Opinion

Save the golf courses

Improved public recreation cannot come by tearing down one sport to benefit another
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OPINION Public golf is a historically vital part of San Francisco life. Imported to the city by immigrants from Scotland around 1900, golf here has retained its Scottish character as recreation for all types and ages. Read more »

The poison in your sofa

California's standard is poisoning the whole nation, one sofa at a time.
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OPINION If your sofa was purchased in California after 1975, chances are its interior foam and cushions contain either brominated or chlorinated fire retardants. These toxic chemicals have been shown to cause cancer, reproductive problems, learning disabilities, and thyroid disease in laboratory animals and house cats. Read more »

Harm reduction in the park

Suggestions for appropriate technology disposal solutions
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OPINION Mayor Gavin Newsom's moves to sweep homeless people out of Golden Gate Park have generated a lot of controversy — and a lot of people are missing the point.

I'm not so concerned about people sleeping in the park, just as I'm not so concerned about people sleeping on the sidewalks or the streets if there is no other place available, so long as they are just sleeping.

If folks just slept in the park, cleaned up after themselves, and moved on during the day, most of us would probably not notice. Read more »

You can't trust the voting machines

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OPINION California's secretary of state, Debra Bowen, has released a landmark report showing what all honest brokers admitted long ago: electronic voting systems are completely vulnerable to hackers. Read more »

The generals should end the war

A statement from Veterans for Peace (Chapter 69, San Francisco) and Asian Pacific Islanders Resist
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OPINION All American military officers and commanders take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Their oath is a solemn obligation to the American people, and especially to their own troops, to abide by the law. Our men and women in uniform place great trust in their superiors. They risk their lives in the belief that they will not be used falsely or illegally or for ill gain.

There is no group of Americans with greater interest in the enforcement of international law than American troops themselves. Read more »

Gavin Newsom's wireless Edsel

Google and EarthLink get to snoop on you, your traffic, and your preferences
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OPINION What would you think if somebody tried really hard to sell you an Edsel when you could clearly see a Lexus on the lot for the same price?

That's what Mayor Gavin Newsom is doing with his "wi-fi everywhere" franchise deal.

The mayor put out a bid to get everyone in the city connected wirelessly at high speeds with a decent free service. Read more »

Problems with Peskin's Muni plan

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OPINION Last week the Board of Supervisors received a proposed charter amendment that takes a misguided stab at the much-needed reform of the Municipal Transit Agency, which oversees Muni. In undertaking reforms we all agree are needed for the MTA to better serve our city, the supervisors should consider the Hippocratic oath required of doctors: "First, do no harm."Read more »

The truth about housing money

Care Not Cash was supposed to pay for itself
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OPINION Just as in war, in 2007 San Francisco budget politics, truth is the first casualty.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the assertions by Gavin Newsom's campaign minions that the mayor's current budget proposal contains a $217.5 million city investment in affordable housing.

The purpose of these claims is to imply that Newsom has voluntarily allocated local tax dollars for this critical need — and that no more should be spent on affordable housing, especially some $10 million for lower-income rental housing production for families with children proposed by Supervi Read more »

A clear housing choice in the Mission

Why bring another Walgreen's in?
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OPINION On April 19 the San Francisco Planning Department approved a market-rate condo development with a 24-hour Walgreens store at the northwest corner of César Chávez and Mission. The project features 60 expensive ownership units and 67 residential parking spaces. Read more »

War at the remote

Artifice comes in many forms
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It’s a popular notion: TV sets and other media devices let us in on the violence of war. “Look, nobody likes to see dead people on their television screens,” President Bush told a news conference more than three
years ago. “I don’t. It’s a tough time for the American people to see that. It’s gut-wrenching.”

But televised glimpses of war routinely help to keep war going. Read more »