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Technology

What Nevius Gets Wrong About Tech and Politics

Sara Bloomberg, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 9 2016 - 2:28pm

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chuck “C.W.” Nevius is imploring tech companies “to get into politics, particularly grassroots politics in cities like Oakland and San Francisco.” But he misses the obvious: the tech industry is and has been deeply involved with local politics, led by Ron Conway (photo).

Slick, Misleading TV Ads Paid Off

Meka Boyle, Cody Wright and Michael Winter, Public Press — Aug 18 2016 - 7:00am

The 2015 election united the political clout of two rich, powerful industries that will exert an enduring in uence across the city, Bay Area and nation: real estate and technology.

How San Francisco Plans to Shield Residents From Runaway Prices

Angela Woodall, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 21 2016 - 3:01pm

We list some examples of how the city has tried to soften the blow of rising prices, and policies that advocates for low-income people say San Francisco could adopt.

In the Heart of Tech, a Persistent Digital Divide

Peter Snarr, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 21 2016 - 2:31pm

Internet access is increasingly taken for granted — for finding a job, attending all levels of school, managing a business, entertainment and communication. But 100,000 San Francisco residents cannot afford a home connection.

Body Cameras Will Not Be Cheap

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 30 2015 - 3:00pm

San Francisco has become the latest of many cities nationwide where leaders are deciding that the benefits of outfitting police with body cameras outweigh the myriad costs.

Groundwater Depletion Is Destabilizing the San Andreas Fault and Increasing Earthquake Risk

Katherine Bourzac, San Francisco Public Press — May 14 2014 - 9:01am

Research published today also links seasonal water levels to seasonal patterns in seismicity

Depletion of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley is having wide-ranging effects not just on the agricultural industry and the environment, but also on the very earth beneath our feet. Massive changes in groundwater levels in the southern Central Valley are changing the stresses on the San Andreas Fault, according to research published today.

City Construction Course Offers Job Placements, but Excludes Many Who Could Use a Hand Up

Chorel Centers, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 17 2013 - 4:05pm

Rigorous screening limits candidates, who are groomed for union apprenticeships

San Francisco offers a free 18-week training course through City College that takes low-skill, out-of-work city residents and sets them on the path to construction trade careers. But while the instructors try hard to be inclusive, some city residents who need the program do not satisfy the minimum qualifications, including a high school equivalency degree. For those who matriculate, unions are able to find job placements for 85 percent of graduates, with the help massive construction boom that has raised demand for trade laborers to levels not seen in a decade.

SAN FRANCISCO’S WORKFORCE REBOOT is the cover story in the fall 2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Check back for updates on other stories.

Big Businesses Use State Tax Fund to Train Their Own Staff

Alex Kekauoha, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 12 2013 - 12:11pm

Some subsidies, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, are awarded to multinational corporations valued in the billions

State subsidies for vocational training might provide a windfall to large corporations already able to offer similar instruction, if a planned expansion of a program funded through a tax on all businesses in California moves forward. State officials say they aim the vocational training funding at big businesses in key industries that are in danger of relocating to other states. But while tens of thousands of smaller companies pay into the program via the Employment Training Tax, it is hard for most to qualify for grants. Many do not even know the program exists.

SAN FRANCISCO’S WORKFORCE REBOOT is the cover story in the fall 2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Check back for updates on other stories.

Twitter, Other Tech Companies Get S.F. Tax Breaks but Show Little Progress Hiring in Neighborhood

Yoona Ha, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 11 2013 - 12:51pm

The largest of the firms settling in mid-Market signed extensive community agreements, but critics call them toothless

Last year, 14 San Francisco technology companies received $1.9 million in tax breaks for setting up shop in the mid-Market Street area. Supporters said it was a good investment, bringing economic development and jobs to an economically depressed strip in the core of the city. The zone is certainly coming back to life, and the companies that benefited now employ more than 2,700 workers. But it is less clear that the deal resulted in entry-level jobs for residents of the hardscrabble neighborhood — one of the goals most sought by skeptics of the tax break. The largest six of the companies promised a list of community benefits that included an effort to identify qualified job seekers in the Tenderloin and mid-Market area. But the agreements are vaguely worded, the companies have been slow to report their progress to the city, and most were unresponsive to direct questions about employment practices.

This story is part of a special report on workforce development in the San Francisco Public Press fall print edition.

Plans to Relax California Climate Regulations Upset Some Environmentalists

Barbara Grady and Lisa Weinzimer, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 31 2013 - 11:38am

California regulators are weighing plans to make it easier and less expensive for oil refineries and other big industries to comply with the state’s new cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and environmentalists are alarmed. At a hearing last week in Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board heard staff proposals to amend the year-old cap-and-trade program to extend “transition assistance” to industry through 2018. The change, coming on the heels of lobbying from industry, would give businesses possibly hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free allowances to pollute, and alter the economics of the emerging auction market for carbon.

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