Rebecca Bowe

Chiu and Herrera roll up their sleeves for spring cleaning in City Hall

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For some time now, oft-labeled “power brokers” with undue influence in San Francisco city government have taken heat for failing to register as lobbyists. At the same time, politically connected insiders are often criticized for manipulating the permitting process for major real estate developments far outside the public gaze.

It’s said that sunshine is the best disinfectant. Yesterday, City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced a package of reforms designed to shed more light on lobbyists’ practices.Read more »

Wells Fargo foreclosure fighters: They’re baaaack!

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See an update at the end of this article.

 A group of activists focused on organizing against Bay Area foreclosures will return to Wells Fargo’s San Francisco headquarters today for a protest timed to coincide with the banking giant’s shareholders’ meeting – even though the meeting was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah this year. (Perhaps the change of scenery had something to do with what happened last year, or the year before?) Read more »

Bay Area groups critical of immigration reform proposal

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Olga Miranda, secretary treasurer of the San Francisco Labor Council and president of SEIU Local 87, did not mince words when sharing her initial reaction to the proposed federal immigration reform bill, which was unveiled April 16 by a bipartisan group of senators.

“If it was myself and our members at the bargaining table, we would walk away,” Miranda said. “This proposal is nothing more than an offense to the community.”Read more »

Is there such a thing as "green" fracking?

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Michael Klein is an unlikely oil industry executive. He’s also an unlikely environmental activist. For many years, the affluent San Franciscan was a major donor and chair of the board of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental organization famous for its aggressive agitation targeting timber giants, coal companies, air polluters, and the dirty energy financiers of Wall Street.

But he's stepped down from that role, and has since helped form a company called Hydrozonix, which might be called a “green” fracking enterprise.Read more »

Is there a "green" way to frack?

An erstwhile chair of the Rainforest Action Network says yes

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Michael Klein is an unlikely oil industry executive. He's also an unlikely environmental activist. For many years, the wealthy San Franciscan was a major donor and chair of the board of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental organization famous for agitating aggressively against timber giants, coal companies, air polluters, and the dirty energy financiers of Wall Street.

But Klein stepped down from that role, and has since helped form a company called Hydrozonix, which might be called a "green" fracking enterprise.Read more »

By the numbers

An Earth Day 2013 index

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rebecca@sfbg.com

77: Years before climate scientists say the Sierra Snowpack, the state's largest reservoir, could dwindle to half its historic size. [Source: Fact Sheet, California Air Resources Board]

2,500,000,000,000: Barrels of "produced" wastewater generated by onshore oil and gas wells in California in 2011.

[Source: California Department of Conservation]Read more »

Fracking changes everything

It's toxic. It's contributing to climate change. And it's happening all over California — with little regulation

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In December 2012, the federal Bureau of Land Management held an annual auction for oil and gas development rights on federal territory in California, offering up wild lands in Fresno, Monterey, and San Benito counties. It sold off leases to 15 parcels, totaling nearly 18,000 acres. One bidder was a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, an oil company that drilled 675 new wells in California in 2011 alone.Read more »

Alerts

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WEDNESDAY 24

Forum: Art and politics with Rebar 518 Valencia, SF. rebargroup.org. 7:30-10:30pm, free. Operating in San Francisco since 2004, Rebar has been transforming cities with urban art and creative actions with an aim toward reclaiming the city by and for citizens themselves. Join founder and principal Blaine Merker for a discussion exploring how people both inside and outside positions of power can help the city benefit from urban art and other creative actions.Read more »

Proposal would halt condo conversions for ten years

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San Francisco Supervisors Norman Yee, Jane Kim and Board President David Chiu gathered with a cluster of tenant advocates at City Hall April 15 to unveil a proposal billed as a more equitable alternative to a highly controversial condominium conversion legislation that’s fueled a months-long battle over affordable housing. Read more »

Checks from mayor's mysterious breakfast companions mysteriously absent

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In less than three months, custom made super yachts will zip around the San Francisco Bay in the ultimate competition for the prized America’s Cup. But San Francisco could wind up spending millions more than originally expected to host this prestigious sailing regatta.Read more »