"Cruising" -- Hunx and His Punx

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See video

It's hard to keep up with Justin Kelly's video endeavors -- he's got new clips for Harlem ("Gay Human Bones"), Alexis Penney (the sublime "Lonely Sea"), and a few from Hunx on the way. Read more »

Uproot: Little City Gardens gots to get paid

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By Robyn Johnson

In a manifesto of sorts released by Civil Eats, Brooke Budner of Little City Gardens, co-owned by Caitlyn Galloway, lays out the farm’s intention to create San Francisco’s first for-profit urban micro-farm in that generates a viable income for farmers, thus paving the way for more potential urban farmers follow suit:
       
"Our approach to growing the urban agriculture movement is based upon the premise that urban food production will not reach its full potential unless there are avenues in the local market economy for growers to make a living through the sales of their produce. Currently, San Francisco’s urban agriculture is largely anchored in the realms of education and non-profit work. While a substantial amount of food can be grown […] the quantity pales in comparison to what could be grown if farmers could earn a living wage through the cultivation and sales of food in the city." Read more »

Trash Lit: Grafton's craft in 'U is for Undertow'

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U is for Undertow
Sue Grafton
Putnam. 403 pages, $27.95

I love the Sue Grafton books. I bought A is for Alibi in 1983, when it came out, and I’ve read every one of them since. Unlike, say, Patricia Cornwell, whose characters age (and get crabbier) as time passes, Kinsey Milhone is eternal, always young, always living in a town called Santa Teresa that’s a lot like Santa Barbara, always living with her old (but never dying) landlord, Henry, always eating at the foul Hungarian restaurant down the street. Read more »

Noise Pop 2010: Loquat at BOTH; Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Bimbo's

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Loquat at Bottom of the Hill

The San Francisco band started their set with a request for more blue lighting at the Bottom of the Hill Friday Feb. 27, half-joking and half-hoping to make things look “cooler” and more “ocean-like.” Loquat has been playing their brand of electro-pop in the Bay Area for almost a decade and therefore I was expecting some really sweet synth action as a precursor to headlining band, Memory Tapes. Instead, racing guitars and strong bass muddled all of my most favorite parts of Loquat’s soun: the subtle waving melodies and vocalist Kylee Swenson’s floating lyrics. Their newfound heavier sound translated into a rock version of L.A.'s Bitter:Sweet, with tons of energy that twinkled over the crowd like the venue’s vintage Christmas lights. Read more »

Police Commission shoots down Tasers

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The San Francisco Police Commission came to its senses last night, and -- after an immense amount of work by community activists and Commissioner Petra DeJesus -- voted 4-3 not to move forward with a plan for giving the cops Tasers.

A lot of the discussion revolved around the safety of the stun guns; zapping someone with 50,000 volts can cause injury and sometimes death. But there’s another issue here, and the pres coverage only touched on it.Read more »

Day of Action field reports

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We’re starting to get some field reports from today’s big Strike and Day of Action -- which culminates in a 5 p.m. rally in Civic Center Plaza -- from some Guardianistas who we have covering various marches. And it sounds like the turnout is big and lively.Read more »

Gamer: "Heavy Rain" review

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By Peter Galvin

Heavy Rain
(Quantic Dream)
PS3

A new game where you wiggle and waggle your controller in time with on-screen prompts? No, it’s not a new Wii game. Heavy Rain for the PS3 is a dark thriller from the people who brought you the sleeper hit Indigo Prophecy. With the technology developers have at their disposal these days, it’s become feasible in many ways for games to truly resemble the cinematic experience of a feature film. Heavy Rain takes that idea one step further by playing out much like an interactive movie.

Read more »

Five Questions: Sara talks, minus Tegan

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It’s been 12 years and the two adorable Canadian Twins are still making perfectly pleasant, political pop. Their latest album, Sainthood, is a stellar collection of matured, electronically hinged tracks that never fail to get stuck in your head. The sassy duo plays at the Fox in Oakland Friday and are sure to reign in a full crowd of Bay Area queer ladies.

It’s hard not to fall for Tegan and Sara, their cute haircuts, charming smirks, and songs that seem to nuzzle up to any mood. And these ladies put on an awesome show with mouthfuls of quirky conversation and honest, adorable blabbing about all sorts of intelligent topics.

Before setting up shop at venue in Austin, Sara took a few minutes to let me in a few tour secrets and proved that her hilariously eccentric stage presence isn’t an act in the slightest.
Read more »

Editorial: Where landlords, developers, and cars are king

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EDITORIAL Are cars more important than people? Is it OK to evict a tenant just to make space for a garage? Should new garages be designed to preserve on-street parking too? Seems like a no-brainer to us. But legislation by Sup. David Chiu that would put some limits on the expansion of garages — an increasing problem in Chinatown and North Beach — has infuriated some real estate interests, and it's possible that this eminently reasonable bill might fail.

It's a sad statement on San Francisco politics, and the implications go way beyond this one planning measure.Read more »

Obits for sale

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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 recent columns.

Like most daily newspapers these days, the San Francisco Chronicle is hustling to increase declining profit margins.  But let me offer some advice to my former employer: Quit gouging grieving readers as part of your profit chasing. I mean those who pay the Chronicle for running their loved ones’ death notices on the paper’s obituary pages.

Sure, the paper’s not making anywhere near as much as it once did from other classified ads, but don’t try to make up for it by outrageously exploiting the saddened friends and families of the recently deceased.

The basic price for death notices is $16 per printed line per day – $112 per column inch (about seven lines of type).  Those 1x1½ inch photos that sit atop many obits cost about $135 more. If you also want the obit on the Chronicle’s website, that will be another $25, please. And if you want the obit to run for a longer period, for say a week, that can get quite pricey – as much as  $784 per inch. Read more »

Appetite: Hungry for Oscar coverage

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Food lovers can be film lovers, too. So in an unconventional "Appetite" this week, we go to the Oscars. Despite unworthy nominees and a slew of lackluster films, as a lifelong film fanatic, I still relish the event every year. There's fun in joining with like-minded film buffs and fashion hounds to rave and rant about all the missteps or underdogs who should have won. And I'll take any excuse to dress up.

This year I'm hoping the dynamic duo hosting team of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will add some spark to the hours' long telecast. I'm more skeptical about the first go-round of 10 Best Picture nominees, however. We may not be Hollywood, but SF still gets into the act with events to suit everyone: those who want to enjoy the Oscars in style and those who want to bash the hell out of them. Read more »

Appetite: Hungry for Oscar coverage

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Food lovers can be film lovers, too. So in an unconventional "Appetite" this week, we go to the Oscars. Despite unworthy nominees and a slew of lackluster films, as a lifelong film fanatic, I still relish the event every year. There's fun in joining with like-minded film buffs and fashion hounds to rave and rant about all the missteps or underdogs who should have won. And I'll take any excuse to dress up.

This year I'm hoping the dynamic duo hosting team of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will add some spark to the hours' long telecast. I'm more skeptical about the first go-round of 10 Best Picture nominees, however. We may not be Hollywood, but SF still gets into the act with events to suit everyone: those who want to enjoy the Oscars in style and those who want to bash the hell out of them. Read more »

Homeowners for Prop. 13 reform

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The Chron’s headline says “most want cuts, not taxes, to fix state budget.” The story cites a new Field poll, and the Chron’s not the only paper to spin it that way. The Sacramento Bee also claims that the poll shows widespread support for cuts instead of taxes.Read more »

Fatty Starbucks: Yet another reason to drink indie roasts

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By Robyn Johnson

Last week, Call Me Thirsty, a drink enthusiast blog, released a nutritional chart of the 10 fattiest Starbucks drinks. For those who have plugged their fingers into their ears in response to the consistent media coverage over the years about the caloric excessiveness of the Starbucks menu, the numbers can be quite eye-popping. Read more »

ICE postpones deporting SF MUNI worker's family

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I just got a call from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advising me that ICE has decided to postpone deporting the wife and son of MUNI bus driver Charles Washington for 60 days. Read more »