The new War on Fun

Party people, watch out: undercover cop Larry Bertrand has declared war on San Francisco nightlife

|
(46)
Guardian illustration of Larry Bertrand by Joel Kimmel

news@sfbg.com

For several years, the Guardian has been running regular stories chronicling what we've dubbed the Death of Fun, a trend of official crackdowns and shakedowns on people who throw parties and festivals in San Francisco. In the last year, that trend has started to morph into an often brutal War on Fun, with a growing list of atrocities and casualties associated with this overzealous new approach to killing the city's entertainment industry.

Why this is happening is baffling to those most affected: nightclub owners and workers, party promoters, DJs and VJs, fundraising activists, and people just out to have a good time without being harassed by a cop. But in recent months, we've learned much more about what's happening and who the main perpetrators are.

Two undercover enforcers have been at the center of just about every recent case of nightclubs or private parties being raided without warrants and aggressively shut down, their patrons roughed up (see "Fun under siege," 4/21/09) and their money, booze, and equipment punitively seized "as evidence" (see "Police seize DJs laptops," 11/24/09) even though few of these raids result in charges being filed in court.

Officer Larry Bertrand of the San Francisco Police Department's Southern Station and Michelle Ott, an agent with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, are plainclothes partners who spend their weekends undercover, crashing parties, harassing disfavored nightclubs, brutalizing party-goers, and trying to send the unmistakable message that they're in charge of San Francisco nightlife. Neither responded to our interview requests.

Isolated incidents of intolerant cops and NIMBY citizens who repeatedly complain about certain clubs or festivals has been a problem for years (see "Death of fun," 5/24/06 and "Death of fun, the sequel," 4/24/07). Top city officials have opted to cancel events such as Halloween in the Castro District rather than try to manage them better, and the nightlife community has tried to organize in defense of its interests (see "Fighting for the right to party," 7/1/08) with mixed results.

But the personal War of Fun by Bertrand and Ott seems to have galvanized and united the nightlife and festival community like never before, leading to the creation of a new California Music and Culture Association and prompting threats of a federal lawsuit alleging the ABC-SFPD collaboration is a racketeering scheme designed to harass, disrupt, and extort people engaged in otherwise lawful activity.

The myriad horror stories associated with Bertrand and Ott have also finally begun to draw attention from the Mayor's Office, which has quietly pushed the SFPD to rein in Bertrand and change its policies on raiding parties and seizing property. State Sen. Mark Leno also has gotten involved, brokering a March 12 meeting between club owners and Steve Hardy, director of ABC (which, in addition to cracking down on nightclubs — see "Busting bars," 6/23/09 — has recently announced a campaign against fruit-infused liquor).

"They were going to see how they could unwind this a bit," Leno told us, adding that he was "infuriated" by stories of abusive treatment of the public. "The fear that it spreads through the community is unacceptable."

The question now is what Hardy, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Police Chief George Gascón — who has ordered some crackdowns and wants greater authority to discipline problem officers — is going to do about it.

 

CHAOS AT A STUDENT PARTY

It was after midnight on Jan. 31 when Krystal Peak, a journalist with San Francisco State University's Golden Gate Xpress, received a call from her managing editor. There was a commotion and a swarm of police cars outside a student party at Seventh and Minna streets near her home, and she was asked to investigate.

Comments

I think that pussy whipped little NIMBY (Peskin) wins the award for "Party Kill-Joy", the North Beach Fair used to be one of the best days in San Francisco.
So get it straight Peskin is the sorry soul who started this "war on fun", before Castro's Halloween, before SFPD, Peskin declared "The War on Fun".

Posted by Chris Pratt on Mar. 23, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

do you really have to keep going there with the misogyny, dude? you seem to have some issues ...

Posted by marke on Mar. 23, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

Isn't this the same story that the SF Weekly ran as its cover story a week ago?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 23, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

um, we can't have more than one publication or even one article covering an important topic? talk about short attention spans....

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

The ABC's bizarre crackdown on any form of "infusion" ("rectifying without a license") has resulted in large fines, alcohol poured down drains, and a bartender spending a night in jail. The enforcement is facially false (rectification is adding flavor for rebottling), but has already stopped dead the bay area's excellent tradition of bartenders mixing their own bitters, and any form of infusion. My local bar has dropped a wide variety of excellent drinks from their menu, as bars can't afford to pay $10,000 fines, nor fight the kind of battle the ABC serves up.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 23, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

there is an inaccuracy in the article. Slims and the great american music hall have had no issues w/ Officer Bertrand. He has been helpful to us on many occasions as have the other officers at Southern Station. We do have several issues with the ABC but Officer Ott was not part of any of them. A retraction should be made by the writer. ur8bw

Posted by Guest dawn holliday on Mar. 23, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

Ha what a bold face lie. You backed out while others stepped up. You are just afraid of these cops and you rather let someone else lead the fight. If you had any guts you be suing these cops asses. When your fellow comrades need you the most you left them hanging.

Posted by Guest THE TRUTH on Mar. 26, 2010 @ 9:51 am

"The list of local nightclub clubs that have been recently targeted by Bertrand and Ott OR subjected to ABC sanctions is long. It includes Great American Music Hall, Slim's, DNA Lounge, Mist, Whisper, the Room, Vessel, Azul, Butter, and Club Caliente (which closed down after its mostly Latino customers were scared away by repeated raids)."

please note the "OR" targeted by ABC...

No retraction necessary...don't be such a fold over. You have rights buddeh!

Posted by Guest Read Again on Mar. 31, 2010 @ 11:50 am

The Guardian is to be commended for a great article and editorial about the rapidly deteriorating state of San Francisco nightlife. I would love to believe that what is happening was a result of two rouge cops out of control. Unfortunately, the facts lead to a different conclusion. This nightlife jihad wouldn't have continued without complicity at the highest levels of the SFPD and City government. The mayor's office and Chief of Police were given evidence of these abuses throughout the fall of 2009 and did nothing. This plan-- zero tolerance against all nightclubs and nocturnal SOMA parties-- was conceived and protected by SFPD Commander [then Captain] James Dudley. He started his campaign against the nightclubs on Broadway three years ago, and has expanded his ill-conceived program throughout the eastern portion of San Francisco in the past year. With the help of Captain McDunough at Southern police district and political cover from his buddy David Chiu, president of the Board of Supervisors, Dudley had waged a very concerted attack on nightlife and on the Entertainment Commission. San Francisco thirty years ago was one of the most vital entertainment and music cities on the planet. Now, thanks to poor stewardship by our political leaders and repeated attacks by the SFPD, we are at best a mid-tier nightlife destination.

Posted by Tommy Gunn on Mar. 23, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

.... and then the cops, ABC and district attorney would ignore them and they could be free do whatever they want

Posted by El Tejano Loco on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 5:49 am

nice!!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

ZING!

Posted by AK47 on Mar. 31, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

Tommy, I think you're right that the attacks on nightlife and fun have been systemic in the city. Most on those we interviewed say most cops are fine, but there are those who cause enormous problems and make this a more intolerant place, and they often have the tacit (or sometime overt) support of top commanders and policymakers. That's why Webb and others have asked Newsom to get directly involved, hoping that this former bar and restaurant owners might protect nightlife and people's rights to be free from police harassment.
Dawn, I made a small wording change in this story to address your point and I will follow-up later with a correction, as well as a blog post explaining why GAMH and Slim's pulled out of the RICO suit. As for the point about SF Weekly, it's true they beat us by a week on a story we were both developing for some time, but our piece has lots of fresh information and new perspectives, and we think it's an important enough story to be covered extensively in multiple media outlets.
Steven T. Jones

Posted by steven on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 8:32 am

You spoiled children want to know why this is happening? Because it's overwhelmingly popular. In this situation, the police actions perfectly represent the will of the people.

The grown-ups who live in this town are fed up with the violence, the vandalism, the noise at 4 in the morning. In case it isn't obvious to you: a gun battle in front of a night club is a threat to everyone's safety.

No other city around here will put up with your b.s., so by default San Francisco has to deal with it, but not forever. We can't wait for the day that the "war on fun" drives all of you out of town. You're all alone in your quest, because nobody except your little clique of drunkards cares about your "fun".

You're not good for the economy, cultural development, the artistic community, the quality of life, or the diversity of the population. You're just a source of revenue for the booze companies, and a drain on city services. We don't want your sales tax money or your business. Go away.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

that sounds exactly like what capt dudley would say..

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

This is not about gun battles, this is about a thriving creative culture that is one of the historic and current hearts of San Francisco, and the source of a lot of its creative power. People who make & attend late-night music events are also the programmers, designers, artists, students, and other folks who make San Francisco special, both for those people born here and for the thousands who come here attracted by its creative energy.

And the idea that cops kneeling on a legally blind person's neck. or destroying an artist's laptop and possible livelihood, or harassing & intimidating a news photographer is the will of the people... If it is, then the people need a wake-up call.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 4:27 am

YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT. YOU ARE A COP,

Posted by Guest THE TRUTH on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 6:57 am

I'll return your favor of anonymous post.

As a person actually born and raised in SF, I assure you that you are dead wrong.

These *criminal* *warrantless* and *brutal* tactics are not the will of the people, and they are not welcome here, nor in any civilized country for that matter.

And yes, the nightlife of San Francisco is a crucial part of its arts, music and overall cultural fabric.

Your post makes you sound like an angry, bitter jerk. The kinds of parties these freaks passing for police have been breaking up are not the sites of gang related violence, or violence of any kind. So, your example/analogy/justification for your bad attitude and ugly rhetoric is simply incorrect.

You don't speak for me, nor do you speak for San Franciscans in general. Move back to what ever cross-bred hellhole you came from. We don't need you here.

YOU go away and leave the City to people who are happy and want to celebrate what's best in life. Til 4 AM. Or 6 AM, for that matter.

You're just a self-righteous creep.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

I just have to reply to this because it is completely factually inaccurate.

Please explain to me how an undercover officer going into a bar, seeing two drunken patrons get a little too naked and get immediately pounced on by security and removed, is justification for attempting to shut down the bar as a "house of ill-repute," has ONE THING to do with gun battles? And then trying to close the location permanently because the current tenant isn't selling "enough" food to host occasional under 18 concerts, even though the definition of "enough" was changed by the ABC to support the charge after the fact, instead of supporting the requirements that were set in the agreement on the license. What does that have to do with gun fights?

Let's talk a little more about the club in question. It is hailed by its neighbors as a good neighbor. The patrons are calm, and while some nights have some pretty "scary looking" patrons, those patrons are quiet while outside and are POLITE to people in the area. The bar has EXTENSIVE soundproofing and it's been there for decades. There haven't been bar fights. There haven't been "gun battles." There have been some incidents of spiked drinks but I have seen the bouncers keeping eyes on drinks left alone. I know people who have been dosed at wine bars, but none dosed at that club.

Now, you would know that bars like this, ones that sell food, host concerts, are good neighbors, and have respectful patrons are being targeted were you even *remotely* informed on the subject.

That you think that raiding Slim's, the DNA, and GAMH could have anything to do with "gun battles" shows that not only are you ignorant, you are willfully ignorant because you hate people who aren't like you. Guess what. Not only does this city contain people who aren't like you, the entire world does. So good luck with finding a place that lives up to your ideal.

Now then, I am not from here. I am from the South. The bars that I went to had bar fights, drunken people removing clothing while the bouncers whistle at them, gun battles, and basically are guilty of all of the things that you say that people wouldn't put up with anywhere else, that is the cause of this situation. This is true of bars in every town that I've ever been to, including the 5 that I've lived in. Somehow, while being completely unable to avoid that in other places, I have yet to experience it here. Why? Because I'm going to the bars being targeted.

Target the gang bars. I DARE YOU. Those bars aren't targeted. People get shot in them, leaving them, walking by them, driving by them and they are OPEN with no end in sight. Crack down on the problem bars, not the bars that the ABC has literally had to MAKE UP regulations for in order to enforce these "busts."

Here's a hint: if you have to make a new regulation that you won't let anyone see in order to justify a citation that was given before that regulation existed, the citation is invalid. Perhaps you should brush up on your legal skills while you're brushing up on your logic skills and on the actual facts.

Your argument boils down to this: this kind of behavior (which isn't happening at the targeted venues) would never be tolerated anywhere but here (when in fact, it is widely tolerated all over the country and probably the world). Really, when you don't know what you're talking about, don't talk. You're exposing yourself.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 15, 2010 @ 4:57 am

If you want solitude and a downtown that closes at midnight, move to the suburbs. San Francisco is a world-class city that has always had vibrant nightlife and a tolerance for debauchery and we're not going to let your fearful NIMBYs kill it. Our economy would wither without the entertainment industry, so I think it's you that should grow up and face the realities of living in an urban area.
STJ

Posted by steven on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

Your temporary residence here gives you no credibility. It's just a matter of time before you and your peers run back to the convenience of adequate parking and plentiful shopping malls, to be quickly replaced by the next influx across the bridges and tunnels. Your definition of entertainment is narrow and selfish, and you have no concept the real nightlife and culture that make this a "world class city". That's pretty typical for such a narcissistic, petulant generation, unable to look beyond their own little world. You obviously have no clue about the true nature local economy, so you make up facts on the fly. Your definition of "urban area" is obviously manufactured from beer commercials and loud-mouth comedies, and has no notion of a sustainable city that is livable for everyone.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

I suggest party people arm themselves with smart phones and monitor Bertrand's movements. Twitter him, and the ABC, away.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

Bertrand and his posse are violating innocent people's civil rights methodically. In the private sector, you get fired for something like this. They should be fired.

Posted by normal hard working person on Mar. 24, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

This article seems to coin the term, War on Fun, which actually came from an “entertainment” industry PR campaign, in late 2009, promoting radical changes in the way S.F. conducts nightclub business 24/7.

The campaign convinced club employees and performers that their livelihoods would be threatened, if they didn’t rise to support the legislation.

In fact, the legislation gave nightclub sponsors and events promoters virtual control over where, how, and when clubs operate in vast residential mixed-use districts, including during the hours 2-6:00 a.m. Passed last November, it eradicated resident say in almost every aspect of club permitting.

Mayor Gavin Newsom sponsored and aggressively promoted the legislation, framing it as remedy to the crisis of club violence, identified as early as 2006 as a significant problem by the civil grand jury.

Shortly after the legislation passed—8 were shot at The Regency; stabbings, slashings, and brawls continued, culminating recently with 1 dead in a gangland shootout.

The War on Fun is getting bloody and ugly. As the Bay Guardian states, it is “a war [the nightlife community] barely understands.”

In reality, nothing of nightlife is based in authentic community, which is exactly why Newsom shouldn’t be pandering to the “entertainment” industry.

Communities don’t prosper as a result of hit-and-run exploitation by the party circuit.

Gav’s got to go for good, and not to state office.

Posted by No on Newsom on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 12:23 am

the SF weekly story was better, actually. i didnt see that this one added much to what was already out there--cops bust kids, sometimes heavy-handedly, while confiscating property; kids protest; lawyers file suit, cops defend their practices; city government does nothing.

what, exactly, did this story add?

it would have been much better had the Guardian solved the mystery of why the ABC has been going after local venues--which at least the SFW story mentioned.

but both stories are essentially guilty of sensationalism. these parties were illegal, after all. and caliente had issues with violence as well as illegal immigrants in attendance, which the weekly mentioned but the guardian did not.

geez, next thing you know, both papers will put out 'best of' the bay issues...oh wait....

Posted by Guest Fun on War on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 12:40 am

I tend to agree that this article doesn't add much to the SF Weekly article. And all the internal citations to past Guardian articles on sub-issues raised by the article, as well as the statement "But the tales partygoers tell about the behavior of Bertrand and Ott, the undercover enforcers, are similar to a series of other stories involving the pair, stories published in the Guardian and elsewhere," makes this article sound defensive -- like the SFBG realizes it's article is a week late.

Posted by Patrick on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 7:42 am

I'm way too geeky and poor to ever be part of San Francisco's nightlife. But I'll be damned if I'll sit by and watch selfish douchebags like Larry Bertrand and his enablers higher up shit all over the San Francisco club scene. If slow mental death from artificial placidity was my life goal, that's what a relocation to the suburbs would have been for. The S.F. club scene, even with its bad behavior, makes me proud that I'm not living in Bumfuck, West Virginia.

The RICO suit mentioned in your article sounds like a great idea. My worry, though, is whether a skeptical judge and/or jury may ask what personal benefit the prospective defendants got from their persecution of S.F.'s club scene. Are they extorting money via their raids? Are they driving out clubs for the benefit of some other business (e.g. developers interested in the DNA Lounge site as a new condo location)? Perhaps somebody familiar with the standards of proof needed for successful RICO suits can explain.

Posted by Peter on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 8:26 am

Just because something is "illegal," whether it's a person or an event, doesn't give police the right to brutalize people. Police have no right to barge into private homes without a warrant unless there's an emergency, and people having fun doesn't qualify. Being an undocumented immigrant doesn't bar you from going to bars or restaurants and it doesn't give cops or the ABC the right to harass a bar owner. As for trying to dismiss nightlife as some new transplant in San Francisco, that's just plain wrong. Many of the people involved in this fight have been here for decades, some for generations, while many who file noise complaints are the recent transplants with an oversized sense of property entitlement who ignore their own deed restrictions that warned them they were moving into an area that had nightclubs.

Posted by steven on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 8:40 am

"Illegal" is right that this is a longstanding issue. some might remember the dot-com era, when lofties began to displace the artists and musicians who had previously lived in SoMa warehouses.

there was a police crackdown then, too--which the Guardian did cover at that time.

and just to follow up on an earlier point, illegal immigrants in theory shouldnt be brutalized or discriminated against just because they are illegal, though they technically dont have the same rights citizens do. but violence is an altogether different issue. a stabbing at a club? not my definition of fun.

i would have liked to see this story tie into the North Beach club violence and perhaps suggest that police resources would be better served preserving safety in that area, rather than confiscating laptops at house parties.

again, the Weekly story did a far better job of portraying Bertrand as the very definition of abuse of police power. however, its unclear why he's undertaken this mission--seeing as they were a week late with basically the same story, the Guardian should have dug a little deeper into this issue.

maybe SF doesnt need two alt-weeklies after all, if both are going to cover essentially the same story without offering different perspectives on it.

just a theory, but had Jones--the managing editor of SFBG--not been the story's co-author, it's likely the story would have been killed, or held until additional reportage and a new angle could be researched and reported. as it is, it feels a little like deja vu all over again.

Posted by Fun on War on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 9:31 am

Us "PARTY ANIMALS" spend money and help keep the economy going! We spend alot of money! Instead of the city waisting their money on something important like cleaning out the Tenderloin, they want to get at people from the night life! There are alot more issues then a bunch of 21-32 year old people going out for a night!

Posted by Guest Rob on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 11:52 am

There is just one problem with this Weekly vs. SFBG journalistic pissing contest that Fun On War wants to foment. What if you're someone who doesn't care too much for the Weekly's coverage of happenings around the city? If you don't read the Weekly, does that mean you're stuck living in ignorance? I'd rather be informed somehow, somewhere of what strikes me as a big local issue. If the information in the Guardian article is a repetition of what has been read elsewhere, then a person can skim the article and then read the newest Cheap Eats column.

Arguing about this non-issue gets us away from the real problem of Bertrand and Ott trying to do to S.F.'s nightlife what Grover Norquist wants to do to government. It's worsened by what seems like Gascon's refusal to take substantive action to reign in the cops and the fear that Newsom may use the crackdown to burnish his law and order credentials with voters.

Posted by Peter on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

easy there, peter. i didnt fstart a "pissing contest" between SFBG and SFW. maybe you've been living under a rock for the last decade, during which said pissing contest has been going on, pretty much without pause. if so, your naivete can be excused. and it's far from a non-issue, especially if one is familiar with accepted journalistic practice.

i suppose you do have somewhat of a point, though it's a minor one. but some might argue that people who ONLY read the Weekly are "stuck living in ignorance" and the same could probably be said for people who only read the Guardian. defending a myopic, ill-informed viewpoint serves no one except lazy fucks like yourself. indeed, the same could be said of anyone who only gets their "coverage of happenings" from one source, be it the Chronicle, the Examiner, or SFAppeal.

The way it's supposed to work is, if a story is reported first by one source, any further coverage should add additional context and perspective to said story. And, while i'll agree the Weekly has had its share of WTF? cover stories, on this one, they not only hit the nail on the head, but scooped their main competition, embarrassingly so, i might add.

The problem with the SFBG article wasnt that they covered the story in the first place, but that they essentially added no new info for those of us who are well-read and well-informed. well, nothing of substance, anyway. that's what i call self-serving (and highly self-referential) reportage.

You do have a point about Gascon and Newsom--though a crackdown on club kids doesnt have the same tough-on-crime ring as, say, a sweep of homeless encampments--but have you considered that the move could actually backfire, and lose Newsom credibility points with liberal voters? You are essentially implying that Newsom and Gascom ordered the crackdown, when in all likelihood, Newsom was loathe to come down on cops after the Heather Fong era (which didnt help him politically with the SFPD at all). also, Gascom just got here; the crackdown precedes his tenure. if you're going to discuss political motives, you should consider both sides of an issue, as well as the relevant facts.

maybe you werent paying attention when both papers reported that club crackdowns have been going on for quite a while--long before Newsom considered a run at state office, and, in fact, prior to HIS tenure. or maybe you think context isnt as important as your smug, know-it-all, attitude.

To me, the larger issue--beyond Bertram's vigilante-esque mission, is the involvement of ABC--a state agency--in the crackdowns, both on SoMa parties and all-ages venues. Newsom and Gascom dont run the ABC, so one might wonder what the real agenda is? these larger implications--as well as the role of the controversial SF Entertainment Commission--were at least addressed by the Weekly. But judging from the first few graphs of the Guardian story, Jones' main agenda was to remind people of the SFBG's self-importance, rather than out-report the competition.

Lastly: it's a lot easier to argue that SF needs two alt-weeklies if their coverage on the same topics is vastly different. and it's a lot easier to argue that, if SF only needs one alt-weekly, that one should be the SFBG if their coverage is more thorough and nuanced than their main competitor.

Posted by Fun on War on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

I probably shouldn't respond the troll taunts about how we should have delayed, abandoned, or "dug deeper" on our article after the Weekly piece, and I certainly would have liked to answer what is driving Bertrand, but that's difficult to know and it wasn't for lack of trying. But to say there was nothing new here just isn't accurate. That list includes: a sketch of Bertrand from photo we secured, interviews with Chief Gascon and Senator Leno and new information about their actions, a call for the mayor to get involved and a response from his office, fresh reporting on a party bust that wasn't in the Weekly article, and context and story citations from years of covering this issue. Personally, I think Lois Beckett did a fine job on her SF Weekly piece, and I sent her an e-mail congratulating her on beating us by a week. But there is much more to say about this big and ongoing issue, and I'm not going to let wounded pride prevent me from adding relevant information and perspective to the debate. We intend to continue covering this issue, and if anyone has any tips or other useful information that would help us in our coverage, please send them to steve@sfbg.com. Thanks.
Steven T. Jones
SFBG City Editor

Posted by steven on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

after a second read-through, steve, i'll have to agree with you that the issue was important enough to warrant coverage in both papers. and getting quotes from Leno and Gascon does add something, even if the Weekly's quoted sources shed more light on the ABC, Entertainment Commission, SFPD brass, club owners, and SoMa activists's reaction. Not saying you're just covering your bases after the fact, but Newsom's press secretary doesnt say much. Also, it would have been nice to know what, if anything, came out of the meeting Leno brokered with the ABC.

i guess i just wanted something as groundbreaking, if not earth-shattering, as the Weekly's account. as for the fresh perspective and context, well maybe that context would have seemed less self-serving had the name of your publication not been referenced in the very first sentence, followed by six citations of Guardian stories in the first seven paragraphs. Sounds to me like it's gonna take a lot more than getting scooped to wound your pride.

In any event, hope you stay on this story as it develops.

cheers!

Posted by Fun on War on Mar. 26, 2010 @ 12:25 am

Great post. You're absolutely right. Of course there's gonna be a little overlap when the same topics are investigated by different papers. The more this is covered, the better it is in the end for the many citizens of San Francisco effected by Bertrand and Ott.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

Rob wrote: We spend alot of money! Instead of the city waisting their money on something important like cleaning out the Tenderloin,

So you can have a loft or condo in the newest "up and coming" area, or does the sight of poverty ruin your spending spree as you make your way to the "cool" bars? (Where are all the people who live in the Tenderlion supposed to go after making it blight-free for the trendy party-goers?) Am I to gather that the fact you have cash to burn makes you somehow important and essential?

"There are alot more issues then a bunch of 21-32 year old people going out for a night! "

Yes, such as neighborhoods like mine that used to be populated by queers, but not to mention queer friendly, but are now invaded nightly by "21-32 year old people going out for a night!" who look at the people who live here with this disdain and outright hostility. (Are we all supposed to stay in the Castro?)

Posted by Guest Michael Worrall on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

Please sue the shit out of the City of San Francisco.

How many incidents does it take for this decrepit mayor's office to wake up and do something proactively.

Real proud of you Newsom, real proud.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

I am all for having a GOOD time but I am not going to rubberstamp bad behavior from either The Police or The drunk ass Drug Thugs.Some Parties start innocent enough and then a certain element shows up and F___s it up for everyone.They are usuall from out of the area.The biggest trouble makers seem to come from The East Bay.I have personally watched the latest night spot The Sapphire Lounge on Sacramento get totally out of control because of alcohol and drugs.I am a bleeding heart liberal pothead and I say that we need to control the BOOZER and DRUG life late at night during the WEE hours when some tweaked and drunk fool messes it up for all.I will not forget the brandishing of a weapon and that is all there is too it.Raves that go on past 2am are dangerous.We are a SOCIETY after all.Larry Bertrand will be sanctioned watch.Destroying laptops is criminal.

Posted by GuestTim Giangiobbe on Mar. 26, 2010 @ 9:15 am

As a bartender at multiple venues, I would second your statement that most troublemakers come from the East Bay, but would disagree with the statement that raves that go past 2 a.m. are dangerous. Each and every time, in each venue I have worked, when a crowd has come in where there are incidents or problems, the promoters are never allowed to return. This is often at the financial expense of cash strapped business, but no one wants that kind of business. Do you have a reasonable solution to keep out East Bay ruffians?

Most problems occur as the bars let out. Making everyone pile out into the streets creates a good portion of the problems on its own and people who wouldn't do anything in the club where there was security know that they can now unleash. Parties that stay open later do not have this problem. While all alcohol must be picked-up and put away by 2, allowing customers to leave at their leisure creates an entirely different environment outside the venue. I have never, NEVER, seen any violence spill out into the street at a rave that went past two. Furthermore, electronic and house music crowds are not the ones involved in the violent acts that have happened.

I firmly believe that we all want a positive nightlife experience. Clubs do everything they can to operate within the law, because they know that they can be shut down for any infraction. It looks as if there are troublemakers on both sides of the law causing all the problems, and it would be great to find a solution on how to deal with them.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 29, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

Screw all you who support Bertrand and Ott. If he was doing his job he wouldn't have "VOLUNTARILY" reassigned himself. LOL at you fools. There's more than you know to come.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 29, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

THE RICO SUIT AGAINST THE CITY WAS FILED ON MONDAY. GAVIN IS GETTING HIS ASS SUED TO.

Posted by Guest THE TRUTH on Mar. 30, 2010 @ 6:38 am

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

MIKE QUAN, as an individual, and also as proprietor of PLAYBAR, INC., dba THE ROOM, and JAVIER MAGALLON,
Plaintiffs,

vs.

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT, CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM, OFFICER LARRY BERTRAND, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, OFFICER MICHELLE OTT, and DOES 1-100, inclusive,

Defendants. )
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
) Case No.:

COMPLAINT FOR:

1) FRAUD (MAIL)
2) ASSAULT AND BATTERY; WRONGFUL ARREST; KIDNAPPING
3) FALSE IMPRISONMENT
4) EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
5) INTERFERENCE WITH BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
6) RICO

Posted by Guest HA HA HA HA on Mar. 30, 2010 @ 10:15 am

In a police state, fun is forbidden.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2010 @ 1:39 am

That's right...fun is forbidden for people who abuse it..,go the f- back to where you came from and stop polluting our city and bashing Bertand and Ott who seem to be the only productive cops around. Good job, Larry and Michelle! I support you and hope you keep it up!

Posted by Guest SF local on Apr. 02, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

Dude you don't know shit. Really these cops are out of control. Get some eyes motherfucker!

Posted by Guest HA HA HA HA on Apr. 03, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

In case anyone wants to see, photos of "undercover" agent Bertrand have been found on the internet...

http://imgur.com/a/5S7ZH/officer_bertrand

I'm just sayin...

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2010 @ 9:30 pm