Government

Officials say planning for regional smart growth prevents ‘a world of hurt’

Chase Niesner, SF Public Press — Jun 15 2012 - 10:21pm

The leaders of Bay Area planning agencies are struggling to persuade local governments and community groups that joint planning will make the region more socially, economically and environmentally healthy. Dealing with sprawl, the focus of the summer print edition of the Public Press, was front and center on Friday’s edition of “Forum,” the daily public-affairs talk show on KQED Radio.

S.F. to tackle shelter waiting game for disabled and older homeless

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jun 6 2012 - 4:52pm

UPDATE: Listen to reporter T.J. Johnston's updated report on this story at KQED news here. The health of homeless people — especially older and disabled ones — is endangered by a time-consuming wait they endure daily when reserving a bed in San Francisco’s public shelter system, advocates and city officials say. As a result of a hearing before a Board of Supervisors panel, the city has begun a series of public meetings with providers, city officials and clients, to seek improvements in shelter access and the health of senior and disabled clients. Homeless policy director Bevan Dufty and others hope to work out a plan this summer and present it to the board.

Thousands of tickets handed out to homeless

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jun 4 2012 - 3:16pm

Ignoring ‘quality of life’ fines can lead to warrants, jail

San Francisco is an expensive place to find an apartment, sure. But it can also be a costly place to live outside. Police served homeless people in the city with almost 40,000 citations over a five-year period, according to records compiled by the city agency that provides homeless services.

After a decade-plus of planning, San Francisco finally sets 2016 date for bus rapid transit

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — May 25 2012 - 3:16pm

It took the United States eight years to get a man on the moon, but it’s going to take transit officials almost 12 years to get a new high-speed “bus rapid transit” system onto one of San Francisco’s busiest corridors. The Van Ness Avenue project, which in 2006 was projected to open at the end of this year — in time for the Muni centennial — has been pushed back four more years, largely because transit planners had underestimated the time needed to complete the environmental work and project planning.

Express bus eyed for Caltrain to mid-Market run

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — May 14 2012 - 2:23pm

Muni officials want to start an express bus route to speed workers from the downtown San Francisco Caltrain to a revitalized mid-Market jobs hub. The rush-hour service would cater to what the city anticipates will be a growing technology business cluster near the new headquarters of social media giant Twitter.

State says lax rules might let builders use questionable licenses

Les Mahler, SF Public Press — Mar 26 2012 - 9:13am

This story appears in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

The agency overseeing companies that build houses and office buildings across California has for years trumpeted its ability to sniff out phony contractors, often publishing photos of dramatic undercover police stings of unlicensed builders at work on half-finished suburban cul-de-sacs. But now the agency, the Contractors State License Board, is looking into a problem of the state’s own making — a program that allows contractors to essentially lease out their licenses.

Muni chief takes aim at swollen overtime budget

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Mar 22 2012 - 9:14am

City transportation director Ed Reiskin says he hopes to control Muni’s overtime spending in the next fiscal year by budgeting it at $42 million. After budgeting $32 million for this fiscal year, the actual spending is expected to reach $60 million.

Supervisors tangle over whether to kill or change ranked-choice elections this year

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Mar 21 2012 - 9:41am

This story appears in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Opponents of the ranked-choice voting instant runoff system say he relatively novel approach is still confusing to voters, while foes of the traditional system that often results in a second runoff election is a waste of money. Dueling measure on how San Franciscans elect their top office holders by Supervisors David Campos and Mark Farrell could end up on the November ballot.

How California ranks in investigation of states' integrity

Carol Goodhue Shull and Robert Shull, Investigative Newsource — Mar 19 2012 - 5:29pm

For better or worse, there’s only one California. With the largest population, third-largest area and by far the most campaign spending, it has been both mocked and admired for its independence, its powerful citizen initiative process, its far-reaching political reforms, its Hollywood actors-turned-governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan, and its sometimes-wacky ideas of governance.

City's health plan risks reverting to safety net for poor

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Mar 15 2012 - 9:26am

Local, state officials must develop new models for care by 2014

This story appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

San Francisco’s experiment in universal health care, which grew over the last five years to cover an estimated 85 percent of the city’s uninsured, may need to partly return to its origin as a network of safety net clinics and hospitals for the poor as national reforms syphon off middle-class patients. Healthy San Francisco provides medical services to more than 50,000 city residents. But the program could take a financial blow within the next two years as cities and counties adapt to national health reform.

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