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Rival housing measures debated in City Hall, previewing high-stakes battles at the ballot

This Week's Paper

weekcoverThe City's Garbage Game: recology fudges recycling numbers as the city cracks down on can collectors . Plus: Muay Thai action, Wye Oak, the Wizard of ODD tornadoes into the Castro, more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Labayen Dance/SF revisits Carl Orff’s iconic Carmina Burana

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Enrico Labayen’s dance company Labayen Dance/SF took a hiatus from 2004 to 2009 while Labayen was off studying traditional folkloric dances in Southeast Asia. Labayen may have been absent for a few years, but the world premiere of his Carmina Burana, Revisited at Dance Mission Theater (July 23-25) proved that Labayen Dance/SF is back in full force. Inspired by the Philippine matriarchal ritual Tadtarin and set to Carl Orff’s iconic score, Carmina Burana, Revisited was a powerful and passionate celebration of female strength. Read more »

A new community congress

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Bad times are great times to try new ideas - the second Community Congress convenes Aug. 14 and 15 at the University of San Francisco

EDITORIAL The first time a group of activists from across San Francisco met in a Community Congress, it was 1975 and the city was in trouble. Runaway downtown development was creating massive displacement and threatening the quality of life. Rents were rising and tenants were facing eviction. An energy crisis had left residents and businesses with soaring power bills. The manifesto of the Congress laid out the problem:

"Every poor and working class community in San Francisco has learned the hard way that its interests are at the bottom of the list as far as City Hall is concerned. At the top of the list are the banks, real estate interests, and large corporations, who view San Francisco not as a place for people to live and work and raise families, but as a corporate headquarters city and playground for corporate executives. By using their vast financial resources, they have been able to persuade local government officials that office buildings, hotels, and luxury apartments are more important than blue-collar industry, low-cost housing and decent public services and facilities."

The Community Congress hammered out a platform — a 40-page document that pretty much defined what progressive San Francisco believed in and wanted for the city. It included district elections of supervisors, rent control, public power, a requirement that developers build affordable housing, and a sunshine ordinance — in fact, much of what the left has accomplished in this town in the past 35 years was first outlined in that document.

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Is a serial killer with a knife on the loose in SF?

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That’s the question Melissa Nix, ex-girlfriend of Hugues de la Plaza posed, on reading in the Examiner that Philp DiMartino, 36, had been found dead from multiple stab wounds inside an apartment in San Francisco. Read more »

Filing fees and public financing as clues to 2010 supervisor races

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For months now--and in a few cases, over a year- a bunch of dedicated residents have been campaigning in the hopes of becoming the next supervisor in districts 2,4,6,8 and 10. But now comes the moment of truth:

Between July 12 and August 6, all these potential candidates must file all necessary paperwork and pay all necessary fees to qualify for the November ballot.

And, provided they get enough signatures, they can submit a petition in which each signature represents 50 cents towards offsetting their $500 candidate-filing fee. Read more »

Bondassage gets at that kink in your back

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Headphones pump cool, slow beats into your ears as hands wander over your back's knots. Assured, soothing touch works its way down your spine. A feather tickles your lumbar. Is that a whip running over your ass? Relax, you're in the hands of professionals. “I wanted to make it accessible to quote-unquote newbies,” Jaeleen Bennis says of her S&M-massage hybrid, Bondassage. “It's great for people who are afraid to take that first step of going to see a dominatrix.” Read more »

Appetite: 2 sodas for the epicure

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I'll get this out of the way: I am not a soda drinker. I stopped drinking Coke in high school when I was getting a lot of headaches, in an attempt to eliminate excess sugar from my diet, and not only did it help, but I never cared to revisit the habit. Of course, there are always exceptions and certainly I have tasted a number of worthy sodas over the years. Here are two of the best producers out there.Read more »

Celebrate popped 16

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Pacific Gas & Electric Co. invested some $45 million into a June ballot initiative known as Proposition 16, a change to the state constitution that would have impeded the creation of green municipal electricity programs by requiring a two-thirds majority vote at the ballot. Widely viewed as a bid to secure its lucrative monopoly by snuffing out competitors before they could get on their feet, the utility's bubble went pop when voters -- especially those from PG&E service territory -- rejected it.
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Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Julie, Union Square

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SFBG Radio: Why Meg isn't Ike

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In today's episode, Johnny and Tim talk about why Meg Whitman isn't Dwight Eisenhower (or Nelson Rockefeller), and lots of other fun and related topics. You can listen and join the fun after the jump Read more »

FAIR: WikiLeaks and the U.S. Press

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Media resistance to exposure of government secrets

The website WikiLeaks posted tens of thousands of classified intelligence documents relating to the Afghanistan War on Sunday, July 25. Spanning the years 2004-09, the documents had been shared in advance with reporters from the New York Times, the British Guardian and the German Der Spiegel, all of which produced long pieces offering their interpretations of the documents.

In corporate U.S. media, the documents produced several narratives. For some, the WikiLeaks revelations were either not all that important, or certainly not as important as the leak of the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers. As a Washington Post story put it (7/27/10), "Unlike the Pentagon Papers, these documents--although they are closer to a real-time assessment and although they land in the superheated Internet era--do not reveal any strategy on the part of the government to mislead the public about the mission and its chances for success." The New York Times (7/26/10) noted that
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My buddy and meme: Winnebago Man's unlikely star turn

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An irascible ex-TV news anchor shoots a promo video for Winnebago in Iowa in the summer of 1988. It's hot out, the crew isn't giving him what he needs, and he swears. A lot. Fast forward 20 years, and the video that damn crew complied of his least flattering outtakes has garnered over 20 million hits on YouTube. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer hired a detective to find out what happened to the star of his favorite viral video, and the ensuing film, Winnebago Man (which starts Fri/30), turns up some surprising conclusions about the notion of, as Steinbauer put it to me in our recent interview at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, “accidental notoriety.” Some people are calling the film an exploitation of the alternately crude and eloquent Jack Rebney, a new media naïf – but my half hour with the pair raised questions in my eyes of who was using who to tell what story.   

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Legal Brahmins organize against Nava

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Some of the most prominent lawyers in San Francisco, including two high-ranking judges, have launched a full-scale political campaign to protect Judge Richard Ulmer, a straight white former Republican and Schwarzenegger appointee, against a challenge by a gay Latino Democrat.

Among the Ulmer supporters, who have vowed to raise a substantial amount of money for the fall judicial election, are J. Anthony Kline, presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco and James McBride, presiding judge of the San Francisco Superior Court. They’re joined by a surprising number of leading liberal lawyers, including James Brosnahan, senior partner at Morrison and Foerster, Joe Cotchett, the widely known trial lawyer, and Sid Wolinsky, a founder of Disability Rights Advocates and a lifelong public interest attorney.

And John Burton, the chair of the California Democratic Party, is contacting members of the San Francisco County Central Committee to try to get that panel to rescind its endorsement of Ulmer’s opponent, Michael Nava.

It is, by any standard, an astonishing amount of political firepower for a local judicial race – and it’s all being done in the name of avoiding politicizing the judiciary. Read more »

Congestion pricing plan headed to board this fall

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San Francisco is now one step closer to becoming the first American city to implement a congestion pricing plan as the San Francisco County Transportation Authority staff prepares to present their final study findings to the Board of Supervisors this fall.Read more »

Mid season huddle: roller derby's Bay Bombers talk track

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Oh Bay Bombers, won't you stop in your roller derby tracks and tell us how you've been? San Francisco's famed co-ed blocking, pivoting, jamming squadron has been packing ever-increasing crowds into Kezar Pavilion, their historical home this year – and no wonder, they're killing it on track. To tell us by just how much, we wrangled a phone interview with general manager Jim Fitzpatrick, who we last checked in with shortly before his home opening match with league Lucifer Georgia Hase's Brooklyn Red Devils.

 

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"Growing Up Twisted:" take it ... or leave it

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For every awesome reality show (Real Housewives of New Jersey), there are dozens that feel forced and pointless (keeping it within Bravo, the Housewives network, anyone else seen that Work of Art show? Can you explain the point, or the appeal?) Into the "I'm already famous" sub-genre of reality shows (as opposed to the "I'll do anything to be famous" sub-genre) tumbles Growing Up Twisted, a new seven-part series that debuted this week on A&E. It's unclear if we have the success of Gene Simmons Family Jewels (also an A&E production) to thank for this, or if this is some kind of attempt to reclaim the glory that once was MTV's The Osbournes. If it's the latter, the world needs to realize that there's only one Ozzy (and only one Sharon, for that matter), and there will never be another Osbournes. Read more »