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Three quick, cheap kids’ holiday hits

Gianmaria Franchini, SF Public Press — Dec 25 2009 - 11:00am

For better or worse, the holidays are a time to spend with the family. Here are three activities to take the edge off.

Citywide vaccine clinic plans began years ago

Monica Jensen and Jon Kawamoto, SF Public Press — Dec 24 2009 - 1:52pm
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The plans for Tuesday's vaccine clinic, in which thousands of San Franciscans received swine flu shots, had been in the works for years, according to a spokeswoman for the city Department of Public Health.

Hughes’ ‘Black Nativity’ is uplifting holiday musical

Gianmaria Franchini, SF Public Press — Dec 23 2009 - 7:16pm

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Public Press partner KALW Public Radio spoke with Thomas Robert Simpson, artistic director of AfroSolo Theater Company, about Black Nativity.

The gospel-inspired holiday musical “Black Nativity,” currently being performed by the cast of Lorraine Hansberry Theatre at the Marines Memorial Theatre through Dec. 27, was written by Langston Hughes and was one of the first performances by an African American to play on Broadway.

Underground farmers market finds home in Mission District

Gianmaria Franchini, SF Public Press — Dec 22 2009 - 5:19pm
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Acorn flour, wild fennel seeds and homemade sarsaparilla (that’s soda for all you non-foodies) are just some of the treats that have found their way into a new alternative farmers market. This underground bazaar sponsored by the founder of forageSF is a house party, dinner party and street fair rolled into one. Small vendors who can’t afford commercial kitchens or a booth at SF’s official farmers market are hawking their food on the second-floor flat of a Victorian.

Death of bilingual newspaper leaves void in Japanese American community

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Dec 14 2009 - 5:05pm

One of the last bilingual Japanese-English newspapers in San Francisco has ceased its print publication and will likely end its Internet edition in the near future, leaving Japantown residents disappointed and searching for new sources of information.

New transit center to displace SoMa neighbors

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Dec 11 2009 - 1:15pm

South of Market business owners and residents are conflicted over plans for an ambitious new transit-center redevelopment. They say that while the project may be good for the city and the Bay Area, it's bad for their livelihoods. Among those being pressured to relocate are 26 businesses, at least 24 live-work lofts and eight parking lots operators.

Copenhagen climate talks teleported to San Francisco

Victoria Schlesinger, SF Public Press — Dec 10 2009 - 6:56pm

Any question you have about the environment — the best eco-clothing line or whether climate change is a hoax — David Pascal and company will try to answer it, as part of their Copenhagen Café, a two-week-long environmental salon in downtown San Francisco that will parallel the U.N. climate talks underway in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Unparalleled bridge, unprecedented cost

Patricia Decker and Robert Porterfield, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:50pm

When completed, the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be not only the most complex engineering feat in California history, but also the most expensive, with a cost never subjected to public scrutiny. Although today’s price tag stands at $6.3 billion, the figure accounts for only salaries and hard materials—things like concrete and steel and cranes. When all is said and done, the new Bay Bridge will wind up costing tax- and toll-payers more than $12 billion—a figure that leaves even the officials in charge “staggered.”

How Wall Street profits from bridge building

Robert Porterfield, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:49pm

The Bay Area Toll Authority has the unique power to raise bridge tolls without the Legislature's approval, which it has done repeatedly to pay off the $6.9 billion bond debt amassed so far to build the new Bay Bridge and upgrade six other spans. That makes BATA particularly attractive to Wall Street, which has pocketed more than $122 million in fees to arrange the borrowing.

Building the bay’s signature span

Patricia Decker, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:48pm

When all the pieces are finally welded together and tethered by the main suspension cable, the Bay Bridge east span will be not just a new American icon, but also a truly global monument. From the enormous solid steel castings of cable saddles, brackets and bands being forged in Japan and England to the gigantic bearings and hinges being manufactured in South Korea and Pennsylvania, fabrication of the bridge is under way in seven foreign countries and in more than two dozen American cities, including 12 in California.

The fine print: Interest doubles total price tag

Robert Porterfield, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:47pm

Overall cost estimates have been presented to the public in annual reports and press briefings, but the cost of interest on money borrowed to pay for construction has not been included.

A timeline of the old and new Bay Bridge east span

Mike Adamick, McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:46pm

Graphic illustration: the Bay Bridge

McSweeney's San Francisco Panorama/SF Public Press — Dec 8 2009 - 1:45pm

The east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in graphic illustration. Design by Eleven: Greg Hathaway, Darlene Gibson, Stella Trenggono & Liz Gershman.

San Francisco less progressive than it thinks, says outgoing green chief

Victoria Schlesinger, The Public Press — Dec 2 2009 - 4:46pm

After eight years as the director of the city’s Department of the Environment, Jared Blumenfeld is leaving the position in January for a bigger job.

VA launches initiative to assist homeless vets

T.J. Johnston, The Public Press — Nov 26 2009 - 4:15pm

A collaboration between the Veterans Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development seeks to end — and prevent — homelessness among veterans.

Supervisors: holidays a bad time to lay off city workers

Monica Jensen, The Public Press — Nov 25 2009 - 6:59pm

More than 500 low-wage city workers threatened with job and pay cuts this fall received a holiday-themed reprieve Tuesday, as the Board of Supervisors delayed layoffs in the hopes of finding federal and state funds to prevent cutbacks.

Prop. D proponents blame video for creating fear of billboard plan

Jaime Nabrynski, The Public Press — Nov 24 2009 - 3:43pm

The proponents of Proposition D, the billboard plan in the Mid-Market Street area, blame a last-minute video by the “No” on Proposition D campaign for creating fears among voters that San Francisco would turn into the next Las Vegas with its neon lights and billboards.

How Prop. D billboard plan was defeated

Jaime Nabrynski, The Public Press — Nov 13 2009 - 3:07pm
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The defeat of the Mid-Market Street billboard plan last week was close because proponents hid the details over who would handle the funds coming from large ads, says the opposition's key organizer.

Billy Bragg saved my life

Tim Kingston, The Public Press — Nov 10 2009 - 10:55am

There is something about being unemployed — or underemployed, as it is cutely referred to these days — that puts a crimp in one’s life. What is harsh is the loss of hope that comes with long-term unemployment. It is the constant effort to keep optimistic and on top of things while isolation grinds one down. Unemployment focuses the mind on individual survival, instead of collective solutions. Watching Billy Bragg perform recently at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco was, for me, a desperately needed injection of hope and a reminder that there is a lot more to life than getting by.

City finds millions to rehire laid-off nurses, clerical workers

Kevin Stark, The Public Press — Nov 4 2009 - 10:14pm

San Francisco city leaders have found an extra pot of $8 million they hope to use as a patch on the summer’s tattered budget, potentially rescuing more than 500 frontline workers already given pink slips or downgraded to lower-paying jobs.