Tuesday, 20 March 2012 10:45
That's the price of entertainment
Re-posted from the San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, March 19, 2012
Original San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Post: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/18/EDLN1MNU9V.DTL#ixzz1pgUNCaqN
At last we can quantify the economic value of all the nighttime carousing in San Francisco's bars and clubs. A report by the city controller's office says the after-dark entertainment scene generates $4.2 billion a year in spending, $1 billion of it from nightclubs, taverns, performances and art spaces. The tax haul: $55 million.
That's a hefty chunk of revenue, but it can come at a price: noise, crime and annoyed neighbors. City politicians, police and neighbors share the responsibility of keeping the revelry under control while encouraging it to prosper.
An example of the downside is Polk Street, where residents and some merchants are complaining of noisy crowds walking the streets late at night - one two-block stretch is home to nine bars. Similar complaints are heard in other neighborhoods.
The most extreme case of out-of-control nightlife in recent years was a rash of shootings at a few clubs in 2010. The result was legislation to beef up the power of the Entertainment Commission to shut down problem businesses, and most observers say that has tamped down the problem.
Ron Case, chairman of the Lower Polk Neighbors group, would like to see a moratorium on new liquor licenses in his area. He also suggests that merchants could fund an improvement district for the neighborhood, like the one that hires "ambassadors" to patrol Union Square and give the cops a heads-up about problems. (He also would like to see all businesses shut down by 2 a.m. - good luck with that.)
This is San Francisco, not the suburbs. Part of the experience of living in a big city is the wide range of entertainment available to residents. That also attracts young people seeking fun and employment and out-of-towners with cash to spend.
But nightlife does need some regulation to protect residents and merchants alike from bad behavior.
Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro, ordered up the controller's study and says its findings give officials real facts on which to base decisions: "In the past, those decisions frequently have been driven by anecdote or overreaction to isolated events."
A good first step: Wiener is looking at ways to give the Entertainment Commission more authority to shut down problem establishments.
Local efforts by activists like Ron Case play an important role in tracking this ever-evolving problem. But the controller's study shows how important this industry is and should prompt City Hall to keep it thriving and safe - for a number of reasons.
As Wiener says, "The $55 million this generates in taxes will pay for a lot of cops."
Nightlife: vibrant but safe
Here's what San Francisco needs to do:
Patrols: Establish more Business Improvement Districts to patrol neighborhoods with heavy nocturnal action. About a dozen of these already exist around the city, hiring "ambassadors" - you've seen them in Union Square, dressed in red coats and caps - to keep an eye on the action and alert police to any signs of trouble.
Dialogue: Neighborhood associations can help by pulling all parties together to talk about their concerns. They might even come up with some solutions.
Cops: Beef up the force on the street. Chief Greg Suhr says that with about 100 more officers (the department is down 250 from normal staffing), he could post a few cops near bars around closing time to urge patrons to head home instead of hanging around and keeping residents awake. Suhr has proposed a five-year plan.
Oversight: Given a little more legal muscle, the Entertainment Commission should be more aggressive in responding to the concerns of those who live in the city's entertainment districts.
This article appeared on page A - 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle
See the original article from the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/18/EDLN1MNU9V.DTL#ixzz1pgUGbANl
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:04
SECURITY GUARD TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION
Saturday, March 24, 2012
10 am – 6pm
War Memorial Building (401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 206)
To RSVP, Email
Why should I attend or send my security personnel to this training? The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and San Francisco Entertainment Commission now requires all security personnel at any establishment holding a Place of Entertainment permit in to be trained and certified at the California State level.
To ensure all CMAC members are in compliance of the new requirement, CMAC has invited security company Security Intelligence Specialist (S.I.S.) to perform the necessary training and certification at a one day seminar. For more information on S.I.S., please go to http://www.sisprotection.com/
What will the seminar include? The seminar will be broken down into two 4-hour sessions; 1) Power to Arrest, and 2) Weapons of Mass Destruction & Terrorism Awareness. The seminar will include both lecture and discussion sessions.
This training, held by The Security Intelligence Specialist Corporation, is an 8 hour course that will allow you to apply for and receive a B.S.I.S. Guard Card; providing Security Guard vocational opportunities at any business requiring a State Licensed Security Guard. The additional 32 hours required by the B.S.I.S. is to maintain your compliance and consequently, your Guard Card. When you complete this 8 hours of class, provide your fingerprints via LiveScan, and provide the information from the Guard Card Training and LiveScan to the B.S.I.S. on their website, students can receive a Guard Card in approximately 4 weeks. This training has been set up to make this process seamless and efficient. Each attendee, at the end of class, will receive simply instructions to complete the online registration in approximately 10 minutes (the B.S.I.S. Application Cost is an additional $51.00 online).
How much does the course cost? The course is $85.00 for CMAC members, $100.00 for non-members. Fingerprinting is available on site for an additional $76 ($32 Department of Justice, $19 FBI, $25 Fingerprint labor)
A Drivers License or Government ID is required.
What else should I bring? Since no food will provided, we recommend bringing a lunch as the seminar goes on for 8 hours. There will be a 10 minute break every hour. Please also bring your pens and instruments to take notes on.
for more information or to RSVP.
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:34
Nightlife: Fun plus jobs
San Francisco supervisor Scott Weiner on what clubs mean to our community
02.28.12 - 6:24 pm | This report is re-printed courtesy of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
By Supervisor Scott Weiner
OPINION We all know the cultural benefits of nightlife. It's fun. We get to meet people — friends, lovers, and all the rest. We build community. We hear great music. We dance. We spend time outside on our streets. For LGBT people, we meet other LGBTs and keep our community strong. The list goes on: Without a strong entertainment scene, including bars, clubs, live music venues, arts venues, night-time restaurants, and street fairs, our city would be a less interesting and less diverse place.
But the undisputed cultural importance of nightlife isn't the whole story. Nightlife is a significant economic contributor to San Francisco. It creates jobs, particularly for working-class and young people. It generates tax revenue that helps fund Muni, health clinics, and parks. It allows creative entrepreneurs to start businesses. It generates tourism. It draws foot traffic into neighborhoods to the benefit of other neighborhood businesses.
This is all pretty intuitive. Yet, as a city, we've never actually measured the economic impact of our nightlife scene. One of my first acts a member of the Board of Supervisors was to request the city economist to conduct an economic impact study doing just that.
The study is almost done, and we already have a few preliminary results. Nightlife in San Francisco generates $4.2 billion a year in spending, with $1 billion of that amount coming from bars, clubs, performance venues, and art spaces. Some 48,000 people are employed in nightlife businesses, and these businesses contribute $55 million a year in local taxes. On March 5, we'll announce the full results of the study at a hearing of the Land Use and Economic Development Committee.
This data will help us make smart public policy around nightlife. In the past, those decisions frequently have been driven by anecdote and over-reaction to isolated events. Trouble near a small number of nightclubs? The city responds by making it difficult for all nightclubs to operate, even those with excellent safety records and despite the dramatic improvement in the Entertainment Commission's oversight. Or, the city goes even further and proposes requiring all clubs, even small ones, to scan ID cards of everyone who enters. (That proposal, thankfully, was roundly rejected.)
When we make these decisions, we should do so with a full understanding not just of the downsides of nightlife but of the positives, including cultural and economic benefits.
Entertainment is under pressure in San Francisco. There are neighborhoods with significant friction between housing and nightlife. Some of that friction results from a small number of problem venues. Other times, a good venue is jeopardized for simply conducting its business within the limits of San Francisco law — for example, a single neighbor got Slim's shut down for a few weeks for noise, despite the club's compliance with our noise ordinance.
We also continue to have bizarre Planning Code restrictions that undermine entertainment, such as the Mission Alcohol Special Use District, which makes it difficult or impossible to start creative new businesses in the Mission if alcohol is involved. This provision almost prevented a new bowling alley from locating at 17th and South Van Ness. Similarly, some are concerned that the Western SoMa Plan, as currently written, will undermine nightlife on 11th Street by surrounding clubs with new housing and by reducing the number of venues.
A thriving nightlife scene is key to our city's cultural identity and economic future. Now that we have the data on its benefits, we can take a more balanced and thoughtful approach.
Supervisor Scott Wiener represents District 8 on the Board of Supervisors. The March 5 hearing will start with a noon rally on the steps of City Hall followed by the hearing at 1 p.m. in City Hall Room 263.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 22:15
Entertainment & Nightlife:
Economic Impact Study & Hearing on March 5th
In 2011, Supervisor Scott Wiener, in one of his first acts in office, requested that the City Economist prepare an economic impact report detailing the contributions to San Francisco's economy of nightlife and entertainment. While we all know the cultural benefits of entertainment and nightlife for a vibrant, living city -- one that attracts and retains a diverse population, including people of all ages -- we haven't quantified their economic impact, for example, jobs, tax revenue, and tourism. Once we understand the economic impact of entertainment and nightlife, we will have the information we need to make informed public policy in the area, as opposed to making policy in an information vacuum. We will no longer be in a position where we are regulating an industry without actually understand that industry's economics.
The economic impact report will be available in early March, before the hearing. At the hearing, the City Economist will present his findings, followed by presentations by other departments. The public is invited to attend and provide feedback. We look forward to a robust showing and great information about our industry. Make this a great lunch get away and show your nightlife support and cheer on the first SF report of its kind.
DATE/: Monday March 5
TIME/PLACE: NOON - Rally and press conference on City Hall steps (Polk Street side)
TIME/PLACE: 1 PM: Hearing at Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee in City Hall Room 263
Friday, 17 February 2012 12:28
Industry Cocktail Happy Hour
with Mayor Ed Lee
Wednesday, February 29 5pm – 7pm
The Grand (520 4th Street, SF)
Free for Members
Apply this to your one-year membership.
Join CMAC and other industry representatives for a meet and greet with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Mix and mingle with members of the entertainment, art, and culture communities. This is an excellent opportunity to share your experience, ideas, or perspective with the Mayor.