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From the Blogs

Ebony Hillbillies string along Hardly Strictly's biggest year yet

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Nine hundred thousand people and over 70 bands braved the drifting fog banks for this weekend's 10th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. With a crowd that size, you have to think logistics. So at my interview with HSB bankroller-birthday boy Warren Hellman well before the madness, I asked who were the up and comers to look out for. I chicken-danced our way through Speedway Meadows accordingly.

“The Ebony Hillbillies,” Hellman told me, chuckling over lead singer – and as the band's press kit explains, “bones” of the group -- Gloria Gassaway's penchant for abrupt audience interaction. The HSB performance would be its first in the Bay Area, and Hellman was happy to have been its means of infiltration, particularly for Gassaway's no-nonsense stage presence. “She's quite a woman,” he said. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Is the Republican Party a cult?

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In today's epidsode, Johnny and Tim talk about the showdown in Fresno, the Dream Act -- and whether the Republican Party has become a cult. Listen after the jump. Read more »

Appetite: Dinner and cocktails with a view

Gazing deliciously upon the city at Luce and Top of the Mark

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Wednesday  through Saturday nights there's a ready-made date if you want romance without having to think too hard. At $80 a person, it's a package deal between Luce Restaurant (which I've written about more than once) in the Intercontinental Hotel and Top of the Mark. Choose the order - three course dinner or cocktails first - with a cab ride included to the second location. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Lisa and Evan, Washington and Fillmore

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Hotel Frank fires key union organizer

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Managers at Hotel Frank, who have been sparring with their employees since taking over the financially troubled hotel following a bank foreclosure earlier this year, last week fired an outspoken union organizer on the day after the hotel was targeted by a boisterous picket line. But the employee, longtime bellman Marc Norton, said this transparent effort to intimidate the workers won't work.Read more »

Appetite: The green fairy transforms

ABSINTHE - education through a panel, a new book, and a night of absinthe at the Ferry Building

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Absinthe is on the move from its initial novelty phase once finally legalized in the US in 2007 into an era where appreciators of fine drink are gaining greater education and refinement on the subject. No, it is not a hallucinogen (more on that in a minute), and no, it's not the artificially sweetened and colored liqueurs flooding the market (but labeled as absinthe). When made as it has been historically, it's a natural, herbal spirit with a rich culture surrounding it. Read more »

Downtown money hits district races

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Downtown cash is pouring into the district supervisorial races.

Ethics Department filings show that an alliance backed by the Chamber of Commerce, the SF Police Officers Association and United Health Care Workers West is dropping major money on Steve Moss in D10, Scott Wiener in D8 and Theresa Sparks in D6. 

Called the “Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth,” the coalition supports the building of a mega-hospital on Cathedral Hill. Read more »

Quick Lit: Oct. 1-Oct. 5

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Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Litquake is back from Oct. 1-9 with more than 550 authors and events. Find out how to catch some this week after the jump. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Whitman's immigration problem

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Today Johnny and Tim talk about why Meg Whitman won't recover from her immigration problems -- and whether the roomate who drove a gay college student to suicide should wind up in prison. Listen up after the break. Read more »

The Governator: Fighting oil villains or making life easier for them?

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Today’s San Francisco Chronicle contains an opinion piece by David Horsey commending Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, for taking Texas oil companies Tesoro and Valero to task for attempting to subvert California’s landmark global warming legislation, AB 32. Read more »

Party Radar: Felabration, New Wave City, Castro Street Fair, more

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Lovevolution's daytime portion may be cancelled this weekend, but that's no reason to sit this one out -- as I wrote this week in Super Ego, there's tons of great Love Weekend events, plus a bunch more happenings. Funz! Read about all the official Lovevolution parties still going on here, and check out the below for even more.

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Who’s trying to fast-track Parkmerced?

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At a Sept. 30 Planning Commission meeting, several commissioners and community members raised concerns that project approval for Parkmerced, a development that will add thousands of new housing units to an existing residential complex, had been scheduled before anyone was really prepared to discuss it. It’s since been pushed back, but the attempt to rush it through drew fire nonetheless. Read more »

The pummeling of SF Labor

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Click to read sidebar, Brown or Whitman? No contest

With five supervisorial seats open and only one incumbent running, the Labor Council has had a tough time picking the right pro-labor candidates. The easy choices were incumbent Carmen Chu in District 4, with no opposition, and Raphael Mandelman, an exceptionally promising newcomer in District 8. But Janet Reilly in District 2 opposes the Labor Council's revenue measures. In District 6, where long-time activist Deborah Walker has been endorsed, and in District 8, where Malia Cohen and Chris Jackson are #1 and #2, there are a multitude of candidates, many of them labor friendly.

It's not an easy year.

Prop. B on San Francisco's November election ballot confronts the city's working people and their unions with an unprecedented challenge. The measure, sponsored by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, would severely weaken public employee unions and undoubtedly lead to other serious attacks on workers and unions in private as well as public employment nationwide.

The proposition is by no means the only dangerously anti-labor measure on the ballot, but it 's the worst from labor's point of view, as it very well should be. It's a prime example of the public-employee bashing that's become a favorite theme in election campaigns everywhere and, if passed, would set a clear national precedent.

Actually, Prop. B might better be described as a pummeling rather than bashing - and one coming, furthermore, just a few months after city employees took a voluntary $250 million pay cut. Prop. B would steeply raise the employees' contributions to their pensions unilaterally and prohibit bargaining on the issue in the future as well. Read more »

Save Day of the Dead!

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See video

Another wonderful local cultural event, Día de los Muertos, is falling prey to the city's War on Fun -- watch the video, and donate here to help reach the $6k goal. (via SFist, Mission Local)

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Katrina, Fillmore and Bush

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