Rachel Stern

From fryers to fuel

SFGreasecycle hits the restaurant circuit
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GREEN CITY At Ar Roi Thai in Nob Hill, about 75 gallons of oil are left over every month from the creation of the restaurant's deep-fried cuisine, according to manager Theresa Shotiveyaratana. But instead of dumping it, the business donates its gunk to the newly established SFGreasecycle, which converts it into biodiesel that is now used to power San Francisco city vehicles such as Muni buses and fire engines.

As of Dec. Read more »

Counseling torture

Psychologists' association rejects ban on participating in coercive interrogation -- but voices concern over cruel tactics
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Ruth Fallenbaum, a private psychologist based in Berkeley, decided to withhold her annual dues to the American Psychological Association this year. Read more »

Green City: The last hour

The 11th Hour
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GREEN CITY For sisters Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners, the last possible moment to lessen humanity's impact on the environment — the 11th hour, from which the new documentary they cowrote and codirected aptly takes its name — has come upon us. Read more »

Who's behind the wheel?

Taxi permits, which give the holder a nice income, are only for active drivers. So what happens when a permit holder gets disabled?
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In 1997, Dirk, a taxi driver of 20 years, was stabbed in the neck by a hitchhiker he picked up after his last shift. Ten years later, blind and brain damaged because of the loss of blood, he still receives income of roughly $1,800 a month from his taxi medallion.

Under city law, he's supposed to be driving.

Medallions are among the most prized — and disputed — permits in town. The city owns all 1,381 of the medallions, which allow the holders to operate taxis. Read more »

Green City: Winds of change

Todd Pelman's household energy turbines
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GREEN CITY Atop Bernal Heights, winds speed at 25 mph, enough to prematurely slam doors, disperse heat, and power Todd Pelman's Roscoe Street house with 100 watts of electricity at any given moment.

The 34-year-old engineer has pioneered the city's first permitted micro–wind project, a six-foot-tall cylindrical turbine that currently sits on his roof and sends juice into the energy grid, offsetting some of his dependence on Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Read more »

Smoke and mirrors

Pot clubs can't get a break: New rules would force many to close
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Compassion and Care Center employee and longtime medical marijuana activist Wayne Justmann proudly displays a framed "keep up the good work" letter from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–San Francisco) in the second-story medical cannabis dispensary in San Francisco.

"Patients can sit and relax and get away from the problems of the world," Justmann told the Guardian in describing this half pharmacy, half community center, which features AIDS information brochures, a DSL Internet connection, the makings for peanut butter and jel Read more »

Cab it forward

Green Cab leads a push to make San Francisco's taxis more environmentally friendly
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GREEN CITY Eight San Francisco cabbies fed up with their money-devouring gas guzzlers have founded a taxi company that is friendly to the environment and to workers.

Green Cab hit the streets April 25, flaunting its ideology with bright paint jobs. Read more »