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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Latest Pinniped Victims of Climate Change Are These Unbearably Cute Northern Fur Seals

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 1:49 PM

  • Courtesy Marine Mammal Center
The Marine Mammal Center in Sausolito has had quite a year. After spending the first 10 months of the year rescuing record-breaking numbers of seals and sea lions — more than ever before in its 40-year history — the center is now facing an influx of malnourished northern fur seal pups. 

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Mayor Lee’s Demand to Make Tour Buses Safer Probably Won’t Work

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 12:25 PM

  • Chadmagiera/Flickr

The double-decker bus that lost control on Post Street a week and a half ago and injured 20 people may not be the most pressing public safety issue in the city (Vision Zero and lingering unease about PG&E gas lines come to mind), but it is the hardest to ignore.

The image of a blue juggernaut hurtling pell-mell past San Francisco landmarks while scattering orange safety barriers like dandelions in its wake would be comical if so many people hadn’t been hurt — and it’s an image not likely to slip the minds of anyone who takes a jaunt up that particular block anytime soon.

Maybe that’s what urged Mayor Ed Lee to get on the horn last week and demand sweeping inspections of the city’s entire carrier bus entourage.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee Joins Chorus to Fire DEA Chief

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 12:25 PM

DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg, left, isn't on the good side of U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, right.
  • DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg, left, isn't on the good side of U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, right.

The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chuck Rosenberg, has been on the job just six months, but he's already stepped in it.

The head of the nation's federal drug police recently gave credence to the theory of a "Ferguson effect," in which crime waves are tied to people filming police, who are subsequently too scared to do their jobs (or something). And earlier this month, he also publicly denounced medical marijuana as "a joke."

Rosenberg, remember, can't use his DEA to bust state-legal medical marijuana operations thanks to a move earlier this year by members of Congress. Those same members of Congress, including Oakland's U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, have now joined a chorus calling Rosenberg's words "a throwback idelogy rooted in the failed War on Drugs," and is pressing President Obama for his immediate removal. That' s also the goal of a petition, which has of Monday garnered over 105,000 signatures.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Woman Acquitted of Murder in Hotel Stabbing Case

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Lisa Heng with Jeff Adachi during a preliminary hearing - MIKE KOOZMIN
  • Mike Koozmin
  • Lisa Heng with Jeff Adachi during a preliminary hearing

Lisa Heng, the 31-year-old San Francisco woman who stabbed her boyfriend to death in a Tenderloin hotel last July, was acquitted of first degree murder and lesser charges by a jury today.

Heng, a single mother, was arrested July 18, 2014, when she called 911 seeking medical attention for her boyfriend, 40-year-old Matt Sheahan, after stabbing him during a methamphetamine-fueled fight. Sheahan later died of his injuries. 

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Report: SF Real Estate Due For "Correction" — and Venture Capital Crash

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 1:17 PM

Your path to affordability!
  • Your path to affordability!

Is it a bubble? Is it a plateau en route to the summit of an ever-growing mountain? Whatever it is and whatever metaphor you use to describe it, the San Francisco real estate market is crazy. Our eye-popping housing prices are also due for "a correction" — as in a crash, according to experts who tie trends in housing prices to trends in venture capital.

This latest doomsday prediction comes courtesy of an Irvine-based real estate consultant and a San Francisco real estate brokerage. Consultant John Burns and brokerage Pacific Union tell Marketwatch that today's real estate market is eerily similar to the "dot-com bust of 2000."

While San Francisco has become and will remain to be "a permanently more expensive place to live," the near-doubling of the median price of a home from 2012 to today has been fueled "mainly by speculation" — and further, this steep increase can be tied to venture capital activity, Burns told the website.

So it's not an earthquake you need to beg for in order to afford that sweet little million-dollar cottage on Bernal — it's just a stock market crash.

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The Atlantic's Silicon Valley Suicides Cover Story and the Risk of Copycat Suicides

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:23 PM


The Atlantic’s
December issue leads with “The Silicon Valley Suicides” by Hanna Rosin, a somber look at the suicide pandemic seizing Palo Alto’s high schools. In the 2014-2015 school year, three current and one graduated student took their own lives, echoing a similar rash of suicides in 2008-2009. The most common method was stepping in front of an oncoming Caltrain.

Rosin, who graduated from Stanford but no longer lives in California, had scarcely arrived back in town to report on the troubling phenomena before she encountered anxious opposition.

Not because she was coming to write about a painful issue that the community is keen to put behind it — although she acknowledges that was a factor. (Diana Kapp investigated the story for San Francisco magazine earlier this year.) 

“I know that the very fact that I’m writing about this and making them confront it again isn’t great for these people, no matter how sensitive I was,” Rosin told me yesterday by phone.

The concern was mostly because experts contend — frantically, frequently, and to whoever will listen — that the mere act of writing about a suicide cluster could incite more suicides. It’s a situation called suicide pathogen, or sometimes just copycat suicide.

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There's an "Epidemic of Violence" Against Trans People — Even in San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 11:04 AM

At least 21 trans people have been murdered in the U.S. this year - TIM WANG/FLICKR
  • Tim Wang/Flickr
  • At least 21 trans people have been murdered in the U.S. this year

A headline on Mother Jones today is depressing but not particularly surprising: “More Transgender People Have Been Killed in 2015 Than Any Other Year on Record.” It’s a poignant reminder on the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance that much legal and social legwork remains to be done — even in notoriously liberal California.

Just this week, a 25-year-old transwoman in San Francisco was assaulted for the second time since January. According to the Chronicle, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission says that 79 percent of transgender people the agency surveyed last year reported being the victims of violence in the city, and 88 percent reported being harassed.

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Plan Your Free Black Friday Hike in a Redwood Forest

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 10:54 AM

  • Mike Shoys Courtesy Save the Redwoods League
Thanks to a gift from the Save the Redwoods League, there's never been a better reason to skip the nightmare of Black Friday sales and get outside on the day after Thanksgiving. 

The non-profit has announced that it is offering free admission to 49 state parks on Friday, November 27. Don't forget to print out a pass before you go, and enjoy working off your Thanksgiving feast in the company of thousand-year-old trees.

Here are some of the best nearby parks to choose from: 

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

International Men's Day Part II: BURN IT ALL DOWN

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 4:07 PM

Give it up boys, it's time to go home. - TOMS RIVER FIRE DEPT/FLICKR
  • Toms River Fire Dept/Flickr
  • Give it up boys, it's time to go home.

We thought we had said our piece about International Men's Day in San Francisco, but the good people at SFist have drawn our attention to an actual dumpster fire of maleness that cannot, on this holy day of men, pass unnoticed. 

Apparent actual human person Steven Tang, an employee of (no, it couldn't be) a tech company, published a Medium post on this day of all days, performing a complicated statistical analysis of San Francisco's so-called "49ers" — i.e. women who are "fours" but act like they're "nines." 

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