Steven T. Jones

Burning brand

A lawsuit by a Burning Man cofounder could expose the event and its icons to commercial exploitation
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steve@sfbg.com

Larry Harvey started Burning Man on Baker Beach in 1986, but it was John Law, Michael Mikel, and their Cacophony Society cohorts who in 1990 brought the countercultural gathering and its iconic central symbol out to Nevada's Black Rock Desert, where it grew into a beloved and unique event that last year was attended by 40,000 people.

Law hasn't wanted anything to do with Burning Man since he left the event in 1996 — until last week, when he filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court seeking money for his share of the Burning Man brand. Read more »

Town snooze

Free-range chicken: Listen to the feathers fly at Newsom's lame Saturday afternoon "town hall meeting"
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By Steven T. Jones

Listen to a wav file of the Mayor's January 13 "town hall meeting" here.

newsomchixa.jpg
Newsom, with another new chick

I didn't have high expectations of Mayor Gavin Newsom's "town hall meeting" in the Richmond this morning -- and I was still disappointed. Read more »

Newsom's infomercial

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By Steven T. Jones

Listen to a wav file of the Mayor's January 13 Town Hall meeting here.

newsomchixa.jpg
Newsom, with another new chick

I didn't have high expectations of Mayor Gavin Newsom's "town hall meeting" in the Richmond this morning -- and I was still disappointed. Read more »

Mr. Sensitive

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By Steven T. Jones
How brittle will Mayor Gavin Newsom be at his town hall meeting tomorrow, when he's expected to be confronted about ducking real political debate? If this interview that aired on KGO-TV last night is any indication then watch for him to flee under fire again. Are we watching a full-blown meltdown of a big city mayor?

Stacking an already stacked deck?

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By Steven T. Jones
We're getting several calls -- but no callbacks from the Mayor's Office yet -- from people interested in attending Mayor Gavin Newsom's townhall meeting this Saturday who are being told by the mayor's Communications Office that the event is RSVP only. That's a surprise to us, those who have followed the issue of how Newsom is refusing Prop. Read more »

Burning Man family squabble

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By Steven T. Jones
The Burning Man world has been roiled by a legal fight among its three founders: Larry Harvey, Michael Mikel, and John Law -- the latter of whom left this event in 1996 but this week filed a lawsuit seeking millions in compensation and/or the placing of Burning Man's name, logos, and associated trademarks in the public domain. Read more »

Mayor Chicken

Gavin Newsom is terrified to face real political debate. That's bad for the entire city
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news@sfbg.com

The format is always the same: Mayor Gavin Newsom shows up at a carefully scouted location somewhere in the city with his perfect tie and perfect hair. He brings a cadre of department heads in tow, sending the clear message that he can deliver government services to the public. He takes a few questions from the audience, but the format allows him to deflect anything tough, to delegate any problems to department heads, and to offer a thoughtful "we'll look into that" when the need arises.Read more »

Computers for nothing

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By Steven T. Jones
Scott Beale from Laughing Squid was one of many bloggers given a free laptop by Microsoft as part of a PR stunt to promote its new Vista operating system. And it came in a Ferrari computer, no less. Well, after the blogosphere lit up with controversy and introspection, Beale (ever the standup guy, in my humble estimation) has decided to sell his machine on E-Bay and to donate the proceeds to the Electronic Freedom Foundation. Atta boy!

The next big fight

Supervisors seek to prioritize affordable housing in the eastern neighborhoods
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steve@sfbg.com
San Francisco's eastern neighborhoods — the Mission District, Potrero Hill, Showplace Square, Dogpatch, the Central Waterfront, and SoMa — are shaping up to be a prime battleground in the fight over who will determine the city's future.
Can city officials, working with community groups, set development standards that will create adequate housing for all income groups, protect the job-generating businesses that use light-industrial property, and include enough open space and other community benefits? Read more »

Status quo

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By Steven T. Jones
Just in case you thought Mayor Gavin Newsom wasn't trying to fool the public by announcing his intention to do town hall meetings as a substitute for meeting with the Board of Supervisors, as voters called for in Prop. I, here's a link to photos from the eight previous town hall meetings that he's held. Political theater indeed.