EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom, perhaps looking for a big issue to bring to a star-studded environmental meeting in New York City last week, suddenly discovered the value of tidal energy. There's actually nothing new about the idea: although Newsom didn't give anyone but himself credit, the plan was first floated by Matt Gonzalez in the 2003 mayor's race. It was picked up by Supervisors Jake McGoldrick and Ross Mirkarimi and has been on the agenda at Mirkarimi's Local Area Formation Committee (LAFCo) for more than a year.
But whatever — if the mayor's on board, fine. Read more »
EDITORIAL KQED, San Francisco's venerable public radio and television outlet, is trying to summarily abandon internal democracy. The station's management is sending out letters this week asking its 190,000 members to vote on a bylaws change that would eliminate direct election of board members and shift complete control of the station's operations to a self-appointed board. Read more »
So much going on this week: the cops and the San Francisco Police Commission are heading for a battle over secrecy, the cops and the supervisors are headed for a battle over foot patrols — and Mayor Gavin Newsom is heading for a battle with homeless advocates over a new round of sweeps at Golden Gate Park. The mayor and the local gendarmes can't win any of this without community support and would do far better to stop trying to fight these battles.
Then there's redevelopment and the city attorney ... Read more »
EDITORIAL The fall campaign season has only begun, and already the District 6 race is getting really ugly. A downtown-funded operation, hiding behind anonymous mailers and front groups, is spending gobs of money to smear Sup. Chris Daly, and thanks to the city's campaign-spending laws, Daly's ability to fight back is limited. Read more »
In just 30 days, the Oak to Ninth Referendum Committee collected the signatures of 25,068 Oakland residents who want a chance to vote on a massive development project that would bring 31,000 new homes to the Oakland waterfront. But the matter may never be on the ballot: on Sept. 6, Oakland City Attorney John Russo directed the city clerk to invalidate the petition because it didn't conform to the requirements of state election law.
It's likely that from a legal standpoint Russo's determination is correct. Read more »
EDITORIAL If a doctor does something really terrible and is suspended from the practice of medicine, the record is public: anyone — a potential future patient, for example — can check with the medical licensing board and find out what happened. Same goes for lawyers — discipline cases are not only public, but the legal papers routinely publish the details of the charges and the state bar association's decisions. Judges? Same deal. Read more »
EDITORIAL Here's the painful but undeniable truth: five years after a pair of airplanes flew into the Twin Towers in New York, killing almost 3,000 people, the world — and the United States — is a decidedly less secure place.
Sure, would-be terrorists can't carry box cutters (or toothpaste) onto planes anymore. It's harder to open cockpit doors. Some flights have fully armed undercover air marshals on board. Read more »
EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has always talked about treating homeless people with compassion, is allowing the cops to do just the opposite — and it's costing the city millions. As Amanda Witherell reports on page 11, the San Francisco Police Department under the Newsom administration has issued 31,230 citations for so-called quality of life offenses like sleeping on the streets, sleeping in the parks, and panhandling. Read more »
EDITORIAL Finally the Democratic Party in California is starting to talk seriously about tax policy. It's an important change in the political winds, and if state treasurer Phil Angelides can get beyond the tepid-to-hostile press and use his promise of a middle-class tax cut to gain ground on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it may signal the end of decades of regressive and deeply harmful economic policy.
Schwarzenegger, who knows he's in a tough race, has been trying to smear Angelides by saying that the Democratic candidate is pushing for tax hikes. Read more »