- Written by Starchild
Walking into Adobe Books, an old-fashioned neighborhood bookseller located down the street from me in the Mission at 3166 16th Street, feels like walking into a time warp. It's one of a dwindling number of stores in the area with a real bohemian look and feel to it.
It would be a real shame for it to be replaced by some sterile purveyor of expensive luggage. But according to a piece in the Uptown Almanac, that just may happen. The bookstore, which has been there 25 years and was paying $4500 a month in rent, was first told the rent would be increased to $6000/month and is now being asked to pay $8000 in the face of competing interest from a deep-pocketed chain retailer formerly known as Liz Claiborne Inc., which wants the space for its Jack Spade brand of men's bags, accessories, and apparel.
Unlike many of those who commented on the article, I don't blame the landlord. If he/she is asking $8000 a month for the bookstore to stay, then obviously Jack Spade is willing to pay at least that much. The $2000/month difference between $6000 and $8000 is $24,000 a year.
As I asked in a version of this comment posted on Uptown Almanac, would you take a $24,000 a year pay cut in exchange for keeping your neighborhood funkier and less commercialized, if the workload for you was going to be essentially the same either way?
If you would, and you have the kind of money where you can afford to make $24,000/year less than you otherwise could, in dedication to your aesthetic sense of beauty, justice, and so on, then we may have an easy solution to this problem. Just buy $24,000 in Adobe Books gift certificates for Christmas this year, and promise them you'll do the same next year in perpetuity or until the economy crashes and rents come down.
But in all likelihood you don't have the money to do that, and wouldn't do it if you did. If you would do it, that might well be why you *can't* do it -- because you haven't lived a money-accumulating lifestyle that would enable you to step in with such a gesture. Nothing wrong with that, but it may mean that from the landlord's perspective you're all talk and no walk if you're asking him/her to make the sacrifice.
The real problem here is that efforts to save businesses like Adobe Books under the present arrangement are basically fighting against the law of supply and demand and against market incentives, which is like trying to keep water from flowing downhill...
- Written by Marcy Berry
All cities in the United States have “planning departments,” responsible for reasonably safe and attractive places to live. San Francisco and the Bay Area have upped the ante, and given us “Plan Bay Area” (also referred as One Bay Area, Smart Cities, Sustainable Development). Ostensibly to confront rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions , Plan Bay Area is forging ahead with plans for significantly reducing private vehicle miles, dense development near transit lines, linking development of affordable housing with market rate housing , open space preservation – or from a Libertarian point of view, laying the groundwork for micromanagement of your life and mine.
Plan Bay Area did not simply arise like Venus from the waves, but is the result of legal precedents. California AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels no later than 2020. California SB 375 of 2008 asserts that without improved land use and transportation policy, the state will not be able to achieve the goals of AB 32. SB 375 indicates that, “The issue was not ‘if’ land use and transportation policy were going to be connected to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but ‘how’ and ‘when.’ The issue was not ‘if’ a governmental entity would regulate the car and light truck in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…but ‘how’ and ‘when’.” Along with the how and when regarding transportation and land use as directly related to greenhouse gas emissions, SB 375 and Plan Bay Area , provide how and when to ensure that all income levels “benefit” from the plan. Once again, we are faced with exhaustive regulations ensuring outcomes, rather than guidelines ensuring opportunities.