The Supervisors should pass legislation outlawing vote trading for all local elected officials, including Newsom
EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom put the supervisors in a terrible position — and showed the worst kind of political arrogance — when he held $43 million worth of critical services hostage to his desire to continue packing commissions with political hacks. The deal he presented to the board was shameful, and the supervisors should have rejected it. And now they should pass legislation to make this sort of logrolling illegal.Read more »
Today, the Board of Supervisors confirmed that though they are elected officials, they have been told that they can't do anything except second a massive redevelopment plan for the Bayview that was developed, first by Mayor Willie Brown and then by Mayor Gavin Newsom's administrations. in cohoots with Lennar, an out-of-state private developer, and approved by a bunch of Brown and Newsom's political appointees.
"At this point, a deal has been done and the Board has been neutralized," Arc Ecology's Saul Bloom said today. "It says a great deal about the process."Read more »
A group of local artists and bloggers on the site Capitalism is Over! will hit the streets of San Francisco this week for a series of performance art pieces designed to highlight the damage that powerful players in our economic system are doing to people and the environment, an action they dubbed “Capitalism is Over! If You Want It (The Summer of Tough Love).”Read more »
The world has become a very strange place when someone like Van Jones -- a certified left-liberal, a member of the progressive political movement that has spent decades denoucning the biases and unfair coverage of the mainstream media -- says he misses the old days when a few editors controlled what the public saw. From an oped he wrote in the NYTimes July 26:Read more »
Rene Cazenave, a stalwart in the affordable housing movement in San Francisco for 40 years, died June 27. Although he insisted that he didn't want a big memorial, he touched so many people in this city and this community that we'll be gathering to celebrate his life on Saturday, July 31, from 2-5 pm. The event's at Fromm Hall at the University of San Francisco (right behind St. Ignatius Church). See you there.
It's happy hunting, this urban jungle. But leave the sounds of the flora and fauna to chance and you may be caught in the screeches and tweets of a tacky bird of paradise: who hasn't had their morning quarry foiled by an ill-timed burst from a passing safari-mobile bumping last year's Usher or – egads! – a morning DJ's rehash of the latest hijinx on The Hills? Best to keep that trek through the underbrush sleek and soundtracked with some of the fierce headphones on offer at local J-pop mecca New People. After all, it don't get much more wild than Tokyo fashion. Read more »
Wikileaks has released thousands of classified files about the war in Afghanistan. These Afghan war diaries provide a unique insight into what's happening on the ground. And it ain't pretty. You can review the reports by looking at various categories, including "severity", "friendly fire" and "escalation of force".
Wikileaks is calling the files "the most significant archive about the reality of war to have ever been released during the course of a war."Read more »
For the past month, fireworks and deals have been going on at City Hall as the Board prepares to vote on Lennar’s massive redevelopment plan for Candlestick Point-Hunters Point Shipyard. And recently, the Board vowed to make a slew of amendments to the plan, even as they approved the project's environmental impact report. Read more »
Images by Ramsey El-Qare, who contributed to this report.
An ongoing labor conflict between the hospitality workers union Unite-Here Local 2 and the Hyatt Corporation boiled over into the streets yesterday (7/22) with a union-organized protest and civil disobedience outside the Grand Hyatt San Francisco hotel. Union leaders see the action as another step in the fight for their members’ workplace rights. Hotel management called the action a staged spectacle and a waste of energy that would be better spent at the bargaining table. Read more »
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 »