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TABLEHOPPING Monsieur Benjamin brings late-night bistro action to Hayes Valley, plus a "newish" Jewish deli opens.

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From the Blogs

PG&E's deadly failures

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The CPUC should investigate how PG&E has been spending the money it collects from ratepayers for maintenance and system upgrades

EDITORIAL In 1994, a fire raged through the tiny community of Rough and Ready in Nevada County. The inferno destroyed a dozen homes and caused $2 million in damage. The cause: tree limbs that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. should have trimmed brushed against high-voltage power lines.

A furious local district attorney filed criminal charges — and in a dramatic trial, evidence emerged that PG&E had intentionally taken $80 million in ratepayer money designated for tree trimming and diverted it into executive salaries and profits.

After a natural gas line that was installed in 1948 burst last week in San Bruno, killing five and devastating a community, local and state officials should be asking if the company is still taking money that should be spent upgrading and maintaining its system and spending it elsewhere.

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CityPlace, USA -- and why Newsom wants developers involved in district elections

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Speaking at the San Francisco Mariott Hotel today, Sept. 14, to a room packed full of developers, land-use attorneys, building owners and managers, members of the San Francisco Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, and others who had gathered for a San Francisco Business Times event, Mayor Gavin Newsom championed a retail development project proposed for San Francisco’s mid-Market area that is being opposed by Livable Cities and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. The project will come under consideration at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.Read more »

Forrest Day: their drag needs help, but boy can they play

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“Last time I played a show with no shoes I had to get stitches between my little toe and the next big toe. It sucked.” And so commenced Forrest Day's show at Slim's last Thursday Sept. 9, the group's frontman (also named Forrest Day) clad in two mismatched gym socks for safety. He was also wearing a dress that most likely resulted from a trip to the big Goodwill on South Van Ness – a flowy number with an attached denim faux vest that Grandma had a hard time parting with after she lost all that weight. So there he was, head shaven, straight outta San Leandro, a man that hardly needs a dress to stand out musically. Oh, and the music? How about that music...

 

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Endorsement interviews: Emily Murase

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Emily Murase has a lot on her plate. The mother of two daughters in the San Francisco public school system, she is also the executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, a member of the Rosa Parks School Site Council, the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program Parent Teacher Community Council, and the Lowell Alumni Association Board of Directors; she also sits on the boards of the Lakeshore Acres Improvement Club, the San Francisco Girl Scouts, and Democratic Women in Action. Read more »

SFBG Radio: PG&E and 9/11

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In today's episode, Tim talks about how PG&E blew up San Bruno -- and Johnny complains about 9/11 symbolism. You can listen after the jump.Read more »

Appetite: SF Cocktail Week is coming September 21-27

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Last year's San Francisco Cocktail Week was a full-but-chill week of parties and cocktails at some of our best bars. This year, the fourth annual SF Cocktail Week steps it up with a whole slew of events I'm excited (and proud) to see us throwing in the name of the cocktail, especially as our city has been one of the two leading the cocktail renaissance long before the rest of the country caught on. Read more »

PG&E's tragically misplaced priorities challenged

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Throughout the spring political season, we at the Guardian argued there were more important things on which Pacific Gas & Electric could be spending $45 million – the amount it spent on Prop. 16, its losing effort to kill public power programs in California – such as infrastructure maintenance, lowering its high rates, or adding more renewable projects to its dirty energy portfolio.

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Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Glory, O'Farrell and Fillmore

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Steve Moss responds

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Editor's note: On Sept. 10, we posted a story called "Steve Moss, carpetbagger," explaining how a leading candidate for District 10 had had filed his intent to run for office while he still lived in another district. Moss sent us a response, which we're posting below (and our response to him follows that).Read more »

Chron badly scooped on PG&E blast

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The San Francisco Chronicle used gigantic type on its front page two days in a row, and put out an entire special Sunday supplement on the San Bruno fire. The daily is struggling, but still has substantial staff, and this is a perfect daily-paper story -- a dramatic explosion, events unfolding quickly, compelling visuals, dozens of story angles.

And the new, much smaller online Bay Citizen is making the Chron look weak.Read more »

The interview in which cute saves the world

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You are perhaps in the market for an accessory statement that mimics pink plastic unicorns jumping through your ears? Maybe a connected  tube top-tutu smattered with a happy orgy of babydolls and hair-bows in the shape of a heart? Fret not, little cream-puff – your kawaii savior, Sebastian Masuda of Harajuku brand 6% DOKIDOKI (it's name is an onomatopoeia of a beating heart) will be making an appearance at New People's J-Pop Summit (Weds/15) for a lecture on Tokyo's “cute culture,” a fashion show featuring members of his store's famously, fabulously saccharine staff, and a glitz-tastic 6%DOKIDOKI pop-up store. The brand's focus on wide-eyed adorable and the shockingly juvenile has been termed “happy anarchy” by people that know about these things, so we shot Masuda some questions via email about what the hell he's up to. His answers were vague -- but they include the possibility of world salvation, so you might wanna check them out.

 

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PG&E's history of blowups

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By Noah Arroyo

We don't yet know if the San Bruno fire is a horrific accident or an equally horrific mistake. But Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which owns and operates the gas line that ruptured, has a history of incidents that look a lot like this one. Some of these incidents have caused power outages. Others have blown things up, or injured people.

The company also has a history taking money that ought to go to maintenance and diverting it into fat corporate profits.

In December of 2003, a cable fire at the Mission Substation of the Golden Gate Control Center caused a more than 100,000 people to lose power. The California Public Utilities Commission inspected the incident and found that PG&E suffered from general procedural laziness, and that "PG&E failed to follow three recommendations made in its 1996 Root Cause Analysis Report following [a] 1996 fire."

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Steve Moss, carpetbagger

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UPDATE: Read Steve Moss's response to this story here.

Steve Moss portrays himself as a District 10 candidate who has spent the last decade raising his family on Potrero Hill, working as a non-profit energy guy and publisher and editor of the Potrero View.

But in fact, during 2008 and 2009, Moss wasn’t living on Potrero Hill at all. When he filed his intent to run in the D. 10 race in 2009, he was living near Dolores Park, in a 4-floor 4-unit $1.6 million building he owns, and sending his daughter to Brandeis Hillel Day School, a private establishment near Daly City.

And shortly before he filed his intent to seek office, his wife told friends that the family was only moving to District 10 so Moss could run for supervisor, and that if he lost, they would be moving back to the Dolores Park area.

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Golden age remix: Bay graff gets its props

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Nate1's business card is totally dope. It's front depicts a Kry-lon paint can, the brand most used  for graffiti in the days he was coming up as a street writer in 1980s San Francisco. “Back then we used to have to make art with automotive paint,” he tells me at 1AM gallery, where his new show on the golden age of Bay tagging, “The Classics” opens today (Fri/10). “We're talking about paint to paint red wagons and doors,” he remembers, smiling like a man that didn't mind too much. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Korans, small business, and the next gov

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In today's episode, Johnny and Tim talk about the news of the day -- the Florida Koran burning, the Senate and Obama's small business bill, and the state of the next head of the state. You can listen after the jump. Read more »