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News and Politics | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Gearing up for war

Police departments across the country get free military equipment, but does it make us safer or provoke violence?

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joe@sfbg.com

A tear gas canister explodes as citizens flee from the gun-toting warriors, safely guarded behind their armored vehicles. Dressed in patterned camo and body armor, they form a skirmish line as they fire projectiles into the crowd. Flash bang explosions echo down the city's streets. Read more »

Waiting for answers

Community calls for justice and transparency in police shooting of Nieto after new eyewitness contradicts SFPD version

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rebecca@sfbg.com

As word spread to San Francisco that police in Ferguson, Mo., were taking reporters into custody and firing tear gas at demonstrators outraged by the death of Mike Brown, a small group of writers and organizers with ties to the Mission District was gearing up to hold street demonstrations of its own.

On Aug. 21 and 22, they staged vigils and a march and rally in memory of a different shooting victim: Alejandro ("Alex") Nieto, who died suddenly in Bernal Heights Park on March 21 after being struck by a volley of police bullets.Read more »

Teachers prepared to strike

United Educators of San Francisco authorize preliminary strike vote as concerns about cost of living rise

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rebecca@sfbg.com

The first day of school was Aug. 18 in the San Francisco Unified School District, but a group of teachers started the day with a press conference announcing the possibility that they could soon go on strike.

The teachers union, United Educators of San Francisco, announced the results of a strike authorization vote held the previous Thursday. The vote, which was the first of two required to authorize a strike, resulted with an overwhelming "yes" with 99.3 percent of teachers saying they would take that step if necessary.Read more »

More time, same crime

Decades after crack cocaine "epidemic," bill aims for parity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing

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joe@sfbg.com

Roll up a dollar bill, snort a line of coke, sit back and smile: If your cocaine use leads to a conviction, your drug of choice will be spared from the harsher penalties associated with inhaling the substance through a glass pipe. When it comes to busts for cocaine possession and dealing, those caught with a rock instead of the powdered stuff are kept behind bars longer. But that could soon change.Read more »

Burning Man jumps the shark

How a high-minded countercultural experiment ended up on everyone's bucket list

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steve@sfbg.com

The question of when Burning Man jumped the shark is a matter of perspective, or perhaps it's a philosophical question, but these are waters worth wading into as burners pack up this week for their annual pilgrimage to the playa.

The meme that Burning Man has jumped the shark — that is, that it's gotten ridiculous or strayed from its original ethos — circulated more strongly this year than most after conservative firebrand Grover Norquist last month tweeted that he was "off to 'Burning Man' this year. Scratch one off the bucket list."Read more »

Block the Boat

Protesters prevent Israeli ship from unloading during two days of picketing outside the Port of Oakland

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rebecca@sfbg.com

An Israeli ship that was scheduled to dock at the Port of Oakland was prevented from unloading its cargo on Aug. 17 when activists picketed at the dock entrances in protest of recent violence in Gaza.

The Zim Piraeus vessel, operated by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Ltd., had come into dock earlier that day after the postponement of its scheduled arrival on Aug. 16, when a large crowd went to the port to participate in a march and rally dubbed Block the Boat for Gaza.Read more »

Patronize me

CAREERS + ED A new site from SF musicians aims to get artists paid for their work — using the oldest idea in the book

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esilvers@sfbg.com

CAREERS + ED Another day, another crowdfunding website. Another Facebook friend asking you to pledge $100 on Kickstarter or Indiegogo or GoFundMe or JustHandOverYourCashNow to help them self-publish their new hardcover coffee table book about the history of moustaches, or start their organic vegetable juice delivery service, or produce their Zach Braff movie. For $300 and up, you'll get a shout-out in the acknowledgements!Read more »

Touch of class

CAREERS + ED Six courses to expand your horizons

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culture@sfbg.com

 

INPUT AS NOISE MUSIC WORKSHOP

Bask in the simplest element of electronic music — noise — and tickle your tech fancies simultaneously. This workshop is described as "not so much, or not only, a software workshop, but rather a composition course in electronic music which takes as its starting point the use of noise." So treat your ears to the basics of sound and your imagination to the endless possibilities of music, without having to take your fingers off your precious electronics.Read more »

Science of inclusion

CAREERS + ED As Big Tech struggles with diversity, women find support and fellowship in the biotech industry.

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news@sfbg.com

Tammie Jean Bellinger had been unemployed for 14 years, and when she was 48, she decided to enter the tech industry. "My son told me that if I wanted to start my life over, I should do it in San Francisco," Bellinger said. "He said no one would notice my age, or anything about me."Read more »

Wanted: more huddled masses

CAREERS + ED Tech companies lobby for more immigrant work visas, bypassing US residents and creating a labor force bound by golden handcuffs

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joe@sfbg.com

Schools of suit-clad professionals stream up city sidewalks in San Francisco's Financial District during the typical morning migration to the office. Near the intersection of Sutter and Montgomery streets, one line of immigrant workers stands still as they wait to submit paperwork in hopes of permanently joining the commuting throngs.Read more »