Politics Blog

The price of the torch

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So Gavin Newsom's torch episode -- which disappointed almost everyone and pissed off a lot of us -- cost the city $600,000 plus. That's at a time when we're laying off city staff by the hundreds and closing critical services.

Six figures to give China a video postcard. Nicely done, Mr. Mayor.

How to hire more cops

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Rebecca Kaplan, who is one of my favorite politicians, is running for Oakland City Council -- and she has a great idea how to solve one of the city's most pressing problems.

See, Oakland can't hire enough cops. Read more »

Fong: False alarm on torch

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By Emma Lierley

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Chief of Police Heather Fong addressed the city’s decision to change the Olympic Torch route, claiming that it was a spontaneous decision and that there was no pre-planned contingency. Read more »

Migden pushes back against state's "can't confirm" LBAM related health claims

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State Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco/North Bay) released the following statement in response to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) study that was unable to find a link between aerial spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth and 650 reports of adverse health affects after last fall’s spraying in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties:

“OEHHA says that it was unable to confirm a link between spraying and adverse health effects because most health complaints did not contain enough information to determine the cause of symptoms. Read more »

Video: The great torch chase

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Video journalists Rhyen Coombs and Lisa Pickoff-White report from yesterday's Olympic torch rally and protest on participants' disappointment at the flame's last minute route change:

(For pics of the protest, Read more »

Can't we just de-list the moth, already?

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Congressmember Sam Farr (D-Carmel) wants to know how and when the Light Brown Apple Moth was blacklisted--and whether it's possible to declassify it.

“If we don’t even know why the moth is listed as a dangerous pest, it’s impossible to determine how far we must go to control it or whether the current emergency eradication tactics are justified," said Farr today, after he asked
USDA Under Secretary Knight to explain how and when the moth was originally “blacklisted” and whether a pest with that label has ever been recategorized. Read more »

Newsom's torch plays SF for fools

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First the route for the Beijing Olympic Torch relay was changed, following a brief opening ceremony.
Then, the closing ceremony was shifted to an undisclosed location.

These last minute changes left all the thousands of people who came to support, protest or simply witness the torch's historic relay thwarted.

And they meant that China has got some relatively upbeat television footage to show back home, featuring an unencumbered torch being run through the protest-free streets of San Francisco! Read more »

Limbaugh decries cops who want 'special rights'

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Okay, so maybe that's actually the phrase Rush Limbaugh uses to describe LGBT rights. But when the folks in law enforcement, mostly a conservative bunch, start demanding special treatment, shouldn't conservative pundits hit the ceiling then, too? Of course not. That would alienate a significant portion of their listening audience. Read more »

Tutu feted by IGLHRC

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By Michael Leonard

Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered his sincerest thanks and gratitude on Tuesday night to the audience in Grace Cathedral as he closed a moving acceptance speech, upon receiving the OUTSPOKEN Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (ILGHRC).

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All pics by Michael Leonard

Nobel Peace Prize Laure Read more »

Torch Songs: A report from the ground

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Ed Note: I was on my way from a press conference at the federal building at around 1:30 today when I saw the anti-Torch demonstrators, at least a couple hundred of them, surge out of Civic Center Plaza, across the street, and up the steps of City Hall. It was a pretty dramatic moment, with all their brightly colored flags whipping in the stiff wind and their chants echoing against the marble facade. Read more »