Category Archives: World Authors

San Francisco Supervisors Want To Rename Justin Herman Plaza

SAN FRANCISO (KPIX 5) – Changes could be coming to a San Francisco landmark. Starting in 1959, Justin Herman — as head of the city’s redevelopment agency — spearheaded the effort to revitalize the Fillmore. It was an area once home to Japanese Americans — who were forced into internment camps during World War I — then later became the center of the city’s African American culture. San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin said, “His name has come to symbolize the displacement of over 4,000 people from The Fillmore, the destruction of 60 square blocks of what was a vibrant, robust community that we have been trying to knit back together for decades since.” San Francisco Resident Barbara Thompson has lived in San Francisco for most of her life and raised her kids in the Western Addition. She remembers the time back in the 1960s when her thriving community began to fall apart. Thompson said, “It was done in a way that was just so shrewd and so calculated and I think it was kind of orchestrated so that we really didn’t know what we were doing when we were selling our homes.” Board President London Breed grew up in the Fillmore and says, even now, when looking at documents about redevelopment, the Redevelopment Agency justified their actions because it was a “non-white” community. Supervisor Breed said, “The fact that someone could actually use this kind of language to literally destroy a community, a thriving African-American and Japanese community, I think we’re overdue.”

Half Of Bay Area Residents Thinking About Leaving Over Home Prices

(KCBS) – Home prices in the Bay Area are so high that half of all local residents are thinking about leaving, new research suggests. According to UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, 65% of Bay Area voters think affordability is an extremely serious problem. 51% of voters have “thought” about giving up and moving. ALSO READ: Sunnyvale Home Sells For $782,000 Over Asking Price This summer, the Bay Area’s median home price hit $804,000. That very well could be the last straw, considering the number of Bay Area residents who are thinking about throwing in the towel and heading for more reasonably-priced regions of the country. Compounding the problem is the problem, in so many areas, of exorbitant rents. Some relief may be on the horizon. Last week, California legislators passed a series of bills supporters say would jumpstart housing construction, “an historic package of 15 bills that not only invest in building housing but moves forward streamlining housing creation as well as holding cities accountable that haven’t been building housing at all,” Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) said. ALSO READ:  $221,000 Salary Needed To Afford Silicon Valley Home “If you don’t actually build housing when you say you’re going to, folks can bring lawsuits against you,” said Chiu. “The state can come down on you, we can withhold funding and make life difficult for you.”  

Tech Investor Ellen Pao’s Memoir Sheds Light On Silicon Valley Sexism

MENLO PARK (KPIX 5) — Tech investor Ellen Pao has released a new memoir. After rocking the tech industry in 2015 with her trial on gender discrimination. The new book not only covers her lawsuit, but it takes a closer look at racism. It has been 2 and a half years since Pao lost the lawsuit against her old employer Kleiner Perkins here in Menlo Park. In her new book, titled Reset, she covers a lot topics, including the drama from the lawsuit, office politics and gossip, and for the first time, opens up about race, talking about what it’s like being an Asian women working in tech, in the Bay Area. On CBS This Morning, Pao did not hold back about gender bias in Silicon Valley, saying Asian women are often told they speak too softly and that male colleagues hit on them all the time. Pao said, “For Asians there’s an expectation, especially for Asian women that you’ll be subservient, that you’re not going to rock the boat, that you’re going to take these second-tier roles and just do them happily and work really hard at them.” The book has been described as part memoir, part self-help, part tell-all about Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. There was the time when she saw a male colleague stand in the doorway of a female coworker “licking an ice cream cone while staring at her.” “I heard often that women were just not funny or that we weren’t able to take a joke or didn’t smile enough,” Pao said. “If you talk, you talk too much. If you don’t talk, you’re too quiet. You don’t own the room. If you want to protect your work, you’re not a team player. Your elbows are too sharp.” She says bias is alive and well in the Bay Area. “I think there’s a set of people who don’t believe that women and people of color can execute and work and perform like other people can,” Pao said. Pao’s lawsuit helped kick start the conversation on the so-called culture of harassment in Silicon Valley. “I don’t think it’s really changing, i think people will have seen the problem now, they’re so many women and men that have spoken up about it, but in order to change, you have to change everything about the system,” Pao said. Kleiner Perkins has always denied Pao’s accusations and told CBS the firm is committed to supporting women and minorities in the tech industry. Pao says she doesn’t regret bringing the lawsuit. “Not at all. From all the support that I’ve received and all the change I’m starting to see, perceptions of how people are treated, it’s been worth it,” Pao said.

Silicon Valley CEO Says Skip The Bay Bridge, Consider Taking A Flying Motorcycle

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — It may look like something straight out of Star Wars, but flying motorcycles are almost here.

They could be ready to hit the sky in just a few short years.

“Three years from now flying cars will be very hot,” said Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun.

It seems like the stuff of science fiction, but Thrun — engineer, entrepreneur and one-time driving force behind Google’s autonomous car program — says flying vehicles are just a few years, not decades away.

Thrun said, “We should not be getting stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel or the Bay Bridge anymore. You should just be able to go on your flying motorcycle and go wherever you want to go. That is actually becoming reality now.”

Thrun made that cheadline-grabbing claim during his talk on Day 2 of the Tech Crunch conference in San Francisco.

“We actually believe we’ll have our first product ready in February of next year. And it’s more of like a flying motorcycle than a flying car,” Thrun said.

It looks kind of like an airborne jet ski.

A very rough prototype was unveiled in April.

Thrun says the technology could someday revolutionize transportation as the innovations behind self-driving cars and drones merge.

“It’s an electric aircraft,” Thrun said. “And everything that’s hard about flying is done by the computer — all the wind computation stuff. And I get a joy stick interface that’s just like a video game. And it’s just as much fun as a video game, but it’s real.”

If two or three years seems likely an overly optimistic estimate about when flying vehicles might be on the market, Thrun says much like self-driving cars, technology will outpace regulations, leaving the rule makers struggling to catch up.