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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Climate fight is a street fight

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STREET FIGHT

Prolonged warm-weather droughts seem a normal part of California life, but the intensity of drought impacts — shrinking snowpack, intense wildfires, crop failures, and the devastation of wildlife habitat and fisheries — is likely accentuated by global warming.Read more »

Kick the can

Fact-checking the opposition to the Sugary Beverage Tax reveals misleading claims

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joe@sfbg.com

At least 720 San Francisco businesses oppose the controversial Sugary Beverage Tax proposed for the November ballot, according to the proposed ballot measure's opponents. But a Guardian investigation shows that claim is overstated.

Some businesses were listed with the consent of employees who couldn't speak for the business, not their owners, and some businesses listed aren't even open anymore.Read more »

SFBG Wrap

Google buses, library targets the homeless, and Kelly takes on Cohen in D10

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Google bus plan challenged

San Francisco activists and labor filed an appeal of the controversial commuter shuttle (aka, the Google buses) pilot program with the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 19, alleging it was pushed through without a proper environmental review.

The appeal was filed by a coalition of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, SEIU 1021, The League of Pissed Off Voters, and Sara Shortt of the Housing Rights Committee.Read more »

Spooked

Speakers boycotting security conference to protest collaboration with NSA

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rebecca@sfbg.com

The world's largest computer security conference, RSA, got underway in the Moscone Convention Center on Feb. 24. It's a huge deal: Speakers will include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and closing remarks will be given by comedian Stephen Colbert.

Started in 1991, the RSA Conference has grown exponentially. But this year, 13 digital security experts have canceled their scheduled talks in protest of recent revelations that RSA cooperated with the National Security Agency to use a flawed tool for safeguarding sensitive information.Read more »

Muni fare shakedown

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Update: Just a day after the release of this article, advocacy group POWER announced that Google pledged to pay for Free Muni For Youth for two years. “This validates both the success and necessity of the Free Muni for Youth program,”said Bob Allen, leader in the FreeMuni for Youth coalition, in a press release. “We need tech companies in San Francisco and throughout the region to work with the community to support more community-driven solutions to the displacement crisis.” Read more »

Guardian investigation honored

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Bay Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe and Staff Writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez are being honored by the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California with a James Madison Freedom of Information Award for "Friends in the Shadows," our investigation of the shady ways that developers and other powerful players buy influence at City Hall.Read more »

Facebook expands gender choices

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Facebook is binary no more.

The social media company announced via its Facebook Diversity page that profiles will now allow for a custom gender choice, a change long sought by transgender rights activists.

Traditional social networking (and even dating) websites mostly allow only the choice of male and female. But now Facebook has functionality to add multiple gender identifiers under a customizable text menu. The change was brought about through a collaboration with a number of LGBT advocacy groups, including GLAAD.Read more »

Who influenced the Google-bus policy?

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On SFBG.com last week, we published a list of the attendees (and corporate affiliations) who were recorded as having attended stakeholder meetings with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to discuss that private shuttle pilot program that caused such a dustup last month. The list is a matter of public record and was submitted to the Bay Guardian by a source who wished to remain anonymous.Read more »

Backlash mars annual tech awards

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The Crunchies are a San Francisco-based dog and pony show for the tech industry, hosted by technology business news site Tech Crunch. But amid rising San Franciscan anger, this year's Crunchies took on a decidedly different tone.

At the outset of the Feb. 10 awards ceremony, big-time investor and noted "Godfather of Silicon Valley," Ron Conway, asked a question. "Raise your hand if your company is located in San Francisco," he asked the tech employees gathered in Davies Symphony Hall.Read more »

Two views of sex work

As panel explores ways to "discourage demand" for prostitution, sex workers call for a more nuanced understanding of their profession

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news@sfbg.com

There are two starkly different ways to look at prostitution in the Bay Area. One view sees sex workers as victims, not just those exploited by the horrible practices of human trafficking and child prostitution, but all sex workers. The other view accepts that sex work can be a legitimate choice made by consenting adults, a job less demeaning and more empowering than many low-wage service jobs. Read more »