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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

San Francisco at Risk of Losing Millions in HIV/AIDS Funding

Some of the $28 million San Francisco receives in yearly federal funding for AIDS and HIV programs can instead be going to southern and rural states.

The shift in endowment is part of a taken as a whole program to move some funding from urban areas to the rural regions of the country.

After a nearly unanimous vote by a Senate health committee, San Francisco may lose as much as one-quarter of the yearly funding it receives or $6 million.

Former City Health Director Dr, Mervin Silverman tells KCBS journalist Tim Ryan the loss of funding would be felt because the city still sees 1,200 new HIV/AIDS infections each year. "We are an epicenter of this problem and we need to do everything possible to reduce to zero the number of new infections and make sure we can still provide the appropriate drugs and counseling for those who are already infected," he said.

Under the same plan, Sacramento may lose all of its HIV/AIDS funding and Orange County may also lose as much as 80-percent of its funding.

The funding shift plan still should go through before the full House and Senate.

Monday, May 29, 2006

'The Light in the Piazza' visit San Francisco Aug. 1-27

The multiple Tony Award-winning idealistic musical, 'The Light in the Piazza' plays San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre August 1st through 27th.

The Light in the Piazza tells the heart-warming tale of a mother and daughter vacationing in the Tuscan countryside, where true love is surprisingly found in this contemporary, witty and elegant production. 'The Light in the Piazza', composed by Adam Guettel, is obtainable as part of the 2006-2007 Best of Broadway season, brought to you by Citibank, below the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays. No cast has yet been announced.

The Light in the Piazza initially opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center. The musical earned 6 Tony Awards in 2005 as well as Best Score with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel (grandson of Richard Rodgers), Best Orchestrations, and Best Scenic, Costume, and also the Lighting Design. Craig Lucas (Book) adapts Elizabeth Spencer's novella, aimed at by Bartlett Sher. The Light in the Piazza that won more Tony Awards than any other Broadway show in 2005 was described by The New York Times as "the most romantic score of any Broadway musical since West Side Story."

San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre is located at 1192 Market Street. The presentation schedule is Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00PM; Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2:00PM.

Tickets for The Light in the Piazza would range in price from $35 to $90 and will go on sale to the general public in July. To get tickets or information for groups of 20 or more, please call (415) 551-2020. For information on SHN, please visit www.shnsf.com.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bay area cities could be swallowed up by housing

SAN FRANCISCO - More than 400,000 open breathing space acres near growing Bay Area cities could be swallowed up by housing and other growth within the next three decades if local governments don't ratify stricter ordinances containing sprawl, a new study found.
The Greenbelt Alliance review released Thursday found improving open space protections all through the nine-county region, with more than 1 million acres now enduringly secluded from development, up 27 percent since 2000.

But 125,300 open space acres are at "high risk" of development within the next 10 years, and 276,300 more are at "medium risk" within the next 30 years, the report found.

"The region is doing better than it was in 2001, but 400,000 acres is still an enormous amount of land at risk," said Tom Steinbach, the group's executive director.

Developers criticized the findings, in conflict that more land is needed to meet demand for a ballooning inhabitants and that growth restrictions have limited supply and driven housing prices further than what many buyers can pay.

"I have a fundamental difficulty with urban limit lines," said Joseph Perkins, president of the Homebuilders Association of Northern California. "They artificially restrict land use, which makes it more difficult to build affordable housing."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Soccer might be coming back to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Major League Soccer and the Oakland Athletics announced a deal Wednesday to get a soccer team back to the Bay area if the team's owners could develop a stadium plan.

The team will replace the San Jose Earthquakes, who moved to Houston following last season following public financing for a new facility in San Jose fell through

Lew Wolff and John Fisher, the A's principal owners, would have three years to buy a team and develop a stadium solely for soccer.
The location of the new stadium has not been strong-minded but the new offices would be located in downtown San Jose. The price of the contract was not disclosed.

Wolff said the decision was aggravated by growing interest in the sport and is not related to his bid to move the A's out of Oakland over financing squabbles for a substitute for the aging Coliseum.

San Jose has long required welcoming the A's but Wolff has reportedly said he will honor Major League Baseball's rules that say San Jose defensive rights belong to the San Francisco Giants.

"We think we're hitting the soccer world perhaps at exactly the right time," Wolff said. "It's not a simple task even to find land in the Bay area, but we think there are lots of opportunities, and we can be creative if we have to."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Motorola exec chosen to head Emergency Dept

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Monday named a director from mobile communications giant Motorola to lead the city's Emergency Communications Department that oversees 911 calls and the planning for potential disasters and terrorist attacks.

Laura Phillips, a manager in Motorola's government relations separation after spending 12 years with Sunnyvale's Department of Public Safety, takes over a department with a budget of $69 million and more than 240 employees after she was chosen in a national search conducted by City Controller Ed Harrington.

Laura Phillip will take over the Emergency Communications Department that has a budget of $69 million and more than 240 employees.

"We are very pleased to have Laura as a part of our public safety team," Newsom said in a written statement after the announcement late Monday afternoon. He said he is confident that Phillips would become a "proud part" of San Francisco's "unmatched commitment to the vitality of its emergency services." Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a written statement on Monday.

The announcement comes after a recent audit criticized the city''s Office of Emergency Services, which is division of the Emergency Communications Department.