No problem here, folks. Just Mission Local (a popular neighborhood blog run by the UC system's graduate school of journalism at UC Berkeley) and Genentech getting cozy to bedazzle private buses. Why? Because it's a pretty thing to do.
Reporter Lydia Chávez has the details:
Yes, we are still giving a $500 reward for the best entry into our unofficial contest to turn the tech buses into art. But what’s better is that it is no longer completely unofficial. Genentech wants to bedazzle its buses and will select one winner whose art will adorn the side of one of its buses in 2014!
Mission Local goes on to say, "Genentech’s interests are similar to ours: community mindfulness." We have no idea what that means, exactly. Maybe the art-ified bus will spew out bags of money so that longtime Mission residents being forced out of their homes can pay skyrocketing rents? That would be cool. That's a $500-winning idea right there.
SFist reached out to Mission Local for clarification. Does the UC-run publication see the conflict of interest working with a corporation like Genetech?
"I don’t see a conflict — and I hope that Facebook, Yahoo and Google will join in," Chávez explains to SFist. "I returned from a year away from the Mission and was surprised to see how many buses were going through the neighborhood, but going through in an oddly anonymous way. But of course they are not anonymous at all. I see the benefits — fewer people in cars and the buses are often getting workers to places where public transportation fails to reach. But they’re so void of beauty and they’re such great canvases."
Mission Local goes on to add that their contest "is a way to bring the city’s art talent to solve the beauty problem."
Earlier this year, if you recall, a smattering of people held an anti-gentrification block party in the Mission where a Google Bus piñata was smashed to bits. However, and for what it's worth, giant commuter buses mean fewer cars on the road. Which is a good thing.
Anyway, if you want to submit an idea, have at it. You have until December 31.