Opinion

Hetch Hetchy: Two visions

Public power versus the environment? The debate continues over last week's cover story

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Editors note: We received two interesting commentaries on our Hetch Hetchy cover story ("Damn the Dam," 8/10/2011). They appear below, offering very different perspectives on the issue.


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You can't trust Ethics

Prop. F has some serious problems, incvluding allowing the Ethics Comnission to change law at will

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By Larry Bush

OPINION Proposition F, a measure on the November ballot, is supposed to clean up some provisions of the law that requires political consultants to register and make disclosures about their clients and their work. It was approved by all 11 supervisors.

But Prop. F has some serious problems. For starters, it grants authority to the Ethics Commission to make any other changes it wants in the law.

As the Voter Handbook says:Read more »

View from the middle

One San Franciscan's letter to Ed Lee

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OPINION Editor's Note: Between the well-funded, politically connected campaign pushing Ed Lee to run for mayor and the high-profile critics who say he should keep his word and step down, it's hard to tell how the average city resident feels. So to reflect that perspective, we're reprinting a letter that was sent to Lee on July 29.

Dear Mayor Lee,Read more »

is Rec-Park really broke?

Nobody seems to be checking the figures on the department's sad-sweet story

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By David Looman

OPINION The senior staffers at the Recreation and Park Department routinely cry that the department is poor and going broke. Is it possible they are lying?

Conspicuously lacking in discussions of Rec-Park funding is any kind of hard data about how well or poorly San Francisco Rec-Park is really funded. Whether it's the mainstream media, the alternative press, or our elected representatives on the Board of Supervisors, nobody seems to know how our park system compares with other park systems in California or the U.S.Read more »

Killed for riding while poor

A young man was shot for not having a transfer

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OPINION We sat together: elders, youth, workers, students, and folks. We were on our way to a low-paid job, an overpriced university, a pre-gentrified home and a public school. There was laughter and shouts, murmurs and silence. Then suddenly, there were nine heavily armed police officers and fare inspectors walking through the crowded 14 Mission Muni line. One stopped in front of me and my son.Read more »

Don't gut SF campaign law

"The Ethics Commission should have used a scalpel, not a sledgehammer"

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The U.S. Supreme Court, which has already ruled that corporations can spend all the money they want on political campaigns, dealt another huge blow to democracy in June when it struck down a campaign finance law in Arizona that was designed to level the playing field for candidates running against better-financed opponents.Read more »

Dismantle death row

Reconsidering the death penalty is particularly important at a time when the state is making cuts to our great public institutions

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The moment has arrived to eliminate the death penalty in California and, for the first time in decades, it is a goal we can accomplish.

My legislation, Senate Bill 490, would close death row and replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Last week it passed its first legislative test by a vote of 5-2 in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.Read more »

Campaign for the Woolsey legacy

We have to hold the North Bay congressional seat for the values that Lynn Woolsey has represented

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Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin, Sonoma counties) is a rarity on Capitol Hill. She's a lawmaker with guts who speaks from the heart.

Whether focusing on children and seniors at home or the victims of war far away, Woolsey insists on advocating for humane priorities. Several hundred times, she has gone to the House floor to speak out against war. She stands for peace, social justice, human rights, a green future, and so much more.

Last week, after more than 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Woolsey announced that she will not run for reelection next year.Read more »

Don't privatize public safety

An SF General EMT speaks out

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Four weeks ago, surgeon Dimitry Nikitin walked out of Florida's Orlando Regional Medical Center to his car and was shot dead by a disgruntled patient who then turned his gun on himself and committed suicide. Last September, a doctor at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins was shot and killed by a patient distraught over his mother's terminal diagnosis.Read more »

No equality without economic equality

The unified San Francisco queer movement is history

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San Francisco's queer movement isn't what it used to be.

Even the Castro District — once the center of perpetual protests and street organizing, not to mention the Tom Ammiano write-in campaign — bears little resemblance to the neighborhood that used to be considered the gayest in the country. A recent Advocate survey didn't even mention San Francisco in its list of 15 gayest cities.Read more »