It’s official: Judge Rolf M. Treu has issued a trial date in the case of Vergara v. State of California —January 27, 2014. And oh, what a trial it will be!
You may have heard about this remarkable case. Essentially, the families of school-age children are suing the state to invalidate laws that give teachers tenure after only 18 months on the job and then keep them from being dismissed even after committing egregious acts of misconduct. Read More
Tuesday was Carmen Chu’s final meeting as a San Francisco supervisor, and the sendoff by her colleagues on that board was kind and earnest — and telling.
Although Chu rarely spoke at meetings, she was widely regarded as the most well-read and prepared person at any proceeding. (Note to Chu’s replacement, Katy Tang: Talk, sister!)
On Tuesday after a long meeting, supervisors still took the time to say heartfelt goodbyes to Chu.
New members Norman Yee and London Breed each lamented that they would not get to serve longer with Chu. Read More
Renaming the airport doesn’t require a citywide vote. It can be done with a simple ordinance at the Board of Supervisors.
In 1995, it was the board that changed Army Street to Cesar Chavez Street. A ballot initiative to reverse the change was rejected by voters later that year.
So why is Supervisor David Campos insisting that voters weigh in on his proposal to change the name of San Francisco International Airport to Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport? Read More
During his campaign to persuade voters to pass the Proposition 30 tax increase last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown was given the run of college and university campuses all over the state for voter registration drives, rallies and get-out-the-vote efforts. Young voters, lured by promises of no tuition hikes, turned out in big numbers to support the proposition, and now he’s repaying the favor. Read More
Those of us with families in other cities know what it’s like to try to defend the cost of living in San Francisco. My parents live in Alabama, and years ago, I stopped telling them what I pay for an apartment here. And I’ll bet the U.S. Postal Service wishes it had the option of keeping quiet about its San Francisco expenses right about now. Read More
One of my family members brought an Entertainment Weekly story to my attention: Fox is planning a drama for next season called “Gang Related” about “a gang member who is sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department.”
Police Chief Greg Suhr confirmed that we do, in fact, have a gang task force, but he has not been contacted by anyone from the show. Read More
A committee of the Board of Supervisors will consider two gun-control measures today that were proposed by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen. Both have been approved and endorsed by the Police Department and are sure to pass at the full board. Read More
The term “CEQA reform” is one heard a lot these days, with Gov. Jerry Brown referring to it in his State of the State address and groups already lining up to prevent changes to the law. But what is CEQA? And does it need to be reformed? Read More
At a dinner party Tuesday night, some friends and I were discussing the possibility of a Wal-Mart store in San Francisco.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said an Orinda resident. “We like our Wal-Marts out in the East Bay.”
A native San Franciscan responded: “Yeah, we like them out there too.”
For many San Franciscans, the prospect of a Wal-Mart in our fair city is unthinkable, and yet as Tesco — the parent company of the Fresh & Easy grocery chain — looks to sell off its stores, Wal-Mart may attempt to fill the void. Read More
Domestic violence is a subject on the minds of our government officials lately, with the U.S. Senate finally re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act on Tuesday. In arguing in favor of the act, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “In my days as the mayor of San Francisco, many of the most difficult calls for The City’s law enforcement officers were those of domestic abuse. It was a big problem then, and it remains a big problem today.”
District Attorney George Gascón agrees. Read More
At the Jan. 24 meeting of the state Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, began by pointing out, “The governor has identified $180 billion of unfunded retirement liabilities, and the pension changes that we made last year did nothing to address these pension liabilities.” Read More
San Francisco International Airport activity is at a record high — a recent report says more than 44 million people traveled through the hub last year. As a supervisor in 1977, Harvey Milk objected to SFO expansion, so he might not be pleased with this frenetic pace.
Still, Supervisor David Campos has proposed renaming the airport after Milk, and folks have been writing to the Board of Supervisors to voice their opinion. It’s not a scientific study or a poll, but the letters have been against the idea of Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport. Here is a sampling: Read More
Raise your hand if you thought that half the proceeds from Proposition 39 would go to schools and nothing else.
And that the money would be distributed on a per-student basis, not based on energy savings.
I doubt many hands went up, but at a recent state Senate budget committee hearing we learned that this is precisely how the Brown administration proposes to spend the tax dollars that were meant to help fight global warming. Read More
On the little macaroni noodle that passes for a political spectrum in San Francisco, supervisors Mark Farrell and David Campos are on opposite ends. So you know something is a stinker when both men turn up their noses at it, and that’s just what happened at Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meeting. Read More
Several years ago, I was on a panel for a community event at which the topic was Healthy San Francisco, our local mandate that forces employers to provide health care or pay The City to do it on the employer’s behalf. When it was time for questions from the audience, one person asked, “Who makes sure those restaurant surcharges are actually going to pay for employee health care?”
I had to answer with the sad truth: “No one.” Read More