Amanda Witherell

Troubled ferry

Ferry changeover still causing labor pains
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For more than three months, captains, deckhands, and union sympathizers have been protesting on the Embarcadero in front of Alcatraz Cruises' new operations at Pier 33.

But a few blocks away on Market Street, the battling companies have been wrangling inside the offices of the National Labor Relations Board. Read more »

Smelly situation

Smelly situation: Sewage spill and other problems plague new Alcatraz ferry operator
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amanda@sfbg.com

Trips to Alcatraz Island have become a little more unpredictable since Sept. 25, when a new contractor assumed the ferry service from Blue and Gold Fleet, which did the job for the past 12 years. Read more »

Pink-paint hate

A bizarre antigay hate crime stuns SF's premier public high school — and the administration tries to keep it quiet
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It was a little after 6 o'clock on the morning of Sept. 21 when Naomi Okada arrived to start her day at Lowell High School. The Japanese language teacher is often at work early, and after a short wait a custodian let her into the building. Okada made her way down the quiet, empty halls of the school and up a stairwell to the second floor, where she unlocked the door of the World Language Department office. She dropped her things by her desk, one among more than a dozen belonging to the language teachers who share space in the large office. Read more »

The devil in the metadata

San Francisco struggles with a different kind of public record
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The Rules Committee of the Board of Supervisors is considering whether or not the city should allow its departments to release electronic documents that include metadata. Although the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force has already hashed over the minutiae of this issue and ruled that metadata can and should be released, the mystery enshrouding what it is, and the lack of any specific policy or known precedent in other cities or states with public records laws has pushed the discussion upstream to where a formal legislation has become a possibility. Read more »

Money has stopped talking

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by Amanda Witherell

Here's another, less lauded "San Francisco value." Page A18 of the November 14 New York Times (sorry, folks...they don't seem to have it online...) had a tally of the most expensive House races in millions spent. It shows that those who spent the most, lost the most. Just like here in San Francisco!

Republicans outspent Democrats in nearly all the seats the chart lists, and the races they won, they only spent marginally more than their foes. Read more »

Fast Food Nation

Spit on your burger's the least of your worries
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Book lovers always lament movie adaptations: they rarely deliver. But Fast Food Nation, like a swift injection of growth hormone, adds flesh and character to the very real problems of where America's food comes from and the different ways it's absolutely mishandled. Read more »

Oh, the fists!

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by Amanda Witherell

Mayor Newsom is getting pummeled left and right. (Actually, they're probably all lefts.) Only one of his three acolytes won the election last Tuesday. The 49ers are waving good-bye after they promised they weren't talking with any other cities. The Olympic bid went south with them. Supe. Aaron Peskin switched sides and Supe. Read more »

The Downward Spiral

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by Amanda Witherell

Ezra wanted to see The Departed and I was angling for Borat, so we decided to let public transportation pick the movie and time and just BART to the new Westfield shopping mall at Market and Fourth.

I loathe all malls, but it seemed the Westfield's theatre had an ample supply of what we were looking for. And I was in a charitable mood, feeling like I could just forget about where the profit from the $10.00 ticket was really going. Read more »

Ed Jew Takes District 4, Daly in 6

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by Amanda Witherell

The city's Elections department just released the ranked choice results for district 4 and Ed Jew is the unofficial winner with 52 percent of the vote. Ron Dudum was the last to drop, but the results show enough of the voters selected Jew as their preferred second choice.

The ranked choice votes also showed Chris Daly still has a firm grip on his seat in District 6. Read more »

People Power

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by Amanda Witherell

It's after the witching hour and the Guardian has said "good night" to the District 6 celebration, but when we left Chris Daly was still dancing his victorious ass off with hundreds of his supporters on the floor of DNA Lounge.