Company will hold graffiti contest despite mayor’s protest
SAN FRANCISCO – Sega of America says it will go ahead with its “Graffiti is Art” contest in San Francisco tomorrow despite Mayor Willie Brown’s disapproval that the company’s message is inappropriate.
Sega’s event is to promote its new street action game which features, among other things, graffiti art.
Brown’s press secretary P.J. Johnston said, “Sega’s message is irresponsible, especially since the city spends $25 million a year removing graffiti and tries to turn kids away from it.”
Sega’s event will take place at about the same time and just blocks away from the city’s street-cleaning effort “Stamp Out Trash and Graffiti.”
“The timing is bad that way,” Johnston said. “Or maybe it is good and will shed more light on our event.”
Johnston said the city granted Sega the permit for the mural contest to take place at Justin Herman Plaza.
“As long as you get the proper permits, you can hold your event. We don’t have to agree with you, but you can still hold the event,” he said.
Sega spokeswoman Gwen Marker said today that the company has invited the City of San Francisco to be involved in the event and a city representative will likely attend.
“We have a space reserved for them to give out information on vandalism and have arranged for them to speak. ... We support them in all their graffiti eradication efforts,” Marker said.
City officials have expressed interest in working with Sega, she added.
Davis approves school-to-career grants
Gov. Gray Davis Friday announced more than $18 million in grants to benefit School-to-Career partnerships throughout California, including programs in six greater Bay area counties.
The partnerships are designed to expose students to career options and an academic curriculum that will prepare them to meet high educational standards.
Davis said, “School-to-Career connects what kids learn in the classroom with real world experiences like job shadowing, internships and student-run businesses.”
The funds are provided for investments in educational reform and to help strengthen the relationships between students, schools, businesses and labor by developing mentoring programs, internships, staff development and business-related courses.
Striking Safeway workers urge store boycott
SAN FRANCISCO – Workers on strike from the warehouse that supplies Safeway stores distributed leaflets here Friday asking would-be shoppers to boycott the chain.
“Please don’t shop at Safeway today” read leaflets that Teamsters Local 439 workers handed out at as many as 40 Safeway stores across the San Francisco
Bay area. The workers are at odds over a new labor contract with their employer, Summit Logistics, which supplies 245 Safeway stores in northern California, Nevada and Hawaii.
“We’re just asking them to boycott Safeway to support us,” said Reeves Milton, a truck repairman who was one of 20 workers passing out leaflets in front Safeway’s Market St. store. “It’s not about the money. It’s about the safety and the long hours.”
He said the Teamsters want to slow down sales so that Safeway will pressure Summit to restart negotiations.
Safeway was distributing a leaflet of its own, which told shoppers that picketers in front of stores do not work for Safeway — and that Summit had made a fair offer to the workers.
Although some shoppers at the San Francisco Safeway said they supported the workers, others said they would shop at Safeway for want of alternatives.
“Safeway is about the only game in town,” said shopper Beau Long of San Francisco. “It’s not like the ’burbs where you’ve got Safeway and Albertsons and Ralphs.”
The Teamsters started passing out leaflets Thursday and said they’ll continue to do so for as long as it takes to negotiate a fair contract.
Muni workers approve new contract
SAN FRANCISCO – Transportation workers approved a four-year contract Friday night, according to a spokeswoman for the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency.
Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said members of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A approved the contract by a large margin, but she did not immediately have a final tally. Union members – some 2,000 city railway bus, trolley, cable car and light rail drivers – had already rejected to prior contract offers.
Lynch said she could not discuss details of the contract until Saturday afternoon, when the Muni board of directors will formally receive it. She said that the seven member board must wait for 30 days of public comment before voting on the contract.
The deal will be retroactive to July 1, Lynch said.
Under the city’s charter, operators’ pay is mandated to be the second highest in the nation, which means they were eligible to get a 5.5 percent raise to $22.44 an hour.
U.S. marshals arrest 63 Bay Area fugitives
SAN FRANCISCO – The chief of the U.S. Marshals Service for Northern California announced in San Francisco that a joint federal and local task force arrested 63 Bay area fugitives over three days ending today.
U.S. Marshal James Molinari said those arrested were wanted for various types of violent crimes, gang membership or drug trafficking on federal or state charges.
Most of those arrested were apprehended in San Francisco or the East Bay, including San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Union City, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo, Molinari said.
The Fugitive Apprehension Strike Task Force, or FAST, is made up of representatives of 35 city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.