Guardian Editorial

Ellison wins, SF loses

We're not going to lose the America's Cup, but we might lose if we keep it

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EDITORIAL San Francisco's not going to lose the America's Cup. Oracle CEO and yachting billionaire Larry Ellison is too excited about the prospect of bringing the sport (and his company's logo on the sail of his boat) to a mass audience for the first time in history that he's not about to abandon San Francisco Bay. The process is too far along; that much is a done deal.Read more »

The parking war

The era of free parking in San Francisco may be over -- but the MTA has some bitter pills to swallow, too

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EDITORIAL When you talk about changing parking rules in San Francisco, you're setting off the political equivalent of shooting war. Nobody wants more parking tickets, nobody wants more expensive parking meters, nobody wants to pay for parking that's been free for years — and the Municipal Transportation Agency has, by most accounts, done a pretty poor job of selling its new parking management program.Read more »

Plazas are public spaces

Scott Weiner's proposal to limit usage of the Castro's plazas should be rejected 

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EDITORIAL The attack on public space has been underway for years now in San Francisco. Parks and recreation centers have been turned into pay-to-enter facilities rented out to private organizations. The sit-lie law restricts the use of public sidewalks. Occupy protesters have been evicted from a public plaza. And now, Supervisor Scott Wiener wants to put new restrictions on the mini-parks and plazas that have been a rare bright spot in the battle to reclaim the streets.Read more »

PG&E's system fails -- again

Candlestick Park blackout tells us a lot about the power company's commitment to the city

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EDITORIAL There's no question that officials from Santa Clara — thrilled to have finalized financing for a new 49ers stadium — were taking full political advantage of the Dec. 19 blackouts at Candlestick Park. There's no question that the event Mayor Ed Lee called a "national embarrassment" helped guarantee that the team will leave San Francisco after one more season.

But this is about more than football — and the mayor and the supervisors ought to using this latest PG&E screw-up to take a serious look at the company's reliability and its impact on the city.Read more »

Making CleanPowerSF work

The city's clean power plan is going to save you money

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EDITORIAL The way the San Francisco Chronicle describes it, the city's new green power program "won't come cheap." That's a line that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will use over and over again in the next few months as the city finally prepares to get into the retail electricity business, 98 years after Congress mandated public power for San Francisco. Clean Power SF will offer 100 percent clean energy — and yes, right now, this spring, it will cost a little bit more than buying nuclear and coal power from PG&E.Read more »

Occupy's next steps

Staging a national event in Washington, D.C. could cement the movement's place in history

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EDITORIAL In less than three months, the Occupy movement has changed the national political debate — and possibly the course of U.S. history. A small group of protesters, derided in the mainstream media, grew to a massive outpouring of anger at economic inequality — and it's no coincidence that politicians at all levels have begun to respond. At least five different measures aimed at raising taxes on the rich are in the works in California. In Kansas Dec. Read more »

The problem with the tax initiative

Governor Brown's tax plan doesn't do justice to California's voters

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EDITORIAL The Occupy movement — despite police abuse, official hostility and dismissive media — is changing the mainstream of discussion in American politics. For the first time in years, it's actually possible to talk about raising taxes on the very wealthy. All the polls show strong, and growing, public sentiment in favor of economic equality. It's a great opportunity to reform California's tax system — but Gov. Jerry Brown seems unwilling to take advantage of what could be the most important moment in his political career.Read more »

The problem of the UC police

Poor supervision, poor training and limited civilian oversight

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EDITORIAL Twenty years from now, when people look back on the Occupy movement, one of the indelible images will be the video of the University of California police officer casually dousing a group of peaceful, seated students in Davis with pepper spray. It's a video that's been seen millions of times around the world. It reflects a serious problem not just with one officer but with the way officials at all levels have responded to the protests — and with the way institutional police forces operate in this state.Read more »

The one percent on the waterfront

The 8 Washington plan would build apartments for the $450,000 salary set

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EDITORIAL While Mayor Ed Lee struggles with the OccupySF encampment, another, very different group has its eyes on the city's waterfront. On the edges of the ground where protesters are talking about the one percent of Americans that control the vast majority of the nation's wealth, two major development projects aimed entirely at that very wealthy sliver are starting to move forward.Read more »

Ed Lee's challenges

Five steps the recently re-elected mayor could take to honor the office

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EDITORIAL Mayor Ed Lee has always talked about bringing the city together, about avoiding division and harsh conflict. And how that he's won a four-year term, he's going to have to address a wide range of city problems that in the past haven't responded well to consensus and compromise.Read more »