Editorial

Public power returns

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EDITORIAL Just when it looked like the public power movement had stalled, along comes the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission with a surprise announcement that it will create a public power demonstration project in the most appropriate part of town and reinvigorate efforts to kick Pacific Gas and Electric out of the city.
The agency has tentatively cut a deal to provide power directly to the 1,600 housing units and businesses that Lennar Homes is about to start building on Parcel A of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard — bringing clean, green (it comes from city hydroelectric and solar pro Read more »

Don't call the feds

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EDITORIAL It's bad enough that the federal government is aggressively infringing on the rights of three Bay Area journalists, the sovereignty of California, and the freedom of San Franciscans to choose — through the elections of our district attorney, sheriff, and mayor — how laws should be enforced in this city. Read more »

Vote to impeach

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EDITORIAL Mainstream media reporters and pundits, as well as our cynical colleagues at the SF Weekly and the rest of their corporate alt-weekly chain, love to bash the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the city councils of other Bay Area cities for passing resolutions on big questions like war, human rights, or impeachment.
We don't share that view. Read more »

Can Werbach reform Wal-Mart?

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EDITORIAL Those with power rarely use it to help the powerless: workers, foreigners, or the planet. That's why we're fascinated by the green noises that we're starting to hear from übercorporation Wal-Mart and with its decision to hire our hometown environmental heavy hitter Adam Werbach, a move that reporter Amanda Witherell explores in this week's cover story (see "An Unbelievable Truth," page 15).
We're skeptical of Wal-Mart's motives and commitment to putting the planet before profits, so we truly hope that Werbach hasn't been co-opted into a greenwashing effort. Read more »

How to fix the sewers

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EDITORIAL Every time it rains heavily in San Francisco, millions of gallons of barely treated sewage flow into the bay. Read more »

Public power: step one

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EDITORIAL Finally, after years of talk and a fair amount of delay, San Francisco is prepared to move forward and take a significant step toward public power. The supervisors are on board, the mayor's on board — even the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which has never been much of an advocate for public power, seems to be on board.
So the goal now ought to be approving the Community Choice Aggregation program, putting it into action, and using it as a springboard to a real public power system.
Community Choice Aggregation creates the equivalent of an energy co-op. Read more »

Newsom, it's time to end the Sunshine wars

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EDITORIAL For months now, Mayor Gavin Newsom's press office has been fighting with Sup. Chris Daly over a series of internal memos that Daly claims ought to be public record. The memos involve the mayor's position on tenant legislation that would make some kinds of evictions more difficult.
Daly had to take the case to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, which held a hearing and deliberated for more than an hour before finding the Mayor's Office in violation of the law. Read more »

The judge misses the point

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EDITORIAL The federal judge who allowed the largest media merger in Northern California history to go forward unimpeded did what far too many judges do in cases like this: she ruled narrowly on the tightest definition of the law and missed the overall point entirely. Judge Susan Illston rejected a bid by San Francisco real estate investor Clint Reilly to block Denver billionaire Dean Singleton's effort to buy virtually every daily newspaper in the Bay Area and set up an unprecedented media monopoly. Read more »

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 »