Although federal officials rated the San Francisco Housing Authority as “troubled” when former Executive Director Henry Alvarez exited his post, the agency actually improved during his last year on the job and might have received a passing grade if not for steep federal budget cuts. Read More
Needing ways to trim an already-taxed budget further impacted by federal funding cuts, the Housing Authority Commission voted Thursday to cut its budget for private security guards by 25 percent.
Decades removed from fielding its own police force, the Housing Authority relies on a combination of San Francisco police officers and private security guards at its more than 40 sites. While police respond to emergencies at no charge, the Housing Authority pays $1.225 million annually for additional patrols at select areas known for violence or high crime. Read More
The “decoy” arrest — in which plainclothes officers approach would-be drug sellers asking for a $40 bag of marijuana — has become an increasingly less common tactic throughout The City.
But not in the Haight-Ashbury.
While buy-bust arrests citywide are dropping — from 485 in 2008 to 160 last year — they are increasing in the iconic neighborhood. Read More
An official call from San Francisco politicians to divest The City’s retirement fund from fossil fuel companies is not going anywhere for a while. And the $584 million invested with the likes of Chevron and Exxon Mobil might just stay put.
San Francisco’s $15.3 billion pension plan has a social justice policy that has in the past led to divestment in tobacco companies and firms connected to genocide in Sudan and apartheid-era South Africa. Read More
The City’s nascent plan to offer San Francisco electricity customers an alternative power option — and to charge a rate that’s competitive with PG&E while providing enough energy that’s truly green — is still looking for its “sweet spot.” Read More
Many of the people with mental illnesses who roam San Francisco’s streets, gaining access to The City’s bountiful array of psychiatric and substance-abuse treatment options, come from elsewhere — and some, it turns out, were “dumped” here by out-of-state care providers.
At least 36 people — some with severe mental or other psychiatric issues — were bused to San Francisco by a Las Vegas-area mental hospital with no notification to family, no links to the area, and no arrangement to provide care for them, according to an investigative report published by The Sacramento Bee. Read More
First oysters, now herring. Bay Area Pacific herring fishermen are squaring off against the U.S. Department of the Interior to challenge a recent fishing ban, according to court documents.In November, federal officials informed Bay Area fishermen that they would not be allowed to catch spawning herring in waters that abut protected Golden Gate National Recreation Area land. Since no federal law expressly permits fishing in waters off federal land, fishing is not allowed, GGNRA Superintendent Frank Dean wrote. Read More
Every April 20 in San Francisco — at about 20 minutes past 4 p.m. — a giant cloud of smoke rises from the eastern end of Golden Gate Park, where thousands of people congregate to celebrate and consume their drug of choice.Cannabis, marijuana, weed.
Although it’s far from clear whether cellphones cause cancer, a first-of-its-kind San Francisco law requiring phone merchants to disclose mobile devices’ possible health risks has caused The City no shortage of headaches.
The 2½ years of legal wrangling over the Cell Phone Right to Know Act would end under a proposed settlement that would see the law overturned but also would not stick taxpayers with the attorney fees of cellphone industry lobbyists, believed to be in the six figures, according to court documents.
San Francisco is encouraging private employers to close the gender gap between men and women — who still earn roughly 84 cents to every male dollar on average — while at the same time proposing pay cuts to jobs predominately held by women. Read More
Lawsuits filed by public employees alleging discrimination, retaliation or other prohibited workplace conduct have cost The City more than $11 million over the past five years. And the legal bill would be even higher if not for the fact that most workplace bullying is legal, a public employee advocacy group claims. Read More
Firearms could be issued to certain juvenile probation officers as a safety precaution, the department’s chief announced last week.
The four officers who would receive guns would then only supervise The City’s most dangerous youths and young adults under a plan that would give the officers a “required” level of safety. Read More
Negotiations between a Chinese state-run bank and a Miami-based homebuilder for a $1.7 billion loan to bankroll the biggest San Francisco redevelopment project in a lifetime have collapsed.
Lennar Urban has development rights to build more than 12,000 homes on former Navy installations at Hunters Point and Treasure Island, two of the biggest parcels of land open to development in The City in 50 years. The homebuilder had been in negotiations since last year with the China Development Bank to finance the construction. Read More
An effort designed to make The City’s pension fund divest its holdings with powerful San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo fizzled Wednesday.
About $227 million of The City’s pension fund is invested with 14 banks accused by activists of wrongdoing during the subprime mortgage meltdown. The City holds $45.3 million with Wells Fargo, $46.7 million with JP Morgan Chase, $31 million with Citibank and $30.7 million with Bank of America, according to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. Read More
No Blue Angels, no air show. No air show — no Fleet Week?
Not as The City knows it, anyway.
San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week celebration — the highlight of which is two days of aerial stunts performed by the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Blue Angels — will be a drastically scaled-down event this year.