Thursday - May 23, 2019

SF implements largest biodiesel vehicle fleet in U.S.

by Juliana Birnbaum Fox

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced this week that 100% of the City’s approximately 1,500 diesel vehicles have been converted to run on biodiesel. The City’s diesel fleet includes MUNI buses, several fire engines, ambulances and street sweepers.

“Every city bears responsibility for taking local action to address our global climate crisis,” said Mayor Newsom.

“When it comes to the use of alternative fuels, renewable energy sources and greening our City fleet, San Francisco is demonstrating leadership and commitment on every front.”

Use of biodiesel will enable the City to achieve significant reductions indiesel exhaust, a toxic air contaminant linked to an array of serious health problems.

The San Francisco Bay Area is second only to Los Angeles in the health impacts from diesel pollution.

Trafficking law amendments may restrict internet sex industry

California Representative Tom Lantos has introduced amendments to the Trafficking Victims Protection Revocation Act that may include all internet and commercial sexual activity that crosses state lines, including internet dialogue. Under current law the Mann Act prohibits kidnapping, coercion and trafficking in persons over state lines.

“The Lantos amendment is carefully disguised in an innocuous language” says Robyn Few, Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, “yet it could potentially implicate respected business men like Craigslist’s, Craig Newmark as somebody who “affected’ the communication of consenting adults across state lines.”

National Lawyers Guild condemns action taken against Berkeley tree-sitters

On December 2, the one year anniversary of the Berkeley Memorial Grove protest, the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemned the actions of UC Berkeley and campus police against the tree-sitters as “irresponsible and dangerous.”

The University has been trying to build an athletic center which would destroy a grove of 38 native oak trees near Memorial Stadium, adjacent to Piedmont Avenue. The grove is part of a sacred Ohlone burial site and, along with the stadium, serves as a memorial to Californians who died in World War I.

In October, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Keller ruled that the tree-sitters and “all other persons acting in concert” must come down or face fines and jail time. NLGSF members representing some of those arrested at the Memorial Grove report that police are taking an overbroad reading of Judge Keller’s order.

“The methods used by the University, law enforcement and private security are putting these activists at great risk of injury and are completely unnecessary,” said San Francisco Attorney Dennis Cunningham.

­San Francisco Public High School ranked among nation’s top 100

Lowell High School was ranked 69 out of the top 100 high schools by U.S. News & World Report, which analyzed 18,790 public high schools in 40 states using data from the 2005-2006 school year. The list is based on two principles: that the school must serve all its students well, and that it produce measurable academic outcomes.

The magazine analyzed high schools in three ways: Student Performance on state tests, how well the schools socio-economically disadvantaged students performed, and the amount of college-level coursework completed. This year, seven SFUSD high schools earned a spot: Lowell, School of the Arts, Galileo, Washington, Mission, Balboa, and Wallenberg.