Listen Local is Mission Local in audio form. We record live on a biweekly webcast at every other Thursday morning from 9:30 to 10:00.

In this week’s episode, we bring on special guest Alan Beatts, the owner of Borderlands Books, to discuss a controversial stance he took upon announcing that his bookstore would close: Beatts blamed the voter approved minimum wage increase. We discuss Beatts’ position that the minimum wage bump was the death knell for his business and what can be done to protect other small businesses like his. (Since recording this interview on Thursday morning, Beatts has since announced he’s got a new plan for staying in business.)

In the second part of our show, we discuss our investigation into the owner of the building that caught fire in the Mission last month. We debate what the city’s role is in investigating negligent landlords and what could be done to prevent catastrophes in the future.

Listen here:

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Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

Andrea was born and raised in Mexico City, where she graduated as a translator/interpreter. She has been working with Mission Local since 2009 translating content for the Spanish page. Also lives in the Mission, does some reporting, social media and enjoys taking photos and training people that want to contribute to Mission Local.

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  1. The minimum wage went from $10.74 to $11.05 on January 1, and goes to $12.25 in May. If he’s riding on that thin a margin then his business model will never work no matter what he does. He has said he does plan to keep the cafe, though.