Mantra from the Milk/Moscone memorial march: "Fight back!"

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Hundreds of activists and progressive San Franciscans marked the 35th anniversary of the Mayor George Moscone and Sup. Harvey Milk assassinations on Wednesday night in the Castro with fiery speeches urging the crowd to “fight back!” against displacement and gentrification, conjuring the words and spirit of those slain leftist leaders.Read more »

Port of Oakland work stoppage gets chaotic

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A work stoppage at the Port of Oakland became somewhat chaotic this morning.

An Oakland police officer had his foot run over by a vehicle crossing a picket line, but opted not to press charges against the driver.

“He’s fine,” said Officer Johnna Watson, a spokesperson for OPD. “He continues to work.”Read more »

City College Trustee resigns, protesting state takeover

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Democracy is a thing of the past at City College of San Francisco, and now one member of its elected board has had enough. City College Trustee Chris Jackson announced today that he is resigning from the college board to protest the state takeover of the school, and he explains his reasoning in an op-ed in this week’s Guardian.

“I came to City College to do good work,” Jackson told the Guardian. “At this point it’s impossible to do that work I set out to do. That’s why I’m leaving.”

Jackson was first elected to City College’s board in 2008, but in 2013 he was a trustee in name only. The day City College was told it would lose its accreditation was also the day it lost its Board of Trustees. Those democratically elected by San Francisco voters to lead City College were pushed aside by California Community College Chancellor Brice Harris.

It was a state takeover, and the board was rendered powerless.

The seven-member board holds no more meetings, drafts no more legislation, casts no more votes. The public cannot hold elected officials accountable when things go wrong -- because the man in charge is no longer someone San Francisco elected. Read more »

City and teachers seek injunction against City College closure

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The plan to save City College of San Francisco took a proactive turn yesterday (Mon/25) as two separate-but-similar preliminary injunctions were being sought against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). Read more »

Serial evictors named in mapping project

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The San Francisco Anti-Eviction Mapping Project – the same tenant advocates who produced this time-lapse of Ellis Act evictions – have published a new interactive data visualization, displaying locations of properties where seniors and disabled tenants were ousted by no fault of their own.Read more »

The Performant: Dead man’s party

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Despite the supposed onset of winter, it’s another sunny day as I pedal up to the San Francisco Columbarium, a stately domed edifice perched at the end of a discreet cul de sac off Geary and Arguello. Currently operated by the secular Neptune Society, the Columbarium is one of the last remaining repositories for the dead within San Francisco city limits, the majority of San Francisco’s deceased having been relocated to Colma from the turn of the 20th century on. A group of about 30 curiosity seekers have gathered at the gates. We’ve all come for an Obscura Society “field trip,” in this instance a tour of the iconic structure, led by the man who has been credited with almost single-handedly presiding over the Columbarium’s resurrection from decades of neglect, Emmitt Watson.

The Obscura Society is an offshoot of four year-old online encyclopedia of wonder, Atlas Obscura, and other local excursions have included ones to Suisun Bay, the Albany Bulb, the San Francisco Motorcycle Club clubhouse, an abandoned train station in Oakland, the Zymoglyphic Museum of San Mateo, and an after-dark tour of the Woodlawn cemetery in Colma. Like a darker, more relentless version of Nerd Nite with stronger drinks and more historians, its Tuesday night salons at the DNA Lounge are equally expansive, covering a whole gamut of hidden histories on topics such as vigilantes, rum-runners, the Donner Party, rail transportation, and absinthe.

Read more »

Activists organize, and some journalists chronicle, a progressive resurgence in SF

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While Mayor Ed Lee jets around the world, still too focused on fueling the economic fire that is gentrifying San Francisco and displacing its diverse population — and as the San Francisco Chronicle and other downtown boosters niggle on the margins of Read more »

A fan reacts: 'The Day of the Doctor' at Comic Outpost

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No power in the universe was going to stop local Whovians from enjoying the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, at Comic Outpost ("home of the largest Doctor Who section in the Bay Area") this past weekend.

Despite recent financial troubles, which Comic Outpost has managed to bounce back from thanks to big sales and community support, the comic shop hosted the screening party that had been promised way back when the 50th anniversary special had been announced.

Read more »

Obama speech interrupted by Bay Area immigration activists

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Ju Hong just wants to see his family for Thanksgiving, and that may be why he shouted down the president of the United States.  

Hong interrupted President Barack Obama’s nationally televised speech in Chinatown today, shouting for justice at the tail end of the president’s call for immigration reform. Read more »

Dick Meister: The jobless need help. Now!!

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By Dick Meister

Guardian columnist Dick Meister, former labor editor of the San Francisco
Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than
a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes several hundred of his
columns.

It's time for Congress to help the many jobless Americans ­an estimated
450,000 in the next three months alone ­ who are about to be denied
federally- funded Unemployment Insurance benefits.

What Congress must do ­ and must do quickly ­ is once again expand the
emergency program that was established during the Great Recession in 2008 to
provide benefits averaging $300 a week to the steadily growing number of
jobless.  Congress has until only January 1 to block the first cutbacks of
extra benefit weeks that could continue until at least 2015 unless Congress
Acts.

President Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing measures that would
lengthen the benefit payout period through 2014 at a cost of about $25
billion on top of the $225 billion spent so far on the program. But given
the congressional haggling over economic measures, the chance of agreement
before Congress adjourns December 31 is slight. Read more »

Where I was on the day President Kennedy was shot

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

On Nov. 22, 1963, I was a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal, a famous MIlwaukee daily newspaper always rated among the top ten U.S. newspapers.

I was packing with my wife Jean and two kids, Katrina and Dan, to go to San Francisco with the idea of starting a newspaper, which three years later became the San Francico Bay Guardian.  But I was still on duty in the Journal newsroom on the  Friday morning of the assassination. 

Early in the morning I got a call from the publicist of the Moscow Circus, which was finishing up its highly successful run in town. I had covered the circus as part of my show business beat and had rated it highly as the splendid show it was. The publicist, a good guy and competent at his job, wanted me and the Journal's music critic, Walter Monfried, to go with him to lunch at a nearby German restaurant called Mader's.

"I will buy the lunch," he said, '"and you won't have to write a thing.  You will be doing me a big favor.  I have lots of money left over on my expense account and I need to get it spent.  I want to spend it on the two of you." And he repeated the point  for emphasis, "You will be doing me a big favor."

And so Walter and I, after our noon deadlines on the afternoon paper, headed out for Mader's,  planning for a big meal and lots of drinks. Read more »

Civil rights attorney John Burris to sue SFPD over alleged Valencia Gardens profiling

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Prominent civil rights lawyer John Burris will sue the SFPD on behalf of the family of D’Paris “DJ” Williams, after a neighborhood brawl involving police at the Valencia Gardens housing project that Burris called “outrageous.” 

Last Friday, 20 year old D’Paris Williams was bicycling to his cousins’ house from the Batkid festivities downtown when plainclothes police officers from the Violence Reduction Team, a narcotics and firearms reduction squad, attempted to detain him for riding his bike on the sidewalk. In the confusion, a brawl broke out with the police, Williams, and three neighbors. Video was recorded of the incident, which quickly went viral. 

After seeing a bloody and beaten Williams carried to a squad car by police in the video clip, his family and the residents of Valencia Gardens have posed the question: why? 

Why did plainclothes officers tasked with the mission of seizing guns stop a young man coasting on his bike on a sidewalk for a few feet? The family said they believe Williams was targeted because he was a young man of color visiting a housing project.

“When young people are brutally assaulted by the police, there must be accountability,” Burris told the Guardian. Read more »

Who dares challenge Katniss for box-office supremacy? New movies!

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This week, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stands poised to crush all who dare step to it, but there are some alternatives out there. There's the San Francsico Film Society's weekend-long Cinema By the Bay festival (my overview here), as well as the latest from acclaimed director Alexander Payne, the small-scale but still very moving Nebraska (Dennis Harvey's review here.)

Plus: a festival favorite from Belgium, and Vince Vaughn's sperm-bank comedy. Reviews for both (plus guaranteed big kahuna Catching Fire) below.

Read more »

Presidio Trust critical of museum proposals

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The three museum proposals for a hotly contested Presidio site need significant revisions, the Presidio Trust announced today.Read more »

SF General reduces psychiatric care

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A 22-bed psychiatric unit at San Francisco General Hospital will be taken out of service, and re-opened only if the facility experiences a high caseload of patients exhibiting the worst signs of psychiatric crisis, the Bay Guardian has learned.

As of Nov. 19, five patients were receiving care in that unit, 7B, according to spokesperson Rachael Kagan. None had symptoms that rose to the level of requiring acute care. Instead, they were classified as sub-acute patients, a distinction that essentially means they didn’t present an immediate threat to themselves or others.Read more »