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MICHAEL SAVAGE receives second day of marketing bonanza

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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

San Francisco based national radio shock jock Michael Savage Wednesday received a marketing bonanza for the second day in a row as those disposed toward vigils had one right outside his office.

About 60 vigilettes came to condemn ratings-producing intentionally provocative anti-immigrant remarks made by Savage.

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Savage supporters also disposed toward vigil
Photo Courtesy homestead.com

Their protest followed a Tuesday City Hall rally led by San Franicsco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval and attended by 50 supporters as well as Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, and Ross Mirkarimi.

For his part, Savage pointed to a caricature of the Israeli flag displayed by rally supporters as anti-Semitic.

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Photo Courtesy homestead.com

In May 2001, Sandoval apologized for suggesting to Harvey Milk LGBT members that business chief executives should be picketed at their “houses in Tiburon and their bar mitzvahs.”

Local Jewish leaders were distressed by Sandoval’s comment, which many felt played into the archetypical stereotype of corporate tyranny perpetrated by wealthy Jews.

“The statement was deeply troubling,” said Daniel Grossman, president of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council.

“I think it leaves the clear impression that he’s playing to a stereotype, even if he may not have intended to do that. But, he will learn, intent is sometimes different than impact.”

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Radio shock jock Michael Savage sees Tuesday rally on San Francisco City Hall steps as anti-Semtic.
Photo Courtesy homestead.com

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Supervisor Sandoval led the charge on Savage

Sandoval is best known nationally for suggesting the nation should not have a military.

According to community groups and ten of the 11 San Francisco Board of Supervisors members, Savage deserves condemnation for his alleged comment regarding fasting pro-immigrant students, ‘…let them fast until they starve to death.’

Tuesday’s rally preceded the afternoon Board of Supervisors meeting in which Sandoval had introduced a resolution on the Board imperative calendar of condemnation aimed at Savage.

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Supervisor Mirkarimi casts a glint at colleague Jake McGoldrick in Tuesday Board meeting.

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Supervisor Chris Daly

The imperative calendar permits going forward with legislation or resolutions without a hearing by a commmittee of the Board and requires unanimous passage.

The 11-member Board voted 10-1 in favor of the resolution, with the issue sent to committee by Supervisor Ed Jew’s ‘no’ vote.

THE COST OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

See Related: COMMITTEE KILLS Daly anti-Blue Angels measure – Newsom looking forward to next Blue Angels Airshow

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

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

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ENROLLMENT STATIONS open for San Francisco flyer Fast Pass

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The clear card holds biometric data on a chip. It allows travelers to use a special security gate making for easier check in.
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport will soon be able to head straight to the front of pesky security lines, for a price.

Representatives for Verified Identity Pass’s Clear program joined San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at SFO today to announce the opening of two new Clear enrollment stations.

“Now passengers at San Francisco International Airport can take advantage of Clear’s airport security fast-pass program, an offering that combines technology and good customer service,” Newsom said.

“It will be particularly useful for those very frequent flyers.” The mayor noted that United Airlines, which handles approximately 47 percent of passengers at SFO has more 1K (100,000-mile) flyers at SFO than at any other U.S. airport.”

The Clear program, which allows passengers to access “registered traveler” lanes, has been in service at several U.S. airports since 2005, Clear spokeswoman Cindy Rosenthal said today.

To be issued the security fast pass, fliers must provide fingerprints and iris scans, Clear founder and CEO Steven Brill said today.

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Steven Brill, founder of the Clear, the leading provider of registered traveller lanes.

Following approval by the federal Transportation Security Administration, members are issued an identity card that contains encrypted fingerprint and iris images.

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On the left Mayor Newsom prepares to receive an iris scan. On the right he is fingerprinted.

A fee of $99.95 that is good for a year also is required, charged once applicants have been pre-screened by the TSA, according to Brill.

Recently the program has opened enrollment stations in San Jose, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and airports in Albany, N.Y., Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Newark, N.J.

Verified Identity Pass started the Clear program in 2005 at Orlando International Airport in Florida. Clear has been swiftly adding enrollment centers at airports across the country.

To get a pass, candidates can start the process online at the Clear’s website flyclear.com.

Next, they should bring two forms of government identification, including one with a photo, to a Clear enrollment center.

Clear’s enrollment stations at SFO are located in Terminals 1 and 3 and are in operation from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Plans for an International Terminal enrollment kiosk are in the works, with the kiosk scheduled to open this fall. Kiosks have also been set up at the Hyatt
Regency Hotel on San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

The fast pass privilege will serve departing SFO travelers beginning in September, Brill said.

See Related: Fast Pass airport security system coming to San Francisco

Bay City News

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August 14 Photos of The Day – SAN FRANCISCO YOUTH COMMISSIONERS SWORN IN – A TUESDAY LUNCTHIME TRUMPET CONCERT OUTSIDE CITY HALL – Babies born today will have loyal friends – Live radar and weather forecast

August 15 Photos of The Day
SAN FRANCISCO YOUTH COMMISSIONERS SWORN IN
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Newly sworn in San Francisco Youth Commission members take their place with City goverance in the person of Mayor Gavin Newsom. Commissioners include Igra Anjum, Liliana Cabrera, Marquez Gray, Nick Quesada, Belle Yan, Martha Carvajal, Luciana Carvalho, William Do, Brandon Franklin, Deonna Frierson, Natalie Gee, Kenny Gong, Cassandra James, Tanaya Macheel,Kemi Shamonda, and Darya Tsibulskaya.
PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

A TUESDAY LUNCHTIME TRUMPET CONCERT OUTSIDE CITY HALL
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PHOTO BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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AUGUST 15 BIRTHDAY LORE
Although aggressive, versatile, and sometimes arbitrary, you are determined and not easily discouraged in the face of failure; you usually accomplish your purpose one way or another. You love children and your home and have many loyal friends.

AUGUST 15 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
If your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, give it a bath with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.

AUGUST 15 WORD OF THE DAY
Celestial equator. Defintion: The circle around the celestial sphere that is halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth’s equator projected out onto the sphere.

AUGUST 15 IN HISTORY
Born: Linda Ellerbee (journalist), 1944. A lightning strike ignited the “sundance fire” in northern Idaho, 1967.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 71. West wind between 9 and 16 mph.

Thursday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 56. West northwest wind between 8 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Friday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 71. West wind between 8 and 14 mph.

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

Saturday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 53.

Sunday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 70.

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

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 71.

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

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, 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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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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SUCCESSIVE ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS said to neglect Holocaust survivors

An official audit accused successive Israeli governments of neglecting needy Holocaust survivors.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss issued a report Wednesday in which he blasted the Olmert government and its predecessors for not attending better to Holocaust survivors in Israel who rely on state subsidies.

“It is unconscionable that bureaucratic obstacles hinder the treatment of these survivors, who passed through the seven gates of hell in the Holocaust waged on the Jewish People in Europe and other countries,” Lindenstrauss wrote.

According to the report, 107,000 of some 250,000 survivors in Israel receive state aid ranging from $240 to $1,390 a month.

A recent government plan to boost subsidies by $20 a month triggered mass protests. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged to come up with a more satisfactory arrangement this month.

Global News Service of The Jewish People

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SAN FRANCISCO UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE larger than expected enrollment brings additional State funding

MAYOR NEWSOM ASSURES PROGRAM SUCCESS DESPITE LEGAL CHALLENGE

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Newly enrolled Margo Beebe, second from left, awaits introduction as Mayor Gavin Newsom and Health Department Director Mitch Katz detail larger enrollement than expected with accompanying greater State funding.
PHOTOS BY DAVID TOERGE © 2007
Sentinel Photographer

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

San Franciscans are enrolling in City universal health care so quickly the only problem the Healthy San Francisco program has is managing larger than expected influx, Health Department Director Mitch Katz reported Tuesday, 35 days after enrollment began.

Dr. Katz described larger than expected enrollment as a happy problem.

“We are happy that our biggest problem so far is managing the demand for the program,” Katz stated in a Chinatown press conference lead by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“That’s exactly the kind of problem we want to have,” added Katz.

Newsom and Katz offered status report yesterday with health care providers and newly signed-up residents at the Chinatown Public Health Center.

The program coalesced after Newsom broadened stakeholder participation in its formative stage.

With 81,000 uninsured residents, the City plans program phased rollout over an eighteen to 24-month period.

Stage 1 which began July 2 2007 comprised two public health centers — North East Medical Services and Chinatown Public Health Center — accepting enrollment of the most financially vulnerable, those at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level.

In July, the City projected enrollment for Stage 1 would reach 1000 by the end of this month, although that target was reached yesterday.

Popular demand has moved Stage 2 to begin earlier than projected, Newsom reported.

Still targeted for lowest income San Franciscans, Stage 2 expands enrollment to 20 additional City public health centers beginning September 17.

“In Stage 3, which will happen approximately two months later, we will be enrolling all San Franciscans regardless of income level at the 22 sites,” Katz detailed.

Interested persons should telephone the City’s new one-stop information center by calling 311, the mayor suggested.

Health San Francisco universal health care is a first for the nation.

“I cannot impress upon on you how significant what we’re doing is,” said Newsom.

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“This has not been done in any other part of this country.

“All of the resources, all of that quality of imagination, there is just one City that is doing what we’re doing.

“Is it perfect? No.

“Is it ripe for adjustment? You’d better believe it. That’s why this second phase is again a pilot phase to move us to the next level.

“We’ve started with two clinics — 20 additional clinics starting September 17.

“We’re starting with those most in need… and we’ll eventually get to people 100 to 300, then 300 to 500 (of Federal Poverty Level), and then eventually we’ll get to everybody else.

Newsom pledged the program will proceed despite results of a legal challenge brought by business owners.

He noted only 15% of San Francisco businesses are affected with the remaining 85% already providing employee health care.

And Newsom raised the possibility of means testing being negotiated for individual business financial hardship on a case-by-case basis.

Large enrollment increases State funding, continued Newsom, permitting program success regardless of the lawsuit brought by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA). So far, enrollment resulted in additional $900,000 State assistance.

“That’s going to make this program work. That’s going to make this pencil-out,” Newsom acknowledged.

“It’s more than we expected.

“It allows us to navigate that final treacherous water that is ahead of us and that is the conclucsion, the adjudication, of the lawsuit my friends at the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

“They are my friends… in this case not only do I know them and I’ve met them, I’m a member — my former business is a member of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

“It’s unfortunate, their lawsuit, but we’re moving forward in spite of that cloud.

“And if they succeed, that’s a hypothetical, we’re going to find a way to do this anyway.

“I should just note that the business community has no mandate today because we listened to them.

“We listened to the Restaurant Association and others.

“The mandate doesn’t go into effect until January of next year and it’s not for businesses with 20 employees or more (as originally drafted). It’s for businesses with 50 employees or more because we’re trying to be sensitive to the needs of the small business community.

“But I can assure you, regardless of what happens to that lawsuit, that we’re going to work around it.

“We are certainly committed to this program.”

ADDITIONAL CLINICS BEING ADDED

Castro Mission Health Center; Cole Street Clinic; Curry Senior Center; Family Healthy Center at San Francisco General Hospital; General Medical Center at San Francisco General Hospital; Glide Health Services; Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic; Larkin Street Clinic; Lyon-Martin Health Services; Maxine Hall Health Center; Mission Neighborhood Health Center; Native American Health Center; Ocean Park Health Center; Potrero Hill Health Center; Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital; St. Anthony Free Medical Clinic; Silver Avenue Family Health Center; South of Market Health Center; Southeast Health Center; and Tom Waddell Health Center.

See Related: HEALTH CARE

See Related: SAN FRANCISCO UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE ACCESS expands eligibility January 2 2008

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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. Email Pat Murphy at SanFranciscoSentinel@yahoo.com.

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DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photographer
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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BUSH’S JOB RATING remains at very low level in California, strong disapproval of his handling of the situatiion in Iraq – Two in three support withdrawing some or all US troops from that country

THE FIELD REPORT

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By Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field

Only about one in four registered voters in this state (26%) approve of the overall job that President George W. Bush is doing. Almost two in three (65%) disapprove. These findings are very similar to what was found in the last Field Poll of voters conducted earlier this year.

Californians’ overwhelming unfavorable view of Bush’s handling of the situation in Iraq continues to be the chief contributor to the President’s low esteem. Three times as many voters disapprove of Bush’s actions in Iraq (72%) as approve (24%).

A growing proportion of Californians (65%) support either withdrawing all (39%) or some (26%) of the U.S. troops now stationed in Iraq. In addition, nearly six in ten (58%) favor Congress passing legislation that would set a deadline to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by next spring.

Voters are somewhat less negative of Bush in his handling of the economy. Still, a 58% to 34% majority disapprove of his performance in this regard.

Bush’s overall job approval remains at very low level

During the months prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President Bush received mixed overall job ratings from the California public (42% approve and 45% disapprove).
Immediately after the attacks, Bush’s approval rating spiked to 74%. However, the President’s job marks have declined steadily since then, to where only about one in four voters approve of his performance in polls conducted this year.

Currently, just one in eleven Democrats (9%) approve of the job Bush is doing, while 85% disapprove. Among Republicans, a little more than one-half (53%) rate the President positively, while 36% give him negative marks. The views of non-partisans are closer to that of Democrats, with 72% disapproving and just 19% approving.

Bush’s Iraq performance viewed very negatively

Three times as many California voters rate Bush’s handling of the Iraq situation negatively (72%) as positively (24%). This is similar to voter assessments last March and represents a continuation of the year-by-year drop in approval since the first month of the war in April 2003.

At the time the war began, 60% approved of Bush’s performance regarding Iraq and 37% disapproved.

Only about one in eleven California Democrats (9%) approve of the way Bush is handling the Iraq situation and 90% disapprove. Republicans are more evenly divided, with 49% disapproving and 46% approving. Three in four non-partisans (74%) give Bush poor marks on Iraq, while just 19% approve.

Growing support for U.S. troop withdrawal

Currently, 65% of California voters support either a complete (39%) or partial (26%) withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. This compares to just 18% who favor keeping the number of U.S. troops at their current levels and 10% who favor sending in more troops.

Today’s findings represent an increase in support for troop withdrawal compared to two years ago, the last time the Field Poll asked this question. In August 2005, a little more than one-half (52%) thought that either all or some of the U.S. forces in Iraq should be withdrawn.

Voter support for a troop withdrawal has increased across all partisan groups. Two years ago, 71% of Democrats favored a withdrawal policy. Now, 82% have this opinion.

Among Republicans, sentiment for drawing down troop levels has increased from 26% to 40% over the same period, while among non-partisans 66% favor withdrawing some or all troops, up from 56% two years ago.

Withdrawal deadline supported

By a 58% to 38% margin, California voters favor Congress passing legislation that would set a deadline for the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by the spring of 2008.

Seventy-five percent of Democrats and 68% of non-partisans endorse the idea of a troop withdrawal deadline. By contrast, just 30% of Republicans hold this view.

Bush’s handling of the economy also viewed negatively

Since 2003 California voters have consistently registered greater disapproval than approval of Bush’s handling of the nation’s economy. In 2003 and 2004 Field Poll surveys found disapproval in this regard running about ten percentage points higher than his approval rating. This negative gap has increased in subsequent years. Now, disapproval of Bush’s handling of the economy is 58% and approval is 34%, a 24 percentage-point gap.

Four out of five Democrats (80%) rate Bush negatively on the economy, as do 65% of non-partisans. By contrast, Republicans remain quite positive of Bush’s handling of the economy, with 65% approving and 26% disapproving.

See Related: FIELD REPORT

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VOTERS NOT PAYING A LOT OF ATTENTION to State budget impasse – Yet thinkdelay is a serious matter

THE FIELD REPORT

By Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field

California’s legislature is in the midst of another one of its frequent annual partisan deadlocks, delaying the passage of a state budget way beyond the scheduled legal date (July 1) for adoption.

While the delay has stirred the Sacramento political community, the state’s voters are not paying alot of attention to the fact that no budget has been in place for the first seven weeks of the currentfiscal year.

The Field Poll, in a just completed statewide survey conducted among a cross-section of this state’sregistered voters, found just one in eight (12%) paying “a lot of attention” to the lawmakers’ effortsto pass a state budget. Another one-third (37%) say they are giving some attention to the matter.

However, a majority (51%) allow how they are paying “only a little” (34%) or “no attention” (17%) to the governor’s and state legislature’s attempts to pass a budget.

The degree of attention being paid to the efforts to pass a state budget does not vary among the state’s rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans, with about half of the voters affiliated with eachparty admitting to be paying little or no attention. Non-partisan voters are paying even less

Despite voters’ relative inattention to what’s going on with the budget in Sacramento, they still seethe inability of the state legislature to reach a budget agreement as either “very serious” (43%) or”somewhat serious” (38%). Just about one in six (17%) maintain that the budget delay is not aserious matter.

While there is not much difference in opinion among partisans on this question, opinions about the seriousness of the delay are tied to the amount of attention being paid to the issue by voters. Those paying greater attention to the delay in passing the budget are more likely to view the situation asvery serious.

Five years ago the legislature was locked in a similar lengthy political struggle over the budget that was finally broken two months after the mandated July 1 deadline.

At that time, a greater proportion of the state’s voters than exists today (57%) believed the budget delay was “very serious” and another 30% viewed it as “somewhat serious.” (It should be noted that the 2002 survey was conducted in late August 2002, while the current survey was completed in early August.)

How governor’s and legislature’s budget performances are being viewedRepublican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role in trying to resolve the state’s budget situation is viewed somewhat more favorably than either the Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature.

One third of voters (33%) think the governor is doing a “very good” or “good” job in the budget deliberations, compared to 24% who believe he is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job in this respect.

The remaining proportions feel the governor is doing a “fair” job (32%) or have no opinion (11%). On the other hand, voters’ job appraisals of Democratic and Republican lawmakers in resolving the budget stand-off are less favorable than those of the governor, with Republican legislators viewed a little less favorably than their Democratic counterparts.

See Related: FIELD REPORT

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A CONVERSATION WITH JIM BROCHU AND STEVE SCHALCHLIN – The New Conservatory Theatre extends “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” until August 26th

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

Mention the team of Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin to the wholly dedicated fans of Theatre and you will hear a gleeful litany of successful shows, song titles, awards, lecturing engagements, and the daunting fact that New York’s legendary SARDI’S RESTAURANT placed a caricature of Mr. Brochu directly across from that of Ethel Merman. Jim and Steve’s current production (a limited engagement) of THE BIG VOICE: God or Merman? at San Francisco’s NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER is commanding national attention. Affectionately tagged as “the story of two lives”, THE BIG VOICE is a fantastical romp down the center aisles of Church and The Great White Way; a musical two-way street where everyone will find their brain, courage, heart, and a way back home. Due to overwhelming popular demand, THE BIG VOICE has been extended until August 26th.

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THE BIG VOICE – Extended through August 26th at NCTC, San Francisco

I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with Jim and Steve at their spacious 12th floor accommodations with jaw-dropping southerly view of San Francisco. Still marveling at their uproarious Opening Night the previous Saturday, I knew my first obligation would be to identify my personal persuasion. A running gag throughout the show is whether one sits in the Ethel (Merman) camp or the Judy (Garland) camp. (In other words, “Any note you can belt, I can belt louder.”) Jim and Steve have been life-partners for 22 years. They met on board the ill-fated SS GALILEO. Jim had recently dropped out from a Catholic seminary; Steve was the featured pianist in the ship’s Rendezvous Lounge. The luxury ocean liner was floating somewhere in the waters around Bermuda. With a gleam in his eye and the Test Riddle on his lips, Destiny was giggling as Jim posed the Either/Or question. Steve’s response? “Ethel.” At that moment, God was there. See … Steve, being from Arkansas and the son of a Baptist preacher man, was totally unaware of this particular creed and sense of higher self so deeply stamped within certain loftier musical circles. “Judy” who? For this suddenly smitten but uninitiated chapter & verse pianist, there was only one up-turned response. “Ethel” – ? (And the waters parted. Sign here.) Steve’s later admission would be – as in, Mertz. She’s the only Ethel he knows. (“You spell it with a Z!” – SEASON 6, episode 22.) Jim’s response? “A good answer.”

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DOIN’ WHAT COMES NATURALLY – Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu, 1985

I quickly make my own confession. “I got the Jeanette MacDonald gene!” Steve and Jim start to laugh. “For the Centennial of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire – with the title as yet unclaimed – I exercised my journalistic prerogative and pronounced Jeanette MacDonald as “FIRST LADY OF SAN FRANCISCO”. Apparently, another good answer. High above The City skyline, on a sunny afternoon, we are three giddy drama queens poised in the guiding lights of Broadway, Hollywood, and Heaven.

Suddenly, “Steinbeck” and I make eye contact. A sort-of Garfield doing an Oliver Hardy routine, this 18-pound rounder knows The Guest fits right in with his Daddies. Having popped the tab on my Mountain Dew, Steinbeck heads for my lap. Steve observes, “He thinks you’re a chubby chaser.”

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MY TWO DADDIES

JIM: Did you know Jeanette MacDonald was the very first actress ever to wear a body mic? It’s a hilarious story that Charles Nelson Reilly told us. It was at the ST. LOUIS MUNICIPAL THEATRE – which has 12,000 seats. She was doing THE KING & I. They had foot mics and they weren’t picking her up. So the guy, I forget his name, very famous, said that the first night they did it – they had mics at the back of the chair and there was one at the table. Miss MacDonald came out and sang – [Jim gets up to recreate the scene. With arms outstretched, he glides gracefully toward a chair, mouthing the words "Getting to know you". Nearing the back of the chair, he is audible] – “all about you.”

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SEÁN: Oh, no!

JIM: [Moves beyond the chair towards the table mic and mouths "…about you." On a roll, he continues. Jeanette reaches the table mic just in time.] “… hope you like me.”

[We are all in hysterics.]

STEVE: Like “Singing In The Rain”!

JIM: The next night they took a wire and a microphone and shoved it up her dress. It was a full mic with a 100-foot wire. So, Jeanette MacDonald was the first woman to wear a body mic.

[Clearly, I have lost this hand of "Anything you can sing, I sing louder." Still, I'm not to be outdone."]

SEÁN: Well! IIIIIII have a picture of her in the “I Whistle A Happy Tune” dress!

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JIM: In her hoop!

SEÁN: And! The CASTRO THEATRE is celebrating its 85th Anniversary with a brand new print of “San Francisco” and IIIIIII am delivering a RESOLUTION from Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

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JEANETTE MacDONALD & CLARK GABLE – in San Francisco

JIM: THE BIG VOICE: God or Jeanette?

Just as with the audience of Opening Night, I have laughed myself into their fan club. But now the biggest scene stealer of all wants the spotlight. Enter the fourth member of the household, “Thurber” – a sweet-faced orange-furred very mature but nevertheless opinionated feline. With a gleam in his eye, Thurber knows a cat lover when he sees one. He also knows I will be gentle with his aging bones.

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Jim – Thurber – Steve

JIM: And not one organ in working condition!

SEÁN: Thurber will let you know when it’s time to bring down the curtain. My own have already been prepared to go with me to the tomb.

JIM: Like the pharaohs.

More common ground is found in the religious issues of THE BIG VOICE. The success of the show is due to its boisterous and cordial humor, the personable honesty and stinging sincerity, its “rub down with a velvet glove” approach to religious hypocrisy, and the pert, pithy, and poignant musical score. Both gentlemen bare their souls about a personal relationship with God and the contrasting, often devastating effects of organized heavy-duty religion. As a child, Jim was determined to become the first Brooklyn-born Pope. He is mesmerized by the Vatican’s dream machine handling of Pius XII, but is vastly put-off by an LP of His Holiness performing Gregorian chants. Get the tomatoes! The boy then sets the needle to Ethel Merman’s 1946 recording of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Two measures into “There’s NO business like SHOW business…” and the Holy Spirit has migrated to the BROADWAY THEATRE.

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Young Jim – Ethel Merman – Pius XII

SEÁN: Whenever I read a Press Release and see the term “side splitting” or “a thousand laughs” I get really skeptical. I guffawed through the entire show.

STEVE: Oh, good!

SEÁN: When I am taken off-guard, this high-pitched laugh flies out of my mouth.

JIM: I think we heard you! Isn’t it great when you’ve been sitting there for a while and all of a sudden something side-swipes you?

SEÁN: This show does. Constantly.

JIM: Were you there Opening Night?

SEÁN: Yes. [To Stephen] In fact, I was in your direct line of sight. I know you can’t see anybody through the lights.

STEVE: No, we can’t.

SEÁN: But the angle at which you most often look was right there toward my face. Not that it influenced my judgment – but I want you to know I come today with a prejudiced point of view. I LOVED the show.

JIM: Ah, that’s very sweet of you.

SEÁN: So, talk to me! What do you want me to know?

JIM: We can’t stand each other!

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THE BIG VOICE – Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin. Photo by Ed Krieger

SEÁN: There was so much of the show I resonated with. I understand all the Catholic and Baptist lingo – so nothing needed to be explained to me. But as I was sitting there I kept asking myself, “What if I didn’t know all that stuff? Would my periphery knowledge of the separate faiths – even if it were an accumulated perspective based on the Six O’clock News – be enough to get it?” The answer is an absolute yes.

JIM: Our first audiences were middle-aged to older Jewish couples. Straight couples. When we first did the show, in order to build an audience, they would put us on what is called “audience seat fillers” – they pay a little fee and then get comp tickets or very cheap tickets to see a show. So, it was an older Jewish crowd.

STEVE: We were just work-shopping. There had not been any publicity or pre–anything. We just opened the show, started working, and invited people to just come and see it. We were getting raw feedback from people with no pre-conceptions. So, we got this crowd because they were part of this audience service. We were just filling the seats so we could have an audience to play to.

JIM: But they loved it! They got every joke. We didn’t use the service on Saturday because it was Opening Night and there was a party. We usually stand at the door and say good-night to everybody. People say we’re like pastors at the end of the show. But we feel that what we have done is so personal that we have to say good-bye. I remember this one elderly Jewish man who said, “I learned more about Gay marriage and Gay people in the last two hours than I have known in my whole life. And you’re just like us, aren’t you?” So I said, “Yes, just taller.”

[I let out a spontaneous guffaw.]

JIM: [To Stephen] Yeah, he got that one! Did you get your Mountain Dew?

SEÁN: How long did it take to get the play down on paper?

STEVE: It was over a period of …

JIM: Ten days!

STEVE: … three or four months preceding that. I had been on the road doing a show – THE LAST SESSION – and Jim was home in LA. And we kept saying that it would be nice if we could write a piece for the two of us together. Maybe we could put a nightclub act together, anything we could think of.

JIM: But we had stories – stories he had told me about his life, and I knew about mine.

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What’s in your IPOD

STEVE: He would send me an e-mail with a story from his life and I would respond with a song. Or I would respond with a story paralleling it and then add songs that kind of worked with it. I had already been writing a bunch of songs. I had in mind writing a show about our religious experiences anyway and I had already started writing a lot of the score with that in mind. But I didn’t have a scenario; I didn’t know exactly how it was going to fit. I just knew I wanted to write these specific songs. Jim noticed how personal they were coming up and then it would remind him of a story from his childhood. Finally, we were called by THE LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE. They had a summer series going on of three special nights. They had Charles Nelson Reilly doing one and they wanted us to do one – because THE LAST SESSION had been for them their first great big Equity hit.

JIM: Also, it broke barriers with Republican Orange County and trying to get a Gay audience. It was a show that appealed to both. It was a breakthrough show and got them some awards.

STEVE: So they said, “Why don’t you come down?” And Jim said, “To do what?” They said to just tell a few stories and sing a few songs and talk about what happened to The Last Session since we left there. Jim kind of panicked. He took the material we had and – in about ten days – spun the whole thing into THE BIG VOICE.

JIM: Within a week it was all written.

STEVE: The difference was in ACT 2. We used songs from THE LAST SESSION because that’s what they had requested. It went over so huge! We had the same kind of audience reaction that you had witnessed. We started wondering if this could be a “stand alone” musical – if we could get rid of the songs from The Last Session and write new material to tell the story in a different way.

SEÁN: Would you say the stories – the way they are told – are favorite stories? Stories you’ve told for a long time – stories at parties, or as part of conversations with friends or new acquaintances? Such as, “Steve tell the one about” and the play is launched from there?

STEVE: I don’t think they were.

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JIM & ETHEL

JIM: I have forever told the story of how my life changed on he stage of the Broadway Theatre – meeting Ethel Merman after a performance of GYPSY. I had told that story quite a bit; it had such an impact on me.

STEVE: It’s an enviable story.

JIM: Isn’t it, though? I was blessed to have met her. Her son is going to come see the show. I had a long talk with him. He had heard how we treated his mother as a warm, fully fleshed-out human being and not –

SEÁN: A caricature.

STEVE: A Gay clown.

JIM: Yes. He wrote me an e-mail saying he was trying to get a ticket for Opening Night, but it was sold out.

SEÁN: How did you decide on the stories? Did it just unfold and that was it?

JIM: It really did. It was what Ray Bradbury used to call Zen writing. When you’re in that space, it just flows. I would think of the first act that we did in Laguna compared to the first act we did here – it’s ninety percent the same.

SEÁN: Was it always a religious juxtaposition?

JIM: Yes. Act One was our individual upbringings. Act Two was us getting through what we had to get through.

STEVE: But I think also – just on a fundamental level and a political level – Gay people who are raised in a religious environment, a conservative religious environment are basically told, “You’re not good enough / you don’t belong here / you need to change / you need to be something else.” And so, in a lot of our lives, we end up leaving the church and hating God or hating Religion or hating the whole nine yards. But an inherently spiritual person doesn’t really lose the core of their being. So it’s going to come out somewhere. I think that what we discovered is that it comes out of Theatre, because Theatre and Church are essentially the same thing. They are story-telling, they are inspirational, and they are true. Theatre brings an even higher truth sometimes. Church basically repeats the same old story over and over again. I often wonder if that’s not one of the reasons so many Gay people wind up getting into Theatre. We’re always told that the reasons are because we’re used to hiding and wearing masks and being somebody else. But I think there’s something more profound. I think it’s because we have to tell our story and that we have something to contribute to the – and I hate to use the word “spiritual” – but that’s really what it is. It’s something more than just sitting across the table from somebody and talking about what’s going on. So, Theatre really does become a temple and a place of hard core truths, deep emotional truths.

SEÁN: I was a Theatre Arts major at San Francisco State University. At the time I told my parents that’s what I wanted to do, the Drama Department enjoyed the reputation as being the best on the west coast. It just confirmed everything that had not been voiced under that roof since my first visit to Santa Claus and announcing I wanted an iron, a stove, and a dolly.

JIM: “He’s Gay!”

SEÁN: Yes! And it went downhill from there! But I was given piano lessons and along the way they got a TV. I retreated into the movies and discovered my own performing abilities. By the time I entered the Drama Department I knew I could sell myself as an actor – but the problem was, doing what? During that era there was a heavy emphasis on Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Albee, etc. I am so NOT that person and not what anybody would buy from me on stage.

JIM: You’re more Jerry Herman and Jule Styne!

SEÁN: Right! And “Hamlet”! I was cast as Hamlet in a UC production. Two weeks into rehearsal I won a vocal competition, which came with a sack of cash, provided I do a solo concert – the same week HAMLET is opening. What to do, what to do? I flipped a quarter; it landed in favor of the concert. I bought a new tuxedo and told Hamlet I’d get back to him. After the first aria, I knew that I did not want to be an ensemble player.

JIM: That’s why I decided to do THE BIG VOICE. I could always do Hamlet some other time. [Seán guffaws.] “O! that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew…”

SEÁN: When it comes time – are you going to farm your work out to somebody else?

STEVE: It’s done! We did it New York.

JIM: We couldn’t finish the run because it was so successful. We had to leave. I had a commitment to do my new play, ZERO HOUR, in Houston. Two guys replaced us [Dale Radunz and Carl Danielsen] and they were absolutely wonderful.

SEÁN: Did you hold auditions?

STEVE: This one guy that came in had the same big presence as Jim, but he wasn’t anything like him. He totally owned the role. We had been doing the play enough years for me to start thinking of my role as Steve as the “role of Steve”. For instance – that’s Me up there, but playing it out as a character, as an extension of my own personality. But is it really “me” – the nuts and bolts?

SEÁN: But you also have to find someone who can play the piano as well as you do.

STEVE: That was a little more difficult. He came from more of a musical theatre background, and I come from more of a bar background – playing the bars in the South kind of background. So, it was a little bit more of an adjustment for him.

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Dale Radunz, Jim Brochu and Carl Danielsen

JIM: Now that I’ve organized my pictures, I can show you the two guys who took over the roles for us. It’s funny because one of our producers came in and said, “Oh, I know the guy – Dale Radunz. He’d be great.” The next day we ran into Barry Moss, the great Broadway casting director. Barry says, “I hear you’re leaving the show.” Yeah. “Oh, Dale Radunz.” Then I knew it had to be because two people in two days said it.

SEÁN: Is it being produced somewhere else as well?

STEVE: Now it’s being licensed out by Samuel French.

JIM: You can buy it for $8.50!

STEVE: So if local theaters want to do the play, then all they have to do is license it and cast it. We won’t be in control of it. We’re ready to let it go.

JIM: It’s part of the deal that all the major cities are released.

STEVE: I figure there’s gotta be two big Theatre Queens in every town. One of the reasons why we re-cast ourselves is that we wanted to show producers that it can be done. We did not want the show to be perceived as a “vanity piece”, but as an actual piece of Theatre. The essence of Theatre is that you always play roles that are real or fictional.

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THE BIG VOICE. Illustration by Norn Cutson

SEÁN: Steve, how did you wind up in this playing job you talk about?

STEVE: I started off taking piano lessons when I was seven. I hated taking lessons. I got out of it at ten – just in time to start playing piano for my dad’s church.

SEÁN: Did you want to play piano for your dad’s church?

STEVE: I didn’t mind. Maybe I liked being in front of people, in front of the congregation. But that’s what kept me going – learning how to play accompaniment for gospel singing and stuff like that.

SEÁN: And it validated you.

STEVE: Yes. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I joined this rock and roll band. That’s when I learned interplay. I was in my thirties when I got a job aboard a cruise ship outside of New York. I was playing five hours a day. That’s when I learned show music. Until then I didn’t know any of it and I had actually played in a piano bar in New York. I was playing contemporary songs with an occasional show tune. I would get lead sheets and fake books and then do the show tunes like rock songs because I didn’t know how to play them.

SEÁN: What were your first encounters with the Broadway material?

STEVE: My favorite examples are Irving Berlin. I would look at the chord structure and think, “This look like Elton John” and then play them as Elton John would. Cole Porter songs looked like Billy Joel to me. Stephen Sondheim’s music all looked like R&B because it was all major sevenths and sixths and stuff. So I played everything as though I were in a Soul band. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it was pretty awful. Then came the classic day when I was playing Cole Porter’s “I Get A Kick Out Of You” – just straight, just like it’s written. Then somebody came up to me after the fourth night I’d been playing it and said, “You know – you’re doing an OK job. But these old jazz songs really sound better if you give them a little swing.” So I went back and started re-learning the songs again, giving them a swing. It was an interesting transition.

SEÁN: OK, guys – give me an EXCLUSIVE.

JIM: We’re a REALLY BORING couple! You want an exclusive? Something we haven’t told anyone else? This production of “The Big Voice” at the New Conservatory Theatre is the best we’ve ever done.

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2005 OVATION AWARD for BEST MUSICAL – Steve Schalchlin & Jim Brochu, Jerry Herman (Presenter), Anthony Barnao (Director)

To purchase tickets on-line:
THE BIG VOICE – God or Merman?
ZERO HOUR

Link up to the production’s home page: THE BIG VOICE

Seán recommends these recordings for your collection:
CD – THE LAST SESSION – The Dallas Cast Recording
CD – ANNIE GET YOUR GUN – Original Broadway Cast, 1946
CD – GYPSY, Original Cast Recording with Ethel Merman

See Seán’s recent articles:
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
DAVID GOCKLEY’S “DON GIOVANNI” – Semper Fi!
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
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel

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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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NEW YORK’S BROOKE ASTOR DIES

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Brooke Astor and Annette de la Renta

It would be easy to call her passing the end of an era. Each of us is born into a brand new world. In 1902, the darling little Roberta Brooke Russell was born into a world bursting with progress and change. Among her contemporaries would be some who would have a great impact on her world such as Tallulah Bankhead, author Langston Hughes, aviator Charles Lindbergh, photorapher Ansel Adams,. John Steinbeck, Bobby Jones, David Selznick, Norma Shearer, Ogden Nash, Carlo Gambino, Albert Anastasia, The Ayatollah Khomeini, Ray Kroc, and Strom Thurmond.

Enrico Caruso made his first gramophone recording that year. Macy’s laid the cornerstone of a new store on 6th Avenue and Broadway. The Flatiron Building opened on the southwest corner of Madison Square. Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to officially ride in an automobile. Saudi Arabia had her beginnings when the 20-year-old Wahabi emir Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud came out of exile in Kuwait and seized the Musnak Fortress at Riyadh. Monet painted “The Waterloo Bridge in the Fog.” John Singer Sargent painted Lord Ribblesdale who would soon become the stepfather of a sad and awkward 11-year-old boy named Vincent Astor.

The child was born into a genteel military family that took her in her earliest years to China, the Dominican Republic and Haiti before settling with mother and father in Washington. Her young adult life was marked by a bad early marriage (at age 17) that produced her only child, her son Anthony. She divorced in 1930 and two years later married a stockbroker named Charles “Buddy” Marshall. Although Marshall was well connected socially, they were not a wealthy couple. The marriage, however, was later recalled by the bride as a “love-match.” After 20 years of wedded bliss, Buddy Marshall died suddenly. Less than a year later, Vincent Astor, now the fabulously rich New York real estate heir and owner of Newsweek Magazine, asked Brooke to marry him.

The marriage proposal came as a great surprise since she barely knew the man other than in only the most superficial social terms. Astor was about to be divorced from his second wife, Minnie Cushing, and was anxious to find a mate to replace her, as he could not stand to be alone. Despite his fabled wealth, he was regarded as a repulsive character by a lot of his female social peers. Mrs. Russell was not his first proposal. She was the first to accept.

Life with Astor was not easy for the woman who was by nature gregarious and charming. He was withdrawn and reclusive. He also drank excessively, starting in the morning, and although he wasn’t physically abusive like her first husband, he was hard going. By the fifth year of the marriage, there were rumors amongst their set that Brooke Astor was ready to leave Vincent, to bolt, to get away from his oppressive manner. But then he suddenly died.

In her widowhood Mrs. Astor experienced something that few experience at that stage of life: she was, in a very real sense, reborn, revitalized and poised to do greatness. Vincent Astor had generously left his widow approximately $60 million as well as trust of $60 million (about ten times that in today’s currency). The trust had been established to do good works in New York City. Its new director (she had to fight for the role which was at first denied her by the trustees) took on a role of leading philanthropist to the City of New York. Her interest was active and detailed. She reveled in and conducted herself with an aplomb that many likened to royal. She not only pursued her philanthropic interests but soon found ways to interest others to bolster all of her projects. Her influence increased commensurately and she became the leading civic leader of the city. By her 70s, Brooke Astor was the fairy godmother to the citizens of New York. She wrote novels, poetry and a memoir By her 80s she was a legend, a monumental persona whom the world paid honor to. By her 90s she continued to entertain and appear socially. By her centenary she was still making the occasional public appearance.

Her life was an Edwardian saga that transmogrified and revamped by fate and time to that of a liberated woman. All kinds of New Yorkers, including those only in spirit, mourned her passing yesterday afternoon, long admiring of her devotion to her friends and neighbors, her empathy for her fellows, and her passionate interest in the progress and quality of life of its citizens.

The New York Social Diary

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August 14 Videos of The Day – THURGOOD MARSHALL BROWN VERSUS TOPEKA – ANTHONY KENNEDY RIGHT WING ATTACKS – Babies born today will be cultured and refined – Live radar and weather forecast

August 14 Videos of The Day
THURGOOD MARSHALL BROWN VERSUS TOPEKA

ANTHONY KENNEDY RIGHT WING ATTACKS 2006

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AUGUST 14 BIRTHDAY LORE
You have an alert and keen mind and good executive ability. You enjoy cultured and refined people. You are happy and optimistic and have a pleasant disposition. You do not care for the light or frivolous, love your home, and, in love, are true and sincere

AUGUST 14 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
For good luck, always remove the left shoe before the right.

AUGUST 14 WORD OF THE DAY
Ecliptic. Defintion: The apparent annual path of the Sun around the celestial sphere. The plane of the ecliptic is tipped 231⁄2° from the celestial equator.

AUGUST 14 IN HISTORY
Oliver B. Shallenberger received patent for an electric meter, 1888. The temperature in Kansas City, Missouri, reached 113 degrees F, 1936.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 72. West wind between 9 and 13 mph.

Wednesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 56. West wind between 10 and 13 mph.

Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 74. West wind between 10 and 16 mph.

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 78.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 74.

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US SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY URGES YOUNG ATTORNEYS TO BRING JUSTICE WORLDWIDE

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

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

They shared a special friendship, Thurgood Marshall and Anthony Kennedy, seated together on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Neither man ever got over missing the actual practice of the law, Justice Anthony Kennedy told the House of Delegates of the American BAR Association in San Francisco Monday.

Thurgood Marshall, the fiery attorney from Baltimore who cracked discrimination by bringing Topeka school district segregation before the Supreme Court which rendered its historic ruling that “separate but equal” schools for black and whites were inherently unequal; and Anthony Kennedy, the confidante of Ronald Reagan and still today the youngest federal judge to be appointed to the United States Court of Appeals, both shared a deep-seated urgency to pro-actively improve the lives of coming generations.

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Born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, Thurgood Marshall was the grandson of a slave. His father, William Marshall, instilled in him from youth an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law. In 1930, he applied to the University of Maryland Law School, but was denied admission because he was black. This was an event that was to haunt him and direct his future professional life. Thurgood sought admission and was accepted at the Howard University Law School. Thurgood Marshall followed his Howard University mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston to New York and later became Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). During this period, Mr. Marshall was asked by the United Nations and the United Kingdom to help draft the constitutions of the emerging African nations of Ghana and what is now Tanzania. It was felt that the person who so successfully fought for the rights of America’s oppressed minority would be the perfect person to ensure the rights of the white citizens in these two former European colonies. After amassing an impressive record of Supreme Court challenges to state-sponsored discrimination, including the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1954, President John F. Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In this capacity, he wrote over 150 decisions including support for the rights of immigrants, limiting government intrusion in cases involving illegal search and seizure, double jeopardy, and right to privacy issues. Biographers Michael Davis and Hunter Clark note that, “none of his (Marshall’s) 98 majority decisions was ever reversed by the Supreme Court.” Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1967.

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Justice Thurgood Marshall

For both men, advocacy lawyering had the satisfying feel of immediacy, a solace diminished when black judicial robes are donned.

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But for these men they became the law. They say what the law is as the nation waits for them to so say.

They sat among nine diverse and powerful minds with rich exposure to the most intricate conflicts affecting American society, its past, and future well-being of everyday people.

Yesterday Anthony Kennedy, having served on the Supreme Court since 1988 and now in the late afternoon of his life, focused that experience before the ABA demanding members carry justice worldwide.

“A few decades ago the leaders of this association knew that the law had impelled them to ask whether or not the association was serving justice in the larger sense,” Kennedy reflected.

“They concluded that the condition of the removal of horror around the world is not beyond the objects of this association because justice for their defendants is at the very heart of that object.

“So it is that your president is now all over the world representing the American BAR.

“The American lawyer has a proud place in the whole history of human progress.”

In many nations production occurs outside the law making it difficult for law to deliver justice, Kennedy noted.

“In many countries these countries have probably three-quarters of those engaged in production and trade, not even counting agriculture, are in the so-called illegal or informal or shadow sector.

“They produce, they strive, they work, they trade, they build outside the protection of the law.

“In some cases in some countries it takes ten years to get a permit to operate a taxi. It take 107 to form a corporation.

“And it gets worse.

“In some developing countries over fifty percent of the people have no legal existence. They have no birth certificate. They cannot get medical care. They cannot get an education. They cannot vote.

“And for them the law is seen not as a guardian but as a predator, and this must change.

“We learned we cannot go to some foreign country and take visible packages of the rule of law, with a red, white, and blue ribbon on it — here it is thank you very much.

“To begin with our legal structure simply cannot be replicated easily or quickly or at all in developing countries.

“Our legal structure is sufficiently sophisticated and efficient that we can a require high degree of technical competence and technical performance.

“In the third world, the developing world, there are not enough lawyers, there are not enough paralegals, there are not enough college educated persons to make the system work.

“They must have a new system for devlivering legal services.

“We must rethink some day the context to protect property, to protect the environment, protect communal property that’s not just the source of sustenance for the original peoples but for many people who work and live and farm an area in Africa which show great promise in which small communal houses become stewards of the land.

“So the process of the law, the legal structure, the substance of the law in these countries has to change.

“Now, the problem is that if you were to go to a nation and the nation and the people were convinced that some specific changes had to be made — it would take decades, perhaps a lifetime, to show that real results were being made.

“What about the meantime? What about the young people?

“The definition of young people is impatience. What do you tell these young people?

“And there are not ’12 angry young men out there (a reference to the 1957 movie 12 Angry Men which portrayed a sequestered jury) — there are 12 times twelve million.

“There are 12 times twelve million angry young men out there who want justice, we want a better life, and want it now.

“As I’ve indicated, the law is something that goes from the general to the specific, and then goes from the specific to the general, and then back to the general and back to the specific.

“That’s what the case system is about — it’s as simple as that.

“When high school students come to visit me I say, “What do you think of those books on the wall are about?’

“Those books are the stories of human mistakes. Mistakes, misjudgement, malfeasance, malice, hopeless, copeless. And there are stories to tell.

“And so we must find narrative stories to tell these young people, and there are stories to tell.

“We can tell them about the dates that nine-year-old girls were kidnapped or sold by their own families to be held in houses where they become objects of the commission of the basest acts and most depraved acts that were committed by people who are so-called tourists.

“You can tell them in general that without the people here in Bangladesh they must serve 365 days in jail for want of a three dollar fine.

“You can tell them about a regulation, an official regulation, in the Republic of the Congo that it requires them to pay five dollars to file a complaint before your complaint will be investigated.

“You can tell them that there are prisons in many countries where dozens of people have been held for ten years with no trial whatever, no medical care, no visitors.

“You can tell them about a jail in Africa where three people had been shot and had gangrene because they hadn’t been treated for a month and a half.

“And as some of you read, the panel which your association had yesterday discussing the legacy of Nuremberg, you would know about the mass graves that are being found in Columbia, of the ongoing and looming greater disaster in Darfu.

“You will tell these young people that and you would have to say, ‘You’re right. There is crime. There is oppression. There is injustice.

“And we as and assocation, and we as a nation, can say, ‘Here is your cause.’

“Here is a cause for your passion, and for your youth, and your energy.

“We know that passion, as much as rationality, is dominant in the mindset of young people. Here’s something for your passion the law has to do.

“The law need not be a barrier to progress.

“If you stand with us we’ll all figure it out, but if you do not do this the law will be reviled and not revered.

“And the rule of law, the primacy of law, will be much in doubt.

“Your leaders, who urged you to take the case abroad, in effect said this, ‘We know that you are the lawyers of America but you have to be the lawyers for America.’

“What you have to do is understand that the rule of law cannot bring about security unless you address these problems in those other countries on whom we are so interdepent.

“And if there is any doubt about the fact that this association of American lawyers plays has no role in American society is still open and is still subject to change, and is still searching, they’re still working, look at the program that you had here over the last week.

“We want to help to bring the change.

“There is hurt to be assauged. There is inequality yet to be acknowledged, and there is injustice yet to be confronted.

“We want to know it. We want to make that plea.

“And the fact that you’ve done it is a cause of celebration.

“You might ask, ‘Why if there is a cause of celebration that I trespass upon your patience by listening to this tale of woes it’s difficult for the audience. What are you supposed to do with it — are you going to heave the mandatory sigh of despair and then go on with objects close to hand because there is no concrete solutions being offered?’

“But there is a lot of choice. In many countries unjust laws are seen as teaching that just laws cannot be effective, and that is not our heritage. That’s not our purpose.

“And so your view, your mettle, is very beautiful for giving definition, its purpose, and its design.

“It gives me an opportunity to thank you and to acknowledge your roles that you play, and to tell you once again that the work of freedom has just begun.”

Anthony Kennedy was born in Sacramento on July 23, 1936, and worked as an attorney in San Francisco from 1961 through 1963.

He recalls the San Francisco era as one in which hard-wired activists would long for 2:00 a.m. to arrive when the early edition of the San Francisco Chronicle became available as well as the best bars to await that bewitching hour.

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A baseball fan, Kennedy received two baseballs yesterday from the ABA honoring his lifelong service — one signed by Hank Aaron and the second ball signed by Barry Bonds.

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Kennedy married Mary Davis.

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Mary Davis Kennedy with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

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Grandson Reese, left, with father Greg Kennedy and grandparents

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ABA Medal of Honor

Kennedy received his B.A. from Stanford University and the London School of Economics, and his LL.B. from Harvard LawSchool. He was in private practice in San Francisco, California from 1961–1963, as well as in Sacramento, California from 1963–1975.

From 1965 to 1988, he was a Professor of Constitutional Law at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

He has served in numerous positions during his career, including a member of the California Army National Guard in 1961, the board of the Federal Judicial Center from 1987–1988, and two committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States: the Advisory Panel on Financial Disclosure Reports and Judicial Activities, subsequently renamed the Advisory Committee on Codes of Conduct, from 1979–1987, and the Committee on Pacific Territories from 1979–1990, which he chaired from 1982–1990.

Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1975. President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat February 18, 1988.

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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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BARRY BONDS threatens to sue ‘anyone who makes false or misleading statements about him’

BY JEFF SHUTTLEWORTH

Now that Barry Bonds has passed Henry Aaron to become baseball’s all-time home run king, he’s threatening to sue anyone who makes false or misleading statements about him, two Bay Area attorneys said today.

Attorneys John Burris of Oakland and Todd Schneider of San Francisco said Bonds has retained them “in connection with legal issues arising from the myriad of false statements attributed to him by players, the media and others.”

The attorneys, who are veteran civil rights litigators, said they believe “such statements are defamatory and have legal consequences.”

They said they “want the public to know that Barry’s silence in the face of the accusations should not be construed as an admission of any kind.”

In fact, Burris and Schneider said Bonds retained them “because of the false nature of these statements.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has spend three years investigating allegations that Bonds perjured himself in denying that he used steroids to help him chase the home record and that he committed tax evasion for allegedly not reporting income from baseball card shows.

A federal grand jury is looking at the allegations, but Bonds has never been charged.

Burris and Schneider said “it is shocking and offensive to Barry’s civil rights” to have such a lengthy investigation “when the chief witnesses are an alleged former girlfriend who is seeking to exploit her relationship with Barry by ‘telling all’ to Playboy and a disgruntled former business partner whose cheating Barry reported to the FBI.”

Burris and Schneider said they “strongly believe that this investigation should be closed down and the lead investigator should be investigated himself for gross misconduct.”

In a phone interview, Burris said, “Barry’s major concern is statements that have been attributed to him that are false and go to alleged criminal conduct.”

Burris said Bonds is concerned that the alleged false statements by witnesses would taint the jury pool if he ever is indicted by a federal grand jury and that “it would appear that he is admitting to something.”

Burris said Bonds didn’t speak out while he was pursuing the home run record, which he finally achieved last week, because “he was highly focused on setting the record and didn’t want to break his concentration.”

Bonds’ silence until now “was never an admission” of wrongdoing, Burris said.

Burris said he and Schneider acknowledge that Bonds is a public figure and people have a right to voice their opinions about him, but they believe there is no right to make false statements and attribute them to Bonds.

In their statement, they said as lawyers “we can make sure that everyone understands there are limits to free speech and that for those who cross the line there will be a price to pay.”

Burris and Schneider said, “Those who attempt to profit on false and misleading statements are on notice that we will protect Mr. Bonds’ rights to the full extent of the law.”

In the phone interview, Burris said, “This is not an effort to sue newspapers or book publishers,” but he said, “we will be looking at past and future statements attributed to him (Bonds).”

Burris said Walnut Creek attorney Michael Rains is still representing Bonds during the ongoing criminal investigation.

Bay City News

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SAN FRANCISCO POLICE OFFICER killed in accidental shooting

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Officer James Gustafson receives his badge from Police Chief Fong during graduation ceremonies in January.
PHOTOS BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

San Francisco police officers are grieving the death of Officer James Gustafson, who reportedly shot himself with his gun on accident in his San Mateo home early Saturday and later died.

“The San Francisco Police Department mourns the loss of Officer James Gustafson,” Sergeant Steve Mannina said in a statement today.

“A tragic accident took the life of this young man, who was part of our police family for only little more than a year. Our deepest sympathy is with Officer Gustafson’s family and friends at this most difficult of times.”

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Officer James Gustafson exits the graduation ceremony.

The 23-year-old officer was transported to Stanford Medical Center after his gun went off and struck him, according to San Mateo police Captain Kevin Raffaelli. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, Rafaeilli said.

Gustafson had served as a patrol officer for just over a year and had been working out of San Francisco’s Central Station for a short time following his completion of the police academy, according to Mannina.

Bay City News

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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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OP-ED: Jewish Olympians must shine light on Chinese abuses

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Jewish and Israeli athletes have a responsibility to help ensure that the world does not make the same mistake.

BY PETER GANONG AND DANIEL HEMEL

In the summer of 1936, a year after the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws, the world turned a blind eye to Nazi Germany’s genocidal intentions as Hitler hosted the Olympics in Berlin. With next summer’s games set to take place in Beijing.

This time the Jews are not the victims. Rather, China’s victims are the 1.2 million Tibetans who have died as a result of Beijing’s invasion of the previously independent Buddhist nation. They are the untold thousands of dissidents and prisoners of conscience who will be kept out of view in modern-day gulags while the world’s attention is focused on the action inside Beijing’s ultra-modern sporting arenas. They are the 200,000 or more Darfuris who reportedly have been killed as a result of the genocidal campaign waged by the Beijing-backed Sudanese regime.

HITLER’S GAMES

China’s state oil company owns the largest stake in the consortium that is developing Sudan’s petroleum industry, and China buys about four-fifths of all Sudanese oil exports. An estimated 70 percent of the oil profits in Sudan are spent on a military that lays waste to Darfuri villages.

To stand by idly while the blood of others is shed would be un-Jewish.

One Jewish luminary who isn’t staying silent is Steven Spielberg, who has threatened to resign as artistic adviser to the games unless China changes course in Darfur. His demand, he explained in a letter to Chinese leader Hu Jintao, stems from his “personal commitment to do all I can to oppose genocide.”

Unfortunately, other Jewish leaders don’t seem to share that commitment. The president of the Israeli Olympic Committee, Zvi Varshaviak, said last month that in light of its experience, Israel “will continue to act towards keeping politics outside of sport in general and the Olympic Games specifically.”

Would Varshaviak also have remained silent in light of the Jewish experience at Berlin?

We are not proposing a boycott. Olympic boycotts have been tried before — Israel, the United States and five dozen other countries stayed away from the 1980 Moscow Games to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. But this time a boycott might shift attention away from Beijing when the goal instead should be to cast a spotlight squarely on China — on its human rights abuses and its support for genocide.

Indeed, human rights activists across the globe have teamed up to brand Beijing 2008 “the Genocide Olympics.” The Genocide Olympics campaign is a “nightmare” for the Chinese hosts and their corporate sponsors, according to BusinessWeek magazine. But that nightmare pales in comparison to the daily nightmare of Darfuris, Tibetans and the democracy activists in Chinese prisons.

If the numbers from 2004 are any guide, more than 60 Jewish athletes — about half from Israel — will participate a year from now in the Beijing Games. They can play an important role in the Genocide Olympics effort.

Regardless of whether they are dressed in the blue-and-white uniform of Israel, the blue and red of the U.S, or the blue and yellow of Australia, they can wear the green wristbands that have become the symbol of the Save Darfur movement worldwide. When television cameras zoom in on Jewish athletes, the green bands will be a reminder of the ruthlessness of the Beijing regime. And the bands will be a powerful sign that on the most important human rights issues facing the world today, Jews will not remain on the sidelines.

When Jewish sports stars take their place among athletes from the 200-plus nations at the Games, they should also join ranks with the activists who have signed on to the Olympic Dream for Darfur Campaign — a list that includes Ira Newble of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Ruth Messinger of the American Jewish World Service and the actress Mia Farrow.

Organizers of the campaign recently lit an alternative Olympic torch near the Chad-Darfur border and are carrying it to locations of past mass murders across the world — including a Holocaust site in Germany — en route to its final destination in China.

Seventy-two years after Berlin, Jewish athletes from Israel and around the world will have the opportunity to speak out for justice in the same circumstances under which other nations were all too willing to stay silent. If Jewish athletes take the lead, next year’s Olympic flame will shed light on the bloodshed that Beijing has carried on in darkness.

THE WHOLE WORLD WAS WATCHING

Peter Ganong is an intern at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a third-year economics student at Harvard, where he has advocated for Darfur on campus. Daniel Hemel is a first-year international relations student at Oxford.

Global News Service of The Jewish People

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COMMITTEE KILLS Daly anti-Blue Angels measure – Newsom looking forward to next Blue Angels Airshow

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A committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today killed a motion to end Blue Angels airshows over the City.

Following two hours of public testimony, the three-member Government Audit and Oversight Committee voted 2-1 to table the measure authored by Supervisor Chris Daly.

Committee Members Sean Elsbernd and Michela Alioto-Pier voted in favoring of tabling the item. Member Chris Daly voted not to table.

Mayor Gavin Newsom released a statement following the committee action:

“While at the present time our country may be involved in an unpopular war in Iraq, it does not lessen my support of the members of the United States Armed Forces nor of the significance of the City honoring our troops and their families during the annual San Francisco Fleet Week events.

Fleet Week and the Blue Angels airshow are enormously popular with tourists and residents — generating significant amounts of revenue for the tourism and hospitality industries. Tax revenue generated by Fleet Week helps support city services such as police, fire, parks and recreation, schools, arts and cultural organizations, and other city programs.

“I look forward to the return of the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron this coming October — an opportunity to once again celebrate San Francisco’s rich naval and maritime heritage,” stated Newsom.

See Related: MICHAEL SAVAGE receives second day of marketing bonanza

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SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR CHIDES BARACK OBAMA for framing ‘civil unions’ preferable to ‘marriage equality’

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

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

The leading Democratic contender for President of the United States arrived in San Francisco Friday to receive endorsement from a big city mayor still blamed by some for Democratic presidential defeat in 2004.

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Chris Andrews of The Academy of Sciences welcomes the former First Lady, current US Senator, and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton with San Francisco Mayor Gaven Newsom who Friday endorsed the Senator.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) stood before national media at Gavin Newsom’s side to accept his endorsement on the very day filing deadline passed for major City candidates to take a shot at defeating Newsom re-election November 2007.

None took the shot.

In the end — and in a town where a priest at San Francisco touchstone Saints Peter and Paul Church still tells parishioners the worst decision of the priest’s life was telling parishioners to vote for Gavin Newsom — all potential major candidates declined the challenge.

The priest early viewed Newsom as a two-term City supervisor from the upscale Marina District, a devout Roman Catholic, an articulate young man with commanding presence, a man who patterned his values on those demanded by Robert F. Kennnedy.

Newsom reminded other people of Camelot and quickly became the fair haired boy of national Democratic politics when first elected to San Francisco mayoralty.

But within weeks of his election, from atop America’s Shining City on The Hill, Newsom did something a little funny, something that made America think there might be something a little wrong with him — Newsom made it legal for America’s disdained steers and queers to get a Marriage License in his town.

It only took a day to retype the San Francisco Marriage License template from “man” or “woman” to “spouse,” and as quickly as they rolled off the presses Newsom lost his bling everywhere except in his City that knows how.

He was shunned by California and national Democrats, by the Church pitching a mother’s knee to abide, by old friends, by resilient old fears.

Yet Newsom drew serenity in the confessional, his heart did not waver, and his political gut was vindicated nationally yesterday, August 10 2007.

Hillary Clinton, like the rest of Democratic and Republican America, supports civil unions for LGBT couples as national policy because that’s where the power of Gavin Newsom’s act has moved the world body politic.

While it falls short of marriage equality, national support for civil unions was unthinkable five years ago.

Clinton’s pilgrimage to Newsom, not vice versa, blonded Newsom’s hair once again, if streaked now with strands of gray.

Friday evening Newsom was honored by the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association of the American BAR Association, and shared his ‘gay marriage’ experience with a frankness not heard before.

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

“You always look back; was it the right thing to do, the timing issue, was there a better approach, could you have just used the legal process to advance litigation,” Newsom begain.

“I never — ever, ever, ever — could have imagined that I would have been identified with this issue as I’ve been identified.

“It’s not something I campaigned on, it’s not something that frankly I gave a lot of thought to.

“It was circumstantical. I was reacting to something. I felt powerless and I said, ‘Migawd, I’ve been given this incredible gift to be the mayor of this City I love so dearly.’

“And I have an opportunity to at least put a human face on this issue and that’s all we were really trying to do.

“We were trying to do something that you can’t do any other way except by forcing people to reconcile a different type of reality than their own. Not in the abstract but to look at that narrative and look at the story of life at the time of the two people we had in mind — Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin.

“And to sit there and to have to defend why it is that a 51-year relationship of faith, love and trust was somehow ‘lesser’ than your five-week relationship going to Vegas to say ‘I do.’

“And so for that I make no apologies, and I’m really proud of that moment.

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Liz Mangelsdorf Photo

“Today we were with Hillary Clinton… who could have imagined honestly that the Democratic candidates would have ever agreed to debate (the issue).

“And who here honestly can tell me they could have imagined… that the mainstream position, not just the Democratic Party but arguably the Republican Party, Dick Chenery, would have changed so much

“I heard Monday morning that George Bush says the same thing, and countless others, that the mainstream position on marriage equality is civil unions.

“Democrats five years ago still had a hard time five years ago with domestic partnerships. Republicans in most cases never even wanted to reflect upon it.

“But now everbody has jumped to the easier question of equality by immediately attaching themselves to civil unions — a safer position and the more mainstream position.

“That shows how far we’ve come in just a few short years.

“I don’t look back as if the last few years where we lost some court decisions, or some states have moved to try to close the door on marriage equality as failures.

“I don’t look back at those examples as setbacks because the door has opened.

“And it’s wide open and there’s no way they will ever be able to close it.

“And with respect to what Barack said, and I have great admiration for him, it’s just simply not true.

“Civil Unions are lesser than marriage.

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“Respectfully, for the same reason that Barack Obama and others are not running to get rid of their Marriage Licenses to become civil unions.

“If you believe in full equality you’ve got to demonstrate it by stepping up, and I think eventually these guys will.

“I think in their hearts they already know its the right thing,” said an American leader who took a stand, and knew his heart.

See Related: PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AT THE FAIRMONT – ‘The Internet has made it possible for people of modest means, if they agree on one thing, to change the World’

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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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BAY AREA BUSINESSES help 12-year-old homeless boy realize dream of playing baseball overseas

A homeless 12-year-old boy will step foot on a Japan-bound airplane this afternoon to follow through with his dream of playing baseball abroad, according to a statement released by the Shelter Network.

Michael Camel, Jr. will be joined on his trip to Tokyo by his coach and team members from the San Mateo goodwill team, which consists of top players from San Mateo Little League.

Michael’s family graduated from Shelter Network’s Housing First program, which helps homeless families move from transitional housing to homes of their own, in November. During a recent follow-up interview, a case manager learned that Michael had qualified to participate in the goodwill team’s trip.

The goodwill tour, which takes San Mateo youth to the city’s sister city, Toyonaka, Japan, is part of a tradition that began in 1979.

Although Michael was eligible to partake, his family lacked the funds to send him abroad. The Shelter Network then organized a community drive to raise funding and items required for Michael’s travels.

Within one week, and with the help of Bay Area businesses, community members and Shelter Network volunteers, Michael was equipped with all he would need for his 10-day adventure as well as gifts to offer his host family upon arrival.

Michael is scheduled to depart from San Francisco International Airport at noon today.

Bay City News

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BAYVIEW HUNTERS POINT NATIVE CHERYL SMITH named Lennar community liaison – Nine year chief of Bayview Hunters Point YMCA

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Cheryl M. Smith

Lennar Urban last week appointed Cheryl M. Smith as the company’s new Director of Community Relations – a position designed to keep residents informed on all of Lennar’s Bay Area development projects.

A native of Bayview-Hunters Point, Smith brings an insider’s experience to her new role at Lennar. For nearly nine years, she served as executive director of the Bayview-Hunters Point YMCA.

Smith led her staff in the development of programs serving more than 600 youth and fulfilled a $2.5 million capital campaign goal to renovate the organization’s gymnasium.

She holds a strong background in public health as well, working at the San Francisco Department of Public Health to educate residents about the dangers of lead exposure and participating in a city wide lead abatement effort.

Smith also served as a disease control investigator, working as a liaison between the African American community and the City to address a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

Before joining Lennar, Smith most recently served as deputy director for the First 5 Contra Costa County, a public organization formed under Proposition 10 which funds health, early education, and family support programs for children ages 0 to 5.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cheryl Smith to our company,” said Kofi Bonner, President of Lennar Urban’s Bay Area Division.

“Throughout her distinguished career, Cheryl has demonstrated she clearly has the community’s best interests at heart. In her new job, she will further enhance Lennar’s significant commitment to the residents of Bayview-Hunters Point.”

In 2003, Smith was awarded one “The Ten Most Influential African Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area” by City Flight Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2001 Association of Professional Directors, YMCA Achievement Award and the YMCA’s Star Performance Award for new branch development in 1998. Ms. Smith also served on the transition team for Mayor Gavin Newsom.

She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Sciences in Urban Studies and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education.

“Working to develop the Shipyard — an area of the community that I remember as a child as being off limits — into a vibrant, beautiful, and livable environment is what brought me to Lennar,” said Ms. Smith.

“I was raised in Bayview. My mom worked at the Shipyard for 18 years, so it is personal for me to see it transformed into a neighborhood the community has long deserved.”

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AUGUST 13 Videos of The Day – NEVER GIVE UP – A PRAYER – AUGUST 13 Photo of The Day – A SAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY IN YERBA BUENA GARDENS – Babies born today will be loved by absolutely everybody – Live radar and weather forecast

August 13 Videos of The Day
NEVER GIVE UP

A PRAYER

August 13 Photo of The Day
A SAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY IN YERBA BUENA GARDENS
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PHOTO BY DAVID TOERGE
Sentinel Photography Editor
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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AUGUST 13 BIRTHDAY LORE
You are ambitious; have high ideals, determination, and energy; are very trustworthy; and strive to excel in whatever you undertake. You are sentimental and loyal and love your family above everything else. You are loved by all because of your sympathy and generosity.

AUGUST 13 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade. –Benjamin Franklin

AUGUST 13 WORD OF THE DAY
Regatta. Defintion: Originally, a gondola race in Venice; now, a rowing or sailing race, or a series of such races.

AUGUST 13 IN HISTORY
Died: Eugene Delacroix (painter), 1863. Hurricane Charley struck Florida, 2004.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 71. West wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 55. West wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 71. West wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. West wind between 8 and 11 mph.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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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FREE INDEPENDENT FILM FEST in Union Square

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The Independent Film Channel Free Film Fest will make a three-day stop at San Francisco’s Union Square as part of a nationwide tour, festival organizers have announced.

Independent films will be screened in an outdoor mini-entertainment complex from Aug. 14 through Aug. 16. Movies will be projected on a 40-by-20 inflatable air screen built specifically for the tour, according to organizers.

Pre-festival activities will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday and films will start at dusk each night of the festival.

Featured films include “Raising Arizona,” “The Princess Bride” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”

In addition to providing movie-goers with the opportunity to see films for free, the event will present local filmmakers with a chance to have their short films showcased in the Independent Film Channel’s Media Lab Lounge, an on-site venue for local filmmakers who submitted shorts online, or through Comcast’s on-demand programming.

The festival will also include an on-site collection of new and used DVDs, which will be donated to San Francisco General Hospital’s pediatric unit. Festival organizers are encouraging attendees to bring a DVD that would appeal to toddlers and teenagers.

San Francisco is the sixth stop of the 10-city tour that began in Philadelphia on July 10.

Bay City News

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SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT PARKING only $6 daily through BART program beginning August 13

A low-cost parking option for the San Francisco International Airport will be available for Bay Area Rapid Transit commuters starting Monday morning.

The program allows drivers to park their vehicles for $6 per day at selected BART parking lots, and then commute via BART to the airport, according to Lynette Sweet, president of BART board of directors.

The Federal Transit Administration approved the West Bay Airport/Long-term Permit Parking Program today, according to BART.

About 100 spaces will be available at the Colma, South San Francisco and San Bruno stations and 200 spaces at the Millbrae Station, according to Sweet.

The new West Bay parking program is mirrored after the East Bay/Long-term/Airport Parking Program, which charges $5 per day for long-term parking spaces at selected BART parking lots, according to BART.

Travelers can download parking permits from the BART website at BART.gov. To see a step-by-step demonstration on downloading permits visit BART.gov/BARTtv.

Bay City News

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August 12 Video of The Day – BACK TO SCHOOL – August 12 Photo of The Day – BEAT THIS, TULSA – Babies born today will not mean to hurt others – Live radar and weather forecast

August 12 Video of The Day
BACK TO SCHOOL

August 12 Photo of The Day
BEAT THIS, TULSA
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PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

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AUGUST 12 BIRTHDAY LORE
With more than ordinary ability, you have self-confidence and ambition and work and plan in a methodical manner. You speak quickly sometimes, but do not intentionally hurt others. You love travel and good times and want your family and loved ones to share all your pleasures. You are affectionate and loving.

AUGUST 12 ADVICE FOR THE DAY
To cure a headache, put a cake of buckwheat on your head.

AUGUST 12 WORD OF THE DAY
Dew. Defintion: Droplets of water which have condensed on objects, such as plants, which have cooled below the dewpoint temperature of the air.

AUGUST 12 IN HISTORY
Born: Cecil B. DeMille (director), 1881. A Rhode Island hurricane prevented a major British-French sea battle, 1778.

REALTIME SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER
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Sunday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 71. West wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 54. West wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 72. West wind between 7 and 11 mph.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. West wind between 6 and 11 mph.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a high near 75.

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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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SAN FRANCISCO TOURISM TOPS 15.8 MILLION VISITORS

SAN FRANCISCO ATTRACTIONS

San Francisco grew last year as a popular travel destination, says the City’s visitor’s bureau.

The City welcomed 15.8 million visitors since fiscal year ended in June, a 4 percent increase over the previous year, according to a Friday report.

Visitor spending rose more than 5 percent to $7.7 billion.

“San Francisco continues to be a very desirable destination,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, which announced its 2006-7 highlights on Friday.

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Joe D’Allesandro

Even with the positive report, D’Alessandro said the bureau wants to ensure increasing tourism and convention business.

He said he worked with the mayor’s office and the board of supervisors to sustain more funding for the re-opening of the Chicago convention sales office and for additional staffing in the Washington, D.C., sales office and San Francisco-based convention services department.

“It’s vital that we support and recognize San Francisco’s number one industry,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
PHOTO BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

“Last year tourism brought $7.7 billion to San Francisco and it’s essential that we work together to continue to attract, welcome and engage our visitors so that this number will continue to increase year after year.”

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 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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IDENTITY THIEVES keeping pace with counter techniques, American BAR Association members report

BY JULIA CHEEVER

An American Bar Association panel in San Francisco today detailed a rise in increasingly sophisticated techniques used to steal personal information, even as government agencies try to keep up with new laws and prosecution.

Spear phishing, whale phishing, pretexting and caller ID spoofing were some of the terms used to describe new techniques at a session entitled “Invasion of the Personal Information Snatchers.”

The discussion at Moscone Center West was part of the ABA’s annual meeting, which began in San Francisco Thursday and runs through Tuesday. About 9,000 lawyers are attending.

Priya Sanger, a senior lawyer at Wells Fargo Bank, said she sees two reasons why people are vulnerable to phishing, the use of fraudulent e-mails to obtain personal financial information and passwords.

“People are afraid of losing money and people are inherently helpful,” she explained.

Americans lost about $100 million in 2004-05 from phishing by criminals, Sanger said.

The attorney said two recent versions are spear phishing, in which a group of employees is targeted for the purpose of getting company information, and whale phishing, aimed at high-level executives.

Sanger said the bank cautions its customers it will never send them an e-mail asking for a password.

Deputy California Attorney General Robert Morgester outlined the growth of pretexting, or obtaining information about another person through false pretenses, often by telephone.

Each new step taken by companies to keep customers’ online billing records more secure – such as establishing a telephone number password, then replacing that with a different type of password or a secret code – is met by new techniques by pretexters to capture the information, Morgester said.

“Your system is only as strong as the weakest link,” he warned.

Morgester said Californians are aided by state laws that make it a crime to obtain phone records by pretext and to sell the information.

Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General Barry Sabin said new federal laws are in the works to increase penalties and define fraud crimes more specifically to address the new techniques.

San Francisco attorney James Brosnahan, who defended former Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn in a pretexting case, cautioned corporate lawyers in the audience to advise their clients to steer clear of questionable practices.

You don’t want to get close to the line,” he said.

State pretexting charges against Dunn were dropped in March.

On a more general topic, Brosnahan said he was concerned that U.S. Justice Department positions and Supreme Court rulings in the past three decades have diminished Americans’ legal expectation of privacy.

“If you’re not worried about this trend, you should start worrying about it,” Brosnahan said.

Bay City News

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