Guardian Editorial

Approve clean power SF

The plan's got flaws, but it's all we've got

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EDITORIAL The clean energy plan for San Francisco isn't perfect. It's going to cost residents a bit extra to join a sustainable, city-run electricity system. Officials at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission figure that only about 100,000 residential customers will pay the premium to buy renewable energy — fewer if Pacific Gas and Electric Company launches a huge marketing effort to drive potential customers away. And PG&E will still control the distribution lines, the billing, the meters — and will make most of the profit.Read more »

Other options for St. Luke's

The hospital means too much to the city to lose it

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EDITORIAL California Pacific Medical Center wants to build a fancy new hospital in San Francisco without meeting the city's demands for housing, transportation, and health-care mitigations. And the arrogant leadership at the private nonprofit thinks it can hold the city hostage: If the mayor and the supervisors don't approve the new medical complex on Van Ness Avenue, CPMC has threatened to close St. Luke's — threatening a critical part of the local health infrastructure.Read more »

Money for SF's public schools

Back to class, back to the unfair struggle to educate our kids

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EDITORIAL The first day of public school in San Francisco is also the opening of fund-raising season for thousands of parents, who spend a tremendous amount of time every year trying to come up with the money to keep desperately underfunded schools operating with reasonable facilities and staff. Much of the enrichment available at public schools, and some of the basics — whether it's second-language teachers, libraries, supplies, or class-size reduction — is supported by the money parents bring in from car washes, direct appeals, special events, and yes, bake sales.Read more »

The parking fee's too low

City streets are being rented out for a pittance

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EDITORIAL The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is reviewing its policy on neighborhood parking, which is a positive step: The current system has been in place for more than 30 years and has become an unwieldy mess. But the agency needs to do more than just aggregate districts and set uniform rules; it needs to adjust the concept of preferential parking, meters, and prices to reflect the reality that San Francisco can't afford (and shouldn't promote) free parking.Read more »

It's time for real political dialogue

Hey politicos, take this summer break to think about what you've done

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EDITORIAL August is typically a slow month in San Francisco's political world, with the Board of Supervisors on month-long recess, the Mayor's Office fairly dormant, and even the active political campaigns more focused on running the gauntlet to endless endorsement interviews rather than trying to get the attention of the vacationing general public.Read more »

Guardian editorial: The real Mirkarimi question

Do you believe Eliana, or not?

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EDITORIAL After more than five months of legal and political wrangling, after criminal prosecution and a guilty plea, misconduct charges that are costing both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lengthy hearings at the Ethics Commission, the case against Ross Mirkarimi comes down to a simple question: Do you believe Eliana?Read more »

Shutting down Sunshine

Board of Supervisors drags on appointing disabled person to task force, leaving it in political limbo

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EDITORIAL The unwillingness of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to follow the City Charter's rules on open government has reached a new level of absurdity: The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force voted July 11 to stop meeting, because the supervisors wouldn't appoint the legally mandated members.Read more »

What if the mayor lied?

Are we back to the bad old days? Ed Lee's potential perjury points to yes

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EDITORIAL The case Mayor Ed Lee is presenting to the Ethics Commission is no longer about whether Sheriff Ross Mirkarmi injured his wife, Eliana Lopez, or whether his actions were atrocious and unacceptable. Those facts are not in dispute — although Mirkarimi pled guilty to a less-serious misdemeanor, he has not denied that he grabbed Lopez's arm and squeezed hard enough to leave a bruise. Even his strongest defenders aren't condoning that or dismissing the seriousness of this incident of domestic violence.Read more »

Stop 'stop and frisk'

Mayor Lee's new policy smacks of Arizona

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EDITORIAL If the San Francisco Police Department put up checkpoints and metal detectors all along lower Market Street and stopped and searched every person who walked by, they'd find some contraband. No question — a certain percentage of people on the city's main downtown artery are carrying drugs or weapons. Some have warrants out. There would be multiple arrests and criminals taken off the streets.

And it's hard to imagine that anyone would consider that a good idea.Read more »

The right business tax

Is it even worth launching a ballot measure campaign for $13 million?

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EDITORIAL In some ways, the battle over San Francisco's business tax represents a shift in the local power structure: For most of the past 30 years, the finance, insurance and real-estate industries — the traditional downtown corporate leaders — called the shots at City Hall. Any honest list of the most powerful people in town started with bankers and real-estate developers, and most of the time, they got their way.Read more »