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Meeting Information


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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


  1. Roll Call

    Members present: Commissioners P. J. Johnston, Maya Draisin, Rod Freebairn-Smith

    Members absent: Commissioner Anne Brauer

    Staff present: Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth, Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar, Certification Clerk Evelyn Russell, Deputy City Attorney Marie Corlett Blits, Deputy City Attorney Virginia Dario Elizondo

    Commissioner Johnston, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m. and stated that the item pertaining to "Hearing and possible motion to approve proposal to amend lottery procedure for assigning selling spaces" would be continued to the following month's meeting.  

  2. Hearing and possible motion to approve issuance of certificates or renewal of certificates.  (This hearing was tape recorded; all documents presented are available in the hearing file.)

    Sean Yore - Certificate #6044 (expired November 29, 2004) - and Linda Hagen - Certificate #5961 (expired December 27, 2004).
    Alleged violations: (1) Improper conduct of business: Selling an image created by Mr. Yore and Ms. Hagen copied from a photograph by Kerrick James; (2) Improper conduct of business: Misrepresentation to the public regarding the type of goods sold by selling a print as an "original", "watercolor" painting.

    Commissioner Johnston acknowledged the presence of Deputy City Attorney Marie Corlett Blits to verify that the hearing would maintain proper procedure.  The Commissioner requested the following: an opening statement by the Street Artists Program Director, an opening statement by the counsel for the respondents, presentation of evidence by the Program Director, presentation of evidence by counsel and respondents, rebuttal and closing arguments by the Program Director, and closing arguments by counsel and respondents.  During the presentation of evidence by both sides, there would be allowance for testimony by witnesses and the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.  Public comment, limited to three minutes per person, would occur after this procedure.

    Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar presented a chronology of the case from his office's receipt of complaint and evidence to issuance of "Notice of Withholding of Certificate Pending Hearing" to Mr. Yore and Ms. Hagen.  He discussed the nature of the charges and the Arts Commission's jurisdiction with regard to the charges, as well as their relevance to not only the Street Artists Ordinance but to the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code and the California Business and Professions Code.

    Mr. Gregory Alan Rutchik of "the arts and technology group", attorney for Sean Yore and Linda Hagen, presented his opening statement with denied the charges.

    Program Director Lazar submitted evidence and declarations in support of the charges.  He presented the following witnesses who, under oath, gave testimony: Ellen Falcinelli, Dickran Knoble, Linda Amato, and Philip John Amato.

    Mr. Rutchik cross-examined Ms. Falcinelli, Mr. Knoble, Ms. Amato, Mr. Amato, and Program Director Lazar.

    Mr. Rutchik submitted evidence and declarations in denial of the charges.  Mr. Yore and Ms. Hagen, under oath, and in response to questions of their attorney, gave testimony stating that Mr. Yore took various photographs of cable cars, the Bay Bridge, and persons getting on a cable car, to create a composite image, and painted the image with watercolors.  Mr. Yore demonstrated a technique of projecting various photographic images onto a flat plain surface which, he said, were traced to form the outlines of a scene similar to the one subject to this proceeding.  Mr. Yore and Ms. Hagen stated that they were unaware of the Kerrick James photograph.  Ms. Hagen, Mr. Rutchik, and Mr. Yore responded to questions by the Commissioners.

    The Commissioners thoroughly examined the evidence presented by both sides.

    Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth, referring to the declarations submitted by Mr. Yore and Ms. Hagen and Mr. Rutchik's written argument, questioned Mr. Yore on when and how he obtained his image.

    Program Director Lazar cross-examined Ms. Hagen.

    In rebuttal, the Program Director addressed the evidence submitted by the respondents in comparison with the evidence submitted against them.

    The Program Director gave his closing arguments.

    Mr. Rutchik gave his closing arguments.

    Commissioner Johnston stated that his Committee would take the matter under submission for deliberation and decision; both parties would be invited to submit any proposed findings over the course of the next two weeks by February 7th;  that public comment would presently be taken; but no action would be taken today on the item; and that the item would be continued to the next meeting of February 9th.

    Under public comment, the following spoke:  Paula Datesh, Philip Jon Amato, George Shuey, Dickran Knoble, Dennis Dooley, Susan Pete, Gregory Alan Rutchik, Sharon MacDougall.

  3. New business

    Former certificate-holder Paula Datesh Grundman requested a re-issuance of her certificate and submitted copies of the Street Artists Committee's minutes of April 14 and October 13, 2004, and Article 24 of the San Francisco Police Code.

  4. Adjournment

    There being no further business, Commissioner Johnston adjourned the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

    Respectfully submitted:

    Howard Lazar
    Street Artists Program Director


 February 2, 2005