All the deets:
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“City College wins reprieve, as court enjoins ACCJC from terminating accreditation – Herrera grateful to court ‘for acknowledging what accreditors callously won’t: that the educational aspirations of tens of thousands of City College students matter’
SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 2, 2014) — A San Francisco Superior Court judge has granted a key aspect of a motion by City Attorney Dennis Herrera to preliminarily enjoin the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from terminating City College of San Francisco’s accreditation next July. Under terms of the ruling Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow issued late this afternoon, the ACCJC is barred from finalizing its planned termination of City College’s accreditation during the course of the litigation, which alleges that the private accrediting body has allowed political bias, improper procedures, and conflicts of interest to unlawfully influence its evaluation of the state’s largest community college. Judge Karnow denied Herrera’s request for additional injunctive relief to prevent the ACCJC from taking adverse accreditation actions against other educational institutions statewide until its evaluation policies comply with federal regulations. A separate motion for a preliminary injunction by plaintiffs representing City College educators and students was denied.
In issuing the injunction, the court recognized that Herrera’s office is likely to prevail on the merits of his case when it proceeds to trial, and that the balance of harms favored the people Herrera represents as City Attorney. On the question of relative harms, Judge Karnow’s ruling was emphatic in acknowledging the catastrophic effect disaccreditation would hold for City College students and the community at large, writing: “There is no question, however, of the harm that will be suffered if the Commission follows through and terminates accreditation as of July 2014. Those consequences would be catastrophic. Without accreditation the College would almost certainly close and about 80,000 students would either lose their educational opportunities or hope to transfer elsewhere; and for many of them, the transfer option is not realistic. The impact on the teachers, faculty, and the City would be incalculable, in both senses of the term: The impact cannot be calculated, and it would be extreme.”
“I’m grateful to the court for acknowledging what accreditors have so far refused to: that the educational aspirations of tens of thousands of City College students matter,” said Herrera. “Judge Karnow reached a wise and thorough decision that vindicates our contention that accreditors engaged in unfair and unlawful conduct. Given the ACCJC’s dubious evaluation process, it makes no sense for us to race the clock to accommodate ACCJC’s equally dubious deadline to terminate City College’s accreditation.”
Judge Karnow adjudicated four separate pre-trial motions in today’s ruling following two days of hearings on Dec. 26 and 30. Herrera filed his motion for preliminary injunction on Nov. 25 — three months after filing his initial lawsuit — blaming the ACCJC for procedural foot-dragging and delay tactics, which included a failed bid to remove the case to federal court and its months-long refusal to honor discovery requests. Judge Karnow granted in part and denied in part Herrera’s motion, issuing an injunction that applies only to the ACCJC’s termination deadline for City College’s accreditation, and not statewide.
Apart from Herrera’s motion, AFT Local 2121 and the California Federation of Teachers also moved for a preliminary injunction onNov. 25, citing additional legal theories. That motion was denied. A third motion by the ACCJC asked the court to abstain from hearing the City Attorney’s lawsuit for interfering with complex accrediting processes largely governed by federal law; or, failing that, to stay Herrera’s action pending the outcomes of City College’s accreditation proceeding and ACCJC’s own efforts to renew its recognition with the U.S. Department of Education. A fourth motion, also by the ACCJC, requested that the court strike the AFT/CFT’s case under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute, which enables defendants to dismiss causes of actions that intend to chill the valid exercise of their First Amendment rights of free speech and petition. (SLAPP is an acronym for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”) Both of the ACCJC’s pre-trial motions were denied.
The ACCJC has come under increasing fire from state education advocates, a bipartisan coalition of state legislators and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier for its controversial advocacy to dramatically restrict the mission of California’s community colleges by focusing on degree completion to the detriment of vocational, remedial and non-credit education. The accrediting body’s political agenda — shared by conservative advocacy organizations, for-profit colleges and student lender interests — represents a significant departure from the abiding “open access” mission repeatedly affirmed by the California legislature and pursued by San Francisco’s Community College District since it was first established.
Herrera’s action, filed on Aug. 22, alleges that the commission acted to withdraw accreditation “in retaliation for City College having embraced and advocated a different vision for California’s community colleges than the ACCJC itself.” The civil suit offers extensive evidence of ACCJC’s double standard in evaluating City College as compared to its treatment of six other similarly situated California colleges during the preceding five years. Not one of those colleges saw its accreditation terminated.
The City Attorney’s case is: People of the State of California ex rel. Dennis Herrera v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 13-533693, filed Aug. 22, 2013. The AFT/CFT case is: AFT Local 2121 et al. v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 534447, filed Sept. 24, 2013. Documentation from the City Attorney’s case is available online at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org.”
Comes now San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, in the baby blue trunks…
…taking on the nameless, faceless Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, in the dark blue trunks.
I don’t think there’s any argument against the contention that City College of San Francisco has screwed up BIG TIME, and I think we all can agree that the ACCJC is not a perfect organization.
Anyway, Round XXXVII is coming up Thursday AM:
“Court will hear City Attorney’s motion to forbid de-accrediting City College
*** Thursday, Dec. 26, 9:00 a.m. ***
SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 24, 2013)—As a part of its lawsuit to prevent the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) from revoking the accreditation of City College of San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office will be appearing in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday, December 26 to ask the court for a preliminary injunction in the case.
What: Hearing on plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction in the case of People of the State of California v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
When: Thursday, December 26, 2013, 9:00 a.m. Note: the court’s calendar begins at 9:00 a.m., but this particular motion may be heard at any time between 9:00 a.m. and the conclusion of the court’s morning business
Where: Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco (Complex Litigation Department), 400 McAllister St., Department 304, San Francisco, CA
If the motion is granted, the Court would not only forbid the ACCJC from de-accrediting City College until the conclusion of the case, but would acknowledge that the City is likely to prevail on the merits of the case should it go to trial.”
Well here it is:
“The British Consul General, Ms Priya Guha, requests the pleasure of your company at a reception prior to a screening of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” November 16, 6:00-7:15pm”
O.K. then. And that’s not at all a typical kind of thing for San Francisco’s consular community, really, but our British Consulate-General is out there in the Bay Area promoting the heck out of Britain. (Cool Britannia they used to call it.) And actually that’s not a hard job when you have Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding this year (and her recent California visit, dropping by just to say “hi”) and the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics and whathaveyou.
Add to that list the start of a movie series that could rival James Bond and Harry Potter, who knows. It’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (that’s a nice trailer, huh?) featuring Mr. Gary Oldman (H.P.’s godfather!) and, already, it has an obscenely-high 97% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Check it:
“Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government – which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets.”
So last night, San Francisco’s first female British Consul General, Ms. Priya Guha, introduced this film at the Century 9 in Westfield’s San Francisco Centre. She pointed out that Britain is quite big in the movie biz, having over 100 film studios and 2500 post-production companies.
And then it was on with the show.
And then, who popped up as the curtain dropped but Gary Oldman and Director Tomas Alfredson. (Or so I’m told.) This very same crew was up in San Rafael two days ago and who knows where they’ll be tonight:
Anway, I don’t have a shot for you, so:
INSERT PHOTO OF MSSRS. OLDMAN AND ALFREDSON WITH CONSUL GENERAL HERE
But I do have shots from last night of people who may or may not have wanted their photos taken, so I’ll leave them caption-free. (I’ll note that CBS Channel 5 was def. in the house with famous Liam Mayclem and Beth Spotswood (she’s earned a page on Wiki now? Wow) on hand.)
Don’t click to expand, don’t encourage him
See you there!
All the deets are below.
The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town.
CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls
“CTIA-The Wireless Association® Files Challenge to San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. CTIA’s challenge argues that the Ordinance is barred under the First Amendment and conflicts with federal law governing the safety of wireless devices.
As CTIA explains in its motion, the Ordinance requires retailers to distribute misleading statements and graphics that send the false message that cell phones approved by the FCC are not safe. In fact, the FCC limits radiofrequency emissions from cell phones to ensure that phones sold in the U.S. emit RF energy far below levels shown in scientific testing to have any adverse health effects. The FCC’s standard includes a wide margin of safety for all users. Last year the FDA categorically concluded that there is “No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors,” and earlier this year the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said that he was “confident that [the FCC’s] standards are protecting the health of people.”
CTIA-The Wireless Association Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls released the following statement:
“The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false. The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.”
More deets after the jump
Remember that whole deal about how taxi drivers were fighting the sainted SFMTA, the worst-run agency in town, over those 5% credit card fees and rear seat Passenger Information Monitors (PIMs) and electronic waybills and whatnot?
Well, some people at the SFMTA thinks that the SFMTA should get a piece of the ad revenue pie.
“The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) may explore ways to get a share of taxi advertising revenues in the future.
Recently, the United Taxi Workers (UTW) filed a public information request, and obtained materials regarding the City’s regulation on 5% credit card fees, rear seat Passenger Information Monitors (PIMs), and electronic waybills.
Included in the material was a copy of an email sent by MTA Deputy Director of Taxi Services Christiane Hayashi dated March 25th, 2011, and addressed to Sonali Bose, the agency’s chief financial officer, and other recipients.
In that email, Hayashi responds to two questions being posed at her by Nathaniel Ford, who was the MTA chief at the time, and backed up by Sonali Bose, regarding the distribution of ad revenues generated by rear seat PIMs.
Bose’s first question to Hayashi was, “Who negotiated the 90%-10% split and under what authority?” Her second question was, “Why isn’t the MTA getting a portion of the ad revenue?”
The following is an excerpt from the email in which Hayashi answers Bose’s two questions…
“As to the question of ‘who negotiated the deal,’ I guess my response is that it’s not a deal so much as a regulation – while I did my due diligence and circulated a draft memo to the TAC, it comes from a place of regulatory authority, not negotiation. The SFMTA has no privity of contract with the equipment providers – Veriphone, Wireless Edge and CMT have contracts with the taxi companies.
Why 10% to the Driver Fund? Because, like the medallion sales program, I felt it important to be able to point to some benefit to drivers in order to make the very unpopular change go down more smoothly.
If he question is why not a share to the SFMTA, I guess my answer is that this is equipment that is owned by third party vendors and being installed at no cost in privately-owned vehicles driven by independent contractors. We come at it as a regulator, and the permit fees we receive are supposed to cover the cost of administrating our program. I think that I would have gotten tremendous resistance from both companies and equipment vendors if I tried to demand a slice of advertising revenues for the SFMTA as part of the price for a company to get a waiver from the regulator. It would be like granting a building permit on the condition that the Planning Department could have a share of the advertising revenues from the building.
Of course, as we have discussed previously, there may be a place for bringing taxi advertising generally into the SFMTA, but if we do it would have to be a cooperative situation with the companies, where we agree to bear the administrative burden and use our greater negotiating power to increase their revenues in exchange for a share. That is a distinct possibility that we can continue to explore. I think the companies would embrace it if we can improve their advertising yield and reduce their administrative costs. I think I mentioned to you that the good time to broach this would be when we propose uniform top lights for all taxis with uniform advertising space that we could manage on behalf of the companies. That is something we accomplish during the next fiscal year if that is the policy direction.
I hope I have explained a very messy situation. Let me know if you have further questions.”
A scanned version of the emails text (sometimes hard to read because it’s scanned) is available and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE“
A messy situation indeed.
At this moment, he was dodging questions from The Bay Citizen’s Gerry Shih.
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“I ask Ed Lee if he’ll keep giving exclu. intvus/news/polls to chron. Nevius comes up after, sez “maybe when you work for a bigger place’ Heh”
And somebody got arrested because Mayor Lee is an “oath breaker?” Didn’t see that. (Hope it wasn’t David Chiu!) Here are some peace officers outside of City Hall dealing with the aftermath of that little scuffle:
Here’s the audio of heckler Charles Kalish, addressing the Mayor: “Sir, are you going to step down?” Well, Chuck got carried away by six Sheriff’s deputies, I heard.
Anyway, it was over in a flash, with Ed journeying up to Room 200:
And, oh look, here’s a fresh statement from Senator Leland Yee:
“I have always said that whoever wants to run should run. I look forward to discussing the important issues facing our city with the interim mayor and finally seeing him at the candidate debates. While Ed Lee entering the race today is newsworthy, I am more focused on our campaign’s message to voters and continuing the dialogue we have had over the past 8 months. What I hear from the people of San Francisco is that we need to clean up City Hall and have a mayor who is independent of the power brokers. That is why I have released a 21-point ethics plan to restore the public trust and return city government to the people of our great city. Fighting for them is a promise I will keep as mayor.”
One of those “power brokers” referenced must certainly be Chinatown ward healer Rose Pak, but she wasn’t on the scene today in the basement of City Hall.
“Today there are many San Franciscans who are disappointed that Ed broke his promise,” he said. “For many months Ed Lee told San Franciscans one thing but it’s clear now he’s going to do just the opposite.”
On It Goes…
Here are the two shots I have from them. I would assume that these show Game 2 and Game 5, respectfully, but I couldn’t find the first one in the Game 2 section so I gave up.
But anyway, the thumbnail shots they have are a library in themselves.
The colors here are a little saturated for my tastes, but this certainly is a memorable scene:
Well it’s still early but there’s already pandemonium on the streets of San Francisco over the Giants winning the World Series 4-1.
And Placido Domingo, the greatest opera singer in modern times, is in the house.
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Our SFMOMA has an idea about the ideal viewing spot, but I don’t think anyone will be allowed up there but police snipers, prob:
“Clark” and “Lincecum” just came by BART:
If you have to watch over the office while your colleagues join the madding crowd, feel free to take in the action on UStream.
In the meantime, just crank up the Giants-themed smooth reggae from Michael Franti and Spearhead.