Articles Posted by Susan Vaughan

Bio: Sue Vaughan was born and raised in the northeast part of the country. In 1988 she turned down a reporting job at the Boston-area newspaper because accepting the job would have required her to buy a car. In 1990, she finally escaped the bitter northeast winters and sweltering summers by taking a Greyhound bus from the East Coast to the West Coast. She first lived in that suburban "hotbed of social rest" (so described by former SF Chronicle columnist Rob Morse) Palo Alto, which inspired her to commit herself to the car-free existence. She moved from there to the Richmond District of San Francisco, taught on and off for several years, worked on her masters degree, and became a sustainable transportation activist. She now freelance writes, gardens, and draws.

  • Minding Muni, Part V

    All over the country, public transportation systems are cutting back service under the weight of huge budget deficits. Most people think these agencies are casualties of the recession, and to certain extent they are probably right. But to me, these agencies and their ballooning deficits are something else also — they are canaries in the coal mine, indications of problems that go deeper than even the subprime loan fiasco that many are blaming for the current state of the economy. Collapsing transit agencies are signs that the anti-tax mania of the last few decades is a failure. They are also signs that our western lifestyle — dependent as it is on plentiful and cheap natural resources, especially fossil fuels — could be reaching its limits and going into decline as demand now begins to outstrip supply.

  • Minding Muni, Part IV

    This is currently a hot topic

    Minding Muni, Part IV

    If you’ve gotten on a 38L recently and noticed newspapers strewn about, banana peels here and there and graffiti all over the floor from front to back – as I did recently – there’s a reason: in response to ongoing budget deficits, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) cut 14 transit car cleaners on January 25, leaving 84.

  • Minding Muni, Part III

    Minding Muni, Part III

    The SFMTA – an agency that required $800 million plus annually up until last year – has been suffering budget deficits on and off since 2005. Last year’s deficit reached an initial $128.9 million in February and March.

  • Minding Muni, Part II

    Minding Muni, Part II

    Concerned citizens watch a February 26 meeting of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency which met to discuss Muni service cuts and fare increases to close a $12.1 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal…

  • Minding Muni

    Muni drivers have incredibly hard jobs. They sit in the same position for hours and take all kinds of abuse from the public. They deserve to be paid well. At the same time, they are not completely blameless. Perhaps the work rules do need to be tightened up, but the general public should be clear: getting changing operator work rules will bring back some money to the agency – but $15 million is not enough.

  • ACLU Responds to US Government Reluctance to Defend CIA Torture Program

    ACLU Responds to US Government Reluctance
    to Defend CIA Torture Program

    By Susan Vaughan July 6, 2009 American Civil Liberties Union lawyers representing five victims of a US government clandestine extraordinary rendition and torture program, filed its response yesterday to US Justice Department lawyers seeking to…

  • Federal Judge Issues Mixed Rulings
    in Warrantless Wiretapping Cases

    A secret room in the offices of AT&T in San Francisco where internet and phone data is allegedly being surveiled by the NSA without warrants or subpoenas. By Susan Vaughan June 5, 2009 A federal…