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From the Blogs

Steve Moss’ misleading ad

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If you live in Potrero Hill, chances are you read the Potrero View, a neighborhood paper that’s been in existence for 40 years. Five years ago, Steve Moss took over as the View’s publisher and editor. And last year, when Moss filed papers in the D. 10 supervisor race, he stated in an editorial that “running for office and running a paper aren’t necessarily incompatible, but the two activities, undertaken simultaneously, prompts the need to adhere to ethical and legal standards.”

In that same editorial, Moss noted that, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission, a newspaper columnist seeking political office can continue to write columns.
“What they can’t do is advocate for their election, denigrate other candidates, or engage in direct politicking,” Moss wrote.

He also promised that, "The paper will not endorse any of the contenders. And we’ll offer all who’ve filed for the race a 50 percent discount on print and online advertisements—a fee my campaign committee will similarly have to pay.”

So, imagine this reporter’s surprise when I opened up the August 2010 special 40th anniversary issue of the View—and found an almost full-page advertisement, paid for the Steve Moss for D. 10 campaign, that claimed Moss got the View’s endorsement. Read more »

School board race shouldn't be personal

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The backroom anti-Brodkin campaign has to stop

EDITORIAL There are plenty of issues to talk about in the San Francisco School Board race. The new student assignment process marks a dramatic shift in the way parents and kids get to choose schools. The district's decision to pursue federal Race to the Top money was a mistake. There are too many charter schools, and not enough money for basic programs. The district has made great strides in closing the achievement gap, but there's more to do. Many school facilities still need upgrades, meaning — potentially — more bond acts. The austerity budget has meant teacher layoffs. Overall, the district is in better shape than it was five years ago, but the goal of quality education for all kids is still a long way off.

This is what candidates and interest groups ought to be talking about. Instead, it seems as if the entire race is about one candidate: Margaret Brodkin.

Brodkin, the former director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and former head of the Mayor's Office of Children, Youth, and Families is by all accounts among the most experienced people ever to run for the office. She's also strong-willed, forceful, and sometimes difficult. That's what's made her such a successful advocate. Over the past 30 years, she's been involved in almost every progressive cause involving children and youth in the city, from the creation of the Children's Fund to the battle against privatization in the public schools.

Read more »

Next stop Mustaine: rappin' with the Megadeth man

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Dave Mustaine has seen more than his fair share of difficult obstacles to overcome throughout his musical career due to his past drug and alcohol addictions, which famously got him kicked out of the early line up of Metallica. Even during his ensuing triumphs with his own band, long-time metal favorites Megadeth, he struggled often with his demons.

Now clean and sober, the singer and guitarist is riding high on his current successes, which include a new autobiography, Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir (Harper Collins) which hit the New York Times’ best seller list earlier this month when it was published. Megadeth’s latest studio album, 2009’s Endgame (Roadrunner Records) was received well by both fans and critics, and the band is currently on the road as part of the “American Carnage Tour” with Slayer and Testament.

Mustaine and company hit the Cow Palace tonight; he also did a book signing this morning. The first-time author is happy with the ways things have been going so far during his first foray into the literary world.

“I’m very excited about it, because when I initially set out to write this thing, it wasn’t to be on the Oprah book club — although now that I know a little bit more about books it would certainly be cool to sit on the couch and tell her a little bit about my story,” says Mustaine, speaking by phone before a concert in Albuquerque.

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It's not about taxes

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I heard an executive from Coda Automotive, which makes electric cars, talking on NPR this morning about why the company is going to locate its manufacturing plant in Southern California. He talked about the quality of the workforce, about the demographics of the state, about the fact that Californians understand environmental issues ... all sorts of reasons to build a plant here. And he never once mentioned taxes.Read more »

The Performant: Nerds vs. Geeks and other four-letter words

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Scoping out the local arts and culture scene ...

Are you a nerd, or are you a geek? A geek, or a nerd? I like to think of myself as a word nerd. Doctor Popular claims to be a super nerd. The organizers of the next San Francisco-based BarCamp claim to be geeks -- though they do allow that one can “geek out” about almost anything, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.Read more »

Portland's Macro BrewFest cheers the chug

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“Are you noting the hints of coriander in your Rolling Rock?” my buddy wants to know. On a late summer afternoon, the couples and regulars scattered around us throughout a southeast Portland, Oregon neighborhood dive are taking a break from the microbrews their city is known for. For them, it was all about the tall cans. And for a damn good reason – the proud beginning of what may well be the world's first Macro BrewFest, which went down this past weekend.

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The truth about Death Row

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This story is really just tragic, but it does reflect a reality in the California prison system. Very few people on death row die by execution. The leading cause of death is old age.Read more »

SFBG Radio: Do-it-yourself politics

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Today Johnny and Tim talk about the rise of DIY politics -- from northern Michigan to San Francisco. Check it out after the jump.Read more »

Appetite: Wine Country's new hot spots

Join me for early visits at two new Wine Country destination eateries: Morimoto Napa and Spoonbar in Healdsburg

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SPOONBAR, Healdsburg – I could write a piece on the cocktails alone at brand new Spoonbar in the h2hotel off of Healdsburg’s town square. You’ve already heard me mention Scott Beattie over the years, who is truly one of our country’s great bartenders. His cocktail menu at Spoonbar is a revelation.Read more »

Newsom and the mighty duck

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Remarkable (or sadly, maybe not so remarkable) interview with Gavin Newsom on the Bay Citizen website. Remarkable because the candidate for lt. governor ducked every single significant issue. Not so remarkable, I guess, because it's just more of what we've seen for years.

And because it really did show his political priorities.Read more »

Endorsement Interviews: Debra Walker

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Editors note: The Guardian is interviewing candidates for the fall elections, and to give everyone the broadest possible understanding of the issues and our endorsement process, we're posting the sound files of all the interviews on the politics blog. Our endorsements will be coming out Oct. 6th.

Debra Walker, a candidate for District 6, has obviously thought a lot about sustainable development -- and she isn’t just focused on what building materials are being selected. In addition to planning in ways that would limit traffic congestion and still make sense years from now when the city is grappling with sea-level rise, affordability ranks near the top of her list of priorities.

“Can we agree that we are not building enough below-market housing?” she asked. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Bailey, 23rd and Valencia

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Space is the place: The Sword's "Warp Riders"

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Once a metal album has surpassed a certain threshold of ambition, it is obligated to begin with an instrumental intro track. If said album is a concept album, this is doubly important. Warp Riders, the latest album by Austin, TX quartet the Sword, is a concept album in the most deliciously nerdy sense.

Weaving a dense science fiction tale of a distant plant caught in the throes of “tidal locking” (confining one hemisphere to dark and one to light), its songs regale the listener with visions of archers, mystical orbs, time travel, space travel, time/space travel, and beings called Chronomancers. The instrumental intro, “Acheron/Unleashing the Orb,” is therefore exactly as epic as you would suspect, erupting out shuddering guitar effects into hard-charging downbeat thrash.

The Sword have traveled a long way since their debut Age of Winters landed them on tour with Metallica. Warp Riders' second track (and first single) “Tres Brujas” bears the trappings of this journey, boasting a chunky, arena-ready riff that prepares to bang heads in the nosebleed seats without sacrificing the band's distinctive sound.

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ICE says Secure Communities opt-out is possible

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On Aug. 10, national civil rights groups released documents on the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities program.

These groups' findings--based on information gleaned from materials obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request--included the startling statistic that the vast majority (79 percent) of people detained due to S-Comm are non-criminals, up for lower level offenses, such as traffic offenses or petty juvenile mischief.  Read more »

Gunning solo: Slash speaks!

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For more than 20 years, Saul Hudson — better known to his millions of fans around the world simply as Slash — has exuded the very essence of what it means to be a rock star. His iconic stage image, with the trademark top hat, sunglasses, and low-slung Les Paul, is instantly recognizable, as are his innumerable guitar licks and solos that are now part of the rock n’ roll canon. He plays the Warfield Sun/29.

Having made a name for himself first with the titanic sound and success of Guns N’ Roses in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then capturing lightening in a bottle yet again in Velvet Revolver, the agile axeman released his first solo album in April, recruiting some of biggest names in music to lend their vocal talents to the self-titled effort. Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, Ian Astbury, and more fill out of the collection of tracks that feature Slash’s trademark sound and style, yet explore some new territory when it comes to the sonic soundscape that he’s canvassed over the years.

Slash wrote the music, and then sent the track to the performer that he thought best fit the song, asking if they would like to participate. The approach to the record was an almost compete role reversal for the guitar slinger, who has recorded countless guest appearances and performances over the past two decades.

“That was exactly what inspired the record, really — I’ve done so much stuff on other people’s records it finally got to the point where I wanted to do a record where I get everybody,” says Slash, speaking by phone from his home in Los Angeles. Read more »