Guardian Intelligence: May 7 - 13, 2014

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LAST CHANCE TO VOTE!

The San Francisco Bay Guardian is pleased to salute small businesses and recognize local merchants who are creating jobs, keeping neighborhoods lively, and contributing to the community. This year, our third Small Business Reader's Choice Award will be given. What is your favorite small business in the San Francisco Bay Area? Our 2014 Small Business Awards Issue hits stands May 14. Voting will end at midnight on Thursday, May 8. To qualify as a small business your nominee must employ no more than 100 people. One entry per person, please. Visit sfbg.com for more.

FIGHTING FOR $15

The fight for a higher minimum wage is gaining steam throughout the Bay Area. Public employee union SEIU 1021 is gathering signatures to place a measure on the November ballot that would raise San Francisco's minimum wage to $15. And while Oakland while mayoral candidate Dan Siegel released a policy paper pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage, a potential initiative for the November ballot seeks to raise Oakland's minimum wage from $8 to $12.25 per hour. Meanwhile, Oakland City Council considered an ordinance that would enact a citywide minimum wage of $10.20, but the proposal was held in committee.

CASH-STRAPPED DOCTORS

Resident physicians and interns at Oakland's UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital are seeking federal mediation in ongoing labor contract negotiations. The starting salary for resident physicians is $52,000 — not much for someone tasked with, you know, saving lives, while shouldering the burden of hefty med school loans when Oakland rents are skyrocketing.

DRONE ZONE

So the annual Maker Faire won't be coming to the San Mateo Fairgrounds until May 17-18, but here's a heads up that drones will play a starring role in this year's maker-movement fest. There will be an outdoor drone flying area, two indoor drone areas, and an official drone-flying competition, hosted by a maker known as Game of Drones. One can even play drone beer pong. Visit makerfaire.com for more.

DON'T B3 3VIL

One local artist is disrupting tech shuttle riders on their own turf: the Internet. Artist David Harris' project DONTB33VIL mimics login credentials of the WiFi routers provided by the tech buses. When Google and Facebook employees login to WiFi, all they'll see is an approximation of the sidewalk their cell phone or laptop is near. Harris said wants to confront tech shuttle riders with an "indeterminate symbol of failure, suggesting that something in their highly-customized interface has gone wrong, while not saying exactly what or why."

SEXY POLITICKING

State Assembly candidate and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos' newest fundraiser will be hosted by the local pornographers at Kink.com, at the Armory Club on May 7. The porn-purveyors known for ball-and-gag videos, submission wrestling and sex robots, will feature a gyrating (non-nude) exotic dancer, photos with porn luminaries, and a tour of the historic Armory. "He is one of the rare politicians who has ever reached out to me," Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth said, "and is unafraid of the association."

HOME SELLERS FLEE

SF homeowners who sell tend to leave the city, according to new numbers from Paragon Real Estate group. Their findings are like a mini-horror story centered around SF's gentrification: *

60 percent of sellers are relocating outside San Francisco *

47 percent of buyers are employed in tech *

26 percent of homes are getting snagged with "all cash" offers

 

GET YOUR GROVE ON

Don't have $400 lying around to shell out for Outside Lands tickets on Craigslist? You're in good company. Luckily, there's Stern Grove, the summer-long, admission-free festival that provides killer live performances without killing your hopes of ever sending your unborn kids to college. This year's lineup of Sunday afternoon shows, announced May 1, includes such heavy hitters as Smokey Robinson, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird, Darlene Love, Allen Stone, and plenty of other local stars, like LoCura, Vetiver, and, of course, the SF Symphony. Pack a picnic, bring a jacket (this is summer in San Francisco, after all) and get there early if you actually want to see the stage — all performances start at 2pm. More deets: www.sterngrove.org.

RAISING REEL HELL

Here's your latest chance to see excellent, locally-made romantic drama Love and Demons on the big screen: it'll make its way up to the Smith Rafael Film Center Sun/11 (www.cafilm.org) for a screening with director-writer-star JP Allen and other cast and crew members in person. An intriguing look at modern love, the film follows a dissatisfied couple on the verge of breaking up — until a pair of meddlesome demons enter the picture, nudging these hapless San Francisco mortals into some really ill-advised life choices. Made creatively on a shoestring, Demons is full of recognizable SF locations — and preserves for posterity some that are no more, including the thematically apropo Red Devil Lounge.

CHASE TARGETS SEX WORKERS

Chase Bank unleashed the wrath of the porn industry by taking steps to cancel the accounts of hundreds of sex workers, effective May 11. The bank reportedly explained its decision to bewildered customers by saying their work was deemed to be "high risk." As a private bank, Chase has no legal obligation to do business with anyone, but the implications are disturbing. What if other major banks refuse service to porn actors due to their chosen line of work? Can a person even function without a bank account?