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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Massage therapists hope for a happy ending

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The California Massage Therapy Council, a statewide body that licenses massage practitioners, may expire at the end of this year unless extended by the California Legislature. Some anti-prostitution crusaders say reverting to local control will make it easier to shut down covert brothels, but the practitioners fear a return to the bad old days, when stigmas and stereotypes overcomplicated their lives.Read more »

Cap and frown

SFUSD considers allowing hats in schools, ending a policy discouraging cultural indicators

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joe@sfbg.com

Just in time for baseball season, Giants hats may be allowed back into San Francisco public schools. A new Board of Education resolution may change the school district dress code to allow hats to be worn indoors in classrooms, a resolution that is also sparking conversations about cultural sensitivity.Read more »

Boom for whom?

Why isn't San Francisco's hot economy creating a budget surplus to address its costly byproducts?

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steve@sfbg.com, joe@sfbg.com

San Francisco's economy is booming these days, fueled by the latest dot-com bubble and a hot real estate market, sending more than expected tax revenue into city coffers. So why doesn't San Francisco have a big budget surplus to help address the gentrification and displacement triggered by the boom?Read more »

Unanswered question on SF housing

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Nobody has a good answer to San Francisco's most basic housing problem: How do we build the housing that existing city residents need? It was a question the Guardian has been posing for many years, and one that I again asked a panel of journalists and housing advocates on March 14, again getting no good answers. Read more »

A fine dilemma

Increased citations often hinder homeless youth from finding better life

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Police have heavily increased sweeps of homeless campers in Golden Gate and Buena Vista parks since January as city officials discuss the next 10-year homeless plan, targeting a specific population of the city's homeless: youth 25 years old and under, kids who often make those parks their homes.Read more »

San Francisco's untouchables

Is San Francisco trying to help the homeless -- or drive them away?

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Rebecca@sfbg.com

In one sense, San Francisco's homeless residents have never been more visible than they are in this moment in the city's history, marked by rapid construction, accelerated gentrification, and rising income inequality. But being seen doesn't mean they're getting the help they need.

Not long ago, Lydia Bransten, who heads security at the St. Anthony's Foundation on 150 Golden Gate, happened upon a group of teenagers clustered on the street near the entrance of her soup kitchen. They had video cameras, and were filming a homeless man lying on the sidewalk.Read more »

Draining the tank

Students push UC system to divest from fossil fuels, joining an international movement gathering soon in San Francisco

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rebecca@sfbg.com

When University of California Berkeley students Ophir Bruck and Victoria Fernandez first made contact with the University of California Board of Regents, it was a far cry from the genial hobnobbing they engaged in over lunch at the March 19 Regents meeting in San Francisco, as special guests called Student Advocates to the Regents.

About a year ago, they were outside a Regents meeting in Sacramento and, joined by about 60 other students, symbolically locked to a pair of handmade, 10-foot-tall models of oil rigs they'd set up outside the conference center.Read more »

Bicycling and equity: Heed the call, expand the movement

Street Fight covers the National Bike Summit and its outreach to women and minorities

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STREET FIGHT In the face of increased gasoline prices and congestion, more public awareness of the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and driving, and interest in physical activity, bicycling has experienced a mini-boom throughout the US. Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland, Seattle, Washington, DC, and many smaller university cities, such as Boulder and Madison, have seen impressive increases in utilitarian bicycling.Read more »

On the Rise: Major Powers & the Lo-Fi Symphony

"Freddie Mercury and Tom Waits in a cliff-diving competition"

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Surefire way to stand out in the musical landscape right now: Have an obviously playful, self-aware, lyrical sense of humor about your music, and also be exceedingly good musicians, songwriters and entertaining live performers -- i.e., take it seriously without taking it too seriously. It's not easy to do, but man, do Major Powers & the Lo-Fi Symphony make it look fun.Read more »

Uber adjusts insurance policy in wake of fatal collision

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Transportation Network Companies, more commonly known as "rideshares," have operated in legal limbo regarding their insurance since their creation. This came to a head on New Year's Eve with the death of six-year-old Sofia Liu, who was killed in a collision with an Uber car driven by a man named Syed Muzzafar. Uber claimed in a blog post that because Muzzafar was not ferrying a passenger at the time, and only using the app to search for fares, that he was not officially covered by their insurance.Read more »