Archive for November, 2009

Beat poet Lenore Kandel, recalled by Stephanie Salter

Lenore Kandel holding 'The Love Book.' SF Chronicle photo by Gordon Peters.

When hallowed beat goddess Lenore Kandel died six weeks ago, the Chronicle published a nice memorial, with quotes from fellow travelers Peter Coyote, Gerard Nicosia, and others.

I just became aware of another piece, by former SF Examiner columnist Stephanie Salter, now writing for the Terre Haute, Ind. Tribune-Star. In the essay Salter, a former neighbor of Kandel’s on Bernal Heights, recalls Kandel as an aged, infirm neighbor whose infamy as an avatar of the sexual revolution Salter wasn’t even aware of.

Kandel’s 1966 poetry volume “The Love Book” was judged obscene by a San Francisco jury in a widely covered trial; the verdict was overturned on appeal. Kandel was also said to be one of the founders of the Diggers, and she was the model for a character in Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur:

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In Bangalore, Newsom inks Sister City agreements

On his trip to Bangalore, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has signed several “memorandums of understanding” (or “MoUs,” as the Indian paper has it) with our Indian sister city. The agreements, in the areas ranging from health care to culture and fashion, are intended to strengthen the relationship between the two cities. Here’s the news release from Newsom’s office.

Don’t forget, Bangalore is a Metblogs city.

Related: I visited Bangalore for a week in April 2007 and blogged my impressions of the city of six million.

CHP radar on Deadman’s Curve

CHP_carThose 40 m.p.h. speed limit signs recently installed on the Bay Bridge’s S-curve (aka Deadman’s Curve since the fatal semi truck plunge early this month) mean business.

How do I know? I was just nabbed by a CHP officer with a hand-held radar gun, standing next to her car at the end of the S-curve, at the point where the S-curve roadway rejoins the old roadway just before the tunnel.

So resist the temptation to accelerate when you get to the end of the S-curve, folks, unless you want to spend the rest of your trip across the Bay Bridge with a CHP car on your tail and everyone else laughing at you.

KTVU-TV story: CHP launches crackdown on speeders at S-curve

Celebrate Thanksgiving like a native

The annual Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz happens at, yes, sunrise on Thanksgiving. Boats ($14) leave Pier 33 beginning at 4:45 a.m. for the Rock, where attendees will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz by (what were then called) American Indians.

Affluent teens often blotto at parties, parents find

In a long feature in today’s LA Times about the death of an affluent teenager at an Orinda party where alcohol flowed freely, local parents were stunned to find out “that students from good families and strong schools” commonly attended such parties. Indeed, passing out drunk was such a common occurrence that “teens who passed out at parties often were ignored” (emphasis mine). Yeah — oh, her, she’s always passing out.

In other drunk news, Sen. John Kerry’s filmmaker daughter Alexandra was arrested in L.A. Thursday on a DUI charge, but released after the breathalyzer showed she was under the limit. Kerry’s filmmaker daughter is not to be confused with Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who is also a filmmaker and also named Alexandra.

At the Roxie: ‘Ready, Set, Bag!’ benefit for SF Food Bank

The film “Ready, Set, Bag!” (formerly titled “Paper or Plastic?“) will be shown tonight at the Roxie Theatre in a benefit for the San Francisco Food Bank, the city’s non-profit group that helps feed thousands of families every week using groceries and produce donated by stores and growers. The program starts at 7:00 pm.

The film follows the finalists in the National Grocers Association Best Bagger Championship, which is exactly what it sounds like, I guess. Also on the program is a short, Leonardo, by Pixar animator Jim Capobianco.

Speaking of the Food Bank, VISA is doubling donations to the group right now. So go to their website and give ‘em some money. The Food Bank is a great community organization.

Strike at Berkeley, other UC campuses

This morning, staff, non-tenured faculty and graduate student instructors at University of California campuses begin a three-day strike to protest the imposition of tuition hikes at the public university. Their website is UCstrike.com and you can follow events on twitter using the #ucstrike hashtag.

According to the strikers’ website, tuition increases this decade have meant that the cost of an undergraduate education has tripled since 2000. They lay the blame not only at the national economic crisis but the university’s commitment to over $1 billion in new debt for construction of new facilities, saying the system favors “construction over instruction.”

The strike is timed to coincide with a meeting of UC regents in Los Angeles. The governing borad is expected to approve new fee hikes.

Literary things to do this Saturday

San Franciscans have a choice this Saturday: Apollo or Dionysus?

In Apollo’s corner, publishers and writers from two experimental presses, Sidebrow of San Francisco and Les Figues of Los Angeles, will appear Saturday at 7:30 pm at The Green Arcade, 1680 Market St. at Gough (map). Both presses publish poetry and experimental prose in small, interesting editions. I interviewed Les Figues’ Teresa Carmody a few years ago.

At the same moment, representing Dionysus, Writers with Drinks happens at the Makeout Room on 22nd St. Appearing are Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman TV series), Mary Robinette Kowal (Scenting The Dark And Other Stories), Kat Richardson (Greywalker), Naomi Quiñonez (Invocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry), and S. Bear Bergman (Butch Is A Noun).

More than 40 crashes on S-curve of death, CHP says

Last night’s big rig plunge off the Bay Bridge, which happened at 3:30 a.m. when a semi with a load of pears hit the infamous S-curve too fast, was only the latest of more than forty accidents on the suddenly jinxed bridge, the CHP said, as reported by KTVU TV’s website.

The truck hit the curve at 50 m.p.h., which is the speed limit for much of the bridge, but not for the S-curve, a temporary detour installed over the Labor Day weekend as part of the decade-long Bay Bridge earthquake retrofit project. After a big rig crashed on the curve Oct. 14, spilling cargo across four lanes, CalTrans lowered the speed limit on the curve to 35 m.p.h. and installed new signs, but evidently they weren’t enough to draw the attention of a sleepy produce truck driver in the middle of the night.

The driver was killed when the truck went over the guardrail and plunged 200 feet to the ground on the shore of Yerba Buena Island.

Quoted in the SFGate.com story, a CalTrans spokesman blamed the driver, saying the crash was “another example of poor judgment.”

A reel of “raw video” on the KPIX website shows the impact scene before dawn, including a grotesque image of the driver’s severed forearm and hand.

Just another day in paradise

From the Craigslist Rants and Raves section, just today:

Finally:

You humans are so weak, with your stupid rants. You think you so mighty! go fight a rhino or elephant! You all should leave this planet! Go to Saturn!

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