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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Breitbart Blogger Back in S.F., Ready to Confront John Avalos

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:21 PM

Right, Supervisor John Avalos; left, Avalos's newest biggest "fan," Breitbart writer Lee Stranahan. - TWITTER
  • Twitter
  • Right, Supervisor John Avalos; left, Avalos's newest biggest "fan," Breitbart writer Lee Stranahan.
Last week, while covering a public meeting concerning San Francisco's Sanctuary City laws, Breitbart News scribe Lee Stranahan — a self-described protege of the conservative news site/home for online agitators' eponymous founder — became the story. 

And today, the story continues. Stranahan, a self-described pro-law enforcement, anti-immigrant activist, says he’ll be back in the Legislative Chamber today vowing to take on the mighty sword of Supervisor John Avalos.

There’s no doubt Stranahan will be armed with a recording device and his Twitter account as he asks Avalos if the supervisor will “renounce the Chicano separatist, secessionist views of Freedom Road Socialist Michelle Foy.”

Presumably he will do this during public comment, which will be far less entertaining than even a fart from Walter Paulson.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BREAKING: City Is Cleaning Out Division Street Homeless Camp

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:41 PM

They are currently doing major sweeps on Division. Throwing people's belongings and tents in the dump truck. Told to "move along" but not told to where... not even pier 80. Reports of some being arrested and taken to jail.

Posted by Kelley Cutler on Tuesday, February 23, 2016


It's the end of Camp Lee. City Public Works crews are at this minute cleaning out San Francisco's Tent City, the collection of tents and homeless people gathered underneath the US-101 overpass near 13th and Division streets.

The demise of Tent City was imminent, after word leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle that the Department of Public Health was planning to declare the area a public health hazard. (It's hard to keep a camp clean without a latrine.) But DPW, apparently, did not need to wait for that, and began a "deep clean" of the area this morning, according to agency spokeswoman Rachel Gordon.

People living in the area can be relocated to Pier 80, and can have their belongings recovered at a city-owned yard, Gordon said. California Highway Patrol has arrested one person for causes not yet known; SFPD is there on-site for "security" purposes only, a spokesman said.

This was a long time coming, as the city's power structure had made its displeasure about Camp Lee known for weeks. Nevertheless, homeless advocates are, of course, apoplectic. 

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mayor Lee Says Outreach Workers Gave The Homeless “Alternatives” Before Telling Them To Move

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2016 at 2:47 PM

MIKE KOOZMIN/SF EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner

When I asked Mayor Ed Lee to explain his comment last summer that the homeless on the Embarcadero will “have to leave” during the Super Bowl , the first thing he said was, “Well, it’s not surprising that SF Weekly would take my words out [of context].”

Ooh. The claws come out. In truth, I was quoting him pretty directly, but I’ll admit that as far as mayoral burns go, that wasn't bad. Nevertheless: the question, Mr. Mayor?

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Friday, January 22, 2016

CA Lawmaker Says Human Trafficking is a Good Reason to Make Your Smartphone Less Secure

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 11:35 AM

JAPANEXPERTERNA.SE/FLICKR
  • Japanexperterna.se/Flickr

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and here in San Francisco, state and local agencies have been busy hosting press conferences, summits, and training sessions for staff in the hospitality industry. Yesterday, at an event in the Tenderloin, the city also officially launched its “No Traffick Ahead” PSA campaign — an initiative between 60 organizations from eight Bay Area counties — which will plaster hundreds of anti-trafficking ads in and on Muni buses, bus shelters, and billboards.

Locally, the Super Bowl has certainly intensified the city’s anti-trafficking crackdown; after all, the big game is commonly, if inaccurately, dubbed the biggest trafficking event in the U.S. But a recent statewide proposal from California Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) takes the trafficking crusade to a whole new level. Cooper’s AB 1681, introduced Wednesday, frames trafficking as a legitimate reason to access private data on smartphones.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Hearing About Haight Gas Leaks Turns Into Game of Hot Potato: Who’s to Blame?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:24 AM

SARAHELIZAMOODY/FLICKR
  • sarahelizamoody/Flickr
A long train of stupid events pulled into its final station last night with an official postmortem on that infamous Haight Street public works project — the one whose five gas leaks stopped just short of destroying the historic corridor.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed and a few of her board colleagues called representatives from the various relevant parties to City Hall, partly to discuss how to avoid another Three Stooges routine in future infrastructure projects but also, seemingly, just to have everybody in one place for a good drubbing.

“I won‘t allow this to continue,” Breed said, reviewing the charges: five gas leaks and at least two sinkholes (Haight neighbors contend it was three), triggered by contractors who were supposed to replace aging water and sewer lines. The $13.7 million project kicked off last April and was planned to take a few weeks. It’s still unfinished.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

City Fires Company Responsible For Repeated Gas Leaks in the Haight

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 10:19 AM

SARAHELIZAMOODY/FLICKR
  • sarahelizamoody/Flickr
Over the past nine months, residents in the Haight have complained about repeated gas line breaks — five in all — that disrupted the neighborhood, opened sinkholes, and delayed a major infrastructure project.

As KQED reports, the city has finally fired Synergy Project Management, the subcontractor responsible for the mishaps, alleging both incompetence and public safety breaches. This follows Synergy's appeal of the city's decision halt the $13.7 million project

The city rarely fires companies involved in public works projects, according to Public Works spokeswoman Rachel Gordon, but in this case it’s easy to see why Synergy raised concerns.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Supervisor London Breed Calls for a Federal Investigation into the SFPD's Shooting Death of Mario Woods

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 4:41 PM

Mario Woods was shot and killed by the SFPD on Dec. 2.
  • Mario Woods was shot and killed by the SFPD on Dec. 2.
With tears in her eyes, Board of Supervisors President London Breed today introduced a resolution calling for a federal investigation into the death of Mario Woods.

“San Francisco needs to follow Chicago’s example,” Breed said, referring to that city's investigation of the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald at the hands of Chicago police. (And which led to murder charges for the officer involved, as well as the dismissal of Chicago's police chief.)

The board was actually still in roll call, but the meeting came to a halt for a series of guests to address the body — first among them, Mario Woods’ mother, Gwen Woods, who received a standing ovation from a chamber filled with supporters.

Mrs. Woods, so emotional she could barely be heard at times, likened the police officers who fired the shots that killed her 26-year-old son on Dec. 2 to those SFPD officers ensnared — but ultimately unscathed — by controversy over racist text messages.

“Every time I wake up in the night, I see my son shot down like an animal. Just like they said they were going to do in those texts,” Mrs. Woods said. “Thank you for the apology, but somebody please tell me, why are they back at work? Why?”

Amos Brown, former supervisor and current minister of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, was on hand to comfort Mrs. Woods and give the board a piece of his mind.

“We must stop living this lie that we are a liberal town,” Brown said. “I once stood in this room and said, ‘Ferguson is here.’ Geographically, we are on the bay. But in terms of the police — not all of them, but too many — we are Ferguson. And I was vindicated.”

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Protesters Disrupt Mayor Ed Lee's Inauguration

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 2:26 PM

PHOTO BY ADAM BRINKLOW
  • Photo by Adam Brinklow

Mayor Ed Lee’s inauguration speech this morning was probably pretty good. But I can only guess, since it was hard to hear a word of it over chants of “Black lives matter” and “Fire Chief Suhr” coming from City Hall's upper galleries.

As promised, demonstrators from Justice For Mario Woods began assembling at around 11 this morning outside City Hall, passing out signs reading “Fire Suhr” and “Jail Killer Cops,“ many of which were painted on the backs of old Francisco Herrera For Mayor campaign placards.

Unable to secure seating on the ground floor, protesters gathered in the second floor gallery, forming a line for elevators that stretched nearly back to the entrance. Board of Supervisors President London Breed (often an advocate for groups like Black Lives Matter) made a point in her opening remarks of asking for order, calling City Hall “the people’s palace” and stressing the solemnity of the occasion.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Mayor Lee Turns Dolores Park Tour Into Impromptu Press Conference Defending Police Chief Suhr

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Mayor Lee in Dolores Park today - PHOTO BY ADAM BRINKLOW
  • Photo by Adam Brinklow
  • Mayor Lee in Dolores Park today

Mayor Ed Lee swore today that virtually everything about policing in San Francisco will change, except one big thing: Police Chief Greg Suhr stays.

“We’re just not there,” Lee said, in response to a reporter’s question about protesters’ demands that Suhr be handed his walking papers.

The mayor insisted that our chief is not only doing the best he can, but is also "leading the way” on reforms stemming from the death of Mario Woods, a 26-year-old African-American shot and killed by San Francisco police in the Bayview a little over a month ago.

Lee stopped in the middle of a tour of the newly renovated Dolores Park — reopening next week — for questions from a scrum of reporters about his meeting yesterday with the city’s African American Advisory Council. The tour then segued into a mini-press conference while framed by the Dolores Park playground, with children frolicking only a few feet away. Which, yeah, was a little weird.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mayor Lee Asks the City to Cut its Budget and Gets Accused of Corruption

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 12:58 PM

SEAN DAVIS/FLICKR
  • Sean Davis/Flickr
Mayor Ed Lee asked the city to cut its budget, and the Ethics Commission just plain said no.

In fact, it was closer to “hell no.”

San Francisco is looking at a projected $100 million shortfall next fiscal year, and another $240 million hole the year after, so the mayor’s office directed all city departments to trim their budgets 1.5 percent. This is a far cry from 2014, when Lee’s administration adopted a “let the good times roll” policy and told everyone not to worry about cuts.

A representative from the mayor’s office came to this morning’s special meeting of the Ethics Commission to helpfully explain that department’s obligation to cut back. (Actually, he ended up explaining the budget process from start to finish, because Chairman Paul Renne kept prompting him to continue, and when Renne asks you for something in his soothing, James Garner-like voice, it’s basically impossible to say no.)

Once they’d reviewed the entire procedure, Commissioner Benedict Hur posed a deceptively simple question: “What if we don’t do it?”

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