Viva La Peña

35 years of voicing opposition through music, art, and moxie

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Here's to you, Salvador Allende. Our governmental baddies-that-were may have helped assassinate you over the copper-nationalizing ways of your democratically elected Chilean presidential administration. But in your passing, you inspired the birth of an East Bay community center focused on the use of art for social awakening. Which we're happy to tell you continues to be an integral part of our area's radical cultural milieu to this day. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Tim and Johnny on the election

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Today, Johnny and Tim talk about California Republican gubernatorial cadidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner and the upcoming voter initiative to legalize marijuana in the November election. You can listen after the jump.

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Street Threads: New York City

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Today's Look: Juli, Times Square

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Newsom's budget includes a few ideas "Supervisors can't stand"

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City department heads, members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representatives from major news outlets, and others crowded into the Luggage Store Art Gallery at 6th and Market streets on June 1 to hear Mayor Gavin Newsom discuss his proposed 2010-2011 budget.

Colorful artwork, such as a collage fashioned from cereal boxes, adorned the walls, and Newsom said he’d selected the venue to emphasize his commitment to improving the blighted mid-Market area.

Newsom’s $6.48 billion budget is being put forth in the face of a roughly $480 million deficit, which places the city in a similar financial situation to last year, when the mayor’s budget proposal sparked an outcry from progressive supervisors and a wide array of advocacy organizations for its deep blows to public health programs and critical services.

At first glance, the Department of Public Health seems to have fared better this time around, as a partial result of outside funding through federal programs. However, Newsom proposed slashing $22 million from DPH, compared with a total department budget of approximately $1.4 billion.

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The Daily Blurgh: Gaydar, crafting-as-protest

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Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond

Gaydar may actually exist.

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Who do you wanna see at Outside Lands this year? Lord, please let Janelle Monae and Al Green do a duet. Read more »

"Leather Gimp" wins it!

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See video

Just in time for Pride Month, the winner of this year's International Mr. Leather competition (held this past weekend in Chicago) is New Mexican transman wheelchair-user -- and self-described "Leather Gimp" -- Tyler McCormick. We teared up at his speech. Diversity x 1 million = work the runway. In a leather jockstrap, even.  

Snap Sounds: Kisses

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To name a song “Midnight Lover” is ambitious, and perhaps dangerous. A song with a title so classically charged with sex and romance had better deliver. Luckily, this track from Kisses' upcoming album Heart of the Nightlife (Surround Sound) possesses enough swoon-worthiness to compensate for its relative lack of lust. This duo is romantic, and has the disco credentials – love of Cerrone and Gino Soccio; tutelage under Alec R. Constandinos – to deliver the sleek seduction. Read more »

"Beach, fun, drinks, girls, and a good time": Chico Trujillo is your Memorial hangover cure

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Thank you holiday weekend, you have memorialized whatever brain cells and desire to integrate into the everyday world of not being drunk by 2 p.m. I still had left. I suppose it was a fair trade for all the lovely memories that I of course won't remember. Shall we turn then, to something fun that's happening this upcoming weekend (Fri/4 La Peña Cultural Center) to keep us going? A lovely South American cumbia party that goes by the name of Chico Trujillo? Hurry, before sobriety catches you, cue the mp3 and hold on for the interview! Read more »

Benefits: June 2-June 8

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Ways to have fun while giving back this week

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Quick Lit: June 2-June 8

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Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Maude Barlow, the female farming revolution, Babylon Salon, Mahnaz Afkhami, The Art of Baseball, Nerd Nite, and more. Read more »

Let the ICE picket begin

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Members of the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee launched a picket outside US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Detention and Removal Operations office at 630 Sansome Street today to decry the activation of Secure Communities, which they describe as a “dangerous police-ICE collaboration program that threatens public safety.”

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Newsom's lousy economics

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EDITORIAL Every major newspaper in California should have plastered the May 2010 report from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research across the front page. The headline: "Governor's budget will destroy 331,000 jobs."

It's a stunning analysis. Ken Jacobs, who heads the center, and two associates used a sophisticated computer program to track exactly how the cuts would play out in the current California economy. If the governor's proposals are adopted, the job losses would greatly exceed any new job creation, causing the unemployment rate in the state to rise by 1.8 percent.

On the other hand, the study shows, raising taxes on rich people and oil companies would save 244,000 jobs.

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Live Shots: SF Bay Area Labor Heritage Rockin' Solidarity Chorus, City College, 5/27/2010

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My auntie Yam is the ultimate SF activist, along with my mom, a.k.a. Snorkel Mom. The two of them are always out together, advocating for single-payer health care, participating in anti-war rallies, sharing new organic gardening techniques with each other, and attending all day lectures on Earth Day. I've learned so much from both of them, and I'm always awed by their commitment to change and their strong visions for a better world. So when auntie Yam invited me to go see her Labor Chorus perform at City College, I knew I was in for an uplifting and exciting show.

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Street Threads: New York City

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Today's Look: Irene, Times Square

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Looking for a long weekend staycation adventure? Try Viracocha.

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Stuck in town for Memorial Day weekend? I hear ya bro. But there’s no reason not to take the three days of relative calm in the city to explore some of its newish, dusty corners. You can start with Viracocha, Valencia’s antique store-community space that provides a room where we can all get a little folksy with it. Read more »