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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Be nice to pigeons!

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OPINION Until two years ago I didn't give a rat's ass about pigeons. But then I began researching my book, and I was stunned by what I didn't know. I quickly grew to admire the birds — and this coming from a guy who still prefers playing fetch with a dog to running about with a pair of binoculars chasing pretty tail.
San Francisco, it seems, is of two minds about pigeons. The city was ahead of the curve (as usual) when it banned avicides, which are used to target pigeons but indiscriminately punish all birds. That's a great thing. Read more »

Girl talk

Did the ladies take control in 2006?
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kimberly@sfbg.com
The Gossip's first show of 2006 in San Francisco wasn't as likely to get tongues clacking as one I saw several years previously, the night mod, bobbed fireball Beth Ditto pulled a cute, bare-skulled baby dyke from the audience to twist and grind to the tune of "I Wanna Be Your Dog." But on Jan. 27 the mixed queer-straight crowd was yelling just as loud anyway, singing along like budding blues shouters and bopping up and down atop broken glass as a long-haired Ditto wailed through the sweat streaming down her face, swayed us and slayed us. Read more »

This is not progress

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TECHSPLOITATION I can't stop thinking about the Antikythera Mechanism, a 2,000-year-old computerlike device made by some Greeks who wanted to predict the motion of the sun, moon, and stars. Fashioned out of highly-sophisticated interlocking gears, the mechanism was discovered a little over a century ago in a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. Read more »

Mit-what-a?

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Got a question for Andrea? Click here to ask!

Dear Andrea:
I've heard two men recently refer to "Mitusa" as a fabulous oral technique to use on a woman, but they were reluctant to explain it. What is it and why the secrecy?
Love,
Dying To Know
Dear Dying:
Maybe they don't know themselves what it means? I never do. Read more »

A sex offender's story

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OPINION I am a registered sex offender. I have lived in San Francisco since 1997. I moved here from the state of Minnesota. I am also an openly gay male.
At the time I committed my crime, I was 19, he was 13. I was attending college in Duluth, Minn. I was running a personal ad, he sent me a letter, and I arranged to meet with him. We engaged in intercourse.
It was one of many mistakes I've made over the years. I'm also HIV-positive, have a history of substance abuse, and have mental illness. I've sought and received treatment. Read more »

Mining metadata

Supervisors OK the release of information buried beneath public documents
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The Board of Supervisors' Rules Committee unanimously recommended Nov. 30 that all parts of a city document should remain in the public domain, including the document's electronic fabric, or metadata.
If approved by the full board, which seems likely, the decision will signal a victory for a small but vocal group of activists who view metadata as an important front in the battle for public access to government documents.
Metadata is defined as data about data — information that can reveal nuances of a document, such as where it was created, how it was modified, and when it was transmitted. Read more »

Blood in the water

Just as the 2007 mayor's race begins, Newsom is starting to look vulnerable — but who's running against him?
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Mayor Gavin Newsom has long been considered a lock for reelection next year, a belief driven by his same-sex marriage gesture, hoarding of political capital, personal charm, and high approval ratings. Yet Guardian interviews with more than 20 political experts and insiders from across the ideological spectrum indicate that Newsom may now be more vulnerable than ever.
Just as San Francisco politicians are starting to calculate whether to run, the Newsom administration has suffered a series of political setbacks. Read more »

Editor's Notes

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The death of David Ayoob didn't get a lot of headlines. He wasn't famous in that way; he never ran for office or made speeches. But everyone on Cortland Avenue knew him, and when he died suddenly of a heart attack at 53, Bernal Heights — and the city — lost a great citizen.
Ayoob ran 4-Star Video, and he was the essence of a good small businessperson. He was active in the community and friendly to everyone and treated his employees well. Read more »

No pass for Newsom

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EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom may tell the media that he's not sure he wants his job anymore, but the reality is that he's been running for reelection for months. His campaign team is in place, the fundraising is about to kick into high gear, and when 2007 dawns Newsom will start to line up endorsements, put money in the bank, and do everything possible to clear the field. That's not just a campaign consultant's fantasy: right now there's no clear, obvious opponent for a mayor whose poll ratings are almost unimaginably high.
But Newsom can't be allowed to run without any credible opponent. Read more »

The Lowell lessons

Today only eight of the city's 21 high schools have active student newspapers.
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EDITORIAL When someone — quite possibly a faculty member or administrator — poured pink paint on a gay teacher's computer at Lowell High School and left a racist, homophobic note, the administration tried to keep it quiet. Teachers say they were told not to discuss the hate crime with students. Other than a tiny notice in the San Francisco Chronicle — and whatever rumors may have been swirling around campus — the students at the city's premier public high school had no idea what was going on.
That was terrible judgment on the part of the interim principal, Amy Hansen. Read more »