Top Stories

Top Stories

Another round

New events coalition raises a ruckus after a second North Beach festival is denied a permit to sell booze
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news@sfbg.com

Members of the newly formed San Francisco Outdoor Events Coalition gathered on the evening of May 3. It had been a long, discouraging day, and the mood was somber.

Robbie Kowal of the North Beach Jazz Festival apologized for not having an agenda ready. "Frankly, I was too busy fighting for the future of my festival at City Hall today," he joked, but nobody really laughed.Read more »

The veto question

Supervisors approve Saturday park closure, but will Newsom kill yet another measure prized by progressives?
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steve@sfbg.com

There are bigger issues facing San Francisco than whether to close off part of Golden Gate Park to cars on Saturdays. But as political dilemmas go, Mayor Gavin Newsom's impending choice of whether to sign or veto the Healthy Saturdays initiative presents him with a difficult call on a matter of great symbolic importance.Read more »

After the Murmur

Artists and hipsters can bring dormant neighborhoods to life, but do they invite gentrification and displacement?
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news@sfbg.com

One could be forgiven for staring. Oakland's lower Telegraph Avenue on a wet, cold, windy Friday night is not a location renowned for its street parties, particularly those involving dozens of young, white hipsters happily mingling with an equal number of young African Americans, both watching an impromptu rap show.Read more »

Last call?

City commission pushes booze ban at North Beach festivals, raising concerns about an antifun crackdown at the start of the street fair season
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news@sfbg.com

Concerns about public drinking in North Beach and stifled public debate are conspiring to cripple a pair of popular outdoor festivals, possibly creating a troubling precedent for other events at the start of San Francisco's festival and street fair season.

"We'll have to cancel this year's festival," Robbie Kowal, who runs the North Beach Jazz Festival, said of the possibility of not getting his alcohol permit. "Seventy-five percent of our funding comes from the sale of alcohol."Read more »

Students, drugs, and a law of intended consequences

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A few weeks before Marisa Garcia started her first semester of college in 2000, a cop found a pipe with marijuana residue in her car. The pipe was hers, so she fessed up, went to court, paid her fine, and thought the case was closed.

Soon after, Garcia, the daughter of a single mother with three other college-age children, lost the financial aid she'd been counting on to cover her tuition costs at Cal State Fullerton. Read more »

Drugs of choice

Why some former cops argue that all drugs
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steve@sfbg.com

San Francisco is home to a wide variety of drug users, from the hardcore smack addicts on Sixth Street to the club kids high on ecstasy or crystal meth to the yuppies snorting lines off their downtown desks or getting drunk after work to the cornucopia of people across all classes smoking joints in Golden Gate Park or in their living rooms on weekends.Read more »

Pombo on the issues

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To say that Richard Pombo is an environmental skeptic is putting it mildly. Asked if Pombo accepted the worldwide scientific consensus that global warming is a fact, his spokesperson, Wayne Johnson, shilly-shallied. “What I have heard him say is the jury is still out,” Johnson cautiously ventured. “For those absolutely convinced, I would not put him in that category.” Read more »

Follow the Money

Pombo's campaign warchest leads to Abramoff and Big Oil
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It’s an old, old adage, but that doesn’t make it any less true: follow the money. And in Rep. Richard Pombo’s case, that money leads to some very interesting places, such as Abramoff, oil and Indians.Read more »

The Village Voice meltdown continues

More on how the guys from Phoenix are screwing up the nation's oldest alt-weekly
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The guys from Phoenix seem to have their hands full these days dealing with the Village Voice. Note to Mike Lacey: It’s a different world in New York. Everything you do is going to be watched. Your policy of ducking the media isn’t going to fly. Lacey did give an interview to the New York Observer , in which he argued that he wants real reporters, not just thumbsucking columnists. Read more »

Arnold and Emily

Global warming solutions dodged by the governor but understood by a little girl
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This is a story about a muscle-bound governor, a nine-year-old girl, and some polar bears. The governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger, the girl is Emily Magavern, and the polar bears or at least photos of them served as backdrops for a pair of speeches the two gave on global warming.

Emily, the daughter of a Sierra Club lobbyist, gave her speech in Sacramento on April 3 at a press conference outlining legislation that Democratic lawmakers have introduced to create a mandatory limit on greenhouse gases."I don't want the polar bears to lose their homes," Emily told the gathering. Read more »