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‘LA VIE’ of Piaf More Purple than Rose

The LIttle Sparrow Flies

MOVING PICTURES
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By PJ Johnston
Sentinel Film Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

The San Francisco International Film Festival’s 50th anniversary run, which ended last month, was a raving success by virtually any standard. Attendance was up – way up, with more than 100 sold-out screenings. Quality remained high, with an impressive panoply of interesting films from all over the world. It ended on a high note, too: Closing Night featured the West Coast debut of “La Vie en Rose,” a blockbuster bio-pic from France.

France isn’t known or loved for its blockbusters – generally, it’s the quirky, avant-garde character studies or bizarre riffs on well-known genres, especially thrillers and romantic comedies, that warm the French cinemaphile’s heart. But sometimes, usually when focused on the life of some great Frenchman, they can pull out all the stops. And there’s no doubt about Olivier Dahan’s “La Vie en Rose”; it’s an epic portrait at the same end of the scale as a David Lean or Oliver Stone biographical picture.

Only it’s a Frenchwoman this time, arguably the most beloved of the 20th century. “La Vie en Rose,” which opens today in San Francisco and other major American cities, tells the hyper-Dickensian tale of Edith Piaf, the extraordinary French singer who became an international sensation in the years decades following World War II.

Dubbed “La Môme Piaf” – “the Little Sparrow” – by the club owner who discovered her singing for centimes on the streets of Paris, Piaf lived almost unbelievably melodramatic life. Born to penniless street performers, raised in a circus and then in a whorehouse, she boozed and barreled her way around the underbellies of Montmartre and Pigalle, before riding her impossibly emotive voice to the heights of fame and fortune – only to come crashing down in a maelstrom of drugs, heartache, car accidents and illness.

It’s a familiar story arc in biopics, but this rags-to-riches-to-ashes tale is so lurid on the way up, so tremulous on the way down – split by a hauntingly brief moment of perfection – that it makes “Scarface” feel like a Hallmark movie of the week.

Along the way Piaf’s embroiled in a murder mystery, beds movies stars, falls in love with gangsters and prize-fighters, insults Americans for not being French, spits out companions for sport, and sucks down bad wine and good heroin like throat lozenges. Nicole Ritchie and Lindsay Lohan are rank amateurs compared to this broad … Paris Hilton’s gone to jail? Piaf would eat her for breakfast and spit her bones on the steps of the Bastille just for brandishing that first name.

And through it all, there’s Piaf’s voice – deceptively small and thin, like her brittle little body … then building, building, into that outrageous vibrato that washes over every song, drives home every lyric; a voice that’s at once unnervingly personal, to the brink of anguish but always defiant, and yet embodies all the rues and boulevards of Paris, the history and hearts of her people, tout le France!

Piaf’s life is like Mexican telenovela, but it’s her music that reigns over all – the people around her, her Transatlantic audiences, she herself, even time. (The climactic tune here is “Non, je ne regrette rien” – “No, I Regret Nothing” – not “La Vie en Rose,” but the latter is more well known to American audiences, hence the U.S. title I presume. The film is called “La Môme” in France.)

The Little Sparrow looked twice her age by the time she died at the age of 47, which is only one of the things that makes the on-screen persona of Piaf crafted by actress Marion Cotillard such a marvel. A beautiful young woman known to those who’ve seen “A Very Long Engagement” or “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe, Cotillard transforms utterly in this film, out of herself and into the many incarnations of Piaf, who squeezed more stages into a 47-year-old life than Darwin found between gibbons and humans.

Cotillard is fantastic, lurching and slashing through “La Vie en Rose” with all the eruptive force that it must’ve taken to be this intense little bundle of contradictions. Piaf is thrown to the dogs like runt in childhood, but she’s too resilient to be a victim; she’s narcissistic, cruel and increasingly delusional throughout her heyday, yet she’s far too self-actualized and compelling to detest; she’s wildly irresponsible throughout, both with her talent and her life, and yet she’s nakedly authentic when she sings, and bitingly honest when she speaks.

Cotillard is joined by some of the big names of French cinema, including Gerard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Seigner, but this is her film, and she’s tears up every scene like a diva on a rampage.

The only thing she doesn’t do is actually sing; Dahan wisely goes the route Taylor Hackford paved with his 2004 Ray Charles biopic, “Ray,” and expertly dubs the vocals. Like Hackford’s film, “La Vie en Rose” is beautifully edited, with seamless recreations of Piaf’s performances, utilizing her actual vocals. Some voices just can’t be imitated.

Ray’s was one of them, and that didn’t stop Jamie Foxx from snaring the Oscar for his performance. Piaf’s is most certainly another, and nothing should stand in the way of the international critical acclaim Cotillard deserves for bringing this soaring performance of the Little Sparrow to the big screen.

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PJ Johnston is president of the San Francisco Arts Commission and a former executive director of the San Francisco Film Commission. He served as Mayor Willie Brown’s press secretary and now runs his own communications consulting firm in San Francisco. A former journalist, he has written about movies for several publications, including the San Jose Mercury News and – long ago, in a galaxy far, far away – for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Email PJ at pj@pjcommunications.com.

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JUNE 8 VIDEO OF THE DAY – Classic spanish guitary Ode to Joy – Advice for buying a new bathtub

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Classic Spanish guitar Ode to Joy

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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JUNE 8 BIRTHDAY LORE
Take care that your shrewdness does not turn into cunning ways. At times, you are stubborn in your viewpoints and yield with bad grace. You are just and ambitious, like to read and travel, and are apt in forming new friendships.

JUNE 8 BEST DAY
This is a good day to begin a diet.

ADVICE FOR JUNE 8
When buying bathtubs remember cast-iron tubs last on average 50 years while a fiberglass tub lasts from ten to 15 years.

TIP FOR JUNE 8
Use empty metal breath-mint containers for holding seeds.

WORD FOR JUNE 8
Anemometer. Definition: An instrument to measure the speed of the wind.

JUNE 8 IN HISTORY
An advertisement in a NY newspaper by a Mr. Hull of 76 Chatham Street announced that he would start manufacturing ice cream on a commercial basis, 1786. Louisiana was hit by eight tornadoes, including a strong one that caused major damage in Baton Rouge, 1989.

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Friday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 66. West wind between 6 and 10 mph.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 51. West wind between 6 and 9 mph.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 68. West wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Saturday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. West northwest wind between 9 and 11 mph.

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 64.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 63.

Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 51.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

Wednesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 51.

Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

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PLAN YOUR BEST JUNE DAYS

Begin diet to gain weight: 16, 21, 19, 24

Begin diet to lose weight: 3, 8, 6,10

Begin logging: 1, 3, 4, 27, 28, 30

Breed animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Castrate animals: 2, 3, 5, 6, 29, 30

Cut hair to discourage growth: 9, 10, 11, 12

Cut hair to encourage growth: 20, 21, 22,23, 24

Cut hay: 6, 7, 9, 10

Destroy pests and weeds: 6, 7, 9, 10

End projects: 13, 24

Entertain: 15, 15, 28, 19

Go camping: 1, 25, 26, 28, 29

Go to the dentist: 17, 18, 20, 21

Graft or pollinate: 13, 14, 15, 16

Harvest aboveground vegetables: 17, 18, 20, 21

Harvest belowground vegetables: 11, 12, 9, 10

Make sauerkraut, can, or pickle: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Plant aboveground vegetables: 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Plant belowground vegetables: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Potty train children: 3, 8, 6, 10

Prune to discourage growth: 6, 7, 9, 10

Prune to encourage growth: 18, 19, 25, 26,

Quit smoking: 3, 6, 8, 10

Set chicken eggs: 2, 11, 12, 13, 19,27, 31

Set posts or pour concrete: 1, 2, 4, 27, 28, 30

Slaughter animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Start projects: 15, 26

Wean animals and children: 2, 6, 8, 10

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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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SHERIFF MICHAEL HENNESSEY faces Deputies’ Association President as challenger on November ballot

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David Wong

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

The popular San Francisco Sheriff, long accustomed to running unopposed for that office, this year faces a challenger from deputy ranks.

David Wong, president of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputies Association since 2002, yesteday filed intention to run for Sheriff with the San Francisco Elections Department.

Wong alleged poor deputy morale over the past three years due working hours uncertainty, and need for expanded youth rehabilitative services offered by the department.

“Nobody knows what time they’re supposed to go home because they can easily get last minute hours,” Wong said.

Deputy morale “is very, very down” and began sinking three years ago due shifting work schedules caused by budget constraits, Wong added, a problem which goes unresolved, he said.

The 16-year Sherriff’s Department deputy stated he is in the process of detailing plans for both concerns which he will release at a later date.

The deputy association has not yet met to vote endorsement of either candidate.

As of today, only incumbent Sheriff Michael Hennessey and Wong have filed for the race.

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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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JUNE 7 IMAGES OF THE DAY — Reflecting on Chinatown – Arrest – Advice on buying a hammer

PHOTOS OF THE DAY

Reflecting on Chinatown

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PHOTOS BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

I went to Chinatown Wednesday and acted like a tourist except that I restricted myself to simply shoot reflections in the shop windows.

There are certain filters one can put on the camera lens to eliminate reflections called polarizing filters. Many people wear “polarizing” sun glasses and they achieve basically the same results.

The human eye does a good job in minimizing the reflective quality of certain surfaces and you really have to actually look and SEE the abstract beauty in a shop window.

Go out and try to photograph what you normally would try to correct.

Break a few rules. I used to say it’s just film – go experiment. Now what’s the expression – it’s just memory – it’s just bytes.

Whatever you want to call it – it’s cheap.

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Arrest

Last night, a funny thing happened as I was taking a really expensive piece of Alaskan wild salmon out of the oven. I heard a crash out front of my house. It felt a little like the Loma Prieta quake of ’89. I ran to the window and saw a car resting against the side of my house.

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There were a couple of men wrestling on the sidewalk and police sirens coming from all directions.

I could see that one of the men was a undercover officer as most bad guys don’t holster their Glocks. It seems the suspect was observed breaking into two cars on Banks street in Quite little Bernal Heights. The undercover cop gave chase in his Ford Taurus to the suspect on foot.

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When he saw the bad guy running, he slammed on his brakes and skidded into the side of my house and took the suspect to the ground. Within minutes my street was blocked off with a dozen police cars. The suspect was loaded into a cruiser and more cops showed up. And then more cops showed up. Do you think they knew I had hung up on the person from the benevolent police officers association asking for a donation? Perhaps it was my rap sheet showing three convictions for not wearing a seat belt.

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Why the massive show of force officer?, I asked.

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We have to tackle the little things before they get to be big things. I applauded and thanked him for livening up my evening – but the car is still connected to my house and my expensive salmon is cold.

This happened at 7 30 pm Wednesday. — David

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Overflowing

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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JUNE 7 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are impulsive, act quickly, and are easily discouraged, although you are a loyal friend and always anxious to help those in need. You are sympathetic and sensitive, love with your whole heart, and suffer deeply if love is not returned to you with an equal strength.

JUNE 7 BEST DAY
This is a good day to cut hay.

ADVICE FOR JUNE 7
Don’t buy a hammer with a visible casting seam. It could fly apart as you work with it. Good hammer heads are all one smooth piece and won’t shatter.

TIP FOR JUNE 7
For asthma sufferers, add the green tops of hyssop leaves to soup and stew.

WORD FOR JUNE 7
Vanishing Tide. Definition: A mixed tide of considerable inequality in the two highs and two lows, so that the lower high (or higher low) may become indistinct or appear to vanish.

JUNE 7 IN HISTORY
William Bruce Mumford became the first U.S. citizen hung for treason, 1862. Barneveld, Wisconsin, was devastated by a tornado, one of 42 that touched down throughout the Midwest, 1984.

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Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. West northwest wind between 5 and 14 mph.

Thursday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 50. West wind between 6 and 10 mph.

Friday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 67. West wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. West wind between 5 and 9 mph.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Saturday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 53.

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 68.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 65.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 70.

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PLAN YOUR BEST JUNE DAYS

Begin diet to gain weight: 16, 21, 19, 24

Begin diet to lose weight: 3, 8, 6,10

Begin logging: 1, 3, 4, 27, 28, 30

Breed animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Castrate animals: 2, 3, 5, 6, 29, 30

Cut hair to discourage growth: 9, 10, 11, 12

Cut hair to encourage growth: 20, 21, 22,23, 24

Cut hay: 6, 7, 9, 10

Destroy pests and weeds: 6, 7, 9, 10

End projects: 13, 24

Entertain: 15, 15, 28, 19

Go camping: 1, 25, 26, 28, 29

Go to the dentist: 17, 18, 20, 21

Graft or pollinate: 13, 14, 15, 16

Harvest aboveground vegetables: 17, 18, 20, 21

Harvest belowground vegetables: 11, 12, 9, 10

Make sauerkraut, can, or pickle: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Plant aboveground vegetables: 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Plant belowground vegetables: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Potty train children: 3, 8, 6, 10

Prune to discourage growth: 6, 7, 9, 10

Prune to encourage growth: 18, 19, 25, 26,

Quit smoking: 3, 6, 8, 10

Set chicken eggs: 2, 11, 12, 13, 19,27, 31

Set posts or pour concrete: 1, 2, 4, 27, 28, 30

Slaughter animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Start projects: 15, 26

Wean animals and children: 2, 6, 8, 10

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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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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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THE ADVOCATE – Save Energy – Save on Your Operating Costs – Save the Planet

THE ADVOCATE
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By Ken Cleaveland

Imagine you are sitting in traffic after another long, hectic but successful day, all those radio news reports are adding a little stress: “Record storms expected this season due to Global Warming” or “High Fire Danger Severe this year due to California’s Drier than Average Year – Is it a Sign of the Times?”

You’re thinking to yourself: “What can I do about Global Warming? It’s all I can handle to do a good job at work and then manage the rest of my life.”

We have great news for you! Just by continuing to do a great job at work (and looking great to the owners and executives you report to) you can personally impact global warming, while lowering your commercial real estate operating costs and raising your buildings’ asset value. How is that possible, you ask? BOMA International has created a series of seminars called the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) to teach you exactly how to use proven low-cost and no-cost techniques to accomplish these goals.

The overall goal of this program is to institute new building standards and best practices that will lower commercial real estate energy consumption in the United States by 30% overall, and to do it using proven management principles that do not require huge capital investments.

Building Owners and Mangers Association (BOMA) San Francisco is hosting these live web-cast seminars which are open to all Californians. We are partnering with other California BOMA locals and the program is sponsored by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Pacific Energy Center.

Please join us for the remainder of the 2007 BEEP seminars:

Cost per seminar: $99.00 BOMA members, $125.00 Non-members

June 18, 2007 – BEEP Seminar 2: How to Benchmark Energy Performance
BOMA SF Conference Room
View from Your Computer

July 9, 2007 – BEEP Seminar 3: Energy Efficient Audit Concepts
Live Presentation
BOMA SF Conference Room
View from your Computer

August 20, 2007 – BEEP Seminar 4: No and Low-cost Adjustments
Live Presentation
BOMA SF Conference Room
View from Your Computer

September 17, 2007 – BEEP Seminar 5: Valuing Energy Enhancement Projects
Live Presentation
BOMA SF Conference Room

October 15, 2007 – BEEP Seminar 6: Building an Energy Awareness Program
BOMA SF Conference Room
View from Your Computer

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Ken Cleaveland is Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Building and Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of San Francisco.

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STREET VIOLENCE – Sunset District man robbed at gunpoint this morning

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Police are searching for two suspects who robbed a man at gunpoint early this morning in San Francisco’s Sunset District, police reported.

Two suspects wearing ski masks and dark clothing approached the victim as he exited his car after pulling up to his home in the 1500 block of 32nd Avenue at around 1 a.m., police said.

The suspects held the victim at gunpoint and demanded money, police said. The victim gave the suspects his wallet and business checks.

Both suspects, described only as Asian men, were last seen running northbound on 32nd Avenue, police reported.

Bay City News

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CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR says build the fence

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Former California Assembly Leader and past San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, greets and introduces California Governor Arnold Schwarzennerger.
PHOTO BY DAVID TOERGE

Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

By Julia Cheever
By City News

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a business audience in San Francisco yesterdayday that his administration will focus on education reform next year, to fix what he called a “broken” system.

Schwarzenegger said, “Next year will be the year of education reform.”

He said, “The education system itself is actually broken” and said it needs systemic revamping.

“I don’t believe in the band-aid approach. I think you should attend to the whole problem,” the governor said.

He said he supports improvement of technical education and allowing parents to choose their children’s schools, including even schools outside their district, among other changes.

Schwarzenegger spoke on “A Vision for California” before about 350 business representatives at a program sponsored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.


Nancy McFadden, PG&E vice president for governmental affairs, opens the event.
Photo by David Toerge

The meeting took place in a PG&E auditorium.

He said better technical or vocational education would address the state’s need for skilled labor. Technical training doesn’t necessarily require going to college and could take place in high school or community college as well as college, he said.

“You don’t need to go to college to be an auto mechanic or a computer technician,” the governor said.

Schwarzenegger said allowing parents to select their children’s schools, inside or outside their district, would improve schools by fostering competition.

“We must make schools more competitive so you can choose between one and another. It’s the same thing as going shopping for a car. Parents should be able to change districts and schools,” he said.

The governor also touched on his proposals for health care reform, prison reform and addressing global warming during the half-hour speech and told the audience, “California is back on track.”

In answer to an audience question about immigration, Schwarzenegger said, “President Bush is very courageous” in advocating an immigration reform plan.

The governor said, “I strongly believe we must secure our borders, we must build the fence, we must have the best-trained border patrol there.”

But he also said there should be ways for California to have guest workers in agriculture and construction and to allow foreign students who attend California universities to stay in the state to work.

“That would solve problems in Silicon Valley,” he said.

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Photos by Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes White with mayoral chief-of-staff Phil Ginsburg.
Photo by Wilson

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Ken Cleaveland, government affairs director for the San Francisco Builers and Owners Association-SF (BOMA-SF).
Photo by Bill Wilson

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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.

BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
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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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STREET VIOLENCE – Another Fillmore shooting

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Police are searching for suspects in a shooting that sent one victim to the hospital in critical condition, Officer Walter Contreras said this morning.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting on the 800 block of Webster Street around 12:15 a.m. According to Contreras, a witness heard shots and found the victim suffering two gunshot wounds. The victim was inside a building on the block.

The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital.

Bay City News

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ALL STARS GAMES BEGIN FOR $6.1 BILLION BUDGET SWEET PIE

STAND

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

A record $6.1 billion City budget heads before record hostility this afternoon as the man charged with chairing its legislative review claims Mayor Newsom is lying about funding.

The accusation, made Tuesday by Budget and Finance Chair Chris Daly, ends three years of collaboration between supervisors and the mayor annually to meld a jointly supported budget.

Collaboration is a dainty description for the two-month period when the mayor and supervisors jockey for increased funding to their preferred projects.

Every elected official flexes dead serious muscle in June when it is decided who gets how much.

City Charter dictates inflexible deadline to land a deal.

San Francisco mayors are required to submit a balanced budget by June 1 for consideration by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors — and the Board is required to approve a balanced budget by the end of June.

Alliances form and reshape — publicly and behind the scenes — until lifesbloood to the body politic pumps clarity to City vision for the coming fiscal year.

Newsom Friday acknowledged the process as a negotiation and described his office open to negotiation.

For the past three years, once best deals for all were thought fulsome, the mayor’s budget signature casting budget into law came with concurrence by all eleven supervisors.

That ended Tuesday.

Daly leapfrogged the process Tuesday urging colleagues to amend Newsom’s budget well prior to July 31 by law.

“Board, colleagues, on Friday the mayor introduced, submitted, his budget proposal,” Daly told supervisors at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

“It is riddled with draconian serivce reductions of great concern to me and I know some of you.

“Uh, $4 million in cuts to HIV programs, uh, the elemination of beds for psychiatric services at the San Francisco General Hospital.

“And colleagues remember last month when we appropriated $28 (million) and $5 (million) additonal so $33 million for affordable housing priorities.

“That money is proposed to be wiped away as well in the mayor’s budget proposal.

“Colleagues today together with Supervisor Tom Ammiano I am introducing a motion to be heard next week at the Budget Committee that would amend the mayor’s budget submission to correct these problems.

“In it there is an equal or equivalent number of reductions proposed.

“Colleagues not to get into any of the details of any of those allocations, some of which I believe have some merit and possibly would be available for possibly would be available for enhancement through the Board add-back process (ADD-BACK: agreed supplemental funding).

“I will say that at best it was disingenous and what it appears was when the mayor issued a statement not signing the supplemental apropriatation, that had a super-majority, allowing that legislation to go into effect without his signature — is saying he would not spending the money and then proposing to de-appropriate the money in his submmission, in basically a backdoor veto proposal that was made to this Board of Supervisors.

“The mayor was lying.

“The mayor was lying to the people of San Francisco and I can prove it, all you have to do is read this motion.

“You may not believe that affordable housing and the question of affordable housing is more important than redesigning the City’s website or, you know, perhaps installing cameras in police cars or fixing a pothole.

“But to say that the money does not exist is a lie.

“The money does exist. If the committee adopts this motion, which I hope we will in something similar to its current form on Wednseday, we will prove that the money does exist — that this City can afford to do better on the issue of affordable housing.

“That the City can afford to deliver services to people who, uh, have AIDS or HIV in this City.

“And, uh, that this City can afford to keep open an important psychiatric unit at our General Hospital, and that it’s not a question of gamesmanship or showmanship or rhetoric.

“It is a question of political and priorities for this City.

“I call on you my colleagues here at the full Board of Supervisors to pass a real people’s budget that takes into account the most pressing needs — not the flashiest or, uh, you know, the showiest items leading into a mayoral election.

“That concludes my Roll Call.”

Daly Monday announced his decision not to enter the campaign for mayor against Newsom.

While by City Charter the Finance and Budget Committee must wait until next to act on Daly’s motion, the committee meets today at 1:00 p.m. for review of Newsom’s budget submission — a meeting chaired by Daly.

In a written statement issued yesterday, Newsom, who was in Washington DC to lobby Congress for more federal housing funds, returned Daly directness.

“This is one of the most transparent political moves in recent San Francisco history. It is the worst kind of election-year politics and terrible public policy,” the mayor responded.

“Chris Daly may want to jump off this cliff.”

“We hope no other members of the Board of Supervisors will follow him,” Newsom said through mayoral deputy press officer Joe Arellano.

budget-prep-16.JPG Arellano, left, helps in last Thursday preparation for Newsom’s June 1 budget unveiling held in the City’s new 311 center.
Photos by John Han
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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“The proposed budget channels new funding into street cleaning, public safety, Muni, and homelessness mitigation,” which Newsom described Friday as Back To Basics.

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Budget includes record City reservies of $142 million, Newsom points out.

He proposed new funding for:

» 250 new police officers

» 150 new Muni operators and 18 street supervisors

» $51.4 million more for homeownership programs

» $8.5 million more to rebuild playgrounds

» $5.4 million more for street paving and repairs

» $700,000 for the new Tenderloin court

» 23 new homeless outreach staff

» 15 new gardeners

» 35 new custodians

» 28 new street sweepers for Clean Corridors program

» More 311 call takers

» $7 million more for affordable housing

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The Newsom budget lacks adequate accountability, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi quickly told the Sentinel.

Today’s 1:00 p.m. meeting of the Finance and Budget Committee will be held in San Francisco City Hall, second floor.

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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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USE COMMON SENSE with coyotes in Golden Gate Park – They’re shy

Coyotes in Golden Gate Park?

That’s what San Francisco Animal Care & Control officials are receiving calls about.

The animals have also been sighted in the Presidio and Bernal Heights, Animal Care & Control is reporting today.

There have been no reports of aggressive behavior or interaction with people or animals. No one knows where the coyotes came from or how they got to the city.

Coyotes are shy animals and not known to be aggressive unless threatened or seeking easy food handouts.

Animal Care & Control advises that people living in the area of the sightings take commonsense precautions.

Bay City News

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COPROPHAGOUS AARON PESKIN plays both sides of Ed Jew controversy

SNEAKY SNAKE

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Coprophagous Aaron Peskin, El Grande Presidente of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, intoned again yesterday, baritone, that we’re all to be considered innocent until proven guility…

It’s The American Way (all now thrust chest with Peskin)…

Even with chest thrust, this man sounded craven before TV cameras, being vague about dropping a dime Monday on Board colleague Ed Jew…

Alert to Jew plan for hopping a jet out of the country to China, Peskin sensed chance to frame himself Dudley Do-Right straight to investigators…

Jew’s trip signals Jew as a “flight risk” from prosecution, stand-up Peskin ushered gendarmes into the know…

DUDLEY DO-RIGHT OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTIES

The FBI already knew… Jew scheduled the China trip in February…

Still, Peskin seen his opportunities and took ‘em for San Francisco portraiture…

I’M READY FOR MY CLOSEUP

ONE SUPERVISOR BATS 1000

In-your-face Chris Daly seen his opportunity to climb in Rob Black’s face Wednesday, never missing an opportunity for face climbing…

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce — stand for Credo — bloodsucks The People’s arteries… And Black, who made Daly work for re-election, just joined Chamber staff…

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Lisa and Rob Black

Well, honies, Daly toddled right over to Black in a Budget and Finance Committee break to let Black know this District 6 Supervisor was aware of Black’s degeneration…

What an (you know the word), Black compatriots gritted teeth…

NEVER A BLUE SAN FRANCISCO DAY

Take ten minutes to be happy you knew what coprophagous means, be glad for flyswaters, and go out and a goodly tan…

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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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NEWSOM RINGSIDE VERSUS PROGRESSIVE CONVENTION

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The Heavyweight
PHOTOS BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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The Won’t Quit Kid
Photos by John Han
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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The Heavyweight’s Corner

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The Won’t Quit Kid’s Corner

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

Fans set off a ringside rolling wave this weekend as the San Francisco quadrennail main event counts down.

Who gets the Gold Cup will be decided in a scant 20 weeks, the Keyes to City Hall Room 200, the San Francisco Mayoralty, burdened only with requirement to make a speech once a year and tone up a $6 billion annual pay-for-all.

So many train; so few chosen.

Like the nation, San Francisco fans are said to be split evenly.

But in San Francisco the split is found in how to accomplish universally proclaimed goals.

Midday Saturday, both camps gathered a few blocks from each other primed to increase their gate.

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s folks convened at Van Ness and Sutter to fan out for voter signatures — signatures not for tedious process of placing Newsom’s name on the ballot, but for more quickly gathered endorsement signatures speeding Newsom Voter ID efforts.

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Photo by David Toerge

At Van Ness and Turk, possible contenders were drowned out by a packed to the rafters cheering crowd.

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Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi nominated but will not run. Photo by John Han

Both sides stoked the chatter with warm-up taunts.

“Now I’ve got to keep my comments really quick — my phone just rang,” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd smiled.

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Supervisor Sean Elsbernd. Photo by David Toerge

“My good friend Supervisor Daly is getting so desperate to find a progressive candidate he wants me to go down the street and accept the nomination.”

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Down the street, progressives at wait. Photo by John Han

“I’m getting anonymous phone calls saying you know you’d better run motherfucker” because Newsom is so bad, confided Mirkarimi.

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Photo by John Han

Newsom spoke of results over dreams.

“I’m a dreamer and you’re all dreamers,” Newsom observed.

“The difference is I look out in this room and I see a lot of doers and I want to thank each and every one of you for trying to ‘do’ and not just preach — but to actually take action and make real the goals and ideals that we all share here in this City.”

Mirkarimi spoke of possibilities over compromise.

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Photo by John Han

“Sometimes the great differences between what the general population thinks is a somewhat progressive mayor and how it juxtoposes itself to the progressive community — those need to be defined and distinguished,” maintained Mirkarimi.

Back at Newsom headquarters, State Democratic Chair Art Torres introduced Newsom “as the only public official, except for the City Attorney here, in the State of California if not the nation, that stood up to George Bush, and even some Democrats, because of his commitment to make sure that people can have a marriage here in San Francisco from different sexual orientations.”

“Everybody can talk about how the world should be,” Newsom began.

“But you got to make it so and that’s what I’m so proud of in the first three years that we’ve been in office.

“That we didn’t just talk about problems, we didn’t just abidcate responsibility for solving problems, but we took responsibility and we began to address those problems.

“Particulary to work alongside Supervisor Maxwell… to make this City so special.”

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Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who appeared at the Progressive Convention, has endorsed Mayor Gavin Newsom for re-election. Lonnie Holmes, himself a candidate for San Francisco Mayor, is seen with Maxwell. Photo by John Han

“We will be the model City in the United States of America to end poverty as we know it in our City,” promised this mayor.

“And hold me to that, quote me, and follow up in four years.

“You watch — this City is going to do it!

“We will be the first City… to take responsibility in spite of the federal government’s complete neglect on HOPE VI, complete neglect on housing — where you have the the Housing and Urban Development Agency getting out of the housing business, San Francisco is getting into it in a record way with our local HOPE VI.

“This is the reason we want to be here to implement this vision, to implement this goal to provide dignity and respect to those need to be given the same opportunities and the same framework to achieve what so many of us have been given and afforded.

“It’s going to happen. It’s happening — but you’ve got to give us four more years to make it happen.

“We need one more term to deliver on our promise — that’s what this campaign is about!

“They’re just dreaming — you’re out there doing!

For his part, Mirkarimi asserted it is out of keeping with San Francisco politics not to run a challenger.

“I realize it is on everybody’s mind, not just here but in the community, would San Francisco, a politically sophisticated City by the rote, actually allow a mayor to go unchallenged?

“We absolutely do not accept the last four years, that we should not allow to be repeated, especially in the mediocrity that’s beging addressed by this administration who leans heavily in terms of using the headline pulpit as a way to make others think that the business of the City is a decision that’s getting done.

“We should not wait another four years in this continuance of the happenstance… we cannot allow that to happen for the next four years.

“I love the way… a much different political enclave… is now being well muscled by our branch.

“I love the way… that Supervisor Dufty who has joined us in many seminal fights that lead and point to our way.”

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Supervisor Bevan Dufty at Newsom rally. Dufty did not attend the Progressive Convention as earlier reported.
Photo by David Toerge

“This is a good formula,” Mirkarimi continued.

“This is the kind of formula that we know is working but we know that is not enough.

“And no, I am not annoucing my candidacy.

“I think it is not my time but that is only now, and I mean by this that we have to continue to recognize that… we are not candidate dependent only.”

Mirkarimi later told the media Mirkarimi meant his time to run for mayor is not this election cycle.

“If it weren’t for skillful allies and working with very little and producing a great result… we’re able to continue that drumbeat that makes us the public work that we should be,” stated Mirkarimi.

Daly crescendoed mantra that progressive ideas are better.

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Photo by John Han

SECOND HAND ROSE

“The state of progressive politics in San Francisco, California is strong,” Daly assured.

“Now over one-half of the elected officials in San Francisco are progressive.

“That doesn’t account our sisters and brothers elected to the Green County Council — all of whom are progressive.

“And our sisters and brothers elected to the Democratic County Central Committee — a majority progressive.

“This is a progressive City.

“It is reflected in the people of this City and it is represented in their elected representatives.

“We don’t take positions because they are popular.

“We act with integrity based on our ideals and based on what we think is best for everyday people in communication with them.

“And since the 2000 Progressive Convention, progressives have been setting the agenda for San Francisco.

“Eight years ago it was a bit of different story. There was a relatively popular incumbent mayor who seemed unbeatable, had the support of downtown.

“There was no progressive challenger in the race.

“And despite some people’s in this room effort, over the course of the spring and the summer, past the filing deadline, into the fall until three weeks before election day, finally Tom Ammiano said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it!

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Supervisor Tom Ammiano before Progressive Convention. Photo by John Han

“And those three weeks transformed politics in San Francisco.

“Tom did not win that election, but he did set the stage for the next year when progressives swept the elections for Board of Supervisors.

“In 2003, we built on those victories — thank you Matt Gonzalez and everybody who put down in that campaign and there were thousands of volunteers on that campaign.”

Gonzalez did not appear at the Progressive Convention, but at Gonzalez request Washington DC political consultant Roger Lee has begun contacting San Francisco organizers for possible employment as Gonzalez mayoral campaign staff.

“But I don’t know, do you believe?” asked Daly.

“Do we believe?

“Do you believe that on November 6 that we can take back the Office of Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco?

Daly deferred anouncement whether Daly will run against Newsom.

Should that time come, “I’m not going to give you the exclusive,” Daly informed this writer.

THIS WRITER
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Photo by David Toerge

BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?

Time will yet tell whether The Won’t Quit Kid lumbers a thigh over the ropes.

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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.

john-han-2-160-pixels-ad-mug.jpg
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.

toerge-new-160-pixels.jpg
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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JUNE 5th UN WORLD ENVIORNMENT DAY – Exhibit: ‘Making the Choice: Bringing Forth an Enviornmental Renaissance’

In recognition of the United Nations Accords signed in San Francisco in 2005, and to mark June 5th as U.N. World Environment Day, Mayor Newsom encourages all San Franciscans to attend the ground-breaking exhibit entitled: “Making the Choice: Bringing Forth an Environmental Renaissance”.

The exhibition is sponsored by the San Francisco-based Natural World Museum, a nonprofit that presents art through innovative programs to inspire and engage the public in environmental awareness and action.

The exhibition will remain on display at City Hall on the 4th Floor Rotunda Gallery through June 30.

Making the Choice, is part of the Natural World Museum’s Art for the Environment initiative in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This initiative is designed to utilize the universal language of art as a catalyst to unite people in action and thought and to empower individuals, communities, and leaders to focus on environmental values across social, economic, and political realms.

“I encourage everyone to participate in this initiative,” said Mayor Newsom.

“This effort utilizes art as a catalyst to engage broad and diverse populations in conservation stewardship. Making the Choice will help people learn how they can take personal action in their local communities and become part of the global environmental solution,” continued the Mayor.

The idea for “Making the Choice” came about in June 2005 when San Francisco hosted World Environment Day, the first time a city in the United States had been chosen by UNEP to host the prestigious forum. It was during that event that Mayor Newsom asked NWM to design an exhibit that would help connect the daily actions of San Franciscans with the impact their choices have on the environment worldwide.

“This exhibition will open people’s eyes and bring a new awareness about our relationship to the natural world,” said Mia Hanak, Founding Executive Director of the Natural World Museum, “by making connections between our daily individual actions and the bigger picture in the intricate web of life on Earth.”

The exhibition focuses on seven environmental topics: Waste Reduction, Water, Environmental Health, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Nature, and Energy.

The exhibit examines questions that affect San Franciscans, such as “How does our use of cell phones in San Francisco contribute to the disappearance of endangered mountain gorilla habitats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?” and asks citizens to explore how our daily habits as San Franciscans contribute to environmental issues worldwide.

The show features painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation artwork from local and international artists including: Christopher Lamarca, Chris Jordan, Rob Larson, Edward Burtynsky, Free Soil–Amy Franceschini, Lucy Orta, Fred Tomaselli, Harri Kallio, Era and Don Farnsworth, Sven Pahlsson, Free Range Graphics, Leslie Shows, Robert Bateman, Judith Selby Lang, Alison Moritsugu, Allora & Calzadilla, Icleandic Love Corp, Agnes Denes, Giles Mingasson, Justin Young, and Fei Yang. Artist Chris Jordan states “I hope my photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry.”

The San Francisco-based Natural World Museum utilizes the universal language of art as a catalyst to inspire and engage the public in environmental awareness and action. In order to contribute to the sustainability of our world, NWM provides experiences through innovative site-specific art exhibitions that advance local and global conservation efforts.

This exhibition has been generously sponsored by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and produced in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and SF Environment.
The exhibit can be viewed at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, 4th Floor Rotunda Gallery, Monday through Friday, from 8am – 8pm, until June 30th.

From the Communications Office of The Mayor

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BREAKING NEWS – BART Embarcadero Station trains now moving again

10:27 a.m. UPDATE

All Bay Area Rapid Transit trains in and out of San Francisco’s Embarcadero Station are moving again following a service interruption this morning caused by the report of smoke at the station.

The Embarcadero Station was evacuated after smoke filled it, prompting the agency to halt trains between San Francisco and the East Bay. San Francisco Municipal Railway also halted underground trains this morning.

BART started moving again at 9:45 a.m., but passengers were facing up to 45-minute delays system wide, BART spokesman Jim Allison.

A track inspection revealed no damage, Allison said.

“There is no word yet on what caused the smoke,” he said.

Firefighters from the San Francisco Fire Department walked the tracks at the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations but didn’t find the cause of the smoke, said San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge.

“Chances are it was just a little spark,” Talmadge said. “There is paper and all kinds of stuff on the track.”

There was a report at 9 a.m. of smoke in the tunnel between the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations. The Embarcadero was then shut down, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

BART officials told everyone to get out and prevented people from getting in, Johnson said.

Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said the BART incident affected them as well, with all subway service being halted. She said surface shuttles were secured for transportation along Market Street.

BART is investigating the cause of the smoke, Linton said.

Bay City News

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JUNE 5 VIDEO OF THE DAY – Board of Supervisors begin deal making over $6.1 billion City budget sweet pie – Why to braid your Roman shades cords

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Board of Supervisors begin deal making over $6.1 City budget sweet pie

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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JUNE 5 BIRTHDAY LORE
You have very definite emotions, love deeply, and hate intensely. You play wholeheartedly and work with enthusiasm and concentration. You make and act upon all decisions quickly. Usually kind and thoughtful, you sometimes speak brusquely and harshly under provocation.

JUNE 5 BEST DAY
Take your choice. Castrate animals. Can sauerkraut. Plant belowground vegetables. It’s all good today.

ADVICE FOR JUNE 5
Braid your Roman shades cords together. It’s safer and better-looking.

TIP FOR JUNE 5
If you are suffering from jet lag, have a cup of chamomile tea.

WORD FOR JUNE 5
Bronx cheer. Definition: A cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt.

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JUNE 5 IN HISTORY
Died: Conway Twitty (country music singer), 1993.

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Today: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. West wind between 13 and 16 mph.

Tonight: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. West northwest wind between 8 and 15 mph.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 61. West northwest wind between 8 and 15 mph.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49. Northwest wind between 8 and 15 mph.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 66. West northwest wind between 8 and 16 mph.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 65.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 67.

Saturday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 67.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 65.

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PLAN YOUR BEST JUNE DAYS

Begin diet to gain weight: 16, 21, 19, 24

Begin diet to lose weight: 3, 8, 6,10

Begin logging: 1, 3, 4, 27, 28, 30

Breed animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Castrate animals: 2, 3, 5, 6, 29, 30

Cut hair to discourage growth: 9, 10, 11, 12

Cut hair to encourage growth: 20, 21, 22,23, 24

Cut hay: 6, 7, 9, 10

Destroy pests and weeds: 6, 7, 9, 10

End projects: 13, 24

Entertain: 15, 15, 28, 19

Go camping: 1, 25, 26, 28, 29

Go to the dentist: 17, 18, 20, 21

Graft or pollinate: 13, 14, 15, 16

Harvest aboveground vegetables: 17, 18, 20, 21

Harvest belowground vegetables: 11, 12, 9, 10

Make sauerkraut, can, or pickle: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Plant aboveground vegetables: 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Plant belowground vegetables: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Potty train children: 3, 8, 6, 10

Prune to discourage growth: 6, 7, 9, 10

Prune to encourage growth: 18, 19, 25, 26,

Quit smoking: 3, 6, 8, 10

Set chicken eggs: 2, 11, 12, 13, 19,27, 31

Set posts or pour concrete: 1, 2, 4, 27, 28, 30

Slaughter animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Start projects: 15, 26

Wean animals and children: 2, 6, 8, 10

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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.

john-han-2-160-pixels-ad-mug.jpg
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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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA Director General dishes out tough love

DAVID GOCKLEY’S “DON GOVANNI” – Semper Fi!

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DAVID GOCKLEY, San Francisco Opera General Director. Photo by Michael Winokur

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

San Francisco Opera is now under the aegis of David Gockley. With this production of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI, General Director Gockley proves himself “The Man”. In the world of Opera, nothing gets bigger than Opening Night. Saturday’s premiere of DON GIOVANNI arrived with the kind of First Night trappings that become the stuff of legend. New Commander (Gockley previously led Houston Grand Opera for 33 years) assumes leadership of a company struggling to reclaim and maintain its key position in the Major Leagues, along with universally acclaimed Music Director (Conductor Donald Runnicles) leading a world class orchestra, while heavily endowed Corporations, Foundations and private Benefactors keep looking and listening to the persuasive and potent Mr. Gockley pitch and produce State-of-the-Art Technology, unparalleled Community Outreach and Participation, and a delectable dose of what corner newsies might have shouted from the yesteryear headlines of VARIETY — “Briggs Bagged! Van Den Heever WONDERBAAR!!!”

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ELZA VAN DEN HEEVER – Debuts as DONNA ANNA

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Elza van den Heever and Kristinn Sigmundsson

Sunday afternoon, May 27th was a more than chilly for the second annual gathering in Dolores Park for SF Opera’s Summer “Opera In The Park”. Following the Overture, Soprano Hope Briggs (engaged sometime ago by the Company’s previous administration to sing the role of “Donna Anna” in this current production of DON GIOVANNI) was joined by leading man Charles Castronovo (the “Don Ottavio”) for one of the opera’s duets. Uh … no. And some of us start ruminating, “David, David, David.”

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CHARLES CASTRONOVO (Don Ottavio) and TWYLA ROBINSON (Donna Elvira)

However, Mr. Castronovo’s lyrical tenor and exquisite phrasing would later set the crowd on fire with his heart-wrenching rendition of Neapolitan favorite, “Core ‘ngrato” (“Ungrateful Heart”). By contrast, the pedestrian quality of Ms. Briggs’ contribution began hanging heavy in the imagining of a torturous marathon that can be Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI. “And then,” as Salieri observes [see AMADEUS] regarding another of his rival’s works, “a miracle! His Majesty yawned.”

Four days later, an historic Press Release:
“After the final dress rehearsal for DON GIOVANNI San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley, in consultation with Music Director Donald Runnicles and members of the artistic staff, made the decision that soprano Hope Briggs was not ultimately suited for the role of “Donna Anna” in this production.”

Pushed through the proscenium arch of the War Memorial Opera House, this Don Giovanni emerges as the Ideal – the truest center ring attraction any veteran or new-comer might ever experience. Given the work’s 3 ½ hour spectacle-length, its 200+ year reputation as the “Greatest Opera On Earth”, and the fact that it ranks among the Top Ten operas in continuous play at any time/somewhere in the world – then every other point of appeal must be directed to the passerby’s bucks, backs and butts. If Grand Opera – perhaps one by Mozart – is a Must-Do on your Summer Budget, then click here to reach the OPERA BOX OFFICE and order those tickets now – this is the DON GIOVANNI of your lifetime. On a tight budget? Get thee to the Balcony! Backed-up by OperaVision – a multi-camera system capturing and projecting a movie-style view of the stage action onto twin 5½’ x 9½’ retractable screens suspended in the back of the house – ticket holders high in “the heavens” get a larger-than-life perspective on DON GIOVANNI than viewers seated in the Orchestra section way-below.

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DON GIOVANNI – San Francisco Opera, 2007

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Claudia Mahnke (Zerlina) and Luca Pisaroni (Masetto). Production photos by John Lee

The facts are simple. The story of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI (libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte) makes no sense. None of the characters get a High C. Every major and not so major opera company in the world produces it. Right now it’s on the boards of some non-Equity musical theater, music conservatory, university, junior college, and church basement. “Tradition” allows for all manner of consonant and vowel adjustments, breathing patterns, the occasional key change to accommodate the “Don Ottavio’s” falsetto, “Zerlina” being sung by every variety of lyric mezzo or ambitious coloratura soprano, etc. Every variety of baritone (timbre, shape, age and height) in SF Opera’s 2006 production of CARMEN (another adventure with a last-minute replacement) boasted in his bio the role of “Don Giovanni”. In other words, it’s a cash cow for the publisher.

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DON Gs – EZIO PINZA (Bass), Mariusz Kwiecien (Baritone), Cesare Siepi (Bass-Baritone)

What finally matters in the Dramatis Personae is the blending. At the end of Act One the seven major characters must create Glory in “Trema, trema, scellerato!” (“Tremble as your end approaches!”) or we will not be back for the downbeat of Act Two. At the end of Act Two (it’s one-half hour until tomorrow!), six of them are left standing and “Don Giovanni” is burning in hell. “So do all deceivers end!”

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DON GIOVANNI – San Francisco Opera, Summer 2007

Where did we all end? In Heaven. A glittering new star was launched. Elza van den Heever is already Immortal. As Mozart’s “Donna Anna” she is regal, sophisticated, and ultimately desirable. The purity and strength of her entire range trumpets easily over the orchestra and the assemblage of cast and chorus. Her voice resonates warmth and love throughout the 3300+ capacity of San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House. She is at home with the Masters of Music and in her glory in the midst of Artistic challenge.

In the Ballet world the Choreographer gets their name above the title if they have invented the dance or made a significant contribution to an already-established work. In that spirit, David Gockley’s DON GIOVANNI is a masterful new beginning for San Francisco Opera and a magnificent gift to The City and its People.

To purchase tickets on-line:
Tue. June 5, 8 pm
Sun. June 10, 2 pm
Wed. June 13, 7:30 pm
Sat. June 16, 8 pm
Fri. June 22, 8 pm
Thu. June 28, 7:30 pm

See Seán’s recent articles and interviews:
JOAN of ARC – Dolora Zajick, A Simmering Success!
SAMSON vs DELILAH at AT&T Park – Can Stadium Survive Biblical Shearing?
NORMA SHEARER – Headlines the 12th ANNUAL SILENT FILM FESTIVAL
$55 MILLION – This Pacific Heights Mansion Is YOURS!
LE PETIT TRIANON – San Francisco Artists Exhibit at Her Majesty’s Pleasure
LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf – A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival
JERSEY BOYS – Earth Angels invade Curran Theatre! Cast #2: Their Eyes Adore You!
TAKE ME OUT – At The New Conservatory Theater

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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 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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LENO FOSTER CHILD supportive assistance bill passed unaimously by California Assembly

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Assemblyman Mark Leno applauds Riva Tunoa, a foster youth who is currently working on her college degree, after she spoke at a press conference at the San Francisco Independent Living Skills Program.

The California Assembly today unanimously approved a financial and supportive assistance bill autorted by Assemblyman Mark Leno for fosther youth.

Without final passage into law, California foster youth will be left to their own devices at age 18.

“For the well over 70% of foster youth in California who dream of getting a higher education, we might as well be posting signs on our universities and colleges that read ‘Keep Out,’” said Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

“While the assistance and support in this measure could never replace the guidance and direction that most young people get from parents throughout their lives, it will give our foster youth the ability to achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations and open up doors that only a college degree can unlock.”

When foster youth reach 18 years of age, they “age out” of the foster care system, which for many means they no longer get the financial support they need to continue their education. Statistics show that most young people don’t become financially independent of their parents until they are in their mid-twenties.

Known as Assembly Bill 1578, the legislation would help current and former foster youth prepare for college and support them once they get there through housing priority, automatic eligibility for Cal-Grants and timely distributions of Federal Chafee Grants.

The bill also establishes the California Competitive Grant Program to provide current and former foster youth with comprehensive support on campus, such as guidance counseling and financial aid to ensure that they don’t fall through the cracks.

“The odds are truly stacked against foster youth in California. While reports show that 70% of foster youth want to attend college, only half complete high school, and only 15 % take the necessary courses to gain college admission,” Leno said in a written statment.

“Fewer than 10% of foster youth who graduate high school go on to college. Fewer than 2% of foster youth who go on to college graduate. Without a college degree, former foster youth are more likely to face homelessness, incarceration, and lower lifetime earning potential.

“Without parental support, our foster youth are finding themselves on the streets or in jails instead of colleges and universities where they belong. We can’t fail our kids any longer,” added Leno.

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STREET VIOLENCE – The usual – Daylight pedestrian shooting – Financial District chase

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San Francisco police arrested a Vallejo man whom they believe shot a pedestrian this afternoon and caused a traffic accident while fleeing from police, according to Sgt. Steve Mannina.

The victim of today’s noontime shooting at a busy South of Market intersection is expected to survive his injuries, according to San Francisco police. He is resting in stable condition, Mannina said.

The victim, described as an Asian man in his mid-30s, was walking in a crosswalk at Townsend and Third streets when a man pulled up in a silver car, said San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina.

“Words were exchanged and the person in the car shot the victim,” Mannina said.

The suspect sped off and police immediately received numerous calls to 911 describing the vehicle, Mannina said.

Minutes later, police spotted the car less than a mile away at Mission and New Montgomery streets, in the city’s Financial District, Mannina said.

When officers tried to pull over the car, the driver bailed out of the vehicle and ran three blocks before police took him into custody at the corner of Jesse and Annie streets, Mannina said.

Police arrested 37-year-old Kevin Lipscomb and he was arrested and charged on suspicion of attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, felony evading police, misdemeanor hit and run, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

Bay City News

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JOE ALIOTO-VERONESE files exporatory committee for 3rd District Senate campaign

Joseph Alioto-Veronese is set today to file formation of a State exploratory committee for becoming a Democratic primary candidate for the 3rd State Senate District.

The seat is currently held by Carol Midgen, who has already drawn a challenge from State Assemblyman Mark Leno.

Alioto-Veronese, 34, was appointed in 2004 by Mayor Gavin Newsom to the San Francisco Police Commission. He cast the deciding vote making Theresa Spark the first transgender president of the commission.

“California’s political system is broke and needs some serious change and people with the experience to deliver change,” said Alioto-Veronese.

“Government needs more transparency and accountability. On the Police Commission, I’ve fought to deliver it. I plan on speaking directly to voters about universal health care, stronger education funding, and protecting our environment. I’ll leave the special interest politics to the insider politicians. I plan on fighting for families.”

“Joe Alioto Veronese is the only candidate with a business and a residence in Sonoma County and deep roots in San Francisco,” according to a written statement.

“Alioto-Veronese served San Francisco as a peace officer for eight years prior to practicing law with his family firm, specializing in fighting work place discrimination. Joe earned a reputation as a bull-dog for victims as a co-counsel in the historical $132 million race discrimination case against Interstate Brands Corp., and a $25 million verdict against Universal Tobacco Leaf Corp.”

He has been married to Julie Gilman Veronese since 2006.

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DALY DECLINES mayor race

District 6 Supervisor Chirs Daly released the following statement this morning:

“The energy and passion at Saturday’s Progressive Convention was inspirational. I truly appreciate all of the work that everyone put in to make it a success.

“Family is the most important part of my life. I was fortunate to spend all day Sunday with Sarah and Jack. Sarah and I talked late into the evening about a possible campaign for Mayor. After a tough campaign last Fall and expecting a new baby in late October, I plan to spend more quality time with my family this year. A campaign for Mayor would not allow that.

“I believe in progressive politics and in the ability of a progressive candidate to win the Mayor’s race this Fall. I look forward to helping make this happen.

“Thank you.”

Supervisor Chris Daly.

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SAN FRANCISCO MAN with dimentia missing more than a week

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NAM LEE

Authorities today continue to search for an elderly San Francisco man suffering from dementia who has now been missing for more than a week.

Nam Lee, 88, was last seen May 27 and is considered at-risk, police said.

Lee suffers from dementia resulting from Alzheimer’s disease, according to authorities. He frequents Chinatown, as well as a Japantown-area senior home.

Lee is described as Asian with black eyes and gray hair. He stands 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black and gray jacket and beige pants.

Authorities are urging anyone who spots Lee or has contact with him to call the San Francisco Police Department missing persons unit at (415) 558-5508, or (415) 553-1071 after business hours.

Bay City News

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JUNE 4 PHOTO OF THE DAY – District 1 supervisor candidate – Julian Solar Calender, Julian does not work for PG&E – Real Time weather – Wrath of God forecast

PHOTO OF THE DAY
District 1 candidate

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Julio Ramos, elected vice president of the Community College Board and now a candidate for District 1 San Francisco Supervisor, addresses Saturday Progressive Convention.
Photos by John Han
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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WRATH OF GOD FORECAST

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JUNE 4 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are exceedingly optimistic even in the face of disaster. You are bright, witty, and good-natured. You are thorough in your work and do it with ease and enthusiasm. You have many friends and will make a happy marriage and command a strong and devoted love.

JUNE 4 BEST DAY
Today is a dynamite day to make sauerkraut.

ADVICE FOR JUNE 4
To easily get a pillow back into a pillowcase, wrap it in plastic (a large garbage bag works well) and slide it into the cover. Then gently pull the plastic out, leaving the pillow inside.

TIP FOR JUNE 4
To keep your dog from digging in your yard, dig a hole where the dog likes to dig. Blow up some small balloons, put them in the hole, and cover them with dirt. When the dog comes to dig in the loose dirt, he may pop a balloon and scare himself away from the area.

WORD FOR JUNE 4
Solar Cycle. Definition: A period of 28 years in the Julian calendar, at the end of which the days of the month return to the same days of the week. Julian does not work for PG&E.

JUNE 4 IN HISTORY
Born: Bruce Dern (actor), 1936. Early-season hurricanes wrecked ships from Cuba to New England, 1825.

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Today: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 60. West southwest wind between 5 and 11 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 54. West northwest wind between 10 and 16 mph.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 61. West northwest wind between 16 and 21 mph.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 50. Northwest wind 18 to 21 mph decreasing to between 10 and 13 mph.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 61. West northwest wind between 10 and 20 mph.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 63.

Thursday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Friday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 65.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 63.

Saturday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 63.

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PLAN YOUR BEST JUNE DAYS

Begin diet to gain weight: 16, 21, 19, 24

Begin diet to lose weight: 3, 8, 6,10

Begin logging: 1, 3, 4, 27, 28, 30

Breed animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Castrate animals: 2, 3, 5, 6, 29, 30

Cut hair to discourage growth: 9, 10, 11, 12

Cut hair to encourage growth: 20, 21, 22,23, 24

Cut hay: 6, 7, 9, 10

Destroy pests and weeds: 6, 7, 9, 10

End projects: 13, 24

Entertain: 15, 15, 28, 19

Go camping: 1, 25, 26, 28, 29

Go to the dentist: 17, 18, 20, 21

Graft or pollinate: 13, 14, 15, 16

Harvest aboveground vegetables: 17, 18, 20, 21

Harvest belowground vegetables: 11, 12, 9, 10

Make sauerkraut, can, or pickle: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Plant aboveground vegetables: 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Plant belowground vegetables: 4, 5, 7, 8, 13

Potty train children: 3, 8, 6, 10

Prune to discourage growth: 6, 7, 9, 10

Prune to encourage growth: 18, 19, 25, 26,

Quit smoking: 3, 6, 8, 10

Set chicken eggs: 2, 11, 12, 13, 19,27, 31

Set posts or pour concrete: 1, 2, 4, 27, 28, 30

Slaughter animals: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Start projects: 15, 26

Wean animals and children: 2, 6, 8, 10

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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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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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2300 CYCLISTS raise $11 million to fight AIDS

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Photos by Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

By Allen White

Eleven million dollars or, if you choose, $11,000,000.00.

This is the total raised by participants in AIDS/LifeCycle 6. It is a huge amount of money and one of the largest amounts ever raised from one single event to fight AIDS and HIV infection.

Sunday morning, over 2,300 cyclists and nearly 450 “roadie” volunteers departed the Cow Palace for Los Angeles. Their numbers stretching almost two miles may have been as important as the money they raised.

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Lorri L. Jean Chief Executive Officer of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center starting on a 545 mile journey that raised 11 million dollars for the LA Center and the SFAF.

The cyclists, ranging in age from 18 to 78 began gathering in the halls of the Cow Palace before dawn. As each rider arrived and stored their personal luggage, Geneva Avenue looked remarkably similar to the boarding area of a bustling airport.

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First riders follow a police escort out of the Cow Palalce parking lot

At opening ceremonies, San Francisco AIDS Foundation Executive Director, Mark Cloutier, was joined by ride organizers to announce the money raised and the number of participants. He emphasized the importance of the money raised to save lives. SF Treasurer Jose Cisneros appeared overcome by the huge number of participants.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty noted $9 million has been cut from AIDS funding by the Federal government. Dufty said Mayor Gavin Newsom would be in Washington this week working with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reverse these cuts. Should they fail, the impact on AIDS services in San Francisco will be substantial.

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Speaker Pelosi’s aide Dan Bernal, a true hero.

As the riders began moving down Geneva Avenue and San Jose Avenue they passed through Brotherhood Way and began their first day’s journey. Each rider was given a red headband for the first leg of their journey. The helmet covers will be stitched together to form a red ribbon which will greet the riders when they arrive in Los Angeles in seven days.

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Proper headgear required. Style and class count.

At the 52 mile mark they stopped for lunch. The menu was turkey avocado with havarti on a croissant. Vegetarians received a California vegetable on multi-grain bread with pepper jack and havarti. They also received orzo feta salad, an apple, a pear and an oatmeal raisin cookie.

Riders end their first day at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz. Dinner includes Caesar salad, spaghetti chicken parmesan meatballs, garlic bread and cheesecake.

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Maria Trinh and Lenore Shefman were ready to go.

In addition to being a momentous physical challenge for the riders, AIDS/LifeCycle is a major logistical feat. Each day, crews of hundreds of volunteers set up and break down a “city on wheels” of tents, mobile kitchens, bathroom and shower facilities and support gear. These volunteers perform myriad other duties, including posting directional signs, staffing rest sites, serving meals, repairing bikes and providing first aid.

Organizers note they will use 1,024 portable toilets, 1,400 sleeping tents and 18,000 packages of what they describe as “butt balm.” They also have planned for 420 gallons of coffee, 660 gallons of milk, 16,800 gallons of water and 44,600 eggs.

Standing amongst the thousands of cyclists during opening ceremonies at the Cow Palace , money certainly didn’t seem the priority. For seven days, over 2,300 will journey together down the coast of California . As they are together, they each make a personal statement. AIDS/LifeCycle 6 is a magnificent exercise in personal empowerment.

Michael Fantasia, a person living with HIV from San Francisco said, “This is humanity at its very best. I have never felt such pride, not only in myself, but in the other riders, roadies and volunteers.”

Tyrone Strickland, a senior manager at Oracle Corporation noted, “It is important that we find ways to improve life for people living with AIDS and do whatever we can to reduce the hatred and discrimination associated with HIV infection.”

It is estimated that 151,000 Californians are living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are unaware of their infection. In California , HIV/AIDS has had a particularly severe effect on the gay community, with more than 74 percent of all cases occurring among gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities, compared with 58 percent of AIDS cases nationally.

Communities of color, including gay and bisexual men, have been disproportionately affected as well. In 2005, for example, African Americans represented12 percent of the U.S. population, yet they accounted for half of the AIDS diagnoses; Latinos represented14 percent of the U.S. population while accounting for nearly 20 percent of AIDS diagnoses.

Beginning Monday, June 4, additional photos along the route can be found at experience.aidslifecycle.org.

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Allen White is a San Francisco writer.

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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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STREET CRIME: Busy weekend for the root cause afflicted – Two dead in unrelated killings – Two more stabbed Monday, one critical

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One man is in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital after he and another man were stabbed near 11th and Folsom streets in San Francisco’s South of Market area earlier today, according to a San Francisco police officer.

The officer said the incident was initially believed to be gang related, but officers are currently trying to sort out the convoluted situation.

According to the officer, both injured men are in their 20s, and the condition of the second man is unknown.

Report of the stabbing was received at around 1:20 a.m.

Meanwhile, San Francisco police are searching for suspects in two apparently unrelated weekend homicides, one that occurred Saturday night and a second that occurred early today, San Francisco police Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

At about 10:24 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a report of a stabbing at 175 Golden Gate Ave. When officers arrived, they found a 30-year-old man suffering from a single stab wound to his upper chest, Gittens said.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he died from his injuries.

The suspect was described as a black man, standing 6 feet 2 inches tall with bushy hair. He fled the scene on a bicycle, Gittens said.

Less than four hours later and just two blocks away, a 29-year-old man was fatally shot in the head at 985 Market Street, Gittens said.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner has identified the shooting victim as 29-year-old Ernest Johnson. His city of residence was not immediately known.

Johnson was on Market Street at about 1:05 a.m. when a man wearing a mask and a black hood walked up behind him and shot him in the head, Gittens said.

Johnson was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he died from his injuries, Gittens said.

The two homicides do not appear to be related to each other. No further information was available on either case, Gittens said.

Bay City News

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