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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Homes for whom?

New inclusionary housing ordinance delicately balances the city's affordable housing needs with the developers' demand for big profits
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steve@sfbg.com
"Inclusionary housing program" is a bureaucratic term that seems to invite mental drift. And when the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee considered updating the program's standards July 12, there was enough mind-numbing economic and regulatory minutiae to sedate the standing-room-only crowd.
But there were also diamonds in that jargony rough. For one thing, San Francisco is now poised to finally force housing developers to spend more of their astronomical profits on housing that sells or rents for far less than the city's equally obscene housing market dictates. Read more »

Poll position

Field Research Corporation is going over the top to keep unions out
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gwschulz@sfbg.com
A San Francisco–based political pollster is showing there's little it won't do to keep an AFL-CIO affiliate from organizing its phone-bank operators.
The respected Field Research Corporation provides survey data for major newspapers across California, including the San Francisco Chronicle. The company is perhaps best known for its Field Poll, which gauges public opinion on everything from electoral candidates and earthquakes to steroids and immigration. Read more »

Mexico splits in half

The election moves into the streets – and the U.S. needs to be paying attention
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MEXICO CITY (July 11th) -- A full week after the most viciously contested presidential election in its modern history, a Florida-sized fraud looms over the Mexican landscape and the nation has been divided almost exactly in half along political, economic, geographical and racial lines.

Mexico has always been two lands -- "Illusionary Mexico" and "Profound Mexico" is how sociologist Guillermo Bonfils described the great divide between rich and poor. Read more »

Workers nights

Festival highlights 100 years of labor movement
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With the AFL-CIO split last year, and millions of undocumented workers fighting for their jobs, the climate is ripe for the Bay Area to celebrate its labor solidarity. San Francisco has long been a wealthy city, but it also has the most organized labor movement in the nation.
For 13 years, LaborFest has celebrated that movement here and around the world. Read more »

Verizon's tubes

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tubes@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION If you think I'm done making fun of Sen. Ted Stevens from Alaska, then you are sorely mistaken. I have only just begun to mock.
In a rousing speech about why he would be trashing network neutrality provisions in the Senate's version of the new telecommunications bill, Stevens sagely pointed out that the Internet "is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck." Instead, he explained, "it's a series of tubes." And those tubes get all gummed up with icky stuff like big movies and things. Read more »

Swear an oaf

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
After several bad relationships I started seeing someone new. She's into "playful" spanking. She started spanking me on the street one day and I told her it made me want to hit her. She seemed to like it, though, so I said OK, just not in public. Then I came over and she seemed really happy to see me and she was giggling about spanking me. And I was, like, "OK, this is kind of funny," rolling with it.
Then later, lying in bed, she spanked me. I said, "Don't do that," in a very clear and stern way. She spanked me again. I hit her in the head. Read more »

Playing hardball in the Presidio

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EDITORIAL When Rep. Nancy Pelosi began peddling her plan to privatize the Presidio back in the 1990s her chief weapon was fear: If the Democrats didn't cut a deal to let the private sector control the fate of the new national park, she argued, the Republicans who ran Congress would simply sell off the land. Then there would be no park at all.
That was a highly unlikely scenario — there was a Democrat named Bill Clinton in the White House, and it's hard to imagine him going along with the GOP on the sale of 1,491 acres of parkland in San Francisco (part of his loyal California base). Read more »

Put Oak to Ninth on hold

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EDITORIAL The Oakland City Council is moving toward final approval of a plan to build 3,100 housing units along the Oakland Estuary near Lake Merritt, and while the project sponsors have come a long way toward offering community benefits, there's a big hitch: The entire project was devised backward. Read more »

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What do they do all day at Rec-Park, anyway?
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tredmond@sfbg.com
Wow: A little more drunkenness and a bit of public nudity, and San Francisco could have had a real world-class soccer party Sunday. As it was, things were pretty darn festive: I was too busy chasing the kids around and watching the game to get a good count, but I bet there were 15,000 people at Dolores Park, more than I've seen in one place in the Mission for anything short of a big antiwar rally. The sun was shining, the mood was upbeat, people waved French and Italian flags around and cheered when either side scored a goal... Read more »

Ammiano's health care plan is fair

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OPINION Universal health care. These days, most people want it, but no one wants to pay for it.
But like it or not, we all share in the expense of providing health care. We pay for it directly in our health care premiums or indirectly from higher costs for goods, services, and taxes. Read more »