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The threat to San Francisco bookstores goes beyond Amazon and ebooks to rising rents and demand for commercial space

This Week's Paper

coverWide Angle Lens: During turmultuous conflict, the SF Jewish Film Fesitval shows multiple perspectives. Plus: Central American child refugees flood SF, GRMLN, head of Sunday Streets steps down and more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

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

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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 »

SFBG Radio: Glenn Beck goes to Washington

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Today Johnny and Tim talk about Glenn Beck's march on Washington -- and why all those people who rail about the inappropriateness of an Islamic cultural center in New York see nothing wrong with Beck dishonoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Listen after the jump. Read more »

Endorsement Interviews: Kim-Shree Maufas

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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.

Equitable access, restorative justice, parental participation and the achievement gap. Those are the main issues that Kim-Shree Maufas brought up when she sat down with the Guardian to talk about why she is running for re-election to the School Board. Read more »

Hands off social security!

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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 recent columns.

Republican leaders in Congress would have us believe that most Americans support cutting Social Security and Medicare payments as a way to cut the federal budget deficit. But don't you believe it.

As the AFL-CIO and other labor sources have discovered, that's at best a figment of the Republican imagination. Or, as is most likely, it's a bald-faced political lie.

The proof came in a poll marking the 75th anniversary of Social Security this year. It was conducted by a prominent research organization, Greenberg Quilan Rosner, and commissioned by the nation's leading public employee unions, the Service Employees International and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, joined by MoveOn.org and the Campaign for America's Future. Read more »

The Chamber of Commerce is clueless

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Check out the Chamber of Commerce and its vice president for public policy, Jim Lazarus, commenting on the state of the city's finances in the Chron:

The Chamber opposes forcing the mayor to appear at "question time,'' — "pure political theater,'' — and an increase in property transfer tax — "Why do we need it? The budget is balanced.''Read more »

Evaluating the criteria the city uses to classify folks as gang members

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I recently asked Deputy City Attorney Yvonne Mere about the criteria the city uses to determine if someone is a member of a criminal street gang.

More precisely, I wanted to know if any of the 41 young black men named in City Attorney Dennis Herrerra’s recently filed gang injunction in Visitacion Valley were named simply because they were seen affiliating with documented gang members and frequenting gang areas. Read more »

Endorsement interviews: Rafael Mandelman

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Rafael Mandelman told us that "local government matters." He's talking about a more rational budget process, with the supervisors offering their own alternative instead of just responding to the mayor. He's in favor of raising new revenue -- hundreds of millions in new revenue -- to fund the critical priorities in the city, and he points out that there's enough wealth in San Francisco to pay for it. He also thinks that all city commissions should have split appointments, with the mayor naming some members and the supervisors naming others. Read more »