Ted Gullicksen remembered as passionate defender of SF renters’ rights

Ted Gullicksen remembered as passionate defender of SF renters’ rights

For more than a quarter-century, Ted Gullicksen piloted the San Francisco Tenants Union, the only fiercely independent renters-rights organization of its size and longevity in The City. News of his sudden death two weeks ago, just weeks before the November election, leaves the activists he nurtured with the Herculean task of passing the anti-real estate speculation-tax measure, Proposition G, which could be his legacy. Gullicksen, who was 61 when his roommate found him dead Oct….

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Lyft, Uber secure SFO deal

Lyft, Uber secure SFO deal

Uber and Lyft have signed deals to operate legally at San Francisco International Airport, officials announced Monday. The news comes after competing app-based ride service Sidecar signed a deal with SFO on Tuesday, the first agreement of its kind for any airport in California. SFO received a permit agreement signed by Lyft on Friday and one signed by Uber on Monday, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said. The deal details are identical for all three transportation…

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Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio One “On The Coast” with Stephen Quinn: Uber (Radio)

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio One “On The Coast” with Stephen Quinn: Uber (Radio)

Uber wants to set up shop in Vancouver and is being vehemently opposed by cab companies there as is the case in San Francisco. CBC Radio One host Stephen Quinn asked me to talk about how Uber has changed the transportation landscape in SF, as Vancouver says it needs 6 months to study the potential impacts.

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You better have a ticket to ride Muni

You better have a ticket to ride Muni

At the Van Ness station platform on a recent morning, three men wearing Muni uniforms stood alongside others waiting to board the next light-rail vehicle, chatting among themselves. The moment an inbound, two-car J-Church train arrived, the men broke off their conversation and methodically entered through different doors — one at the front of the first car, the second at the rear of the same car and the third at the rear of the last…

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SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services

SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services

San Francisco cabdrivers have decided that it’s time to form a union. The local industry has been reeling for years as venture capital-backed ride services like Uber and Lyft have proliferated and taxi companies’ calls to The City to level the playing field have done little to help. On Wednesday, cab drivers voted to initiate the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)…

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After SF residents’ actions improve dismal SRO units, they could be without homes

After SF residents’ actions improve dismal SRO units, they could be without homes

For four years, William Masone, a laid-off social worker for San Francisco who relies on Social Security disability checks, lived in a 10- by 12-foot unit at the single-room-occupancy Winton Hotel among cockroaches, bed bugs, mold and many other hazardous conditions. But he wasn’t exactly in a place where he could risk eviction by making complaints about the Tenderloin home to someone on the outside. Masone’s requests to building management resulted in a few pest…

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Community advocates concerned short-term rentals are edging low-income tenants out of SROs

Community advocates concerned short-term rentals are edging low-income tenants out of SROs

Cramped single-room-occupancy hotel units in Chinatown, traditionally living quarters for immigrant families, have recently caught the attention of community housing advocates because it appears some are being marketed on websites as short-term rentals, potentially opening a new front in San Francisco’s housing battles. Chinatown community advocates warn that this latest trend of placing SRO units on short-term rental sites, such as Craigslist and Airbnb, could exacerbate The City’s housing crisis by displacing vulnerable families, many…

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Death of the taxi medallion: SF cab company ponders major change

Death of the taxi medallion: SF cab company ponders major change

DeSoto Cab Co. might not like the under-regulated and fast-emerging alternative-ride service industry, but company President Hansu Kim knows an opportunity when he sees one. If Uber, Lyft and others are allowed to expose loopholes in the regulatory process — which boost their bottom lines exponentially — then so too can the traditional taxi industry, he realized. During public comment at many recent San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors meetings, Kim has explained…

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EXCLUSIVE: SF Central Subway tunnel-boring phase reaches milestone

EXCLUSIVE: SF Central Subway tunnel-boring phase reaches milestone

There was no arresting explosion, no sudden, defining crack announcing the breakthrough. Only small rocks – occasionally a large slab of concrete – periodically tumbling down a crumbled wall 47 feet below ground level as “Big Alma,” the second of two tunnel-boring machines excavating San Francisco’s first new subway in nearly a half-century, slowly peered its cutterhead out Wednesday. A few dozen neon-vested, hardhat-fitted workers on the project — from the contractor’s foremen to the…

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