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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

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 »

Build a bot

CAREERS AND ED: Oakland's Robotics for Fun helps you make cute things come alive

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culture@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED For most of the working world, cardboard represents little more than a recyclable material, something to hold your pizza. But to Jutiki Gunter, cardboard is a construction material with near-limitless potential.Read more »

Bits and bots

CAREERS AND ED: Robotics advances — and opportunities — in the Bay Area

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marke@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED "When it comes to robots, there's usually a kneejerk reaction about job loss. But the robotics field is also creating jobs. We haven't had stagecoach drivers for a hundred years, but still the world has moved forward." That's Tim Smith, a robotics public relations expert — talk about robots creating new jobs — speaking to me over the phone from his Element PR home office in Bernal Heights, where he's busy representing some of the most innovative robotics projects coming out of the Bay Area.Read more »

Ignore less

20 great educational opportunities in 2014

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culture@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED Often called the first feminist, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz could well be your guiding spirit heading into this bright new year. Born in 1651 in colonial Mexico, Sor Juana defied societal expectations about women at the time to study herself into becoming one of the smartest people in New Spain. She became a nun rather than marry, and eventually amassed one of the largest libraries in the Americas.Read more »