Public Press wins an Excellence in Journalism award for ‘Public Schools, Private Money,’ in the winter 2014 edition


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Campos and Chiu Go on the Offensive in Tight Assembly Race

By Rigoberto Hernandez, Mission Local

Which David is going to Sacramento? That is a question Supervisor David Campos likes to ask when stumping against Supervisor David Chiu, his opponent for the 17th state Assembly District seat. It is also a question that many voters are going to have a hard time answering in November in one of the most competitive races for Assembly in recent San Francisco memory.

Though Chiu got more votes in the June primary, there is no clear front-runner in the race to replace outgoing Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who has endorsed Campos. Chiu won 48 percent of the vote in June, but Campos was not far behind, with 44 percent.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

S.F. Muni Pilot Program Offers Slight Change in Tech Shuttle Map

By Leslie Nguyen-Okwu, Mission Local

When the S.F. Municipal Transportation Agency's new pilot program to regulate tech shuttles starts in August, neighbors may not notice huge changes. Despite coming in the wake of significant neighborhood complaints about the shuttles’ omnipresence, the pilot program will shift the location of stops but not decrease the actual number of stops operating in the Mission.

According to a map of proposed stops released by the agency, the program will remove six existing tech shuttle stops from the neighborhood, but it is also adding five new ones in slightly different locations.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.


San Francisco Muni, Drivers Agree on Tentative Contract

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix

San Francisco transportation officials confirmed Monday that they have reached a tentative agreement in a contract dispute with Muni bus and rail operators that led to the partial shutdown of the city’s transit system in early June.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin said after a closed session of the agency’s board that former Mayor Willie Brown mediated the pact at the request of Mayor Ed Lee.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 


California Voters to Weigh Reduced Punishments for Nonviolent Crime

By John Myers, KQED News Fix

A debate over the proper punishment for crimes like simple drug possession and petty theft is headed to this fall’s statewide ballot, with backers arguing that reducing the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor would reap both fiscal and societal benefits.

The initiative, authored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and former San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne, officially made the ballot Thursday afternoon — the final day for measures to qualify for the Nov. 4 election. Elections officials in California’s 58 counties reported enough valid voter signatures in a random sampling to place the measure on the ballot.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

Pre-Hospice Program Offers Alternative End-of-Life Care

By April Dembosky, KQED/The California Report
After contentious debate over death panels four years ago, federal lawmakers are again taking up issues around end-of-life care. They're investing money into programs that care for the nation's sickest patients in a new way. One of them is based at Sutter Health in Northern California -- and it could be a model for the rest of the country.

Listen to and read the complete story at KQED/The California Report

Funding Nearly Lined Up for Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Barrier

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix

A plan to build suicide prevention nets on the Golden Gate Bridge could get the green light this week.

The bridge’s board of directors will meet Friday to vote on whether to fund the $76 million “physical suicide deterrent system.” Federal money is anticipated to cover most of the costs, including $22 million via Caltrans and $27 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The project would also get $7 million from the state Mental Health System Oversight and Advisory Commission.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix. 

S.F. City Attorney Puts Kibosh on Parking Apps

By Lydia Chávez, Mission Local

City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued an immediate cease-and-desist order Monday to parking apps such as Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that allows drivers to auction off public parking spaces.

Today’s decision also impacts other parking apps – including Sweetch, which allows drivers to earn money by selling their spots to nearby drivers for a fee of $5 . Monkey Parking uses a bidding system that allows drivers to take the highest bid for their parking space. CARMAnation, another app, charges up to a $2 fee for renting out a private parking spot and will not be affected by the ban. Drivers using its app can also hand over their spot for free or donate the $2 to charity. 

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

S.F. Port: Too Much Private Money, Too Little Public Input, Grand Jury Finds

By Patricia Yollin, KQED News Fix 

The title of the San Francisco civil grand jury’s latest report says it all: “The Port of San Francisco: Caught Between Public Trust and Private Dollars.”

The report, issued today, concluded that the port and mayor’s office “have been overly reliant on funds from major real estate developers.” It questioned whether there has been adequate public input on decisions involving port property. And it said that transportation along the waterfront does not meet current needs.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Snapshot of Who Uses San Francisco WiFi

By Audrey Dilling, KALW Crosscurrents

At the corner of Sanchez and Market, Jason Dorn pulls out an iPhone. He is  at one endpoint of the access area for San Francisco Free WiFi, a free wireless network that the city launched last December. It spans Market Street, from Castro Street to the Embarcadero.

Dorn says he has heard of the free network but doesn’t use it, since he already has an unlimited data plan for his phone. Still, he says he likes the idea.

“What’s not good about free WiFi?” asks Dorn. “We live in San Francisco. We’re married to our phones and to the Internet. I don’t see a downside to it.”

Read the complete story at KALW Crosscurrents. 

Once Friendly, California Looks to Toughen Rules on Ride-Service Companies

By Jon Brooks, KQED News Fix

In February, when Lyft was battling to stave off regulations of ride-service companies in Seattle, company CEO John Zimmer pointed to California as a shining example of a fruitful partnership between a disruptive tech industry and regulators.

“California had a yearlong rule-making process with several steps,” he said in an interview about the California Public Utilities Commission’s decision last year to sanction what it calls Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs. “And they were able to come out with something that put, in many cases, more strict standards on new companies like Lyft, yet preserved innovation and consumer choice. I think that’s a fantastic model.”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.