Front page of Issue 16

The winter 2015 print edition is in stores now. Special report on the persistence of segregation in local public schools. Plus: 24-page insert commemorating the now shuttered weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian, produced by the newspaper’s former staff.

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News From Our Partners

S.F. Rally Backs Increased Funding for Anti-HIV Drug

By Daniel Hirsch, Mission Local

After a rally today outside of City Hall to support a budget appropriation to increase funds for greater accessibility to pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV infection, Supervisor Scott Wiener acknowledged that he had been slightly anxious leading up to today. Yesterday, in a post on the Huffington Post, Wiener had “come out” as the first elected official to use the drug.

“I was definitely a little bit nervous how people would respond,” said Wiener on the steps of City Hall. “But the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  . . .  Actually, some of the most positive responses has been from straight people who didn’t even know what Truvada is.”

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Profile: How Rudy Corpuz Is Trying to Save the 'Hood

By Isabel Angell, KALW Crosscurrents

In the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco, at 1038 Howard St., sits the United Playaz headquarters. United Playaz is a homegrown organization that is trying to make the SoMa neighborhood a safer place. It was founded by Rudy Corpuz Jr. ... but he was not always an anti-violence activist.

“I got tired of going in and out of jail. I got tired of waking up at people’s houses that were dope houses. I got tired of being on the streets where I didn’t know where I was going to be at, you know what I mean, the next day, because I was living foul.”

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.

Ocean Beach’s Sand Supply Dries Up, Putting Endangered Shorebirds at Risk

By Jimmy Tobias, Bay Nature 

Marching north along Ocean Beach on the San Francisco coast, Dan Murphy stops and points his binoculars at a clutch of birds that look like cotton balls with beaks.

“There they are,” says Murphy, a veteran bird watcher and volunteer with the Golden Gate Audubon Society. “It’s a scarce flock.”

Four western snowy plovers, small shorebirds listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, trot back and forth across the sand. They leave trails of three-pronged footprints in the wave-swept terrain on this cool September morning. Coastal dunes, like the ones at Ocean Beach, are the birds’ preferred habitat. A handful of the estimated 2,500 breeding adults left on the United States’ Pacific Coast spend the winter here each year.

Read the complete story at Bay Nature. 

Tax-Break Tech Hiring a Bust in San Francisco’s Tenderloin

By Tom Carter, Mark Hedin and Geoff Link, Central City Extra/New America Media

When the Twitter tax break was signed, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s office had high hopes that the expanding technology boom would explode with local hiring and that the incoming Internet companies could help make his dream of 2,500 new tech jobs come true. So the first Community Benefit Agreements that each participating tech company signed to mitigate the harshness of the ensuing gentrification of the neighborhood referenced local workforce development.

The 2013 agreements all contain some allusion to hiring locals, few specifics, no grand goals or hiring promises. Much of it resembled Twitter’s politically correct: “It is crucial that all people have access to economic growth.” But the expectation of jobs in the documents was palpable.

Read the complete story at New America Media.


To read more about tech companies and tax breaks, read the San Francisco Public Press story, "Twitter, Other Tech Companies Get S.F. Tax Breaks but Show Little Progress Hiring in Neighborhood," 

City Attorney, Accreditation Commission Get Day in Court Over City College of San Francisco

By KQED and Bay City News, KQED News Fix

In a lawsuit that could go to trial next month, attorneys for San Francisco and a regional accrediting commission argued at a hearing Wednesday over whether City College of San Francisco has wrongly faced the loss of its accreditation.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the commission last year, saying it targeted the school unfairly.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

North Beach Tenants Find Strength and Friendship as They Fight to Keep Their Homes

By Melanie Young, KALW Crosscurrents

At the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, two dozen residents of North Beach come on a recent Tuesday night to hear from neighbors who have experienced evictions.

The state’s Ellis Act allows landlords to withdraw from the rental market and evict their tenants. North Beach has one of San Francisco's highest Ellis Act eviction rates.

Marla Knight, a longtime North Beach resident and co-founder of the North Beach tenants committee, welcomed everyone and let them know they were not alone in their concerns about evictions.

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents.  

Undocumented Immigrants Still Mistreated by Employers Despite New Laws

By Emily Green, KQED News Fix

Undocumented immigrants comprise a whopping 10 percent of California’s workforce. These workers are particularly vulnerable to wage theft and other mistreatment by their employers, according to one national study.

This year, several California laws went into effect to give undocumented immigrants greater protections in the workplace. Additionally, the state Supreme Court recently ruled that such workers have the legal right to sue their employers.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Homeless Encampments Now Part of S.F. Landscape

By Joe Rivano Barros, Mission Local

On any given morning in the Mission’s northeast corridor, the homeless have set up multicolored REI tents in encampments that stretch entire blocks. On streets like Shotwell between 16th and 17th, the tents remain all day. On others, like Folsom between 18th and 19th or Treat between 17th and 19th, the homeless pack up during the day, but not always.

Residents and local businesses — some of whom are sympathetic to the homeless — say the growing numbers have become a problem. Regardless, the men and women living in the tents, police said, are likely here to stay.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

Programs Target Crucial Summer Before College

By Susan Frey, EdSource

Lilie Hau, 18, of San Francisco, will be the first in her family to go to college this fall. And thanks to an intensive, two-week summer bridge program at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, she feels ready.

Summer bridge programs and other support during the summer after high school graduation can make the difference in whether graduating seniors who plan to go to college actually enroll. Recent national studies by University of Virginia researchers show that from 10 percent to 40 percent of students, depending on the school district, who are intending to go to college, never show up. This phenomenon is called “summer melt.” Students from low-income families or who, like Hau, are first-generation college students are the most likely to melt away. The researchers found that at least 1 in 5 of these students is not enrolling.

Read the complete story at EdSource. 


Extra 25 Cents Irks Muni Riders Unhappy With Service

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

The S.F. Municipal Transit Agency's 25 cent fare increase rolled out this week, leaving riders on Tuesday fumbling for an extra quarter as they boarded. And while for some the extra quarter was a nuisance, some were mad as hell.

“F*** them. I’m on a low income. I’m stretched at $2 already,” said Keisha Jackson as she waited for her bus at 16th street.

Dawn Horton’s medical condition keeps her reliant on Social Security. The cost of living and, now, the cost of public transportation rise constantly while her checks remain the same, she said.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.