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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

Two views:Joanna Newsom at the Fox, 8/2/10

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By Amber Schadewald and Sam Stander

TAKE ONE "Have you seen her before?" a spirited woman asked a random couple in the front row at Oakland's Fox theater Monday night, just before the lights began to dim. "She's a fucking angel." And it's hard to disagree. California's own folk-harp-composing-wonder Joanna Newsom is a beautiful, beautiful being who produced a perfectly impressive evening with song after long song of feather-light melodies. 

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Prop 8 struck down by federal judge

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US District judge Vaughan Walker has struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage. Turns out the 18,000 same-sex marriages left intact from before the proposition was passed were key. Dang, I just planned my wedding in Connecticut.  

SFBG Radio: New Venom

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In today's episode, Johnny Wendell's guest, Johnny Venom, urges we use a ton of caution when considering Lennar's Development plan-their track record in Chicago is dismal.

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The deal is done

Lennar's massive redevelopment plan gets the green light despite unaddressed concerns

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Mayor Gavin Newsom was quick to frame the Board of Supervisors' 10-1 vote for Lennar Corp.'s massive redevelopment proposal for Candlestick Point-Hunters Point Shipyard on July 27 as a sign that plans to revitalize the Bayview are about to begin.Read more »

Worth the wait

Starcraft II took a while to get here, but the new version is right on target

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StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

(Blizzard Entertainment)

PC, Mac OS X

Even for a company known for its notoriously long development cycles, Blizzard took its sweet time with StarCraft II. Though thousands of people now have their fevered hands on a copy, the reality of its arrival hasn't really sunk in. Playing it feels like the first time I listened to Chinese Democracy, except with fewer unnecessary keyboard tracks.Read more »

alt.sex.column: Vanilla Shake

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Dear Andrea:

My husband and I are in our early 40s. We have been together 15 years and married for nine. We have sex about once a week, which is all we can manage with two little kids, two full time jobs, and everything else.Read more »

(A rhythmic series of) slaps on the back for the Body Music Festival artists

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Slap a belly, claps them hands, shake your head side to side and buzz through your lips like a motorboat. It's called body music, mon cheri – and since 2008 the Bay Area's been the yearly gathering spot for all manner of the diverse artistes that call this noise home at the International Body Music Festival. This year, the festie's moving down south to Sao Paolo, Brazil – but before it does, festival founder and primo tap dancer Keith Terry has organized a benefit show (Sat/7 La Peña Cultural Center) that features his group, Slammin, along with sometimes-clown and presently hambone performer Derique McGee. The show will fund Bay performers trips down south – and more presently, out to NYC where they will perform at the Lincoln Center (Thurs/12). We spoke with the mastermind behind this convergence of natural noisemakers over the phone, and found him to be more than happy to explain his unusual passion for playing with one's self. Keith, what's all this noise about? Read more »

Coilhouse rules

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Founded by three brilliant renaissance women with roots in L.A. and the Bay, the alt-everything institution known as Coilhouse exists both as a fantastic groupblog and a quasi-quarterly magazine. According to the mission statement on their website, “Coilhouse is a love letter to alternative culture, written in an era when alternative culture no longer exists.” They cover everything from fashion to visual art to film to comics, with a wealth of youtube clips and beautiful images in all their posts. These ladies — Zoetica Ebb, Meredith Yayanos, and Nadya Lev — and their various collaborators are down with Klaus Nomi and at home with esoteric Russian literature, and more than happy to share with you what made them weird. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Kathy, Powell and Ellis

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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 »