Steven T. Jones

Hearing to probe safety at BART and issues related to recent tragedy

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The Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment will hold a hearing in San Francisco tomorrow (Thu/7 at 10am) looking at workplace safety issues in the BART system, one initially prompted by the district’s record of unaddressed safety violations, but which took on special resonance when two BART workers were killed on the tracks on Oct. 19.

Assemblymember Phil Ting called for the hearing back in June, but he postponed it until the district resolved a protracted contract impasse with its three unions that resulted in two four-day strikes this year, with an agreement finally reached two days after the tragedy — and at least partially prompted by it.

Ting told the Guardian that he was motivated by dozens of violations from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration that the district has received since its last fatality in 2008 — which were highlighted by the unions and reported by us — and the fact that “BART ended up appealing them instead of going to fix them.”

“It’s so unfortunate that we have this tragedy, which will create a greater sense of urgency on this issue,” Ting said, noting that he wants to focus on, “How do we move forward and fix these problems?”

Beyond those safety issues lurk another important issue that we at the Guardian have been raising, but which most journalists have ignored and the district has tried to avoided addressing: Was the district ignoring safety concerns by its unions to train replacement drivers on that ill-fated train, and did its preparations to run limited service during a strike harden its negotiating stance and force the strikes and ultimately the tragedy? Read more »

Tale of two parties: Was the 8 Washington defeat a referendum on City Hall?

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From tonight’s victory party for opponents of the 8 Washington waterfront luxury condo project, the overwhelming defeat of developer-backed Propositions B&C seemed to go beyond just this project. It sounded and felt like a blow against Mayor Ed Lee’s economic policies, the gentrification of the city, and the dominion that developers and power brokers have at City Hall. Read more »

Media let BART slide

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BART continues to stonewall important questions about whether it was training scab drivers to break the recent strike by its unions when its trainee-driven train killed two workers on Oct. 19 — a stance made possible by the failure of the mainstream media to connect the dots or correct the anti-union bias that characterized its coverage of this long labor impasse.Read more »

Go vote! And then go party!

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It’s been quiet at the polls for today’s election with just a few more hours until they close. Although the Department of Elections predicted a 35 percent turnout, it’s possible that San Francisco could vie for the historic low turnout of just under 23 percent.Read more »

Mayor Ed Lee's committee gives $10,000 that it doesn't have to the 8 Washington project UPDATED

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Mayor Ed Lee presents himself as a model of fiscal responsibility, but the Mayor Ed Lee for San Francisco Committee that he controls has recently been spending big money that it doesn’t have, including more than $10,000 that it has recently given to the Yes on Propositions B&C campaign, according to campaign finance filings.Read more »

Zombies to attack City Hall! UPDATED

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We in the Bay Guardian newsroom have just received word of an impending zombie attack on City Hall. I repeat: Zombies are planning to attack City Hall this afternoon! [Updated coverage from the scene below] Read more »

The Guardian's voter Clip-Out Guide

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So we’ve heard a little confusion — and even some amusing conspiracy theories — about why the Guardian’s regular voter Clip-Out Guide isn’t on our cover like it usually is in the issue before the election. Rest assured, loyal Guardian readers (and haters), it’s right there, along the bottom.Read more »

Media misses connection between BART tragedy and settlement

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BART continues to stonewall important questions about whether it was training scab drivers to break the recent strike by its unions when its trainee-driven train killed two workers on Oct. 19 — a stance made possible by the failure of the mainstream media to connect the dots or correct the anti-union bias that characterized its coverage of this long labor impasse.Read more »

Shit happened (Oct. 23-29)

Tenant proposals and Guardian forum address eviction crisis; Students fight suspensions; Techies to NSA: Stop spying!

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Tenant proposals and Guardian forum address eviction crisisRead more »

Let's talk about death

DEATH ISSUE: Saying goodbye isn't easy, but it's an important part of life. We explore the Bay Area's evolving relationship with the end of life, from Boomer care and Death with Dignity to the "death midwives" movement.

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steve@sfbg.com

DEATH ISSUE  Death comes for all of us, sometimes with advanced warning, other times suddenly.Read more »