Opinion

Abolish PG&E Corp.

The creation of Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. constitutes a legal money-laundering strategy.
|
()

OPINION Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. is a holding company whose only property is Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a regulated utility. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) exercises little regulatory oversight over PG&E Corp. Oversight by federal authorities has been curbed by recent legislation, which abolished most of the consumer protections of the New Deal's Public Utilities Holding Company Act. To protect ratepayers and stockholders, PG&E Corp. Read more »

Law enforcement's real battles

Precious resources should be focused on addressing violence, gun crime, and major white-collar crime
|
()

OPINION In order to be smart on crime, law enforcement needs to make important choices about where to focus our resources. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has been making poor choices, and those choices are hitting home in San Francisco.

Recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted raids in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, rounding up immigrants at their jobs and schools, in some instances with ICE agents announcing themselves as police. Read more »

San Francisco's erupting skyline

Why erect higher barricades?
|
()

San Francisco has always been a city defined by its hills and the bay. Our city has an image and character in its urban pattern that depend especially on views, topography, streets, building form, and major landscaping.

The bay is a focus of major views. Hills allow the city to be seen and, more than any other feature, produce a variety that is characteristic of San Francisco. Read more »

The guns have won

The toll of Bush's Iraq war on health care
|
()

With President George W. Bush proposing to push the price tag for the Iraq War up to nearly $600 billion — more than was spent on the Vietnam War — while seeking new cuts in our health care safety net, it would appear the debate over guns and butter is over. The guns have won.

Polls before the last election found that the two issues foremost in voters' minds were the war and our ever-worsening health care crisis. More than ever, the two issues seem linked. Read more »

The straight story on the armory

What makes the Kink.com case different
|
()

The sale of the former National Guard armory on Mission Street has caused a flurry of concern about the plans for the site of the new owner and developer, Kink.com. Most of the columns and editorials in the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner, and BeyondChron.com have been reactionary and politically opportunistic. It has given the cheerleaders of runaway market-rate development a new reason to knock affordable housing advocates in general and the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition in particular.Read more »

Where's the beef on LGBT issues?

After same-sex marriage, Gavin's buns are empty
|
()

OPINION Common wisdom says that Mayor Gavin Newsom has forever endeared himself to the LGBT community by issuing marriage licenses to queer couples shortly after coming into office in 2004. Even though a state court later declared those licenses invalid (the city is appealing), Newsom's popularity among queers doesn't appear to have diminished. Read more »

Make housing, not war!

Creating a breeding ground for terror
|
()

OPINION As President George W. Bush requests more money to fight the war overseas, a stealth war is being fought here on domestic soil: the war on housing for the poor. Since the Bush administration took power, the public housing program has suffered $1 billion in cutbacks.

As a result, conditions have rapidly deteriorated in public housing developments throughout the country. Maintenance, security, and services have been slashed annually as budgets are drained with each appropriations bill. Read more »

Why insurers love the new health plan

|
()

OPINION If you're one of the 6.5 million Californians without health coverage, get ready to find a lot of hands in your pocket.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's much-trumpeted health plan is the most ambitious overhaul of the state's health care system since ... well, since SB 840, the far simpler, more universal, more comprehensive, single-payer health plan sponsored by Sen. Read more »

Tears and Happyness

Homeless reality and Hollywood's bootstrap myth
|
()

OPINION I'm not sure why the new movie The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith, based on the life of previously homeless Chris Gardner's rise to millionaire, is so hard to write about. I am rarely at a loss for words, especially about poverty, homelessness, and racism. Perhaps it's because this movie made me so sad that even as I try for the 40th time to write this, my eyes well up with broken tears. Read more »

The P-U-litzer prizes

Presenting the stinkiest news coverage of 2006
|
()

Competition has been fierce for the fifteenth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes. Many can plausibly lay claim to stinky media performances, but only a few can win a P.U.-litzer. As the judges for this un-coveted award, Jeff Cohen and I have deliberated with due care. Read more »