Friday, May 13, 2011

SF Mayor Lee Expresses Support For Zazzle Bay To Breakers

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said his wife got rid of his Spiderman costume long ago, but the man who's never actually ran the Bay To Breakers by his own admission (Hey, he's honest - gotta like that), expressed his support for the 100th running of San Francisco's giant fitness event today.

As the video shows, it was all sunny smiles as Mayor Lee was joined by Bay To Breakers Race Director Angela Fang, a representative from San Francisco District Five Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's Office, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and representatives from the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association that called for the reforms that have reshaped the Bay to Breakers for 2011.

Of all, the Mayor, Ms. Fang, and Lisa Zahner and Ben Allison of the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association were the most pleased with the day and the Bay To Breakers to come on this Sunday. Zahner and Allison said that while "there will always be issues" they were pleased to see that the changes they asked for were adopted.

And of those changes, Chief Suhr said there will be double the number of police officers this year compared to 2010, and informed that the sponsor dollars will be enough to pay for the cost of police services.

Angela Fang received a proclamation from Mayor Lee marking the 100th Anniversary of the Bay To Breakers and Mayor Lee took possession of a special race bib marked "!00."

SF Police Illegal Arrest and Brutality Video At Jefferson Hotel

Yesterday, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi presented a series of videos that shows a group of San Francisco Police Officers - Ricardo Guerrero, Peter Richardson, Robert Sanchez, and Sergeant Kevin Healy - first casing the Jefferson Hotel, a single-room residential hotel located at 440 Eddy Street in the Tenderloin District, then one officer, Guerrero, entering a room after going from floor to floor, then the officers arresting 48-year-old Fernando Santana, and finally carrying a large duffel bag that Santana says is his, and was never reported as evidence.

The video above has all 13 SF Public Defender Videos assembled in order and as one large 11-minute video. It contains text so that a person not familiar with the case can gain some understanding of what is being shown.

The next video to come is a large version of the Adachi Press Conference, that has conversations with SF Public Defender Chief Attorney Matt Gonzalez, Assistant Pubic Defender Qiana Washington, and the bystander who calls himself "Joe" and who was roughed up by the SF Police Officers. That's shown in the video.

Stay tuned.

AT&T Fraudulently Shoves DIRECTV Cutomer To U-Verse; Forget T-Mobile

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has to take care of his current customers and stop some really disturbing practices before AT&T takes over T-Mobile.

Given what happened to this blogger today, God forbid any T-Mobile user that winds up in the clutches of AT&T.

There's evidence that AT&T tries to fraudulently push customers into buying their U-Verse television service and it comes in the form of this blogger's experience, which ended - for now - just seven minutes ago.

It started when I called to order AT&T High Speed Internet service on Wednesday of this week (May 11th). The AT&T agent who took my call and set up my order, Chrissy, said that I was in an area "Where they're targeting AT&T U-Verse for service."

I told her that I had (and have) DIRECTV and was happy with it. I didn't want AT&T U-Verse, and asked her not to add it.

After that was done, Chrissy was to call me back at 1:30 PM PST to finalize the order on Thursday. It was to cost $250, including the set up fee. Fine.

But then she never called back at the time she asked for; I wanted 2 PM.

So, wanting a faster Internet service set up ASAP, I called today, this afternoon, to learn what happened to the call back I was expecting and to get the order done.

I end up talking to an AT&T agent named "Rosalind." This was at 6:45 PM, or about less than an hour ago from now. She was asking questions as if she was about to do the order all over again; I asked her not to do that, and said "Just look at your notes. It's all there."

Rosalind said she found the account information and my order. She then, in claiming she wanted to make sure I got the right price, asked me what connection I wanted. I told her "it's all there." She said "I'm just making sure that you get the right price."

So, she set up a price that was $315 but with me paying $100. That didn't seem correct compared to what I had originally ordered, but thinking that I may have forgot something, went ahead with the order.

Remember that I never said I wanted AT&T U-Verse. I have DIRECTV and like it. I just need high-speed Internet service.

So, I copy my account number down and store it. Then, an email pops up informing me that I ordered, you guessed it, AT&T U-Verse.

I hit the ceiling.

So, I immediately called back and got some AT&T agent who acted like he didn't understand what I was saying. So, rather than waste time with him, I asked for his supervisor.

The supervisor, named "Darby" and with the employee number NR8576 (or so he says), said that "You'll have to call cancellation department, but they're closed as it's past business hours."

I asked why Rosalind could take up the issue of completing my account and taking my money, but he could not change the order? He said there was nothing he could do.

I don't believe it.

He did offer the customer service number, and of course, the recording said it was closed. Personally, it's a total shame the local governments don't allow more Internet service provider competition so the choices are broader than AT&T and Comcast. In fact, the current environment should be illegal.

But what is illegal, is the bait-and-switch tactic that AT&T is employing.

But apparently, both AT&T and DIRECTV are practicing such an activity according to the quick Google search I conducted. Looking up "u-verse, directv, bait and switch," I found a slew of results, but of the list on the first page, the majority (6 of 10) were against AT&T, and for a pricing practice that causes U-verse customers to be charged for more than what was printed on their plan statement.

Regardless of the way the bait-and-switch happens, it's not right. It's a practice that must stop.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson must place this at the top of his agenda, even over his visit to Capital Hill in Washington, this week.

Meb Keflezighi Runs First Bay To Breakers

At today's Bay To Breakers Press Conference luncheon, Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi told this blogger that running the Bay To Breakers was part of what he agreed was his 'bucket list,' or something he had to do before he passed on.

The 12k event, set for this Sunday, will draw 50,000 registered runners and over 100,000 total participants, many who are familiar with the course and with San Francisco.

Not Meb Keflezighi.

"I've never been to San Francisco before," the African-native, and resident of Mammoth Lakes, California said during today's luncheon. "The first time? (He's seen San Francisco) At the International Airport? Really, all this is new"

But that should not stop the man who is a four-time NCAA Champion and was the American record holder over 10000 meters (27:13.98) from 2001 to 2010, not to mention winner of the 2009 New York City Marathon, three-time U.S. Cross Country winnner, and a silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics.

With those accomplishments, it's a fair bet Meb Keflezighi will see San Francisco - in a hurry.

Stay tuned.

Zazzle 100th Bay To Breakers - Who Cares? I Do, For One

Just some thoughts as this blogger is about the process of compressing video from a number of Bay To Breakers-related events, today.

First, one blogger I will not name asked "Who cares about the Bay to Breakers? Well, I do. But it must be noted that the bloggers and old media-types who are making snide remarks and complaints about San Francisco's giant running-excuse-to-party, this time sponsored by, are all too out of shape, or just too unhappy to do the damn thing, anyway.

One thing I'm totally tired of are people who whine about that not worth whining about, and pay no attention to that worth whining about - like racism.

But I digress.

The Bay To Breakers is supposed to be a celebration of life in San Francisco, all based around not just running, but more important, congregation. What's happened to the event has only, if you will, plagued it, for the last four years - that leaves 96 years of Bay To Breakers that has went very well.

The Bay To Breakers is that one day not just San Franciscans, or people in the Bay Area, but people from around the country, look to that is quintessentially San Francisco: fun, unconventional, loopy, but at the same time smart and hip. It's this cultural stew, and that has produced much of the fabric of American pop culture, from Levi's Jeans to Jefferson Starship, to Google, and to Apple Computer, which gave us the Mac, the iPhone, and the iPad.

Now for those who jump at the bait and say "That's Silicon Valley," the bottom line is the first and most dense urban area that defines "The Valley," and the place it goes to party, and to get some of its venture capital money, is San Francisco.

As Paul Kantner, Jefferson Starship singer-guitarist said "I like to think of it as the city on the edge of Western Civilization. It's a very nutritious environment for people looking to get away and follow their own ideas and goals, and it has been ever since the Gold Rush. Had I not been brought up in San Francisco, I probably would have been executed by now."

For me, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and the Bay Area, are really all one place. I call the San Francisco - Oakland region, connected by the Bay Bridge and the BART Tube under it, the Inner Bay Area, with all other cities, the Outer Bay Area. But San Francisco sits at its cultural center, and the Bay to Breakers has long come to be an expression of The City.

So what has happened?

For the Bay To Breakers, a few have tried to mess it up for many, efficiently communicated to the World via New Media. And that's the difference; the fact is property crime rates have decreased dramatically in America since 1996, as well as for theft and for burglary, but from the way crime events are distributed via text and video, it's no wonder many have the impression something's socially wrong.

It's not that something's wrong, but that we emphasize that which is wrong, and not that which is right. Viral videos generally fall into two categories: adults doing bad, and kids doing cute and funny.

Thus, any adult doing bad is fuel for a million unique views on YouTube, and if that adult is 'doing bad' at the Bay to Breakers, the run event becomes defined by those images, even if it's not the real story.

Want proof? Visit YouTube and, as of this writing, search for "Bay To Breakers" using the filter "view count." The results are Bay To Breakers 2007 - Nudity at it's Fastest!, and four places down, "Public Micturition (or Pissing) at the 2010 Bay to Breakers, then "Bay To Breakers Boys in a Thong," and more, including "Bay to Breakers 2009 - People Behaving Badly," and its sibling "Bay to Breakers 2010 - People Behaving Badly."


This goes on, and on, and becomes instant media for the World, when the best videos are of people having harmless fun:

And of the race itself:

But because this society has become so hardwired to like seeing people do bad things, what gets seen the most is, well, people doing bad things. And because our society seems to have lost the capacity for critical thinking, and the bad is repeated again and again in the media, many can't conceive of what the Bay to Breakers really is.

So the message got lost.

The best way to get it back is to stop holding talks about the bad, and simply tell us about the good. To make sure that viral videos are created that show the best of the Bay to Breakers, and, yes, to counter our primal tendency to want to see the worst of the Bay To Breakers.

In short, if the Bay To Breakers is to survive, it's organizers have to fight new media fire with new media fire. It's the only way to reclaim The Bay To Breakers for another 100 years.

NFL: Prince Amukamara to do Online Chat for Fans...

Big Ups to the New "Prince of NY" for doing some Fan Outreach!!


adidas and Eastbay will host a live online video chat with New York Giants first round draft choice Prince Amukamara on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. ET. Fans will have the chance to ask the #19 overall selection questions and view his live responses at

The former University of Nebraska All-American cornerback will showcase the new adiZero 5-Star, the lightest cleat in football. At 6.9 ounces, the adiZero 5-Star is three ounces lighter than the nearest competitor and is designed to help make the fastest football players even faster. The adiZero 5-Star is available now at

Over the past several months, the adidas NOW portal at has hosted chats with star athletes such as Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, B.J. Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays and C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills. adidas and Eastbay will continue to run athlete video chats throughout the year.


Wednesday, May 18

7:00 p.m. ET


Hosted on