Sometimes you learn really despicable things by subscribing to wikipedia changelogs.
When Bottom of the Hill was first accused of not serving enough food, they filed a petition to get the "50%" condition removed from their permit, on the grounds that there was no legitimate reason for it to be there in the first place.
So, last week, Bottom of the Hill received two letters from ABC, in two different envelopes, both dated August 10th. The letter first granted the petition to remove the 50% condition... And the second letter "corrected" the first, denied the petition, and set a deadline for asking for a hearing.
Nicely done, ABC!
Here's the most likely explanation for how this happened: One of the ABC attorneys looked at the file and agreed that there were no reasons for the condition in the first place, and issued the first order. Then that first order reached someone's desk, who went ballistic and ordered it reversed.
ABC likes to maintain the fiction that they are just a bunch of bureaucrats whose hands are tied, who are simply obeying the law and have no room for discretion or rationality. But this kind of arbitrary and capricious behavior is a perfect example of how they really operate. Someone inside that organization is running a vendetta.
Incidentally, apparently in the midst of California's budget crisis, ABC is hiring, and just got an extra $1.5 million.
Your tax dollars at work.
In more local news, SF Supervisor David Chiu, who represents North Beach, is gunning to destroy the Entertainment Commission and give control of nightclub permitting back to SFPD. Because, you know, that worked out so well last time.
He was on the radio this morning talking about this. You can listen to it on KQED's web site (though frankly, I don't recommend it).
Apparently having an actual representative of the Entertainment Commission on this show would have been too much, so instead you can hear Chiu and SFPD's Captain Dudley gang up on Mark Rennie, an attorney who represents several embattled clubs that aren't even in Chiu's district.
Though at the very end of that radio show you can hear Dudley express his opinion that San Francisco's economy would be better off with no nightlife, because the cost of policing nightclubs is higher than the tax and tourism-related revenue that the clubs bring to the city. It's almost worth listening to it for that howler. Almost.
DNA Lounge's permit struggles from 1999 through 2001 were a direct result of SFPD's abuse of the permitting process when they were still in control of it, and the creation of the Entertainment Commission was in response to those and similar abuses.
Having their authority over permitting taken away apparently stung, and so SFPD has been trying to undermine the Entertainment Commission since its creation. Chiu is just their latest tool in this six year effort.
In case I haven't mentioned it enough lately:
An amino acid has been found on a comet for the first time, a new analysis of samples from NASA's Stardust mission reveals. The discovery confirms that some of the building blocks of life were delivered to the early Earth from space.
Previously, researchers have found amino acids in space rocks that fell to Earth as meteorites, and tentative evidence for the compounds has been detected in interstellar space. Now, an amino acid called glycine has been definitively traced to an icy comet for the first time. [...]
The researchers spent two years trying to find out - a painstaking task since there was so little of the comet dust to study. In fact, there was not enough material to trace the source of any compound except for glycine, the simplest amino acid.
"It's a great piece of laboratory work," says Lunine. "It's probably something that couldn't have been done remotely with a robotic instrument - it points to the value of returning samples."
But the truly baffling part is: why would they bother to delete old imagery instead of just updating it as newer stuff comes in? That's completely retarded.
Three times during this process women stopped him and described a sexual experience they had had that somehow connected to his music. I imagined that this must be his life -- middle-aged women describing sex to him as he went about his daily business. To him, it must be like the sun shining or gravity, an unavoidable part of the landscape. I wondered if he even heard them anymore or if it was just a staticy buzz that surrounded him like the low hum of a swarm of mosquitoes.
Going to DNA Lounge during the middle of the day is a strange proposition. But on a Saturday afternoon in late June, the San Francisco bar is filled with a hundred or so people, including, strangely enough, Kris Kristofferson, whose son Jody is trying out a different kind of public career. There's a smattering of people hanging out on the balcony level, but most of us are pressed against metal guard rails that surround a ring set up in the center of the dance floor. Professional wrestling has, ahem, put a stranglehold on venue, and it's the middle of the show.