Archive for January, 2008

Stephen Elliott on the Progressive Reading Series

Progressive REading Series posterSan Francisco writer Stephen Elliott, the author of “Happy Baby,” “Looking Forward To It,” and “My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up,” is also the founder of the Progressive Reading Series, which raises money for progressive political candidates. The series’ first event this year is Saturday at 7:00 pm at the Makeout Room.

I interviewed Elliott by IM on Wednesday evening.

You founded the Progressive Reading Series as a way to raise funds for progressive political candidates. Is that still the goal?

Yes. Well, the first year, 2004, we raised money for The point was just to get authors more involved in the political process. Then, in 2006, we became more targeted, and picked individuals, like Nick Lampson, running against particularly evil incumbents, like Tom DeLay. We figured our donations were too small to really matter to a big organization like MoveOn. But for a congressional challenger, a few thousand dollars can go a long way.

Bay Guardian vs SF Weekly – jury selection begins today

Newspaper industry folks & curious legal observers alike are gearing up at SF’s Superior Court for the 4 years in the waiting, Bay Guardian Co. vs New Times Media trial, for which jury selection begins this Thursday.
For those not keeping track, Guardian publisher Bruce Brugmann contends that for years “predatory” ad pricing practices from New Times owned SF Weekly & it’s then sister paper The East Bay Express were designed to put the Guardian at a disadvantage. No one likely doubts that the SF Weekly & Bay Guardian have a rivalry, but the question is, was the wealthier New Times chain operating within the law?
New Times ( founded in Phoenix Az and now also merged with Village Voice & LA Weekly as well as over a dozen other newsweeklies nationwide), have dismissed the claims made by Brugmann, and counter that he is just a feeble businessman unable to meet market demands.

Who Do You Love/Loathe?

leave yer answers in the comments after the jump…

Longtime KTVU anchor to retire

dennis_richmond.jpgDennis Richmond, who has anchored the evening news at Oakland’s KTVU TV for more than 30 years, announced today he will retire in May, when he turns 65.

The popular, stern-faced anchorman, one of the most visible black journalists in the Bay Area, has worked at the station since 1968. He survived the sudden, mysterious 1998 departure of co-anchor Elaine Corral and made the 10:00 evening newscast a perennial Nielsen ratings leader in the Bay Area.

Water main break a big story for Russians?

Yes, the tiger attack story was carried all over the world, but that was because it was Xmas and there was little else to write about. What about today? A water main break at 26th and Valencia made the website of Pravda — with a picture, thank you very much. And the Fox News TV station in Reno had video! Must have been a slow news day in Reno — perhaps Fox doesn’t feel the upcoming Democratic caucus there is worth promoting.

Is Gavin’s Justice Lite Going To Be Justice Served ?

I left the “Town Hall” meeting on the city’s plans for a “Community Justice Center” last night at the library with far more questions and frustrations than when I entered it.

Pitched to the public as a possible solution to solving the spiraling street crimes & homeless situation downtown, I get the feeling no one left anymore reassured that it will actually work, including the organizers sitting on the dais.

For more on the public reaction to the Mayor’s not so “original”, or well thought out concept for community justice, read on…

Tiger beat: Judge rules cops can examine victims’ car, phones

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday evening that San San Francisco police could search the impounded car and cell phones belonging to the victims of the Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo.

The news followed several other developments in the case, including the release of 911 tapes from the incident and the charging of one of the victims by San Jose police in an unrelated crime, as detailed in the previous post.

Tiger beat: 911 transcripts released

San Francisco police this evening released the transcript of the 911 call from one of the survivors of the Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo.

Dispatcher: They are on scene right now, but they have to stage until they are given permission to go inside.

Kulbir Dhaliwal: It’s a matter of life and death! How can they wait for permission to go in? (unintelligible)

Dispatcher: I understand that, but at the same time, we have to make sure the paramedics don’t get chewed out. Because, if the paramedics get hurt, then nobody is going to help you.


House committee lasers Giants management

While most of the Bay Area was masturbating over MacWorld product announcements, baseball commissioner Bud Selig was getting french-fried by Rep. Henry Waxman (D. – Calif) over the Mitchell Report‘s revelations that the management of the San Franicisco Giants knew about Barry Bonds’ steroids use and did nothing.

Waxman’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held hearings today on the Mitchell Report’s findings. His opening statement called out Giants management by name — after the jump.

Community Justice Center – Town Hall @ Main Library Tonight

With various crime issues seemingly on everyone’s mind in San Francisco these days, the city has moved another step closer to acknowledging the systems that were designed to encourage responsible behavior and punish miscreants are strained or broken.

Tonight, Tuesday January 15th at 5:30 PM there’s a community town hall meeting on the city’s new Community Justice Center (CJC) which will be opening by the summer at 575 Polk Street. The mayor is promising either another annoying & expensive punitive layer or an innovative approach to restorative justice to be built upon strong connections to the communities that it serves. According to supporters, The Town Hall tonight will provide an opportunity for members of the community, to give suggestions, critiques and compliments directly to the people running the justice system.

The CJC is a coolaborative project of operating as some sort of subsidiary of the Superior Court through mandate granted by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with the District Attorney, Public Defender, San Francisco Police Department, Sheriff, Human Services Agency, and the Department of Public Health.

Despite all the cooks already in the kitchen listed above, it will supposedly be shaped by the input and priorities that the public gives.


Here’s a map on the proposed borders in the Tenderloin & SOMA where cited low level offenders, “quality of life crimes” and misdemeanors will be sent to the CJC…

Details on the public meeting,
links and info on the program below:

Satire just means they love you

christian_mac_parody.jpgWith MacWorld in town, you might be interested in looking at some of the parodies of the I’m-a-Mac, I’m-a-PC television ads. They include:

A religious version (pictured at left), in which the PC is “a Christian” and the Mac is “a Christ-follower.” The geek is laden down with Bibles, “rule books” and bumper stickers, while the laid-back iGod just tries to do what Jesus said, man.

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