Guardian Editorial

Move youth housing forward

Much of the low-income, transitional and supportive housing in this city has been concentrated in a few neighborhoods

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EDITORIAL Somewhere between 4,500 and 6,800 young adults in San Francisco are either homeless or marginally housed, according to a 2007 report by the Mayor's Transitional Youth Task Force. And the city has exactly 314 housing units for at-risk young people who have passed their 18th birthday and are kicked out of the foster housing program. That's the definition of a crisis — yet two modest projects that would make a small dent in the problem have faced immense obstacles moving forward.Read more »

Pointless waste at SFPD

Entrapment shouldn't be a line item on police force budget

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EDITORIAL So you're sitting in a doorway, filling a bowl from the dregs of what was once an eighth of (perhaps nonmedical) bud, and some guy comes up an offers you $20 for what's left in the little plastic bag. Maybe you're unemployed, or maybe just a bit short of cash, but either way, it's a no-brainer: For $20, you can some more pot. If the guy's that desperate, and he's waving the cash in front of you, what are you going to do?Read more »

Stop cell phone censorship

The BART board has proven itself unable to properly monitor and oversee its law-enforcement operations
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EDITORIAL The bizarre move by BART officials Aug. 11 to shut down cell phone service in the underground train stations made headlines around the world — and for good reason. It was, Wired Magazine reported Aug 15, apparently the first time in United States history that a public agency sought to block electronic communications as a way to prevent a political protest.Read more »

We need a real question time, Mr. Mayor

Does Ed Lee's recent flip-flop signal a return to the bad old days of City Hall?

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EDITORIAL Mayor Ed Lee and his supporters owe San Franciscans some answers to troubling questions that the reporting of local journalists from at least four different media outlets has been raising this summer. That work — by the Guardian, Bay Citizen, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner — has painted a picture of a corrupt political machine, built largely with public funds, that is acting in naked self-interest to keep Lee in Room 200.Read more »

Step up and save CCA

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EDITORIAL Two things became abundantly clear at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission meeting July 26th: The Community Choice Aggregation program is off track — and General Manager Ed Harrington has no interest in making it work. The supervisors need to move aggressively to save CCA.Read more »

Don't gut SF campaign law

"The Ethics Commission should have used a scalpel, not a sledgehammer"

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The U.S. Supreme Court, which has already ruled that corporations can spend all the money they want on political campaigns, dealt another huge blow to democracy in June when it struck down a campaign finance law in Arizona that was designed to level the playing field for candidates running against better-financed opponents.Read more »

End the BART cover-up

Stonewalling is a mistake for an agency with such an awful track record

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Ten days have passed since a BART police officer shot and killed a man at the Civic Center station — and the public still knows almost nothing about what happened. BART will only say that an officer (unnamed) shot a man who was "aggressive" and "holding a bottle and a knife." One witness told the Bay Citizen that the man "looked like a drunk hippie" and wasn't running or lunging toward the two officers on duty. The coroner has identified the victim as Charles Blair Hill, 45; he had no known address.Read more »

Three good initiatives for the fall

SF voters will get to decide on rent-controlled housing, park admission charges, and shelter beds

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The progressive wing of the Board of Supervisors (including, to her credit, Sup. Jane Kim) has placed three important reform measures on the November ballot. That the measures are headed for the voters is a clear indication of the shift of power at the board — progressives no longer have a reliable six votes. But the progressives still have the ability to push issues — and in an mayoral election year, these measures will provide a valuable gauge for the candidates and create broad-based organizing opportunities.Read more »

Beyond the Ford severance scandal

Nat Ford's dismissal raises issues beyond the $384,000 of taxpayer money

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Supervisor John Avalos and state Senator Leland Yee, who are both running for mayor, picked up on a populist issue last week, blasting away at Muni for paying outgoing chief Nathaniel Ford a whopping $384,000 severance. "With $384,000," Yee's website lamented, "the entire city of San Francisco could park free of charge for three days. Muni could be entirely free for a whole day. We could stripe seven miles of new bike lanes."Read more »

CPMC's stunning arrogance

Plans for a new hospital center has to comply with the city's affordable housing laws

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The San Francisco City Planning Commission hearing June 9 on California Pacific Medical Center's expansion plans was remarkable — both in the comments that the commissioners had and in the mind-boggling arrogance of the giant hospital chain.Read more »