Rebecca Bowe

COH sends in "hostage negotiators" during budget talks (VIDEO)

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Members of the Board of Supervisors, their legislative aides, and other City Hall regulars were all looking a bit sleep-deprived as they darted from office to office at City Hall July 1 after ongoing budget negotiations kept everyone up late the night before. Just as an agreement on the city budget seemed within reach on June 30, Mayor Gavin Newsom and his chief of staff, Steve Kawa, had expressed strong opposition to several initiatives that progressive members of the Board of Supervisors sought to place on the November ballot.

The mayor's last-minute move was described by some as a quid pro quo that withheld support for an amended budget -- which included about $40 million in restorations to community programs that are high priorities for members of the board -- unless four different proposals were struck from the ballot. Three were proposed charter amendments dealing with commission appointments that would distribute power more evenly between the board and the mayor, and the fourth was a proposal put forth by Sup. Ross Mirkarimi that would have required the San Francisco Police Department to adopt a community-policing model and engage in neighborhood foot patrols, initially cast as an enlightened alternative to Newsom's proposed law banning sitting or lying down on the sidewalk. 

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“No new taxes,” but fees and restrictions may apply

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The agenda for the June 29 Board of Supervisors meeting reads like the fine print of a credit card statement, with fees piled upon more fees.  Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing a slew of increases to sums that must be forked over for a wide array of city services or permits as a way to bridge a gaping budget gap. With major cuts to critical services in the face of a dramatic revenue shortfall, it's not surprising that the city is tightening its squeeze to make up for some of the damage. Read more »

SUV rampage victim speaks about the night he was hit

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A line of television news cameras swiveled toward Rolando Casajeros, known to his friends and coworkers as “Allan,” and followed him as he moved gingerly into the conference room at a downtown San Francisco law office. The press conference was held on June 24 at the office of Choulos, Choulos & Wyle, the law firm tapped to represent him in a civil suit against the driver of the blue Nissan Rogue SUV that rammed into him June 2. Read more »

Fundraiser this weekend for cyclist injured in SUV rampage

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A fundraiser is planned for this weekend at The Old Clamhouse to help Alan Casajeros, one of four cyclists injured on June 2 when a motorist intentionally plowed into them with a sport utility vehicle.Read more »

Danger zone

A proposal to privatize jail health services comes with a potentially steep cost to inmates and the public

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

Rita Connolly, a registered nurse who has worked with inmates in San Francisco jails since 1985, says she'll never forget the time she had to act fast to save a prisoner's life.

The man had just arrived from a different jail and was waiting to go through intake. He was slumped over and looking ill, too weak to voice a complaint. Several worried inmates beckoned Connolly over, and once she examined him, she realized he was in the midst of a heart attack. He was rushed to the emergency room. He lived — but sustained irreversible heart damage.Read more »

Judge orders UC police to hand over journalist’s photographs

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Remember when a crowd of angry student protesters surrounded the home of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau last December, and broke some windows? And then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called them terrorists? Read more »

Mirkarimi to PG&E: We want our $46 million back

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Speaking at the June 15 Board of Supervisors meeting, Sup. Ross Mirkarimi introduced a non-binding resolution calling on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to refund ratepayers for the $46 million it spent on a failed bid to pass Proposition 16, a ballot initiative dubbed the “Taxpayer’s Right to Vote Act” that would have impeded the creation of municipal electricity programs. Read more »

Welcome to Peter Darbee’s world

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“The only thing worse than a thug is an ineffective thug,” a source, who has closely tracked Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s activities for years, told us yesterday. “And that’s what [PG&E CEO] Peter Darbee is revealing himself to be.” Read more »

Sit /lie goes down at the Board of Supervisors

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At the June 8 Board of Supervisors meeting, a controversial ordinance that sought to ban sitting or lying down on the sidewalk was voted down 8 to 3, with Sups. Michela Alito-Pier, Sean Elsbernd, and Carmen Chu voting in favor.

Proponents of the law, which was backed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief George Gascon, framed it as a measure to promote "civil sidewalks." Yet opponents believed that the law would be used as a tool against the homeless.Read more »

Prop 16 opponents celebrate

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It's now official: Prop 16 is toast.

With 87 percent of the election results in, Prop 16 was losing, 52.6 percent "no" to 47.4 percent "yes."

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