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SF supes skirt law in restoring funds to service providers

Kevin Stark, The Public Press — Aug 20 2009 - 4:48pm

Amid intense lobbying to restore social-service funding to this year’s budget, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors earmarked $1 million for specific organizations, flouting the city charter.

Mission Neighborhood Resource Center's 'Ladies’ Night' saved by supervisors

Monica Jensen, The Public Press — Aug 20 2009 - 4:20pm
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Supes on: the budget -- 'There needs to be more dialogue,' says Maxwell

Kevin Stark, The Public Press — Aug 13 2009 - 2:42pm
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Sophie Maxwell praises the health department for efficiency and calls the budget policy debate "healthy."

“The police, that's the end. Public safety starts in the middle. Public safety starts with education. Public safety starts with health ... by the time they get to the police we have failed them."

Gascon lists long-term goals, need for SFPD reform

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Aug 12 2009 - 10:02am

Flanked by his command staff in the Hall of Justice hearing room, new San Francisco police Chief George Gascon addressed the media Tuesday morning on his long-term goals for the department: to take a hard-hitting stance against organized crime, to address the city's diversity issues and to implement a plan to fix outdated policing facilities and strengthen the department’s current operational structure.

Third streetcar accident in a month snarls Market St.

Lila LaHood, The Public Press — Aug 11 2009 - 6:59pm

A streetcar on Market Street struck a woman Tuesday afternoon, marking the third significant Muni accident in less than a month.

Twitter silenced in attack; other social networking sites hit

Jessica Wertheim, The Public Press — Aug 6 2009 - 1:32pm

The popular social networking site is taken down by a denial-of-service attack. Facebook and LiveJournal are hit too.

City bicycle plan rolls closer to reality

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Aug 5 2009 - 2:19pm

A unanimous decision by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday night to reject appeals and approve the environmental impact report for the 45-project Bike Plan brought a sigh of relief from bicycle advocates.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival screening sparks soul searching within community

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Aug 5 2009 - 1:12pm

When the audience shuffled out of the Castro Theatre and the protesters headed home, the polarizing debate surrounding the July 25 screening of "Rachel” at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival was not over.

Rather than argue about the appropriateness of the film at the festival, which ends Aug. 10, the Bay Area Jewish community is engaged in another soul-wrenching internal conversation.

North Korea pardons, frees jailed SF journalists

Aug 4 2009 - 2:44pm

By Hank Drew
The Public Press

North Korean media outlets have reported that jailed San Francisco journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling have been granted a "special pardon" and will be released after a visit by former President Bill Clinton.

Supes on: the budget -- 'The lowest-income workers took the greatest hit in this budget,' Dist. 11 Supervisor John Avalos says

Hank Drew, The Public Press — Aug 4 2009 - 12:07pm
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‘We wanted to make sure there was equity in how the budget was approved.’

Supervisor John Avalos, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, addresses coalition building, community organizing, his fight to save key social services, his closed-door agreement with Mayor Gavin Newsom and his frustrations with the budget process.

City won't move mental health clinic, raises privacy concerns

Lizzy Tomei, The Public Press — Aug 3 2009 - 12:34pm

After protests by patient advocates, the city last week reversed its decision to move an Outer Mission geriatric mental health program more than two miles west, meaning elderly clients may continue to receive care in the neighborhood.

But the decision was accompanied by another controversy — whether mentally ill patients belonged in the media spotlight when their clinic was threatened with relocation.

The Department of Public Health expressed concern that patient privacy laws may have been violated at a July 24 press conference staged outside the clinic. A spokeswoman cited media coverage of the event that featured video and interviews with clients who have mental illnesses.

UC faculty say proposed cuts unfair, show favoritism

Christi Morales, The Public Press — Aug 2 2009 - 12:07pm

Now that California has finally passed a budget, public higher education officials are moving forward with the difficult task of implementing cuts that will greatly impact students and educators.

And as University of California officials discuss additional reductions, some faculty members at the UC Berkeley campus say cuts are being distributed unfairly. Certain sciences reportedly are seeing less than a quarter percent cut while the school’s physical education program funding is being cut in half.

Post-budget, supervisor wins medal, proving domestic mettle

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Jul 30 2009 - 5:58pm

Life in City Hall — excruciatingly bitter for months — just got a little bit sweeter.

Weeks of debate and political wrangling to pass the $6.7 billion budget, one that brought the worst deficit the city has seen since the Great Depression, left relationships between two of the supervisors strained.

To release some of the tension built up by the budget process, their respective offices agreed to settle things the gentlemanly way -- with a bake-off.

New tenant OK’d for San Francisco Tea Garden

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Jul 29 2009 - 1:27pm

A new tenant for the Japanese Tea Garden concessions could move in as early as September – thanks to the support of the full board at Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting.

Carol Murata, owner and operator of Murata’s Cafe Hana, was unanimously recommended July 22 by the parks commission to become the new occupant.

News Notes: Town hall scheduled tonight to discuss Richmond district bus, pedestrian improvements

Patricia Decker, The Public Press — Jul 27 2009 - 2:31pm

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.

Co-hosted by Supervisor Eric Mar and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Ave. The forum also will address pedestrian and street improvements included in the project.

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.