Archive for January, 2007

After smash by cement truck, bicyclists are up in arms

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Photo: SF Bicycle Coalition

After a 28-year-old cyclist was critically injured Monday at the problematic corner of Market and Octavia, bicycle activists gathered at the intersection this morning to press the city and CalTrans to do something about the confusing junction.

The problem is that traffic coming inbound on Market St. has no obvious way to get on the freeway — except to turn right, directly onto an onramp, and most people have a hard time understanding how turning right on a green light could be a problem. But the intersection wasn’t built for such turns, and right turns are forbidden, as several signs point out.
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Babble On at Dog Eared Books

petrice.jpgI went on Thursday night to a new literary event, Babble On, which was not quite as advertised in the SF Weekly… no Bucky Sinister, no Shawna Virago… and Peter Orner was not the MC but a featured reader. Anyway, it was a swell show. The MC was Petrice Gaskin (pictured), dressed in a dandyish chapeau, shirt and tie, but also, confusingly, a wool jumper and stockings.

Unlike most such events, the open mike led off the evening instead of following the featured readers, and the logic of this became so clear that I decided all literary events should be run this way.

The audience and the performers were crammed into a small space in the back of the store, where there was room for about 14 chairs. Then there were people standing all through the store in the aisles between shelves and tables of books. Once again I was impressed by the willingness of young San Franciscans to stand for over an hour to hear not-famous people read their work.
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Burning Man founders in trademark dispute

According to an SF Weekly article, John Law, co-founder of Burning Man, is suing co-founder and “leader” Larry Harvey, either for the payment of lost revenue on use of trademarks held by Burning Man, LLC, or for the opening of the trademarks to the public domain.

Trademarks? LLCs? Lawsuits? This is the counterculture?

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Local coalition organizes to halt Google/Earthlink WiFi deal

A local coalition has announced opposistion to the proposed Google/Earthlink free wi-fi deal in SF with a new press statement. Calling themselves Public Net San Francisco, they are challenging the city’s contract with Earthlink/Google, with endorsers & supporters comprised of “community groups”, “privacy rights” advocates, and even a local backbone provider whose clients include Archive.org.

They instead propose a plan to utilize “the City’s existing high speed fiber optic network as the backbone to build a truly modern, fast, and free, public communications system.”

One things for sure, this will mean further hitches in getting the few sq miles of WiFi rolled out that were proposed over a year ago…

More on the groups press statement after the jump
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Listen up

The New Literatti are rampant tonight around the city. You may partake of:

A job’s a job

parking.jpgAfter figures came out showing an increase in 2006 on attacks on San Francisco’s parking control officers — better known as meter maids, no matter their gender — the New York Times published a prominent feature on Jan. 6 (r.r.), “San Franciscans Hurl Their Rage at Parking Patrol.” The Examiner followed up last week with a piece suggesting Fear of attack may be hurting productivity for the Cushman-driving squadron.

Today two more prominent articles came out.

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F*ck Art, Where’s The 2 Buck Chuck?

I knew something was afoot in the art world, when my overly educated friend, a recent transplant invited me to a gallery show recently featuring the barely bearable bleatings of the Caroliner Rainbow crew…

Grux & his noisy ever changing tribe of talentless trampoline terrorizing tramps have been longtime soup kitchen celebrities and came out of semi retirement for some sort of goings involving The California College of Arts.

I looked the event up online, but there was a definite curmudgeonly anti-alcohol message included about the performance that was downright depressing for an old drunk like me, so i skipped it. What joy in trekking into some cold wherehouse district to hang out witha bunch of “arty” types, without at least a rewarding plastic cup of two buck chuck?

Not very Fecal Face if ya ask me…

So while sucking down a half decent Sonoma cabernet @ home I had to leave it to an Atlanta based art publication to annoint me with the inside scoop on goings on in SF’s “art scene”…

…and so we can turn to the Southern based folks at ArtPapers.org who recently published an overview by David Spalding of administrative goings on amdst SF’s art education hubs The SF Art Institute and California College of The Arts. Spaulding interviewed Jens Hoffmann, the new director imported from London at CCA, as well as others to get a sense of the transformations in the city’s “art scene”.
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Save the champagne for later

qe2.jpgThe luxury liner Queen Elizabeth II arrived in San Francisco last night on a round-the world cruise, the first time the ship has visited here since 2000.

Unfortunately, the visit was not much of a high point for a percentage of the passengers. Over 300 passengers and crew got sick with norovirus — that’s about 9 percent of passengers — though only 4 were still sick by the time they got here. The illness causes stomach and intestinal upset. Sick passengers were confined to their cabins, but received “free medical attention,” a chirpy woman reported on KPIX. She added that anti-contagion measures included the loss of condiments from dinner tables, and “they even took away the fancy menu covers, and we were handed paper menus — which we then destroyed.”

No one got a refund.

The Web Celeb 25

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Congratulations to San Francisco’s Violet Blue on her naming to the Forbes Web Celeb 25. Go Violet Go!

“The Forbes.com Web Celeb 25 is a list of the biggest, brightest and most influential people on the Internet. From bloggers to podcasters to YouTube stars, these are the people who are creating the digital world from the bottom up.”

Of note: As San Franciscans like to believe they are the center of the digital universe, this list is dominated by our brethren to the south. Maybe next year… WTF!?!?.

Once More with Buffy at the Parkway

Oakland’s Parkway theater is once again showing the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Once More With Feeling.” I went and checked out the previous showing of this and blogged about it here. I am, as the Californians say “stoked” to see this again. The atmosphere at the first showing was lovely and happy and bursting at the seams with geeky joy.

The showing will be on Thursday, February 15, at 9:15pm. There will be two other episodes shown besides the musical. Also, if you do plan to go and aren’t one of the fans that has the entire episode memorized you may want to consider bringing along the lyrics printed out, as captioning is *not* turned on for these showings.

Also of note, on Thursday, March 15, at 9:15pm the Parkway will be showing three episodes of Joss Whedon’s space western Firefly. Wear your brown coats and a hat that shows you aren’t afraid of anything. There is a six dollar cover.

*Thanks to Colin for the tip*

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