Opinion

Save St. Lukes!

Landmark hospital needs city's help
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OPINION For 136 years St. Luke's Hospital has been a San Francisco landmark, serving the underserved communities in the southern half of the city.

Now St. Luke's needs San Francisco's help.

The hospital's owner, Sutter Health, has embarked on a stealth strategy to close St. Read more »

Good-bye to my city

After more than 40 years, a farewell to San Francisco
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EDITORIAL My marriage to the city is ending. Yes, the one on a peninsula tipped with astounding beauty, filled with rich cultural communities and the fullness and complexities of the growing inequities in American life.

It is the city that has witnessed the nurturing scenes of my adulthood on the West Coast of North America since 1966. I was here as the beat generation turned over my new city bride to newcomers during the Summer of Love. They called us hippies. Later I witnessed the tear gas flows at Haight and Ashbury the year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read more »

Public safety, back on track

Even a modest investment in people, coupled with accountability and clear guidance, can keep our community safe
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OPINION About a year and a half ago, James was dealing drugs on a street corner in San Francisco. He wasn't a hardened repeat offender, just a young man with little education and few prospects. He got arrested and soon faced adult felony drug charges for the first time.

California law sets the punishment for selling narcotics at up to three years in state prison. But we know that 7 out of every 10 people we send to California prisons will commit a new crime within three years of being released — the worst recidivism rate in the nation. Read more »

Vote early and often: yes on A, no on H

Warming globally; acting locally
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OPINION The mainstream media talking heads like to claim that everything changed after Sept. 11. Like most of the slogans of the MSM, this is nonsense; events in Iraq continue to reveal just how stuck on pre– Sept. 11 assumptions the current national political class remains. In that sense, Sept. 11 has changed nothing.

What will really change everything is the expanding awareness of global warming and of the central role played by the automobile in climate change. Read more »

The truth about shelters

San Francisco needs to become the leader in inventive, forward-thinking homeless policy
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OPINION The San Francisco Chronicle's C.W. Nevius wrote an opinion column Oct. 18, titled "City's Homeless Shelters Clean, Safe but Shunned When It's Dry," implying that the conditions throughout the San Francisco shelter system are uniformly in perfect order and that individuals experiencing homelessness are living on the street by choice. The facts, however, tell of a much different reality and of a shelter system that lacks a basic standard of care.Read more »

The cold case of Brad Will

An independent voice, silenced
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OPINION Oct. 27 marks the first anniversary of the assassination of New York Indymedia photojournalist Brad Will by police in Oaxaca, Mexico, under the thumb of a corrupt and tyrannical governor.

Will was gunned down just outside Oaxaca City while filming a pitched battle between supporters of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and members of the Oaxaca Peoples Popular Assembly (APPO). Will, 36 at the time of the killing, was the only American among 26 victims shot by Ruiz's police and paramilitary operatives during protests in that state in 2006. Read more »

Election security that works

California should become its own vendor
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OPINION These are anxious times for election security and voting equipment. The system is truly broken, starting at the federal level with a lack of national standards, a chaotic testing regimen, untrustworthy vendors, a revolving door between the industry and government regulators, and a decentralized hodgepodge of election administration from coast to coast.

Into that abyss has stepped Debra Bowen, California's secretary of state. Many of us have supported her call to make elections more secure, and Bowen came into office with the best of intentions. Read more »

Will the US bomb Iran?

Iran has no nuclear weapons and couldn't have them for years
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OPINION Half the warships in the US Navy are sitting within striking distance of Iran. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have stepped up their rhetoric, accusing Iran of killing Americans in Iraq and of threatening to start a nuclear holocaust. The British media is predicting that the Bush administration will bomb Iran in the near future.

The White House is using the same propaganda techniques to whip up popular opinion against Iran that it used four years ago against Iraq. Read more »

Forget the neighbors: build away!

Do we still care about Prop. M?
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OPINION Having considered San Francisco something of a utopian American city (certainly compared with others), I assumed the only reason city officials were on the verge of allowing perfect little Valencia Street to be turned into Emeryville West was that they were simply unaware of what a handful of developers and a few folks in the Planning Department were cooking up.

All they needed was to hear from the neighbors, some responsible concerned adults, to call their attention to this under-the-radar remaking of our beloved Mission. Read more »

Do wi-fi right -- ourselves

Wi-fi is almost certainly not the technology on which to base a citywide network.
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OPINION Although it's only a "declaration of policy," Proposition J (the mayor's wi-fi initiative) is garnering a lot of opposition. Taken at face value, the initiative seems like a no-brainer: of course we should have free, high-speed wi-fi for everyone, with adequate privacy and no public money, right now. The initiative makes it sound like all we have to do is bend over and pick up the golden wi-fi network lying in the street. Like other stories about precious paving, though, the reality is considerably less shiny.

Since Mayor Gavin Newsom filed Prop. Read more »