Archive | Front Page

PESKIN UNITES LABOR BEHIND MUNI REFORM CHARTER AMENDMENT

peskin-ballot-2-8.jpg
Supervisor Aaron Peskin, left, leads announcement of labor support with San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, center, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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

San Francisco labor leaders Monday endorsed a proposal to reform Muni by giving its governing Metropolitican Transit Agency (MTA) Commission more autonomy.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and author of the Charter Amendment ballot measure, made the 2:50 p.m. announcement with Mayor Gavin in a City Hall International Room press conference.

Although the announcement was scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Peskin conducted shuttle diplomacy between labor leaders and the Mayor’s Office until the press conference began.

peskin-ballot-2-6.jpg

Peskin reported agreement came through unparalled cooperation.

“This has truly been the result of unparalled cooperation between the house of labor, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor’s Office aimed at fundamental reform of the most vital functions that a city can provide. That, of course, is smooth delivery of transportation.

“I want to thank Nat Ford (MTA executive director) and the (MTA) commissioners that are gathered here, but most importantly to thank the representatives of all of the unions that make Muni work every single day.

peskin-ballot-2-1.jpg

peskin-ballot-2-3.jpg

“They’re all here — the Transportation Workers Union, the Service Employees International Union, the Machinists, the MEA, the International Federation of Professional Technical Engineers Local 21. All of them have entered now into several weeks of good faith negotiations.

“We are here today to announce to you that we do have an agreement,” stated Peskin.

The measure, which the Board of Supervisors must approve for placement on the November ballot, will provide more accountability and City revenues, the mayor added.

“That is another big component of this initiative,” Newsom stated.

“It provides more revenue. It provides more accountability and with that accountability comes more responsibility that’s now placed in the hands of the MTA.

“I think it’s going to help support the reform efforts… and support Nat Ford and his team that have come together that are doing good work.”

Newsom looked toward the November election.

“I’m very hopeful that the Board will pass it and very encouraged that with this kind of momentum that we can get the kind of votes that we need this November to pass it,” Newsom observed.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on ballot placement July 31, Peskin said.

Collaboration made agreement possible, noted labor leader Tim Paulson.

peskin-ballot-2-9.jpg
Tim Paulson, left, and Mayor Newsom finalize the deal.

“We are the workers,” Paulson began, “we are the workers who are in this room who actually perform the jobs at Muni that make the buses run on time.

“For us to be able to sit down in a proactive way, to be part of the team to make sure that we are going to move forward so that San Francisco is an even better transportation City, we’re going to work even harder to do that.”

Early skepticism by drivers turned to process involvement, their union president reported.

peskin-ballot-2-2.jpg
Transport Workers Union Local 250-A President Irwin Lum, left, with MTA Executive Director Nat Ford.

“I think that the issue is we feel on behalf of the operators that we are part of the solution in trying to correct some of the problems,” Lum stated.

“That’s why we stayed in the process to try to change the legislation — that we have a say in what’s going on and I think the majority of our people we concerned about making Muni the number one system and making it accountable to the public.”

Months long good faith negotiation culminated in measure final version, Peskin observed.

“I think everybody really came to the conclusion that we’re all really doing this in good faith and that we’re all part of the solution,” assessed Peskin.

peskin-ballot-2-10.jpg

pat-murphy-200-pixel-less-yellow-mug.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.

bill-wilson-cropped-160-pixels-mug.jpg
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.

Continue Reading

STREET VIOLENCE: Two shootings – One shot dead in Visitacion Valley, no arrests – Tourists treated to collapse of midday shooting victim, no arrests

fiddling-while-rome-burns.jpg

Officers are investigating the second shooting to occur on Monday, a San Francisco police dispatcher said this morning.

Around 11:49 p.m. police received reports of gunshots on the 100 block of Blythdale Avenue in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, according to a dispatcher. Responding officers found a victim suffering gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There are no suspects in custody at this time, a dispatcher said.

The first shooting, which was reported at about 2:10 p.m., occurred a few feet from Market Street, Sgt. Steve Mannina said. He was shot at Turk and Mason streets.

The man, whose identity was not released, was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police Sgt. Steve Mannina said.

A silver sedan pulled up to a Turk Street curb. The victim approached the sedan and then broke away from it. Shots were fired and the victim went east on Market Street, Mannina said.

Before he made it to Fifth Street, onlookers assisted him until paramedics arrived, Mannina said.

The suspects fled westbound on Turk Street.

Bay City News

See Related STREET VIOLENCE Stories

Continue Reading

July 24 Videos of The Day – HILLARY’S VILLAGE PEOPLE – REAL DOWNTOWN INTERESTS – THE DREAM LIVES – July 24 Photos of The Day – MAY PELOSI FIND IT IN HER BREAST TO END THE WAR – Babies born today will be quick tempered – Live radar and weather forecast

July 24 Videos of The Day
HILLARY’S VILLAGE PEOPLE

REAL DOWNTOWN INTERESTS

THE DREAM LIVES

July 24 Photos of The Day
MAY PELOSI FIND IT IN HER BREAST TO END THE WAR
pelosi-protest-1-topless.JPG
The women of Code Pink and Breasts Not Bombs yesterday ponied up tit for tat in dialogue with Speaker Pelosi on ending the Iraq War, first before the San Francisco Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue, then bouncing down to Hillary Clinton for President Headquarters on Howard Street to implore support.
PHOTOS BY MARK GRISSOM

pelosi-protest-2-2-topless.jpg

farmers-almanac-logo.jpg

JULY 24 BIRTHDAY LORE
Everything you do is done with intensity. You are emotional, quick-tempered, and positive in your dates. Practice self-control! You are a fond parent, kind and sympathetic, and love your family.

ADVICE FOR JULY 24
To prevent moss from forming on a roof, mix up a solution of 2 capfuls of bleach and 1 gallon of water. Apply it to the shingles with a sponge.

JULY 24 WORD OF THE DAY
Indian Summer. Defintion: A period of warm weather following a cold spell or a hard frost, Indian summer can occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11) and November 20. Although there are differing dates for its occurrence, for more than 200 years the Almanac has adhered to the saying “If All Saints’ brings out winter, St. Martin’s brings out Indian summer.” As for the origin of the term, some say it comes from the early Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.

JULY 24 IN HISTORY
Tennessee readmitted to Union after Civil War, 186g. Wahluke, Washington, tied a record high temperature of 118 degrees F, 1928.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
weather-san-francisco.jpg

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 68. West wind between 6 and 13 mph.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 58. West wind between 9 and 13 mph.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 69. West southwest wind between 9 and 13 mph.

Wednesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 58. West southwest wind between 7 and 13 mph.

Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 70.

Thursday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 58.

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

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

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

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

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 70.

Continue Reading

LUCKY GIANTS FANS attending Barry Bonds record setting homerun game to receive high quality commemorative pin – Half of Tuesday game proceeds donated to Project Homeless Connect

giants-flag-753-2.JPG
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

giants-2-newsom-barry-zito.jpg
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, seen earlier suited up for the All Star Game, will join formerly homeless Howard Cobbins and Bank of America Vice President Tim Geraghty in throwing out the first ball at Tuesday’s Project Homeless Connect Night game. From left in file photo, are team owner Peter Magowan, Giants pitcher Barry Zito, Newsom, and Willie Mays.

giants-flag-753-1.JPG

San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds could hit his record-breaking 756th homerun this week, but at Tuesday night’s game baseball fans will see the Giants play to help the homeless.

Tuesday’s Giants game will host the second annual Project Homeless Connect Night, both a fundraiser for and celebration of support for the homeless.

A commemorative, lapel-style pin would be handed out to fans attending the game in which Bonds sets a new homerun record. The pin will be of finer quality than the numbered pins that have been provided to game-goers since the athlete blasted homerun 750.

If Bonds hits homerun 756 on the road, the pins will be handed out at the next home game.

Half of ticket sales from Tuesday night’s game will be donated to Project Homeless Connect, a combination of health service agencies, city officials, businesses and non-profit sectors that collaborate to provide food, clothing, shelter and other necessities to the homeless.

“Project Homeless Connect Night is a time to acknowledge the program’s accomplishments and recognize the clients who have successfully overcome homelessness,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

Tim Geraghty, senior Vice President of Bank of America, and Howard Cobbins, a former client of Project Homeless Connect, will join Newsom at home plate at 6:20 p.m. for the opening ceremony.

Together Newsom, Geraghty and Cobbins will throw the first pitch of the night.

The Giants will play the Atlanta Braves at 7:15 p.m. at AT&T Park on Tuesday. Tickets sold out on Friday.

Project Homeless Connect was founded in 2004 to offer the city’s homeless shelter, employment opportunities, food and clothing.

Over 100 cities around the world have modeled homeless organizations after Project Homeless Connect, combining non-profit agencies and businesses with community volunteers.

Bay City News

bill-wilson-cropped-160-pixels-mug.jpg
BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area 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.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS DEMANDS real-time data in seconds, not hours

GoldenGate Software Inc. today announced the results of a recent survey, “Live Reporting in the Emerging Real – Time Enterprise,” produced by Unisphere Research in cooperation with GoldenGate Software and the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG).

The results point to a growing demand for companies to report on data coming out of their applications in real time — a matter of seconds — not weeks or even hours. Across industries, the survey finds that having the ability to report on the freshest possible data about the business provides a competitive advantage.

The survey was designed to measure the scope and adoption of reporting technologies. More than a third of organizations surveyed require reporting of some data on a real-time or “live” basis. According to respondents, one of the challenges with data warehousing is that it often relies on batch-oriented ETL processes for data acquisition, which makes it virtually impossible to provide real-time reporting. As a result, reports are typically run against live production systems, which creates performance issues.

Of the surveyed group, 60 percent of organizations reported suffering from server performance degradation as a result of end users running reports against live production environments. The takeaway — businesses need their reports to run at an optimal level and against real-time data without affecting their database and ultimately their business. In order to gain a competitive advantage, businesses need real-time data to act upon and affect change now — not days or weeks later.

“With increased demand for a real-time view of the business, the survey findings reflect the rapid adoption of live reporting tools that can affect business change as it happens— with 53 percent of respondents agreeing they cannot work with data that is more than one hour old for their key applications,” said Sami Akbay, vice president of marketing at GoldenGate Software.

“To run reports against the freshest data possible, batch processing simply won’t suffice. As businesses grow and change over time, real-time data is becoming mission-critical to enabling more flexible reporting, improved performance and a competitive edge.”

To request an executive summary of the survey, “Live Reporting in the Emerging Real-Time Enterprise,” email tami@kulesapr.com.

Continue Reading

July 23 Videos of The Day – A TANGLED TANGO – HOW AMERICANS AND BRITS DIFFER – WHAT FUN – Babies born today will need understanding from mates – Live radar and weather forecast

July 23 Videos of The Day
A TANGLED TANGO

HOW AMERICANS AND BRITS DIFFER

WHAT FUN

farmers-almanac-logo.jpg

JULY 23 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are energetic, vivacious, and rather talkative; are very fond of gaiety and social life; and like to have an active part in anything you undertake. You are not demonstrative in your love and require affection and understanding from your mate.

ADVICE FOR JULY 23
Leos tend to be generous, faithful, creative, and broad-minded.

JULY 23 WORD OF THE DAY
Argy-bargy. Defintion: A verbal dispute; a wrangling argument.

JULY 23 IN HISTORY
Died: Ulysses S. Grant (18th U.S. president), 1885. Sheridan, Wyoming, got drenched by 4.41 inches of rain, which washed away some railroad tracks, 1923.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
weather-san-francisco.jpg

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 69. West wind between 6 and 13 mph.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 57. West wind between 6 and 13 mph.

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 68. West wind between 6 and 14 mph.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. West wind between 9 and 14 mph.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 67.

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

Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 69.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Continue Reading

SAN FRANCISCO HOLOCAUST EDUCATION RESOURCES MERGE

holocaust-center-2-photo.jpg

Two San Francisco Holocaust education resources will become one, the organizations announced this month.

The Holocaust Center of Northern California and the Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project will unify, creating a single unified Bay Area resource for Holocaust education and remembrance known as the Holocaust Center of Northern California.

“By combining our resources and efforts, we will be more effective in teaching the universal lessons of the Holocaust. We will reach more classrooms, students and the general public with educational and cultural programs that show the consequences of hate and indifference,” said Dr. Steven H. Sloan, president of the new institution.

Both organizations operated side by side for almost 30-years in the Bay Area. With the Holocaust Center of Northern California recognizing the importance of bringing survivors into classrooms to tell their stories to students.

The Holocaust Center will house more than 1,700 oral testimonies of local residents who were eyewitnesses and survivors of the Holocaust. The video and audio testimonies will be available for viewing at the Holocaust Center.

“Merging our resources gives us the opportunity to integrate first-hand testimonies into extensive educational offerings. This is an important step in ensuring that our treasured collection of personal stories will have increased access, use and impact,” said Miriam Zimmerman, former Oral History Project board president.

The new Holocaust Center will be an even larger organization with more resources that may be used to tech the consequences of racism, hatred and indifference while preserving and disseminating historical information, the center announced.

The Holocaust Center of Northern California is located at 121 Steuart St. in San Francisco and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Bay City News

Continue Reading

INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – A Conversation with the Composer, Lyricist and Author – Jay Kuo

Leading lady Erin Diamantides says the musical is “A blast!”

sean-martinfield-250-pixels-new-sentinel-mug.jpg
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

I met with composer and librettist Jay Kuo at the Castro District’s very significant indoor/outdoor CAFÉ FLORE. Leading lady Erin Diamantides joined us as well. It was a totally other summer day in San Francisco – temperatures in the mid 70s and a crystal clear sky. In the slightly breezy air – the buzz of another book-signing by Armistead Maupin for his just released MICHAEL TOLLIVER LIVES. The title of Jay’s musical, INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS, refers back to Maupin and is an appropriate homage to him. I saw the show in October 2005 at the Jon Sims Center. At that point it was still being work-shopped, but enthusiastically presented to an audience which included potential investors. I had known Jon Sims – founder of the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps. In fact, we had begun discussing a full production of THE MUSIC MAN. It was my Opera House debut as “Marian” – in harmony with SF Gay Men’s Chorus barbershop quartet, The Lollipop Guild – which convinced Mr. Sims that our collaboration would prove successful. No doubt, he was fascinated by my high notes and seeming transformation in a haute couture turquoise gown. Erin Diamantides as the very-contemporary “Jeannine” of INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – is as lovely as any composer/producer could possibly hope for. She has the most longevity of any actor in the show, having performed in the first version at the Jon Sims Center, a re-staging at New Conservatory Theatre Center, and now at Yerba Buena Zeum Theater .

erin-diamantides.JPG
ERIN DIAMANTIDES

I had to ask her the obvious question, “What’s it like to live with Insignificant Others all that time?”

“When we might get under par,” she responded, “new things come up and you discover more about your character. You’re building your character and finding new ways to flesh it out.

As a professional vocal coach, one of the questions I am constantly asked is, “What should I sing for my audition?” When a new composer/author posts an audition notice for a new show, singers and actors are always concerned about presenting the right monologue and song to reflect the nature of the show and the style of the music. When the composer does not have a previously recorded “concept album” or other recordings or published music available, the potential cast member gets very anxious. In this case, Jay had selected five songs for the audition. Erin was relieved at that and – compared to other audition experiences – very impressed by how organized Jay had been with the audition process. She chose “Think of Me” from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA .

“That was my ballad. And then for my up-tempo I did “All That Jazz” from CHICAGO. Jay had us work with the pianist. We matched pitches, changed the dynamics – starting silent and then growing on the note.”

Many un-trained singers go to a musical audition never thinking they will be tested on their musical skills. The general notion is that the production team is looking rather than listening for a particular something. As the new composer on the block, Jay wanted to know about their musical training. He was listening for something. “So I had them do some tricky interval matching. For example, playing C and then asking them to sing an interval of a third above, a third below.”

Jay had very specific ideas in mind about the kinds of voices he needed. “In some cases I wanted a lyrical sound, with others a more legitimate sound or a more pop sound. I wanted to find those perfect matches. We also needed some belters. There were some people who were double-threats on that level.”

insignificant-others-at-the-zeum.JPG
INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS – at the Zeum Theater

I asked Jay for a SENTINEL “exclusive”.

“This is new! We are in the process of taking the show outside of San Francisco to New York. It’s sort-of been a nebulous plan, but now we’ve actually just confirmed the last pledge for my half of the deal. Clearly, this is now the next step for the show – to try New York City and see how it does. A full union cast, a four-piece band, in a 199-seat theatre so as to abide by the rules for an “Off-Broadway” production. One of the producers we’ve been talking to suggested The Zipper; there’s a space in the Village where Gutenberg! The Musical! is playing. We’re obviously going to go where the demographics are good for us. It depends on what spaces are available and who we wind up talking with.”

Among those interested parties is the recently re-migrated Randy Adams who for the past 21 years served as the Managing Director for Palo Alto’s TheatreWorks . He and partner Sue Frost of Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut have created Junkyard Dog Productions – an organization designed to cultivate and nurture new works until they are production-ready.

lillian-askew-kevin-maldarelli.JPG
LILLIAN ASKEW and KEVIN MALDARELLI

“Those two powerhouse musical theatre developers” says the sparkling Mr. Kuo, “are taking shows they had in development to New York. So, to be in that league now is very exciting.”

Erin is likewise excited. “I’ll go as far as they will take me. I’m thrilled to still be a part of it and I’m really honored they wanted to take me this far. Jay asked me if I would be willing to go to New York. It was – hands down – NOT a question!”

The recent documentary, ShowBusiness – The Road To Broadway, follows the process of composing a musical to its actual mounting in a legitimate Broadway theatre. Prominently featured is the 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, AVENUE Q, and its triple-winning composer/author team of Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty. Bearing in mind the first National Tour is booked into San Francisco’s ORPHEUM THEATRE August 7th through September 2nd, I asked Jay where INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS sits on the big comparative calendar.

“I saw the film with my director George Quick and my choreographer David Garcia. We were riveted the entire time. Avenue Q took four years to get to Broadway. A lot of people said that it was not a Broadway show it’s an Off-Broadway show because it has puppets, you need a smaller space, etc. We are in our second year now. I think we have a different path than trying to get this show to Broadway. If we have a successful Off-Broadway run, I would like to bring it back to San Francisco and put it down permanently – like a “Beach Blanket Babylon”. INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS is really about San Francisco and the people who live here. I think – in view of marketing and producing it long term – if this becomes the next show that everyone has to see when they’re here, then I will feel it has found its home. One of the reasons we want to do it Off-Broadway is to get that legitimacy – because I have plans for other New York shows and it would be nice to step in with a success. Another reason is to see if it plays well outside of San Francisco. The third reason is to get it into the license books so that one day community theatres can perform this show. It can be done on a shoe-string budget. We did it successfully last year with NO budget!”

Part of every investment dollar goes toward adapting a show to the requirements and variations of the available performance space. The stage of The Zeum varies from convention in that it is very wide and narrow. One of the main concerns of the ISO production team was to balance the sound of the band. The presentations at the Jon Sims Center and NCTC had utilized pre-recorded music. At the Zeum, a not-so-insignificant chunk of change is going toward a professional sound system. Even if it’s a small ensemble, a pop musical needs a pop drummer and very often the drummer’s kit needs to be contained. Everyone – including fellow musicians, the singers, investors and ticket holders – knows the enthusiasm of any percussion section and the overwhelming consequences when a bombardment of sound is re-amplified through a nearby mic on a nearby performer. Screaming “Turn that down” seldom works – but “walling” around the drummer will. As acoustic energies are absorbed and contained, the desired effects are re-inforced.

sarah_farrell__as_margaret____views_her_plumbing.JPG
SARAH FARRELL (as Margaret) – views her plumbing

“I would like to see INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS played in colleges across the country because there are enough young people in their early twenties moving to a new place and I think it resonates well. I don’t think high school students would get it as much. Places like New York or San Francisco – where they tap into musical theatre – high school kids will love this show. Eighty per cent of the people who see it are under 30. I’m writing for one generation younger than me – as someone who is a little bit older and wiser, but who remembers very clearly what it was like.”

insignificant-others-production-photos.JPG

Having not forgotten any of IT myself, I posed the challenge, “So what do you notice repeating – something you went through – that you are writing about today?”

Jay has an infectious smile. “Well, certainly Love springs eternal in San Francisco! You live here. The people are so vibrant. On days like this, you fall in love. Because some are in a new place, they are looking for connections. I see that in a lot of my friends who have moved here recently. They’re a little lost, they want to connect with people. That initial connection might be easy, but it gets tricky because nothing is very straight forward. What happens in INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS is that five friends who live in Ohio come out with very preconceived notions of what San Francisco will be like.”

“When you take the show to New York, are you anticipating changes in the script? Or is it more about a chunk of San Francisco that finds itself in a pocket in New York?”

“It’s more the latter. I think there’s an affinity with the person on the left in New York and the liberal values found here in San Francisco. For people living in Chelsea or Manhattan – who have visited here, who have friends out here – it’s a place they like. Maybe it’s a little bit too regional for them in New York. The question we explore is – will people be snobby in New York and not want to see a show about San Francisco? Or will they say, like when Armistead Maupin came out with his book, “This is fantastic! This is charming / it’s wonderful / I’ve always wanted to know more about this place!”

“I still see it as a learning experience”, says Jay. “If you had asked me six months ago, I would have said – Oh, this is it, this is the Biggie! Our budget is 150-grand and that’s only a fourth of what we’re doing in New York. I’ve got the Zeum and it’s a perfect space for this show.”

“This show is a blast!” says Erin. “The songs have a lot of range. There are several numbers where I get to wail my brains out and others where I sing more lyrical and hit my High A. It’s fun to be able to have that and not be stuck with just one voice-type. Being miked helps make things easier for longevity sake and makes the songs more intimate. I can be more connected with the audience.”

“The great thing about having worked with Erin,” says Jay, “is that when I was writing HOMELAND [Jay's newest musical, also directed by George Quick] we already knew we were casting her as Eleanor, a leftist activist. I knew what she was capable of and wrote the part with her in mind. That is a luxury! We are working on a new piece called “All In”. I have some ideas about how George and I will be casting that show. Again, I have the luxury of being able to write that show with someone else’s voice in mind. I need to write a very commercial show because I need to pay some bills. So, “All In” is being written for Vegas. It’s a show about poker. It’s a show straight men will want to come see with their girlfriends.”

starbucks-bobby-bruce-andrew-sa-and-alex-rodriguez.JPG
STARBUCKS – Bobby Bruce, Andrew Sa, and Alex Rodriguez

Jay is a professional lawyer turned musical composer / producer. While workshopping ISO at the Jon Sims Center, he was trying a case in Los Angeles. He would fly a red-eye out in the evening to LA, do a case in the morning, come back to the office to organize his papers and statements, rush up for rehearsals between 6:00 and 9:30, and then leave a bit early so he could catch his flight back down to LA and argue the case.

“That went on for several weeks in a row. I can’t quit doing theatre – we open in six weeks. I’m thinking – what are we going to do? So, I went to some backers and said ‘I need $100,000.00 to survive this next year, to get it to the next level, to pay my mortgage, and have enough in reserve so that if it doesn’t work out I can figure something else. I went to people and asked for a $10,000 to $20,000 investment. It only took two weeks. In fact, we have a waiting list. People really like this show and they believe it’s going to go somewhere. That became a pivotal point for me. I was also up for Partner at my law firm. I had to decide whether I was going to give up the golden ring. There was a lot of drama happening at work at the same time. It was very dispiriting at the time. I decided – even with another job – I didn’t want to keep doing it. And why do it if I can raise money and pay myself to do what I love? I discovered I can do three things to help the career. One, is that I can write quickly. I can market aggressively. I’m not afraid of being told I suck or that I’m being over-bearing. And the third is that – somehow – people are ok giving me money. I always tell them I need their money to do this and in all likelihood you’re not going to see your money again – this is Theatre! You have to be OK with the $20,000 you put in and I won’t take money from anybody who’s going to cry about it later. We just closed another round of $130,000 to back ISO in this production. I’m glad I did the lawyer-thing first. I can negotiate with unions, I have contracts with all the people who work with me. We’re very serious about what we’re doing. I’m going to do everything I can to make this a success.”

Jay wants to be self-sustaining, to pay the bills. He wants the show to touch everybody that sees it. The place for that to happen seems to be the small theatre.

“I don’t see it as a big Broadway show. How about giving me a Club Fugazi? San Francisco doesn’t have enough small theaters. San Francisco is becoming known as the place where great theatre is originating, people across the country are seeing us as the place to start something. The people of San Francisco want to participate in the organic process of creating. We are a creative people, a thoughtful people, innovation is happening here. You don’t have to start in New York. You don’t have to be in New York. Because of the budget, we are a non-union show. Everyone in the cast is 25 and under. We are giving local actors opportunity.”

Jay Kuo is my kind of guy. INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS may prove to be your kind of show.

For more information, to listen to the score and to order tickets, click here: INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS

Read Seán’s recent articles:
NORMA SHEARER Flick Opens the San Francisco Silent Film Festival
JOHNNY MATHIS – Gets Misty with San Francisco Symphony
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE –Everything old is new again at SF Opera
NEIL SEDAKA and PATTI LUPONE – Summer in The City at Symphony Hall
DAVID GOCKLEY’S “DON GIOVANNI” – Semper Fi!
NAN KEMPNER – de Young Museum Presents Couture Collection of Fashion Goddess
JERSEY BOYS – Earth Angels invade Curran Theatre! Cast #2: Their Eyes Adore You!
HIROSHI SUGIMOTO – Retrospective of photographer’s work at the de Young Museum, July 7th – September 23rd
JEANETTE MacDONALD – First Lady of “San Francisco”
DER ROSENKAVALIER – A Viennese Bon-Bon At San Francisco Opera
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel
SAMSON vs DELILAH at AT&T Park – Can Stadium Survive Biblical Shearing?
LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf – A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT – Principal Soloist, San Francisco Ballet

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

Continue Reading

TAMMY FAYE BAKKER a premier 20th Century evangelist

tammy-faye-bakker-3.jpg
Tammy Faye Bakker Mesner
TammyFaye.com Photo

BY ALLEN WHITE

Tammy Faye Bakker has died. She was 65 and news reports say she was down to 65 pounds when she last appeared on Larry King Live.

tammy-faye-baker-2-taking-chemo.jpg
Long time friend friend Mary Anna with evangelist during chemotherapy

In my life I’ve crossed paths with some very interesting men and women who pride themselves as being representatives of God.

Some of them tried real hard and just couldn’t really represent much of anything, especially as it relates to spiritual ascendancy. Seeing Fred Phelps from Wichita, Kansas on television is one thing. Right there in front of you is quite another.

Both Dr. Billy Graham and Pope John Paul II left me with the feeling I was in the presence of individuals who were pastors to the world.

I wish I had been in the same room, just once, with Tammy Faye Bakker. I truly liked this woman. I believe she tried to meet a very high standard.

In her struggles I have to believe she felt the sting, the pain and the cruelty of the church like very few others. The agenda of hate practiced by weirdo Phelps doesn’t even merit dignifying when compared to the vicious, mean, venom we saw spewing from Jerry Falwell as he tried to play God during the worst days for Jim and Tammy Faye.

There is a reason why so many detest the Christian church in America today. More than a few formed their impressions of Christianity as they watched Falwell become the personification of theological bully.

I also believe there was a bond, a special relationship she shared with her husband, Jim Bakker. No matter what they write these next few days, no matter what those who speculate might say….I say don’t believe anything that diminishes that relationship. I bet they both cared for each other more than we shall ever know.

I have been honored to know the son and some of the closest of friends to Aimee Semple McPherson. So many hours I remember being with Kathryn Kuhlman in the CBS studios on Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles. Today I treat each moment with Bishop Yvette Flunder as a sacred time. Today, wherever they all might be, I’m sure they would all be enthusiastically embracing Tammy Faye Bakker with their individual versions of “Right On!”

Tammy Faye Bakker had a unique quality which was at the core of each of these women. Like Tammy Faye, these women, Sister Aimee, Miss Kuhlman and Bishop Flunder never, at least in public, allowed their lives to be dominated by hate. These women all experienced the sharp daggers fashioned for their individual destruction. All understood how to use anger. Yet, all refused to allow their anger to be transformed into hate.

Like these special women, Tammy Faye shared another quality. I think she knew how to have fun, to enjoy life and she understood how her exuberance and enthusiasm could light up rooms, auditoriums and all that were within her presence.

No doubt many will have a field day ridiculing and tearing apart her life, her memory and what we should celebrate as Tammy Faye Bakker. I’m also certain the worst of it all will come from within the Christian Church. It certainly won’t be the first time.

This time, I believe, they will be wrong. This time I hope caring people will direct their thoughts to a very unique woman who developed and allowed us to share the strongest of spiritual forces.

What possibly best reflects her is to say:

“Tammy Faye Bakker was a premier Christian evangelist of the 20th Century.”

For whatever her faults, this woman lived a life which radiated Christianity at its finest.

And what about the makeup!!! Tammy Faye Bakker absolutely used her face with a creativity which rivaled Michelangelo’s use of the Sistine Chapel.

Yes, I wish I had been lucky enough to meet Tammy Faye…..a very special lady who understood the message of Christianity was for each of us to understand we, too, each of us, are also very special.

Allen White is a San Francisco writer.

THE INSIDER JOURNAL REACHING THOSE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IN STAGE, FILM, FINE ARTS, POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE
CREATE YOUR ADVERTISEMENT NOW
sentinel-new-logo-504-pixels.jpg

Continue Reading

July 22 Videos of The Day – THAT MAN CAN’T HELP IT – SFO LOW-FARE AIRLINE REGULATION – TAKE A WALK, WOMAN – Babies born today will be generous – Live radar and weather forecast

July 22 Videos of The Day
THAT MAN CAN’T HELP IT

SFO LOW-FARE AIRLINE REGULATION

TAKE A WALK, WOMAN

farmers-almanac-logo.jpg

JULY 22 BIRTHDAY LORE
You have a happy and even disposition and should marry young, preferably one with an emotional complement to your quiet temperament. You are versatile and resourceful and have a keen, penetrating mind. You are friendly, appreciate the good in others, and are fair and generous in every way.

ADVICE FOR JULY 22
Nail an evergreen branch to new rafters to bring good luck. An empty hornets’ nest, hung high, also will bring good luck to any age house.

JULY 22 WORD OF THE DAY
Lenticular Cloud. Defintion: Lenticular clouds are only seen around mountains. These strange clouds are easy to spot, because they look like flying saucers or a stack of pancakes. Their most interesting characteristic is that they don’t move. Winds blow right through them, while other clouds are swept away.

JULY 22 IN HISTORY
Born: William Archibald Spooner (known for verbal inversions called “spoonerisms”), 1844, Barrow, Alaska, where the average annual precipitation is 4.75 inches, received 1.38 inches in 24 hours, 1987.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
weather-san-francisco.jpg

Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 69. West wind between 5 and 14 mph.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 58. West southwest wind between 5 and 14 mph.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 70. West southwest wind between 5 and 11 mph.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. West wind between 8 and 11 mph.

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

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

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 67.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading

BAY AREA FIREFIGHTERS united in grief over loss of two Contra Costa colleagues

BY KARLI BULNES

Though usually united by a duty to help others, Bay Area firefighters are today united by grief and a commitment to helping each other following the death in the line of duty this morning of two Contra Costa County Fire Protection District firefighters.

Captain Matt Burton, 34, of Concord, and Fire Engineer Scott Desmond, 37, of Brentwood, died while attempting to rescue an elderly couple from a burning home located at 149 Michele Drive in San Pablo, county fire spokeswoman Emily Hopkins reported.

The impact of their loss of life, felt heavily by family, friends, colleagues at Station 70 in San Pablo where they were members and the fire protection district where they worked, however, extends far beyond the borders of those communities.

“When any firefighter hears of a fellow firefighter in this type of tragedy it definitely rumbles throughout the department,” San Jose Fire Department Captain Anthony Pianto said.

“It’s a sad day,” Menlo Park Fire Protection Fire District Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.

Though Pianto works in San Jose and Schapelhouman works in Menlo Park, as members of the close-knit firefighting family, they too are personally feeling the loss today of the firefighters in Contra Costa County.

“We lost two fellow comrades,” Pianto said.

“We lost two members of our family,” Schapelhouman added.

San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Ken Smith echoed those sentiments and offered condolences on behalf of his department.

“(With this) brotherhood, it hits close to home. It’s a unique fraternal organization and our hearts go out to the families,” Smith said.

When Schapelhouman heard the news this morning, he ordered all station flags be flown at half-staff and sent a message to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District offering help and an offer to supply coverage when the firefighters are laid to rest so colleagues may attend the services.

Smith said the San Francisco Fire Department would also reach out to the fire
protection district to see if they needed any assistance.

Smith recalls the difficulty that followed the death in the line of duty of 40-year-old firefighter Melinda Ohler in 2003. On Jan. 8 of that year, Ohler fell from her spot on a truck as it was racing out from a station on San Bruno Avenue to respond to a call at San Francisco International
Airport.

Ohler, who was also a nurse, was pronounced dead the following week.

“It’s a tragic thing to go through,” Smith said.

Luckily, it is not something that firefighters have to endure often.

The last time a Bay Area firefighter was killed in the line of duty was Feb. 13, 2005. Santa Clara County Fire Department Capt. Mark McCormack, 36, was electrocuted by a downed power line while battling a four-alarm fire at a Los Gatos home, according to the fire department.

“Overall, the number of fatalities have dropped over time” because of modern engineering, sprinkler systems and advances in firefighting techniques that have made the job safer, Schapelhouman reported.

Schapelhouman said his department has not lost a firefighter in the line of duty in recent history.

However, he said the possibility is not lost on those who report for duty day in and day out.

“There’s tremendous risk in this job and you can never underestimate it,” he said. “On a good day everybody goes home.”

According to Smith, today’s tragedy serves as a reminder of the inherent risks and challenges involved with firefighting.

“It’s something that I am sure every firefighter thinks of at different times for different reasons,” Smith said.

“It could (have been us since) we’re doing that same job that same way,” he said. “But it’s what we signed up for. We don’t second-guess what we do or the danger that we walk
ourselves into.”

“It is a definite wake-up call for all firefighters that this is a dangerous occupation,” Pianto added.

Once the shock and sadness of today’s loss subsides, Schapelhouman said firefighters will search for lessons that could be learned from the tragedy.

“Once details are revealed, (we) will pay attention to how the fire was fought and what can be learned from it,” he said.

Until then, Schapelhouman said he will be hard at work leading his fellow firefighters to make sure everyone who reported to work today gets home safely.

Bay City News

Continue Reading

STREET VIOLENCE: Two Capp Street Shootings – No arrest in either shooting

fiddling-while-rome-burns.jpg

A second shooting in the Mission district took place six hours later and two blocks from the first shooting, a San Francisco police dispatcher said this morning.

The second shooting was reported Friday at 11:40 p.m. at the intersection of 19th and Capp streets, a dispatcher said.

Three suspects, described as being between 19 and 23-years-old, were bothering someone on the street when the victim walked by them. The victim apparently said something
to the suspects and began to get into a car when he was shot.

The victim, a man in his 20s, was taken to San Francisco General hospital, and his condition is unknown, a dispatcher said.

The first victim of the evening was shot at 17th and Capp streets around 6 p.m. He was taken to San Francisco General as well, and is in stable condition.

No arrests have been made in either case, a dispatcher said.

Bay City News

Continue Reading

LENNAR DEVELOPMENT OF HUNTERS POINT SHIPYARD closer to reality

Bayview-Hunters Point developers along with Lennar are making the promise of community involvement in the redevelopment of Hunters Point Shipyard a reality.

“We are seeing the birth of an entirely new community, something for people to be excited and hopeful for,” Dr. Aurelious Walker said Friday, pastor of the True Hope Church of God in Christ in the Bayview.

“This is a turning point in the history of Bayview-Hunters Point.”

Among the companies chosen to partner with Lennar in the building of homes at the Shipyard are Tabernacle Affiliated Developers, Dr. George Davis and Baines & Roberston Inc., Bethel A.M.E. Church and Dr. Caesar Churchwell and McCoy Developments & Associates.

As part of their joint venture partnerships with Lennar, these community developers will build 30 percent of the homes planned for Parcel A at the Shipyard.

“We wanted the community to be fully invested in the redevelopment of the Shipyard,” said Kofi Bonner, President of Lennar Urban’s Bay Area Division.

“That means Bayview residents and local developers helping us to do this important work.”

The community builder program is part of the Community Benefits Agreement between Lennar and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency for Phase I of the redevelopment of the Shipyard. Local companies were selected after being vetted by community members.

“We are glad for the opportunity to work with Lennar on this historic project,” said Bishop Donald E. Green, President of the Tabernacle Affiliated Developers.

“It is inspiring to watch this neighborhood take shape after so many years of delay.”

For information about Lennar’s redevelopment of Hunters Point Shipyard and related community benefits, please visit hunterspointcommunity.com and hunterspointshipyard.com.

Business Wire

Continue Reading

BE GLAD FOR SMALL RESTAURANT OWNERS AND THE JUDICIAL THIRD BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT

BELIEVE IT OR WHAT
pat-murphy-200-pixels-frowning-toerge.jpg
BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

San Francisco small restaurant owners are scorned on all fronts for their federal lawsuit insisting they have the right to determine employee benefits, not the City now implementing universal health care with forced payment by restaurant owners necessary…

Our young San Francisco mayor — The Gav brooks 40 October 10 — publicly scalds restaurant owners every chance he gets for launching the lawsuit… Newsom notes threateningly he is not happy about the lawsuit

Mandated restaurant owner payment is essential to establishing universal health care… Says The Gav…

Really, Gav honey, you should be more worried about them not being happy with you… Your performance is arrogant…

Newsom, partnered with Supervisor Tom Ammiano, imposed the employer mandate provision with very little imput from restaurant owners… It was only when owners noted they had the power to resist that they were seriously ushered to a seat…

With Ammiano, quick to go brittle, snorting he had heard owner hardship complaints for ever so long…

Further, that Ammiano did not believe hardship complaints and anyway their money is needed to benefit all San Franciscans, suck it up…

Suck this up: People don’t go into business to create jobs… Or deliver benefits…

People go into business to make money, say it out loud…

To use that money to cement their unqiue dream into expanding reality… Secondarily growing that reality with new jobs, more jobs, and newly employed San Franciscans receiving new benefits…

It is odious that in a town which works so hard to maintain neighborhood character, in a town where neighborhood character is greatly defined by world famed unique eateries, the venal attempting to tap altruist sentiment would treat our unique eateries with such pompous dismissal…

Owner after owner testified that the imposed mandate would close their doors and foreclose opening of new small restaurants…

That trend is already underway… Preponderence of new restaurant openings in San Francisco are low-cost formula food fops…

Be glad we have that judicial third branch of government, and go out and encourage owners who work 14 to 16 hours every day to keep their dream alive and your neighborhood unique…

pat-murphy-200-pixel-less-yellow-mug.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.

Continue Reading

July 21 Videos of The Day – BALLING JACK – MATT GONZALEZ MOONBEAM CHARACTER WITNESS FOR CHRIS DALY – ENOUGH WITH THE CREEPY BIRDS OF TELEGRAPH HILL – Babies born today will be athletic – Live radar and weather forecast

July 21 Videos of The Day
BALLING JACK

MATT GONZALEZ MOONBEAM CHARACTER WITNESS FOR CHRIS DALY

“If Matt Gonzalez runs for mayor,” grins Nate Ballard, “I’ve seen that movie and I like the way it ends.” Ballard serves as director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Communications.

ENOUGH WITH THE CREEPY BIRDS OF TELEGRAPH HILL

farmers-almanac-logo.jpg

JULY 21 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are self-sufficient and intellectual and like to assume a leading role. You are adventurous and like to travel, are very healthy and robust, and participate in many sports. You have the power and courage of your convictions and will yield a point only when it is proven to you.

ADVICE FOR JULY 21
Use lavender, fennel, or chamomile soaks for tired, swollen feet.

JULY 201WORD OF THE DAY
Cockup. Defintion: Something badly botched or muddled.

JULY 21 IN HISTORY
Born: Josh Hartnett (actor), 1978. World-record cold temperature, -128.6 degrees F, recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica, 1983.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
weather-san-francisco.jpg

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. West wind between 6 and 11 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57. West wind between 5 and 11 mph.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 72. West wind between 5 and 13 mph.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58. West wind between 6 and 13 mph.

Monday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 71.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72.

Continue Reading

CALL GOES OUT FOR WATER SAVING HEROES

water-saving-2-4.jpg
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

water-saving-2-1.jpg

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today joined leaders from Bay Area water agencies to unveil an unprecedented regional public education campaign aimed at reminding residents and businesses to curb water use this summer and fall.

water-saving-2-7.jpg

The new “Water Saving Hero” campaign features ordinary people adopting simple water conservation practices in their everyday lives, and will soon blanket billboards, transit stations, buses, trains, newspapers and the radio throughout the region. The effort also features a new website WaterSavingHero.com, where Bay Area residents can link directly to their local water agency’s conservation tips and cash rebate information.

The effort comes after Northern California experienced one of the driest winters on record and amidst ongoing water supply concerns related to the Delta and other water sources.

“Following one of the driest winters on record, Bay Area residents have taken real steps to save water but we have to keep it up,” said Newsom.

“This new regional campaign urges us all to adopt simple habits and become a ‘Water Saving Hero’ in our everyday lives.”

The million-dollar “Water Saving Hero” campaign is a partnership among Bay Area water agencies and organizations, including the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), Zone 7 Water District, Bay Area Clean Water Agencies(BACWA) and others.

“A regional campaign is so important because if we all save a little, together we will save a lot,” said SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal.

“This campaign is about reminding Bay Area residents that we’ve had a very dry year and there’s something else each of us can do to curb water use at home or at work.”

Newsom joined Leal and BAWSCA General Manager Art Jensen in announcing the latest water consumption data for the SFPUC service area, which comprises 2.4 million customers in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties.

water-saving-2-5.jpg

In April, the SFPUC and BAWSCA requested that customers throughout the region take steps to voluntarily cut back on water consumption this year, with a systemwide goal of reducing water use by at least 10% over 2004, the last appropriate dry year comparison. The latest data shows that customers have indeed reduced consumption over the same April – July 2004 period in all parts of the SFPUC service area, with a systemwide reduction of nearly 14%.

Peninsula customers reduced consumption over the same 2004 period by 20%, South Bay/East Bay customers by 14%, and San Francisco customers by 8%. However, recent weeks’ consumption patterns show water use on the rise as temperatures climb, and the gap between 2007 and 2004 use narrowing.

“The good news is that there are already are a lot of ‘Water Saving Heroes’ and customers throughout our service area are conserving. That’s going to make a difference in terms of avoiding rationing or mandatory cutbacks this year,” said Art Jensen, General Manager of BAWSCA, representing the 28 wholesale customers of the SFPUC in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties.

“But we need to maintain and expand our efforts. We’re in the hot summer and water use is climbing. The ‘Water Saving Hero’ campaign is hitting when we need it the most.”

Compounding problems caused by a dry winter and meager Sierra snowpack, some Bay Area water agencies are also struggling with an unexpected reduction in water deliveries they normally receive from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, which is currently in crisis.

“A network of aging and eroding levees, subsiding land, climate change, pollution, mountain regulatory uncertainties and a struggling ecosystem are adding to the problems which ultimately put our water supply in jeopardy,” said Stan Williams, CEO of the SCVWD, which receives about half its water supply from the Delta.

“Since the State temporarily shut down the Delta pumps last month, we’ve had to rely more heavily on our reserves. If people cut back their water use by ten percent or more, that will help us better prepare for the future, especially if 2008 is also dry.”

The campaign ads and billboards will run at least through the fall of 2007.

The campaign aims to make Bay Area residents think about short and long-terms steps they can take to reduce water use in their home or business.

Among the water-saving tips for homes and businesses featured in the “Water Saving Hero” campaign are:

• Watering yards or gardens in the early morning or at night to reduce evaporation in the mid day sun.

• Fixing toilet or plumbing leaks, which can waste thousands of gallons of water and cause water bills to skyrocket.

• Taking shorter showers and turning off the water when shaving or brushing one’s teeth.

• Doing only full loads of laundry or running the dishwasher only when it’s full.

• Sweeping instead of hosing off the sidewalk.

“With climate change upon us, we know these drier winters will be more common in the future,” said Newsom.

“We can all make these water-saving habits a way of life without sacrificing our quality of life.”

water-saving-2-3.jpg

water-saving-2-2.jpg

bill-wilson-cropped-160-pixels-mug.jpg
BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area 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.

Continue Reading

NEWSOM THANKS SPEAKER PELOSI for $6.3 million restoration of Ryan White Care Act funds

The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to restore approximately $6.3 million in cuts by the Bush Administration to the City’s Ryan White CARE Act (RWCA) funds. These funds were included in the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill approved by the House.

In the 2006-07 federal fiscal year, the RWCA allocation for San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties was $27.96 million compared to the $18.81 million RWCA allocation proposed by the Bush Administration for 2007-08.

This difference would have resulted in roughly $8.09 million in cuts to RWCA funding for the City & County of San Francisco.

“On behalf of San Francisco, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for her work to restore the drastic reduction in funding that San Francisco receives under Ryan White,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“This restoration has far-reaching implications for the stability of HIV/AIDS funding in San Francisco.”

Earlier in the week, House Democrats defeated a proposal by Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) to strip language from the bill that restored the Bush Administration cuts to the Ryan White CARE Act.

The RWCA funding for San Francisco protects services for patients receiving primary medical care, access to counseling, support, outreach services, transitional and emergency housing and emergency payments for health care costs.

“AIDS is a disease that has taken more than 18,000 lives in the city of San Francisco alone,” continued Newsom.

“Ryan White has been instrumental in the fight to defeat AIDS.”

Currently, an estimated 19,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco (roughly 9,000 people with AIDS and 10,000 with HIV). As of June 30, 2007 — 27,234 people have been diagnosed with AIDS.

Newsom traveled to Washington, DC last June, meeting with various lawmakers including Speaker Pelosi, Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer, in order to ensure that full funding of the Ryan White Care Act is a top priority.

In addition to the $6.3million for the Ryan White CARE act fix, the bill also includes $1 million for additional HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs and $1million for the Direct Access to Housing program.

The bill will next be considered by a House-Senate Conference Committee later this summer.

Continue Reading

CATHAY PACIFIC to add second daily flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways announced today that it would add a second daily flight between San Francisco International Airport and Hong Kong.

The new service is scheduled to start on October 18, 2007.

“Cathay Pacific’s decision to add a second daily flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong is outstanding news, not just for the Chinese-American community but for the entire Bay Area,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“With 47% of all international passengers at SFO heading for Asia and a nearly 4% increase in the Asian market this past fiscal year, the economic importance and growth of trade between the San Francisco Bay Area and China cannot be overstated,” he added.

“We are very pleased to see Cathay Pacific add a second daily flight to SFO,” said John L. Martin, Airport Director.

“As the Mayor has clearly stated, the Asian market is the largest and most important international market for SFO and we are excited that Cathay Pacific is adding service to meet that growing demand.”

Cathay Pacific currently ranks as the world’s 10th most profitable airline (based upon net profit) and sixth largest airline by stock market value. The airline operates approximately 1,250 flights weekly and in 2006 carried more than 16.7 million passengers.

Continue Reading

WASHINGTON D.C. CITY ADMINISTRATOR takes charge of San Francisco 311 Call Center

311-at-your-service.jpg

Mayor Gavin Newsom and City Administrator Edwin Lee have appointed Ed Reiskin as the Director of the City’s new 311 Customer Service Center.

edward-reiskin-2.jpg
Edward Reiskin

“I’m pleased that Ed Reiskin has accepted this challenging responsibility,” said Newsom.

“I’m confident he will help move forward our efforts to make our government more accessible and responsive to our city’s residents.”

Reiskin has more than 16 years of experience in private, academic, non-profit, and public sectors, most recently serving as the City Administrator in Washington, D.C. He served as the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety in Washington, where he supervised the City’s combined communications center and other public safety agencies.

Reiskin’s appointment comes as 311 fielded its 500,000th call on Monday. Newsom said that use of the new service has been higher than anticipated, and is now expected to receive nearly two million calls in its first year of operation.

Reiskin has Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a Masters in Business Administration from the Stern School of Business at New York University, and an undergraduate degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has recently relocated back to San Francisco with his wife and three children.
“Mr. Reiskin has the skills and experience we were looking for in a director,” said Lee. “His background in city management will help us realize the potential of this powerful new tool, which promises to increase access to government and ultimately make the city more accountable to our constituents.”

The 311 Customer Service Center launched on March 29, 2007, and provides 24 hour a day assistance to residents, visitors, and businesses seeking non-emergency city services. The service is available at no charge to callers, and is available in over 145 languages.

Mayor’s Office of Communications

Continue Reading

NEW PG&E MEASURES for power reliability

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials are working today to avoid future power problems in an area extending from Aquatic Park toward Chestnut Street in San Francisco following an outage Thursday night, a spokeswoman said.

The outage occurred due to an underground equipment failure, PG&E spokeswoman Darlene Chiu said. There were problems with equipment that connects the cables carrying electricity, Chiu said.

“We are putting in measures to make the system more reliable,” she said.

Power was restored to about 1,280 customers in the area by about 11:50 p.m., said PG&E spokeswoman Susan Simon. The outage was reported at 7:30 p.m.

Bay City News

Continue Reading

JOHNNY MATHIS – Appears with the San Francisco Symphony Friday and Saturday

Chances are – it’s going to be misty, but a wonderful, wonderful evening of his greatest hits

sean-martinfield-250-pixels-new-sentinel-mug.jpg
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Fellow native San Franciscan Johnny Mathis returns to Davies Symphony Hall for two concerts with the San Francisco Symphony – Friday, July 20th @ 8:00 pm and Saturday, July 21st @ 8:00 pm. Since his first No.1 hit, “CHANCES ARE” in 1957, Johnny Mathis has remained one of the world’s most enduring voices in Pop Music.

johnny-mathis.JPG
JOHNNY MATHIS

In 1958, two years after being signed by Columbia Records, Johnny’s “GREATEST HITS” was released. It started a tradition that has been copied by countless record companies since. The recording stayed on the Billboard Top Albums Chart for more than nine years. Johnny’s “GREATEST HITS” enjoys a history of being one of the most popular albums of all time. In 2006, he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a recording artist by releasing the CD JOHNNY MATHIS GOLD: A 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. Guest Conductor SCOTT LAVENDER promises that Johnny will include “Chances Are” and “MISTY” in the concert.

The San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Symphony’s 2007 annual summer music celebration SUMMER IN THE CITY showcases the best of classical favorites, Broadway, and popular music, all in the relaxed elegance of Davies Symphony Hall. Festive decor, dramatic concert lighting, an array of dining options, and nightly lobby entertainment all add to the summer fun. The week features NEIL SEDAKA IN CONCERT on Friday July 27th and PATTI LuPONE – The Lady With The Torch on Saturday, July 28th.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS ON-LINE

Friday, July 20th @ 8:00 pm
JOHNNY MATHIS —
Saturday, July 21st @ 8:00 pm

neil-sedaka.JPG
NEIL SEDAKA

NEIL SEDAKA – Friday, July 27th @ 8:00 pm

patti-lupone.JPG
PATTI LuPONE

PATTI LuPONE – Saturday, July 28th @ 8:00 pm

Sean’s pre-concert dining suggestions –

ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR – A French Bistro @ 398 Hayes Street (at Gough). Reservations strongly recommended. 415-551-1590. From the Loire Valley of France, try the Fleur Verte with marinated olives. It’s fresh goat’s milk cheese covered in tarragon, thyme, and pink peppercorns. You’ll be singing Johnny’s “Wonderful! Wonderful!” Suggested wines include Domaine des Rochelles, Anjou, France, Rosé of Cabernet Franc, 2005.

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN – California Cuisine @ 524 Van Ness Avenue (between Golden Gate and McAllister). Reservations not accepted. 415-436-9380. Try their brand new chilled Mediterranean Salad! It’s a great toss of cucumbers, red onions, fresh tomatoes, Greek olives, crisp Romaine leaves and lemon-herb vinaigrette served on a bed of hummus. It’s topped with Feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and CPK’s own Tzatziki sauce. Add your choice of grilled rosemary chicken breast, grilled shrimp, or sautéed salmon. Served with pita bread, your CHANCES ARE – awfully good!

For your listening and viewing pleasure, Seán recommends:
DVD – Johnny Mathis Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
MP3 Download – NEIL SEDAKA, “The Definitive Collection”
CD – NEIL SEDAKA, “The Definitive Collection”
MP3 download – PATTI LuPONE, “The Lady With The Torch”
CD – PATTI LuPone, “The Lady With The Torch”

See Seán’s recent articles:
NORMA SHEARER Flick Opens the San Francisco Silent Film Festival
NEIL SEDAKA and PATTI LUPONE – Summer in The City at Symphony Hall
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE –Everything old is new again at SF Opera
NAN KEMPNER – de Young Museum Presents Couture Collection of Fashion Goddess
JERSEY BOYS – Earth Angels invade Curran Theatre! Cast #2: Their Eyes Adore You!
DAVID GOCKLEY’S “DON GIOVANNI” – Semper Fi!
HIROSHI SUGIMOTO – Retrospective of photographer’s work at the de Young Museum, July 7th – September 23rd
JEANETTE MacDONALD – First Lady of “San Francisco”
DER ROSENKAVALIER – A Viennese Bon-Bon At San Francisco Opera
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel
SAMSON vs DELILAH at AT&T Park – Can Stadium Survive Biblical Shearing?
LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf – A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT – Principal Soloist, San Francisco Ballet

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

Continue Reading

BE GLAD FOR SMALL RESTAURANT OWNERS AND THE JUDICIAL THIRD BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT

BELIEVE IT OR WHAT
pat-murphy-200-pixels-frowning-toerge.jpg
BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

San Francisco small restaurant owners are scorned on all fronts for their federal lawsuit insisting they have the right to determine employee benefits, not the City now implementing universal health care with forced payment by restaurant owners necessary…

Our young San Francisco mayor — The Gav brooks 40 October 10 — publicly scalds restaurant owners every chance he gets for launching the lawsuit… Newsom notes threateningly he is not happy about the lawsuit

Mandated restaurant owner payment is essential to establishing universal health care… Says The Gav…

Really, Gav honey, you should be more worried about them not being happy with you… Your performance is arrogant…

Newsom, partnered with Supervisor Tom Ammiano, imposed the employer mandate provision with very little imput from restaurant owners… It was only when owners noted they had the power to resist that they were seriously ushered to a seat…

With Ammiano, quick to go brittle, snorting he had heard owner hardship complaints for ever so long…

Further, that Ammiano did not believe hardship complaints and anyway their money is needed to benefit all San Franciscans, suck it up…

Suck this up: People don’t go into business to create jobs… Or deliver benefits…

People go into business to make money, say it out loud…

To use that money to cement their unqiue dream into expanding reality… Secondarily growing that reality with new jobs, more jobs, and newly employed San Franciscans receiving new benefits…

It is odious that in a town which works so hard to maintain neighborhood character, in a town where neighborhood character is greatly defined by world famed unique eateries, the venal attempting to tap altruist sentiment would treat our unique eateries with such pompous dismissal…

Owner after owner testified that the imposed mandate would close their doors and foreclose opening of new small restaurants…

That trend is already underway… Preponderence of new restaurant openings in San Francisco are low-cost formula food fops…

Be glad we have that judicial third branch of government, and go out and encourage owners who work 14 to 16 hours every day to keep their dream alive and your neighborhood unique…

pat-murphy-200-pixel-less-yellow-mug.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.

Continue Reading