The highest minimum wage in the nation is set to rise again in 2013, as San Francisco’s low-end compensation rate will increase from $10.24 to $10.55 per hour.
In 2003, voters approved a local ordinance tying the minimum wage to the regional rate of inflation in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Set at $8.50 per hour when the law took effect, The City’s minimum wage has increased in every year but one since 2004.
Nothing defined local headlines like newly elected Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s domestic violence scandal, which reignited political bitterness at City Hall and forced many San Franciscans to reconsider their own values. The public melee began when a police investigation of Mirkarimi’s household coincided with the sheriff’s awkward inauguration ceremony. Shortly after Mirkarimi assumed office in January as one of The City’s top lawmen, he was hit with three criminal charges over an argument weeks earlier with wife Eliana Lopez in which he bruised her arm. Read More
Screaming naked people at City Hall have made sure that everyone noticed the fight over the recently adopted citywide ban on public nudity. Now, the battle is headed to court.
Nudists plan to argue in federal court that the local ban — and in principle, all such bans — will infringe on their First Amendment free-expression rights, among others. But City Attorney Dennis Herrera thinks their case is shaky at best, and he filed a motion Thursday to have it dismissed. Read More
Two months have passed since four supervisors controversially voted against permanently ousting suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, but the Mayor’s Office and other opponents are keeping the heat on the lawman and the domestic violence issue that he broached.
Embroiled in court proceedings and city hearings for nearly a year after he bruised his wife’s arm on New Year’s Eve, Mirkarimi was suspended without pay in spring by Mayor Ed Lee. But months later, the mayor did not end up getting the nine votes he needed on the Board of Supervisors to permanently remove the sheriff. Read More
The City’s budget is still in the red — but it’s a lighter shade than in recent years, according to budget officials who on Tuesday released a slightly rosier economic outlook.
In its approximately $7.5 billion annual budget, San Francisco faces a projected $129 million deficit in fiscal year 2013-14, and a $134 million shortfall in 2014-15, according to Budget Director Kate Howard. The figures are dwarfed by last year’s projections, which showed The City $375 million in the hole for 2013-14. Read More
Plans to build upward of 20,000 new homes in San Francisco got a big jump-start this week, as sources said that homebuilder Lennar has come to a basic agreement with the government-owned China Development Bank on a $1.7 billion loan for major construction at Hunters Point and Treasure Island.
Those two shuttered U.S. Navy bases are at various stages of being obtained by The City, and Chinese capital behind the projects could mean 1,400 newly built homes for sale at Hunters Point by the end of 2013, sources close to the negotiations said. Read More
Twitter says it “provides a voice for liberty around the globe” — an image the microblogging service promoted during the populist uprisings of the Arab Spring. But it remains to be seen how it reacts to activist controversies right here at home. Read More
San Francisco’s ongoing quest to quash metal thieves — who sometimes resort to waterborne pirate tactics to seize their booty — took a step forward at a recent Board of Supervisors committee hearing on proposed legislation to regulate scrap buyers.The legislation would terminate The City’s handful of metal purchaser permits by next June and require those businesses to get annual permits if they want to keep operating. It also would keep permit revocations in effect if and when violations enter an appeals process. Read More
Outgoing Supervisor Christina Olague unloaded some hard feelings Thursday in front of officials from the Department on the Status of Women, who listened to the supervisor complain that she was bullied by local victim advocates because of her race and politics.
After her controversial October vote to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi amid his spousal domestic violence scandal, Olague became the target of television ads calling for her to be voted out of office. Read More
A “scofflaw business owner” with “an astonishing array of legal violations” has been sued by City Attorney Dennis Herrera for allegedly operating without required licenses and creating public nuisances, according to a news release from Herrera’s office Thursday.
A complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court says Raul Amilcar Vasquez operated his Bayview automotive repair shop without permits, even after receiving several violation notices. And as a landlord, he compromised tenant safety, according to the allegations. Read More
Recent rainstorms have aggravated leaks at Coit Tower, where roof repairs were already under way to address the longstanding leakage problem and protect the historic murals inside the cylindrical San Francisco landmark.
But thanks to quick action by Recreation and Park Department staff, city officials say, damage to the murals was averted. Read More
Allegations of racism and other discrimination against San Francisco Housing Authority Executive Director Henry Alvarez are flying in lawsuits filed by his subordinates, and it isn’t the first time the position has been plagued with criticism.
Two top Housing Authority attorneys are going to court over what they describe as inappropriate management by Alvarez, who is black and is accused of denying promotions, violating federal employee leave policies and assigning embarrassing tasks — at times based on racial bias against white people. Read More
Angry, unclothed activists reveled Tuesday in what might be their last opportunity to be loud and naked in the halls of government, save for their pending court
challenge to San Francisco’s recent ban on public nudity.
The policy’s perfunctory second approval by the Board of Supervisors inspired about seven nudists to take off their clothes and yell anti-corporate slogans. Supervisor Scott Wiener, the ban’s sponsor, was a particular target. Read More
Despite all the vitriol and bad feelings that came out of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s protracted domestic violence scandal, victims in San Francisco might ultimately have that sad saga to thank for increased funding toward enforcement and services. Read More
As an upstart blogger faces a criminal charge for an attempted gotcha photo of nudity ban sponsor Scott Wiener, more drama is expected today with plans for another “nude-in” at a Board of Supervisors hearing.
Blogger Michael Petrelis, a Castro gay-rights activist and perennial critic of Wiener’s policies, wrote an October post describing his attempt to photograph the supervisor as he was urinating in the second-floor men’s bathroom at City Hall. Read More