In the comments section of one of the American Apparel posts, claims were made that a number of local businesses support the anti-American Apparel effort. These claims were questioned. Then one commenter shot back with “What local businesses are against American Apparel? Well, basically all of them,” and proceeded with a bulletpointed list of 30 or so businesses. First of all, all of them? I know where I’ve heard that before. Sarah Palin-style hyperbole can’t be good for any movement. Anyway, Pirate Cat Radio was on the list of businesses that oppose American Apparel, and just now Rick from Pirate Cat wrote in to say:

No we don’t. We allowed the posters to be left on the piano with all the other flyers. We read the information as a PSA but don’t endorse your position.

Link. If you want to tell blatant lies in my comments section, I’m not gonna stop you. It’s a free country after all. Just know, you’re fucking up the discourse.

Programming note: I think Kepi (formerly of the Groovie Ghoulies) is performing at Pirate Cat tonight around 6pm. Stop in to watch in person, or listen live.

Update (Tuesday night): Whoops, Rick’s boss just chimed in to say Rick is dead wrong. Sorry about the confusion. Also, Kepi’s solo acoustic set was rad. He played some classics, a new Valentine’s Day single, and closed with “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid.

42 thoughts on “Erroneous!”

  1. “The Mission Doesn’t Want Chains” posted on yesterday by Isaac it said, “From Pirate Cat Radio”.

    See link here:

    Anyone who read this might make an honest mistake, if it was a mistake, which remains to be seen. However, it seems MissionMission is being a little over the top in favor of retail chains for a blog that claims to represent the Mission and especially the arts in the Mission. Speaking of the arts, ATA, is a really cool, non-profit all volunteer arts organization that has been there since about 1985. They are next door to the proposed AA store and feel they would go out of business if AA were let in. If you don’t believe me, then stop by ATA any talk to anyone there. That’s not hyperbole by the way.

    Also, I think calling a poster in a comments section names and swearing at them in a brand new article entry created just for this purpose is pretty underhanded, even if you do disagree with them.

  2. @Will: Why do the ATA people feel that having AA next door would cause ATA to go out of business? Does ATA think that the landlord will use that as an excuse to jack up their rents? I am not convinced that having AA next door really increases the value of the ATA that much.

  3. Dear Mission Mission readers,

    As the proprietor of Pirate Cat Radio and Pirate Cat Radio Café, both local Mission based small businesses, I feel that the addition of chain and box stores to our beloved neighborhood is a step in the wrong direction.

    There appears to be some confusion about Pirate Cat Radio’s position on the addition of American Apparel to the Valencia St. corridor. Please take this as the official statement of the station management: Pirate Cat Radio is categorically against the construction of American Apparel chain outlet in the former home of the Mark Sanchez for District 9 office space for the following reasons:

    1) Regardless of the business practices or the quality of products sold at American Apparel, a chain store on Valencia would mark a shift from unique, locally-owned businesses towards large, corporate formula retail. We do not believe this serves the best long-term interest of preserving the character of the neighborhood (see Haight St.)

    2) The cost of rent on Valencia St. has begun to pressure the local businesses that make the commercial corridor so special. If formula retail moves in and pays the inflated rent, the trend is unlikely to reverse, accelerating the potentially inevitable decline of the spirit that makes Valencia street a unique destination.

    Feel free to drop me a line if you need any further clarification.

    We encourage people to join Pirate Cat Radio in opposition American Apparel by taking following actions (thanks to Eileen @ Ritual Roasters for compiling this list):

    * Write a letter to the Planner in charge of this case:

    Subject: 988 Valencia – Case No. 2008.0720C

    M. Pilar LaValley
    Preservation Technical Specialist/Planner
    City & County of San Francisco Planning Department
    1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    * Download the attached flier, print it out and hang it up. Repeat. (BTW, this was already done at PCR)

    * Come to the hearing, Thursday February 5th
    Case No. 2008.0720C
    Call 558-6422 after Monday the 2nd for a more specific hearing time

    * Join the Google group for email updates:

  4. I understand the fuss and I don’t really care that much but let’s go back to what’s already been decided. The majority of San Franciscans, through their delegates, have fairly recently decided they don’t like chain stores in SF. This applies to this retail area of the Mission neighborhood. AA is a chain store and at the very least not locally owned. AA is not offering anything unique and if you must shop AA go to one of their other 3 stores in SF. So no AA on Valencia.

    As an aside, I think all the people up in arms about this are being hypocritical. Where were you people when recent chain stores moved into Mission St? There’s going to be a new Walgreen’s on Cesar Chavez and Mission St – like that’s necessary.

  5. For what it’s worth, I live right around the corner from the proposed store.

    (1) SF voters, through Prop G, voted only to require a hearing in front of the Planning Commission for any new formula retail store (See: Feb. 5th meeting at city hall for AA). Read what you want into the vote, but that’s all the proposition did. People didn’t vote to BAN all chain stores.

    (2) I read on hear that ATA already went through a tripling of their rent. And survived. Good work, you are obviously well supported and adaptable. Wouldn’t ATA be even MORE successful if AA moved in right next door? Having flocks of young, hip(?), and artsy-loving shoppers constantly parade right next door to an art movie house seems like a gift in ATA’s effort to bring in more followers. No?

    (3) I don’t think capitalism is evil. Yes, it must be restrained, but I don’t see why having an outright ban for chain stores (on valencia st, mind you, mission st and beyond we don’t care about) helps people in the long-run. If we have a healthy mix of independent stores (more of these) and some chains (less of these), independent stores are likely to see a boost in their exposure to customers. If they have a good product, the stores will also boost sales. If they don’t benefit from the extra traffic, maybe they should re-think what they’re business. A thriving, healthy and diverse retail area emerges, bringing loads of tax revenue along for the ride.

    Or, if you want to bathe in self-important fantasies about our street’s uniqueness, or don’t want to improve your product, then you might ignore the benefits for most people in the area, and how an AA could improve the neighborhood generally. (For those who argue AA ruined the Haight: What?? The haight (minus the street kids and the burn outs) is actually a great example of a well-mixed retail neighborhood.)

  6. I’m opposed to AA. AA is just the same as the bodyshop, back in the early 90s they were this new green mega-business – now they are a den of corporate decision about bottom line. what our neighborhood needs is neighborhood serving retail – ie. the thing you need in your daily life. If we can’t get independent business owners to provide those needs, then we’ve got to go corporate. ie. drugstores, foodstores, banks, hardware stores. that being said we don’t need another drugstore – and the new walgreen on chavez is a greater loss to the neighborhood than an american appearl would be.

    Frederick is right the Formula retail legislation does not BAN formula retail. But Supervisor Amianno did draft legislation proposing to BAN formula retail on Valencia, Mission, and Cortland in response to the Walgreens. The legislation got lost in the bureaucratic hole of city hall – and should be revitalized – let’s have a real discussion here. Also formula retail is BANNED in other neighborhood commercial districts such as Hayes Valley. Finally the citywide formula retail legislation is pretty inconsistent – any leader that is really vested in helping SF develop a sustainable local economy would surely amend the legislation to BAN the businesses we don’t want and create clearer guidelines for those that are in the grey area and permit without public discussion those that we need. Right now the legislation just creates another hoop in the bureaucratic relay race that is San Francisco.

  7. @slowcycle: “BAN the businesses we don’t want”

    can you define “we”?

    also, do you think time and effort are really well spent figuring out what to BAN?

    is that what sf is all about? and the mission in particular? BANNING shit?


  8. Areas with formula retail bans offer produce higher-priced goods than areas without, typically become very boutique-y and less diverse. Hayes and Haight have formula retail bans for several blocks. Just find a moderately-priced meal on Hayes.

    Of course small local businesses favor a Formula Retail Ban – who wants competition? It’s human nature to seek a sinecure.

    But what is best for the City?

  9. I don’t feel particularly strongly one way or another about this issue, but I think it’s cool that we live in a town where people care enough about their surroundings to have this kind of debate. Think about it. In most cities, it would be *POOF* new Jiffy Lube, before anyone noticed. Whether or not you think AA should go in on Valencia, you gotta agree that the fact that there’s this level of discourse about it means that there are a lot of people who care deeply about their surroundings.

    Also, yes, in fact, Moishe’s Pipic does rule.

  10. listen folks, listen up.

    the mission IS american apparel. american apparel IS the mission.

    its ‘generic mainstream hipster’, GMH

    i’m sure all the businesses are against it, but … but its perfect… its like….

    …an urban outfitters in brooklyn.

    …i’m just sayin’, IT IS WHAT IT IS…

    sorry, but it’s not 2000 anymore, back when the mission was legitimately cool.

    oakland is the new mission…
    …just the same as mission mission is the new sfist

  11. ha. in 2002 we moved out of the mission for a couple years (to the excelsior) because it was becoming “the new north beach”. delfina, birite, tartine, etc…( then we moved back.)

    inner sunset became “the new noe valley”

    noe valley became “the new pac heights”

    oakland is DEFINITELY “the new mission”

    things change. it’s in the nature of things to change.

  12. Pirate Cat Radio is hosting a protest in front of AA’s desired location at 10 am this Saturday, January 31. They will air public comments and concerns.

  13. As a small business owner, I have to say that it doesn’t seem like most of the commentors really understand why most businesses on Valencia could NOT hold up to having to pay a big rent hike, EVEN IF they were doing “relatively well” financially.

    Small businesses do not have the kind of margins of loss that wealthy, corporate chains can afford to have. This new branch of AA can afford to go for months without turning a profit. If times get slow, they can “weather the storm.” Most small businesses CAN’T. They don’t have wealthy people backing them. They generally put most of their profits BACK into improving their establishments.

    The problem with AA is not AA in and of itself (although I’ve never bought anything there and probably never will)–it’s the precedent it would set, and the domino effect it would create as far as neighboring rent prices go. AA itself might not compete directly with anyone else on Valencia right now, but Urban Outfitters would. Starbucks would. We already have suffered a Starbucks over in the eastern side of the Mission (18th and Florida? Something like that?) and I’d hate to see it happen again.

    Yes, Mission Street DOES have Walgreens, Skechers, Sheik, McDonald’s, Popeyes, and possibly some other chains I’m forgetting about. And you know what? It SUCKS. People SHOULD give a crap about that. But just because you don’t care about one thing, does that mean you SHOULDN’T care about another? Everybody’s got to start somewhere.

  14. is there any documented evidence of this “domino effect”? Last I heard, that theory was more or less discredited.

  15. You just discredited it, Mr. foon! And without a link! Good job.
    One only needs eyes to take a look at the commercial streets of any city or at any mall in this country. Sorry, but you must be a fool.

  16. Here’s the press release on the anti-American Apparel demonstration this weekend…


    Contact: Monkey

    Pirate Cat Radio


    Pirate Cat Radio Announces Demonstration to Protest Chain Retail on Valencia Street
    Proposed American Apparel at 988 Valencia Threatens Local Business, and
    Neighborhood Character

    San Francisco, CA, 1/30/2009 ‹ Pirate Cat Radio will host a demonstration to
    protest the licensing of formula retail in the Valencia Street commercial
    corridor. Pirate Cat Radio deejays, community leaders, local business
    owners, and concerned citizens will gather at 988 Valencia St. at 10:00am on
    Saturday, January 31 to show their commitment to maintaining a locally-owned
    economy and support for the unique businesses of the neighborhood.

    Pirate Cat Radio will be broadcasting live from the location, giving
    attendees the opportunity to voice their concern about the construction of
    an American Apparel clothing store 988 Valencia St. ATA and Mission
    residents will join Pirate Cat Radio in expressing the significant interest
    in the Mission District protect the economic integrity of Valencia street.

    ³Regardless of the business practices or the quality of products sold at
    American Apparel, a chain store on Valencia marks a shift from unique,
    locally-owned businesses towards large, corporate formula retail,² says
    Monkey. ³We do not believe this serves the best long-term interest of
    preserving the character of the neighborhood.²

    Additionally, the cost of rent on Valencia St. has begun to pressure the
    local businesses that make the commercial corridor so special. If formula
    retail moves in and pays the inflated rent, the trend is unlikely to
    reverse, accelerating the potentially inevitable decline of the spirit that
    makes Valencia Street a noted commercial and cultural destination.

    Pirate Cat Radio also encourages concerned citizens to voice opposition to
    formula retail on Valencia Street by taking the following actions:

    · Write a letter to the city planner in charge of this case:

    M. Pilar LaValley
    Preservation Technical Specialist/Planner
    City & County of San Francisco Planning Department
    1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    Subject: 988 Valencia – Case No. 2008.0720C

    · Attend the city hearing on the matter:
    There is a meeting scheduled for Thursday February 5th at City Hall. Please
    call the San Francisco Planning Department at 558-6422 after Monday,
    February 2 for a more specific hearing information, RE: case no. 2008.0720C

    For additional information:
    Pirate Cat Radio

  17. Ok, if you really need a hint:
    Rents don’t always rise when chain stores are allowed in.

    Anyway, AA should be on Mission st., not Valencia.

  18. I think that it all depends on what kind of chain stores we are talking about and the “type” of potential customers and neigbhbors.. McDonalds, Jiffy Lube, Popeyes as examples of one possible category, like in the Mission, and on another one, American Apparel, the GAP and Starbucks.

  19. Lynae, while it’s true small businesses have a tougher go to the extent they can’t rest on the capital enjoyed by chains, I think it’s false to state that chains should therefore not be allowed in to a neighborhood because of such an advantage. Independents have their own advantages, such as uniqueness, which san franciscans are believed to especially enjoy. (rah-rah capitalism!). That’s one of the reasons why in virtually all urban centers you have a mix of independent stores and formula retail.

    why should the mission be excluded from this basic retail environment? why can’t consumers in their own neighborhood benefit from competition and shop for desired quality products from a variety of stores which are striving to please the neighborhood’s taste? or is this a matter for one-issue activists and self-interested business owners, and others who are (in my view) over-sympathetic to the ideal of “uniqueness”?

    With that said, it is crucial that we encourage independent stores and restaurants, but this encouragement is not an absolute. there are other interests — overall economic growth in the neighborhood, for example — which I think are more important in certain situations. here in sf, we’re blessed to have a system where we can weigh these interests each time a proposal such as AA’s comes up. this system, however, is undermined when some people reflexively rely on dogma and self-interest, and do not adequately consider the benefit to all those in the community.

  20. this is ABSOLUTELY a matter for one-issue activists and self-interested business owners AND POLITICO WANNABES, and others who are WITHOUT QUESTION over-sympathetic to the ideal of “uniqueness”. AND DOGMA!

    sorry Frederick, for sullying your measured and well stated points with my vitriol.

  21. Fredrick is dying to get his hands on some basic T-shirts and hoodies.

    But picking up where zinzin left off: I hope this AA matter will help the odd coalition of one-issue activists, self-interested business owners and politico wannabees (who together, by the way, describe a majority of the neighborhood) learn to work together to address other problems in the Mission. If the fixie crowd started talking with PODER, we might be able to get some cool stuff done. Call me Pollyanna, but why not look for the potential in this?

  22. i think that’s an excellent point.

    there’s NO REASON, for example, that ANTI DISPLACEMENT and RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT can’t be symbiotic.

    there’s no reason that HOMELESS ADVOCACY and SAFETY FOR EVERYONE can’t be symbiotic.

    there’s no reason ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS CHANGING, LIKE IT OR NOT can’t be symbiotic.

    unfortunately, sf is historically such an ego driven place – people come here to become themselves and do what they want…me me me me me – there’s no precedent for that type of mature dialog.

    ultimately, history says that even the most truly progressive movement will become insular and reactionary. some of the most uptight and rules focused people i know are hippies…supposed t be live & let live, but actually it’s live & force you to live the same way.

    i do think there’s hope though. i think the reactionary crowd in the hood are getting tired, and i think things are changing somewhat. there’s A LOT of folks like me in the hood now…committed permanent residents (both renters and homeowners) who are just a little more moderate, and a lot more reasonable. who recognize that there’s a lot to preserve in the hood, but that there’s also a lot to fix. who want to respect and NOT displace the Latino community, but rather help it meld with inevitable change..have it be part of the future….not insist that the future never come so as to maintain (the broken) status quo so that arcane “service” organizations can stay in business.

    i mean shit…why DONT dema, paxton gate and therapy and ritual hire kids from the hood to work in their stores…as something other than janitors? there’s NO FUCKING GOOD REASON.

    and if Stephen Elliott is the new vanguard of that “progressive” movement in the hood, i think there’s great opportunity for reasonable, moderate dialog, becuase if MAC sees him as a slanted, selfish blow-hard (my words, not theirs), and PCR is the vehicle…well, it’s a fucking circus in my opinion, with no credibility and no purpose other than its own self-aggrandizement.

  23. Pingback: Valencia | Kron 4

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