Front page of Issue 16Get the winter 2015 print editionwith a special report on school segregation. Plus an insert commemorating the now-defunct S.F. Bay Guardian.

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Local agencies prepare for next 'big one'

Jul 27 2009 - 2:07pm

By Jessica Wertheim
The Public Press

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "there is a 70 percent probability that one or more damaging earthquakes of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay area during the next 30 years."

And San Francisco is taking no chances. The city's newest project, headed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, is the construction of a five-mile long tunnel located under the San Francisco Bay. 

Town Hall scheduled tonight to discuss Richmond district bus, pedestrian improvements

Jul 27 2009 - 1:37pm

By Patricia Decker
The Public Press

Residents, merchants and those anxious over the transformation of one of San Francisco’s most traveled corridors will have a chance to voice their concerns at tonight’s discussion of the Geary Bus Rapid Transit system.

Injury rates increasing on SF trains

Jul 23 2009 - 11:07pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

The passenger-injury rate on light-rail trains in San Francisco has steadily increased since 2003, according to data provided by the Federal Transit Administration.

In 2003, accidents involving SF Municipal Railway trains injured 21 people, a number that grew to 70 passengers by 2008. A weekend crash that injured 48 people brings the 2009 total to 68 passengers.

Controversial documentary roils SF Jewish Film Festival

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Jul 23 2009 - 7:23pm

A film about the death of American activist Rachel Corrie is causing a stir at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which began Thursday.

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival opened its 29th season Thursday night amid controversy surrounding one of its 71 films, which has the Jewish community up in arms.

Simone Bitton’s film “Rachel” is a documentary about the controversial death of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie in 2003. Corrie was volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank when an Israeli army bulldozer crushed her during the demolition of Palestinian homes.

What kindled the criticism from the Jewish community was the invitation of Corrie’s mother, Cindy Corrie, to speak after the Saturday afternoon screening at the Castro Theatre.

Governor calls for releasing inmates to cut deficit

Jul 23 2009 - 1:03pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed a controversial method for alleviating California’s soaring deficits: reducing the population of state prisons by 27,000, CBS 5 reported Wednesday.


Study to examine HIV infection among gay black men

Bethany Fleishman, The Public Press — Jul 23 2009 - 12:33pm

A new, national study on HIV infection will look at San Francisco's gay black male community's level of participation in HIV intervention measures – including testing, counseling and other health and social services.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health HIV Research Section AIDS Office will be conducting the San Francisco part of the UNITY study.

Among men who have sex with men in this country, black men have the highest rate of HIV infection. Jennifer Sarche, community educator for the Department of Public Health AIDS Office, said that one theory for this is that gay black men as a population have a smaller sexual network than gay white males.

Lack of funding making SF less transit-friendly

Jul 23 2009 - 12:17pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

Although thousands of San Franciscans rely on public transit to commute to work every day, the city’s lack of funding is making it increasingly difficult for them to do so, the San Francisco Examiner reported Wednesday.

Public defender and children's services win back funds as revised budget passes in San Francisco

Patricia Decker and Kevin Stark, The Public Press — Jul 22 2009 - 3:53pm

A concerted last-minute campaign by the San Francisco public defender to restore previously cut funds succeeded as the Board of Supervisors passed a revised $6.7 billion budget Tuesday.

The budget was the culmination of months of wrangling among agencies and political factions that pitted, most audibly, social services and public health agencies against public safety to bridge an unprecedented funding gap of more than $400 million.

Winners Tuesday also included public financing of political campaigns, children's services and the district attorney.

The police department’s top brass, the convention center, the ballet, the opera and a nonprofit theater all lost out, as their budgets were gouged to balance the city’s ledger.

The 9-2 budget vote came after months of adjustments and political trading that left few completely satisfied.

CSU hikes fees 20 percent, will cut 40,000 students

Jul 22 2009 - 3:19pm

By John Hornberg
The Public Press

In an effort to close a $584 million budget shortfall for the coming year, the California State University's board of trustees has approved a 20 percent fee increase for coming school year, its second such increase in the last three months, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

Empty storefronts to become galleries

Jul 21 2009 - 3:26pm

By Hank Drew
The Public Press

A program supported by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom could provide artists with a storefront gallery of their own, SF Gate reported Tuesday .

Art in Storefronts is the brainchild of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Arts Commission, and would allow artists to display their work -- for a small charge -- in abandoned storefronts in areas impacted by the economy.

San Francisco adult clubs are hiring

Jul 21 2009 - 1:35pm

By Hank Drew
The Public Press

In a sign that California's economy might be finally recovering, three of San Francisco's strip clubs are hiring, KGO reported.

Bartenders and waitress hopefuls -- and perhaps a few dancers -- were invited to attend an adult industry job fair Tuesday at the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf.

SF to receive almost $9 million in federal help for renters

Jul 21 2009 - 1:29am

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

San Franciscans struggling to find or keep housing just got a helping hand from the federal government in the form of nearly $9 million in grant money.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted the city $8.75 million in stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program.

SF supe to run for state Insurance Commissioner

Jul 20 2009 - 10:31pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

City supervisor Michaela Alioto-Pier announced Monday that she would run for state insurance commissioner in 2010.

Alioto-Pier, a moderate member of the board, has represented the city’s second district, including the Marina, the Presidio and Pacific Heights, since her appointment by Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004.

White House silent in S.F. health plan court battle as national healthcare debate heats up

Jul 20 2009 - 1:05pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

As Congress debates strategies for national health care reform, the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to determine the fate of “Healthy San Francisco,” the city’s groundbreaking health care program for the uninsured and working poor.

UC regents approve furlough plan; standoff foreseen with unions

Christi Morales, The Public Press — Jul 16 2009 - 11:35pm

n a 20-1 vote, the University of California Board of Regents decided Thursday to move forward with a contentious furlough plan that will affect more than 108,000 employees, setting the stage for a standoff between UC officials and labor unions.

Beginning Sept. 1, UC faculty and staff members will have to take 11 to 26 days off a year, depending on their salary level, which amounts to pay cuts ranging from 4 percent to 10 percent. Those making $40,000 or less will have to take 11 furlough days, with the number of days off increasing for those with higher salaries.

The plan is expected to create $184 million in savings for the 10-campus university system, which is saddled with an $813 million deficit.

BART's largest union voting on contract proposal

Jul 16 2009 - 3:57pm

By Jessica Alexander Wertheim
The Public Press

BART's largest union, the Service Employees International Union Local 1021, is voting on a revised four-year contract proposal Thursday at the Oakland Marriott City Center through 8 a.m. Friday, a proposal that was rejected earlier this week by the transit agency's second-largest union.

San Francisco ranked nation's seventh toughest city on homeless

Jul 16 2009 - 2:51pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

A newly released report ranks San Francisco as the seventh toughest city in the nation in its criminalization of homeless people.

Melted copper wire cause of vault fire, officials say

Jul 16 2009 - 12:15pm

By Samantha McGirr
The Public Press

PG&E says it has identified the cause of the huge vault fire last month that occurred at the corner of Polk and O’Farrell in the Tenderloin district.

UC regents back furloughs and pay cuts; staff protest

Christi Morales and Michael Winter, The Public Press — Jul 15 2009 - 10:00pm

More than 108,000 full-time University of California faculty and staff face extended unpaid furloughs and pay cuts under an emergency plan endorsed Wednesday by a Board of Regents' committee. Senior managers would also see their salaries cut an additional 5 percent.

The plan passed, 11-1. The full board will vote Thursday.

If approved, the plan would take effect Sept. 1. UC faculty and staff would be required to take from 11 to 26 unpaid days by Sept. 1, 2010, which works out to a pay cut of 4 to 10 percent. Higher earners would take more furlough days and deeper pay cuts.