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Waves of child immigrants await court dates in San Francisco, facing deportation back to their violent home countries without legal representation

This Week's Paper

coverWide Angle Lens: During turmultuous conflict, the SF Jewish Film Fesitval shows multiple perspectives. Plus: Central American child refugees flood SF, GRMLN, head of Sunday Streets steps down and more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Dick Meister: The real May Day

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By Dick Meister

May Day. A day to herald the coming of Spring with song and dance, a day for
children with flowers in their hair to skip around beribboned maypoles, a
time to crown May Day queens.

But it also is a day for demonstrations heralding the causes of working
people and their unions such as are being held on Sunday that were crucial
in winning important rights for working people. The first May Day
demonstrations, in 1886,  won the  most important of the rights ever won by
working people ­ the right demanded above all others by the labor activists
of a century ago:

"Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!"

Winning the eight-hour workday took years of hard struggle, beginning in the
mid-1800s. By 1867, the federal government, six states and several cities
had passed laws limiting their employees' hours to eight per day. The laws
were not effectively enforced and in some cases were overturned by courts,
but they set an important precedent that finally led to a powerful popular
movement. Read more »

Air district unveils new wind-powered ferry

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San Francisco, the city with the highest concentration of hybrid cars, may soon be the first city to boast a hybrid ferry as well. Officials today at Pier 1 ½ unveiled a vessel that runs on both wind and engine power, significantly reducing fuel use and air pollution.Read more »

Lawsuit filed to halt "Google bus" shuttle pilot program

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The road to regulating Google Buses has a new pothole: a lawsuit. 

A lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court today demands the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's commuter shuttle pilot program be set aside while a full environmental review is conducted under the California Environmental Quality Act.Read more »

Happy May Day, San Francisco

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Happy May Day, comrades, and what a fine May day it is even if the urgent mayday spirit on this International Workers Day doesn’t seem as strong as some recent years past in the Bay Area.

While Russia seems to be rediscovering its previous practice of massive May Day marches marked by anti-Western propaganda, spurred on by renewed nationalism from the standoff in Ukraine, May Day has never been very big in the US.Read more »

Rec & Park cancels meeting on controversial renaming of Golden Gate Park building

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The Guardian has learned that today's [May 1] meeting of the Operations Committee of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has been cancelled. Commissioners were going to discuss a single item on the agenda, the renaming of a Golden Gate Park facility at 811 Stanyan Street as the Jake Sigg Stewardship Center.

That item was controversial. This is why.

Big batch of SF archival films new on YouTube, featuring 'Hello Girls' of Chinatown, bay swimming 'Frog Man', city-stopping strikes, and more!

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Media company British Pathé uploaded thousands of archival films to its Youtube channel, and in the batch are hundreds of vintage newsreels showcasing San Francisco history as far back as the 1906 earthquake.

The films cover milestones in Baghdad by the Bay's history, but more obscure films like "Hello Girls" of Chinatown (1929) and Frog Man Swims Under Golden Gate Bridge (1954) offer a look at quirky San Franciscans of the past. Read more »