Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Project Censored

Annual media watchdog list critiques coverage of whistleblowers and wealth gaps -- and the notion of journalistic objectivity

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joe@sfbg.com

This year's annual Project Censored list of the most underreported news stories includes the widening wealth gap, the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning for leaking classified documents, and President Obama's war on whistleblowers — all stories that actually received considerable news coverage.

So how exactly were they "censored" and what does that say of this venerable media watchdog project?Read more »

SFSU police get Tasers

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Just because the San Francisco Police Department can't get Tasers doesn't mean all the cops in San Francisco are missing out.

The San Francisco State University Police Department will soon arm its officers with conducted electrical weapons, known by the brand name Taser, following a statewide push from the California State University Chancellor's Office to arm all of its campus police statewide with the weapons.Read more »

SF State campus police arming themselves with Tasers (yes, before the SFPD)

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Just because the SFPD can’t get Tasers doesn’t mean all the cops in San Francisco are missing out.

The San Francisco State University Police Department will soon arm themselves with conducted electrical weapons, known by the brand name Taser, following a statewide push from the California State University Chancellor’s Office to arm all of its campus police statewide with the weapons.Read more »

Bill on Brown's desk to make two-tiered system of college tuition: for the rich, and the poor

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It seems that one California politician is adapting an old adage for a modern era: If at first students protest and get pepper sprayed, try, try that legislation again. Read more »

BART resists safety reforms in labor negotiations

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BART maintenance workers training under safety instructor Saul Almanza are taught this most important lesson: the objective when you go to work is to come home afterward.

He remembers two BART engineers who were hit and killed by the trains they were charged with repairing: Robert Rhodes in 2001, and James Strickland in 2008. Almanza imagines the dark tunnels where the safe places to stand are small and the lighting is scarce. He says he thinks of Rhodes and Strickland every day.Read more »

Fighting foreclosures

Richmond wins the first battles in its war against big banks on behalf of underwater homeowners

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joe@sfbg.com

It will be a long war, but for now, Richmond is winning.

Two battles in the start of the city of Richmond's war on foreclosures were fought and won in the past week. A US District Court of Appeals judge dismissed Wells Fargo's lawsuit against Richmond's controversial plan to use eminent domain to save residents with underwater mortgages (see "Not for sale," Sept. 3). And Mayor Gayle McLaughlin successfully fought off legislation at the Richmond City Council to torpedo the plan before it started.Read more »

Wells Fargo lawsuit against city of Richmond dismissed

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Richmond, 1, Wells Fargo, zip. 

In the first round of what may become a long and protracted legal battle, US Distict Judge Charles Breyer dismissed Wells Fargo's lawsuit against the city of Richmond today, and the reason for dismissal was clear: nothing has happened yet. Read more »

Twelve years after BART train kills mechanic, lighting and electrical safety not improved

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When BART maintenance workers train under safety instructor Saul Almanza, the most important thing they learn is this: your objective when you go to work is to come home. Read more »

Threat to torpedo Richmond's plan to help home owners through eminent domain dodged, for now

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Last night, Richmond’s controversial plan for preventing home foreclosures using eminent domain was almost torpedoed. The stage was the regular Richmond City Council meeting, where its members fought a drag out, bare-knuckle fight with at least three hundred Richmond residents in both corners of the issue crowding the auditorium.

Last night, advocates for city intervention against the banks won.Read more »

Bay's Guardian: The Troll

Officials create a new troll to protect a new bridge

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The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 ravaged the Bay Area, killed 63 people and caused over $6 billion in property damage. The top deck of the Bay Bridge's eastern span collapsed, spurring flurried repairs.

But when the crews were done, a new guardian for the Bay Bridge emerged: a small, steel troll, welded underneath the upper deck. He was a mystery to many, but not to all.Read more »