Rebecca Bowe

When the feds come knocking

Electronic Frontier Foundation calls on major Internet companies to protect user privacy

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

Three supporters of WikiLeaks have been locked in a months-long court battle with the U.S. government following demands for data associated with their Twitter accounts, and the case has given rise to a campaign calling for improved transparency and user privacy protection across the board, spearheaded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).Read more »

New development planned for site of demolished historic cottage

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About two years ago, the Guardian reported on the demolition of one of San Francisco's oldest buildings -- the Little House, a cottage on Russian Hill that stood for 148 years at 1268 Lombard Street. Read more »

Talking to Twitter

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A great irony of Twitter, Inc. struck me today as I tried unsuccessfully to reach the company for comment on a story. While millions of people can talk to each other using Twitter's platform, it is exceedingly difficult to talk to Twitter. Read more »

Supes vote on Botanical Garden fees

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The Board of Supervisors voted on April 12 to keep in place nonresident fees at the San Francisco Botanical Garden for at least another two years, rejecting a proposal by Sup. John Avalos to do away with the fees and make up for the shortfall with a portion of revenues brought in by a real-estate transfer tax that was approved by voters last year. Read more »

Seeking a watchdog's watchdog

Supervisors reject Ethics Commission candidate who has agitated for reform

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

When cash pumps through the guts of city politics, the Ethics Commission is charged with keeping track of it all to help members of the public follow the money. But what happens when the public loses faith in the ethics of the Ethics Commission?Read more »

Hererra decries "the real outrage" of PG&E delay

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) considered whether or not to accept a deal with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) at its April 11 meeting in which the company would pay a relatively lenient $3 million fine for failing to turn over safety records for its network of natural gas pipelines to the regulatory agency by the March 15 deadline. The CPUC had demanded that the utility turn over the information in the wake of the San Bruno explosion. Prior to crafting the deal, PG&E had faced a possible $1 million-per-day penalty for every day it failed to comply. Read more »

Ethics Commissioner: No surprises, please

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The San Francisco Ethics Commission voted unanimously on April 11 to amend a post-employment ban under the city's Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code, creating a provision that's designed to allow Mayor Ed Lee to resume his post as City Administrator following the completion of his term as interim mayor. Read more »

Rule change for Mayor Ed Lee could expand beyond special case

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Last week, the Guardian reported on the Ethics Commission's decision to waive two post-employment bans for city officials in order to allow mayoral staffer Kyri McClellan to take a job as executive director of the America's Cup Organizing Committee, a role that will put her into direct contact with the same office she's departing from as a representative of private-sector interests. Read more »

Activists respond to sit-lie with handmade benches

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Sometime before 1 a.m. on April 11, a group of activists installed handmade benches at 10 different locations throughout San Francisco as a political statement against the city's sit-lie ordinance. The law, approved by voters last November, prohibits sitting or lying down on city sidewalks. Read more »

More on environmental justice in the Bay Area

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As part of our 2011 Green Issue, the Guardian is spotlighting several pollution-plagued areas throughout the region and the environmental justice campaigns aiming to improve public health for surrounding residents. Read more »