EDITORIAL It's been 97 years since Congress passed a landmark law mandating public power in San Francisco, 67 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the city was violating the law by allowing Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to operate a private monopoly in town, and 42 years since the Guardian first broke the story of the Raker Act scandal and launched a campaign to bring public power to the city. And now, even operating under a tight PG&E-imposed deadline, the San Francisco is moving very close to establishing a modest type of public power.Read more »
Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond
Today in animals: Former circus lions from Bolivia plan SF stopover before cold chillin' the rest of their days away in sunny San Andreas, crocodile mummies are returned to UC Berkeley, and the American Kennel Club allows mutts (aka "All Americans") to compete in their own category.
MoveOn.org co-founder Peter Schurman has dropped out of the governor's race. What, you didn't know Schurman was in the governor's race? Well, you aren't alone, but it is true that he was seeking the Democratic nomination, jumping into the race in March “in response to a widespread call for a stronger, more issues-based campaign than Jerry Brown was running at the time,” he wrote today in his withdrawal announcement.Read more »
Well, the Democrats in Sacramento have finally decided that they aren't completely terrified of tax hikes; they're proposing a $5 billion package to help make the bloody cuts for next year a little less horrible. Read more »
I don't know what you're planning for your long weekend ahead -- Carnaval? Himalayan Fair? DEMF? Rehab? -- but I'm heading back up to Arcata and Eureka to peep the Kinetic Sculpture Race, the "triathlon of the art world." It is truly one of the wonders of California -- and yes, those things have to go into the water.
Imagine if the head of a powerful banking company with close ties to the federal government conspired with some shady Saudi billionaires and a cruel Serbian ex-military thug to bring down the American financial system in a Darwinian plot that would allow the one firm with insider knowledge to emerge even stronger. How would it play out? Well, minus a few murders, more or less exactly the way the financial-sector meltdown of the past couple of years has played out.
President Barack Obama arrives in San Francisco this afternoon (5/25) for a fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel, where he'll be greeted by protesters from at least two realms of the progressive movement: immigrant rights activists unhappy with his administration's reluctance to take on immigration reform, and anti-war activists angry that Obama has continued President George W. Bush's pro-war and anti-civil liberties policies.Read more »
So you read about the upcoming National Beard and Mustache Championships in Bend, Oregon. But where the hell is your local fix for competitive bearding? Well fear not, my sweets -- beards are popping up in the budding Bay summer like chanterelles ‘neath the roots of California oaks and conifers (metaphor courtesy of David Arora). We just couldn’t be happier about it. On Thu/27, Edinburgh Castle will be hosting its own charity showdown of the beard bedecked to benefit Smile Train, a group that helps kids with cleft palates. SFBG just received word of from event organizer Brian McGregor, who is a cultivator of a smashing Imperial ‘stache himself. Brian, tell us more! Read more »
It's no surprise that Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to put a sit/lie law on the ballot, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the supervisors are moving slowly on his proposal. It has nothing to do with any facts -- the cops could enforce existing laws and address the problem.Read more »
Directors Ricky Angel and Samuel Hernandez sent over this energetic and colorful short documentary about the screwy rationale -- and possibly devastating impact -- of the proposed sit/lie law that Mayor Newsom now intends to put before voters, bypassing the Board of Supervisors. Local activists and San Francisco citizens express dismay and hope.
Sup. Sean Elsbernd is getting a lot of attention for his plan to change the way Muni drivers are paid, and although he's going to have a hard time getting 70,000 signatures for a Charter Amendment, the fact that Muni's unions have given back to the city less than the other major employee unions gives he move a boost. Read more »
Six months ago, Javae Reed could hardly have pictured himself as part of the solution to the problems that plague the East Oakland community where he grew up. Fresh off an incarceration in Reno (Reed had relocated temporarily to be with his mom) on charges of robbery, the 19 year old didn’t have a history of positive association with the system. But thanks to Youth Uprising, a youth advocacy non-profit -- which celebrates its fifth anniversary with a gala fundraiser Tues/25 -- Javae has landed a job, and got his driver’s license. Read more »
Sup. Chris Daly’s proposal for a progressive primary -- and his pledge for candidates who want to participate -- is starting to get attention in the mainstream media. The Chron had an item on it that, not surprisingly, makes it look like some sort of commie-style litmus test. (“I pledge allegiance to the Progressives,” the headline read. And even by Chron standards, the comments were pretty harsh.) Read more »