Editorial

Saving local industry

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EDITORIAL It's almost an axiom in San Francisco planning policy: High-end housing drives out industry. That's only logical: When people buy million-dollar condos, they don't expect to get woken up in the middle of the night by delivery trucks or deal with the smell of diesel fuel or look out their windows at barrels of chemicals. Read more »

No more dam discussion

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EDITORIAL The state Department of Water Resources released a long-awaited study July 19 concluding that restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley would cost at least $3 billion and possibly as much as $10 billion.
Let us put this in perspective.
The state of California is facing extreme pressure on its electrical grid because of record high heat. If this is an early sign of rapid and dramatic climate change (and that's a very possible scenario), then the problem is going to get worse before it gets better. Read more »

Don't move the mayoral elections

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The Board of Supervisors is slated to vote July 25th on a plan that’s attracted little press attention, but could have a profound impact on San Francisco politics. Sup. Jake McGoldrick has proposed a charter amendment that would move mayoral elections to coincide with presidential elections. The idea, McGoldrick says, is to increase turnout: In 2004, when John Kerry was running against George W. Bush, more than 70 percent of San Franciscans voted. Read more »

Don't move the mayoral elections

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The Board of Supervisors is slated to vote July 25th on a plan that’s attracted little press attention, but could have a profound impact on San Francisco politics. Sup. Jake McGoldrick has proposed a charter amendment that would move mayoral elections to coincide with presidential elections. The idea, McGoldrick says, is to increase turnout: In 2004, when John Kerry was running against George W. Bush, more than 70 percent of San Franciscans voted. Read more »

The case against the media grab

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EDITORIAL The last time real estate investor Clint Reilly took the local newspapers to court in 2000, the trial was a sensation. Read more »

Fair fees for rich developers

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EDITORIAL The information that emerged from the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee on July 12 was mind-bending: According to a new city report, private developers will not even consider going forward with a big housing construction project unless the profit margin is at least 28 percent.
Think about it: Without a guaranteed profit about three or four times larger than what most normal businesses strive for, the developers won't pour an ounce of concrete. Read more »

Playing hardball in the Presidio

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EDITORIAL When Rep. Nancy Pelosi began peddling her plan to privatize the Presidio back in the 1990s her chief weapon was fear: If the Democrats didn't cut a deal to let the private sector control the fate of the new national park, she argued, the Republicans who ran Congress would simply sell off the land. Then there would be no park at all.
That was a highly unlikely scenario — there was a Democrat named Bill Clinton in the White House, and it's hard to imagine him going along with the GOP on the sale of 1,491 acres of parkland in San Francisco (part of his loyal California base). Read more »

Put Oak to Ninth on hold

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EDITORIAL The Oakland City Council is moving toward final approval of a plan to build 3,100 housing units along the Oakland Estuary near Lake Merritt, and while the project sponsors have come a long way toward offering community benefits, there's a big hitch: The entire project was devised backward. Read more »

No end to Pentagon spying

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EDITORIAL The Department of Defense has released the first installment of records related to Pentagon spying on antiwar groups, and while the documents are pretty limited, they suggest that there are no rules against monitoring peaceful political protests.
The records were made public in response to a Freedom of Information request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Guardian after evidence emerged that military intelligence agents were monitoring protests at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley.
The records consist largely of documents and memos, dating back to 1982, that outline the Read more »

No more taxicab cheating

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EDITORIAL The embarrassing spectacle of the San Francisco Taxi Commission firing its executive director in a secret 2 a.m. session June 28 demonstrates how out of control the cab industry in this town is. Read more »