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@Large: Ai WeiWei on Alcatraz" highlights contemporary struggles for freedom of expression

This Week's Paper

feast coverFEAST: How to eat and drink your way through Rio, Paris, Italy, the California Coast, the exotic Outer Richmond, and more! Plus: Climate change protesters flood New York, and comedian Lakshminarayanan's 'Nerd Nation.' Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Bombshell BART report slams hiring of union-busting negotiator Tom Hock

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Independent investigators analyzing BART's recent turmultuous, rollercoaster-ride labor negotiations issued their report yesterday, concluding that last year's pair of damaging strikes could and should been avoided. The opinions that the analysts collected from the unions, management, and BART's Board of Directors covered a wide spectrum, but there were a couple of common themes. Read more »

Go do this thing tonight: Tell Supes Chiu and Campos how to make SF nightlife better

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Are you sick of San Francisco being a town that shuts down at 2am (and more realistically about an hour earlier)?

Are you annoyed that people keep moving next door to music venues and then complaining when the music venues hold music shows that involve, you guessed it, amplified live music?

Do you enjoy ranting about these issues and more, both in person and in long, exceedingly negative Facebook posts?Read more »

Legal aid funding for undocumented youth clears board committee

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Brian, who is 12, came to the United States from Guatemala with his younger brother, Edwin, who is seven. They arrived in a car driven by a coyote, an adult who ferried them across in an arrangement made with their family. But the brothers were quickly detained by Border Patrol agents.Read more »

The funkmaestro of Vulfpeck on gaming Spotify, German pronunciation mishaps, and Google search optimization

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By Jonathan Kirchner

Members of the band Vulfpeck describe themselves as a "half-Jewish German-American rhythm section." Creators of severely catchy, mostly-instrumental grooves, the four-piece — who first met in a German literature class at the University of Michigan — have built a following with their quirky YouTube videos: Each album track is accompanied by a cleverly shot and edited video of its recording. The videos not only capture the band's camaraderie, loose attitude, and sense of humor, but also their musical cohesion as a group. Each song is endlessly and effortlessly funky. Read more »

Lee and UC Berkeley institute take on income inequality

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Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and U.C. Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society are teaming up today [Wed/10] in Washington DC to release and discuss the institute’s first policy prescriptions for reducing inequality.

The policy brief—the first to be issued by the Haas Institute—will introduce research-based approaches suggested by a diverse array of economists looking at inequality through different lenses.Read more »

Deal reached in Transbay Tower tax district showdown

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The deal almost sounds too good to be true. After threats of lawsuits, frantic backdoor dealmaking and a very harried week for the Board of Supervisors, a deal was finally reached yesterday on a dispute over taxes in the area around the new Transbay Terminal and the Salesforce Tower. Read more »

SOS: A bill to protect oil refineries also threatens public access rights

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Gov. Brown. Veto SB 1300

This bill would establish a stealth template for how to gut the California Public Records Act one economic and political sector at a time. 

By Bruce B. Brugmann (with a First Amendment Coalition emergency message and a button for readers to request a Gov. Brown veto) 

Possibly the bill most damaging to the public interest in years is sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for signature. It is SB 1300, which amounts to an oil refinery protection bill proposed by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Assemblyperson Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), two legislators living in the shadow of the East Bay oil refineries who ought to know better. It was supported by oil companies, organized labor, and the California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)  and was passed by the Assembly on a 68-5 vote and by the Senate on a 34-0 vote. No debate, no discussion, no questions asked. 

The gist of the damage is that SB 1300 was amended at the last minute to force a CPRA requester to pay fees if a court rules against disclosure. As the California Newspaper Publishers Association explained in its current legislative bulletin, SB 1300 "would expand the definition of what constitutes a trade secret and erect an insurmountable barrier to any effort by a member of the public to obtain information about DOSH's performance in its role as a consumer watchdog over a refiner's conduct." Read more »

Mayor Lee: Welcome Fleet Week, prepare for disaster UPDATED

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s daily announcement of public events today included a strange pairing for tomorrow [Wed/10]: the Blue Angels will return to perform dangerous maneuvers over this densely populated city…and we need to prepare for a disaster.  

More specifically, his Press Office wrote: 

11:00 AM

Mayor Lee to kick off return of Fleet Week to San Francisco Bay Area & announce events, activities & disaster preparedness exercises.

Marines Memorial Club Library, 11th Floor

Read more »

Internet Slowdown marks fight on net neutrality

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Don’t be surprised if you go online tomorrow [Wed/10] and see a “loading” symbol – aka the proverbial “spinning wheel of death” – staring you in the face. No, that isn’t actually a technical problem – that’s what happens when geeks organize an online campaign.Read more »

Realtors give $600,000 to defeat anti-speculation tax

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Two Realtor groups have dumped nearly $600,000 into the campaign against Prop. G, the tax on flipping properties to discourage real estate speculation and evictions in San Francisco, a massive early donation that could signal the beginning of a campaign onslaught by the Realtors.Read more »

WATERS sign to Vagrant, drop new single "I Feel Everything"

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Van Pierszalowski, the songwriter and primary ringleader of SF's WATERS, has always seemed like a guy on the brink of wide(r)spread stardom. The band's music is an ear-pleasing mix of guitar-driven rock riffs and power pop hooks the size of Buicks; it's radio-ready without feeling squeaky-clean, in no small part thanks to Pierszalowski's plaintive vocals.

This may be the year it happens for WATERS. The band announced yesterday that it signed to the LA-based Vagrant Records, which will release its forthcoming EP, It All Might Be OK, on Oct. 14. Read more »

Tenderloin upstart Book & Job aims to level the art-gallery playing field

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Carson Lancaster is tired of the bullshit. He’s tired of watching the same handful of mainstream galleries hang the same artists and shun a majority of San Francisco’s young, talented artists. “It’s like that scene in Scanners. You know, the one where the guy’s head explodes? That’s what it feels like every time I walk into one of those places,” he said.

Lancaster is the owner of Book & Job, an art gallery that seeks to do exactly the opposite: make San Francisco’s art market accessible to both artists and consumers. Located on Geary and Hyde Streets, Book & Job blends into the grit of the Tenderloin and in no way resembles the blue-chip megaliths huddled toward Union Square. The space is tiny. There’s no team of attractive sales people standing at the entrance, no bubbly event photographers milling around, no tuxedos, and no free champagne.

Read more »

Catching up with burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese

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With a seductive and sexy nod to the past, modern pin-up and burlesque queen Dita Von Teese has been at the forefront of reviving a once nearly lost art form for two decades.

Bringing back the sense of classic style and glamour of the golden days of Hollywood and meshing it with the tantalizing teasing of the old-time burlesque circuit, Von Teese wraps up a two-night stand at the Fillmore tonight with her Burlesque: Strip, Strip, Hooray! show, a live revue featuring not only her own titillating talents, but a host of other performers as well, including Dirty Martini, Catherine D’Lish, and Lada Nikolska from the Crazy Horse Paris.

When Von Teese (real name: Heather Sweet) first got interested in retro styles and the bawdy and risqué performances of the past, there was just a small community of performers around the world that she recalls encountering; two decades later, she has watched the scene flourish and rapidly expand.

Read more »

Developers lobby hard to slash payments promised to Transbay Terminal and high-speed rail

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Will the San Francisco Board of Supervisors let developers of the biggest office towers proposed for San Francisco renege on promises to help pay for the Transbay Terminal reconstruction, extension of rail service to that site, and other public amenities? Or will Willie Brown successfully use politicians that he helped get into office — most notably Mayor Ed Lee and Sup. Jane Kim — to let the developers keep hundreds of millions of dollars in excess profits?Read more »

Owen Pallett on integrity, having his boyfriend as a manager, and the baroque pop of 'In Conflict'

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You probably wouldn’t assume that someone who’s been putting out solo material for nearly 10 years would be best known for their contributions to other artists’ work, but Owen Pallett shows us that it can happen, and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.Read more »