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@Large: Ai WeiWei on Alcatraz" highlights contemporary struggles for freedom of expression

This Week's Paper

weekSpringing from Alcatraz: Dissident artist Ai WeiWei's @Large exhibition rocks the rock, and Project Censored 2014 uncovers the year's most important (but under-covered) stories. Plus: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lifts our blues, and Awesome Tapes from Africa taps seldom-heard sounds.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Don't touch Dan Noyes!

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Beth Spotswood has a very funny piece on SF Appeal about Channel 7 news reporter Dan Noyes and a very odd press flak at Laguna Honda who keeps trying to feel up Noyes's shoulder. Over and over again, until Noyes finally slaps his hand away. Then the guy tries to do it again.Read more »

SFBG Radio: Johnny and Tim on the craziest Senate campaign in years

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In today's installment, Johnny and Tim talk about Meg Whitman's precipitous poll collapse -- and the Senate race in Kentucky, which could turn out to be one of the wildest in years. Will mainstream Republicans actually get behind a guy who doesn't support the Civil Rights Act? Read more »

A close-up view of Boot & Shoe

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The pies that fly out of the oven at Oakland's Boot and Shoe Service make other dough-marinara-cheese combinations look flat and lame. Crispy, brick oven-fired crust, organic toppings and loads of flavor are partly responsible for the prized pizza goodness, but it's also the layers of love baked into every bite.Read more »

Who's fighting PG&E on Prop 16?

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All week, I've been talking to people who are getting together to oppose Prop. 16, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.-bankrolled ballot measure that seeks to kill community choice aggregation by launching a deceptive, $35 million campaign to alter the state constitution by requiring a two-thirds vote before local government could move forward with an alternative energy program. Read more »

Beards! Championship-bound, Bay Area beards!

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Facial hair isn't something that Xavier Marvel grows for the glory. This is his life. “I didn't decide to go to the championships and then grow my musketeer,” says the dashing Marvel, who will represent the Bay Area at the upcoming 2010 National Beard and Mustache Championships in Bend, Oregon (June 5). I spoke to him recently on the phone, painfully divorced from seeing his follical glory in person. “I already had it. The competition is not the reason for my facial hair, it's just sort of a bonus.” Read more »

Something is missing

Hairy Eyeball: Louise Bourgeois, Matt Furie, and Jay Howell fill in some gaps

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Mama's goin' strong. Mama's movin' on. Mama's all alone. Mama doesn't care. Mama? Ma-ma-ma-mama? Mama's very alone (not to mention a bloody mess) in Louise Bourgeois' "Mother and Child," the nonagenarian artist's fifth exhibit at Gallery Paule Anglim.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Brandon and Joseph, SF State

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Most Californians want legal weed

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By Brady Welch

Puff, puff, pass on the good news. A new poll finds that a majority of California voters—51 percent—support the fall ballot measure to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for even strictly recreational uses (40 percent opposed it). And support rises a point when respondents are asked about its various benefits. Read more »

Firelit: Coffee with benefits

A conversation with distiller Dave Smith about his new boozy brew

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Since its release a couple of months ago, I've been savoring Firelit Spirits' one-of-a-kind coffee liqueur, featuring none other than Blue Bottle Coffee. Starting off with 1,800 bottles (which are just about gone, by the way), founding partners, Jeff Kessinger and St. George Spirits distiller Dave Smith have created a coffee liqueur that retains all the nuance and glory of fine coffee. Read more »

Realtors send deceptive mailer to SF renters

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The San Francisco Association of Realtors, which has a long history of actively opposing the protection of tenants and rental housing, now wants tenants to believe it is on their side. The Realtors even recently formed and funded the Committee to Preserve Rental Housing to alert tenants about a ballot measure that they say favors dreaded rich people.

The only problem: It's complete bullshit. Read more »

The feminization of Mexican agriculture

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SANTA CRUZ TANACO (May 20th) - When I first settled into this tiny Purepecha Indian village high in the Meseta Tarasca of west-central Michoacan state 50 years ago, few women tilled the land. Tending the “milpa" (corn patch) was strictly a man's work. The men ploughed the fields and planted in the spring and the wives and daughters would help to weed ("barbechar") and glean in the harvest -- but it was the men who strapped on the "tchundi" basket as they moved up and down the rows, snapping off the big ears of maiz to be sold in the markets of neighboring cities.

While the men lorded it over the corn patch, women had dominion over the home and the children. They cared for the kids and the chickens and prepared the meals. At mid-day, they wrapped up fresh, warm tortillas in colorful "servietas" and carried them out to the fields to feed their husbands.    

Only two women in Tanaco actually worked their own "parcelas" (plots.)  Dona Teresa Garcia had a handful of fields scattered up and down the valley she had inherited from her murdered husband and many sons to work them, and although she was known to get her hands dirty, she was more an overseer and administrator.
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I want to throw up

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I've gotten a pretty strong stomach after 25 years of political reporting, but when I read stuff like this, I reall want to throw up. It's not just pandering or corruption or sleaze -- that shit's common enough, and I can deal. It's this utter, blatant, mind-boggling lack of reality that makes me start to lose my lunch.Read more »

The coffee shop-dollar store king of Divco

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One questions the need for another coffeehouse on Divisadero – seems like every time I turn around there's another corner store churning out lattes and biscotti. But clearly I lack the vision of Haile Taddesse, owner of the 99¢ Divis Variety Discount at Divisadero and McAllister. “I am a coffee addicted person,” the Eritrean business owner tells me. “I grew up in a coffee country.” And no offense to the other establishments on his street, but he thought their coffee was mediocre. Read more »

Magnetic folk

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will convert you to their sound

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The video for "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros plays like a Super 8 summer memory you wish you had. The happy, whistling back-and-forth duet between front man Alex Ebert and real-life girlfriend Jade Castrinos is illustrated with scenes from a 21st-century Merry Prankster stopover in Marfa, Texas. Everyone's playing guitars, running through fields, and prancing about holding hands in a way that suggests the 11-piece folk band's bond goes beyond the ecstatic sing-alongs that have been the toast of festival crowds from here to Coachella.Read more »

May the tastiest critter-friendly cupcake win

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Your chops sink into the rich, sweet fluff and your lips are left with a coat of luscious frosting; cupcakes are the things dreams are made of and especially the dozens that will be up for tasting this weekend at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective's 2nd Annual Vegan Cupcake Bake-off. No butter, no eggs people-- all that delicious and they're animal friendly...pretty sure that will be my excuse for chomping well over five cups. Read more »