EDITORIAL Six members of Congress wrote to the Bush administration last week urging a full Justice Department review of the pending deal that will give one company — the Denver-based MediaNews Group — control over virtually every daily newspaper in the Bay Area. The letter is a signal that federal regulators may be unable to simply duck this merger — but it will take a lot more pressure to block it. Read more »
TECHSPLOITATION I had the urge to be low-tech, so I spent a day walking across Manhattan. If you believe that culture is the new nature, my trek was roughly equivalent to an amble through the forest. I bought a bagel and lox at Zabar's, stuck my earbuds in on the corner of Broadway and West 80th Street, and headed south. Surely a Neanderthal could have had this same experience munching on meat and humming to herself as she wandered through Europe 42,000 years ago.Read more »
Like Clear Channel radio stations, many smaller papers would have little or no staff, nobody to answer the phone, nobody to take local tips and cover local news ... they would be nothing but shells of once-thriving community newspapers.Read more »
EDITORIAL The massive immigrant rallies, marches, and work boycotts on May 1 may have been an inconvenience to some, and the sight of tens of thousands of undocumented workers demonstrating in the streets may have offended a few politicians, but that's true with all great social movements. And there's little doubt that this is a new, great social movement. Read more »
The Healthy Saturdays folks were out leafleting in Golden Gate Park this weekend, on a stunningly beautiful Sunday, along with thousands of other people enjoying the car-free sunshine. The message on the handouts: Call the mayor (554-7111); the supervisors have approved a plan to at least try extending the car ban to Saturday, and now it's in the mayor's court.Read more »
OPINION Spring means budget season at the San Francisco Unified School District.
Under the state Education Code, the SFUSD is required to present its proposed budget to the public. But each year the published budget leaves out the actual amounts of money that the district spent on each item in the previous year. It doesn't even include the past year's budgeted amount.
The public only receives a wish list of the district's proposed requested amounts for each budget item.Read more »
There are bigger issues facing San Francisco than whether to close off part of Golden Gate Park to cars on Saturdays. But as political dilemmas go, Mayor Gavin Newsom's impending choice of whether to sign or veto the Healthy Saturdays initiative presents him with a difficult call on a matter of great symbolic importance.Read more »
One could be forgiven for staring. Oakland's lower Telegraph Avenue on a wet, cold, windy Friday night is not a location renowned for its street parties, particularly those involving dozens of young, white hipsters happily mingling with an equal number of young African Americans, both watching an impromptu rap show.Read more »
Concerns about public drinking in North Beach and stifled public debate are conspiring to cripple a pair of popular outdoor festivals, possibly creating a troubling precedent for other events at the start of San Francisco's festival and street fair season.
"We'll have to cancel this year's festival," Robbie Kowal, who runs the North Beach Jazz Festival, said of the possibility of not getting his alcohol permit. "Seventy-five percent of our funding comes from the sale of alcohol."Read more »