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Vote to give Muni more money, raise the minimum wage, discourage real estate speculation, and send Campos to Sacramento

This Week's Paper

coverDavid Campos for assembly, Wendy Aragon for City College board, soda, Muni money and the anti-speculation tax round out a controversial list of election 2014 ENDORSEMENTS. Plus: Yarrr, it's the Treasure Island Music Fest! And a new book collects George Kuchar's shouts and murmurs.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

California isn't losing jobs to Texas

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Even Gavin Newsom, who the LA Times (with embarassing inaccuracy) calls "a poster boy for California liberalism" is buying, at least a little bit, the argument that California is losing jobs to Texas (and presumably other states) because of a "bad business climate."Read more »

Zola Jesus rises from the dust of the rural Midwest

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Rural Wisconsin is full of freaks. I can attest to this because I grew up one state west and interacted with similarly entertaining crazies on a pretty regular basis. This brand of strange usually keeps to small town shenanigans, but Nika Roza Danilova translated her weirdness into artistic independence and rose to become Zola Jesus.

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Clare Rojas' safe space

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As far as books go, Everything Flowers (Chronicle Books, $22.95) may just be my favorite to come out of the Bay Area this year. And not for its revelatory prose or whip-smart characters (it has neither). The small volume is filled with Clare Rojas' quietly woman-centric, garden-toned designs that – can a book do this? – make me feel supported. I found myself breathing deeply while reading it, as if I'd just shook an asymmetrically packed satchel from my shoulders.

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5 Things: May 3, 2011

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>>BE STILL OUR WALLETS the Alameda Flea Market (ahem, Alameda Point Antiques Faire) was in full effect Sunday, a gently heaving behemoth of vans and makeshift shady areas packed with the finest in 20-plus-year-old posters, leather jackets, doilies, and more. Per usual though, our pulses raced for the clothes. 1960s hula wear, perfectly affordable granny boots, and darling handmade cardigans – all for very reasonable prices, for the Bay Area that is. If you're going to the next one on June 5, we counsel stopping by St. George's Spirits afterward for the $15 tasting menu, or at least a shot of the Firelit Coffee Liquer. Read more »

Ross for boss (of the sheriff's department)

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City Hall’s steps were awash in multi-lingual black and yellow “Ross Mirkarimi for Sherrif” signs at noon today, as Mirkarimi supporters watched Sheriff Mike Hennessey, who is stepping down after 31 years of service and eight elections, endorse Sup. Mirkarimi as the next sheriff.  “New Leadership for a Safe San Francisco” was printed on the English version of the signs that Mirkarimi’s supporters carried. They included former Mayor Art Agnos, Sups. David Campos and Eric Mar, Tim Paulson of the Labor Council, Debra Walker, Linda Richardson, Sharen Hewitt, Terry Anders, and Mirkarimi’s partner Eliana Lopez and their almost two-year old son Theo. And everyone had plenty of great things to say about outgoing sheriff Hennessey and sheriff candidate Mirkarimi. And Hennessey even pinned a shiny toy sheriff’s badge onto the T-shirt of Mirkarimi's son Theo, making him the happiest kid in town. At least for the day. Read more »

Truth and Reconciliation is the only chance for Hope and Change

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Like most Americans, I've been fascinated by the news of Osama bin Laden's death, although my reaction has been a strange mix of relief (at the fact that this monster is gone) and revulsion (that murdering our enemies has become so widely accepted). And after processing it for a couple days, I think that we as a country need to go back to the point where things went so horribly wrong and to try to figure out whether there's a better path that we might take.Read more »

HOC farmers market bans live chicken sales

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Feathers will cease to fly over alleged cruelty practices at the Heart of the City Farmers Market that we reported in February. The outdoor Civic Center market has announced it will no longer offer live poultry for sale as of May 27, a practice that had been grounds for a lawsuit and two years of fervent protesting from animal rights groups.Read more »

Editorial: Let counties raise taxes

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The president of the state Senate, Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), has a bill that could profoundly change that way California pays for government. At lot of insiders think it's just a ploy, a way to force Republicans to come to the table and accept some tax measures, but Steinberg appears serious. He's presenting the bill to the Governance and Finance Committee May 4, and a simple party-line majority vote could get it to the governor's desk. Read more »

USF hosts mayoral forum focused on service

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The University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service will host the political season's first major mayoral candidate forum – this one focused on public service and staged in partnership with the nonprofit group buildOn – on Thursday, May 5, at 6 pm.Read more »

Northwest passage: Kelly Reichardt on "Meek's Cutoff"

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Over the past decade, Kelly Reichardt has consistently created an alternative cinema that is in opposition to modern Hollywood blockbusters. Her films, which emphasize minimalist and highly visual storytelling, transcend even the industry’s edgiest darlings (think Darren Aronofsky and Quentin Tarantino). Her films Ode (1999), Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), and now Meek's Cutoff (2010) cannot be categorized in the decade’s overhated mumblecore movement of Andrew Bujalski or the Duplass Brothers. Neither are they part of the world of extreme experimental artists, a la James Benning or Sharon Lockhart.

Somehow Reichardt has found a cinematic middle ground, balancing quiet and poetic allegories with accessible and emotional journeys — an achievement that present and future audiences will be hypnotized by for generations to come. After interviewing her for Wendy and Lucy, I spoke with her after Meek's Cutoff played the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; it recently had its local debut at the San Francisco International Festival, and opens theatrically Fri/6.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: I recently saw your earliest films at the Pacific Film Archive retrospective and your adaptation of the Robby Benson-starring Ode to Billy Joe (1976), Ode (1999), was amazing! You shot the whole thing on Super 8, right? Do you like your earlier films?

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Historic preservation debate raises a slew of questions

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The Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee spent several hours yesterday hearing from city officials and members of the public on the hot-button issue of historic preservation. The informational hearing was called by Sup. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Are we done with Afghanistan?

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Today Johnny and Johnny talk about whether the death of Osama Bin Laden will lead to the end of the war in Afghanistan -- and the regional implications. Read more »

Japan’s “unconscionable” radiation levels for schools

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Japan Times is reporting that Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S.-based nonprofit, is challenging Tokyo’s position that it is safe for school kids to use playgrounds in the nuclear-stricken Fukushima Prefecture as long as the dose they are exposed to does not exceed 20 millisieverts (20 millirems) a year.

PSR has condemned those safety standards as “unconscionable”, Japan Times reported. Read more »

Dick Meister: Hey, Nike -- Pay up!

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Dick Meister, formerly labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor, politics and other matters for a half-century.

OK, Nike, pay up! You owe me big. Exactly how much, I can't say, since I don't know the going rate for athletes and others who act as human billboards for you. You know, those whose team uniforms, workout gear and other garments display your swoosh brand symbol prominently. Read more »

Homeowner defense groups to target Wells Fargo shareholders

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“Foreclosures are the new F-Word.” So said Regina Davis, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation, at an April 29 seminar at SFHDC's office on Third Street that explored ways to prevent more foreclosures in San Francisco, California and beyond.

Since the economic meltdown in 2008, there have been 2,000 foreclosures in San Francisco. And the majority have impacted low-income folks and communities of color, who were sold more predatory loans than other groups, Davis and a panel of foreclosure experts warned
And as the recession drags on, another 2,000 foreclosures could be in the works, further destabilizing communities and draining more resources from the city, in terms of lost property values and related tax revenues.

And while deep-pocketed lobbyists have been making it hard to pass laws that would offer at-risk homeowners more protections, homeowner defender groups have decided to target, and now protest against, the group they believe stand directly in the way of equitable reforms: the banks. Read more »