Rebecca Bowe

Bloodshed in Bernal Heights

The police shooting of Alejandro Nieto leaves a community in shock

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rebecca@sfbg.com

On Friday morning, March 21, the day that Alejandro Nieto was shot and killed by San Francisco Police Department officers, he went to the gym with his friend Byron Pedroza. It was something they did often, Pedroza said; the two of them had signed up for gym memberships together. "He'd be like, 'B, get up. Let's go work out.'"Read more »

April Fools Day in San Francisco: Acrobats block Google bus

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“Everyone say, GMuni!”

Activist “Judith Hart,” clad in corporate attire and donning thick glasses without lenses, called into a microphone as she stood on the sidewalk next to a stationary Google bus. She was there as part of a tech bus blockade staged near 24th and Valencia streets this morning (Tue/1), around 9am.

“GMuni!” The crowd chanted.

“GMuni!” Hart repeated.

“GMuni!!!” Came the enthusiastic response.Read more »

Inside the Homeless Outreach Team

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This week’s Bay Guardian features a cover story on homelessness in San Francisco.

For that story, we reached out to the San Francisco Department of Public Health to interview members of the city’s Homeless Outreach Team, public workers who interact directly with people who live on the city’s streets.Read more »

Police provide explanation of Bernal Heights Park shooting at emotional town hall meeting

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The San Francisco Police Department held a town hall meeting at Leonard Flynn Elementary school last night [Wed/25] to discuss a March 21 officer-involved shooting that fatally wounded 28-year-old Alejandro Nieto. The meeting drew a large crowd, with members of the community taking turns speaking for several hours to vent their frustration and sadness over Nieto's death.Read more »

San Francisco's untouchables

Is San Francisco trying to help the homeless -- or drive them away?

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Rebecca@sfbg.com

In one sense, San Francisco's homeless residents have never been more visible than they are in this moment in the city's history, marked by rapid construction, accelerated gentrification, and rising income inequality. But being seen doesn't mean they're getting the help they need.

Not long ago, Lydia Bransten, who heads security at the St. Anthony's Foundation on 150 Golden Gate, happened upon a group of teenagers clustered on the street near the entrance of her soup kitchen. They had video cameras, and were filming a homeless man lying on the sidewalk.Read more »

Draining the tank

Students push UC system to divest from fossil fuels, joining an international movement gathering soon in San Francisco

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rebecca@sfbg.com

When University of California Berkeley students Ophir Bruck and Victoria Fernandez first made contact with the University of California Board of Regents, it was a far cry from the genial hobnobbing they engaged in over lunch at the March 19 Regents meeting in San Francisco, as special guests called Student Advocates to the Regents.

About a year ago, they were outside a Regents meeting in Sacramento and, joined by about 60 other students, symbolically locked to a pair of handmade, 10-foot-tall models of oil rigs they'd set up outside the conference center.Read more »

SFPD to answer questions on fatal shooting of Alejandro Nieto

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San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr will be on hand this evening [Tue/25] for a town hall meeting to discuss last week’s officer-involved shooting in Bernal Heights Park. The shooting victim, 28-year-old Alejandro Nieto, was a City College of San Francisco student, a Latino, and Bernal Heights resident who had hoped to become a youth probation officer.

Just before sunset last night [Mon/24], a group of about 150 friends, family members, and community supporters gathered for a vigil at the spot where he was gunned down by multiple police officers.Read more »

Sexual assault survivors seek reform at the University of California

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University of California Berkeley graduate Nicoletta Commins was 20 when she was sexually assaulted, in early 2012. She’d been taking a Taekwondo class, and said her teammate assaulted her when they were in her apartment.

He was “just an acquaintance,” she said in a phone interview. “We were sort of flirty, but not close friends.”Read more »

Democratic party rejects bid to make waterfront development more democratic (UPDATED)

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Note: This story has been updated (see below).

The governing body of the San Francisco Democratic Party voted Wed/12 to oppose a controversial June ballot measure concerning waterfront height limits, despite voting last year to support a strikingly similar measure on the November ballot.Read more »

Glimmers of sunshine

Freedom of information can take many forms, but the principle stays the same

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rebecca@sfbg.com

For 29 years, San Francisco Bay Area journalists have gathered in mid-March — around the birthday of founding father and free-press advocate James Madison — to recognize reporters, attorneys, citizens, and others who fight to shake or keep information free.Read more »