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In Melinda's memory

The Christmas Eve death of a homeless woman prompts questions about conditions in one of SF's largest shelters
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On her very first day at Next Door, a homeless shelter that occupies a nondescript building on Polk Street, Yalaanda Ellsberry met Melinda Lindsey.

"This is my first time in a shelter," Elsberry told us recently. "And I've found a lot of people are very closed off." Lindsey, however, was open and friendly, and they became fast friends. Read more »

Evo presidente!

The election of a radical indigenous leader in Bolivia signals a major political shift - for now
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MEXICO CITY – Latin America's estimated 60 million indigenous peoples are on the move, from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego – but in dramatically distinct directions.

While Mexico's profoundly Mayan Zapatista Army of National Liberation launches a vehement anti-electoral campaign, disusing the political class, eschewing power, and seeking to build autonomous alliances down below, Eva Morales, a 46-year-old acculturated Quechua Indian farm leader, will take power from the top when he is sworn in as the first Indian president of majority-Indian Bolivia. Read more »

Enforcing a hidden anti-eviction law

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As the Board of Supervisors was in the process of approving a measure to require a public hearing before converting rental units into condominiums – a measure Mayor Gavin Newsom has shamefully pledged to veto – Sup. Chris Daly told his progressive colleagues they shouldn't be cowed by accusations that they are against home-ownership opportunities. Read more »

Bail out the schools - once

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The San Francisco school-closure process has been about as bad as it possibly could be. Information about the potential closings came late out of the district office. The criteria for inclusion on the closure list were hard to understand – and harder to comprehend. The district kept parents out of the process until the very end and then restricted community input to a few moments at a series of crammed hearings. Read more »

True grits

The Gossip's Beth Ditto is cooking with meat - and mixing riot grrrl gospel with punk rock panache
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Punk doesn't get much more soulful – or outta hand – than Beth Ditto. After watching her tear up the stage at Bottom of the Hill, pulling her enraptured audience members up to dance and taking on "I Wanna Be Your Dog," I shouldn't have been surprised to find myself chasing the Gossip vocalist down for a phone interview over the course of days, hooking up at the absolute last second. I, like all her other fans, wanna be led around on a leash by the baby-faced diva from Searcy, Ark. Read more »

Didja hear?

Get to know the Gossip
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"Our mission is to make you dance & if yr not gonna dance, just stay at home," the Gossip once posted on the K Records Web site. But even if the best introduction to the Portland, Ore., blues punks is through their notoriously sweat-inducing live shows, two left feet needn't deter anyone from checking out the trio. With three albums, two EPs, one live record, and a handful of singles, split releases, and compilation tracks to the band's name, there are plenty of ways for wallflowers to enjoy the Gossip in the privacy of their own homes. Read more »

Third time's a charm

The Gossip raise the roof with their breakthrough album, Standing in the Way of Control
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It says so right there in the bio: A rock album that all others will be judged against this year was recorded in the same spot where Lionel Ritchie created "Dancing on the Ceiling."

Bear Creek Studios no longer has so much to answer for. To others, that name may conjure visions of an ex-Commodore tripping the light Astaire-style on some drywall. To me, it's now known as the birthplace of Standing in the Way of Control (Kill Rock Stars).Read more »

Mystic ore

Mystic ore
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Glamorous disease

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 DO YOU LIKE  to celebrate Christmas? Do television commercials fill you with desire for the products advertised? Do you wear gender-appropriate clothing and hairstyles? Do you think everyone should have a job, get married, and have children? Have you ever laughed at someone for acting "weird"? Read more »

Does Mills make sense?

Peskin measure gives supervisors an early say over a controversial waterfront development
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It wasn't supposed to go like this.

 When Virginia-based mall developer Mills Corp. used political pressure by then-mayor Willie Brown and a partnership with the YMCA to narrowly win Port of San Francisco approval, in 2001, for the exclusive right to build a shopping center and office park at Piers 27-31, the project was supposed to slide right through. Read more »