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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

Scott Wiener's TIC letter

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EDITORS NOTE: Includes corrections, noted at the bottom of the post.

Scott Wiener, candidate for district 8 supervisor, is sending out a letter to people who own tenancy-in-common buildings, telling them he supports the rights of TIC owners to convert their properties to condos and seeking their support.

And he's very nervous about discussing it.Read more »

Whiskeyfest whispers

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What words could be more beautiful to hear upon entrance into the skyscraper-y, shiny den of downtown's Marriot Marquis? From the mouth of a woman in a blazer and matching knee-length skirt: “It smells like a frat house on a Saturday morning!” Ah, last Friday's Whiskeyfest, you came to conquer my liver, but you left after conquering my heart.

To the tune of 250 whiskies, no less! Once ensconced in the hotel's basement ballroom and properly attired with our souvenir tote and tasting glass, naught could be seen but opportunities to drink myself into an unproductive Saturday of cowering from the Blue Angels. Row upon row of the finest whiskies – the even finer ones available only for the special VIP tasting hour, whose $150 price tag may have seemed a little step were one not aware of the general admission's $110 bar tab. Read more »

Lacy's face disfigured on Dem/Labor doorhanger

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With only three weeks to go until the election. the dirty campaign tricks get stickier.

Top of the list of dirty tricks this week is the person(s) who pasted “Vote Malia Cohen” stickers atop the image of D10 candidate Dewitt Lacy on door hangers that the SF Democratic Party and the SF Labor Council produced  jointly for the November 2010 election. According to Lacy supporters, the offending stickers cropped up primarily on door hangers distributed on Potrero Hill, where Lacy lives, works and has a strong following. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Explaining the state props

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Today we talk through all the state propositions -- the good, the bad and the truly evil. Listen to the conversation, and pick up some advice on how you might want to vote, after the jump. Read more »

Labor's promise

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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 AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions know what they must do to grow and strengthen the labor movement for the benefit of all Americans. They must recruit and train millions of young workers, particularly young women and minority workers.  It is they who will join with others to shape our future.

Union organizers are already focusing clearly on reaching out to young would-be members who are often skeptical of union promises to help them win, not only better pay and working conditions, but also a meaningful voice in community affairs. Read more »

Appetite: 3 recent food books pique our palates

Dive into Twain's Feast, Hungry Town, and the Sunset Cookbook

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These three books (one factual journey, one memoir, one cookbook) have two things in common: they're all new this year and centered around food. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The market's up, but jobs are down

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So if the unemployment rate keeps going up, and the recession is in full swing, why is the stock market doing so well -- and what does that say about American politics? Check out out after the jump. Read more »

A trio of great Hispanic leaders

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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.

It's Hispanic Heritage Month, an excellent time to remember three of the most important Hispanic labor leaders in U.S. history. All three were engaged in the much needed and very tough job of organizing and improving the generally poor conditions of the nation's largely Latino farm labor force.

Cesar Chavez, of course, is one of the farm worker leaders we should particularly honor. Another is Dolores Huerta, who joined Chavez in founding the United Farm Workers union – and who, in fact, is still organizing and otherwise helping Latino workers, particularly women.

The third leader who's especially deserving of honor is the lesser known but no less important t pioneer farm labor organizer, Ernesto Galarza. Despite his important work, Galarza has been largely forgotten – though certainly not by me.  He's been dead now for a quarter-century, but I recall him well from my days as a reporter covering farm labor: Read more »

Civil Sidewalks, Lewis Lapham, and the struggle for the soul of cities

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Cities often get vilified as the cauldrons of all that’s wrong in the world – greed, vice, pollution, and all manner of social ills – but they are also the incubators of ideas that are humankind’s last best shot at solving the social and environmental problems that threaten our long-term stability and prosperity. So ruminating on the indispensable role of cities, as Lapham’s Quarterly does with its fall issue, is more than just an academic exercise or interesting read.Read more »

Long-winded debate about the America’s Cup

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The prospect of San Francisco turning into an international enclave for billionaires and their custom-built super yachts in 2013 is either electrifying or nauseating, depending on one’s perspective. If San Francisco is selected as the venue for the 34th America’s Cup, the city’s downtown would be transformed into the “America’s Cup Village” during the prestigious match, and placed at the center of an international media spectacle. Read more »

Legalization proponents appeal to Reason

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The Bay Area's medical marijuana community may be divided over the legalization measure Prop. 19, but Reason's Brian Doherty has penned an excellent analysis of the current campaign, why it will probably succeed, and how that will likely lead to a nationwide normalization of pot use rather than the federal crackdown and general sky falling that many critics of the measure predict.

Open Studios spotlight: Calixto Robles

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Because Open Studios is about more than just the free wine and occasional sushi board score. Really! The annual organized voyeurism of creative space in the city will showcase artists' studios in different neighborhoods each weekend this month. In gleeful anticipation, we visited screen-printer and long time Mission visual artist Calixto Robles, who is helping to throw open the doors to his Life Art Studios (151 Potrero, SF) this weekend. Read more »

On the way

Architecture of Light gives the new ODC the gala welcome it deserves

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ODC Founder and Artistic Director Brenda Way put it best when, toasting the crowd at the end of the premiere of her Architecture of Light, she said: "If you don't leave a footprint, you will be forgotten. If you tread lightly, you'll fly away. So here's to you who hit the ground running."Read more »

City bid to bring vendors into Dolores Parks causes an uproar

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Officials with the SF Recreation and Parks Department are attempting to quell the mounting frustrations of some Mission District merchants and residents who feel that the city shouldn’t allow private companies to operate in a public park, as the department is seeking to do. Even those who don't necessarily have a problem with inviting more commerce into Dolores Park say the process should have been more open and transparent.Read more »

A tax break for the billionaire Fisher family

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The L.A. Times reported Oct. 6 that the Fisher family -- the heirs to right-wing power-broker Don Fisher's GAP fortune -- is set to get a $20 million tax break in the new state budget. It's astonishing, and an example of how the backroom budget process is utterly corrupt.Read more »