EDITORIAL The six-unit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was designed to withstand the strongest earthquake that geologists said could reasonably be predicted for the region near northern Japan. It was designed to withstand the largest tsunami that the experts expected. It had triple backups to keep the reactor cores cool in the event of a natural disaster.Read more »
EDITORIAL As the stories in this issue show, open government laws are critical to democracy. Without the city's sunshine law, we wouldn't know how the proposal to give Twitter a tax break ballooned into a major giveaway. Without the sunshine laws, Tim Crews, the embattled publisher of the Sacramento Valley Mirror, wouldn't have been able to use his small paper to hold public officials accountable.
That's why the laws on the books need to be enforced — and sometimes strengthened. One example in San Francisco is the lobbyist registration requirement.Read more »
EDITORIAL The race for mayor is now fully underway, with eight candidates declared — and at least four are fighting for the progressive vote. It's a remarkably open field — and the fact that there's no clear frontrunner, no candidate whose money is dominating the election, no Willie Brown or Gavin Newsom, is the result of two critical progressive reforms: public financing and ranked-choice voting.Read more »
EDITORIAL In a Feb. 18 message to shareholders, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced that the projected costs of the San Bruno pipeline explosion could exceed $700 million. Now the company wants to get some of that back from ratepayers. That will be a huge test for Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Public Utilities Commission, and send a signal about how the new governor will deal with the rogue utility. Read more »
EDITORIAL One of the biggest, most important municipal contracts in San Francisco is never put out to bid. It's awarded to the same company, automatically, and has been since 1932. Recology Inc. (formerly known as Sunset Scavenger, Envirocal, and Norcal Solid Waste Systems) is the only outfit licensed to pick up trash in the city. It's also the only company that has a monopoly guaranteed in the City Charter. Read more »
EDITORIAL A piece of simple, logical legislation that would protect San Francisco consumers, public safety, and the environment appears headed for the desk of Mayor Ed Lee — and his signature would be the first clear sign that he's not going to let powerful lobbyists (or the legacy of Gavin Newsom) guide his decisions.Read more »
EDITORIAL Mayor Ed Lee needs to demonstrate, as we noted last week, that he's making a clean break from the politics and policies of the Newsom administration — and there are things he can do immediately to reassure San Franciscans that he's going to offer more than another 11 months of a failed administration.
He can start by calling off the eviction of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Recycling Center.Read more »
EDITORIAL San Francisco has its first Chinese American mayor, and that's a major, historic milestone. Let's remember: Chinese immigrants were among the most abused and marginalized communities in the early days of San Francisco. In 1870, the city passed a series of laws limiting the rights of Chinese people to work and live in large parts of the city. Chinese workers built much of the Transcontinental Railroad — at slave wages and in desperately unsafe conditions that led to a large number of deaths. Read more »
EDITORIAL There are two things Gov. Jerry Brown has to do to get California back on track, and he needs to start right away. He has to restore at least a degree of public faith in state government — and he has to put a series of tax increases on the June ballot.Read more »
EDITORIAL Let us begin with the obvious: Mayor Gavin Newsom has absolutely no business deciding who should replace him. His petulant statements suggesting that he will delay taking office as lieutenant governor until the supervisors pick a candidate he likes are an embarrassment to the city. If he actually refuses to take the oath of office Jan. 3, when his term in Sacramento begins, it will damage his reputation and political career.Read more »