Savannah Blackwell

Emeric Kalman, 1931-2008

Tenacious in his activism, Kalman never walked away from an issue

Emeric Kalman, a neighborhood activist well known for his decades-long work of bringing important issues concerning the city's public services and infrastructure to officials at City Hall, died March 22, on his 77th birthday, after battling cancer for several months.

Trained as a mechanical engineer, Kalman fled communist Romania in 1968 with his wife, Valeria, settled in West Portal, and worked at Bechtel from 1970 to the late 1980s. Read more »

The Zoo Blues

The animals are mistreated. The executive director is getting rich. Privatization has failed the San Francisco Zoo.

This story was first published May 19, 1999

IN EARLY 1997, the San Francisco Zoo had a serious public-relations problem. The zoo wanted San Francisco voters to approve a $48 million bond measure to overhaul the facilities. But the Asian elephant exhibit was making the zoo look bad.

Tinkerbelle the elephant had been living alone since April 1995, when her longtime companion, Pennie, was put to sleep. Animal activists had been complaining that, for an animal that herds and has complex social interactions in the wild, life alone was cruel and unacceptable. Read more »