Sarah Phelan

Bloggers sue over $315 m HuffPo deal

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The Guardian UK has some great quotes in its story about how Arianna Huffington, her website and AOL have been slapped with a $105 million class action suit. The suit was brought by a bunch of bloggers who are majorly pissed that she sold the Huffington Post for $315 without sparing them a dime. And the story shines more light on the growing dilemma facing members of the "new media," a world in which a "full-time employee" is as rare as a 100-page issue of a print newspaper. Read more »

Ammiano says support is growing for TRUST Act

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Assemblymember Tom Ammiano says that statewide support is building for AB 1081 (the TRUST Act), which would give local governments the right to opt-out of the controversial Secure Communities program.

As the Guardian previously reported, ten months after ICE’s controversial S-Comm program was activated in San Francisco, our “sanctuary city” ranks among the top 38 counties nationwide deporting “non-criminal aliens.” Read more »

Fishing for plastic

Project Kaisei hopes to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN ISSUE For the past two summers, scientists and environmentalists with Project Kaisei, a Sausalito nonprofit focused on increasing public awareness of marine debris, have sailed out under the Golden Gate Bridge to survey trash in the North Pacific gyre.Read more »

Herrera calls for local tax summit

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City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera is arguing that the controversy over a proposed tax break for Twitter highlights the need to reform the city’s business payroll tax to help create jobs and foster growth.
“The fact that city leaders have been prompted to craft a narrow tax break to avoid losing one large employer speaks volumes about the far more serious problems with our local business taxation scheme,” Herrera said in a campaign press release. “Whatever happens with the Twitter tax deal, it has highlighted a public policy priority. San Francisco can no longer afford to ignore: we need to replace our business payroll tax with something fairer that creates jobs.”

Herrera notes that among all California cities, San Francisco is alone in basing its entire business tax on payroll.  As a result only about 8,000 companies pay the tax out some 80,000 registered to do business in San Francisco... Read more »

How to move 200,000 people around America's Cup

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I've been wondering how the city plans to move the thousands of spectators expected to show up for a series of regattas in 2012 and 2013, leading up to and including the 34th America’s Cup Final.

And today I had a chance to start perusing the city's draft People Plan which aims to move up to 200,000 residents and visitors daily to the city’s waterfront and is promising to be “the most transit, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly major sporting event in history.” Read more »

SF in top 38 counties nationwide that deport "non-criminal aliens"

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So much for San Francisco being a sanctuary city. The National Day Laborer Organization (NDLON) and two other organizations have unearthed statistics that show San Francisco in the nation’s "top 38" counties, when it comes to deporting immigrants who had not been convicted of crimes. Read more »

Scumlords settle

City reaches multimillion deal with Lembi family, SF's most notorious landlord

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news@sfbg.com

Five years after the Guardian's award-winning, three-part series about how representatives for the Lembi family allegedly engaged in illegal and unethical tactics intended to force protected renters from their homes ("The Scumlords," March 2006), City Attorney Dennis Herrera has concluded contentious negotiations to reach a multimillion dollar settlement with CitiApartments and other Lembi-controlled corporations.Read more »

When kitties attack

PETS ISSUE: How to avoid a case of cat-bite fever

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sarah@sfbg.com

PETS Our cat Spartacus has a reputation for being a bit of a badass. But we never thought he'd end up under house arrest with a rap sheet from the police.Read more »

Understanding radiation

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The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico contains a bunch of exhibits about the history of Los Alamos National Laboratory and its science and research work. And with alarm bells continuing to sound around the world in light of Japan’s troubled efforts to contain a nuclear contamination crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi plant, (and folks on the West Coast and beyond stockpiling potassium iodide for fear of exposure to drift) I found myself drawn to the “Understanding Radiation” display during a recent visit to the museum, which includes a chart to help folks calculate their annual radiation dose (scroll down to the end of this post to figure out your own personal annual dose.) Read more »

US EPA, SF Health Department and Lennar accused of asbestos collusion

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The  SLAM Coalition of Bayview Hunters Point Community Organizations and the New Orleans-based Advocates for Environmental Human Rights held a press conference outside US EPA Region 9’s San Francisco office today to protest the contents of a string of emails they obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request that they claim “show conspiracy by the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 and the San Francisco Health Department officials to cover-up dangers of the Lennar Corp.’s development project at the Hunters Point Shipyard.” Read more »