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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Advancing public power

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EDITORIAL A few months ago Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spent more than $10 million trying to keep the public Sacramento Municipal Utility District from annexing a part of Yolo County, which would have cost PG&E 77,000 customers. Read more »

Editor's Notes

The owls of Bernal Hill
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tredmond@sfbg.com

I complain a lot too. I understand: The buses don't run on time. Everything costs too much, particularly a place to live, if you can even find one. Traffic is terrible, and there's no place to park. Developers keep destroying good stuff and putting up ugly stuff.

And then there are moments like last Sunday afternoon, when my kids and I spent a couple hours communing with the pair of great horned owls that decided to take up residence in a tree on Bernal Hill.

The owls showed up a couple weeks ago. Read more »

The mystery of La Contessa

A galleon destroyed by fire. A priceless missing statue. Welcome to one of the great mysteries of the San Francisco underground.
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steve@sfbg.com

La Contessa was a Spanish galleon, amazingly authentic and true to 16th-century design standards in all but a couple respects. It was half the size of the ships that carried colonizers to this continent and pirates through the Caribbean. And it was built around a school bus, designed to trawl the Burning Man festival and the Black Rock Desert environs, where it became perhaps the most iconic and surreal art piece in the event's history.

The landcraft — perhaps like the sailing ships of yore — wasn't exactly easy to navigate. Read more »

Flowers unempowered

Local florist on receiving end of hate-tinged vandalism
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It’s been quite a year for local florist Guy Clark. His dad passed away about a year ago, and Clark suffered a heart attack shortly afterward. Two weeks later, the building at 15th and Noe where he rents garage space to sell flowers caught on fire. The good news was that his space was not damaged. Read more »

Up the butt, Bob

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com

Dear Andrea:

My girlfriend and I came home from the club blind drunk and started getting a little crazy. I was in her vagina as well as her anus and swapping between without cleaning myself. I also didn't wear a condom. In the morning, I noticed there were blood stains on the sheets from her anus. I also licked her anus that night, but I'm not sure whether or not I got any blood in my mouth. I am really worried about diseases and infections even though we are both healthy with no infections. She has diabetes, however. Please help! Read more »

The wi-fi elephant

Instead of launching his reelection campaign, Newsom's wireless Internet proposal gets slammed for its shortcomings and lack of well-considered alternatives
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sarah@sfbg.com

It's been widely reported in recent weeks that San Francisco and the Google-EarthLink team have already reached a deal to offer free wireless Internet service citywide. In reality, the deal cut by Mayor Gavin Newsom is tentative and requires the approval of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the Board of Supervisors.

And getting that approval looks increasingly unlikely in light of a growing chorus of critics and a scathing assessment of the plan that Board of Supervisors budget analyst Harvey Rose laid out in his Jan. Read more »

Anti-Christian mythology

Dust in the machine
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION For several years I've heard Philip Pullman's young-adult fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials called an antireligious response to the mega-Christian Chronicles of Narnia. Progressive fantasy about troubles with an otherworldly version of the Christian right? I'm there. Read more »

The war on trial

The war on trial: an Army officer risks prison to argue that Bush's war is illegal
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news@sfbg.com

It is a sad day in American jurisprudence when a soldier of conscience is court-martialed — not for lying, but for telling the truth; not for breaking a covenant with the military, but for upholding the rule of law in wartime.

The court-martial of First Lt. Ehren Watada is set for Feb. 5 in Fort Lewis, Wash. The 28-year-old soldier from Hawaii is the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. Read more »

The Presidio Trust's mystery millions

Why is a national park sitting on $105 million for projects that are too secret to disclose?
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amanda@sfbg.com

The Presidio Trust just published its annual report for 2006. This slick-looking document is distributed to the national park's George W. Bush–appointed board of directors — and to the purported shareholders of this quasi corporation, the American taxpayers.

If you just read the executive director's message, scan the pretty pictures, and glance at the numbers to make sure they're on the proper side of zero, then this unique endeavor to privatize a national park looks peachy. Read more »

Make housing, not war!

Creating a breeding ground for terror
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OPINION As President George W. Bush requests more money to fight the war overseas, a stealth war is being fought here on domestic soil: the war on housing for the poor. Since the Bush administration took power, the public housing program has suffered $1 billion in cutbacks.

As a result, conditions have rapidly deteriorated in public housing developments throughout the country. Maintenance, security, and services have been slashed annually as budgets are drained with each appropriations bill. Read more »