Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Page Mill Properties, Zennie Abraham, and Middle Ground


More at | Follow me on Twitter!

YouTube, MySpace, and Viddler

I just received a call from Paul Hogarth who's a tenant activist, lawyer and a singer. He seemed interested in why I would write anything even half-way supportive of Page Mill Properties, which has been embroiled in controversy surrounding tenants and the rent control system in East Palo Alto. To recap, Page Mill Properties now owns over 1,700 units that they took over (not built) and rehabilitated. I got a tip that was a hot story and so went down to get information via video. What I found was that Page Mill would talk to me but the tenant activist at the center of the story, Chris Lund, would not.

That did not stop Lund from calling me every day sometimes four times a day asking about my association with Page Mill. Each time he never wanted to go and talk with me on the record. Then via a weird set of associations, Julian Davis who I helped on the Prop H Campaign told Andy Blue that I was a paid blogger and so must be in this case -- not true. Again, at the time, no one from the tenants side would talk to me, and Page Mill did on video.

I've called Tenants Together and hope that they will sit down with me; I'm told by Page Mill Properties Tenants Together has never sat down with them to help resolve anything at all. But as for Paul, I think he's less interested in telling the story which includes the East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency and more interested in shutting me up.

As for me, and perhaps this will help, I'm pro-developer and pro-Redevelopment Agency but not anti-tenant. I believe governments should do the work of making it affordable to develop and maintain affordable rents. My good friend Kofi Bonner runs Lennar Development here in San Francisco and while the project is not perfect and the Redevelopment Agency needs to merge all of their project areas (more on that latter) I know what the issues are and how to solve them. I am an expert on how redevelopment agencies work and what they do. I know how to make and read housing development balance sheets. And I have a right to my point of view without harassment.

Paul Hogarth can try to shoot this messenger, but I'm going to keep talking and pointing a finger at the East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency.

What bothers me most is every week I get an email from someone using the "N" word and that I can't identify. Hogarth asked me "Why are you with SFGate?" as if I should not be here and while I don't think it's him or anyone associated with him, given their behavior how do I know?

What's going on, I do not know.

It's not a good thing to have to delete these emails let alone get them; how do I know where they come from, especially if I get weird treatment from activists? As to how I make money, I'm a YouTube Partner. More about that later.

Susan Boyle v. Hollie Steel? Boyle Should Quit BGT Now!


More at | Follow me on Twitter!

The Worldwide sensation Susan Boyle, who was discovered to rave reviews on the show Britains' Got Talent is now faced with her second "big challenger" in as many weeks on the show, 10-year-old Hollie Steel and a process that threatens to dampen Boyle's chance for real success. The small girl from Britain wowed the crowd last Saturday on yet another show.

Steel makes the second talent to emerge as a possible challenge to Boyle for the winner of the competition in as many weeks, as we were introduced to 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi just the weekend before, and calls into question the ability of Boyle to maintain the high level frenzy that catapulted her to stardome. What I fear is that as BGT rolls out new challengers, Boyle's ability to capture a high dollar record deal will be impacted. The only solution for Boyle is to drop out of Britains' Got Talent, and sign a record deal before the end of May.

Why the end of May?  It's simple. 

Because to date this entire affair has been engineered by the producers of BGT, who taped the show in January and are engineering the release of auditions and information on all of the talent that appeared, including Susan Boyle. With each passing week that a new talent is trotted out, two things happen: 1) the appetite people have to see her online lessens, and 2) the new talent draws the attention of the people who were hungry for more of Susan's voice, but weren't getting it.

By quiting BGT, Boyle takes the PR control away from that show's producers and puts it into her lap. She can take advantage of this by recording one or who "teaser" songs and putting them on YouTube and other video distribution channels, and working on a record deal that will fetch more money now that one two months from now.

I think Ms. Boyle's brother is right on. Susan Boyle, while you're out on that date with BGT Judge Piers Morgan, talk to him about getting you out of BGT (after all, he just said you would not win it) and into a record deal so we can hear more of you before it's too late and the system eats what it created.

Ah, that's you.