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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

Pwning the classics

Jennie Ottinger throws the book at us in "Due By," at Johansson Projects, while Ed Moses serves up acrylic animalia at Brian Gross Fine Arts

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Jennie Ottinger's last solo painting show at Johansson Projects, "ibid," presented an assortment of ghostly figures — ballerinas, nurses, schoolchildren, businessmen — lifted from found photographs. The less-is-more aesthetic of Ottinger's small oil and gouache canvases underscored the fact that, save for the recovered images used as source material, the everyday people depicted in them had long been lost to history.Read more »

Mädchen gone wild

Schoolgirl Report DVD series revives salacious '70s German sexploitation

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Every nation had its distinct cinematic response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s. Germany's was characteristic in offering the pretense of order, "scientific" educational value, and encouraging a healthy collective morality — even if all this was usually mere gloss over the usual, more marketable qualities of copious T&A.Read more »

Prison report: The madness of parole

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By Just A Guy

Editors Note: For much of 2009, Just A Guy wrote reports for us from a California state prison (here's an example). He was released last November, but continues to send us commentary every now and then.

 
So, it’s been some time since any of you have heard anything from me. Here’s a story for you about how poorly the parole system works.

As many of you will remember, I was released in November of last year, but paroled to a state out of California.

Read more »

Appetite: Thanksgiving wine recommendations

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You received the assignment to bring the wine for Thanksgiving... maybe not as difficult as cooking a turkey, but you want to bring something special without having to give it too much thought. Here are a few last-minute bottle suggestions from various parts of the world and a range of prices. Most can be found at shops like Bi-Rite, K&L Wine Merchants, and Jug Shop.

SPARKLING ROSE Read more »

Live Review: Deerhunter turns up the volume at Great American

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Before our car ride home discussion of some of our favorite parts of the show, my friend and I had already agreed on something; holy shit that was loud. Playing to a sold-out crowd in its first of two back-to-back San Francisco shows (10/29), Deerhunter put on a raw, visceral, sometimes loose but often amazing set that pierced through the relatively small confines of the Great American Music Hall. Read more »

Tofurky no! 3 veggie vittles for your day of thanks

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Hello vegetarians. I'm checking in for quick sec – are we braving the snarky Tofurky asides and dietary litigation with the extended fam well this year? I hopes. 

The holidays can be a trickily-navigated time for the meatless maverick – but they also present a sweet opportunity to show your loved ones that this whole rejection of the agro-business line can be both heart and belly-warming. Call it culinary evangelism if you must. Read on for some gems from the newest crop of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks that'll have everyone at the table giving thanks. Read more »

Supreme Court rejects SF Weekly appeal

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The California Supreme Court let stand Nov. 23rd a landmark ruling protecting small business from predatory chains, denying without comment an attempt by SF Weekly and its chain parent to get the high court to hear the case.

The decision brings to an end more than two years of appeals by the Weekly and Village Voice Media and effectively concludes the legal case.Read more »

Whip your hair back: Disney's "Tangled" stars speak

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Walt Disney was right all along: dreams do come true. That is, if you’re Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore, and your dream is to be in an animated Disney movie. Levi and Moore star as Flynn and Rapunzel in Tangled, a fresh adaptation of the fairy tale about the princess with way too much hair. While Levi admits an affinity for Aladdin, Moore was always an Ariel fan.

“For our generation, I feel like that’s what every girl wanted to be,” Moore says. “What little girl doesn’t dream of being a Disney princess?” Both actors were also thrilled to be working with noted (and Academy Award-winning) Disney composer Alan Menken. Levi expressed a lifelong devotion to 1992's Newsies, though he’s a fan of Menken’s other work as well.

“[Working with Alan Menken] is bucket list,” Levi says. “It’s crazy, crazy bucket list. We both grew up knowing and singing all the songs to Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin.”

Moore continues, “I just found out he did Little Shop of Horrors last night, and I about lost it.”

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Editorial: The screwy process for selecting a mayor

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The clerk of the Board of Supervisors, at the request of Board President David Chiu, has released a proposal for the selection process for a new mayor, and it's about as complicated and confusing as everyone expected. That's in part the result of the vagueness of the City Charter, which simply specifies that a vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled by a San Francisco registered voter chosen by a majority of the supervisors but offers no procedural clues on how to get there. Read more »

The mayoral selection last time

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The last time the Board of Supervisors had to pick a mayor, things were very different. Former Sup. Dan White had just murdered Mayor George Moscone and Sup. Harvey Milk. The city was in shock. Board President Dianne Feinstein became acting mayor, and one week later, on Dec. 4, six of her colleagues -- the narrowest possible margin -- elected her to fill out Moscone’s term.Read more »

The next mayor: A very funny video

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This is a truly enjoyable (if a little off-base) video about the selection process for the next mayor. I particularly like the part about the duties of the acting mayor. Check it out after the jumpRead more »

SFBG Radio: Beyond body scans and patdowns

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Today we talk about the anger over full-body scans and patdowns at airports -- and why the critics are missing the point. Body scans are far less intrusive than the sort of data mining, wiretaps and assaults on personal privacy that go on every single day in both the public and private sector. Listen after the jump. Read more »

What I remember of my interview with Yard Dogs Road Show

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“I brought my costume, it's in this bag. Well except for the pants.” The song and dance man of the Bay's vaudevillian acid bordello, Broadway Freddie (aka Miguel Strong, or Michael if you're trying to get technical about it) is already seated at a corner table at the Right Spot Cafe when I arrive to chat about Yard Dog Road Show's first headlining show in San Francisco in years (The Independent, Sat/20). 

Broadway-Miguel is wearing a striped tie, suit jacket, and dapper fedora, which by Yard Dogs Road Show standards seems vaguely pedestrian. But then he stands up. Electric blue, leopard print, so-skinny-they're-emaciated jeans. “Miley Cyrus,” he confides, tossing his shoulder length blonde locks. Read more »

Appetite: Indy Spirits Expo poured it on

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This year's Indy Spirits Expo, which took place 11/17, was much improved since last year's inaugural festivity, though crammed into the cool, brick-walled nightclub space of The Mighty. This event offers one of the better opportunities I've seen to sample everything from cachaca and pisco, to absinthe and eaux de vie, all in one room, among the best small batch spirits happening in the US and a few places beyond. Read more »

Investing in the future

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Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom has covered labor and politics for a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.

The nation's crumbling infrastructure is in very serious need of rebuilding. There's absolutely no doubt about that.

Miles and miles of roads, highways and airport runways need to be repaired or replaced, as do miles and miles of railroad track. Many bridges and other public structures need to be fixed. So do many streets and many street lights, many water and flood control systems, many park and recreation and port facilities' high speed train systems need developing and so does very much more that's vital to our daily lives. Read more »