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LEFT OF THE DIAL: Noise Pop's 2nd annual shindig-in-the-streets features Myron & E, dumplings, everything else good

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

Live Shots: Rufus Wainwright and SF Symphony, 11/12/2010


Donning a huge red rose on his breast, Rufus Wainwright looked quite regal standing with the San Francisco Symphony this past weekend, performing musical renditions of five Shakespeare sonnets.

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SF local artist's purpose within reach


“I wanted to teach people, tell them how to do it. I always dream about taking back the city through art.” Reynaldo Cayetano Jr. is showing me his photographic prints in a Lower Haight coffee shop. He's explaining to me how a guy who grew up in San Francisco came to be on the brink of his third art show in San Francisco (Purpose: Beyond Reach, coming up on Sat/20 at Rancho Parnassus).

Is it weird that this trajectory needs explaining? Common sense says that growing up in a world-class art city would give you a leg up on an career amidst darkrooms and gallery openings. But that's not the case in cities, really. Local kids get the boot for all kinds of reasons in today's 21st century – especially creative types who aren't ready to divest their days to the rat race necessary to stay and live in our great urban spaces. Read more »

Live Shots: Dance Brigade, 11/12/2010


They are part bird and part woman -- the dancers in the all-female dance company Dance Brigade, in a current program entitled "Manifest!val for Social Change: Like Oil and Water, from Gaza to the Gulf," moved between flight and rest.

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Gavin Newsom, Republican


I mean, isn't this exactly what the Republicans have been saying in Sacramento, paralyzing the state by refusing to accept any new taxes? Is that the attitude Newsom wants to bring to his new job? What's he going to do when Jerry Brown announces a package of tax hikes for the June ballot and wants his loyal Lt. to go around the state and campaign for them? Or is there a different standard for the state budget?Read more »

Will reapportionment change California?


Probably not. The voters confirmed that the job of drawing new district lines next spring will be done by an independent (and unaccountable) commission whose makeup will not reflect California's. (Five Republicans and five Democrats in a state where Democrats far outnumber Republicans?) But Brian at Calitics makes the case that it won't matter much -- and he's hit on a really important point about California politics.Read more »

Questions for the next mayor


 The progressives on the Board of Supervisors are a long way from united on a possible mayoral candidate, and if they can't come together, the person who finishes Gavin Newsom's term will be a compromise candidate, either a short-term caretaker (not the greatest option) or someone who's more in the moderate camp but a candidate the left can work with for 2011 and possibly four years after that.

We're glad to see the proposal by Sup. John Avalos to begin the mayoral selection process early. Picking a mayor in a mad scramble on the day Newsom steps down is a recipe for chaos and potentially a bad outcome. And as the process begins, the last thing the city needs is a mayor chosen through a backroom deal.

But it's entirely appropriate for progressive board members to set some standards and to ask the people who are angling for the job to make clear exactly what their positions would be on key policy issues.

In other words, anyone who wants to be the interim mayor and possibly mayor for the next five years or longer should have to answer, directly and without hedging, question like these: Read more »

Replacing Newsom: no reason to wait


Randy Shaw's calling on the supervisors to wait, and let the next board pick the next mayor. I don't get his argument. In fact, it seems to me that there's every reason for this board do its Charter-mandated job.Read more »

Red-eyed and happy at the Cannabis Competition


All photos by Erik Anderson

Somewhere amidst the marijuana energy drinks and exuberantly filled bags of Volcano vapor at yesterday's fourth annual Cannabis Competition, a young lady named Lacey was making a name for herself. 

“Sales have been excellent – we've cornered it! I think the best sellers have been the shortbread cookies. You can have them alone or we also make them into filled sandwiches,” said the fetching entrepreneur of Laced Cakes, who sat with her girl friends behind stacks of individually packaged marijuana edibles, all attired in vintage approximations of boho homemakers. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The next counterculture


Today, Johnny's got the apolitical blues, so we talk about the next counterculture -- and why it might not come from San Francisco. Check it out after the jump. Read more »

Rebuilding the labor movement


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,, which includes more than 250 of his columns.

Unions, as you might certainly expect, have been having a rough time during the current recession. How rough? Well, overall union membership declined by a whopping 771,000 over the past year.

The number of workers in unions is still large, around 15 million. But that's only a little more than 12 percent of the country's workforce. There is one bright spot: More than one-third of public employees are in unions.

The figures for workers in private employment, however, show that only about 7 percent of them are in unions, That's the lowest percentage of unionized workers in private employment since 1900. That's right - the lowest percentage in 110 years.

Unions are fighting hard to reverse the downward trend, and though many outside the labor movement openly doubt – or at least wishfully think - that it can't be done, I think they're wrong. The doubters are forgetting that it's been done before  - and done in the face of obstacles that were at least as great as those confronted by union adherents today. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The next step for weekly newspapers


Today we talk about the future of weekly newspapers -- what's the role of a weekly in an era of 24-hour news cycles? And how will weeklies make money in the digital era? Listen after the jump. Read more »

Do you love a Giants fan?


Aficionado de los Gigantes in your life? You'll want to get them this: a limited edition Dave Eggers SF Giants World Series Championship... poster. Ten dollars.

The print shows all the characters you'll never want to forget from the days that SF went ballistic over balls. The orange panda lady with three beers? The Mexican wrestler in section 305? All there. The woman at the cashier told me that the stack of which I took the photo is 826 Valencia's only supply, so slide into home. Go! Go!

Only a miracle can save Steve Li now


Supporters of Shing Ma "Steve" Li, a 20-year-old nursing student, gathered outside the offices of Sen. Barbara Boxer today to urge her to sponsor a private bill in a last ditch effort to halt Li’s deportation to Peru, which is scheduled to take place Monday, November 15—two months after ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents arrested Li in San Francisco. Read more »

PG&E's priorities and the San Bruno pipeline


A few weeks ago, the Guardian reported that Pacific Gas & Electric Company was granted $5 million to upgrade a portion of its San Bruno gas pipeline, but never got around to doing it. A rupture along that section of pipe caused the deadly Sept. 9 explosion that took the lives of eight people, destroyed 37 homes, and left an entire San Bruno neighborhood traumatized. Read more »

Pin Up Clinic strike a pose for the Pap


A while ago, I wrote about Briggite Berman's Hugh Hefner documentary, about how it highlighted a debate between Hef's lecherous man-fans and his well-cinched feminist critics. I suggested that there was a third view Berman missed: that of women who understood the pin-up mentality and how it could work to female power and strength. 

Well hang on to your hats, because here comes Pin Up Clinic, whose pin-up calendar release party is at Homespun Bikes Sat/13. Read more »