SF supervisors reject challenge of Google bus pilot program

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An appeal of the Google bus pilot program's exemption from environmental review was denied at a contentious Board of Supervisors hearing Tuesday night that went on for six and a half hours straight. The vote was 8-2 to move forward with the 18-month pilot program without environmental review, with only Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos voting nay.Read more »

Will Airbnb pay its accumulated tax debt to SF?

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So now that Airbnb has agreed to start collecting and paying the transient occupany tax in San Francisco sometime this summer — finally acknowledging that’s the only workable way to meet the tax obligation it shares with its hosts — that leaves open the question of whether this $10 billion corporation intends to pay the tax debt it has accumulated for years while trying to duck its respon Read more »

Billionaire helps poke holes in oil industry's argument for drilling Monterey Shale

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“We’ve been told that there’s a great oil boom on the immediate horizon,” billionaire investor and Pac Heights resident Tom Steyer noted at the start of a March 27 talk in Sacramento. Read more »

April Fools Day in San Francisco: Acrobats block Google bus

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“Everyone say, GMuni!”

Activist “Judith Hart,” clad in corporate attire and donning thick glasses without lenses, called into a microphone as she stood on the sidewalk next to a stationary Google bus. She was there as part of a tech bus blockade staged near 24th and Valencia streets this morning (Tue/1), around 9am.

“GMuni!” The crowd chanted.

“GMuni!” Hart repeated.

“GMuni!!!” Came the enthusiastic response.Read more »

Airbnb finally agrees to pay its taxes in SF

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Airbnb has apparently finally agreed to pay its taxes in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the company, long called out by Guardian articles and editorials as a tax scofflaw blatantly defying a city ruling, will start collecting and remitting the 15 percent transient occupancy tax by this summer. Read more »

Read don't tweet: 83rd California Book Awards nominees announced

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The Commonwealth Club announced the nominees in six categories for its definitive Califonia Book Awards today -- and as usual it's full of stuff I'm dying to read. Why are literary awards, in particular, among the sharpest admonishments for wasting one's life on social media?

Well, screw you, Reza Aslan, and your Fox News-incinerating Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth -- I've Pinterested all the parody Kimye Vogue covers and publicly dissected that "Black Jeopardy" skit from last week's SNL on Facebook. 

Anyway, here are your nominees. Winners will be announced June 9 at a 6pm ceremony at the Commonewealth Club, open to the public. I'll probably be too busy scanning #tbt pics, sigh.

Read more »

Opposing sides rally troops for tech bus throw-down

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Tomorrow’s (Tue/1) San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting will feature a hearing on the environmental impact of commuter shuttles, including Google buses. In what promises to be a telling moment in a polarizing controversy that started in late 2013, supervisors will be forced to pick a side.Read more »

Jawbreaker drummer Adam Pfahler for punk rock Santa Claus

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So this is a pretty great way to start a Monday morning. Via Jawbreaker's Facebook page, run by drummer Adam Pfahler:

Me and my daughter Mimi are driving down Valencia street. At Mission, we notice the car in front of us has a Jawbreaker sticker on the bumper. Mimi gets a kick out of this and says, "Pull up and say hi!" I figure it's someone from the neighborhood who I know who's en route to Thrillhouse Records. We pull up but I don't know the kid. I happen to have some one of a kind glittery Jawbreaker buttons that Busy Beaver sent me, so Mimi rolls down the window and gives him one. Read more »

London Grammar leads a vocal chord workout at The Independent

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Five years ago, when Dan Rothman and Hannah Reid met online, they could hardly envision the musical acclaim that would come from a Facebook message. The Nottingham University students began acollaboration that turned into a full-fledged band when classmate Dominic "Dot" Major joined the pair a year later. By 2011, London Grammar was born.Read more »

Late entries: !!!, Janet Mock, DJ Shadow, Joey Negro, Kadet Kuhne, more

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Sometimes we get word of cool things after press time, things you should totally go to. Here are some.

FRIDAY 28

>>JANET MOCK -- author, trans activist, and inspiration -- will appear tonight at the LGBT Center. She's kicking off a weekend-long celebration that will culminate in SF's first Trans Visibility Day on Monday. 

>>DJ SHADOW: The legendary SF turntablist has just been added to a killer lineup at 1015 Folsom.

Read more »

Port of Oakland rejects deceptive contract bid by Black Muslim security firm

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Editor’s Note: This report, which appears in today’s Oakland Tribune, is part of the continuing efforts of the Chauncey Bailey Project, a joint investigation by various media outlets (including the Bay Guardian) into the 2007 murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery.

By Thomas Peele and Matt O’Brien, Bay Area News Group

OAKLAND — Admitting they nearly entered into a deal with a questionable security company now under investigation, Port of Oakland commissioners on yesterday [Thu/27] Thursday vowed to revamp their contracting process. Read more »

"Uncle Leland" suspended from California Senate, with pay for now

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The California Senate today voted 28-1 to suspend, with pay, three allegedly corrupt state senators: Ron Calderon, Rod Wright, and Leland Yee, also known as "Uncle Leland" in a federal corruption case filed against him this week.Read more »

Inside the Homeless Outreach Team

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This week’s Bay Guardian features a cover story on homelessness in San Francisco.

For that story, we reached out to the San Francisco Department of Public Health to interview members of the city’s Homeless Outreach Team, public workers who interact directly with people who live on the city’s streets.Read more »

Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s gangster past in History Channel documentary

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Of all the cast of characters in the scandal encircling Sen. Leland Yee, none is more colorful and intriguing than Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

The former Chinatown gang boss is interviewed extensively in this episode of the History Channel’s “Gangland,” embedded below. It traces Chow’s history -- from the first time he knifed someone when he was nine years old, to the story of his rise to power, running a criminal empire from Chinatown with ambitions to engulf the United States. Read more »