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.

San Francisco shifting tree care onto property owners

Alex Zielinski, Way Out West — Jul 14 2011 - 11:43am

Mayor Ed Lee recently produced a budget package for the new fiscal year that cut $300,000 from the already tight street tree care allowance. The proposal would shift the city’s responsibility for 24,000 trees in front of private property onto the property owners over the next seven years.

They would have to hire arborists to keep their trees healthy and pruned, an expense that can run up to $400 per visit. Property owners who neglect their new duties face city fines reaching $500 per citation. The city would keep maintaining trees on public property.

Homebuilder Lennar uses federal taxpayer funds to balance its books

Christopher D. Cook, SF Public Press — Jul 6 2010 - 2:20pm

In 2006, things were looking good for Lennar, America's second-biggest homebuilder. That year, before the U.S. housing market's epic collapse, the Miami-based giant pulled down $15.6 billion in revenues and closed sales on 29,568 homes. The ink was just drying on a massive and potentially lucrative deal to transform Treasure Island with new housing complexes, and the well-connected Lennar already had secured a deal to develop the Hunters Point Shipyard that the Navy was turning over to San Francisco.


Embattled union seeks to blunt second year of city cuts

Kevin Stark, SF Public Press — Feb 26 2010 - 10:54am

(UPDATE: A reform slate of candidates won victory in the election. For details, see Kevin Stark's blog). wins the election this weekend at Northern California’s largest public-sector union will inherit a troubled labor local beset by internal conflict and controversial negotiations in San Francisco that cost the union hundreds of jobs this past year.

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