State cuts set to slam San Francisco’s seniors, poor

Already reeling from a deep recession and massive cuts to staff and services in this year’s budget, San Francisco is being hammered by a new tidal wave of state cuts — estimated at $26.5 million — which could put low-income seniors and others on the brink of homelessness and hunger, many advocates say.

A tale of two zip codes

Recession worsens rights gap between rich and poor

At the corner of Turk and Hyde Streets in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, just a few blocks from the glittering commerce and bustling tourism of Union Square, lies a little slice of the Third World that visitors rarely see — unless they go to India or Africa.

In just a minute’s stroll, fashion stores and boutiques hustling Armani and Prada, and European-style cafes peddling panini, cappuccino and white wine give way to adult book stores, liquor markets, pay day loan stores, overnight SRO (single-room occupancy) hotels, drug rehab clinics and bargain-basement deals on crack.

Nestled in the heart of downtown between Union Square and Civic Center (the city’s house of government), the Tenderloin is a chaotic theater of suffering, struggle and survival, performed in the open every day yet eerily separate from nearby neighborhoods that rank among the nation’s wealthiest.

The San Francisco budget: a user’s guide

Welcome to San Francisco’s lean and mean 2009 budget season. It’s going to be a brawl.

As Mayor Gavin Newsom seeks to eliminate a $438 million deficit, mainly through cuts to city staff and services, the board of supervisors and numerous opposition groups will be haggling over the brutal details through July 1.

While much of the current debate centers on how to spread the pain, some groups and supervisors are calling for new revenue measures to avoid decimating city services.

SF budget cuts test city’s liberal image

Famously liberal in its politics and its spending, San Francisco is steering a new spendthrift path amid the federal Keynesian revival — cutting antipoverty and social-service programs that helped build the city’s reputation as a haven for the poor.