Public Press Weekly: A Look on the Bright Side of S.F.

San Francisco Public Press
 — Mar 20 2018 - 10:52am

If you’re into comparing the charms of San Francisco to those of New York City, a burg with more than 10 times the population of our fair city, take a look at a N.Y. transplant’s tale of the two cities. This newly minted San Francisco blogger has mostly nice things to say about us, namely, the perfect weather (say what, o newbie?), lack of trash-bag mountains, bargain-basement-priced street fashion and short waits in the brunch line (four hours vs. four months). (The Cooper Review). See, it’s not all creeping urban blight in San Francisco. The city, for example, is expanding its 4-year-old Pit Stop program, in which staffed portable toilet stations roll into neighborhoods. It’s now in nine areas and is humming along to the tune of around 300,000 flushes logged per year — or, one flush every two minutes. (SF Weekly). Also catering to people’s comfort zone is the city’s plan to give its blessing to marijuana smoking lounges, like the ones Amsterdam is famous for, where tokers can buy and smoke (or ingest, whatever) cannabis. San Francisco being what it is, these bowers of bliss must have pricey heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to prevent the odor of burning weed from drifting outside. (Associated Press). Also, downtown San Francisco could be transformed into a kinder, gentler oasis of less traffic, so the thinking goes, if drivers have to pay to drive there. To this end, a state bill clearing the path for congestion pricing programs is making its way through the Legislature. Don’t hold your breath, though — the idea went down in flames in 2016, when 72 percent of San Franciscans surveyed opposed such a program. (San Francisco Examiner). Finally, human traffickers may want to skip the city in the future. District Attorney George Gascón wants to install a human trafficking unit in his office. Apparently, there is a need: in 2016, a task force listed more than 500 survivors; in 2017, only nine cases were presented to the DA’s office; and only one had enough evidence for charges. (Chronicle of Social Change). For more background on the trafficking issue, take a look at a special report on human trafficking. (SF Public Press).

Housing, the Topic We Love to Hate

Climate Change Postscript

The empire strikes back — or at least Exxon, Chevron and pals. Cities and counties suing oil companies over climate change should brace themselves for retaliation. Exxon, for example, has counterpunched with subpoenas and other nasty legal tactics designed to discourage those lawsuits. “These Communities Sued Big Oil Over Climate Change; Then the Backlash Began” (McClatchy DC Bureau).