Opinion

The case for Kucinich

If you don't vote in February for what you believe in, you won't get to vote for it in November
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OPINION At a recent Potrero Hill Democratic Club presidential forum, when the representatives of Hilary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama spoke more about how the candidates made them feel than about their positions on the issues, it first struck me as strange. Read more »

Attacking the nurses -- again

Dissonant realities in an underresourced setting
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OPINION On Nov. 29, Department of Public Health nurses once again found ourselves in the San Francisco Chronicle. Forecasting a budget deficit that prompted the mayor to implement a hiring freeze, the article alleged the shortfall "stems in part from a jump in the number of police officers and nurses on the city payroll and hefty pay raises doled out to those professions." "It's our fault again," a nurse colleague uttered with a sigh.

Her remark needs to be placed in the context of the dissonant realities in which health department nurses work. Read more »

Housing reform, now

We can't accept a plan that relies only on the market to produce and fund some affordable housing
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OPINION The Board of Supervisors is poised to vote on a crucial charter amendment to set aside more than $30 million per year for new housing. Since the mayor is talking about a huge budget crisis and a lot of people may complain that more funding for affordable housing will make the flow of red ink worse, it's important to understand what this issue is all about.

While many of us are aware of the exodus of working-class people, most San Franciscans are unaware that the city is in the final stages of the largest rezoning effort of the past 50 years. Read more »

Housing: the urbanist approach

Not one more inch of farmland in California would need to be developed if we were just willing to put growth inside existing cities
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OPINION We're in a tough spot as a city when it comes to housing costs. As the price of living here goes ever higher, we lose everything special about the culture of San Francisco.

Here's the dilemma: more people want to live here than we are creating places for.

Why do people want to live here? Cultural tolerance. Economic opportunity. To be part of a community that doesn't feel like the rest of the United States. The same mix of reasons that caused most of us to come here.

But we are barely adding to the supply of housing. Read more »

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 »