This week's new articles from the alternative weeklies...
- Supes Want to Rescind Law that Bans Competition in SF Trash Collection (SF Weekly)
Does Recology have a right to pick up San Francisco's trash forever? Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and David Campos don't think so. They plan to put a measure before voters in November rescinding a 1932 law that prevents the city from introducing competition to San Francisco garbage collection. "I don't have anything against Recology," Campos says about the company that changed its name from Norcal Waste Systems in 2009. "From a public policy standpoint, it's not a good idea that this service has not been subjected to a competitive bid for 78 years."
- Will Oakland Become a No-Festival Zone? (East Bay Express)
Twenty-five years ago, Oakland had only two major arts events. Now it has thirty. There are art and wine fests, bike-to-work events, cupcake tastings, beer and bratwurst celebrations, sustainable food galas, pub crawls, gallery crawls, neighborhood block parties, dancing by the lake, and parties after dark. It's gotten to the point that local arts boosters will find just about any excuse to party. But Oakland's burgeoning festival scene is increasingly facing a large financial risk. The costs of city of permits, along with having to hire off-duty police officers for event security and pay for expensive fire department inspections, are much higher than in other cities. In fact, the numerous fees have forced some Oakland festivals to beg for help from city leaders to avoid shutting down or scaling back significantly.
- Behind the Twitter tax break deal (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
There's much political intrigue and anticipation swirling around the Central Market Payroll Tax Exclusion, aka the Twitter Tax Break, which the Board of Supervisors will consider next month. This has all the elements of a great story: backroom deals between political and corporate power brokers, the strange argument that Republican-style tax cuts will cure Mid-Market blight, the fact that Twitter executives have uttered nary a tweet about shaking down SF taxpayers, and the role that a pair of supposedly progressive supervisors have played in brokering the deal.
- Sister Synergy: A few modest proposals for establishing fertile new sister-city connections for San Jose (Metro Silicon Valley)
...every year a contingent of executives from Silicon Valley visit Ireland, and their equivalents from across the pond also visit the San Jose area. I would like to suggest even more sister-city relationships. I believe it would make San Jose a much more interesting place. For example, the Cinequest Film Festival will soon be upon us. In Ireland, the Dublin International Film Festival is already going on as you read this.