Opinion

It's not so easy building green

Questions about the plan to build Parkmerced

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OPINION The Parkmerced project developers like to talk about how environmentally sound their plans are, but a harder look suggests otherwise.

At a March 29 hearing on the project, Green Pary member Eric Brooks presented graphic evidence of the environmental impacts of the destruction of the garden units and the landscape, and the proposed increase in parking on- site. As a transit-first city, it seems ludicrous to spend so much on below-grade parking. And regrading and replanting the entire site will allow toxins in the soil to become airborne.Read more »

From Wisconsin to San Francisco

Jeff Adachi's proposed pension reform is far from progressive

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Public Defender Jeff Adachi is scurrying all over town trying to explain how his version of pension reform is really "progressive." It would be laughable if its implications weren't so devastating for working people employed by the city and those living in and around San Francisco.Read more »

Why I'm pushing pension reform

"In the next 12 months, pension costs are projected to increase by nearly $100 million more than last year."
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OPINION Some have questioned why I, as a long-time supporter of progressive policies and programs, chose to venture into the uncharted waters of pension reform. The answer is simple: I believe in the value of government, particularly in providing a safety net for the poor and those who need help. When the government no longer has the ability to provide these services, everyone suffers.Read more »

Sacramento needs a foreign policy

The National Priorities Project puts the current cumulative cost of the Afghan war to California taxpayers at $48.5 billion

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OPINION "The country is rich, but not so rich as we have been led to believe. The choice to do one thing may preclude another. In short, we are entering an era of limits."

Presidential candidate Jerry Brown said that in 1976. Thirty five years later, second-time-around Gov. Jerry Brown has a profound opportunity to finish the thought — by pointing out that we can no longer afford follies like the Afghanistan war.Read more »

The song of Ghetto Girl

"no diplomatic tactful rage"

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OPINION Editor's note: POOR Magazine, one of my favorite publications, holds an annual benefit on Valentine's Day featuring a "Battle of ALL the Sexes" poetry slam. This year's event, hosted by Alexandra Byerly, had a mixed-martial arts theme and was held in an eight-foot cage built by artist Will Steel in the Submission Gallery in the Mission District. Judges were La Mesha Irizarry, Devorah Major and Laure McElroy. I agreed to publish the first- place winner, which follows. Find the second and third place winners on sfbg.com on the Politics blog. Read more »

The fight for KUSF

This is not about a format change. It's about a community being robbed of its voice.

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By Irwin Swirnoff

OPINION For almost 34 years, KUSF (90.3 FM), has provided unique and varied local programming that truly is the audio representation of the qualities that make San Francisco such a special place. A place where diversity is honored and given a voice. A place where art, culture, and music are given a platform to tell stories, evoke emotions, and unite a wide range of people.Read more »

Should Lyon-Martin be saved?

Dumping 3,500 patients into a public health system that has been cut to the bone over the last few years would be a disaster in San Francisco.

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OPINION Last month, when the startling news broke that Lyon-Martin Health Services, a community health clinic that serves primarily queer women and transgender people, was about to close its doors forever, the community rose up even before the official announcement was made. Read more »

A call to do your (jury) duty

The dilemma confounding the court is the lack of qualified applicants
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By Ken Maley

OPINION For decades San Franciscans concerned and interested in the workings — and malfunctions — of city government have turned to the Guardian for insights and possible solutions. Guardian readers have developed a reputation for being community activists, and to those activist-minded readers, I encourage you to apply to serve on the San Francisco civil grand jury.Read more »

No sweetheart deal for Twitter

Over time, the tax break could cost San Francisco millions of dollars as the city struggles to close a $350 million deficit

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By Richard Marquez and Chris Daly

More than a decade ago, an epidemic of evictions severed the spine of San Francisco's working-class neighborhoods and communities of color. Thousands of low-to-middle-income tenants, immigrant families, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists lost their homes, leases, and livelihoods. Orchestrating this period of class warfare was a gang of shot-callers: dot-com companies, real estate interests, financial firms, and Mayor Willie Brown.Read more »

SF's redevelopment miracle

Since 1990, the Redevelopment Agency has become the major funder of affordable housing in San Francisco, pouring more than $500 million into low-cost housing

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OPINION While many of us (and most of the rest of the state) can tire from time to time when we hear San Francisco "exceptionalism" being touted, especially when Gavin Newsom is doing the touting, there are some cases in which it's justified. One of the most salient is the way San Franciscans transformed the city's Redevelopment Agency and used tax-increment financing to build housing and infrastructure that served its residents, not elite developers.Read more »