Politics Blog

Newsom in space

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OK, this is just priceless. Our celebrity Mayor Gavin Newsom and his fiance actress, Jennifer Siebel, on Saturday went weightless during a flight out of Moffett Field as part of a promotional effort by a company charging $3,500 per head to experience zero gravity in a diving airplane. Read more »

Moth Madness

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Good to see the plan to spray the Bay Area with Little Brown Apple Moth-related pesticide get major ink in the Chronicle.

While the debate rages over as to whether spraying a pheromone-containing pesticide over urban areas is an efficient and public health-protective way to deal with the moth, one thing is for sure.

Having small planes fly low over your home for hours on end is extremely unpleasant. Read more »

Susan Leal's fate to be sealed 9 am, Feb. 20?

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Looks like this is the time and date that Leal's future as SF PUC general manager will be decided:

2/20/08 Agenda Special Meeting San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Published: 02/15/2008 | Updated: 02/15/2008
Published By: Commission

MAYOR

Susan Leal
GENERAL MANAGER
Michael Housh
SECRETARY
ORDER OF BUSINESS:
1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
CLOSED SESSION
3. Public comments on matters to be discussed in Closed Session.
4. Motion on whether to assert the attorney-client privilege regarding the matter listed below as Conference with Legal Counsel. Read more »

The Weekly's expert, laid low

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The chain that owns the SF Weekly brought its star witness to court today, a Harvard economist with a stack of academic credentials who typically works for oil companies and who charges $1,075 an hour. He delivered quite a lecture on his own economic theory of predatory pricing – and then was laid low by a little newspaper called the Bodega Bay Navigator.

Some background before we get into the juicy details.

I was an economics major way back when. Read more »

The Dick and Susan show

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The battle over the future direction of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission took a dramatic turn Feb. 12.

A super majority of the Board voted to reject mayoral appointee Ryan Brooks, but Sup. Chris Daly joined mayoral allies Sups. Read more »

Weekly publisher admits below-cost sales

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The former publisher of the SF Weekly admitted today to a key part of the Guardian's lawsuit against the Weekly and its corporate parent.

Chris Keating, who was the Weekly publisher between 2004 and 2006, was on the stand for cross-examination by Guardian lawyer Ralph Alldredge. Read more »

Where were you when the war started?

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Five years ago next month, San Francisco was essentially shut down by protests as the United States invaded Iraq, capping a series of large demonstrations urging our leaders not to launch an offensive war that we knew would be a disaster. The Guardian offered the most comprehensive coverage of those protests, and now we're reexamining that momentous time to explore what it meant -- then, now, and for the future. Read more »

Team Newsom’s $$$ value. More or less.

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Before we get to the juicy details of how much money Team Newsom is taking home, it's worth noting that Mayor Gavin Newsom spent last Friday handing out draft copies of the report in which these figures can be found--a report that Budget Analyst Harvey Rose drew up at Sup. Jake McGoldrick's request to figure out the impacts that staff changes within the Mayor's Office would have on the City's budget--changes Newsom announced Jan. Read more »

The SF Weekly's war of attrition

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Another fascinating day in court in the Guardian’s predatory-pricing lawsuit against the SF Weekly and its corporate owner. The Weekly is now well into its defense case, and the lawyers for the 16-paper chain that owns the paper are making the same arguments they’ve made all along. And they aren’t holding up very well.

The Guardian, as readers of this blog know by now, is claiming that the Weekly and Village Voice Media, the chain formerly known as New Times, sold ads below cost in an effort to harm the local competitor.

Today’s main witness was Jed Brunst, the company’s Phoenix-based CFO. Read more »