Amanda Witherell

Kiwis score points as Oracle regroups

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After a week of one-boat "races," an argument over rules, and an angry sponsor making waves in international media, it would be easy to write off the America's Cup as the lamest party in town (so lame, in fact, that the organizers have ceased broadcasting the one-boat shows on YouTube).Read more »

Kiwis win first real America's Cup race as Oracle adapts to rejected rule change

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After a week of one-boat “races,” an argument over rules, and an angry sponsor making waves in international media, it would be easy to write off the America’s Cup as the lamest party in town (so lame, in fact, that the organizers have ceased broadcasting the one-boat shows on YouTube).

But, it was a week of wins for Emirates Team New Zealand, most obviously the solid drubbing they delivered to Luna Rossa on Saturday (7/13) during the first race at which two boats actually showed.Read more »

Is Larry Ellison cheating?

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If you’re wondering why the hell there was only one boat was out there “racing” in the first match of the America’s Cup on Sunday, here’s the rundown on “Ruddergate,” yet another contentious chapter in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup. Read more »

New Zealand's Cup

America's Cup, seen by many here as a billionaire's boat race, looks very different Down Under, with its culture of sailing and maritime innovation

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news@sfbg.com

A few weeks ago I was walking down the dock in the marina where I live, in Wellington, New Zealand, when I passed a woman and a young boy. I'd never seen them before, which is uncommon here in this municipal marina — about 100 boats — in a small suburb of the country's capital.

The boy was walking from berth to berth pointing out certain rig and hull features and expounding on them as only a future aficionado can. "Lots of different boats, huh?" I asked as I passed.

"Different than America," he confirmed in an accent the same as mine.Read more »

Circus battles "animal special interest groups"

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By Steven T. Jones

I’m still waiting for the dispatch from our correspondent at opening day of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant abuse trial, which I’ll probably post in the morning. Read more »

Profiles of change

Inauguration Issue: President Obama's call for citizen action is already resonating
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amanda@sfbg.com
Photos by Pat Mazzera

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America," President Barack Obama told US citizens on his Inauguration Day. Read more »

Obama kite

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By Amanda Witherell

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It was a great day to be out and about in San Francisco. This morning, before I headed to Civic Center to watch the swearing-in ceremony in front of City Hall, I was recalling where I had been in 2005 when Bush was inaugurated for the second time -- sitting glumly at my kitchen table in Sedgwick, Maine, listening to the brutal truth broadcast by NPR. Read more »

This land was your land

The American West at Risk confronts mine-all-mine mentality
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Anyone paying any kind of attention has a deep-gut feeling that things aren't going well for Earth. No matter how fancy or technologically advanced we get, everything humans make and break is fashioned from the resources at hand — water, air, petroleum, minerals, soil and its nutrients, and plants and trees and their fruit. Your MacBook may look space age, but it didn't fall from the sky. "Nearly everything you use every day is based on minerals mined somewhere, often leaving behind disfigured land and a toxic mess," Howard G. Wilshire, Jane E. Nielson, and Richard W. Read more »

LIT: Authors and SFBG talk saving the earth

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by Amanda Witherell

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Yes, even careless placement of renewable energy is hurting the land -- addressed in chapter five. Read more »

Losing the West

Green City: "Americans have to start caring about the survival of small communities, their local towns, and their local resources"
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Our society can't continue functioning the way it does. Exploiting the natural abundance of resources in the western United States, without balancing the needs of nature, has lead to the myriad environmental problems outlined in The American West at Risk, a book recently penned by Bay Area–based geologists Richard W. Hazlett, Jane E. Nielson, and Howard G. Read more »