San Francisco's police and fire unions are taking a lead role in opposing Public Defender Jeff Adachi's November initiative to make city employees pay more of their pension and health care costs, despite the fact that both unions have recently renegotiated their contracts to exempt their members from paying those increased costs until 2013.Read more »
Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his recent columns.
The number of serious on-the-job accidents this year have yet again made very clear the urgent need for expanded and tightened government safety regulation. The toll on workers has been high, as President Cecil Roberts of the United Mine Workers union told the House Education and Labor Committee in mid-July.
Roberts noted the explosion at a mine in West Virginia that killed 29 coal miners, a blast at a refinery in Washington State that killed seven workers, the BP oil rig blast in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11, an explosion that killed six workers at an Energy Systems facility in Connecticut. Read more »
San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Commission voted July 15 to let an expensive private preschool displace a free, 38-year-old City College parenting class that included guided activities for children. College officials and neighborhood groups understand the desire to make money from rent at the Laurel Hills Playground clubhouse, but they're upset about how little notice and community input was involved in the decision. Read more »
Now that a judge has ruled that Michela Alioto-Pier can run again for her District Two seat, a wide-open race has become a little strange. Janet Reilly had already rounded up the endorsements of Democratic Party heavies like Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, along with Gavin Newsom. Of course, Newsom has always supported Alioto-Pier in the past; he no doubt backed Reilly because he figured (as did a lot of us) that City Attorney Dennis Herrera was right and Alioto-Pier was termed out. Read more »
I watch as Theresa Alvarez painstakingly turns four year old Rolando Steinway-Raybon into a tiger with the palette of face-paints sitting in front of the Mission Beacon neighborhood organizer. Next to them, speakers bumped a hip hop song. Down the block of Bartlett Street where they sat, community members were buying and selling bags of salad greens and edible flowers, white peaches, homemade soaps, and pupusas that came with salad and salsa for the princely sum of $2. A lot going on at the first Mission Community Market, which Alvarez takes as a good sign.
SF Bee Cause director and beekeeper extraordinaire Karen Peteros talked to the media last afternoon, as a group of reporters clustered around the sad sight of thousands of dead bees in and around two of three hives that were attacked by an unknown person who sprayed insecticide into their entrances, probably on Tuesday night.Read more »
Call me a bourgeois classicist, but I like pretty dance. Maybe a decade of ballet training left me partial to a streamline aesthetic and women in pointe shoes, but regardless, I think there is something undeniably appealing about watching dance rooted in beauty. Luckily, choreographer Robert Dekkers knows how to make dance that is both aesthetically pleasing and free from some of the more restrictive aspects of ballet. No tutus, tight buns, or overly sweet sugarplum fairies with Dekkers’ new contemporary ballet company, Post:Ballet. In its inaugural performance at Cowell Theater last weekend (July 16-17), the company proved that even classical ballet dancers are capable of moving with the free-flowing release associated with modern dance. Read more »
For months, I'm been covering and working on the Temple of Flux project, a collaboration of literally hundreds of Bay Area artists and residents to create this year's Temple at Burning Man. This amazing, inspiring effort to create a truly unique temple is being accompanied by an equally ambitious fundraising effort to pay for the project, with the last big fundraiser this Saturday night at Supperclub.Read more »
By now we’re past the halfway point of 2010, the inaugural year of another decade in movies. So far, the selection of great films has been scant –– though, as usual, the coming of winter and the iron hand of film’s favorite fascist Harvey Weinstein signal Oscar-worthy films in our future. These are the best films of 2010, so far, in alphabetical order. And yes, I have seen Inception, but I did miss The Ghost Writer. Read more »
San Francisco’s $6.5 billion budget, which the Board of Supervisors approved late Tuesday nigth, included a complete restoration of outpatient mental health services funded through the city’s Department of Public Health. The board is expected to finalize the same budget after a second reading scheduled for July 27.
The board reversed a more than $4.1 million cut to community behavioral health services proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom in early June, which would have affected a dozen agencies and approximately 1,000 patients. As the Guardian reported on June 8, Newsom’s massive cut to the DPH would have resulted in a much greater loss to community nonprofits that leverage federal dollars from city funding to treat San Francisco’s most severely mentally ill homeless and poor.
SF Theater Pub’s one-night-only presentation of Alfred Jarry’s bawdy classic Ubu Roi this past Monday felt like nothing so much as a group of dedicated friends putting on a show because they thought it just might turn out awesome. The staged reading took place at SF lounge Café Royale, a pleasant venue with couches and balcony seats as well as standing room that rendered the production all the more intimate. Read more »
San Francisco hospitality workers will join hotel employees in 14 other cities across the United States and Canada today, July 22, in a protest and civil disobedience demonstration against the Hyatt Corporation. The action in San Francisco begins at Local 2 Plaza, between 3rd and 4th streets on Market, at 4 p.m. The demonstration will eventually move toward Union Square and the Grand Hyatt San Francisco hotel, organizers said.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius often gets things wrong in his columns, sometimes painfully so. Nobody's perfect and we all make mistakes. But what's less excusable is the fact that Chuck's erroneous reporting, prominently presented by his newspaper, almost always serves a conservative political agenda. Even worse is that he won't admit when he gets something wrong, even when directly confronted with accurate information – a cardinal sin for anyone who considers himself a journalist. Read more »