Waterfront

Flooding the streets

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news@sfbg.com

In New York City’s Times Square on a muggy, gray Sunday afternoon at the historic People’s Climate March, everything went silent for a minute as a massive crowd, led by indigenous people from around the world, raised fists in the air to support communities suffering the harshest effects of climate change.

In this canyon of glittering commerce, surrounded by corporate icons such as Chase Bank, Bank of America, Gap, McDonald’s, and Dow Jones, the silent coalition then burst into a thunderous crescendo meant to symbolize action and demand climate justice.

On Sept. 21, a veritable ocean of humanity, estimated at up to half a million people — a diverse global tapestry hailing from South Bronx to South Dakota, Kenya to the Philippines — flooded Manhattan’s streets with calls for climate change action two days before a major United Nations Climate Summit that few expected to produce much, if any, change. The next day [Mon/22], a more confrontational “Flood Wall Street” civil disobedience action drew thousands.

The New York march, part of a worldwide day of action spanning more than 2,700 rallies in 159 countries, represented the largest, loudest sign yet that the world is waking up en masse to the climate crisis. Stretching for miles through Manhattan’s mid-section, wave after wave of contingents illustrated the crisis’ universal effects and broadening response: Indigenous people’s groups from around the world, labor unions, faith and LGBTQ groups, low-income communities of color. More than 1,400 organizations endorsed the march.

The People’s Climate March also reflected the urgency and rising response from communities of color and indigenous people who bear the brunt of climate disasters. As many attested, these climate-hammered communities are bringing economic and ecological justice issues to the forefront of a movement often criticized for being predominantly white.

“I’m here because I have a chronically asthmatic daughter,” said Tanya Fields, a 34-year-old mother of five and executive director of the Bronx-based Black Project. In poor waterfront communities from New York’s Far Rockaway and the Bronx, to New Orleans, “communities are not being prepared for the inevitable repercussions” of climate change, Fields said. “When you look at the intersection of climate change and capitalism, those who are have-nots clearly are much more vulnerable. When we talk about creating a more resilient world, we’re also talking about protecting the most marginalized.”

Iya’falolah Omobola, marching with a Mississippi environmental justice group called Cooperation Jackson, said her community has been hit hard by a confluence of climate change, poverty, and health struggles.

“We have a lot of issues directly related to climate, but also to the fact that there are no jobs, there’s no public transportation to get people to jobs,” she said. “There has to be a community-led solution as opposed to the system that keeps compounding the problem.”

Behind a banner stating, “Climate affects us the most,” 300 or so marched from the Brooklyn-based El Puente Leadership for Peace and Justice, including many youth.

“Many of our young people are from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. We know what’s happening to our people there in terms of climate change, so we’re coming together,” said El Puente Executive Director Frances Lucerna. “The connection between what happened here when Hurricane Sandy hit and what’s happening in our islands, in terms of beach erosion and extinction of species, is devastating.”

Marchers from Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and beyond highlighted the underlying “first world” causes behind the climate crisis. Marifel Macalanda, of the Asian Pacific Indigenous Youth Network in the Philippines, said she was in New York “in solidarity with indigenous peoples worldwide,” urging corporations to “stop plundering our resources. They are the primary reasons we are having this climate crisis right now.”

Meima Mpoke, who traveled from Kenya along with 20 of his compatriots, added, “We are here to say to the industrialized world, you are the cause of this.” The UN Summit, Mpoke said, “should produce some action, particularly to show who is causing the climate change.”

Marching with a large Bronx contingent of Percent for Green, Alicia Grullon emphasized similar struggles in poor US communities. The South Bronx is “a dumping ground” for New York’s toxins, and “the asthma capital of the country,” she said. The UN summit presented “an unusual gift for policymakers to do something new … and we’re afraid they’re not going to do that and we’re here to remind them of that great opportunity they have.” However, she added, the Summit gave corporations a big seat at the table: “That’s not representing needs of the people.”

Mychal Johnson, co-founder of South Bronx Unite, was one of just 38 civil society representatives invited to attend the UN Summit. “I won’t have a speaking role,” he said, but “our presence hopefully will speak volumes.” The gulf between the massive public march and the closed-doors UN summit was “a grave contrast,” Johnson said. “A great deal of corporations have been invited, but for so long, the voices of the many have not been heard. We know what corporations are doing to cause harm to the planet, and hopefully this [march] will show people coming together all over world to make sure that legally binding agreements come out of these climate talks.”

 

DIM HOPES FOR UN SUMMIT

Billing itself as “catalyzing action,” Tuesday’s UN Climate Summit issued bold pronouncements ahead of its proceedings — but social justice groups from around the world were not buying it.

“The Climate Summit will be about action and solutions that are focused on accelerating progress in areas that can significantly contribute to reducing emissions and strengthening resilience,” the Summit website promoted. “Eradicating poverty and restructuring the global economy to hold global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius are goals that — acted on together — can provide prosperity and security for this and future generations.”

But critics blasted the UN climate agenda for emphasizing voluntary reforms and “partnerships” with businesses and industries that are fundamentally part of the problem. One week before the People’s Climate March, global social movements including La Via Campesina, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and Indigenous Environmental Network — representing a total of more than 200 million people — issued a statement decrying the “corporate takeover of the UN and the climate negotiations process,” Common Dreams reported.

“The Summit has been surrounded by a lot of fanfare but proposes voluntary pledges for emissions cuts, market-based and destructive public-private partnership initiatives such as REDD+, Climate-Smart Agriculture and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative,” according to the statement. “These are all false solutions of the green economy that seeks to further commodify life and nature and further capitalist profit.”

 

BIGGER TENT, SMALLER MESSAGE?

Despite concerns about the Summit, the People’s Climate March drew criticism from some activists for not making any demands, and for spending big on public relations while opting for a nonconfrontational “big tent” that some said diluted the movement’s message and impact.

A “Flood Wall Street” direct action Monday drew thousands for civil disobedience, issuing a strong message: “Stop Capitalism. End the Climate Crisis. Flood, blockade, sit-in, and shut down the institutions that are profiting from the climate crisis,” the event’s website urged. “After the People’s Climate March, wearing blue, we will bring the crisis to its cause with a mass sit-in at the heart of capital.”

Flood Wall Street’s more confrontational approach and its naming of capital illustrates unresolved differences about where the movement should focus its energy: Will it work for market reforms, such as 350.org’s popular fossil fuels divestment campaign, or press for larger systemic change? As it erects a big political tent drawing broad mainstream support, will the climate movement be able or willing to push bold demands that may confront capital and corporate power?

In a widely read critique for Counterpunch, writer Arun Gupta argued that the focus on drawing a big crowd came at the expense of a sharper message and impact. “[W]hen the overriding demand is for numbers, which is about visuals, which is about PR and marketing, everything becomes lowest common denominator. The lack of politics is a political decision.”

In an e-mail comment, Bobby Wengronowitz, who helped organize for the Flood Wall Street actions, said he supported the big march, but added, “We need to match the scale of the crisis. We need to get the US and other rich countries on a 10 percent emissions reductions per year plan. That requires white privileged folks to do what indigenous people have been doing for 500 years — to put their bodies on the line … I’m all for big tent, but this march, even if the final tally is 500K does NOT do it.”

A three-day Climate Convergence, featuring talks, films, and teach-ins, offered protesters a dose of critical thinking, urging, “Demand an end to fossil fuels, mobilize for system change, living wage jobs now!” At an event on climate change and the public sector, a panel of organizers and authors raised questions about the focus on market-driven approaches, discussing the potential for addressing climate change through a revitalized public sector.

 

NEW COALITIONS AND HOPE

On the day of the big march, the sheer immensity of the gathering and the expressions of hope were palpable.

“Today I marched peacefully alongside humans of all class and race, of all gender and sexuality, among anarchist, indigenous, labor unions, different political parties and so many more,” said Patrick Collins, who rode the People’s Climate Train from San Francisco. “[S]eeing the over 1,000 different groups come together in the march who all have different ideologies but are willing to look past differences and agree on common ground does give me some sort of hope.”

Many marchers also expressed hope for new coalitions to pack a potent punch in the fight for climate justice. Labor unions were out in force — teachers, nurses, janitors, food workers, and farmworkers — marching for economic justice, green jobs, and more.

Erin Carrera, a registered nurse and member of National Nurses United, said it was “a monumental moment to be here today with all these labor organizations, because labor and environmentalists have not always been on same page—but I think everyone’s coming to realize that there are no jobs on a dead planet.” Organized labor, Carrera said, “needs skin in the game, because it’s the working class that’s going to be most vulnerable … today gives me so much hope that we have turned a corner in people waking up and working together.”

 

 

 

Aboard the People’s Climate Train

As our cross-country People’s Climate Train passed through Azure, Colo., above a stunning crimson and white rock gorge under a deep-blue sky, James Blakely delivered a presentation on the ecological crisis in the Alberta Tar Sands. Blakely, an activist with 350.org in Idaho, described toxic tailing ponds filled with mining refuse, polluted waterways, dust clouds, and buffalo die-offs. Aboard the train, one of two ferrying hundreds from California to New York’s mass mobilization, our group — ranging in age from 19 to 68 — alternated between snapping photos of the awe-inspiring beauty outside, to probing conversations about rescuing our imperiled planet. Through the Amtrak window, California’s drought-withered cornfields stood wilted and barren, skeleton-like. In the Sierras, forest fires blurred the horizon with smoky haze. Late at night in the Nevada desert, huge factories and refineries churned away. Coal trains traversed the land, spewing fossil fuels. There were reminders of beauty, too. At about 5am, my sleepless eyes took in an ethereal pre-dawn scene. Gnarled sandstone rock formations rose near the tracks in Utah like moon faces; followed by a salmon-hued sunrise splashing across mesas tufted with sage and juniper. Liz Lamar, an activist with the Sierra Club and the Climate Reality Project in Oxnard said the cross-country passage made her “even more passionate about going on the march, by passing through such beautiful scenery.” The People’s Climate Train provided an apt backdrop for workshops and conversations about the causes and victims of climate crisis, and the prodigious challenges ahead. Sonny Lawrence Alea, a recent environmental studies graduate from San Francisco State University, said the ride offered “a great reminder of what we’re going to New York for. This land is full of opportunities, and we get to connect with the environment, take in the beauty, and reflect on the history of the land.” (Christopher D. Cook)

Enter to win a pair of tickets to FallFest 2014 on October 11!

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Taste all the Bay Area has to offer at FallFest 2014 — a celebration of the Bay Area’s best in local food, wine, beer and cocktails! The leading restaurateurs, winemakers, mixologists and epicurean artisans will give you a day full of premier food and wine tasting, chef demonstrations, cocktail crafting, beer sampling and chef competitions that focus on eating and living local. It all takes place outdoors at Justin Herman Plaza, which is transformed for the day into an epicurian’s epic gourmet event, taking full advantage of the season’s gorgeous weather and the beautiful waterfront views. sffallfest2014.eventbrite.com

Fall fairs and festivals

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Aug. 30

Pilgrim Soul Forge Harvest Fair Pilgrim Soul Forge, 101 West Tower, Alameda; www.grantsforge.com. Noon-6pm, free. Possibly the only fall fair in the Bay Area to offer blacksmithing demonstrations alongside the usual suspects: food trucks, craft vendors, and live music.

Savor Filipino Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Market, SF; www.savorfilipino.com. 10am-6pm, free (most workshops $15). Try the best in Filipino cuisine at this gathering of chefs and authors, with a huge menu of tasty eats (check it out online) and workshops on vegan Filipino cooking, modern Filipino desserts, and other tasty topics. Plus: live music and traditional dance performances, and a “Dance That Lumpia Off” audience-participation activity.

 

Aug. 30-31

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival 400 Broadway, Millbrae; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-5pm, free. Downtown Millbrae’s annual Mardi Gras-style celebration, with live music, a juried art show, a classic car show, carnival-style rides, and tons of specialty food and drink vendors.

San Francisco Zine Fest SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.sfzinefest.org. Aug 30, 11am-5pm; Aug 31, 11am-4pm. Free. Support indie writers, artists, and creators at this annual event, with exhibitions, workshops, book signings, and more. Special guests include Ryan Sands (publishing company Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD zine), and illustrator and cartoonist Hellen Jo.

 

Aug. 30-31

SF Bay Brazilian Day and Lavagem Festival Casa de Cultura, 1901 San Pablo, Berk; www.brasarte.com. 11am-7pm, free. Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day with a lavagem (blessing) calling for world peace, plus Brazilian music, food, a “Caipirinha lounge,” and more.

 

Aug. 31

Oakland Pride Uptown Oakl; www.oaklandpride.org. Parade starts at 10:30am, Broadway and 14th St; festival, 11am-7pm, Broadway at 20th Sts. Parade free; festival $5-10. It’s the very first year for the Oakland Pride Parade, while Sheila E headlines the fifth annual festival, billed as the second-largest pride event in NorCal.

 

Sept. 6

SF Mountain Bike Festival McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 20 John F. Shelley, SF; sfurbanriders.org/wordpress/sf-mtb-festival. 9am-5pm, free. Register in advance to compete — or just show up to spectate or test your skills in any of the non-competitive categories. Events include a short-track challenge, a 10-mile urban adventure ride, a cargo bike hill climb, a bike skills challenge for youth and families, and more, plus a box jump demo and a bike raffle.

 

Sept. 6-7

Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown, SF; www.moonfestival.org. Grand opening ceremony and parade, Sept 6, 11am; festival, 11am-5pm (dog costume contest, Sept 7, 2:30pm). Free. Cultural performances, an open-air street bazaar, lion dancing, and (new this year!) a dog costume contest highlight this 24th annual celebration of the Asian holiday.

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-6pm, free. With works by over 600 professional craftspeople and artists, plus live music, home and garden exhibits, a young-performers stage, a climbing wall, food and wine, and more.

 

Sept. 7

Haight Street Music and Merchants Street Festival Haight between Masonic and Stanyan, SF; hsmmsf@gmail.com. Noon-6pm, free. Yep, it’s another street fair on Haight — but this brand-new event has a highly local focus, since it’s sponsored by local merchants. Expect three stages of music, kids’ activities, a skate ramp, and more.

 

Sept. 13

Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).

 

Sept. 13-14

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors , Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about the chocolate-making process!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.

 

Sept. 14

Comedy Day Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.comedyday.com. Noon-5pm, free. This year’s incarnation of the free, all-day comedy festival is dedicated to the memory of supporter (and frequent unannounced performer) Robin Williams.

Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including Alamo Square) on foot or bike.

 

Sept. 19-21

Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com. Sept 19, 1-9pm; Sept 20, 10:30am-9pm; Sept 21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo “state fair, street-food festival, and block party,” this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.

Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Sept 19, 5pm-midnight; Sept 20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sept 21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sept 20-21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!

 

Sept. 20-21

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org. 10am-5pm, $5-10. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can’t-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children’s entertainment.

 

Sept. 21

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.

 

Sept. 27

Bay Area Record Fair Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St, SF; www.theeparkside.com. 11am, $5 early entry (free after noon). Vinyl junkies, take note: over 30 Bay Area indie labels participate at this semi-regular event, which also boasts live music, DJs, raffles, and more.

San Mateo Bacon and Brew Festival Central Park, Fifth Ave and El Camino Real, San Mateo; www.sanmateochamber.org/bbf. 11am-5pm, $15. This fest breaks it down to the essentials. Admission gets you a free beer (or soft drink), while food vendors favor you-know-which crispy pork product.

SuperHero Street Fair 1700 Indiana, SF; www.superherosf.com. 1-11pm, $10. Seven stages and 13 “sound camps” provide the beats for this fifth annual festival celebrating heroes, villains, sidekicks, and everything in between. It goes without saying that costumes are highly encouraged.

 

Sept. 28

“A Day on the Water 2” Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker, Berk; (510) 677-9425. Noon-7pm, free. Outdoor fair and music festival with Manzo Rally, Afrofunk Experience, Crosscut, and more.

Sunday Streets: Excelsior Mission between Theresa/Avalon and Geneva, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Hit the street at this edition of Sunday Streets, which coincides with the sixth annual Tricycle Music Fest at the Excelsior Branch Library (sfpl.org/tricycle for more info).

 

Oct. 4

“Oaktoberfest” Fruitvale at MacArthur, Oakl; www.oaktoberfest.org. 11am-6pm, free. Family-friendly craft beer festival, with over 30 participating local breweries, a Bavarian big band and dancers, German food vendors, and more.

 

Oct. 4-5

Alternative Press Expo Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina, SF; comic-con.org/ape. Check website for updates regarding times and badge prices. APE is back to celebrate alternative and small-press comics in a new venue, with a guest list that includes Bob Fingerman, Faith Erin Hicks, Ed Piskor, Paul Pope, Jason Shiga, and many more.

 

Oct. 5

Castro Street Fair, Castro at Market, SF; www.castrostreetfair.org. 11am-6pm, free (donate at the gate to get $1 off at fair beverage booths). Five different entertainment areas (including a main stage, a “legends” stage, and “Barnaby’s World of Wonderment”) highlight this annual event, which was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Performers were TBD at press time, so check the website closer to the event for updates.

 

Oct. 9

Union Street Wine Walk Union between Gough and Steiner, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 4-8pm, free (sampling tickets, $25). Restaurants and merchants offer wine tasting and small bites at this fifth annual neighborhood event.

 

Oct. 10-18

Litquake Various venues, SF; www.litquake.org. San Francisco’s annual literary festival turns 15 this year, with a week full of live readings, performances, panels, and multimedia events, including tributes to Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Barbary Coast Award will be presented to Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida and their many projects, including 826 Valencia and McSweeney’s.

 

Oct. 11

Woodside Day of the Horse Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside, Woodside; www.whoa94062.org. 10am-2:30pm, free (progressive trail ride, $40). The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA) celebrates Year of the Horse with stagecoach rides, live music, a petting zoo, and more, plus an organized trail ride for experienced riders and their horses to raise money for the organization’s charitable community projects.

 

Oct. 11-12

World Vegetarian Festival SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.worldvegfestival.com. 10:30am-8:45pm, free. The SF Vegetarian Society’s annual event features cooking demos, exhibitors, speakers, an eco-fashion show, entertainment, and samples galore.

 

Oct. 12

Italian Heritage Parade Begins at Jefferson and Stockton, proceeds on Columbus, and ends in Washington Square, SF; www.sfcolumbusday.org. 12:30pm, free. Established in 1868, this North Beach tradition features handmade floats, a costumed Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, Italian music, a Ferrari display, and more.

 

Oct. 13

World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay; weighoff.miramarevents.com. 7-11am, free. Who will reign supreme at this 41st annual battle of the bulge, dubbed the “Superbowl of Weigh-Offs”? Last year’s champ tipped the scales at 1,985 pounds — that’s a lotta pie!

 

Oct. 18

Noe Valley Harvest Festival 24th St between Sanchez and Church, SF; www.noevalleyharvestfestival.com. 10am-5pm, free. This 10th annual shindig aims to help you get a jump on holiday shopping, with over 50 local artisans showing their creations. Also: two stages of music, costume contests for dogs and kids, a dunk tank, a pumpkin patch, and more.

Potrero Hill Festival 20th St between Wisconsin and Missouri, SF; www.potrerofestival.com. 11am-4pm, free. Now in its 25th year, this neighborhood block party features local food and entertainment — including a kick-off Cajun-style brunch ($5-12) with Dixieland jazz — plus pony rides and a bouncy house for kids.

 

Oct. 18-19

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Main between Mill and Spruce, Half Moon Bay; www.miramarevents.com. 9am-5pm, free. They don’t call Half Moon Bay the World Pumpkin Capital for nothing — the coastal town represents at its 44th annual gourd-tastic throwdown with three stages of music, the Great Pumpkin Parade (Oct 18 at noon), a haunted house attraction, expert Jack O’ Lantern carving, and food and drinks galore (pumpkin beer, anyone?)

 

Oct. 19

Sunday Streets: Mission 18th St between Guerrero and Harrison and Valencia between 25th and Duboce, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Sunday Streets returns to the Mission! Check the website after Oct. 3 for updates on planned activities.

 

Oct. 25

San Francisco’s Wharf Fest Fisherman’s Wharf, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 11am-6pm, free. Celebrate SF’s waterfront history at this event, with a chowder competition, chef demos, ship tours, street performers, fireworks, and more.

 

Nov. 2

San Francisco Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars Festival, Garfield Park, 26th St and Harrison, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 6-11pm, free. Procession begins at 22nd St and Bryant, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 7pm, free. Add a personal altar for a loved one who has passed away to the display at Garfield Park (candles must be in glass containers; no open flames allowed), and bring canned food to donate to St. Anthony’s Foundation, in honor of the altar memorializing the deaths of homeless people in SF. The procession, led by Rescue Culture Collective, circles the Mission accompanied by traditional Aztec dancers.

 

Nov. 14-16

Green Festival Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina, SF; www.greenfestivals.org/sf. Nov 14, noon-6pm; Nov 15-16, 10am-6pm. $15-30. Learn how to “work green, play green, and live green” at this expo, an ode to health and sustainability. Featured events include vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, inspirational speakers, and a marketplace with more than 250 eco-friendly businesses. *

 

Fall fairs and fests

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff.

 

Aug. 30

Pilgrim Soul Forge Harvest Fair Pilgrim Soul Forge, 101 West Tower, Alameda; www.grantsforge.com. Noon-6pm, free. Possibly the only fall fair in the Bay Area to offer blacksmithing demonstrations alongside the usual suspects: food trucks, craft vendors, and live music.

Savor Filipino Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Market, SF; www.savorfilipino.com. 10am-6pm, free (most workshops $15). Try the best in Filipino cuisine at this gathering of chefs and authors, with a huge menu of tasty eats (check it out online) and workshops on vegan Filipino cooking, modern Filipino desserts, and other tasty topics. Plus: live music and traditional dance performances, and a “Dance That Lumpia Off” audience-participation activity.

 

Aug. 30-31

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival 400 Broadway, Millbrae; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-5pm, free. Downtown Millbrae’s annual Mardi Gras-style celebration, with live music, a juried art show, a classic car show, carnival-style rides, and tons of specialty food and drink vendors.

San Francisco Zine Fest SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.sfzinefest.org. Aug 30, 11am-5pm; Aug 31, 11am-4pm. Free. Support indie writers, artists, and creators at this annual event, with exhibitions, workshops, book signings, and more. Special guests include Ryan Sands (publishing company Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD zine), and illustrator and cartoonist Hellen Jo.

 

Aug. 30-31

SF Bay Brazilian Day and Lavagem Festival Casa de Cultura, 1901 San Pablo, Berk; www.brasarte.com. 11am-7pm, free. Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day with a lavagem (blessing) calling for world peace, plus Brazilian music, food, a “Caipirinha lounge,” and more.

 

Aug. 31

Oakland Pride Uptown Oakl; www.oaklandpride.org. Parade starts at 10:30am, Broadway and 14th St; festival, 11am-7pm, Broadway at 20th Sts. Parade free; festival $5-10. It’s the very first year for the Oakland Pride Parade, while Sheila E headlines the fifth annual festival, billed as the second-largest pride event in NorCal.

 

Sept. 6

SF Mountain Bike Festival McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 20 John F. Shelley, SF; sfurbanriders.org/wordpress/sf-mtb-festival. 9am-5pm, free. Register in advance to compete — or just show up to spectate or test your skills in any of the non-competitive categories. Events include a short-track challenge, a 10-mile urban adventure ride, a cargo bike hill climb, a bike skills challenge for youth and families, and more, plus a box jump demo and a bike raffle.

 

Sept. 6-7

Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown, SF; www.moonfestival.org. Grand opening ceremony and parade, Sept 6, 11am; festival, 11am-5pm (dog costume contest, Sept 7, 2:30pm). Free. Cultural performances, an open-air street bazaar, lion dancing, and (new this year!) a dog costume contest highlight this 24th annual celebration of the Asian holiday.

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-6pm, free. With works by over 600 professional craftspeople and artists, plus live music, home and garden exhibits, a young-performers stage, a climbing wall, food and wine, and more.

 

Sept. 7

Haight Street Music and Merchants Street Festival Haight between Masonic and Stanyan, SF; hsmmsf@gmail.com. Noon-6pm, free. Yep, it’s another street fair on Haight — but this brand-new event has a highly local focus, since it’s sponsored by local merchants. Expect three stages of music, kids’ activities, a skate ramp, and more.

 

Sept. 13

Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).

 

Sept. 13-14

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors , Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about the chocolate-making process!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.

 

Sept. 14

Comedy Day Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.comedyday.com. Noon-5pm, free. This year’s incarnation of the free, all-day comedy festival is dedicated to the memory of supporter (and frequent unannounced performer) Robin Williams.

Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including Alamo Square) on foot or bike.

 

Sept. 19-21

Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com. Sept 19, 1-9pm; Sept 20, 10:30am-9pm; Sept 21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo “state fair, street-food festival, and block party,” this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.

Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Sept 19, 5pm-midnight; Sept 20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sept 21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sept 20-21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!

 

Sept. 20-21

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org. 10am-5pm, $5-10. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can’t-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children’s entertainment.

 

Sept. 21

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.

 

Sept. 27

Bay Area Record Fair Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St, SF; www.theeparkside.com. 11am, $5 early entry (free after noon). Vinyl junkies, take note: over 30 Bay Area indie labels participate at this semi-regular event, which also boasts live music, DJs, raffles, and more.

San Mateo Bacon and Brew Festival Central Park, Fifth Ave and El Camino Real, San Mateo; www.sanmateochamber.org/bbf. 11am-5pm, $15. This fest breaks it down to the essentials. Admission gets you a free beer (or soft drink), while food vendors favor you-know-which crispy pork product.

SuperHero Street Fair 1700 Indiana, SF; www.superherosf.com. 1-11pm, $10. Seven stages and 13 “sound camps” provide the beats for this fifth annual festival celebrating heroes, villains, sidekicks, and everything in between. It goes without saying that costumes are highly encouraged.

 

Sept. 28

“A Day on the Water 2” Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker, Berk; (510) 677-9425. Noon-7pm, free. Outdoor fair and music festival with Manzo Rally, Afrofunk Experience, Crosscut, and more.

Sunday Streets: Excelsior Mission between Theresa/Avalon and Geneva, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Hit the street at this edition of Sunday Streets, which coincides with the sixth annual Tricycle Music Fest at the Excelsior Branch Library (sfpl.org/tricycle for more info).

 

Oct. 4

“Oaktoberfest” Fruitvale at MacArthur, Oakl; www.oaktoberfest.org. 11am-6pm, free. Family-friendly craft beer festival, with over 30 participating local breweries, a Bavarian big band and dancers, German food vendors, and more.

 

Oct. 4-5

Alternative Press Expo Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina, SF; comic-con.org/ape. Check website for updates regarding times and badge prices. APE is back to celebrate alternative and small-press comics in a new venue, with a guest list that includes Bob Fingerman, Faith Erin Hicks, Ed Piskor, Paul Pope, Jason Shiga, and many more.

 

Oct. 5

Castro Street Fair, Castro at Market, SF; www.castrostreetfair.org. 11am-6pm, free (donate at the gate to get $1 off at fair beverage booths). Five different entertainment areas (including a main stage, a “legends” stage, and “Barnaby’s World of Wonderment”) highlight this annual event, which was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Performers were TBD at press time, so check the website closer to the event for updates.

 

Oct. 9

Union Street Wine Walk Union between Gough and Steiner, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 4-8pm, free (sampling tickets, $25). Restaurants and merchants offer wine tasting and small bites at this fifth annual neighborhood event.

 

Oct. 10-18

Litquake Various venues, SF; www.litquake.org. San Francisco’s annual literary festival turns 15 this year, with a week full of live readings, performances, panels, and multimedia events, including tributes to Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Barbary Coast Award will be presented to Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida and their many projects, including 826 Valencia and McSweeney’s.

 

Oct. 11

Woodside Day of the Horse Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside, Woodside; www.whoa94062.org. 10am-2:30pm, free (progressive trail ride, $40). The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA) celebrates Year of the Horse with stagecoach rides, live music, a petting zoo, and more, plus an organized trail ride for experienced riders and their horses to raise money for the organization’s charitable community projects.

 

Oct. 11-12

World Vegetarian Festival SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.worldvegfestival.com. 10:30am-8:45pm, free. The SF Vegetarian Society’s annual event features cooking demos, exhibitors, speakers, an eco-fashion show, entertainment, and samples galore.

 

Oct. 12

Italian Heritage Parade Begins at Jefferson and Stockton, proceeds on Columbus, and ends in Washington Square, SF; www.sfcolumbusday.org. 12:30pm, free. Established in 1868, this North Beach tradition features handmade floats, a costumed Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, Italian music, a Ferrari display, and more.

 

Oct. 13

World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay; weighoff.miramarevents.com. 7-11am, free. Who will reign supreme at this 41st annual battle of the bulge, dubbed the “Superbowl of Weigh-Offs”? Last year’s champ tipped the scales at 1,985 pounds — that’s a lotta pie!

 

Oct. 18

Noe Valley Harvest Festival 24th St between Sanchez and Church, SF; www.noevalleyharvestfestival.com. 10am-5pm, free. This 10th annual shindig aims to help you get a jump on holiday shopping, with over 50 local artisans showing their creations. Also: two stages of music, costume contests for dogs and kids, a dunk tank, a pumpkin patch, and more.

Potrero Hill Festival 20th St between Wisconsin and Missouri, SF; www.potrerofestival.com. 11am-4pm, free. Now in its 25th year, this neighborhood block party features local food and entertainment — including a kick-off Cajun-style brunch ($5-12) with Dixieland jazz — plus pony rides and a bouncy house for kids.

 

Oct. 18-19

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Main between Mill and Spruce, Half Moon Bay; www.miramarevents.com. 9am-5pm, free. They don’t call Half Moon Bay the World Pumpkin Capital for nothing — the coastal town represents at its 44th annual gourd-tastic throwdown with three stages of music, the Great Pumpkin Parade (Oct 18 at noon), a haunted house attraction, expert Jack O’ Lantern carving, and food and drinks galore (pumpkin beer, anyone?)

 

Oct. 19

Sunday Streets: Mission 18th St between Guerrero and Harrison and Valencia between 25th and Duboce, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Sunday Streets returns to the Mission! Check the website after Oct. 3 for updates on planned activities.

 

Oct. 25

San Francisco’s Wharf Fest Fisherman’s Wharf, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 11am-6pm, free. Celebrate SF’s waterfront history at this event, with a chowder competition, chef demos, ship tours, street performers, fireworks, and more.

 

Nov. 2

San Francisco Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars Festival, Garfield Park, 26th St and Harrison, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 6-11pm, free. Procession begins at 22nd St and Bryant, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 7pm, free. Add a personal altar for a loved one who has passed away to the display at Garfield Park (candles must be in glass containers; no open flames allowed), and bring canned food to donate to St. Anthony’s Foundation, in honor of the altar memorializing the deaths of homeless people in SF. The procession, led by Rescue Culture Collective, circles the Mission accompanied by traditional Aztec dancers.

 

Nov. 14-16

Green Festival Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina, SF; www.greenfestivals.org/sf. Nov 14, noon-6pm; Nov 15-16, 10am-6pm. $15-30. Learn how to “work green, play green, and live green” at this expo, an ode to health and sustainability. Featured events include vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, inspirational speakers, and a marketplace with more than 250 eco-friendly businesses. *

 

Rep Clock: August 20 – 26, 2014

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Schedules are for Wed/20-Tue/26 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ANSWER COALITION 2969 24th St, SF; www.answersf.org. $5-10 donation. A Good Day to Die (Mueller and Salt, 2010), Fri, 7. With film subject and American Indian Movement (AIM) co-founder Dennis Banks in person.

BALBOA 3630 Balboa, SF; cinemasf.com/balboa. $10. “Thursday Night Rock Docs:” Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Gervasi, 2008), Thu, 7:30.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-11. •We Are the Best! (Moodysson, 2013), Wed, 7, and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (Adler, 1981), Wed, 9. •Mr. X: A Vision of Leos Carax (Louise-Salomé, 2014), Thu, 6; Mauvais Sang (Carax, 1986), Thu, 7:25; and Before Sunset (Linklater, 2004), Thu, 9:35. Triple-feature, $12. •Streets of Fire (Hill, 1984), Fri, 7:30, and The Warriors (Hill, 1979), Fri, 9:20. “Peaches Christ’s Night of 1,000 Showgirls:” Showgirls (Verhoeven, 1995), Sat, 8. Annual celebration of the camp classic, with a “Volcanic Goddess” pre-show, special guest Rena “Penny/Hope” Riffel, and more; tickets ($25-55) at www.peacheschrist.com. •The Leopard (Visconti, 1963), Sun, 2:30, 7. •The Dance of Reality (Jodorowsky, 2013), Tue, 7, and Jodorowsky’s Dune (Pavich, 2013), Tue, 9:30.

CLAY 2261 Fillmore, SF; www.landmarktheatres.com. $10. “Midnight Movies:” Cannibal Holocaust (Deodato, 1979), Fri-Sat, midnight. With actor Carl Gabriel Yorke in person.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; www.redwoodcity.org. Free. The Croods (De Micco and Sanders, 2013), Thu, 8:45.

EMBARCADERO One Embarcadero Center, SF; www.turkishfilmfestivals-usa.com. Free. “Turkish Film Festival:” Love Me (Gorbach and Bahadir Er, 2013), Wed, 7; Oh Brother (Uzun), Wed, 9; Only You (Yonat), Thu, 7; My World (Yücel, 2013), Thu, 9.

EXPLORATORIUM Pier 15, SF; www.exploratorium.edu. Free with museum admission ($19-25). “Off the Screen:” “Soundwave ((6)) (sub)mersion,” Thu, 7; “Imagine Science Film Festival,” Fri, 7 (this event, $5-10).

GOETHE-INSTITUT SF 530 Bush, SF; www.goethe.de/ins/us/saf/enindex.htm. $5 suggested donation. “100 Years After WWI:” Poll (Kraus, 2009/2010), Wed, 6:30.

JACK LONDON FERRY LAWN Clay and Water, Oakl; www.jacklondonsquare.com. Free. “Waterfront Flicks:” The Lego Movie (Lord and Miller, 2014), Thu, sundown.

NEW PARKWAY 747 24th St, Oakl; http://thenewparkway.com. $10. Mrs. Judo (Romer, 2012), Sun, 3. With filmmaker Yuriko Gamo Romer in person.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “The Brilliance of Satyajit Ray:” The Home and the World (1984), Wed, 7; Deliverance (1988), Sat, 6:30; An Enemy of the People (1989), Sun, 5. “Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema:” Man of Iron (Wajda, 1981), Thu, 7. “Over the Top and Into the Wire: WWI on Film:” Paths of Glory (Kubrick, 1957), Fri, 7. “Kenji Mizoguchi: A Cinema of Totality:” Princess Yang Kwei-Fei (1955), Fri, 8:45. “Rude Awakening: American Comedy, 1990–2010:” Zoolander (Stiller, 2001), Sat, 8:15; Knocked Up (Apatow, 2007), Sun, 7.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. “Here and Far,” local shorts, Wed, 7. The Dance of Reality (Jodorowsky, 2013), Wed, 9. Kink (Voros, 2013), Wed-Thu, 7, 8:45. “Nippon Nights:” Akira (Otomo, 1989), Thu, 8. “SF Heritage: Reel San Francisco Stories,” screening and lecture, Thu, 6. This event, $10-15. Me and You (Bertolucci, 2012), Aug 22-28, 7, 9 (also Sat-Sun, 3, 5). Rich Hill (Tragos and Palermo, 2014), Aug 22-28, 7, 9 (also Sat-Sun, 3, 5). “Roxie Kids:” Astro Boy (Tezuka, 1980-81), Sun, 2. “This Must Be the Place: End of the Underground 1991-2012,” short films, Mon, call for time.

SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. Alive Inside (Rossato-Bennett, 2014), Wed-Thu, call for times. Frank (Abrahamson, 2014), Aug 22-28, call for times. “Alec Guinness at 100:” The Lavender Hill Mob (Crichton, 1951), Sun, 4:30, 7.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. “Invasion of the Cinemaniacs:” The Exile (Ophuls, 1947), Sun, 2. *

 

Rep Clock: August 6 – 12, 2014

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Schedules are for Wed/6-Tue/12 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ARTISTS’ TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. “Southern Lights: Films by Pablo Marin,” Sat, 7:30.

BALBOA 3630 Balboa, SF; cinemasf.com/balboa. $10. “Thursday Night Rock Docs:” 20 Feet from Stardom (Neville, 2013), Thu, 7:30. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Hosoda, 2013), Sat-Sun, 10:30am, 12:30; Mon, 7, 9.

BAY MODEL CENTER 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito; www.tiburonfilmfestival.com. Free. Tiburon Film Society presents: The Trials of Muhammad Ali (Siegel, 2013), Tue, 6.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-11. •A Hard Day’s Night (Lester, 1964), Wed, 5:30, 7, and The Knack … And How to Get It (Lester, 1965), Wed, 9:15. •Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989), Thu, 7, and In the Heat of the Night (Jewison, 1967), Thu, 9:15. The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939), presented sing-along style, Fri-Sun, 7 (also Sat-Sun, 2:30). •Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, 2013), Tue, 7, and The Hunger (Scott, 1983), Tue, 9:15.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; www.redwoodcity.org. Free. The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939), Thu, 8:45.

EXPLORATORIUM Pier 15, SF; www.exploratorium.edu. Free with museum admission ($19-25). “Saturday Cinema: Things,” Sat, 1, 2, 3.

GRAND LAKE CENTER 3200 Grand, Oakl; www.renaissancerialto.com. $15 (all-day pass, $25). Last Chance for Eden (Lee, 2003), Thu, 1; The Color of Fear (Lee, 1994), Thu, 3:30; If These Halls Could Talk (Lee, 2014), Thu, 7.

JACK LONDON FERRY LAWN Clay and Water, Oakl; www.jacklondonsquare.com. Free. “Waterfront Flicks:” Man of Steel (Snyder, 2013), Thu, sundown.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CIVIC CENTER PARK 2151 MLK Jr. Wy, Berk; www.newbelgium.com/clips. Free (beer samples, $1.25-5). New Belgium Brewing presents: “Clips and Beer Film Tour,” short films, Sat, 7:30.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “Rude Awakening: American Comedy, 1990–2010:” The Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson, 2001), Wed, 7. “Alternative Visions: Animation:” “Films by Sally Cruikshank (1971-1996),” Thu, 7. “Derek Jarman, Visionary:” Wittgenstein (1993), Fri, 7. “Over the Top and Into the Wire: WWI on Film:” Grand Illusion (Renoir, 1937), Fri, 8:30. “The Brilliance of Satyajit Ray:” The Elephant God (1977), Sat, 6; The Chess Players (1977), Sun, 6. “Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema:” The Constant Factor (Zanussi, 1980), Sat, 8:35. “Picture This: Classic Children’s Books on Film:” “Idle Time,” short films, Sun, 3:30.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. The Dance of Reality (Jodorowsky, 2013), Wed, 9:15. Happy Christmas (Swanberg, 2014), Wed-Thu, 7, 8:45. Life Itself (James, 2014), Wed, 6:45; Thu, 9:15. Heli (Escalante, 2013), Fri, 7, 9:45; Sat, 6, 9; Aug 10-14, 7, 9:15. “Bay Area Docs:” Brown Bread: The Story of an Adoptive Family (Gross, 2013). Sun, 4:30.

SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. “Monty Python Live (Mostly),” recorded at London’s O2 Arena, Wed and Aug 14, 7. This screening, $18. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Fri-Sun. For complete program and ticket info, visit www.sfjff.org. Horses of God (Ayouch, 2013), Aug 11-13, call for times.

TEMESCAL ART CENTER 511 48th St, Oakl; www.shapeshifterscinema.com. Free. “Shapeshifters Cinema:” Works by tooth, Sun, 8.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. “Invasion of the Cinemaniacs:” Death Wish 3 (Winner, 1985), Sat, 7:30; Madame Freedom (Han, 1956), Sun, 2. *

 

Appealing to San Francisco values

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EDITORIAL When lawyers become politicians, and when those politicians assume offices where they can exercise discretion about when to appeal judicial rulings, the decision to do nothing can be as big and impactful as the decision to file a lawsuit.

Luckily for California, it is progressive-minded attorneys from the Bay Area who have found themselves in the position of advancing public policy through wise decisions about when to let rulings stand and when to challenge them. And it is our hope that Attorney General Kamala Harris remembers her Bay Area roots when making a couple of important pending decisions on appealing some high-profile recent rulings.

Harris was already weighing whether to appeal a judge’s ruling striking down teacher tenure laws (see “Pride and prejudice,” June 24) when another judge ruled that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional (see “Death sentence for executions?” Page 16).

Her opponent in fall runoff election, Republican Ron Gold, has called for Harris not to appeal the teacher tenure ruling — and he would almost certainly make great political hay of a decision by Harris not to challenge the death penalty ruling. But Harris should easily defeat this also-ran challenger in November and she should maintain the courage of her convictions in making these decisions.

We urge Harris to aggressively appeal the teacher tenure ruling and not be swayed by the judge’s fallacious argument that teacher tenure hurts urban schoolchildren. And on the death penalty, which Harris has long opposed, we urge her to help end the barbaric, expensive, and ineffective executions (which could mean appealing the recent ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and then not appealing a favorable ruling there, which would serve to end capital punishment in California).

That kind of selective use of the Attorney General’s Office discretion on appeals would follow in the tradition of Gov. Jerry Brown, when he was attorney general, choosing not to appeal the ruling striking down Prop. 8 and instead helping to legalize same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, we’re happy that City Attorney Dennis Herrera decided to “aggressively defend” Prop. B, which requires voter approval for projects that exceed current height restrictions on the San Francisco waterfront, against a lawsuit by the State Lands Commission.

Likely prompted by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of three members of that commission and someone who has long been friendly to big investors and developers, this lawsuit should have never been filed — and Herrera was right to say so and pledge a vigorous defense of the measure.

The people of San Francisco and California are lucky to have Harris and Herrera in the position to make these important decisions.

Housing supply and demand theory on trial at City Hall

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The November ballot is shaping into a housing supply theory showdown, and yesterday’s [Thu/17] Board of Supervisors Rules Committee hearing was the first round.

The committee hosted two hearings on rival housing proposals for the November ballot: Sup. Jane Kim’s City Housing Balance Requirement and Mayor Ed Lee’s Build Housing Now initiative. The two purport to set similar goals for building affordable housing, but Lee’s proposal contains a poison pill that would invalidate Kim’s measure. 

The mayor’s philosophy on housing, a strict supply and demand argument, was on full display. 

“[Housing] is a competition based on who has the most dollars in their pocket, and the ones with the most dollars win,” Olson Lee, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing said at the hearing. “If we limit the supply, the people with the most dollars will win.”

The arguments are a little complicated, but let’s try to break them down: Kim’s initiative lays out a requirement for new construction to build 30 percent affordable housing and 70 percent market-rate housing. Currently, new construction projects can build on-site affordable or pay a fee into a pot, known as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. If new construction needs to be exempt from the balance requirement, under Kim’s measure, that can be decided by the Planning Commission. 

But the mayor and his deep-pocketed development allies are shrinking away from this like the Wicked Witch of the West from water. Affordable housing doesn’t make a dime for developers, and the mayor fears Kim’s policy will slam the breaks on market-rate housing construction. 

Activist and San Francisco historian Calvin Welch argues supply and demand housing theories won’t solve the San Francisco housing crisis, via 48hills.

Yet Kim’s measure is based on what many progressives in San Francisco believe: San Francisco’s housing market is hot, profits are high, demand is insatiable, and building lots of market rate housing that will never be affordable to most San Francisco won’t solve the city’s affordable housing crisis. The construction pipeline won’t slow down with a few dings to profit margins, she argued. 

“I just have to say if building 30 percent affordable housing will halt development, we’re in a whole lot of trouble,” Kim said to her critics. “We have to build. Even people that make money leave San Francisco every day.”

No one is saying Kim doesn’t believe more housing needs to be built. But Lee’s staffers emphasized a belief that more housing construction alone is the solution to the city’s ills, a strategy that hasn’t exactly netted stellar results recently. They also defended the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, as the Mayor’s Office of Housing is funded about “40 percent” from developer’s fees, Olson Lee said. Sarah Dennis Phillips, from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, argued sharply that any hit to developer’s fees, even marginal ones, would result in a loss of dollars for the city’s General Fund, the funding pot feeds most city services.

The mayor’s ballot initiative essentially asks for a vote of confidence in his plan to build or rehabilitate 30,000 housing units by 2020, which some in the press have pilloried as depending heavily on already-existing units. While 30,000 sounds like a lot, the Controller’s Office said San Francisco would need as many as 100,000 housing units to even make a dent in San Francisco’s skyrocketing housing prices, according to the SF Examiner (though he has since written the Examiner to say his sentiments were misconstrued). The city’s Civil Grand Jury recently released a scathing report of the mayor’s 30,000 housing unit goal, saying “While the residential real estate market is enjoying a strong recovery, it is doubtful the city can build its way out of the current affordability crisis.”

Meanwhile, people are losing their homes and fleeing the city. Some who are holding on by a thread came out to speak at the dueling hearings. 

“I have health challenges including cerebral palsy,” Justin Bennet said during public comment. He spoke with a difficulty in his jaw, haltingly and with much effort. He said the housing market made it difficult to move from the dangerous areas of the city he calls home. “I’ve been robbed outside several residences I’ve lived in, so I’m hoping for a change in my housing situation in the future. Thanks for letting me speak.” 

A family came up to the podium to speak, with two young housing activists, a brother and sister, 9 and 6, saying they didn’t want to see so many lose their homes.

Advocates from the SEIU 1021, South of Market Community Action Network, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and the Chinese Progressive Association, to name a few, were on hand at the hearing. They were also on hand for a press conference on the steps of City Hall shortly before the hearing. Ed Donaldson from ACCE called out the mayor’s housing measure, saying its only intent was to torpedo Kim’s. 

“I say we should play chicken with the mayor,” Donaldson said at the podium. Metal bands have sung with less volume than the baritone he used while booming, “Let’s see if he has the gall.”

Inside the hearing, Patrick Valentino (who championed luxury development on the waterfront) and Tim Colen of the Housing Action Coalition spoke, defending the mayor’s measure.

“As San Francisco, as a city in affordability, we’re failing. Our rate of failure is accelerating,” he said flatly. He criticized Kim’s plan and asked, “Where’s the money? No one disagrees we need it. The shortcoming I see in the housing balance measure is its premise that if we increase restrictions on market rate housing, it helps subsidize housing.” 

He argued instead to gather more stakeholders together (i.e. deep pocketed developers) to negotiate more private funding, a strategy he said that worked in the past. 

As others came to the podium to argue against developer greed, Colen watched on, shaking his head, seemingly in disagreement. When someone in public comment argued that developers so far have shirked their responsibilities to build affordable housing, he shook his head again and left the hearing room. 

There’s a stark divide in housing philosophy, and supply and demand’s ability to save San Francisco will soon see a trial by voter if Kim’s charter amendment can win six vote at the full Board of Supervisors. 

The mayor’s policies seem to be more of the same, Kim said, and now the city seems to be fighting over the crumbs of developers’ fees. Despite opposition from the mayor, Kim told the Guardian she’s open to new ideas from the mayor. 

But she also said she won’t back down. 

“We’re on a two-fold path right now. If there’s a compromise to get [the city] to 30 percent affordable housing, like new revenue, we’re open to that compromise,” she said. “But we always intended this to go to the ballot.”

Events: July 9 – 15, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 9

LaborFest 2014 Meet at SW corner of Geary and Laguna, SF; www.laborfest.net. 3-4:30pm, free. “Union Sponsored Affordable Housing in San Francisco: St. Francis Square Cooperative” walking tour.

Kim Stolz Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 12:30pm, free. The author and media personality discusses Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I’ll Never Do.

THURSDAY 10

Kjerstin Gruys Books Inc, 601 Van Ness, SF; www.booksinc.net. 7pm, free. The sociologist discusses her memoir Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body By Not Looking at It For a Year.

LaborFest 2014 518 Valencia, SF; www.laborfest.net. 7pm, donations accepted. “FilmWorks United: International Working Class Film and Video Festival:” Black and White and Dead All Over (Foster, 2013), followed by a discussion on the newspaper industry. Also: Berkeley City College Auditorium, 2050 Center, Berk; www.laborfest.net. 7pm, free. “FilmWorks United:” Coming for a Visit (Tourette, 2013).

Jervey Tervalon Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 6pm, free. The author discusses his new thriller, Monster’s Chef.

FRIDAY 11

LaborFest 2014 First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin, SF; www.laborfest.net. 7pm, donations accepted. “FilmWorks United: International Working Class Film and Video Festival:” ASOTRECOL, The Struggle Against Transnationals in Colombia (2013).

“Off Shore: A Live Drawing Event and Fundraiser” Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa, SF; www.soex.org. 6pm, $15-20. Southern Exposure’s annual “Monster Drawing Rally” fundraiser presents 120 artists drawing in shifts in front of a live audience.

“Punk: Convulsive Beauty” iHeartNorthBeach Art Gallery and Gifts, 641 Green, SF; www.pmpress.org. 5-11pm, free. PM press presents its new book, Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, The Early Years, by Alex Ogg, featuring photographs by Ruby Ray and art by Winston Smith. Ray and Smith will also be exhibiting their artwork capturing the punk scene, circa 1977-1981.

SATURDAY 12

Tony Gilbert Green Apple Books, 506 Clement, SF; www.greenapplebooks.com. Noon, free. The author reads from Hannah and the Secret Mermaids of San Francisco Bay, alongside a display of original art from the story painted by Gail Weissman.

LaborFest 2014 Meet at 75 Folsom, SF; www.laborfest.net. 10am, free. “San Francisco Waterfront Labor History Walk,” with Lawrence Shoup and Peter O’Driscoll. Also: meet in front of Bill Graham Auditorium, 99 Grove, SF; www.laborfest.net. 10am, $20. “WPA Bus Tour.” Also: Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar, Berk; www.laborfest.net. 7pm, free. Class War CD release party with Redd Welsh. Also: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin, SF; www.laborfest.net. 7pm, donations accepted. “People’s Voices for a World of Harmony, Peace, and Justice.”

“Writers With Drinks: An Evening of Oversharing About Money” Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF; www.writerswithdrinks.com. 7:30pm, $5-20. With J. Bradford DeLong, Carol Queen, Farhad Manjoo, Frances Lefkowitz, and Charlie Jane Anders.

SUNDAY 13

“Bookish Beasts” Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF; www.sexandculture.org. Noon-6pm, free. Zine fest featuring authors whose work takes on sexuality, gender, and erotica.

MP Johnson Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia, SF; www.borderlands-books.com. 3pm, free. The author reads from Dungeons and Drag Queens. Attending in drag encouraged!

LaborFest 2014 ILWU 34 Hall, 801 Second St, SF; www.laborfest.net. 10am, free. “Staples, Our Public Post Office, Privativation, and Trust” panel discussion. Also: Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny, SF; www.laborfest.net. 4-7pm, donations accepted. “Revisiting the History of California Agricultural Workers and Filipino Labor” with a variety of speakers.

TUESDAY 15

Anoop Judge Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author discusses her Bay Area-set novel, The Rummy Club.

LaborFest 2014 Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, Southern Heights at De Haro, SF; www.laborfest.net. 10am, free. Potrero Hill history walk. Also: Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St, SF; www.laborfest.net. 7pm, free. LaborFest Writers read their work. Also: San Jose Improv, 62 Second St, San Jose; www.sjimprov.com. 8pm, donations requested (make free reservations online). “LaborFest Comedy Night” with Will Durst and others. *

 

Alerts: July 9 – 15, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 9

 

Talk on gun control

Commonwealth Club SF Club Office, 595 Market, SF. 6pm, $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students. Michael Waldmanpresident of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and author of The Second Amendment: A Biography will recount the raucous public debate surrounding the Second Amendment and gun control policy in the United States. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the Constitution protects an individual right to gun ownership. Waldman argues that our view of the amendment is set, at each stage, not by a pristine constitutional text, but by the push and pull, the rough and tumble of political advocacy and public agitation. Moderated by Mark Follman, Senior Editor of Mother Jones.

SATURDAY 12

 

Survival Adaptations

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, 3031 24th St., SF. www.rootdivision.org/071214. 7-10pm, free. This exhibition explores “the creative ways in which artists are responding to the challenge” presented by the changes in the Bay Area’s socio-economic landscape, and what the relocation of cultural administrators and institutions means for San Francisco’s future. The purpose of the project is to “reflect on our changing city” and “celebrate those who have chosen to stay and fight.”

 

Laborfest: SF waterfront labor history walk

Meet at Hills Brothers Coffee, 75 Folsom, SF. www.laborfest.net. 10am-noon, free. Join this walk and learn the stories of San Francisco’s labor struggles, affecting the maritime industry from 1835 until 1934. Labor historian Larry Shoup will discuss the 1901 transportation workers strike, led by the Teamsters, which the San Francisco police failed to quell.

Sunday 13

 

Greening the Economy, the Emerging Green Job Sector and Making Your Own Life Eco-Friendly

First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, MLK Room, 1187 Franklin, SF. http://tinyurl.com/qhw7jjq. 9:30am, free (light breakfast offered for a slight fee). Sierra Club managing editor Tom Valtin will give a talk on how our economy is becoming increasingly “green” and how to live a more eco-friendly life. Part of the society’s Sunday FORUM Speaker Series, this event will highlight new opportunities in the ever-growing green job sector.

Rep Clock: June 25 – July 1, 2014

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Schedules are for Wed/25-Tue/1 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ANSWER COALITION 2969 Mission, SF; www.answersf.org. $5-10 donation. Two Spirits (Nibley, 2009), Wed, 7.

ARTISTS’ TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $7-10. “Rotterdam VHS Festival,” short videos, Thu, 8. “Mission Eye and Ear #5,” new music/sound and film/video collaborations by Dominique Leone and Brenda Contreras, Kyle Bruckmann and John Slattery, and Gino Robair and Bryan Boyce, Fri, 8.

BERKELEY FELLOWSHIP OF UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS 1924 Bonita, Berk; www.bfuu.org. $10 suggested donation. Born This Way (Tullmann and Kadlec, 2012), Sat, 7:30.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-11. Frameline 38: SF International LGBT Film Festival, June 19-29. For tickets and schedule, visit www.frameline.org.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; www.redwoodcity.org. Free. Frozen (Buck and Lee, 2013), Thu, 8:45. Presented sing-along style.

JACK LONDON FERRY LAWN Clay and Water, Oakl; www.jacklondonsquare.com. Free. “Waterfront Flicks:” The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Thu, sundown.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema:” Mother Joan of the Angels (Kawalerowicz, 1961), Wed, 7; Innocent Sorcerers (Wajda, 1960), Fri, 7. “Kenji Mizoguchi: A Cinema of Totality:” The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939), Thu, 7; The 47 Ronin, Parts I and II (1941/42), Sat, 6. “Rude Awakening: American Comedy, 1990-2010:” Waiting for Guffman (Guest, 1996), Fri, 8:50; Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993), Sun, 6. “Picture This: Classic Children’s Books on Film:” “Take Aways,” short films, Sun, 3:30.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. Frameline 38: SF International LGBT Film Festival, Wed-Sun. For tickets and schedule, visit www.frameline.org. Ping Pong Summer (Tully, 2014), Wed-Thu, 6:30, 8:20. Breathing Earth: Susumu Shingu’s Dream (Riedelsheimer, 2013), Fri-Sat, 6, 8; June 29-July 3, 7, 9. “Roxie Kids:” Panda! Go, Panda! (Takahata, 1972), Sun, 2.

SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. Breathing Earth: Susumu Shingu’s Dream (Riedelsheimer, 2013), June 27-July 3, call for times.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. Thy Womb (Mendoza, 2012), Thu and Sat, 7:30; Sun, 2. *

 

Here’s an intriguing idea for Piers 30-32

Earlier this year, the Golden State Warriors abandoned its bid to construct a basketball arena and performance venue at Piers 30-32 along San Francisco’s waterfront, a proposal Mayor Ed Lee once championed as his “legacy project.”

The Warriors moved its ambitious project to a site in Mission Bay, to the great relief of a group of waterfront activists who viewed it as an inappropriate choice for the unique and historic 7.5-mile stretch of city waterfront that falls under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Francisco.

Nevertheless, that shift did send the Port back to the drawing board with the problem it’s encountered numerous times before: What to do with Piers 30-32, which span a 13-acre slab of crumbling concrete currently in use as a parking lot just a stone’s throw from the Bay Bridge.

In a recent Bay Guardian editorial, we called for a public process to consider the future use of that waterfront pier. Could it be turned into open space? Removed? Converted to a different use?

Turns out, others have been contemplating the same question. The San Francisco Civil Grand Jury, a volunteer body tasked with investigating civic matters, introduced a new idea when it issued a report on the operations of the Port of San Francisco.

Titled, “The Port of San Francisco: Caught Between Public Trust and Private Dollars,” the Civil Grand Jury report raised a few incisive questions, going so far as to suggest that the Port operates with undue influence from the Mayor’s Office, and that its governing commission ought to be restructured to resolve that. We are going to drill down more on these issues in a different post, after we’ve had a chance to interview a spokesperson from the Port.

But for now, here’s the Civil Grand Jury’s line on Piers 30-32: Why not look into using it as the site of a marine research institute?

From the report:

“Our suggestion is to investigate the possibility of building a Marine Research Institute on the pier. The project lead could be an educational institution such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution or Scripps Institute of Oceanography (UC San Diego), a conservation group such as Cousteau Society, Greenpeace, or Ocean Conservancy, or even  government based groups such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“With close proximity to the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries to the west and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the east, a San Francisco Bay location presents a unique opportunity for marine and estuary study.

“The Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuaries today cover about 1800 square miles, but the proposed addition by NOAA will add an additional 2,000 square miles extending north.

“Funding could be derived not only from the sources mentioned above, but it may be possible to get donations from charitable foundations, such as Ford Foundation or Paul Getty Trust, and supplement large contributions by forming a coalition of the dozens of smaller advocacy and conservation groups—a form of crowd-funding on a large scale.”

A waterfront research institute that could aid scientists in studying the effects of climate change on ocean ecosystems? It couldn’t be farther from the sexy, spaceship-shaped sports arena previously proposed for that waterfront site. But it might not be such a bad idea.

DCCC calls against Prop B did not have desired effect, did raise questions

Chairperson Mary Jung of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, a highly influential political body that governs the San Francisco Democratic Party, has come under fire for “misuse of funds” after authorizing the use of DCCC dollars to make calls to voters just before the June 3 election.

The funds in question, according to DCCC members who raised concerns, came out of a $25,000 check from billionaire venture capital investor Ron Conway, received by the DCCC May 30.

In a June 16 letter – signed by DCCC members Kelly Dwyer, Hene Kelly, Sup. Eric Mar, Sup. David Campos, Sup. John Avalos and Petra DeJesus – Jung is taken to task for directing $11,674.48 from this donation be used for phone calls placed to voters in opposition to Proposition B, which appeared on the June 3 ballot, just before the election.

As previously reported, a complainant cried foul on this action in a filing with the San Francisco Ethics Commission, because callers seemed to be intentionally misleading voters by implying that the No Wall on the Waterfront Campaign, which backed the measure, was opposed to it.

When we phoned Jung for comment on that complaint, she said she did not have the call script and could not comment on the charge that the calls were misleading. She also said Conway’s contribution was not necessarily put toward the No on B calls. Instead, she told us, she could not link any single donation with any single expenditure, because the DCCC had been conducting broad fundraising efforts leading up to the election.

In their letter to Jung, the dissenting DCCC members argued that her decision to authorize the use of funds for the No on B voter calls violated the organization’s bylaws, because “there was never a vote by the members to expend $11,674.48 to make calls for No on B.” 

The letter points to an article within the board’s bylaws, stating that “Disbursements of SFDCCC funds … shall be authorized by a majority vote of the voting members present and voting at a regular meeting.” 

In the end, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved Prop. B, which requires voter approval before building heights may be increased above established limits for new waterfront development projects. However, the measure was not popular among real-estate development interests.

In addition to being chair of the DCCC, Jung is employed as a paid lobbyist for the San Francisco Association of Realtors, making her professionally positioned at the center of the San Francisco real-estate community.

“The power that comes with being the Chair does not mean that you can circumvent Bylaws and advocate and raise money for causes that you happen to also work for,” the authors of the letter stated bluntly. “There is a serious conflict of interest here.”

When the Bay Guardian phoned the DCCC to ask if there was an expert on the organization’s bylaws who might be able to comment on whether the rules had been violated, we were directed to Arlo Hale Smith, a 30-year DCCC member and parliamentarian with a deep understanding of the bylaws.

Smith offered an interesting twist on the matter: He said these funds were indeed “properly expended, under the emergency provision.”

The emergency provision? Yes, Smith explained, the DCCC bylaws contain a provision allowing the DCCC chair and treasurer to authorize the use of funds without first calling a vote, “in the event of an emergency.” This provision has been used in the past, he said, to authorize last-minute expenditures when an election imposes a tight deadline.

Since the money arrived three days before the election, there was no time to call a meeting and vote on it, Smith clarified. That’s why it was perfectly legitimate for Jung to authorize the use of funds. He added that disagreement over the content of the calls warranted a separate conversation.

“Because of when the check arrived – it constituted an emergency,” Smith noted, confirming that he was talking about the check from Conway.

That would be the same check from Conway that Jung told us had nothing to do with the No on B calls.

Sounds like the DCCC is going to have lots to talk about on June 25, when the members who submitted the letter asked for a hearing on this matter.

Here’s the full text of the letter.

DCCC members' letter to Chair Mary Jung

Housing crisis requires creative thinking

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EDITORIAL Does the construction of brand new high-end towers represent the only possible opportunity for new affordable housing in San Francisco? To hear the arguments of those bemoaning the passage of Proposition B, the ballot measure overwhelmingly approved June 3 requiring voter approval for increased building heights along the waterfront, one would think so.

Shortly after Prop. B had been decided, the Washington Post ran a headline proclaiming: “Voters in one of America’s most expensive cities just came up with another way to block new housing.” The idea seems to be that by making it harder for developers to build waterfront towers incorporating a small percentage of affordable units, San Francisco has sealed itself off from any new affordable housing, forever.

To buy this argument, you must resign yourself to a world where the only conceivable pathway for housing average-income people is to hope high-end developers decide to incorporate them into massive complexes for the wealthy on a narrow strip of waterfront property. Which just isn’t a terribly creative solution.

Surely, alternatives exist. The city is brimming with clever people who are skilled at creative thinking and aren’t afraid to dream big. Why not apply some brainpower to the housing crisis? Here are a few ideas.

• Change city law to allow people to build their own backyard cottages to rent out at affordable prices. Here we must holler at the Public Press, which is hosting a conference Fri/13 called “Hack the Housing Crisis,” and recently calculated that San Francisco could theoretically add another residence to each of its 124,000 single-family lots if the city were to legalize backyard cottages. That would increase the total number of households by 33 percent; no luxury towers required.

• Make the most of public land holdings. A Budget and Legislative Analyst’s report dating back to March of 2012 determined that city agencies have in their possession at least 27 underutilized “surplus” properties. Under the Administrative Code, the top priority for such lands is affordable housing, yet they go unused. Why not prioritize the transfer of these parcels for 100 percent affordable projects?

• Figure out some alternative financing schemes. Recent changes to federal law sanction crowdfunding for real-estate projects, an option that didn’t previously exist. Say some affordable housing people got together, started an online fundraising campaign, bought vacant properties for conversion into affordable units, and secured public funding to make the whole thing pencil out. Real estate investors won’t give a project a green light unless they’re guaranteed a stupidly high return; maybe under this scenario, thousands of nontraditional investors who care about the city they live in could reap small bonuses for pitching in.

And by the way, developers are still free to propose highly affordable projects under Prop B. In fact, voters might be much happier to sign off on that idea than high-end luxury condo towers.

 

Rep Clock June 11-17, 2014

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Schedules are for Wed/11-Tue/17 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ARTISTS’ TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $10-12. “Cine Mas:” Delusions of Grandeur (Almaraz and Ramos), Thu, 7:30.

BERKELEY FELLOWSHIP OF UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS 1924 Cedar, Berk; www.bfuu.org. $5-10. State of Siege (Costa-Gavras, 1972), Thu, 7.

BRAVA THEATER 2789 24th St, SF; www.qwocmap.org. Free ($5-10 suggested donation). Queer Women of Color Film Festival, four programs of short films (all screening with captions) under the theme “Re-Generation,” Fri-Sun.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-11. The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, 2013), Wed, 7 (subtitled), 9:30 (dubbed). •Joe (Green, 2013), Thu, 7, and Red Rock West (Dahl, 1993), Thu, 9:15. “Midnites for Maniacs: Bloody Fangs Double Bill:” •Interview with the Vampire (Jordan, 1994), Fri, 7:20, and Vampire’s Kiss (Bierman, 1988), Fri, 9:45. This double bill, $12. Frozen (Buck and Lee, 2013), Sat-Sun, 1. Presented sing-along style; advance tickets ($10-16) at www.ticketweb.com. •Lost in America (Brooks, 1985), Sat, 7:15, and Something Wild (Demme, 1986), Sat, 5, 9. Othello (Welles, 1952), Sun, 5, 7, 9. •Under the Skin (Glazer, 2013), Tue, 7, and Trouble Every Day (Denis, 2001), Tue, 9:05.

CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. We Are the Best! (Moodysson, 2013), Wed-Thu, call for times.

CLAY 2261 Fillmore, SF; www.landmarktheatres.com. $10. “Midnight Movies:” The Room (Wiseau, 2003), Sat, midnight.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; www.redwoodcity.org. Free. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Daniels, 2013), Thu, 8:45.

JACK LONDON FERRY LAWN Clay and Water, Oakl; www.jacklondonsquare.com. Free. “Waterfront Flicks:” Gravity (Cuaron, 2013), Thu, sundown.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “A Theater Near You:” L’avventura (Antonioni, 1960), Fri, 7:30. “Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema:” Saragossa Manuscript (Has, 1964), Sat, 7; Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, 1958), Sun, 6:30.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, through June 19. Complete program details, including additional venues, and tickets (most shows $12) at www.sfindie.com.

“SAN FRANCISCO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL” Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore, SF; and Buriel Clay Theater, 762 Fulton, SF; www.sfbff.org. Check website for individual ticket prices; festival pass, $50. A celebration of African American cinema and the African cultural Diaspora, with a focus on both local and global filmmakers, Thu-Sat.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. “New Filipino Cinema 2014:” How to Disappear Completely (Martin, 2013), Wed, 7:30 (reception, 6:30); Jungle Love (Sanchez, 2012), Thu, 4; Debosyon (Yapan, 2013), Thu, 6; Sana Dati (Tarog, 2013), Thu, 8; Iskalawags (Deligero, 2013), Fri, 2: Woman of the Ruins (Sicat, 2013), Fri, 2; The Bit Player (Jaturian, 2013), Fri, 7; Metro Manila (Ellis, 2013), Fri, 9:15; Oro, Plata, Mata: The Restored Version (Gallaga, 1982/2012), Sat, noon; “Basket Case: Short Films Over the Edge,” Sat, 4; Transit (Espia, 2013), Sat, 7; Anita’s Last Cha-Cha (Bernardo, 2013), Sat, 9:15; No End in Sight (Tabay, 2012), Sun, noon; Pascalina (Miras, 2012), Sun, 2; Rigodon (Matti, 2012), Sun, 4:30; Thy Womb (Mendoza, 2012), Sun, 7 (reception, 6). *

 

No Wall on the Waterfront wins big, Chiu prevails in Assembly race by slim margin

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Developers looking to build high-end luxury condos on the waterfront lost big last night. 

Proposition B, backed by a campaign committee known as No Wall on the Waterfront, won handily with a 19 percentage point lead at the polls. 

At the Yes on B campaign party at Sinbad’s, former Mayor Art Agnos described the outcome as a win for the people of San Francisco.

“I think this vote is a decisive vote,” Agnos said, “that sends a message to City Hall that people in San Francisco want to protect the waterfront.

The ballot measure will require voter approval for waterfront development projects that exceed established building height limits.

Most political experts predicted last night’s June primary election would result in record-low turnouts, since Governor Jerry Brown’s expected win meant no big-ticket votes on the ballot. The prediction was correct. All told, 22 percent of San Francisco registered voters cast ballots in the June 3 election. And though some provisional ballots and mail-in ballots will be counted over the next few days, the initial counts have Yes on B miles ahead.

At Oddjob, a SoMa cocktail bar, opponents of Prop B backers were in a grim mood on election night.

Patrick Valentino, a No on B spokesperson, said his camp had a “more complex message” to convey. He felt their thesis, arguing luxury condos take pressure off the housing market, wasn’t heard by voters.

Meanwhile, in the Assembly race for soon-to-be termed out Tom Ammiano’s seat, Board President David Chiu and Sup. David Campos emerged as the first- and second-place primary winners, respectively, setting them up to face off against one another in November as expected.

Chiu prevailed, with 48 percent to Campos’ 43 percent, a five percentage point lead. But from the start of the night to the end, Campos was able to close a gap that was initially larger, setting the stage for a close race in November

At his celebration, Chiu told supporters: “It feels good.” When early polling results showed Chiu much farther ahead, a finance staffer told the Guardian, “We’re surprised by the gap, we expected to be up, but not by this much.”

David’s father, Han Chiu, said “we are so proud.

But as more results came in, Campos was able to narrow the gap, finally trailing by a margin of about 3,000 votes.

Campos adressed his supporters at Virgil’s Sea Room, and as the crowd whooped and hollered, he took note of a few milestones.

Firstly, few progressive campaigns for Assembly had ever raised as much money as his had, which he thanked his staffers for.

And the numbers should make Chiu nervous, Campos said, because fewer voters turn out to the polls in the primaries.

“We’ve been very clear,” he boomed to the bustling crowd. “If Chiu doesn’t win by double digits [in June], we win in November.”

Reed Nelson contributed to this report.

Bay Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe, Staff Writer Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez and freelancer Reed Nelson live-tweeted campaign parties throughout last night. Check out their tweets in a curated timeline, below.


Ethics complaint says chair of DCCC deliberately tried to confuse voters

NOTE: This post has been updated from an earlier version.

Right down to the wire, a complaint filed with the San Francisco Ethics Commission today [Tue/3] – election day – alleges that Democratic County Central Committee elected chair Mary Jung authorized phone calls that were meant to deliberately confuse voters on Proposition B.

The ballot measure, which would require voter approval for waterfront height limit increases, is officially backed by a committee called “No Wall on the Waterfront, Yes on B.”

But according to the Ethics Commission complaint, opponents of Prop. B falsely portrayed No Wall on the Waterfront as being against Prop. B in a bid to confuse voters.

A transcript of the call included in the complaint notes that a live caller opened the communication by saying, “I’m calling about the No Wall on the Waterfront Campaign,” without saying they were calling in opposition to that campaign, and seemingly posing as being affiliated with it. Callers also made statements such as, “Prop B is about environmental loopholes, against affordable housing,” and “No on B endorsements — the Democratic Party, Alice Toklas democratic club, labor.”

“This act by Ms. Jung was a devious and deceptive plan to trick San Francisco voters,” complainant Geraldine Crowley, formerly a DCCC member herself, charged in the filing. “While I realize she employed as a highly paid lobbyist for the San Francisco Association of Realtors – who oppose Prop. B – it crosses the line for Ms. Jung to violate the ethical codes and San Francisco law in this manner.”

We reached Jung by leaving a message on her phone line, listed on the San Francisco Association of Realtors website, next to her job title: “Director of Government and Community Relations.” (Which is really a very convenient arrangement for the real-estate crowd, when you think about it. Who better to relate to the “community” and the “government” than the chair of one of the most politically influential organizations in town, which endorses candidates for elected office?)

When she called us back, Jung confirmed, “We were calling people to vote No on Prop. B.” But what about the allegation that those calls were intentionally deceptive, falsely painting No Wall on the Waterfront as being against Prop. B? “I have not seen the complaint,” Jung told us. She added, “I don’t have a copy of the script” used by callers when they contacted voters. To get a copy of the script, she said, we would have to call political consultant Eric Jaye, who is handling communications for the opposition to Prop. B. We tried calling Jaye but couldn’t reach him.

[UPDATE: Jaye just returned our call. He said Crowley’s complaint is “frivolous” because the callers said they were calling “about” the No Wall on the Waterfront Campaign. “This was what they named their campaign,” Jaye said repeatedly. “It’s not deceptive.” But we asked him multiple times if he would provide a copy of the full call script, and he refused to do so, without offering any reason why he couldn’t.]

What’s more, according to Crowley’s complaint, is that the paid phone calls to DCCC members appear to have originated with venture capitalist Ron Conway, who made a $25,000 donation to the DCCC on May 30. A few days later, Ethics Commission filings show, Jung authorized expenditures totaling $12,281.13 for “membership communication calls.”

Jung denied having had any conversation with Conway about it, and said “the Democratic Party has done a lot of fundraising in the past three months,” and that she could not link a specific donation with a specific DCCC expenditure. She then said she had to go.

Officially, “you can’t give to the party and officially say the donation is for some purpose, but anyone who’s worked in San Francisco politics knows … it’s designed to make something happen,” said Jon Golinger, who heads up the “No Wall on the Waterfront, Yes on B” committee.

He added, “They’re literally using our name to further an agenda that is the opposite” of what the Yes on B campaign has been organizing for.

Some members of the DCCC are reportedly seeking copies of that script, since there seems to have been little awareness of what was being told to voters in the Democratic committee’s name.

But the idea that Jung herself did not know what was being said in the calls, when she authorized the expenditure for membership calls and works in the same office as Prop. B opponents, raises questions about what sort of leadership she’s actually providing.

In the meantime, here’s the Ethics Commission complaint.

Ethics Complaint Against Mary Jung by Rebecca Bowe