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Wacky S.F. election mailers entertain, even if truth suffers  
Heather Knight @ sfgate.com

Herewith we offer awards to some of the wildest and weirdest mailers arriving in the lead-up to election day on Nov. 4 €” and point out where, shockingly, some are straying pretty far from the truth. [...] accusations that Fang€™s cronyism in voting on BART development contracts has cost the agency big bucks. [...] does that put him in line with, as the mailer claims, Public Defender Frank Egan, who in 1932 conspired with two ex-cons to kill an elderly widow and stage a hit-and-run to make it appear her death was an accident? Egan was the sole beneficiary of her will, was convicted of first-degree murder, and spent 25 years in state prison. BART Director James Fang has been in San Francisco all his life, and he€™s seen a lot of campaigns,€ Fang€™s campaign manager, Carrolyn Kubota, said in a statement Friday, €œbut comparing a 20-year old ethics settlement (with no violation found) to the murder of an elderly widow is a definite first. The mailer also ranks Fang alongside Mayor Eugene Schmitz, who in 1907 was indicted on 27 counts of graft and bribery but later acquitted; City Assessor Russell Wolden Jr., who in the 1960s was convicted of taking bribes in exchange for lowering property tax bills; and, of course, state Sen. Leland Yee, who was suspended after his arrest in March on charges of corruption and gun trafficking. There€™s even a big, smiley photo of him and his wife on the mailer. Because nothing makes a guy smile like killers of elderly widows! Alyse Opatowski, campaign manager for the Josefowitz campaign, said, €œWe€™re not comparing Fang€™s corruption to a murderer, but we do think his longtime corruption warrants inclusion on the list.€ Labor unions backing Campos have sent mailers saying that since the online communications company that Chiu co-founded did some contract work with the Republican Party, Chiu is basically the second coming of George W. Bush. Did you know that if voters approve Proposition F to develop Pier 70, couples will lie in the grass stroking their cute golden retrievers? €œYou€™ll see it does nothing to solve homelessness, public safety, education or the housing crisis,€ the mailer reveals on the other side.
Submitted 10 hours ago by eureka!
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Tiny railroad pulled its weight on S.F.â  
sfgate.com

Because the all-powerful Southern Pacific controlled the area south of the Ferry Building, it was only in 1910, when reforming politicians challenged the €œoctopus,€ that the State Belt began running past Market Street. The State Belt carried materiel and soldiers from the docks to the Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason and to the Presidio during both world wars and, to a much lesser extent, during the Korean and Vietnam wars. The Belt€™s busiest years were during World War II, when it had 230 workers and handled nearly 1 million rail cars. San Francisco€™s Waterfront Railroad, the record of troop and hospital train movements offers a dark snapshot of the war. In 1960, Belt Superintendent Joseph Silva listed some of the railroad€™s clients: €œice houses, coffee plants, warehouses, paper distributors, glass companies, lumber yards, bag companies, an elevator plant, dairy products distributors, produce companies, grocery concerns, automobile unloading facilities of several railroads and for a sweet tooth, a candy company.€ Shunting railroad cars through San Francisco€™s congested waterfront meant avoiding autos and pedestrians €” including not a few drunken sailors. The State Belt began to decline after World War II, and the rise of container ships, which required far more storage space than was available in San Francisco, hastened its collapse. A private operator took it over in 1973, but the conversion of waterfront land from industrial to residential and tourist uses, and the loss of shipping to other ports, doomed it. Old Belt tracks run along Green Street between Battery and Sansome, and along the walkway above Aquatic Park €” the favorite part of the line for engineers because of the €œbathing beauties€ they could ogle there. Sets of tracks still run into what used to be the five engine bays, silent reminders of the days when San Francisco had a working waterfront served by a unique railroad. Every Saturday, Gary Kamiya€™s Portals of the Past will tell one of those lost stories, using a specific location to illuminate San Francisco€™s extraordinary history €” from the days when giant mammoths wandered through what is now North Beach, to the Gold Rush delirium, the dot-com madness and beyond.
Submitted 3 hours ago by eureka!
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