Archive for February, 2008

Cody’s to move back to downtown Berkeley

The one Cody’s Bookstore remaining from their overly — some say foolishly — otimistic period of expansion, the one on Berkeley’s upscale 4th St. shopping street, will close by the end of March. The company will reopen in downtown Berkeley, on Shattuck near the BART station. This means moving from a very large store in an upscale yuppie shopping area to a smaller store in an area with much more foot traffic, of both UC Berkeley students (who never go to 4th St.) and residents.

Upcoming art

friedlander_newyork.jpgOpening Saturday at SFMOMA, the much-anticipated Lee Friedlander show. Photographs by the American master are characterized by irony, humor and spontaneous observations on the street.

At Femina Potens on March 1, the transgender-friendly group Fresh Meat opens a show by southern California painter Jackadandy — who was the performance artist Chris Carraher in San Francisco in the 1980s — and Maxx Sizeler.

Are Black People History In San Francisco?

In 1970 San Francisco’s census reported about 96,000 black folks living in San Francisco, but there’s been a steady decline in those numbers, and as we enter the “Year of the Rat”, it’s estimated there’s around 38,000 black residents left.
A Town Hall meeting is scheduled tonight at The War Memorial on Van Ness at 7 pm sharp to discuss this and other issues relevant to the local African-American community.

Certain to be a topic of interest is the ongoing buzz about “redevelopment” of Bayview Hunters Point, where according to Ethics Commission Documents mega housing contractor Lennar has spent $850,000 greasing consultants, lawyers, and other interested palms in it’s proposed HP Superfund site landgrab.

Meanwhile local community activists have raised about $4000 and with volunteers garnered over 11,000 signatures in just 10 days for a ballot initiative to fight the east coast based mega builder’s master plan, and are demanding a 50% affordability quotient in any new housing built.

Should be an interesting event…

Lost Treasures of San Francisco : Z National Forest

Yesterday, Feb 19th, was the 4 year anniversary of the battle & seizure of 701 Columbus led by General Aaron Peskin and his regiment of Telegraph Hill Dwellers…

Check out Ranger Wayne Zebzda in a prescient 1982 interview under a long gone magnolia tree at this impromptu mock National Park in North Beach…

More on the controversial history of the triangular 4,119 square feet plot adjacent to Washington Square Park, and where it stands today after the jump…

Photo of the Day: Hawk over Noe

Anyone birders out there who can help with the identity of this one?

Onslaught of Euros

For those of you that live in the more touristy parts of the city, you may have notice a total invasion by English-speaking tourists from Europe. Yikes. Supposedly a manifestation of the badly valued dollar. I was chatting with cafe manager at 901 Columbus on how my Dutch friends were buying up a storm when they were here a few weeks ago, and a guy next to me pipes up, “I’m from Holland!” and continued to agree with the points that- yes, Levi’s were ridiculously cheap- and it was retribution from 10 years ago and our expensive dollar. I’ve passed bunches of men- for some reason mostly guys?- on the sidewalk and in cafes, transit, and restaurants. All from New Zealand, Australia, England, with a spattering of other countries- Japan, Korea & China. It just seems a lot more intense than other tourist periods (namely, July & August). Perhaps the badly valued dollar is the reason a MUNI employee finally asked for my ticket on the cable car? I’ve been asked roughly four times out of twenty-five.

Get Ready To Be Sprayed… But Will "Sexual Confusion" Be Enough?

Discovered in a Berkeley backyard by a retired entomologist awhile back, the presence of the rarely seen Light Brown Apple Moth will soon have you ducking for cover.

Last May, I mentioned the agricultural quarantine that the Light Brown Apple Moth had caused statewide, and now we get official word that the aerial chemical spraying campaign is on it’s way to San Francisco.

The intentions of the chemicals used are to “create sexual confusion”, and get random male mating to occur, which shouldn’t be hard in San Francisco.

While the pesticides & insect “phermones” to be used claim on their containers “Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist,” that won’t stop California’s multi-billion dollar agricultural industry from forcing you to do just that.

Officials claim no “adverse” effects are expected when aerial dissipation of vast quantities of CheckMate OLR-F and LBAM-F will be sprayed over the Bay Area beginning as early as June. Tell that to hundreds of residents of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties who have reported health problems from last years coating. One of the more dangerous aspects contained in the sprays is a chemical called 2 hydroxy 4n octyloxybenzophenone, an endocrine disrupter that is contained in the “microcapsules”.

Either way, whether you like it or not, it’s your turn Bay Area…

State and local agricultural officials will “explain the Light Brown Apple Moth eradication program and address any concerns” in two “meetings” in SF & Oakland next week.

The locations & times of the two brief 1 hour scheduled public meetings are listed below, as well as info on the relatively untested stew they’ll be dropping on a vast swath of urban populous. A link to an anti-spray website and a likely useless petition is also included for those who wish to practice the futile prospects of “online opposition”.

Foggy Enough to Be Summer

Cab driver says, as we crest Nob Hill, “Look at that,.” I peek over the seat and see ahead of us through the gap of apartment buildings on Russian Hill, tons of fog laying low where the Bay should be, and above it, a clear blue sky. He says, “It’s foggy enough to be summer.”

Oh, and the fog horns are already going- second day in a row.

Rep. Lantos dies

Rep. Tom Lantos, the Holocaust survivor who represented San Mateo in Congress for many years, has died.

The 80 year old Lantos announced only last month that he would not stand for re-election this year.

Photo of the Day: Ferry Building, Farmers Market

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