Guardian Staff Writers

'Neighbors,' 'Belle,' and more new movies!

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Not to detract from the drawing power of Seth Rogen's comic chops (or Zac Efron's abs, pecs, etc.) in this week's Neighbors, but it seems Hollywood is taking a little blockbuster breather between last week's Spider-Man cash grab and next week's Godzilla onslaught. So now's a great time to catch up on some smaller films that might've otherwise escaped your radar, including brains-and-beauty costume drama Belle, opening theatrically after its recent bow at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Reviews, trailers, and links below!

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Political power play unseats SF Police Commissioner

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Police Commissioner Angela Chan fought the federal government as they unjustly tried to deport undocumented San Franciscans who were guilty of no crimes, and won. She fought to arm the SFPD with de-escalation tactics instead of Tasers, and won again.

But at the April 30 Board of Supervisors meeting, Chan lost. The board denied her reappointment to the Police Commission, and seven supervisors voted to appoint her opponent, Victor Hwang, instead.Read more »

Spider-Man and other men (some more amazing than others...) in new movies!

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It won't be summer according to the calendar for another month or so, but it's already summer at the movies. We're already on our second superhero movie of the season! Our second Stan Lee cameo in as many months, people! Read on for reviews of everything that's opening this week, from the obvious (see: Slinger, Web) to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it-but-you-really-shouldn't (Singaporean drama Ilo Ilo, for one). And confidential to late arrivals: the San Francisco International Film Festival is heading into its second weekend; check out our coverage from last week's paper here.

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Lawsuits target Airbnb rentals

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LAWSUITS TARGET AIRBNB RENTALS

The San Francisco City Attorney's Office last week filed a pair of lawsuits against local landlords who illegally rent out apartments on a short-term basis, units that had been cleared of tenants using the Ellis Act. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Tenants Unions has hired attorney Joseph Tobener to file more such lawsuits, and he is preparing to file at least seven lawsuits involving 20 units.Read more »

Projections

A long list of short takes on SFIFF 57, in chronological order

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The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 24-May 8. Screening venues include the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, SF; New People Cinema, 1746 Post, SF; Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft, Berk; and Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post, SF. For tickets (most shows $15) and complete schedule, visit festival.sffs.org.Read more »

Where there's smoke

San Francisco takes its pot smoking very seriously

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news@sfbg.com

It was April 20 in Golden Gate Park, the fabled 4/20 in the parlance of pot smokers, and we found Nick and Chris standing under the shade of a tree with a cluster of friends, including Geoff, the proud owner of a five-foot bong.

Nick had done several hits through the supersized smoking device that day. Beside him, Chris took hits from his own handheld bong. "I'm feeling good," Nick reported. "But I'm also kinda hungry. I could go for some Chinese food. Ohh, and some Sapporo!"Read more »

SFBG Wrap, April 16-23

BART fine for workers' deaths, supervisors outfox landlords, police tapes illuminate Nieto shooting, and the sorry state of public housing

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BART FINED FOR WORKERS' DEATHS

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Bay Area Rapid Transit for three "willful/serious" safety violations in connection with the death of two transit workers last October, saying BART is at fault due to a lack of safety measures.

"Safety standards are designed to save lives," acting Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum said in a statement, "and they were not followed."Read more »

Hunky Jesus, Foxy Mary, and Easter bonnets to make your eggs spin

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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence held their 35th anniversary Easter party — an "Emerald Jubilee" — at Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow on Sunday. The annual event once again featured an Easter bonnet competition and a Hunky Jesus contest, plus a brand-new Foxy Mary pageant. Several Pope lookalikes graced the crowd, and a Little Bo Peep burlesque show rounded out the scheduled entertainment.

All photos by Amanda Rhoades.

SFBG Wrap, April 9-16

Shrimp Boy is innocent (say his attorneys), Airbnb comes clean, and Ellis Act reform advances

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Who is Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow? In the 137-page federal complaint detailing charges that led to the high-profile arrest of Sen. Leland Yee, Chow, and 24 others two weeks ago (see "Crime and politics," April 1), Chow is described as the powerful "Dragonhead" of an ancient Chinese organized crime syndicate, "overseeing a vast criminal enterprise involved in drugs, guns, prostitution, protection rackets, moving stolen booze and cigarettes, and money laundering," as we reported at the time.Read more »