CBL loves San Francisco. He's had his practice here for decades. It doesn't quite have the cool of Oakland (where CBL has long resided), but it's beautiful, the weather's fabulous, the people are great, the food is sensational, there's more fun stuff to do than any three people could squeeze into their leisure time, etc. And if the city government is a little dysfunctional -- well, actually a lot dysfunctional -- so it goes.
Like almost every city in the United States right now, and like absolutely every city in California (and California itself), San Francisco is in deep financial trouble. For the fiscal year starting July 1, it faces a $483 million deficit,which is more than 13% of its entire budget, and Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing measures ranging from laying off public employees to paring back public transportation to washing city cars less frequently.
Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, and San Francisco's Board of Supervisors knows how to grab the bull by the horns. Last Tuesday, it took aggressive action on one of San Francisco's most pressing problems: radiation from cellular phones. That's right: one month after World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer released its huge international study finding no evidence of an increased incidence of brain tumors related to cell phone use, which followed similar findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, San Francisco's Supervisors enacted legislation requiring the city's cell phone retailers to disclose the amount of radiation emitted by cell phones sold here. You can see the entire ordinance here.
The response of the cell phone industry was predictable:
While we have enjoyed bringing our three day fall show to San Francisco five times in the last seven years, which has meant we've brought more than 68,000 exhibitors and attendees and had an economic impact of almost $80 million to the Bay Area economy, the Board of Supervisors' action has led us to decide to relocate our show. We are disappointed to announce that the 2010 CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in October will be the last one we have in San Francisco for the foreseeable future. We have already been contacted by several other cities that are eager to work with us and understand the tremendous benefits that wireless technology and our show can provide their area.
Well, who needs all that economic impact anyway, right? Hat tip to arstechnica.