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How a high-minded countercultural experiment ended up on everyone's bucket list

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

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 »

KPFA's Morning Show purged


KPFA has always been part radical-left radio station and part radical-left soap opera. It’s a collection of talented shit disturbers supervised at times by wildly incompetent managers who report to a highly political elected board that is so packed with agendas it’s hard to imagine how anything ever gets done.Read more »

Downtown's one-two punch on RCV


Examiner columnist Ken Garcia and Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius – the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of pro-downtown propagandists – today put out a pair of hit pieces on San Francisco's ranked-choice voting system, with Garcia stridently calling for its repeal. But if there was ever a good argument for ranked-choice voting, it's the fact that these two bozos don't like it.Read more »

Steve Li to be deported to Peru on Monday


Immigrant advocates report that the deportation of Steve Li, an honors student who was studying at City College until  ICE (immigration and Customs Enforcement) picked him up in September, has been scheduled for Monday, November 15.Read more »

Portrait of a San Francisco construction worker


One of the many fascinating pieces of data to emerge in the discussion about Sup. John Avalos’ proposal to mandate local hiring is a recently published analysis of the characteristics of construction workers whose primary workplace is San Francisco. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The great political disconnect


In today's episode, we ask: If the polls show that some 75 percent of the American people think Congress ought to raise taxes on the rich and cut defense spending, why doesn't either party talk about it seriously? Listen after the jump. Read more »

D10 nail biting continues, but Cohen remains in lead


When the city’s Department of Elections ran its second preliminary round of ranked choice voting scores Nov. 9, neither of the leading D10 contenders was in attendance. Malia Cohen, who was sick last week, was still under the weather, according to her campaign manager Megan Hamilton. And Tony Kelly was at home “reading the Bible and eating chocolate,” as he jokingly told the Guardian earlier that afternoon. All of which was hardly surprising since the stress of the unrevolved races in D10 (and D2) is beginning to fray the nerves of even the most hardened elections veterans. Read more »

Pot competition survives SFPD crackdown


Prop. 19 may have been defeated last week, but marijuana is still the state's top cash crop, and one where agricultural artisanship continues to flourish within the medical marijuana movement. The best of Northern California's pot crop will be on display this weekend, Nov. 14, for the Fourth Annual Medical Marijuana Competition. Read more »