Alameda Shows Support for Housing, Immigrants
Alameda’s City Council meeting covered a dizzying variety of issues last night—among other notable actions, the city affirmed its status as a sanctuary city. Over the objections of a handful of older residents, the Council largely supported the efforts of several dozen demonstrators urging the city to draft a more specific resolution to protect the civil rights of migrants. More subtly, but perhaps just as importantly, the City Council also united to support an ambitious mixed-use... more
We’re On A Boat: The Lab Takes Noise for a Joyride
Sandy Buschman left San Francisco a year ago to open a bar in Puerto Rico. La Boveda, in San Juan’s Viejo San Juan district, hosts weekly experimental concerts largely of the same noisy, challenging nature that Sandy brought to the Bay Area. We really want her back. So much so, in fact, that Mission-based music non-profit collective The Lab paid to fly her back for a one-of-a-kind (okay, four total) party on a boat cruise around the San Francisco Bay. Reunited with Oakland-via-Venezuela... more
Feeding the Hungry, Studying Shadows Top Priorities at Planning Commission
Jan 13, 2017
Dennis Richards (pictured above), acting president of the San Francisco Planning Commission, told a pair of French nuns, “I’ll even try your food,” before moving to approve their application for a use permit to run a non-profit soup kitchen out of vacant retail space. “You can donate, too,” one Sister replied. “I’ll come volunteer,” Richards added without missing a beat. Thus concluded the first, heartwarming half of the Planning Commission’s Discretionary Review agenda yesterday. The stars... more
Lawsuit Eliminates 23 Homes from Redwood City Condo Proposal
A coalition of neighbors in San Mateo County dubbed “Redwood City Residents for Responsible Development” (RCRFRD) successfully leveraged environmental litigation to downsize new development in the downtown area. The developer, Jefferson Res, LLC, submitted applications for a permit in September 2015 for an 8-story condominium building with 91 dwelling units at 603 Jefferson Avenue. After approving it in May of 2016, the City Council voted to deny an appeal brought by two residents in late... more
SF Sketchfest Brings Local Flavor and Global Laughs
San Francisco is perpetually a city of rising stars, but conventional wisdom dictates that once they rise, they must flee for Los Angeles with all deliberate haste. SF Sketchfest has established itself as a global institution to counter the tinsel-town dominance of show business, pushing the envelope with new and innovative comedians alongside the star power of established stalwarts. If you find yourself staring at a list of obscure names, don’t worry—it’s as much of a celebration for... more
At First Sight, Alamedans Welcome Density on Waterfront
Alameda’s Planning Board convened in council chambers to review the Encinal Terminals Master Plan, an ambitious proposal on the island’s waterfront facing Oakland. What proceeded was a spectacle most unusual in the Bay Area: a municipal public hearing in which virtually every attendee enthusiastically supported greater density. “Across the estuary, Oakland will be building up to 30 stories at the Brooklyn Basin,” one speaker noted. “So I think fourteen stories might not even be tall enough... more
The School Board Graduate: Sandra Lee Fewer (District 1)
Jan 10, 2017
This article originally appeared in The Bay City Beacon. Coming from nearly 8 years on the San Francisco School Board, Sandra Lee Fewer joins a number of elected officials (Jane Kim, Eric Mar, Norman Yee) that have jumped from the School Board to the Board of Supervisors. A fourth generation native and Chinese American, Sandra Lee Fewer campaigned as a long-time Richmond District local with strong ties to the progressive wing of San Francisco politics. She supported limited growth and... more
Fear & Finance in Saint Francis, Part 2: What Do the Watchdogs Watch?
Jan 9, 2017
When I meet Herb Meiberger at a café in the Castro, he brings his faithful service dog, Bark. Bark (pictured above) does not bark once. Rather, he silently tastes my hand in greeting, accepts some scratches behind the ear, and sits on my feet, presumably to guard me from predators. “He likes you. That’s a good sign,” Meiberger observes. “If Bark trusts you, I can trust you.” Then and there, he opens up. For someone campaigning as a “watchdog,” Meiberger couldn’t have brought a more helpful... more
The Progressive Fighter: Hillary Ronen (District 9)
Jan 9, 2017
This interview was originally published in the Bay City Beacon. The Mission District has always been the progressive stronghold of San Francisco politics. It’s been the seat of Former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and outgoing Supervisor David Campos, elected officials who have prided themselves on being the progressive vanguard. That pattern of left-leaning leadership continues as Hillary Ronen becomes the first woman in modern district elections to represent the Mission. Ronen comes as a City... more
After 13 Years, Geary Rapid Bus Project Moves Forward
Jan 6, 2017
Transit advocates saw a major victory at San Francisco City Hall last night after the County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) voted unanimously to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Bus Rapid Transit project along Geary Boulevard. The dedicated center lanes for bus travel initially received a favorable feasibility report in 2004, after a funding shortfall rendered an underground subway proposal largely a pipe dream. Supervisor London Breed, a commissioner on SFCTA, said... more