Why the Bay? Because it’s nuts

Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, SF Public Press — Jul 6 2010 - 2:50pm

As the BART train exited the east side of the Transbay Tube, I looked back at the skyline of San Francisco. I couldn’t help but smile. Although it’s been almost five years since I moved to the Bay — after living 40 years in Arizona — there’s not a time that I don’t feel at one with it. But not everyone understands my affinity for the “City by the Bay” and all that surrounds it.

Read more...

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

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Jul 2 2010 - 6:00pm

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.

Read more...

Long-planned closure of homeless shelter sparks controversy

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jul 2 2010 - 10:28am

A homeless shelter at 150 Otis St. shut down this month, but will reopen sometime in 2012 as a homeless shelter for veterans. Swords to Plowshares, a nonprofit organization catering to homeless veterans, will run the facility. While homeless activists warn that the city will lose 59 beds, officials maintain they can fill the need because the shelters overall have about 100 vacancies a night.

Read more...

Financial upside for developers is long-term and risky, city says

Victoria Schlesinger, SF Public Press — Jul 1 2010 - 1:34pm

The developers of Treasure Island stand to earn a potential 20.6 percent return on their investments if the 18-year, phased construction plan and land sales proceed as they predict. That does not include possible future real estate sales.

Read more...

Through two mayors, connected island developers cultivated profitable deal

Alison Hawkes and Bernice Yeung, SF Public Press — Jul 1 2010 - 1:22pm

In the next six months, local officials and a consortium of private developers will begin to finalize legal papers for Treasure Island’s future as a high-density eco-city. Renderings of the gleaming towers, parks and gardens suggest harmony and community. Yet the promise of an urban Treasure Island, one of the most complex and risky redevelopments in San Francisco’s recent history, has for more than a decade been wrapped up in a process driven by power and influence. The mayor got neartotal control. Political friends got plum jobs and contracts. Critics were exiled. City and state conflict-of-interest laws were waived. Independent inquiries and the will of voters were nakedly rebuffed.

Read more...

Report: Black, Latino young men twice as likely to suffer from poor health

Katy Gathright, SF Public Press — Jul 1 2010 - 10:27am

A new report concerning the health of boys of different ethnicities focuses on the effect of neighborhoods and communities on physical and mental health.

Read more...

Bay Bridge crossing more expensive than ever

Theresa Seiger, SF Public Press — Jun 30 2010 - 5:40pm

Commuters on the Bay Bridge will have to shell out more cash starting Thursday, a result of toll hikes on all seven state-owned bridges in the region. Prices will go up based on rush hour during the week while weekend fees will rise regardless of the time of crossing. Carpooling across the bridge will also cost commuters money, a big change from previous years, and require a FasTrak.

Read more...

Historic Civic Center building to be leased to music promotion company

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Jun 30 2010 - 4:24pm

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.

Sit, lie, get deported? (graphic novel)

SF Public Press — Jun 29 2010 - 5:25pm

Reporting by Shawn Gaynor; illustration by Andrew Goldfarb Sit, Lie, Get Deported? (graphic novel) Read more...

Pollution: experts concerned about Treasure Island cleanup as seas rise

Victoria Schlesinger, SF Public Press — Jun 29 2010 - 4:49pm

Many Treasure Island sites have been decontaminated through soil removal or capping, which entails covering the remaining toxic soil with a clay cap. But there is growing concern that coastal sites once considered sufficiently remediated may become problematic as sea levels rise. Contaminated soil could come in contact with ground water as the sea pushes it higher. Bay Area scientists and regulators are beginning to explore the problem given the large number of former military sites in the region.

Read more...

Sand and silt require $137 million fix for Treasure Island

Victoria Schlesinger, SF Public Press — Jun 29 2010 - 4:32pm

There is a high probability that a Loma Prieta magnitude or greater earthquake will shake the Bay Area during the projected 18-year redevelopment of Treasure Island. However, city development officials say the island will ultimately be safer than the liquefaction-prone areas of downtown San Francisco and the Marina.

Read more...

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

Victoria Schlesinger, SF Public Press — Jun 29 2010 - 12:48pm

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.

Read more...

3.3 quake hits San Francisco

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jun 28 2010 - 9:01am

San Francisco residents got a wake up call Monday morning when a 3.3 magnitude earthquake hit the city at 7:47.

Can Treasure Island realize its ecotopian dream?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Shareable.net/SF Public Press — Jun 25 2010 - 4:29pm

The Treasure Island redevelopment, which aims to be the most ecologically sustainable community in the world, delivers a positive self-image of San Francisco as a forward-looking, avant-garde, socially and environmentally responsible metropolis. Nothing excites the utopian impulse more than a blank slate — and Treasure Island’s 486 acres have been semi-abandoned since the Navy shut down its base in 1997.

Read more...

Kellogg’s recalls cereals; Lucky Supermarkets in the city affected

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Jun 25 2010 - 3:25pm

Kellogg's Co. announced Friday morning it was voluntarily recalling 28 million boxes of its cereal brands because of an unusual smell and taste. The affected cereals include Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, Corn Pops and Honey Smacks.

Cheap phone calls hang in the balance in tug-of-war between FCC, cable giants

Christi Morales, SF Public Press — Jun 24 2010 - 7:44am

Voice-over-Internet calling is steadily growing in popularity, replacing costly long distance phone services with free or cheap options that are affordable for many low-income and immigrant communities. Bay Area residents could see cheap calls become a thing of the past depending on the outcome of a battle being waged in the halls of Washington D.C. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to reclassify broadband from an information service to a telecommunications carrier with the goal of gaining some authority to regulate providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, which the companies fiercely oppose.

Read more...

Amid budget cuts and institutional neglect, San Quentin’s arts education volunteers keep working

Ezra Carlsen, SF Public Press — Jun 22 2010 - 12:35pm

On a cool Friday night in March, near the corner of Haight and Steiner streets in San Francisco, the hip boutique Tweekin Records hosted an unusual gallery opening of paintings, sketches, poetry and elaborate collages. It was created by inmates at San Quentin State Prison.

Organized by Kate Deciccio, an artist and a mental health and substance abuse counselor in San Francisco, the exhibit featured her own work, along with work by Eddie Sanchez and “Absent” Helean from San Quentin, and by inmates in the John Howard Pavilion at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. — Deciccio’s former employers.

Read more...

Playwright Octavio Solis: ‘Shake These People Up’

Karen Macklin, SF Public Press — Jun 22 2010 - 12:07pm

Octavio Solis’ critically acclaimed plays have been produced around the country, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to San Francisco’s Campo Santo and The Magic Theatre. His most recent work, “The Pastures of Heaven,” based on the Steinbeck novel, is in production until June 27 at California Shakespeare Theater.
The transplanted Texan and Sunset District resident has primarily written about El Paso and the Mexican border, but in recent years he has turned his pen to San Francisco, writing about bars, bandits, poetry-writing wolves and his adopted “city of love.”

Read more...

Bird shrink

Tay Wiles and Jackson Solway, SF Public Press — Jun 21 2010 - 4:46pm
Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

Dana Strome works in emergency rooms by day and is a bird shrink by night. That's right, a bird shrink who dedicates much of her life to the rescue of abused and abandoned parrots.

Video quilt stitches together stories of HIV/AIDS battle

Theresa Seiger, SF Public Press — Jun 21 2010 - 2:32pm

In the store it doesn’t look like much, but inside the booth on Castro Street something bigger is going on. Generations HIV, part of the HIV Story Project, aims to get conversation flowing about how HIV/AIDS have affected different generations by allowing people to record questions, answers or stories about the diseases within the booth.

Read more...