Rebecca Bowe

Google's androids

CAREERS AND ED: Tech giant gobbles up local robotics companies

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rebecca@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED Robotics, a field that largely exists in the realm of research and development, is poised to grow leaps and bounds right here in the Bay Area now that Google has decided to dump mountains of cash into it.

So far, the search giant with the "don't be evil" slogan has acquired eight robotics firms, and is pursuing a robotics initiative that nobody seems willing to describe in detail when speaking on record to the press.Read more »

Fire displaces Olague

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A fire broke out on Christmas night at the home of Christina Olague, a former San Francisco supervisor, and fatally injured her housemate and longtime friend, Randy David Sapp.

Now, Olague's friends and supporters are holding an online fundraiser (www.wepay.com/donations/christina-olague) to help her get back on her feet in the wake of the tragic event. A benefit has also been planned for Jan. 12 at El Rio, 3158 Mission Street.Read more »

Reformer removed

Environmental health director led progressive programs, resigned after mysterious investigation

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rebecca@sfbg.com

A San Francisco public health official, who's earned national recognition in his field for launching progressive environmental health initiatives, announced his resignation in late December under bizarre circumstances.

Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, who served as director of environmental health, left his employer of 17 years after being subjected to a months-long internal investigation he described as baseless.Read more »

Stealing secret records about government spying used to be way more complicated

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In 1971, a group of radicals broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole a bunch of documents about J. Edgar Hoover’s surveillance program targeting dissidents and antiwar activists.

Thanks to their criminal act, which they followed up by anonymously sending copies of the files to major media outlets, awareness of FBI spying under Cointelpro penetrated mainstream consciousness.Read more »

Former supervisor displaced after Christmas Day fire

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A fire broke out on Christmas night at the home of Christina Olague, a former San Francisco supervisor, and fatally injured her housemate and longtime friend, Randy David Sapp.

Now, Olague's friends and supporters are holding an online fundraiser to help her get back on her feet in the wake of the tragic event. A benefit has also been planned for Jan. 12 at El Rio.Read more »

Clean Power SF still moving forward

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news@sfbg.com 

Dec. 19 marked the 100th anniversary of the Raker Act, federal legislation that specifically called for San Francisco to directly distribute the water and electricity generated by the O'Shaughnessy Dam to its residents and for their benefit. The city does so with the water, through the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, but Pacific Gas & Electric used its power and connections to take control of the electricity and keep it, corrupting the political system for nearly a century in the process.Read more »

In SF and Oakland, activists block tech buses to protest displacement

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Between 70 and 100 protesters gathered at 24th and Valencia streets this morning (Fri/20) for yet another blockade of a private tech shuttle, this time to protest evictions in the city of San Francisco.

The activists, who were from Eviction Free San Francisco, Our Mission No Eviction, Causa Justa / Just Cause and others, stood in front of a white shuttle bus holding banners and signs. Some peeked through cardboard signs fashioned in the shape of place markers on Google maps, with “Evicted” written across the front.Read more »

Tech sets out to help the homeless

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Google “tech,” “San Francisco,” and “homeless” right now, and you will undoubtedly find the tale of Greg Gopman, former CEO of AngelHack, whose notorious Facebook comments comparing homeless people to “hyenas,” among other things, earned him a viral dose of public shaming delivered via Twitter and the blogosphere.Read more »

Plans for SF clean energy program still underway, despite political opposition

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San Francisco’s longstanding effort to develop a municipal renewable energy program has been stymied by politics, but Sup. London Breed has taken up the cause of advancing aspects of the plan that haven't been obstructed.

At a Dec. 13 meeting of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), a committee comprised of members of the Board of Supervisors that has been working to develop CleanPowerSF for years, Breed called for putting out a Request for Proposals to develop a concrete plan for building out local renewable energy infrastructure. LAFCo adopted the motion. Read more »

Bus stop

Muni could collect millions in fines against private shuttles — but it won't

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rebecca@sfbg.com

Each weekday, gleaming white buses operated by Google and other Silicon Valley tech giants roll through congested San Francisco streets and pause for several minutes in public bus stops, picking up passengers bound for sprawling tech campuses.Read more »