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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

SFBG Wrap, April 16-23

BART fine for workers' deaths, supervisors outfox landlords, police tapes illuminate Nieto shooting, and the sorry state of public housing

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BART FINED FOR WORKERS' DEATHS

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Bay Area Rapid Transit for three "willful/serious" safety violations in connection with the death of two transit workers last October, saying BART is at fault due to a lack of safety measures.

"Safety standards are designed to save lives," acting Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum said in a statement, "and they were not followed."Read more »

Left out

Progressive candidates for governor have a hard time amplifying their calls for economic justice

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steve@sfbg.com

It's never been easy for progressives to mount a serious campaign for the California governor's office. The high water mark was in 1934 when famous author/activist Upton Sinclair ran on his End Poverty In California platform and got nearly 38 percent of the vote despite being shut out by the major newspapers at the time.Read more »

Save the world, work less

With climate change threatening life as we know it, perhaps it's time to revive the forgotten goal of spending less time on our jobs

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steve@sfbg.com

Save the world, work less. That dual proposition should have universal appeal in any sane society. And those two ideas are inextricably linked by the realities of global climate change because there is a direct connection between economic activity and greenhouse gas emissions.

Simply put, every hour of work we do cooks the planet and its sensitive ecosystems a little bit more, and going home to relax and enjoy some leisure time is like taking this boiling pot of water off the burner.Read more »

Based on Earth

Thinking ahead to 2050, voyaging solo across the Pacific, celebrating earth Day ... Our new environmental column looks at how we're living within the natural world

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rebecca@sfbg.com

BASED ON EARTH San Francisco is often celebrated as one of the greenest cities in America. It's known for an eco-conscious citizenry and legislative hallmarks that banned plastic bags, made composting commonplace, and got everyone buying into the idea that mindful city dwellers would someday send no waste to the landfill.Read more »

Revisionist future

Politics are holding back San Francisco's best shot at reducing carbon emissions

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news@sfbg.com

Acidified oceans. Dirty air. Superstorms. Food shortages. Mass migration. War. The International Panel on Climate Change last week released the final installment of its latest authoritative report on the catastrophic effects of global climate change.

In no uncertain terms, the report states, it is urgent that steps be taken to mitigate the worst impacts. The world's cities are the most at risk — yet hold the greatest potential for turning the tide, IPCC scientists noted. Making cities greener is one of the most effective ways to minimize climate change.Read more »

SFBG Wrap, April 9-16

Shrimp Boy is innocent (say his attorneys), Airbnb comes clean, and Ellis Act reform advances

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Who is Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow? In the 137-page federal complaint detailing charges that led to the high-profile arrest of Sen. Leland Yee, Chow, and 24 others two weeks ago (see "Crime and politics," April 1), Chow is described as the powerful "Dragonhead" of an ancient Chinese organized crime syndicate, "overseeing a vast criminal enterprise involved in drugs, guns, prostitution, protection rackets, moving stolen booze and cigarettes, and money laundering," as we reported at the time.Read more »

Covered San Francisco unveiled

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At the tail end of a long Board of Supervisors meeting last week, Sup. David Campos introduced legislation to create Covered San Francisco, a city healthcare option designed to remedy a coverage gap that will be created under the Affordable Care Act.Read more »

Brains, robots, and their evolution

What can we learn from technology, and what can it learn from us?

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rebecca@sfbg.com

The Bay Area is fully engaged with the technology industry, triggering political flare-ups over Google Glass, tech buses, and larger debates over how the tech industry is morphing the Bay Area's social and economic landscape. Meanwhile, university researchers are busily putting technology to use in service of their studies, or carefully examining how technology is shaping people's lives.Read more »

Privatization of public housing

Many residents feel they're moving from the frying pan of Housing Authority control into the fire of developer and nonprofit management

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news@sfbg.com

Like so many San Franciscans, Sabrina Carter is getting evicted.

The mother of three says that if she loses her home in the Western Addition, she'll have nowhere to go. It's been a tough, four-year battle against her landlord — a St. Louis-based development company called McCormack Baron — and its law firm, Bornstein & Bornstein. That's the same law firm that gained notoriety for holding an "eviction boot camp" last November to teach landlords how to do Ellis Act evictions and sweep tenants out of rent-controlled housing.Read more »

A tale of two Google buses

The controversial tech shuttles are powerful symbols — or they're not — that are also causing real problems and benefits on the roads

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joe@sfbg.com

At the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 1, an environmental appeal hearing on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's commuter shuttle pilot program elevated the so-called Google Bus into a powerful symbol with two narratives — of gentrification and displacement, or the misguided belief that tech workers are to blame for those trends in San Francisco.Read more »