Lee is latest to try to hitch onto towing alerts

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on May 26, 2012 in Rat News | Subscribe

You know it’s a good idea when everybody is poaching it. That goes double when it’s election season.

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu last month called for legislation to create an automated system to alert people via e-mail or text message when their car is about to be towed.

Assessor-Recorder and mayoral rival Phil Ting waited all of two days to give Chiu credit, co-opt the idea and offer $1,000 to whoever created the first smart phone app to alert drivers to impending tows.

Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday made no mention of Chiu, or Ting, when he challenged the crowd at the Web 2.0 Summit at the Palace Hotel to also build the app.

Mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey later in the day e-mailed our colleague Benny Evangelista, who first reported about the Web 2.0 towing app challenge, to tamp down the suggestion of poaching, saying in part: “The mayor would like to work with both President of the Board David Chiu and City Assessor Phil Ting on the idea of a tow truck app.”

Lee has come under scrutiny before for allegedly borrowing from his competitors.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera earlier this month accused Lee of cribbing his 17-point jobs plan.

Some of Lee’s campaign themes – “Ed Lee gets it done” and restoring civility to City Hall – are also strikingly similar to stuff Chiu was saying months before Lee got into the race.

One of the hallmarks of Lee’s campaign, the Twitter tax break, was an idea that was born under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom’s administration and had Chiu as an early backer.

Chiu’s camp pretty much took the high road about the whole thing.

“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so all I can say is that David has been very, very, very flattered,” spokesman Addisu Demissie said.

– John Coté

A green leader: This we know: San Francisco is at the leading edge in slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

Kyoto Protocol? We complied in 2007. AB32, the state’s landmark emissions reduction law? Met that target years ago.

But meeting the city’s own standards? Now that’s a different story.

Data that Mayor Ed Lee released Wednesday show that by the end of 2010, the city had reduced its carbon footprint to 12 percent below 1990 levels.

That’s good enough to be tops in the nation, as far as San Francisco officials can tell. But it’s notably short of the city’s own aggressive goal of reducing emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by the end of 2012.

“We still have a long way to go,” said Johanna Partin, the mayor’s top climate protection adviser. Progress has come on multiple fronts, with the two biggest being the closure of dated and polluting power plants at Hunters Point in 2006 and at the base of Potrero Hill last year, city officials said.

With those off the table, slashing emissions another 8 percent over two years to meet the 2012 target set back in 2004 under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom looks almost impossible.

“Anything’s possible,” Partin countered. – John Coté

Saying goodbye: Little Bit was known as perhaps the hardest core of the hard-core homeless people in San Francisco, a tiny street hooker addicted to crack and heroin. A doctor who specializes in the toughest street cases once told us he doubted she would ever get inside – that was in 2003, when The Chronicle profiled her as part of a colony of more than a dozen junkies living on what was known as Homeless Island, a traffic triangle on Van Ness Avenue.

But Little Bit, whose real name was Susan Beach, beat the odds.

And then the odds finally beat her.

She moved a year ago into the Raman Hotel, a supportive housing complex that gave her counseling and a safe room with her domestic partner, Andre. And in the months since, she cleaned up and did more living than she’d done in decades.

Little Bit became the neatnik of the complex, scrubbing the kitchen and fussing over her room, and she was making plans to look for work, something she hadn’t done in many years. Her social workers thought she could be a drug counselor someday. When she was off dope – and even when she’d just shot up and was clearheaded – she was sharp as a tack, bluntly assertive and pragmatic.

But that all ended on Sept. 23. Kidney failure – a consequence of all those years on the streets – killed her at 40.

When social workers and friends held a funeral for her this month at the Raman, it wasn’t the raspy-voiced, 4-foot-tall street hooker they remembered. They talked about a sunny woman who loved to play with her pet rats, Kasper and Squirrel, and always had a cheery word in the hallway.

– Kevin Fagan

E-mail the City Insider team at cityinsider@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page C – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/19/BAJT1LJTRB.DTL

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