Imminent legal actions against San Francisco, its Police Department, and the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control could reveal whether a pair of undercover agents went rogue in harassing nightclubs and aggressively busting parties or whether they were acting at the direction of top officials.
Attorney Mark Webb – whose work on a racketeering lawsuit against the policing agencies was the subject of cover stories in the Guardian and the SF Weekly – told us that on Monday, he plans to file that racketeering claim against the city (which will then become a lawsuit if the city rejects it, as it routinely does) and a related lawsuit in Superior Court involving the rough, unnecessary arrest of bartender Javier Magallon and harassment of Mike Quan, owner of The Room, Playbar, and Mist. Narrated surveillance video associated with the case was posted on YouTube yesterday. Read more »
Hank Plante ends a three-decade run as a political journalist with tonight’s (March 24) broadcast of the CBS 5 Eyewitness News, where he has worked since 1986 after starting his career with newspapers in Washington DC. So we took the occasion to talk politics with him, learning that his loyalties lie downtown.Read more »
Two weeks after protests against cuts to education filled Bay Area streets (and one freeway) on March 4, employees in the public-education sector are still engaged in a fight against budgetary rollbacks. But it’s an uphill battle, as was made clear at a briefing organized by United Educators of San Francisco at City College of San Francisco March 18.
At El Dorado Elementary School in the Bayview, 11 of 15 teachers were issued pink slips, according to elementary school teacher Megan Caluza (featured in the video above). While this doesn’t mean all 11 teachers are on their way out the door, it does mean that none of them knows for sure whether there’s a guaranteed job in the school district in the coming year. Since the budget cuts hit, Caluza says she’s been spending just as much time “fighting to teach” as she has in the actual classroom. Read more »
Efforts to encourage car-sharing and ways of getting around that don’t involve owning a car would be undermined by Proposition 17, a June ballot measure that I wrote about in this week’s cover story. While I didn’t mention that impact in the story, it is of real concern to people like me who don’t own cars and encourage others to try the car-free lifestyle on for size.Read more »
A public forum will be held tomorrow at the California Public Utilities Commission to discuss Proposition 16, the ballot initiative that PG&E is bankrolling in order to require a two-thirds majority vote before any municipality can become an electricity provider.
The Guardian has received word that former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown will be speaking in support of Prop. 16. We initially heard that he would be speaking on behalf of the California Chamber of Commerce, so we placed a call with the COC to verify whether that was the case. That prompted Robin Swanson, spokesperson for the Yes on 16 Campaign, to call and clarify that Brown is speaking on his own behalf. “He’s just speaking in support of Prop 16,” she said, speculating that maybe he was interested in the issue due to his own experience in local government.
I knew that Republicans have gotten pretty loony these days, but gubernatorial hopeful Steve Poizner was downright scary in his debate with Meg Whitman yesterday, threatening to create racial unrest and bankrupt the state in the name of being more conservative-than-thou.Read more »
Jerry Brown hadn’t even formally announced that he was running for governor when the San Francisco Chronicle brought up the name of Rose Bird.
It’s fine to talk about where Brown is vulnerable, and there’s no shortage of material. The guy has a long public record; anyone who served two terms as governor in the 1970s and early 1980s, and two terms as mayor of Oakland, and one term as chair of the state Democratic Party, and did a couple of years as a KPFA talk show host, is going to have baggage. He’s also got a wealth of experience.