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News, Matt Smith

Prelinger Archives Show How San Francisco Has Always Struggled with Change

Megan Shaw Prelinger is proud that her private library — tucked into a former warehouse at 301 Eighth St. (at Folsom) and open to the public on Wednesdays — is a global destination for researchers, artists, and authors. But she…
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News, Matt Smith

Lawyer Suing San Francisco for Racial Discrimination May Need a Lawyer Himself

Listen closely to the rhetoric of the 2011 political season. President Barack Obama — a conservative Democrat with a keen ear to Wall Street — is a fearsome radical. Nonwhite immigrants pose an economic and security threat. Government antipoverty programs,…
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News, Matt Smith

Remembering Don Casper, a City Official Who Saved Taxpayers Billions

In July I received a call from Don Casper, the former chairman of the San Francisco County GOP, vice president of the Civil Service Commission, and prominent local barrister. Good news, he said: Gov. Jerry Brown had rehired him as…
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News, Matt Smith

Rec and Parks Infighting Kills Holiday Bash for Developmentally Disabled

Last year San Franciscans were outraged when Laguna Honda Hospital administrators took money from a gift fund meant to provide simple pleasures to patients and instead spent it on staff. But the public has missed a similar outrage at Golden…
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News, Matt Smith

S.F.P.D. Officers Finally Have E-Mail, But Department Still Lags in Tech

For the first time in history, San Francisco police officers can hand a crime witness a business card and say, "If you hear or think of anything else, please send me an e-mail." San Francisco's finest may have leaped out…
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News, Matt Smith

Veteran Con Man Back to Swindling Elderly Veterans

Fleshy, dark-haired, stuttering Paul Noe II sits at a document-laden table with an elderly veteran. Noe asks the man about his military years, about what life has been like since, and offers a patient, sympathetic ear. Noe is doing what…
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News, Matt Smith

H1-B Visa Program Creates Caste System for Silicon Valley

After years in the economic wilderness following the 2001 dot-com crash, designers, artists, webmasters, and all sorts of multimedia, networking, and software experts are finding jobs in San Francisco again. Thank the boom in social media, mobile apps, and digital…
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News, Matt Smith SFPD Tries to Fire Cop for Balking at Conducting Illegal Searches

SFPD Tries to Fire Cop for Balking at Conducting Illegal Searches

In some cities, police departments fire cops who break the law. In San Francisco, they're attempting to fire one for trying not to break the law. Homicide inspector Frank Lee, a 24-year veteran, thought he was doing the right thing…
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News, Matt Smith

Ranked-Choice Voting Makes for a Boring, Undemocratic Political Mess

On April 29, the University of San Francisco hosted a debate that seemed to promise the first shots fired in the 2011 mayoral campaign. But in three hours of questions, answers, and follow-ups, I didn't hear a single utterance that…
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News, Matt Smith NIMBYs Blocking Civic Improvement Is Sad S.F. Tradition

NIMBYs Blocking Civic Improvement Is Sad S.F. Tradition

On April 21, Richmond District landscape architect Kathy Howard warned members of the Board of Supervisors about a new kind of urban blight: Out-of-towners, she wrote in a letter, planned to erect "monsters in our neighborhoods permanently." "This is not…
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News, Matt Smith California Culinary Academy Settles Lawsuit With Students for Millions

California Culinary Academy Settles Lawsuit With Students for Millions

The lawyers wanted to prove Matt Foist was dumb. He recalls attorneys questioning him for hours about his decision to enroll in the California Culinary Academy, a for-profit school in Potrero Hill. "At the end of the day I just…
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News, Matt Smith Spotting Birds at a Record Pace, with a Camera and a Bike

Spotting Birds at a Record Pace, with a Camera and a Bike

This story has been corrected since it was first published. We incorrectly stated that there were "800 or so species of birds worldwide" when we meant to say "nationwide."Just after 5 a.m. on April 18 at the concrete footbridge traversing…
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News, Matt Smith

Avoiding Auto Versus Pedestrian Crashes Could Save Taxpayers Cash

On Monday, April 11, a speeding motorist blew through a red light at Masonic Avenue on Grove Street. The car slammed into a jogger in the crosswalk, breaking her leg, and came to a stop only by slamming into an…
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News, Matt Smith News Media Continues Its Slow Decline

News Media Continues Its Slow Decline

In January 2009, after Bay Area journalism dean David Weir was laid off from the soon-to-be-defunct web startup Predictify, he gave SF Weekly writer Peter Jamison a big-picture assessment of a news business meltdown putting even elite scribes such as…
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News, Matt Smith Subject Yourself to Rob Schneider -- for a Good Cause

Subject Yourself to Rob Schneider -- for a Good Cause

After more than a decade of torturing readers with depressing news and turgid prose, today I'm begging you to torture yourselves — for the children's sake. Please, do it for the kindergartners, who've been packed into a classroom with harried…
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News, Matt Smith Supes Want to Rescind Law that Bans Competition in SF Trash Collection

Supes Want to Rescind Law that Bans Competition in SF Trash Collection

Does Recology have a right to pick up San Francisco's trash forever? Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and David Campos don't think so. They plan to put a measure before voters in November rescinding a 1932 law that prevents the city from…
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News, Matt Smith

Black Firefighters Say SFFD Officer Helped White Colleagues Cheat on Exam

San Francisco Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Taylor is a commanding figure at more than 6 feet tall, with a firefighter's all-muscle build. But he speaks in soft, measured words, even when making explosive allegations against his employer. Taylor claims…
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News, Matt Smith S.F's Chinese New Year Parade Has Become a Hotbed of Controversy

S.F's Chinese New Year Parade Has Become a Hotbed of Controversy

Spectators in Hong Kong watched a Chinese New Year Parade extravaganza last week featuring two cheerleading squads from Louisiana State University, a baton-twirling team from the Czech Republic, and Powerhouse, a Glee-style singing group from Burbank known for stirring renditions…
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News, Matt Smith Sexist double standards in the land of "Star Wars"

Sexist double standards in the land of "Star Wars"

Tabitha Totah, a Lucasfilm employee who managed Star Wars memorabilia events around the world, was about to leave for Chile in February 2009 when she was called into her supervisor's office at the company's Presidio complex. "I was told that…
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News, Matt Smith Erosion at Ocean Beach could send sewage into the sea

Erosion at Ocean Beach could send sewage into the sea

San Francisco is renowned for bad public infrastructure pro-jects such as the $1 billion Central Subway to Nowhere, or the overdue, overbudget, and untested $7 billion eastern Bay Bridge rebuild. But no local facility seems quite so shitty nowadays as…
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