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Vote to give Muni more money, raise the minimum wage, discourage real estate speculation, and send Campos to Sacramento

This Week's Paper

coverDavid Campos for assembly, Wendy Aragon for City College board, soda, Muni money and the anti-speculation tax round out a controversial list of election 2014 ENDORSEMENTS. Plus: Yarrr, it's the Treasure Island Music Fest! And a new book collects George Kuchar's shouts and murmurs.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Fall ballot gets stripped of progressive measures

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The San Francisco Tenants Union suffered a pair of disappointing setbacks in the last week – first when a referendum on the Parkmerced project narrowly failed to qualify for the fall ballot, then when progressive supervisors withdrew a proposed ballot measure to prevent demolition of existing rental housing – leaving the fall ballot without any progressive measures (unless one counts the sales tax measure that was unanimously approved this week by the Board of Supervisors). Read more »

Behind the yuba: A trip to Hodo Soy Beanery's factory floor

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When I was fourteen, Snorkel Mom and I went to Japan to visit my Japanese “grandma” Kiyo. She lived in Tokyo and I remember one morning walking with her to a tiny, closet-sized building that had housed the neighborhood tofu shop in the very same spot for several hundred years. We took home a block of the freshest, most exquisite tofu I had ever eaten -- nothing like the hard blocks of flavorless tofu found at most stores here in the States. So when I heard that there was a small company making fresh, traditional tofu in Oakland, I knew it would be worth hopping over the Bay to see what they had to offer. Read more »

Al Gore calls for an "American spring"

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In an interview with Keith Olberman Tuesday night  on his Current TV show,   Al Gore called for "an American spring" to counter the assault of the teaparty Republicans

and to go on the offensive from the grassroots and on the internet.  Gore was eloquent in his Goreish way and made many of the right points.

Olberman asked him, quite diplomatically, if a Democrat ought to run against  Obama and if Gore would support a Democratic primary fight.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Sandra (with Leon), 18th Street and San Carlos

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Happy birthday, Chet

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Judy Davis, the longtime partner of the late Chet Helms, sent out her annual birthday card for Chet to his legion of friends and followers.

HIs birthday was Aug. 2 and he died in 2005 at the age of 69.   He was a legendary promoter of rock music, creator of Chet Helms and the Family Dog at the old Avalon Ballroom, icon of the Summr of Love,  loser to Bill Graham in the rock battles of the l960s, a great San Francisco spirit who spread good will and good vibes wherever he went.   Read more »

SF Giants asked to take a stand against racism UPDATED

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Updated with response from SF Giants at bottom of post

The San Francisco Giants will host the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight (July 31), beginning a three-game series that will determine the first place slot in the National League West. A lot of eyes will be on our 2010 league champions – all the more reason, says a classic Mission District arts and culture organization, for them to take a stand against racist anti-immigration laws. Read more »

Stop the right-wing revolutionaries

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The revolution has begun, but we aren't the revolutionaries. That was the disturbing thought that occurred to me this morning as I listened to Fresh Air on KALW and its interview with Robert Draper, the New York Times Magazine journalist who is writing a book about the House of Representatives, where Tea Party backed members almost just succeeded in bringing down government as we know it.Read more »

Complete interview: "Between Two Worlds" directors Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow

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In 1981 Deborah Kaufman founded the nation's first Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco. Thirteen years later, with similar festivals burgeoning in the wake of SFJFF's success — there are now over a hundred around the globe — she left the festival to make documentaries of her own with life partner and veteran local TV producer Alan Snitow.

Their latest, Between Two Worlds, which opens at the Roxie Fri/5 while playing festival dates, could hardly be a more personal project for the duo. Both longtime activists in various Jewish, political, and media spheres, Snitow and Kaufman were struck — as were plenty of others — by the rancor that erupted over the SFJFF's 2009 screening of Simone Bitton's Rachel. That doc was about Rachel Corrie, a young American International Solidarity Movement member killed in 2003 by an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer while standing between it and a Palestinian home on the Gaza Strip.

As different sides argued whether Corrie's death was accidental or deliberate, she became a lightning rod for ever-escalating tensions between positions within and without the U.S. Jewish populace on Israeli policy, settlements, Palestinian rights, and more — with not a few commentators amplifying the conservative notion that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, even (or especially) when it comes from Jews themselves.

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Class clowns

Back Alley Theater's Country Club Catastrophe puts a new farce on the tragically burgeoning dimensions of the class divide

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THEATER Linda Brown is a maid at the end of her tether, and tender, as the much-put-upon employee-slave of an exclusive country club. The signs are there from the moment she steps onto the stage: the circles under the young woman's eyes, her frightened stare, the desperate swigs from a ready flask, not to mention her shameless histrionic intensity as she addresses the audience about the soul-sucking richies perpetually at her back.Read more »

Keith Olberman is back -- and he's mad as hell about four hypocrisies in Washington

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It's good to see Keith Olberman is back and in time to cover the end of the debt limit crisis. He's on Current TV (Al Gore is chairman and Keith interviewed him Monday night) at 8 p.m. five days a week on Channel 170 in San Francisco.  Here's his summing up of the crisis on his Monday night show.

 

A song and dance at City Hall

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It was a lively scene on the steps of City Hall Aug. 2, as back-to-back press events featured live performances, lots of cheering, and support for new legislation that supporters hope will benefit low-wage workers, small businesses, and musicians.

Spirits were high at the Progressive Workers' Alliance (PWA) rally, as organizers anticipated strong support for an ordinance they helped craft which aims to prevent wage theft by strengthening the powers of the city's Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement (OLSE). Read more »

Mayor's race a tight pack, but Gascón lags in DA's contest

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Despite the hype and spin from various mayoral campaigns and newspapers, the big story in yesterday's release of semi-annual campaign finance reports is that there isn't much of a story: It's pretty much what everyone has been expecting, a tight field of qualified mayoral candidates with comparable financial resources.Read more »

The crucial question: why didn't Obama invoke the 14th amendment and seize the day?

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For me, the crucial question for President Obama is why he didn't take the advice of former President Bill Clinton, Rep. John Garamendi, and others who urged him to invoke  the 14th Amendment and its “validity of the public debt” point and then unilaterally raise the debt ceiling.

The Tea Party Republicans had manufactured a phony crisis with the debt ceiling, linked it to their wrongway issue of tax reduction, and then held the nation hostage to their  maniacal demands for trillions of  cuts to domestic programs.
Armageddon was nigh. Read more »

Appetite: At Beefeater Distillery, London

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One jumps at the chance to spend a day at London's Beefeater Distillery, particularly when given a personal tour by Beefeater's master distiller Desmond Payne. Gracious and mannered, Payne has been making gin for over 40 years, his early days being at Plymouth Gin. As a guest of Beefeater, my trip to London was full of unforgettable days, and this was one of them.

Join me on the photo tour, above, through the distillery, one that has been in operation since 1820 - the longest running London Dry Gin actually made in London.

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Brian Wilson ain't got nothing on the men of "Whisker Wars"

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If the hirsute heroes of Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, and Ax Men haven’t fully satisfied your appetite for bearded he-men, the executive producer of those gems has ditched the “tough vocation” façade and introduced a show that’s purely about the fur: IFC's Whisker Wars, which debuts Fri/5. The show trails men around the U.S. as they prep and groom for the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Trondhjem, Norway with the long-standing champs of Germany looming in the distance.

Read more »