Official SF bike count shows big increase, but not big enough to meet city goals

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As anyone who has traveled the streets of San Francisco knows, there’s an increasing number of bicyclists out there. And the just-released biennial bike count from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency attempts to quantify that increase: 14 percent since 2011.Read more »

SFUSD gifts city 115 affordable housing units for the holidays

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The San Francisco Board of Education last night (Tue/10) approved a land swap with city government, gifting San Francisco an empty lot that it will use to build new affordable housing. That’s 115 units of living space for low income San Francisco renters, wrapped in a bow for the holidays. 

The proposal was the brainchild of board members Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell and Sandra Lee Fewer, who worked on the measure with the Mayor’s Office of Housing for over two years. The district will trade a lot on 1950 Mission street and another on Connecticut in exchange for a property it currently rents from the city of San Francisco. The city will also pay SFUSD $4.5 million, according to district data.

Last night was the culmination of that work, which Fewer said was the right thing to do.

“Could we get more money from [selling] this property with a private developer? I’m sure. But would we get the value? No,” Fewer said at the meeting. Read more »

Real tech worker says SF homeless "grotesque," "degenerates," "trash"

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Just a day after a fake tech worker blew up the Internet with class hatred, an actual tech worker spewed hatred for real -- and it’s worse than anything that our political thespian had to say.

As first reported by tech blog Valleywag, AngelHack founder and CEO Greg Gopman posted this gem on his Facebook yesterday: 

Just got back to SF. I've traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down market st in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little. Read more »

Breaking the fast

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Vincent Pan barely had the energy to speak, and seemed to fall asleep before the eyes of the 30 or so activists gathered in Chinatown last night.

Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, was on the 11th day of a fast he’d started in solidarity with immigration activists who fasted for 22 days in Washington DC, all with a common goal -- to push Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Last evening, Mon/9, marked his last night depriving himself of food. Before taking his first bite in nearly two weeks, he reflected on what the fast meant for him.Read more »

The Performant: Home is where the art is

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Valencia Street art space struggles to retain its physical and spiritual existence
 
Sometimes you stumble across places that just feel like home the instant you step across the threshold. Maybe not the kind of home where you lounge around in sweatpants binging on Dynamo Donuts and Netflix, but a home that offers comfort for the spirit, where creativity and intention reign. Curiosity shop, design showcase, and artist enclave, Viracocha at 998 Valencia Street has been one such home for many, from the poets who helped build its pallet-wood walls, to the neighborhood literati who donated to and borrowed from Ourshelves, the private lending library that until very recently occupied the back of the building, to the acoustic musicians and spoken-word artists who gathered in the basement to perform and to connect, to the visual artists whose work was treated as décor first and merchandise almost as an afterthought.

Read more »

Folsom Street gets a bike-friendly makeover

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In the wake of some high-profile cases of motorists running over cyclists in San Francisco this year, including the Aug. 14 death of Amelie Le Moullac at the intersection of Folsom and 6th Streets, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has taken a lane from drivers to create safer cycling along seven key blocks of fast-moving Folsom Street.Read more »

Morphenomenal 'Struggled Reagans' will possibly give universe an STD

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See video

We've been fans of Gregg Golding, aka hyperreal rapper Odynophagia, for years. We've also been waiting for his epic movie Struggled Reagans to be released for years. And now it's gonna be! "Taking inspiration from Power Rangers, decaying tokusatsu, & nightmares of '90s children," the film will debut at New People, Wed/11, 9pm as part of the Another Hole in the Head fest.

Read more »

"Why'd you do it?" we ask Fake Google employee Max Bell Alper

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Within a half hour of our original post on today's tech gentrification and transit protest, the Guardian learned that Max Bell Alper, a union organizer with Unite Here Local 2850 was the man shouting down Google bus protesters earlier this morning. We asked Alper what motivated him to impersonate a Google employee.

You can read the original post, with updates, here.

Alper maintained that he meant no deception, and that it was all "political theater."Read more »

On displacement, journalism, and the Guardian's fake Google-buser video

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It’s been a whirlwind morning here in the Guardian newsroom. First our coverage of the surprise Google bus blockade and protest, along with a video that appeared to show a Google bus rider shouting at protesters, went viral (congratulations to getting onto our site now, it’s been hard to keep it up). Then we discovered the guy was actually protester Max Alper, who staged this intriguing bit of street theater on the spot, unbeknowst to protest organizers who had tipped us off to their event in advance.Read more »

UPDATE: Union organizer shouts down protesters as they block private Google shuttle

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Protesters blocked a private Google shuttle on Valencia street today, decrying private shuttle's use of public bus stops without paying fees or fines.

The group of 20 or so neon-yellow vested protesters called themselves the "San Francisco Displacement and Neighborhood Impact Agency." The company doesn't pay San Francisco a dime to use the Muni stops -- fines that private auto drivers pay regularly.Read more »

Joe Bulgo: The neglected hero of Pearl Harbor

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

(B3 note: reprinted from last year and to be reprinted every year by me for reasons that will become apparent upon reading this story.)

This is the incredible story of the neglected hero of Pearl Harbor.

His name is Joe Bulgo and he lived across the street from our family for years on 14th Avenue in the West Portal area. I knew him as a neighbor, and our daughter and son played with his two daughters. His wife Val for decades has sold and still sells fine jewelry in a downtown department store. Daughter Linda played the star Snow White for years in Beach Blanket Babylon and now has her own show in Las Vegas. Daughter Dianne is the catering director at the St. Francis Hotel.  And our families shared a wonderful domestic helper, Rose Zelalich.

But neither our family nor any of his neighbors had any idea of his Pearl Harbor heroism until his daughter Linda gave me a copy of a story on Joe in the December issue of the 1990 Readers Digest. Read more »

Holiday shopping, anti-gentrification style

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Anti-gentrification isn't just a hot-button issue in San Francisco. It's core-of-the-sun hot.

And that's why Prensa POBRE/POOR Magazine, a magazine dedicated to giving marginalized populations a voice, is hosting the "Anti-Gentrification Arts Market in the Gentrified Mission District of San Francisco" on Saturday (12/7).

The event, taking place at POOR Magazine (2940 16th Street in San Francisco) from 4-7pm, is prominently featuring a lineup of artists that have been directly affected by the rapid gentrification of San Francisco.Read more »

In the last week before Oscar/Christmas season really roars to life ... new movies!

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This week, we feature a pair of excellent documentaries: Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley (review here) and The Punk Singer, about riot grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna (review and interview here). Read on for short takes on this week's new releases!

Read more »

Oakland joins 100 cities in national fast food strike

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It was a bad day for Big Macs, but a good day for workers. 

Joining a nationwide day of action, a wave of over a hundred protesters crowded into a Oakland McDonald's, on Jackson street, demanding fast food workers to join in the strike.

Four employees joined in the strike, and others briefly joined the march outside.

100 cities across the country held similar strikes, with workers in Detroit, New York City and more demanding a livable wage of $15 an hour. 

The protest was nationally led by labor unions, including the SEIU, but locally it was led by men like Jose Martinez. Martinez led the strike at KFC some time back, and was one of the organizers at the forefront of today's action at McDonald's and other fast food outlets. 

"It's a movement for all fast food workers to come together and fight for our rights," he said.

Standing with Martinez in Oakland, rapper, performer and music producer Boots Riley said he was in support of the fast food workers' movement.

"Fighting to raise wages of anyone helps everyone, a high tide raises all boats," he told the Guardian. "You help make that profit, your labor is worth more than minimum wage."

Inside, the fast food joint was bursting at the seams, the workers hungry for justice. Read more »

Marcus Books can stay if it can raise $1 million

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Marcus Book Store continues to be threatened with the loss of its Fillmore Street location – but if an ambitious community-based campaign can succeed in raising $1 million by Feb. 28, the institution will be able to remain where it is for the foreseeable future.Read more »