Pow! Zap! Free comic book day with Ace of Geeks

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Saturday's Free Comic Book Day was like Christmas morning for comic lovers, and San Francisco is blessed with an abundance of comic book stores to celebrate from. Luckily for us, podcast Ace of Geeks decided to take a video tour of a few of SF's most beloved dens of geekery on the beloved nerd holiday.  Read more »

Toyota work methods applied at General Hospital

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San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has a $1.3 million contract with Seattle-based Rona Consulting Group to implement the Toyota Management System, a workflow methodology based on the auto-manufacturing model, at San Francisco General Hospital.

This new model, which aims for greater workflow efficiency, is being implemented just as healthcare staffers raise concerns that staffing levels at SFGH are dangerously low.Read more »

Injured protester Scott Olsen demands Oakland Police reform weapon use

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Injured veteran Scott Olsen is calling on Mayor Jean Quan to ban the Oakland Police Department from using less-than-lethal weapons during protests and other crowd events.

The announcement came through his attorneys at the National Lawyers Guild Tuesday night, on the heels of Oakland City Council's vote to approve a $4.5 million payout to Olsen for brain injuries he sustained at the hands of the OPD at an Occupy Oakland protest in 2011. Read more »

Ownership in Guardian's parent company may shift

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Greetings, Guardianistas. Almost a year ago, when we went through a management struggle here the newspaper, I promised to let readers know if we encountered any threats to our editorial independence from our San Francisco Print Media Co. owners.Read more »

The fight for a higher minimum wage: SF vs. Seattle

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On May Day, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

As a point of comparison, this proposal would put Seattle minimum-wage earners in the position of only having to devote 46 percent of their total pre-tax income toward rent (based on median monthly rental prices) instead of 63 percent.Read more »

A tUnE-yArDs phone date from the road

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Being weird in a good way seems like a more difficult status for artists to attain than it used to be. We can tell when you're trying too hard -- the Gaga meat dress, the Miley tongue-wags felt 'round the world -- and it's straight-up unappealing. Thanks to Ye Olde Internet, we're also genuinely harder to shock than we used to be. At the same time, the acceptable box that artists seem to need to fit into to be marketable, to achieve anything like mainstream success, feels smaller all the time.Read more »

Vulnerable San Francisco ignores growing tech bubble talk

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While business and political leaders within San Francisco continue to express optimism that the technology industry will keep growing and filling all the new office space we can build — there’s even talk in the business community about overturning Prop. M, the 1985 measure that placed limits on new office construction — the rest of the world seems more concerned that the latest tech bubble could pop.

That would hit San Francisco -- where 13 percent of private sector jobs are in the tech/information sector, giving just this city more job growth since 2007 than all but three entire US states -- harder than other single city in the world. San Francisco Controller’s Office has repeatedly warned how vulnerable we are to significant drop in tech valuation, even though it has also predicted that this time is different and things seem fine for the foreseeable future.

But with indicators such as Twitter’s rapidly tanking stock, the irrational exhuberance of Google and Facebook paying billions for companies with big ideas but no real business model, and total venture capital investments surpassing levels from the last dot.com crash, San Francisco could be in big trouble. Read more »

Uber files defense in New Year's Eve death of six-year-old girl

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The wrongful death lawsuit against Uber for the New Year's Eve death of six-year-old Sofia Liu moved forward, as Uber filed its defense May 1. 

Uber's defense filing claims the driver that struck Liu, Syed Muzzafar, was not an Uber employee and he had no reason to interact with the Uber app at the time of Liu's death. 

The suit also claims that Muzzafar signed an agreement with Uber acknowledging those facts.Read more »

Swing away -- Urban Putt opens today!

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After a sneak peek and a couple of delays, Urban Putt finally opens at 4pm today. The high concept mini-golf course, restaurant, and bar combination arrives just in time for some Cinco de Drinko fiesta time.

The former mortuary at South Van Ness and 22nd Streets is freshly coated with a new paint job that seamlessly blends with the neighborhood. There’s nothing flashy about Urban Putt from the outside but as you step inside, you’re transported into a gadgety, steampunk world — a techie’s Disneyland.

The elaborate 14-hole golf course designed by the guys behind Mission Bowling Club can hold 40 golfers at a time, so expect a wait list as long as Nopa’s on a Friday night. Golfers start out at the Earthquake Hole where they navigate around Lotta’s Fountain and moving buildings into a fire hydrant hole. Expect kitschy San Francisco references scattered around the course: a Transamerica windmill, the Day of the Dead hole, and a robot hole built by the people from Make Magazine. Several other of our city’s landmarks also make an appearance.

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SFIFF 57: Strange love, Varda, Swedish grrrls, and more!

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The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs through May 8; all the details are here. Guardian correspondent and confirmed film fest addict Jesse Hawthorne Ficks checks in with his mid-SFIFF picks and reactions.

Charlie McDowell's The One I Love (screens tomorrow; ticket info here) showcases exceptional performances by Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss and should be a multiple Independent Spirit Award nominee come next statuette season. This unique genre fluster-cluck digs much deeper into marital problems than you would ever expect (audiences seemed quite flipped upside down after the film's world premiere at Sundance). Similar to films like Darren Araonfsky's Pi (1998), Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000), and Shane Caruth's Primer (2004), this will be a film that'll spark conversations and inspire repeat viewings.

Read more »

Illegal anti-Campos flyers the subject of an ethics complaint

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Several San Francisco neighborhoods over the last week have been targeted with illegal campaign flyers against Assembly candidate David Campos -- breaking both state election laws requiring the group and its funding source to be identified and local laws against placing political flyers on utility poles and other surfaces.Read more »

Happy Hour: The week in music

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-- The 2014 Music Video Race, the competition that pairs local bands with filmmakers for the 48-hour speed-creation of music video magic, is now accepting applications from musicians and filmmakers. The filmmaking weekend is July 11-13, and the screening/party, due to popular demand, has been upgraded to The Independent on July 20. Yours truly will be one of the judges, so, er, make this tough for me.Read more »

Listen to the Guardian's endorsement interviews

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Our endorsements for the June election hit the streets in this week's Bay Guardian, in newsstands now. But although we do explain the reasoning behind our endorsement decisions on the printed page, in interest of transparency we're letting readers hear directly from the people behind the two hottest races: the Assembly race between David Campos and David Chiu, and the waterfront height measure Prop. B. Read more »

Spider-Man and other men (some more amazing than others...) in new movies!

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It won't be summer according to the calendar for another month or so, but it's already summer at the movies. We're already on our second superhero movie of the season! Our second Stan Lee cameo in as many months, people! Read on for reviews of everything that's opening this week, from the obvious (see: Slinger, Web) to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it-but-you-really-shouldn't (Singaporean drama Ilo Ilo, for one). And confidential to late arrivals: the San Francisco International Film Festival is heading into its second weekend; check out our coverage from last week's paper here.

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Live review: Mastodon at the Fox Theater

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They still exist: big metal bands that go on old-fashioned tours, rather than exclusively playing festivals or headlining package tours (aka shows that start at 4pm and are comprised of two bands you actually want to see and five others the label shoehorns in because that's the only way they'll get exposure). Also still in existence: a band that will tour between albums, in fact hitting the road less than two months before a new album drops, and play a set that contains two new songs (to give fans a taste of what's to come), but is mostly composed of familiar back-catalogue tunes. 

Not, however, still around: actual Mastodons.

No worries, dudes — Mastodon the band shows no sign of going anywhere, and based on what drummer Brann Dailor said at the end of last night's show at Oakland's Fox Theater, they'll soon be back in the Bay Area, pumping their sixth studio release, Once More 'Round the Sun, which arrives in late June. Based on the two new songs heard last night ("Chimes at Midnight" and "High Road;" stream the latter via the band's Soundcloud page, or check out the "Audio Visualizer" below the jump), your sludgy summer soundtrack awaits.

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