Sarah Phelan

Avalos introduces SF-San Mateo Local Hire agreement

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Last year, when Sup. John Avalos introduced and eventually won passage of the city’s landmark local hiring ordinance, a number of battles broke out, as folks in neighboring municipalities began fretting that the new law could shut them out of construction jobs in San Francisco. Avalos worked hard to make sure their concerns were addressed, but he continued to encounter resistance from San Mateo County. Read more »

Treasure Island goes to the Board

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There’s three reasons I’ll always remember the Chronicle’s Phil Bronstein: he used to be married to Sharon Stone, he got bitten by a Komodo Dragon at the L.A. zoo, and he had the audacity to write a column in the Chronicle that was titled “Treasure Island eco-dream is bad choice for funds.” Read more »

Gov. Cuomo suspends S-Comm in New York State

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More bad news for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s troubled Secure Communities program, which continues to draw fire for deporting thousands of folks with no criminal records since it was started under former President George W. Bush in 2008. Last month, Illinois said it was quitting the program, and today Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a letter suspending S-Comm in NY state. Read more »

Awaiting consensus

The long-anticipated compromise pension reform plan still has a couple of key critics

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news@sfbg.com

Mayor Ed Lee's pension reform proposal was unveiled May 24 with support from some of those who helped develop it, including investment banker Warren Hellman, Rebecca Rhine from the Municipal Executives Association, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce head Steve Falk, and San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson.Read more »

FBI spying will be an issue for new Police Commissioner

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When Police Chief Greg Suhr got sworn in at City Hall a month ago, reporters each got to ask one question during a hastily convened media roundtable inside Mayor Ed Lee’s office. And since the Guardian’s story about the FBI’s secret agreement with the San Francisco Police Department had just hit the streets, I asked the new Chief, if he would welcome clarification around the duties of SFPD officers assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce. Read more »

Ammiano’s TRUST Act passes the Assembly

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Tom Ammiano’s TRUST Act (AB 1081) passed the California Assembly in a 47-26 vote. It now heads to the Senate for approval. Ammiano says his bill "seeks to repair the damaging impacts of the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency's “Secure" Communities program."  The feds' Secure-Communities program, in which fingerprints taken in local jails are automatically shared with immigration enforcement officials, has increasingly been accused of undermining public safety without transparency or local oversight. Read more »

Fatal stance

As the D.A.'s race heats up, the death penalty emerges as a big issue

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sarah@sfbg.com

Ever since Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Police Chief George Gascón district attorney in January — when Gascón said he was "not categorically opposed to the death penalty and would consider it in appropriate cases" — capital punishment has become a big issue in a town where the last death penalty case was in 1989.Read more »

Perception of lost integrity costs police

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Reporting by Sarah Phelan. Photograhy by Luke Thomas.

At the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office’s May 18 Justice Summit, the ethics of law enforcement were a central topic. And not surprisingly, the latest incidents of alleged police conduct in which SFPD officers are caught on surveillance video, which the Public Defender’s Office released, as they apparently steal personal property from suspects whose homes in the Julian Hotel they searched for drugs under possibly illegal circumstances, were on everyone’s minds, along with the crime lab and Henry Hotel scandals.Read more »

Finally, a prosecutor leaps into D.A.’s race

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From the moment I walked into Sharman Bock’s District Attorney campaign launch and saw the roomful of “signs proclaiming, "A prosecutor for District Attorney", I realized that Bock isn’t the type of candidate to hold her punches. And that makes perfect sense, because unlike the other candidates in the D.A.'s race, Bock, 48,  is a seasoned prosecutor.Read more »

Held underwater

San Franciscans brace for another round of home foreclosures as the banking lobby kills mortgage reform proposals

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sarah@sfbg.com

Since the recession began four years ago, 2,000 homes have been lost to foreclosure in San Francisco. These numbers sound insignificant compared to other counties in the Bay Area, but they primarily have hit communities of color already struggling to remain in this expensive city.

As panelists at a recent seminar on foreclosures noted, the first wave hit the Bayview and the Excelsior, while the second hit the Richmond and the Sunset. And as the recession drags on and more borrowers go underwater, another 2,000 foreclosures are on the local horizon.Read more »