Editorial

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 »

Don't give the tides to PG&E

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EDITORIAL It's been three years since former supervisor Matt Gonzalez suggested that the city build a tidal energy plant, but the mayor is finally catching on. Gavin Newsom told the Chronicle editorial board last week that a new study shows San Francisco could generate a phenomenal amount of electricity from Ocean Beach waves and the tides under the Golden Gate Bridge. If it can be done without disturbing marine life, it's a great idea — as long as the power stays in public hands.
The legal and philosophical case is simple: Nobody owns the tides, the wind, or the waves. Read more »

The best health care plan

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EDITORIAL The health care model that's been established, largely by default, in the United States is an utter mess. Most working people get their insurance through their employers. Read more »

Don't fear the t-word

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EDITORIAL The attack ads started almost the moment Phil Angelides won the Democratic nomination for governor, and they'll continue until November, funded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's seemingly bottomless war chest and carrying a misleading message that has become the vicious refrain of right-wingers everywhere:
The Democrat wants to raise your taxes.
Let's get this straight, just for the permanent record: Angelides is not proposing to raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $500,000 a year. Read more »

Put away the cameras

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EDITORIAL The rate of violent crime in San Francisco, including murder, is climbing, and it's way past unacceptable. Progressives aren't generally known for their crime-fighting plans, but in this case the left flank of the Board of Supervisors, led by Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly, has offered a real, functional plan: an increase in community policing and additional funding for violence-prevention programs. However, Mayor Gavin Newsom and the cops are against that, and they helped knock it down on the June 6 ballot.
So what does the mayor want to do? Read more »

A full-time school board

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EDITORIAL The San Francisco Board of Education oversees a budget of more than $400 million. Its seven members attend regular board and committee meetings, analyze complex financial documents, visit school sites, meet with parents and administrators, attend conferences and trainings ... and try to find a little bit of time to think about the future of public education in a very difficult urban situation. It's one of the most important jobs in the city. And the board members get paid about $500 a month. Read more »

Don't relicense the Diablo nuke

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EDITORIAL The Pacific Gas and Electric Co. made one of the dumbest moves in modern environmental history some 40 years ago when company executives decided to build a nuclear power plant on an active earthquake fault. The seismic issues and serious construction and safety problems along with a powerful antinuclear movement kept the Diablo Canyon plant from opening until 1984. Read more »