Opinion

How to end the violence

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OPINION Despite its loss at the polls earlier this month, the spirit of Proposition A, the homicide prevention charter amendment on the June 6 ballot, lives on. Prop. A would have mandated that the city invest $10 million in violence prevention efforts. Instead of the typical police response to violence, Prop. A sought to address the root causes of violence, the social isolation and limited opportunity that are so endemic to the neighborhoods most impacted by street violence.
Prop. Read more »

The right to fuck and suck

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OPINION Three years ago, on June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court struck down all sodomy laws, and adults of all sexual orientations were, for the first time in the history of our country, totally free to engage in consensual sex "per os or per anum." That monumental decision freed our collective genitals from one of the most repressive laws ever slapped on them.
The act of sodomy was named after the infamous city in the Bible that was destroyed by the Old Testament god-patriarch either for inhospitality (the liberal interpretation) or propositioning angels for anal sex (the fundie read). Read more »

The health insurance system: a crash course

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OPINION I am a family practice physician who recently opened a solo office in San Francisco. Since deciding to make a go of it on my own, I have, by necessity, undergone a crash course in the politics of medicine.

Change in our current system will only come about as the result of an educated public insisting on it. So, in terms as simple as I can manage, here is how it works:Read more »

Dastardly dailies

The Chronicle does its regular election-season hit pieces on the most liberal candidates
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Why oh why does San Francisco have such terrible daily newspapers? In one of the most progressive cities in the country, why must we be subjected to Carla Marinucci’s regular hit pieces on the most liberal candidate in any race on the Chronicle’s front pages, or Examiner columnist Ken Garcia’s sanctimonious, truth-challenged screeds against progressives? Why do these papers so consistently sabotage human progress? Read more »

Prop. D's misinformation campaign

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OPINION Why are Joe O'Donoghue and the Residential Builders Association funding Proposition D on the San Francisco ballot? Could it have anything to do with the RBA's rapacious hunt for profits?

You bet, because Prop. D would change the city's zoning laws to potentially allow private development on 1,600 city parcels that are now protected for public use purposes only.Read more »

From ANWR to SF

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OPINION For more than a decade, the oil industry and environmentalists have fought over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.

At the same time, polarizing debate has raged in San Francisco over automobiles in Golden Gate Park, with the proposed car-free Saturday on JFK Drive as the latest iteration.Read more »

Cruel and unusual punishment

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OPINION Homelessness was recently put on trial in California. It was found not guilty.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declared April 14 that the city of Los Angeles can't arrest those who have no choice but to sleep on its streets. It's a victory for those of us who believe that homelessness is not a crime, but a symptom of an unjust economic system.Read more »

A few questions for the publishers

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OPINION The MediaNews Group, which proposes to buy the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times, the Monterey Herald, and 30 Bay Area weekly newspapers, is paying a 20 percent premium over the price McClatchy paid Knight-Ridder for those same publications less than two months ago. Antitrust regulators in the US Justice Department, who must decide whether to go to court to try to block the transaction, will want to know why.

There are two possible explanations. Read more »

No more bogus school budgets

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OPINION Spring means budget season at the San Francisco Unified School District.

Under the state Education Code, the SFUSD is required to present its proposed budget to the public. But each year the published budget leaves out the actual amounts of money that the district spent on each item in the previous year. It doesn't even include the past year's budgeted amount.

The public only receives a wish list of the district's proposed requested amounts for each budget item.Read more »

Save John Swett!

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OPINION In seeking to close the John Swett Alternative Elementary School in San Francisco's Western Addition, the San Francisco Unified School District is making a gargantuan mistake.

We knew from the start of the evaluation process that John Swett didn't come close to qualifying for closure or merger. By the board's own criteria, Swett shouldn't have been a candidate. Yet it remained, inexplicably, on the closure list.Read more »