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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

In the wake of March 4, education battles continue

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Two weeks after protests against cuts to education filled Bay Area streets (and one freeway) on March 4, employees in the public-education sector are still engaged in a fight against budgetary rollbacks. But it’s an uphill battle, as was made clear at a briefing organized by United Educators of San Francisco at City College of San Francisco March 18.

At El Dorado Elementary School in the Bayview, 11 of 15 teachers were issued pink slips, according to elementary school teacher Megan Caluza (featured in the video above). While this doesn’t mean all 11 teachers are on their way out the door, it does mean that none of them knows for sure whether there’s a guaranteed job in the school district in the coming year. Since the budget cuts hit, Caluza says she’s been spending just as much time “fighting to teach” as she has in the actual classroom. Read more »

Mom was a mess (and then she rubbed all up on me)

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Going in to Thee Parkside on Fri/5, I didn’t know what to expect from the show’s openers. Considering Mom’s antics, it’s probably best that I didn’t do any pre-show research. In a nutshell, Mom was a mess. Read more »

SXSW: See me! Hear me!

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The days tend to blur here at SXSW. The festival's sponsors and participants are pouring information and alcohol in you everywhere you go. You forget that you are an autonomous being, not just a receptacle for emails and fliers and Sobe in small plastic cups and little goo bars that taste like chocolate stuck in carpet that are thrown -- literally thrown -- at you on every street corner. Read more »

Anti-war movement seeks allies

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By Jobert Poblete

This Saturday (March 20) will mark the seventh anniversary of the Iraq war and local groups are mobilizing for another round of protests to oppose the occupation of Iraq and the expansion of the war into Afghanistan. But this year's program will also highlight local struggles as well, with speakers delving into the fight for more public education funding and the march passing by two hotels where union workers are in strained negotiations for a new contract.

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Cinnamon buns: your gateway drug to hardcore vegan sweets?

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By Robyn Johnson

For all you vegan sweet snackum lovers -- and curious crumb-lappers -- the ladies behind Fat Bottom Bakery and Cinnaholic have a sale on Sat/20 that you just might egg-free love. Read more »

Snap Sounds: The Consulate General

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THE CONSULATE GENERAL

Person Number

(Circle Into Square)

We loved him when he was creating music under the moniker Boy In Static and I think a few tears may have been shed when Alexander Chen left the Bay and unpacked his instruments in Gothenburg, Sweden. Like anyone who has ever taken residency in that beautiful country, Chen’s creativity has flourished and his new solo project, The Consulate General, is a breath of fresh Nordic air. 

 

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Sunshine sleuth nets $3.5 million for SF

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Sunshine advocate Kimo Crossman is sometimes counted as a thorn in the side of city government agencies due to his tendency to pepper them with public-records requests. But in the last couple days, he earned a gold star from the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder for pointing out that when Morgan Stanley walked away from five high-profile San Francisco properties, it neglected to pay a transfer tax. Thanks to an email from the ever-inquisitive Crossman, the assessor-recorder was able to collect roughly $3.5 million and feed it to the city’s ailing General Fund. Read more »

Yee asks DA to drop charges against reporters

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State Sen. Leland Yee has asked the Alameda County district attorney to drop all charges against reporters who were arrested while covering the protests over education cuts. In a March 8 letter to D.A. Nancy O'Malley, Yee noted that "at least two of the individuals arrested were journalists covering a legitimate news story."

That adds to the pressure on O'Malley not to press charges against reporters. But we're still waiting to hear from the D.A.'s office.Read more »

Prop 17 discourages going car-free

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Efforts to encourage car-sharing and ways of getting around that don’t involve owning a car would be undermined by Proposition 17, a June ballot measure that I wrote about in this week’s cover story. While I didn’t mention that impact in the story, it is of real concern to people like me who don’t own cars and encourage others to try the car-free lifestyle on for size.Read more »

If we're going to be whores, let's at least get paid

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The San Francisco City Planning Commission will be voting March 18th on a proposal to build luxury condos next to the Transamerica building. The developers are two out-of-town outfits that support Republican candidates. And therein lies an interesting tale.Read more »

Trash Lit: Spenser says goodbye in 'The Professional'

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The Professional
Robert B. Parker
Penguin Books, 289 pages, $26.99

I just read the last Spenser novel, ever.

That’s a hard sentence to write. Spenser’s been around a long time, and I’ve read all 37 of Robert B. Parker’s classic tough-guy detective books, and even though they all have the same characters, similar plots, similar dialogue and similar themes, they’re all good. Every last one of them. Read more »

Snap Sounds (and Q&A): Art Museums

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THE ART MUSEUMS

Rough Frame

(Woodsist)

San Francisco's Josh Alper and Glenn Donaldson lightly place these love songs within comic frameworks. The opening track describes a shy, lovelorn music fan too shy to twist and shout, peppering the scenario with observations such as, "He's worn his pants like that / For a very long time." It also mentions a Buggles record, but Television Personalities and Guided By Voices are better reference points to the Art Museums' sound. In their world, a sculpture garden is a good place to discuss cinema. Read more »

Banks declare SF Weekly and parent company in loan default

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The Bay Guardian’s lawsuit against SF Weekly and its parent company took a dramatic turn this week when a banking syndicate announced that Village Voice Media has defaulted on its $77 million loan.Read more »

Google sez bike this way

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Just in time for the sun's critically acclaimed debut, the Internets has once again plotted to increase our digital dependence. Google Maps now has a bicycling option!

If you're a biker in San Francisco or Oakland, you don't need me to tell you that you gotta pick your routes around these cities. One false move and you're falling into the ruts of MUNI train tracks or on a freeway on-ramp (don't laugh, it happens... to me). But no longer, or at least less often, will you have to deal with these small catastrophes.

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Coming soon to “a San Francisco sidewalk near you”

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Early this month, San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon explained to the Guardian his rationale for a proposed sit / lie ordinance, which would make it illegal to sit down or lie down on San Francisco sidewalks. “We’re responding to quite frankly what is a tremendous groundswell of pressure from residents and business people about very aberrant, aggressive behavior,” he said. “We don’t have an existing tool to deal with that behavior,” in the form of other city ordinances, he said.

The proposal has been discussed officially during public hearings at the San Francisco Police Commission, the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee, and in a series of editorials at local media outlets. It’s shaping up to be quite controversial.

And if an upcoming event sparked by the debate surrounding sit-lie is any indication, there is a “tremendous groundswell of pressure” on the other side of the coin, too. A group of organizers who recently created a Facebook group called “San Francisco Stands Against Sit-Lie” are also the architects behind a daylong event to be staged on city sidewalks called “Sidewalks are for People!” The event will be held March 27, on “A San Francisco Sidewalk Near You,” according to the event announcement. Read more »