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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

King of the commons

Departing director of Sunday Streets made community organizing the key to opening up public space

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steve@sfbg.com

When Susan King attends the Aug. 24 Sunday Streets in the Mission District — the 50th incarnation of this car-free community gathering, coming the week before her 50th birthday — it will be her last as director of an event she started in 2008.

That successful run was made possible by King's history as a progressive community organizer who also knew how to do fundraising, a rare combination that has made Sunday Streets more than just a bicycle event, a street faire, or a closure of streets to cars that the city imposes on its neighborhoods on a rotating basis.Read more »

Last chapters?

The threat to San Francisco bookstores goes beyond Amazon and ebooks to rising rents and demand for commercial space

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news@sfbg.com

The tale of the threatened independent bookstore, quivering under the might of Amazon, is nothing new.

It's only been two months since Marcus Books was evicted from its Fillmore District location. Both Adobe and Forest bookstores fled the Mission's 16thh Street last year. But ebook sales growth is shrinking, and sales for many of San Francisco bookstores are up.Read more »

The age of the brogrammer

Solving tech's diversity problem may be a key to saving San Francisco

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"Die techie scum." Those words are sprayed ominously on sidewalks throughout San Francisco. They're plastered on stickers stamped on lampposts. They're even scrawled in the bathrooms of punk bars, the very establishments now populated by Google-Glass-wearing tech aficionados.Read more »

Motorists fight back

Ballot measure seeks to prioritize cars and undermine SF's "transit-first" policy

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Believing that they're somehow discriminated against on the streets of San Francisco, a new political coalition of motorists, conservatives, and neighborhood NIMBYs last week [Mon/7] turned in nearly twice the signatures they need to qualify the "Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco" initiative for the November ballot.Read more »

Revitalized

Zendesk's new corporate headquarters shows dramatic transformation of mid-Market, while bitter eviction battles drag on down the street

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rebecca@sfbg.com

Although the mid-Market Street headquarters of Twitter was targeted with protests by the city's largest employee union this spring, Zendesk was technically the first company to take advantage of what came to be known as the Twitter tax break.

Crafted by Mayor Ed Lee along with Sups. David Chiu and Jane Kim in 2011, that controversial policy lured the elite tech sector to the central core with the promise of payroll-tax exclusion — leading progressives to deride it as corporate welfare, served up to an industry already soaked in venture capital.Read more »

Beyond the bros

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EDITORIAL

San Francisco's rapid economic growth is increasingly being framed in reference to the Tale of Two Cities, and signs of its staggering wealth gap are ubiquitous. Luxury retailers are gravitating to the South Bay to cater to the tastes of newly minted millionaires, the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, while low-wage workers on opposite sides of the Bay are charging forward with campaigns to increase the minimum wage, since soaring rents and a rising cost of living have made it tricky to achieve basic economic survival.Read more »

Taxing speculators

Rival housing measures debated in City Hall, previewing high-stakes battles at the ballot

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steve@sfbg.com

Political tensions over evictions, displacement, real estate speculation, and rapidly rising housing costs in San Francisco are likely to heat up through the summer and autumn as a trio of November ballot measures are debated and combated by what's expected to be a flood of campaign cash from developers and other real estate interests.Read more »

Garbage game

Is Recology fudging the figures on how much SF waste is being diverted from the landfill, with the complicity of city officials?

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San Francisco elected officials frequently celebrate the ambitious citywide goal of sending zero waste to the landfill by 2020, an environmental feat widely viewed as attainable since the current waste diversion rate stands at a stellar 80 percent.

Official city numbers — based on reporting by Recology, a company that has a monopoly on trash collection and curbside recycling in San Francisco — demonstrate that only 20 percent of all city dwellers' trash ends up in a landfill, that unenlightened dead end for matter discarded from our lives, never to be reprocessed.Read more »

Recycle-pocalypse

As recycling centers close en masse throughout the city, small businesses may owe millions in fees

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Joe@sfbg.com

Red explosions and yellow starbursts lit the sky, accompanied by the requisite oohs and aahs.

San Franciscans sat by the beach at Aquatic Park celebrating our nation's independence, eyes fixed upwards. But all around them, a team of independent scavengers, mostly ignored, methodically combed the wharf, plucking cans and bottles from the ground and overflowing trash bins.Read more »

Pumping up awareness

Campaign to put climate change warnings at gas stations gains traction in Berkeley and San Francisco

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Warning! This is just a friendly reminder that your petroleum habit is hurting us all.Read more »