Alex Felsinger

Flying the coop?

Proposal to ban cages in chicken farms pits efficiency against humane treatment
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GREEN CITY From inside the trailer-size office at Sunrise Farms, one can hear the incessant squawking of 160,000 chickens housed nearby. The Petaluma-based egg producer generates the vast majority of eggs sold in the Bay Area with its seven properties and 1 million hens, one of two large egg operations in a region that used to have thousands of smaller chicken farms.

On one wall of the office a framed aerial black-and-white photograph shows the same property as it appeared more than 70 years ago. Read more »

PETA vs. Gore

Meat: The inconvenient omission
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GREEN CITY Al Gore's 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth invigorated the global warming debate, and the environmental movement owes him a great deal of appreciation. After all, they don't just give away the Nobel Peace Prize like samples of teriyaki chicken at Costco.

Yet some activists point to a gaping hole in Gore's strategy to prevent climate change through lifestyle change: where's the meat? Read more »

Not for locals only

The eternal summer and surf culture nostalgia of San Francisco's Botticellis
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The Botticellis stick to the coast like gulls. Until recently, they all lived a few blocks from the ocean in an Outer Richmond flat, but drummer Zach Ehrlich decided to move into a beachfront apartment so he could have easier access to the surf. Read more »

Ditching the paper cup

The Green Cafe Network goes beyond fair trade
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GREEN CITY Statistics show that Americans drink more than 400 million cups of coffee a day. While most buy the average Starbucks and Folgers blends, a growing number of consumers are beginning to care more about what's in their cup and where it comes from.

I work part-time at Coffee to the People in the Haight, which specializes in high quality, Fair Trade products, and I often field questions from customers about the origin and certification of the shop's java. Read more »

Switchboard Music Festival

Good music is good music, regardless of who produced it or what genre it is
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PREVIEW While something like the Treasure Island Music Festival can be summarized in a nutshell — a day of indie rock and a day of electronica — the annual Switchboard Music Festival defies classification. Traditionally, a lack of stylistic consistency is frowned upon in the music world — some artists spend years searching for their own reliable sound — Switchboard organizers say times have changed. With file-sharing and iTunes inundating fans with music, composers have the opportunity to go wild. Read more »

Local Live: Pinhead Gunpowder

924 Gilman Street Project, Feb. 10
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LOCAL LIVE On the wall behind the stage at the 924 Gilman Street Project, someone has scrawled in green paint among the other graffiti, "Punk: Do It Yourself" — words that most of the volunteers, bands, and show-goers at 924 Gilman seem to live by. One longtime habitué, Billie Joe Armstrong, appeared to have abandoned the idea and the venue the day his band Green Day signed a record deal with Warner Bros. more than a dozen years ago. However, on Feb. Read more »

Noise Pop: Heavy petting

The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt is cutting through the noise
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SFBG The song "Xavier Says," off the Magnetic Fields' latest album, Distortion (Nonesuch), seems to describe a relationship between two not-terribly-happy and at least somewhat fucked-up people. I know you hate these questions, but is this based at all on personal experience?

STEPHIN MERRITT It's certainly based on personal experience in that I spend a lot of time sitting around writing in sleazy gay bars with a lot of old men because that's where they play the thumping, boring disco music that I find is best to write to. Read more »