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Video game review: "Yakuza 3"

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By Peter Galvin

Yakuza 3
(CS1 Team, Sega)
PS3

Yakuza 3 is a Japanese import title that recalls a time when our game consoles were dominated by similarly wacky culture-clash experiences instead of the American-made games that dominate the charts today. In the late 90s, it seemed every other game released was from Japan, and the bumping and grinding of East meets West was a large part of the enjoyment of these games. A game from this era that springs to mind is 1999's Shenmue, the story of a Japanese boy setting out to avenge his father’s death. It was largely story-centric, free-roaming and often criticized for encouraging players to bask in the mundanities of modern Japanese life.

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See you at the bar

BRUCE ROEHRS, 1950-2010 -- a life of maximum rock 'n' roll

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By Allan McNaughton

This week, San Francisco and the world said goodbye to a good friend, a true gentleman, and a diehard rock and roll fan. Bruce Roehrs, columnist and reviewer for Maximumrocknroll magazine and a staple on the local punk rock scene, passed away peacefully at his home. The exact time and circumstances of his death have yet to be determined.Read more »

What is the plural of cyclops, anyway? "God of War III," reviewed

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By Peter Galvin

God of War III

(Santa Monica Studio, Sony Computer Entertainment)

PS3

A melting pot of ancient Greek myths and characters, the God of War series embodies the term "Big Game." When the first title made its debut on the PS2 in 2005, people were blown away by the scope of the environments and the brutality of its anti-hero Kratos. A pawn in one of those tragic mind-games that Greek gods were so well-known for, Kratos was a Spartan warrior who set out to exact vengeance against the gods that betrayed him, battling his way through hell itself more than once. In this, the third and supposedly final game in the franchise, action and spectacle are amplified to their limits as Kratos ascends Mount Olympus to murder Zeus himself.

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Street view

Young beggars on Haight Street discuss proposed sit-lie ordinance

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By Skyler Swezy

news@sfbg.com

The Haight-Ashbury is out-of-control, according to some recent news reports and testimony by cops and other backers of the proposed sit-lie ordinance. They report street toughs brazenly smoking crack, blocking sidewalks, spitting on babies, and intimidating citizens with pit bulls.Read more »

Shit show

What has the SFPUC has been dumping in city gardens?

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By Brady Welch

 

news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Food safety groups complain that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has until recently been dumping its crap in the backyards and gardens of any residents who unwittingly asked for it.

The city calls this crap "biosolids compost," and for Mayor Gavin Newsom and the SFPUC, it seemed like a green dream come true. But it turns out that putting processed human excrement into people's vegetable gardens might not be the elegant — if somewhat gross — reuse strategy it once seemed to be.Read more »

Poll: 73 percent in favor of simple majority vote for budget legislation

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By Nima Maghame

A new poll by David Binder of DB-Research, conducted on behalf of Californians For Democracy, shows that 73 percent of California voters support a simple majority vote for revenue and budget legislation. Voters were asked to weigh this proposal: “All legislation on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote. Would you vote for it?” In response, 73 percent said yes, and 22 percent said no.

The findings are being hailed as a ringing endorsement for the California Democracy Act, a November 2010 ballot initiative authored by UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff that would change the California Constitution from requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve budget and tax proposals to a simple majority rule. Californians for Democracy is in the process of gathering signatures for the initiative.

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"Repo Men" not exactly full of tense situations

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By Peter Galvin

If you are considering going to see Repo Men you’ll need to go ahead and turn off your brain first — the guy who wrote it sure did. The script is jam-packed with contrivances and tonal inconsistencies, which is a shame because the plot had potential.

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Cinnamon buns: your gateway drug to hardcore vegan sweets?

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By Robyn Johnson

For all you vegan sweet snackum lovers -- and curious crumb-lappers -- the ladies behind Fat Bottom Bakery and Cinnaholic have a sale on Sat/20 that you just might egg-free love. Read more »

Uproot: Feminism and the food movement

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By Robyn Johnson

Peggy Orenstein’s essay “The Femivore’s Dilemma” has caused a bit of a dither, but then gender issues never make for easy conversation. Some light mocking has arisen over Orenstein’s coinage of the term femivore, which, as has been pointed out in innumerous blog comments, means one who eats women. But yes, I think we can agree it’s intended as a portmanteau of feminist and locavore. And it’s the relationship that she draws between these two movements as a way to redefine homemaking that has many people talking.

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Elusive finger-picker Ed Masuga reappears with five shows

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By Chloe Roth

For the past four years, Ed Masuga has consistently delivered pure folk music. His dichotomously sharp finger-picking guitar and soft melodies make for easy, pleasing listening, and if you close your eyes you might find yourself transported to a Dust Bowl-era railway car. Steeped heavily in the folk tradition, his songs are simultaneously old-fashioned, timeless, and timely. With the bare minimum of Internet presence, the elusive San Francisco-based songster, though he can't be called a Bay Area "native," maintains a mysterious backwoodsman identity. The almost literary stories of his youth seem to come straight out of a Dickens novel. I caught up with Mr. Masuga (that has a nice ring to it!) to ask him how his itinerant childhood has informed his work.

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