San Francisco Chronicle

Deadly gamble

Local media stoked BART's dangerous union-bashing strategy, new report finds

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joe@sfbg.com

As BART management and unions were locked in dysfunctional contract negotiations that would result in two strikes and two deaths last year, the district and the media scoffed at workers safety concerns and waged a media campaign demonizing the unions. Now, a new report commissioned by the district calls that strategy a horrible mistake.Read more »

Yahoo and other tech companies are squeezing the Chronicle's newsroom

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With high demand for office space in San Francisco these days — thanks largely to the latest technology bubble, Mayor Ed Lee’s economic development focus, and its amplification by the San Francisco Chronicle — Hearst Corp., which owns both the paper and the Chronicle Building, seems to be more focused on property management than journalism these days. Read more »

Behind the Chron's paywall

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I wish the Chronicle luck at its experiment with a “paywall.” Once upon a time, we used to call that a “subscription” -- that is, you pay money and someone delivers to you something worthwhile to read. Since nobody much likes to pay to read anything any more, it’s considered risky and a bit radical for a newspaper to charge money for access to the work that it pays a staff a fair amount of money to produce.Read more »

Chron workers protest health-care hikes

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About half of the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial staff were packed into their third floor conference room last Wednesday night. And according to people present, it wasn't a news meeting or a press conference.

Angered over years of concessions, buyouts, lost pension, and sacrificed pay raises, the unionized reporters are organizing to fight steep increases in their health-care costs.Read more »

Tidbits on tech, race and gentrification in the Bay Area

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The media and blogosphere have given us plenty to chew on lately as columnists, subversive Tweeters, and mischievous YouTube producers take to the Internet to examine issues of tech, race, class and gentrification in the Bay Area. To wit:Read more »

The Chron's bizarre attack on Milk Airport

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It must have been hard for John Diaz, the Chron's editorial page editor, to just come out and oppose the idea of renaming San Francisco International Airport for Harvey Milk. So instead he put out a tortured argument that goes like this:

It's too easy to put things on the ballot in San Francisco. To wit:Read more »

Willie Brown's "friends" at airbnb

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San Francisco's treasurer, Jose Cisneros, usually operates out of the limelight, and he likes it that way. Most of what he does is about making sure the city's money comes in propertly and doesn't go out where it isn't supposed to. But now he's in the middle of a political battle not of his making, and he's taking some undeserved hits, including from the Mayor's Office.Read more »

The Chronicle's coverage of Occupy

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I couldn't help but notice that the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle today juxtaposed this lead news photo and article about yesterday's Port of Oakland shutdown with the following headline: "Blacks don't feel drawn to white-led movement."

San Francisco's paper of record was referring to Occupy Oakland, which led several marches to shut down operations at the port Dec. 12 and claimed victory after accomplishing just what protest organizers had set out to do.Read more »

Dick Meister: The artistry of silence in film

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Dick Meister is a long-time San Francisco writer. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com.

I didn't get much sleep last night. I was kept awake thinking of a film – "The Artist" – I had just seen. It stands out, even in the harsh light of day, as one of the very best of the many movies, silent and sound movies alike, that I've watched over the past 60 years. (Read the Guardian's take on the film here.)

Although the widely-acclaimed movie was made this year, "The Artist" is a silent film, except for an excellent music soundtrack that sounds like the live orchestral music that accompanied major silent films. That practice ended, of course, with the coming of talkies.

That's the movie's major theme, the end of the silents – a theme it handles even better than other excellent films covering the topic, such as "Singin' in the Rain." I won't go beyond noting the theme, for fear of disclosing the plot, but, believe me, it's a very well-plotted and well-acted theme. Read more »

The Chron's Willie Brown problem

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I'm glad someone else has noticed the problem with giving a political fixer his own newspaper column. Read more »