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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Privatization of public housing

Many residents feel they're moving from the frying pan of Housing Authority control into the fire of developer and nonprofit management

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news@sfbg.com

Like so many San Franciscans, Sabrina Carter is getting evicted.

The mother of three says that if she loses her home in the Western Addition, she'll have nowhere to go. It's been a tough, four-year battle against her landlord — a St. Louis-based development company called McCormack Baron — and its law firm, Bornstein & Bornstein. That's the same law firm that gained notoriety for holding an "eviction boot camp" last November to teach landlords how to do Ellis Act evictions and sweep tenants out of rent-controlled housing.Read more »

A tale of two Google buses

The controversial tech shuttles are powerful symbols — or they're not — that are also causing real problems and benefits on the roads

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joe@sfbg.com

At the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 1, an environmental appeal hearing on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's commuter shuttle pilot program elevated the so-called Google Bus into a powerful symbol with two narratives — of gentrification and displacement, or the misguided belief that tech workers are to blame for those trends in San Francisco.Read more »

Crime and politics

How an FBI probe of organized crime in Chinatown took down a senator and well-connected political consultant

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steve@sfbg.com

San Franciscans awoke March 26 to the surprising news that state Sen. Leland Yee (D-SF) had been arrested on federal corruption charges as part of early morning police raids targeting an organized crime syndicate based in Chinatown, along with reputed gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and two dozen others.Read more »

Bloodshed in Bernal Heights

The police shooting of Alejandro Nieto leaves a community in shock

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rebecca@sfbg.com

On Friday morning, March 21, the day that Alejandro Nieto was shot and killed by San Francisco Police Department officers, he went to the gym with his friend Byron Pedroza. It was something they did often, Pedroza said; the two of them had signed up for gym memberships together. "He'd be like, 'B, get up. Let's go work out.'"Read more »

Massage therapists hope for a happy ending

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The California Massage Therapy Council, a statewide body that licenses massage practitioners, may expire at the end of this year unless extended by the California Legislature. Some anti-prostitution crusaders say reverting to local control will make it easier to shut down covert brothels, but the practitioners fear a return to the bad old days, when stigmas and stereotypes overcomplicated their lives.Read more »

Cap and frown

SFUSD considers allowing hats in schools, ending a policy discouraging cultural indicators

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joe@sfbg.com

Just in time for baseball season, Giants hats may be allowed back into San Francisco public schools. A new Board of Education resolution may change the school district dress code to allow hats to be worn indoors in classrooms, a resolution that is also sparking conversations about cultural sensitivity.Read more »

Boom for whom?

Why isn't San Francisco's hot economy creating a budget surplus to address its costly byproducts?

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steve@sfbg.com, joe@sfbg.com

San Francisco's economy is booming these days, fueled by the latest dot-com bubble and a hot real estate market, sending more than expected tax revenue into city coffers. So why doesn't San Francisco have a big budget surplus to help address the gentrification and displacement triggered by the boom?Read more »

Unanswered question on SF housing

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Nobody has a good answer to San Francisco's most basic housing problem: How do we build the housing that existing city residents need? It was a question the Guardian has been posing for many years, and one that I again asked a panel of journalists and housing advocates on March 14, again getting no good answers. Read more »

A fine dilemma

Increased citations often hinder homeless youth from finding better life

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Police have heavily increased sweeps of homeless campers in Golden Gate and Buena Vista parks since January as city officials discuss the next 10-year homeless plan, targeting a specific population of the city's homeless: youth 25 years old and under, kids who often make those parks their homes.Read more »

San Francisco's untouchables

Is San Francisco trying to help the homeless -- or drive them away?

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Rebecca@sfbg.com

In one sense, San Francisco's homeless residents have never been more visible than they are in this moment in the city's history, marked by rapid construction, accelerated gentrification, and rising income inequality. But being seen doesn't mean they're getting the help they need.

Not long ago, Lydia Bransten, who heads security at the St. Anthony's Foundation on 150 Golden Gate, happened upon a group of teenagers clustered on the street near the entrance of her soup kitchen. They had video cameras, and were filming a homeless man lying on the sidewalk.Read more »