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Ron Russell

News, Feature The Chief Is In (for Now)

The Chief Is In (for Now)

About three dozen people are gathered at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center for a meeting of the San Francisco Police Commission, and the questions they're hurling at Police Chief Heather Fong follow a familiar pattern. To put it in a…
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News, The Snitch After 14 Years, His SFPD Paperwork is Approved

After 14 Years, His SFPD Paperwork is Approved

By Ron Russell Antjuan Taswell, whose paperwork to join the San Francisco Patrol Special Police was held up by SFPD for what is believed to be a record 14 years, has finally won his badge. Police Chief Heather Fong quietly…
@The Snitch 
News, Sucka Free City

Frankovich Invades North Beach

Facing possible suspension from the California State Bar, attorney Tom Frankovich — notorious for his serial lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act on behalf of clients who use wheelchairs — has turned his attention to San Francisco with a…
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News, Feature To Serve & Collect

To Serve & Collect

The question from TV's Judge Judy to San Francisco Patrol Special Police Officer Hanley Chan was straightforward enough. "You are a San Francisco police officer — is that correct?" Fulfilling his bit role on the show as a plaintiff's witness,…
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News, Sucka Free City Lucky Chances owner transfers card club to his sons

Lucky Chances owner transfers card club to his sons

Rene Medina, the San Francisco entrepreneur whose most lucrative enterprise over the years has been Lucky Chances Casino in Colma, may be a convicted felon, but apparently he has bluffed state gambling regulators into keeping his prize business in the…
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News, Feature Whistleblower

Whistleblower

In a cafe near his Pacific Heights home, David Kessler — who weighs maybe 160 pounds soaking wet — is expounding in a scholarly fashion on the causes of obesity, the subject of the book he is writing, while he…
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News, Sucka Free City San Francisco Patrol Special Police: Rent-a-Cops With Guns

San Francisco Patrol Special Police: Rent-a-Cops With Guns

Back in November, Jonathan Rodgers was fresh off the streets and living in a single-room-occupancy hotel near Civic Center, courtesy of a city-sponsored program for the homeless. Although he says he always paid his rent, he ran afoul of the…
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News, Feature The USF Dons Have Gone from National Champs to National Chumps

The USF Dons Have Gone from National Champs to National Chumps

It's a gloriously sunny afternoon, and Eddie Sutton has slipped away from his tomblike office at the University of San Francisco to return a phone call from the relative quiet of the lobby inside the aging War Memorial Gymnasium. The…
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News, Sucka Free City For Sale - KRON-TV Channel 4, $800 Million, Fixer-Upper

For Sale - KRON-TV Channel 4, $800 Million, Fixer-Upper

Apparently not even Dr. Phil can help KRON-TV (Channel 4). More than a year has passed since the financially ailing station's owner, New York–based Young Broadcasting, announced plans to revolutionize local TV news by turning its on-air reporters into camera-toting…
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News, Feature Neglected Treasures

Neglected Treasures

In 1941, shortly after the close of the Golden Gate International Exposition (World's Fair) on Treasure Island, curators packed up six giant murals created for the fair by acclaimed Mexican artist José Miguel Covarrubias and sent them on loan to…
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News, Sucka Free City

BALCO Breakup - Chron Reporter Jumps to ESPN, Sourcing Gets Awkward

Now that the Chronicle's celebrated BALCO investigative reporting team of Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada has split up, inquiring minds may be forgiven for wondering who gets custody of the sources. The answer: They're working it out amicably. "I'm sure…
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News, Feature Bones of Discontent - Andrew Galvan carves a unique, controversial role in relocating Native American skeletons

Bones of Discontent - Andrew Galvan carves a unique, controversial role in relocating Native American skeletons

In the shadow of San Francisco's oldest building, surrounded by 200-year-old tombstones on the grounds of Mission Dolores, where he is the curator, Andrew Galvan elicits rapt attention from the wide-eyed sixth-graders who've encircled him. "Do you know who built…
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News, Feature Richard Thalheimer, Founder of Sharper Image, Talks for the First Time About His Ouster

Richard Thalheimer, Founder of Sharper Image, Talks for the First Time About His Ouster

Throughout Richard Thalheimer's sprawling Pacific Heights home are quirky artifacts from happier days when he still ran The Sharper Image. There's Alfred the Butler, once a popular catalog item, holding a silver tray filled with chocolate mints in the foyer.…
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News, Sucka Free City

Frankovich: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Disables Wheelchair Access Attorney

Tom Frankovich, the flamboyant San Francisco disabilities lawyer whose clients are known for filing serial lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act, has suffered a key setback before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Affirming sanctions meted out against…
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News, Sucka Free City USS Iowa, Any Takers?

USS Iowa, Any Takers?

The competition to land the USS Iowa — the World War II battleship that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors famously rejected as a tourist attraction in 2005 — is now a one-horse race. A little-known San Francisco entity that…
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News, Feature The Daly Show

The Daly Show

Beneath the glare of the midday sun, about 150 people have gathered for a ribbon-cutting at the city's newest affordable housing project — sandwiched between a freeway and a rail yard in Mission Bay — and to listen to dignitaries,…
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News, Sucka Free City

Pulpit Nonfiction

Here's one tome that isn't likely to show up on the Pope's reading list. Clergy sex-abuse victim Joey Piscitelli, who won a $600,000 judgment last year against a former associate pastor at San Francisco's landmark Saints Peter and Paul Church…
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News, Feature Wheelchairs of Fortune

Wheelchairs of Fortune

Inside his elegant law office in a restored century-old Victorian at the upper end of Van Ness, with his feet sprawled across an enormous hand-carved desk to reveal the most audacious pair of alligator boots this side of Wyoming, Tom…
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News, The Snitch SF Weekly on Chronicle Layoffs: Lazarus Has His Own Ad -- in the LATimes

SF Weekly on Chronicle Layoffs: Lazarus Has His Own Ad -- in the LATimes

... "it's perhaps no great surprise that star business columnist David Lazarus would bail ..." By Ron Russell…
@The Snitch 
News, The Snitch

Casino King Shuffles the Deck

The Colma City Council has approved a transfer of ownership of Lucky Chances Casino from accused tax cheat Rene Medina to two of his sons, Rommel, 34, and Ruell, 30. The vote Wednesday night was 4-0. It comes two…
@The Snitch