EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has always talked about treating homeless people with compassion, is allowing the cops to do just the opposite — and it's costing the city millions. As Amanda Witherell reports on page 11, the San Francisco Police Department under the Newsom administration has issued 31,230 citations for so-called quality of life offenses like sleeping on the streets, sleeping in the parks, and panhandling. Read more »
There are people at the daily newspapers around here who bristle when I accuse them of ignoring important local stories, particularly ones involving powerful political, business, or social figures (and most particularly, involving the newspapers themselves). No representative of the Hearst Corp. stands in the newsroom door announcing that stories about management will be sent to New York for prior censorship. Nobody tells the Chronicle's reporters that they can't cover a pressing story.
And I believe all that. I really do. Read more »
Last month, two news stories broke the same day, one meaty, one junky. In Detroit, US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that the Bush administration's warrantless National Security Agency surveillance program was unconstitutional and must end. Read more »
TECHSPLOITATION Last night, for about the 30,000th time, I pondered whether I should be shredding the stubs of my phone and cable bills before throwing them away. I always keep my credit card statements for a year or two. That shit just seems too scary personal to toss. But what about the other stuff? If someone were to root through my building's trash bin and find my (unshredded) cell phone bill, they'd know the numbers of everyone I'd called during the past month. Read more »
I've prided myself on having a good relationship with my daughter, and we have always been able to talk about anything, but I was shocked when she asked me about anal sex. I was at a complete loss. She's only 14 and it never crossed my mind that she would even know what that is, but I guess it's not like it used to be. She said it's the "cool" thing to do at her school and that most of her girlfriends have had it. I don't want her to think that she can't come to me about things. Read more »
EDITORIAL Finally the Democratic Party in California is starting to talk seriously about tax policy. It's an important change in the political winds, and if state treasurer Phil Angelides can get beyond the tepid-to-hostile press and use his promise of a middle-class tax cut to gain ground on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it may signal the end of decades of regressive and deeply harmful economic policy.
Schwarzenegger, who knows he's in a tough race, has been trying to smear Angelides by saying that the Democratic candidate is pushing for tax hikes. Read more »
EDITORIAL The politics of crime can be tricky for the left: progressives are against far-reaching and punitive crackdowns, against police abuse, against the pervasive financial waste in law enforcement ... and sometimes can't come up with answers when neighborhoods like Hunters Point and the Western Addition ask what local government is going to do to stop waves of violence like the homicide epidemic plaguing San Francisco today.
So it's encouraging to see Sup. Read more »
I was out of town when Sue Bierman died Aug. 6, her car crashing into a Dumpster near her Haight Ashbury home, in the neighborhood she loved. I was out of cell phone range and had no real Internet access, and the papers in Upstate New York didn't carry the story. So I didn't learn until I got home that San Francisco had lost one of its most vibrant, funny, warm, and passionate political voices.
Bierman, a native of Fremont, Neb., arrived in San Francisco in 1950. Read more »
OPINION If the Bush administration has its way, conditions for San Francisco's public housing residents are about to get much worse.
The San Francisco Housing Authority, which operates 6,000 units of public housing, is facing a $7 million shortfall this year due to Republican-led cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget. Congress has already cut the public housing budget by $1 billion since 2001 and has now created a $300 million shortfall in operating funds for already cash-strapped public housing agencies. Read more »
Last week the California State Assembly and Senate unanimously asked Congress to pass a federal shield law to protect journalists from being forced to disclose unpublished material and the identity of a source.
Part of the motivation for the new push for federal legislation is the recent spate of federal attempts to imprison journalists who won't give up their confidential sources. Read more »