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

 

Government

Muni's all-door boarding plan sees modest improvements in waiting times

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Aug 13 2012 - 10:05am

Muni's all-door boarding policy that went into effect July 1 appears to be working – although riders on at least one line are complaining about everyone not lining up at the front. A transit agency report found that passengers spent less time waiting at bus stops for riders to board while use of  the back door became more frequent.

Muni train switchbacks insult San Francisco riders, says watchdog panel

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Aug 10 2012 - 10:41am

Hate it when you’re late to work because the Muni driver tells you to get off the train? You’re not the only one. San Francisco’s civil grand jury — a kind of officially sanctioned panel of city residents who report on what doesn’t work in county government — recommended on Thursday that Muni officials do away with the practice of switchbacks. That’s when riders are forced off a Muni train before it makes its usual final stop, and heads in the opposite direction to make up for lost time elsewhere. Muni downplayed the report. “We recognize that anytime you do a switchback, it has an inconvenience to the riders,” Haley said. “So we do everything we can to minimize that,” said John Haley, Muni’s director of operations.

At stake if City College closes: a career, job security, a U.S. visa, family pride

Ruth Tam, SF Public Press — Aug 1 2012 - 4:56pm

After a harsh accreditation review detailing financial and administrative failures last month, City College of San Francisco has been given a year to prove itself worthy of accreditation or face the risk of closure. In the struggle to keep the school’s doors open, the possible loss of accreditation would affect more than 120,000 City College students, faculty and staff. Here, in their own words, are some of their stories.

S.F. civil grand jury slams restaurant health care surcharges

Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Jul 19 2012 - 4:49pm

San Francisco’s civil grand jury on Thursday chastised many of the city’s restaurants for profiting from surcharges they add to customers’ bills under the name of paying for health care and recommended that the city ban the practice.

S.F. controller’s audit finds meter maids need more ongoing training

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jul 18 2012 - 4:50pm

Audit also finds that transit agency should seek reimbursement for city events

A city audit released Tuesday said the Municipal Transportation Agency needs to do a better job training parking control officers. The audit, conducted by the city controller’s office, looked at whether parking control officers are adequately trained, how officers are deployed throughout the city and if staffing levels are sufficent.

Ranked-choice voting survives in San Francisco after supervisors’ decision

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jul 18 2012 - 3:35pm

Ranked-choice voting in San Francisco will continue in its original format and any attempts to change it will have to wait until after the November election. By agreeing to send three proposed alternatives back to the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee on Tuesday, the board assured that all three potential ballot questions posed by supervisors Christina Olague, Mark Farrell and David Chiu wouldn’t make their July 27 deadline for the November ballot.

Most Haight merchants say nothing changed on street after ‘sit-lie’ prohibition

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jul 16 2012 - 10:36am

A majority of retailers surveyed last November in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood said the enactment of San Francisco’s sit-lie law hasn’t worked as expected: Homeless people still hang out in front of their businesses.  An independent research report commissioned by the city found that 58 percent of the merchants in the district — the focus of a political battle that led to voter approval of the ban in 2010 — say the same number of people or more continue to park themselves on sidewalks. Sixty-one percent said they encountered sidewalk sitters at least three times per week.

Krugman: California represents the worst of current U.S. economic crisis

Shawn Gaynor, SF Public Press — Jul 13 2012 - 11:37am

The budget pain facing California this year is not California’s fault, said Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who has been among the most outspoken writers critiquing the government’s response to what he calls an economic “depression.” “Gov. Brown faces political constraints that, if anything, are even worse than those faced by President Obama, because of the craziness of California’s constitutional setup,” Krugman said at a recent appearance at the Commonwealth Club of California. He said Proposition 13, the state’s requirement of a legislative supermajority to pass tax increases, was the main culprit.

S.F. mayor says police need $30 million more after years of stalled hiring

Christopher Peak, SF Public Press — Jul 12 2012 - 11:30am

The San Francisco Police Department appeared to save money over the last three years by paying veteran officers extra to delay their retirement and freezing hiring of new recruits. But the bill for those changes is now coming due. Much of those savings have been wiped out since 2008, after a flood of officers took advantage of the Deferred Retirement Option Program to dip into their pensions early while still earning a salary.

City postpones vote to allow apartments with only 150 square feet of living space

Chase Niesner, SF Public Press — Jul 10 2012 - 5:15pm

The idea of allowing smaller apartments in San Francisco — as little as 150 square feet of living space for an “efficiency” — is still under consideration after the Board of Supervisors Tuesday pushed back a decision on whether to amend the city’s building code. Supervisor Wiener and developers are pushing the approval of what they call “affordable by design” apartments, intended for newly constructed high-rises. Activists are calling these tiny apartments “shoeboxes.”

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