Guardian Intelligence: July 2 – 8, 2014

GUARDIAN ON THE MOVE

There were a couple of big changes for the Bay Guardian this week. We and our sister newspapers within San Francisco Media Company — San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly — moved into the Westfield Mall. Yes, the mall, but in the fifth floor business offices formerly occupied by the San Francisco State University School of Business extension program. The company, owned by Black Press in Canada and Oahu Publications in Hawaii, also named Glenn Zuehls as the new publisher and Cliff Chandler, who worked for the Examiner for years, as the senior vice president of advertising. Zuehls, who comes from Oahu Publications, replaces Todd Vogt as the head of SFMC. Zuehls and Chandler told the staff of all three papers that their primary goal is to grow the company’s revenues.

QUEER SPIRIT ROILS PRIDE

Even as an awareness of the ever-growing commercialization of SF Pride dawned on younger participants, a spirit of activism also took flight. Community grand marshal Tommi Avicolli Mecca led a fiery parade contingent (above) of housing activists in Sunday’s parade, protesting skyrocketing evictions in San Francisco. The anti-eviction brigade staged a die-in in front of the official parade observation area. Friday’s Trans March was the biggest so far, and Saturday’s Dyke March featured a huge contingent marching under the banner “Dykes Against Landlords.” Meanwhile, hundreds of protestors targeted a Kink.com prison-themed party, saying it glorified a prison-industrial complex, which “destroys the lives of millions of people.” Seven of the protestors were arrested, and charges of police brutality are being investigated.

LESBIANS BASHED AT PRIDE

While there were some disturbing anecdotal reports of homophobic slurs and queer bashing at Pride this year (including one of a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence and her husband being attacked at Pink Saturday), San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Albie Esparza said police are only investigating one incident so far as an actual hate crime. It occurred on June 28 around 5:30pm near the intersection of Mission and Ninth streets when two young lesbians were subjected to homophobic taunts and then severely beaten by five young male suspects, all of whom remain at large. They’re described at 16 to 20 years old, two black, three Hispanic. Esparza said hate crimes are defined as attacks based solely on being a protected classes, so that doesn’t include robbery or assaults in which racism or homophobic slurs are used, if that doesn’t seem to be the motivation for the attacks.

LIFE’S A STAGE

Hark! It must be summer, because all the companies dedicated to outdoor theater are opening new productions in parks across the Bay Area. Aside from the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Ripple Effect (see feature in this issue; www.sfmt.org), Marin Shakespeare is presenting As You Like It in San Rafael (pictured), with Romeo and Juliet opening later in July (www.marinshakespeare.org); Free Shakespeare in the Park brings The Taming of the Shrew to Pleasanton and beyond (www.sfshakes.org); and Actors Ensemble of Berkeley goes stone-cold Austen with Pride and Prejudice in John Hinkel Park (www.aeofberkeley). AS YOU LIKE IT PHOTO BY STEVEN UNDERWOOD

TEN YEAR GRIND

Kids and pro skaters from One Love boards tore up “the island” — between the Ferry Building and the Embarcadero — with flips, kick tricks and plants June 29, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the much loved skate spot. Local Hunters Point pro skater Larry Redmon sat watching the new generation of skaters and offering pointers. Sure downtown has more grind blockers then it did a decade ago, but as Redmon says, “We out here.” PHOTO BY PAUL INGRAM

THE WILLIE CONNECTION

Muni’s workers and the SFMTA reached a final labor deal over the final weekend of June, but Mayor Ed Lee is telling news outlets the real dealmaker was former mayor Willie Brown. “He’s someone who understands the city, understands labor, the underlying interests,” SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin told various news outlets. Reports say Brown went unpaid by the city for the deed. That’s hard to believe: Anyone who knows Slick Willie knows he seldom does anything for free.

WAXING NOSTALGIC

The new Madame Tussauds wax museum attraction opened June 26 at Fisherman’s wharf — and includes SF-specific figure replicas like Mark Zuckerberg, Harvey Milk, and, of course, our real mayor, Nicolas Cage (pictured). See the Pixel Vision blog at SFBG.com for more creepy-ish pics and a review.

SHARON SELLS OUT (THE INDEPENDENT)

Despite her catalog full of confessional songs about nasty breakups and other dark subject matter, Sharon Van Etten was all smiles during two sold-out shows at the Independent June 29 and June 30. Leaning heavily on songs from her new album, Are We There, Van Etten and her four-piece band even led the adoring crowd in a cheerful sing-along at one point. On her next pass through town, we expect to be seeing her on a much bigger stage.

UNION PROUD

If BBQ and black-market fireworks aren’t your idea of showing civic pride, make your way over to the Mission’s Redstone Building (2940 16th St. at Capp) for a street fair Sat/5 with local musicians, poets, visual artists, and more, to mark the 100th anniversary of the SF Labor Temple and call attention to current labor issues like the fight for a $15 minimum wage. Built by the city’s Labor Council in 1914, the building formerly housed SF’s biggest labor unions and was the planning center for the famous 1934 General Strike. This celebration is part of Labor Fest, now in its 20th year, which runs throughout July around the Bay Area — for more: www.laborfest.net