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Death and Facebook

GOOD TECH ISSUE: Social media can play an important role during tragedies

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steve@sfbg.com

My appreciation for Facebook had been waning in recent years. Although I still use it almost every day — mostly as a storehouse for digital photos and events listings or as a procrastination tool — I was becoming turned off by its increasing commercialization and ubiquity.Read more »

Hey whistleblowers

GOOD TECH ISSUE: We want your leaks!

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rebecca@sfbg.com

The San Francisco Bay Guardian newsroom is tapping some high-tech tools to continue its journalistic mission.

Working in partnership with a group of technologists who dislike government corruption just as much as we do, we're launching a new web-based system to enable sources to anonymously submit documents directly to our news staff.

The system offers better safeguards for protecting sources' identities than conventional email can offer.Read more »

Nickels and dimes... or transit for our times?

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STREET FIGHT Much has been written about the so-called "Google buses" and San Francisco's latest round of gentrification. It's a horrible mess and the city's trifling $1 charge per bus stop will do little to address the broader structural problem that these buses lay bare.Read more »

Protect pedestrians

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More than 50 public commenters spoke at the Jan. 16 joint Police Commission and Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee meeting, and all sounded one message loud and clear: Drivers can maim and kill pedestrians with near impunity in San Francisco, and that must end.

"I'm here very simply to urge you to end the carnage on our streets," said Natalie Burdick of the nonprofit Walk SF. "These crimes cost the city millions annually, and untold value in terms of squandered human capital." Read more »

State of the City: spin over substance

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It was maddening to watch Mayor Ed Lee deliver his annual State of the City address on Jan. 17. This was pure politics, from the staged backdrop of housing construction at Hunters Point Shipyard to the use of "regular people" props to the slate of vague and contradictory promises he made.

"This place, the shipyard, links our proud past to an even more promising future," was how Lee began his hour-plus, invite-only address.Read more »

Manhattanization revisited

Is more, taller, and denser housing the answer to San Francisco's affordability crisis?

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joe@sfbg.com

The housing crisis is spurring pro-development arguments that threaten to hasten the "Manhattanization of San Francisco," a buzzphrase from another era that led to local controls on high-rise development.

The city is getting richer and less diverse, and the unaddressed displacement of longtime residents has fueled populist outrage. Now, politicians are finally getting the message, but some are offering solutions that may reopen old civic wounds.Read more »

The good foot

The FRESH Festival and Liss Fain Dance welcome 2014 with exciting new works

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arts@sfbg.com

DANCE The fourth FRESH Festival sounds like something that might attract foodies. In fact you do need an appetite — for thinking way outside of the box. The participating dancers, musicians, designers, and writers feed on each other's disciplines to stretch their own thinking about who they are and what they want to do. If sometimes the "how" intrigues more than the "what," so be it. Watching new modes emerging can be such an upper.Read more »

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 »