Yael Chanoff

Reduce, re-use, replace

HANC challenges the city's eviction rationale by adding a community garden to its embattled recycling operation
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yael@sfbg.com

Greg Gaar knows the names, characteristics, and birds and butterflies attracted by every plant in the native plant nursery that he tends. Last week, he proudly toured me through the garden, pointing out plants like Yarrow ("great for bees and butterflies") and the beautiful flowers of the Crimson Columbine, of which Gaar believes there are "only two others left in San Francisco." Read more »

State of debate

What a controversial panel says about the nature of Jewish discourse about Israel in the Bay Area today

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yael@sfbg.com

On May 24, a panel of three Jewish activists and authors from the Bay Area will discuss the historical figures and ancestors that inspire their work today. The event was originally scheduled to take place at the Jewish Community Library, operated by the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE), which is largely supported by the Jewish Community Federation (JCF, or "the Federation").Read more »

June 6 hearing may spell the end of HANC recycling center

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It’s just a triangle of land on Frederick Street, right next to Kezar Stadium. But the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) recycling center has been the subject of years of political battles- and depending on the results of a June 6 hearing, they may get shut down for good. Read more »

'Reclaiming Jewish Activism': easier said than done

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This article has been updated

A panel in which three local activists will talk about how their Jewish ancestors inform their present-day work seemed harmless enough. But in the Bay Area’s friction-prone Jewish community, its cancellation has led the organizers to write a letter in protest and accusations that one of the area’s biggest funders of Jewish events, the Jewish Community Federation (JCF), is participating in McCarthy-style censorship. Read more »

Tax equity

With the business community divided, can labor and progressives force a business-tax reform that actually increases revenue?

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steve@sfbg.com, yael@sfbg.com

A broad consensus in San Francisco supports reforming the city's business-tax structure by replacing the payroll tax with a gross receipts tax through a November ballot measure. But the devil is in the details of how individual tax bills are affected, which has divided the business community and given a coalition of labor and progressives the opportunity to overcome the insistence by Mayor Ed Lee and other pro-business moderates that any change be revenue-neutral.Read more »

Community college students convene to unite against cuts, state legislation

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Students and staff from community colleges throughout California gathered at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Mission campus May 12 to discuss legislation, particularly the Student Success Act, that organizers feel threatens community college students.

The conference "was the first time that students from community colleges across California came together like this,” said Everic Dupuy, a student at CCSF. Read more »

SEIU reps pleased with tentative contract

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After heated negotiations, the city has come to a tentative two-year contract agreement with SEIU Local 1021. 

The union, which represents 12,000 city workers, has staged large protests in recent weeks while negotiators worked on the contract. The union was opposed to pay cuts and increases in health care costs that the city originally proposed.

With the new agreement, city workers will get a three percent pay increase, to kick in next year.

Read more »

Who is the brick thrower?

Jesse Nesbitt, charged with Occupy violence on May Day, tell his story.

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Yael@sfbg.com

The brick-throwing man whose projectiles hit two protesters at the Occupy San Francisco takeover of a Turk Street building on May Day has helped spark intense internal debates in the movement about the use of violence.

But nobody has heard the alleged hurler's side of the story.Read more »

Reflecting on violence at the SF Commune

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Occupy San Francisco protesters entered Catholic Church-owned properties at 888 Turk last night. This is the same building that a similar group occupied April 1, in a peaceful action that lasted about 24 hours. 

The successful reentry was a testament to the spread of skills and cultures surrounding building takeovers by groups like Homes Not Jails. The resulting “rebirth of the SF Commune” was a mellow and pleasant event at first, as protesters on a march from the celebratory Peoples Street Festival joined in the commune. Some held back in the street while others entered the building in hopes of building a “community center”—most remained outside the building, enjoying a free meal cooked and served by some of the same Occupy SF kitchen volunteers that once fed hundreds of people daily at Justin Herman Plaza.

Read more »

Bank your time

In the face of economic collapse, Bay Area Community Exchange turns labor into cash-free currency

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yael@sfbg.com

The economy had collapsed. Mira Luna became ill with Lyme disease, lost her job, and then gotten buried under a mountain of medical bills. She went into bankruptcy. But it wasn't more money she longed for — it was community.

That's how Luna got into the time business.Read more »