Bruce Brugmann

Flash: I won't be throwing out the first pitch today to open the World Series

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Amazing.  Peter Hartlaub nominated me Tuesday (Oct. 26) in his Chronicle pop culture column to throw out the first pitch to open the World Series game in San Francisco. 

In the spirit of  "getting the rest of the country into the swing of things" in San Francisco,  he also nominated actor Sean Penn, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. And he suggested Lawrence Ferlinghetti read the national anthem, that Tony Hall sing the national anthem,  that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence become the new ball dudes, and that a slow-moving  flotilla of Critical Mass kayaks make the other boats late for the game in McCovey Cove.   Read more »

Steve Moss: the big duck

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WORKING DOGGEDLY TO PIN DOWN THE EDITOR OF THE POTRERO VIEW WHO IS ALSO A CANDIDATE FOR SUPERVISOR FROM DISTRICT 10

We've been trying to pin Steve Moss down on some key questions.  Over the weekend, I sent him some questions by email.  He responded, but ducked or ignored the real points and never gave us any straight answers.

Here's our exchange, my questions and his answers -- unedited,  followed by some comments from me as we doggedly try to make sense of where Steve Moss really stands on key issues in the district. Read more »

The good old days in Rock Rapids, Iowa, the Fourth of July, 1940-1953

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(Note: In July of 1972, when the Guardian was short a Fourth of July story, I sat down and cranked out this one for the front page on my trusty Royal Typewriter. I now reprint it each year on the Bruce blog, with some San Francisco updates and postscripts.)

Back where I come from, a small town beneath a tall standpipe in northwestern Iowa, the Fourth of July was the best day of a long, hot summer.

The Fourth came after YMCA camp and Scout camp and church camp, but before the older boys had to worry about getting into shape for football. It was welcome relief from the scalding, 100-degree heat in a town without a swimming pool and whose swimming holes at Scout Island were usually dried up by early July. But best of all, it had the kind of excitement that began building weeks in advance.

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Editorial: No matter who wins on Prop 16, full speed ahead with CCA

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EDITORIAL Proposition 16 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s monopoly power grab — has to rank as the most venal, corrupt abuse of the initiative system in California history. The utility spent nearly $50 million to pay for a misleading signature drive, mount a campaign of lies and distortions, create bogus front groups, and flood the airwaves with ads — all in an effort to convince Californians to vote against their own interests. It's a case study in why the state needs initiative reform (a ban on paid signature gatherers and limits on corporate campaign contributions would be good places to start).

At press time, we didn't know how the election would turn out — but this much is clear: San Francisco needs to move ahead with community choice aggregation and continue to push for public power anyway.

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Memorial Day in Rock Rapids, Iowa, circa 1940s-50s

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When I was growing up in my hometown of Rock Rapids, Iowa, a farming community of 2,800 in the northwest corner of the state, Memorial Day was the official start of summer.

We headed off to YMCA camp at Camp Foster on West Okiboji Lake and Boy Scout camp at Lake Shetek in southwestern Minnesota. The less fortunate were trundled off to Bible School at the Methodist Church.Read more »

Deadline Poet Calvin Trillin writes on the Gulf oil spill

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On the Gulf oil spill

Because of this spill

That "Drill, baby, drill,"

Which always seemed shrill,

Now seems shriller still

And certainly will

When we get the bill.

Calvin Trillin, The Nation (5/24/10)

SPJ's Journalism Innovations conference starts Fri/30

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Now in its third year, Journalism Innovations is the West Coast’s premiere showcase for groundbreaking journalism ideas, media innovation and community networking. Produced by the Society of Professional Journalists-Northern California, Independent Arts and Media, The University of San Francisco, and the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism, Journalism Innovations is playing a vital part in shaping the next phase of the industry.

This event, combined this year with the SPJ Region 11 Spring Conference, will bring in hundreds of working journalists, educators, advocates, citizen media-makers, inventors, recruiters, students and job seekers.  Join the leaders shaping the future of news. Register today, or sponsor to gain high-profile exposure for your organization! Visit the conference website or join our Facebook group for the latest details.

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PBS's Frontline edits out single payer

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Documentary misrepresented advocates as supporters of a public option
4/23/10

Silencing supporters of single-payer, or Medicare for All, is a media staple, but PBS's Frontline found a new way to do that on the April 13 special Obama's Deal--by selectively editing an interview with a single-payer advocate and footage of single-payer protesters to make them appear to be activists for a public option instead. Read more »

Memorial services set for Tricia Taborn--wear a dramatic hat!!

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Memorial services for Tricia Taborn, the great San Francisco spirit who died April 7, have been set for Saturday, May 1, from 1 to 5 p.m.at Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, just south of Solano Avenue in North Berkeley.

Her husband Gerald Baron recommends that, in honor of Tricia's love for flamboyant hats in dramatic colors, her friends come wearing  a dramatic hat in the Tricia Taborn tradition. More details will follow on this blog.Read more »