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Friday, August 5, 2016

SF Police Union Just Won’t Stop

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 10:35 AM

In the latest issue of the San Francisco Police Officers Association journal, union president Martin Halloran implores whomever is reading to follow the advice of Dallas Police Chief David Brown and “[b]ecome a part of the solution. Serve your community. Don't be a part of the problem.”

Halloran goes on to say “recent acts of cowardly cold blooded murder of police officers have the potential to drive a wedge between law enforcement officers and the communities that we serve.”

It’s good advice, and he’s right about the impact those recent police officer deaths in Dallas and Louisiana are having on cities and towns across the country.

“But we will not let this happen,” Halloran continues. “We refuse to. Instead, we will continue to work hand in hand to forge ahead, to promote peace within our community and unity in our cities.”

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

After Uproar, Dolores Park Lawn Reservations Nixed

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2016 at 11:02 AM

  • Original photo: Kevin Montgomery. Dog photoshop job: Todd Standish.
  • The overwhelming sentiment.
You know you’ve touched a nerve when your cause generates two petitions in less than 24 hours. But it appears fans of Dolores Park can rest a little easier — and sit upon the DoPa grass without fear of being booted by someone who paid for the privilege of securing that sod. 

This month, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department began a two-month pilot program that, along with picnic tables, allows sections of grass in the park to be reserved, as SFist first reported. Picnic table reservations are nothing new, and they are allowed at parks citywide, but including the lawn space riled up the masses.

Two petitions seeking to stop this were created almost immediately after the news broke Monday, and as of this morning the more popular one already exceeded its goal of 10,000 signatures.

However, Castro district Supervisor Scott Wiener, in a statement posted to Medium this morning, said he worked out a compromise with Rec and Park to limit the reservations to picnic tables only.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Death Threats, Rape Threats: Woman From Infamous SFSU Dreadlocks Video Speaks Out

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Bonita Tindle speaks. - CHANGE.ORG
  • Bonita Tindle speaks.
The missing voice in the fracas following publication of the now-viral San Francisco State University dreadlocks video has spoken. Apparently, the worldwide media who largely derided Bonita Tindle in the aftermath of her encounter with fellow student Cory Goldstein over the latter fellow's dreadlocks has been uninterested in airing her side of the story.

It appears only the SFSU student newspaper, the Golden Gate Xpress and our friends at SFist have published her response, in which she outlines the death threats, rape threats, and racist backlash that forced her to go underground for a few weeks. 

On April 11, according to the Xpress, Tindle wrote a public post on her mostly private Facebook page addressing what happened in a video — and what was not shown on camera — that has been viewed more than 3.7 million times since it was posted March 28.

Tindle rightfully points out that no matter what happened between her and Goldstein, the reaction to her has been nothing short of dehumanizing, horrific, and potentially criminal.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

What's Next for the Sex Offender Treatment Clinic Chased Out of Duboce Triangle?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 3:01 PM


They’ve got to go somewhere.

Nobody wants Sharper Future, the California-based rehab center for sex offenders, on their block. This week, clinic owners abandoned a bid to move into the vacant space at 100 Church St. citing the neighborhood’s unrestrained (if unsurprising) anger after Hoodline tipped everyone off about it.

But no amount of angry emails or petitions can run Sharper Future clear out of town. The clinic’s clients, all registered sex offenders, are required by law to get regular psychological treatment, many of them for the rest of their lives. Much the same way we can’t legally (or practically) relocate sex offenders to a desert island, we can’t kick out the institutions that service them.

Nor should we really want to, since the idea of sex offenders not getting therapy is a clear net loss for community safety. This has the makings of an intractable problem.

“I’ve been trying to find a place for these people for seven months,” says Ken Colwell, a real estate broker with Paragon Commercial Brokerage. “We looked at maybe 30 sites, and considered 100 others. We did everything we were supposed to with this building, got the green light from the city, and now it’s been taken away at the last minute.”

Colwell is clearly steamed on his clients’ behalf. Sharper Future is actually the perfect tenant in most ways, a successful nonprofit with sound financials, federal funding, and owners (doctors Mary-Perry Miller and Tom Tobin) whom Colwell calls “two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”

But it’s hard to overcome that PR problem.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sex Offender Clinic Won't Move Into Duboce Triangle After Neighborhood Protests

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM


The people of Duboce Triangle have spoken, and their NIMBY message is loud and clear: No sex offenders allowed!

Sharper Future, a clinic that provides outpatient treatment to sex offenders, had planned to move into 100 Church St. (which formerly housed an Out of the Closet). But after a heated community meeting on Monday — so heated, in fact, that Supervisor Scott Wiener briefly halted proceedings — Sharper Future has announced it won’t relocated to Church Street after all. 

As SFist reports, the clinic released a statement last night announcing that it’s “clear our presence would be divisive for everyone concerned. Out of respect for the community and the very critical work that we do, we’ve elected to seek an alternative location.”

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Friday, January 29, 2016

D.A. Blasts Mayor Lee and Police Chief Suhr For Not Cooperating With Misconduct Investigation

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:55 AM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner

You’re not serious about addressing police misconduct or reforming police department culture. That’s the gist of a Jan. 28 letter that District Attorney George Gascón sent to Mayor Ed Lee. 

As the Examiner reports, Gascón wants to know why, if the mayor is serious about stamping out bias in the SFPD, he isn’t cooperating with the D.A.’s blue ribbon panel investigating precisely that.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Giant, Illegal Super Bowl Ads Will Be Gone By End of Today…Except, Only Part of Them

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 1:18 PM


The clock is ticking, and those tower-sized Super Bowl ads downtown are coming down...sort of. City officials did a double-take when the huger-than-huge Verizon and VISA billboards appeared on the sides of Embarcadero Four and One Market Street, respectively. If they’re not gone by 5 p.m. today, subpoenas will fly.

According to the city attorney, at least the Verizon ad is illegal twice over. First, it’s a violation of Article 6 of the planning code, a venerable 1965-era law that says you’re only allowed to put a giant sign on the side of your building if it’s advertising the businesses in that building. On top of that, voters passed a law in 2002 barring new billboards. City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s complaint letter to Verizon spells it out:

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Massive Super Bowl Ads Illegal, City Attorney Says

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 1:39 PM


Remember that large and rather ill-executed Verizon Super Bowl 50 ad draping the Embarcadero Center near the Ferry Building? And remember how San Francisco's ban on general advertising — which bans new billboards and ads of this exact kind — apparently didn't apply, because the Mayor's Office said so, and because the Super Bowl is a "civic celebration"?

City Attorney Dennis Herrera is evidently not as big a football fan as Mayor Ed Lee. Herrera on Tuesday sent a letter to the owner of the Embarcadero Center, declaring the ad illegal and ordering it removed by 5 p.m. Thursday, the San Francisco Examiner first reported.

A spokesman for the Super Bowl Host Committee told the Examiner that the ads would be taken down immediately — prompting, at least among some circles, a "real" civic celebration, but begging additional questions. Such as: why did Ed Lee say the ads were OK in the first place?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

SF Business Groups Come Out Swinging in Support of the Super Bowl

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:56 PM


The Board of Supervisors — or at least Jane Kim, Aaron Peskin, and John Avalos — have been on a week-long counteroffensive against Super Bowl 50, including a proposed resolution (set for an initial vote today) that the city kick, scream, and scratch to get reimbursed for the estimated $5.3 million in expenses we’ll rack up between now and game day.

Well, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and some aligned business groups decided that two can play at that game. They called a press conference this morning with the dramatic promise of a “smoking gun” to “prove” that the supes are full of it.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Supervisor London Breed Accuses District Attorney George Gascón of "Grandstanding"

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 3:10 PM

  • Photo by Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner
Less than a month after the Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected a new $380 million jail to replace the decrepit Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant, another plan is on the table, and as per the usual in San Francisco, there’s already controversy.

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