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The SFPD and police departments across the country get free military equipment, but does it make us safer or provoke violence?

This Week's Paper

cover imageFall Arts preview: movies, concerts, festivals, theater, dance, nightlife, videogames, gallery shows, and more. Plus: hip-hop tricksters Souls of Mischief return, local police gifted military weapons, witness comes forward in Alex Nieto shooting. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Kate, Market and Van Ness

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KUSF meeting venue changed

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By Carly Nairn

In an effort to accommodate more participants, tonight's informational meeting and rally in support of KUSF – which was suddenly shut down this week – has changed venues from Fromm Hall on USF's campus to Presentation Theater on Turk and Masonic. Read more »

Enjoy tonight’s Full Wolf Moon

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I thought the moon was full last night when I woke up in the wee hours (thanks to allegies possibly induced by the yellow flowers on the acacia trees) and saw its silvery light streaming through the window. And my cat seemed to think it was a full moon, too, judging by the way she was racing through the yard, tail erect, pouncing on moonlit leavesRead more »

Hot sexy events January 19-25

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We're normally asses up here at the weekly sex events column, but for the purpose of January 19-26, we're asking you to lift another body part altogether: your pinky. That's because tonight (Weds/19) you'll get the chance to learn about an entirely refined BDSM social function, that being the tea party. Ms. Margaret, who used to coordinate educational services for the smOdyssey website as well as the  Folsom Fringe conference, runs the classy "Tea With a Twist" affair with long-time slave Erich. Rumor has it she never takes her tea the same way twice, for which you will learn the reason at this lace tablecloth-leather dress how-to affair.

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Blue Shield: pay up or die

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A Blue Shield customer from San Diego emailed Consumer Watchdog recently to complain about a 59 percent rate hike. his comment, according to Consumer Watchdog's Jamie Court:

There is no market for health insurance. You have two choices: 1. Pay whatever they say. 2. Die.

That's about it, right there.Read more »

Not your guru's asana

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Why put 12 year-old aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy into a chocolate truffle?  Well, because it tastes surprisingly great, for one thing. But also, according to Dave Romanelli, one of the presenters at last weekend's flexibly diverse San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference, because it can heighten your yoga practice. Enlightenment through chocolate? We’ll take it.

New York-based Romanelli taught a class called “Yoga  and Chocolate,” and like many of the conference’s fifty presenters, he brought a yogic flavor to the conference influenced as much by his personal path to the mat as ancient teachings. In other words, fundamentalist ayurveda this was not. Read more »

They have issues: Members of the new Board speak

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Board President David Chiu touched off a broad political discussion in recent weeks with his statement that officials were elected “not to take positions, but to get things done.” Delivered just before his reelection as Board President with the solid backing of the board’s moderate faction, Chiu’s comment has been viewed in light of City Hall’s shifting political dynamic, a subject the Guardian explores in a Jan. 19 cover story. Politics aside, Chiu’s statement also begs the question: Just what do members of the board hope to get done, and how do they propose to accomplish the items on their agenda? Read more »

Do free trips influence SF's elected officials?

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San Francisco public officials have received $44,000 in trips and travel expenses from private interests in the last two years – with Board of Supervisors President David Chiu the biggest recipient and controversial Chinatown power broker Rose Pak the biggest giver – according to “Flying Through Loopholes,” a report by a new group named San Franciscans for Clean Government.Read more »

Live Shots: Chaka Khan, The Warfield, 01/14/2011

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Sometimes going to a show is not just about the artist, but also about the audience. Fans have the ability to bring so much energy and excitement to a performance, and that's exactly what went down this past Friday night at the Warfield, when super diva extraordinaire Chaka Khan took the stage.

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SFBG Radio: Truth and MLK Day

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Today Johnny and Tim talk about how Martn Luther King Jr. Day celebrations tend to ignore the history of the civil rights leader who was also a progressive on labor and economic issues -- and an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam war. Listen after the jump. Read more »

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 »