Category Archives: Business

No More Gun Shows At SF’s Cow Palace If CA Sen. Scott Wiener Gets His Way

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – A new California senate bill would put an end to gun shows at the Cow Palace, an issue that has been the subject of debate for years. Known as SB281, the measure would also transfer ownership of the event space to a new board made up of local representatives.

The Cow Palace has been a fixture in the Bay Area since it opened almost 80 years ago, and one group says if the bill passes, it would effectively lead to the arena being torn down.

A local cheerleading competition occupied the main amphitheater at the Cow Palace on Saturday, as cheers and pop music echoed through the concrete hallways. It’s one of hundreds of small community events held her every year.

“It promotes shows here that can’t afford Oracle arena. This cheerleading event can’t afford the Chase Arena because it’s a cheerleading event, not the Warriors,” says Kevin Patterson. He is the Executive Director of the Coalition to Save the Cow Palace. He also organizes the Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace every year.

Patterson is concerned for the future of the Cow Palace because of SB 281.

The measure was introduced by state Senator Scott Wiener, last month. It would transfer ownership of the Cow Palace from the State Department of Agriculture to a joint-powers authority, made up of representatives from San Francisco, Daly City and San Mateo County.

Wiener says the Cow Palace has outlived its usefulness. He says the site needs millions of dollars of maintenance and repairs to be a viable events space moving forward, adding there are plenty of alternative locations for these types of community events.

“This is about making sure that the local community can actually have a say in what happens at the Cow Palace and what the future holds,” said Sen. Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco.

One of the main reasons there is so much interest in the property is its size. Almost 70 acres, the Cow Palace has 250,000 square feet of events space and a 14,000-seat amphitheater.

“It’s right now being very under-utilized. The community has wanted something to happen with that property for a long time. Housing, mixed use development,” said Wiener.

Patterson worries if a local board takes control, they will only look at the value of the real estate. He thinks the board may not consider the importance of the Cow Palace as an affordable community events space. Each year it hosts everything from the Grand National Rodeo, to dog shows, to the Christmas Fair.

He also points out the history of the Cow Palace. There are dozens of signatures on the box office wall from some of the greatest artists of our time, like Elvis Presley, who performed at the Cow Palace in 1970.

“It’s not the place to solve the housing crisis, that’s for sure. There are lots of other places to build houses. You don’t need to bulldoze history and an important community asset,” said Patterson.

Senator Wiener says the bill does not dictate what happens with the property. That will be up to you he newly created joint powers authority board. He said there could be a compromise.

“You can have the Cow Palace there, and also take a portion of this mega-massive parking lot and turn it into housing and retail,” said Wiener.

If the SB281 passes, it would pass ownership of the Cow Palace to the local board on January 1, 2021.

There is a sub-committee hearing scheduled next Wednesday to discuss the bill.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Urges China To ‘Open Up’ At Beijing Economic Forum

BEIJING (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s “extremely bullish” about the global economy based on the amount of innovation being carried out, and he’s urging China to continue to “open up.”

In a speech at an economic forum in Beijing on Saturday, Cook said Apple is less concerned with the short term economic outlook because the tech giant makes investments looking ahead years or decades.

His remarks come as China and the U.S. prepare to meet again to resolve their trade dispute, which has roiled global markets, and as Apple is expected to announce that it’s launching a video service.

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline. The company is pushing digital subscriptions as it searches for new growth.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

San Francisco Startup’s High-Tech Bottle Purifies Water With UV Light

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — LARQ, a San Francisco-based startup, claims to have built the world’s first self-cleaning water bottle.

In just 60 seconds, LARQ will purify water and clean the inner surfaces of the water bottle.

LARQ says it created proprietary UV-C LED technology to kill nearly 100 percent of germs and harmful bacteria and viruses.

“A big part of what we’re trying to solve is not that people can’t clean the water bottle, it’s that we find that a lot of people end up reaching for a plastic water bottle,” said CEO & Co-Founder Justin Wang.

CEO and co-founder Justin Wang says he came up with the idea after feeling guilty about grabbing for a plastic water bottle one too many times.

Wang first launched a wildly successful KickStarter campaign, raising almost $2 million for LARQ.

The bottle activates every two hours in self-cleaning mode.

“We always found this issue of, when you’re on the go and you’re searching for your water bottle, it’s not clean. It’s a little smelly, you can’t purify water on the go, sometimes,” said Wang.

LARQ says only a tiny fraction of plastic bottles are recycled and turned into new ones. More than 1 million plastic bottles end up in landfills every minute.

“Water safety and water is not only a third-world-country issue but it’s also something that affects the U.S. so having that option every time during a hurricane or even in Flint, Michigan you have water-quality issues,” he added.

Even when the water quality is good, as is the case with most tap water in San Francisco, LARQ says many germs, and the stench come from the bottle itself.

“I definitely would try it out, give it a shot, I think bottles always get really disgusting on the inside if you have it for awhile,” said Bay Area resident Chiko Chingaya.

UC Berkeley environmental engineering professor Ashok Gadgil specializes in safe drinking water.

“UV disinfection is a very effective and safe way to disinfect water,” Gadgil said.

He says UV light illuminates the water and kills the DNA of the bacteria.

“It’s a pretty, pretty new technology and to have it reach commercial prices, the prices have come down for commercial use, that’s a very recent development,” he added.

The LARQ bottle retails for $95. It is rechargeable and each charge lasts a month.

“It’s very steep, although if it does all that and if it lasts for a month and you break it down per day then it wouldn’t be so bad,” said Theresa Soto, who is visiting San Francisco from Kansas.

LARQ is currently sold at Bloomingdale stores nationwide and on its website. In the first three months since it went live, LARQ says it has shipped 25,000 bottles.

The company says it is working on expanding to more retailers across the country and introducing similar technology for use in homes.

Pinterest Files To Go Public Amid Busy Season For Tech IPOs

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — Digital scrapbooking site Pinterest on Friday filed for an initial public offering of stock.

It follows a similar filing with securities regulators earlier this month by ride-hailing company Lyft in what is shaping up to be a busy season for technology IPOs. Also expected to sell stock to the public in the coming weeks: Lyft rival Uber and messaging app Slack.

Pinterest said in its filing that it intends to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol “PINS.” The company hasn’t yet said how many shares it’s selling in the IPO or how much money it intends to raise.

The San Francisco-based company had revenue of $756 million and a loss of $63 million last year. Pinterest allows people to search for and “pin” images as inspiration for fashion, interior design, travel and more.

The company said it has more than 250 million users each month, and users have saved more than 175 billion pins since the site was launched.

Pinterest has raised nearly $1.5 billion in the private markets, and was last valued at $12.3 billion in 2017, according to PitchBook Data.

Pinterest has long shunned being labeled a social network. Because of that, it doesn’t push users to add friends or build connections. It also means it’s been able to avoid problems of its larger rivals like Facebook.

Pinterest was founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp, who still serve as CEO and chief product officer, respectively.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Research Firm Believes Verizon 5G Home In Sacramento May Not Succeed

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A research firm specializing in media and telecommunications issued an in-depth report this week explaining why it believes Verizon’s 5G Home service may not succeed.

Sacramento is one of four US cities where Verizon began rolling out fixed wireless broadband last October and an analysis conducted specifically in Sacramento by MoffettNathanson Research suggests that nearly six months later, fewer than one tenth of one percent of people living in single family homes here have signed up for the service. The study concedes that while multi-family dwellings could boost the percentage, it was not possible to determine the number of subscribers in large apartment and condominium complexes.

A Verizon van boasts “First on 5G” at the Oct. 1, 2018 service launch in Sacramento.

Verizon 5G Home promises ultra-fast internet and streaming TV at the monthly price of $50 for existing wireless customers, $70 for non-Verizon subscribers.

The report titled “A Peek Behind the Curtain of Verizon’s 5G Rollout” uses data provided by the city of Sacramento under a public records act request combined with the firm’s independent search of 45,000 street addresses using the database on Verizon’s 5G Home website. The database reveals which addresses have or might have 5G service and which addresses have already subscribed.

The research revealed that the 273 small 5G cell sites installed by Verizon under an agreement with the city of Sacramento cover less than six percent of residential addresses in the seven zip codes analyzed — and of those eligible addresses, fewer than half have signed on with Verizon.

A previous analysis of Verizon 5G Home in Sacramento by EJL Wireless Research focused on the technical challenges facing the service which uses millimeter wave technology with a very short range. The author of that report estimated Verizon would need as many as 4,000 5G sites to adequately cover Sacramento.

While addressing the technical issues involving Verizon 5G Home, the MoffettNathanson analysis focuses more on the potential profitability of the service. The report concludes that Verizon’s assumption that wireless broadband is cheaper to deploy than fiber is flawed, and offers a model showing the cost of running fiber to subscribers’ homes system-wide could actually be 64 percent cheaper than installing small cell wireless.

MoffettNathanson says it was already skeptical about Verizon’s overall chances of earning a positive return on its 5G Home initiative and its analysis of the service in Sacramento has made it even more so.

“Our findings in Sacramento – limited coverage, low penetration – preliminary though they may be, suggest that earning an attractive return will be challenging, at best,” the report concludes.

‘Going To Graduate Because Of It’: Program Helps Jeffco Students Get Back On Track

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Jefferson County schools are working to help teenagers who are struggling in the classroom get back on track to graduate. The Career Explore Program began at Wheat Ridge High School in 2017 and has since expanded in Jeffco Public Schools.

(credit: CBS)

The goal of the program, which is now in place at five schools, is to get at-risk teenagers or students likely to drop out to re-engage in school by introducing them to potential career paths.

“I wasn’t too involved in high school,” Gavin Nelson explained, a senior at Dakota Ridge High School. “I didn’t do a lot of my assignments so I would get behind and fail classes.”

(credit: CBS)

Nelson said he expected to fail his senior year and he wasn’t sure what he would do with his future, until someone suggested he check out the Career Explore Program.

“Now, I’m going to graduate because of it,” he told CBS4. “And I’m going to have a job when I graduate, too. I never would have thought I would be here.”

Students in the program are connected with potential careers in health care, hospitality, automotive or construction. Mark Babcock is the Youth Construction Instructor at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, where students gather once a week to learn.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s much bigger than just learning for work with tools,” Babcock said. “Through the process, just the confidence in themselves and standing taller, they leave here and they have goals, dreams, and they know where they want to go in the future.”

(credit: CBS)

Babcock and career leaders say the program has turned around the lives of many students.

“To see some students who I had in class last year and now that they are in this program, their attendance has gone up, they’re excited about school and excited about learning,” said Jane Johnson, Career Explore Coordinator at Wheat Ridge High. “I just think they’re going to have such a brighter future because of this.”

(credit: CBS)

Students not only gain training in the field they choose, but can receive industry certifications and internships. Nelson is about to start his internship with a man who owns his own cement company.

“He’s going to teach me how to do everything in it,” Gavin said. “I can hopefully move up in his company and then I want to start my own eventually.”

(credit: CBS)

Participating schools are also always looking for businesses who are willing to provide internship opportunities for these students. If you are interested, you can contact Jennifer Marquez at Jennifer.Marquez@jeffco.k12.co.us.

The Career Explore Program will also hold a fundraising gala on Thursday, May 2 to raise money for the program so they can continue to provide these career opportunities for students. If you are interested in more information or would like to help out, you can reach out to Marquez.

Rebuilding Ramps Up In Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park 17 Months After Wildfire

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF / AP) — An official says that 17 months after a massive wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes in a Wine Country neighborhood, 70 percent of the properties are under construction or have been rebuilt.

Gabe Osburn, Santa Rosa’s deputy director of development services, tells the Press Democrat reconstruction in Coffey Park has ramped up in recent months.

Coffey Park Rebuilding

A house being rebuilt in Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood after the deadly North Bay wildfires. (CBS)

An October 2017 fire destroyed 1,422 homes in the working-class community in Santa Rosa.

By October 2018, a year after the fire, only 21 houses had been rebuilt and 520 were under construction. Today, 191 homes in Coffey Park have been completed, while another 689 are under construction.

Jeff Okrepkie, president and founder of neighborhood support group Coffey Strong, says he expects some 700 rebuilt homes to be occupied by midsummer.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Papa John’s Scores Shaq To Help Revive Its Image

(AP) — Papa John’s has a new pitchman: Shaquille O’Neal.

The chain says basketball Hall of Famer will appear on TV commercials and promote Papa John’s in other ways. He will also join the company’s board of directors and invest in nine of its restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Shaquille O’Neal arrives at the Grand Opening of Shaquille’s at LA Live on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Papa John’s is trying to revive its image after the company’s founder and namesake, John Schnatter, was reported to have used a racial slur during a media training session.

Schnatter, who was the face of the company, has apologized for the slur and the company scrubbed his face from the company’s logo and advertisements last year. Schnatter is still the Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s biggest shareholder.

Papa John’s International Inc. says it will pay O’Neal more than $8 million in cash and company stock for a three-year endorsement deal.

Wall Street seems to think it’s a winning partnership. Shares of Papa John’s soared more than 4 percent Friday.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

United Airlines Now Has Non-Binary Gender Booking Options

CHICAGO (CBS) — United announced it would be the first U.S. airline offering non-binary gender options for booking flights.

Customers can choose from Mr., Ms. or Mx. when they make a reservation and in United’s MileagePlus customer profile.

The Chicago-based company said it has worked with the Human Rights Campaign and the Trevor Project for employee training initiatives, including how to instruct United employees about preferred pronouns.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality “People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with non-binary being one of the most common. None of these terms mean exactly the same thing, but all speak to an experience of gender that is not simply male or female.”

 

“United is excited to share with our customers, whether they identify along the binary of male or female or not, that we are taking the steps to exhibit our care for them while also providing additional employee training to make us even more welcoming for all customers and employees,” said Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer for United.

LaSaia Wade is the executive director of Brave Space Alliance, a Chicago non-profit and the first trans-led and black-led LGBT center on the city’s South Side. She welcomed the company’s decision and said it’s an opportunity for a teaching moment.

“This will be a chance for people to say ‘What is that? Let me do some research on what that is,’” Wade said. “And it will bridge some gaps as well as making some spaces acceptable for people to be more comfortable. It’s fine not to have education around it, but respect people’s gender pronouns.”

Wade said her organization, along with AffinityCare and the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus met with United Airlines twice last year to discuss issues related to the LGBTQ community.

“I’m excited to see United Airlines take the lead on this,” Wade said “It allows them to be more inclusive and it opens the door for more business for United and hopefully other airlines and companies throughout the country will do the same.”

According to a recent CNN story which cited a study in the Journal Paediatrics, more U.S. teens are rejecting gender identities such as ‘boy’ or ‘girl.’

“At the Human Rights Campaign, we believe being acknowledged as the gender you identify with is part of treating everyone with dignity and respect,” said Beck Bailey, acting director of the Workplace Equality Program. “By providing non-binary gender selection for ticketing and the gender-inclusive honorific ‘Mx’ in user profiles, United Airlines is taking an important step forward for non-binary inclusion.”