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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

BART approves contract, union threatens electoral challenges

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The BART Board of Directors approved a modified contract with its two biggest labor unions on Jan. 2, an action that received faint praise and was followed up with implied threats from both sides, continuing one of the ugliest and most impactful Bay Area labor disputes in recent memory.Read more »

A Modern tragedy

Important progressive bookstore and gathering place facing closure

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news@sfbg.com

After more than 40 years in San Francisco, the progressive independent bookstore Modern Times may have to close its doors in the near future, but not before issuing one final appeal for help from the community.

In the 1990s, Modern Times managed to survive chain retailers' predatory business strategies and cheap prices. More recently, it was able to withstand changes in the industry due to the increasing popularity of e-books and online retailers. More than half of the independent bookstores in the country shut down between 1990 and 2011.Read more »

Reformer removed

Environmental health director led progressive programs, resigned after mysterious investigation

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rebecca@sfbg.com

A San Francisco public health official, who's earned national recognition in his field for launching progressive environmental health initiatives, announced his resignation in late December under bizarre circumstances.

Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, who served as director of environmental health, left his employer of 17 years after being subjected to a months-long internal investigation he described as baseless.Read more »

The Rise of Candidate X

The absolutely true story of how a complete unknown rocketed from political obscurity, electrified the city, tackled real problems, and beat Ed Lee in 2015. 

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EDITOR'S NOTE:

As we move through tumultuous times in San Francisco and start a year with infinite political potential, we decided to stretch our imaginations a bit. While this is clearly a work of satire that appropriates some local media voices and perspectives, we hope that even its most fantastical moments will give this parable some resonance with our readers. Happy new year!

BGeditRead more »

Year of Evictions

As tech heated up the market in 2013, affordable housing became the dominant political issue

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This New Year's Eve we take a look back at a hard year for many San Franciscans, what many in the future may call our Year of Evictions. After reading our retrospective, check out our interactive timeline below, where we chronicle flashpoints in the year of evictions and San Francisco's tech culture war. Did we miss something? If you'd like to submit an event and date for the timeline, email joe@sfbg.com.Read more »

Starving in a boom

The most expensive city in the nation grapples with a hunger problem

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On the day before Christmas Eve, a line of hungry San Franciscans winds its way to the second floor of the Women's Building on 18th Street. There, in a sunlit room, people take their pick of free food: fresh fruit, chicken, canned goods and pasta. This pantry is one of over 200 in the city supplied by the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks.

Acacia Woods-Chen, the pantry's coordinator, calls off enrollment numbers in broken Cantonese and Spanish as she directs them to the needed sustenance.Read more »

Clean Power SF still moving forward

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news@sfbg.com 

Dec. 19 marked the 100th anniversary of the Raker Act, federal legislation that specifically called for San Francisco to directly distribute the water and electricity generated by the O'Shaughnessy Dam to its residents and for their benefit. The city does so with the water, through the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, but Pacific Gas & Electric used its power and connections to take control of the electricity and keep it, corrupting the political system for nearly a century in the process.Read more »

Lee: Prioritize Affordable Housing

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joe@sfbg.com 

Mayor Ed Lee announced an executive directive on Dec. 18 for all San Francisco government departments with a hand in housing development, to prioritize construction of affordable units.Read more »

Hairy dilemma

Dogs in restaurants are more common than ever, despite being illegal for mere pets, a trend that service dog owners don't like

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news@sfbg.com

It used to be rare to see dogs in restaurants — which many people see as gross and the health codes don't allow — but not anymore. It's an increasingly common sight to see dogs in Bay Area restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and others businesses that traditionally haven't allowed them.Read more »

Homeless for the holidays

Changing demographics in the Bayview complicate city efforts to open a shelter there

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news@sfbg.com

As temperatures dropped in recent weeks, those who care for San Francisco's homeless snapped into action.

Shelters stopped requiring reservations, making any beds still open after 8pm available to anyone who needed them. General Hospital's Emergency Room treated the annual uptick of hypothermia cases, working closely with the city's Homeless Outreach Team. Seven people in the Bay Area died as a result of cold weather in the last month — mercifully, none in San Francisco.Read more »