Cover Story

Sunshine superheroes

Three champions in the fight for open government

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From the nation's Capitol to local city halls, requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and local public records laws tend to be stymied by bureaucracy. Protecting the public's right to know requires fierce dedication, and for 28 years, the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has honored journalists, lawyers, citizens and others who have successfully used public records to hold government accountable. In an era of steep budget cuts and assaults on transparency laws, these first amendment champions deserve serious cred.Read more »

The G50: San Francisco's top bars

From splashy dives to upscale classics (and everything in between) — our favorite spots to grab a drink

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All the rage

25 years ago, queer activist network ACT UP redefined AIDS, changed politics, and saved lives. Can the rebooted ACT UP/SF mobilize a new generation?

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marke@sfbg.com

AIDS is so hot right now.Read more »

Out of place

Evictions are driving long-time renters out of their homes -- and out of SF. Here are the stories of several people being evicted

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news@sfbg.com 

In his State of the City address last week, Mayor Ed Lee cheerfully characterized San Francisco as "the new gravitational center of Silicon Valley." He touted tech-sector job creation. "We have truly become the innovation capital of the world," Lee said, "home to 1,800 tech companies with more than 42,000 employees — and growing every day."Read more »

The machine

Sup. Scott Wiener is relentless, driven, prolific — and changing San Francisco in sometimes alarming ways

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steve@sfbg.com

Scott Wiener is a political machine.

I don't mean that he's part of a political machine, although he is arguably a member of a few nascent operations in town, from the old-school Democratic Party establishment to the morphing amalgam of groups pushing what he calls a "livability" agenda. I mean that Supervisor Wiener, who represents District 8, is a machine — almost robotic in his tireless, 24/7 engagement with all things political.Read more »

Mestranda Cigarra kicks ass

She started practicing capoeira when women didn't do that kind of thing — now she runs the show at her own school

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caitlin@sfbg.com

HEALTH AND WELLNESS It is impossible to climb the stairs to the San Francisco chapter of Abadá Capoeira and not know that you are in the Mestranda's house.Read more »

Sacred space

On its 30th anniversary, SFJazz gambles on a 700-seat, $63 million concert hall and HQ. Can it re-energize a San Francisco scene?

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emilysavage@sfbg.com

MUSIC There will be no bad seats at the new SFJazz Center in Hayes Valley; or at least, that's the goal.Read more »

How to buy followers and influence people

For $26, I gained 2,500 followers -- and you can, too! Adventures in being fake popular on Twitter

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caitlin@sfbg.com

CAREERS AND ED I bought my friends. For 2,500 of them, I paid $26 — and you can do it too.

It bore reflection one day last month: Why does New York journalist-party disaster Cat Marnell have 20,000 more Twitter followers than me? Her quote about quitting her xoJane editorship to do angel dust was gold, but still.Read more »

The end of the world as we know it

Pondering the alarmist, the mystical, the way-out-there ... and the surprisingly hopeful sides of Dec. 21, 2012

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steve@sfbg.com

It's easy to dismiss all the hype surrounding the auspicious date of December 21, 2012. There's the far-out talk of Mayan prophecy and the galactic alignment. There's the pop-culture lens that envisions the apocalypse. There are the extraterrestrials, about to return.

But even the true believers in Mayan folklore and its New Age interpretations say there's no end of the world in sight. Time doesn't end when the Mayan cycle concludes; it's actually a new beginning.Read more »

Icy hot looks

Get fierce with winter fashion -- club-ready stunners and wet weather must-haves from local stores

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STREET SEEN Our stylist for this week's "Icy Hot" photoshoot Dick Van Dick was a little twerked from the party scene the night before, but in order to properly express the fashion aesthetic of his Arcam style collective, he was good enough to indulge me with a single quote.

"I believe in the power of the retrospective fashion sense," the Bay Area native texted me. "Nothing new ever happens. Recycle, reuse, resell." Read: vintage couture, the eternal refuge of the low budget club kid.Read more »