Controversial documentary roils SF Jewish Film Festival

A film about the death of American activist Rachel Corrie is causing a stir at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which began Thursday.

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival opened its 29th season Thursday night amid controversy surrounding one of its 71 films, which has the Jewish community up in arms.

Simone Bitton’s film “Rachel” is a documentary about the controversial death of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie in 2003. Corrie was volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank when an Israeli army bulldozer crushed her during the demolition of Palestinian homes.

What kindled the criticism from the Jewish community was the invitation of Corrie’s mother, Cindy Corrie, to speak after the Saturday afternoon screening at the Castro Theatre.

Public defender and children’s services win back funds as revised budget passes in San Francisco

A concerted last-minute campaign by the San Francisco public defender to restore previously cut funds succeeded as the Board of Supervisors passed a revised $6.7 billion budget Tuesday.

The budget was the culmination of months of wrangling among agencies and political factions that pitted, most audibly, social services and public health agencies against public safety to bridge an unprecedented funding gap of more than $400 million.

Winners Tuesday also included public financing of political campaigns, children’s services and the district attorney.

The police department’s top brass, the convention center, the ballet, the opera and a nonprofit theater all lost out, as their budgets were gouged to balance the city’s ledger.

The 9-2 budget vote came after months of adjustments and political trading that left few completely satisfied.

Supes vote to expand MTA’s power to parks

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to grant jurisdiction to the Municipal Transportation Agency over the city’s parks, strengthening the possibility that metered spaces could appear in Golden Gate Park as early as next spring.

With meters in Golden Gate Park, drivers could ‘share the pain’

San Francisco could be one step closer to getting parking meters in the park.

A committee of the Board of Supervisors Wednesday endorsed key legislation needed to make that possible.

If approved by the full board, the Municipal Transportation Agency would be granted jurisdiction over the parks, and could roll out a plan to install parking fee machines to convert more than 1,800 parking spaces in the eastern portion of Golden Gate Park to metered spaces by April 2010.