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 »
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 »
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Nearly every insurance plan has outdated exclusions that bar transgender people from receiving medically necessary health care.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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
OPINION San Francisco is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. It's way too expensive to live here, and for those fortunate enough to have housing they can afford, we need to provide stability. This need for housing stability applies to renters as well as homeowners. If we've learned anything from the foreclosure crisis, homeowners are not all rich, and they are not all stable in their housing.Read more »
OPINION If legislation introduced by Supervisors Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell passes the Board of Supervisors next month, up to 2,000 tenancies in common will be allowed to bypass the lottery process and convert to condominiums.Read more »
OPINION Given that Gov. Jerry Brown put out his proposed budget the same day that Oscar nominations came out, it's tempting to make some comparisons.
Brown's budget, like the nominated musical "Les Misérables," has plenty of numbers, and will make some people cry.
But I take the new budget seriously, the same as every budget I've seen since I got to Sacramento. Unlike most of the recent budgets, this one doesn't feature a big deficit. Give the Governor some credit for that, but let's look at how he's done it. Not all of it is pretty.Read more »