Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

SF Supes Approve New Film Rebate Schedule

In a bit of good news for filmmakers trying to shoot projects in San Francisco, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today approved a major change to the rebate structure so that film projects can get up to $600,000 in tax rebates as opposed to the $100,000 maximum previously allowed (which Milk received). These sums represent taxes and fees that City Hall is forgoing. Here’s an article on Examiner.com that explains why this is a good idea despite the budget shortfall. The short version is that city rebates encourage filmmakers and TV producers to bring their productions to San Francisco, which stimulates the local economy. City Hall’s own Office of the Budget Analyst estimates that Milk — a $22 million production constrained to shoot on location for obvious reasons — brought $4.8 million in business to San Francisco.

Last summer, I talked to a number of independent filmmakers (and Graham Leggat, the executive director of the San Francisco Film Society) for an article that was never published about making films in San Francisco, and this was one issue that kept coming up in my interviews: the rebates just weren’t high enough to encourage production in the city. Perhaps this legislation will go some way towards helping that problem. As it happens, I have interviewed the creators of Harrison Montgomery (one of the films cited in the Examiner article), and while neither one mentioned rebates per se, I can assure you that an additional $12,000 in their production budget would have been a huge help to them.

City wins again in scheme to take over world

The recent vote by the New Hampshire legislature to legalize gay marriage in the state was ““an attempt by liberal Democrats to impose what he calls their San Francisco agenda on the state of New Hampshire.

Next, we make their official state meal the burrito.

Meanwhile, here’s another out-of-stater’s take on visiting San Francisco. My favorite sentence:

For a foggy interlude visit Ocean Beach and stroll the wide sands or trace the outlines of the ruined remnants of the Sutro Baths, an old pleasure ground.

Heh! Yes, and sometimes a new one, too.

6th anniversary of Iraq War brings out thousands

An anti-war march with at least a couple thousand diverse participants ventured up Market St this afternoon. The organizers were mostly focused on the sixth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, but the marchers expressed a wide variety of dissatisfaction with numerous foreign & domestic policy issues. The contingent was loud, but peaceful, if not festive at times, replete with marching band and numerous chants bandied about the slow moving crowd that stretched for a couple full blocks.the ongoing war the US started in Iraq some six years ago was the main impetus for the demonstration. Local celebrity spotters can note the black Frank Chu 12 Galaxies sign rising out of the pack

Unlike recent splintered demonstrations in Oakland, a fairly large contingent of dozens of overtime collecting SFPD officers on foot and motorcycles seemed prepared to quell any possible property damage or disturbances from the bandana’d few who tend to ignite trash cans and engage in the more annoying and disruptive behaviors.

The march assembled near Justin Herman Plaza circa 11am and ended with a rally at Civic Center Plaza at about 1:30 , where a contingent of pro-Palestinian marchers were met with pro-Israeli occupation demonstrators stationed in front of City Hall.

Other marches took place concurrently in locations such as the Pentagon just outside of Washington DC, and in LA, while another protest is scheduled for tommorrow in Fresno.

Bringing up the rear, just behind the infamous Bay Area Women in Black, was this masked lone wolf demonstrator.
Thou  Shall Not Kill My Hope

SFBG on David Chiu

I was pleasantly surprised at some great journalism, and great writing, in the SF Bay Guardian this week. Sarah Phelan wrote about the meetings that Newsom isn’t taking. Well, that’s been written about everywhere, but she gets responses from the folks at the table, including union leaders, and sitting supervisors. Check it out. It was a treat: The wheels come off: Chiu leads efforts to build a budget consensus in Newsom’s absence.

Lawrence Lessig Chats with The Booksmith

Reader Alex Beckstead just left a comment on this announcement from last month about author Lawrence Lessig, who appeared at the Booksmith to talk about his book Remix. The comment points us to this 3–part video interview (there’s also a 1-minute trailer on the page) in which Lessig discusses the main arguments of his book, makes allusion to his appearance on the Colbert Report, and outlines his future work: he plans to move out of copyright law and begin a serious examination of institutional corruption. Total running time: 23 minutes.

Lawrence Lessig Appearance Tonight

Tonight Lawrence Lessig — copyright warrior and one of the brilliant minds behind Creative Commons, in case you haven’t heard — will appear at The Booksmith on Haight to talk about his new book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. (He’ll even sign copies, if you’re into that kind of thing.) The argument will be familiar to readers of Free Culture: our system of copyright places extraordinary power to control culture and entertainment in the hands of a small handful of powerful entities (can anyone say Disney?), because those entities can use the law to bring crushing lawsuits against individuals who would build on their work.

The well-supported thesis of this book is that all art is remixed art. Where would Shakespeare be without all those plot lines he cribbed from older sources? And imagine if independent artists in Renaissance Italy were barred from using Christian imagery in their work for private patrons because it would have been the “intellectual property” of the Catholic Church?

Well, you get the point: the subject of this book is relevant to you even if you didn’t read Free Culture on a laptop you refurbished yourself, running Ubuntu. (Yes, that was a geek brag.)

Lessig will be at the store at 7:30 PM tonight.

SF from Utah & Prop 8

Bald Mtn. I was in Park City for a conference, and when talking to locals, they wanted me to know *right off* that they were against Prop 8, and pro-gay marriage. This is without me bringing it up. They found out I was San Franciscan, and then they asked if boycotting Utah was really going to happen, and then they went on about how they were having protests there, and that “The church gets into a lot of things it shouldn’t.” Anyways, interesting prospective.

Galleries: Artists Talk with Amy Franceschini and Wilson Diaz

If your interest was piqued by The Gatherers, the exhibition over at the YBCA (reviews: SF Gate, Shotgun Review), you might be interested in the Artists Talk tonight at Artists’ Television Access. Two of the artists in the show — Amy Franceschini and Wilson Diaz — will discuss their collaboration, The Movement of the Liberation of the Coca Plant. SF Weekly has posted a mention of the event too, with additional info about Franceschini. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the show, let me quote Brian Andrews at Shotgun (linked above): “The Gatherers investigates urban landscapes and food systems in this era of climate change and growing organic consciousness.”

Admission: $6; Address: 992 Valencia (at 21st St).

NB: If you, dear readers, are aware of a good link to a page about Diaz, please post it in the comments.

[Suggestion: enjoy the discussion, and then go drink something organic at Amnesia across the street and north a block. Tonight they feature Gaucho, a “gypsy jazz band.” (Think Django.)]

 

Bill O’Reilly Smears SF & North Beach

He introduces it as a “where Obama is leading us,” in “traditional America vs. secular progressive America”. What is scary about SF? We’re so despicably tolerant. We get to know our homeless. We talk about sex, and we condone marijuana. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Bill O’Reilly Smear from Huffington Post.

Great quotes that have been getting attention on some discussion groups:

“You wouldn’t go to the Presidio at night, I wouldn’t” – Bill
“Every city has a tenderloin, and North Beach is San Francisco’s” – Bill
“Lots of dopes everywhere. Those clinics are everywhere.” – Bill

Working the Neighborhood

Lunch in north beach
I walked two precincts Tuesday- mine, and an adjoining one up the slope of Telegraph Hill from Washington Square Park. I was getting out the vote- and in my precinct we got almost 70% out (by our numbers) and also stumping for David Chiu. The crowd at Mabuhay Gardens was thrilled when the first reports came out that he got 38%, ahead of Alioto’s 24%.

So it was an odd Supervisor race- I didn’t pay attention to the politics, just tried to stick to the platforms & issues. The weird thing about District 3 is that it’s basically 1/2 of downtown, long and skinny. Lower Polk, Financial District, North Waterfront, ritzy Russian Hill & Telegraph Hill, and North Beach. As a North Beacher, you have some issues but you can’t hog the limelight. So I went for the well-rounded candidate (see: Cheat Sheet for more details) I worked on election day so I didn’t have to sit at home on my hands in front of CNN.

The best part was meeting neighbors. Some of the cool people I met on the beat:
– A very overwhelmed college student/election worker, who was in a tough position but she tried really hard to do her work in less than ideal circumstances, as it was hard to even to get a bathroom break.
– Alioto’s wife, who I stood with for about 2 hours and chewed the cud. Official congratulations on your new baby!
– Aaron Peskin, who chauffered me around the Hill and otherwise was a super supportive worker
– Matthew, campaign worker who killed an hour with me talking about his problems moving to SF, a topic that brought up all kinds of nostalgia for me
– Sorry to all the absentee voters- I have no idea why the election office didn’t know you had voted yet (and that fact kinda scared me, to be honest).
– Young woman who does Chinatown alleyways, volunteer-run.
– The guys from the DNC who stood on my corner and helped out a ton
– The teacher’s union guys who showed us the defunct dot-com office in your headquarters. I am *so* going to write about that.

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