Thursday, January 29, 2004

I just got picked to work the Scott Petterson trial in San Mateo County (the hanging County) lucky me.... with my luck I will end up getting called in for jury duty since I live in San Mateo County, only to be kicked off once they find out I work for the media. people ask me the same question they asked me during the OJ simpson trial do I think he his guilty... the truth is I really don't care it's just my job after my 9 hours I go home and play with my daughter never thinking about any of that stuff... I can tell who is guilty the media for hyping this story to this point ... what we will see is a media circus that im sure of complete with tents and clowns... just wait and see!!!

Tips for writing a review by Stanley Roberts

There are many people who love writing restaurant reviews some people grasp the concept while some simply put, don't. One of the first keys to the process of writing a good review is similar to the watching television concept, if the television is not plugged in you will never get to see anything on the screen. What this means if you don't remember the name of the restaurant you are reviewing how can you remember how to rate your experience. So if you enter a restaurant with the intention of writing a review, look for a business card, if they don't have business card remember to write down the address this will help you remember the restaurants name, the type of cuisine and the most important part the address this will help jog you memory when trying to remember you actual dining experience. keep checking back I will add more tips daily. Anyone wishing to respond to my notes posted in this weblog can do so on the we8there forum.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

talk about total frustration... last night around 2pm we lost all our email service this Morning my desktop crashed and althought the email is back on line any email that was sent during the down time may be totally lost for ever... which means I missed my email from Yahoo wanting to make me an offer for for 50 million dollars( yea right) maybe next week!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

As many of you may already know I am a news cameraman and every day with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays and head out to cover the news. Today was a rather interesting day not story wise but interaction wise. As a cameraman I drive around in a big live truck white in color with a big red four splattered on the side, so with this in mind some people believe that it is ok to say whatever they think to me. the reason is they believe that because I work for the news I want to hear their opinion... case and point today, I was approached by a man in a uniform, it was some kind of delivery uniform This man thought it was ok to tell me he thought another station was better than my station... as if I really cared! so he give me a lecture about how to make my station better then just as abrutly as he started his rant he walked away, now remember he just finished telling me just how bad our station was and that the other stations photography was better, so his final words to were "Keep up the good work" ..... what good work I asked myself you just told me we sucked! I should have stayed in school.....and became a doctor or something else. In a typical day I will be asked how can I ge a job like you 100 times, I will hear Hi MOM 300 times, I get the finger (I loose count) and one day a guy asked me hey do you need to go to school to get a job like this ... My answer was, Nope they give this job away every other Wenesday during the lottery results! I have become so cynical it borders on the ridiculous... if you want to hear more about my adventures as a news cameraman let me know hit me back in my email posted in the about page. I will tell you about how close OJ came to getting shot the day of the chase I Know I was there!!!

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday took some of its biggest steps yet to protect the American public against mad cow disease.

Cattle can get the brain-wasting disease only by eating food that contains protein from infected bovines. The nation's first case of mad cow was discovered Dec. 23 in Washington state.

The FDA announced the immediate elimination of several exemptions to existing regulations prohibiting the feeding of ruminant remains (cows, sheep and goats) to other ruminants.

Blood may no longer be fed to ruminants, and poultry litter and restaurant plate waste may not be used as feed ingredients. These are inexpensive sources of protein and roughage.

Mad cow disease is present in nervous system tissue but has been found in other tissue as well. People can get a sometimes fatal version of the disease by eating infected tissue.

Feed plants using protein for other animals that is banned in ruminant feed must now use separate production lines to prevent contamination.

''We know that no one set of measures is something that we should depend on for an illness that's as potentially serious as BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- the scientific name for mad cow),'' FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan said. ''So we've implemented a multiple firewall approach based on the best science.''

Expanded oversight will include annual inspections of all renderers and feed mills that process products with materials prohibited in ruminant feed.

Under the often-arcane laws governing the food supply, the FDA is responsible for foods with less than 3 percent cooked meat, while the Department of Agriculture is responsible for those with more than 3 percent. FDA also regulates cosmetics and dietary supplements, which under the law are considered food. Cosmetics can contain collagen, oils and gelatins made from bovines.

The new rules will ban certain bovine materials from FDA-regulated human food, supplements and cosmetics. They include:

* Material from ''downers,'' cattle that cannot walk. The infected dairy cow was a downer.

* Material from cattle that died before they reached slaughter.

Brains, skulls, eyes and spinal cords of cattle 30 months and older.

The small intestine and tonsils.

Consumer groups have long agitated for strengthened regulations. One important loophole is left, says Michael Hansen of Consumers Union. ''It's perfectly legal under these new rules to feed rendered cattle material to pigs and chickens and then feed chicken and pig materials back to cattle.''

San Francisco (January 20, 2004) –San Francisco celebrates the City’s edible icon, the Dungeness crab, with the second annual San Francisco Crab Festival throughout February 2004.

The centerpiece of the month is the San Francisco Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and VISA’s Crab & Wine Marketplace, presented by ATA, taking place on February 28-29, 2004. This year, the Second Annual Marketplace event expands into both the Festival and Herbst Pavilions at Fort Mason Center, located at Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street in San Francisco’s Marina District. Also new for 2004, Sunset Magazine sponsors a food and entertaining stage, where cooking demonstrations are offered by some of San Francisco’s most celebrated chefs including: Joey Altman of The Food Network and KRON-TV’s Bay Café; Jeffrey Amber, executive chef, Moose’s; Linda Anusasananan, recipe editor and Sara Schneider, senior editor, food and entertaining, Sunset Magazine; Stephen Barber, executive chef, MECCA; Armen Jeghelian, chef, McCormick & Kuleto’s; Robbie Lewis, chef de cuisine, Jardinière; Peter Osborne, executive chef and owner, MoMo’s; and Marc Schoenfield, chef, Red Herring. The Crab & Wine Marketplace offers plentiful food and wine tastings and samples of epicurean specialties from top Bay Area restaurants and wineries.


San Francisco Crab Festival
Page 2

The Marketplace festivities also include the Kids Crab Cove (a children’s recreation area) and non-stop entertainment, including live music and performances by the Baron Tyler Group, Royal Deuces, Kiss My Brass and The Fabulous Bud E. Luv Trio. Unique shopping opportunities for culinary items, fresh seafood, select wines and fine arts and crafts also are available. 2004 Festival sponsors include: Visa, ATA, See’s Candies, Sunset Magazine as well as Calistoga, KitchenWorks, Inc./Renewal by Andersen, KQED, Pilsner Urquell, San Francisco Magazine and Viansa Winery & Italian Marketplace.

The month-long Crab Festival includes events throughout the City including Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, the Mission District and other neighborhoods (see attached calendar listings).

Several San Francisco hotels also will participate by offering Crab Season packages and promotions in honor of the Dungeness crab. Hotel package information is available at under the San Francisco Crab Festival icon.

General admission for the Crab & Wine Marketplace is $20.00 for adults, which includes a commemorative wine glass, three wine tasting tickets and an event gift bag. Admissions for those 5-20 years is $5.00 and children under five are free. For information or to purchase tickets online visit, call 415/391-2000 or visit the Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Visitor Information Center in the lower level of Halladie Plaza, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround.


we have been getting hit by this new round of email virus which is attacking other peoples emails and sending out attachments with as the sender! Some are coming from email addresses that don't even exist on the server! like I don't even know a ted ... so now I am getting hate mail from companies I never even known were in business... the truth is we don't send out emails to anyone with attachments unless it is our logo... and then if it is requested........who ever wrote this virus thanks for nothing!!

This is pissing me off!!!! Our traffic is going through the roof but is showing we are losing traffic what is up with that? many people say they don't give any credit to Alexa however I have to give it some some credit, since this is the only way the public can gage your popularity....some time the illusion is all you have or is it? what do you think? go to the forum and leave your comments.

Its about time!!!

Some San Francisco restaurants could soon face every school kid's nightmare -- a bad grade.

A San Francisco supervisor wants restaurateurs to post letter grades, based on the cleanliness of kitchens, prominently in the windows of the city's 4,000 bars and restaurants.

Los Angeles has had the system in place since 1998, and as some who have eaten there have attested in dining surveys, walking into a restaurant with an A in the window feels a lot better than eating at one with a C. But in San Francisco, a place where national culinary trends are born and restaurant revenue fuels both the economy and the political machine, restaurateurs consider the proposal the equivalent of suggesting that someone is using real rats in the ratatouille.

The restaurant industry, already feeling beleaguered by a bad economy and pending $1.75 increase in San Francisco's minimum wage, is likely to come out swinging. Already, the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association is calling the grades the equivalent of a scarlet letter. Mayor Gavin Newsom -- only recently divested of his interest in a handful of San Francisco restaurants and bars and the beneficiary of campaign support from the restaurant industry -- opposes it.

"It's unnecessary in San Francisco,'' the mayor said last week from Washington, D.C., where he was attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "Our public Health Department is a model for code enforcement and is working with the restaurant industry.''

But Chris Daly, the supervisor who came up with the idea, is forging ahead and plans to introduce the measure at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. So far, he has no co-sponsors, but that's because he has just started shopping the idea around.

"To me, it's a consumer issue in a city that leads the nation on the side of more sunshine and openness in government,'' said Daly, who represents the Civic Center, South of Market and the Tenderloin.

Daly, whose district is filled with tiny ethnic restaurants as well as some culinary powerhouses like Jardiniere, said he wasn't prompted by any personal food-poisoning experiences. He saw the grade cards working in Los Angeles during a visit there and wants to copy it.

As it stands, finding a health report and actually understanding it is difficult for the average diner. For example, San Francisco's 24 health inspectors give no scores or grades to restaurants -- they only list potential health problems in longhand on a report form.

And although state law requires that those reports be available on request and online, many restaurants don't have them readily on hand. (See story at right.) On the Internet, only summaries of the health inspections are available, and a consumer has to have the know-how and patience to wade through the Department of Public Health Web site to view them.

"Maybe we can improve the Web site,'' Newsom said.

Like in Los Angeles County, which adopted grades after a television news expose on kitchen grime churned stomachs, the San Francisco law would require that restaurants, bars and other food establishments that receive less than a C be called to a hearing and be subject to closure.

Los Angeles grades restaurants, bars, markets and every other place serving food and drinks. San Diego and Riverside counties also use report cards. In the Bay Area, San Mateo County considered them, but opted instead to post full health inspections on the county Web site.

Daly's argument for grades leans heavily on a Stanford report that says that the Los Angeles grade cards led to drops in emergency room visits for food poisoning and boosted restaurant business.

"The fact that you get health improvements means there is some real benefit going on,'' said Phillip Leslie, an assistant professor of economics at Stanford's Graduate School of Business and co-author of the 2003 study on Los Angeles' system. "We show in our paper a 20 percent decrease in people being admitted to hospitals for a food-related illness.

"I honestly don't understand why restaurants object to this,'' Leslie said. "If you get an A, your revenue goes up by 6 percent.''

When the program started in Los Angeles, 58 percent of restaurants received A's. Last year, 83 percent received A's, said Terrance Powell, Los Angeles County's chief environmental health specialist.

"I think that speaks to the industry. Even though they (restaurants) don't like this, they stepped up,'' Powell said.

But San Francisco restaurant owner Kevin Westlye, a member of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association board and a co-owner of the Franciscan restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf, said the city's restaurant industry already works hard at educating workers about sanitation. Calling the grade cards punitive, Westlye said, "In this city, if a restaurant gets one bad report card one time, it can put them out of business.''

Restaurateurs fear that the grades will give consumers only a snapshot in time, showing one day in the life of a restaurant -- the day the health inspector visited.

"I don't think it's educating the public. Grading provides a false alarm or a false comfort level,'' said Patricia Breslin, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which represents about 600 dining establishments and is a strong lobbying force at City Hall. The association regularly contributes to political campaigns and has supported Newsom. The association regularly runs public service campaigns on 20 to 40 billboards throughout the city. Newsom's "Care Not Cash" homeless proposal was one of those campaigns.

San Francisco's restaurants and bars did about $4.4 billion in direct sales and $5.7 billion of indirect sales in 2002, according to the association, which said these businesses directly or indirectly support about 63,000 jobs.

Even Powell in Los Angeles said restaurant grades are a tough sell, largely because of industry pressure on politicians.

"We've had every major metropolis check in with us,'' Powell said. "Many have walked away with elements of our program, but none have walked away with the whole program.''

While San Francisco's top environmental health officials declined to give their opinions of Daly's proposal, two inspectors who took a Chronicle reporter along for a day of inspections both said they didn't think the system would necessarily make restaurants safer for the public.

"Things can change literally in an instant," said Richard Kaihara, whose beat includes the Marina. "A restaurant could be an A, but one small thing can send it down the scale. The next day, it could be back in top form."

In Los Angeles, Powell said he can't swallow the "snapshot in time" argument. An owner can protest a grade within three days and request a new inspection within 10 days. An inspector also will conduct another surprise inspection in one or two months.

Before the Board of Supervisors can vote on Daly's proposal, there would be public hearings at the board level and likely by the Health Commission. The Department of Public Health would be in charge of converting the existing inspection reports into grades.

Twenty-four health inspectors watch over the 3,496 restaurants and fast- food places, 388 bars, a couple hundred cafeterias in schools, hospitals and nursing homes, and all the sports concessions, popcorn counters, hot dog carts and grocery stores in the city. They even check 13 vending machines that serve food that is not completely prepackaged. And, in a random twist of bureaucracy, they inspect the city's massage parlors and coin-operated laundries.

Inspectors try to conduct surprise inspections at each restaurant on their beat every four months. Although restaurants can be shut down completely for a day or forever, no restaurant gets any sort of score or any fines.

Restaurateurs who don't comply have to go to what's informally called "food court" with the Department of Public Health. In extreme cases, inspectors will close restaurants, although the city closed just 18 last year, and most reopened.

Daly's two favorite restaurants reflect the spectrum of what inspectors are finding in the city. Valencia Pizza and Pasta in the Mission received excellent reports during the last two years, but Pakwan on 16th Street has an extensive file that includes evidence of rodent and pigeon infestations in 2002. Pakwan's reports from 2003 show things have been cleaned up.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Restaurants lick chops over outlets at airport

FROM The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

By Jane Roberts

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Jan. 26) - With unanimous approval of the new concession lineup at the Memphis International Airport, Jim Neely is getting ready to build his busiest store yet.

At the airport.

"Five years ago I was given a little, token space at the airport," he said. "In about 180 square feet, we have done in excess of $1 million in business every year.

"We didn't have enough space to give people the full taste of Memphis."

No more. Interstate Barbecue will have more than 1,100 square feet on the B concourse and a smaller shop at the terminal's Y intersection.

He expects to be doing $5,000 in sales a day, although transition and construction schedules have not been determined.

"We'll have pork shoulders and ribs, all done under the watchful eye of me," Neely said.

Other Memphis legends — Bol A Pasta, Back Yard Burgers and Corky's — will also have storefronts. Staples and delicacies from Alcenia's Desserts and Preserves, Folk's Folly, Half Shell and Huey's will show up on menus at sit-down cafes like Sun Studios and Rhythms Cafe & Bar.

After asking if anyone in the room at the airport authority meeting Thursday differed with the process for selecting the new vendors, Arnold Perl, chairman, requested that the record show no dissent.

"I do not want this to be subject to any post-vote claims," he said.

HMS Host, the airport's sole concessionaire for 14 years, did not win a spot in the new lineup. Last year, its airport sales exceeded $24 million.

Anton Airfood and CA One will provide all the food and beverage services at the airport.

Merchandise and retail operations will be run by The Hudson Group and The Paradies Shops.

In the authority's contract with the prime concessionaires, small businesses and firms owned by women and minorities must make 25 percent of the revenue generated by airport food and beverage sales.

No proposal that fell short was considered, said Scott Brockman, airport finance director.

"We can't tell the prime contractors who to select, but they did have to meet our DBE [disadvantaged business enterprise] criteria," he said.

Neely and RBH Enterprises, co-owned by Rodney Herenton — Mayor Willie Herenton's son — are among several hometown tenants that will have two shops at the airport.

The others are Back Yard Burgers and Corky's.

"Rodney sold himself on the basis of his professionalism," Brockman said. "It had to do with quality of their operation and nothing to do with the mayor.

"And Jim Neely sold himself, too," Brockman said. "I'm telling you, you don't have to go far to see that Jim Neely is a top- quality manager."

Since 1998, RBH Enterprises, which Herenton co-owns with his wife, Andrea, has run two Baskin Robbins counters at the airport.

In the new lineup, RBH will operate Edy's Ice Cream and a Ben & Jerry's kiosk.

RBH like other subcontractors expect to pay $150 to $300 a square foot to tailor their shops to the authority's approval.

Bill Anton, CEO of Anton Airfood, said his company studied every potential subcontractor before making picks.

"We looked at their locations, made unannounced visits and did shopping analysis of their facilities to make sure we were comfortable," he said.

For eight years, Airport Revenue News has named Anton the nation's No. 1 airport food and beverage provider.

"The primary thing is the quality of the operators," Anton said. "We have reputation we have to maintain."

CA One, the second-largest airport food and beverage concessionaire, has business in 25 airports, including Nashville.

"We're very, very proud and excited to get a chance to develop with the airport and Northwest Airlines a world-class concessions area, finally in Memphis," said Peter Beaudro, CEO of CA One.

CA One has a contract with Thomas Boggs, who owns Huey's, Half Shell and Tsunami, for menu design and restaurant layout.

"He'll continue to work with us after the opening in developing the very best of the Memphis flavor," Beaudro said.

Boggs will be paid a percentage of sales.

Judge tosses Pierce County, Wash.'s smoking ban

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Jan. 27) - A Pierce County Superior Court judge granted a request by hospitality business owners to throw out a weeks-old countywide ban on smoking in all indoor establishments, including restaurants, bars and bowling alleys.

Supporters of the ban were not available for comment about plans, if any, to appeal.

"High fives all around for people who believe in the law," Washington Restaurant Association chief executive Gene Vosberg said after the ruling by judge Ronald Culpepper.

The WRA, though not involved in the court action, vociferously opposed the ban during public hearings, arguing that the measure was in violation of the 1988 Washington Clean Indoor Air Act. That statewide legislation specifically exempted from smoking bans restaurants, bars and casinos, among other businesses. Culpepper agreed with the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, a group of businesses calling itself the Entertainment Industry Coalition, that the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health, which approved the ban, lacked the authority to override the exemptions included in the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Vosberg said the WRA would watch closely the progress, if any, of proposed legislation that sprang from the Pierce County controversy, including a bill that would ban all indoor smoking.

so lets say you hate something I just wrote or you just have a comment you want me to hear go to Forums and add your thoughts! announces the launch of their new restaurant/hotel/B&B reviews search functionality. As of today, visitors to the site can not only search for establishments within the review database by region, state, cuisine and name, they can now search by local based on Zip codes. This unique search function allows visitors to select a prescribed distance from any Zip code in the US and perform a search to find B&Bs, hotels, or restaurants within the selected radius of that Zip code. If you're staying in a hotel and want to find restaurants we have in our database within walking distance or an inexpensive taxi ride, just put in the Zip code of the hotel you're staying and select 5 miles. There are so many ways visitors can use this function, and it's free; no signup, no membership, no fooling. Also, now proprietors of establishments in our database can print their favorable reviews and post them to their bulletin boards or front window. We provide a printer-friendly option for every review in our database that is simple, easy to read, and not encumbered by banners, adds, or other typical web page extras... just the review and a simple logo.

This is the very first time starting to write a blog, I plan on adding my personal thoughts at least once a day, you are always welcome to reply to any of my blogs. these blogs will not be edited by my editor-in-chief so bear with me if I spell something wrong or I had just a little to much cognac. Today was a rather interesting day I got up at 630 am about a hour early than I would usually get up and as usually I head to the computer to make sure all is well in land. if you keep up with the site then you know I work as a news photojournalist at KRON TV In San Francisco so around 9:30am I get a page from the assignment desk (The people who assign me my stories) they wanted me to head to a press conference that was in the city at 10am which is almost impossible since I live near SFO abour 12 mile from the SF city limits but they found someone closer to cover the presser, Thank god I really hate showing up at pressers late! I have a user who always sends me emails which is really cool to hear from users on a regular basis.

Anyway only one person posted a review today! what is up with that. but it was a valid review so it beats a blank.... I am so tired of getting reviews that I can't post or with a bogus email address... and my favorite reviews posted by employees trying to get their restaurant listed... true story one day I got a review it was so wonderfully written I knew it was done by the owner or an employee, so I called and asked to speak to so-and-so and she was there she actually gave here own name in the review too funny. and just for the record those stanley's corner I write them but Carmen edits them and what I say and how she tries to make them sound legal I hate that, so she has on Idea I started this blog because if she finds out she will try to edit this weblog so please keep this a secret!