Josh Wilson's musical bests for 2007

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Perfect? Circle.

Newsdesk.org editor and music critic Josh Wilson weighs in with his best in music for the year:

- Hammers of Misfortune at the Great American Music Hall, Feb. 22. Glorious thunder and truth.

- Circle at Bottom of the Hill, Sept. 27. If Can were a dadaist metal band from Finland.

- Faun Fables with Daevid Allen and Josh Pollock at Cafe du Nord, Nov. 28. Read more »

And they say it can't be done

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A small town in Italy has been getting all of its energy from renewable sources for the last six years, and now generates three times more than it needs, netting them a half a million dollar rebate from the private company that owns the grid. Read more »

Johnny Ray Huston's Reissue Faves of 2007

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Because I enjoyed reissues this year as much as I did "new" music, and because end-of-the-year lists with pictures are more fun, below find my annotated and illustrated cheater's dozen, alphabetically organized.

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Dorothy Ashby, The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby (Dusty Grooves)
Detroit harp genius Dorothy Ashby was plucking those strings in genre-spanning ways long before neo-folk sprites were born. Read more »

Ammiano on C.W.Nevius

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C.W. Nevius blames homeless for Susan Leal's accident, the upcoming drought, and for not sending the children to the Gap sweatshop.

(From the answering machine of Sup. Tom Ammiano on Tuesday, Dec. l8, 2007). Nevius is the ace Chronicle columnist in a long line of Chronicle editorial staffers who operate on a key Hearst principle: attack the homeless but don;t attack PG@E. And don't attack PG@E and its illegal private power monopoly alone and unmolested. Note David R. Read more »

The candidates on nuclear power

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Insight, the Nuclear Energy Institute's monthly pro-nukes pamphleteer, did a survey of the presidential candidates positions on nuclear power. The only one that's explicitly against more nuclear power plants is John Edwards. Fred Thompson managed to answer the question without really answering the question. Read more »

FCC votes for Big Media

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And now we need l00,000 people to get Congress to reverse the FCC of George W. Bush to reverse the commission's sellout to the Big Media who supported us going into Iraq and are now helping keep us there

By Bruce B. Brugmann

(Scroll down to sign a protest letter to Congress and the New York Times story)

As expected, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and his two Republican colleagues approved new rules that will unleash yet another flood oer media consolidation across the country. Read more »

High speed rail's collision course

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The California High Speed Rail Authority will convene tomorrow in Sacramento and could decide on the system's Bay Area track alignment, but Chairman Quentin Kopp tells the Guardian that they probably won't be able to make that crucial decision yet. Read more »

FOIA reform bill passes!

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After five years of effort, a group of ten media organizations called the Sunshine in Government Initiative has succeeded in getting Congress to pass a much-needed reform bill that addresses some of the worst problems with the Freedom of Information Act. It now goes to the president -- but since there are Republican co-sponsors and it passed pretty overwhelmingly, there's a chance he'll sign it.

Here's the official statement:

U.S. Read more »

The health-care bill mess

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The Democrats in the state Assembly managed to pass a complicated health-care bill that the governor likes, his own party members oppose and the nurses and the insurance companies both hate.

Over at Calitics, David Dayen has a nice analysis of some of the financial problems with the bill -- including the fact that it might all amount to absolutely nothing a few years down the road.

The Cal Nurses Association isRead more »

Ammiano: a Jersey joke

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New Jersey bans the death penalty. Bada Bing!

(From the answering machine of Sup. Tom Ammiano on Dec. l7, 2007.)

Full disclosure: Ammiano is from Mountclair, New Jersey, and a fan of the Sopranos.) B3