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SF General — a top trauma center, important safety net, and major city commitment to public health — moves into an uncertain transition period

This Week's Paper

coverLife and death at SF General as everyone's hospital moves into an uncertain period, BART's new policy of rousing vagrants, MEX I AM's latin sounds hit Yerba Bunea Center, and Wolrd War I Films blow up the screen at PFA. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Elizabeth Edwards, breast cancer and the battle for a cure

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When the news hit that Elizabeth Edwards had died at 61, I was sitting in the press box at San Francisco City Hall listening to the supervisors debate the merits of local hire legislation. In fact, I only became aware that Edwards had passed away, because Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, who was sitting in front of me, was surfing the Internet on her laptop and I happened to see the headline. Read more »

An astonishing tax ripoff

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Calitics alterted me to this amazing blog post by David Cay Johnston, one of the foremost tax experts in the country and one of the few reporters who understands and writes honestly about tax law. Turns out that the California Public Utilities Commission wants to allow regulated utilities to collect money from ratepayers for taxes that the utilities never have to pay.Read more »

Hot sexy events: December 8-14

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So how's this for weird: rich folks get freaky too! Yes indeed, according to our friends at the Bay Citizen, upon the launch of an investigation into her and her husband's possible involvement in an inside trading ring (don't they just always want to get into those things?) Pac Heights lady-who-lunches Annabel McClellan was discovered to be working on the gosh darn kinkiest iPhone app we've ever heard of: My Nookie. 

The app allows users to dish down to the nitty-gritty about their super hot hookups, right down to the positions, location of consummation, and partner used and abused. Share the info with your friends and even send de-personalized My Nookie messages to potential partners with purple anonymous avatars performing the sex event you'd like to try with them. Says McClellan (whose lawyer denies her involvement with the app)'s business partner Milly Hanley to the Bay Citizen, “we are housewives, our kids are older now. We were looking for something to do.” Consider your wealth-induced ennui assuaged, ladies! Now onto the sex events. Read more »

John Lennon, whirled peas, and the British art of tea making

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Yoko Ono’s op-ed tribute to John Lennon in the New York Times today got me tearing up, as I remembered that horrible day, thirty years ago, when I heard that Lennon had been assassinated. I was in my early twenties and still living in England at the time, working in an inner-city school in Birmingham, and I remember feeling that his murder marked the death of my own generation's innocence. Read more »

Class conflict in DC and SF

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There's an unmistakable whiff of class warfare in the air this holiday season, most obviously on the national level where President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are helping the ultra-rich steal hundreds of billions of dollars from future generations and the country's current needs. But we're also seeing it right here in San Francisco, subtly playing out around who will be our next mayor.Read more »

Newsom's homeless policy failure

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I have no reson to dispute the figures in the Chron this morning showing that Mayor Newsom has moved 12,210 people off the streets of San Francisco, 6,692 of them placed into supportive housing and 5,518 shipped out of town with a free bus ticket. Randy Shaw, who has a city contract to run some of the hotels that Newsom is using for formerly homeless people, says Newsom has the "best record [on the issue] of any mayor in the United States"Read more »

Dufty was Avalos' eighth vote on local hire

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History was made at City Hall on December 7, when the Board voted 8-3 to approve local hire legislation for city-funded construction projects.
“This is the strongest local hiring measure in the nation, “ said Sup. John Avalos, the legislation’s chief sponsor. “It doesn’t just have a mandated 50 percent goal. It has a ‘by trade’ mandate. It requires 50 percent of apprentices to be residents. More than anything we are moving away from a good faith policy. That’s a sea change in our local hiring discussion.”
Sup. Read more »

Tinsellitis

Happy Holi-mess: John Waters flies in on "A Sleigh Full of Smut," plus Jackie Beat's "All You Can Eat Christmas," Noel Noir, Hot Natured, Big Top, and more glittery parties

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For John Waters fans (and who isn't one?) this of course makes perfect sense: The Pink Flamingos director and hot-filth raconteur winters in chilly Baltimore, and summers in fog-shrouded San Francisco. "I just love watching the shocked tourists on the cable cars, gripping their cans of Ensure and freezing their asses off," he jokes over the phone with that infamous little cackle. He'll be jetting back here, however, on Sat/11 for "A Sleigh Full of Smut" his one-man Christmas show to benefit the awesome Roxie Cinema, which turned 100 last year. Read more »

alt.sex.column: Bay watch

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Dear Andrea:

Our children are grown and it's just us now, so my wife and I started to indulge in a nude lifestyle here in South Florida. We go to a secluded beach and our sexual adventures increase each time, to the point we are being viewed by others occasionally, mainly by men. All are attracted to my wife.Read more »

Supervisors punt mayoral decision back a week

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today voted to delay until Dec. 14 the process of choosing a mayor to succeed departing Mayor Gavin Newsom after taking about 40 minutes worth of public testimony, most of it calling on supervisors to act quickly to choose a public-spirited mayor to deal with a variety of neglected issues. Read more »

EDITORIAL: No PG&E caretaker

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We've made it clear in several editorials that the Board of Supervisors would be wasting a great opportunity and making a political mistake by choosing a mayor who vows to serve only as a "caretaker" and not run in the fall. A caretaker would lack the authority to make the significant changes that are needed at City Hall — and a vow not to run again would deprive the voters of the right to choose the next chief executive of the city. What would happen if the interim mayor did a great job? What if the so-called caretaker turns out to be the perfect person to continue on in the role?

But the real danger is that the board might choose a caretaker who not only continues the dangerous and divisive policies of Mayor Gavin Newsom, but sends the city in the wrong direction on the key decisions that will come up in the next 12 months.

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Secrets of the state's death-drug deal

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After weeks of grilling the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on the source of their newly acquired sodium thiopental, we are finally getting some answers.

Deputy Press Secretary of the CDCR Terry Thornton verified to the Associated Press yesterday that the state has acquired 521 grams of the lethal injection component from a British manufacturer, Archimedes Phrama.Read more »

Mayor? Ammiano says no thanks

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Assemblymember Tom Ammiano made it official today, Dec. 7th -- despite the efforts of Sup. Chris Daly and others to get him to serve as the city's interim mayor, he's declining. I just got the official statement:

I sincerely appreciate and understand the recent public efforts asking that I seek the nomination for interim mayor when Mayor Newsom steps down in January to become Lt. Governor but I must respectfully decline any nomination from the Board of Supervisors.Read more »

The Performant: Jingle Balls

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Decking the halls with "The Oddman Family Christwanzaakah Spectacular" and "Balls to Balzac"

How many more ways are there to teach the true meaning of Christmas-Solstice-Chanukah-Kwanzaa now that Jim Carrey has been both the Grinch and Scrooge, dreidels come in rainbow colors, and Kwanzaa candles are available in soy wax? Well, you could start by teaching your children that everyday is like a holiday, and that the spirit of giving can permeate the entire year. That’s what the Oddmans do. And look at how multi-talented their precious little tykes are turning out. They sing, they dance, they play music, they translate the songs in ASL -- some without the average number of limbs usually sported by working musicians (besides Rick Allen, that is). All the Oddman family wants is to spread a little multi-cultural holiday cheer around. In Hollywood. Right now. SHOW ME THE MONEY.

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Give the gift of fungal growth

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And yet, and yet... even after this weekend's Fungus Fair and my ensuing blithe commentary, I am not quite ready to turn my mind to things unrelated to the mushroom. It's a little like how I was with beards this summer. Luckily, 'shrooms are multifarious, earthy, adorable, subversive-leaning, and utterly delicious! Or poisonous, sometimes. Below, my four favorite mushroom gift ideas for the season of buying things “for other people.”

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