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

 

Fall 2010 print edition.

The second print edition of the Public Press is here. It’s 24 pages in three sections, including an extensive report on Muni’s elusive quest for on-time service, a series of reports on the side effects of medical marijuana and updates on how sea level rise will affect the Bay. Also reports on stumbling blocks on the road to mid-Market revitalization, the city's failed effort to raise funds for earthquake retrofitting and a creative choose-your-own-adventure full-page graphical feature on the future of Pier 70 redevelopment.

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Top stories


SF finds revenue under every rock

 

The cost of living and doing business in San Francisco increased this year in hundreds of little ways. Though they didn’t garner as much attention as the city’s massive budget cuts, a series of new and increased fees emerged from the Board of Supervisors from late May to early July. The goal was to generate revenue beyond taxes, reducing city departments’ reliance on an anemic general fund. The following list was compiled from records from the board. It includes all new and increased fees introduced with the 2010-11 fiscal year. The supervisors enacted more than 400 feehikes, some for rare activities with small constituencies, such as hosting a masked ball or shooting off a cannon. (Seriously.) — Conor Gallagher

Fall 2010

‘Bliss’ sculpture, a Burning Man icon, returns to Treasure Island birthplace

Monica Jensen, SF Public Press — Jun 8 2011 - 11:27am

 Marco Cochrane began production of his sculpture, Bliss Dance, on Treasure Island, starting with a foot-tall prototype. The 40-foot-tall structure took over a year to complete and was unveiled for the first time at Burning Man 2010 in Black Rock City. Cochrane used two geodesic layers to build the 7,000 pound sculpture. It has been returned it to Treasure Island where it is currently on display until at least October.

Free pot for the needy

Stefan Jora and Monica Jensen, SF Public Press — Jan 24 2011 - 12:54pm

SoMa cannabis dispensary serious about philanthropy

How do you define compassion? In the tight-knit medical marijuana community, the word has become a euphemism for small, periodic donations of cannabis-based medicine to patients who cannot afford to buy it at the going rate — now about $10 to $25 a gram.

Upscale medical cannabis club aims to change image of industry

Hank Drew, SF Public Press — Jan 24 2011 - 12:03pm
The San Francisco Patient and Resource Center in the South of Market area resembles an art gallery where customers in sports coats and skirts suck THC vapors from plastic balloons and feast on cannabis-laced caramels. The medical cannabis dispensary at 1256 Mission St. was designed by Larissa Sand of Sand Studios in the South Park neighborhood with the intention of luring new customers in this evolving area, which includes the new Federal Building just two blocks away.

With few restrictions and bundles of cash, cannabis ads help sagging media profits

Anna Rendall, SF Public Press — Jan 17 2011 - 2:18pm

Commercial broadcast stations still reluctant to take pot club advertisements

Medical marijuana advertising is taking off, propping up the fortunes of ailing media companies that have seen income from other business sectors plummet in the recession. Advertisements offering free edibles for new patients and products such as “super silver haze” are helping to keep the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly and East Bay Express in business. Similar ads have even started cropping up — tentatively — in more staid publications, such as the San Francisco Chronicle. Ads for pot are growing so fast in part because they face fewer regulations and restrictions than marketing materials for cigarettes and alcohol. The only real regulation is one requiring the ads to warn customers that they need a doctor’s recommendation.

Tracking of medical pot data, key aim of state program, varies greatly by county

Hank Drew, SF Public Press — Jan 17 2011 - 1:13pm

San Francisco hands back applications to cannabis card users

San Francisco is among the most active cities in California in easing access to medical marijuana, having issued more than one-third of the 47,828 cannabis cards in the state. But unlike surrounding counties, San Francisco has a long-standing practice of handing back the paper applications for cards and not recording the names of patients or the doctors who give them the required recommendations.

Book recalls immigrants who passed through Angel Island

Monica Jensen, SF Public Press — Jan 12 2011 - 11:24am
To commemorate the centennial of the Angel Island Immigration Station, authors Erika Lee and Judy Yung shed light on the thousands of immigrants who passed through the “Guardian of the Western Gate” in their recently released book “Angel Island: Gateway to America.” While more than 70 percent of detainees were from China, others came from Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Mexico and more than 70 other countries, a finding they discovered while examining hundreds of documents that were made public in the National Archives’ collection in San Bruno in the 1990s.

Steering city’s homeless focus from sin to sickness

Teresa Gowan, Special to SF Public Press — Jan 3 2011 - 9:21am
In her new book on homelessness in San Francisco, “Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders,” Teresa Gowan describes how former Mayor Frank Jordan’s framing of the issue in terms of crime and sin evolved into Willie Brown’s conflicted policies, finally emerging as Gavin Newsom’s version of “authoritarian medicalization” policies, most controversially the policy idea that got him elected in 2003, Care Not Cash. This essay condenses some of the discussion of the book (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). San Francisco, a historical stronghold of the labor movement, civil rights activism and other social movement activity, embodies the tension between valuable public space and progressive politics to a high degree, an important reason for the central position of the “homelessness problem” in the city’s electoral politics over the last 25 years.

Homeless advocates say federal government has key to ending problem

T.J. Johnston, SF Public Press — Jan 3 2011 - 9:18am
San Francisco is not alone in its public housing woes and a homeless activist group’s report said it is up to the federal government to lay groundwork for housing to end homelessness. Recent attempts by policymakers to create and preserve housing are just the first steps to housing reform, the Western Regional Advocacy Project wrote in an update of its 2006 report, "Without Housing: Decades of Federal Housing Cutbacks, Massive Homelessness and Policy Failures." The update was released in July.

A farm blossoms in Hayes Valley where a freeway once cast a dominating shadow

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Dec 27 2010 - 11:24am

Neighborhood rallies to site of collapsed freeway two decades after Loma Prieta earthquake

In 1990, Madeline Behrens-Brigham and Russell Pritchard opened art boutiques in a crime-ridden section of Hayes Valley. They called their part of the neighborhood, from Laguna Street to Market Street, the “Tenderloin of the ’90s.” “It was only 20 years ago that you’d drive down Octavia Boulevard and on all corners it was prostitutes everywhere, like the Tenderloin is now,” Pritchard said. The self-proclaimed neighborhood activists were barely making rent. They began attending meetings between Caltrans and city officials, petitioning to get the Central Freeway taken down. The double-deck structure had crumbled in the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and laid fallow for two years.

Former women prisoners face longer odds staying out after aid programs slashed

Mineko Brand, SF Public Press — Dec 24 2010 - 4:36pm

Rehabilitation taking backseat to punishment

By the time Sunshine Schmidt was 19, her rebellious streak led her to prison in Wisconsin for violating probation on a forgery charge. But it was just the beginning of her troubled young adulthood. As she tells it, the uncaring reaction from a criminal justice system on autopilot put her back in prison for minor violations, only driving her further into the life of small-time crime as she racked up drug and theft-related charges. “Every time, I was released back into homelessness or an abusive partner,” she said. “I didn’t have the resources or tools to get back on my feet.” It was only three years ago, after leaving a California prison at age 27, that Schmidt was able to pursue legitimate jobs and an education. After living in transitional housing, she became a client of Way-Pass, a City College of San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that helps female ex-prison inmates adjust to everyday life.
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