San Francisco, CA

SF housing official faces jail: lying charged

August 21, 1999
A top manager of the San Francisco Housing Authority, who lied on his resume to get his job, could face up to three years in state prison, after being arrested this week for allegedly faking his credentials to work as a social worker on a previous job.
    Buddy Tate Choy, who was hired as the Housing Authority's deputy administrator for social services a year ago, now faces charges stemming from his claim, on an earlier job, that he was a clinical social worker.
    Choy worked for more than a year as a social worker for the nonprofit Tenants & Owners Development Corp. before joining the Housing Authority management staff, where he portrayed himself as a social worker on his application there. But state investigators say he has never held the required certification to be a social worker.

Editorial: white hate criminals slip through loopholes

August 19, 1999
In Novemeber 1998, Buford O. Furrow pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in Seattle.
      This was a felony offense, yet he received a hand-slap sentence of five months probation, even though it was known that he had cavorted with ``The Order,'' one of the nation's most murderous white supremacist groups. Furrow then skipped off to Los Angeles to send his ``wake-up call to America to kill Jews.''
      But his is hardly a unique case. In April, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold delivered their own terror-filled wake-up call with their murderous rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado. The next month, Benjamin Nathaniel Smith did the same with his murder spree in Illinois and Indiana.

Court: judge can bar bigoted speech

August 03, 1999
A judge's order prohibiting an Avis supervisor from using ethnic slurs has been upheld by the California Supreme Court, despite a scorching dissent.
    ``A government that tells its citizens what they may say will soon be dictating what they may think,'' said Justice Janice Rogers Brown, one of the dissenters in Monday's 4-3 ruling.
    But the majority said free expression isn't violated by an injunction against bigoted speech that has already been found, by a jury, to be so extreme and pervasive that it causes a hostile and discriminatory work environment. 

FBI probes SF Human Rights Commission

August 03, 1999
The FBI's investigation into allegations of corruption within San Francisco city government took a new twist yesterday with word that federal agents are looking into operations at the Housing Authority as well as at the Human Rights Commission.
   FBI agents moved on yet another location yesterday, carting away documents from the Human Rights Commission's satellite office at San Francisco International Airport.
    They also began questioning commission workers about how the city goes about certifying minority contractors to work on city and federally funded projects.

An end to redlining

July 12, 1999
FOR OVER 20 years, the Community Reinvestment Act has generated thousands of loans to build housing, start small businesses and aid home purchases in areas that banks once red-lined as too risky. Lending institutions learned there was money to be made, and overlooked communities benefitted from the financial infusion.
    A major congressional revision of banking and insurance rules may undo this useful law. The Senate wants to end the CRA rules in the name of deregulation, while a House version of the measure keeps the lending policies. A conference committee will work out the difference between the two this month.

Bay area residents want smoke-free apartments

June 28, 1999
The movement that has banished smoking from California workplaces and bars is spreading to the last bastion of freedom for some smokers -- their own apartments or condominiums.
     Nonsmokers in the Bay Area are complaining to county health agencies that second-hand smoke from neighbors' units penetrates into their homes via vents and windows and causes health problems, such as asthma, allergies or headaches. County health officials are responding by looking at ways to restrict smoking in multiunit dwellings.
     ``It's probably the second-highest complaint after complaints about smoking in bars,'' said Scott Morrow, health officer for San Mateo County. 

San Francisco off HUD black list

June 22, 1999
Three years after the federal government was forced to step in to bring order to San Francisco's Housing Authority, Mayor Willie Brown announced the agency has been officially removed from the federal "troubled" list.
    Improvements at The City's 43 public housing developments rated a score of 84 out of 100 in the most recent review by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a dramatic increase from the dismal 51 it earned in 1996. 

Court rejects coach's equal pay suit

June 03, 1999
A federal appeals court rejected an equal-pay suit Wednesday by Marianne Stanley, former women's basketball coach at the University of Southern California, saying USC was entitled to pay the men's coach more because he had more experience.
    The long-awaited ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped the most hotly disputed issue in the case: whether the higher revenue, greater publicity and resulting increased pressure to win in a men's program justified a higher salary.
    Stanley, now the women's coach at the University of California, contended those disparities reflected the university's discriminatory treatment of the women's program. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission backed her request for a trial of the suit.

Groups call for full HUD funding

May 27, 1999
Members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties and the National Community Development Association today called on Congress to fully fund President Clinton's proposed $28 billion budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including $4.775 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Program.
    HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo joined members of the groups in San Francisco today to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Cuomo said HUD's programs, which are helping to improve the lives of millions of Americans, will be able to help even more people with the $2.5 billion budget increase proposed by President Clinton for Fiscal Year 2000. This includes a $25 million increase for CDBG.
    Congress is considering proposals to cut HUD's budget next year.

Mentally ill demanding help in the workplace

May 20, 1999
Companies that have installed ramps, extra-wide restroom stalls and automatic doors are still struggling when it comes to accommodating people with a less visible disability -- mental illness.
    Failure to accommodate workers' psychological problems has overtaken bad backs as the fastest-growing area of workplace-discrimination complaints filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    "Everybody understands in 1999 that you can't discriminate against race or sex. They still may be doing it, but they know it's wrong," said Bill Cash, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission attorney in Memphis, Tenn. "But I don't think you have that when you're talking about someone with a mental disability."

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