Asaf Shalev

Sharing the sun

Solar energy entrepreneurs are pioneering new models for democratizing power

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news@sfbg.com

Dan Rosen, the co-founder of Solar Mosaic, told us there was an ironic note to the devastation that Hurricane Sandy recently brought to New York City. The same power grid that helps create such fierce hurricanes through the burning of fossil fuels was unable to distribute power to thousands of homes, in mostly low-income neighborhoods, for weeks in the wake of storm.Read more »

Not in our neighborhood

District 2 residents and supervisor oppose housing projects for at-risk young people

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news@sfbg.com

San Francisco faces an enormous shortage of affordable housing for young people at risk of homelessness, but a pair of projects intended to address the issue are under fire from neighborhood activists in supervisorial District 2, home to the city's wealthiest residents.Read more »

Power to the powerful

PG&E's proposed rate increase would hurt conservation and the poor

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news@sfbg.com

On Thursday, May 26, the California Public Utilities Commission is set to vote on changes to the electricity rates of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers. Currently two proposals are on the table, and consumer advocates characterize the better one as merely the lesser of two evils.Read more »

Igniting a union

Leadership struggle among UC academic employees points to more militancy against budget proposals

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news@sfbg.com

The most contentious and pivotal election ever for the union of academic student employees at the University of California concluded May 8 in a landslide victory for reformers who will now have the chance to deliver on their promise of a more militant and democratic union. In many ways, it was a microcosm for the larger struggle over how to respond to proposals for deep cuts and tuition hikes in the public university systems.Read more »

Ghosts of sit-lie past

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Is sit-lie a case of not learning from our mistakes?

An interesting bit of history that for the most part failed to enter the debate over the ordinance is that San Francisco enacted a similar ban on sitting and lying  in public spaces in the late 1960’s (PDF).Read more »

Art walk used to protest Chase Bank

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This week's Thursday evening Divisadero Art Walk is going to combine local culture with a clear political message. Local activists have dubbed the night the “No Chase Block Party" to protest a banking giant's unwelcome entry in their neighborhood. Many in the neighborhood pride themselves on staving off the corporate chains, but now J.P. Morgan Chase is set to open a new branch at the intersection of Divisadero and Oak streets. Read more »

Free online learning

How to stream a top-notch university education, tuition-free

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Some of the nation's — and the world's — top universities now make classes available free on the web. You won't get credit or a degree — but you can, in effect, audit classes on a wide range of subjects.Read more »

The online-learning challenge

Is it about making money or making education free?

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culture@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED Mixing, mashing, chatting, tweeting: This is how the University of California envisions the future of learning for what it calls a new breed of students. Also on the syllabus? Podcasting, vodcasting, blogging, and Skype.Read more »

Will Muni youth passes be saved?

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A popular and successful program that gave free group bus passes to summer programs for kids is up for renewal -- but nobody knows if Muni officials will approve it.Read more »

Preaching Tikkun

Rabbi Michael Lerner still courts controversy as he celebrates his magazine's silver anniversary

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Michael Lerner recently endured death threats, attacks on his house, and a cyber attack that shut down the website of his beloved magazine Tikkun. But it's nothing new for an outspoken outsider whom infamous former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover once dubbed "one of the most dangerous criminals in America."

The 68-year-old rabbi jokes that his middle name is chutzpah (Yiddish for audacity, good or bad) and says he has been a magnet for controversy his entire life. But that doesn't make the recent threats from Zionists and other strong advocates for Israel any less scary.Read more »