Steven T. Jones

One elephant case bumps another

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By Steven T. Jones
The big Ringling Bros. elephant abuse trial that I wrote about in the current issue of the Guardian has been delayed by two weeks -- for a politically interesting reason.
Federal District Judge Emmet G. Read more »

Dirty secrets under the big top

Lawsuits charge Ringling Bros. with abusing animals, endangering public health, and sabotaging its critics using CIA spooks. Could this be the end of the circus as we know it?
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steve@sfbg.com

The circus has come to town. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the largest and most profitable show of its kind in history, is in Oakland this week, and will be headed to San Jose next week. Spectators will see trapeze acts, clowns — and animals, particularly elephants, performing the trademark stunts that are considered the highlight of the event.

But the show may soon be over.

Ringling Bros. Read more »

Lawsuit challenges high-speed rail project

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Four environmental groups and two cities today filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court challenging the California High Speed Rail Authority's recent decision to lay track over Pacheco Pass, rather than goi Read more »

Arnold's tax flip: Spare the rich, tax the poor

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Faced with an overdue state budget that is simply not going to be balanced by spending cuts alone, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has commendably reversed his longtime pledge of "no new taxes." Unfortunately, he did so by choosing the most regressive form of taxes: a one-cent sales tax hike that would hit the poor far harder than the rich. Read more »

Ultimate Kink Surrender (NSFW)

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The wrestlers in action.

I ride my bicycle past the Armory just about everyday and I’ve always wanted to get inside for a tour, particularly since this magnificent, historically significant building was purchased by fetish porn purveyor Kink.com. Read more »

Desperate developer lashes out

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If the would-be developers of a massive grocery store and condo project at the corner of Haight and Stanyan streets hope to win over the community they want to serve, the nasty hit piece they mailed out this week attacking activist Calvin Welch was exactly the wrong way to go.

The project is sort of a political wobbler. Read more »

Peskin wins DCCC chair

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Before the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee voted tonight on its new chair, Chris Daly told me the vote was going to be 18-16 in favor of Aaron Peskin, the progressives' pick. I didn't doubt him. The play was going to be to elect Peskin temporary chair as the first order of business, before the public comment or chair election agenda items, and make it clear from the get-go where the votes were.

There was a mild and brief parliamentary scrum before the names of Peskin and Scott Wiener, last term's chair and the pick of the moderates, were put up for vote. Read more »

I'll see your Embarcadero and raise you Market Street

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Scene from last month's ciclovia in Portland, Photo by Steven T. Read more »

Pedal power

Cyclists support Sunday Streets and decry Bike Plan delays
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›steve@sfbg.com

Hundreds of bicyclists invaded City Hall July 21 to demand safer bike routes and decry new bureaucratic delays in environmental review work on the Bicycle Plan, which a judge said the city must complete before it can make any improvements mentioned in the plan, from new lanes to simple racks (see "Stationary biking," 05/16/07).

But they arrived a couple hours too late to change the tenor of a hearing on another priority for car-free advocates: the Sunday Streets proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom to close the Embarcadero to cars Aug. 31 and Sept. Read more »

Bicyclists told to blame CEQA, not the city

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Bicyclists expressed their outrage, politicians offered their support, and bureaucrats said they’d do what they could to speed up the slow-moving environmental work on the city’s Bicycle Plan, which a judge says the city must complete before making any bicycle system improvements.
But for those seeking near-term relief to a stalemate expected to last at least another year found little solace during yesterday’s Land Use Committee hearing on the latest Bike Plan delays. Read more »