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Rival housing measures debated in City Hall, previewing high-stakes battles at the ballot

This Week's Paper

weekcoverThe City's Garbage Game: recology fudges recycling numbers as the city cracks down on can collectors . Plus: Muay Thai action, Wye Oak, the Wizard of ODD tornadoes into the Castro, more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Static at KUSF – station sold, public meeting planned

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Today the University of San Francisco (USF) announced that its radio station, KUSF, is moving to an online-only classical music format.

Before its transmission unceremoniously went to dead air and static, KUSF had been on air for 34 years. An important independent media source, it's been one of the Bay Area's chief sites for new and innovative music, with DJ-informed playlists devoted to local, experimental, international, “loud,” and “other” music, in addition to genres such as rock/pop and hip-hop. Read more »

Editorial: New Mayor Ed Lee should stop the recycling eviction

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Mayor Ed Lee needs to demonstrate, as we noted in last week's editorial, that he's making a clean break from the politics and policies of the Newsom administration and there are things he can do immediately to reassure San Franciscans that he's going to offer more than another 11 months of a failed administration.

He can start by calling off the eviction of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Recycling Center.

The move by Newsom to evict the recycling center, on the edge of Golden Gate Park, was part of his administration's war on the poor. It made no sense from a financial or environmental perspective. The center, which pays rent to the city, would be replaced by a community garden, which would pay nothing. The center creates green jobs that pay a living wage; all the workers would be laid off under Newsom's plan. The center also operates a native plant nursery and provides a drop-off recycling site for local businesses. Read more »

Comcastrophe: the FCC approves the Comcast-NBC merger

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And so the Obama administration has reneged on yet another major campaign pledge: to halt media consolidation.

Obama's Federal Communicatons Commission and his Justice Department have approved a Comcastrophe: the merger of Comcasd and NBC

Universal.  Here's the SOS from Josh Silver, president and CEO of Free Press, a respected national media reform organization.

He says everybody should be mad as hell and I agree and strongly recommend his suggested actions. Read more »

John Ross dies at 72

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When John Ross left Terminal Island, the federal prison in Los Angeles, after serving a couple of years for refusing the Vietnam draft, the warden shook his head and said: "Ross, you never learned how to be a prisoner."

I'm not writing the epitaph for whatever gravestone he has or doesn't have, wherever it might be in the world, but that's what I'd put on it: "John Ross, 1938-2011. Never learned how to be a prisoner."Read more »

Appetite: 3 new coffee havens

Caffe Pascucci, Bar Agricole, and Contraband Coffee get us all steamy

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CAFFE PASCUCCI, SoMa - I feel like I'm back in Italy at brand new Caffe Pascucci, the first outpost of a popular Italian chain. The crisp, white space is chic and soothing, even as the place buzzes with the Italian families and individuals already frequenting the place within merely days of opening. It's not just because the menu is loaded with dozens of types of espresso, cappuccinos and iced coffees topped with banana or doused with amaretto. Read more »

Jukebox Jury: Anika

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Anika's self-titled album on Stones Throw is getting play these days, but not as much talk about its cover versions as one might expect. The time seems right to serve up a few of the originals next to Anika's versions and ask which you prefer. We're able to do this with two songs: "Yang Yang," written by Yoko Ono, and "I Go to Sleep," written by Ray Davies and made popular by the Pretenders. (Produced by "beak," a.k.a. Geoff Barrow of Portishead, Anika's interpretation of the latter is very Joe Meek-meets-Cluster-meets Flying Lizards.) Before the jump, I'm also including links to some of the sources of other lovelorn tracks on Anika, including truly amazing live film/video recordings of the teen-death anthem "Terry" by Morrissey-favorite Twinkle, and Skeeter Davis's plainly bereft "End of the World." Read more »

A fiction writer that beats FOX News for war coverage

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Kudos to the New Yorker for bringing Daniel Alarcón to the attention of the eastern rag's audience. The Oakland writer is one of the three West coast scribes from the New Yorker's 20 Under 40 "young" writers anthology who will be reading at City Lights Books on Weds/19. I suggest you go check up on the event – if not for the magazine's time-proven track record of tagging future lit stars, then because the more people in this country who read Alarcón, the less likely we are to plunge our country into madness.

Read more »

Notes on tragedy in Tucson

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A dear friend and former classmate of mine, Sarah "Uppie" Updegraff, recently began working the night shift as a nurse at the NICU, the Tucson hospital where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in intensive care.
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SFBG Radio: A split decison for Jerry Brown

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In today's episode, we look at Jerry Brown's first week in office -- and give him an A for perception and a weak C for reality. Listen after the jump. Read more »

When will the gun madness stop?

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Tucson was a disaster, a tragedy, possibly a result of overheated political rhetoric driving a deranged man to action. It was also the result of a national culture that makes it too easy to obtain a powerful weapon.

I looked at the top three stories on SFGATE this afternoon, and here they are:

Read more »

George Gascon, longtime Republican

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One thing I didn’t know when I wrote about former police chief George Gascón's shocking Jan. 9 appointment as San Francisco’s next district attorney is that he has Republican roots. But then I came across a January 10 Los Angeles Times article that revealed that in 2008, Gascón described himself to the L.A. Times “as a longtime Republican.” Read more »

Otherworldly energy

Bound by an unbroken spirit, Neurosis returns to its early days to forecast a future

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Over the course of nine full-length albums, Neurosis has proven its metal mettle, at least on record. To truly appreciate what the band is capable of, however, you'd have to witness one of its legendary live performances, which despite their decreasing frequency are becoming more and more transcendent. Next week, Bay Area headbangers will have two opportunities to do so, both at the Great American Music Hall, where the band plays its first hometown shows since New Year's Eve 2008.Read more »

Kim remains mum during Pledge of Allegiance

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As the old progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors dissolves into uncertain new political dynamics, everyone has been looking for signs of what's to come, large and small. Do the new committee assignments mean the moderates will have more power? Have identify politics moved to the forefront? If the new marching order is “getting things done,” what kinds of things will get done?Read more »

A (not so brief) history of hate

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Since the horrific shooting of Rep. Giffords and the loss of Judge Roll, Christina Green, and four other innocent bystanders, folks have been grappling with the role of violent rhetoric in triggering the tragedy. And now the National Day Laborer Organizing Network has set up A History of Hate: Political Violence in a Rogue State to chronicle political violence and intimidation in Arizona since 1987, which is when U2’s Bono received a death threat because of his stance on Martin Luther King.

“Something strange happened toward the end of the Joshua Tree tour,” Bono noted in a 2006 interview. “We had campaigned for Martin Luther King Day in Tempe, Arizona, where the tour opened back in April. There was a governor there called Mecham who was holding out against it, and we had got involved in local politics there and took a stand. We went back to Tempe at the end of the tour, in December, to play the Sun Devil Stadium.” Read more »

Live Shots: Willie Nelson, The Fillmore, 01/11/2011

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Sam Love and I rented a camper van and decided it would be our home for the next three weeks, as we made our way loop-dee-loop around the south island of New Zealand. A few hours in, we realized that there aren't that many people in New Zealand (but tons of sheep!) and townships are quite spread out, resulting in very few radio stations.

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