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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

On the waterfront

Initiative would give voters a say on big waterfront projects that violate zoning standards

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steve@sfbg.com

Who should decide what gets built on San Francisco's waterfront: the people or the Mayor's Office and its political appointees? That's the question that has been raised by a series of high-profile development proposals that exceed current zoning restrictions, as well as by a new initiative campaign that has just begun gathering signatures.Read more »

Left turn?

Civil rights attorney Dan Siegel launches Oakland mayoral campaign

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rebecca@sfbg.com

Dan Siegel, an Oakland civil rights attorney and activist with a long history of working with radical leftist political movements, joined a group of more than 150 supporters in front of Oakland City Hall on Jan. 9 to announce his candidacy for mayor.

With this development, the mayor's race in Oakland is sure to be closely watched by Bay Area progressives. Siegel's bid represents a fresh challenge from the left against Mayor Jean Quan at a time when concerns about policing, intensifying gentrification, and economic inequality are on the rise.Read more »

FCC chair gets an earful in Oakland

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On Jan. 9, the newly appointed chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, visited Oakland's Preservation Park for a town hall meeting.

It was the first time in more than five years that the head of the FCC engaged in this kind of face-to-face community dialogue in Oakland, Chancellar Williams of Free Press said at the start of the meeting. The event was hosted by the Free Press, the Center for Media Justice, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition.Read more »

New arts high school would cost $240 million

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Art advocates have tried to move the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts high school to its new home on Van Ness street since 1987. On Jan. 7, the dream moved one step closer, the only barrier is cost.

At a packed San Francisco Board of Education meeting, planners revealed the move's sticker price, and it's a big one: $240 million. Board of Education President Rachel Norton's face sunk into one hand as she heard the news.Read more »

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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When is a public opinion poll a valid representation of how people feel? That turns out to be a tricky and ever-evolving question, particularly in San Francisco — thanks to its prevalence of tenants and technology — and even more particularly when it concerns the approval rating of Mayor Ed Lee.

Traditionally, the central requirements for public opinion polls to be considered valid is that respondents need to be representative of the larger population and they need to be selected at random. Polls are often skewed when people need to opt-in, as is the case in most online polls.Read more »

Safety Scramble

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joe@sfbg.com

On New Year's Eve, six-year-old Sofia Liu was struck and killed when a driver using the Uber rideshare app allegedly failed to yield to her and her family as they progressed through a crosswalk. The girl's mother and brother survived, but their tear-stained faces were soon all over news networks in heartbreaking reports of their loss. No less sad, 86-year-old Zhen Guang Ng was struck and killed that same night by a driver who allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign in the Crocker-Amazon district. These incidents aren't isolated.Read more »

Confronting the speculators

Tenant activists spotlight serial evictors in online rogues gallery

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rebecca@sfbg.com

A group of tenant advocates has upped the ante in the ongoing protest movement against San Francisco evictions, publicizing the names, photographs, property ownership, and corporate affiliations of a dozen landlords and speculators they've deemed "serial evictors."Read more »

Beathoven

A roiling symphony of nightlife: Mason Bates, Leslie and the Ly's, Mr. Ties, Ambivalent, DJ Deeon, more parties 

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO A couple of years ago, Muni put out a public safety campaign that showed this gorgeous woman in giant silver headphones texting ferociously right before she stepped into the path of an oncoming train. Tagline: "Do you want Beethoven to be the last thing you hear?"Read more »

Rise of the machines

CAREERS AND ED: From flipping burgers to making sexy, robots are catching up

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joe@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED As digital gizmos invade our pockets and our lives, the fear of machines replacing human work is as pervasive as ever. But of course that fear isn't unique to the computer age.

As far back as the 1800s folk legend John Henry competed against a great railroad-building machine, hammering holes for railroad tracks in dirt and rock with the power of his arms.Read more »

Google's androids

CAREERS AND ED: Tech giant gobbles up local robotics companies

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rebecca@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED Robotics, a field that largely exists in the realm of research and development, is poised to grow leaps and bounds right here in the Bay Area now that Google has decided to dump mountains of cash into it.

So far, the search giant with the "don't be evil" slogan has acquired eight robotics firms, and is pursuing a robotics initiative that nobody seems willing to describe in detail when speaking on record to the press.Read more »