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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

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 »

Guardian Guide: Hotspots for fresh crab

Crab fever overtakes Bay! Tiny fork, plastic bib, lump of butter only remedy, say local restaurateurs. The Guardian Guide to hotspots serving fresh Dungeness.
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As winter rolls into the Bay Area, a happy tradition takes hold: Crab fever! Dungeness crabs have been flooding Fisherman's wharf longer than the tourists have and this December is no exception. Just like all things inherently San Franciscan, there's a flavor for every palette. Whether you like it plain, Vietnamese, Italian, Cajun or Californian, like it you will. Read more »

Judge slams daily-paper monopoly

EDITORIAL: Those lying newspaper barons -- Hearst, Singleton -- are nailed trying to wipe out competition.
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It’s rare to see a federal judge slap down two of the nation’s biggest media corporations, accuse them in effect of lying and declare that their intentions are illegal. That’s what Susan Illston did Nov. Read more »

Crap of the future

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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION Because I write about technology and science for a living, a peculiar burden falls on my shoulders every holiday season. I'm expected to make pronouncements about what stupid gadgets people should buy for the holidays. I've already been asked repeatedly if I'd rather buy a Wii or a PlayStation 3. I'll admit I found it vaguely glamorous that people were shooting and rioting in line while waiting to buy the PlayStation — it gave me that retro concert-trampling-frenzy feeling. Read more »

Try, try again

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I can't have sex. I tried about four years ago — it wouldn't fit and it was not that big. I've been scared to have a boyfriend since. I'm too embarrassed to go to the doctor and was wondering if you knew what I could do about it at home.
Love,
Failed Once ...
Dear Once:
While the original locus of your problem may have been you-know-where, I fear it has crawled northward over the last few years and is now located squarely in your head. Read more »

Elsbernd's bad police plan

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As if the San Francisco Police Department didn't have enough trouble with discipline, Sup. Sean Elsbernd has introduced a charter amendment that would allow the police chief to suspend officers for as long as 45 days. That doesn't sound so bad, but it's a terrible idea, and the supervisors should kill it.
Let's start with a dose of reality here: in a lot of jurisdictions police officers don't get suspended for 45 days. They don't run amok and wind up with months-long unpaid vacations. Read more »

Tax money for PG&E? Why?

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San Franciscans at every level — from individual homeowners to neighborhood groups to public safety advocates and city officials — have been complaining for years about how slowly Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has been moving its overhead power lines underground. The case for undergrounding is clear and indisputable: buried wires are not only far more aesthetically pleasing, they're far safer, particularly during earthquakes, when wires hanging over streets can snap, start fires, cause electrocutions, and generally be a real menace.
But PG&E won't pay for the full cost of undergrounding. Read more »