Entries in San Francisco (7)


San Francisco Proposes Tiniest Apartments FRANCISCO) -- If you've already been storing your extra shoes in your oven because your studio apartment is too small to live in, just take this into consideration.

In San Francisco, the minimum size for a residence is already a pint-sized 290 square feet. But on Tuesday, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors will be proposing changes to the city's building code to allow for "shoebox homes," literally.

Some of them would only have 150 feet of living space, 220 when you factor in the bathroom, kitchen and closet. That is even smaller than the 275- to 300-square-foot apartment size recently proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg for New York. Proponents of the idea are in favor of its affordability, but opponents are understandably fearful of uncomfortable "shoebox" style living.

The new mini-apartments are being proposed to accommodate residents who can no longer afford to live there because of all the growth in the tech sector.

The micro-units will probably go for $1,200 to 1,700 a month," Supervisor Scott Wiener, who drafted the legislation, told the Los Angeles Times. Wiener also noted that smaller units will not only allow for cheaper housing options, but more of them. The average San Francisco studio apartment goes for $2,075, according to the real estate service RealFacts.

Boston and New York are other cities where residents have been forced to get creative with their tiny living spaces. The New York Times reported Friday about several people who live in studio apartments smaller than Mayor Bloomberg's minimum square footage that say "the experience can be liberating. If you downsize your stuff along with your expectations of square footage, you really can do more with less."

It seems the smaller the space you have to work with, the bigger your imagination and creativity becomes to accommodate it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mayor Bloomberg: Chick-fil-A Ban Is 'Inappropriate'

Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have a bone to pick with jumbo-sized sodas, but he has no qualms with Chick-fil-A.

While his fellow mayors in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston have shunned the chicken sandwich chain from their cities for anti-gay marriage comments its CEO made this week, Bloomberg said Friday that a similar ban in New York City is “not going to happen.”

“I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Bloomberg said on WOR Radio. “You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job.”

“This is just a bad idea and it’s not going to happen in New York City,” Bloomberg added.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was the first mayor to come out against Chick-fil-a after the restaurant’s CEO Dan Cathy said this month that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Menino wrote a scathing letter to Cathy last Friday urging him to keep his restaurant out of Boston.

Days later Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel followed suit, saying he does not believe Cathy’s comments “reflects who we are as a city.”

San Francisco became the third city to turn a cold shoulder on Chick-fil-A when Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted his distaste for the company’s anti-gay stance on Thursday.

“Very disappointed #ChickFilA doesn’t share San Francisco’s values & strong commitment to equality for everyone,” Lee tweeted, adding in a subsequent tweet, “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


San Francisco Condo Sets New Sales Record for City

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A two-floor, $28 million San Francisco penthouse has made history as the most expensive condo sold in the city's history.

The 20,000-square-foot condo features floor-to-ceiling glass windows, six bedrooms, seven full baths, four powder rooms; 2,500 square foot master suite, thirteen-seat home cinema and four terraces, four fireplaces and six car parking.

The apartment was originally on the market for $70 million.

The seller is a subsidiary of Bank of America, Second Step Asset Management.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


McDonald’s Skirts Ban; Charges 10 Cents Per Happy Meal Toy

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A ban against toy giveaways with high-fat meals doesn’t seem to have fazed San Francisco McDonald’s franchise owners. They’ve found a way to circumvent it.

Instead of doing away with the small Happy Meal toys that usually come free with each Happy Meal purchased as activists wanted, San Francisco McDonald’s owners will now charge 10 cents for the trinket. They say the extra money will go toward the Ronald McDonald House, a McDonald’s charity that supports sick children and their families.

Last fall, the city passed the Healthy Food Incentives Ordinance, which prohibits chain restaurants from giving away toys with high-fat, high-sugar food orders that do not meet San Francisco’s nutrition standards.  The ruling takes effect Thursday.

Scott Rodrick, owner of 10 of the 19 McDonald’s in San Francisco, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the 10 cent cost “complies with the letter of the law."

“This law is not what my customers wanted or asked for, but the law’s the law,” he told the newspaper.

Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, criticized the city government for focusing on the wrong parts of childhood obesity, saying that the ordinance is really about politics, not nutrition.

“It’s misguided to think that this is going to combat childhood obesity,” said Ayoob, who grew up in San Francisco.  “We should be focusing on school lunches, where there are a lot more calories and fat than Happy Meals, and what kids are eating at home.”

Ayoob pointed out that a Happy Meal isn’t a supersize meal, and has much fewer calories than most other items on McDonald’s menu.

“These politicians want to be seen as childhood advocates, and they were probably feeling the pressure to do something,” said Ayoob. “But their efforts are misguided. If they really want to be seen as that, they should be doing something like mandating physical education for all grades in the school system.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Apple iPhone 5 Prototype: Lost in San Francisco Bar?

Vstock LLC/Getty Images/Apple, Inc.(SAN FRANCISCO) -- For the second time in as many years, it’s been reported that an Apple employee misplaced a prototype of its newest iPhone in a San Francisco-area bar.

In Cava 22, a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District, CNET says, “the errant iPhone” made off without its owner in late July, setting off a scramble by Apple security to recover it.  CNET cites “a source familiar with the investigation.”

Apple -- very friendly -- just returned a message ABC News left to say, “I’m afraid we don’t have anything.” They did promise to call again and let ABC News know they really do have a new iPhone 5 to show off.

Depending on whose rumor you believe, the iPhone 5 will be released in early October; customers of Verizon Wireless, AT&T and, for the first time, Sprint, will be able to have it.

CNET reports on Apple’s efforts to get the prototype back:

“Apple electronically traced the phone to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, according to the source. When San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited the house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who acknowledged being at Cava 22 on the night the device went missing. But he denied knowing anything about the phone. The man gave police permission to search the house, and they found nothing, the source said.”

If all this sounds familiar, it should. Last year a prototype iPhone 4 was left behind at a Bay-area bar, and the company got it back -- but not before the website Gizmodo had bought it for $5,000, thoroughly dissected it and reported the details. The legal wranglings over that just recently ended; Gizmodo and its then-editor, Jason Chen, were not prosecuted for possession of stolen property, though the young man who picked it up off the counter did face lesser charges.

The new phone, if you believe the speculation...will have a rounded back...a larger screen...won’t disconnect calls if you touch the edges, and will fly. Well, it won’t fly, but the rumors do.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Dinner Lists Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg Among Attendees

Photos Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- President Barack Obama will travel to San Francisco Thursday night for a meeting with some of the top business and technology leaders in the nation. Earlier in the week, the only known attendee was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but the full list of those who will dine with the president has been released.

Maybe the most surprising of the 12 leaders listed by the White House is Apple Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs. The man responsible for many of Apple's recent innovations was granted a medical leave of absence by the company on January 17 to focus on his health. Speculation over his well-being has been rampant since he told Apple employees he had pancreatic cancer in 2004.

The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, is also on the guest list, along with the chairmen of Yahoo!, Google, and Cisco Systems, among others.

A White House official says the “meeting is a part of our ongoing dialogue with the business community on how we can work together to win the future, strengthen our economy, support entrepreneurship, increasing our exports, and get the American people back to work.  The president and the business leaders will discuss our shared goal of promoting American innovation, and discuss his commitment to new investments in research and development, education and clean energy.”

The dinner is scheduled to take place at a private residence along the Pacific Coast.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wikipedia Marks 10 Years, Opens First Office in India

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- In 2001, Jimmy Wales wrote "hello world," in his first of many edits to an online encyclopedia site. And 10 years later, the world has said a big hello back. This weekend, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia marked its 10th birthday and on Monday the San Francisco-based site opened its first overseas office in India.

Wikipedia is the fifth most-visited website, claiming over 400 million unique visits per month. More than 13.5 million registered users have contributed a staggering 438,660,528 edits in the last decade. The site's 3.5 million articles are primarily maintained by 15,000 reliable editors who contribute at least 100 times per month.

Editors are unpaid volunteers; the site takes no advertising and is operated by the non-profit Wikimedia. The site operated on $8 million in 2010 and raised over $16 million in its most recent fundraising campaign.

Over the last decade, the site has not been without financial woes and Wales often writes personal letters for donations on the homepage to the Wikipedia community.

Currently, the free website is available in over 270 languages and the new Bangalore office hopes to add at least 20 additional Indian languages.

In an interview with The Press Trust of India, Sue Gardner, chief of Wikimedia, said India was chosen because its "fruitful environment [including] valuing education, free speech and a culture of intellectual debate."

Gardner added that Wikipedia plans to make a push in Brazil, then to the Middle East and Africa to reach editors from different backgrounds.

The average Wikipedia user in 2011 is an educated, 20-something male, but Gardner expects that profile will look much different in 2021.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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