Steven T. Jones

Plan Bay Area takes legal punches from the left and right

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Plan Bay Area, the regional strategy to funnel future population growth into San Francisco and other big cities in order to combat climate change, is now being slammed with legal challenges from both sides of the ideological spetrum.Read more »

Tragedies remind us to pay attention and share the roads

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A pair of tragic news items involving bicyclists in San Francisco — one cyclist a victim, another a perpetrator — illustrates the need for all of us to slow down, pay attention, and safely and respectfully share the roadways of this crowded city.Read more »

Activists urge Gov. Brown not to veto the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights again

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Supporters of the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights are gathering outside the State Capitol Building this afternoon (Tues/13), culminating caravans that began with rallies in a half-dozen cities (including San Francisco this morning), hoping to extend basic labor protections to the people who care for our children and grandparents and clean our homes.Read more »

When it rains hydrant crash photos, it pours

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Our story last week on the Uber driver who plowed into a fire hydrant got a lot of attention, but apparently it's not so rare for errant drivers to create sudden urban showers. Reader JJ Harris sent us this shot from a crash early this morning at 1450 Valencia, where a woman who appeared to be intoxicated plowed through the parklet in front of EHS Pilates and into this fire hydrant. Thanks for sharing, JJ.

Final Burning Man ticket sale brings total to 61,000 sold for $23 mil

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With the final official Burning Man ticket sale going off without a hitch yesterday, Bay Area burners are now in mad preparation mode, with DPW setup crews arriving on the playa this week, early art crews heading out next week, and everyone else anxiously awaiting the official start of the annual Nevada desert bacchanal in 27 days.Read more »

Richmond gets radical, seizing foreclosed homes from banks

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As a rule of thumb, we at the Guardian tend to believe that if the banking and real estate industries are against something, then we’re probably in support of it. But that’s not the only reason that I’m so intrigued about the possibilities of Richmond taking ownership of hundreds of foreclosed homes, using eminent domain laws as needed, to keep people from being evicted and rejuvenate the community.Read more »

Community-based journalists also raising Airbnb's issues in SF

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Mainstream media outlets in San Francisco may be slow to pick up on how Airbnb and other online home rental companies are violating local laws and dodging local taxes — the subject of our cover story this week — but both international and community-based journalists are paying attention to this growing problem. Read more »

California's refusal to reduce its prison population is a sign of deeper problems

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California just doesn’t get it when it comes to criminal justice. We have among the highest incarceration rates in the world (just below Russia's, and about four times the European average); our prisons eat up far too much of our state budget; they are shamefully overcrowded, secretive, and inhumane; yet politicians from Gov. Jerry Brown on down refuse to show the courage or leadership to try a different approach. Read more »

Into thin air

"Shareable housing" is causing apartments to vanish from SF's rental market — yet popular, profitable sites like Airbnb violate local laws

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By Steven T. Jones and Parker Yesko

Airbnb is an audacious corporation, particularly in San Francisco, the city where it's headquartered and where its business model works best. This city is tech-savvy and popular with tourists, but hotels here are expensive, while rent-controlled apartments are still affordable, creating a strong incentive to rent those rooms at a profit through Airbnb.Read more »

Guardian forum sparks lively discussion

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We had a packed house last night for our community forum on the future of the Bay Guardian and the progressive movement in the Bay Area, with lots of great input, advice, gratitude, and just a bit of acrimony. It was even more informative and inspiring than we had hoped for and we appreciate everyone coming out and speaking so frankly.Read more »