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San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi emerged from Department 23 at the Hall of Justice following his formal sentencing this morning.  Following the hearing, Mikrarimi provided a tearful mea culpa in statement read to a scrum of reporters. Photo by Luke Thomas.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi: “I’m Sorry”

March 19, 2012 | 7 Comments

Missing from his prepared statement was a recount of the events that occurred on December 31 that led him to this point. When pressed, he stated, “I understand that some of this continues and that I should be guarded.” He also did not respond to the question of whether he had the moral authority to continue running the Sheriff’s Department.

Posted in News, Politics

Supervisor Avalos Declares Re-Election Bid

March 18, 2012 | 3 Comments

Elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2008, Avalos was joined by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Supervisors David Campos and Eric Mar, as well as union reps, community organizations and residents.

Posted in News, Politics

Unions Escalating CWA’s Contract Fight with Verizon

March 16, 2012 | No Comments

Along with the CWA-Verizon campaign, the protest will also raise voices against corporate flim-flam punishing members of the Service Employees at Wells Fargo and the Westfield Mall. The Westfield shopping center located at Fifth and Market — near the Powell Street BART station — will be the first opportunity to get loud. Marchers then plan to drop by the Verizon store at 768 Market Street, between Fourth and Third streets, before finishing the action at Wells Fargo at Montgomery Street.

Posted in Events, News

“Making Us Sick:” Occupy Groups Target Wells Fargo Board Member Over Foreclosures

March 16, 2012 | No Comments

An ACCE and Occupy Bernal letter of demand addressed to Dean and hand-delivered to his Dignity Health office in San Francisco, demands he stop Wells Fargo, the nations largest mortgage provider, from foreclosing homes on San Francisco residents, particularly those homeowners in hard-hit areas in the Bayview, Excelsior, and Bernal Heights neighborhoods.

Posted in News, Politics


Occupy Oakland to Host
Saturday Neighborhood Barbeques

March 16, 2012 | 1 Comment

Four barbecues are scheduled through mid-April, with the March 17 event from noon to 5 p.m. at Arroyo Viejo Park, 7701 Krause St. in East Oakland near Bancroft and 77th streets. All will include free food, arts and crafts, music, a children’s play area, literature and workshops.

Posted in Events, News

Domestic Violence Groups Demand Mirkarimi’s Removal from Office

March 15, 2012 | 1 Comment

Calling the Sheriff “a national embarrassment,” Cathy Black, the executive director of Case De Las Madres, a shelter dedicated to victims of domestic violence, told a bevy of reporters gathered on the steps of City Hall, “I think it would be best for everybody involved if he would step aside. If Sheriff Mirkarimi will not do the right thing, then the mayor and the Board of Supervisors must.”

Posted in News, Politics


Religious Leaders Show Faith in Occupy Movement

March 14, 2012 | No Comments

The OWS movement, which protests social and economic inequity and predatory practices that benefit the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of the rest of society, was kicked off by the Canadian group Adbusters and began in September in the heart of New York City’s financial district. Since then, the movement has been adopted and localized in cities across the nation, some focused on specific issues.

Posted in News, Politics

Overheard in Fog City: Is Mirkarimi Guilty
of Official Misconduct?

March 14, 2012 | 1 Comment

Per the definition of official misconduct under the city charter, “Official misconduct means any wrongful behavior by a public officer in relation to the duties of his or her office, willful in its character, including any failure, refusal or neglect of an officer to perform any duty enjoined on him or her by law, or conduct that falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officers and including any violation of a specific conflict of interest or governmental ethics law. When any City law provides that a violation of the law constitutes or is deemed official misconduct, the conduct is covered by this definition and may subject the person to discipline and/or removal from office.” (emphasis added).

Posted in News, Politics

Sheriff Mirkarimi Pleads Guilty to False Imprisonment

March 12, 2012 | 6 Comments

In exchange for Mirkrarimi’s plea agreement, the District Attorney George Gascón has dropped three misdemeanor charges of alleged domestic violence, dissuading a witness and child endangerment.

Mirkarimi faces sentencing next Monday that is expected to include up to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, 52 weeks of domestic violence classes, as well as a fine of $590. A stay away order imposed in January remains in effect subject to a Family court order.

Posted in News, Politics

Olague Explains her Support for RCV Repeal Measure

March 10, 2012 | 6 Comments

Olague has long ties to the progressive community and was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to the District 5 seat, one of the city’s most progressive, in January after Ross Mirkarimi was elected Sheriff. This week, she joined Sean Elsbernd, Carmen Chu, Scott Wiener, and Malia Cohen – all considered moderate/conservative supervisors – in supporting Sup. Mark Farrell’s proposal to replace RCV with runoff elections for the mayor’s race and other citywide offices.

Posted in News, Politics

Gender Inequality Looms Large
on International Women’s Day

March 09, 2012 | 1 Comment

Steinunn Guðjónsdóttir was the event’s keynote speaker. Ms. Guðjónsdóttir is Project Manager of Shelter for Trafficked Women and Women Exiting Prostitution, in Iceland. She is in the US as part of an international visitor leadership program organized by the State Department, and researching domestic- and gender-based violence. She stated, “Violence against women is a symptom of gender inequality. We must address this.”


The Privacy Implications
of Facial Recognition Technology

March 09, 2012 | 1 Comment

According to How Facial Recognition Systems Work by by Kevin Bonsor and Ryan Johnson, facial recognition technology – in a nutshell – is based on the ability to recognize a face and then measure the various features of the face. Every face has numerous, distinguishable facial features, such as the distance between the eyes; width of the nose; depth of the eye sockets; the shape of the cheekbones; and the length of the jaw line. These features create a numerical code, called a two-dimensional faceprint, representing the face in the database. A newly-emerging trend in facial recognition technology uses a three-dimensional model.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Occupy the Capitol: Labor, Students
Unite to Rebalance Education Funding Deficit

March 07, 2012 | 1 Comment

Dozens of people were arrested during Monday’s protest, the culmination of a multi-day march to draw attention to the soaring cost of attending California’s public colleges and universities.

Posted in News, Politics

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin greeted marchers on their way to Sacramento to demand funding for education and social services. Photos by Eric Louie, Media Workers Guild.

Richmond Mayor Welcomes Occupy, Education Marchers

March 03, 2012 | 1 Comment

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin made a morning visit to St. Mark’s Church, the first overnight stop in the four-day Occupy Education march from the Bay Area to Sacramento. The group plans to reach UC Davis Sunday and board busses to join large demonstrations at the capitol Monday. About 100 people signed up for the march, with some joining at stops along the way, according to march organizers.

Posted in News, Politics


Mayor Quan Confronts Issues
Raised by Arrests of Journalists

March 03, 2012 | No Comments

The meeting, held Tuesday afternoon at Oakland City Hall, was called in an effort to discuss incidents of working reporters and photographers being detained and in some cases arrested by Oakland Police Department officers during several Occupy Oakland protests in recent months.

Posted in News, Politics

Losing Constitutional Competition

Losing Constitutional Competition

March 03, 2012 | No Comments

The new study examined the provisions of 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, and they considered 237 variables regarding various rights and ways to enforce them. This is what they found: “Among the world’s democracies constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s. … the constitutions of the world’s democracies are, on average, less similar to the U.S. Constitution now than they were at the end of World War II.”

Posted in Opinion, Politics


CSU Faculty Union Calls Strike Vote After Contract Talks Stall

March 02, 2012 | No Comments

The Board of Directors of the California Faculty Association recently authorized an April vote to approve or reject a strike if no agreement is reached. The CFA represents 24,000 employees including coaches, counselors, librarians and professors in one of the state’s highest profile workforces.

Posted in Education, Labor, News