The Grid

The proposal to streamline and automate newsracks, which is now under consideration by Mayor Brown, may beautify the city streets. But it'll hurt alternative weeklies, namely the Guardian and SF Weekly. These papers rely on solitary, unique newsracks to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Forcing them into the uniform, "candy-machine" dispensers would cut into circulation.

We asked Bruce if Danny's gig presents a conflict he should disclose in his pages. He said no, noting that his son is not the city's decision-maker and adding, "We will fight tooth and nail." As for SF Weekly, we admit to shopping for a lobbyist.

Move-In Target
Trying to sketch a political persona for himself in advance of the Nov. 5 election, Michael Yaki, a mayoral appointee to the Board of Supervisors, briefly positioned himself as a champion of the tenants movement and introduced a major piece of legislation on its behalf. His Owner Move-In Reform and Senior Housing Protection Act was a classic case of legislative overkill -- the equivalent of prescribing a lobotomy as a cure for the blues. As pre-election opposition jelled, Yaki began distancing himself from his own measure, thus alienating people on both sides of the tenant-landlord divide.

Last month, however, a chance for redemption arose. But Yaki, who was re-elected by finishing fifth in a race for six seats, didn't have the sense to grab it.

Heading into a Dec. 9 vote on his doomed bill, according to a City Hall aide, Yaki was approached by Supervisors Leslie Katz and Susan Leal about signing onto a moderate alternative. It, too, aimed to guard tenants from evictions by owners who claim to move into their units as a ruse to evade rent control. But, unlike Yaki's original, the alternative carried the virtue of likely passage. Yet, according to one City Hall aide, Yaki inexplicably said "no thanks." The rookie supe tabled his bill and passed the reins to Katz and Leal, sealing his abdication of leadership on the issue.

The upside for Yaki? He's got the next four years to figure out whether he has an authentic position on the issue or not.

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