Sally Stephens

Green Benefit Districts, like the one that exists in the Dogpatch, allow property owners in a given areas to finance capital improvements and maintenance through an addition to their property taxes. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Are Green Benefit Districts really worth the money?

A new City program — Green Benefit Districts — may not be…

Green Benefit Districts, like the one that exists in the Dogpatch, allow property owners in a given areas to finance capital improvements and maintenance through an addition to their property taxes. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Stevie Wonder, reflecting on Aretha Franklin’s voice, said “When she sings your song, she takes it, and you don’t get it back.” (Courtesy Photo)

Remembering the Queen of Soul

I grew up about an hour south of Detroit in Toledo, Ohio.…

Stevie Wonder, reflecting on Aretha Franklin’s voice, said “When she sings your song, she takes it, and you don’t get it back.” (Courtesy Photo)
A speech Abraham Lincoln gave in front of an Illinois courthouse in 1868 is remarkably relevant today. (Courtesy photo)

Lincoln’s words can still save our country’s soul

As our national political discourse has coarsened in recent years, some have…

A speech Abraham Lincoln gave in front of an Illinois courthouse in 1868 is remarkably relevant today. (Courtesy photo)
Monthly pesticide reports from SF Recreation and Park Department, as compiled by Rupa Bose. (Courtesy Sally Stephens)

Why spray any toxic herbicides in city parks?

San Francisco prides itself on leading the way with the environment. But…

Monthly pesticide reports from SF Recreation and Park Department, as compiled by Rupa Bose. (Courtesy Sally Stephens)
Stephens' late friend Renee was fond of Fort Funston, a place where she and her beloved dog Rosie would walk. (Courtesy National Park Service)

How do you measure a life?

One of the most moving parts of this year’s Tony Awards telecast…

Stephens' late friend Renee was fond of Fort Funston, a place where she and her beloved dog Rosie would walk. (Courtesy National Park Service)
In the amusing and political “Soft Power” at the Curran, a Chinese producer arrives in America, where he finds a sea of blond, white people. (Courtesy Craig Schwartz Photography)

‘Soft Power’ – the musical and the foreign policy

I saw “Soft Power” at the Curran theater last week. The play…

In the amusing and political “Soft Power” at the Curran, a Chinese producer arrives in America, where he finds a sea of blond, white people. (Courtesy Craig Schwartz Photography)
My dad, my brother Mark, and me on vacation in Florida in 1960. (Courtesy Sally Stephens)

To all the fathers who encouraged us

Here’s to all the dads out there on this Father’s Day, and…

My dad, my brother Mark, and me on vacation in Florida in 1960. (Courtesy Sally Stephens)
San Francisco residents cast their votes at the City Hall voting center on May 7, the first day of voting for the June 5 primary election. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Mayoral musings: Election Day uncertainty looms

I’ve been more conflicted about the June 5 mayoral race than any…

San Francisco residents cast their votes at the City Hall voting center on May 7, the first day of voting for the June 5 primary election. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
The Animal Company, a local pet shop in Noe Valley, is fighting to prevent a chain store from moving into the old Radio Shack location down the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Noe Valley businesses unite to block prospective pet shop

In 2014, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation to make it harder…

The Animal Company, a local pet shop in Noe Valley, is fighting to prevent a chain store from moving into the old Radio Shack location down the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
A Public Works employee trims a street tree at 23rd and Castro streets. (Sarahbeth Maney/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)

Plant some trees, cut down a lot more

With great fanfare, Mayor Mark Farrell announced at an Earth Day breakfast…

A Public Works employee trims a street tree at 23rd and Castro streets. (Sarahbeth Maney/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Desiree Linden climbs Heartbreak Hill on April 16 in Newton, Mass., on her way to becoming the first American woman winner of the Boston Marathon since 1985. (James Kirkikis/Shutterstock)

Boston Marathon a win for good sportsmanship

For those competing in last week’s Boston Marathon, the race was even…

Desiree Linden climbs Heartbreak Hill on April 16 in Newton, Mass., on her way to becoming the first American woman winner of the Boston Marathon since 1985. (James Kirkikis/Shutterstock)
Audience members raise their hands in a show of support for Senate Bill 827 during a Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing on a resolution opposing the bill on March 12. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

Overheated rhetoric won’t win the housing debate

Housing density is a big deal in San Francisco. Emotions run high…

Audience members raise their hands in a show of support for Senate Bill 827 during a Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing on a resolution opposing the bill on March 12. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
This photo of state Sen. Scott Wiener ran in the March 2018 edition of the Westside Observer. (Courtesy photo)

A picture worth a thousand bad words

A photo that accompanied a column in a neighborhood newspaper proved controversial…

This photo of state Sen. Scott Wiener ran in the March 2018 edition of the Westside Observer. (Courtesy photo)
The cuttlefish’s arms and tentacles are held tightly together at its front as it swims. (Courtesy photo)

A stunning visual antidote to constant bad news

If you want an antidote to the constant litany of bad news…

The cuttlefish’s arms and tentacles are held tightly together at its front as it swims. (Courtesy photo)
San Francisco spends more than $300 million every year on homeless services and supportive housing, yet the number of people in significant distress only seems to increase. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)

How SF heeds cries for help from the homeless

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine who grew up…

San Francisco spends more than $300 million every year on homeless services and supportive housing, yet the number of people in significant distress only seems to increase. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco has reportedly outgrown its auxiliary water system and could struggle to fight fires in The City’s western and southern areas in the case of a major disaster. (Emma Chiang/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)

Infrastructure first, density later

People who live in the western and southern parts of San Francisco…

San Francisco has reportedly outgrown its auxiliary water system and could struggle to fight fires in The City’s western and southern areas in the case of a major disaster. (Emma Chiang/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Conner Sum, 6, holds a sign in front of City Hall during the Women’s March at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2018. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Signs of our time

Last weekend, I joined a sea of more than 60,000 San Franciscans…

Conner Sum, 6, holds a sign in front of City Hall during the Women’s March at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2018. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Movies like “Gone With the Wind” have reinforced the idea in generations of men that they can force women to do what they want. (Courtesy Selznick International Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Sexual harassment in the movies: When ‘no’ meant ‘maybe’

Years ago, Hollywood re-released “Gone With the Wind,” an epic movie set…

Movies like “Gone With the Wind” have reinforced the idea in generations of men that they can force women to do what they want. (Courtesy Selznick International Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says removing the L-Taraval line’s stop at 17th Avenue and Taraval Street will make trains run 25 to 30 seconds faster, but the decision could have far-reaching impacts on passengers. (Daniel Kim/Special to S.F. Examiner)

When Muni doesn’t stop at the grocery store

San Franciscans are told constantly that we should get out of our…

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says removing the L-Taraval line’s stop at 17th Avenue and Taraval Street will make trains run 25 to 30 seconds faster, but the decision could have far-reaching impacts on passengers. (Daniel Kim/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Even Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry, sees some semblance of value in higher education. Yet 58 percent of Republicans in a Pew Research Center poll conducted in July believe higher education has a negative effect on the country. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

A near triumph for ignorance

The original House Republican tax bill contained a provision to tax tuition…

Even Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry, sees some semblance of value in higher education. Yet 58 percent of Republicans in a Pew Research Center poll conducted in July believe higher education has a negative effect on the country. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)