From tanks to scooters: The top five most and least intimidating SFPD vehicles

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Our news feature story this week covered the militarization of police departments across the country, including the SFPD, and how the easy accessibility of "cool toys" like grenade launchers and armored vehicles encourages violence.

But one conclusion we were left with as we worked on the story was this: the SFPD ain’t all bad. During the last Police Commission meeting, Chief Greg Suhr mentioned he was almost hesitant to order four forklifts from the Department of Defense due to scrutiny from the news media. Read more »

Chuck Prophet to Scott Wiener: Shut the fuck up about Duboce Triangle

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Musician and historically outspoken SF resident Chuck Prophet, who'll be gracing us with his brand of ramblin' rock and roll at this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest, got a little fired up today after reading this Chron piece from the ever-insightful C.W. Nevius.Read more »

Ranks of opposition to 16th and Mission development grow as Plaza 16 pushes forward

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In the sea of nonprofit leaders, career organizers, and rabblerousers, one old man put the Mission's struggle into context, last night [Thu/28]. It was a majority Latino district even as recently as the '90s, he told the crowd gathered in St. John's Episcopal Church last night. But now: "Here in the Mission, I can count the Latinos on my hands."Read more »

Predicting earthquakes, from 14-year-old prophets to train-stopping ShakeAlerts to lessons from disaster flicks

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Earlier today, I called my mother, a natural disaster film junkie, and asked her, “Do you know of any movies where someone predicts natural disasters, but no one believes the guy, and so everything goes a little haywire?”

“10.5, Day After Tomorrow, 2012, Volcano, Deep Impact, and Knowing,” she replied without any hesitation. “But in Knowing the protagonist gets help from aliens to predict disasters, so I don't know if that's bordering on fiction.”Read more »

A show a day: Your fall music calendar

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What's going on in Bay Area music these next three months? Glad you asked. 

Like a daily multivitamin wards off the sniffles, getting the SFBG's official recommended dose of live shows is crucial to maintaining optimal mental health, fun levels, and skin tone, especially as the days get shorter and the weather turns ever-so-slightly cooler.Read more »

BART launches internal affairs investigation into tackling arrest of black man

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The Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation after an officer tackled and subsequently arrested a suspect, the Bay Guardian has learned. The nature of the complaint leading into the investigation is not yet known, but statements from the suspect's attorney indicate it may be racially motivated. Read more »

A master of observation: chatting with author Sean Wilsey

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“We used to call this Café High,” author Sean Wilsey says of Café International, our meeting spot, before letting out a hearty chortle. By “we” he means his late-80s classmates at the Urban School, the private prep school 10 blocks or so from the Haight and Fillmore coffee shop. By “high” I assume he’s alluding to marijuana in some form or another, but I’m too intrigued by Wilsey’s instant openness and nostalgia to probe. Despite four other high schools (he never graduated), myriad other cities (he doesn’t come back to San Francisco very often anymore), and 25 or so intervening years (he’s pushing 45), Wilsey still grasps the vibe of his native hood with the exactitude of a lifelong resident. 

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SF queer arts community mourns Arturo Galster, "drag queen's drag queen"

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To call seminal SF perfomer and alpha theater aficionado Arturo Galster merely a "drag queen" is to do his range -- from the legendary Vegas in Space movie and pitch-perfect live-sung Pasty Cline interpretations to his recent technicolor turns with the Thrillpeddlers -- a disservice. But his name will always call to mind that moment in the late '80s and early '90s when SF's drag scene unmoored itself from polite old school diva kabuki into a squall of gloriously punky, ironic camp.

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Catching up with The Presidents of the United States of America

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Though they hit the peak of their fame in the mid-'90s post-grunge era with hits like "Peaches" and "Kitty," the Presidents of the United States of America have enjoyed a more fruitful and fascinating career than many of their ilk.

From collaborating with Shonen Knife and Sir Mix-A-Lot to starting an indie label to performing a Pokemon tribute song at the Pokemon Black/White American launch party, their career is shaping up to be as long, delightful, and brilliant as their name. Read more »

Your official Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lineup is here

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Ah, fall in San Francisco. The kids go back to school, the pumpkin beers and lattes make their first appearances, the leaves...um, mostly stay the same color, and the weather usually gets a little warmer.

OK, so maybe we don't really do fall the way most of the country does fall. You know which part we do really well, though? Music. Art. Festivals. Excuses to drink pumpkin beers outside while taking in a live performance. Pick up this week's big Fall Arts preview issue (on stands now!) for a guide to the best the Bay Area has to offer these next few months in music, theater, film, dance, visual art, and more. Read more »

Did Big Soda swing a key endorsement by a progressive democratic club?

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Did the soda industry buy a prominent progressive political endorsement? Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle raised the question in a story by Heather Knight, who goes on to air a number of rumors propagated by the soda tax supporters against the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.Read more »

Live Shots: Jack White rocks so hard he sprains his ankle at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

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With the opening chords of “Fell in Love with a Girl,” Jack White took to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium stage on Friday night at what seemed like 100 miles per hour at staggering volume…with little interest in ever applying the brake. Read more »

Burning Man shark jump creates media pile-on

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We seem to have tapped into the meme of the moment with last week’s cover story, “Burning Man jumps the shark,” which took issue with how this high-minded experiment has been sullied by the money-driven values and practices of mainstream America, with the complicity of the company that stages the event.   Read more »

Federal complaint filed over death of Alex Nieto as supporters vow to keep fighting

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Protests have sprung up throughout the week in San Francisco, Oakland, and nationwide in response to the police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.

This afternoon [Fri/22], at the San Francisco Federal Building, a similar rally took place – only this one was in memory of a different shooting victim, Alejandro (“Alex”) Nieto, who was gunned down by San Francisco police officers five months ago. Nieto, who died at the age of 28, had been pursuing a career as a juvenile probation officer and studying at City College of San Francisco. Read more »

Koch brothers and other right-wing outsiders challenge Bay Area minimum wage measures

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In recent months, San Francisco and Oakland have unveiled ballot measures that would raise minimum wage for workers currently struggling with the Bay Area’s rising cost of living. Read more »