5:03pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Politics

Condo conversion bill could circumvent rent control in San Francisco

Apartment building on Larkin Street in San Francisco
Flickr user sftrajan

If you’ve tried to find a place to live in the city lately, or even know someone who knows someone trying to find a place to live, you know San Francisco has a housing crisis. For many of the city’s longtime residents, rent control is the only thing that allows them to stay in their homes, but there’s a way for landlords to circumvent it – it’s a 1986 law called the Ellis Act.

The Ellis Act allows landlords to evict tenants if they plan to convert the building to a different use; for example, to move in themselves. In practice, it’s often been used to put buildings on the market at prices that those former tenants couldn’t afford. The last time Ellis Act evictions spiked was during the late 90s tech boom – there were 440 of them just between 1999 and 2000.

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4:42pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

Money Diaries: The cost of a breakup

Money Diaries is a new series in which young people from Oakland talk about their relationship with money.
Under CC license from Flickr user 401(K)

The pain of heartbreak is hard enough – but when couples live together, a breakup can have financial implications, too. That’s what happened to La’Trisha Dillon, who goes by Dillon. This is the first story in a series we’re calling “Money Diaries,” in which young people from Oakland talk about their relationships with money.

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4:33pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

Rental war wages on in San Francisco

Under CC license from Flickr user Charleston's TheDigitel

This probably isn't news to anyone living in San Francisco, but our City by the Bay has the highest rent in the country, and the competition out there for an apartment is fierce. San Francisco rents have gone up about 15.8 percent from a year ago while rents in other parts of the country are rising with a rate of inflation of about 2.7 percent. While some argue that owners are taking advantage of the tech bubble to hike up the market value of their properties, but there are owners who resist  the urge to cash in on the rental wars.

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4:29pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Weekly digest

Coming up this week on Your Call

  

What's ahead this week on Your Call?  Check out our upcoming show topics...  If you have ideas about people we should be talking to, questions we should be asking, resources we should know about -- drop us a line at feedback@yourcallradio.org or post a comment right here!  

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4:25pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Arts & Culture

Audiograph: A piano burns in Half Moon Bay

The crowd gathers to listen to the last notes
photo by Julie Caine

All month long at sundown people have been coming to the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay to play and listen to a baby grand piano. Originally, it belonged to Elida Oetell. When her house was foreclosed, she had to leave the piano behind. The new owner, Christina Conklin, tried to get it tuned for her kids to play, but it was beyond repair. So she called Mauro Di Nucci. He calls himself Mauro Ffortissimo. He’s an artist, sculptor and musician, and he likes to make things out of pianos.

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3:28pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy

Too Soon To Blame Payroll Tax For Stagnant Retail Sales?

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:23 pm

Wal-Mart is one of several large retailers that say an increase in the payroll tax may hurt U.S. sales in the months ahead.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."

After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.

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2:37pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General Who Fought Against Smoking, AIDS, Dies

Former Surgeon General of the United States C. Everett Koop.
Geisel School of Medicine

C. Everett Koop, known as America's Family Doctor during his tenure as surgeon general from 1981 to 1989, died today at his home in Hanover, N.H., Dartmouth announced.

He was 96.

Koop made a name for himself for the surprising stands he took during the AIDS epidemic, as well as for his efforts fighting for a smoke-free country.

The Associated Press reports:

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2:30pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Arts & Culture

Today's local music: Amy X Neuburg

Amy X Neuburg is playing at SF's Jewish Community Center on 03.02.
Credit Amy X Neuburg

If you listen to 'Other Minds' on KALW, Fridays at 11pm, you probably already know that the 18th annual Other Minds Festival is this week.

Performers from as far away as India are on the schedule - along with Bay Area musician Amy X Neuburg, who is featuring today on Monday's Crosscurrents (02.25).

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2:18pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Italian Elections Produce Murky Result, Financial Jitters

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 3:41 pm

Workers open ballots in a polling station in Rome on Tuesday following Italy's general elections. The initial results showed a close race with no clear-cut winner, a development that made financial markets jumpy.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

As Italy's elections results came in Monday, the country appeared headed toward political gridlock, a development that rattled financial markets hoping for a clear result.

A center-left coalition, headed by Pier Luigi Bersani and favored in pre-election polls, looked like it would win the lower house of Parliament, according to partial results.

But in a surprise, the center-right grouping, headed by the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, appeared to be ahead in the upper house.

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2:07pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Brooklyn Assemblyman Defends Blackface Costume

Dov Hikind is in the middle.
Facebook

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is facing a storm of criticism after he dressed as an African-American basketball player in blackface. Hikind wore the costume to a party at his house celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.

He posted a picture of himself on Facebook wearing an afro wig and an orange jersey.

The New York Times reports that some fellow Democrats criticized the costume. The Times adds:

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