Sarah Phelan

Tenant Torment

Renters left hanging as city convenes for holidays and Newsom heads for Hawaii

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Mayor Gavin Newsom's mid-December decision to announce — on YouTube — that he planned to introduce legislation to protect San Francisco renters from foreclosure-related evictions has outraged tenants rights organizations.

They say Newsom is trying to undermine a much stronger bill by Sup. John Avalos that would give thousands of tenants in newer buildings the same protections as tenants in buildings constructed before 1979.Read more »

The Candlestick farce

Two commissions reject logic and common sense to promote Newsom's stadium agenda
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No one was really surprised when commissioners for the Redevelopment Agency and Planning Department voted last week to only give the public a Scrooge-like 15 days to review a six-volume, 4,400-page draft environmental impact report for Lennar Corp.'s massive 700-acre Candlestick Point redevelopment project.Read more »

Holiday snowjob

Why are officials seeking to limit public review of the city's biggest development proposal?
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sarah@sfbg.com

Shortly before Thanksgiving, San Francisco city officials announced that the draft environmental impact report for Lennar Corp.'s massive Hunters Point Shipyard-Candlestick Point redevelopment proposal was finally available, and that the public has 45 days — until Dec. 28 — to read and comment on the 4,400-page document.

Envisioned to include more than 10,000 homes (most of them market-rate condos) spread over 708 acres in southeast San Francisco, the project — whose vague outlines city voters affirmed by approving Prop. Read more »

Empty threats

Activists say comments by the mayor and U.S. attorney are bluster that shouldn't affect new sanctuary city law
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sarah@sfbg.com

A controversial change to San Francisco's sanctuary city policy — requiring due process to play out before city officials turn arrested undocumented immigrant minors over to federal authorities — officially becomes city law this week. But its implementation is still in limbo.

Last month, the Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to override a veto of the legislation by Mayor Gavin Newsom, who says he won't implement it anyway because he thinks it violates federal law. Authored by Sup. David Campos, the legislation goes into effect Dec. Read more »

Crossing the line

How Mayor Newsom's policies are tearing apart families, imprisoning and imperiling children, and creating a climate of fear in immigrant communities
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sarah@sfbg.com

Estella (a fake name she used to protect her identity) is a single mother of five who came to the United States from Latin America when her oldest daughter was a baby, hoping for a better future for her family.

But thanks to a shift in San Francisco's sanctuary policy that Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered last year, Estella's daughter — we'll call her Maria, now 15 — was seized by federal immigration authorities this fall, ripped from her family and community, and shipped to a detention center in Miami.

Her crime: she got in a fight with her younger, U.S.-born si Read more »

Sanctuary showdown

Newsom forces a legal stalemate while hundreds of kids face deportation
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sarah@sfbg.com

City Hall echoed with delighted whoops of Si se puede! last week, as a veto-proof majority of the Board of Supervisors voted to give juvenile immigrants their day in court before referring them to federal immigration authorities.

But the battle over the civil rights of immigrant kids is far from over, as Mayor Gavin Newsom, Police Chief George Gascón and U.S. Read more »

Attack of the right-wing nuts

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: The manipulations and media machine behind the assault on progressive ideas
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news@sfbg.com

In April 2006, with the approval ratings of President George W. Bush plummeting, his senior political advisor, Karl Rove, began discussing a plan to turn things around.

His strategy: attack progressive organizations that were registering low-income people to vote and helping them fight corporate power — and claim it was about voter fraud.Read more »

Fighting for juvenile justice

Do we want to risk deporting innocent kids — and seeing them die trying to rejoin their families?
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sarah@sfbg.com

Sup. David Campos' proposal to amend San Francisco's sanctuary policy so that the city guarantees due process to juvenile immigrants heads for a full vote of the board next week with the support of a veto-proof majority of supervisors.

Board President David Chiu and Sups. Read more »

Crunch time

Lennar and its partners make final push to approve massive development proposal
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sarah@sfbg.com

The proposal by city officials and Lennar Corp. to build more than 10,000 new housing units at Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point is entering a critical phase, particularly for Bayview-Hunters Point residents who want greater oversight and scrutiny of the project.

Candidates are lining up to replace termed-out District 10 Sup. Read more »

Desperate measures?

GREEN CITY: Plans for the Bay's first desalinization plant inch forward -- but what about the energy costs?
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sarah@sfbg.com

A proposal to open the first desalination plant on the San Francisco Bay inched forward Aug. Read more »