Questions for the next mayor

|
(19)


 The progressives on the Board of Supervisors are a long way from united on a possible mayoral candidate, and if they can't come together, the person who finishes Gavin Newsom's term will be a compromise candidate, either a short-term caretaker (not the greatest option) or someone who's more in the moderate camp but a candidate the left can work with for 2011 and possibly four years after that.

We're glad to see the proposal by Sup. John Avalos to begin the mayoral selection process early. Picking a mayor in a mad scramble on the day Newsom steps down is a recipe for chaos and potentially a bad outcome. And as the process begins, the last thing the city needs is a mayor chosen through a backroom deal.

But it's entirely appropriate for progressive board members to set some standards and to ask the people who are angling for the job to make clear exactly what their positions would be on key policy issues.

In other words, anyone who wants to be the interim mayor and possibly mayor for the next five years or longer should have to answer, directly and without hedging, question like these: Read more »

Replacing Newsom: no reason to wait

|
(11)

Randy Shaw's calling on the supervisors to wait, and let the next board pick the next mayor. I don't get his argument. In fact, it seems to me that there's every reason for this board do its Charter-mandated job.Read more »

Red-eyed and happy at the Cannabis Competition

|
(9)

All photos by Erik Anderson

Somewhere amidst the marijuana energy drinks and exuberantly filled bags of Volcano vapor at yesterday's fourth annual Cannabis Competition, a young lady named Lacey was making a name for herself. 

“Sales have been excellent – we've cornered it! I think the best sellers have been the shortbread cookies. You can have them alone or we also make them into filled sandwiches,” said the fetching entrepreneur of Laced Cakes, who sat with her girl friends behind stacks of individually packaged marijuana edibles, all attired in vintage approximations of boho homemakers. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The next counterculture

|
(5)

Today, Johnny's got the apolitical blues, so we talk about the next counterculture -- and why it might not come from San Francisco. Check it out after the jump. Read more »

Rebuilding the labor movement

|
(0)

Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.

Unions, as you might certainly expect, have been having a rough time during the current recession. How rough? Well, overall union membership declined by a whopping 771,000 over the past year.

The number of workers in unions is still large, around 15 million. But that's only a little more than 12 percent of the country's workforce. There is one bright spot: More than one-third of public employees are in unions.

The figures for workers in private employment, however, show that only about 7 percent of them are in unions, That's the lowest percentage of unionized workers in private employment since 1900. That's right - the lowest percentage in 110 years.

Unions are fighting hard to reverse the downward trend, and though many outside the labor movement openly doubt – or at least wishfully think - that it can't be done, I think they're wrong. The doubters are forgetting that it's been done before  - and done in the face of obstacles that were at least as great as those confronted by union adherents today. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The next step for weekly newspapers

|
(0)

Today we talk about the future of weekly newspapers -- what's the role of a weekly in an era of 24-hour news cycles? And how will weeklies make money in the digital era? Listen after the jump. Read more »

Do you love a Giants fan?

|
(0)

Aficionado de los Gigantes in your life? You'll want to get them this: a limited edition Dave Eggers SF Giants World Series Championship... poster. Ten dollars.

The print shows all the characters you'll never want to forget from the days that SF went ballistic over balls. The orange panda lady with three beers? The Mexican wrestler in section 305? All there. The woman at the cashier told me that the stack of which I took the photo is 826 Valencia's only supply, so slide into home. Go! Go!

Only a miracle can save Steve Li now

|
(41)

Supporters of Shing Ma "Steve" Li, a 20-year-old nursing student, gathered outside the offices of Sen. Barbara Boxer today to urge her to sponsor a private bill in a last ditch effort to halt Li’s deportation to Peru, which is scheduled to take place Monday, November 15—two months after ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents arrested Li in San Francisco. Read more »

PG&E's priorities and the San Bruno pipeline

|
(0)

A few weeks ago, the Guardian reported that Pacific Gas & Electric Company was granted $5 million to upgrade a portion of its San Bruno gas pipeline, but never got around to doing it. A rupture along that section of pipe caused the deadly Sept. 9 explosion that took the lives of eight people, destroyed 37 homes, and left an entire San Bruno neighborhood traumatized. Read more »

Pin Up Clinic strike a pose for the Pap

|
(2)

A while ago, I wrote about Briggite Berman's Hugh Hefner documentary, about how it highlighted a debate between Hef's lecherous man-fans and his well-cinched feminist critics. I suggested that there was a third view Berman missed: that of women who understood the pin-up mentality and how it could work to female power and strength. 

Well hang on to your hats, because here comes Pin Up Clinic, whose pin-up calendar release party is at Homespun Bikes Sat/13. Read more »

KPFA's Morning Show purged

|
(43)

KPFA has always been part radical-left radio station and part radical-left soap opera. It’s a collection of talented shit disturbers supervised at times by wildly incompetent managers who report to a highly political elected board that is so packed with agendas it’s hard to imagine how anything ever gets done.Read more »

Downtown's one-two punch on RCV

|
(20)

Examiner columnist Ken Garcia and Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius – the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of pro-downtown propagandists – today put out a pair of hit pieces on San Francisco's ranked-choice voting system, with Garcia stridently calling for its repeal. But if there was ever a good argument for ranked-choice voting, it's the fact that these two bozos don't like it.Read more »

Steve Li to be deported to Peru on Monday

|
(12)

Immigrant advocates report that the deportation of Steve Li, an honors student who was studying at City College until  ICE (immigration and Customs Enforcement) picked him up in September, has been scheduled for Monday, November 15.Read more »

Portrait of a San Francisco construction worker

|
(1)

One of the many fascinating pieces of data to emerge in the discussion about Sup. John Avalos’ proposal to mandate local hiring is a recently published analysis of the characteristics of construction workers whose primary workplace is San Francisco. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The great political disconnect

|
(4)

In today's episode, we ask: If the polls show that some 75 percent of the American people think Congress ought to raise taxes on the rich and cut defense spending, why doesn't either party talk about it seriously? Listen after the jump. Read more »