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Green hip-hop group pruned by budget cuts

Ambika Kandasamy, SF Public Press — Aug 20 2010 - 1:50pm

A local organization that promotes environmental consciousness through hip-hop culture is going on hiatus this fall after losing major funding from the city of San Francisco. Grind for the Grind hosted its first — and final — “eco-music festival” of the year in Oakland last weekend. The event, FreshFest, brought local hip-hop musicians, artists and sustainable food producers together for a day of solar-powered live jamming, healthy eats and green-themed crafts. After losing its San Francisco grant, the festival was free to move from Yerba Buena Gardens, where it had been for two years, to Oakland’s Mosswood Park. But there still wasn’t enough money to put on the usual four summer festivals.

San Francisco left seeks to channel spirit of ’75

Mineko Brand, SF Public Press — Aug 17 2010 - 3:34pm

It could have been the plot of a science fiction novel, or perhaps “Rip Van Winkle.” Thirty-five years after its first meeting, the Community Congress awakens in 2010 to find its city and the world transformed — and perhaps a new reason for being. Many things in San Francisco have changed since the first such gathering in 1975. The first Community Congress was held that June and is credited for several major political changes to the city, including rent control and district elections.

Muni to restore 61 percent of service by Sept. 4

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Aug 5 2010 - 2:58pm

Sixty-one percent of summertime Muni service cuts would be restored under a financial plan proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The changes could come as soon as Sept. 4, and are higher than the 50 percent restoration promised earlier in the summer. The $15 million one-year funding package includes money shaved from the San Francisco Transportation Authority and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The agency also looked at cutting back on hundreds hours drivers are paid while waiting for shift changes.

Chiu and Newsom settle on Muni reforms

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jul 30 2010 - 4:08pm

The mayor and the president of the board of supervisors this week agreed on several Muni reforms to help the transit agency restore services cut in May and to improve oversight of the agency. The proposed reforms include a plan to fully restore May’s Muni service cuts by December.

San Francisco’s clean-power program meets economic reality

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Jul 26 2010 - 10:34am

CleanPowerSF, which aims to provide a cleaner energy alternative to PG&E, is struggling to find a way to keep rates low and supply San Francisco residents with green power. Contract negotiations with the company chosen to implement the city’s clean-energy system have collapsed, and the city is changing the requirements for any new bidders. The goal of 51 percent renewable energy by 2017 seems unlikely, unless the city buys some form of energy credits.

Of course banks resist reform, MIT professor says

Shawn Gaynor, SF Public Press — Jul 20 2010 - 5:31pm

As the financial crisis drags on, Congress and the Obama administration are taking up regulatory reform of the banks at the center of the crisis. The San Francisco Public Press spoke with Simon Johnson, MIT professor of economics and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. Johnson, author of "13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown," shared his views May 13 before the World Affairs Council.

Silver lining amid cutbacks: Muni’s on-time performance at all-time high

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jul 14 2010 - 6:36pm

A report released Tuesday by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said Muni’s on-time service performance increased to a new high of 75 percent. Although this is a record, the agency is still short of a voter-approved proposition requiring it to meet an 85 percent on-time performance goal.

Balanced city budget would restore $25 million to health and social services

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Jul 2 2010 - 5:00pm

City leaders Thursday got closer to bridging a $483 million deficit. The Board of Supervisors budget committee approved a plan that uses savings from across city departments to restore proposed cuts to health and human service programs. It also retains city workers whose jobs the mayor wanted to contract out.

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Historic Civic Center building to be leased to music promotion company

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Jun 30 2010 - 3:24pm

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to lease the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for 20 years to a music promotion company planning big renovations to create an improved concert venue. The agreement will bring the city $100,000 annually, but some workers are left wondering if they will be retained by the new building management.

Uncertain about rising seas, developers using mid-range estimate to build up island

Victoria Schlesinger, SF Public Press — Jun 29 2010 - 11:48am

Most of Treasure Island will be inundated by the end of this century, if the documented progression of the ocean’s rise caused by climate change continues as predicted. Studies foresee sea-level rise ranging from as little as five inches to as much as six feet. The lowest parts of Treasure Island lie just four feet above the Bay’s low tide.

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