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Ten hidden gems in France you should visit this summer


Ten hidden gems in France you should visit this summer

There’s a whole lot more to summer travel in France than the Eiffel Tower, the Riviera, and Mont-Saint-Michel.

By:Nicola Williams/The Local

Travel guide publishers Lonely Planet, whose writer on France, Nicola Williams, has helped uncover some must-see sites that are rarely on the radar of most visitors.
1. Neuf-Brisach, eastern France
No foray into France is complete without a stroll around a citadel. Vauban built a load of them in France, but Neuf-Brisach on the French-German border is the one to target – it’s the country’s least-known Unesco World Heritage Site.
Louis XIV commissioned the fortified town to be built in 1697 to bolster French defenses. Its red sandstone walls were constructed in the shape of an eight-pointed star and the sleepy Alsatian town sits inside.
2. Nernier, eastern France
Lake Geneva is not all Swiss. Much of its southern shoreline is French. And while tourism has made some in-roads – on sunny Sundays Genevans motor to the medieval walled chateau-village of Yvoire for lunch – this lakeside stretch is uncharted tourist territory.
The sweet spot is Nernier, a shoreline village with cobbled streets, a pebble beach, and a quaint port where you can lunch at Restaurant du Lac and set sail on the lake in an old fashioned steamer.
3. Le Brame du Cerf, central France
The autumnal rutting season at Château de Chambord is a fabulous way of rediscovering the most famous Renaissance chateau in the Loire Valley – sans crowds. There is nothing more magical than creeping into the dewy forest at dawn or dusk to watch serenading stags, boars and red deer from hidden watch towers.
The domaine (estate) is Europe’s largest hunting reserve (there for the exclusive use of the French government no less).
Photo: Michal Osmenda
4. Musée d’Art Moderne, Céret, Roussillon
It’s been around since the 1950s, but this outstanding modern art museum in the Pyrenean foothills of south western France is one of those inspirational spaces where you can still lose yourself in a mind-blowing collection stuffed with Chagalls, Braques and Matisses.
Picasso donated 57 works to the museum and the town itself is a compelling mix of sun-blazed old stone and bon vivant living over Catalan sangria and tapas
Photo: Museum’s Facebook page. 
5. Refuge d’Art, Haute-Provence
The French Riviera is a magnet for modern art lovers, but few make it as far as the cinematic limestone ridges, ravines and gorges of the Réserve Géologique de Haute-Provence, a sun-blazed wilderness near Digne-les-Bains in which British artist Andy Goldsworthy exhibits the largest public collection of his work.
His dramatic outdoor works of art – rock hives, cairns, stone sculptures you can sleep in – are dotted along a 150km hiking trail.
Photo: Refuge d’Art
6. Alésia MuséoParc, Alise-Sainte-Reine
This remarkable historical site in Burgundy only opened in recent years and remains undiscovered by the non-French tourist set.
Walking around the rebuilt fortifications in the reconstructed Roman camp of Alésia, it is amazing to think this was the very spot where Julius Caesar thrashed chief of the Gauls Vercingétorix once and for all in 52 BC. The actors dressed up as Roman legions and battle demonstrations are particularly entertaining.
7. Arbois and Pupillin, eastern France
Wine tourism is a big reason to travel in France and this little known twin-set of addresses in the remote Jura region in the east is pure, unadulterated joie du vin.
Alongside a cellar full of regular wines, vineyards around Arbois produce rich nutty Vin Jaune (yellow wine) and Vin de Paille (‘straw wine’), made from grapes laid out to dry on straw mats. End with a tour of the wine cellars in the village of Pupillin, built entirely from yellow stone.
Arbois. Photo: marydoll1952/Flickr
8. Postman Cheval’s Palais Idéal
One of France’s strangest attractions, the Palais Idéal, in the Drôme department is an extraordinary example of architecture and the story behind it is just as astonishing.
The palace was built by postman Ferdinand Cheval, who had the idea after tripping over a stone in 1879. For the next 33 years he collected single stones to construct what he called a Temple of Nature. The palace was finally classified as a historical monument in 1969.

9. Abbaye de Valmagne, Languedoc
This awe-inspiring abbey in southern France fuels two great French passions: wine and architecture. Built in the 12th century, it was inhabited first by Benedictine monks who cultivated vines on the estate.
With the French Revolution, the abbey church was deconsecrated and sold to Monsieur Granier-Joyeuse, a wine grower who turned the soaring Gothic stone church into a magnificent wine cellar. Never has wine tasting been so good.
10. Ventabren, Provence
The whole point of Provence in the south of France is to laze away inordinate amounts of time lunching – exceedingly well. Enter Ventabren, a drop-dead gorgeous Provencal hilltop village just 14km from tourist-rammed Aix-en-Provence.
After roaming empty golden-stone lanes and chateau ruins, there is only one place to lunch al fresco with a sweeping view: La Table de Ventabren.
Photo: Allie Caulfield
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I have a (blank) friend


If you want to quickly change the temperature of a room. Change the topic to race. Especially if  there people of different races in the room.

On Social Media someone recently posted something that said:  Blacks aren’t currently slaves and Whites aren’t slave owners.  My take: He was saying its history, get over it.

The author was immediately called a racist.    He seemed young and his views where simplistic, but I didn’t get a racist vibe from him.  As  the waves were getting stronger and higher, he reached into his wallet and pulled out the “I have a black friend card”   “I chuckled”  “Not the I have a Black friend so that doesn’t make me racist card!    

This is a universal card. Used the world over by people of many hues and backgrounds. Owning it legitimizes you. It says to the world I am an expert because, I know one or more persons who is of a different race or culture.

I grew up during the second wave of integration.  This was the late sixties, black students didn’t need military escorts. (At least in California)  The transition was difficult.   Some black parents didn’t trust white people and some white people told their children to avoid blacks.  The great thing about children is they don’t have the baggage, the history the great unknown fear their parents have.  They simply see another child.

As children we knew which households were off limits. There was never any discussion about it, it was all about our friendships . We protected each other, I had a friend who’s father vowed to beat him if he ever saw him or any of his siblings in the company of niggers, so we dropped him off a mile from his home.  (We recently re-connect on Facebook)

Through the years people would produce their cards.  If someone had a white friend at work the card would make them the authority on white people everywhere. ” I know this Chinese man and they are…….  Unfortunately, these card are still in use.

Not long ago at a suburban mall, I was intrigued by an argument three teenagers (13-15) were having. One kid with bright red hair and freckles was wearing a black do rag, the others were wearing Lakers Jerseys. The argument was about how street they were or the most black (like). They argued about who owned the most rap CD’s, dared each other to rap in the Galleria.  The winner had a card in his pocket. His grandma lives in San Leandro, which is right next to Oakland, they’ve shopped in Oakland in stores filled with black people and no one was sacred. Boo Yaa!

There are often indicators of the number of people you know outside your race by the declarations you make: ” I have an Asian friend” “The Jewish People”  “Lesbians are”  “They are because I know this one… ” Often making sweeping generalizations.

Baby Steps 

I see color, sometimes in HD.  I am blessed with good friends, they come in many different hues and cultures.  Some of us have different political and religious views. We are comfortable talking about race.   Its not a perfect world, and sometimes we misspeak, get angry,  all the normal things human beings do. But we trust and love each other.

I find because of those relationships I have a greater understanding of people in general and I’m not fearful of other human beings.  When refer to my friends, they aren’t my (blank) friends or collectibles,they are simply my friends.

We need to talk about race. You may be sympathetic to other races but it means nothing if you fear them.  If you talking about race to someone who shares your skin color and views your education will be limited.

If you have a friend who is of a different hue and culture, This is where you start, this person has a sense of who you are and knows your intentions.   Set ground rules. ( It wont be necessary in the future)  If either of you say something that makes the other uncomfortable, it was not intentional and just as you would with any other friend, if you sense there are hurt feelings for any reason,don’t bolt for the door, fix it.

 

Racism will always be with us as there are people who have large bolts on their brains. They believe groups of people, cultures who do not look like them, believe what they believe are the enemy.  The good people will always rise above!

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Housewives of New York Season 9 Reunion Part 1 “All about Lu”


#RHONY’s  season 9 was the best season ever.  The secret sauce is the cast.  Women who have known each other for many years.  Most of the drama between the women worked itself out in a few episodes.   None of that drawn out drama than fans suffered through last season in #RHOA and the Lime disease in #RHOBH and don’t get me started with #RHOP (Bravo please put that one to rest)

You cant have everything, Women getting along doesn’t make a drama filled reunion.

Usually the first hour or so of the reunion is very tense with everyone cocked and ready.  I didn’t get that feeling last night.  In fact this could have been part three with one exception.  We learned Tinsley and Scott are six months a couple and  Ramona is dating , in fact all the women have men in their lives.

The biggest squabble of the season was Ramona and Bethanny. With Ramona attacking Bethanny at every turn.  Last night it was short lived with a lot of the ladies being sympathetic toward Ramona.  They touched on Ramona’s damaging Dorinda’s home in the Berkshires and Ramona being rude to the staff in Mexico and rude to Bethenny’s staff.

Sonja is still Sonja lovingly delusional.  She tells the ladies she is seriously looking at a three bedroom place and her townhouse isn’t up for sale.    During the season she told us she was 10 months sober until of course Mexico. Well ladies and germs apparently Sonja was tore up in Vermont and been sipping all along. Dun! Dun! Dunnnnnn!   Mortimer came to her defense and said she has never seen her have more than a little to drink.     The ladies also made it official, it is Sonja who serves the Tea to The New York Post about all the housewives including Tinsley.

Dorinda (LadyM) queen on the quips.  Wasn’t happy with Sonja at the beginning of the season.  Sonja was talking shit about LadyM .   Even though her mother wanted her to follow in the footsteps of Michelle Obama  Dorinda went low, she wasn’t going to wait all season to put Ms Sonja Morgan in her place.  How was LadyM doing? “Not well Bitch” and she got Sonja to Clip it!   Don’t “F” with LadyM she has three friends to help her get stuff!

” Lu “

Bravo made it clear, the Reunion was filmed three weeks before Luann filed for divorce.

Luann is a tough broad, but she is human and you could feel her pain and fighting back the tears.

Andy asks her about married life.  Luann says she loves being married.  When he asked her if she misses being a countess.  She says she loves being Mrs D’Agostino.

The ladies are supportive, but you can see their discomfort, even Tinsley. EVERYBODY, knows Tom is a DICK and cheating.  Luann knows Tom  is fucking around. They are in Page Six daily and Luann and is hanging one by whats left of her fingernails.

When that dammed Andy (we love him) dug deeper asking Ramona what she knew last season and kept quiet about it.   Ramona spilled (unlocking the vaults after a year) she said “When Tom was at the Regency, the reason he was at the Regency kissing another girl was he had a huge fight with you and was pissed at you. Then he went to L.A. and started kissing that girl again And he laughed and said you deserved it.”   Then she went on to say “He met a woman from Philadelphia who was recently divorced at the Regency bar and he went up to the hotel room with her and he said he had an open relationship with you,”  “But nothing happened.”  Luann came back and said nothing happened the woman’s boyfriend was there.

At one point I wanted to say stop, this is too much and then they showed the scene where he was talking to Missy and unplugged his mic.   Luann lied when she said she “just saw the Mic.

This is reality TV but her pain, her vulnerability (which we rarely see) was front and center.   She revealed that NOT everyone in her family welcomed Tom with open arms ( They have TV’s darling) and that was especially tough on her son Noel who is protective of her.

At one point she said  “It’s either I accept him for the way he is—I’m not going to change him at this point.”  She also slipped and said she was staying at a hotel (at least the night before)    Luann, the countess has always had a think layer but last night it cracked.

 

Tinsley showed promise last night, she wasn’t Jules thank gawd.  hmmmmm

Did you notice the price tag on Ramona’s Shoe?

Next week well see how well Tinsley holds up.

Would love to hear your thoughts about Lu

CityFella

Last Week

https://sacratomatovillepost.com/2017/08/10/the-real-housewives-of-new-york-sp9-ep19-missy-and-a-dick/

You Didn’t BELIEVE him!


With the exception of CNN’s  Ana Navarro there was shock, tears and awe on cable news yesterday.   Donald Trump is A racist?

 

Let’s step into the Wayback Machine

Not that far…..

June 16, 2015, Trump Tower New York City.  “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

 Nov. 21, 2015, Birmingham Alabama: I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of Muslims were cheering.”   (The story was a bit of Trumps fake news)

Dec. 7, 2015, aboard the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier in Mount Pleasant South Carolina.   “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.” (More fake Statistics)

2016 Primary: A  white supremacist super PAC called the American National Super PAC made robocalls in Minnesota and Vermont.

The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist,’ says William Johnson, the leader of the white nationalist American Freedom Party. He goes on to bemoan “gradual genocide against the white race,” and how few “schools anymore have beautiful white children as the majority.” He signs off by telling recipients, “Don’t vote for a Cuban. Vote for Donald Trump.”

David Duke, the white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, encouraged his radio show listeners to volunteer for Trump’s campaign. “Call Donald Trump’s headquarters [and] volunteer,” he said on the “David Duke Radio Program.” At Trump campaign offices, he said, “you’re gonna meet people who are going to have the same kind of mindset that you have.”

One the news shows ,Trump denied knowing David Duke but he kept getting tripped up on those pesky vintage tapes of him talking about David Duke in detail.   For weeks candidate Trump would not condemn or disavow Dukes endorsement.

Are you still shocked for just forgot?

It sucks being this guy (the man looking down)

General John Kelly The President’s Chief of Staff, General John Kelly looks defeated as his boss goes off script and too the far left.  Kelly role was to keep 45 on the straight and narrow!  

Home General Didn’t Need This!

Kelly has a distinguished career before signing up  for the Trump-O-Coaster

A Marine Corps General the former commander of  United States  Southern Command. Responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Home General was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security on January 20, 2017, by President Trump. On July 28, 2017, he was appointed to replace Reince Priebus.

____________________________________________________

Tuesday, August 15, 2017  Trump Tower New York City 

“The Plan”

Our golden prez would  descend the golden elevators of Trump Tower and step to his golden lobby and there,flanked by his Treasury Secretary, his Transportation Secretary and his top economic adviser. He would highlight the infrastructure executive order he had just signed, and then he’d leave — head back upstairs and deploy his aides to handle any inquiries  slow fade.  Cable News Highlights.

Everything in the Box to the Left

I have a theory.  The Prez was reluctant to criticizes some members of his base.  Under mounting pressure, he was forced to name names.  “White Supremacists” “Klu Klux Klan”  “Nazi’s ”   “Sarah Palin and Kelly Ann Conway”  (Sorry got carried away, not Kelly Ann. )

It’s too late baby now it’s too late! 

After caving in ,the press and members of his own party of went into hypedrive. He was soundly attacked for the timing of his revised speech.   Our Prez has a history of holding a grudge and is unable or unwilling to control his emotions.  What we saw yesterday was an angry Prez who basically said FuckIt !   Dammed if I do Dammed if I don’t.

REPORTER: Why did you wait so long ?

TRUMP: I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long. I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement but you don’t make statements that direct unless you know the facts. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don’t know the facts. It is a very, very important process to me. It is a very important statement. So I don’t want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts. If you go back to my statement, I brought it. I brought it

While the Prez, concludes the  driver of the car was  a murderer, he’s not ready to call it a terrorist act. Now if it took place in Europe……………

He believe race relations are better or the same since he has taken office.

There is one areas where I actually agree with the Prez.  There was trouble on both sides.   I’m a veteran of sorts.   Not every White Supremacist and those of the extreme right were violent.  However, their are anarchist on either side. I’ve participated in peaceful marches that turned violent after  someone from our side broke a  large window of a business or threw a rock at a police officer.   Individual’s who are looking for a fight  to cause Chaos.  The right was heavenly armed in Chancellorsville, last weekend.  No one was shot.

The difference between to two sides, one side has historically killed people of color, and called for extreme acts of violence against Gays and other Cultures.  They would like to limit the freedoms of people who don’t look or believe as they do.

While President Trump and the truth are in different parts of the world, never to meet.

There was one thing he has never lied about.  His Racism!

 CityFella

Wife finds Jokes about Hubby’s Penis humiliating


 

Dr. Rod Kunynetz and his wife Valentina leave the College of Physicians and Surgeons at a lunch...

Photo: Toronto Sun

By Brad Hunter/Toronto Sun

The wife of the infamous Dr. Rod said puerile penis puns that accompanied stories about her hubby were “humiliating” and the hardest part of her family’s ordeal.

Former Barrie dermatologist Dr. Rodion “Dr. Rod” Kunynetz is currently in the midst of a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario penalty hearing for sexual impropriety. A number of women have claimed that dermatologist rubbed his penis against them.

Criminal proceedings are also taking place with the doctor facing a number of sexual abuse and gross indecency charges.

Kunynetz’s lawyer has used a unique defence for his client: His stomach is too big and his penis too small for the contact his accusers have suggested.

He was found guilty by the discipline committee of one count of sexual assault and unprofessional conduct.

He denied the allegations and most charges of sexual abuse regarding the penis rubbing were dismissed. Kunynetz has been suspended from practising since October 2015.

Valentina Kunynetz, 63, told the tribunal her husband was dedicated to dermatology and that she, too, played a part in the business, acting as office administrator.

“In December 2015, I was on the way to the dentist and on NewsTalk 1010 they were talking about Rod, mocking him, making fun of him … that his penis was undersized and his belly was enormous,” Valentina said.

That day’s merriment was triggered by a front page Toronto Sun story headlined: Dr. Rod’s wee defence.

“It was the salacious details … friends, family and colleagues were all reading this. It was disrespectful,” she said.

“The children (the couple has three sons) were getting calls from their friends and in the paper, were all the details about the size of his penis. It was terrible.”

Calling the family’s ordeal “demeaning” and “humiliating,” Valentina — dressed in a long dress and sandals — wondered aloud: “How many times do we have to read about the size of Rod’s penis?”

The ordeal cast a pall over the weddings of two of their sons and left Kunynetz’s practice that he had built over 30 years in ruins.

And the allegations left her husband devastated. The couple — married 37 years — stopped socializing and travelling.

“There was no joy in Rod’s life,” she added.

Under cross-examination, she conceded that the stories were accurate but she took exception to their “mocking” nature.

One urologist called as a witness at the hearings examined the doctor and determined that, yes, because of his large stomach and small penis he could not have committed the crime.

Another disagreed.

His lawyer, Matthew Sammon, spent most of the afternoon going over errors in the college’s investigation.

Among his greatest concerns was the length of time the matter has taken and a general abuse of process, pointing to the doctor’s lengthy interim suspension.

The hearing continues Tuesday.

Sacramento’s Solidarity with Charlottesville Unity March


Sunday, August 13, 2017

With Crowd Estimates from 1000 to 2000. Sacramentians marched in solidarity with Charlottesville, Virginia

The march began at City Hall and ended at the State Capitol


As in nearly every march,vigil the majority of the people were there to support Charlottesville, others voiced local issues.

 

Most of the anger was directed toward local politicians. Mayor Darrell Steinberg was the eye of the Storm. From shootings of unarmed men in the city, to laws that seem to target the city’s homeless there were many angry voices.  Just as the shouting, and anger was changing the tone of the evening. some members of the crowd began singing

“Amazing Grace”

Peace

 

For many, the night was about Heather Heyer who was killed by a White Supremacists in Charlottesville.

 

There were a couple of Anarchist who stood out in the peaceful crowd as they were dressed in full combat mode, wearing the traditional masks.  One of the Anarchist asked me not to take her picture was visibly disappointed.

(No rumble tonight sister!)

These are Warriors of Peace. Different hues, cultures, backgrounds, Sacramentians.

Hate isn’t welcome here! 

“Sacramento Proud”

 

 

CityFella

 

 

Sacramentians Must Demand Rent Control !


Image result for 16th street apartments sacramento sky view

Building Boom:  Many new apartments on 16th Street Midtown

“Rent Control in Sacramento?”

Every day renters in the State of California are waking up to 30 day notices on their doors or in the mail notifying them of rent increases of 20% to 50%.  Landlords, aren’t making capital improvements to their properties, or facing major tax increases or fees.  Its simply greed. No where in California is rent increasing faster than the Capitol City.  In fact there are only two other cites in the nation where rents are increasing faster than Sacramento, Arlington Texas and Reno Nevada.

There is currently a shortage of housing and construction workers in the state.

Sacramento’s Mayor Darrell Steinberg says he has “significant concerns” about rent control, saying the city should focus more on finding money for affordable housing and giving tenants additional notice when rents increase. Steinberg said he isn’t outright dismissing rent control, but he’s worried about the “unintended consequences” of discouraging developers from building housing.   Steinberg said much of the issue stems from the fact that Sacramento “is not building enough housing.” “We need to change that and be very aggressive about it,” (sacbee)

The reality is,citizens need relief yesterday.   Locating funding for affordable housing could take years or decades.  High rental costs will only increase homelessness in the city effecting the quality of life for all Sacramentians.

Basics in Bold Print

As of July 2017, average rent for an apartment in Sacramento, CA is $1439 which is a 14.18% increase from last year when the average rent was $1235 , and a 0.14% increase from last month when the average rent was $1437. 

One bedroom apartments in Sacramento rent for $1275 a month on average (a 15.45% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1507 (a 13.27% increase from last year). (source Rent Jungle. Com)

             ___________________

Wage Growth in Sacramento  5%

Minimum Wage in Sacramento $10.50

Minimum Monthly Income Required for a one bedroom Apartment in $3094.00 or $19.33 an hour.

Maximum Rent for an individual earning Minimum wage $693

(Source: https://www.zillow.com/rent-affordability-calculator/)

___________________

Every night, more than 3,600 people are homeless in Sacramento County, a statistic that’s 30 percent higher than it was in 2015. (SacBee)

Many homeless individuals are employed .According to a 2002 national study by the Urban Institute, about 45 percent of homeless adults had worked in the past 30 days. About 3.5 million people experience some kind of homelessness every year, and about a quarter of them are employed at the time (National Coalition for the Homeless) 

_______________________

What is Rent Control?

Rent control is a special set of laws that particular cities adopt. It generally includes rent increase limits and eviction restrictions. Some cities’ rent controls require relocation assistance to be paid to tenants under certain circumstances, and interest on security deposits.

These laws do not apply to other cities, nor to every rental unit in the city. One of the most commonly misunderstood ideas by tenants is that they were under rent control, when they weren’t.

 Los Angeles passed rent control in 1978 amid cries from the landlords that rent control would prevent future apartment construction, so Los Angeles exempted any structure built after October, 1978 as a political compromise. Newer structures [built after 1978] in Los Angeles are not under rent control, at all.

Under the “Costa-Hawkins” law, when a tenant voluntarily leaves or is evicted for most reasons [ie, not 30-day notice, nor after change of a term, for that term], the landlord can raise the rent to ANY AMOUNT for the new tenant, whose rents are thereafter locked into the rent control limits [3% or whatever].  Any rental unit built after 2/1/95, as well as houses and condos, are not under rent restrictions.  Even where these rent restrictions do not apply, eviction protections do continue.

Two new additions to LA Rent Control are worth noting. Ordinance 175130 [3/5/03] now prohibits the landlord from changing terms of tenancy [other than legal rent increases and government required terms] without mutual agreement of the tenant. Ordinance 174501 prohibits landlords from raising the tenant’s portion of rent [eg, beyond the legal 3%] after terminating a rental assistance program, like Section 8; the landlord can get out of the program, but gives up all the assistance money if he does.

Another exclusion applies to single family dwellings: a rented house by itself on a lot is not under rent control, but a duplex or “two on a lot” houses would be under rent control [if built before 1979]. There are other exclusions like college dorms, motels, and hospitals.

Cities that have rent control provide call-in numbers where you can find out whether the area you live in has rent control and whether your unit is registered under that rent control.

    Normally, rent can be increased with a 30-day notice.  However, due to the current wave of rent hikes, effective January 1, 2001, newly revised Civil Code Section 827 requires a 60-day notice if the rent increase will make that year’s increases exceed 10%.  The idea is to give tenants the ability to adjust to gouging rent increases, but not to stop them. The calculation is a little weird; it doesn’t have to be a large rent increase at once, but just the total of increases over a year.  This new law will mostly affect the expensive rentals, which also tend to have proportionately much bigger hikes.  Also, it does not affect yearly leases, but only month-to-month [or shorter] tenancies. This law expires automatically in 2006, unless the Legislature extends the time or makes it permanent.

    For example, if last year in January you were paying $500, and the landlord already raised the rent $25 in July, an increase for more than $25 this January would require a 60-day notice, because the total of increases for the year would be more than $50, 10% of $500. If the increase total was 10% or less for the year, all you get is the 30-day notice. If the year’s rent increases already total 10% and the landlord then wants to increase rent by one dollar, it has to be by 60-day notice, to mitigate the impact.

    The new law also adds 5 days for mailed notices of change of terms of tenancy. A mailed 30-day notice is effective 35 days later; a mailed 60-day notice is effective 65 days later.

How Can We Get Rent Control?

   Rent control is really only necessary where the vacancy rate in the area is below about 5%, because at about that point, landlords don’t worry about having a vacancy by raising the rent or neglecting repairs, and you don’t have much of a choice when you look around. Consequently, rent control is a law passed by cities where the housing market is tight and rents are going up just because landlords are in control of a necessity of life that is in short supply.  Rent control is not likely going to be a state law, because the problem is local.

   There are two ways to get rent control. The easiest but weakest is for your City Council to enact it, as Los Angeles did. The hardest but strongest is where tenants organize and put rent control on the ballot by getting petition signatures [and then the voters approve it], like Santa Monica did. Both of these require tenant voting clout, that a large number of tenants are registered to vote, do vote in the local election, and all vote together. If the City Council enacts it, it would be an ordinance [city law], but the voters can make it a Charter Amendment [a city constitutional change, more powerful].

    Your first step would be to go to the City Council meeting, and during the Oral Presentation portion [or whatever public input is called there], you tell them about the problem and ask if they are considering enacting rent control [like Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and other high class towns have], or at least Just Cause Eviction, like Glendale [a notoriously conservative town] has. You want to mention these towns in your presentation, since their first knee-jerk reaction is that “rent control destroys cities,” but they can hardly say that about those cities.

    They say whatever publicly, but you then make an appointment with them individually to see where they personally stand and how far they would go. You might find that Just Cause Eviction is not objectionable, and that they might even agree with paying relocation assistance for tenants of buildings being demolished or going through major rehabilitation or termite fumigation. Avoid being confrontational with them. They don’t want to offend the landlord contributors to their campaigns, but may be sympathetic enough to put their political toe into the water. If you get a majority of them to privately approve of something, one of them has to introduce the idea in public discussion.

   If the City Council is going to enact something, they want to be heroes for doing it, even if it’s short of rent control. While they are getting ready to take that step, you’ll want to be in touch with the local newspaper to talk about your plan to organize tenants for better legal protections. Once you’re in the news, other tenants will start to contact you, and you can form a group that can all go the City Council and amplify what you have said. This public clamor then triggers the City Council’s response to take action, and you’re on your way.  The group thanks the City Council for their concern and they get to see the public reaction to that.  If it’s a good reaction, they are encouraged to do more.

   Meanwhile, you do need to find other tenants who are both motivated to do something by their own situation and willing to put in some time to do it. Senior groups, somereligious institutions, teachers, firemen, labor unions, the local Democratic Club or similar liberal group, some liberal organizations, and a lot of local business owners, can help in various ways to get the word out and help you form a political group. There are a lot of talkers, but few doers, so you want to get volunteers into project-based committees, which naturally filter out the talkers. Here’s a helpful explanation for the new people.

   If you have to get rent control by petition, you might as well have the strongest possible law, since the landlords are not going to fight you any less if the law is weak. They fight dirty all the way, and always have. Election fraud is their main tool. Propaganda, false information, and misleading arguments are all you hear from them. They have the money to buy millions in political advertising, while you’ll be lucky to get out one mailer to the voters.  They will have celebrities and public figures telling the public that Rent Control will bring crime to your city, turn it into a slum, drive down their property values, steal from the landlords, prevent the landlords from being able to pay for repairs, run up millions in taxpayer expenses, and force landlords to evict all their tenants. Here’s some common rent control myths. None of these are true, of course, but unquestioning voters will be persuaded.  On your side, you have public controversy, newsworthiness, talk shows, newspaper stories, TV coverage, and pathetic stories about landlord abuses of vulnerable tenants. The political battle is not over the wording of the law, at all, but over emotional and philosophical issues in general.

   The technical wording of the rent control law requires a lawyer to write. It needs to be constitutional, not prevented by State laws, cover all the loopholes, and effectively create the kinds of protection you want. It has to be clear and organized, so that it can be easily followed and doesn’t end up in court for years. When it is circulated for signatures, there are specific laws that must be followed as to procedure, format, timing, and public information, and you should have a lawyer’s help to make sure that those things are done. This website CAN provide some of that assistance, but as a practical matter, local legal advice is necessary. For a start, here is a draft of a rent control law that you might want to circulate by petition in your city. It can be modified to some extent, easily, but major changes would require a re-drafting because so many things are interconnected within it. [Rent Control Draft]

   Tenant voter registration is an important part of this process. Tenants are so used to not having a say, not having their views considered, not having any power to change their lives, that voting seems inconsistent with how they’ve come to view themselves. Only about 5% of tenants actually vote in local elections. Tenants are truly a politically disenfranchised majority. Landlords are only 2% of the population, but seem to run things, because they leverage their money and power. A 10% tenant voter turnout could change the history of politics in your town. Politicians would stop saying they’re against rent control, and start expressing concern for the abused tenants who need their help. It’s a numbers game, to be sure.

   If you are really sincere about wanting to take action, there are groups like ACORN that will help, for a percentage of your donations. There may already be a tenant group formed in your town, which the local reporters or city clerk might know about, and you can join them. You aren’t the only one thinking like this. (source: http://www.caltenantlaw.com/rent-control/)

In San Francisco:Annual Allowable Rent Increase March 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018 = 2.2%  Most tenants are covered by rent control. This means rents can only be raised by certain amounts per year and the tenant can only be evicted for “just causes.” In addition, some rental units have restrictions on how much the landlord can charge the new tenant due to previous evictions. Tenants who do not have rent control can have their rent increased by any amount at any time with a proper written notice.

Rent control is administered by the San Francisco Rent Board. The Rent Board website has extensive information and you can download the San Francisco Rent Ordinance and Rent Board Rules and Regulations or come to our counseling clinic for more information.One of the more unjust parts of rent control is the capital improvement passthrough. Capital improvements are improvements for the building, the landlord’s investment, which tenants mostly pay for through a passthrough. Not only can the landlord get the tenants to pay for increasing the value of his or her investment, the landlord can then write the cost of the improvements off in their taxes. Capital improvements are things like new windows, a new roof, painting of the exterior of the building,  and other similar improvements to the property which add substantially to the life or value of the property as opposed to routine maintenance. Landlords must complete the work, petition the Rent Board and win approval of the rent increase before the cost can be passed on. Tenants can contest the increases at the hearing on certain grounds, like that the work was never done, or was not necessary, or was done to gentrify the building, but it is difficult to stop such a pass through in its entirety. (Source; https://www.sftu.org/rentcontrol/)