Steven T. Jones

A radical proposal: Squat Airbnb hosts' homes to create affordable housing

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When I interviewed attorney Joseph Tobener for the story in our current issue on Airbnb being used to take affordable housing units off of the apartment market, he had a interestingly radical idea for get the attention of this scofflaw company and its political supporters, striking a blow for housing justice in the process.

What if hundreds of people, including many who are now homeless, rented out apartments in San Francisco for a night or two and then simply refused to leave?Read more »

Cities face legal obstacle to safer biking

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San Francisco has been blazing the trail toward safer cycling with innovative designs such as cycletracks, or bike lanes that are physically separated from cars, which have been installed on Market Street and JFK Drive. But cycletracks aren't legal under state law, something that a San Francisco lawmaker and activist are trying to solve so that other California cities can more easily adopt them.Read more »

Residents vs. tourists

How many rent-controlled apartments is Airbnb taking off SF's housing market?

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steve@sfbg.com

Evictions and displacement have become San Francisco's top political issues, amplified by protests against tech companies that are helping gentrify the city. Yet Airbnb, which facilitates the conversion of hundreds of San Francisco apartments into de facto hotel rooms, has so far avoided that populist wrath.

Tenants use the online, short-term rentals to help make rent in this increasingly expensive city, a point that the company often emphasizes.Read more »

Sex culture, Kinky Salon, and the three Pollys

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Polly Whitakker has been one of my favorite superstars of San Francisco sex culture, traveling a path from her native London through the Polly Pandemonium persona she created while getting into BDSM to the Polly Superstar alter-ego she created along with the Kinky Salon play and performance parties in a Mission District space dubbed Mission Control.Read more »

San Francisco and its cycletracks lead the way toward safer biking statewide

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San Francisco has been blazing the trail toward safer cycling with innovative designs such as cycletracks, or bike lanes that are physically separated from cars, which have been installed on Market Street and JFK Drive. But cycletracks aren’t legal under state law, something that a San Francisco lawmaker and activist are trying to solve so that other California cities can more easily build them.Read more »

Drought

Driest year in California history sparks arid memories and previews the warmer world we're creating

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steve@sfbg.com

I remember the dead lawns, 90-second timed showers, empty fountains and pools, and water cops issuing tickets for washing one's dirty car. "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down," went the toilet edict they taught us in school. Water was too precious to just wantonly flush away.Read more »

"Tale of two Davids" elevates Campos

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David Campos presented "a tale of two Davids" Jan. 23 in his first debate with David Chiu in their race to replace Assemblymember Tom Ammiano in AD17, contrasting his solid progressive record against Chiu's more pragmatic approach. Chiu reinforced the narrative by repeatedly touting his "effectiveness" and record at City Hall.Read more »

“Tale of Two Davids” casts Campos as the progressive hero

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David Campos presented “a tale of two Davids” tonight [Thu/23] in his first debate with David Chiu in their race to replace Assemblymember Tom Ammiano in AD17, contrasting his solid progressive record against Chiu’s more pragmatic approach. Chiu reinforced the narrative by repeatedly touting his “effectiveness” and record at City Hall.Read more »

Judge says state erred in 8 Washington property transfer

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A San Francisco judge has ruled that the California State Lands Commission illegally exempted from environmental review a property transfer it approved in 2012 to facilitate the controversial 8 Washington project — a ruling that casts doubt over a dubious tactic the agency commonly uses to expedite development, as well as the legal judgment of an agency that is Read more »

Local journalists starting to catch onto Airbnb's subversion of SF's rental market

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Airbnb and other so-called “shared housing” sites allow hundreds of rent-controlled apartments in San Francisco to be essentially removed from the housing market, part of a concern that has caught populist fire recently with protesters and politicians pledging to do something about Read more »