Opinion

Making CEQA work

Appeals are great when it comes to public projects -- but there's got to be some limits

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OPINION In San Francisco, a single person can file an 11th-hour appeal under the California Environmental Quality Act to stop a park, library, transit, or affordable housing project that has broad public support. It's actually worse: that single person can file the appeal long after the project has been approved and even after it goes into construction. When the appeal is filed, the project must stop construction — creating huge costs — until the Board of Supervisors gets around to ruling on the appeal.Read more »

Why CEQA matters

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By Arthur Feinstein and Alysabeth Alexander

OPINION Is now the time to significantly weaken San Francisco's most important environmental law? When our world is facing the greatest environmental threats ever experienced, why is there a rush to diminish our hard won environmental protections?

That's the question we should all ask Supervisor Scott Wiener, who has proposed legislation that would significantly weaken the city's regulations that enforce the California Environmental Quality Act.Read more »

Tech Bubble 2.0

Ah, but here we go again

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OPINION We all remember the first dot-com bubble, right? Web technology start-ups flocked to San Francisco in the late 1990s. Thousands of would-be entrepreneurs and techies filled up the city. Gentrification of Central City neighborhoods accelerated sharply. Apartment rents jumped, followed by the condo boom. Demand for commercial office space, especially South of Market, quickly grew red-hot. Rents zoomed, and office developers rushed dozens of proposed new projects forward.Read more »

The Pope's political sins

Own up, Francis I: Where were you in the guerra sucia?

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news@sfbg.com

OPINION I still remember when I was removed from solitary confinement into the general inmate population of Tres Alamos — one of the infamous concentration camps of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet -– and the special welcome given to us 30 or so freshly arrived detainees by the commander of the camp, Conrado Pacheco.

He was dressed in his best military attire. I will never forget the clattering of his black shiny boots, his watery eyes, his mouth salivating like a predator before a feast.Read more »

The real CPMC story

Unsung heroes and how it all went down

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OPINION The recently announced terms for the development of California Pacific Medical Center's hospitals at Cathedral Hill and St. Luke's generated front-page and lead stories in the local news media. But nearly without exception, only part of the story was reported. Missing from most accounts of the terms of the new deal, which dramatically changed last year's failed draft development agreement negotiated by Mayor Ed Lee, was the decisive role played by a community/labor coalition, San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Justice.Read more »

The right to transgender health care

Labor takes the lead

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OPINION When I first came out as a transgender man in the mid 1990s, I quickly realized that I would have to pay out-of-pocket for the health care I needed.

Nearly every insurance plan has outdated exclusions that bar transgender people from receiving medically necessary health care. Everything from cancer screenings to the care related to gender transition is commonly excluded, despite being provided without exclusion to non-transgender health insurance customers.Read more »

Why labor should oppose the pipeline

Keystone's XL Pipeline is not good for working people

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OPINION As pressure from the fossil-fuel industry, conservative Canadian and US politicians, and some construction unions mounts on President Obama to greenlight the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project, a growing coalition has a different message.Read more »

What Obama said -- and what he meant

Decoding State of the Union double-speak

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OPINION The words in President Obama's State of the Union speech were often lofty, spinning through the air with the greatest of ease. But let's decode the president's smooth oratory in the realms of climate change, war and civil liberties.

"For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change."

We've done so little to combat climate change — we must do more.

"I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change..."Read more »

Time out by the Bay

The city should huddle to better examine the full-court press to land a mega-entertainment complex on the waterfront

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OPINION Pretend that you and your best friends are entrusted — temporarily — with responsibility to run a big city. The energy of its people, the diversity of its residential neighborhoods, and its natural beauty have made this a successful city. The centerpiece of its natural beauty is its front yard, a body of sparking water called "The Bay." You are entrusted with keeping the Bay accessible and visible to the people — all of whom own it.Read more »

Milk's real legacy

Forty years later, people are still telling Harvey he's too "divisive."

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OPINION Ever since Supervisor David Campos announced his proposal to add Harvey Milk's name to SFO, there's been an unending string of criticism — mostly from one source — that has an eerily familiar ring to it.

We heard it years ago when we tried to change the name of Douglas School in the Castro to Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy. Believe it or not, it took seven years before the School Board finally voted for the name change — and there was still bitterness. This was a school in Harvey's neighborhood that Harvey personally helped when he was alive.Read more »