On Feb. 26, the cab industry changes, radically

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The San Francisco taxi industry will undergo a major change starting Feb. 26, when the Municipal Transportation Agency is expected to adopt a complete transformation of how cab medallions -- the permits needed to operate a taxi in the city -- are allocated. You can read the proposal here. In essence, it would allow cab medallions -- which are now allocated to individual drivers on the basis of seniority on a waiting list -- to be sold on the open market.Read more »

Illin' for Illiad

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A preternatural rooting of the vengeful Bush legacy (and Obama continuance) into neo-classical sonic aesthetics? Another uncanny contemporary slice (in slo-mo) of the Illiad? A Shriekback? Sea breeze, sea breeze... These New Puritans' "We Want War" from the awesome and challenging new Hidden (Domino) complexifies their post-punk revival ways to put the sinew in Stravinsky, the killer in Achilles.

Appetite: Don't forget to remember

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In the wake of a number of January closings, including some long-timers I'd rather not see go (like Vivande Porta Via), I've been reflecting on those neighborhood spots or classic restaurants we often forget are there but don't want to lose. From time to time, I'd like to share reviews of places we'd do well to re-visit... or get to for the first time. They might be receiving a fresh infusion of flavor from recent chef or menu changes, or are good enough to remain noteworthy, despite the flood of new openings and (over)hyped hot spots. The Grand Cafe is one of them.

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A look back at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival (part three: docs!)

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Check out Jesse's two-part take on Sundance's narrative side here and here.

Sporting the revamped tagline "This is the renewed rebellion. This Sundance, reminded," the festival's always-stellar documentary selections most often live up to their astonishing subject matter. This year was no different. First up for me was the controversial 8: The Mormon Proposition by Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstreet. The film explores the Mormon Church's involvement (and sneaky double-dealings) in the pro-Prop 8 campaign in California, as well as exploring how many Mormon leaders use God's will as a manipulation tatic towards preventing (or in this case, taking away) civil rights. The film's most jaw-dropping revelation, which draws a connection between the persecution of a follower of Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith and today's struggle for same-sex marriage, will chill your bones with irony.

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Funkin' and flashin' in Sebastopol

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So you're in wine country on your way to (or more likely, from) a bubbly tasting at Korbell when suddenly you realize something startling; you're not feeling so effervescent yourself. The answer to your frump? Well, I'm guessing a wine colored tutu or red corduroy cowboy pants embroidered with sequined cacti wouldn't hurt. Enter Funk & Flash, to my knowledge the best secondhand clothing store in the North Bay. Carnival/Sgt. Pepper/Mexicali fun time, here you come!Read more »

Noise Pop: A last-minute slacker's guide

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An exhausting week of show after show has arrived, and it’s hard to say no to such a thick lineup of interesting indie. That is, if you had a choice. If you’ve already got your tickets, my mother would be proud. If you are among the league of last-minute fools, be forewarned -- you are officially SOL (insert Debbie Downer "whaw whaw" here). Lots of shows are sold out, including almost everything I had my eye on: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zones, Loquat, Best Coast, Zee Avi, Atlas Sound, Four Tet, Mirah... So, if you’re like me and staggering to find your place in Noise Pop, here’s a guide to what’s best of what’s left.

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Dolores Park closure update: Public forum on March 3

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By Chloe Roth

Dolores Park is a prime spot for many activities: basking in the sunshine, finding dates, judging people, smoking and drinking in public, hitting nappers in the head with Frisbees, fraternizing with the locals, feeling claustrophobic, and becoming more attractive (see below). First and foremost is sunshine, of which the rainy months and desk jobs have robbed many SF residents. The exodus to Dolo Park usually begins when the first rays of sun break through the fog, but the true swarm takes place on the first days of summer. Certain contingents (we could call them “the gentrifiers”) arrive looking like the undead: wan, anemic, and skeletal. But by August, Dolores Park has worked its magic: tank top tans have transformed them from “almost-see-through” to a sallow shade of “slightly-less-pale” and little beer bellies round out their skinny frames.

A couple weeks ago, however, it seemed that all this Dolo magic might be coming to a temporary halt.

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alt.sex: Don't be a dick

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Dear Andrea:

I'm not your average 20-something male. I love sex, but not unless its part of a relationship. I guess I think too highly of myself to tag random chicks meaninglessly. I do have a high sex drive and a great deal of experience, but the women I go for are usually highly-educated, professional, librarian types.

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"Sha-Boo-Lee" -- Brontez shakes it

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See video

Reasons to watch the Younger Lovers' "Sha-Boo-Lee," directed by Irwin Swirnoff: hula hoops; cotton candy; Vespas; Mission Adult Superstore; pay phones, Fag School; naked sunbathing; dance instructor Brontez shaking it; sounds like if Henry's Dress were on Stax.

Is Chevron lying about its crude plans?

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By Adam Lesser

William Rostov, the Earthjustice lawyer who represents three Bay Area environmental groups, broke it down: “The question is: will it be heavier and will that result in more pollution?” He was speaking about crude oil refining at Chevron’s Richmond refinery as he addressed California’s First Appellate Court in San Francisco this morning. Heavier crude oil is usually less expensive for oil companies to purchase but generates more pollution during the refining process.Read more »

Editorial: No more silence on PG&E’s statewide power grab

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Every single elected official, candidate for office, and political group in the state that isn't entirely bought off by PG&E needs to loudly oppose Prop. 16 - now Read more »

The attack on the SF left

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If I were a political consultant hired by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the big developers and the landlords and Mayor Newsom, and my job was to launch an effective attack on the progressive movement in the city and undermine progressive control of the Board of Supervisors, here’s what I’d do:Read more »

A look back at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival (part two)

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For part one of Jesse's Sundance report, click here.

Rounding out the mumblecore minions was Cyrus from the genre-defining Duplass Brothers. Even while having name actors (John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener, and Jonah Hill) as well as a seven million dollar budget to play around with (by comparison, their first film, 2005's The Puffy Chair, cost $15,000), the siblings have not lost one iota of their charm or sincere humor. And most importantly, these characters and situations (no matter how complicated things get) are explored with depth and honesty. Jonah Hill is still the Jonah Hill from Judd Apatow films, but here he's finally been allowed to explore his creepy-sad side, enabling a viewer to truly relate to his character, a son who's a little too overprotective of his single mom. During what was one of Sundance's greatest 9 a.m. Q&As, the hung-over directors and cast laughed about how they have no clue how to market this film. My suggestion: don't miss Cyrus, sure to be one of the funniest, and most unexpectedly poignant, films of 2010. Read more »

John Yoo's torturous book tour

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By Adrian Castaneda and Steven T. Jones

John Yoo – the infamous author of legal memos justifying torture for the Bush Administration and a controversial UC Berkeley law professor – continued his surreal book tour yesterday, stopping in San Francisco yesterday to appear on KQED’s forum.Read more »

Sunday parking in the Mission

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I'm not surprised that merchants in the Mission want to retain free parking on Sundays. Times are tough for neighborhood businesses, and anything that would seem to discourage customers is frightening.

Of course, if the city doesn't expand parking meter hours, it's going to have to make even further cuts in Muni, which could impact the merchants even more.Read more »