Rebecca Bowe

Are you really middle class?

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A fascinating article appeared in the New York Times a couple days ago about the bias people tend to have when it comes to beliefs about their own economic standing in relation to the rest of society. It seems a trio of researchers found that Argentinians tend to view their personal economic classifications in much the same way people in the United States do: Everyone believes they are middle class. Read more »

And the next chief is...yes, Suhr!

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Mayor Ed Lee appointed a deeply emotional Captain Greg Suhr as Chief of the San Francisco Police Department during a swearing-in ceremony where the majority of folks were either elected officials, running for election, running each other’s electoral campaigns—or wearing SFPD uniforms.

And in the end it seemed that the choice may have been influenced by pressure from the powerful San Francisco Police Officers Association, judging from the comment Lee jokingly directed at SFPOA leader Gary Delagnes, saying, “Gary, it’s time to get quiet and go to work.” Read more »

Earth Day in City Hall ... on Wells Fargo's dime

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Who was lucky enough to get treated to Mayor Ed Lee's Earth Day Breakfast in City Hall, with the city's top politicos and a smattering of high-profile San Franciscans? After noticing that the Board of Supervisors had approved a grant of $12,000 from Wells Fargo a few weeks ago to sponsor the event, the Guardian contacted the Mayor's Office to ask for the guest list. The response came from the city's Department of the Environment, which accepted the donation and organized the affair. Read more »

PG&E CEO Peter Darbee stepping down

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Word's out that Peter Darbee, the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation, is stepping down. Darbee's departure comes amid a federal investigation into the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, which resulted in tragic loss of life, devastated an entire neighborhood, and served to highlight safety issues with the utility's vast network of underground gas transmission pipelines. Read more »

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 »