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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Watching the police

Civilian oversight system underfunded and prone to political pressures

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rebecca@sfbg.com

Nearly two years ago, on July 18, 2012, on-duty San Francisco police officer Mary Godfrey fired her weapon twice, killing 32-year-old Oakland resident Pralith Pralourng in an encounter at Washington and Davis streets.

Following the incident, police said Pralourng was mentally ill and had lunged at Godfrey with a box cutter, prompting her to fire in defense of her own life. Just before it happened, Pralourng had slashed his coworker at Tcho chocolate factory and fled.Read more »

Waiting for transit

People with disabilities find it increasingly difficult to catch a train, bus, or taxi in the Bay Area

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joe@sfbg.com

Transit options for wheelchair users and people with disabilities are under threat in the Bay Area, and riders are losing ground on multiple transit fronts.

In late April and early May, hundreds of advocates for those with disabilities took to the streets, protesting BART's Fleet of the Future, a touring mockup of a new BART trains slated to roll out in 2017.

The trains are a step backward in wheelchair accessibility, among other issues, advocates said.Read more »

Cycling to City Hall

Bike to Work Day's 20th anniversary shows how far we've come, but funding shortfalls show how far we have to go to create safe streets

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steve@sfbg.com

When the first Bike to Work Day was held in San Francisco 20 years ago, cyclists had little support in City Hall. But on May 8, almost every one of the city's top political leaders will take part in Bike to Work Day, pledging their support to an increasingly popular and important transportation option.

In fact, Bike to Work Day has become such an anticipated event in San Francisco that city officials and cycling advocates in recent years have used it as the deadline to unveil the latest high-profile bike project to demonstrate the city's commitment to cycling.Read more »

Two views of the waterfront

Controversial developments proposed for Port of San Francisco property trigger public debate about who should control the city's valuable edge

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rebecca@sfbg.com

The Golden State Warriors' announcement that its planned 18,000-seat basketball arena would be moved off the San Francisco waterfront was fresh in everyone's mind when former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos visited the Bay Guardian office on April 23, and he was electrified by the win.

"I resent anyone suggesting that this is not a genuine people-powered victory — again," Agnos said. "Because that's what it was, bottom line."Read more »

Lawsuits target Airbnb rentals

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LAWSUITS TARGET AIRBNB RENTALS

The San Francisco City Attorney's Office last week filed a pair of lawsuits against local landlords who illegally rent out apartments on a short-term basis, units that had been cleared of tenants using the Ellis Act. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Tenants Unions has hired attorney Joseph Tobener to file more such lawsuits, and he is preparing to file at least seven lawsuits involving 20 units.Read more »

Guardian endorsements

Campos for Assembly, Yes on Props. B and 42, re-elect Gov. Jerry Brown — our recommendations for the June 2014 primary election

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OUR CLEAN SLATE VOTERS GUIDE TO TAKE TO THE POLLS IS HERE.

 

Editor's Note: Election endorsements have been a long and proud part of the Guardian's 48-year history of covering politics in San Francisco, the greater Bay Area, and at the state level. In low-turnout elections like the one we're expecting in June, your vote counts more than usual, and we hope our endorsements and explanations help you make the best decisions.

 Read more »

Where there's smoke

San Francisco takes its pot smoking very seriously

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news@sfbg.com

It was April 20 in Golden Gate Park, the fabled 4/20 in the parlance of pot smokers, and we found Nick and Chris standing under the shade of a tree with a cluster of friends, including Geoff, the proud owner of a five-foot bong.

Nick had done several hits through the supersized smoking device that day. Beside him, Chris took hits from his own handheld bong. "I'm feeling good," Nick reported. "But I'm also kinda hungry. I could go for some Chinese food. Ohh, and some Sapporo!"Read more »

Politics over policy

Paid Sunday parking meters benefit drivers, businesses, and Muni riders. So why did the plan get killed?

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Joe@sfbg.com

Paid Sunday parking meters were unanimously repealed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors on April 15.

Sunday meters will be free starting July 1, a losing proposition for many, including seniors and people with disabilities who advocated for free Muni passes at the same SFMTA meeting.Read more »

SFBG Wrap, April 16-23

BART fine for workers' deaths, supervisors outfox landlords, police tapes illuminate Nieto shooting, and the sorry state of public housing

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BART FINED FOR WORKERS' DEATHS

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Bay Area Rapid Transit for three "willful/serious" safety violations in connection with the death of two transit workers last October, saying BART is at fault due to a lack of safety measures.

"Safety standards are designed to save lives," acting Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum said in a statement, "and they were not followed."Read more »

Left out

Progressive candidates for governor have a hard time amplifying their calls for economic justice

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steve@sfbg.com

It's never been easy for progressives to mount a serious campaign for the California governor's office. The high water mark was in 1934 when famous author/activist Upton Sinclair ran on his End Poverty In California platform and got nearly 38 percent of the vote despite being shut out by the major newspapers at the time.Read more »