Top Stories

Top Stories

SF vs. Frank Lembi

Real estate mogul stonewalls its tenants and the city as the banks foreclose
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news@sfbg.com

One of San Francisco's largest and most notorious landlords and the many shell corporations under his control have been withholding money from their tenants, the banks that financed their rapid real estate acquisitions, and even San Francisco's public treasury.

But while the banks have acted, seizing property from the delinquent borrowers, city officials have let Skyline Realty, CitiApartments, Lembi Group, and related corporations stonewall the city and pay far less property taxes than they should have owed, depriving city programs of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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H1N1, round two

Vaccines coming as officials warn that young people will be hit hardest
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news@sfbg.com

The H1N1 virus has already taken a deadly toll in San Francisco, and is expected to hit young people harder than any other group this fall, San Francisco public health officials warned.

Although the virus, also known as swine flu, is reportedly no more serious than conventional strains of flu, health officials told the Guardian that the number of young patients contracting the illness could be significantly higher due to a lack of partial immunity against the strain.

"In terms of the severity of the illness, we are not seeing a difference at all between no Read more »

Sunflower

The Vietnamese eatery is a bloom on Potrero
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paulr@sfbg.com

An as-yet unnamed phenomenon involves the transformation of stylish or distinctive restaurant spaces into homier Asian spots. The most conspicuous example I can think of is the restaurant adjoining the Hotel Milano, at Fifth and Mission. At one point, about 15 years ago, it held a Michel Richard venture, Bistro M, and now it's a Thai joint, with purple neon signage.

A more recent exhibit is the migration, or extension, of the Vietnamese restaurant Sunflower from its longtime haunt at Valencia and 16th streets to the old Baraka space on Potrero Hill. Read more »

Appetite: Major wine and whiskey brouhahas

Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
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Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter, www.theperfectspotsf.com, shares foodie news, events, and deals. Read more »

Living with water

GREEN CITY: By the middle of the century, the waters of the San Francisco Bay could rise up to 16 inches
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rebeccab@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Here's a sobering thought: By the middle of the century, the waters of the San Francisco Bay could rise up to 16 inches. Read more »

The inside outsider

Why does a private contractor have a free city office space and inside access to top officials who keep extending his contracts?
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news@sfbg.com

A private-sector engineering and construction consultant has worked for years out of the San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW) offices for free, using public resources and having inside access to top department officials, a status gained through a questionable competitive bidding process, a Guardian investigation has revealed.

Andrew Petreas, senior project manager for Environmental and Construction Solutions, Inc. (ECS), which has done contract work for DPW since 2004, has a city e-mail address. Read more »

Censored!

The top 10 stories not brought to you by mainstream news media in 2008 and 2009
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news@sfbg.com

Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored for 13 years, says he's finished with reform. It's impossible, he said in a recent interview, to try to get major news media outlets to deliver relevant news stories that serve to strengthen democracy.

"I really think we're beyond reforming corporate media," said Phillips, a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored. "We're not going to break up these huge conglomerates. Read more »

Appetite: Pheasant eggs, shrimp and grits, Soul Food benefit, and more

Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
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Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter, www.theperfectspotsf.com, shares foodie news, events, and deals. Read more »

Appetite: Notoberfest, Ollalieberry Sour, barley beer brats, and more

Food-and-drink spots, deals, events and news
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Every week, Virginia Miller of personalized itinerary service and monthly food, drink, and travel newsletter, www.theperfectspotsf.com, shares foodie news, events, and deals. View the last installment here.

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Barrel-aged beer sounds delicious right now. Read more »

The $2.8 billion rate hike

PG&E's higher electric rates will suck vast sums from SF's economy
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news@sfbg.com

In the middle of what economists are calling the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, when California unemployment rates have hit post-WWII records, commercial defaults are rising, and families and businesses are hurting, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is asking for electricity rate hikes that would take at least $47 million out of the local community, a Guardian analysis shows. Read more »