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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Geowanking

Selling polygons with Urban Mapping
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annalee@techsploitation.com
TECHSPLOITATION About 18 people were gathered in the San Francisco offices of Urban Mapping, a company whose mild-mannered founder, Ian White, described their business model to me as "selling polygons." Instantly, I felt at home. I was among the geowankers, a group of high-tech map enthusiasts whose areas of expertise range from making customizable Web maps (often built out of polygons) and geolocation software to map-based online storytelling and handheld devices that provide information about your environment as you walk through it. Read more »

Dizzy spell

Is infatuation really such a bad thing?
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andrea@altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
You've written occasionally about infatuation, but is it really such a bad thing? I mean, is it meaningless? When it wears off, what happens next?
I know it when I feel it. It has driven even logical, structure-loving me to be romantic and well, loopy. But isn't it based on genuine attraction? Is it something to be wary of?
The object of my desire lives far away, and infrequent visits keep the natural relationship progression at bay. Read more »

Pumped!

Fast-growing Berkeley biodiesel dispensary seeks new space
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deborah@sfbg.com
There's something about the infectious confidence of do-it-yourselfers that makes me feel like I can learn to build my own space rocket in the blink of an eye.
That's definitely the vibe I got when I pedaled up to the BioFuel Oasis in West Berkeley's light industrial district and met with three of the six women who run the worker-owned cooperative, which is doing so well it's in the market for new digs.
After pulling off the blue coveralls she wore for a Guardian photo shoot and quickly returning to a project she had going on the computer, Melissa Hardy tells me, "It's not t Read more »

Defeating Pombo

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EDITORIAL One of the half-dozen worst members of the United States Congress represents a district less than 50 miles from San Francisco. Republican Richard Pombo of Tracy chairs the House Resources Committee and has used that post to attempt to eliminate the Endangered Species Act and gut a long list of environmental regulations. He's been an ally of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff. He's rabidly antichoice. Read more »

Same-sex marriage: On to the Supreme Court

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EDITORIAL It's hard to take the California Courts of Appeal decision on same-sex marriage seriously. It reads like some sort of joke, the product of a bad old mind-set that this country put behind it almost 40 years ago when the US Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage. Read more »

EDITOR'S NOTES

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tredmond@sfbg.com
I get a little nervous when I hear prominent Democratic leaders talking about how important it is to elect John Garamendi lieutenant governor. Republican Tom McClintock, his ugly-right Republican foe, is such bad news that he must be stopped; the checkbooks need to come out and the boots need to hit the ground.
I don't disagree on one level — but the prospect of a bad lieutenant governor isn't by any means the scariest thing that could happen in November. In fact, the prospect of another four years of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't the scariest thing. Read more »

A real war on crime

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OPINION Once again, with their backs against the wall, Republicans are attempting to stave off political defeat in November by playing to Americans' fears about safety and security. Central to the conservative playbook for years has been the lie that progressives cannot keep our communities safe.
The reality is that the current, shortsighted approach to public safety, which touts punishment without rehabilitation, has been a failure. One of the starkest examples is the crisis in California's prison and parole system — and every day that crisis comes home to San Francisco. Read more »

Buried treasure

New Treasure Island plan's green and affordable components greeted with cautious optimism, but many hurdles remain
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gwschulz@sfbg.com
Despite the fast-moving urban centers that surround it on each side of the San Francisco Bay, not much about Treasure Island has changed since it was shut down as a United States naval station 10 years ago.
After the feds ceased operations on the island and at several other military installations in the mid-’90s, the idea was to give the land to local governments for redevelopment to fill the economic void of losing active bases. Read more »

East Bay races and measures

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Editor's note: The following story has been altered from the original to correct an error. We had originally identified Courtney Ruby as running for Alameda County Auditor; the office is actually Oakland City Auditor.

Oakland City Auditor
COURTNEY RUBY
Incumbent Roland Smith has to go. He's been accused of harassing and verbally abusing his staff and using audits as a political weapon against his enemies. The county supervisors have had to reassign his staff to keep him from making further trouble. Read more »

Online bonanza

Fixed-gear fracas, Lusty Lady lowdown, and Pixel Vision hits Vancouver in the blogs.
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Fixed gear fracas

Duncan Scott Davidson's rant about fixed-gear bikes is causing a ruckus.

"Your article is based on ignorance, stereotypes, and one bad experience shared by your friend. You are not qualified to have written this article."

--Jake Guy

"Dude! I couldn't agree more! I'm glad to see someone else is finally taking up the cause against these damn hipsters! Read more »