Guest Opinion

Public teacher in a public hospital

An educator's trip to the ER reveals an unpleasant truth about our city's budget

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By Sasha Cuttler

OPINION San Francisco Unified School District teachers and Department of Public Health nurses are going through difficult times. Despite years of service reductions, layoffs, and ceaseless budget pressures, teachers continue to educate San Francisco's young people while nurses care for the sick and injured.Read more »

Mayor Lee's vanishing bike lanes

The mayor's resolution to create better bike lanes was exciting -- until he broke it

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By Morgan Fitzgibbons

OPINION When Mayor Ed Lee announced in February 2011 that he understood both the critical importance and the severe dangers inherent in the current bicycle infrastructure along the dual three-block stretches of Fell and Oak between Scott and Baker, a shot went through the community of people who had worked for so long to bring awareness to this troubled path.Read more »

Helping the 99 percent -- with less

La Raza Centro Legal fights to address the issues raised by Occupy, and it needs support

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OPINION La Raza Centro Legal, an organization central to the empowerment of San Francisco's low-wage immigrant workers, finds common cause with the Occupy movement during a time when our programs combining legal services and worker organizing are in jeopardy. Our hour of need falls within a window of tough times, but heightened political awareness, and we are calling out to the community to join us in solidarity as members of the 99 percent.Read more »

Hetch Hetchy: Two visions

Public power versus the environment? The debate continues over last week's cover story

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Editors note: We received two interesting commentaries on our Hetch Hetchy cover story ("Damn the Dam," 8/10/2011). They appear below, offering very different perspectives on the issue.


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You can't trust Ethics

Prop. F has some serious problems, incvluding allowing the Ethics Comnission to change law at will

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By Larry Bush

OPINION Proposition F, a measure on the November ballot, is supposed to clean up some provisions of the law that requires political consultants to register and make disclosures about their clients and their work. It was approved by all 11 supervisors.

But Prop. F has some serious problems. For starters, it grants authority to the Ethics Commission to make any other changes it wants in the law.

As the Voter Handbook says:Read more »

is Rec-Park really broke?

Nobody seems to be checking the figures on the department's sad-sweet story

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By David Looman

OPINION The senior staffers at the Recreation and Park Department routinely cry that the department is poor and going broke. Is it possible they are lying?

Conspicuously lacking in discussions of Rec-Park funding is any kind of hard data about how well or poorly San Francisco Rec-Park is really funded. Whether it's the mainstream media, the alternative press, or our elected representatives on the Board of Supervisors, nobody seems to know how our park system compares with other park systems in California or the U.S.Read more »

Stopping foreclosure secrecy

Real people are enduring the devastation of foreclosure processes because of the excesses of bankers and investment firms. By Phil Ting and Kevin Stein
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OPINION Thanks to a shadowy corporate mortgage recording system, millions of Californians have no idea who owns their home loans.

As we suffer through this recession triggered by reckless subprime lending and Wall Street speculation, our recovery is being held back in part because people are struggling with foreclosures and underwater home values — exacerbated by a lack of mortgage transparency.Read more »

Stop the AT&T boxes!

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By the League of Pissed Off Voters

More than 60 people showed up on the steps of City Hall May 21 to demand that AT&T engage in the same old basic planning process that even small-scale businesses have to go through.  (Read: even little people without expensive corporate lobbyists.)Read more »

The song of Ghetto Girl

"no diplomatic tactful rage"

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OPINION Editor's note: POOR Magazine, one of my favorite publications, holds an annual benefit on Valentine's Day featuring a "Battle of ALL the Sexes" poetry slam. This year's event, hosted by Alexandra Byerly, had a mixed-martial arts theme and was held in an eight-foot cage built by artist Will Steel in the Submission Gallery in the Mission District. Judges were La Mesha Irizarry, Devorah Major and Laure McElroy. I agreed to publish the first- place winner, which follows. Find the second and third place winners on sfbg.com on the Politics blog. Read more »

A call to do your (jury) duty

The dilemma confounding the court is the lack of qualified applicants
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By Ken Maley

OPINION For decades San Franciscans concerned and interested in the workings — and malfunctions — of city government have turned to the Guardian for insights and possible solutions. Guardian readers have developed a reputation for being community activists, and to those activist-minded readers, I encourage you to apply to serve on the San Francisco civil grand jury.Read more »