It took until 1 a.m. for the Alameda City Council to vote 4-0 (councilmember Lena Tam abstained) to deny SunCal’s “modified optional entitlement application,” and take the first step towards ending its four-year relationship with SunCal, an Irvine-based developer that planned to build 4,800 homes, a 60-acre sports complex, a ferry terminal, parks, schools and offices at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, which accounts for one-third of this island city.
This week's letter of greatest interest, a well-composed rant against my supposed blind devotion to Western medicine, ignorance of same, and lack of understanding of the holistic approach to complaints such as hyposexual desire disorder, is really, really long. Here is one of the good parts:
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Chuck Nevius, who doesn't seem to like any taxes, weighed in this morning on a poll paid for by the city's Transportation Authority that, the way Nevius puts it, "[cast] doubt on whether it would be wise to put some tax issues on the ballot in November." His analysis of the numbers:
[W]hen it comes to the hotel, parking, business and real estate transfer tax, the voters had four responses: no, no, no and hell no.Read more »
A new proposal to make the flat payroll tax more progressive and exempt more small businesses
EDITORIAL It's rare to see a fairly conservative city agency, created in part to make it harder for progressives to push measures that might affect business, come down in favor of a new business tax. But the San Francisco Office of Economic Analysis has concluded that the proposal by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu to change the local payroll tax and impose a new tax on commercial rents would actually help local businesses, particularly small businesses. The proposal presents a crucial opportunity for progressives to make the case that the Chamber of Commerce and big downtown corporations are not advancing the interests of small businesses — and local merchant groups need to pay attention.
Chiu has taken on a problem that has lingered in San Francisco for decades. The city's business tax is terribly regressive: Only 10 percent of the companies in town even pay the payroll tax, in part because banks, insurance companies, and financial services firms are exempt under state law. That means the burden falls the heaviest on small and medium-sized companies — the ones that provide most of the net job growth in the city.
The new proposal would make the flat payroll tax more progressive and would exempt more small businesses. It would also raise $28 million more a year for the cash-strapped municipal coffers by taxing commercial rents of more than $60,000 a year. Read more »
I’m just going to come right out and say it: Janet Evanovich is the funniest writer to come along on the scene since Carl Hiassen, and in some ways, she’s got Hiassen beat. He writes about Florida, where unreal people do some bizarre stuff; her turf is Jersey, where the characters are pretty close to normal life. Which is to say, totally strange and fucked up. She is my favorite living writer, and after fourteen previous novels, the tales of Stephanie Plum and her cohorts just seem to get better.
Carly Fiorina's got herself a couple of nice boats.
Barbara Boxer, that damn liberal, is making fun of poor Carly just because she has not one but two yachts, one in Sausalito and one in DC. The Chron's got a pic of the 70-foot Dyna Craft, which looks a bit small in the photo. There's also a 56-foot Sea Ray.Read more »
Today, Johnny talks to Johnny Venom about the state of financial reform -- and to D.H. Peligro about his time with the Dead Kennedys and his new punk version of Purple Haze. You can listen after the jump. Read more »
Supporters of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle rallied in Walnut Creek this afternoon, eleven days after protests and violence erupted in Oakland July 8, when Mehserle was convicted July 8 of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting unarmed Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009 on a BART platform in Oakland.
The rally occurred outside the Superior Courthouse in Walnut Creek on Ygnacio Valley Road. Read more »
The rich are not like you and I -- a lot of the money they make comes from something other than working. I don't begrudge Meg Whitman the billion bucks she made at EBay (well, I do, really, but never mind). But when you sit on a pile of money, hire someone to manage it for you, and reap major windfalls on the interest, well, you're basically making money for doing nothing.
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.
AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka has it right. It's not the heat in Washington, D.C., that's bothering him and many other advocates of working people. It's the stupidity - the economic stupidity of Congress refusing to give financial aid to states that badly need help in order t o save the jobs of some 300,000 teachers, nurses, firefighters, police and other public service workers who are facing layoffs because of budget deficits.
The possible remedy is at hand – a pending $100 billion jobs bill. Most of the money would go to states for quickly creating or saving up to one million jobs in public and private employment, restoring government services that have been cut, and averting other planned cuts, mostly in education, public safety and job training. Read more »