At 29th and Mission.
By Tim Redmond
OCTOBER 29, 2014 — I’ve been watching the World Series since the Amazin’ Mets won in 1969, and I have never seen anything like tonight. Never seen a pitcher on so little rest come in and do so much … Never seen so unlikely a team make it to and win Game Seven on the road.
Wow. Just wow. Now let’s not burn any buses tonight.
Sandra Serrano, head of the accrediting team, wanted a lower-level sanction
By Tim Redmond
OCTOBER 29, 2014 – The president of the ACCJC tried to climb out of a deep hole this morning as her lawyers sought to undermine the dramatic testimony she had given yesterday.
But evidence introduced later tended to support the claim that Beno had personally intervened to change part of an accrediting report to make it less favorable to City College.
Barbara Beno had testified that City College was not given the type of due process that the ACCJC’s own regulations require. She also admitted to editing the final accrediting report – and that her edits led to the removal of language supportive of the school. After her review, at least two sections in which the visiting team of accreditors had concluded City College was in compliance with the agency’s standards were changed to reflect that the school was out of compliance.
For much of the morning, ACCJC attorney Kenneth Keller sought to help Beno explain what she had meant when she said the school was never given the proper right to respond to the final report calling for termination of its accreditation.
A lot of the discussion became technical and focused on minor semantic issues – specifically, the difference between “deficiencies” and “standards of noncompliance.” Continue reading
ACCJC President Barbara Beno ducked and covered — but had to answer the key questions
By Tim Redmond
OCTOBER 28, 2014 — In what could be a decisive moment in the City College trial, the head of the ACCJC admitted today that the agency’s decision to yank accreditation from City College violated the agency’s own standards and denied due process to the San Francisco school.
Barbara Beno, president of the accrediting commission, also admitted that she personally edited the report of the visiting team responsible for evaluating the school, and that her changes – which were detrimental to City College – were adopted in the final document.
Among those changes were the removal of language stating that the school administration, faculty, and board had shown “a high level of dedication, passion, and enthusiasm and provided compelling evidence to address the issues” that lead to a loss of accreditation.
Under the ACCJC’s rules, Beno — a staffer, not a commission member — should have had no role in deciding whether City College kept its accreditation.
She also denied that the commission’s decision to put her husband on the team that evaluated City College was a conflict of interest – and insisted that she had never once discussed the school’s accreditation with him. That, one City College supporter told me, “strains credulity.” Continue reading
Yvonne Mere, deputy city attorney, presents the case against the ACCJC
By Tim Redmond
OCTOBER 27, 2014 – The City College accreditation trial got off to a dramatic start today with state Community College Chancellor Brice Harris admitting that he only called for a special trustee to take over the college after a conversation with the head of the ACCJC, who convinced him that suspending local control was the only way the school could survive.
Harris also testified that by all normal measures of academic achievement, City College was above the state average and that the classroom instruction is exceptional.
“The teaching and learning at the college continues to be excellent and gets better all the time,” he testified.
And he said that he doesn’t think that the accrediting panel should have invoked its strongest sanction. City College, despite some very serious problems, should remain open and accredited, he told the court. Continue reading
By Rebecca Bowe
OCTOBER 27, 2014 –Mayor Ed Lee held a press conference in his City Hall office today to mark the signing of legislation regulating short-term rentals – and the sound of chanting could be heard from the other side of closed double doors.
A group of protesters had gathered just outside to create an altar with brightly colored carnations, candles, black-and-white photos of San Francisco landmarks, and signs mourning the loss of neighborhoods and cultural institutions.
Led by Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club President Tom Temprano, the group included representatives from an array of organizations including the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the California Nurses Association, SEIU Local 1021, the hotel workers’ union, Local 2, the AIDS Housing Alliance, the Latino Democratic Club, and others. Continue reading
Why Chiu — but more important, why now?
By Tim Redmond
OCTOBER 24, 2014 – In December, 2003, the local power structure had a genuine freak-out moment: A series of polls showed that Green Party member and upstart supervisor Matt Gonzalez had a chance to beat Gavin Newsom and become the next mayor of San Francisco.
The resulting four years would have been, to say the least, unpredictable, and power likes predictability. So Newsom’s people got on the phone and hauled in the biggest hitter they could. Developer Walter Shorenstein sent a private plane back east to pick up a guy name Bill Clinton, who came out and did a rally for Newsom.
I thought about that when I saw that Ed Lee had (with remarkably little media fanfare) endorsed David Chiu for state Assembly. Even Lee’s allies say the decision makes little political sense for the mayor. Lee is not close to Chiu.
But Ron Conway and the tech leadership are very close to the mayor (and in Room 200 City Hall, Conway these days has a lot more clout than Rose Pak or even Willie Brown). And Conway really, really doesn’t want David Campos to get elected. Continue reading
One of the five most corrupt politicians in SF history? That’s quite a standard
By Tom Temprano
It seems as if entire forests worth of trees have sacrificed their lives to create all of the campaign literature that has been flooding San Francisco voter’s mailboxes in the lead up to the November election. We’re being hit with everything from strange photos of scrambled eggs (thanks to the real estate industry’s fight against Prop G) to voter guides from at least half a dozen groups I’ve never even heard of.
Given the sheer volume, it takes quite a bit to raise my now-desensitized hackles when it comes to political mailers but BART Board candidate Nick Josefowitz has managed to do just that with his recent mail piece. In a hit that seems more appropriate for a senate race in a battleground state than a largely unwatched race to join a regional transit body Josefowitz paints his incumbent opponent, James Fang, as one of the “5 Most Corrupt Politicians In San Francisco History.”
That’s a pretty outrageous allegation on its own, but its especially outrageous when you see that Fang’s picture on the mailer is positioned directly above that of a former public defender who orchestrated the murder of an elderly lady to steal her inheritance.
Now, Fang has indeed been fined quite a bit of money over the $2,000 that he admitted to illegally funneling into the campaign of his then-boss Mayor Frank Jordan in the 1990s. That certainly is fair game to make it into a hit mailer — but putting him alongside a guy who served 25 years for murder is pretty cold. Continue reading