Steven T. Jones

Newsom taps law-and-order Republican

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Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to hire former U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan to head the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice speaks volumes about his administration's philosophy and priorities. Read more »

And they're off

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Early results from the Iowa caucus -- the first presidential poll that counts -- show a tight pack, with Edwards leading, trailed closely by Clinton and Obama. It's virtually a three-way tie and it could stay that way because nobody else really has any votes, so the Iowa provision of voters whose candidates get less than 15 percent of the vote getting to revote won't matter much.
BTW, local Obama supporters are gathering in a few minutes over at Tosca in North Beach, so head on over if he's your guy and you're looking for kindred spirits.

Solar man

Can Burning Man leave a legacy of renewable energy?
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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Two years ago Tom Price called me from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. We didn't know each other, but he'd read some of my articles about Burning Man, including "Epilogue as Prologue" (10/4/2005), which culminated my seven-part series by looking at how burners were projecting their culture, skills, and ethos into the outside world.

The most obvious example I used was the group that went straight from Burning Man 2005 to Mississippi to help clean up after Hurricane Katrina, which hit during the event. Read more »

Unhealthy San Francisco

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San Francisco city lawyers head back to court in the morning, trying to persuade the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to set aside last week's court ruling that the city can't require employers to help pay for Healthy San Francisco. It's disgraceful that the Golden Gate Restaurant Association challenged the employer mandate on this innovative plan to provide universal access to health care, the product of a compromise between Sup. Read more »

Bike ballot measure shelved

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The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has abandoned plans for a June ballot measure that would approve some bicycle projects and bypass the court injunction that is blocking all bike system improvements until 2009 at the earliest. SFBC director Leah Shahum tells us the group had been working hard on the ballot measure, enjoying good political support and doing a poll that showed wide public support. "But it started to look uglier and uglier from a legal perspective," she said. Read more »

High speed rail's collision course

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The California High Speed Rail Authority will convene tomorrow in Sacramento and could decide on the system's Bay Area track alignment, but Chairman Quentin Kopp tells the Guardian that they probably won't be able to make that crucial decision yet. Read more »

Merry Fucking Xmas!

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Photo of last year's SantaCon by Lane Hartwell

By Iris Tablas-Mejia
It’s that time of year again! Dust off your red and white apparel ‘cause a fleet of debauched Santas will be running amok through San Francisco again on Saturday, Dec. 15, spreading their unconventional holiday cheer to bars, city landmarks, jaded locals, and unsuspecting tourists starting at 10 a.m. at the Pier 39 carousel. Read more »

Backpedaling

Frustration over new Bicycle Plan delays prompts talk of a ballot measure
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steve@sfbg.com

Environmental studies on the San Francisco Bicycle Plan have been delayed for almost a year, pushing back the city's earliest opportunity to lift a court-imposed injunction against improvements to the system — covering everything mentioned in the plan, from new bike lanes to simple sidewalk racks — to summer 2009.

Bicycle advocates and some members of the Board of Supervisors are calling the bureaucratic delays unacceptable, and they're actively exploring ways to speed things up. Read more »

Leno cries over spilled Milk

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The big Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club endorsement vote for State Senate is tonight, as you've probably already heard way too much about if you've been following the Carole Migden-Mark Leno slugfest. Read more »

Hey Gavin, stop calling me!

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Most people agree it's irritating and invasive to get our dinners interrupted by calls from telemarketers. That's why our elected officials finally created the National Do Not Call Registry. But is it any less irksome when the disembodied robo-voice of Gavin Newsom or Bill Clinton disturbs our peace? Or when some chirpy young political volunteer wants to know who we plan to vote for in the upcoming election? Read more »