Alex Emslie

Prison for killer cop

Disappointed by the lenient sentence, Grant supporters vow to continue fighting for justice

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

On Nov. 5, former BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to two years in state prison for fatally shooting Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American rider, on the Fruitvale train platform on New Year's Day 2009.

Mehserle, who is white, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in July in an incident that has become charged with racial undertones. He received credit for 292 days served in jail so far, which will considerably reduce his time in prison. It was the lightest prison sentence he could have received for the crime.Read more »

Community Congress convened

Local progressives adopt policy platform they hope will inform future elections and agendas

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news@sfbg.com

About 60 San Francisco citizens voted just before 1 p.m. on Aug. 15 to adopt a progressive platform of approximately 100 policy recommendations they hope will define the agenda of candidates and elected officials in coming years and offer a contrasting vision for the city to that of downtown corporate interests.Read more »

PG&E CEO paints a rosy picture for CPUC

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Pacific Gas & Electric CEO Peter Darbee’s address to the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday focused on his company’s national reputation as a corporate advocate for addressing climate change, largely ignoring PG&E’s $46 million waste of ratepayer money supporting June’s failed Proposition 16, which was designed to expand the utility’s monopoly in California and thwart local renewable power projects. Read more »

To try a cop

Will new commissioners and rules reduce SFPD's discipline backlog?

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news@sfbg.com

Proponents of civilian oversight for the San Francisco Police Department are hopeful that fresh blood on the Police Commission, along with a new set of rules designed to expedite disciplinary hearings, will improve the often-criticized, delay-plagued system of citizens policing cops.Read more »

Arrests made as hotel workers and their supporters target Hyatt

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Images by Ramsey El-Qare, who contributed to this report.

An ongoing labor conflict between the hospitality workers union Unite-Here Local 2 and the Hyatt Corporation boiled over into the streets yesterday (7/22) with a union-organized protest and civil disobedience outside the Grand Hyatt San Francisco hotel. Union leaders see the action as another step in the fight for their members’ workplace rights. Hotel management called the action a staged spectacle and a waste of energy that would be better spent at the bargaining table. Read more »

RecPark boots child care program to make money

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San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Commission voted July 15 to let an expensive private preschool displace a free, 38-year-old City College parenting class that included guided activities for children. College officials and neighborhood groups understand the desire to make money from rent at the Laurel Hills Playground clubhouse, but they're upset about how little notice and community input was involved in the decision. Read more »

Board reverses mayor's mental health cuts

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San Francisco’s $6.5 billion budget, which the Board of Supervisors approved late Tuesday nigth, included a complete restoration of outpatient mental health services funded through the city’s Department of Public Health. The board is expected to finalize the same budget after a second reading scheduled for July 27.

The board reversed a more than $4.1 million cut to community behavioral health services proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom in early June, which would have affected a dozen agencies and approximately 1,000 patients. As the Guardian reported on June 8, Newsom’s massive cut to the DPH would have resulted in a much greater loss to community nonprofits that leverage federal dollars from city funding to treat San Francisco’s most severely mentally ill homeless and poor.

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SF hospitality workers to protest Hyatt today

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San Francisco hospitality workers will join hotel employees in 14 other cities across the United States and Canada today, July 22, in a protest and civil disobedience demonstration against the Hyatt Corporation. The action in San Francisco begins at Local 2 Plaza, between 3rd and 4th streets on Market, at 4 p.m. The demonstration will eventually move toward Union Square and the Grand Hyatt San Francisco hotel, organizers said.

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National Lawyers Guild pushes back against OPD

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Shortly after filming a protester being arrested by police in riot gear near 12th street and Broadway in Oakland, the Guardian caught up with Dan Siegel, a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild, who had also witnessed the incident. The protester, who is at this time unidentified, was featured on the cover of this week’s San Francisco Bay Guardian, squaring off with an officer in the police line shortly before being arrested. Read more »

Beyond the rage

What the Mehserle verdict says about how far we've come -- and how far we have to go

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

Downtown Oakland became supercharged with emotion in the hours following the July 8 announcement of the verdict in the trial of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. And in the days that followed, the city remained electrified as residents struggled to make sense of the verdict, the rioting that occurred in its wake, and the historic significance of these developments.Read more »