Steven T. Jones

Alternative Ink discusses the flurry of SF ballot measures moving through City Hall

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Digging deep during the height of summertime fun and frivolity, we Guardianistas showed up in force last night for another lively and informative edition of our biweekly radio show, Alternative Ink, on BFF.fm. Listen to the podcast here (but don’t be fooled by the first minute from a past show, it’s a false front we used to hide this week’s treasure).Read more »

Betty Yee cleared for November runoff after Perez halts Controller's race recount

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California Controller candidate Betty Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, will officially square off against Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, in the November runoff election after rival Democrat John Perez today called off a recount request. Perez finished in third place, just 481 votes behind Yee.Read more »

San Franciscans could make death penalty ruling stick

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In the wake of yesterday’s [Wed/16] judicial ruling that California’s death penalty system is unconstitutional — with federal District Judge Cormac Carney calling it arbitrary and so subject to endless delay that it “serves no penological purpose” — San Franciscans could play a key role in converting the ruling into an abolition of capital punishment.Read more »

SF bankers now exporting tenant-displacing TIC loans

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Fractional mortgage loans used to convert apartments into owner-occupied tenancies-in-common have fed the eviction and displacement crisis in San Francisco, where the median home price just surpassed $1 million for the first time. Now, some of the same San Francisco banks that pioneered fractional loans here have started offered them in the East Bay and on the Peninsula.Read more »

Motorists fight back

Ballot measure seeks to prioritize cars and undermine SF's "transit-first" policy

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Believing that they're somehow discriminated against on the streets of San Francisco, a new political coalition of motorists, conservatives, and neighborhood NIMBYs last week [Mon/7] turned in nearly twice the signatures they need to qualify the "Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco" initiative for the November ballot.Read more »

Angry building owners threaten lawsuit over anti-speculation tax

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Opponents of the anti-speculator tax that will appear on the November ballot blasted the proposal in a City Hall hearing yesterday [Thu/10] — pledging to defeat the measure in court even if voters approve it — but they were overwhelmed by a strong turnout from supporters who said real estate speculation drives up the cost of housing without adding any value.Read more »

Treasure Island development plans moving forward after lawsuit rejected

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Construction on the first 1,000 of up to 8,000 new homes planned for Treasure Island could begin as soon as next year after the State Appeals Court this week rejected a challenge of the project’s environmental impact report by Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island, a grassroots group led by former supervisor Aaron Peskin.Read more »

Motorists fight back in "transit-first" San Francisco

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Believing that they’re somehow discriminated against on the streets of San Francisco, a new political coalition of motorists, conservatives, and neighborhood NIMBYs yesterday [Mon/7] turned in nearly twice the signatures they need to qualify the “Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco” initiative for the November ballot.Read more »

Taxing speculators

Rival housing measures debated in City Hall, previewing high-stakes battles at the ballot

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steve@sfbg.com

Political tensions over evictions, displacement, real estate speculation, and rapidly rising housing costs in San Francisco are likely to heat up through the summer and autumn as a trio of November ballot measures are debated and combated by what's expected to be a flood of campaign cash from developers and other real estate interests.Read more »

Jury rejects civil claim of Oscar Grant III's imprisoned father

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When a jury in San Francisco this week rejected the civil lawsuit claims of Oscar Grant Jr., the imprisoned father of Oscar Grant III — who was shot to death by then-BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle on the platform of Fruitvale Station on New Year’s Day 2009 — were jurors exhibiting a bias against convicted criminals?Read more »