Politics Blog

UC Berkeley has a new chancellor, but his raise is blasted by Gov. Brown

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The University of California Board of Regents today approved the hiring of Columbia University Faculty Dean Nicholas Dirks as the new chancellor of UC Berkeley, a widely lauded selection, but one whose $50,000 pay increase over his predecessor was opposed and criticized by Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.Read more »

Supervisors approve nudity ban on close vote

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Over the objections of progressive supervisors and under threats of a lawsuit from nudists and civil liberties advocates, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today voted 6-5 to outlaw public nudity in the city. Supervisors voting against the ban were David Campos, Christina Olague, John Avalos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim.Read more »

SF approves Twitter-sized apartments for tech workers

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San Francisco is giving Twitter tax rebates to help grow a business that reduces our communications to 140 characters or less, and now the city's Board of Supervisors has approved the creation of extra-small apartments for the Twitter drones who toil long hours in the company's new mid-Market headquarters, along with their brethren at other tech companies, the target audience for these tiny living spaces.Read more »

SF's newest political pole gets a new name: Moderate progressives

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A Daily Kos blogger known as Kurykh has posted an interesting and insightful “crash course in San Francisco politics,” in which he correctly identifies the tri-polar dynamic of local politics. Everyone knows the progressives (Ammiano, Avalos, the Guardian) and the so-called moderates (Wiener, Ma, the Chronicle), and so Kurykh dubs the rising third pole (Chiu, Kim, Mayor Lee) “moderate progressives.”Read more »

Cabs v. Lyft et. al. isn't just about tech

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Of course the Chron portrays it as "The latest battle pitting disruptive high-tech innovators against old-school industries and regulators," because that makes for good copy. It also puts the taxicab industry and the people who oversee it in the position of being dinosaurs fighting against an inevitable new world.Read more »

Millbrae BART development conflict raises ethical questions about Fang

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BART Director James Fang is coming under fire for his close relationship with a developer who is trying to build a hotel project on BART property next to its Millbrae station, a project that Fang promoted with a misleading presentation to the Millbrae City Council in September. But Fang says the attacks on him are coming from a powerful rival developer and that he's only trying to get something moving on the long dormant site.Read more »

The nudists file suit

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You all know the joke: What did the unsuccessful lawyer who joined a nudist colony never have? (A suit. LOL. Sort of.)Read more »

GUEST OPINION: Roots of the Gaza violence

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 In 2009, I was working in Congress when the eminent South African judge Richard Goldstone came to the House of Representatives to defend the UN report he authored on war crimes committed by both Israelis and Palestinians during that year’s war.

Goldstone stood before a handful of members of Congress and told them that before you condemn the report, you should at least read it. A few staffers and I sent emails across Capitol Hill offering to hand-deliver a paper copy of the entire 575-page report to any member of Congress. Only two took up our offer. That afternoon 344 out of the 435 members of US Congress voted in favor of condemning the report.

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Howard Wallace, LGBT icon, dies at 76

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Howard Wallace, a longtime organizer who played a key role in bringing the LGBT movement and labor together in San Francisco, died Nov. 14. He was 76 and had been struggling with Alzhiemer’s disease.

Wallace grew up in Denver, and according to a biography by Andrej Koymasky, was forced to drop out of college when his father saw some United World Federalist literatature he’d brought home and told him to drop of of “commie” politics: Read more »

Fell/Oak bike lane project appealed

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Long-awaited bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Fell and Oak streets – a key east-west connection where fast-moving cars create sometimes-scary conditions for cyclists – approved last month by the Municipal Transportation Agency's board suffered a couple frustrating setbacks last week.Read more »