Saving Endangered Bus Stops

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At a recent forum, State Assembly candidate Phil Ting commended the California Environmental Quality Act for environmental victories. However, when asked about legislative attempts to modify CEQA, he nearly damned it for slowing buses down. “Every single one of the bus stops that’s being taking away is going through the CEQA process [to speed up MUNI], which is very odd,” he said. Consequently, without faster and on-time service, that discourages passengers from giving up polluting cars…U-VERSE REVERSE: Along lines of what Ting talked about, SF consumers have not been getting the benefit of AT&T U-verse pricing in competition with Comcast and DirecTV and services for TV, Internet, home wireless and residential phone service since 2007. That has left SF as the only major city in California without the AT&T service. After wrangling over it, the SF Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in 2011 to exempt AT&T from providing an environmental impact report under CEQA to upgrade more than 700 utility boxes around the city. However, SF Beautiful and SF Tomorrow with neighborhood groups took the matter to SF Superior Court but turned them down last July and allowed the AT&T to proceed. However, SFB, SFT and other groups will “likely” appeal the decision…

Assembly candidates Michael Breyer and Phil Ting (right)

SCHOOL CANDIDATE ON HONOR ROLL: School board candidate Beverly Ho-Popek has garnered the endorsement of State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson to go with her United Educators of San Francisco union endorsement…And in September, the Skyline College professor will be honored by the SF Small Business Commission. Ho-Popek has a major role in screening out fraud (a major problem in the 1990s and early 2000s) and creating jobs through the SF Human Rights Commission certification of small local businesses for SF government contracts. The award goes with a string of Ho-Popek recognitions by African American small businesses, Latino and Asian American elected officials. That’s led to endorsements by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee….CLEAN AND GREEN: Key environmental endorsements like the League of Conservation Voters, SF Tomorrow, Sierra Club and SF Bay Guardian newspaper can’t ignore Ho-Popek, a former ASIAN Inc. employee who created “e4 Living Green” programs for SF State University students and educated her OMI neighbors on how to live “green” simply and expensively…

SF School board candidate Beverly Ho-Popek

PHIL ON THIRD: Carmen on second and Malcolm on first. Then Fiona comes home from Sacramento. Re-speculation (see 12/15/11 and 5/3/12 “Potstickers”) emerges about Mayor Ed Lee’s senior advisor Malcolm Yeung in recent Chronicle story by Rachel Gordon. But it requires a triple play by Mayor Lee appointing District 4 (Sunset) Supervisor Carmen Chu to replace Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting assuming he’s elected to the State Assembly in November and that Malcolm would take Carmen’s seat which is up in 2014…It’s not first time Carmen’s been mentioned as someone’s successor after Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed her to replace Ed Jew in 2007. Last year she resisted entreaties by State Senator Leland Yee and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who later endorsed Ting for her seat…VERY SHORT LIST: Yeung was mentioned already for supervisor last year in the old progressive D5. But he appears to be on a list to succeed D4’s Chu. The APA list of usual suspects is not deep, outside of veteran commissioner Doug Chan who ran for D4 supervisor in 2006. An appointed Yeung’s election in 2014 is no slam dunk. Businessman and serious serial candidate Ron Dudum could take another look. However, Dudum said on Sept. 5 at the Coalition for Responsible Growth that he’s not running for supervisor after being runner up to Ed Jew in 2006 and Fiona Ma for supervisor in 2002…

Malcolm Yeung

18 ELECTORAL VOTES: How important is Ohio? The Buckeye State – presidential swing state which has picked the winner since 1944 (except for 1960 Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy) was well represented at the July 28 Chinatown celebration of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s 25 years in office. SF Bay Area transplants from Ohio – SF Democratic Party chair Mary Jung originally from Cleveland, sitting with former Cleveland City Councilor and Larkspur resident David Strand, the former chair of the Marin Democratic County Central Committee. And College Board member Natalie Berg, another Ohioan and Governor Jerry Brown’s appointee to the California Community College Board of Governors, giving needed clout to SF City College as it extricates itself from accreditation and financial crises.…

FILAMS HURT OBAMA?: APA GOP and Democratic activists from San Francisco Bay Area will be flocking to Nevada (with a pit stop in its casinos) given its importance in the political calculus of Obama-Romney bid for the state’s 6 electoral votes and US Senate control in the balance (race between appointed GOP Senator Dean Heller and Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley)… The latest was the August national non-partisan Organization Chinese Americans convention doubly emphasizing GOTV – “Get Out to Vegas 2” and “Get out the Vote” – at the Planet Hollywood Casino and Hotel…OCA wasn’t the only one given that likely pro-Obama Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s (APALA) Las Vegas chapter has set a goal of at least 3,000 new registrations, especially with 30,000 Filipino Americans in Las Vegas.  Achieving that goal would add more than 13% to the 23,000 APAs (according to vcsnet.com) registered in Nevada. The APAs only represent 2 percent of total state registration of 1.1 million. To compare, APAs represent nearly 8% of the state population. Although APAs nationally gave a 54% approval to 29% disapproval rating on President Obama last January according to the Pew Research Center, Filipino Americans at 43% approval and 43% disapproval were the most lukewarm among APA groups on Obama…

Nevada gubernatorial candidate Melody Damayo in 2006 (Courtesy of Damayo campaign)

PORN & PUGILIST: Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was crucial in vulnerable Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2010 Nevada narrow 4.9% re-election victory over former state legislator Sharron Angle… Nevada’s highest elected APA was GOP Secretary of State Cheryl Lau (1992-95). The last noted APA to run for office was Filipina American porn star Melody Damayo. Stage named as faux Japanese American and sporting equally counterfeit assets as Mimi Miyagi, she lost her 2006 bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, drawing 1.1% of the vote or 1,600 votes…

NOT AS HARD RIGHT: Writer Joel Engardio, running for District 7 supervisor, is certainly out in his flyer with a photo of him and his partner Lionel Hsu. That could change some perception that D7 (West of Twin Peaks) is typecast as one of the city’s most conservative neighborhoods in “liberal” San Francisco. At least on social issues, based on its Nov. 2008 opposition to California Proposition 8 banning same-sex, D7 voted almost 2.5 to 1 against the proposition, not far off from the citywide 3 to 1 opposition (LGBT dense Upper Market/Eureka Valley was off the charts at 17 to 1 opposition)….Also consider, District 8 (Castro/Upper Market) is a subway shot to D7’s West Portal. One SF neighborhood merchant promoter talked about a “gay friendly” wine bar right outside the West Portal Station, minutes from Castro Station…To compare, heavily APA areas stand out in their Prop 8 support or near support (Visitacion Valley and the Portola). Other APA areas like Chinatown and Richmond opposed it by at least 2.5 to 1.

District 7 candidate Joel Engardio and his partner Lionel Hsu (right). Photo courtesy of the Engardio campaign

TAKE OUT THE TRASH DAY: Highlighted in one episode of the award-winning West Wing television series (with episodes directed by Oscar-winning Jessica Yu and written by children’s storybook author Paula Yoo) Friday is considered “take out the trash day” for politicians. And true to form, one APA political figure issued a release about a sensitive matter late last Friday, a getaway day with the end of the work and start of a three day Labor Day weekend. Why? No one will read or watch coverage, if any, about the matter because folks are out of town and because Saturday news outlets have smaller audiences or editions. If candidates have a lot of dirty laundry or trash to “take out,” then news directors or editors might not have enough time or space to cover something controversial or scandalous…Well, the tactic partially worked: two local, brief ho-hum blog mentions about it on Friday and Saturday, followed by the most extensive coverage in one tabloid a day after Labor Day…

MISS ME?: Follow me on Twitter at @SFPotstickers and email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net.

 

 

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.