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A new book collects George Kuchar's shouts and murmurs

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

5 Things: March 14, 2011

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>>1. DEVIL'S FOOD Well, why the hell not overlay a map of Mission cupcakeries with one of Mission gangs? Either it's a statement on encroaching gentrification -- or it's giving us a craving for a Norteño with cinnamon sprinkles.

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Looky-loos and show ponies: A day in the life at the BNP Paribas Open

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On one side of the main stadium at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, white picket fences separate the players, their entourages, and assorted tour types from the fans. There's a small plot of green grass near the practice courts, where the athletes jog after matches, or – like Scotland's Andy and Jamie Murray – kick a soccer ball around to pass the time. The setup has a looky-loo and show pony quality, like a human version of horses being led around before a race, though in truth, the BNP Paribas Open presents one of the most free and easy atmospheres in terms of player-fan interaction, with many of the pros walking through the complex amongst the general public. Read more »

The madness of nuclear power

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By Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon is president of the Institute for Public Accuracy and a senior fellow at RootsAction. His books include “Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation” (1982), co-authored with Harvey Wasserman.

Like every other president since the 1940s, Barack Obama has promoted nuclear power. Now, with reactors melting down in Japan, the official stance is more disconnected from reality than ever.

Political elites are still clinging to the oxymoron of “safe nuclear power.” It’s up to us -- people around the world -- to peacefully and insistently shut those plants down.

There is no more techno-advanced country in the world than Japan. Nuclear power is not safe there, and it is not safe anywhere. Read more »

Delhi 2 Dublin brings the St. Paddy's bhangra

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It's St. Patrick's Day and everyone is Irish. Truly -- the West coast brand of ethnic identity is a far cry from that of New England and New York, where families ran straight from the Potato Famine to set up shop in certain neighborhoods, maintaining their Celtic colors even now. Nope, by the time the gene pool wagon-wheels its way to California, most people are some amalgamation of several cultures. Which is to say that the Vancouver-based Celtic electro-bhangra of Delhi 2 Dublin should be seen as less of a new bastardization of world musics as much as a let's-all-get-down reflection of who we are today.

But I'm waxing more sociological (per usual) than the band does itself. We caught the group's DJ, Tarun Nayar, on a layover in an airport he was having trouble identifying ("Baltimore?" he guessed). The only concrete location we were able to get out of him is that the band is playing Mezzanine on St. Patrick's itself, Thurs/17, after its show at the Aubergine in Sebastopol on Tues/15. Other sureities? Go to either and you're gonna have a high-energy, border-blurring dance party on your Guinness-wielding hands. Read more »

Nuclear meltdown: It could happen here

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The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is horrible, and it's going to get worse. In fact, it could get a whole lot worse, if one of the nuclear power plants now on the edge of disaster actually melts down or cracks open. Either way, a huge amount of radioactive material could be dispersed in an densely populated area. It's a nightmare that a lot of us have been worried about for years.Read more »

SFBG Radio: What is NPR afraid of?

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Today we discuss why everyone seems to be afraid of a few right-wing nuts and why an undercover videographer whose work is consistently shown to be shoddy keeps getting all this attention. Listen after the break. Read more »

Local efforts to help Japan

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Several prominent international charities are accepting donations for Japan's earthquake relief efforts, but many local organizations have stepped up to the plate too. Here's a roundup of Bay Area organizations we've found that have set up relief funds or are hosting benefits to help Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Ebisu, one of San Francisco's oldest Japanese restaurants, will donate some of its profits toward earthquake relief. Read more »

There are better ways to respond to Japan disaster

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A disaster of epic proportions has devastated Japan, and the world continues to hold its breath as the threat of a nuclear meltdown continues. Yet CNBC's Larry Kudlow, speaking during a live broadcast about global markets on March 11, had this to say about the state of affairs: "The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that." Then he backpedaled, saying, "the human toll is a tragedy, we all know that." Read more »

Do the leprechaun swing

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Does the standard set of St. Patrick’s Day festivities leaving you feeling a little bit like boiled cabbage? We rounded up a shamrock patch full of St. Paddy's events this year, but you might also try celebrating the Celts with a bit more steam -- punk, that is. Get hep with San Fran swingers (dance, you filthies!) Swing Goth at the third annual Steam Punktrick's Day. The event will feature Nathanial Johnstone, intrepid violinist from steampunk band Abney Park, donning his fiddler’s cap with his side project, the Nathanial Johnstone Band.

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Appetite: 2 intriguing new food memoirs

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Just released in early March, here are two new reads I'd recommend not only for foodies but for fans of the absorbing, well-crafted memoir.

>>Life, On the Line by Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas: When Alinea's chef genius Grant Achatz writes a memoir, it's destined to get buzz among foodies. When this visionary chef was diagnosed with stage four tongue cancer, threatened to lose his tongue and taste buds (something devastating to anyone, much less a celebrated chef), it was news well beyond the food world.Read more »

A meeting of Mayor Lee and Bloomberg's minds

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Mayor Ed Lee described New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as “a model of mine” as the two men exchanged gifts in the Mayor's Office, and reporters unsuccessfully tried to figure out which of the two men is taller.

Bloomberg gave Lee a box of golf balls, Lee gave Bloomberg a trolley bell, organic hot dogs, a lifetime membership to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the two men had a meeting of the minds when it came to the need for big cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Dick Meister: Teachers Need Strong Unions

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Like many people, I'm sure, Washington Post writer Matt Miller is confused about, "where to come down on the question of who should 'win''" in the struggle of public employees against attempts to strip them of collective bargaining rights and otherwise weaken them.

I know which side I'm on - the public employees and their unions.  But though highly sympathetic to the public employees cause, Matt Miller is not against the employees and their unions losing some of their powers and benefits – with one major exception: Teachers.

Again, I make no exceptions. I think we should rally around the cause of all public employees. But though Miller doesn't necessarily agree, he does make a strong argument for making special efforts in behalf of teachers. For "the  future of the country depends on the public-sector workers known as teachers."

I guess I should make a full disclosure here:  I was formerly a member of the AFL-CIO's American Federation of Teachers and my wife Gerry is a current member. So I'm probably prejudiced. And should be. Read more »

The craziest local tsunami video you're likely to see

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So that duffel bag you packed at five this morning when your aunt from Maryland woke you up heaving with the news from Japan ended up staying in your vestibule. Man, does San Francisco love a good tsunami warning – so much so that we drop everything and head to the beach to watch for chance of impending watery doom! Read more »

5 Things: March 11, 2011

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>>SHE WANTS TO BE WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE For years Ariel Soto has been documenting her fashion finds found while hitting the streets of San Francisco on sfbg.com. She's finally compiled her satorial spreads into a book, and will be giving sneak peaks of it to the lucky trendoids that find their way to her photo show at Density tomorrow, from 7-9 p.m. We'll be in attendance to see if our off-shoulder velour onesie made it into her best-of pics – and of course, to check for Herald and Biko. Read more »

Apology for heritage betrayal

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Ben Walsh brought it to our attention today regarding our St. Patrick's Day coverage in the paper this week. As Mr. Walsh delicately put it:

Well, it looks like you're part of the stupid "Irish car bomb and corned beef" school of tiresome, clichéd paddywhackery anyway, but still, for fuck's sake your name is Caitlin Donohue, make an effort?

It's also "Eire", not "Erie", if you must. Read more »