• An aerial photo shows the destruction of the Crestmoor residential neighborhood in the City of San Bruno neighborhood following a September 9 PG&E gas pipeline explosion.  Eight people were killed as a result of the explosion and inferno.  Photo via FEMA.
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  • California Senator Mark Leno.  File photo by Luke Thomas.
  • An aerial photo shows the destruction of the Crestmoor residential neighborhood in the City of San Bruno neighborhood following a September 9 PG&E gas pipeline explosion.  Eight people were killed as a result of the explosion and inferno.  Photo via FEMA.
  • Are those who choose to ignore history destined to repeat it?
  • A musical play produced and performed by Krissy Keefer's Dance Brigade at Dance Mission Theater Hemorrhage captures the current crisis of world affairs by focusing on the connection between global warming, war, racism and the continued attack on the rights of women. Photos by Luke Thomas.

Chiu, Mirkarimi, Bock Lead in Contributions

Chiu, Mirkarimi, Bock Lead in Contributions

August 02, 2011 | 3 Comments

The following table data was summarized from the latest required campaign filings covering January 1 through July 31. Detailed contribution data is available at the San Francisco Department of Ethics website.

Posted in News, Politics

Willie Brown: The King Behind the Pawn

August 02, 2011 | 2 Comments

In the game of political chess, former Mayor Willie Brown is the king behind pawn (Ed Lee), pulling the strings in San Francisco politics and doing the bidding of his development clients to maintain control of Room 200 and its $7 billion purse.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Overheard in Fog City: Kim Confirms Lee Endorsement

August 01, 2011 | 9 Comments

The development is significant in that it may answer the question of why Kim declined to endorse former roommate and political simpatico, David Chiu, when Chiu came knocking for Kim’s endorsement in February. It also suggests that Kim has known all along that Lee is going to run for mayor.

Posted in News, Politics

Unions say legislation being pushed by Republican governors nationwide is an attack on their very existence.

Republican Party Right-To-Work Laws
Designed to Exploit Workers?

July 30, 2011 | 3 Comments

Why do we need unions anyway? Because they are essential for America. Unions are the only large-scale movement left in America that persistently acts as a countervailing balance against corporate power. They act in the economic interests of the middle, working class. But the decline of unions over the past few decades has left corporations and the rich with essentially no powerful opposition. You may take issue with a particular union’s position on an issue, but remember they are the only real organized check on the power of the business community in this country. RTW laws are anti-union, pro-business

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Candidates Call Mayor Ed Lee’s Integrity into Question

July 29, 2011 | 2 Comments

The question of Lee’s integrity is being raised following Lee’s recent comments suggesting he is now considering going against his word and entering the mayor’s race.

Posted in News, Politics

Is Ed Lee Beginning to Look Like a Typical Lying Politician?

July 20, 2011 | 21 Comments

If Mr. Lee is now contemplating a run and enters the race, he will be fairly judged to be another typical lying politician whose words cannot be trusted and, therefore, is not fit for public office.

The good will Mr. Lee has engendered thus far would immediately evaporate. The Board would no longer trust him. The electorate would understand him to be a fraud and all the mayoral contenders who entered the mayor’s race on the understanding that Lee would remain true to his word, would be well within their rights to expose him as a continuation of corruption at City Hall.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Nelson Mandela (centre) with family members Zaziwe Manaway (left), Ziphokazi Manaway, Zamaswazi Dlamini and Zamak Obiri. Photo / AP

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

July 19, 2011 | No Comments

Since his retirement in 1999, one of Mandela’s primary commitments has been the fight against AIDS. His son, Makgatho Mandela, died of AIDS on January 6, 2005. AIDS continues to be a major problem in South Africa and indeed, in all of Africa. An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2009, more than in any other country. It is believed that in 2009, an estimated 310,000 South Africans died of AIDS.

Posted in Human Interest, Opinion

Randy Shaw: A Flip-Flopping Hypocrite?

July 19, 2011 | 11 Comments

The Guardian was founded in 1966. In 1976, publisher Bruce Brugmann crushed a union organizing effort by the International Typesetters Union and the Newspaper Guild. It took an 8-month strike that sometimes turned violent but the Guardian was able to divest themselves of the added, but fair, expense of dealing with a union.

Then, of course, they became rabidly pro-union. But, only on paper. Bay Guardian City Editor Steven T. Jones told me that he was very much in favor of there being a union at the Guardian but that only around 4 people would be eligible to join.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Board to Vote Today
on Wiener Ballot Measure Reform Proposal

July 19, 2011 | 5 Comments

“San Francisco’s ballot measure system, like California’s as a whole, is broken,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, the measure’s sponsor. “Currently, we have too many ballot measures. And, once the voters pass these measures, they effectively become frozen and almost impossible to change even when it makes sense to do so. This good-government measure is a first step in making our system of ballot propositions more balanced.”

Posted in News, Politics

Cunnie Enters Race for Sheriff

July 18, 2011 | 6 Comments

With California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Supervisor Scott Weiner by his side, Cunnie said he is running for sheriff because he “feels he is the best candidate right now to come to the table” to address the myriad problems facing the California prison system.

Posted in News, Politics

Some dictators don't know where to stop. (Cartoon by J.N. Darling, 1876-1962).

From Eugenics to the Holocaust
to the Maltreatment of US Undesirables

July 17, 2011 | 1 Comment

Today we see vestiges of eugenics-thinking in post-WWII America in the treatment of African-Americans, Jews, homosexuals, undocumented immigrants and Muslims – as well as traces of racism in the criticism of President Obama. We see a “blame the victim” mentality. Doesn’t it seem like the safety nets for the poor, mentally ill, disabled, elderly, and displaced are among the first programs to be cut at budget crunch time while at the same time we won’t approve taxing the rich more? The “well born” get richer while the havenots fall by the wayside.

Posted in Culture, Politics

The Civic Center Residence located at 44 McAllister in the Tenderloin celebrated its grand reopening Thursday following a $30 million makeover.  Photos by Luke Thomas.

Civic Center Residence Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

July 15, 2011 | 2 Comments

The Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation’s (TNDC) upgrade to the Civic Center Residence, located at 44 McAllister, included the construction of additional units of low-income housing, a seismic retrofit, plumbing and electrical overhauls, two new elevators, new shower rooms on each of the eight floors, and upgraded common room facilities including three community kitchens.

Posted in News, Politics

Herrera Moves to Sue CPUC, Feds Over San Bruno Tragedy

Herrera Moves to Sue CPUC, Feds Over San Bruno Tragedy

July 14, 2011 | 1 Comment

“In the aftermath of the San Bruno tragedy, it has become increasingly obvious that blame must be shared by regulators who were either asleep at the switch or too cozy with the industry they’re supposed to regulate,” said Herrera. “The potential threat to human life and safety demands the strictest enforcement of federal pipeline standards. Yet while PG&E was flouting federal law, regulators did little to hold the company accountable. Congress enacted the Pipeline Safety Act to allow for legal actions like the one I am initiating to protect public safety, and I am confident a federal court order will help accomplish that. The potential risks to San Franciscans and others from further gas pipeline failures can no longer be ignored.”

Posted in News, Politics

Closing the Loophole in SF Health Care Ordinance

Closing the Loophole in SF Health Care Ordinance

July 14, 2011 | 2 Comments

The amendment, introduced by Supervisor David Campos, simply re-affirms the layman’s traditional understanding of a “health care expenditure” by allowing employees to carry over funds from health reimbursement accounts from year to year. At present, some employers are taking back unspent HRA balances at the end of the year, denying employees the use of those funds.

Posted in Politics

BART Protest Delays Evening Commute

July 12, 2011 | No Comments

Chanting “Cops, Pigs, Murderers,” “No justice, no peace, disband the BART police,” the demonstrators were able to prevent an eastbound train from leaving the Civic Center station for 15 minutes forcing BART managers to halt services in both directions.

Posted in News

Libyan rebels gather at the front line on the eastern ridge of the Nafusah Mountains in Western Libya, on the outskirt of Gualish, on July 10, 2011 as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi launched a counterattack against rebel advance positions nearby. (Photo: MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Libya and US Debt: Another Treasury-Draining War

July 10, 2011 | No Comments

Yet, the bill for U.S. participation in the NATO-led Libya mission is projected to reach at least $844 million by September with the U.S. funding about three quarters of the military spending by all NATO countries. This expenditure is on top of $1.2 trillion and counting, we are spending on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Clearly, we cannot continue these enormous war expenditures ad infinitum, especially with our faltering economy. This money could be better spent elsewhere.

Posted in Opinion, Politics

Oh, For the Good Old Days…

Oh, For the Good Old Days…

July 10, 2011 | No Comments

What better way to escape today’s realities than by slipping back to a supposedly better time. Which is what Woody Allen’s alter ego did when he got a magical opportunity to do just that. But to his great chagrin, he discovered that those people in his romanticized times also longed for the good old days.

Posted in Culture