he claimed to be acting on behalf of will have reduced volunteer support, the revenue (purported to benefit students) wasn’t subject to a competitive bid (it was the first and only deal under discussion); just an NDA-cloaked back-room agreement. Aside from poorly serving the students, his notion of the University as an island, that serving the broader community is detrimental to serving the students, is fundamentally flawed. Serving the community and accepting the efforts of volunteers benefits both the students and the broader community.

Second, the process was terrible; instead of backing up and reaching out to the array of interested parties that a deal discussion might commence, he signed the non-disclosure agreement and completely shut out the faculty, students and community. Instead of embracing the stakeholders and providing some transparency, he went straight to the NDA and ambushed them.

And the third degree failure was the cowardly absence of recognition of the first two failures.

[mappress mapid=”6″]Father Privett claimed full responsibility, explained his rationale for what he did and the process he followed but his rationale for the process was weak. Before going under the cover of NDA, he should have reached out to the students, faculty and volunteers to say: before this goes away, give me some alternatives that will serve you better. Father Privett’s gross incompetence was saddening, he should just resign. In the meantime, using another frequency as a fall back for a rejected FCC petition makes sense but there’ll always be this sense of a vacated place in our hearts for 90.3 as San Francisco’s cultural oasis.

I’m certainly hoping that KUSF can reemerge from the ashes. Please join the effort on Facebook to Save KUSF!

KUSF Dead: Rampage Radio, what’s next?

This is really early on, but it appears that as of this morning it was announced by the regents at the University of San Francisco that KUSF has been sold. From the USF website they posted the following:

“The University of San Francisco (USF) announced today that KUSF, the university’s radio station, is moving to an online only format, effective immediately. The university has reached an agreement to assign the FCC license for radio frequency 90.3 FM to Classical Public Radio Network, which is launching a non-commercial classical music station in the Bay Area. CPRN is owned by University of Southern California.

Read the press release from USC and Entercom Communications.

The call letters KUSF were not sold, and the KUSF logo and all music inventory will remain USF property. All KUSF staff will be offered similar positions at

The move to online-only distribution gives KUSF a powerful opportunity to grow its worldwide audience. Previously, the station was limited to 100 online listeners at a time, but capacity will be increased to accommodate thousands of listeners.

The station will go dark briefly for necessary engineering work. It is possible the electrical work could take several days.

As it shifts to an online-only format, USF will focus on the station’s primary purpose as a teaching laboratory for students. The university is evaluating ways to improve the student learning experience and enhance its curriculum in digital media and audio production. USF is also pleased to announce that CPRN will make internships available to qualified USF students interested in radio broadcasting.

USF will invest the proceeds from the sale to support its mission, and will continue to offer a valuable learning experience for its media students. USF is pleased that it can also help ensure the long-term presence of high-quality classical music programming in the Bay Area.

The sale must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission.”

OK, I’m sure not a whole lot of you remember KUSF or even heard of it [great if you did though]. I discovered it through a friend I met in a nightclub early in the 80’s, Ron Quintana who started and is still a DJ with Rampage Radio. While I tried listening to it during the day I hated the really bad alternative rock they played that out of the thousands of songs maybe only a couple of bands were good enough to get record contracts. On the other hand, when Rampage Radio started up late night on Saturday it was all about the hard rock and heavy metal scene that was building up steam.

I was not much of a late night guy so staying up late was always kind of difficult for me. I was able to make to the studios a couple of times after club shows and it was almost like it was the after hours party for the metal shows locally. Ron and Ian Kallen who started the show worked hard to get in contact with the rising metal bands around the world before there was internet or skype so they had to do it all by hand and they were instrumental in getting a lot of these bands to come to San Francisco because we actually knew who they were from listening to Rampage Radio.

[mappress mapid=”1″]As it turns out Rampage Radio is looking into online streaming “radio”, but for some reason when you go to their page and click to enter it’s redirecting you to Facebook. I’m sure they’ll fix that soon. From the little info that’s trickling out I’ve heard that the station was sold for $3.75 million dollars. From what I can tell, that’s what USF gets out of the deal. The station is owned by the city of San Francisco and apparently sold it for $80 million dollars word has it at the moment.

In the end, KUSF may end up doing better. I certainly hope Rampage Radio does better. Non-profit radio has been going downhill for years. It’s all about the internet now and I’m hoping the Rampage crew embrace that wholeheartedly. It costs less that operating a broadcast station, reaches people all around the world and decentralizes the staff so that they can work from their own homes. Best of luck to them all!