Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Real estate speculators physically push out Ellis Act eviciton protesters

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Native San Franciscan Benito Santiago, 64, joined a protest Aug. 12 in an attempt to remind his evictors that he's a human being – not a roadblock to profit.

Santiago is facing an Ellis Act eviction from his 47-year Duboce Triangle home, where his monthly rent is just below $600.Read more »

Wanted: more huddled masses

CAREERS + ED Tech companies lobby for more immigrant work visas, bypassing US residents and creating a labor force bound by golden handcuffs

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joe@sfbg.com

Schools of suit-clad professionals stream up city sidewalks in San Francisco's Financial District during the typical morning migration to the office. Near the intersection of Sutter and Montgomery streets, one line of immigrant workers stands still as they wait to submit paperwork in hopes of permanently joining the commuting throngs.Read more »

Messed up: Did this man vandalize Alejandro Nieto's memorial?

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Alejandro Nieto was killed after a hotly debated, horrifying confrontation with the SFPD nearly five months ago. Since his death, his family and loved ones often gather at a memorial on Bernal Hill to remember Nieto. Now however, that memorial is allegedly being desecrated.

Just a week ago, a bystander caught the alleged vandal on video, following him after watching him throw pieces of the memorial down a hill.Read more »

San Francisco's shame and triumph: remembering the I-Hotel

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San Franciscans today may be tempted to feel we're unique in our struggles with evictions and displacement, but one need not look far back to see rental struggles woven into our history. Yesterday the Manilatown Heritage Foundation celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the International Hotel, a mass eviction etched in the psyche of San Francisco.Read more »

Mayoral meltdown

Mayor Ed Lee pushes back against ballot measures for affordable housing, transportation funding

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joe@sfbg.com

When he launched an unexpected mayoral bid in 2011, Mayor Ed Lee campaigned on a platform of changing the tone of San Francisco politics. The appointed mustachioed mayor claimed he put the civility back in City Hall, marking a sharp departure from the divisive tone of city politics as progressives battled former Mayor Willie Brown, followed by Mayor Gavin Newsom.Read more »

Eff you, gravity! Watch this skater fly over a fence at the new SoMa West skatepark

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The Guardian recently covered the unveiling of the SoMa West skatepark, a new skate spot giving a glint of hope to the city's skate scene. And despite the crowing of the fist-shakers at the Chronicle (quit that damn noise, you hooligans!), our trip to the new skatepark found folks having a grind-happy grand ol' time.Read more »

Read the memo detailing Mayor Ed Lee's punishment of supervisors who supported Muni

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The story is snowballing.

Mayor Ed Lee is furious at supervisors who voted for Sup. Scott Wiener's Muni funding measure, and told reporters Monday he would hold them "accountable."

News of the mayor's retribution has circled round, and the timing of a memo issued by Kate Howard, the mayor's budget director, has raised eyebrows. The memo directs city departments to prepare for budget cuts she said are called for due to Wiener's measure.Read more »

Kim's affordable housing ballot measure gutted then approved

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Housing is out of whack in San Francisco, and Sup. Jane Kim's affordable housing ballot measure would've gone a long way towards fixing it. But that was then. Now, things are more uncertain. Read more »

Homeless in transit

A night at Powell Station shows how BART rousts the homeless in enforcing its new ban on sitting and lying

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joe@sfbg.com

For most people, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system's stations are just that: transitory. Walk into Powell Station, zip down the escalator and glide out on a train, destination somewhere. But for homeless people drawn to BART stations, the agency is a place to be stationary, a home and safe haven from the elements, muggings, and other hazards of sleeping on streets.

But now, BART intends to reclaim the T in its name. It wants the homeless to be transitory and get out of the stations.Read more »

Republican guru Grover Norquist headed to Burning Man

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The man who has sometimes been called "the most powerful man in Washington," anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, is headed to Burning Man.

He made the announcement yesterday, via Twitter. 

"It's official. Samah and I are off to 'Burning Man' this year. Scratch one from the Bucket List," Norquist tweeted. Read more »