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CAROLE MIGDEN Senate race could be decided in Marin and Sonoma

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JOE ALIOTO VERONESE

BELIEVE IT OR WHAT
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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

For those who watch California State Senator Carole Migden even from a distance, it’s not hard to imagine Migden screaming, “I’m a Senator!” soon after rear-ending a motorist

The allegation may not be true…

The witness, who also said Migden appeared “to be out of it”, may have lied to better his chance to be on TV, he might be a Migden political opponent, or he may consider her choice of colors overstated…

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But she does, one knows, require office visitors to stand as she enters to confer (for dignity of the Office she holds, uh huh)…

With such brusque style viewed as arrogant by many North Bay voters in her last race, and the Midas touch of incumbency cold handed in Marin and Sonoma Counties, the woman faces formidable challengers hailing from San Francisco… And the heavy handed San Francisco Board of Supervisors president may jump in, too…

All hailing from minority vote land given that Marin and Sonoma cast more amens than pert San Francisco…

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Mark Leno, Joe Alioto Veronese, Aaron Peskin

North Bay luminaries Joe Nation, Kerry Mazzoni, Pam Torliatt, and Susan Adams say no thanks (Adams has endorsed Migden)… Phil Kranenburg, a Marin Community College Trustee, may throw his hat at the rack, but has said he will not decide until end of summer when fundraising competitive with SFers could be a touch difficult…

Attitudinal disposition, this corner reminds, of San Francisco diverges from majority voters somewhere in a place calling itself the North Bay…

Look for San Francisco Police Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese, newest contender, to dispense with Carole Migden quickly going head-to-head with Mark Leno…

NEVER A BLUE SAN FRANCISCO DAY

Take ten minutes to be happy you yourself have a warm place to go to the bathroom, be glad the richest guy in Asia is named Ka-Shing, and go out and make sure Carole Migden, Mark Leno, and Aaron Peskin got milk… it might make them nod off…

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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STREET VIOLENCE: Bayview awakens to one more shot

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A man who was shot in the chest and legs in San Francisco’s Bayview district this morning is likely to survive, according to a San Francisco police officer.

The officer said the man, who was found wounded at Revere Avenue and Hawes Street in San Francisco’s Bayview District at around 4:43 a.m., was mobile and talking with the officers who found him.

No suspects have been taken into custody and police are continuing to investigate this incident, the officer said.

Bay City News

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FASHION: How to dress to go to the White House

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File Photo by James Steidl

By Sheryl Eberly

Although it’s known as “the people’s house,” you’ll probably feel more welcome in something other than your “good” T-shirt.

For a tour: The White House is the people’s house. It doesn’t belong to the president and First Lady; it belongs to the people. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a sense of respect when we’re there. Step it up a notch.

Nice casual: Trousers or khakis and a shirt (with sleeves). Sweater optional. No jacket necessary. Definitely no caps, flip-flops, or cutoffs.

To meet with a staff member: It’s a conservative town. A business suit is very much what’s worn in Washington.

Conservative business attire: Dark business suit with a shirt and tie. (Shirt doesn’t have to be white.)

To attend a formal event: If you’re invited to a social event, a state dinner, you will receive instructions on the invitation on what kind of attire is expected.

Business attire or black tie, depending on instructions.

Sheryl Eberly is a former White House aide to Nancy Reagan.

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STREET VIOLENCE: San Francisco police shootout with alleged bike thief

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By Matt Wynkoop
Bay City News

Two San Francisco patrol officers were treated for minor injuries they sustained while trying to escape gunfire by a suspected bike robber this morning in the Sunset District, a police spokesman reported.

At around 1 a.m. today police received a report that someone had been seen stealing a bicycle from the garage of a home in the 2000 block of Lower Great Highway, San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said.

Responding officers soon located a man that fit a witness’ description riding a bicycle near the intersection of 48th Avenue and Taraval Street, according to Mannina.

As the officers were in the process of exiting their patrol car in an effort to approach the suspect, the man suddenly produced a gun and fired several shots at the officers, hitting the patrol car multiple times.

The officers immediately returned gunfire but the man ran from the scene northbound on 47th Avenue, Mannina said.

Police set up a large perimeter in the area and called the San Francisco SWAT team to assist with the search, which included a large sweep of Ocean Beach, Mannina said.

The suspect was located at around 4:45 a.m. hiding in a patch of bushes at Santiago Street and Lower Great Highway suffering a gunshot wound to the hand, Mannina said.

Both officers were taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for minor injuries sustained during their attempts to avoid the initial gunfire.

The suspect, who remains unidentified this afternoon, was also taken to San Francisco General Hospital to receive treatment for his injured hand, Mannina said.

The suspect remains at the hospital this afternoon.

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JIMMY CARTER criticizes Tony Blair for blind support of Iraq War – AUDIO

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LISTEN TO AUDIO

Former US President Jimmy Carter has criticized outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his “blind” support of the war in Iraq.

Mr Carter told the BBC Mr Blair’s backing for US President George W Bush had been “apparently subservient”.

He said the UK’s “almost undeviating” support for “the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq had been a major tragedy for the world”.

His comments came as Mr Blair paid what is likely to be his last visit to Iraq.

He flew into the capital, Baghdad, for talks with President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki at which he is expected to push for greater reconciliation between Iraq’s Sunni and Shia factions.

Mr Blair is due to leave office at the end of next month.

‘Global schisms’

Mr Carter said that if Mr Blair had distanced himself from the Bush administration’s policy during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq it might have made a crucial difference to American political and public opinion.

“One of the defences of the Bush administration… has been, okay, we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks because Great Britain is backing us,” he told the Today programme on Radio 4.

“So I think the combination of Bush and Blair giving their support to this tragedy in Iraq has strengthened the effort and has made the opposition less effective and prolonged the war and increased the tragedy that has resulted.”

The war had “caused deep schisms on a global basis”, he said, and he hoped Mr Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, would be less enthusiastic in his support for it.

The former US president has been a fierce critic of the US-led war in Iraq.

In an interview last year, he said he was “disappointed” by Tony Blair’s failure to use his influence with President Bush more wisely.

In 1976, Mr Carter unseated the incumbent Gerald Ford to become the 39th US president, serving until 1981.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, for what presenters cited as decades of work seeking peaceful solutions and promoting social and economic justice.

BBC News

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“San Francisco Through The Eyes of Our Children” – a multi-day art exhibition with honorary co-chair Robert Redford – Saturday, May 19th – at San Francisco’s Landmark Mansion, LE PETIT TRIANON

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VIEWS OF THE CITY, by The City’s Kids

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

“SAN FRANCISCO THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR CHILDREN” – the first event of its
kind, supporting 17 San Francisco based organizations, will take place at the landmark mansion, LE PETIT TRIANON (3800 Washington Street) Saturday, May 19th. The event is sponsored by Byzantium Brokerage. The event will raise funds for 17 Organizations in the City of San Francisco.

With Honorary Co-chair Robert Redford, the Academy Award winning actor and director this multi-day experience features an art exhibition and events centered on unique works created by children from a number of San Francisco-based organizations, including schools and child advocacy charities.

In an effort to shine the spotlight on the children of San Francisco, Byzantium, led by cofounders Steven Mavromihalis and Gilbert Fleitas, created this unique concept that is comprised of a multi-day art exhibition and an evening cocktail soiree. Specifically, the estate will play host to a three day art exhibition that features works by Bay Area children (and select Bay Area artists), all of which are available via a silent auction, and will culminate in a special-invitation cocktail party on Saturday evening.

The foremost goal of the concept is to host a memorable and successful event that benefits the children of San Francisco, while encouraging a proactive dialogue on the future of the City’s children.

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Exhibiting at LE PETIT TRIANON

The children selected to create the art have been posed the following question, “If you closed your eyes and thought of San Francisco, what do you see? Can you draw it?” The drawings and paintings will not only reflect their individual visions, but also the diverse range of cultural and economic backgrounds that exist within the city.

These children will also be invited to visit the venue and witness their own artwork on display in this historic landmark venue. The submissions will be shown throughout the twenty-two rooms of Le Petit Trianon, where since its completion in 1904, the home has played host to a wide range of San Francisco society and has been the setting for state and diplomatic functions and private concerts by such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern and Igor Stravinsky.

With one pre-school exception, the schools and organizations that participate will involve Children – grades K-8. The exhibited art will be available for sale and the funds generated will be given on a “dollar-per-dollar” basis to the school or organization from which they were received.

Funds distributed to the organizations will be used to benefit art programs and other meaningful activities available to each schools’ or organizations’ children. The public is encouraged to visit the estate during the “exhibition-style” period during which the estate will be open from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Saturday, May 19th.

Organizations participating:

City of Dreams
Edgewood Center for Children and Families
Chinese American School
Hamilton Family Center
Homeless Prenatal Program
The Imagine Bus Project
Okizu Foundation
Phoebe Hearst Preschool
Presidio Hill School
Raphael House
Real Options for City Kids
Russian American School
San Francisco Friends School
San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center
San Francisco CASA Program
Alamo Elementary School
Creative Arts Charter School

See Seán’s recent articles and reviews:

LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel
RIGOLETTO – SF OPERA Broadcasts on Classical 102.1 KDFC
JERSEY BOYS – Smashing Records in SAN FRANCISCO
NORMA SHEARER – Headlines the 12th ANNUAL SILENT FILM FESTIVAL
DON QUIXOTE – An Impossible Dream at SF Ballet
THE DAMNATION OF FAUST – Absolute Heaven at Davies Symphony Hall
JEANETTE MacDONALD – First Lady of “San Francisco”
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT – Principal Soloist, San Francisco Ballet
TERRA HAUTE – An Interview with The Stars, John Hutchinson and Elias Escobedo

sean-martinfield-ad-mug-160-pixels.jpg
San Francisco Sentinel’s Fine Arts Critic Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Ask him a question on AllExperts.com . If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: seanmartinfield@att.net.

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BROKEN PARKING METERS cut City revenue to less than half potential

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Jake McGoldrick

San Francisco can expect to collect about $54 million a year from its parking meters, less than half the maximum potential revenue the meters could provide, auditors found in a city controller report released this week.

The maximum potential revenue that could be collected is $127 million, but the city can only expect to collect 42 percent of that due to meters that are broken or in construction zones, unoccupied meters and vehicles exempt from paying.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency collected $29.7 million in parking meter revenue in fiscal year 2005-2006.

The audit was conducted in response to a request by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick in part to determine what percent of time the meters managed by the transportation agency were occupied and if occupied spaces were paid as required.

“With the roadmap the Controller’s report provides we can implement processes to create more efficient use of our limited parking in San Francisco and more effective collection of meter revenues that will bring in significantly more money to enhance and protect Muni services,” McGoldrick said.

Bay City News

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SAN FRANCISCO SCHOOL DISTRICT sued by former Superintendent Ackerman

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Arlene Ackerman

By Tamara Barak
Bay City News

Former San Francisco schools chief Arlene Ackerman today filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Unified School District, claiming it failed to pay her severance compensation.

The lawsuit is asking for more than $172,0000 in damages for nonpayment of salary.

The embattled superintendent was forced to resign in June, 2006 after the Board of Education invoked a compatibility clause in her contract acknowledging that the school board and Ackerman agree they are incompatible.

Ackerman was praised for raising student achievement and cutting waste in the district’s budget, but came under fire for her personal style – which critics said excluded parents and teachers from decision-making.

Ackerman is being represented in the lawsuit by San Francisco attorney Waukeen McCoy.

“It’s unfortunate that someone who has done so much for the city of San Francisco and its schools should be treated this way be a vindictive school board, despite her stellar record of improving test scores in our schools, and the clear language of her contract,” McCoy said in a written statement.

The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court today, according to McCoy.

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SAN FRANCISCO TOMORROW annual awards go to Amy Meyer, Dr. Edgar Wayburn, Tom Ammiano, Denise D’Anne, and Judy Irving

San Francisco Tomorrow (SFT), 37-year-old urban environmental organization, conducted its annual awards ceremony Wednesday honoring five persons “who have contributed to a better environment in this City.”

The Jack Morrison Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to AMY MEYER and DR. EDGAR WAYBURN for leading the campaign to establish the 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area on former military, park and private lands in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Much of the area was threatened with commercial development in 1970 and they won the support of over 65 civic and environmental organizations for an appeal to the U. S. Congress. In response San Francisco ’s Representative Phil Burton, with the aid of other Bay Area members of Congress, created the GGNRA in 1972. Amy Meyer is a former San Francisco Recreation and Park Commissioner and member of the Presidio Trust. Dr. Wayburn, now 100 years old, was a long-time president of the Sierra Club.

SFT presented a Special Award to Supervisor Tom Ammiano for his success in creating a health care program covering everyone in San Francisco – and for his many other legislative achievements that improve the life of the city’s residents.

Two were saluted as Unsung Heroes who have made a difference:

DENISE D’ANNE was honored for establishing the first source reduction and comprehensive recycling programs in a City department. Her conservation program helped to save hundreds of thousands of tax dollars — increasing job opportunities with the surplus funds. Denise is credited with changing perceptions and habits in the use of material resources in the workplace and the overall community.

JUDY IRVING was honored as a maker of environmental films, including the “Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,” which will have its national premiere Tuesday, May 29, on PBS — at 9pm on KQED-TV. She has won many awards for her documentary films reporting on peace and the environment in Alaska , Japan , Russian, Nepal , Zimbabwe and the U.S.

Paying tribute to the honorees at the dinner were Superintendent Brian O’Neill of the GGNRA, San Francisco Health Director Mitch Katz, Deputy Director David Assmann of the City’s Department of the Environment, and President Aaron Peskin of the Board of Supervisors.

President Jennifer Clary said San Francisco Tomorrow works to protect the urban environment, seeking the aid of responsible and responsive public officials, protecting the city’s parks and a maritime Port, and advocating more and better public transportation, including a downtown Transbay Terminal to connect Caltrain and other Bay Area Transit — with High Speed Rail for fast travel between downtown San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles, a travel option that can result in a major reduction in air pollution from automobiles and airlines.
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VIRGIN AIRLINES receives final okay to begin San Francisco flights

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has given its final approval for Virgin America Airlines to begin operations from San Francisco International Airport.

The airline has filed a procedural request to begin selling tickets and plans to begin operations by mid-summer.

“This is outstanding news, not only for San Francisco, but for the entire Bay Area,” said Newsom.

“Virgin America’s operational base at SFO will create nearly 2,000 new jobs directly and thousands more indirectly, all of which is great news for the economy of the region.”

“We are very pleased to hear that the DOT has certified Virgin America for operations,” said John L. Martin, Airport Director. “Now, with Virgin America joining Jet Blue and Southwest at SFO, our passengers will have an even broader spectrum of choices in low cost carriers.”

Virgin America plans to begin service between SFO and New York’s JFK Airport, with expansion planned to ten additional cities within a year.

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CALIFORNIA SENATOR CAROLE MIGDEN rear-ends vehicle sending driver to hospital with minor injuries – KTVU reporter Rob Roth video – Witness alleges Migden did not appear “to be all there” and screamed, “I’m a Senator”

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Senator Carole Migden

California Senator Carole Migden this morning rear-ended a vehicle sending its passenger to a local hospital with minor injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

KTVU-TV reporter Rob Roth is reporting a witness said Migden did not appear “to be all there” and screamed, “I’m a Senator.”

The senator rear-ended a 2005 Honda sedan, which was slowing to a stop behind a van that had already stopped at a red signal light at the intersection of Beck Avenue and Highway 12 in Solano County, according to a CHP spokesman.

She was given a breathalyzer test which showed Migden was not under the influence of alcohol and no citation was issued.

Migden’s office released a statement indicating, “While driving to the meeting, Senator Migden’s cell phone rang and in reaching for the phone she took her eyes off the road. She was not injured, and later passed a routine breathalyzer test and then she drove her car home. Senator Migden is very grateful that no one was seriously injured.”

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STREET VIOLENCE: Shot in the head at O’Farrell and Leavenworth

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Homicide inspectors in San Francisco are investigating a shooting in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood this morning that has left a man fighting for his life, police Sgt. Steve Mannina said.

The victim, described only as a Hispanic man in his 30s, was seen walking in the 700 block of O’Farrell Street just before police were called to a report of a shooting in the area at 5:20 a.m.

Responding officers found the man lying on the street suffering a gunshot wound to the head, according to police.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening wounds, Mannina said.

“Obviously, things are still very early in the investigation and inspectors have not released a suspect description yet,” Mannina said.

Bay City News

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WELLS FARGO launches electronic images of returned items for small businesses

Wells Fargo today announced the launch of Returned Item & Deposit Details, an enhancement to its online banking service.

“Our customers have told us their lives are busy and that they need time-saving solutions to help them focus on running their businesses. These new services were designed to do just that,” said Richard Weeks, senior vice president and head of Wells Fargo’s Business Internet Services.

“At Wells Fargo, it’s not only what we deliver, it’s how we deliver. We’re focused on making it convenient and easy for our customers to succeed financially.”

Returned Item & Deposit Details allows customers to view, print, download and save electronic images of all deposits, including deposited checks and returned items, as well as summary details such as the date, total amount, and bank location where deposits were made.

Business Wire

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ON THE CALENDAR: AMERICA TROPICAL / TAKE ME OUT / SMUIN BALLET – Opera, Queer Ball, and Michael Smuin

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AMERICA TROPICAL – by David Conte

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

AMERICA TROPICAL – Final performances now at the Thick House, Thursday, May 17th through Sunday, May 20th. A new one-act opera by composer David Conte, libretto by Oliver Mayer, and directed by David Kelly.

Thick Description’s home is at 1695 18th Street (near Carolina) on Potrero Hill in San Francisco.
At Thick Description tickets are always sliding scale: $25-15 – You tell them!
To order tickets on-line: AMERICA TROPICAL – by David Conte

THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER
In Association with STEAMWORKS, Executive Producer
Presents TAKE ME OUT – by Richard Greenberg, directed by ED DECKER
MAY 19th – JULY 11th 2007

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MICHAEL UIMARI as Coach Skipper, BRIAN PATTERSON as Darren Lemming

TAKE ME OUT – The show everyone is talking about! Winner of the 2003 Tony Awards for Best Play, Take Me Out is a complex meditation on several themes suffused with a genuine passion for baseball. Darren Lemming, the star center fielder of the world champion New York Empires is young, rich, famous, talented, handsome, and so convinced of his popularity that when he casually announces that he is gay, he assumes that the news will be readily accepted by everybody. It isn’t. Thus, the drama begins.

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TAKE ME OUT – At The New Conservatory Theater Center, San Francisco

TAKE ME OUT contains mature themes / male nudity
To order tickets on-line: TAKE ME OUT – At NCTC, San Francisco

The SMUIN BALLET features CARMINA BURANA plus two World Premieres at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Thursday, May 17th through Saturday, May 19th. Gala Evening, Sunday, May 20th.

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SMUIN BALLET, 2007 – Carmina Burana

The popular, richly theatrical ballet Carmina Burana returns as the headliner, taking one to a savage, sleek and sensual world where the laws of ballet take fresh, mysterious turns. In addition to this powerful ballet are two world premieres: one choreographed by Michael to Schubert and an original ballet Falling Up, to Brahms by Smuin Company member Amy Seiwert and a reprise of Michael’s pas de deux from his Emmy Award winning Romeo and Juliet.

On Sunday, May 20th, the Company will host its annual gala at San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel, preceded by a special performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The season will continue with Bay Area performances in Walnut Creek (May 25th & 26th at the Lesher Center for the Performing Arts), Mountain View (May 30th – June 3rd at the Mountain View Center for the Arts) and in Carmel (June 8th & 9th at The Sunset Center). August 13th – 18th the company returns to the New York City’s Joyce Theatre with performances of SCHUBERT’S SCHERZO, BELLS OF DUBLIN, SHINJU, and OBRIGADO, BRAZIL.

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MICHAEL SMUIN

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
701 Mission Street, San Francisco
(415) 978-2787
TO ORDER TICKETS ON LINE:
Thursday, May 17th at 8:00 pm
Friday, May 18th at 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 19th at 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 20th at 4:00 pm – Dancin’ for Smuin Gala

MOUNTAIN VIEW AT THE MOUNTAIN VIEW CENTER FOR THE ARTS
500 Castro Street, Mountain View
(650) 903-6000
Wednesday, May 30th – Sunday, June 3rd
To order tickets on-line: SMUIN BALLET, Program 2

LESHER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Friday, May 25th – May 26th
1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek
(925) 943-7469
To order tickets on-line: SMUIN BALLET, Program 2

CARMEL AT THE SUNSET CENTER
Friday, June 8th – Saturday, June 9th
San Carlos Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea
(831) 620-2048
To order tickets on-line: SMUIN BALLET, Program 2

See Seán’s recent articles and reviews:

LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel
RIGOLETTO – SF OPERA Broadcasts on Classical 102.1 KDFC
JERSEY BOYS – Smashing Records in SAN FRANCISCO
NORMA SHEARER – Headlines the 12th ANNUAL SILENT FILM FESTIVAL
DON QUIXOTE – An Impossible Dream at SF Ballet
THE DAMNATION OF FAUST – Absolute Heaven at Davies Symphony Hall
JEANETTE MacDONALD – First Lady of “San Francisco”
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT – Principal Soloist, San Francisco Ballet
TERRA HAUTE – An Interview with The Stars, John Hutchinson and Elias Escobedo

sean-martinfield-ad-mug-160-pixels.jpg
San Francisco Sentinel’s Fine Arts Critic Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Ask him a question on AllExperts.com . If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: seanmartinfield@att.net.

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MAYOR NEWSOM and Bay Area commuters get out of cars and on bikes

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom stands with his Specialized Globe bicycle and discusses benefits of bicycling as alternate transit.
Photo by Business Wire

MORGAN HILL, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Bay Area’s 13th annual Bike to Work Day has arrived and following on the nationwide trend to preserve the environment, Specialized Bicycles has raised the bar on the day. For the first time, Mayor Gavin Newsom and his Supervisors joined the festivities by riding the environmentally-friendly Specialized Globe bicycles for the day. Also riding Specialized today, in Sacramento, was California Speaker of the House, Fabian Nuñez (D-46th District). These California elected officials joined the tens of thousands of bicyclists who geared up for this year’s event.

“Bike to Work Day is a great opportunity for us all to celebrate our commitment to a cleaner, greener, safer and environmentally healthier San Francisco,” said Mayor Newsom. “I am especially thankful to Specialized Bicycles for affording me the ultimate riding experience on their Globe City 3.1 bicycle. This impressive bike with its smooth gear functions and purpose-build technology makes even the novice bike rider an expert in navigating the streets of San Francisco. I also commend Specialized Bicycles Founder and President, Mike Sinyard for his vision and entrepreneurial spirit in bringing the joy of cycling back to our city streets,” continued the Mayor.

Specialized partnered with Mike’s Bikes a top Bay Area bicycle retailer to outfit Mayor Newsom, his office and Speaker Nunez, and lawmakers in Sacramento with bikes for the day. In addition to providing bicycles, Specialized partnered with two leading state wide advocacy leading organizations to raise awareness for Bike to Work Day and the benefits of bicycling, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) and the California Bicycle Coalition(CBC). The SFBC’s mission is to transform San Francisco’s streets and neighborhoods into more livable and safe places by promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation. The CBC aims to create safe, healthy and livable communities in California by promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation. Both groups were integral to the success of Bike to Work Day.

Specialized is a participant in the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Cool Commute Program and CEO Cycle-to-Work Challenge encouraging Silicon Valley businesses, government agencies, and employees to cycle to work on May 17 as part of the national Bike-to-Work Week May 14-18.

“We are working with the leaders in our retail channel, the environment and advocacy arena to demonstrate the benefit of bicycling as a great and valid means of transportation,” said Mike Sinyard, founder and president of Specialized Bicycles. “Riding to work can directly impact global warming. Every mile spent on a bike instead of the car preserves one pound of CO2 emissions put into the air—so even a three mile commute can save about 1,660 lbs of emissions a year.”

Last year, the Specialized Commute Club offset 18.5 tons of CO2 emissions by riding 39,143.96 bike miles and offset nearly 50 tons of CO2 by carpooling 104,449 miles. This is the equivalent to taking 104 cars off the road every month. Morgan Hill-based Specialized also commemorated the day by hosting an annual Share the Road Ride through downtown Morgan Hill to encourage safe riding and driving and goodwill between motorists and bicyclists.

Founded in Morgan Hill, California in 1974, Specialized Bicycles is a company filled with passionate cyclists, all with a goal to create the best bikes and equipment for all kinds of cyclists. 2006 is the 25th Anniversary of Specialized’s Stumpjumper. The first widely available mountain bike, Stumpjumper was first designed and manufactured by Specialized back in 1981 and has been in production ever since. Join in the celebration by picking up a copy of the company’s new Book “Stumpjumper: 25 Years Of Mountain Biking” or by test riding a new 2006 FACT carbon Stumpjumper FSR full suspension bike, both available at Specialized dealers.

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STREET VIOLENCE: Young, drunk, and stabbed in neighborhood where ‘it spills on the streets’

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San Francisco police today are looking for clues in a stabbing Wednesday night that left a 25-year-old man with life-threatening wounds.

According to police, officers found the bloody and intoxicated man leaning against a wall at the corner of Mission Street and Cortland Avenue.

The man had been stabbed on both sides of his chest and had knife wounds to his left cheek, arm and eye, said Capt. Paul Chignell, commander of the Ingleside Station.

The victim was unable to talk. He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

The area where the man was found, in the lower Bernal Heights-Mission District corridor, sees its fair share of trouble, Chignell said.

“We have some issues relating to some of the nightclubs in the area. There’s drinking and fights that spill out of some of the clubs,” he said.

Bay City News

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MAYORAL ELECTIONEERING kicked-off by San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness

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San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness allegation of human rights abuse in San Francisco homeless system portrayed in dance during City Hall rally Wednesday
Photos by John Han
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

By Pat Murphy
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

An election year charge equating San Francisco homeless shelter service to human rights abuse worsens suffering of the homeless by frightening them away from shelter, Trent Rhorer who oversees City shelters chided Wednesday.

Rhorer aimed his remarks at a report compiled by the Coalition on Homelessness which concluded abuse and cruelty exist in shelters and rise to human rights abuse.

“This report takes the account of a few people, an unscientific survey, to draw conclusions that there are human rights abuses in our shelters basically equating them to Guantanamo which is absolutely silly,” Rhorer told the Sentinel prior to a small City Hall steps rally by the Coalition.

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“I question their motivation — why would the Coalition be spreading this anecdotal hyperbole about the disgraces in the shelter system at the same time we’re trying to get people indoors to use the shelter system — politics election year,” continued Rhorer, Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency.

“People on the street see this and they don’t want to go in because they think they are such horrible places when in fact the places have improved considerably and they are places that can transition people into housing.”

The report, entitled “Shelter Shock Abuse and Cruelty – Documenting and Exposing Human Rights Absues in SF Shelters,” surveyed 215 shelter clients over a three month period, the Coalition reported.

One quarter of those surveyed indicated shelter staff were rude and slightly more than one quarter complained of insufficient toiletry supplies. More than half encountered violence in shelters, they said.

One member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors attended the Coalition event.

District 9 Supervisor Tom Ammiano told the gathering of his “shock” in learning shelter conditions are “barbaric.”

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Supervisor Tom Ammiano

“As Chair of the Rules Committee, myself and my colleagues have been shocked and appalled by the report,” Ammiano stated.

“The conditions that they have found in the shelters are barbaric.

“From no toilet paper to no soap to no standard of care.

“Every shelter has a different policy. Every shelter has a different way of dealing with problems so that people who need that shelter are treated to double whammy.

“It’s bad enough to be homeless and not have services, but then when shelter is offered to have some of those conditions worse — worse — than those on the streets.”

“And then we wonder why our homeless population is not being significatly reduced.

“We wonder why the mayor’s policy of ‘Care Not Cash’ is really not being effective — it’s because the intent and the purpose is not there.

“It’s all about words but it’s not about action, so we have introduced, my office has introduced, a piece of legislation to establish a standard of care for all shelters so that people who are housed in those shelters will receive the dignity that they deserve, will receive the toilet paper that they deserve,” Ammiano pledged.

Yet despite his charge of barbarity, Ammiano does not want a combative environment with Mayor Newsom regarding standard of care development, Ammiano later sought out the Sentinel to comment.

“The intention of my office is to be collaborative with the mayor regarding the shelter conditions,” Ammiano said.

“We have had one meeting where we’ve agreed to work on a standard of care so that the conditions of the shelter are not capricious, and so that we can expect humane and sanitary conditions for the inhabitants.”

Rhorer responded he favors establishing a standard of care into law and rejected allegation homelessness has not been reduced in San Francisco.

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Trent Rhorer, Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency which oversees local shelters, speaks with reporters during rally

“We don’t have any problem adopting minimum standards of in our system,” noted Rhorer.

“The concern would be adoption of minimum standards without the funding to go with providing improvements that the legislation may call for.

“We already have minimum standards in all of our contracts with our shelter providers so codifying the minimum standards we already have into law is something we’d be proud of.”

Homeless counts have dropped significantly from 8,640 homeless persons in 2002, to 6,248 in 2005 and 6,337 in 2007, Rhorer noted.

Mayor Newsom reported City efforts to coordinate housing services have resulted in 5,460 homeless person now housed, Newsom last night told a San Francisco Commonwealth Club audience.

Rhorer maintained the Coalition report conflates imperfection.

“I’m sure there are nights when we don’t have toilet paper installed or it needs to be replaced or we have to add soap,” Rhorer acknowledged.

“Sure there are interactions among clients in a highly populated dense area that need to be dealt with, but overall when you look the system and you have an over 80% satisfaction rate we’re confident the system is meeting the needs of of homeless people.

“We’ve added security guards to almost all of our City shelters this year, we’ve added panic buttons, we’ve augmented our training around people who come in with disabilities, our transgender guests.

“We’ve pumped over $1.1 million in our capital improvements to our system over the last year, bathrooms and living conditions, adding new beds.

“Over 80% of our clients in our shelter system rate their stay as either good or excellent and that they we would refer their friends who are on the streets into our shelters.

“I think when (Coalition members) interview individuals you are always going to get certain anecdotes from people who are experiencing or using the shelter system are having problems, but to draw conclusions across the system from anecdotes I think is flawed.”

Coalition posturing hurts the people it claims to help, concluded Rhorer.

“We take this business of providing shelter to the homeless very, very seriously,” Rhorer stressed

“When we see reports that contain the hyperbole that this one does it is not only discouraging for staff and providers — but it dissaudes homeless people from coming in which is the real tragedy of something like this.”

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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JOHN HAN
Sentinel Photographer
For the last year, John Han served Sentinel readership as a freelance photographer. He has that natural eye for photography which cannot be developed or learned. He has earned a following of clients, including the World Affairs Council of Northern California. John joined the Sentinel fulltime in April, 2007.

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HOME SALES at slowest pace in 12 years

Though Bay Area homes sold last month at the slowest pace in 12 years, prices are up on average, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

A total of 7,447 new and resale homes and condos were sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month, a sales reduction of 18.4 percent when compared with the 9,129 homes sold in April of last year. Though home prices rose on average 3.8 percent since this time last year, last month’s sales count was the lowest since 5,636 homes were sold in April 1995, according to DataQuick.

Despite this drop in sales, Marin County’s median price for resale homes last month broke a California county record at $1,010,000 — the first time any county in California passed the million-dollar mark, according to DataQuick. The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area also increased last month to a record high of $659,000.

Data complied showed Solano County had the greatest percentage decline in home sales, selling only 440 homes last month, representing a 37.2 percent decline in sales when compared with April of last year.

Contra Costa County also experienced a significant decline in sales last month, at 28.2 percent or 1,246 homes sold, compared with 1,735 a year ago.

Santa Clara County, which had the greatest volume of home sales in April, at 2,009, experienced a 17.1 percent decline in sales.

Napa County, which sold 109 homes and was the Bay Area county with fewest homes sold last month, with a decline in sales of 20.4 percent since April a year ago.

According to DataQuick, home sale prices in Marin County last month increased 8.8 percent, representing the greatest increase in the Bay Area, while home prices in Sonoma saw the greatest percentage reduction at 8.5 percent.

DataQuick spokesman Andrew LePage said indicators of market distress are moving in different directions. He said foreclosure activity was on the rise, but the percentage of homebuyers using financing and adjustable-rate mortgages was declining, indicating stability.

LePage said house flipping and non-owner occupied buying activity is down, which means the market is less likely to be subjected to unexpected sales variables that may result from such activity.

Bay City News

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INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL begins with startled SFO international travelers

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By Ari Burack
Bay City News

International travelers may get an unexpected view tonight of the San Francisco art world’s flights of fancy.

Dancers suspended from the ceiling of SFO’s International Terminal will launch the fourth annual San Francisco International Arts Festival this evening in the terminal’s International Ticketing Hall.

Zaccho Dance Theatre’s free and aptly titled midair performance installation, “Departure and Arrival,” kicks off the two-and-a-half-week festival, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

The SFIAF, which runs through May 27 at various venues in San Francisco, features a variety of eclectic and collaborative performances including music, theater, dance, circus arts, film and visual arts.

This year’s festival is themed “The Truth in Knowing/Now: A Conversation Across the African Diaspora.”

“Departure and Arrival” explores the history and social and cultural implications of the African Diaspora in the United States, through a mixture of aerial dance, video projection, music and poetry.

Additional performances at the International Terminal take place Friday through Sunday, and each show cycles every 30 minutes through 10:30 p.m.

More information on the festival is available online.

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TWINKIE FEELERS prepare for San Francisco Bay To Breakers Race

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2006 Bay To Breakers

By Elizabeth Daley
Bay City News

Sunday’s 12-kilometer Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco, which began as a small local contest in 1912, attracts runners from all over the world who see the race as both a recognized athletic competition and a colorful costume party.

This year the race features live bands and an official “centipede” racing category, in which runners linked in chains of 13 arrange themselves to resemble the insect with “Twinkie feelers” and “a stinger of appropriate design and toxicity,” according to the race Web site.

Centipede inventor Doug Peck said he first thought of a racing centipede when he saw the elaborate costumes of Bay to Breakers racers in the late 1970s. He decided that he wanted to run with members of his running club, the Aggies, in a chain, so he went to the club and asked who wanted to join him.

“Twelve people raised their hands, and that’s how the official rules were devised,” Peck said.

“It actually took us the first few miles to learn how to run without choking each other,” said Peck, whose team of seeded runners donned antennae for the 1978 race.

While centipedes are fast, Peck, who hopes to set a record time this year as a member of a centipede of runners over age 50, said a centipede has never won.

Recreational runner Lita Martinez said she enjoys the race “because it’s organized chaos.”

Martinez, who has been running the race for about 10 years, since she was 12 years old, said the only visible change she has noticed is that “in the past five years the rates of public nudity have gone down. Police are enforcing those rules more strictly, that’s just my observation.”

On Sunday, Bay Area Rapid Transit will be running extra trains from all East Bay locations, Millbrae and Daly City to downtown San Francisco beginning at 6 a.m. to help move runners and onlookers to the race. Stations will be open at 5:30 a.m.

However despite the “anything goes” attitude of the race, BART will require train passengers to wear proper attire, including shoes on all trains. Bicycles will not be permitted on early morning BART trains, and even though participants might need early morning carbs, eating continues to be forbidden at BART stations or on trains.

This year’s race begins at 8 a.m. at The Embarcadero at Howard Street, and heads through Golden Gate Park before ending at Great Highway.

Racers wishing to know their official time will wear electronic chips in their shoelaces to record start and finish times, according to race organizers.

Many San Francisco streets will be closed as result of the race.

Closures will begin to take effect on selected streets on Sunday at 12:01 a.m., with the last roadway closure ending at 3:00 p.m. The Embarcadero and 19th Avenue/Park Presidio will remain open in both directions at all times.

Details on roadway closures are available online on the Bay to Breakers Web site.

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SAN FRANCISCO CHILDREN receive eyeglasses though City and national foundation partnership

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Photos by David Toerge
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

By Pat Murphy
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Some 300 San Francisco school age children were fitted for eyeglasses Tuesday in the City’s partnership with Give The Gift of Sight Foundation.

The national foundation works locally with the San Francisco School Board, local optometrists, and the Mayor’s Office.

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Free eye exams preceded eyewear frame selection as Mayor Newsom, School Board Member Hydra Mendoza, and City officials toured Kezar Stadium where the event was held.

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Dariush Kayhan, Director of SF Connect, left, with Mayor Newsom and School Board Member Hydra Mendoza as eye exams are administered
Photos by Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

To donate pre-owned eye wear and financial assistance, click here

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
When David Toerge left a career in photojournalism that had spanned over twelve years and started in a new direction of commercial photography he blended the editorial style with a more corporate look. David led the way in that new style garnering many awards for his work. Communications Arts has honored him over six times. Based in San Francisco, David shoots projects on location all over the US for various corporations and a multitude of magazines and always brings back great images. He has a keen sense of light, color, and composition and delivers to his clients assignments done with passion. He has climbed bridges hundreds of feet in the air, shot in caves hundreds of feet below, dived with sharks and driven the track with Indy drivers. He has shot earthquakes and firestorms but loves walking the streets with his camera just photographing the everyday life of his city.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and East Bay media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past two years.

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CANNES FILM FESTIVAL to screen animated film by San Francisco State University student Sean Christensen

An animated film created by a San Francisco State University student will be screened during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in France, according to school officials.

Sean Christensen created the three-minute film, “Ignorance is Bliss,” which will be shown as part of the festival’s Short Film Corner.

According to the school, the film is a sardonic piece based on the expectations of the afterlife.

The concept for the film grew out of sketch comedy work that Christensen did with graphic designer and writer Miriam Wilson for a San Francisco company, Killing My Lobster, school officials reported. Christensen also collaborated with web designer and animator Greg Wild-Smith for the piece.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Christensen said. “It started off as a joke I heard on the phone one day, and the next it’s a film on its way to France.”

Films made by other San Francisco State students were also screened during Cannes in 2004 and 2006.

Bay City News

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LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival

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PIAF – Images by Gaston Girbal and Bruno Calvo

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Director Olivier Dahan has uplifted the art of cinematic biography in his truly extraordinary story of Édith Piaf, LA VIE EN ROSE. Also known as “La Môme” – loosely translated as “the brat” – the film kicks and screams new life into the legendary Parisian chanteuse whose particular voice and message has withstood the Test of Time. Marion Cotillard’s performance as the tragic singer is miraculous. She embodies Edith Piaf as much as Edith Piaf personifies the heart and voice of France. Marion Cotillard places the term, “a great performance”, on the highest note of the scale.

Plucked from obscurity, the young Piaf begins her career with a song of freedom, the French National Anthem – “La Marseillaise”. Her father, a wandering minstrel street contortionist (played by Jean-Paul Rouve), is literally bending himself in half to eke out a living. One dreary morning, having fascinated a few on-lookers wrapping his knee around his neck, he hastily urges his shy and embarrassed little girl to step forward and sing.

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JEAN-PAUL ROUVE – as Edith’s father, Louis Gassion and PAULINE BURLET – as 8 year old Edith. Photo by Bruno Calvo

Even then, young Edith’s voice and demeanor strikes empathy and common understanding among the passers-by. Fast-forward to 1935, the 20-year-old Edith – still singing in the streets, but with the fiery façade of a young woman – her vibrant chansons strike the discerning ear of a gentleman who hands her a card. Directed to a small but popular café, she steps forward and sings to producer Louis Leplée (Gérard Depardieu). After an inauspicious appearance in front of the café’s dimly-lit shocked and amazed regulars, Edith is spruced-up and entrusted to a smart vocal coach (see below). After refining her musicianship and drawing-out her latent talents as an actress, the approving teacher and savvy producer push her onto a larger stage with professional musicians and one very focused center spotlight.

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With eyes on The Sparrow

Director Olivier Dahan did not personally know Gerard Depardieu prior to engaging him for the film. “Alain [producer Alain Goldman] suggested him to me,” says Dahan. “He plays Louis Leplée, who gave Edith her big break. From our very first meeting, we got on well. Gérard is similar to Piaf. He doesn’t distinguish between life and art. They intermingle.”

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GÉRARD DEPARDIEU, as Louis Leplée – OLIVIER DAHAN, Director

Producer Alain Goldman worked with Depardieu on the epic biography of Christopher Columbus, 1492: Conquest of Paradise. Says Goldman, “In my career as a producer, he was the first actor I signed up for a film. When we got back from the shoot in Costa Rica, he predicted that we’d work together for twenty years. Ever since, I ask him to participate on each of my projects, even if only for a few days. Making a film with Gérard is not just making a film, it’s writing a small page of movie history.”

The city of Prague can boast of its success as “The Primary Location” (around four months-worth of locally-enjoyed capital gains) for the filming of La Môme, with a handful of time allotted to Los Angeles and – oh, yes – Paris. The scenes in New York were shot in a studio and not the one (left over from Rent) out at Treasure Island.

Goldman goes on. “The film required lots of period sets. Some of them, such as a hallway in a hotel with a view of New York, were built for a single scene or even a single shot. There was a huge variety of sets of all sizes. The film goes from handcarts to limousines as Piaf went from early 20th century rural to mid-20th century urban. I didn’t want to reenact it, but to immerse the audience in it. The narrative had to be impressionist, not linear. I wanted to intertwine various periods, skipping from one period to another by associating ideas or images, like when memories flash through your mind. Olivier Raoux, the production designer, was superb. On top of that, the finesse and chiaroscuro of Tetsuo Nagata’s lighting gave me stunning precision visually. It was the first time I had worked with him and I was mesmerized by his mastery of light.”

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MARION COTILLARD and JEAN-PIERRE MARTINS

With its spectacular soundtrack, die-hard fans of Edith Piaf will wallow in the authenticity of Cotillard’s performance. She is spot-on with the lip-syncing and – when in the act of belting a song to the last row – exudes the energy of a finely-tuned roadster

“I like to sing”, admits Ms. Cotillard, “but the technical process of miming to a tape was the hardest thing for me, simply because I wanted it to be perfect. I worked with a singing teacher to learn how Piaf sang – her body and tongue movements, and breathing. It was so complicated it nearly drove me insane. If I had tapes of her singing a particular song, I analyzed her performance. I noticed that being in rhythm isn’t enough when you’re miming. Your breathing is vital. I would jot down the exact moment when she took a breath then I’d put the music on and film myself singing to camera. I spent whole nights taking notes on what not to do! I wanted it to be Piaf.”

Performers are always asked about their “influences” – the question generally geared toward the related artists and celebrities (past and present) whose work inspired choices and kindled determination. One of the most unexpected revelations about the influences of Edith Piaf is her personal relationship with St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897, canonized 1925). In 2002, the Catholic Church raised Thérèse – affectionately known as “The Little Flower” – to the level of Doctor of the Church. Faithful followers in the cult of Thérèse know that with her – it’s all in the eyes. Edith Piaf, topping off at 4′ 8″, was nicknamed “The Little Sparrow” by producer Leplée. Little Edith suffers a serious setback resulting in what most believe will be permanent blindness. She is taken to the saint’s gravesite and prays for recovery. Upon her return home, that being a brothel, patience runs thin as Edith removes her bandage. She can see. Done! For the rest of her life, Edith will seek the calming gaze of Soeur Thérèse.

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MANON CHEVALLIER (as Edith, age 5) and St. THÉRÈSE de LISIEUX, age 22 (1895)

“After my death”, said the young Carmelite nun (a victim of tuberculosis at 24) “I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.” Perhaps in the same spirit, Edith says, “For me, singing is a way of escaping. It is another world. I’m no longer on earth.”

Not quite. After the gates slammed shut behind her, 15-year-old Thérèse never went beyond the convent walls. But in 2002, to celebrate the awarding of her Doctorate, her relics were placed into a small, elegantly ornate sarcophagus and sent out for a First World Tour. Arriving in New York City, a highly-polished group of uniformed police accompanied the precious cabin and its decorated guest into Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and placed Doctor Thérèse under a large glass case. Visitors lined-up for days. Edith Piaf died of cancer in 1963. The Church denied her a Funeral Mass – citing the usual. But the enormous procession to Cimetière du Père Lachaise caused all of Paris to stop, to take notice, and to honor. In 1998, thirty-five years after her death, Piaf’s signature tune, “La Vie en Rose” was draped with the recording industry’s most coveted mantle, the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. The DVD and soundtrack of La Môme will be available worldwide.

La Vie en Rose was a golden choice to close the 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Premieres in New York and Los Angeles are scheduled for June 8th. For its star, Marion Cotillard, the shower of roses is just beginning.

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MARION COTILLARD – Edith’s First and Lasting Lights

See Seán’s recent articles and interviews:
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel
RIGOLETTO – SF OPERA Broadcasts on Classical 102.1 KDFC
JERSEY BOYS – Smashing Records in SAN FRANCISCO
NORMA SHEARER – Headlines the 12th ANNUAL SILENT FILM FESTIVAL
DON QUIXOTE – An Impossible Dream at SF Ballet
THE DAMNATION OF FAUST – Absolute Heaven at Davies Symphony Hall
JEANETTE MacDONALD – First Lady of “San Francisco”
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT – Principal Soloist, San Francisco Ballet
TERRA HAUTE – An Interview with The Stars, John Hutchinson and Elias Escobedo

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San Francisco Sentinel’s Fine Arts Critic Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published over 2,000 responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing tecniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, visit Broadwaybelters.com, email Seán at seanmartinfield@att.net.

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CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM rises under direction of world renowned architect Daniel Libeskind

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Blue stainless steel cross-hatching diffuses light reflection as Architect Daniel Libeskind’s vision for a new Contemporary Jewish Museum takes shape meant to “bring together tradition and innovation in order to explore the relevance of Jewish values and traditions in the 21st century and beyond.”
Photos by Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

By Pat Murphy
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Architect Daniel Libeskind offered a glimpse Monday of the new Contemporary Jewish Museum set to open next Spring.

Custom made blue steel panels built with cross-hatching surface finish softening light reflection highlighted media tour.

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Connie Wolfe, Director and CEO of The Contemporary Jewish Museum, (left) Joseph R. Seiger, Board of Trustees and Building Committee Chairman, (second from left) Daniel Libeskind architect of the Contemporary Jewish Museum tour inside the CJM

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View from the first floor looking up through the skeleton of the building

Libeskind’s design revives the Jessie Street Power Substation by preserving its character defining features and transforming it into a striking contemporary space that makes visible the relationship between the new and the old.

The building is a physical embodiment of the CJM’s mission to bring together tradition and innovation in order to explore the relevance of Jewish values and traditions in the 21st century and beyond, Libeskind noted.

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Architect Daniel Libeskind

The museum “will be a lively center that welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to experience dynamic and diverse cultural programs and educational activities. Inspired by the Hebrew phrase l’chaim, meaning ‘to life,’ pledged Libeskind.

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Connie Wolfe, CEO of the CJM and architiect Daniel Libeskind hold a artist rendering of the completed plaza entrance to the CJM

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Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and East Bay media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past two years.

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In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL JERRY BROWN joins other states in Federal Court of Appeals to force higher gas emission standards on Bush Administration

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Building in San Francisco May 14
Photos by Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Lawyers for California, 10 other states and four environmental groups asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco Monday to order the Bush administration to reconsider gas mileage standards for light trucks by taking account of global warming.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown charged outside the hearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that standards set by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in March were “dangerously misguided.”

Regulated vehicles could produce six times the emissions of all California, reported an environmental watch spokeswoman.

“The lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of the regulated vehicles will be nearly six times the entire annual emissions of the State of California,” said Kassie Siegel, climate program director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Kassie Siegel shares concern with Attorney General Jerry Brown

“Raising fuel-economy standards is one of the most important actions the government can take to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. This case is an attempt to hold the Bush administration accountable for its predictable refusal to do so.”

The standards would increase fuel economy requirements for SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks from the current 22.2 miles per gallon of gasoline to 23.5 miles by 2010.

Brown said, “After years of neglect, it is unconscionable to increase vehicle mileage standards by only one mile per gallon.

“What they’re doing is trivial at best and dangerous at worst,” he charged.

The attorney general said the standards affect not only the environment but also national security by failing to reduce reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

The states and environmental groups claim the highway agency’s decision process was flawed because it didn’t consider the impact of Greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles on global warming.

They want the appeals court to order a full environmental impact statement on the planned standards.

Deputy California Attorney General Susan Fiering told a three-judge panel, “This is a major source of greenhouse gases. Fuel economy will have a direct effect on greenhouse gases from trucks.”

Sean Donahue, representing the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups, argued, “The agency totally omitted the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions” when it assigned a zero value to such reductions during a cost-benefit analysis.

But U.S. Justice Department attorney Thomas Byron contended the agency “took a broad look at a number of ways of addressing competing issues” and did its best to consider “how to adapt efficient technology in a way that benefits the entire country the most.”

The panel took the case under consideration after an hour-long hearing and will issue a written ruling at a later date.

Bay City News contributed to this report

bill-wilson-cropped-160-pixels-mug.jpg
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and East Bay media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past two years.

Continue Reading