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How a high-minded countercultural experiment ended up on everyone's bucket list

This Week's Paper

weekcoverGrover Norquist brings the Black Rock blues as Burning Man Jumps the Shark! Pro-Palestine protesters block the boat, fed-up teachers take strike vote, and crack cocaine sentences may soon get smoked. Plus: Myron & E lay down street soul at Noise Pop, Nick Monaco belts out his Mating Call, and Aubrey Plaza slays in Life After Beth. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Ma seeks to ban raves in latest War on Fun offensive

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Someone needs to tell Assembly member Fiona Ma that the '90s – with its myopic War on Drugs mentality, ascendant rave scene, and chest-beating “tough on crime” political one-upsmanship – are over, even though we're still paying that era's bills. Because Ma just introduced AB 74, which seeks to bans raves in California.Read more »

Does Mayor Newsom represent SF workers or San Mateo politicians?

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"Does Newsom represent local workers or San Mateo politicians?" That’s the question being asked  at City Hall today. And it’s threatening to deliver an unwelcome kick to Mayor Gavin Newsom on his way out of City Hall’s revolving doors, as dozens of unemployed construction workers deliver 1,000 Christmas cards that residents of Bayview Hunters Point, Chinatown, the Mission, the Tenderloin and South of Market have signed. Read more »

The unfair attack on public employees

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Just to be sure my pal(s) Matlock and Lucretia aren't off on some sort sort of web holiday, thought I'd repost this week's Editors Notes here. It's a defense of public employee pensions and pay. At the very least, it's a perspective you don't hear much.

Appetite: Revisit Studio 54 at Burritt Room's NYE party

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There are many, many party options for New Year's Eve this year, but one of my favorite cocktail spots is hosting an event that seems particularly appealing to those with adventurous taste (and tastebuds) ... Read more »

Newsom's delay tactic would create a legal mess

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In this week's Guardian, I lay out the latest political dynamics surrounding who will become San Francisco's next mayor. But in reporting out that story, I stumbled across some interesting potential implications to Mayor Gavin Newsom's petulant promise to delay his swearing in as lieutenant governor.Read more »

Snap Sounds: La Plebe

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LA PLEBE

Brazo en Brazo

(Kool Arrow, 2010)

Don’t be fooled by the melancholy acoustic guitar that opens the new La Plebe album, Brazo en Brazo, for all of a few introductory notes. Just as soon as the ear is lulled into world-music lullaby-land, the horns and drums quickly pop up, until, like a day at the races, the full blaze of La Plebe’s instrumentation blasts through, and they’re off!

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The caretaker hypocrites

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Isn't it interesting that so many of the people who are demanding a "caretaker" mayor -- someone who will accept the appointment but not run again -- are politicians who were originally appointed to their jobs, and then ran again?

Dianne Feinstein: Appointed mayor by the supervisors. Ran again, even though she had said she wouldn't.

Gavin Newsom: Appointed supervisor by Willie Brown. Ran for re-election then for mayor.Read more »

Chickpeas and kugel: two recipes for a very veggie Christmas

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I started seeing retail sales around town marked “last minute Christmas shopping events” a week and a half ago – who are these freakish people that think two weeks is not enough time to score trinkets for one's loved ones? 

I hereby present to you two holiday recipes from the hottest new vegan and vegetarian on the market -- with the explicit reminder that you have ample time to prepare them before a nice Friday night 'neath the Christmas tree, clutching bowls of chickpea piccata and vegan kugel, and munching in time to a bangin' holiday mix. Oh wait, I didn't get a tree yet either. No matter baby -- we got nothing but time. Read more »

alt.sex.column: Mismatch

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Dear Andrea:

My boyfriend has a fetish which, initially, is pretty off-putting. All the advice says to just go with it and make it part of our sex life, which I have done. But it doesn't really seem to help. He can tell it's not really my thing, so we hardly ever have sex now. He just doesn't seem to be into it if it isn't fetishy, and it's started to seem like work (to both of us) to try to include his special stuff.

I think he wants to be with someone who is really into it, but he says he loves me. What am I supposed to do now?

Love,

TryingRead more »

EDITORIAL: How many suspects did SF cops frame?

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The job of a district attorney is bringing criminals to justice; everybody knows that. But it's also the job of the city's top law enforcement agent to make sure the innocent are protected — and that's a part that many DAs ignore.

There's considerable evidence that the San Francisco police have framed suspects, set up evidence, and illegally manipulated the legal system to put the wrong people behind bars. Repeatedly. That's a crisis that requires active intervention from the District Attorney's Office — and since Kamala Harris is on her way out the door, it has to be a top priority for her successor.

The latest example: Superior Court Judge Marla Miller ruled Dec. 14 that Caramad Conley was denied his constitutional rights and convicted of murder after San Francisco cops allowed a paid witness to lie on the stand.

Miller concluded that homicide inspector Earl Sanders, who later became police chief and is now retired on a nice pension, knew that witness Clifford Polk was lying and made no effort to correct it.

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Renegade Crafts Fair stuffed our stockings with future gift ideas

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Martha Stewart would have been awed had she found her way to the Renegade Crafts Fair at the Concourse Exhibition Center this past weekend, 12/18-12/19. The amount of creative crafters packed into one space was overwhelming, and Martha would have found it quite inspiring.

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Nathan Habib keeps it kosher

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“I'm a really practical person. That limits me from driving out to a club the city and coming back in the morning to take a test.” Nathan Habib's not living the rock star stand-up comedian life just yet. But that's not to say that Habib (who will be performing at Kung Pao Kosher Comedy's holiday run Thurs/23-Sun/26) isn't dedicated to making people laugh. He's been performing for seven years – and he's 21 years old.

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The only Xmas mix you'll ever need

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Excellently talented hip-hop, soul, and old school groove DJ and accomplished local artist Romanowski, just popped a super-fun and jingly mix into our stocking, and we couldn't help but share with you. The anti-drunk driving version of "Silver Bells" had us rolling. Uncork some cognac, put the kiddies by the fire, roll up a fat one for Rudolph, and listen after the jump.

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Video babies of 2010: A wee look back

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See video

Smoking Baby, Preacher Baby, Iron Baby, Samba Baby, Mini Daddy -- Is it too premature to nominate 2010 for "Year of the Video Baby"? Copious amounts of Gaga-goo aside, this year had plenty to offer li'l sprout gawkers -- the baby meme has definitely replaced the baby mama as our go-to young 'un pop cultural signifier of choice. Here are some of our favorite kid video (kideo?) shout-outs from the past year ...

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Chiu, the mayor and the next board

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Matier and Ross today ran a piece saying exactly what everybody who follows local politics already knew: Board president David Chiu will have considerable influence over the choice of the next mayor. Read more »