Sarah Phelan

Showdown at 55 Laguna

Officials and activists push stubborn UC officials to make project more affordable
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sarah@sfbg.com

Time is running out on attempts by Sup. Ross Mirkarimi, State Sen. Read more »

Money for parks

Just how big an impact can Prop A's $185 million make?
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY A broad coalition of politicians and activists is supporting Proposition A, the $185 million parks bond on the February ballot, with the rare unanimous support of the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Gavin Newsom.

But just how big an impact can this bond, which requires 66 percent voter approval, make? Read more »

Godzilla versus Mothra

How monumental estimates of a tiny invasive moth's economic and environmental impacts are threatening San Francisco with aerial spraying
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sarah@sfbg.com

When retired entomologist Jerry Powell caught two tiny light brown apple moths in a blacklight trap in his Berkeley backyard last winter, he had no idea of the furor his find would unleash — especially in the communities that were subsequently sprayed with female moth pheromones, a process that could come to San Francisco this spring.

Native to Australia and now found widely in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the LBAM (or Epiphyas postvittana, as it's known in bug circles) is classified as a plant pest, but it had never before been reported on t Read more »

Homes for whom?

Homes for whom? Affordable housing is shaping up to be the big political issue of 2008
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sarah@sfbg.com

After years of letting the free market dictate San Francisco's housing mix — as a result steadily losing ground on the city's affordable housing goals — the Board of Supervisors appears primed to place an ambitious bond measure on the fall 2008 ballot to address the housing imbalance.

Winning the necessary support from two-thirds of voters won't be easy, coming on a ballot with the majority of supervisorial seats up for grabs, the presidential election, and a likely bond measure for rebuilding General Hospital. But Sup. Read more »

Converting the rock

February ballot measure seeks support for removing the prison from Alcatraz
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news@sfbg.com

Native American spiritual leader Marshall "Golden Eagle" Jack admits he was just a kid in 1969 when a group of American Indians occupied Alcatraz Island. Read more »

Question of intent

As lawsuits and regulators probe Lennar Corp.'s negligent approach to development on Hunters Point, a new campaign seeks to give the embattled corporation even more control over SF
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sarah@sfbg.com

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former mayor Willie Brown, Sup. Sophie Maxwell, and Mayor Gavin Newsom in recent weeks have come out in support of a proposed ballot measure that would allow Lennar Corp. Read more »

Supervisors approve campaign finance reforms

Board moves to tighten loopholes and increase public financing
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On Nov. 6, while voters were casting their ballots, Sup. Chris Daly and a veto-proof supermajority of the Board of Supervisors approved four ordinances that seek to tighten loopholes in campaign finance law and increase the public financing that will be available to candidates running for at least six openings on the board in 2008.

"The impact of these changes is going to have significant reverberations," Daly told the Guardian. Read more »

Rent control under attack

Eminent domain reform measure on June ballot could kill San Francisco's rent-control and affordable-housing laws
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news@sfbg.com

San Francisco's rent-control and affordable-housing laws could be struck down by a statewide initiative that appears to be headed for the June 2008 ballot.

The measure is sponsored by a coalition of conservative property rights advocates under the guise of limiting the government's ability to seize property by eminent domain.Read more »

Green City: The bay-delta connection

Scientists predict that rising sea levels and levee failures could have profound consequences for both ecosystems
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Until recently, politicians and the public tended to view the problems facing the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta levees as separate from the problems facing the San Francisco Bay. Read more »

Money and politics

Corporations buy influence using big donations and sneaky tactics
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sarah@sfbg.com

The upcoming election hasn't generated much voter interest, with only a couple of measures that seem likely to have an impact. But corporate interests in San Francisco and beyond are still spending big money — in ways that are secretive, suspicious, and sometimes contradictory — to influence the election and win the gratitude of elected officials.

Although the final preelection campaign statements were due Oct. 25, the money continues to roll in. Read more »