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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

According to Matthew

Hairy Eyeball: Frustrating, seductive -- Matthew Barney's epic Cremaster cycle comes to the Roxie

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It is an understatement to say that the work of Matthew Barney elicits strong reactions. Critics have alternately hailed him as "the most important American artist of his generation" (that's the New York Times' Michael Kimmelman) and complained of his art's Wagnerian grandiosity, needless inscrutability, pretentiousness, and icy perfection ("loveless" was one of the words the San Francisco Chronicle's Kenneth Baker used to describe "Drawing Restraint 9," Barney's 2006 show at SFMOMA).Read more »

Hot sexy events July 21-27

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“What was that video about Eric? Wow! Girl's butt in your face and everything!” I hope not too many of you are keeping tabs on FOX News, because in terms of sheer entertainment value we here at the SFBG simply cannot compete with Glenn Beck and his cronies' 2009 commentary on the SF's pervert art scene. Just watching him pump his blonde little eyebrows up and down while saying the words “the world's only underground kinky art porno horror flick, complete with four men, three women and one gorilla,” – hey Beck, stay the hell away from my beat!

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SunCal threatens to sue, as Alameda votes to kick out base developer

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It took until 1 a.m. for the Alameda City Council to vote 4-0 (councilmember Lena Tam abstained) to deny SunCal’s “modified optional entitlement application,” and take the first step towards ending its four-year relationship with SunCal, an Irvine-based developer that planned to build 4,800 homes, a 60-acre sports complex, a ferry terminal, parks, schools and offices at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, which accounts for one-third of this island city.

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Oy-urveda

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Dear Readers:

This week's letter of greatest interest, a well-composed rant against my supposed blind devotion to Western medicine, ignorance of same, and lack of understanding of the holistic approach to complaints such as hyposexual desire disorder, is really, really long. Here is one of the good parts: Read more »

Benefits: July 21-July 27

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Ways to have fun while giving back this week

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Quick Lit: July 21-July 27

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Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Classic SF Noir, Cooking from the Farmer’s Market, sustaible design in the California Academy of Sciences, holistic tips for the  mind and home, Richard Walter, Yogiraj, and more. Read more »

The tax poll is seriously messed up

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Chuck Nevius, who doesn't seem to like any taxes, weighed in this morning on a poll paid for by the city's Transportation Authority that, the way Nevius puts it, "[cast] doubt on whether it would be wise to put some tax issues on the ballot in November." His analysis of the numbers:

[W]hen it comes to the hotel, parking, business and real estate transfer tax, the voters had four responses: no, no, no and hell no.Read more »

Small biz should support Chiu tax plan

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A new proposal to make the flat payroll tax more progressive and exempt more small businesses

EDITORIAL It's rare to see a fairly conservative city agency, created in part to make it harder for progressives to push measures that might affect business, come down in favor of a new business tax. But the San Francisco Office of Economic Analysis has concluded that the proposal by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu to change the local payroll tax and impose a new tax on commercial rents would actually help local businesses, particularly small businesses. The proposal presents a crucial opportunity for progressives to make the case that the Chamber of Commerce and big downtown corporations are not advancing the interests of small businesses — and local merchant groups need to pay attention.

Chiu has taken on a problem that has lingered in San Francisco for decades. The city's business tax is terribly regressive: Only 10 percent of the companies in town even pay the payroll tax, in part because banks, insurance companies, and financial services firms are exempt under state law. That means the burden falls the heaviest on small and medium-sized companies — the ones that provide most of the net job growth in the city.

The new proposal would make the flat payroll tax more progressive and would exempt more small businesses. It would also raise $28 million more a year for the cash-strapped municipal coffers by taxing commercial rents of more than $60,000 a year. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Perpetua, Harlan and Grant

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Trash Lit: Doo-dah, hoo-hah, winkie, and cooter with Janet Evanovich

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Finger-Lickin’ Fifteen
Janet Evanovich
St Martin’s Press, 318 pp, $27.95


I’m just going to come right out and say it: Janet Evanovich is the funniest writer to come along on the scene since Carl Hiassen, and in some ways, she’s got Hiassen beat. He writes about Florida, where unreal people do some bizarre stuff; her turf is Jersey, where the characters are pretty close to normal life. Which is to say, totally strange and fucked up. She is my favorite living writer, and after fourteen previous novels, the tales of Stephanie Plum and her cohorts just seem to get better.

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Nice boats, Carly

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Carly Fiorina's got herself a couple of nice boats.

Barbara Boxer, that damn liberal, is making fun of poor Carly just because she has not one but two yachts, one in Sausalito and one in DC. The Chron's got a pic of the 70-foot Dyna Craft, which looks a bit small in the photo. There's also a 56-foot Sea Ray.Read more »

SFBG Radio: Wall Street and the Dead Kennedys

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Today, Johnny talks to Johnny Venom about the state of financial reform -- and to D.H. Peligro about his time with the Dead Kennedys and his new punk version of Purple Haze. You can listen after the jump. Read more »

Pro-Mehserle rally breaks out in Walnut Creek

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Supporters of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle rallied in Walnut Creek this afternoon, eleven days after protests and violence erupted in Oakland July 8, when Mehserle was convicted July 8 of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting unarmed Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009 on a BART platform in Oakland.

The rally occurred outside the Superior Courthouse in Walnut Creek on Ygnacio Valley Road.   Read more »

Anticuchos and picarones spice up Festival de Comida Peruana

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Anywhere you go in the world, people like to eat. This weekend there were a lot of people in the Civic Center doing just that, but they were all eating Peruvian food.

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Flash! Bang! Girl-on-girl aerial hula!: Scenes from the Fire Cabaret

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There are some who say that the Bay Area is the birthplace of modern fire arts. Regardless of the pedigree involved, we look damn good getting our sparks off.Read more »