Politics Blog

Bad news for SF bicyclists causes bad blood at City Hall

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Advocates for bicycling, walking, and the creation of more carfree spaces were already in full battle mode this week over challenges to Sunday Streets, Mayor Gavin Newsom's plan to close the Embarcadero to cars for four hours each on Aug. 31 and Sept. 14. Read more »

A new poverty index

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This is so obvious that San Francisco ought to be signing on right away (and pushing the speaker of the house to make is happen).

SF Weekly bashes the left -- and misses the point

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I'm not surprised that Matt Smith is once again looking for ways to bash the left, and that the SF Weekly is once again looking for ways to attack public power. But Smith's latest piece is really screwy.

His thesis seems to be that the public-power movement is supporting the move to build city-owned power plants at the foot of Potrero Hill. Read more »

The challenge to Newsom...and all of us

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Photo from Portland's recent ciclovia by Steven T. Jones

It's not easy to create carfree spaces in automobile-obsessed California, even temporary ones, as Mayor Gavin Newsom is starting to learn. Read more »

Don't kill the peakers -- yet

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A GUARDIAN EDITORIAL

The supervisors are meeting a day late this week, thanks to the San Francisco Examiner’s screw-up, which means that a key vote on the city-owned combustion turbines, or peakers, will probably come Wednesday, July 16. The mayor, with some environmental backing, wants the board to kill the city peakers and leave Mirant Corp, a private power company, with the responsibility of generating extra electricity in San Francisco during peak use periods. Read more »

The street-sweeping non-scandal

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Warren Hickle over at the argonaut is all in a tizzy about the prospect that mayor's budget reduces the regularity of mechanized street sweeping on the west side of town. But I have to agree with the commenters at sfist -- most neighborhoods would be thrilled to have those damn street sweeping machines gone.

Street sweeping is a tax on people who own cars but don't have enough money to have garages. That's mostly tenants. Read more »

Mirant plant staying open?

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San Francisco's proposal to install several combustion turbines, or "peaker" plants, in the southeast neighborhoods has created a firestorm of protest, particularly from environmentalists who don't want the city building any new fossil-fuel plants.

I get that. Read more »

Newsom, Eric Jaye and PG&E

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The following is an email exchange between me and Nathan Ballard, the mayor’s press secretary, on the subject of the Clean Energy Act. It raises some interesting questions; I thought I’d just post it without further comment.

ME: Will Mayor Newsom be endorsing the Clean Energy Act?

NATHAN BALLARD: Check with Jaye.

ME: Thanks, I will. A private political consultant is now speaking for the mayor on policy positions?

BALLARD: I don't use public resources/time to comment about endorsements on ballot measures, candidate races, etc. Read more »

Newsom slaps down the Paul Reveres

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By John Bardis

Mayor Newsom has proposed some disturbing legislation. He wants whistleblower citizens to pay a $500 filing fee to exercise the right to request the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on proposed construction projects that might violate the Planning Code.

What a shameful example of misguided legislation in San Francisco. Read more »

Vega leaving the Chron for KGO-TV

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Cecilia Vega -- who covers Mayor Gavin Newsom for the San Francisco Chronicle, where she broke big stories ranging from the big sex scandal to the mayor's extravagant spending during hard times -- has taken a job with KGO-TV Channel 7 covering Oakland City Hall. Read more »