Bruce Brugmann

Joe Bulgo: The neglected hero of Pearl Harbor

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This is the incredible story of the neglected hero of Pearl Harbor.

His name is Joe Bulgo and he lived across the street from our family for years on 14th Avenue in the West Portal area. I knew him as a neighbor, and our daughter and son played with his two daughters. His wife Val for decades has sold and still sells fine jewelry in a downtown department store. Daughter Linda played the star Snow White for years in Beach Blanket Babylon and now has her own show in Las Vegas. Daughter Dianne is the catering director at the St. Francis Hotel.  And our families shared a wonderful domestic helper, Rose Zelalich.

But neither our family nor any of his neighbors had any idea of his Pearl Harbor heroism until his daughter Linda gave me a copy of a story on Joe in the December issue of the 1990 Readers Digest. Read more »

Miami First Amendment attorney: election suppression is "unbelievably awful"

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Thomas R. Julin, one of the top First Amendment attorneys in the country, emailed me this afternoon about the election suppression situation in Miami. Julin, an attorney with the firm of Hunton & Williams in Miami, reported that "the election situation here has been just unbelievably awful."Read more »

Extra! Extra! Gov. Rick Scott welcomes you to the State of Florida on election suppression day

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And so, thanks to Republican Governor Rick Scott and his Republican allies, the lines of voters were once again impossibly long at Florida voting places and many voters started chanting dramatically on national television, "Let us vote, let us vote, let us vote." It was a chant that rang throughout many battleground states where Republicans had the power to reduce early voting and implement other policies designed to keep the lines long and to make it as difficult as possible for prospective Democrats to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Read more »

Halloween 1951: Fast times in Rock Rapids, Iowa

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The tale of what really happened on Halloween Eve in 1951 in Rock Rapids, Iowa.  (Reprinted by popular demand.)

As I was preparing to update my annual Halloween blog, I checked Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle to see what the action looked like for Halloween on Wednesday.

The Giants had just swept the World Series and Kevin Fagan’s front page story caught the spirit of  Wednesday’s parade and celebration, “We’re No. 1, let’s party, Celebration likely to bring a million to downtown SF.”  There was no mention of Halloween in his story and the only reference to mischief on Halloween was a dire warning from Police Chief Gregg Suhr.  “If you’re coming (to San Francisco) to do mischief, don’t come.” Read more »

Avalos, Campos, Kim, Olague: Four profiles of courage at City Hall

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Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim, and Christina Olague earned profiles of courage for their votes to reinstate suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi up against enormous pressure for a political assassination, accelerated by Mayor Lee’s demand for a pre-election vote.

And the other seven supervisors, well, they helped answer the question, who’s afraid of Willie Brown? Who’s afraid of Rose Pak?Read more »

The Mirkarimi vote: Will there be some profiles of courage?

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(See the postscript for the Chronicle's shameful crucifixion coverage of Mirkarimi and a timely, newsworthy oped it refused to run by Mirkarimi's former girl friend. And how Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders ran the Nieves piece on her blog. Damn good for you, Debra Saunders.)

On Jan. 6, 2011, the Bay Citizen/New York Times broke a major investigative story headlined “Behind-the-Scenes Power Politics: The Making of Ed Lee.” The story by Gerry Shih detailed how then Mayor Gavin Newsom, ex-Mayor Willie Brown, and his longtime political ally Rose Pak orchestrated an “extraordinary political power play” to make Ed Lee the interim mayor to replace Newsom, the lieutenant governor-elect.

The story also outlined the start of a chain of events that leads to the vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday on whether Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi keeps his job.

Shih reported that “word had trickled out” that the supervisors had narrowed the list of interim candidates to three—then Sheriff Michael Hennessey, former Mayor Art Agnos, and Aaron Peskin, then chairman of the city’s Democratic party.  But the contenders “were deemed too liberal by Pak, Brown, and Newsom, who are more moderate.” Read more »

The return of the Irish Newsboys to Lefty O'Doul's

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Fresh from a recent command performance at Lee Houskeeper's Boys Night Out gathering at Lefty O'Doul's, the Irish Newsboys return to Lefty O'Doul's this Friday night.

Friday, October 5 from 6:30pm-9:30pm @ Lefty O'Doul's, 333 Geary, SF

Sunshine eclipsed

Supervisors reject Sunshine Ordinance Task Force members for stealthy political reasons

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As an advocate for the passage of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance in the early 1990s, I felt obligated to take my first and only City Hall position and serve as a founding member of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. I served for l0 years and helped with many other good members to build the task force into a strong and respected agency for helping citizens get access to records and meetings and hold city officials accountable for suppressing access and information.Read more »

Nicholas Perez drives Robotics Team 1717 to the No. 1 position in the world

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Well, my addiction to robotics continues as the fabled Dos Pueblos Robotics Team 1717, led by my grandson Nicholas Perez as the ace driver,  has been ranked number one in the world out of 2,332 robots. The team is from Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California.Read more »

Louis Dunn asks ex-President Bush: Was the Iraq war worth it?

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Lead paragraph in the lead story in Thursday's New York Times (12/29/11):

"BAGHDAD--The Obama administration is moving ahead with the sale of nearly $11 billion worth of arms and training for the Iraqi military despite concerns that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is seeking to consolidate authority, create a one party Shiite-dominated state and abandon the American-backed power-sharing government."Read more »