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Starbucks Gives Up Quest For San Francisco Liquor License (For Now)

For a few years now, Starbucks has been rolling out a plan to make some of its stores a more festive place to gather in the evening, which serve beer and wine. In San Francisco, the company applied for three licenses, and the city didn’t want to approve them, citing how many businesses with liquor license the city already has, and not wanting to set a precedent for approving booze in chain eateries. [More]

Airbnb Will Gently Nag Hosts In San Francisco Instead Of Requiring City Registration

Airbnb Will Gently Nag Hosts In San Francisco Instead Of Requiring City Registration

Airbnb’s hometown of San Francisco voted down a proposition that would have limited the number of days per year that a host on the service can rent out a room or property, with the goal of keeping scarce housing stock as housing, not places for tourists. Yet the company is preparing for similar future battles in San Francisco and in other cities, and will start by nagging hosts in San Francisco. [More]

Seattle City Council Approves App-Based Drivers Unions That Can’t Actually Do Anything

Seattle City Council Approves App-Based Drivers Unions That Can’t Actually Do Anything

Should livery drivers, especially drivers who work for app-based transportation services like Lyft and Uber, have the right to organize in citywide unions? Seattle’s city council voted unanimously yesterday to allow such a union, even though the city’s mayor doesn’t intend to sign the ordinance, which may also be illegal on the federal level. Specifically, a group of independent contractors bargaining collectively is against price-fixing laws. [More]

LA Has 4,000 Illegal Billboards, But City Looks On Helplessly

LA Has 4,000 Illegal Billboards, But City Looks On Helplessly

In 2002, LA banned any new billboards from going up in the city. Since then, an estimated four thousand have been put up by advertising companies who have ignored the law, which obviously the city’s billboard inspectors—”a tiny, and some say incredibly inept, group”—have never bothered to enforce.