Concerns raised about City College-Foundation pact

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By Jobert Poblete

At its meeting yesterday, the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees discussed a new draft agreement with its fundraising arm, the Foundation of City College of San Francisco. As reported in this week’s Guardian, the foundation is seeking greater autonomy from the college. The CCSF trustees limited their discussion to proposed changes to the draft agreement, but a final decision may be reached as early as next month in advance of the foundation board's March 16 meeting.Read more »

Who cares about SF's (black and brown) prisoners? Part 2

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Eileen Hirst of the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Office just sent me statistics that prove that the majority of folks sitting in our county jails are black men awaiting trial -- statistics that underscore the extent to which the “let’s not rebuild the prison” debate really is racially tinged:

“On any given day, we have about 2000 to 2100 people in custody,” Hirst said, noting that the two jails at the center of the debate only house male prisoners. Read more »

Lucky 7: Listening in on the Strange Boys

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The Strange Boys (playing at the Elbo Room on Sat/27) are as brave and cocky as their music would suggest, an obvious product of the southern state they call home. Hailing from Austin, Texas, their “don’t mess” attitude harmonizes perfectly with wailing garage rock and humid twang. Ryan Sambol’s nasally vocals remind me of a young Bob Dylan and complement the band’s '60s sound. 

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Let's all read Sand Paper

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Charmingly disheveled Adobe Books, strung as it is on the alcoholic's crucifix known as the cross-section of 16th and Valencia, has become a beloved sanctuary for readers, drunkards, and occasionally homeless individuals alike. I always look forward to Adobe Books' events because you can never predict who among the circus just outside will enter and join the fun. Not many bookstores on this dry earth permit customers to imbibe openly from brown bags of Colt 45 during poetry readings. Adobe Books' Dickensian squalor places it fondly in my heart even as its floorboards sink beneath the weight of dusty overladen bookshelves -- and when the smell of stale beer and, somehow, cats, forces me to breathe through my mouth while I peruse.

On Monday, March 1, Adobe Books will host the San Francisco launch party of three new books from Sand Paper Press. It'll be worth holding my nose to dive in.

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Transit activists swarm City Hall

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Hundreds of transit supporters, angrily opposed to the package of Muni fare hikes and service cuts proposed to close a $16.9 million mid-year budget deficit, are now packed into City Hall demanding equity and justice.

"I've never seen anything like this," Judson True, spokesperson for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, told me as he surveyed the huge overflow crowd packed into South Light Court, watching the upstairs budget meeting on closed circuit television. "We should all get on buses and go to Sacramento. It's clear that grassroots organizing is alive and well in San Francisco."

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High on Fire's latest is divine

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Wielding his custom-made nine-string axe, churning out tone so thick it could flaunt hot pants in a rap video, and crafting an ever-expanding arsenal of neck-snapping riffage, High on Fire guitarist Matt Pike has done it again.

His playing on the Oakland trio's new album, Snakes for the Divine (Koch Records), surmounts a new, fiery height. That the things he already did well (effortless, legato hammer-ons, heavy-handed, scything chords) are done better is hardly surprising – it's the expanding versatility of the snaggle-toothed shredder's songwriting and technique that impresses, along with his ever-improving vocals. Though Pike's work in Sleep will inevitably serve as a preamble, it is likely that the virtuosity and creativity of his High on Fire output will reverberate longer, and heavier, in posterity.

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So long, Bryant Park: SF students show at Fashion Week's last season in the tents

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As the New York fashion world flicked a sassy over-the-shoulder wave and bid its Bryant Park home goodbye -- Fashion Week will move to Lincoln Center starting next season -- six students from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University fretted and beamed as their projects took the stage before the eyes of famed industry professionals.

For the past five years, AAU has been showing select student’s work during New York Fashion week, to give promising graduates exposure and to lure new students out to the Bay Area. Bethany Meuleners’ story is a case in point: three and a half years ago, she secured a seat as a prospective featured student, sat in the audience, and dreamed of seeing her own designs on the runway. Serendipitously, she graduated just in time to have her goal realized. “I can’t believe I’m here! In Bryant Park!” Meuleners told me before the show. “It’s such an iconic thing.”

It's difficult to piece together a coherent narrative from the collections of six individual designers, but this season seemed to play a gothic darkness (three of the students' offerings were almost entirely black) off a theme best summed up as "monochrome time traveler."

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Come flash the friendly skies

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I was bopping my way out to the East Coast yesterday when I had to pass through a telephone booth that could see through my clothing. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds.

Apparently the scare over the Christmas Day plane bombing attempt has wrought some interesting technological developments in SFO. Namely, the implementation of the millimeter wave scan machine, which allows Homeland Security employees to see through your clothes in order to make sure you’re not carrying any shoe bombs, rifles, letter openers, etc. We’ve made the decision that we Americans must be perved on for our own safety. Even the Pope will tell you that’s a bad idea!

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Going Rogue

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By Robyn Johnson

The second decade of the millennium has ushered in some upheavals, and whether they’re for the better or worse it’s hard to say. Tea Partiers are the new Republicans. Doughnuts are the new cupcakes. And now, beer is the new wine.

I recently attended the increasingly popular SF Beer Week, specifically the “A Taste of the Rogue Nation” event at the Rogue Ale Pub House, featuring a delightful cornucopia of their popular brews. Beer sommelier Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection elevated the status of the tasting from a mere beer bust to a frou-frou gourmet gathering with her artfully chosen pairings of artisan cheeses and chocolates. Although a little under a dozen samples were served, the following are the highlights -- and what I could mostly remember to take notes on after several drinks. (Like true beer badasses, we did not expectorate.) Read more »

How the UC regents avoided a PR mess with Bill Clinton

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Things were calm and peaceful outside San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, perched high atop a windy hill on Mason Street, as dark shiny vehicles rolled up to the stately entrance and well-dressed patrons filed in on the evening of Feb. 24. They were there to hear former President Bill Clinton deliver a speech titled “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Building a Better World,” as a benefit for the American Himalayan Foundation. Read more »

Who cares about San Francisco's (black and brown) prisoners?

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I knew Sup. Chris Daly was going to get slammed for his Feb. 23 vote against placing a $412 million earthquake-safety bond measure on the June ballot. I knew it when I heard him say the following: ''I care more about the people at the jail, the people who are there involuntarily, if we have a seismic incident, then I do about the rest of the people at 850 Bryant."Read more »

No pixels, please -- we're plastic

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Film and prints, like dinosaur bones and fossilized treasures, seem like ancient artifacts blown to the wayside in our digital age. We lost the mystery in photography when we introduced the point and shoot, erasing not only the physical labor but the ugly smiles, blinky eyes, and embarrassing angles. Where are the mistakes? The light leaks and fuzz on the lens? They’re making a comeback.

Obscure, eerie, and beautifully whimsical images galore will be on display starting Fri/26  at the RayKo Photo Center, as part of the third annual Plastic Camera Show.

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"Gonna Find Boyfriends Today" -- Myles Cooper USA

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See video

What's as inspiring as Myles Cooper's 2010 anthem "Gonna Find Boyfriends Today"? The video for "Gonna Find Boyfriends Today," directed by another San Francisco talent, Skye Thorstenson. It's true. SF is home to singing strawberries, dancing cupcakes, Mr. Peanuts, cherubic choirs, floating hearts and flaming hearts. Find yourself a cutie and watch it.

Brother Theodore hallucinates on tap water

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In honor of the Brother Theodore documentary screening tonite (Thu/25) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the time is ripe -- as ripe as rancid pork -- to dig into a YouTube treasure trove. Read more »

Ethics for political consultants?

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I got an email from Garry South today. He's the guy who used to run Gavin Newsom's campaign for governor. Now he's turned on his previous client. And he's sent out a message to political reporters explaining why Newsom -- the guy he was pushing for governor of California -- is actually a worthless hack.

Here's the mail:

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