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THE BABY BOOMER IS BACK and so is Martha Stewart

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Martha Stewart
Photo by Nancy Kaszerman

BY NAT IVES

Martha Stewart’s media-business instincts have mostly proved spot on, regardless of mistakes she’s made along the way. That makes an idea percolating at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia — a magazine targeting baby-boomer women — all the more striking, since that isn’t where publishers usually see great advertising potential.

In fact, targeting older readers used to mean a fast track to a shut-down. Remember New Choices from the Reader’s Digest Association? What about Longevity, Lifewise, Renaissance and Second Wind? Lear’s? Mirabella?

Now, however, Meredith’s More magazine has found newsstand and ad success where others have foundered. Marketers no less important than Unilever are aiming squarely at older demographics. And Ann Taylor last week told analysts it’s working on a new concept for fall 2008 targeted at “modern boomers,” which the retailer’s President-CEO Kay Krill called a segment “significantly underserved and represents a huge opportunity.”

Boom or bust

So if Ms. Stewart’s savvy, overachieving company decides it can tap this business — boomers were 78.2 million strong in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and some estimates peg their spending at up to $2 trillion — it’s safe to assume we may be in for some new topography on the media landscape. Not that the going is steady or easy. For a long time, it was pretty much stalled.

“There was no place to go but up,” said Patty Bloomfield, VP-account director at Boombiz, a year-and-a-half-old unit of the Northlich branding and advertising agency in Cincinnati. “It was only a few short years ago that most of the advertising to anybody in their 50s and 60s was primarily Florence Henderson for denture cream. The focus on all these ads was, ‘Look, you can have an active life even when you’re in your 50s and 60s! Look, you can dance! Look you can ride a bike!

“Now you’re starting to definitely see some progress,” Ms. Bloomfield said. “We’re all trying to figure out the best way to do it.”

Identifying with age

One point that media buyers raise, for example, is that magazines revolving around their readers’ ages aren’t necessarily the most compelling; age itself is rarely a point of passion. People interested in fashion will read Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar for decades; travel addicts are going to dive into Travel & Leisure or Condé Nast Traveler over and over.

“It also goes beyond old vs. young,” said Eric Blankfein, senior VP-channel insights director at Horizon Media. “Lifestyle is playing a role in how the category evolves. Certain advertisers are going to need to continue reaching subsegments within age demographics determined by their interests and needs.”

“Why aren’t people chasing this market more?” said Jim Fishman, group publisher at AARP Media Sales. “The same reason that in the 1960s and ’70s, when it became apparent that women were purchasing more than 50% of all cars, the car industry was not marketing to women. Their attitude was, ‘Why should women read mainstream publications?’ Now they’ve discovered that women want to be spoken to, if not differently, spoken to directly.”

Promising numbers

AARP The Magazine ran 163 ad pages in the first half of this year, an at-least-better-than-flat 1.6% rise over the first six months of 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Its paid and verified circulation, fueled by its automatic distribution to all AARP members, averaged nearly 24 million over the first half, up 3.9% over the same period the year before, according to its publisher’s statement with the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Meredith’s More, meanwhile, ran 590 ad pages in the first half, up 13.2%, while its average paid and verified circulation grew 8.5% to nearly 1.3 million.

So you might understand why Martha Stewart could consider an entry of her own, though a company spokeswoman would not confirm any such plans or proposals. “We’re always looking at fresh ideas and considering new audiences,” she said, declining to elaborate. Word of the possible title was first reported by Women’s Wear Daily.

But you can also understand why the company could easily decide against a launch that is at a stage an insider described as “very early” thinking. MSLO is no doubt considering how much such a title would cannibalize from the mothership. The median age at Martha Stewart Living is already a robust 46.7, according to the spring 2007 Mediamark Research report.

Kimberly D. Williams contributed to this report.

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NEW YORKER MARK BIRLEY PASSES – The man who turned built-in-elegance into a centimillion dollar restaurant empire

A LIFE FULL OF FLAVOR

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A table top at Annabel’s. Photo by JH

BY DAVID PATRICK COLUMBIA

Elegance might have been the key. That, and snobbery marketed. In 20th century memory we got a chip of it in Fred Astaire and Cary Grant, acting, up there on the big screen. It is said there were others, down on the pavement, albeit gold-lined – like Paul Mellon, Jock Whitney, maybe the Duke of Windsor (half elegance/half droit de seigneur). There are still some among us in this increasingly chaotic society of ours; they know who they are even if we don’t.

But Mark Birley, who died on Friday in London) had it. He actually learned (or was born knowing) how to bottle its essence and sell it, even if for a few brief shining moments, to those who could afford it.

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Mark Birley

He was born into a family of artists. His mother Rhoda, Lady Birley, who was twenty years younger than her husband, was an artist, and his father Sir Oswald Birley (1880 – 1952), was one of the greatest and most prolific portraitists of the 20th century.

Sir Oswald was a favorite of the Royal Family. He painted George V, Queen Mary, George VI, Queen Elizabeth; and their daughter Queen Elizabeth II. He was knighted by George VI in 1949. Birley also painted Andrew Mellon and J. P. Morgan; as well as Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower, Marshal Montgomery, and Lord Mountbatten. Sir Oswald also gave painting lessons to Sir Winston.

Marcus Oswald Hornby Lecky Birley was born May 30, 1930. The Birleys also had a daughter Maxeen, who later became known after her marriage to a French count as Maxime de la Falaise, also an artist and fashion designer (and mother of designer Lou Lou de la Falaise).

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Sir Oswald Birley, Self Portrait

The boy’s father, who was 50 when he was born, taught him early how to use his eye in looking at art. At a young age, he drew very well. He went to Eton and then to Oxford where he soon tired of the academic. After a year he left, went down to London and got a job at the bottom of the ladder, pasting copy on boards, at J.Walter Thompson (David Hicks had had the same job before him). His abilities as an artist moved him up quickly but he soon grew restless with his progress and moved on to form his own agency.

He was a tall man – 6’5” in his youth. The young man was also an aggressive skier, an able squash and tennis player and racecar driver. The clothes and shoes were bespoke and he had a great sexual attraction to women. When he was 24, he married Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart, the beautiful 20-year-old daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry, and an heiress.

The young Birleys were one of the dashing young couples of their set with his variety of aristocratic and royal connections.

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Lady Anabel Vane-Tempest Stewart Birley Goldsmith

In 1959, he opened an Hermes shop in London. That was a first for Hermes and for London. He planned and executed the design of the shop, employing shopfitters led by a very young Terence Conran. It was the early dawn of what is now known as luxury brand marketing, and it was very successful.

In 1962 when London was about to become “Swinging” and discotheques (as they were then called) were exploding into fashion, Birley’s friend John Aspinall was refurbishing an ancient building in Mayfair to make a gaming club called the Clermont on 44 Berkeley Square. The building had a cellar, even more ancient – a warren of pillars and arches, old and dark and dank — and Aspinall, knowing Birley was thinking of opening up some kind of club, asked if he wanted the space. He did.

He formed a private club which he named after his wife, and invited 500 of his friends and associates to join. The letter began: This letter is only being sent to some five hundred people who we think will support and enjoy a new kind of Night Club in London. One which is international in character, and more of a club in the true sense than any other. It concludes with: Annabel’s will have no honorary members and we shall not invite membership from the public generally. After 1st June, applications must be formally proposed and seconded. So there.

The initial membership fee was 5 guineas for the first year and 12 guineas thereafter. The final membership number by the time of its opening was 700. (A little more than 40 years later, the membership number is 7250 . The joining fee is 250 pounds, the membership is 750 pounds thereafter and there is a waiting list.)

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A look inside Annabel’s by day

He hired an architect named Philip Jebb to design the interior. Jebb never been inside a nightclub before, which is why he was hired. He also hired a theatrical designer named Pedro Litao to work on the lighting. But he supervised everything down to the last detail.

The end result was a combination of high Edwardian and sleek Anglo-Arab all of which spelled wonder and chic to the astonished eye: A real fire in the fireplace when you walked in out of the cold, damp London night. Sofas and armchairs that you could sink into; your drink delivered without asking by a bartender that never forgets. Flowers everywhere; on the tables, in the dark corners, on the bar, behind the counter; fresh and crisp, and over-the-top, wherever you look. Banquettes in velvet and turquoise, flickering candles reflecting off highly polished brass pillars; and paneling with perfectly hung art as evocative and eclectic as the rest of the décor. And with a dance floor that was ample enough and easy to see but designed to have a sense of the intimate and the out of eye-range.

The eye for detail went for the food as well, and like everything else that Birley did, it was always subject to change, always with an eye on perfection. All served up by a perfectly trained staff that endured his sharp eyes and edgy vigilance over that perfection. They were well paid, well-respected and well-worked.

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Annabel’s by night

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A Brazilian party at Annabel’s. Photograph by Norman Parkinson

Annabel’s was a sensation immediately. With the rich and the famous, and the royals of high rank and low. Sinatra and Ava Gardner, Jackie Kennedy (and then Onassis), Henry Ford, Gregory Peck. The first time they arrived, the Beatles were turned away because they weren’t wearing ties.) With them came the Greek shipowners and the tin mine tycoons and the movie stars and their ilk. Mark Birley understood luxury for those who could afford it. Amazement; and comfort, great comfort; and a tableau of luxury, ripe and inviting.

He had begun his great ride. After Annabel’s came Mark’s Club, a Victorian building with creaking sloping carpeted floors, red-flocked wallpaper in one dining room, pale grey linen, Limoges, a Milanese cuisine. It was like a gentleman’s club although the ladies came, sometimes without a gentleman to lunch and dine. Then came Harry’s Bar on South Audley Street with a bright and busy Venetian décor and a lot more of the ladies (titled, well-married, heiresses et al). Like Annabel’s, Mark’s and Harry’s Bar required membership, and dues. After Harry’s came the Bath and Racquets club, a palatial all-male gym (with foot-thick onyx urinals) in the City. In 2000, on the other end of the same block as Harry’s Bar, he opened George, another eating establishment that is almost entirely decorated with David Hockney drawings and paintings.

Today, there are more than 12,000 members in all of the Mark Birley establishments combined, paying more than 7 million pounds in membership fees, which has nothing to do with what they pay for the menu. And that’s not including the Waiting Lists, and the thousands of guests who come at the invitation of the members.

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“George,” (with the beige awnings) the private dining club on the corner of Mount and South Audley Streets. On the far right is Harry’s Bar. George, like Harry’s is a creation Mark Birley (also Annabel’s, and Mark’s Club). Mark Birley’s establishments are brilliantly executed, including always a very visually enlivened and sophisticated decorative theme. The visual inspiration of George with a leitmotif of royal blue (in the china and accessories), and floors and walls bleached white, is David Hockney whose watercolors, posters and photographic works cover the walls. The effect is bright, clean and fresh.

“George,” (with the beige awnings) the private dining club on the corner of Mount and South Audley Streets. On the far right is Harry’s Bar. George, like Harry’s is a creation Mark Birley (also Annabel’s, and Mark’s Club). Mark Birley’s establishments are brilliantly executed, including always a very visually enlivened and sophisticated decorative theme. The visual inspiration of George with a leitmotif of royal blue (in the china and accessories), and floors and walls bleached white, is David Hockney whose watercolors, posters and photographic works cover the walls. The effect is bright, clean and fresh.

At its zenith, Mark Birley was arguably the greatest restaurant and nightlife entrepreneur of the 20th century in the world, the casino operators notwithstanding. He raised the profession up several notches to a brand of class-artisanship (social arbiter) and a taste for the impeccable that made him rich.

Part of his marketing genius was to keep the press out of his operations. Like Garbo, a meeting could only be wished for. There was never paparazzi outside his doors. They were not allowed. There was never a scene in his establishments – they were not tolerated. Many a man might come with his mistress instead of his wife – it was never revealed to the columnists.

Then there was The Life. It was big, and rich, and grand, and at times sad, very sad. During the early years of their marriage, the Birleys had three children, Rupert, Robin and India Jane. Perhaps it was because Annabel’s required so much of his time (every night six nights a week) but in 1964, Lady Annabel had become involved with Sir James Goldsmith, the European banking and takeover tycoon, and a friend of Mark Birley’s. Eventually, and before she divorced Birley, she had three children – Ben, Zac and Jemima (now married but separated from Imran Khan) by Goldsmith.

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Harry’s Bar on South Audley Street

In 1974 Lady Annabel married Goldsmith. Birley was heartsick over her departure although he wore it in stiff upper lip fashion.

Already tragedy had come to call. In 1969, one day when the son Robin was 12, his mother took him to John Aspinall’s private zoo where there were wild animals who were allowed to roam. As the boy was stroking a lion, the animal suddenly turned and took the child’s head in his mouth crushing the bones on one side of his face. Although they were able to free the child, the damage was profound and required more than a dozen operations, cosmetic and otherwise and the young bones never grew properly. Robin was scarred for life.

The boy and the family recovered in time and when he grew up Robin Birley opened a chain of sandwich shops in England that became a huge hit. A chip off the old block, as we Americans say. Then in 1986, the older son Rupert, who had gone to West Africa (Togo) for his work, disappeared. The handsome 21-year-old, was in the habit of going down to the ocean for a swim at the end of each workday. He was an excellent swimmer. But on this occasion, he did not come out of the water. His driver reported him missing but the details were sketchy. Had he drowned? Was he attacked by a shark? No one had an answer. He had simply vanished. His desperate father flew immediately to the scene no solace came of it. A friend of his believed there was always a sadness about the man after that.

I met Mark Birley here in New York one day in the late 90s at a lunch arranged by Eleanor Lambert the doyenne of fashion publicists. He was in town publicizing a package of fragrance products he was launching in his name with Frederic Malle, the son of his old friend Jean-Francois Malle (brother of director Louis Malle). I had heard lots about him well in advance. Nan Kempner was a very good friend of his and often stayed with him at his famously charming house in South Kensington where he lived alone with his two dogs and a housekeeper.

He was rather unprepossessing in presence, compared to all the praise and raving that preceded him. He was then a man in his late sixties, friendly but not effusive. Reasonable, sensible in conversation, and enthusiastic about this new venture and the partnership with an old friend. Although I had heard that he was a stickler for details and had a famous edge as an employer if there were anything even a salt cellar that wasn’t working properly, he had a very friendly and mild-manner. He was neither movie star handsome nor perfectly toned for a man who opened a top-of-the-line gym, although he carried his tall frame well. His bespoke suit and his shoes were his; he did not belong to them. At this point his businesses were long established and all very prosperous. And where these establishments also offered a sense of “snobbery” in their ambiance, their owner/creator, however, had none of it. He was a man who was very unimpressed with himself; really just a worker, always working. And enjoying the best.

In the past two or three years, now in his early seventies, his health had begun to fail. He eventually turned his business over to his two surviving children, Robin, now in his forties, and India Jane who for awhile ran Annabel’s. This move turned out to be fatal to the family relationships. In a series of complicated situations, the father and son fell out.

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India Jane Birley

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Robin Birley

There was the matter of disagreement over whom the son would admit into Annabel’s, such as Colum Best – not the founder’s kind of customer. The times were changing; the son recognized this. Then there was another convoluted matter where Robin had hired a private detective to gather material about a man India Jane was having an affair with (and finally had a child by). When it all came to the light, it turned out that the private investigator was really a con (bilking 200,000 pounds from Robin Birley and providing entirely false information).

The repercussions of the father-son disagreement was further exacerbated by the son’s actions regarding his sister. Then when Robin married Lucy Ferry, although he invited India Jane (who attended), he did not invite his father. How that affected the man may never be known.

David Wynne-Morgan, the publicist who worked for Annabel’s for more than 40 years, told the Independent (London): “He was one of the stiff-upper-lip brigade. He didn’t want to show his emotions and he didn’t …. And he didn’t talk about it but the family feud must have been a stress and strain.

“The truth is,” Wynne-Morgan continued, he hadn’t been well for two years.”

Last June, Mark Birley sold his businesses to a London businessman-restaurateur, Richard Caring, for a reported 100 million pounds ($200 million American).

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Mr. Mark Birley (by Mark Boxer): “Warrant-holder for the upper crust.”

He never lost contact with his wife. Sir James Goldsmith died in 1994 of pancreatic cancer and it is said that Lady Annabel and Birley saw a great deal of each other. The London papers reported that his daughter was at his bedside at the time of his death (he had had a massive stroke) although his son was in Mozambique.

Yesterday, I asked Caroline Graham who had a long relationship with him if she would share some of her memories of him.

She wrote back:

I have many memories of Mark. I met him when I was 17 through my father. He gave me my first job at Hermes Paris. He was always wonderful to me throughout my life, full of wit and teasing, of course.

Once in Portofino at Les Serunese where we’d gone together for a week,. he bought all the grappa in the region to carry home. Another time in Switzerland when he found a great recipe for chocolate ice cream. And the Lyford Cay Club where he loved the Yellow Bird drinks and served them at Annabel’s later. I especially remember the time we went to see the Baltimore Colts, years ago on a winter day, and he had crab cakes. We always had crab cakes after that and he introduced them to Annabel’s and to London.

His search for excellent food and recipes brought food from all over the world to his restaurants.

The other passion he had more recently was for David Hockney drawings and posters. George has 200 of them. I took David Hockney to lunch there to meet Mark and he could not believe what he saw. Mark was so proud that Hockney and Gregory Evans (Hockney’s partner) had lunch with us that day.

No one ever took better care of his staff better than Mark, and brought to the members of his clubs more original ideas. He knew how to entertain, he created a Society in London from 1962 on, and they worshipped what Mark Birley did.

He did have sadness but he also had much joy in what he created daily. He was a unique character – a great businessman … and an artist.

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Mark Birley’s Corned Beef Hash

1 medium baking potato, about 200g
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
340g can corned beef
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Steam the potato for about 20 minutes until just tender. When cool, peel and cut into 5mm dice. Tip into a big bowl.

Saute the onion gently in 1 tablespoon oil for about 5 minutes until softened. Add this to the diced potato.

Cut the corned beef into 5mm dice. Mix into the potatoes with the parsley, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and seasoning to taste.

Heat a thin film of oil in a large frying pan. Cook the hash for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and crispy in parts.

Serve immediately. Serves 2.

NOTE: This is often served shaped into a patty or burger, and topped with a poached egg. Mark Birley preferred it served loose, and unadorned.

New York Social Diary

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BABY BOOMERS rely too much on real estate to fund retirement

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Affluent baby boomer investors may be overly optimistic about the role of real estate in funding their retirements, according to a recent national survey from Bell Investment Advisors.

“Their homes may be their castles, but boomers cannot bank on their residences as their retirement nest egg,” said Jim Bell, president of Bell Investment Advisors.

“Given the cyclical nature of real estate and the fluctuations in home values, real estate is not a panacea for inadequate retirement savings.”

For the second year in a row, Bell Investment Advisors commissioned a nationwide survey by Opinion Research Corporation among 500 high-net-worth 60-year-olds.

“While these boomers feel very positive about their lives as they reach age 60, unrealistic assumptions about retirement could imperil their financial security and happiness,” said Jim Bell, president of Bell Investment Advisors.

The unrealistic assumptions emerging from the survey that Bell sees as red flag risks for boomers’ retirement are:

Personal residences are a source of retirement savings

Boomers will be able to work throughout retirement to augment savings

By reducing their lifestyle, many boomers believe they can afford to retire

“These faulty assumptions have the potential to sabotage boomers’ retirement dreams, unless they take a very proactive approach to managing their investments well into their golden years,” Bell said.

The survey found that boomers’ number one financial goal for the next five years is to generate higher returns from their investments, cited by 38 percent of respondents, with investing more conservatively the second most frequent choice, cited by 32 percent of respondents. In last year’s survey, investing more conservatively was the favored choice.

“These affluent boomers are beginning to get the message that with 20 to 30 years ahead of them, they cannot afford to switch to fixed income investments, as their parents’ generation did when they approached retirement.”

Good News About 401(k) Plans

The survey findings spotlight the growing importance of 401(k) plans to boomer retirements. More than seven in ten boomers (71 percent) have participated in 401(k) plans during their careers. For 45 percent of those who participated, their 401(k) assets represent more than half of their overall retirement savings. For nearly one quarter (23 percent) of participants, 401(k) assets total three quarters or more of retirement assets.

Boomers are the first generation to make use of 401(k) plans, which were introduced in 1986 when today’s 60-year olds were 39. “Twenty years after their introduction, the evidence is in: the 401(k) is proving its worth as a core building block of retirement,” Bell said. “The good news is that boomers are actively managing their 401(k)s either with professional help or on their own.”

According to the survey findings, half of those who invest in 401(k)s or similar plans said they relied on a professional advisor to select their investments. Similarly, one-fifth (21 percent) manage, review and reallocate funds themselves once a year, and 18% do this at least twice a year.

Dangerous Assumptions

Three potentially dangerous assumptions these boomers hold about retirement emerged from the survey:

Assumption 1: Residence as retirement asset

Even affluent boomers are relying heavily on their personal residences as a retirement asset, with 68% counting their personal residence as a retirement asset. Of those who count their homes as a retirement asset, one in four (24 percent) say it represents half or more of their retirement savings. For one in three (32 percent) of those who believe they must reduce their lifestyle in order to retire, their home represents half of more of their assets.

“The problem with treating their residence as a retirement asset is that boomers must move to realize any value from their homes,” said Bell. “Additionally, they may not be able to sell their homes when they want to or for the price they want, which may alter their retirement plans,” Bell said.

Assumption 2: Work as long as possible

The survey found that the majority of Boomers intend to continue working into their 60s, but the kind of work they do will be dictated by their perceived level of financial security. Those who feel they have enough funds to retire intend to pursue work they are passionate about without regard to the income, while boomers whose savings are inadequate or who feel they must reduce lifestyle in order to retire are far more likely to work “as long as possible.”

Of those who believe they have enough funds to retire comfortably, the largest number–one in three (33 percent)–plan to pursue personal interests and passions. Of those who believe they have enough funds to retire if they reduce their life style, the biggest group at one in four (24 percent) plan to gradually scale back what they are doing now. Of those who don’t believe they have enough to retire, the largest number at more than a third (38 percent) say that they will work as long as they are able to.

“There will come a point, however, when Boomers will not be able to work,” said Bell. “Boomers need to distinguish between the retirement years of their 60s and 70s, when their energy and health may allow them to work, and older age, when their health or other issues will preclude this option, and they will need to rely on their retirement savings.”

Assumption 3: Reduce lifestyle

Based on the survey, one in four boomers believe they have enough funds to retire, but must reduce their lifestyle.

“Boomers who believe they can retire comfortably if they reduce their lifestyle are probably mistaken,” according to Bell. “Money saved on commuting and other work-related expenses is usually offset by increased healthcare costs and expenses for travel and leisure activities,” he said.

“At a time when Boomers have the opportunity to explore their interests and live bigger, rather than smaller lives, economizing at the margin is not going to solve the problem,” he explained.

Instead, Bell recommends that Boomers retain a healthy portion of their assets in growth-oriented equities, so that their nest egg continues to grow.

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AUGUST 27 Video of The Day – RESPECTING ONE’S ELDERS – Photo of The Day – NEWSOM MIGHT SWAP LIMO FOR CAMERA – Babies born today will love satire – Live radar and weather forecast

August 27 Video of The Day
RESPECTING ONE’S ELDERS

August 27 Photo of The Day
NEWSOM MIGHT SWAP LIMO FOR CAMERA
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Mayor Newsom appeared quite comfortable handling the camera of a Sentinel photographer. Would he like to trade places for the day? The Sentinel photographer would love to ride in the Mayor’s limo.
PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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AUGUST 27 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are studious, clever, and rather serious-minded. You have a keen intuitive judgment and a touch of satirical humor, which, though never severe, your friends avoid having directed at them. You are kind and loving, always generous to your enemy. You will choose a genial mate and be very contented.

AUGUST 27 ADVICE FORTHE DAY
Borage leaves steeped for a facial steam help soothe and cleanse dry, sensitive skin.

AUGUST 27 WORD OF THE DAY
Ladder. Defintion: If you must walk under a ladder, cross your fingers or make the sign of the fig (closed fist, with thumb between index and middle fingers).

AUGUST 27 IN HISTORY
Born: Carl Bosch (chemist), 1874. Hurricane Cleo battered southern Florida, 1964.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Monday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 71. West southwest wind between 7 and 13 mph.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 56. Southwest wind between 6 and 13 mph.

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Southwest wind between 6 and 9 mph.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 56. Southwest wind between 5 and 9 mph.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 74.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 73.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 73.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 57.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 71.

Saturday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 57.

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

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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 three years.

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NEWSOM NAMES PLANNING DIRECTOR THIS WEEK – Smiles aim toward Seattle Planning Director John Rahaim

SAN FRANCISCO IS MORE THAN BEAUTY AND CHARM

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PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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Seattle urban livability design.

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

Mayor Newsom will name his choice for director of the San Francisco Planning Department this week with City officials now smiling in the direction of Seattle Planning Director John Rahaim, the Sentinel has learned.

One other contender remains to be interviewed, Newsom stressed, but the reception Newsom and City department heads gave Rahaim Thursday in San Francisco had the tenor of happy relief.

San Francisco has been without a permanent planning director since November 2004, in a compact world City where land use is coin of the realm.

The department was tarnished with the perception and the reality of patronage politics under Planning Director Gerald Green when Newsom came to office on January 8 2004.

A holdover from the Willie Brown administration, Green’s pro-development stance, and a personal style described as arrogant by a progressive majority elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2000, left Board working relationship with Green confrontational. Green resigned under pressure from the mayor ten months into Newsom’s first year in office.

The administration turned to a seasoned hand, Dean Macris, to lead the Planning Department on an interim basis as search began for a director equipped to keep San Francisco well positioned in an exploding global economy and a projected California population boom, while also fluent in the language of neighborhood preservation, expanded open space urban livability, and acknowledgement of low-income resident need to remain in the San Francisco they helped build and loved for generations.

Finding that combination of capacity and skill took longer than expected.

“I told them I’d stay the remainder of the year if need be,” Dean Macris said in 2004 as he took the interim position. Macris knew his task having served as Planning Department director from 1980 to 1992.

Macris today still remains in the interim post and Thursday was among those greeting John Rahaim

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John Rahaim

“I hope you’re as good as everybody says you are,” the mayor welcomed Rahaim amid a cirlcle of pressing smiles.

A review of Rahaim’s history indicates he shares much of the Newsom Administration perspective on competiting urban land use needs.

“If we’re going to encourage a housing boom, we don’t want to negatively affect views from other parts of the city,” Rahaim said in 2005 as Seattle Planning Director.

“It’s not just about making buildings work, but making an environment work,” added Rahaim who took the Seattle position in August 2003.

Writing for Arcade magazine in October 2001 (a magazine he helped found), Rahaim noted, “The shared zone between public and private space in America is being debated with increased vigor as cities grow and become denser and as technology changes the ways we interact.”

“The increasingly blurred lines between the public and private sectors are fueling the debate as American cities continue to change,” Rahaim continued.

“The concern about the effects of an increasingly privatized physical realm is not new. It is probably true that the lines between the public and private sectors in American cities have always been unclear, as several of our contributors to this issue suggest.

“Nevertheless, our hypothesis is that the shared zone between the public and private realms has grown, and the boundaries have become more indistinct, as our cities become more complex, and political and budgetary realities loom. With this in mind, we believe the need for public space and a truly public realm is increasingly acute, and the effects on our cities profound.”

Rahaim was the founding executive director of CityDesign, Seattle’s office of Urban Design founded in 1999; and the executive director of the Seattle Design Commission, the City’s primary design advisory panel for public projects and related urban design initiatives.

He sat on the board of Consolidated Works, a contemporary arts center, and remains on the editorial committee of Arcade.

Prior to his tenure in Seattle, Rahaim was with the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, where he served as associate director in charge of development review and the rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance.

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The Pittsburgh skyline.

Rahaim received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was born and raised in Detroit.

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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 three years.

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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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MAYOR NEWSOM IRATE WITH SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING AUTHORITY

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The mayor took the Sentinel on a tour of the playgrounds at the Sunnydale public housing projects Saturday and became angry at the conditions that have been allowed to deteriorate since his last visit to the area. He is pictured here with Daniel Homsey, Director of Neighborhood Services.

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This structure which, according to the mayor cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars, was burned.

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

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

Mayor Gavin Newsom Saturday lashed Housing Authority Director Gregg Fortner performance as pathetic disrespect shown residents.

The mayor pledged that assessment in a telephone call to Fortner later that afternoon, following a tour of the Sunnydale Housing Project which Newsom said revealed maintenance “disgraceful.”

Playground and park renaissance, mostly funded privately through sponsorship by the Mayor’s Office, is in shambles.

“We put all this money in — $600,000, $700,000 — brand new and it looks like it’s 50 years old, and it’s a year old.

“This is not acceptable. This just is not acceptable.

“We put a lot of energy into raising the money to do this, to give these guys dignity, and look around. You can’t even water the damn trees.

“Let’s put it this way, you do not want to be the Director of Housing in the next ten minutes when I get on the phone,” the mayor shouted to residents.

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FORTNER

“I’m sorry about this. This is totally unacceptable. This is pathetic. I’m sorry.

“We raised this money privately. We got it through Dave Mathews Band and we’re very proud of it.

“We do a lot of community work out to plan all this stuff, and I’m directly involved, and it shows how much these (Housing Authority) guys value the work we put into it.

“We raised money for dozens of parks, for athletic fields, through the (Don) Fisher dollars — $40 million — Silver Terrace, Garfield, Crocker Amazon, South Sunset, Franklin is going to get some new lighting.

“Look at this.

“This just says to the neighborhood that we don’t value you, we don’t care about you. You’d think I’d been mayor 50 years and came back. This is just embarrassing.

“Pathetic. All the money we put in all the time. That’s the respect these guys are giving us to keep and maintain. It’s a disgrace that people live in conditions like this.

“It’s disgraceful that the federal government keeps getting out of the business of investing in housing.

“Shame on them, all these politicians all talking all that talk. If you want to see real life this is it — this is HUD. This is your great Housing and Urban Development. This is federal HUD, thank you very much.

“And then, ‘why aren’t these people doing better? What’s wrong with these people?’, and then you have that attitude. We need tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent.’ Give me a break.

“We do have a plan to rebuild all this. We actually funded the plan this year with $95 million seed money. That’s real and that’s happening, and that’s the ultimate solution here but in the interim here this is an embarrassment.

“Don’t tell me you can’t clean up the God damn garbage. Don’t tell me you can’t keep the graffiti off.

“And don’t tell me you can’t keep a playground, that the City came in and sponsored and supported, that you can’t keep that clean and safe. It’s disgraceful.

“The only guys that are doing their jobs, I swear to you, are the police.

“They’ve done an amazing job here. This is one of their first community policing efforts and they’ve done an incredible job, truly. Crime stats bear that out.

“But that should be basic. I mean that’s where everything else begins but that’s not a solution in of itself, ‘Boy, crime’s down,’ that’s not a solution.”

“Sometimes we don’t want to go home. We just want to hang out here to make a difference,” said Police Officer Craig Wilson assigned to Sunnydale Housing.

“No one was born this way. They all have choices to make and we just want to help them make the right choice.”

SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING PROJECTS RESIDENTS STRAIN FOR LIVABILITY

FORCING CHANGE ON THE SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING AUTHORITY

NATIONWIDE DISTRUST OF HOUSING PROJECTS

SAN FRANCISCO HOMELESS CONNECT

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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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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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BARRY BONDS DRAWS SAN FRANCISCO BRAVO TO HIS BREAST

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Barry Bond’s daughter Aisha hugs Rennel as Bonds and his wife Liz look on through love fest cascade.
PHOTO BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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

San Francisco stood today and gave right proper bravo to Barry Bonds, a self-described mama’s boy who used to watch soap operas with his mother, and then gave the world his very best to claim historic all-time home run champion title.

Hank Aaron, who held that title for 33 years, said he is pleased to pass the honor to Bonds and is proud of Barry for making the one-of-a-kind cut.

Fans filled Justin Herman Plaza watching the Aaron message along with several other video love fests from world front-benchers as the stage filled with San Francisco leadership and the Barry Bonds family.

The crowd and Bonds emoted as Bonds claimed those present to his breast.

“It’s because of all of you,” Bonds said across the human expanse.

“You, the fans and the city of San Francisco, that’s why I’m the player I am today.”

YOU’RE JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – WHO LOVES YOU PRETTY BABY

There were free “Barry Bonds Day” buttons to commemorate the event, plus free-flowing hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, among other tasty treats.

Bonds was joined by his immediate family, his current teammates, the entire Giants brain trust, two former San Francisco mayors and enough politicos to stage a fund-raiser. The three Willies were in attendance: Willie Mays — Bonds’ godfather — Willie McCovey and Willie Brown, one of those former San Francisco mayors. So was George Shultz, the former secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan.

They came together under a sunlit beautiful San Francisco day, cloudless and wind stilled.

Team colors reflected through Plaza Bettencourt Fountain spruced up Thursday.

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It was a day for the black and orange.

Magowan and Mayor Gavin Newsom even wore orange ties. When orange snippets of confetti were released into the breeze, drifting off the bay at the end of the ceremony, some of it was carried down the Embarcadero toward the nearly 8-year-old ballpark where the Giants play and Bonds has hit most of his milestone homers.

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The View from Above

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As the clock tower struck one and Bonds thanked another in a series of hometown crowds for its support, many of the thousands on hand raised a finger skyward and chanted “one more year, one more year.”

“I’m with you,” said Bonds, who has often said he intends to play baseball again somewhere next season, preferably for the Giants.

Whether the festivities punctuated or ended Bonds’ 15-year era as a Giant remains to be seen.

“That (decision) will have to wait until October,” Peter Magowan, the team’s president and managing general partner, said afterwards outside AT&T Park, where Bonds slipped past Hank Aaron into first place on the all-time homer list with one out in the fifth inning against Nationals left-hander Mike Bacsik on Aug. 7.

Bonds has hit four homers since and was nestled at 760 heading into Friday night’s home game against the Brewers, who unlike the Giants are still struggling to earn a playoff spot with little more than five weeks to go in the season.

Bonds is eyeing 800 homers, 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBIs and if it was up to him, he’d do it all in a Giants uniform. He’s currently 77 hits and 10 RBIs away from those two mercurial marks.

And it was obvious that fans gathered in the Justin Herman Plaza on Friday were trying to cling to the moment.

“I’m glad that he did it (broke the record) and it’s over,” said William H. Kelley, a long-time fan from San Francisco, sporting a scraggly grey beard. “I hope he comes back, but he probably won’t.”

“We’d really miss him,” said Chris Wertz, who along with her daughter, Laura, were feted on the field by Bonds earlier in the season and wanted to be there on Friday to commemorate the occasion of his big day. “But we love our Giants. We’re always going to root for our Giants no matter what.”

Speaking for his teammates, Omar Vizquel said he was proud to have played the last three seasons with Bonds.

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Teammates Rich Aurillia and Omar Visquell

“Shoes are made to walk, airplanes are made to fly and Barry Bonds was made to hit home runs,” said Vizquel.

But the shortstop didn’t leave it there.

“I mean, how many people can say that they take a shower with Barry Bonds?” said Vizquel, who earned a huge round of laughs.

I’M TOO SEXY FOR MY LOVE

The one-liner was picked up by Mayor Newsom, who led his remarks, thusly: “I’m still trying to get that picture of Omar and Barry out of my mind.

“You know, in San Francisco that might mean something a little different.”

Bonds also didn’t let the Vizquel line rest.

“I want to thank my teammates very, very much for being here and supporting me,” Bonds said.

“That means a lot for a player to have his teammates behind him. You guys’ support through this record was unbelievable.

“And you know, Omar, it was a pleasure taking a shower with you, too.”

Larry Baer, the team’s vice president, presented the famous home plate to Bonds, although he had manager Bruce Bochy hold it.

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Giants manager Bruce Bocce holding home plate that was presented to Bonds

“Bruce is really upset at me,” Baer said. “Home plate is heavy and I made him stand there and do his weight-lifting exercises.”

Newsom offered Bonds the key to the city and county, saying that creating a day for Bonds and naming the month of August in honor of Bonds “just wasn’t enough.” Bonds was suitably impressed receiving an honor that is usually reserved for visiting dignitaries.

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“Back to the key thing,” said Bonds, who grew up in nearby San Carlos, Calif., and calls San Francisco home.

“We, the San Franciscan people here, we’ve always had the key to this city.”

As one would expect, Bonds held the crowd in the palm of his hand.

“I’m going to let you fans and the people of San Francisco know something,” he said.

“Love has given me the strength [to set the record]. You the fans, the city of San Francisco, are the reasons I am the player I am today — because of all of you. And I thank you.

“I just hope I’m able to inspire some of you kids who are here today. I hope that there’s a child (out there) I’ve inspired to shatter my record here in San Francisco.”

And with that, fireworks were discharged and that orange confetti was sent swirling in the air, perhaps signaling the end of another era — or perhaps not.

ODE TO JOY

Barry M. Bloom contributed to this report.

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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.

pat-murphy-still-pretty-pushing-60-2.jpg
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 EXPANDS STREET SURVEILLANCE CAMERA PROGRAM BASED ON POPULAR DEMAND

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

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

The City will expand installation of street surveillance cameras to combat crime, based on widespread popular demand, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom pledged today.

His remarks and rationale came on the heels of a series a newspaper accounts critical of the program and a parallel report issued Monday by the local American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Newsom said no San Franciscan has asked for camera removal while pointing to demands by several neighborhoods for their communities to receive surveillance cameras. The mayor scored those critical as living outside the City.

“I support surveillance cameras — I continue to support surveillance cameras,” Newsom reaffirmed following a morning street median beautification press conference.

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Youths taking part in the summer jobs apprentice program sponsored by the Dept of Public Works in partnership with the Mission Neighborhood Center spent the afternoon Tuesday planting on VanNess Ave.

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Tatiana Kelly hard at work


Mohammed Nuru, Deputy Director of Operations, Deppartment of Public Works explained the landscaping apprentice program for youth program

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Dr. Fred Abadi, Director of the Department of Public Works

Newspaper accounts of the surveillance camera program prompted residents to ask for more cameras, Newsom stated.

“It’s interesting. We’ve had a paper eight days in a row, front page story, and people are coming to me saying, ‘Hey wait, we want more.’

“So I’m going to continue to do what the public wants. That is monitor these. See what works. See what doesn’t work.

“When we add new ones it’s always on a piloted basis. If the community doesn’t want them we can remove them.

“But there are a lot that were put in my budget. We’re going to get those out as quickly as possible.

“Now, I’m not there — in terms of privacy concerns — in monitoring them 24 hours. I’m not comfortable with that. And to the extent that the community wants that we’re always keeping an open mind.

“Right now it is continuing our efforts to get those that we funded in my new budget that were just passed out in these hot spots where the community has long desired them.

“I think it suggestive that I have not received one call from one community leader who has a camera in their neighborhood, where they live — not advocates outside the City — say, ‘Can you get rid of my camera?’

“I think that in and of itself there is no more powerful message in terms of this program than that.

“Not one person has called me or grabbed me on the streets, and I’m out on the streets as much as any human being, and said, ‘Can you get rid of that camera on my street?’

“They want them up and that to me matters a lot more than any ideological analysis that’s being done by people that are in academia or live outside the City.

“And so we’ll keep this program moving to the extent that people don’t want them in their neighborhood — they have the right to express that — and I’ll listen to them.

“To the extent that want better cameras we’ll always keep an open mind at doing better cameras.

“As technology changes so will our program and our approach.

“There’s many, many times more in the budget and there’s nothing that’s going to dissuade me from implementing.

“In fact, we have the requests, we’ve got the letters from people in the community and we’ll be asking the Police Commission to move quickly to get those cameras up.”

The mayor’s office will release the results of surveillance camera usage in high crime areas in October, Newsom’ Press Secretary Nathan Ballard reported yesterday.

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Nathan Ballard

“This is one tool that law enforcement can use to fight violent crime and we believe it is worth a try,” the mayor’s spokesman, Nathan Ballard, said Monday.

MAYOR NEWSOM AND CHIEF FONG INCREASE FOOT PATROLS BY 40%
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CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO PRESS CONFERENCE
Photos by Bill Wilson

Data collected from surveillance cameras has been used in at least six investigations, Ballard said. One arrest has been made definitively because of the cameras.

“We believe the program is working,” Ballard said.

Cities throughout California are working to install such video surveillance cameras on plazas and public streets without regulating them or evaluating their effectiveness, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report released Monday.

For his part, Police Sergeant Neville Gittens said today surveillance cameras that have been installed in San Francisco not only help solve crimes, but they are effective deterrents.

Bay City News contributed to this report

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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 three years.

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.

pat-murphy-still-pretty-pushing-60-2.jpg
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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ON THE CITY’S CABARET SCENE – STEVEN BRINBERG, KRISTOPHER McDOWELL, and TOM ORR

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

STEVEN BRINBERG is “SIMPLY BARBRA!”
The 65th Birthday International Tour
Now at the EMPIRE PLUSH ROOM, 940 Sutter Street (between Hyde & Leavenworth), San Francisco
August 24th – September 2nd

The premier Barbra Streisand impersonator, STEVEN BRINBERG has performed to sell out crowds worldwide. No one does Streisand better! Steven Brinberg writes and stars as SIMPLY BARBRA, which he updates annually as he wings his way around the globe.

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STEVEN BRINBERG – Simply Barbra

Simply Barbra has twice toured Australia, New Zealand, and England, last year ending in a West End run at the Arts and Playhouse Theatres. The show has also played Singapore; Hong Kong; Sag Harbor (Bay Street Theatre); Philadelphia (Walnut Street Theatre), San Francisco (NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER), Los Angeles (Cinegrill); Sun Valley (Bruce Willis’ Liberty Theatre), Atlantic City (Taj Mahal), Windsor, Ontario (Windsor Casino); Provincetown (Town Hall); Miami Beach (Colony Theatre): Houston (Theater Lab Houston); Albany (Empire Center); Arlington (Signature Theater); St. Louis (Sheldon Concert Hall); Chicago (Davenport’s); and 3 sold out turns at The Mohegan Sun Casino.

A two time MAC and BISTRO AWARD winner, Mr. Brinberg’s CD SIMPLY BARBRA LIVE IN LONDON is available on Jay Records. Coming soon is a CD of duets featuring Kaye Ballard, Mimi Hines, Debbie Gravitte, Karen Mason, and many others.

Joining Steven on Saturday night, September 1st, is Kristopher McDowell who appeared earlier this year at EMPIRE PLUSH ROOM in his acclaimed cabaret show, “The Anthony Newley Project”. Kristopher has been honored with the Dean Goodman Award for his role in “The Roar Of The Greasepaint / The Smell Of The Crowd”. He has worked off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the United States. His cabaret and concert acts have played major US cities and London’s West End. In 2001 Mr. McDowell received a nomination for Outstanding Male Cabaret Debut from MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret). Kristopher’s CD, FACES OF LOVE can be heard on four compilation albums and two original cast recordings.

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KRISTOPHER McDOWELL

To order tickets on-line:
Friday, August 24th at 8:00 PM
Saturday, August 25th at 8:00 PM
Sunday, August 26th at 8:00 PM
Friday, August 31st at 8:00 PM
Saturday, September 1st at 8:00 PM (with guest appearance by Kristopher McDowell)
Sunday, September 2nd at 7:00 PM

TOM ORR – NOW APPEARING IN iTom_shuffle
Brought to you by the dirty mind behind DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES!

Be warned! Tom Orr’s “iTom_shuffle” is a musical comedy cabaret for consenting adults only. Written and performed by the award-winning lyricist-playwright-singer-dancer-actor-comedian and all-around musical comedy cabaret dynamo, Tom Orr has been entertaining Bay Area audiences with his smart, sexy, and satirical parodies since 1997. There is still a lot of buzz around his critically-acclaimed “Dirty Little Showtunes!”. A crowd-pleasing cult hit, the revue has enjoyed successful runs in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Houston and the Minneapolis Fringe Festival.

Variously called “the Lenny Bruce of musical parody” and “the love child of Dorothy Parker and Al Parker,” Mr. Orr is known for baring all (or nearly all) in bawdy burlesque turns in Dirty Little Showtunes, Howard Crabtree’s Whoop-Dee-Doo, as well as his previous solo act, Sweet Parody, and as “the perky little
porn star” in Naked Boys Singing. He most recently made a splash in the locker room scene of TAKE ME OUT at the New Conservatory Theatre Center and continues to share his many talents at various community fundraisers & events.

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TOM ORR – NOW APPEARING IN iTom_shuffle
Brought to you by the dirty mind behind DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES!

Now, with dozens of dirty ditties in his risqué repertoire, Orr has assembled a new show – iTom_shuffle – made up of his best and bawdiest broadway bawdlerizations. With each of his performances comes a different line-up of familiar melodies from Annie, Gypsy, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly, Wicked, The Producers, and more. All with a XXX twist.

With biting wit and sharp social commentary on everything from gay marriage to the crystal meth epidemic to prurient takes on leather, drag and porn – Tom Orr will be shuffling more than his nightly song list until August 31st.

For reservations, phone: 415-904-8377
(Caution: nudity and adult language)
Location: 975 Howard / The Garage
A new artspace in San Francisco
975 Howard Street @ 6th Street

See Sean’s recent articles:
THE SCULPTURE OF LOUISE NEVELSON: Constructing a Legend
FREE TICKETS TO “SAMSON AND DELILAH” AT AT&T PARK, SEPTEMBER 28TH
GREATER TUNA – Returns To San Francisco
A CONVERSATION WITH JIM BROCHU AND STEVE SCHALCHLIN – The New Conservatory Theatre extends “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” until August 26th
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM – GRAND FINALE, SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th
“H.M.S. PINAFORE” Sails The Lamplighters Music Theatre Into 55th Season
HOTEL CASABLANCA – World Premiere in San Francisco
INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – A Conversation with Composer Jay Kuo
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE – Everything old is new again at SF Opera
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT, Principal Dancer of the San Francisco Ballet

THE INSIDER JOURNAL REACHING THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IN STAGE, FILM, FINE ARTS, POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
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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. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post 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: sean.martinfield@gmail.com.

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THE SCULPTURE OF LOUISE NEVELSON: Constructing a Legend – Now through January 13, 2008

On View at the de Young Museum – October 27, 2007 through January 13, 2008

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

THE SCULPTURE OF LOUISE NEVELSON: Constructing a Legend is the first major retrospective in America in more than two decades to examine the work of one of the towering figures of postwar American art. Louise Nevelson (1899–1988) was known for her monumental sculptures and her practice of constructing them from found wood. Her autobiographical works symbolically address issues of marriage, motherhood, death, Jewish culture, memory and (although she resisted the label) feminism.

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LOUISE NEVELSON – “Some of us come on earth seeing – some of us come on earth seeing color.”

The exhibition, organized by The Jewish Museum, New York, looks at the entire span of Nevelson’s career with more than 70 works of sculpture and drawings. Included in the exhibition are sculptures that were pioneering in the fact that they created discrete environments. Mrs. N’s Palace is a room-sized installation that envelops viewers; Homage to 6,000,000 I speaks to the seemingly unfathomable number of Jews who died in the Holocaust with a massive, curved wall; and Dawn’s Wedding Feast replicates a metaphorical wedding party, including the bride, groom and guests.

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From – DAWN’S WEDDING FEAST, 1959. Louise Nevelson

Nevelson was born in the Ukraine and immigrated to the United States with her family six years later. Her life encompassed most of the 20th century, giving her exposure to Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and installation art. Although linked to all of these movements, Nevelson formed a unique visual language that earned her recognition as one of America’s most distinguished artists. Her work continues to inform contemporary sculpture nearly 20 years after her death.

Her groundbreaking technique involved assembling cast-off wood pieces and transforming them with coats of monochromatic black, white, and (more rarely) gold spray paint. Nevelson’s work started with tabletop scale objects, but quickly grew into human-scale and room-sized works. Her later, monumental public works stood their ground with the buildings that surrounded them.

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Painted woods – ROYAL TIDE I, 1960 & WHITE VERTICAL WATER, 1972. Louise Nevelson

Despite the size and drama of Nevelson’s sculptures, they were at times overwhelmed by her larger-than-life public persona. She was known for wearing eye-catching assemblages of couture, ethnographic clothing, outsize jewelry and hats. A trademark look involved donning multiple layers of false eyelashes. “With the passage of time, Nevelson’s larger-than-life persona may be viewed in historical perspective, thus allowing viewers to focus on her extraordinary artistic legacy,” says Timothy Anglin Burgard, Ednah Root Curator-in-Charge of the American Art Department.

The Jewish Museum and Yale University Press have co-published a catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. It is hailed as the most extensive study of Nevelson to be published in 25 years and includes essays by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, the curator of the exhibition, as well as by noted scholars such as Arthur C. Danto, Harriet F. Senie, and Michael Stanislawski.

THE SCULPTURE OF LOUISE NEVELSON: Constructing a Legend is organized by The Jewish Museum, New York, where it was supported through major grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Homeland Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The San Francisco presentation is supported by the Koret Foundation and the Helen Diller Family Foundation. Major support is also provided by The Francis Goldsmith Exhibition Fund.

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LOUISE NEVELSON, by Hans Namuth & THE DRUM, from Facade I (screenprint with photocollage), 1967. Louise Nevelson.

Currently on exhibit at the de Young Museum:
HIROSHI SUGIMOTOuntil September 23rd. The extraordinary 30-year career of Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948) is celebrated in this retrospective of more than 100 luminous photographs, made from 1976 to the present. This presentation, in an installation designed by Sugimoto, constitutes the first major survey of Sugimoto’s oeuvre.
NAN KEMPNER – American Chic – until November 11th. The cool glamour, spare elegance, and iconic style of the late Mrs. Thomas L. Kempner, one of the most renowned members of the Best-Dressed List’s Hall of Fame, is celebrated through a selection of her favorite designers and couture ensembles.

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CABOT STREET CINEMA, MASSACHUSETTS, 1978 – Hiroshi Sugimoto & NAN KEMPNER – American Chic

RENT THE DE YOUNG MUSEUM
Nestled in the heart of Golden Gate Park, the new de Young museum is a fascinating and exciting new venue for special events in San Francisco. Not only is the de Young the foremost museum in the western United States concentrating on art of the Americas, Oceania and Africa but, also, the de Young presents one of the finest growing collections of American Art. Since its closure in 2000 the de Young has undergone a dramatic transformation. From the embossed copper façade with no two panels alike to the collection of priceless works of art, the de Young promises to create an experience unlike any other. Guests will delight in privately touring the newest and most unique event venue in San Francisco while becoming part of the historical reopening of a cultural institution that has been part of San Francisco for over 100 years. For more information:
Renting the de Young
Event Space Information
Weddings & Private Events
Corporate and Association Rentals
Contact the Facility Rental Manager for further information at 415-750-3683 or smurphy@famsf.org.

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HIROSHIMI SUGIMOTO – THE de YOUNG MUSEUM – NAN KEMPNER

See Seán’s recent articles:
FREE TICKETS TO “SAMSON AND DELILAH” AT AT&T PARK, SEPTEMBER 28TH
GREATER TUNA – Returns To San Francisco
A CONVERSATION WITH JIM BROCHU AND STEVE SCHALCHLIN – The New Conservatory Theatre extends “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” until August 26th
CASTRO THEATRE Celebrates 85th Anniversary, August 10th – 12th
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM – GRAND FINALE, SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th
“H.M.S. PINAFORE” Sails The Lamplighters Music Theatre Into 55th Season
THE BIG VOICE: God or Merman?
HOTEL CASABLANCA – World Premiere in San Francisco
INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – A Conversation with Composer Jay Kuo
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE – Everything old is new again at SF Opera
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT, Principal Dancer of the San Francisco Ballet

THE INSIDER JOURNAL REACHING THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IN STAGE, FILM, FINE ARTS, POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
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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. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post 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: sean.martinfield@gmail.com.

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SOPRANO RENÉE FLEMING FEATURED GUEST STAR AT SYMPHONY OPENING, SEPTEMBER 19th – Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will lead the San Francisco Symphony in works by Adams, Copland, Prokofiev, Puccini, Ravel, and Ruth Crawford Seeger

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will lead the San Francisco Symphony in works by Adams, Copland, Prokofiev, Puccini, Ravel, and Ruth Crawford Seeger

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

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RENÉE FLEMING. Photo by Andrew Eccles

San Francisco Symphony President John D. Goldman and Gala Chairman Margaret Liu Collins thave announced details of the SFS’s 96th Season Opening Gala, to be held on September 19, 2007. The Gala celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Patrons’ Dinner, Symphony Supper, and Symphonix Dinner. At 8:30 p.m. Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS will open the 2007-08 concert season with a special gala performance featuring world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming performing Ravel’s “Shéhérazade” plus arias by Puccini. The concert will also include Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, Ruth Crawford Seeger’s “Andante” and John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” and Prokofiev’s Scenes from “Romeo and Juliet”. The 2007 Opening Gala comes on the heels of the Orchestra’s three-week European Festival Tour. The SFS’s Opening Gala Week is presented by Wells Fargo with generous support from Macy’s, Yahoo! and Franklin Templeton Investments.

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Davies Symphony Hall

“Wells Fargo is delighted to return as the presenting sponsor of the San Francisco Symphony’s Opening Gala Week,” said Wells Fargo & Company Chairman and CEO Richard M. Kovacevich. “We are honored to support this exciting musical partnership of Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, and to celebrate the opening of San Francisco’s cultural season with special concerts for the entire Bay Area community.”

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Michael Tilson Thomas and RENEÉ FLEMING – rehearse Cäcilie, by Strauss. Photo by Abdiel Thorn

American soprano Renée Fleming has a devoted following worldwide for her work on the operatic stage, in concerts and recitals, on television, radio and recordings, and as a champion of new music. Ms. Fleming has performed many world premieres, including André Previn’s A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Conrad Susa’s DANGEROUS LIAISONS with the San Francisco Opera, and John Corigliano’s GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES at the Metropolitan Opera. A two-time Grammy winner, Ms. Fleming has also earned seven other Grammy nominations as well as the Classical Brits Awards in 2004 for “Outstanding Contribution to Music” and in 2003 as “Female Artist of the Year”. The most recent of her numerous recordings include the Grammy-nominated CD of Strauss’ DAPHNE, SACRED SONGS, the jazz recording HAUNTED HEART, RENEÉ FLEMING: HANDEL and the movie soundtrack to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Ms. Fleming first performed in Davies Symphony Hall as part of the SFS’s Great Performers Series in recital with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in April 2001. In February 2002 she returned to perform the world premiere Michael Tilson Thomas’ “Poems of Emily Dickinson”, his setting of texts by the famed American poet. She most recently performed with the SFS at a special concert for Michael Tilson Thomas’ 60th birthday celebration in January 2005.

PRE-CONCERT DINNERS AND DECOR
For the 14th year, McCall Associates will serve as caterer for the Patrons’ Dinner, held in the Louise M. Davies Tent Pavilion. Robert Fountain will design the Tent Pavilion and Macy’s is generously underwriting the Patrons’ Dinner. The Symphony Supper and Symphonix Dinner, both also catered by McCall Associates, will be held in the Rotunda and North Light Court of City Hall, respectively. Guests not attending the dinners are invited to the Promenade to walk the red carpet, mingle, and enjoy champagne beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Davies Symphony Hall.

POST-CONCERT PARTIES
Following the Davies Symphony Hall Gala concert, all guests are invited to enjoy post-concert parties in the Davies Symphony Hall Tent Pavilion and City Hall until 1:00 a.m. with complimentary wines, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts from San Francisco’s finest restaurants. Post-party entertainment includes Pamela Rose featuring Sidepocket, and Pride & Joy.

GALA TIMETABLE
The Gala celebrations begin at 5:30 p.m. with cocktail events for the Patrons’ Dinner, Symphony Supper, and Symphonix Dinner. The Patrons’ Dinner, co-chaired by Rebecca Green Birdsall, Courtenay Corrigan, Juliet de Baubigny, Beth Holland, Karen Jung, and Anita Wornick will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Louise M. Davies Tent Pavilion and will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. in Davies Symphony Hall. The Symphony Supper, co-chaired by Tina Tunney and Carla Zuber, will be held in the Rotunda of City Hall, preceded by a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall. Makai Fisher and Stefanie Roumeliotes are co-chairs of the Symphonix Dinner, to be held in the North Light Court of City Hall, and preceded by a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall. Symphonix is the SFS’s young professionals’ league. All guests with concert-only tickets are invited to the Promenade beginning at 7:30 p.m. with complimentary beverages in Davies Symphony Hall.

GALA COMMITTEE
Gala Chairman Margaret Liu Collins has been an avid and generous supporter of the San Francisco Symphony, having chaired the 2006 Opening Gala and the Chinese New Year Celebration from 2002-2004. Since 2003, she has served on the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. The Gala Committee includes Patrons’ Dinner Co-Chairs Rebecca Green Birdsall, Courtenay Corrigan, Juliet de Baubigny, Beth Holland, Karen Jung, and Anita Wornick; Symphony Supper Co-Chairs Chair Tina Tunney and Carla Zuber; Symphonix Dinner Co-Chairs Makai Fisher and Stefanie Roumeliotes; and Post-party Chairmen Catherine Hall and Sharon L. Litsky. The Honorary Chairmen are Ellen and Walter Newman.

OPENING GALA TICKETS
Tickets for the Opening Gala are currently on sale. Concert-only tickets may be purchased through SFS Ticket Services at 415-864-6000. Concert-only tickets, which include Pre-concert Promenade and Post-concert Parties, are priced from $130 to $250 per person. Dinner packages may be purchased by calling the Volunteer Council at 415-503-5500.

Three special reception, dinner, and premium concert packages are available at (415) 503-5500. For the Patrons’ Dinner, the new “Aria Level,” which includes an exclusive, post-concert VIP reception with Renée Fleming, Michael Tilson Thomas, and musicians can be purchased for $2,500 per person (this level is sold-out). This price includes preferred seating at the Patrons’ Dinner and concert (Loge, Orchestra Box, or Premier Orchestra seating). The “Concerto Level” may be purchased for $1,750 per person which also includes preferred seating at the Patrons’ Dinner and concert (Loge, Orchestra Box, or Premier Orchestra seating). The “Sonata Level” can be purchased for $1,250 per person and includes special seating at the Patrons’ Dinner and preferred Orchestra seating at the concert. Prices for the Symphonix Dinner and Symphony Supper range from $350-575 and include the Cocktail Reception, Dinner, preferred seating in Davies Symphony Hall and the Post-concert Parties until 1:00 a.m.

Seán’s recommendations for your library:
CDAMERICAN ANTHEM – SONGS AND HYMNS – MTT conducts the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”
CDTHE BEST OF PROKOFIEV – Andrew Mogrelia conducts the Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra in scenes from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”
CDBY REQUEST, Renée Fleming – Selections include Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro”
CDDAPHNE – By Richard Strauss, featuring Reneé Fleming in the title role and tenor John Botha as “Apollo”
CDFRENCH SONGS & ARIAS, Kiri Te Kanawa – performs Ravel’s “Shéhérazade”
CDRENEÉ FLEMING: HANDEL – Outstanding renditions by Reneé Fleming of “Endless pleasure, endless love” and “To fleeting pleasures make your court “. Harry Bicket leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
CDHAUNTED HEART – Reneé Fleming performs works by Arthur Schwartz, Joni Mitchell, Richard Whiting, Carl Fischer, Fred Rauch, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, Harry Warren, etc
CDRENEÉ FLEMING – Arias by Puccini include: O mio babbino caro, Quando me n’vò, Signore, ascolta, and Un bel di vedremo. Sir Charles Mackerras conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
CDSACRED SONGS – Reneé Fleming’s favorites by Bach, Gounod, Schubert, Fauré, Poulenc, etc.
DVD A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE – Reneé Fleming as “Blanche DuBois” and Rodney Gilfry as “Stanley Kowalski”. Recorded live with the San Francisco Opera, Andre Previn conducting.

See Seán’s recent articles:
THE SCULPTURE OF LOUISE NEVELSON: Constructing a Legend
FREE TICKETS TO “SAMSON AND DELILAH” AT AT&T PARK, SEPTEMBER 28TH
GREATER TUNA – Returns To San Francisco
A CONVERSATION WITH JIM BROCHU AND STEVE SCHALCHLIN – The New Conservatory Theatre extends “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” until August 26th
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM – GRAND FINALE, SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th
“H.M.S. PINAFORE” Sails The Lamplighters Music Theatre Into 55th Season
HOTEL CASABLANCA – World Premiere in San Francisco
INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – A Conversation with Composer Jay Kuo
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE – Everything old is new again at SF Opera
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT, Principal Dancer of the San Francisco Ballet

THE INSIDER JOURNAL REACHING THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IN STAGE, FILM, FINE ARTS, POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
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See Related: SAN FRANCISCO SENTINEL TEAM MEMBERS ACKNOWLEDGED AS EXPERT IN THEIR FIELD

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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. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post 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: sean.martinfield@gmail.com.

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STATE HIGH SPEED RAIL project continues despite smaller budget than asked

A reduced allocation of $20.7 million in the state budget towards the construction of a 700-mile high-speed train linking San Diego and the Bay Area will not derail the project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority said Saturday.

The 2007-08 allocation is less than the $103 million requested by CHSRA and will restrict much of the engineering and design work that was slated to begin within the next year, CHSRA said in a statement.

“Despite the reduced funding for high-speed rail, I am very optimistic about our ability to sustain progress on this vital solution to California’s transportation crisis,” said Quentin Kopp, chairman of the board of the authority.

Kopp says high-speed 220 mph trains would alleviate gridlock and allow for quick and easy movement from one part of the state to another.

“The proposed $20.7 million budget will keep some essential activities funded,” said Mehdi Morshed, HSRA executive director.

Morshed said the budget allows for an environmental analysis and preferred route in the Bay Area.

With the anticipated $3.5 million contribution from Orange County, the budget will keep engineering and environmental work going in the LA-Anaheim corridor, Morshed said.

“And we will also continue the vital engineering and design work needed to receive the regulatory approvals to build the system,” he said.

“This project has great momentum and we will move the project forward responsibly and quickly so that voters can confidently approve the $9.95 billion bond next year,” Morshed said.

Bay City News

See Related: GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER draws tight budget for California High Speed Rail

See Related: HIGH SPEED RAIL PUBLIC TESTIMONY in Bay Area cities begins August 23

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AUGUST 26 Photo of The Day – CRISSY FIELD BEACHCOMER NOT MAROONED LONG – Video of The Day – SAN FRANCISCO MISSION DISTRICT TOUR – Babies born today will be reserved – Live radar and weather forecast

August 26 Photo of The Day
CRISSY FIELD BEACHCOMER NOT MAROONED LONG
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A beachcomer runs into a dead end at Crissy Field Today but wasn’t marooned for long.
PHOTOS BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

August 26 Video of The Day
SAN FRANCISCO MISSION DISTRICT TOUR

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AUGUST 26 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are literary and artistic, versatile and rather headstrong. You are admired by your friends for your dependability, coolness, and reserve. You take nothing for granted and will have a happy home and marriage.

AUGUST 26 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
When cutting asphalt shingles, dip your utility knife in turpentine. This will keep the shingles from binding when you cut them.

AUGUST 26 WORD OF THE DAY
Babbler. Defintion: An idle talker; an irrational prater; a teller of secrets. A hound too noisy on finding a good scent. A name given to any one of family of thrushlike birds, having a chattering note.

AUGUST 26 IN HISTORY
Born: Lee DeForest (inventor), 1873. 100-mph winds, Lake County, Indiana, 1965.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Sunday: Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 71. West southwest wind between 7 and 10 mph.

Sunday Night: Increasing clouds, with a low around 56. West southwest wind between 6 and 10 mph.

Monday: Mostly cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 71. West southwest wind between 6 and 10 mph.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, clear, with a low around 56. Southwest wind between 6 and 10 mph.

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

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 73.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 74.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 74.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 73.

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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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AUGUST 26 San Francisco Apartment Rentals and Listings

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Find great apartments around the San Francisco Bay Area

Click on a link below to preview available apartments & rentals

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GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER draws tight budget for California High Speed Rail

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — According to a statement by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) today, the allocation of $20.7 million in the 2007-08 state budget will maintain progress on the vital project but will restrict much of the engineering and design work that was slated to begin within the next year. The 2007-08 allocation is what the Legislature’s budget provided but less than the $103 million requested by the Authority.

“Despite the reduced funding for high-speed rail, I am very optimistic about our ability to sustain progress on this vital solution to California’s transportation crisis,” said The Honorable Quentin Kopp, Chairman of the Board of the Authority.

“High-speed 220 mile per hour trains offer the only realistic and comprehensive strategy for alleviating gridlock and improving the ability of our citizens to move quickly and easily from one part of the state to another. Once built, high-speed trains will be an important transportation solution for California.”

“The proposed $20.7 million budget will keep some essential activities funded,” said Mehdi Morshed, HSRA executive director.

“The budget allows the Authority to complete the Bay Area program level environmental analysis and select a preferred route. With the anticipated $3.5 million contribution from Orange County, this budget will keep the engineering and environmental work going in the LA-Anaheim corridor. And we will also continue the vital engineering and design work needed to receive the regulatory approvals to build the system.

“This project has great momentum and we will move the project forward responsibly and quickly so that voters can confidently approve the $9.95 billion bond next year,” said Morshed.

Judge Kopp said the high-speed train system has widespread support from state and federal legislators, as well as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wrote an editorial in support of the project in the Fresno Bee earlier this year. Newspapers throughout California that have editorialized in support of budgeting appropriate funds to keep high-speed rail on schedule, includes the Fresno Bee, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, and San Francisco Chronicle.

Kopp also referenced California mayors who have lined up behind the project, including Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles), Curt Pringle (Anaheim), Alan Autry (Fresno) and Gavin Newsom (San Francisco). The project has received strong support from U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, as well as bipartisan support from the majority of California’s Congressional delegation, which recently signed a letter urging Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Senate to provide adequate funding to keep the high-speed train project on schedule. Other supporters include Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and State Senate President Pro-Tem Don Perata.

Business Wire

See Related: HIGH SPEED RAIL PUBLIC TESTIMONY in Bay Area cities begins August 23

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AUGUST 25 Photo of The Day – HARD TIMES – Video of The Day – BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME – Babies born today can get really snarky – Live radar and weather forecast

August 25 Photo of The Day
HARD TIMES
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PHOTO BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

August 25 Video of The Day
BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME

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AUGUST 25 BIRTHDAY LORE
You have the characteristics of a leader. You are affable, diplomatic, and careful of appearances, and seldom show any agitation on the surface. You are sincere and demonstrative in your love and bitter in your hatred. Pick a congenial mate and you will be very happy.

AUGUST 25 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
Rub salt onto the flower stains inside glass vases and scrub them away.

AUGUST 25 WORD OF THE DAY
Leeway. Defintion: The lateral movement of a ship to the leeward of her course; drift.

AUGUST 25 IN HISTORY
Born: Walt Kelly (cartoonist), 1913. Madison, Wisconsin, reported a low temperature of 37 degrees F, 1958.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 72. West southwest wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Saturday Night: Increasing clouds, with a low around 56. West southwest wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Sunday: Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 71. West southwest wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. Southwest wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 72.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 54.

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 73.

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

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 74.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Thursday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 78.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 54.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 79.

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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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BARRY BONDS DRAWS SAN FRANCISCO BRAVO TO HIS BREAST

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Barry Bond’s daughter Aisha hugs Rennel as Bonds and his wife Liz look on through love fest cascade.
PHOTO BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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

San Francisco stood today and gave right proper bravo to Barry Bonds, a self-described mama’s boy who used to watch soap operas with his mother, and then gave the world his very best to claim historic all-time home run champion title.

Hank Aaron, who held that title for 33 years, said he is pleased to pass the honor to Bonds and is proud of Barry for making the one-of-a-kind cut.

Fans filled Justin Herman Plaza watching the Aaron message along with several other video love fests from world front-benchers as the stage filled with San Francisco leadership and the Barry Bonds family.

The crowd and Bonds emoted as Bonds claimed those present to his breast.

“It’s because of all of you,” Bonds said across the human expanse.

“You, the fans and the city of San Francisco, that’s why I’m the player I am today.”

YOU’RE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – WHO LOVES YOU PRETTY BABY

There were free “Barry Bonds Day” buttons to commemorate the event, plus free-flowing hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, among other tasty treats.

Bonds was joined by his immediate family, his current teammates, the entire Giants brain trust, two former San Francisco mayors and enough politicos to stage a fund-raiser. The three Willies were in attendance: Willie Mays — Bonds’ godfather — Willie McCovey and Willie Brown, one of those former San Francisco mayors. So was George Shultz, the former secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan.

They came together under a sunlit beautiful San Francisco day, cloudless and wind stilled.

Team colors reflected through Plaza Bettencourt Fountain spruced up Thursday.

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It was a day for the black and orange.

Magowan and Mayor Gavin Newsom even wore orange ties. When orange snippets of confetti were released into the breeze, drifting off the bay at the end of the ceremony, some of it was carried down the Embarcadero toward the nearly 8-year-old ballpark where the Giants play and Bonds has hit most of his milestone homers.

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The View from Above

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As the clock tower struck one and Bonds thanked another in a series of hometown crowds for its support, many of the thousands on hand raised a finger skyward and chanted “one more year, one more year.”

“I’m with you,” said Bonds, who has often said he intends to play baseball again somewhere next season, preferably for the Giants.

Whether the festivities punctuated or ended Bonds’ 15-year era as a Giant remains to be seen.

“That (decision) will have to wait until October,” Peter Magowan, the team’s president and managing general partner, said afterwards outside AT&T Park, where Bonds slipped past Hank Aaron into first place on the all-time homer list with one out in the fifth inning against Nationals left-hander Mike Bacsik on Aug. 7.

Bonds has hit four homers since and was nestled at 760 heading into Friday night’s home game against the Brewers, who unlike the Giants are still struggling to earn a playoff spot with little more than five weeks to go in the season.

Bonds is eyeing 800 homers, 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBIs and if it was up to him, he’d do it all in a Giants uniform. He’s currently 77 hits and 10 RBIs away from those two mercurial marks.

And it was obvious that fans gathered in the Justin Herman Plaza on Friday were trying to cling to the moment.

“I’m glad that he did it (broke the record) and it’s over,” said William H. Kelley, a long-time fan from San Francisco, sporting a scraggly grey beard. “I hope he comes back, but he probably won’t.”

“We’d really miss him,” said Chris Wertz, who along with her daughter, Laura, were feted on the field by Bonds earlier in the season and wanted to be there on Friday to commemorate the occasion of his big day. “But we love our Giants. We’re always going to root for our Giants no matter what.”

Speaking for his teammates, Omar Vizquel said he was proud to have played the last three seasons with Bonds.

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Teammates Rich Aurillia and Omar Visquell

“Shoes are made to walk, airplanes are made to fly and Barry Bonds was made to hit home runs,” said Vizquel.

But the shortstop didn’t leave it there.

“I mean, how many people can say that they take a shower with Barry Bonds?” said Vizquel, who earned a huge round of laughs.

I’M TOO SEXY FOR MY LOVE

The one-liner was picked up by Mayor Newsom, who led his remarks, thusly: “I’m still trying to get that picture of Omar and Barry out of my mind.

“You know, in San Francisco that might mean something a little different.”

Bonds also didn’t let the Vizquel line rest.

“I want to thank my teammates very, very much for being here and supporting me,” Bonds said.

“That means a lot for a player to have his teammates behind him. You guys’ support through this record was unbelievable.

“And you know, Omar, it was a pleasure taking a shower with you, too.”

Larry Baer, the team’s vice president, presented the famous home plate to Bonds, although he had manager Bruce Bochy hold it.

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Giants manager Bruce Bocce holding home plate that was presented to Bonds

“Bruce is really upset at me,” Baer said. “Home plate is heavy and I made him stand there and do his weight-lifting exercises.”

Newsom offered Bonds the key to the city and county, saying that creating a day for Bonds and naming the month of August in honor of Bonds “just wasn’t enough.” Bonds was suitably impressed receiving an honor that is usually reserved for visiting dignitaries.

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“Back to the key thing,” said Bonds, who grew up in nearby San Carlos, Calif., and calls San Francisco home.

“We, the San Franciscan people here, we’ve always had the key to this city.”

As one would expect, Bonds held the crowd in the palm of his hand.

“I’m going to let you fans and the people of San Francisco know something,” he said.

“Love has given me the strength [to set the record]. You the fans, the city of San Francisco, are the reasons I am the player I am today — because of all of you. And I thank you.

“I just hope I’m able to inspire some of you kids who are here today. I hope that there’s a child (out there) I’ve inspired to shatter my record here in San Francisco.”

And with that, fireworks were discharged and that orange confetti was sent swirling in the air, perhaps signaling the end of another era — or perhaps not.

ODE TO JOY

Barry M. Bloom contributed to this report.

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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.

pat-murphy-still-pretty-pushing-60-2.jpg
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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ON THE CITY’S CABARET SCENE – STEVEN BRINBERG, KRISTOPHER McDOWELL, and TOM ORR

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

STEVEN BRINBERG is “SIMPLY BARBRA!”
The 65th Birthday International Tour
Now at the EMPIRE PLUSH ROOM, 940 Sutter Street (between Hyde & Leavenworth), San Francisco
August 24th – September 2nd

The premier Barbra Streisand impersonator, STEVEN BRINBERG has performed to sell out crowds worldwide. No one does Streisand better! Steven Brinberg writes and stars as SIMPLY BARBRA, which he updates annually as he wings his way around the globe.

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STEVEN BRINBERG – Simply Barbra

Simply Barbra has twice toured Australia, New Zealand, and England, last year ending in a West End run at the Arts and Playhouse Theatres. The show has also played Singapore; Hong Kong; Sag Harbor (Bay Street Theatre); Philadelphia (Walnut Street Theatre), San Francisco (NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER), Los Angeles (Cinegrill); Sun Valley (Bruce Willis’ Liberty Theatre), Atlantic City (Taj Mahal), Windsor, Ontario (Windsor Casino); Provincetown (Town Hall); Miami Beach (Colony Theatre): Houston (Theater Lab Houston); Albany (Empire Center); Arlington (Signature Theater); St. Louis (Sheldon Concert Hall); Chicago (Davenport’s); and 3 sold out turns at The Mohegan Sun Casino.

A two time MAC and BISTRO AWARD winner, Mr. Brinberg’s CD SIMPLY BARBRA LIVE IN LONDON is available on Jay Records. Coming soon is a CD of duets featuring Kaye Ballard, Mimi Hines, Debbie Gravitte, Karen Mason, and many others.

Joining Steven on Saturday night, September 1st, is Kristopher McDowell who appeared earlier this year at EMPIRE PLUSH ROOM in his acclaimed cabaret show, “The Anthony Newley Project”. Kristopher has been honored with the Dean Goodman Award for his role in “The Roar Of The Greasepaint / The Smell Of The Crowd”. He has worked off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the United States. His cabaret and concert acts have played major US cities and London’s West End. In 2001 Mr. McDowell received a nomination for Outstanding Male Cabaret Debut from MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret). Kristopher’s CD, FACES OF LOVE can be heard on four compilation albums and two original cast recordings.

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KRISTOPHER McDOWELL

To order tickets on-line:
Friday, August 24th at 8:00 PM
Saturday, August 25th at 8:00 PM
Sunday, August 26th at 8:00 PM
Friday, August 31st at 8:00 PM
Saturday, September 1st at 8:00 PM (with guest appearance by Kristopher McDowell)
Sunday, September 2nd at 7:00 PM

TOM ORR – NOW APPEARING IN iTom_shuffle
Brought to you by the dirty mind behind DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES!

Be warned! Tom Orr’s “iTom_shuffle” is a musical comedy cabaret for consenting adults only. Written and performed by the award-winning lyricist-playwright-singer-dancer-actor-comedian and all-around musical comedy cabaret dynamo, Tom Orr has been entertaining Bay Area audiences with his smart, sexy, and satirical parodies since 1997. There is still a lot of buzz around his critically-acclaimed “Dirty Little Showtunes!”. A crowd-pleasing cult hit, the revue has enjoyed successful runs in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Houston and the Minneapolis Fringe Festival.

Variously called “the Lenny Bruce of musical parody” and “the love child of Dorothy Parker and Al Parker,” Mr. Orr is known for baring all (or nearly all) in bawdy burlesque turns in Dirty Little Showtunes, Howard Crabtree’s Whoop-Dee-Doo, as well as his previous solo act, Sweet Parody, and as “the perky little
porn star” in Naked Boys Singing. He most recently made a splash in the locker room scene of TAKE ME OUT at the New Conservatory Theatre Center and continues to share his many talents at various community fundraisers & events.

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TOM ORR – NOW APPEARING IN iTom_shuffle
Brought to you by the dirty mind behind DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES!

Now, with dozens of dirty ditties in his risqué repertoire, Orr has assembled a new show – iTom_shuffle – made up of his best and bawdiest broadway bawdlerizations. With each of his performances comes a different line-up of familiar melodies from Annie, Gypsy, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly, Wicked, The Producers, and more. All with a XXX twist.

With biting wit and sharp social commentary on everything from gay marriage to the crystal meth epidemic to prurient takes on leather, drag and porn – Tom Orr will be shuffling more than his nightly song list until August 31st.

For reservations, phone: 415-904-8377
(Caution: nudity and adult language)
Location: 975 Howard / The Garage
A new artspace in San Francisco
975 Howard Street @ 6th Street

See Sean’s recent articles:
THE SCULPTURE OF LOUISE NEVELSON: Constructing a Legend
FREE TICKETS TO “SAMSON AND DELILAH” AT AT&T PARK, SEPTEMBER 28TH
GREATER TUNA – Returns To San Francisco
A CONVERSATION WITH JIM BROCHU AND STEVE SCHALCHLIN – The New Conservatory Theatre extends “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” until August 26th
MEROLA OPERA PROGRAM – GRAND FINALE, SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th
“H.M.S. PINAFORE” Sails The Lamplighters Music Theatre Into 55th Season
HOTEL CASABLANCA – World Premiere in San Francisco
INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – A Conversation with Composer Jay Kuo
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE – Everything old is new again at SF Opera
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT, Principal Dancer of the San Francisco Ballet

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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. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post 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: sean.martinfield@gmail.com.

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NEWSOM NAMES PLANNING DIRECTOR NEXT WEEK – Smiles aim toward Seattle Planning Director John Rahaim

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PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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Seattle urban livability design.

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

Mayor Newsom will name his choice for director of the San Francisco Planning Department next week with City officials now smiling in the direction of Seattle Planning Director John Rahaim, the Sentinel has learned.

One other contender remains to be interviewed, Newsom stressed, but the reception Newsom and City department heads gave Rahaim yesterday in San Francisco had the tenor of happy relief.

San Francisco has been without a permanent planning director since November 2004, in a compact world City where land use is coin of the realm.

The department was tarnished with the perception and the reality of patronage politics under Planning Director Gerald Green when Newsom came to office on January 8 2004.

A holdover from the Willie Brown administration, Green’s pro-development stance, and a personal style described as arrogant by a progressive majority elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2000, left Board working relationship with Green confrontational. Green resigned under pressure from the mayor ten months into Newsom’s first year in office.

The administration turned to a seasoned hand, Dean Macris, to lead the Planning Department on an interim basis as search began for a director equipped to keep San Francisco well positioned in an exploding global economy and a projected California population boom, while also fluent in the language of neighborhood preservation, expanded open space urban livability, and acknowledgement of low-income resident need to remain in the San Francisco they helped build and loved for generations.

Finding that combination of capacity and skill took longer than expected.

“I told them I’d stay the remainder of the year if need be,” Dean Macris said in 2004 as he took the interim position. Macris knew his task having served as Planning Department director from 1980 to 1992.

Macris today still remains in the interim post and Thursday was among those greeting John Rahaim

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John Rahaim

“I hope you’re as good as everybody says you are,” the mayor welcomed Rahaim amid a cirlcle of pressing smiles.

A review of Rahaim’s history indicates he shares much of the Newsom Administration perspective on competiting urban land use needs.

“If we’re going to encourage a housing boom, we don’t want to negatively affect views from other parts of the city,” Rahaim said in 2005 as Seattle Planning Director.

“It’s not just about making buildings work, but making an environment work,” added Rahaim who took the Seattle position in August 2003.

Writing for Arcade magazine in October 2001 (a magazine he helped found), Rahaim noted, “The shared zone between public and private space in America is being debated with increased vigor as cities grow and become denser and as technology changes the ways we interact.”

“The increasingly blurred lines between the public and private sectors are fueling the debate as American cities continue to change,” Rahaim continued.

“The concern about the effects of an increasingly privatized physical realm is not new. It is probably true that the lines between the public and private sectors in American cities have always been unclear, as several of our contributors to this issue suggest.

“Nevertheless, our hypothesis is that the shared zone between the public and private realms has grown, and the boundaries have become more indistinct, as our cities become more complex, and political and budgetary realities loom. With this in mind, we believe the need for public space and a truly public realm is increasingly acute, and the effects on our cities profound.”

Rahaim was the founding executive director of CityDesign, Seattle’s office of Urban Design founded in 1999; and the executive director of the Seattle Design Commission, the City’s primary design advisory panel for public projects and related urban design initiatives.

He sat on the board of Consolidated Works, a contemporary arts center, and remains on the editorial committee of Arcade.

Prior to his tenure in Seattle, Rahaim was with the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, where he served as associate director in charge of development review and the rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance.

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The Pittsburgh skyline.

Rahaim received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was born and raised in Detroit.

SAN FRANCISCO IS MORE THAN BEAUTY AND CHARM

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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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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 three years.

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STREET VIOLENCE: San Francisco police officer hospitalized – Suspect resisted arrest

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A San Francisco police officer suffered a broken ankle this morning after a scuffle broke out when a suspect resisted arrest, police said.

The officer attempted to take a man into custody in the 200 block of Taylor Street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood at about 2:45 a.m., according to police.

Police said that a quarrel broke out bringing both parties to the ground and leaving the officer with a broken left ankle. The officer was taken to a local hospital.

Authorities managed to arrest the suspect, who did not possess a weapon, immediately following the fight, police said.

Authorities did not immediately release the initial cause of arrest.

Bay City News

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COMMUNITY COURTS EFFECTIVE SAYS BROOKLYN DISTRICT ATTORNEY

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Charles J. Hynes

BY CHARLES J. HYNES
Brooklyn District Attorney
Commentary

If the community justice center concept can work in Red Hook, Brooklyn, it can work anywhere.

Why am I so certain? Because as Brooklyn’s elected district attorney for the past 18 years, I have seen the neighborhood of Red Hook transformed. Ten years ago, Red Hook was a high-crime community that had lost much of its hope and energy. Today, the waterfront neighborhood—which includes both the largest public housing development in Brooklyn and blocks of quaint row houses—is revitalized, with safe streets, safe parks, new businesses, and supportive citizens who are working together on even greater improvements.

Who is responsible for this transformation? There are many who can take credit. But there is no question that the Red Hook Community Justice Center is among the vital players.

The Justice Center was launched in the wake of a tragedy. In 1992, a much loved elementary school principal, Patrick Daly, was killed in a shootout between drug dealers as he left the school to help a student. But Daly’s tragic murder was a symptom of a larger problem: rampant crime, fear and public distrust of the justice system. In response, I worked with New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the defense bar to create a community justice center with the hope of expanding the then-experimental community court model to produce tangible benefits, like those that we were beginning to see in Midtown Manhattan, where the nation’s first community court had been recently established.

The Red Hook Community Justice Center opened in phases. First we established an AmeriCorps program of 50 volunteers who fix broken windows in public housing developments, tutor students who need extra help, and link victims to crime assistance and other social services. Later, we established a youth court that trains local teenagers to serve as jurors, judges and attorneys, handling real-life cases involving their peers. Finally, in 2000, the full court—christened the Red Hook Community Justice Center—opened for business.

Why has the Justice Center been so successful? One of the keys to its success is that sentences for low-level offending involve community service—more than 79,000 hours a year. That means that the people in the community—both the law-abiding citizens and those who might be inclined to commit a crime—see those people who ran afoul of the law picking up trash in the park, painting over graffiti and polishing the brass in the courthouse. The punishment is therefore immediate (community service sometimes begins the very day of an offender’s first appearance in court) and local (right in the neighborhood where the offending took place).

But the Justice Center isn’t only about punishment. The Justice Center also links offenders to treatment—drug treatment, mental health treatment, counseling. The prosecutors at the Red Hook Community Justice Center rely heavily on creative sentencing strategies and non-traditional approaches to crime. Prosecutors work with Justice Center staff to identify offenders’ problems and to craft sentences that reflect the concerns of the victim and the needs of the community while also contemplating educational and rehabilitative needs of the defendant.

The Justice Center has a clinic onsite that performs assessments, makes treatment recommendations and even offers direct services to offenders, victims and anyone in the community who comes in seeking help. Sentences frequently include intensive drug or alcohol treatment, mediation, batterer’s programs, anger management classes, GED classes, youth groups, vehicular programs, “John School” and more. At any given time, the Justice Center monitors over 100 defendants in court-mandated treatment, usually for low-level drug offenses. And the Justice Center can offer these services at low or no extra cost to the justice system because it works closely with community-based partners: city agencies, nonprofit treatment agencies, and other social service providers.

Red Hook is also a multi-service court. It hears housing cases and family cases—and it brings those cases, along with criminal cases—before a single judge. Because there’s only one judge, that judge gets to understand the community’s problems and gets to know the people who live there. He often attends community meetings, speaks at civic events and helps serve as a catalyst for solving people’s problems.

In addition, the Justice Center created Operation Toolkit, which brings together on a monthly basis representatives from my office, the Police Department, the city Housing Authority, other government agencies, and community groups to discuss neighborhood problems as they arise. The Justice Center’s multi-agency “team” approach represents a radical departure from an old way of doing business – prosecutors’ historically reactive methods of dealing with crime. Prosecutors play an essential role in coordinating activities at the Justice Center and also participate in task forces and community events designed to target crime problems and improve safety.

Because the Justice Center is in the community, collaborates actively with community partners, sends offenders into the community to perform community service, and runs all kinds of proactive programs to keep adults and kids involved (for example, in addition to the Youth Court mentioned above, the Justice Center also coordinates a highly popular youth baseball league), the Justice Center has changed public attitudes about justice. Before the Justice Center opened, only 12 percent of community members approved of local courts. Today, more than 75 percent view the court favorably, according to a recent community survey.

But even more importantly, crime in Red Hook has dropped—dramatically. 2006 marked the second year since the Justice Center opened that there was not a single murder in Red Hook. The first time this happened was in 2003—the first time Red Hook had seen no homicides in 30 years. Not only that, other categories of crime have also been dropping. 2006 alone saw a 16 percent decrease in crime, with massive drops in burglary reports, muggings and car thefts. And everyone seems to agree that the Red Hook Community Justice Center has played an important role in that reduction, along with the police, prosecutors, church groups, schools, community leaders and ordinary citizens.

People used to think that prison building was the only means to keep communities safe and decrease crime. But that’s utter nonsense. We have been able to establish in Brooklyn that recidivism reduction is the key to public safety—that if you contain recidivism, you maintain public safety.

And one very effective way to deal with recidivism is by establishing a community justice center. These centers represent the way of the future. If we can prevent people from getting involved in the commission of another crime, if we can get offenders back into the job market, who benefits? The offender. The community. And the justice system. You eliminate the cost of future prosecution and the cost of incarceration. You improve safety and public confidence in justice, you increase the tax base and you can turn a life around. Everyone comes out a winner.

The longest serving District Attorney in Brooklyn’s history, Charles J. Hynes has been the chief law enforcement officer of Kings County, New York, since 1990. A proponent of innovative criminal justice strategies, he has launched several alternative-to-prison programs, including the nation’s first prosecution-run drug treatment diversion program for addicted repeat felony offenders. He also created one of the first specialized domestic violence bureaus in the country and then worked with court administrators to establish one of the first domestic violence court parts and community justice centers in New York State. He is a member of the Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions and vice-chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association, a vice-president of the National District Attorneys Association, and the author of the recently published novel, Triple Homicide.

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VOTER CONFIDENCE IN TOUCH SCREEN VOTING SYSTEMS NO DIFFERENT THAN ITS CONFIDENCE IN OTHER VOTE METHODS – The Field Report

BY MARK DiCAMILLO AND MERVIN FIELD

The Field Poll in its most recent survey measured the overall confidence that likely voters in California have that their votes are being accurately counted in this state’s elections. In addition, it asked voters which of three possible voting methods provided them with the greatest assurance that their votes would be accurately counted.

The results show that less than half (44%) have a great deal of confidence that their votes are being accurately counted, while an almost equally large group (41%) allows that they have some confidence. This compares to 14% who say they have only a little or no confidence in the accuracy of election counting. Republicans express a somewhat higher level of confidence in the accuracy of the voting counting systems used in California than Democrats or non-partisans.

Confidence in touch screen voting systems no different than other methods

When voters are asked which of the state’s three main voting systems currently in use provided them with the greatest confidence that their vote would be counted accurately, remarkably, each voting system was preferred by almost identical proportions. About one in three voters (32%) place their greatest confidence in voting by means of a paper ballot in which they are asked to select their preference by filling a circle or oval. Another 31% have the greatest confidence in votes cast using a punch card system, while a similar proportion (31%) have the most confidence in voting electronically using a touch screen machine.

However, there are differences in voter confidence of each voting system between those who have a great deal of confidence overall in the vote counting process and those who do not. Voters who express a high level of confidence in the accuracy of the vote counting process overall are more likely to have greater confidence in touch screen voting systems than other voters. Those who have less confidence in the accuracy of vote counting place more confidence in paper ballot and computer punch card voting systems.

Background

The highly publicized and protracted recount of the Florida ballots in the 2000 presidential election raised doubts throughout the country as to whether existing vote counting procedures being practiced in the U.S. were accurate.

In reaction, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, which allocated huge sums of money – $250 million in California alone – to modernize voting procedures. In 2002 California voters also passed Proposition 41, a $200 million bond measure to help counties convert to electronic touch screen voting systems.

Subsequently, election officials in many California counties embraced electronic voting systems and purchased the expensive equipment necessary to put them in place.

However, earlier this month, California’s newly elected Secretary of State Debra Bowen ruled that the electronic machines used in many counties were not secure enough for future elections. Her action came after a task force of computer experts she had assembled reported that the electronic voting machines were vulnerable to “hacking.”

Bowen’s decision has caused a storm of protest from a number of local election officials, many of whom had committed considerable resources to the purchase of electronic voting systems in their counties. Nonetheless, state and county election officials are now in the process of making the necessary arrangements to comply with Bowen’s decision in time for California’s next statewide primary, to be held on February 5th.

See Related: FIELD REPORT

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HIGH SPEED RAIL PUBLIC TESTIMONY in Bay Area cities begins August 23

The public is invited to attend and comment at public hearings for the Bay Area to Central Valley section of California’s proposed high-speed train (HST) system.

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with public testimony beginning at about 4:15 p.m.

Hearing dates and locations:

August 23, 2007 — San Francisco: San Francisco City Hall, Board Chambers, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. to give testimony before California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) members regarding the Environmental Impact Review. Earlier in the afternoon, Newsom will meet with CHSRA Chair Judge Quentin Kopp to discuss the high speed rail project.

August 24, 2007 — San Jose: San Jose City Hall, City Council Chambers, 200 East Santa Clara Street.

August 27, 2007 — Livermore: Livermore City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue.

August 28, 2007 — Oakland: Oakland City Hall, City Council Chambers, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor.

August 29, 2007 — Gilroy: Gilroy City Hall, City Council Chambers, 7351 Rosanna Street.

August 30, 2007 — Merced: Merced County Administration Building, Board Chambers, 2222 M Street, 3rd Floor.

September in Stockton — Date to be announced.

Background:

In July 2007, the Authority, in conjunction with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), released its draft program-level environmental impact report/statement (EIR/EIS) describing alignment alternatives connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley — namely within the broad corridor between and including the Altamont Pass and Pacheco Pass.

The next step in this second program environmental review process is to select a preferred alignment as well as station locations for this section of the HST system. Public comment is an important part of the decision-making process.

Comments received will be considered by the Authority and FRA as they weigh the impacts and make choices among the various alignment and station location options. The draft environmental analysis is being made available to the public in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act for a 70-day comment period, which will end on September 28, 2007. Written comments can be mailed to the Authority or sent electronically via the Authority’s website.

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AUGUST 23 Video of The Day – MARLENE DIETRICH ON THE SAN FRANCISCO HUNT – Photos of The Day – SENTINEL PHOTOGRAPHER LEADS THE WAY – Babies born today will be happily married – Live radar and weather forecast

August 23 Videos of The Day
MARLENE DIETRICH ON THE SAN FRANCISCO HUNT

August 23 Photos of The Day
SENTINEL PHOTOGRAPHER LEADS THE WAY
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The arugula has bolted, meaning the plant has gone from providing leaves for the salad bowl to producing flowers and then seeds for the next crop. The flowers provides nectar for the bee.
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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The apple may not fall far from the tree, but if it falls on our side of the fence it’s ours.

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The figs are getting bigger.

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The rainbow Bolivian peppers live up to their name as the colors indicate various stages of ripeness.

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Milkweed provides summer color that attracts butterflies. It is my dream to one day see a Monarch butterfly in my backyard.

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The Anise Swallowtail butterfly lays eggs on the wild fennel that grows in my backyard. The fennel plant provides food for the larva that become this beautiful creature. It is easy to tell that this is the same butterfly that was allowing me to get close enough to take the picture because it is missing the right tail. Left unchecked the fennel would take over my yard and the entire neighborhood so it is a difficult choice to make in eliminating most of it, but leaving at least some to host the next generation of Anise Swallowtails.

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AUGUST 23 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are robust and vigorous, excel in all outdoor sports, and are skillful in any athletic contest. You have a keenly alert and inquisitive mind and an abundance of energy, are resourceful and kind, and make close friends easily. You love your home dearly and will be very happy in marriage.

AUGUST 23 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
Virgos tend to be modest, shy, practical, and diligent.

AUGUST 23 WORD OF THE DAY
Syzygy. Defintion: The nearly straight-line configuration that occurs twice a month, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction (on the same side of Earth at the new Moon) and when they are in opposition (on opposite sides of Earth at the full Moon). In both cases, the gravitational effects of the Sun and the Moon reinforce each other, and tidal range is increased.

AUGUST 23 IN HISTORY
Died: Oliver Perry (naval hero), 1819. A major hurricane made landfall over Nags Head, North Carolina; tracked into Chesapeake Bay; and had wind gusts up to 88 mph in Norfolk, Virginia, 1933.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 71. Southwest wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Thursday Night: Increasing clouds, with a low around 56. Southwest wind around 11 mph.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 72. Southwest wind between 9 and 13 mph.

Friday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. Southwest wind between 7 and 13 mph.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 72.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56.

Sunday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 71.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Monday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 70.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 70.

Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 73.

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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 three years.

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NEWSOM HOSTS BARRY BONDS CELEBRATION in Justin Herman Plaza Friday

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PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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The Bettencort fountain on the Embarcadero received a scrubbing just in time for the Barry Bonds bash scheduled to take place at noon on Friday. Mayor Newsom will be on hand to proclaim this Friday as officially Barry Bonds Day.
PHOTOS BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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On Friday, August 24th at noon, Mayor Newsom will host a celebration honoring Barry Bonds’ historic achievement of breaking the home run record and becoming the new all-time home run leader.

This family-oriented event will be held at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.

Renel–Brooks Moon, Giants public address announcer, will serve as emcee for the celebration featuring Barry Bonds and his family.

Members of the public are invited to join the celebration that will also feature Mayor Gavin Newsom, Bonds’ former and current teammates, Giants executives and broadcasters, and various celebrities.

The event will be held in Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market Street across from the Ferry Building, at noon.

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

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

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