Tag Archives: Bay Area

Musician Franti tries hand at broadcasting

By Alyson Footer Michael Franti, the creator and lead vocalist of Michael Franti & Spearhead, leads a band that blends a little hip hop with funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. He also is a native of the Bay Area and a big-time San Francisco Giants fan, which helped lead him into the booth for a round of Express Written Consent, sponsored by Klondike. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at MLB

Read This: Wired editor to live with EV bike for six months

By Seyth Miersma

2013 Zero DS ZF 11.4 electric motorcycle in yellow

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Wired Autopia honcho and Autoblog alum Damon Lavrinc is finished with the internal combustion engine. And four wheels. And a closed cabin in which to commute. For the next six months, Lavrinc will be staring Range Anxiety right in its cold, dead (battery) eyes, while splitting lanes and commuting through San Francisco on a long-term-test 2013 Zero DS ZF 11.4 electric motorcycle.

In reality, the latest creation from Zero is probably about as good as it gets in terms of EV bikes to live with (not that riders are spoiled for choice in that segment). The electric motor kicks out 54 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque, so power won’t be an issue in the hilly Bay Area, and max range of 126 miles from the 11.4 kWh battery pack is more than reasonable.

Lavrinc isn’t so over-the-moon for Zero that he doesn’t see potential drawbacks to the arrangement: “Big ones,” he mentions, “Death, for example.” Which should all make for a very compelling series of real-world reviews. We suggest clicking through to Autopia to read Damon’s own explanation for beginning this adventure, listening to Autoblog Podcast #338 where he reveals his plans as a guest on our show, and following along with updates as the months unfold. We will be.

Wired editor to live with EV bike for six months originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

News Station KTUV Punk'd Over Asiana Aircraft Pilot's Names

By Mark Gibbs, Contributor

In what has to be one of the more embarrassing cock-ups in TV news history, KTUV, a Bay Area news station announced on its noon show today that the pilots of the Asiana flight 214 which crashed as it attempted to land at San Francisco airport last Saturday were named, and I am not making this up, “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.” Here’s the actual broadcast: …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Scenes from a Microsoft store opening

How do you bring out the crowd for the opening of a Microsoft Store? Try a little less Metro interface, and a little more Blake Shelton.

That was the case this week outside a new Microsoft Store opening in San Francisco—the fourth such store to open in the Bay Area but the first within city limits. The first 1000 people in line got tickets to see the singer perform a weekend concert.

Microsoft didn’t really care if it was Shelton or Surface that brought the crowds out—the company just wants to get people inside its retail outlets. This San Francisco store features an answer desk that promises to help anyone with any gadget, whether it originated out of Redmond or not.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Joan Pinto, Boston Marathon Survivor, To Return Home To Concord

By The Huffington Post News Editors

BOSTON — When Concord resident Jim Pinto answered his wife’s phone call from the East Coast Monday afternoon he had no idea why she was so frantic.

His wife, Joan Pinto, had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon with a 4:04:56 time so he figured she’d be happy.

But that was not the case for the 49-year-old Bay Area wife and mother.

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More on Boston Marathon Bombing

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/joan-pinto-boston-marathon_n_3093339.html

UnitedHealthcare Awards $5.2 Million in Grants to California Nonprofits – $897,240 to On Lok Lifeway

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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UnitedHealthcare Awards $5.2 Million in Grants to California Nonprofits – $897,240 to On Lok Lifeways of San Francisco


Grants support nine California nonprofit organizations to strengthen wellness, care delivery and health technology in underserved communities

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– On Lok Lifeways has been awarded a $897,240 grant from UnitedHealthcare to help strengthen its health information technology system and delivery of care to San Francisco Bay area seniors through electronic medical records initiatives.

UnitedHealthcare’s San Francisco Bay Area employees join On Lok participants to make flower arrangements and pot plants as part of the nonprofit’s Spring Volunteer Day Monday, April 8, at On Lok Lifeways Gee Center. UnitedHealthcare also presented On Lok an $897,000 grant to strengthen its services and programs for seniors in the region. Lower L to R: Shi Chen Wang, Marie Schmidt of UnitedHealthcare. Upper L to R: Shim Pu-Nam, Matthew Yi of UnitedHealthcare, Kelly Lai, Benedyne Kim, Greg Wright, West Region president, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement (Photo: Amy Sullivan)

The grant is part of $5.2 million UnitedHealthcare is awarding to nine health care organizations to support nonprofit clinics, hospitals and health care organizations that improve health care services for underserved communities statewide.

Founded in 1972, On Lok Lifeways in San Francisco is one of the nation’s leading providers of health services including long-term care and support services to seniors. On Lok Lifeways’ pioneering efforts in the Bay Area created “PACE” (the Program of All- inclusive Care for the Elderly), a model of care delivery that has been replicated in 91 organizations in 30 states.

The UnitedHealthcare grant will help On Lok Lifeways strengthen its “PACELink” program, which uses health information technology and electronic medical records to improve care and coordination for seniors served by a network of 10 health care and wellness centers in the Bay Area. Specifically, the grant will fund software improvements, technology investments and training that will provide greater efficiencies in the coordination of care through the automation of scheduling, clinic appointments, transportation, home-visit reporting, medication distribution and pharmacy prescriptions.

The grant was announced during a volunteer day at On Lok’s Gee Senior Center, 1333 Bush St. in downtown San Francisco, where UnitedHealthcare employees joined community leaders to help On Lok Lifeways seniors plant a vegetable garden, plant …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Rolling Stones In The Bay Area: Legendary Band Announces Two May Shows

By The Huffington Post News Editors

Can you feel it, Stones fan? It seemed like it might never happen. Yet, finally, it’s here.

Satisfaction.

Ending months of speculation, the Rolling Stones have announced their long-awaited return to the Bay Area. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act, which has now ranked as one world’s most popular bands for a half century, performs May 5 at Oracle Arena in Oakland and May 8 at HP Pavilion in San Jose.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

Google Doesn't Know When to Say "No"

By Tim Brugger, The Motley Fool

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In addition to its outstanding financials, part of what makes Google such an attractive investment alternative is its unending drive to innovate. From space age glasses to playing with the notion of a self-driving car, Google has quickly differentiated itself from every company out there — and that’s good. But its latest initiative — bringing home delivery of food and other goodies to Silicon Valley via its Shopping Express experiment — is just plain wrong.

The latest foray
In addition to the challenge of taking on established industry leaders Amazon and eBay , Google’s Shopping Express seems more like cockiness than a genuine, long-term revenue opportunity. At this point, shopping express is in a test phase, according to Tom Fellows, Google’s product management director. For the next six months, consumers in the San Francisco area will enjoy free, same-day delivery of products from the likes of Target, Wal-Mart, and several Bay Area food and specialty shops, among others.

You don’t have to be a CFO to recognize that margins in the home-delivery business are razor-thin, which raises the question: What’s the point of Shopping Express? Some have speculated that Google wants to drive more traffic to its site, generating additional advertising revenue. As it stands, shoppers can access Amazon.com or eBay either directly or using any search engine they choose. Users of Google’s Shopping Express, so the line of reasoning goes, would boost its site activity and, ostensibly, the amount of ad revenue.

Amazon’s Prime delivery service is viable primarily because of its widespread — and growing — distribution system. eBay’s model doesn’t allow for distribution centers, but it’s not trying to generate revenue with fast, home delivery. That’s simply a carrot eBay dangles to drive more sales.

Google hasn’t said what the service might eventually cost, only that “We’re still working out our long-term pricing plan but early testers will get six months of free, unlimited same-day delivery. The pilot will expand as we work out the kinks, so please stay tuned.”

Perhaps Google plans to work out some kind of deal with the retailers associated with Shopping Express, taking a bit off the top for each item sold. Or perhaps, when the testing phase is over, Google thinks consumers will be so enamored with the idea of sitting at home, waiting on their groceries, that they’ll fork over enough to cover costs and possibly even produce a slight profit.

The future of shopping express
The history of failed home-delivery efforts is replete with such names as Kozmo, Urbanfetch, and Webvan. They all died a mercifully fast and unprofitable death, after sucking venture capital firms dry. Retail’s a tough industry, as Target, Wal-Mart, and others like them will attest. Acting as a third-party delivery service by piggybacking on other retailers, as Google Shopping Express does, just adds another layer of expense on top of margins that are already too thin. According to Value Line data compiled by New York University, retail …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

RealPage® MPF Research Division Reports Moderate Growth of U.S. Apartment Rents in First Quarter 201

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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RealPage® MPF Research Division Reports Moderate Growth of U.S. Apartment Rents in First Quarter 2013

Local performances converge near the national norm, leaving relatively few especially strong or especially weak individual performers

CARROLLTON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Effective rent growth for new leases in U.S. apartments registered at 2.6 percent as of first quarter, according to MPF Research, the industry-leading market intelligence division of RealPage, Inc. (NASDAQ: RP). Growth seen specifically in the January-March time frame came in at 0.5 percent. MPF Research analysts highlight the nation’s latest apartment rent growth statistics as well as other key performance indicators in a discussion found at www.realpage.com/MPFQ1-2013-Report.

The annual rent growth pace is continuing to cool from its recent high of 4.8 percent seen at the end of 2011. Top-end apartment communities, in particular, are seeing prices rise more modestly. Rents grew 1.9 percent during the past year in the stock built since 2000, compared to increases of 2.4 to 2.9 percent in older product segments. When rent growth peaked just over a year ago, prices were rising 4 to 5 percent across all apartment product niches.

Pricing decisions are beginning to be impacted meaningfully by the wave of new apartment supply that lies just ahead, according to the MPF Research analysis. “Many owners and operators at the best properties want to be sure that their apartments are completely full when deliveries of new units ramp up during the coming months,” said Greg Willett, MPF Research vice president. “In turn, smaller price increases at the top-of-the-market projects are leaving a little less room for big rent bumps in the older stock.”

While the pace of rent increases is slowing, pricing continues to set all-time highs. Pricing has jumped 10.8 percent from the recession-induced low seen in late 2009, and rents are up 4.8 percent from the pre-recession high posted in the middle of 2008.

Among large individual metros, the three Bay Area markets of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose rank as the country’s rent growth leaders. During the year that ended in first quarter, effective prices for new leases jumped 6.3 percent in both San Francisco and Oakland, while the upturn proved nearly as strong at 5.6 percent in San Jose.

Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in San Francisco

By Chris Neiger, The Motley Fool

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Google is launching a new (very limited) same-day delivery service for retail items, called Google Shopping Express, the company announced on its Google Commerce blog this morning. The trial service is open to a limited amount of people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Those who sign up will receive unlimited, same-day delivery for free for six months from stores like Target, Walgreen, Staples, American Eagle, Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, and other local retailers. The company said on its blog that the program is in its “incredibly early days and so the service is only available to a small number of people in the Bay Area.” Pricing for the service hasn’t been set.

Google said it’s using this pilot program to test out how the service works, and will expand its testing “as we work out the kinks.” The company said that it hopes to make it possible for consumers to get items they order online the same day and at a low cost.

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The article Google Tests Same-Day Delivery Service in San Francisco originally appeared on Fool.com.


Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Staples. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Primoris Services Corporation Announces New Contract Work Valued at $393 Million

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Primoris Services Corporation Announces New Contract Work Valued at $393 Million

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Primoris Services Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: PRIM) (“Primoris” or “Company”) today announced two new major contract awards totaling over $393 million. The new contracts were secured by ARB and James Construction Group, two Primoris subsidiaries. The projects include a major utility alliance contract for pipeline integrity work in California and a large highway infrastructure project in Mississippi.

In the West Construction Services Segment:

  • The ARB Underground group has been selected by Pacific Gas and Electric, through an “alliance” process, to receive a three year contract, with two one-year options, as part of their PSEP (Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan) program.
    • ARB was awarded the “Bay Area” of California, which includes the San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland regions.
    • This alliance agreement replaces the delivery system PG&E has used for their integrity work in previous years. The contract work will encompass all forms of system integrity upgrades including hydrotesting, valve automation/replacement, and in-line inspection/replacement.
    • The work will begin immediately and is initially valued at roughly $100 million/year for a total of $300 million over the course of the three year contract.

In the East Construction Services Segment:

  • MDOT, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, recently awarded James Construction Group a new contract valued at approximately $93.5 million for rehabilitation and improvements to Interstate 55 south of Jackson, Mississippi. The project is slated to start in the second quarter of 2013 and should be complete in the first quarter of 2016. The work scope includes roughly:
    • 850,000 cubic yards of excavation
    • 350,000 tons of asphalt
    • 95,000 linear feet of cast-in-place barrier rail
    • two bridges


ABOUT PRIMORIS

Founded in 1946, Primoris, through various subsidiaries, has grown to become one of the largest specialty contractors and infrastructure companies in the United States. Serving diverse end markets, Primoris provides a wide range of construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Warner Bros. Announces San Francisco Studio

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced that it is opening a new studio in San Francisco. WB Games San Francisco will be focusing primarily on “free-to-play, mobile, social, and browser-based games.”

“The Bay Area is the home of social and mobile gaming and WB Games San Francisco is Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s opportunity to expand our game development capabilities into the epicenter of the digital world,” said the newly announced studio head Greg Ballard.

The team will not only be working on their own original games, but will oversee publishing of mobile games developed by other studios under the Warner Bros. umbrella.

Taylor Cocke is a Bay Area based freelance games writer. Listen to him spout about bands you don’t care about by following Taylor on Twitter @taylorcocke.

Continue reading…

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Aetna Foundation Grant Supports Women's Community Clinic's Work to Reduce Health Disparities in San

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Aetna Foundation Grant Supports Women’s Community Clinic’s Work to Reduce Health Disparities in San Francisco


— Funding Will Expand Outreach to African-American Women and Girls in Western Addition Neighborhood —

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– As part of its ongoing efforts to promote health care equity, the Aetna Foundation has awarded a $25,000, one-year grant to the Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco. The funding will help the clinic provide health education and outreach, prenatal care, and health career training opportunities to low-income African-American women and girls in the Bay Area.

Specifically, the Aetna Foundation funding will fuel programs at the clinic’s Western Addition Health Training Program (WAHT), which serves uninsured and underinsured residents in San Francisco‘s Western Addition neighborhood. Through the grant, the organization will expand access to prenatal care on-site through its partnership with University of California, San Francisco.

The grant also provides Western Addition residents with vital workforce and development training opportunities by supporting five paid health career training fellowships and internships. Fellows and interns will get hands-on health career training in medical office operations, health education, lab packaging and tracking, pregnancy and HIV counseling, and clinic management.

“The Women’s Community Clinic is working to improve the health of African-American women and increase access to quality prenatal care. The nonprofit also strives to expand diversity in the health care profession,” said Sharon Dalton, vice president of the Aetna Foundation and director of regional grant making. “The clinic is meeting two urgent needs at the same time and creating the foundation for long-term improvements in health care equity.”

In the Western Addition community, teen pregnancy rates are higher than city averages. Residents often have limited access to health care resources and information. Overall in San Francisco, African Americans have the highest teen birth rate of any minority group.

“We are honored to work with the Aetna Foundation to reduce health care disparities, starting in our own community,” said Women’s Community Clinic Executive Director Carlina Hansen. “With this grant, we will be able to provide essential prenatal care, health workshops and hands-on workforce training in the Western Addition. We are incredibly grateful and proud to be able to effect change in this rich and diverse city neighborhood.”

About the Aetna Foundation
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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Zen Pinball 2 Hits Wii U This Month

Zen Pinball 2, which has been out on PS3 and Vita since September, is making its way over to the Wii U on March 21st.

The client itself will be a free download, with a collection of tables available for purchase. Tables are $3 each, or $10 for a 4-pack. It will launch with 26 tables, including a variety of Marvel-themed tables and a Plants vs. Zombies table.

Each table will have a free trial for those who want to check them out before purchasing.

Taylor Cocke is a Bay Area based freelance games writer. Listen to him spout about bands you don’t care about by following Taylor on Twitter @taylorcocke.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

Duke Nukem II Coming to iOS

Before Duke Nukem 3D, there were two side-scrollers starring the King himself. As of this April, we’ll be getting our hands on the second of the two, as Duke Nukem II is making its way to iOS devices.

Interceptor Entertainment, the team behind the Rise of the Triad reboot, is handling the reins of the project, with 3D Realms overseeing.

There’s no specific release date as of yet, but Duke Nukem II will be out this April for $1.99. It will coincide with the 20th annivesary of the platformer.

Taylor Cocke is a Bay Area based freelance games writer. Listen to him spout about bands you don’t care about by following Taylor on Twitter @taylorcocke.

Continue reading…

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Video Games

52-Hour Delays at Allegiant Will Help Competitors

By Adam Levine-Weinberg, The Motley Fool

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Allegiant Travel had a very rough beginning to the spring break season, as its Boeing 757 fleet was plagued by mechanical issues last weekend. More than 1700 Allegiant customers traveling to Hawaii faced delays of up to 52 hours. Since Allegiant flies multiple routes with each airplane, the delays affected passengers coming from at least five different cities on the West Coast.

The delays came about when three of Allegiant’s Boeing 757s ran into mechanical difficulties over the weekend. Allegiant primarily flies MD-80 aircraft, which do not have enough range to reach Hawaii; therefore Allegiant relies on its six 757s for all of its Hawaii routes. Since March is Allegiant’s peak season, the company did not have any spare aircraft available. In the end, it took days for Allegiant to resolve the mechanical issues and get its customers where they wanted to go.

A win for the market leaders
Allegiant’s woes are a win for the two leading players in the West Coast-Hawaii travel market: Hawaiian Holdings and Alaska Air . Hawaiian has been a major player in the market for decades, whereas Alaska has grown rapidly since entering the Hawaii market in 2007.

While Hawaiian and Alaska generally cater to a more affluent and less price-sensitive customer than Allegiant, analysts have still worried that Allegiant’s low-cost model would draw some customers away from them. With significantly lower costs and higher ancillary fee revenue, Allegiant can afford to price lower than its competitors. Allegiant competes with Hawaiian on routes from Las Vegas and Phoenix to Honolulu, and with Alaska on routes from Bellingham, Wash., to Honolulu and (seasonally) Maui. The carriers also compete indirectly in northern California, where Allegiant flies to Stockton, which is about an hour’s drive from Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Allegiant’s latest misstep may help Hawaiian and Alaska convince their customers that paying a little extra for a better carrier is worthwhile. Allegiant had similar mechanical troubles leading to long delays last November. Suffering two major mechanical incidents in just four months casts some doubt on the reliability of Allegiant’s Boeing 757 fleet, which are 20 years old on average. By contrast, Alaska and Hawaiian have younger and larger fleets, which makes them unlikely to suffer such long delays due to mechanical problems.

Not worth the savings
Ultimately, travelers going to Hawaii are looking for a relaxing, refreshing trip. The stress of having a flight delayed by a day or more negates that goal. Furthermore, the cost of missing a day of work could easily offset any money saved by buying the cheapest ticket. Allegiant will still thrive in its niche of smaller markets that don’t have other direct service, and will also cater to the most price-sensitive travelers. However, for most customers choosing between Allegiant and either Alaska or Hawaiian, paying a little extra to fly a more reliable carrier will prove to be the best deal of …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance