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Vote to give Muni more money, raise the minimum wage, discourage real estate speculation, and send Campos to Sacramento

This Week's Paper

coverDavid Campos for assembly, Wendy Aragon for City College board, soda, Muni money and the anti-speculation tax round out a controversial list of election 2014 ENDORSEMENTS. Plus: Yarrr, it's the Treasure Island Music Fest! And a new book collects George Kuchar's shouts and murmurs.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Local ballot measure campaigns reach the finish line

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The deadline for submitting enough valid signatures to quality local initiatives for the November ballot is today (July 6) at 5 p.m., which made for a busy holiday weekend for two San Francisco ballot measures that will be close calls: labor's effort to increase the city's hotel tax by 2 percent and the pension reform measure pushed by Public Defender Jeff Adachi.Read more »

Ride the Iron Horse

Author Kevin Starr sings the praises of the Golden Gate Bridge

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There's a mysterious paradox present in the fact the Golden Gate Bridge was essentially born in the pit of the Great Depression. On the one hand, this marvel of architecture and beauty stands for potential and optimism as made manifest in the dreamiest haven of California. On the other, the Golden Gate is like a metallic siren, known as a place where those who have lost contact with American life go to disappear.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Leanna, Cortland and Bonview

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COH sends in "hostage negotiators" during budget talks (VIDEO)

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Members of the Board of Supervisors, their legislative aides, and other City Hall regulars were all looking a bit sleep-deprived as they darted from office to office at City Hall July 1 after ongoing budget negotiations kept everyone up late the night before. Just as an agreement on the city budget seemed within reach on June 30, Mayor Gavin Newsom and his chief of staff, Steve Kawa, had expressed strong opposition to several initiatives that progressive members of the Board of Supervisors sought to place on the November ballot.

The mayor's last-minute move was described by some as a quid pro quo that withheld support for an amended budget -- which included about $40 million in restorations to community programs that are high priorities for members of the board -- unless four different proposals were struck from the ballot. Three were proposed charter amendments dealing with commission appointments that would distribute power more evenly between the board and the mayor, and the fourth was a proposal put forth by Sup. Ross Mirkarimi that would have required the San Francisco Police Department to adopt a community-policing model and engage in neighborhood foot patrols, initially cast as an enlightened alternative to Newsom's proposed law banning sitting or lying down on the sidewalk. 

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Summer Wavelengths: Richie Panic

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Party prince Richie Panic likes to pile it on in a good way. Although he’s been a keen-eared staple of the SF scene for years, he really blew up with the Blow Up party, blasting the table-wrecking new-electro bangers and always eliciting a Panic-specific “oh sh*t!” from the crowd Now he helms two weekly clubs, Wanted (Mondays at Q Bar) and the Boner Party (Wednesdays at Beauty Bar), and his style has morphed a bit into slightly more nuanced territory. It’s still shiny-shiny, with plenty of gold-teeth bite, but now he’s a master craftsman, giving his mixes some thoughtful sheen and a clearer dancefloor narrative.    

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SFBG radio: Public power and public schools

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Today, Johnny and Tim talk about why private power companies don't want to see more solar and wind generation, and why San Francisco's public-school admission lottery isn't really as bad as its critics say. Read more »

The good old days in Rock Rapids, Iowa, the Fourth of July, 1940-1953

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(Note: In July of 1972, when the Guardian was short a Fourth of July story, I sat down and cranked out this one for the front page on my trusty Royal Typewriter. I now reprint it each year on the Bruce blog, with some San Francisco updates and postscripts.)

Back where I come from, a small town beneath a tall standpipe in northwestern Iowa, the Fourth of July was the best day of a long, hot summer.

The Fourth came after YMCA camp and Scout camp and church camp, but before the older boys had to worry about getting into shape for football. It was welcome relief from the scalding, 100-degree heat in a town without a swimming pool and whose swimming holes at Scout Island were usually dried up by early July. But best of all, it had the kind of excitement that began building weeks in advance.

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First-person shooter

High-brow meets joystick in author Tom Bissell's Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

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Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

Tom Bissell

(Pantheon Books/Random House, 218 pages, $22.95)

In the fifth chapter of his essay collection Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, author Tom Bissell meets "Al," a staffer at the 2009 DICE convention, an annual game industry event held in Las Vegas. "By 2020," gushes Al, "there is a very good chance that the president will be someone who played Super Mario Bros. on the NES."Read more »

Madam majesty

Helen Mirren rules in Love Ranch

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"Who do you think you are, the queen of fucking England?"

That's Joe Pesci to Helen Mirren in Love Ranch, a film that takes Mirren about as far as possible from her titular role in 2006's The Queen. She stars as Grace Botempo, co-owner of Nevada's first legal brothel alongside her husband, Pesci's Charlie. The fact that the regal British dame is entirely convincing as an American madam speaks to her impressive versatility.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Guillean, Mission and Cortland

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Out of work techies, let's get sexy!

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The message came into City Editor Steve Jones' voicemail box, but we all figured I should probably follow up on it. Sex conference! Well, kind of. We're looking for webmasters for sex sites! said the excited publicist on the phone. I thought you might be interested in this exciting event! he said (please note; no quote marks. I do not take good notes on publicists' voicemails). Well hell yes publicist, I said. Get it girl. Read more »

Free art school

Steal this art education with the Pickpocket Almanack

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Yes, it is summer. And yes, you look great in your tankini chewing ice cream and leathering your face. I am aware that school is out of session and out of fashion. And I know the institutional dinosaurs in tweed make you sneeze. But school is cool again — or at least it's not as stale and stubborn as it once was.Read more »

D. 10 candidates DeWitt Lacy, Tony Kelly and progressive planners blast Lennar’s plan

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Recently, I spent some time talking with D. 10 candidates DeWitt Lacy and Tony Kelly about Lennar’s redevelopment plan for the shipyard and Candlestick Point. I also attended a Progressive Planners forum that addressed the massive development proposal. Those conversations and the issues they raised seem timely in light of the city's crazily tight schedule for trying to ram final approvals for the project past government agencies this summer. Read more »

Political litmus test for Hunters Point Shipyard access?

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Even though the U.S. Navy abandoned the Hunters Point Shipyard in 1974, the military has continued to control access to the shipyard that helped launch the A-Bomb. That’s because the Navy still owns most parcels of land on the shipyard and remains on the hook for cleaning up pollutants on these sites, including a radiologically impacted dump on Parcel E2, which has been deemed to be the dirtiest land on the site.Read more »

Fisher-priced cinema that isn't Pixelvision at SFMOMA

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This week SFMOMA inaugurates a film series called “A Portrait of the Artist, or Fisher-Inspired Films” with Dreams That Money Can Buy (1946), a surrealist collaboration directed by Hans Richter and featuring contributions by Max Ernst, Man Ray, and others. The series is constructed around the collection of Doris and Donald Fisher, featuring cinematic work by artists including Andy Warhol and Agnes Martin. Read more »