SF News

May 24, 2011

The ribbon marks the 30th anniversary of the first reported case of AIDS in San Francisco.

(05-24) 15:40 PDT San Francisco, CA (AP) -- A 33-year-old Oakland man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for shooting a San Francisco resident 12 times to demonstrate his loyalty to a street gang. San...

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The lines are drawn on Santa Clara Street in San Jose.

Bay Area Rapid Transit police officers may each get their own stun gun instead of having to check the devices out of a common pool.
The train agency's board on Thursday is set to consider spending up to $141,000 to buy 130 additional stun guns.

It’s 6 a.m, 49° and headed to a high of 60° – dreadful weather, but at least the winds are dying. Details are here. The school assignment policy comes to the fore again at the SF Board of Education’s meeting today. Here is a cheat sheet from the SF K Files. Thirsty? TCB couriers, our...

Discussed: teleportation and the 48 Quintara.

Security cutbacks, scanty lighting and a hands-off approach to rowdiness at Dodger Stadium provided a "perfect opportunity" for two men to brutally beat Giants fan Bryan Stow outside the ballpark, Stow's family said in...

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Lee Proposes Pension Reform Measure for November Ballot

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and several city officials gathered at City Hall today to announce a measure for the November ballot that proposes widespread reform to city workers' pensions and health benefits.

The proposed charter amendment -- the result of months of negotiations between city officials and labor and business leaders -- would cap pension benefits and raise retirement ages for city workers, and require them to contribute more to their retirement and health plans.

Lee said the proposal would save the city between $800 million and $1 billion over the next decade. San Francisco's pension costs are set to increase by more than $125 million in the next fiscal year, and by more than $100 million in each of the next three years, according to the mayor's office.

Lee said "we needed to fix our financial house in the city," and called the measure "a consensus, comprehensive plan that we believe will fix this problem for the long-term."

Among the details of the proposal are the raising of the retirement age from 62 to 65 for most city employees, and from 55 to 58 for police and firefighters.

The plan would create additional cost sharing of up to 6 percent for future and current city employees, and all elected officials would be required to begin paying into their retirement plans.

Lee stressed that the proposal was developed with the input of labor unions and the business community.

"We're proud to say that in working on this, we were making sure we talked to everybody and allowed every voice to be heard," he said.

The measure will be introduced at today's Board of Supervisors meeting, and will be discussed by the rules committee next week before being considered by the full board, which could vote to place it on the November ballot.

The proposal appears to have the support of a majority of the 11 supervisors, nine of which were at this morning's news conference.
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who has been one of the board's strongest backers of pension reform, said, "This is real reform ... that every San Franciscan can be proud to support come November."

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi has proposed a separate pension reform measure and is gathering signatures to get it on the November ballot.

Lee said he met with Adachi on Monday to discuss the two measures, and said, "I think the consensus approach is the right way to go."

Adachi was not immediately available for comment this morning.

CONTACT: Mayor's Office of Communications (415) 554-6131

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SF Supes to consider AT&T proposal to upgrade network in city

A plan to upgrade AT&T's network in San Francisco will come in front of the Board of Supervisors again today after the board delayed a decision on the project last month.

AT&T is proposing to install up to 726 boxes around the city to house its "Lightspeed" high-speed data transmission technology that will improve its Internet, cable and landline phone service in the city.

San Francisco's Planning Department in February gave the project an exemption from the usually lengthy environmental review process required by the California Environmental Quality Act, saying the upgrades did not have significant enough of an impact to require the review.

But opponents appealed the exemption to the board, saying the 4-foot-tall boxes would impede pedestrian traffic, inconvenience property owners, and reduce the aesthetic appeal of the city.

Susan Brandt-Hawley, the attorney representing the two groups appealing the plan -- San Francisco Beautiful and the Planning Association of the Richmond -- has argued that the cumulative impact of the hundreds of boxes is enough to warrant the environmental review.

AT&T regional vice president Marc Blakeman said at the board's April 26 meeting that the company will have to get a permit from the city's Department of Public Works for each individual box, which can be appealed by residents in that neighborhood.
"At the end of the day, if the neighborhood doesn't want it, we'll move on," Blakeman said. "We don't want to irritate our potential customers."

The board at that April 26 meeting agreed to delay a decision for four weeks on the exemption while they develop protocols that Supervisor Scott Wiener said will be "strong enough that we don't have to rely on AT&T's word" on whether they will work with the individual neighborhoods.
CONTACT: Michael Edwards, AT&T (415) 644-7043
Attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley (707) 938-3900
Milo Hanke for San Francisco Beautiful (415) 781-6300

Supes to Consider Proposal Adding Thousands of Units to Parkmerced

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider today whether to certify the environmental review of a proposal to add thousands of apartments and demolish others at the Parkmerced complex near San Francisco State University.

The developers at the large complex, located at 19th and Holloway avenues, are looking to expand by adding about 5,700 new residential units while demolishing and replacing about 1,800 units in the next two to three decades.

The Planning Commission approved the final environmental impact report on the project in February, but the next month it was appealed by opponents of the plan, including the Parkmerced Action Coalition, who say it will displace and inconvenience them and create traffic gridlock. Parkmerced spokesman P.J. Johnston has said that while many residents will be relocated within the complex, the new apartments will be
built before the old ones are demolished so people will only have to move

The new apartments will be similar to the old ones in size and configuration, and residents will pay the same rent and have the same rent control status, Johnston said.

On March 29, supervisors delayed a vote on the project while they considered the opponents' appeal, but are set to vote today on whether to affirm or reverse the commission's approval of the environmental report.

Along with the adding and demolishing of some units, the project would also realign the San Francisco Municipal Railway's Muni Metro M-Ocean View line and establish a free shuttle service to the Daly City BART station.

CONTACT: P.J. Johnston for Parkmerced (415) 731-3304, Terence Faulkner, Parkmerced Action Coalition (415) 286-8687

Mayor Ed Lee Announces Winners of Principal of the Year Award

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has announced the winners of this year's Principal of the Year Award. Three San Francisco Unified School District principals were selected for their dedication and the work they have done on behalf of the city's youth, according to the mayor's office.

"San Francisco's families deserve great schools and I salute the outstanding work that is done every day by our public school principals who deliver a quality education to all of our children," Lee said in a statement.

The principals were nominated by students, teachers, parents and administrators. This year's winners are JoLynn Washington of Jose Ortega Elementary School, David Wong of Francis Scott Key Elementary School, and Jim Fithian of Court Community Schools.

The principals will receive a check, an award from Tiffany & Co., and gifts from various local business and institutions, including the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum.
    CONTACT: Mayor's Office of Communications (415) 554-6131

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Bay Area Weather Report

Cloudy skies and patches of fog are expected in the Bay Area this morning, before becoming partly cloudy and breezy later today. Highs in the lower to mid 60s are anticipated. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph are also expected, increasing to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon.

Forecasters predict cloudy skies and breezy weather will continue tonight, with patchy fog after midnight. Lows are anticipated to be around 50 degrees, with northwest winds 20 to 30 mph. Sunshine is expected on Tuesday after cloudy skies clear in the morning. Highs are anticipated to be around 60 degrees, with northwest winds
10 to 20 mph.
    CONTACT: National Weather Service (831) 656-1724

May 25, 2011

Republican Jon Huntsman Jr., the former U.S. ambassador to China, has a political profile that sets him apart from the pack of possible 2012 GOP presidential candidates. For starters, he starred in a 2004 advertisement...

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May 23, 2011

Puppy Dog Tales, un programa de la SPCA de San Francisco, envía a Jake (y a su dueña, la Dra. Susan Katz) a la escuela primaria Bryant en la Misión.

Al caminar por las calles de San Francisco es posible que vea más gente con iPhones que gente martillando, más gente comiendo en restaurantes que comiendo su almuerzo casero, más cascos para bicis que cascos de construcción, más espacios para aficionados a la tecnología que gente con lentes de seguridad y, tristemente más de esos...

We may have escaped the Rapture on Saturday, but crime remained. The major incident occurred on Friday when a suspect, still at large, used a screwdriver to stab a 32-year-old male riding the 14-Mission bus. The victim, stabbed multiple times, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital and remains in critical condition, said SFPD spokesman...

PRINT Dolores Park Playground Construction Means Less Park Play for Seven Months VIDEO The Mission Gets Ready for Carnaval Peter Bratt Celebrates American Indian Youth Documenting ROA’s Sea Lions PHOTO Waiting for the Rapture

The Mission’s reputation as a hotbed for tech companies continues to grow. HotPads, a real estate search engine, is the new startup in the neighborhood. The company moved to its offices on 16th and Valencia Streets from D.C. to tap on the wealth of web developers and take advantage of the neighborhoods restaurants and bars, said co-founder, Douglas...

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137