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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

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 »

EDITOR'S NOTES

Why "shop locally" is really a pretty radical idea
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tredmond@sfbg.com
Like far too many liberals, I spend far too much time listing to NPR, which can lead to a special kind of brain rot: I once actually sat through an hour-long program on Mormon folk songs that included a long, upbeat, and respectful ode to Brigham Young "and his five and 40 wives." Jesus, that's a lot of wives.
But there are things I love, and Science Friday is one of them. Read more »

Newsom should comply with Prop. I

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OPINION Much has been said about Mayor Gavin Newsom's stunning defeat at the ballot Nov. 7. Newsom's slate of endorsements went down in flames — from supervisorial candidates Rob Black and Doug Chan to the contenders he hoped would take control of the school board to a host of progressive ballot propositions, including worker sick leave and relocation assistance for evicted tenants. Every incumbent supervisor was also reelected, indicating an overall approval level of the Board of Supervisor's performance. Read more »

Seven-story sneak attack

Oversize motel project gets expedited despite the concerns of neighbors and the Board of Supervisors
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news@sfbg.com
Marina residents who thought they scored a victory against the developer of an oversize hotel have been surprised to discover that Planning Department officials, working with a permit expediter, had quietly moved the project forward anyway.
At issue is the plan by an out-of-state developer to demolish the Lombard Plaza Motel and build a larger hotel on the spot. More than three years ago a Florida developer obtained a conditional use permit to construct a new seven-story tourist hotel of nearly 50,000 square feet on a lot containing about 13,600 square feet at 2026 Lombard. Read more »

The morning after

While drunk on big newspaper purchases, Dean Singleton promised competitive papers and no layoffs. Now he's swinging the ax, cutting deals with Hearst, and decimating local news coverage
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gwschulz@sfbg.com
The plight of newspapers is a popular news story these days, from a late-August cover package in the Economist ("Who Killed the Newspaper?") to National Public Radio's On the Media last week ("Best of Times, Worst of Times").
It's usually told as the story of an industry on its deathbed, bleeding from self-inflicted wounds and those delivered by Wall Street, Main Street, Craigslist, and the blogger's laptop. Ad revenues have nose-dived in recent years. Circulation is down nationwide. Read more »

Happiness science

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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION I took a five-question happiness quiz, and it turns out I'm very satisfied but not overly so. If I start feeling down, the quiz advised, I should look inside myself for answers.
No, I wasn't reading Cosmopolitan or OKCupid.com. The quiz was part of a study by happiness researcher Ed Diener, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois.
Over the past couple of years, happiness has come into vogue as an object of study. Read more »

Bumpy ride

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I'm a 50-year-old male. I've been married for 23 years and have two grown kids. The problem is my wife. She has never needed or been interested in sex. I have tried everything — books, videos, even suggesting counseling. She says no, there's no problem. Our wedding night was a disaster. Is there any hope for me? What can I do?
Love,
High and Dry
Dear Dry:
File for divorce or pray for a painless, early death. I just don't see another way out for you, sorry.
That was flip and a little cruel, and I do apologize but only sort of. Read more »