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Ignorance ain't bliss

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Today's New York Times Op-Ed page had a fantastic piece by Jeff Stein suggesting the real source of ongoing conflict in Iraq is the chilling ignorance of our elected representatives and counterterrorism officials. Several interviewed by Stein failed to articulate the differences between a Sunni and a Shiite, or even define what either sect supports. This wouldn't be so disturbing if it weren't so believable.

Biosphere 2 Revisited

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By Sarah Phelan
Former Biosphere 2 crew member Jane Poynter speaks with a endearing British accent, says “bloody” when she gets excited and believes the two-year-and twenty-minute-long project of which she was part, is “one of the most publicly misunderstood and undervalued projects” of the 20th century.”

Or 21st century, given that the impact of the project—a mini-version of Biosphere 1, or Planet Earth, involving four men and four women isolated in a three-acre glass and steel structure near Tucson—continues to elude people to this very day.

Black interview

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Listen to our endorsement interview with Rob Black, who is trying to replace Sup. Chris Daly with the help of downtown's heaviest hitters, who keep doing attack mailers on Black's behalf. The link is at the bottom of this page.

Keegan McHargue's opening in NYC

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By Mirissa Neff

Better late than never right? Way back on September 21st I checked out the opening of Keegan McHargue's show The Control Group at Metro Pictures Gallery in Chelsea. The hugely successful opening followed on the heels of Keegan being featured on the cover of the Guardian's Fall Arts Preview. Here's the artist with his mom and dad:

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It was impossible not to feel SF pride and I think Keegan was happy to see some homefolk in the Big Apple. Read more »

Back from Berlin...

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By Mirissa Neff

In the midst of excursions to NYC, Reykjavik and Paris I spent last week in Berlin... here are some posts from the experience:

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Generally Berlin reminds me a lot of SF/Oakland... the thrift-store aesthetic, the experimental vibe, people are very willing to go out on artistic limbs here. The city is quite sprawling and real estate is cheap... e.g., anyone with a creative idea can afford to set up a storefront. This doesn't mean that they will be successful... things seems to be in constant renewal. Read more »

Green as in money or green as in the environment?

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By Andrew Tolve
For a politician who often projects himself as environmentally conscious, Mayor Gavin Newsom dealt his reputation a blow Thursday when he missed his keynote address at West Coast Green, the largest residential green building conference in the country. Mayoral spokesperson Peter Ragone told us Newsom had planned to speak Saturday and did. But the fact that he missed the slot printed in the schedule chafed more than a few in the audience.
Nearly 7,000 architects, contractors, developers, and policy makers have arrived in San Francisco for the weekend conference (Sept. Read more »

Angelides says bring our troops home

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By Jonathan Beckhardt
Trailing by as much as 20 points in his race for governor, Democrat Phil Angelides has turned to the Iraq War -- the issue supposed to galvanize the nation's left -- and made it a state issue by today vowing to "do everything in [his] power" to bring home the approximately 800 California guard troops deployed in Iraq.
"A Governor's first responsibility is to ensure the safety of the people of California," Angelides said at a rally at San Francisco State University devoted to the issue. Read more »

Police foot patrols get green light

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In the face of raised levels of violent crime in San Francisco in recent months, the Board of Supes voted on September 19 to look into expanding a pilot police foot patrol program.
The program was first suggested by Sup. Read more »

NOISE: Winning Tortoise

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Guardian contributor Chris Sabbath weighs in on the recent Tortoise show on Sept. 14 at Great American Music Hall:

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Being a late bloomer in the whole Chicago post-rock department, I didn’t actually get around to hearing Tortoise’s eclectic jazz-prog-electronic post-whatevers until my early 20s. That being said, I went Thrill Jockey crazy for a summer -- endlessly stockpiling my college apartment with albums by such label staples as Mouse on Mars, Trains Am, and Oval. Read more »

Hotel Workers win after 2-year struggle

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UNITE HERE Local 2 has reached an agreement with San Francisco's leading hotels after a two-year struggle.
So far, 13 CLass A hotels have agreed to a settlement that includes card check neutrality, which means that if a hotel buys up a smaller, or non-unionized hotel, workers at the non-unionized hotel have a right to join the union, too.
This settlement covers 4,200 workers.

UNITE HERE Local 2 is now working on settling with another 30 SF hotels, where contracts of 5,000 workers have expired.
As UNITE HERE Local 2 president Mike Casey put it, " we're not done until all of the hotels are sett Read more »