Under the benevolent neon rainbow of Twin Peaks Tavern, a bearded man with a battered trunk strolls up and addresses a group of people seated at café tables in the little plaza tucked beside the F-Market turnaround at Castro and 17’th. It’s the sort of thing that happens a lot in San Francisco, the difference in this case being that the figure is none other than Walt Whitman (robustly channeled by No Nude Men’s Ryan Hayes), and the assembled crowd a diverse group of Fringe Festival patrons,
Castro habitués, and curious bystanders sucked in by the moment. Average of build yet bold of purpose, this is not the “Old Father Graybeard” of Allen Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California”—but rather a younger, lustier Whitman, who perambulates easily about the crowd and speaks desire to the bustle of passerby and impatient streetcars.
No one was really surprised when the Redevelopment Commission voted 4-0 not to renew Arc Ecology’s contract to provide environmental information services regarding remediation plans at Hunters Point Shipyard and award it to Circle Point. Read more »
The Janet Reilly for District 2 Supervisor campaign today announced its endorsement by Angela Alioto, the former supervisor, mayoral candidate, and aunt of the current incumbent, Michela Alioto-Pier, who endorsed Reilly rival Mark Farrell in the race. Hmm, I wonder how this will go over at the next family gathering.Read more »
Not all of us are brave enough to face up to a future of robots farming vast high rises of our fruits and veggies. But Tim Donohue is. And not only does he have the same last name as me, but he's also started a think tank called Key4Hope, which is mainly comprised of friends and family and examines just how we can solve all these bothersome social-environment-economic-psychological kerfuffles we find ourselves in these days.
Yes indeed – and you can see the surprisingly technical (Donohue has a master's in international relations from San Francisco State) results of these down home solutions on the group's website. Fancy a close-knit cabal from Mountain View solving such quandries! Of course this interview is not to endorse what they've come up with. But the point is that they're talking about change. And as Donohue told us in a recent phone interview, it's really more about getting the conversation started.
Boiling outrage over the city's boundary-pushing crackdown on San Francisco nightlife may have slowed to a simmer since the spring, when overzealous enforcement efforts (harassing club owners, confiscating computers from DJs, dumping booze down the drain like Prohibition Era agents, etc.) prompted back-and-back cover stories in the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly. But the fallout is still unfolding in ways that could eventually cause real problems for the city.Read more »
10/3 CUESA 8th Annual Sunday Supper Fundraiser -- CUESA (The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), which runs the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, is throwing its 8th Annual Sunday Supper on October 3. It's a CUESA fundraiser, whole animal feast, chef gala and drink event all rolled into one. Not to mention a night where local farmers and purveyors mingle to enjoy a meal made from local ingredients and sustainably raised meats. Read more »
Some folks are so mad about D. 10 candidate Steve Moss that they have put together a website titled The Real Steve Moss that pulls together public records and poses a series of questions in an effort to make Moss provide concrete answers about his residency and his handling of tax-payer dollars before the November election rolls around. Read more »
The new Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans is out, and guess what? Sixteen of them live in San Francisco. That's a lot of very rich people. Some new ones on the list this year, too. And that doesn't count all the very, very rich who didn't quite make the cut (Warren Hellman, for example, isn't quite rich enough for this list.)Read more »
Today we ask some questions: With Whitman behind in the polls, is there any chance she could win? And why did the state just spend more than $800,000 building a new death chamber? Listen after the jump. Read more »
Nataha Hoehn got her start in public education teaching junior high English in the South Bronx, and she’s now working for an education nonprofit. She chairs the After School for All Committee, and is a big fan of community schools for every kid.
Hoehn also wants to see more local control over education spending. The SFUSD, she pointed out to us, has to apply for state funds in 136 categories -- textbooks, transportations, etc. “It ought to be a block grant,” she said.Read more »
You & Me, the Walkmen’s excellent 2008 album, showcased how strong the band could be while working within a mellower, more plaintive framework. Not that they’d ever been entirely void of it before, but that album’s wistful horns and lyrics dripped with melancholy that hardly let up. Early publicity about its follow-up, Lisbon, hinted at the group’s desire to revisit some of the more raucous material they toyed with on earlier albums and then fully succumbed to on 2006’s track-by-track cover of the Harry Nilsson/John Lennon album, Pussycats. Read more »
Recently I’ve been volunteering with an older blind woman. During our last volunteer session I mentioned I was attending Flyaway Productions’ Singing Praises: Centennial Dances for The Women’s Building (Sept. 10-18) and asked if she had heard of The Woman’s Building. She practically laughed out loud, and I was surprised to learn she was very familiar with it as an active member of the second-wave feminist movement during the '70s and '80s. She described the struggle against sexual and gender inequality in the workplace, in the family, and in reproductive rights.
Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.
A new AFL-CIO report shows that more than 13,000 of the truly heroic firefighters, police and other rescuers who were the first to rush to the scene of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 are still being treated for the serious injuries they received.
They were exposed to a highly toxic mix of chemicals, jet fuel, asbestos, lead, glass fragments and other debris that caused a wide range of respiratory, intestinal and mental health problems. Also exposed were nearly 53,000 other first responders who are being monitored for signs of 9/11 related illness. Yet another 71,000 are being watched closely because they also were exposed to the extremely harmful toxins while helping clear debris.
The number of reported victims continues to grow. For example, another new study, from the Mount Sinai Medical Center, shows that some 70 percent of the 10,000 workers involved in the cleanup who were tested between 2000 and 2004, now say they have new or more serious respiratory illnesses.
In addition to firefighters and police, the victims include construction workers, residents of the area and school children, among others. The new report, by the AFL-CIO's James Parks and Mike Hall, focuses in part on one of the first to reach Ground Zero -- Vito Friscia, a Brooklyn homicide detective. He was only a block away when the second of the Twin Towers fell. He rushed to the site through a dense cloud of toxins to seek – and to rescue – survivors. Friscia spent a week helping with the rescue efforts. Read more »
What's going on in sexy San Francisco this week? Everything. End of column. Jokes! As a matter de facto, however, Folsom Street Fair has unfurled its chaps from its carry-on from Detroit and would already be generating some friction between its thighs (were they not a crotchless affair), the amount of sexy parties its been stirring up from SoMa to NoMa to Ma and beyond. After all, with all the fresh meat on the street this week, it seems a shame to relegate all the naughtiness to Sunday's main event. Here's a smattering of what's going on in terms of pre-planned bacchanalia.