Ralph Nader writes a letter to Rep. John Boehner

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September 22, 2014

Dear Speaker Boehner,

While millions of hardworking Americans are working more and more for less and less, you and your House of Representatives seem to have no problem working less and less for more and more.

If a mother of one in Butler County, Ohio — your home county — working at the Ohio minimum wage ($7.95 per hour) wanted to make a living wage — according to MIT’s Living Calculator for the county — she would have to work 88 hours a week, which adds up to a little over 12 hours of work per day, 7 days a week. You once defended the placement of Ten Commandments on public property. If this mother wanted to obey the Fourth Commandment — “Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy” — by not working one day a week, she would have to work over 14 hours per day, leaving her with only two hours left to spend with her child, given eight hours of sleep. For millions of Americans, the fair deal of eight hours of work, eight hours of rest, and eight hours of discretionary time has been broken. Read more »

Two-fer Tuesday: New music videos from Cathedrals and The Stone Foxes

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Because nothing showcases the breadth of music being made in the Bay Area better than some chilled-out electro R&B followed by a driving blues-rock sprint of a song: Here are the latest music videos from local faves Cathedrals and the Stone Foxes. Read more »

Luxy! The dating app for the 1 percent is NOT a prank

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I got a press release announcing a new app yesterday that immediately set off my “hoax” radar. Not only is Luxy not a prank, but actual people are signing up for it.

In the press release, Luxy is advertised (in all caps) as TINDER MINUS THE POOR PEOPLE.

Finally -- an app guaranteed to ensure Greg Gopman’s pool of dating prospects won’t be infected with the grotesque human trash he so despises.Read more »

Chiu's Airbnb legislation, still a controversial mess, moves to full board

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Board of Supervisors President David Chiu’s reputation for forging decent compromises is being severely tested as his widely criticized legislation to legalize and regulate Airbnb and other short-term housing rental companies now moves to the full board, where its fate is uncertain.Read more »

Live shots: Modest Mouse sweat it out at the Masonic

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Modest Mouse got hot and heavy at the Masonic Sept. 26, and we were there to catch them in all their sweaty glory. Mimicking Birds (first photo below) opened.

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Now that Willie Brown is a lobbyist, will the SF Chronicle finally cut him loose?

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Years ago, the San Francisco Chronicle handed Willie Brown a megaphone, but now that he's officially recognized as a paid lobbyist, isn't it time to yank it back?Read more »

Investigation shows outsider ownership of SF's luxury condos

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Former Bay Guardian editor and publisher Tim Redmond has a great new investigation on his 48Hills site showing how many new luxury condos in San Francisco are owned as investments by out-of-towners, puncturing the myth that unfettered market-rate housing development will help with the city’s affordability crisis. Check it out. 

Ammiano "angry" as Brown vetoes prosecutor misconduct bill

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Assemblymember Tom Ammiano strongly criticized Gov. Jerry Brown today [Mon/29] for yesterday vetoing his Assembly 885, which would have provided modest sanctions for prosecutors who willfully withhold evidence during criminal trials, a huge problem we’ve repeatedly covered in the Bay Guardian.Read more »

The back story of the celebrated Boys' Night Out at John's Grill

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By Bruce B. Brugmann (Scroll down for photo id and to see Ex- Marine Pete McCloskey jump the barricade and storm Martin's Beach) 

Boys' Night Out, a creation of press agent Lee Houskeeper, was held recently at John's Grill, home of Dashiell Hammett and the Maltese Falcon.   Houskeeper turned the falcon on its side, which meant that all of the news and gossip turned up by his newsworthy guests was privileged and could not be repeated to the outside world.

Nonetheless, the timing was perfect because the next day came the welcome news that a San Mateo Superior Court judge had ruled for the public and against a  billionaire coastal landowner to open up a valuable chunk of privately held San Mateo coastline. The Surfrider case was handled by  Attorneys Joe Cotchett and Pete McCloskey, both of whom were at the dinner.

Houskeeper, who does publicity work for Cotchett,  explained the back story to me after the dinner. He said that the Surfrider forces started "the public brouhaha" two years ago when the "Blackwater type security goons were arresting surfers who dared jump his locked Martin's Beach gate fence."  Vinod Khosla, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, had acquired the 53-acre parcel near Half Moon Bay in 2008. Houskeeper asked McCloskey, a Korean War veteran,  if he would risk arrest, jump the gate, and lead the surfers a half mile to "free" the beach. Read more »

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle on his first novel, unreliable narrators, and the joys of getting real mail

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John Darnielle’s brain seems like it runs at just a slightly higher RPM than other people’s.

One could get this impression from listening to the tightly crafted mini-universe he creates inside each track on a Mountain Goats record — take your pick, he’s penned some 14 full-length studio LPs inside the last 18 years, not counting a slew of singles and B-sides and other assorted treats — or from his Twitter feed, which zooms from his enthusiasm for black metal to witty commentary about televised wrestling to on-point, eloquent opining about Ferguson, vegetarianism, or abortion rights. Read more »