Sarah Phelan

The story of Q

Quintin Mecke emerges as the strongest mayoral candidate in a weak field
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sarah@sfbg.com

With just a couple of weeks to go until San Franciscans elect their next mayor, Quintin Mecke, the 34-year-old program director of the Safety Network, has emerged as Gavin Newsom's top challenger.

Since declaring his candidacy, the fresh-faced Mecke has been endorsed by almost every significant progressive entity in the city, including supervisors Chris Daly and Ross Mirkarimi, BART board member and Livable City director Tom Radulovich, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, the San Francisco Tenants Union, and the Guardian.

"Of all the mayoral ca Read more »

41st Anniversary Special: Wrecked park

Chronic underfunding has made the Recreation and Park Department a prime privatization target
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news@sfbg.com

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has a long history of maintaining parks, community centers, and other recreational offerings. In fact, it controls more land in the city than any other entity, public or private. But after seeing its budget repeatedly slashed during lean fiscal years, the underfunded department has become a prime target for some controversial privatization schemes.Read more »

Spooked

With five weeks to go until Halloween — and no public plan — Castro residents are getting nervous
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sarah@sfbg.com

Dressed to kill in a firehouse-red pantsuit and matching stilettos, drag queen Donna Sachet stood in the Eureka Valley Recreation Center on Sept. 22 and fondly recalled how four years ago she lauded Sup. Read more »

Our three-point plan to save San Francisco

A radical new approach to affordable housing isn't just an option anymore — it's imperative
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news@sfbg.com

Curtis Aaron leaves his house at 9 a.m. and drives to work as a recreation center director for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. He tries to leave enough time for the trip; he's expected on the job at noon.

Aaron lives in Stockton. He moved there with his wife and two kids three years ago because "there was no way I could buy a place in San Francisco, not even close." His commute takes three hours one way when traffic is bad. He drives by himself in a Honda Accord and spends $400 a month on gas.Read more »

Sarah's son

"Six years after 9/11, my son is off to Iraq": One mother's story
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@@http://www.sfbg.com/blogs/politics/2007/09/six_years_after_911_my_son_is.html@@

Anemic debut for public mayoral financing

Only two of the candidates made the deadline -- and one has since dropped out
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This year offers the first mayor's race in which candidates can qualify for public financing to supplement their campaign spending. But of the 14 candidates who originally entered the race, only two — Tony Hall and Chicken John Rinaldi — managed to file the financing paperwork by the Aug. 28 deadline.

Two days later, Hall dropped out of the race, leaving Rinaldi as possibly the sole recipient of money from city coffers. Read more »

Green City: Gray-water guerillas

Recycling water, under the radar
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The task sounded simple: help our friend Kristal set up a bathtub in her backyard over the Labor Day weekend so she could soak under the stars and her plants could drink the gray water.

Gray water is water from the sink, shower, bathtub, and washing machine, but not the toilet. Read more »

Paging Dr. Sumchai

Can a brainy physician bring environmental justice issues to the mayor's race?
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sarah@sfbg.com

If mayoral candidate Ahimsa Porter Sumchai were a superhero, she'd be Rescue Girl, her petite athletic form encased in a silver jumpsuit and cape as she swooped in, using her understanding of complicated medical and scientific issues as her secret weapon, to save high-risk communities from environmental racism, economic disenfranchisement, and social displacement.

Instead, she's the candidate who claims to be thankful her name was excluded from the San Francisco Chronicle's Aug. Read more »

Green City: Signs of asbestos

Hazardous chemicals in the air
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sarah@sfbg.com

A new front has opened up in the fight for environmental justice in the asbestos-dusted Bayview–Hunters Point community, this time featuring a Nation of Islam–affiliated nonprofit that's using Proposition 65 — California's "right to know" law — to force Lennar Corp. Read more »

Redevelopment's new face

Can Fred Blackwell save the Redevelopment Agency?
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sarah@sfbg.com

City Hall's cavernous marble corridors echoed Aug. Read more »