Erin Dage

Feds force pot clubs to deal in cash, then ban use of armored cars

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In the US Drug Enforcement Administration's latest attempt to smoke out medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, the federal government agency made the decision to ban the use of armored cars by marijuana providers. Compounding that problem, over the last year banking companies, under pressure from the feds, have been refusing to do business with dispensaries, forcing them conduct all-cash transactions.Read more »

North Beach conflict-of-interest zone

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It's been over a year since North Beach's Piazza Market closed its doors – but nothing has come along to take its place. The property, boasting 12,000 square feet at $4 per square foot, has attracted plenty of interest yet still remains empty.

"There's been strong activity on the space – we've had several offers," notes realtor Jeremy Blateis. "If there were less restrictions this place would have been sold already." Read more »

Just a pipe dream? SF’s Whirr gets 'Around'

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In the cyclical nature of sonic trends, shoegaze has risen from the grave and out of obscurity again. With old guard bands such as My Bloody Valentine and Mazzy Star releasing new material, acts from this generation are following in their footsteps, reviving what was once out of vogue.

And in the midst of this comes Whirr, a dichotomy of sound, layered and simplistic at the same time, wrapped up in a tight package. Formed in San Francisco in 2011, through what guitarist and founding member Nick Bassett describes as basic boredom, the six-piece outfit decries its shoegaze leanings, searching for a heavier sound. Read more »

Attorneys debate toxic turf during Beach Chalet project opponents' last stand

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Opponents of a city plan to install artificial turf soccer fields and stadium lights at the Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park — after losing at every stage of the project’s approval process — had their day in court Friday, beginning what could be their last chance: to have a judge block the project.Read more »

Lawsuit challenging the Beach Chalet turf project goes to trial

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Plans to place artificial turf and stadium lights on Beach Chalet’s soccer fields in Golden Gate have been in the works since 2011, and local environmental groups have been fighting the proposal and losing each time. Now, their final hopes rest on a lawsuit going to trial this Friday.Read more »

Dream deferred

Activists say Zimmerman verdict shows not enough has changed in the 50 years since the March on Washington

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news@sfbg.com

Nearly 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people marched at our nation's capital to demand racial equality and respect. And half a century later, people are still fighting for that same cause.Read more »

Agency official under fire for development project endorsement

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Did a high-ranking official of a regional conservation authority improperly use her influence to secure $10,000 for a nonprofit she chairs the board of? That’s the allegation raised against San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Vice-Chair Anne Halsted in a complaint filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission, a statewide ethics agency.Read more »

With a rising profile, King Tuff still prefers music that sounds like it came out of a trashcan

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Garage rock troubadour King Tuff is no stranger to playing outdoor venues like Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands.

“One time I played in my parents backyard -- another time I played in a shed in Massachusetts, called the Shed, that could literally fit only three people,” says Kyle Thomas, the man, the figurehead behind King Tuff.

But this will be a little different than his parents backyard or a shed in Massachusetts. Outside Lands is a decidedly bigger event  -- already sold out for 2013, and attracting 65,000 people alone in 2012. Read more »

Pedaling slowly

Bay Area Bike Share debuts with just 700 bicycles — not enough, say SF officials; too many, say bike rental companies

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news@sfbg.com

With San Francisco bicycle rental companies such as Blazing Saddles and Bay City Bicycle Rentals and Tours having bike fleets numbering in the thousands, why does the new San Francisco bike share program only have 350 bikes? And can that really be effective?

In August, San Francisco and a handful of other Bay Area cities will join the ranks of the dozens of cities in the country that have bicycle share programs, although most are more robust than ours. For example, New York City's bike share program offer 6,000 bikes.Read more »

Cave of garage rock dreams: Primitive Hearts, Pinkslime, Lunch, Sweat Lodge

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I came to an Undisclosed Cavernous Area (let’s call it U.C.A from here out) on Saturday in the greater Bay Area with the promise of two things. First, that I would see an array of garage and surf punk bands for free -- and second, that I would be going to something possibly illegal, which is fairly punk, as well.

The setting was, as mentioned, a fairly damp U.C. A. The stage was to be determined by the bands that played. Powered by a generator and dimly lit with a couple of clamp lamps, the show boasted dozens of people gathered close to hear the bands and to (literally) be kept in the light. Read more »