Brian McMahon

City unveils plan to get tough at 4/20 gatherings

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City officials today announced a "comprehensive plan" to crack down on unpermitted 420 events at Golden Gate Park this Sun/20, saying it was necessary because last year’s debauchery got out of hand. That means more police, both in uniform and plainclothes, will be in the park for the greatest marijuana celebration of the year.Read more »

This is 911, please hold

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The contentious tax breaks given to tech companies in San Francisco are under fire once again, as emergency dispatchers protested crippling budget shortages yesterday (Wed/2) in front of the Department of Emergency Management.

With sweeping budget cuts across all public sectors over the past few years, everyone is clamoring for more money wherever they can get it. But these protesters, organized by SEIU Local 1021, made some pretty compelling arguments for being prioritized.Read more »

Massage therapists hope for a happy ending

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The California Massage Therapy Council, a statewide body that licenses massage practitioners, may expire at the end of this year unless extended by the California Legislature. Some anti-prostitution crusaders say reverting to local control will make it easier to shut down covert brothels, but the practitioners fear a return to the bad old days, when stigmas and stereotypes overcomplicated their lives.Read more »

Glimmers of sunshine

Freedom of information can take many forms, but the principle stays the same

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rebecca@sfbg.com

For 29 years, San Francisco Bay Area journalists have gathered in mid-March — around the birthday of founding father and free-press advocate James Madison — to recognize reporters, attorneys, citizens, and others who fight to shake or keep information free.Read more »

Wiener’s resolution to study waterfront initiative written by its opponents

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Developers and activists are once again at odds over San Francisco’s waterfront, arguably the most valuable bit of land in one of America’s most expensive cities. Ahead of a June ballot initiative that would require voter approval for proposed waterfront buildings that exceed current height limits, development groups are already reaching out to politicians to tip the scales in their favor.Read more »

Fight for higher minimum wage resumes

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An event at the San Francisco Women's Building on Feb. 6 marked the 10-year anniversary of San Francisco's minimum wage ordinance, passed by voters in 2003 with Proposition L. The landmark initiative not only raised the minimum wage in San Francisco to $8.50 per hour, but stipulated that the amount would rise every year to reflect inflation. Thanks to Prop. L, San Francisco now boasts the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $10.74.

But in pricey San Francisco, it still isn't enough.Read more »

Advocates for higher minimum wage celebrate past success and look ahead

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Balloons, snacks, cake, live music, an open wine bar and nearly 100 guests marked a Thu/6 celebration at the Women’s Building in San Francisco's Mission district. You might never guess a party this fun would be held to celebrate the birthday of a city ordinance.

February marks the 10-year anniversary of San Francisco’s minimum wage ordinance, passed by voters in 2003 with Proposition L. The landmark initiative not only raised the minimum wage in San Francisco to $8.50 per hour, but stipulated that the amount would rise every year to reflect inflation. Thanks to Prop. L, San Francisco now boasts the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $10.74.

But being the nation's highest still isn’t enough.

“Who thinks living in San Francisco is really expensive?” asked one of the event organizers and staff member of the Chinese Progressive Association, Shaw San Liu. All hands in the room shot up before the Spanish and Mandarin translators even had a chance to repeat the question.

Raising the minimum wage in San Francisco has been a hot topic recently, and Mayor Ed Lee even endorsed a significant increase back in December. The number that keeps floating around is $15 per hour, but nothing has been set in stone. Read more »

In the dark

Bay Area plaintiffs seek legal memo justifying drone strikes against US citizens

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A battle for transparency that has dragged on for years is nearing a milestone, as Bay Area civil liberties advocates await a judge's ruling on whether the federal government will be forced to hand over memos outlining its legal justification for overseas drone strikes targeting US citizens.

The First Amendment Coalition, an Oakland-based civil liberties organization, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in October 2011 seeking a legal memo prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel to the US Department of Justice.Read more »

Public weighs in on dueling museum proposals at Presidio Trust hearing

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The fate of development Crissy Field is still up in the air after a townhall meeting last night [Mon/27] at the Presidio, where nearly 150 community leaders and residents spoke out on three rival museum proposals, in addition to a large group that supports no proposal at all.

Read more »