Bringing Life Back to Mountain Lake

As drivers speed along Highway 1, past the Richmond District and into the Presidio, they might only catch a quick glimpse of Mountain Lake off to the east. But anyone who takes a stroll down to this small body of water, tucked away behind a playground and tennis court, will see one of the city’s only remaining natural lakes – and one of its oldest.


Rising gas prices exacerbated foreclosure crisis, researchers find

Spiking gas prices in recent years were likely a contributing factor to foreclosures in newly built outlying housing developments in the Bay Area, researchers say, suggesting that sprawl may be bad for the region’s economic stability. Two recent studies found links between gas prices and foreclosure rates across California and other parts of the nation. The highest concentrations of Bay Area foreclosures were in eastern Contra Costa and parts of Solano and Sonoma counties. The areas with the lowest foreclosure rates were in the urban corridors of Oakland, San Francisco and parts of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties — areas most accessible by public transit.

Weak state law, lack of police savvy frustrate attorneys who prosecute traffickers

This special report appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.
While California prosecutors mostly agree that the state’s human trafficking laws need strengthening, they also suggest that failure to recognize the crime itself remains a greater impediment in the fight. State law is still relatively new. Assembly Bill 22 of 2005 created penalties specifically for human traffickers. But some attorneys say it has not been much help. 


Researchers use S.F. mayoral candidates’ positions to rethink their places on ideological spectrum

Political scientists are trying to measure the ideology of candidates for mayor of San Francisco in an effort to give voters a better guide as to who most closely shares their views. San Francisco’s crowded field of 16 candidates and a ranked-choice voting system, which some find baffling, seemed to be the ideal testing ground for a project that measures mayoral hopefuls positions by surveying them on past actions at the Board of Supervisors and on current policy debates. Voters aren’t always as well informed as they can be for city elections, which tend to attract less attention than national races and also lack the party labels that help distinguish each candidate, said Christopher S. Elmendorf, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis, and a visiting professor at U.C. Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.