Opinion

The new Muni plan

Assessing transit effectiveness, 30 years since the last serious review
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OPINION Every once in a while, it's a good idea to take a look at our public utilities and see if they are still managed and operated in a way that serves the goals we have for them. Read more »

Cleaner power, cleaner money

The choice facing us is between being smart about our energy policy or handing over that policy to a corporate boardroom in Atlanta
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OPINION Nine months ago neighborhood leaders from the Potrero Hill and the Bayview districts were invited to stand and applaud at a press conference at Mirant's Potrero Power Plant. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle: "One of the state's oldest and dirtiest power plants ... could shut down as soon as 2009, city leaders announced.... Read more »

Pelosi backs Bush on Iran

How in the world does the representative of perhaps the most antiwar city in the country sign off on the United States doing this to another nation
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OPINION Has Nancy Pelosi signed off on the George W. Bush administration's covert CIA operations in Iran? Read more »

Outside the HRC dinner

HRC's failed strategy on ENDA has needlessly divided our community at a time when we are poised to make great gains in civil rights
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OPINION On July 26, the Bay Area's gay and lesbian elite will gather at the posh Westin St. Francis to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign in the name of securing and protecting LGB rights. Read more »

San Francisco's undocumented children

Our reunification policy was legally justified, fair to youth and their families, and cost-effective
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OPINION The recent news stories criticizing the city's juvenile probation department for sending undocumented children home instead of handing them over to the federal immigration authorities has ignited a firestorm of negative attacks.

However, the stories missed a key fact: the city's practice of transporting youth home was enacted with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 12 years ago.

San Francisco's 1989 voter-approved sanctuary law specifically forbids city officials from providing information to federal immigration authorities Read more »

McGoldrick's privatization betrayal

When the rubber hit the road for people, he screeched out of there
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OPINION This isn't the first time it's happened. Most politicians break promises. That's the nature of politics. But when someone signs a pledge — twice — saying he won't privatize city services, when he holds himself out as a champion of anti-privatization and then goes directly against that stand —well, it kind of makes you wonder.

That politician is San Francisco Sup. Jake McGoldrick. In the past, he stood against privatizing services. Read more »

Save SF's campaign finance program

Dipping into the public financing fund for any reason sets a terrible precedent
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OPINION In 2000, San Francisco voters approved a system of public financing of campaigns for the Board of Supervisors, which in 2006 was expanded to the mayoral race. By eliminating the need for candidates to raise large amounts of private money, the program has been extremely successful at helping sever the link between big money and political decisions. But now this flagship program is threatened: Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing to raid several million dollars from the public campaign fund.Read more »

Down with legitimacy

Want to define love, commitment, family, and sexual merrymaking on your own terms? Honey, that's so last century
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OPINION We all remember Gavin Newsom's stunt four years ago, when he emerged from a tight election race against Matt Gonzalez and promptly "legalized" gay marriage, sending his approval ratings soaring and guaranteeing him a second term. Read more »

To surcharge, without love

Let them have healthcare
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OPINION With the first linen pants of 2008, this city commenced collecting employer contributions to the Healthy San Francisco universal health care program. Employers that don't provide insurance now must pay the city for the public health care their employees use anyway. A number of restaurants have added "Healthy San Francisco" surcharges of 2 to 4 percent to diners' tabs. These surcharges are at best sour grapes and at worst a diabolical plan to thwart democracy.

Present spite notwithstanding, I spend all my discretionary income on dining. Read more »

Genetically modified mouthpieces

With press releases in hand, journalists repeated genetically modified words as if their DNA depended upon it
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OPINION In 2003, when I was working as an anchor for a San Francisco television station, newscasters and reporters across the country were asked by the White House to refer to the Iraqi invasion as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). We were asked to call the war in Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

With press releases in hand, journalists repeated genetically modified words as if their DNA depended upon it.

Genetically modified language is when propaganda wins, journalism sells out, and the public loses. Read more »