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

 

Print Issue 4 — Fall 2011

Issue No. 4 of the San Francisco Public Press, a broadsheet full-color local newspaper, will be available for just $1 at more than 50 retail outlets by Thursday, and now through online mail order ($4).

The special section this issue: a team project on the broken San Francisco budgeting process and ways to improve it. Angela Hart reports that in a time of fiscal austerity, many departments are ignoring audits that could save millions of dollars — including Muni, which was $20 million overbudget for overtime in the first month of the fiscal year. Michael Levitin reports on the rising trend of “participatory budgeting.”

Fall 2011

"Visual Aid" offers outlet, insight into artists with AIDS

Ambika Kandasamy, SF Public Press — Sep 22 2011 - 3:28pm

Group archives, displays works of hundreds from Bay Area

To help artists who were suffering from life-threatening illnesses, a collective of artists, art collectors and gallery owners began convening at local art spaces in the city in late 1980s. Their mission was to find a means to record the existing works of artists with AIDS and provide them with the materials they needed to create new ones. The group grew into a fullfledged nonprofit called Visual Aid in 1989, and the organization has been supporting hundreds of Bay Area artists since then.

Bay Area nonprofit helps develop affordable medicines for Third World patients

Ambika Kandasamy, SF Public Press — Sep 22 2011 - 2:37pm

Q&A with OneWorld Health CEO Richard Chin

A South San Francisco nonprofit drug development organization, OneWorld Health, is shattering the conventional profit-generating model of pharmaceutical companies by using a social enterprise approach to global health problems. Richard Chin, an internist and CEO of OneWorld Health, said the organization develops new therapies for diseases where there is either no treatment or the cost of treatment is too high.

Black flight from Oakland to suburbs is reshaping makeup of the city

News Partner, KQED — Sep 21 2011 - 1:31pm

Oakland remains the largest African American city in California after Los Angeles. In the last decade, however, the city has had a net loss of 33,000, nearly a quarter of its African American residents. This decline is part of a larger trend seen across cities nationwide.

Fostering fatherhood, one step at a time

News Partner, Mission Local — Sep 1 2011 - 9:19am

Therapy is part of how the fathers become better at their roles

Some might say they aren’t fit to be fathers, with histories of substance abuse and broken homes. But still, the men, diverse in their ages and cultural backgrounds, are trying — trying for healthy relationships with their children. Every Friday afternoon, a group of up to seven such men gather for a class at the nonprofit Homeless Prenatal Program and discuss everything from child custody status to parenting styles and childcare. The fathers are doing all they can to avoid becoming part of a U.S. Census statistic that shows that 1 in 3 children comes from a home where the biological father is absent.

Japan nuclear crisis calls future of atomic energy into question

News Partner, World Affairs Council — Aug 25 2011 - 5:17pm

World Affairs Council panelists say U.S. facing big demand for clean source of power

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami, has opened a dialogue about nuclear energy policy and safety of reactors in the U.S. 

Safe Harbor

News Partner, Bay Nature — Aug 23 2011 - 1:46pm

Welcoming porpoises back to San Francisco Bay

Cavallo Point at Fort Baker is not just a place to watch sailboats go by as the morning sun illuminates the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s also a great place to watch the water surge in and out with the tides. And with a little patience, you might see a black dorsal fin cut the swirling water, followed by another, smaller fin. 

San Francisco abounds in digital open-government tools, though many appeal only to hackers

Matthew Santolla, SF Public Press — Aug 22 2011 - 2:03pm

Digital tools aim at increasing access to government information

This story appeared in the fall print edition and was part of the Building a Better Budget package of stories.

Squeezed to the point of cutting vital social services and deferring maintenance, local governments and nonprofit groups are turning to the Internet and other digital tools to increase transparency. Perched on the edge of Silicon Valley, San Francisco can’t help but be a hotbed of this good-government “hactivism.”

Facing cuts, nonprofits forced to lobby City Hall to save immigration program

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Aug 17 2011 - 3:33pm

Year after year, private organizations strategize and line up clients to push for last-minute ‘add-backs’

For clients at Self-Help for the Elderly, the citizenship classes taught by volunteer instructor Joanne Lee are a perfect fit: Classes are held at a convenient Chinatown location, senior clientele are easily accommodated and the material is taught in both English and Chinese. It has worked out well for students Sammie Xu, 69, and Nancy Zhang, 64, Chinese immigrants who are studying for their naturalization exam. Before enrolling in classes at the social services agency, the married couple tried others in which teachers only provided instruction books without guidance or taught classes only in English.

Millions in savings unclaimed; after audits, Muni revealed $20 million excess overtime

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Aug 15 2011 - 3:25pm

UPDATE 8/19/11: Hear reporter Angela Hart discuss her story with KQED News, a Public Press reporting partner (fast-forward to second item)

San Francisco could have saved at least $33.5 million over the last two years’ budgets if departments, commissions and contractors had acted on advice from regular audits pointing out government waste and inefficiencies. The savings, much of it coming out of transit and police employee overtime, could have reduced the need to cut some vital services this summer as local government agencies faced $380 million in projected deficits over the next year.

Some of the audits produced by a unit of the controller’s office have been implemented swiftly. Yet as many as 40 audit reports out of 70 performed since 2009 linger officially unresolved. The problem is, there’s no recourse if departments choose to ignore auditors. And after two years, the office is not required to follow up on the reports, which could explain why 14 additional audits highlighting potential savings of $700,000 were not indicated on a list produced by the controller’s office.

Game Designers Become Activists in San Francisco’s Battle Over Taxes

Katie Lewin, SF Public Press — Aug 12 2011 - 8:04pm

‘Yay Taxes’ shows where the money goes, but some conservatives call it propaganda

In San Francisco, which closed a $380 million budget deficit in July, the question of whether the city can get any more money to fund essential services in the long term is at the top of everyone’s mind. Even game developers are getting into the act — with a particular agenda.

Syndicate content