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Labor & unions

City College students struggle to break into biotech firms

Siri Markula, SF Public Press — Mar 24 2011 - 10:57am
City College of San Francisco is helping students without a science background gain laboratory experience to work in the biotech industry, one of the Bay Area’s most promising employment sectors. The idea is to meet the demand in the industry for lab technicians who don't necessarily have four-year degrees in science. While some big companies have been hesitant to take on two-year college graduates from the Bridge to Biotech program, smaller companies are more willing to take a risk on them. How much education do you need to get a laboratory job? “Science always seemed to me like something for the intellectual elite,” said Kiel Copeland, whose internship led to a job at a San Francisco startup developing drugs to fight HIV and other viruses. “I never saw myself as that.”

Muni: In elusive quest for 85% on-time performance, computers are displacing eyes on the street

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Nov 18 2010 - 12:11pm

Transit agency says tech will help it turn corner, but money remains tight

Multimillion-dollar vehicle-monitoring technology installed at Muni headquarters is at the heart of a new initiative aimed at solving the transit system’s never-ending performance problems.

By investing $13.6 million in the NextMuni satellite tracking system and a new 24-hour vehicle monitoring center, San Francisco transit officials promise major improvements in keeping the city’s more than 1,000 buses and trains running on schedule. Already this year, Muni Metro trains in the Market Street tunnel are speeding up, they said.

But Muni managers are still struggling with the question of how to get the most out of this new technology to increase performance at a time when budget pressures make it increasingly difficult to do that.

Mayor shakes up Treasure Island development board, ousts only resident

Alison Hawkes, SF Public Press/Way Out West News — Nov 16 2010 - 12:48pm

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to replace three or possibly four members of the Treasure Island Development Authority board of directors has sparked protests from some residents of the island and a few San Francisco supervisors. The critics point out that one of the ousted board members is the only member who lives on either Treasure Island or Yerba Buena Island and represents the interests of island residents — though the mayor vows to find a replacement.

Muni update: Drivers feeling the squeeze

Jerold Chinn and Monica Jensen, SF Public Press — Oct 4 2010 - 7:21pm

SF Public Press multimedia editor Monica Jensen met with Muni operator Emmanuel Andreas, who was featured in a story in the Public Press’ summer print edition, to discuss how Muni’s on-time performance goals affect drivers.

Utopianism behind them, co-ops seek new strength helping low-wage workers

Mineko Brand, SF Public Press — Sep 9 2010 - 11:00am

Worker-owned cooperatives are growing as an alternative business model that puts the people who do the work in control. And they are getting a lot more organized than in the recent past, turning local networks into regional and national organizations. With the Bay Area still grappling with high unemployment rates and a weak economy, co-op advocates say they have a solution that is gaining momentum. Membership in the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives has grown 25 percent a year for the past two years, said Melissa Hoover, executive director of the San Francisco-based group.

Muni to restore 61 percent of service by Sept. 4

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Aug 5 2010 - 3:58pm

Sixty-one percent of summertime Muni service cuts would be restored under a financial plan proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The changes could come as soon as Sept. 4, and are higher than the 50 percent restoration promised earlier in the summer. The $15 million one-year funding package includes money shaved from the San Francisco Transportation Authority and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The agency also looked at cutting back on hundreds hours drivers are paid while waiting for shift changes.

Is Bayview the new Gulf of Mexico? Activists see parallels

Katy Gathright, SF Public Press — Jul 15 2010 - 4:20pm

This week’s debates over environmental approval for the $8 billion redevelopment planned for Bayview brought to the forefront comparisons with neighborhoods in the Gulf of Mexico — both in terms of environmental and racial justice concerns. The neighborhood redevelopment plan passed its latest milestone — the contentious environmental impact report — when the Board of Supervisors gave it a thumbs-up after more than nine hours of debate Wednesday morning, by an 8-3 vote.

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.

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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.

SF budget plan cuts 993 jobs, finds hidden funds

Dana Sherne, SF Public Press — Jun 2 2010 - 1:11pm

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his proposed annual budget Tuesday, with some new money and lots of cuts. By cutting 993 jobs and reducing some salaries, the city will save $64.2 million, he said. Full-time employment will be the lowest it has been in more than 10 years, he said, adding, “In the last decade, whatever we’ve done, we’re back to where we were in 1998.”

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