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Virtual reality porn is coming soon, whether we're ready or not for its many implications

This Week's Paper

this weekSEX ISSUE: Ready or not, here comes virtual reality porn. Plus: The best blowjob beats, Polly Superstar's new kinky memoir, and Cameron Carpenter shows off his organ (the kind with pipes).  Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

Potrero power plant could be shut down in February

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The Potrero power plant could be shut down entirely by the end of February, the Guardian has learned. According to a report prepared for the Dec. 15 meeting of the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) Board of Governors, an energy regulatory body, the aging power plant will soon be released from a Reliability Must-Run (RMR) contract requiring its continued operation for grid-reliability purposes.Read more »

EDITORIAL: Local hiring, and purchasing

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Tomorrow's Guardian editorial:

The local hire ordinance that the Board of Supervisors approved last week once again puts the city on the cutting edge of progressive policy. San Francisco's law, sponsored by Sup. John Avalos, is the strongest in the country, and ultimately will mandate that 50 percent of all the people hired on public works projects live in the city.

The politics of the bill were tricky; the local building trades unions opposed it on the grounds that many of their members live out of town and that hiring decisions should be based on seniority, not on residence. But eight supervisors recognized that a local hire law not only benefits the large numbers of unemployed San Franciscans; it's also good economic policy for the city.

Numerous studies have shown that money paid out to local residents gets spent in town, and circulates in town, and creates more economic activity. That translates into fewer social and economic costs for the city and increased tax revenue.

Read more »

Ammiano wants to change bike laws

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Assemblymember Tom Ammiano wants to change the way bicycles and cars are treated under state traffic laws.

He's responding in part to the furor over the bike crackdowns in Berkeley, but it's nothing new for Ammiano -- he also tried to get bicycle traffic legislation through last year. This time, though, he told me, "I think we're going to be able to pass something." And incoming Gov. Jerry Brown ought to be willing to sign it.Read more »

Scott Hammel's street treats

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One of the beauties of living in weirdo town is that the streets can always surprise you. The other day, I went out for a mushroom taco and came back with a bag of sparkly fabric from an artist collective's yard sale on lower Divisadero. I'm sure something attractive will happen with that bag, but after subsequently stumbling into Scott Hammel's toy art show in Mini Bar (through Jan. 30), I can't help but wonder: what would have happened if my plastic sack was instead a full trash bag of plastic kids toys, cigarette butts, and the odd syringe?

Besides the possibility of contagion, of course. But real talk, even in the heady first days of a blood-borne pathogen, I still wouldn't have come up with stuff this cool. Hammel's art looks like the productions of an adult Sid from Toy Story, if Sid had gotten fabulous and started doing LSD. Read more »

Supes OK America’s Cup deal

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At its meeting today, Dec. 14, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a host city agreement for bringing the 34th America’s Cup to San Francisco. However, it's still unclear whether billionaire yachtsman Larry Ellison and the BMW Oracle Racing Team will select San Francisco as the host city for the next world-famous sailing match. Read more »

Big day at the Board of Supervisors

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Before the Board of Supervisors can adjourn for the year, it has some serious business to take care of at this afternoon's regular meeting: approving the city's ever-evolving America's Cup bid, requiring party promoters to register with the city, giving final approval to the local hire ordinance, modifying the affordable housing requirements on developers, mandating building owners to study creating on-site childcare facilities, creating new special districts, strengthening local purchase standards for city contracts, and, oh yeah, selecting someone to replace Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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Oooh, let's have a border war

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If San Francisco tries to enact a congestion management fee, San Mateo officials are going to fight back with their own. How fun; a border war. Since I've long suggested that our future may be in city-states, not nations, it strikes me as an interesting political moment.Read more »

Brown's education summit gives me hope

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Most of what's going on is just really, really disturbing -- Brown is doing a good job of explaining just how bad the economy is, just how awful things are for education -- and what that means for students. But he made one comment that struck me as critical (and that might, maybe, make Brown a great governor) came about an hour into the presentation.Read more »

The true cost of local hire

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Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andy Ross are claiming it will cost $2.2 million annually to carry out Sup. John Avalos’ newly approved legislation that mandates local hire rates on city-funded construction projects,

And Human Rights Commission director Theresa Sparks is claiming it will actually cost $3 million to run the program. Read more »

Libidinous literature with Naked Girls Reading

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I had asked Lady Monster, over a pair of red wine glasses and the pleasant buzz of nearby patrons at Revolution Cafe, to tell me what story she'd read at the Halloween installation of her Naked Girls Reading literary series. We were chatting in anticipation of her International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers edition of NGR (Fri/17) which will take place at the Center for Sex and Culture after the day's City Hall vigil and march.

The curvaceous redhead is quite the story teller, even clothed. “I did the elevator scene from The Shining,” she told me, launching into a brief summary of the Torrance family's elevator travails. By the end of it I had the crap scared out of me – and she was fully clothed! Imagine what this lady can get done in the buff – surely, a live literary luminary not to be trifled with. Read more »

Bikes are not cars

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Okay, first of all, this is ridiculous. California cities are supposed to be encouraging people to ride bikes instead of cars. And bikes aren't 3,000-pound metal devices propelled forward with internal combustion engines; yes, a bike can hit a pedestrian, but the likelihood of fatal injuries isn't that high. Certainly not compared to cars.Read more »

SFBG Radio: What will Jerry do?

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When Jerry Brown goes to UCLA to talk about education, what's he going to say? How's he going to promote the UC system when he's facing a $25 billion budget crisis? Johnny and Tim talk abou that (and the Obama health care law and a few other things) after the jump. Read more »

Forget "Deborah" -- Debbie Gibson is back!

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Despite having had a nearly 25-year (and counting) career in show business, singer Debbie Gibson is still full of youthful energy and excitement when talking about recent projects and what she has planned for the future — perhaps that is due in part to the fact that she had her first hit single and taste of fame when she was only 16 years old. The ever-vivacious Gibson is particularly excited about taking part in a benefit concert and cabaret show tonight here in San Francisco, “One Night Only: A Shrektacular Holiday Celebration,” which will also feature the cast of Shrek currently at the Orpheum Theatre, and raises funds for the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.

“Pretty much if I’m available, I can’t say no to this organization,” says Gibson, who has always been heavily involved with helping charitable groups throughout her career. “I really enjoy these intimate shows with solo theater performers, and it’s kind of a perfect fit for me — obviously I bring my pop persona to the table, but at the same time I’m part of the theater community, so it makes perfect sense really.”

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Open letter: The case for Campos

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Editor's note: A group of progressive activists is organizing to urge the Board of Supervisors to elect Sup. David Campos as interim mayor. They're circulating the letter below. A list of signatories is at the end:

We start by asking: What qualities does San Francisco need in its new mayor? What does the city need, as a whole, in this time of many challenges?Read more »

Mike Giant meditates

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When you're meeting up with a skateboarding design-graf-tattoo art giant, you prep a certain kind of question – 'how do you post your art on your website without getting arrested' comes to mind. But when I hung with Bay legend Mike Giant this week while he put the final touches on the pieces for his upcoming fine art show at Guerrero Gallery (opens Sat/11), I found myself ditching my notes for another line of inquiry. 

Which followed this line, roughly: where do I find some of what he's smoking? Read more »