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SF General — a top trauma center, important safety net, and major city commitment to public health — moves into an uncertain transition period

This Week's Paper

coverLife and death at SF General as everyone's hospital moves into an uncertain period, BART's new policy of rousing vagrants, MEX I AM's latin sounds hit Yerba Bunea Center, and Wolrd War I Films blow up the screen at PFA. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

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 »

Newsom's budget and DCCC hypocrisy

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Hypocrisy hung thickly in the air at City Hall today as Mayor Gavin Newsom refused to responsively address glaring contradictions on a pair of high-profile policy stances, pursuing naked self interest while cloaking himself in deceptive but high-minded rhetoric. Newsom used the city budget-signing ceremony to effusively praise the labor unions that he publicly shamed into giving back $250 million over two years to balance the budget without tax increases, a budget that cut services and increased various fees and fines.Read more »

81 percent support amnesty for undocumented immigrants

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Here's a statistic that's guaranteed to get anti-immigrant groups seeing majorly red: A CNN poll found the 81 percent of those questioned support a program that would allow undocumented workers who have already been living in the country for a number of years to remain legally if they had a job and paid taxes. Read more »

New debate surrounds New Mission Theater

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The New Mission Theater, a dilapidated landmark that sits on the 2500 block of Mission Street, has been vacant for years, but controversy surrounding its fate is alive as ever and will be discussed at this afternoon's July 29 City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees meeting. Read more »

Immigrant advocates protest AZ law and Jerry Brown's SecureComm support

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SF Pride's Gabriel Haaland reports that the California Highway Patrol made them take down their "No One is Illegal" drop banner at 9.a.m.
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Behind the Scenes: Shooting our 2010 Local Heroes

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See video

Take a peek at the robo-amazing Blue Sky Studios, as photographers Keeney + Law shoot three of this year's Best of the Bay Local Heroes. Video by Michael Keeney.