Archive | Home Page

Post for the home page belong in this category

SEC Says Wells Fargo Should Be Forced meet Supoenas

BLOOMBERG — Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) failed to hand over documents demanded in U.S. subpoenas and should be forced to cooperate with a probe into its sale of almost $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities, regulators said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal judge to compel the bank, the largest U.S. home lender, to deliver documents it agreed to produce under subpoenas dating from September, the agency said yesterday in a statement. The SEC said it’s looking into possible fraud by the San Francisco- based company and hasn’t concluded that anyone broke the law.

“Up until now, Wells has escaped some of the accusations that most of its competitors have suffered,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of the Inside Mortgage Finance newsletter. “It’s a credit to them that they’ve escaped as many lawsuits or challenges as they have. This may knock them off their pedestal.”

Almost four years after mounting mortgage defaults prompted unprecedented government bailouts of the financial system, regulators are still examining how banks packaged and sold home loans to investors. The SEC is looking for evidence that firms failed to disclose underlying credit weaknesses in mortgage pools and delinquencies, and has also told Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) that they may face civil claims.

The agency’s request, if granted, would give Wells Fargo 14 days to hand over 1,365 e-mails and attachments it has withheld from the SEC, according to a court filing. The bank said in a statement that enforcement action is unwarranted and that it will defend itself in court.

The watchdog is examining whether Wells Fargo misrepresented or omitted facts in offerings from September 2006 to early 2008, according to the statement. While the bank reviewed a sampling of loans and excluded those that failed to meet its standards, Wells Fargo may not have taken steps to address flaws in the remainder of the pool, the agency said.

Investigators are seeking information on the bank’s underwriting guidelines and on due diligence, according to the statement. The agency filed its request in federal court in San Francisco. Marc Fagel, the head of the SEC’s office in that city, declined to comment on the request.

“Wells Fargo believes the subpoena enforcement action is inappropriate and unwarranted and will vigorously defend itself in court,” Mary Eshet, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. The bank has cooperated with the agency and believed it had an understanding on the requested documents, which was violated by yesterday’s filing, she said.
“Wells Fargo is also confident that the SEC staff has inaccurately described its conduct with regard to residential mortgage-backed securities,” Eshet said.

Wells Fargo said in its annual report filed Feb. 28 that it received a so-called Wells notice from the SEC warning the bank that it may face civil claims tied to the sale of mortgage- backed securities. SEC lawyers send the notices when they intend to recommend that the agency take action.

Four days before, on Feb. 24, the SEC told the lender that it was considering enforcement measures, the agency said in yesterday’s court filing. The bank has attempted to use that as an “excuse to avoid complying with the subpoenas,” the SEC said in the filing.

Wells Fargo’s lawyer told the SEC that given the Wells notice, “We assumed the investigation was over and we had moved to a different phase,” according to the filing. The lawyer told the SEC that he might agree to “revisit the issue of any additional document production” after the SEC reviewed the bank’s submission.

The passages were quoted from an e-mail sent to the SEC by Wells Fargo’s outside counsel, Michael Missal of K&L Gates LLP, according to a copy provided by spokesman Ancel Martinez. Missal declined to comment.

“There is no basis for Wells Fargo’s refusal to comply with the subpoenas because a Wells notice, such as the staff provided, does not terminate the commission’s investigative power,” the SEC said in its filing yesterday.

The scope of the SEC’s probe “involves not just Wells Fargo’s own potential violations of the securities laws, but the roles played by other persons associated with the bank’s residential mortgage-backed securities offerings,” according to the filing.

The SEC said it has sent Wells notices to two individuals associated with the bank’s mortgage offerings. They weren’t named.

Continue Reading

Another Reason to Love SF: Condom Company Supports Racing Vibrator Start Up

San Francisco’s Tastee’s Condoms, the original flavored condoms that are manufactured in California, is announcing its sponsorship of a local startup venture that is producing fun vibrator racing tracks.

“As a Californian condom manufacturer, we are keen to help other local and small businesses grow,” David Ashforth of Tastee’s Condoms said. “We want to support American trade, manufacturing and the community in which we are based.”

Tastee’s Condoms has sponsored local entrepreneur Raymond Tuzi by buying manufacturing equipment in order for him to launch his business and by helping Tuzi push his product to the market by offering it to distributors who already have a business relationship with Tastee’s Condoms.

“Sponsoring Raymond’s vibrator racing track business is a win-win, buying his manufacturing equipment and introducing him to our distributors will ensure his business is a success,” Ashforth said.

These racing vibrators on racetracks will be amusing and cutting-edge entertainment for bachelorette and bachelor parties, nightclubs, bars, and college dorm parties. The Vibrator Racing Tracks are handcrafted in Northern California. Each is packaged separately and customers must self-assemble the track. No extra tools are needed, but a small screwdriver is supplied. Assembly takes about 5 to 10 minutes and the instructions are included in the package.

For more information about the Fun Vibrator Racing Tracks, view the product on the web at www.vibratorracingtrack.com.

For more information about any of Tastee’s Condom’s products, call 888-852-2833 or buy condoms on the web at http://tasteescondoms.com.

About Tastee’s Condoms

Located in San Francisco, Tastee’s Condoms is one of the best-selling condoms in the U.S. and is known to be the first creator of flavored condoms. The Tastee’s Condoms brand was acquired in 2011 by a San Francisco adult novelty company with 12 years of experience in the industry. Tastee’s Condoms is expanding its market and will soon be introducing a natural condom, a ribbed and studded condom, an Atomic Sour flavored condom and more.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/3/prweb9325666.htm

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/03/24/prweb9325666.DTL#ixzz1q49XxOZm

Continue Reading

Mayor Lee suspends Ross Mirkarimi, appoints law enforcement veteran Vicki Hennessy


Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced his suspension Sheriff Mirkarimi following his guilty plea for false imprisonment and appointing veteran law enforcement official Vicki Hennessy as Sheriff.

“Ross Mirkarimi has now pled guilty to falsely imprisoning his wife. After careful review of the City Charter and the evidence before me, I am suspending and formally charging Ross Mirkarimi with official misconduct,” said Mayor Lee. “I take this action with every conviction that I am acting on a firm legal basis and doing what is in the best interest of the people of San Francisco. I am appointing law enforcement veteran Vicki Hennessy as the Sheriff. With her nearly 35 years of experience, I have no doubt that she will get the job done, lead the Sheriff’s Department and support the good work of our Sheriff’s staff and deputies.”

Hennessy served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and Chief Deputy in the Sheriff’s Department. Hennessy joined the Sheriff’s Department in December 1975 and quickly rose through the ranks becoming the youngest captain in California law enforcement in 1983. She became Chief Deputy in 1997. She has worked in nearly every division of the Sheriff’s Department including Captain of the old San Bruno jail, City prison, the high security jail at the Hall of Justice and the intake jail at 425 7th Street. She was at various times in charge of Training, Administration, Field Services, and the Custody Division.

In 2006, Hennessy was the Deputy Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security where she developed a comprehensive Citywide strategic plan for preparing for, mitigating, responding to and recovering from disasters.

In 2008, Hennessy was named the Director of Emergency Management, where she brought a level of stability to the new department, oversaw the completion of the City’s state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center, ensured the completion of the redesign and update of the 911 Emergency Call taking center, developed the first Combined Emergency Communications Operations Manual and decreased the DEM operating budget by $11 million. Hennessy retired in 2011. She is a native San Franciscan and a Lowell High School graduate. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, a retired San Francisco police officer. They have two grown children.

Mayor Lee initiated official misconduct proceedings against Mirkarimi by directing the City Attorney to prepare the appropriate documents and notify the Board of Supervisors and the Ethics Commission, suspending Mirkarimi as Sheriff as early as Wednesday. After five days, the Ethics Commission will begin a process to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

Continue Reading

SIMS METAL MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCES PROPOSED MAJOR COMMITMENT AT PORT

Redwood City, California Shredding and Export Facility Proposed for Enhancement & Expansion

Sims Metal Management’s North American Metal’s business (Sims) announced today a proposal to strengthen its commitment to a working waterfront in the Port of Redwood City (Port) by announcing its proposed plan to embark on a major expansion and upgrade of its Redwood City facility to increase export and processing capacity, improve efficiency and further strengthen its environmental sustainability. Sims is proposing to invest upward of $10 million dollars to make its Port facility a fully integrated scrap metal export powerhouse: a full-service shredding, processing, and export facility. The proposed growth is an extension of the more than $10 million worth of investments already made to improve operational efficiencies and reduce its environmental footprint in the last two years.  Sims is a division of Sims Metal Management Limited, the world’s largest publicly traded metal and electronics recycling company, and the 11th ranked company on the Global Top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations as announced at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The contemplated expansion will help reinvigorate Port infrastructure and create much needed sustainable “green collar” industrial jobs. The potential job growth not only benefits the Port and the regional economy, but also the environment, through increased and improved recycling. This proposed expansion will potentially double the number of long-term “green collar” jobs at the facility from 60 to approximately 120, in addition to numerous construction, engineering and supporting function jobs.  It also would constitute a significant infrastructure investment in Port property, and would include both improvements to existing equipment and the addition of new types of scrap processing equipment.  The contemplated expansion will yet again allow Sims to set the bar higher on leading edge recycling in the Bay Area and Northern California.

This potential investment would also bring significant benefits to the Port, the only working deep-water port in the South San Francisco Bay and one of the few bulk cargo ports in the entire Bay Area. In continuous operation for more than 160 years, the strategically located Port is accessible by ship, rail and truck. These attributes have enabled the Port of Redwood City to become the fastest growing “small” bulk port in California and to deliver on a host of environmental and economic benefits to Redwood City and the Bay Area Region.

“Due to its mid-Peninsula location, the Port of Redwood City has shown that it is an ideal location for a major recycling operation, as evidenced by the success of our current operations. The enhancements we propose to make could double the number of well-paying “green-collar” recycling jobs, while also increasing environmental safeguards and protecting the Bay,” said Steve Shinn, President – West Region, North America Metals. “We share the belief of the Port, the City of Redwood City and the County that it is important for the region to sustain a mix of industries that offer Bay Area residents a variety of well-paying jobs, while maintaining the critical jobs/housing/open space balance.  We are committed to being part of that working waterfront and will continue to responsibly deploy our public shareholders precious capital with respect to this commitment.”

“Sims’ plan to expand its operations in Redwood City would amplify the benefits that the Port already provides to the community and region.  Redwood City can be proud of the fact that its Port is one of the largest centers of recycling in Northern California, and greater capacity for metal recycling would certainly enhance this environmental asset,” stated Greg Greenway, Executive Director of Seaport Industrial Association. “It would also advance the City’s vision of job diversity and a thriving industrial sector as part of the long-term growth of the local economy.  The New General Plan embraces the value of a working waterfront and the need to plan for a healthy Port long into the future.  Sims’ proposal is forward looking and directly in line with that goal.”

In addition to the improvements proposed for its recycling facility, Sims is supporting and would assist with other improvements to enhance the value of the Port and its utility for all users.  At the top of this list is the proposed dredging plan to deepen the Port channel and allow access by larger draft vessels. Additional priorities are the installation or improvement of other Port infrastructure and the establishment of a much-needed buffer zone through the siting of additional industrial businesses such as warehouses and light industry or through the restoration of wetlands that would separate the heavy industrial operations in the Port from other land uses located to the east of Seaport Blvd.

Sims is committed to the Port, to the region and to recycling.  Last year, Sims Metal Management shipped more than 300,000 tons of recycled steel out of the Port of Redwood City.  As one of the top 20 exporters from the United States, Sims is recognized as an important engine in the restoration of the balance of payments of the United States economy. The proposed improvements at the Port of Redwood City would increase the export tonnage from the Port considerably, resulting in more jobs and more revenue for the Port and Redwood City.  Recycling is as vital to the environment as it is to the economy: The use of recycled steel avoids the need for mining virgin iron ore for the production of new steel products. The recycled materials are captured from end-of-life vehicles, appliances and other end-of-life metal products that would otherwise end up in landfills, or left along the sides of roads or in abandoned lots.   Sims looks forward to continuing to engage in dialogue with those stakeholders interested in seeing more recycling, more jobs and an improved, stronger Port in Redwood City.

# # #


About Sims Metal Management
Sims Metal Management is the world’s largest listed metal recycler with approximately 270 facilities and 6,600 employees globally. Sims’ core businesses are metal recycling and electronics recycling. Sims Metal Management generated approximately 85 percent of its revenue from operations in North America, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, New Zealand and Asia in Fiscal 2011. The Company’s ordinary shares are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: SGM) and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SMS). Please visit our website (www.simsmm.com) for more information on the Company and recent developments.

For further information contact

Daniel Strechay
Group Director – Communications & Public Relations
Tel: +1 212 500 7430

Continue Reading

SF TRAVEL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP GRANT PROGRAM FOR “ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO” BUSINESSES

For the third year, the San Francisco Travel Association (SF Travel) will award up to ten Neighborhood Partnership Grants to unique “Only in San Francisco” businesses located throughout the city, with an emphasis on those operating outside the traditional visitor areas. The program is open to businesses that are of interest to visitors and not currently San Francisco Travel partners

Grant recipients will receive a complimentary one-year San Francisco Travel partnership (a $50 setup fee is required), including admission to events such as the San Francisco Travel Annual Luncheon, Market Briefings, Outlook Forums and Partner Business Exchanges. They will receive all of the benefits of San Francisco Travel partnership such as listings online and in publications, and access to the Convention Calendar.

The Neighborhood Partnership Grants also include mentoring by San Francisco Travel professional staff and partners experienced in working with the association.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2012. The application is available online under “Forms” athttp://www.sanfrancisco.travel/partners/resources.html.

“Over the past two years, we have discovered some wonderful businesses in our city’s diverse neighborhoods. The Grants program helps us to include more of these lesser-known gems in our marketing programs,” said San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. “Our overall goal with the program is to draw more visitors into the city’s unique and fascinating neighborhoods, while helping small businesses grow and succeed.”

Grant recipients will be selected based on several criteria, including the unique-to-San Francisco nature of the business, the potential to attract visitors to their neighborhood and their commitment to participate fully in the program.

A panel including representatives of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the San Francisco Office of Small Business and San Francisco Travel staff will interview finalists.

The businesses selected for the 2011/2012 class of Neighborhood Partnership Grants will be honored at SF Travel’s Annual Luncheon on June 21. Businesses selected in this year’s class are:

Bayview Opera House – 4705 Third St. (Bayview District), 415-824-0386, www.bvoh.org The only theater in San Francisco to survive the 1906 earthquake, the Bayview Opera House was inducted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 23, 2011. Today, it is home to multi-cultural artistic events, celebrating the diversity of Bayview Hunters Point.

Favor, featuring Hotcakes Design – 2420 Polk St. (Russian Hill), 415-563-2741, www.shopatfavor.com Upstairs, original jewelry is designed, carved and assembled in cast resin, silver and acrylic. Downstairs, shoppers delight to colorful and unique vintage-inspired and modern accessories.

Grub Crawl – Citywide, 415-515-6256, www.grubcrawl.com Perfect for San Francisco, Grub Crawl combines a walking tour with a progressive dinner among three restaurants per evening. The three-hour tour appeals to everyone from single visitors to groups.

Real Food Company – 2140 Polk St. (Russian Hill), 415-292-3345, www.realfoodco.com Since 1969, Real Food Company has been a natural grocery store that is ahead of the curve in providing healthy, organic, seasonal, sustainable, locally grown food. This may be the only grocery store in the world that offers guided tours by a certified nutritionist.

STUDIO Gallery – 1815 Polk St. (Russian Hill), 415-931-3130, www.STUDIOGallerySF.com For eight years, this gallery has featured local artists and accessible, representational works, often of local scenes. Special shows are inspired by topics such as food and drink, California landscapes and urban scenes.

Swankety Swank – 289 Divisidero St. (Lower Haight/NOPA), 415-932-6615, www.swanketyswank.com “Honoring Beauty, Earth & Age,” the boutique offers art furniture, green home décor and upcycled fashion for women, men and children – all locally produced.

Tacolicious – Recently opened at 741 Valencia St. (Mission District), www.tacolicioussf.com Conceived at the Ferry Building Farmers Market and born in the Marina district, Tacolicious brings the Mission an irreverent menu, authentic Mexican cuisine and robust cocktails like “Tickle Me Telmo.”

Under One Roof – 518A Castro (Castro District), 415-503-2300, www.underoneroof.org Volunteer-staffed, the store raises funds for 23 different AIDS service organizations in the Bay Area through sales of its unique gift merchandise. The store features cards, San Francisco and Pride items, humorous gifts and holiday merchandise, much of it from local artisans or donated by generous manufacturers.

Urban Bazaar – 1371 Ninth Ave. (Inner Sunset), 415-664-4422, www.UrbanBazaarSF.com Each of the items at the boutique has a story, told on tags attached. Locally handmade and Fair Trade items change by the season and include jewelry, baby goods and San Francisco-themed gifts.

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination. With more than 1,500 partners, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest partnership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. Tourism, San Francisco’s largest industry, generates in excess of $7.8 billion annually for the local economy. San Francisco Travel’s business offices are located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103. San Francisco Travel also operates the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets. For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visitwww.sanfrancisco.travel.

Continue Reading

Mayor Lee announces opening of Canadian Technology Accelerator in Mission Bay

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today joined by Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) announced the opening of a Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA@MissionBay), a new biotech incubator for Canadian life sciences firms. Located at UCSF’s Mission Bay Campus, the Canadian Technology Accelerator brings four new life sciences companies to San Francisco.

“San Francisco sits firmly at the intersection of cutting edge life sciences innovation and global collaboration,” said Mayor Lee. “The opening of the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Mission Bay underscores the strength of San Francisco’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and reinforces the City’s place as the ‘Innovation Capital of the World.’ I am thrilled to welcome these four new Canadian life sciences companies to San Francisco and want to thank Ambassador Doer and QB3 for their leadership in making the CTA a reality.”

“Collaboration is the lifeblood of life sciences, because it fuels inspiration, leverages research, and multiplies commercial opportunities across borders,” said Ambassador Doer. “This partnership is literally a technology accelerator – it marries Canada’s world-class basic research institutions and life sciences companies with QB3’s proven expertise in translating science to commercial success. Faster commercialization means greater ROI, and that means greater success for both our economies.”

With today’s announcement, San Francisco is now home to 108 life sciences companies, up from just two life sciences companies eight years ago. This growth has been driven by San Francisco’s aggressive focus on developing Mission Bay, attracting established biotech firms and supporting new start-ups and spinouts from UCSF. The City continues to build on the work of Mayors Brown and Newsom which included the approval of the Mission Bay Redevelopment Plan, the passage of the biotech payroll tax exclusion and the recruitment of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

The opening of the CTA marks San Francisco’s fifth biotech incubator. The City through the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) has worked closely with QB3 through the BioSFinitiative to support the growth of new biotech companies in San Francisco.

“Mission Bay has established itself as a world center for bioscience entrepreneurs. These new companies join a community that is rapidly becoming a United Nations of innovation,” said QB3 Director Regis Kelly, PhD. “We welcome Canada’s entrepreneurs to the QB3 incubator network.”

Canadian companies are chosen for the accelerator based on their ability to grow locally and globally. The first group of four are: Aquinox, BioMark, Clinisys, and Precision Nanosystems.

“This initiative recognizes the continued importance of San Francisco as a global hub for the life sciences industry and an important entry point for Canadian companies like ours that have built strong international programs,” said Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Chief Medical Officer David Chernoff. “It provides a unique opportunity for a small company to formalize its presence and broaden its business relationships.”

The Canadian Technology Accelerator is joining QB3’s network of five bioscience incubators in San Francisco and Berkeley, and will be the newest members of the QB3 Digital PharmChem Garage, housed on the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Together, those incubators have helped launch 60 bioscience companies in the last six years, ranging in focus from biofuels to new therapeutics for cancer. Those startups have gone on to hire more than 280 employees and raise $226 million in follow-on funding during one of the sharpest recessions in the nation’s history.

The four companies located at the Canadian Technology Accelerator are:
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals – a private, venture-backed pharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel and targeted small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory disease and cancer.
BioMark Technologies Inc. – a Canadian based medical diagnostic technology company developing an inexpensive and non invasive screening test for cancer that detects intracellular enzyme activity. This technology is small molecule based versus proteomics-based, which reduces complexity and lowers cost to the health care/delivery industry.
BioMark Technologies Inc. – a Canadian health informatics company offering software and services to the healthcare industry. Its flagship product is a robust, secure, and scalable web-based Clinical Intelligence Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.
Precision NanoSystems, Inc. (PNI) – has developed proprietary microfluidic devices for the simple, rapid, reproducible and cost-effective manufacture of next-generation lipid nanoparticles (LNP). LNP can be engineered to package and deliver a wide range of bioactive agents to cells and tissues in the body, including conventional or biologic drugs for disease treatment and imaging agents for disease diagnosis.

About CTA@MissionBay

The Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco and Silicon Valley developed the Canadian Technology Accelerator Program – a program designed to support growth in Canadian technology companies by giving them access to the unique resources of the Bay Area. The CTA consists of in-Canada qualification (e.g. preparation seminars); continued help for qualified companies in San Francisco (Maple Tree Life Science Forum held annually in May); and a longer stay in the Consulate-operated CTA@MissionBay. CTA also arranged mentoring with C100 members (successful expats in the Bay Area) and local venture and technology partners, and an opportunity to spend up to six months in San Francisco to pursue business growth objectives.

About QB3

QB3 is a cooperative effort among private industry and more than 220 scientists at UCSF, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. One of four technology institutes created in 2000 by former California Governor Gray Davis, QB3 has a joint mission of supporting science, driving the California economy and transforming scientific research into public good.

Continue Reading

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk – opens at the de Young Museum, 3/24

Sean Martinfield Arts Contributor

Opening on March 24th and continuing its strong track record of exhibitions highlighting the work of the innovators and iconoclasts of the world of fashion, the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park presents, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first exhibition devoted to the celebrated French designer and his personal themes of “equality, diversity and perversity.” The de Young is the exclusive west coast venue for this critically acclaimed international exhibition after its premier at the organizing institution, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and its presentation at the Dallas Museum of Art. The exhibition will be on view at the de Young in the Herbst Exhibition Galleries from March 24–August 19, 2012. Click here for ticket information: GAULTIER

jean-paul-gaultier-parisiennes-collection

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER. Parisiennes collection, Les Particules élémentaires dress haute couture fall/winter 2010-2011. Photo, Patrice Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier

Dubbed fashion’s “enfant terrible” from the time of his first runway shows in the 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier is indisputably one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades. Very early on, his avant-garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up—with invariable good humor—established societal and aesthetic codes. More of a contemporary installation than a fashion retrospective, this major exhibition—which the couturier considers to be a creation in its own right—features approximately 140 ensembles spanning over 35 years from the designer’s couture and ready-to-wear collections, along with their accessories, and numerous archival documents. Many of these extraordinary pieces have never before been exhibited.

“Was there ever a more perfect match than Jean Paul Gaultier and San Francisco?” asked John E. Buchanan, Jr., the recently deceased director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “This exhibition fuses the energy of street culture with haute couture craftsmanship and presents it through the lens of cutting edge multimedia that is synonymous to the Bay Area. As the exclusive venue for previous exhibitions of the work of Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent and Cristobal Balenciaga, we know the Bay Area is ready to explore the oeuvre of yet another master of design, Jean Paul Gaultier.

FAMSF curator of costume and textile arts Jill D’Alessandro expands, “Gaultier catapulted on to the fashion scene with his unconventional approach that drew inspiration from television, film, music and street culture. For the last four decades he has remained a catalyst for our times. This dynamic exhibition is a truly multi-media extravaganza complete with animated mannequins, runway clips and video excerpts from his extensive film and music collaborations, and succeeds in capturing the raw, sometimes chaotic energy that defines our contemporary lives and Gaultier’s world.”

“I wanted to create an exhibition on Jean Paul Gaultier more than any other couturier because of his great humanity,” explained Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “Beyond the technical virtuosity, an unbridled imagination, and ground-breaking artistic collaborations, Gaultier offers an open-minded vision of society, a crazy, sensitive, and sassy world in which everyone can assert his or her own identity through a unique ‘fusion couture.’”

Keenly interested in all the world’s cultures and countercultures, Gaultier has picked up on the current trends and proclaimed the right to be different, and in the process conceived a new kind of fashion in both the way it is made and worn. Through twists, transformations, transgressions and reinterpretations, he not only erases the boundaries between cultures but also the sexes, creating a new androgyny or playing with subverting established fashion codes.

A celebration of Gaultier’s daring inventiveness and humanist vision, this exhibition pays tribute to his cutting-edge fashion and explores the audaciously eclectic sources of his ideas. “Jean Paul Gaultier,” notes Thierry-Maxime Loriot, originating curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, “initiates trends rather than following them, which explains why he is still relevant after more than 35 years of creation. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is not simply reminiscent of the past, but rather a link to the present as seen through the eyes of the couturier. By paying tribute to different cultures, mixing pop culture and couture, breaking the codes of fashion and taboos of society, you realize how open-minded and generous Gaultier’s fashion is. This unique exhibition offers visitors access to the world of Jean Paul Gaultier and haute couture, as well as articulating the strong social message behind his work, which truly defines his very own distinctive aesthetic.”

emil-larsson-body-corset-worn-by-madonna

EMIL LARSSON. Body corset worn by Madonna. Blond Ambition World Tour, 1990. Dazed & Confused, April 2008. Photo, Emil Larsson

The multimedia installation is organized along six different thematic sections tracing the influences, from the streets of Paris to the world of science fiction, that have marked the couturier’s creative development:

  • The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier—begins the exhibition with an exploration of several signature Gaultier motifs – the blue and white striped sailor shirt in all its themes and variations, spectacular mermaids and virgins, and welcomes the visitor with singing mannequins and a special cameo by the designer himself.
  • The Boudoir—explores Gaultier’s fascination with lingerie and underpinnings culminating in his signature collaboration with Madonna for her Blonde Ambition tour.
  • Skin Deep—a risqué, provocative gallery featuring garments inspired by themes of bondage and body art.
  • Punk Cancan—features the dichotomy between the typical upscale French couture client and the street punks of London.
  • Urban Jungle—a multicultural clash of influences including Hussars, Mongolians, Hassidic Jews, Frida Kahlo and China. This gallery includes highlights of Gaultier’s haute couture detailing with unusual materials and techniques on view.
  • Metropolis—concludes the exhibition with a presentation of Gaultier’s work for film, performance pieces and his relationships with pop icons such as Kylie Minogue and Tina Turner.

Sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from films, runway shows, concerts, videos, dance performances and even television programs on view further explore how his avant-garde fashions challenged societal and aesthetic codes in unexpected, and often humorous ways. The many legendary artistic collaborations that have characterized Gaultier’s global vision are examined in film (Pedro Almodóvar, Peter Greenaway, Luc Besson, Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet); contemporary dance (Angelin Preljocaj, Régine Chopinot and Maurice Béjart); and within the realm of popular music through performers such as Madonna, whose friendship with Gaultier has led her to graciously lend two iconic corsets from her 1990 Blonde Ambition World Tour that launched the cone bra into fashion iconography.

Fashion photography is also a major focus of attention, thanks to loans of never-before-seen prints from contemporary photographers and renowned contemporary artists including Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Erwin Wurm, David LaChapelle, Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Pierre et Gilles, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Paolo Roversi and Robert Doisneau.

paolo-roversi-tanel-bedrossiantz-19921

PAOLO ROVERSI. Tanel Bedrossiantz, 1992. Barbès collection. Women’s prêt-à-porter fall/winter 1984–1985. Photo, Paolo Roversi

An innovative exhibition design by the Paris-based architectural and stage design company Projectiles, showcases the couturier’s designs, as well as prints and video clips, illustrating many of Gaultier’s artistic collaborations. Throughout the galleries, thirty unique mannequins wearing remarkable wigs and headdresses by Odile Gilbert, founder of the Atelier 68 in Paris, come ‘alive’ with interactive faces created by technologically ingenious audiovisual projections, surprising visitors with their lifelike presence. Poetic and playful, the production, design and staging of this dynamic audiovisual element has been produced by Denis Marleau and Stéphanie Jasmin of UBU/Compagnie de création. A dozen celebrities, including Gaultier himself, have lent their faces—projected on to the mannequins—and often their voices to this project.

Continue Reading

THE CULT OF BEAUTY – Now At the Legion of Honor through June 17th

Sean Martinfield Arts Contributor

The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900, now at the Legion of Honor through June 17th, is the first major exhibition to explore the unconventional creativity of the British Aesthetic Movement, tracing its evolution from a small circle of progressive artists and poets, through the achievements of innovative painters and architects, to its broad impact on fashion and the middle-class home. Over 180 superb artworks on view express the manifold ways that avant-garde attitudes permeated Victorian material culture: the traditional high art of painting, fashionable trends in architecture and interior decoration, handmade and manufactured furnishings for the “artistic” home, art photography, and new modes of dress. The exhibition was previously on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The Legion of Honor is the exclusive U.S. venue. Click here to purchase tickets on-line: The Cult of Beauty

the-cult-of-beauty1

THE CULT OF BEAUTY. Photo, T.R. Crites

British Aestheticism radically radically redefined the relationships between the artist and society, between the “fine arts” and design, and between art and both ethics and criticism. The iconoclastic belief that art’s sole purpose is to be beautiful on its own formal terms stood in direct opposition to Victorian society’s commitment to art’s role as moral educator. Aestheticism is now recognized as the wellspring for both the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements. The Cult of Beauty showcases the entirety of the Aesthetic Movement’s output, celebrating the startling beauty and variety of creations by such artists and designers as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Edward Burne-Jones, E. W. Godwin, William Morris and Christopher Dresser.

walter-crane-and-william-morris

Walter Crane, Design for part of ‘Swan, Rush and Iris’ wallpaper, 1875. William Morris, Bird fabric, 1878.

The first sections of the exhibition explore this search for a new beauty both in the design creations and paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and their circle. The necessity of decorating their own homes led these bohemian characters to create furnishings of elegant and forthright form—furniture, wallpaper, textiles, and decorative objects of every type—utilizing traditional methods of construction and incorporating stylized motifs into their surface ornamentation. William Morris’s Fruit (or Pomegranate) wallpaper (1866) combines plant forms observed both first hand and those more stylized representations found in woodcuts, illuminated manuscripts and tapestries. Exhibition visitors will delight in Morris wallpapers and then wonder why exquisitely beautiful aesthetic paintings, such as Frederic Leighton’s sensual Pavonia (1858–1859) and the Pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt’s Il Dolce Far Niente (1866), shocked the conventional Victorian public. The Cult of Beauty continues to unfold in sections exploring significant aspects of the Victorian avant-garde aesthetic and its movement from the artist’s studio to middle-class drawing rooms.

william-holman-hunt-detail-il-dolce-far-niente-1866

William Holman Hunt. (Detail) Il Dolce Far Niente (1866)

An early highpoint underscores the Victorian avant-garde belief that art exists only to be beautiful, as suggested by their rallying cry “Art for Art’s Sake.” Featured is James McNeill Whistler’s 1862 Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl (notorious for its inclusion in Paris’s famed Salon des Refusés of 1863), showing his paramour and muse, Jo Hiffernan. Architect and designer Edward William Godwin’s signature ebonized sideboard (1865–1875) reveals the deceptively “modern” result he achieved by mining historic sources. Showcased is the virtuoso collaboration between Godwin and Whistler: a glorious piece of furniture titled Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Butterfly Cabinet (1877–1878). Inspiration from various disparate cultural and historic traditions is epitomized by William Eden Nesfield’s Anglo-Japanese screen (1867).

The importance of the 1877 opening of the Grosvenor Gallery (London’s progressive gallery space) for the public reception of Aestheticism is the underlying narrative in a gallery devoted to Grosvenor exhibits. Edward Burne-Jones’s monumental ode to Laus Veneris (1873–1878) sings with rich orange and red tones corresponding to Algernon Charles Swinburne’s heady and sensual poem of the same name. John Roddam Spencer Stanhope’s ambitious Love and the Maiden (1877), which reintroduced the tempera medium to modern audiences, references mythology, classical art and the paintings of Botticelli.

john-spencer-stanhope-love-and-the-maiden-1877

John Spencer Stanhope. Love and the Maiden, 1877

“Aesthetic Houses for Beautiful People, 1870s–1880s” speaks to the “artistic” lifestyle and domestic environment crafted by followers of the Cult of Beauty. Architectural and interior designs for these Aesthetes’ cultivated patrons show visitors the sophisticated color schemes that created the House Beautiful. As the wider public adopted an aesthetic veneer, commercial enterprises such as Liberty’s of London manufactured furnishing goods of all types to attract customers at every price point, from extensive redecorating to a single peacock feather for the mantelpiece. Morris & Co. continued to market signature wallpapers, fabrics and other decorator items, including the Flora and Pomona (1883–1885) tapestries designed and executed by the team of Edward Burne-Jones and John Henry Dearle.

Upstairs in Gallery 1 of the Legion, presented separately, are several Aesthetic costumes that parallel then contemporary calls of the Dress Reform Movement to liberate the Victorian woman from her corset. The dresses are set against handsome portraits of the men and women of the artistic set that adopted Aesthetic dress. James Jacques Joseph Tissot’s Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (1870) depicts one of these beautiful people in his striking military uniform lounging in a well-appointed household. One can imagine Christopher Dresser’s tea service (1880) of silver plate with ebony handles just out of view.

Idiosyncratic architect and designer of eccentric home furnishings, Thomas Jeckyll, is featured in several sections of the exhibition. His Four Seasons Gates (c. 1867) demonstrates the remarkable combination of naturalistic scrollwork in wrought iron with motifs derived from Japanese prints. This monumental piece (shown at the Paris International Exposition of 1867) introduces the final section of The Cult of Beauty.

dante-gabriel-rossetti-detail-the-day-dream-1880

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. (Detail) The Day Dream, 1880

“Late-Flowering Beauty: 1880s–1890s” delights the visitor with sumptuous paintings and emotive sculpture. A longstanding contributor to the Cult of Beauty, Dante Gabriel Rossetti helped foster a close relationship between Aesthetic painting and literature by composing poems to accompany his paintings. A sonnet on temporality featuring a sycamore tree accompanies one of his final works, The Day Dream (1880). Fine examples of book design underscore the fascination of innovative artists with the Book Beautiful, including Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris’s The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs (Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1898), and the cover designs of Le Morte Darthur by Sir Thomas Malory (1893–1894) and Salome by Oscar Wilde (1920). The installation culminates with Frederic Leighton’s life-sized bronze The Sluggard (1882–1885), which represents The New Sculpture by communicating abstract emotions. Albert Moore’s masterpiece Midsummer (1887) beautifully anticipates the Symbolist’s fascination with sleep and dreams.

catalogue

Catalogue

The essays in The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900, edited by Dr. Lynn Federle Orr and Stephen Calloway, examine the Cult of Beauty as a cultural phenomenon, looking at the Aesthetic Movement both broadly and in highly focused detail from a wide variety of perspectives and treating the material both historically and thematically. The catalogue is available in the Museum Store and online (295 pages; hardcover $65/softcover $35.95).  To purchase the catalog online:  The Cult of Beauty

Continue Reading

San Francisco Awarded Major Grant to Train and Reskill City Residents to Fill Growing Number of High-Tech Jobs

This week Mayor Edwin M. Lee launched TechSF to train and reskill San Francisco residents for the City’s growing number of technology and IT jobs, announcing a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Technical Skills Training Grants program to jumpstart funding for the City’s major new workforce training initiative. Mayor Lee was joined at the announcement at Year Up Bay Area by members of the Board of Supervisors, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Office and partners from technology companies and workforce training organizations.

“Ensuring San Francisco residents have the skills and training they need to work in our City’s growing number of high tech jobs is a cornerstone of our economic strategies and critical to making sure our economic recovery reaches every neighborhood of our City,” said Mayor Lee. “This major grant from the Department of Labor for our TechSF initiative will bring City residents, technology companies and our workforce training partners together to train and reskill our residents to ‘win the future’ for San Francisco, in the words of President Obama. I want to thank the President, Secretary Solis and Leader Pelosi for strengthening public-private partnerships and investing in workforce training for our residents so that they can get the good jobs so many of our tech companies are creating right here in San Francisco today.”

“Securing this grant and investing in TechSF will train San Franciscans for the jobs of tomorrow; spur our fast-growing IT industry; strengthen and create new career and educational pathways for San Francisco’s workforce; and meet the needs of entrepreneurs and businesses large and small,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “With this grant, we can put more people to work in high-growth, high-tech occupations, and we can ensure unemployed San Franciscans have the skills and background necessary to secure and keep good-paying jobs.”

“The federal grant awards announced today will provide U.S. workers with the training they need to succeed in the high tech, high-growth jobs of the future,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. “Developing a strong and vibrant workforce that fits the needs of American businesses is critical to forming an America built to last.”

In San Francisco, the TechSF grant will serve local jobseekers that are currently underrepresented in the IT sector, especially the long-term unemployed. In addition to providing education, training and job placement assistance, the grant will enhance sector partnerships, create new pathways to high-wage and high-growth careers, and integrate San Francisco’s education, training and industry efforts in the local Information Technology sector.

The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) partnered with WestEd, IBM, AT&T, City College of San Francisco and a consortium of San Francisco-based employers and community-based organizations to apply for this grant to create the TechSF Initiative to raise the technical skill of San Francisco workers.

The TechSF initiative is based on a highly successful program model, which includes building career pathways and training for in-demand skills in the rapidly changing technology industry. The partnership targets two groups of workers. One target group is local workers seeking jobs in the technology sector, at least 75 percent of whom will have been unemployed for longer than six months. The project intends to train and place more than 300 workers in this category into positions paying $25 – $50 per hour. The project’s employer consortium will help recruit participants, provide internship and work experience opportunities, and interview and hire participants who successfully complete the program.

The other target group is more than 1,400 employees in the San Francisco offices of IBM and AT&T who need training to remain competitive in their current jobs and advance into more highly skilled positions. Employees trained through this program currently earn an average hourly wage of $28 -$60 per hour. The TechSF initiative will result in 97 percent of all participants earning an industry recognized credential or degree, and 93 percent working in IT jobs after they complete training.

WestEd will serve as the project manager partner for this grant. WestEd is a national non-partisan, not-for-profit agency headquartered in San Francisco. Since 1966, WestEd has developed research, products, and policy for improving learning and human development.

“This workforce development project addresses the real needs of many San Franciscans,” said WestEd CEO Glen Harvey. “We’re proud and excited to collaborate with such innovative partners to increase career education opportunity in our community.”

Other companies participating in the grant program and initial TechSF initiative include AT&T, IBM Corporation, Riverbed Technology, Sega, CBS Interactive, UCSF Medical Center, Artisan Creative, CAL Insurance, The Exploratorium, Responsys, MicroMenders, Mozilla, Send Me, salesforce.com and Atlassian.

“The tech community in San Francisco is proud to play a leading role in making sure City residents get the skills and training they need to move into the City’s growing number of tech jobs, and this grant is a real boost to our collective efforts,” said Chair of the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology & Innovation (sf.citi) and Special Partner of SV Angel Ron Conway. “sf.citi is looking forward to a continued partnership with Mayor Lee and the City’s TechSF initiative to create good jobs and focused IT training programs to employ City residents.”

Creating apprenticeships and job training initiatives – whether for young people coming out of high school and college or for those in need of reskilling in the middle of their careers – are critical parts of Mayor Lee’s 17-Point Economic Plan for Good Jobs & Opportunity for San Francisco.

SEE RELATED ARTICLES:

http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=167281 ONE KINGS LANE – Brings 220 Jobs to Central Market

Mayor Lee announces the return of “Sunday Streets”, beginning March 11th

Mayor Lee and Treasurer Cisneros launch CurrenC SF Direct Deposit Program

Obama’s Proposed Federal Budget Recommends $150 Million for Central Subway Project

Obama’s Proposed Federal Budget Recommends $150 Million for Central Subway Project

RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY – Signs Long Term Lease for World Headquarters at 680 Folsom Street

Continue Reading

CRAZY HORSE – Ultra Chic Documentary on Parisian Nightclub

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Arts Contributor
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

CRAZY HORSE, the latest from documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, is the ultimate expression in backstage reality. It concerns the world renowned Parisian nightclub which is set to open a new show in about ten weeks – “Désirs”. Crazy Horse, the club, is the very last word in Nude Chic. As a legendary Parisian must-see, Crazy Horse is rivaled only by the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. An Opening Night at Crazy Horse represents the single hottest ticket in town. Wiseman and his camera crew arrive just in time to chronicle the rehearsal process and the artistic realization of “Désirs”. He will follow the show’s choreographer, world renowned Philippe Decouflé, and capture the crazy energies and frustrations that go with birthing a vision into three-dimensional marketable reality. It soon becomes clear to the choreographer – especially from the ten semi-naked perfectly matched always bare-breasted girls who would rather not have a lot of touchy-feely going on in any of the show’s many routines – that, somewhere between now and the opening, somebody or something’s gotta give.

The world of Crazy Horse is all about the enticing mystery of female eroticism. Everything is uncovered in this 2-hour documentary about arriving to and narrowing down the visual and musical expression of that essence and then exploiting it as great performance art – like nowhere else in the world. The Artistic Director at Crazy Horse, who admits to being totally obsessed with the club’s reputation for artistic perfection, describes the end product this way. “It’s a supreme achievement of beauty under various forms. I have to pinch myself to make sure I belong to this place of ultimate refinement, beauty and desire.”

zula-zazouZula Zazou. Photo, Francois Mori

Throughout his ten weeks of filming, Wiseman makes us the eye witness to the intense drama of actualizing these illusions of desire. A recurring stumbling block for choreographer Decouflé is the club’s dysfunctional system of communication between him and its technical staff, the lighting and sound designers, the costume and wig makers, and the expectations of the club’s financial backers. He suggests that Crazy Horse should close for a while, totally shut the door on its sold-out fifteen performances-a-week money maker and just start over. That doesn’t work for the club’s investors. “We claim to have the best nude dancing show in the world,” Decouflé complains to the manager, “and that we’re renewing this type of show. So give me the means to achieve it! If we want a dazzling premiere that will impress the intellectuals and all, let’s make it happen.”

Decouflé’s choreography is an amalgamation of the ultra refined and the super-erotic. Each of his separate acts is a completely realized statement about the female form divine. “You can’t do as you please with the girls,” complains the costume designer to Decouflé. “They do the splits, facing the audience or whatever. You don’t take chances with a naked girl!” The exquisite showgirls are caressed by the very latest of fine and inventive theatrical fabrics. They are bathed in projections of glittering showers, kaleidoscopic colors, polka dots and leopard spots which tease and fondle their nearly-identical and perfect bodies. The imagination is frequently stirred with the use of back-lit silhouettes. At Crazy Horse, the performer must be versed in ballet, nouveau cirque, yoga, and the raw energies of pole dancing. Allowing for a shimmer of wiggle room, the “Crazy Horse Girl” is in a category that is ultimately rare, narrowly defined, and supremely charismatic.

frederick-wisemans-crazy-horseFrederick Wiseman’s “Crazy Horse”

Towards the end of the documentary, Director Wiseman includes the audition held for replacements. By now, we recognize the candidates who are not going to make it through to the first cut. Backstage, the assistant choreographer says to the group of hopefuls, “Don’t stress out. You’ll go on stage with just a G-string and your shoes if you want. This audition is meant to see your body proportions and physical aspect. It’s not about your dancing or performing capacities. Be pretty, classy, relaxed, and push your buttocks out. We’ll see who’s a dancer and who’s not anyway.” A flat-chested transexual was the first to get bumped.

Frederick Wiseman has made 37 documentaries and 2 fiction films. Among his documentaries are Titicut Follies, Welfare, Public Housing, Near Death, La Comédie Française ou l’Amour Joué, and La Danse—Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris. His documentaries are dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray the joy, sadness, comedy and tragedy of ordinary experience. He has won numerous awards including four Emmys, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

CRAZY HORSE is now playing at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinemas in San Francisco, Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, and Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

SEE RELATED ARTICLES:

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake in 3-D for One Night in U.S. Cinemas

MAMMA MIA! – Diggin’ the Dancing Queen, now at the Orpheum Theatre

MAURICE – An Interview with Soren Santos and Alex Kirschner, now at New Conservatory Theatre Center

“UNFAITHFULLY YOURS” – Tchaikovsky and Rossini meet Noir City X

LEANNE BORGHESI – SF Bay Area Star on the Rise

Continue Reading

MOHAMMED NURU – Appointed Director of the Department of Public Works

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and City Administrator Naomi Kelly announced on Friday the appointment of Mohammed Nuru as Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW), the nationally accredited City agency responsible for keeping San Francisco beautiful, livable and sustainable.

“Mohammed Nuru is a dedicated public servant who has proven over the last decade to be one of the hardest working City employees keeping San Francisco clean, green and beautiful,” said Mayor Lee. “His track record of building bridges and partnering with the community aligns with our common commitment to maintaining the City’s infrastructure, delivering outstanding service to residents and visitors, and efficiently managing public works projects that will create jobs and help revitalize San Francisco’s economy.”

mohammed-nuruMOHAMMED NURU

“Mohammed has my full confidence to carry forward Public Works as a world-class organization,” said City Administrator Kelly. “San Franciscans will continue to benefit from his leadership and persistence, building on his numerous accomplishments from improving street and sidewalk cleanliness to the successful management of construction projects that reinvigorate and modernize the public realm.”

As Director of the Department of Public Works, Nuru oversees the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and infrastructure. DPW serves residents, merchants and visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1,200 employees, providing mechanical and manual street cleaning, graffiti removal services from public property, and maintenance and care for street structures and the public right-of-way.

DPW also designs, constructs and maintains city infrastructure and public buildings, with 200 active public projects valued at $2 billion, including the San Francisco General Hospital Rebuild, the Cruise Ship Terminal at Pier 27, Moscone Center Improvements, the Public Utilities Commission Headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, the Chinese Recreation Center, the Bayview and North Beach Branch Libraries, and neighborhood Fire Stations through the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond Program.

Nuru became Interim Director of the Department of Public Works in August 2011 when former DPW Director Ed Reiskin left to become Executive Director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). As Interim Director, Nuru has been coordinating the expansion of DPWStat, a management tool that helps enhance service delivery efficiency and has shown to improve the department’s responsiveness to street cleaning, landscaping and pothole complaints, and identify areas of opportunity for new and ongoing challenges. In addition, Nuru is overseeing a departmental technology transformation to maximize efficiency and interagency coordination.

In 2011, DPW engaged a record number of 6,600 volunteers in neighborhood cleanup and beautification efforts – a 66% increase in volunteers from the last year. Nuru manages and initiated several apprenticeship programs that give job training and have created over 150 jobs, and he also oversees the $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond, approved by voters in November 2011, that will repave streets and improve streetscapes throughout San Francisco.

During Nuru’s eleven years of service to DPW as Deputy Director for Operations, he worked closely with the City’s diverse communities, city agencies, businesses, and nonprofit groups to develop innovative programs to ensure and maintain a safe, clean, functional infrastructure. Nuru coordinated the popular Community Clean Team neighborhood volunteer cleanup events, ran the Mayor’s Corridors Program that maintains the City’s busiest merchant thoroughfares, and expanded partnerships with the communities to green sidewalks, street medians and underutilized street parks.

“Mohammed Nuru has shown an amazing capacity to recognize the needs of the neighborhoods, and he compliments that with a keen understanding of how the City operates,” said Middle Polk Neighborhood Association Chairperson Dawn Trennert. “This makes implementing solutions to complex, challenging issues easier and more timely. Our neighborhood group has worked with Mohammed on issues from simple, routine cleaning initiatives to piloting innovative new programs.”

Continue Reading

On Scene with Bill Wilson HRC Goes AFER Chad Griffin

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced that Chad Griffin, Founding Board Member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), will become the next president of HRC.

imagea Chad Griffin (Left)listens to Ted Olsen and David Boies respond to questions after a session of the federal trial. (Photo by Bill Wilson)

AFER is the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality for all Americans.

HRC is the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

“I cannot think of anyone better to take the helm of the Human Rights Campaign than my dear friend and colleague Chad Griffin,” said AFER lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson. “There is no one more passionate, more resourceful or more effective than Chad. His brilliant and visionary leadership makes me confident that one day, very soon, every American will be treated equally under the law. HRC is extraordinarily lucky to have him.”

imageb David Boies and Ted Olson (Photo by Bill Wilson)

“Time after time over the past several years, Chad has proven that he is easily one of the most skilled strategists and tacticians in American politics today,” said AFER lead co-counsel David Boies. “That is a rare combination of skill sets for one person to have. His diplomacy, his intellect and his passion for issues of equality are second to none. I cannot think of a better person to lead HRC into the future.”

imagecRob Reiner  (Photo by Bill Wilson)

“The federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, Perry v. Brown, would never have happened without the vision and tenacity of my dear friend Chad Griffin,” said AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner. “His incomparable leadership has brought us one step closer toward completing America’s last great civil rights struggle. My congratulations go out to Chad on this great honor and to the Human Rights Campaign for picking a brilliant leader as its next president.”

imaged AFER team on way to trial in District court Adam Umhoefer (left) and Chad Griffin (right) (Photo by Bill Wilson)

“Chad is a visionary leader who not only dreams the impossible, but also accomplishes it,” said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer. “His bold determination to challenge Proposition 8 in federal court combined with his ability to transcend partisan and ideological boundaries have forever changed the way the nation thinks about equality for LGBT Americans. There is no better person than Chad Griffin to lead the Human Rights Campaign and their millions of supporters.”

Continue Reading

MACYS.COM – Retail Giant Signs 15-Year Lease Expanding SF Footprint to 242,753 Square Feet

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store chain, has entered into a 242,753 square-foot lease at 680 Folsom Street in South of Market (SoMa) to house the e-commerce operations of macys.com.

“I am thrilled that we have reached this milestone of more than one million square feet of office space leased by technology firms in just the first two months of 2012. We are moving forward and relentlessly focusing on job creation here in our City and reaffirming that San Francisco is the ‘Innovation Capital of the World,’” said Mayor Lee. “With Macy’s long history in San Francisco, it is fitting that that their entire technology division is located right here in the heart of SoMa, taking advantage of the incredible talent in our City. I want to thank Kent Anderson, President of macys.com, for his leadership and commitment to San Francisco and acknowledge the hard work of the Macys.com team, TMG, and Rockwood in getting this deal done.”

Macys.com will expand by more 100,000 square feet and will occupy the top seven floors at 680 Folsom Street with a 15-year lease term. They will move to 680 Folsom in January 2014 when the building remodel is scheduled to be completed.

“Our new offices at 680 Folsom Street will provide an outstanding environment for the continued growth of macys.com as one of fashion retailing’s largest, most dynamic and customer-centric e-commerce operations,” said macys.com President Kent Anderson. “Our company’s omnichannel approach to the customer sets us apart from other retailers, and we are assembling a talented team to continue to develop the business. 680 Folsom will accommodate our needs as we move to the next level of growth.”

“Macy’s is a fantastic tenant not only for this space, but to complement the increasing broad based growth in San Francisco’s SoMa area,” said TMG Partners Chairman and CEO Michael Covarrubias. “It’s very exciting to be a part of this renewed vitality here in the City and we believe it not only indicates the strengthening of our local economy, but indicative of the positive trending in both the residential and commercial space within this area of the City.”

Macy’s lease comes on the heels of a 167,788-square-foot lease in the same 680 Folsom Street building, announced last month by Riverbed Technology. With 410,541 square feet leased, 680 Folsom Street is 80 percent leased. This shows that, as seen in 2011’s year end numbers, the technology industry continues to be a driver of office leasing in San Francisco.

More than one million square feet of office space have been leased by technology firms in just the first two months of 2012:

• Salesforce.com – 400,000 Sq Ft at 50 Fremont Street

• LinkedIn – 57,000 Sq Ft at One Montgomery Street

• Riverbed Technology – 167,788 Sq Ft at 680 Folsom Street

• Funzio – 20,000 Sq Ft at 55 2nd Street

• Kabam – 64,000 Sq Ft at 795 Folsom Street

• 6Waves – 26,405 Sq Ft at 550 Kearny Street

• StumbleUpon – 63,000 Sq Ft at 310 Brannan Street

• Macys.com – 242,753 Sq Ft at 680 Folsom Street

About Macy’s

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2011 sales of $26.4 billion. The company operates about 840 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the TMG Partners and bloomingdales.com websites. The company also operates seven Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores.

About TMG Partners

TMG Partners, founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Francisco, is a full-service real estate development and management company. TMG has developed more than 18 million square feet of property throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Emeryville, Marin City, Novato, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Jose and San Francisco. One of the most active developers in this area in the last decade, the company has developed a variety of office, retail, residential and industrial properties, ranging from office campus and multi-story properties in urban, infill locations to mixed-use retail and single-story suburban buildings.

SEE RELATED ARTICLES

RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY – Signs Long Term Lease for World Headquarters at 680 Folsom Street

Mayor Lee announces the return of “Sunday Streets”, beginning March 11th

Obama’s Proposed Federal Budget Recommends $150 Million for Central Subway Project

Continue Reading

Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought – Now at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Sean Martinfield, Arts Contributor

From the very first chapters of the Torah where one encounters them in the Garden of Eden, to the commandment Bal Tashchit (do not destroy) found in Deuteronomy forbidding their wanton destruction during wartime, trees occupy a particularly potent and symbolic place in Jewish literature and lore as expressions of paradise, regeneration, shelter, the bounty of the earth, longevity, and even as a precursor to the coming of the Messiah.

Now through May 28th, a new three-part exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought, explores the role of the tree in Jewish tradition and beyond through the lens of contemporary artists, offering fresh perspectives on ritual practice and our connection to the natural world.

The companion exhibitions include the continuation of The Dorothy Saxe Invitational, an exhibition series in which artists from diverse backgrounds and working in a range of media are invited to explore Jewish ritual objects (this year focusing on the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for the Trees), as well as a selection of work examining the tree more widely in contemporary art practice by international artists including Gabriela Albergaria, Zadok Ben David, Joseph Beuys, April Gornik, Charles Labelle, Rodney Graham, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Yoko Ono, Roxy Paine, Tal Shochat, and more. The third component is the expansion of the exhibition beyond the walls of the Museum on to the Jessie Square Plaza with a commission by the San Francisco-based environmental design firm Rebar. Click here for more information: CJM

april-gornik-light-in-the-woods-2011April Gornik, Light in the Woods, 2011

“While we were inspired to create this exhibition by the particular significance of trees in Judaism, especially now as global environmental concerns have begun to impact contemporary Jewish practice, the tree is a universally potent symbol in many cultures and religions,” says curator Dara Solomon. “Taken together, these exhibitions are an opportunity for everyone to commune with trees through video, photography, sculpture and painting – to be awed by their scale, their longevity, and their ability to encourage deeper thinking about history, the environment, and our place in it. We invite the public to consider the ancient dictum of Do Not Destroy, a commandment to not only protect trees but to dream of a better world.”

Building upon the Museum’s long-standing tradition of asking artists from a variety of backgrounds to explore a Jewish ceremonial object, holiday, or concept within the context of their own mediums and artistic philosophy, over 50 contemporary artists from across the United States have created new works of art in response to a broad range of themes inspired by the holiday Tu B’Shevat (the New Year for the Trees).

Tu B’Shevat, a minor holiday that falls in the middle of winter, has become increasingly important for many Jews, especially here in the Bay Area, who have integrated faith and concern for the natural environment in a practice of environmental Tikkun Olam (making the world a better place). Originally a 2nd century holiday necessary for tithing crops to the temple, Tu B’Shevat was revived in the 16th century by mystical Kabbalists who observed the holiday with a feast of fruits in a special vegan seder that celebrated the life-giving properties of trees. In the 20th century, the meaning of the holiday shifted again as the planting of trees in Israel became crucial to inhabiting the land and gaining independence. Today, Tu B’Shevat has gained momentum with young Jews in particular who connect with Judaism through environmentalism and social justice.

For the exhibition, each participating artist was asked to incorporate reclaimed wood into their work in some way. San Francisco designer Yves Behar fashioned the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, from a piece of bay laurel driftwood found on the beach at Bolinas. Behar’s piece is meant to suggest a reordering of our priorities. “Our awareness of nature needs to be first, like the first letter Aleph,” says Behar.

Colorado sculptor Yoshitomo Saito used a found aspen root as the basis for a work in bronze. Saito discovered that this iconic Colorado tree spreads through a root system that supports a colony of trees. While an individual tree may only live for 40-150 years above ground, the root system can survive for thousands of years. Says Saito, “The aspen root … represents not only the foundation of life but also means of survival and thriving of community.”

yoshitomo-saito-aspen-roots-for-tu-be28099shevat-2011Yoshitomo Saito, Aspen Roots for Tu B’Shevat, 2011

Also echoing this idea of endurance and its opposite, fragility, is a piece by Stanford-based artist Gail Wight who has fashioned handmade paper–a delicate and ephemeral medium–on which she has created an image of a cross section from a Devonian tree from over 400 million years ago.

Luke Bartels, a member of the Woodshop collective in San Francisco’s Sunset district, contributed a piece entitled The Wood Standard. The piece, a stack of wood shaped like bars of gold, questions the manner of ascribing value to particular materials over others–in this case positing trees or wood as valuable as gold.

Michigan artist Lynne Avadenka took inspiration from a verse in the Book of Psalms that equates happiness, equanimity, and faith with a tree: “And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water that brings forth fruit in its season and whose leaf will not wither.” Avadenka used twigs from a fallen elm in front of her house to write out the Hebrew words of this passage, photographing them and fusing the images onto glass tiles.

yuken-teruya-the-giving-tree-project-2006Yuken Teruya, The Giving Tree Project, 2006

San Francisco artist Lisa Congdon was most interested in the symbolism associated with the Tu B’Shevat seder, and particularly the progression of four glasses of wine, from white to rose to red, that are part of the ritual feast. Made up of rows of triangles of reclaimed wood, the piece reflects on the layers of meaning she saw in the wine: “feminine to masculine, light to dark, creation and growth.”

Additionally, the Museum is working with Israeli artist/designer Dov Abramson to create an installation exploring how Jewish life and the cycles of trees are intertwined. This graphic wall will take visitors through an orchard of images, ideas, and language that illuminate the Jewish relationship to trees through ancient texts, contemporary rituals, and mystical ideas.

The exhibition catalog, Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought is available in the CJM Museum Store and online. The tree is a universally potent symbol with particular significance in Judaism, especially now as global environmental concerns have begun to impact contemporary Jewish practice. Written by CJM Curator Dara Solomon, with essays by Jeremy Benstein and Mary Jane Jacob. The catalog includes images of each piece of art featured in the exhibition. Click here to order on-line; Do Not Destroy

Continue Reading

NAPOLEON (1927) – Carl Davis conducts the Oakland East Bay Symphony

Sean Martinfield Arts Contributor

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival will present the U.S. premiere of Abel Gance’s legendary silent epic NAPOLEON in its complete restoration by Academy Award-winning historian, documentarian, and archivist Kevin Brownlow, in four special screenings at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre on March 24, 25 and 31 and April 1, 2012. The screenings also mark the U.S. premiere of the orchestral score by composer Carl Davis, who will conduct the Oakland East Bay Symphony. The Davis score may be the longest continuous film music ever composed and conducted. The occasion marks the first time in nearly 30 years since NAPOLEON has been screened in America, in any form and with full orchestra.

napoleon-e28093-directed-by-abel-gance-1927NAPOLEON – Directed by Abel Gance (1927)

The SFSFF’s spectacular presentation at the 3,000-seat, Art Deco Oakland Paramount will be climaxed by its finale in “Polyvision” – an enormous triptych, employing three specially-installed synchronized projectors, that will dramatically expand the screen to triple its width (25 years later, the American process Cinerama would employ a very similar system). Each screening will begin in the afternoon and will be shown in four parts with three intermissions, including a dinner break. Click here to purchase tickets on-line: NAPOLEON

The Brownlow restoration, produced with his partner Patrick Stanbury at Photoplay Productions in association with the BFI, is the most complete version of Gance’s masterpiece since its 1927 premiere at the Paris Opéra. The is undoubtedly the U.S. film world’s most long-anticipated event: because of the enormous expense and technical challenges of properly presenting the epic film, it has taken Brownlow and company three decades to mount American screenings with the magnificent Davis score, which has previously been performed only in Europe.

albert-dieudonne-e28093-as-napoleonALBERT DIEUDONNÉ – as Napoleon

pierre-batcheff-e28093-as-general-lazare-hoche-center-2nd-from-leftPIERRE BATCHEFF – As Général Lazare Hoche (center, 2nd from left)

A four-hour version of Napoleon was screened in the early 1980s at the Castro Theatre. Francis Ford Coppola sponsored this triumphant road show of the shorter version which contained its Polyvision finale and a score composed by his father Carmine. Kevin Brownlow, who last year became the first film historian ever honored with a special Academy Award, became fascinated with Gance’s film when still a schoolboy in London in the 1950s. “I was stunned by the cinematic flair,” says Brownlow. “I was exhilarated by the rapid cutting and the swirling camera movement. What daring! I had never seen anything comparable – and I set out to find more of it.” That determination led to a lifelong quest.

director-abel-gance-and-kevin-brownlow-1967Director Abel Gance and Kevin Brownlow, 1967 (Photo, Photoplay Productions)

The first major Brownlow/BFI restoration culminated in a screening at Telluride Film Festival in 1979, with 89-year-old Gance watching from a nearby hotel window. Under the auspices of Coppola and Robert A. Harris, a version of this restoration ran at Radio City Music Hall and other venues in the U.S. and around the world in the early 1980s. Brownlow did additional restoration work in 1983.

antonin-artaud-e28093-as-marat1ANTONIN ARTAUD – as Marat

The current restoration reclaims about 30 minutes of footage culled from archives around the world and visually upgrades much of the film. This unique 35mm print uses the original dye-bath techniques, accurately recreating the color tints and tones of the initial release prints and giving a vividness to the image as never before experienced in this country.

San Francisco Silent Film Festival was founded in 1994 to demonstrate the artistry, diversity, and enduring cultural value of silent movies, and to make sure these rare and vulnerable films remain accessible to current and future audiences. Today, SFSFF is an internationally recognized presenter of silent film with live music, renowned for the artistic and technical quality of its presentation, and for its masterful blend of art, scholarship, and showmanship. The organization produces the largest annual silent film festival outside of Italy, which has become a destination for filmmakers, historians, archivists, and other industry professionals and continues to attract thousands of film fans every year. While its annual July festival remains its flagship event, the SFSFF now hosts “live cinema” productions throughout the year. NAPOLEON is its most ambitious undertaking yet.

Founded in 1988, Oakland East Bay Symphony is a critically acclaimed community-focused regional orchestra dedicated to serving the diverse population of the East Bay. It has gained regional and national recognition for its unique convergence of artistic excellence, community service and education programs. Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Michael Morgan, OEBS reaches over 60,000 people annually, with more than one-third of its operating budget dedicated to education and outreach programs. On the concert stage, OEBS has become an important positive force in bringing together the talents and resources of diverse artists, performing arts organizations and audiences from throughout the Bay Area.

Composer/conductor Carl Davis (CBE) was born in New York in 1936 and came to the U.K. in 1960. Davis is a true music-maker and all-round musician, as both conductor and composer. He has changed the face of concerts as we know them, making classical music both accessible and varied and is a consummate showman and entertainer. His career has spanned many genres, from silent film performances to his popular themed concerts such as ”An Evening with James Bond” and “Oscar Winners”. He is perhaps most well known for his music for television including the series The World At War, BBC’s Pride & Prejudice, ITV’s Goodnight Mr. Tom, and the award-winning film The French Lieutenant’s Woman. For over 30 years, he’s been a frequent collaborator with Kevin Brownlow, both as the composer of the soundtrack music for such acclaimed documentaries as Hollywood, The Unknown Chaplin, and Cinema Europe, and as the composer/conductor of such “live cinema” events as Ben-Hur, The Wind, Flesh and the Devil, and many others. He considers his Napoleon score one of his proudest achievements.

SEE RELATED ARTICLES

“HE WHO GETS SLAPPED” – A conversation with composer and pianist Matti Bye

“CASABLANCA” – The SF Symphony accompanies screening tonight, 7/22

CAMERON CARPENTER – International Superstar Organist plays “Phantom of the Opera” at Davies Symphony Hall

“Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien” – At Davies Symphony Hall, Featuring Damian Smith of SF Ballet, January 12th–14th

MONT ALTO MOTION PICTURE ORCHESTRA – Accompanies Opening Night of the 14th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Continue Reading

DAVID STRATHAIRN – Emmy Award winner returns to A.C.T. in “Scorched”

Sean Martinfield Arts Contributor

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) introduces a celebrated Middle Eastern voice to the Bay Area with the West Coast premiere of Wajdi Mouawad’s haunting play, SCORCHED. After receiving more than 100 productions in several languages worldwide, the Lebanese-Canadian writer’s new play will be directed at A.C.T. by Artistic Director Carey Perloff in a beautiful translation from the original French by distinguished Canadian author Linda Gaboriau. Leading the cast is David Strathairn. Recipient of both an Emmy and Golden Globe Award, Strathairn garnered an Oscar nomination for his performance as “Edward R. Murrow” in Good Night, and Good Luck.” His familiar film and television roles include “Pierce Patchett” in L.A. Confidential (1997), “Jumpin’ Joe Gastineau” in Limbo (1999), “Robert Wegler” on The Sopranos, “William Flynn” in No God, No Master (2011), and “Dr. Lee Rosen” on Alphas.

david-strathairnDAVID STRATHAIRN

The plot of Scorched concerns a set of twins, Janine and Simon, are given two letters following their mother’s death which contain clues about their family’s mysterious past. They embark on an unforgettable journey to the Middle East in search of the father and brother they never knew they had. Scorched weaves its riveting mystery into a captivating tapestry, inviting us to slowly unravel an astonishing truth amidst chaos and conflict. Scorched opens Wednesday, February 22nd and plays through Friday, March 16th at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco). Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Scorched

david-strathairn-and-babak-taftiDavid Strathairn and Babak Tafti. Photo, Kevin Berne

“Scorched continues our deep relationship with the cutting edge of Canadian theater, and brings the turmoil and tribalism of the Middle East to the forefront for the first time at A.C.T.,” says Perloff. This riveting play has entranced audiences across the globe and was turned into a feature film with the title Incendies, which was nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Perloff adds, “Mouawad is a major new writer whose work is acclaimed internationally but relatively unknown in the United States; A.C.T. is thrilled to introduce him to the Bay Area. Scorched is a Greek tragedy for our time, incredibly imaginative and provocative, and will be brought to life at A.C.T. by a company of remarkable Middle Eastern actors as well as four of our amazing core acting company members and the incomparable David Strathairn, whose deep humanity and self-deprecating wit will form the lens through which we witness this moving and surprising story.”

Strathairn plays bumbling notary public “Alphonse Lebel”, who acts as a guide to the two twins as they try to unearth the truth about their family. The Emmy Award winner last appeared on the A.C.T. stage as “Prospero” in The Tempest, which was the inaugural production at the American Conservatory Theater after it re-opened in 1996 following the devastation of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Strathairn has a long-standing artistic relationship with Perloff, having appeared in numerous Classic Stage Company productions in New York City when she was leading the institution. A.C.T. core acting company member Annie Purcell and Babak Tafti play the twins at the heart of the story, tracing the mystery of their mother, played at various ages by Marjan Neshat and Jacqueline Antaramian. They are joined by Apollo Dukakis and members of A.C.T.’s core acting company Manoel Felciano, Nick Gabriel, and Omozé Idehenre.

david-straithairn-carey-perloff-and-anthony-fuscoDavid Straithairn, Carey Perloff and Anthony Fusco – “Pursuing Pinter”

SEE RELATED ARTICLES:

LORENZO PISONI – A.C.T. extends “Humor Abuse”

CAREY PERLOFF – A.C.T.’s Artistic Director receives prestigious award

“ONCE IN A LIFETIME” – A Charming Comedy at A.C.T.

Continue Reading

Mayor Lee announces the return of “Sunday Streets”, beginning March 11th

Mayor Edwin M. Lee has announced the return of the popular Sunday Streets program with a full schedule of car-free events starting Sunday, March 11th, along the Embarcadero. The eight-month Sunday Streets 2012 season opens streets to pedestrians, cyclists and people-powered wheels of all kinds by temporarily removing vehicular traffic on select Sundays, transforming street-space usually reserved for cars into recreational space for everyone to enjoy safely.

“Sunday Streets not only showcases San Francisco’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, it is a proven cost-effective way to better health for San Franciscans,” said Mayor Lee. “We’re committed to ensuring the program’s continued growth and success in 2012 and beyond. We look forward to returning to Chinatown, doing a more frequent Mission route, and adding a new route in the Southwest neighborhoods of our City to bring the benefits of Sunday Streets to more San Francisco neighborhoods.”

Founded in 2008, Sunday Streets has grown from two events to 10 and creates miles of car-free space on City roads. San Francisco was the third city in the United States to premier this free, community-oriented initiative. Since then it has become the nation’s largest, and one of the City’s most exciting initiatives promoting benefits such as biking, walking, recreation, and community-building. The program was one of only eight programs in the country to be selected for possible inclusion in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign.

Highlights this year include:

Continuing and possibly expanding the new Chinatown event;

Increasing the popular Mission District event to four consecutive events held on the first Sunday of May, June, July and August; and

Introducing a new route in Southwestern neighborhoods.

Sunday Streets is presented by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Livable City, Sunday Streets’ non-profit fiscal partner. The 2012 season is co-presented by Bank of America. The Mayor’s Office, San Francisco Police Department, Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Parks Department. “We are proud to host our most ambitious Sunday Streets program to date,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “The Sunday Streets program has a tremendous impact on San Franciscans and visitors alike, who have started to envision the streets in a whole new way; not just as a means to get from place to place, but as an opportunity to create a healthier, more connected City for all.”

“Sunday Streets brings tens of thousands of people outside to explore more than 20 distinct neighborhoods of San Francisco. As a global company founded in San Francisco, Bank of America is proud to support this wonderful event,” said Bank of America San Francisco and East Bay Market President Martin Richards. “Sunday Streets and Bank of America share a commitment to building economically strong, connected, healthy communities in San Francisco and to celebrate the many diverse communities that benefit from the program.”

Financial partners include: AT&T, Shape Up SF, Kaiser Permanente, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Pacific Medical Center, PG&E, Lennar, Park Merced, The Seed Fund, The California Endowment and UCSF. Neighborhood sponsors include Sports Basement, Mikes Bikes, REI, CH2MHILL, Clif Kid, The New Wheel, Darling International, Bi-Rite Markets, and The Exploratorium. Major in-kind support is provided by The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, which provides Emergency Medical support, City CarShare and Parkwide LLC. The San Francisco Examiner and Clear Channel Radio are media sponsors. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition runs Sunday Streets’ volunteer program.

Business community support includes Fisherman’s Wharf, Tenderloin and Fillmore Community Benefits Districts, Lower 24th Street (Mission), Bayview, Taraval and Outer Sunset and Valencia Corridor Merchant Associations, San Francisco and Chinese Chambers of Commerce, and dozens of community groups representing host neighborhoods along Sunday Streets routes.

Sunday Streets 2012 Season Schedule (subject to change):

March 11: Embarcadero- Season kick off

April 15: Great Highway/Golden Gate park- new route through the park

May 6: Mission

June 3: Mission

July 1: Mission

July 22: Bayview

August 5: Mission

August TBA: Chinatown

September 9: Western Addition/N. Panhandle Alamo Square

October 21: Outer Mission/Excelsior


Click here to become a Volunteer for Sunday Streets 2012: Volunteer

Continue Reading

Gold Dust Landmark Submission is Pyrite Effort Property Owners Speak Against ‘Historic’ Designation for Tourist Bar

The tenants of the Gold Dust Lounge, a tourist bar since 1966, are seeking historic landmark status, but the owners of the property call the effort a mockery of historic preservation.


The Handlery family, which owns the Elkan Gunst Building at 301 Geary Street, already designated a Category 1 Significant Landmark, is speaking out to oppose the application by their tenant, the Gold Dust Lounge, to have the bar inside the building listed as an historic landmark itself.


“The attempt to use San Francisco’s important landmark process to give historical status to the Gold Dust Lounge is a cynical attempt to misuse the process in a landlord and tenant dispute,” said Sam Singer, a spokesman for the Handlery family which owns the property.


The proposal by the Gold Dust Lounge for historical preservation comes on the heels of the landlord providing notice to the Bar, according to the agreed upon conditions of their lease, that it had 90 days to find a new location for their establishment. The land marking effort is a tactic by the bar to remain in the building, but it won’t work because the lease for the Gold

Dust Lounge expires in early March and they must be out by that date or face significant legal and financial penalties.


The materials to landmark the bar, submitted by the Gold Dust Lounge, appear to be grasping to pull together a comprehensive history of this schizophrenic bar. In the report the author tried to explain how the bar is an example of an “American’ cocktail lounge of the mid-twentieth century’ with art deco overlaid by ‘Gay Nineties’ and a bar ‘associated with important aspects of the San Francisco nightlife culture.’” The description begs the question, what exactly is the historical importance of the Gold Dust Lounge?


Back in the 1985 submittal to landmark the entire Elkan Gunst Building, the interior of the Gold Dust Lounge was rated as “fair/poor” and was not deemed worthy of inclusion into the historical designation of the Handlery’s building as a character-defining feature then, and should not be considered one now, Singer said.


The 1960’s bar does not convey, nor contribute to the historical significance of the Elkan Gunst Building. The baroque style of the historic building and the Kearny-Market-Mason-Sutter Conversion District is historically respectable unlike the tawdry exterior of the Gold Dust Lounge, he added.


The proposition that the bar could be individually eligible for the land marking status under the well-established National Register Criteria is meritless and is discouraged by the Office of Historic Preservation and various National Register Bulletins. The criterion for this honor applies to properties significant for their design or construction, including such elements as architecture, landscape architecture, engineering or artwork. It cannot be sufficient that a bar is an example of an “American’ cocktail lounge of the mid-twentieth century,” as suggested – there is no scarcity of those. There, Singer added, the landmark status should be rejected by the preservation board.



Continue Reading

Community Initiative Continues Series on Gay Male Dating

The Community Initiative presents a series on gay male relationships hosted by queer community matchmaker Soniyah Singh. The two remaining ‘Perfecting Your Search for Mr. Right’ workshops are free and open to all. Both will be at the Gazebo at Davies Medical Center, 14th at Castro.

Feb 23 7-9 pm Talking: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Great relationships start with great conversations. This session shows that if you’re always focused on getting to first (or second, or third) base, you’re setting yourself up to strike out. Learn a different way to go about things

March 27 7-9 pm And They Lived Happily Ever After

So you met a great guy. You’re officially a couple. Now what? How do you keep things fresh and interesting, for both of you? In this session, we’ll explore how to keep someone once you have him

For further information, please email us at info@thecommunitynitiative.org or leave a message at 415.820.9606

Continue Reading

Obama’s Proposed Federal Budget Recommends $150 Million for Central Subway Project


Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced on Tuesday that the federal government has once again demonstrated strong support for planned improvements to public transportation in San Francisco. President Barack Obama’s federal budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013 includes a recommendation for $150 million in funding for the Central Subway Project and $10 million to implement bus rapid transit on Van Ness Avenue.

“These crucial investments in our City’s transportation infrastructure continue to receive strong support from the highest levels of the federal government,” said Mayor Lee. “We thank President Obama, Democratic Leader Pelosi, Senators Feinstein and Boxer and all our federal partners for their consistent leadership and their commitment to improving public transit, creating jobs and investing in San Francisco.”

“President Obama’s budget reinforces the federal government’s commitment to creating jobs and reducing congestion in San Francisco with the Central Subway,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “I will continue my work, along with Mayor Lee and local business and community leaders, to ensure the Central Subway becomes a reality for San Franciscans.”

ctRendering of Union Square/Market Street station – north entrance

The New Starts program of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recommended funding for the Central Subway. The FTA’s Annual Report on Funding Recommendations, which was released today, demonstrates the federal government’s support for the Central Subway Project. For the fifth consecutive year, the planned 1.7-mile extension of the T Third Line received a rating of medium-high – the highest rating given this year to projects currently undergoing the New Starts review process.

According to the FTA report, the Central Subway Project is one of only six projects nationwide that are on track to receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement, the formal agreement of federal financial assistance through New Starts, by the end of FY2013. The submitted an application for full funding in September 2011 and is expecting a decision this Spring.

New Starts has awarded $92.4 million to the Central Subway Project to date. The project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion in total, with the federal government contributing close to $1 billion.

The Central Subway Project is the second phase of the SFMTA’s Third Street Light Rail Project. So far, the Third Street Light Rail Project has received $256.8 million in federal funding, including $123.4 million for Phase One of the project. Phase One constructed the 5.2-mile segment of the T-Third Line currently in service between the Sunnydale Station in Bayshore and SoMa’s 4th Street Caltrain Station. The SFMTA will receive 50 percent of the funding for the Third Street Light Rail Project from federal sources.

The FTA report also gave a medium-high rating to the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project, recommending $10 million in funding in FY2013 through the Small Starts program. The Small Starts program invests up to $75 million in transit projects with total projects costs of less than $250 million.

The total cost of the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project is projected to be $125.6 million, including about $75 million in planned federal support. The project would improve bus travel along this crowded corridor by creating a dedicated bus lane along a two-mile stretch of Van Ness Avenue, from Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street in the north to South Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street in the south. The project will also enhance pedestrian safety, upgrade bus shelters and optimize traffic signal operations, among other improvements.

“These projects will reduce congestion, decrease emissions and improve access to jobs, education and cultural amenities for the communities they serve,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of the federal government, and we look forward to more good news from Washington.”

ct1Rendering of Mezzanine, Chinatown Station

About the Central Subway Project

The Central Subway Project will extend the T-Third Line from the 4th Street Caltrain Station to Chinatown, providing a direct, rapid transit link from the Bayshore and Mission Bay areas to SoMa and downtown. Four new stations will be built along the alignment—an above-ground station at 4th and Brannan Streets and three underground stations at Moscone Center, Union Square and Chinatown.

The Central Subway Project is the second phase of the SFMTA’s Third Street Light Rail Transit Project. The first segment of the T-Third Line began revenue service in April 2007, restoring light rail service to a high transit-ridership area of San Francisco for the first time in 50 years. Service on the Central Subway is expected to begin in 2019.

Continue Reading

Oakland East Bay Symphony to “Heros and Giants”

HEROS AND GIANTS Program Features WIlliam Harvey, Principal Trumpet

william-harvey
Focusing on works by two of the brightest figures in a generation of European musicians whose careers were prematurely terminated by the rise of the Nazi regime, and Music Director Michael Morgan will present Heroes and Giants
at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre on February 24th at 8:00 pm. Erwin Schulhoff and Mieczyslaw Weinberg created dynamic, unique works in climates of despair. Schulhoff was one of the first European classical composers to be inspired by jazz before his premature death in a concentration camp, and Weinberg survived years of imprisonment under Stalin to create one of the finest trumpet concertos in the musical repertoire. Oakland East Bay Symphony’s own William Harvey will help bring Weinberg’s trumpet concerto to life by serving as the featured soloist on this inspiring work. A third piece, Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, will complete a musical evening of challenging, sublime music. An informative pre-concert talk by John Kendall Bailey will begin at 7:00 pm.

William Harvey has been Principal Trumpet of the Oakland East Bay Symphony since 2001. An active freelance performer, Mr. Harvey is also Principal Trumpet of Opera San José and is affiliated with the California Symphony, Lamplighters Musical Theatre, Festival Opera, and American Bach Soloists. Previous experience includes positions with Western Opera Theater, Modesto Symphony, Sarasota Opera, and the Epic Brass Quintet. From 1991 to 1994 he was Sub-principal Trumpet of the Cape Town Symphony in South Africa. An East Bay native and Oakland resident, Mr. Harvey is a graduate of Boston University where he studied with Roger Voisin and members of the Empire Brass, attended San Francisco State University where he studied with Donald Reinberg, and is a graduate of Berkeley High School where he was a member of that school’s award-winning Jazz Ensemble. Other private instructors include Arnold Jacobs, Laurie McGaw and Edward Haug. He has participated in the Aspen, Chautauqua and Spoleto Festivals as well as the Monterey Jazz Festival.

The Program

ERWIN SCHULHOFF
Suite for Chamber Orchestra (1920) – Czech composer and pianist Erwin Schulhoff died in the Wülzburg concentration camp. He was one of the first classical composers in Europe to be inspired by jazz.

MIECZYSLAW WEINBERGConcerto for Trumpet, Op. 94 (1967) – Weinberg lost most of his family in the Holocaust but survived the torments of two brutal dictatorships. He fled the German occupation of Poland in 1939, only to fall victim to Stalin’s post-war campaign against the Jews. He was released after years of imprisonment, and later created one of the finest trumpet concertos ever written. OEBS Principal Trumpet William Harvey is the featured soloist in this inspiring work.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN – Symphony No. 3 – Now known as the “Eroica”, was originally written in honor of Napoleon and titled “Bonaparte”. However, when Napoleon declared himself Emperor in 1804, Beethoven was enraged and changed the name of his work. The “Eroica” is known as one of Beethoven’s most challenging masterpieces – long, technically demanding and sublime.

ABOUT OEBS

Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Michael Morgan
, Oakland East Bay Symphony activities reach over 75,000 people annually, with more than one-third of the operating budget dedicated to education and outreach programs. These programs include several acclaimed education programs under the umbrella of the MUSE (Music for Excellence) Program: In-School Mentor and Instrumental Instruction, Young People’s Concerts, Ensembles in the Schools, Young Artist Competition, Free Ticket Distribution and regular school visits by Michael Morgan and other musicians. These programs serve over 21,000 young people each year.

OEBS has fostered collaborations with local arts organizations from children’s choruses to jazz ensembles to dance and opera. The Symphony showcases new American works in performance and encourages young artists. In its efforts to support new music, OEBS formed a multi-year partnership with The James Irvine Foundation in 1998 to initiate various commissioning projects including the newly established New Visions/New Vistas initiative. In June of 2010, OEBS forged a closer partnership with Oakland Youth Orchestra and Oakland Symphony Chorus in a merger that resulted in the formation of East Bay Performing Arts.

Continue Reading

Valentines Day Tribute at City Hall


tony-bennett
TONY BENNETT – A Valentine’s Day Tribute at City Hall


Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced plans for a Citywide civic celebration to honor the acclaimed, award winning singer Tony Bennett whose signature song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was recorded 50 years ago. The free public tribute with Tony Bennett will take place on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at noon in the City Hall Rotunda.

“Thanks to Tony Bennett, people have been experiencing the magic of San Francisco for 50 years no matter where they are in the world,” said Mayor Lee. “The song reminds us of why we love our City so much and when we are away, it calls us home. Mr. Bennett’s signature voice is celebrated around the world, and when he comes back to San Francisco, our hearts will surely be lifted.”

“Performing ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel was one of the most fortunate moments of my career, and from that moment on I have been commissioned to sing this beautiful song about one of America’s greatest cities throughout the world,” said Tony Bennett, who celebrated his 85th birthday last year and released a #1 Grammy nominated CD,

“It is a thrill and an honor 50 years later to be recognized by the citizens of San Francisco.”

Mayor Lee and others including Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., and San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Shultz will honor Tony Bennett at the ceremony. The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Choir and Band, the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choruses, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and Beach Blanket Babylon will perform their own versions of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and pay tribute to Tony Bennett’s musical legacy. The ceremony will conclude with a sing along of the famed San Francisco tune.

Every radio station that broadcasts in the City has been asked to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at or near noon. KOIT 96.5FM will preempt the noon news and will play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at exactly noon because of their long-standing relationship with Tony Bennett and his music. At noon, the song will also be played over the public address system in Union Square and at Hallidie Plaza, courtesy of the Union Square Business Improvement District. San Franciscans are encouraged to stop what they are doing and sing along to “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” from office building, parks, sidewalks or where ever they are in the City.

SFMTA will outfit historic cable cars to celebrate Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” which will run all day. In the evening, City Hall will be illuminated in red for the celebration of Tony Bennett on Valentine’s Day.

Tony Bennett first sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in December of 1961, and he returns there on the evening of Valentine’s Day to sing at a sold-out benefit dinner and concert to raise money for heart research at UCSF. He recorded the song in 1962.

San Francisco Travel has also launched an international “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” video contest for people around the world to submit their own video versions of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” to the San Francisco Travel YouTube page.  The winner of the contest receives a deluxe vacation for two including airfare to San Francisco, stay at the Fairmont Hotel and dinner on Valentine’s Day for the Tony Bennett UCSF concert. Click here for more information: “http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/138681304.html?cmp=fb02082012_TonyBUpClose“>

Continue Reading

NICOLA LUISOTTI – Music Director of San Francisco Opera signs with Teatro di San Carlo


sean-martinfield-18-august-2011

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Nicola Luisotti has been appointed Music Director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, effective immediately. The news was announced over the weekend by General Director Rosanna Purchia and the Board of Directors of the Teatro di San Carlo Foundation following a meeting where the unanimous decision was taken. Maestro Luisotti succeeds former Principal Conductor Maurizio Benini and Music Director Jeffrey Tate. Born and raised in Tuscany, the 50-year old Luisotti is currently Music Director of San Francisco Opera and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic.

nicola-luisotti
NICOLA LUISOTTI. Photo, Terrence McCarthy

The oldest theater in Europe and one of Italy’s most prestigious opera houses, Teatro di San Carlo is renowned not only for its beauty but for its legendary acoustics. Founded in 1737, many of opera’s most famous composers spent significant time at the theatre, including Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. In 2010, the theater was re-opened after an important period of restoration where the magnificent five-level horseshoe of boxes which are upholstered in red and decorated in gold leaf, frescoed ceiling and beautifully painted stage curtain were renewed to their original glory.

Full details of the appointment will be announced at an official ceremony and press conference on March 7th when Maestro Luisotti will be at San Carlo to begin rehearsals for Verdi’s I Masnadieri, in a production directed by Gabriele Lavia.

giacomo-puccini-composer-nicola-luisotti-conductor
GIACOMO PUCCINI, Composer – NICOLA LUISOTTI, Conductor

“I have spent a good deal of time abroad in the last ten years of my career. My heart fills with joy at the thought of spending so much more time in my home country with such a prestigious appointment,” said Maestro Luisotti speaking from Philadelphia where he is leading concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. “And the joy is even greater when I think of how deeply this Theatre was influenced, in recent years, by the presence of a man such as Riccardo Muti, with whom I had the honor of working at La Scala.”

General Director Rosanna Purchia commented, “Nicola is young and enthusiastic and has had a bright career that took him to the most important theatres in the world, from Covent Garden to the Met, from La Scala to our San Carlo. In the United States he is recognized as one of the best interpreters of Italian opera. With his appointment, we want the San Carlo to aim higher and higher.”

Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris, the foundation president, expressed his satisfaction: “We chose Luisotti because he is a high profile conductor, young, Italian…and this is a source of great pride for us. We are sure he will contribute to the success of this great theatre both in Italy and the rest of the world.”

“We at San Francisco Opera are thrilled that Nicola Luisotti has been appointed music director of the San Carlo, one of the world’s great lyric theaters,” said San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley. “This announcement is a tribute to his musical talent and leadership.” Nicola Luisotti’s position as San Francisco Opera’s music director began in September 2009 and continues through the 2015-16 season.

la-fanciulla-del-west
LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST
Roberto Frontali, Deborah Voigt, and Salvatore Licitra
Photo, Cory Weaver

Since his international debut in 2002, Conductor Luisotti has garnered enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics throughout the world, especially for his work in Puccini’s Tosca and La Bohème and the rarely performed La fanciulla del West at both San Francisco Opera and the Met. In conjunction with these 100th Anniversary performances Luisotti was awarded the Premio Puccini Award.

Luisotti’s third season at San Francisco Opera’s Music Director of San Francisco Opera continues in June with a new Gabriele Lavia production of Attila, co-produced with Teatro alla Scala. In addition to I Masnadieri and concerts with the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in late March, Maestro Luisotti’s operatic engagements this season include a return visit to La Scala for Turandot in April. Luisotti will also make appearances with six great orchestras this season including his own San Francisco Opera Orchestra presented by Cal Performances, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Madrid’s Orquesta Nacional de España and the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Click here for more information on the 2012/13 Season at: San Francisco Opera

SEE RELATED ARTICLES

David Perry interviews Sentinel editor Sean Martinfield on Comcast’s “Ten Percent”
Mayor Lee breaks ground on major project for 34th America’s Cup and the City’s economic future
SF OPERA – Announces audited financial results for Fiscal Year 2010/11
LORENZO PISONI – A.C.T. extends “Humor Abuse” to Sunday, February 5th
MASTERS OF VENICE – Exhibition closes at the de Young Museum, 2/12
Mayor Lee breaks ground on major project for 34th America’s Cup and the City’s economic future
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET – John Cranko’s “Onegin” is a Classic winner
“UNFAITHFULLY YOURS” – Tchaikovsky and Rossini meet Noir City X
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Announces 2012/13 Season
EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the “Czar of Noir”
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – 75th Anniversary – “Bridging Us All”
NOIR CITY – 10th Anniversary, 10-Day Festival at the Castro Theatre, begins January 20th
CHRISTINE EBERSOLE – Bay Area Cabaret presents Tony Award winner at the Venetian Room, January 15th
“Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien” – At Davies Symphony Hall, Featuring Damian Smith of SF Ballet, January 12th–14th
NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY – Selects 25 Films for Preservation
JOHN E. BUCHANAN, Jr. – Director of the Legion of Honor and de Young Museum loses battle with cancer
CD, JAKE SCHEPPS – An Evening in the Village: The Music of Béla Bartók
DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY XMAS, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
CD Review – A STEINWAY CHRISTMAS ALBUM ★★★★
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166581
SF Opera Center Announces the 2012 Adler Fellows
CALIFORNIA DREAMING – At the Contemporary Jewish Museum
BERNINI’S MEDUSA – Now at the Legion of Honor through February 12th
“THE ARTIST” – Silents, please! – A masterpiece in B&W, starring Jean Dujardin
THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO’s “Hung” and 3D Thriller “Dark Country”
MAHARAJA – The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, at the Asian Art Museum
“XERXES” – A Royally Entertaining Production at SF Opera

“REAL STEEL” – Reels of money-making crap starring Hugh Jackman
“XERXES” – At San Francisco Opera
CD Release: “Feels Like Home”, The Celtic Tenors ★★★★
DON GIOVANNI – It’s smart and new at San Francisco Opera
LEANNE BORGHESI – SF Bay Area Star on the Rise
CAMERON CARPENTER – International Superstar Organist plays “Phantom of the Opera” at Davies Symphony Hall, Friday, October 30th
“LUCREZIA BORGIA” – A Hard Act To Swallow at San Francisco Opera
EDDIE MULLER and “Fear Over Frisco” – An Interview with the Czar of Noir
LEAH CROCETTO – An Interview with “Liu” in SF Opera’s TURANDOT
HENRY PHIPPS – A Conversation with Featured Boy Soprano in SF Opera’s “Heart of a Soldier”
“HEART OF A SOLDIER” – A Rapturous World Premiere At San Francisco Opera
MEET MAESTRO NICOLA LUISOTTI – San Francisco Opera opens 2011/12 season with Puccini’s “Turandot”
“The Glory of Love” – A Salute to Jacqueline Fontaine
“MOZART’S SISTER” – Third string cinema
MEROLA OPERA’S GRAND FINALE – Meet Daniel Curran and Mark Diamond
“CASABLANCA” – The SF Symphony accompanies screening tonight, 7/22
“HE WHO GETS SLAPPED” – A conversation with composer and pianist Matti Bye
ABEL GANCE’S “NAPOLEON” – San Francisco Silent Film Festival to present complete restoration by Kevin Brownlow in 2012
HEIDI MELTON – An Interview with “Sieglinde” in San Francisco Opera’s DIE WALKÜRE
MARY GIBBONEY – An Interview with the star of “ABSOLUTELY SAN FRANCISCO”
SONDHEIM’S “ASSASSINS” – Ray of Light Theatre is right-on target
TIIT HELIMETS – An Interview with “Prince Edvard” of SF Ballet’s THE LITTLE MERMAID
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Presents “Mastery of Schubert”, Featuring Soprano Melody Moore, 3/24–27
ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
GISELLE – And the Legend of the Wilis
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
PLÁCIDO DOMINGO – An Interview with the Tenor turned Baritone for “Cyrano”
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – A Visit with the President of the Academy of Art University
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
SABINA ALLEMANN – Former SF Ballet Ballerina Returns In A.C.T.’s “The Tosca Project”
AMANDA McBROOM – A conversation on her recording of songs by Jacques Brel
CAMERON CARPENTER – An interview with Grammy-nominated organist
HANDEL’S “ORLANDO” – An Interview with Conductor Nicholas McGegan
PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
CAMINOS FLAMENCOS – A Conversation with Yaelisa
JANE MONHEIT – An Interview
DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
A Conversation with Ruben Martin Cintas, Principal Dancer with SF Ballet
THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
“My Silver Dollar Man” – from MARKED WOMAN (starring Bette Davis, 1937)
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)

Continue Reading

RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY – Signs Long Term Lease for World Headquarters at 680 Folsom Street


sean-martinfield-18-august-2011

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that Riverbed Technology, the leader in IT performance solutions, has entered into a 167,788 square-foot lease at 680 Folsom Street to house their world headquarters. Riverbed is expected to move into the building in 2014.

Riverbed, currently at 199 Fremont Street, will expand by 65,430 square feet into five floors at 680 Folsom Street with a 10-year lease term. This expansion will allow for Riverbed’s continued successes as they grow their offices here in San Francisco. Currently with 503 employees in San Francisco, representing almost a third of their worldwide workforce, Riverbed continues to see growth. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) estimates that this expansion will allow for Riverbed’s local workforce to grow to 1,157 employees, more than doubling their local presence.

“Riverbed’s long term commitment to keep their worldwide headquarters in San Francisco through 2024 demonstrates once again that we are the location of choice for high tech companies,” said Mayor Lee. “With dynamic leaders like Riverbed’s Jerry Kennelly, we are making San Francisco the ‘Innovation Capitol of the World.’ I want to congratulate Riverbed, TMG and JLL on the completion of this successful real estate transaction that will create jobs and drive innovation in our City.”

mayor-ed-lee
MAYOR ED LEE

“This is yet another example of how we are working with CEOs like Jerry Kennelly,” said Mayor Lee. “It was last fall that we sat down and we knew they were looking, they knew they were growing. Was it going to be here in San Francisco? Or some other place that we would lose them to? Our staff went to work right away. We found a great partner with TMG and Michael Covarrubias. We just came together very well and focused on what we could do to make sure they stayed here. They know there is talent here – that is unquestioned. The question is, are there other things that stabilize their ideas and their interests in working here long-term and staying here and growing here. We want IT companies to start here. We want them to stay and we want them to grow. As a result, we are evolving our policies on a weekly basis to continue attracting companies like Riverbed and making sure they feel comfortable. The end result is a lot more people get employed.”

jerry-kennelly
JERRY KENNELLY, Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO

“Riverbed is proud to have had its headquarters in San Francisco for the past 10 years. We’re making this investment to support our long-term growth and cement our commitment to the City of San Francisco,” said Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO Jerry Kennelly. “Like many prosperous technology companies headquartered in San Francisco, we think the City is the right location to attract the best talent and provide a thriving environment for our current employees. It is about time San Francisco becomes the capital of Silicon Valley and we want to be a part of that.”

“Riverbed is the ideal tenant not only for this space, but to complement the increasing tech growth in San Francisco’s SoMa area,” said TMG Partners Chairman and CEO Michael Covarrubias, the developer for 680 Folsom Street. “It’s very exciting to be a part of this renewed vitality here in the City and we believe it not only indicates the strengthening of our local economy, but indicative of the positive trending in both the residential and commercial space within this area of the City.”

Riverbed was represented in the transaction by the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. “The Riverbed real estate team was excellent throughout this entire process and took a very strategic approach to their future real estate requirements. By being proactive, they executed a headquarters strategy and netted a superb block of quality space which will be the finest development in San Francisco in the last decade,” said Jones Lang LaSalle’s HQ practice leader and International Director David Churton.

With construction now underway at 680 Folsom Street, the building will be fully renovated in time for Riverbed’s occupation. The new headquarters will feature a clear glass wall skin replacing the current concrete façade, a new public plaza and is pursuing LEED Gold certification.

About Riverbed
Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance. By giving enterprises the platform they need to understand, optimize and consolidate their IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast, fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns with the business needs of the organization. For more information about Riverbed, go to: Riverbed.com

About TMG Partners
TMG Partners, founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Francisco, is a full-service real estate development and management company. TMG has developed more than 18 million square feet of property throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Emeryville, Marin City, Novato, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Jose and San Francisco. One of the most active developers in this area in the last decade, the company has developed a variety of office, retail, residential and industrial properties, ranging from office campus and multi-story properties in urban, infill locations to mixed-use retail and single-story suburban buildings. For more information, go to:
tmgpartners.com

SEE RELATED ARTICLES

David Perry interviews Sentinel editor Sean Martinfield on Comcast’s “Ten Percent”
Mayor Lee breaks ground on major project for 34th America’s Cup and the City’s economic future
SF OPERA – Announces audited financial results for Fiscal Year 2010/11
LORENZO PISONI – A.C.T. extends “Humor Abuse” to Sunday, February 5th
MASTERS OF VENICE – Exhibition closes at the de Young Museum, 2/12
Mayor Lee breaks ground on major project for 34th America’s Cup and the City’s economic future
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET – John Cranko’s “Onegin” is a Classic winner
“UNFAITHFULLY YOURS” – Tchaikovsky and Rossini meet Noir City X
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Announces 2012/13 Season
EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the “Czar of Noir”
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – 75th Anniversary – “Bridging Us All”
NOIR CITY – 10th Anniversary, 10-Day Festival at the Castro Theatre, begins January 20th
CHRISTINE EBERSOLE – Bay Area Cabaret presents Tony Award winner at the Venetian Room, January 15th
“Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien” – At Davies Symphony Hall, Featuring Damian Smith of SF Ballet, January 12th–14th
NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY – Selects 25 Films for Preservation
JOHN E. BUCHANAN, Jr. – Director of the Legion of Honor and de Young Museum loses battle with cancer
CD, JAKE SCHEPPS – An Evening in the Village: The Music of Béla Bartók
DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY XMAS, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
CD Review – A STEINWAY CHRISTMAS ALBUM ★★★★
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166581
SF Opera Center Announces the 2012 Adler Fellows
CALIFORNIA DREAMING – At the Contemporary Jewish Museum
BERNINI’S MEDUSA – Now at the Legion of Honor through February 12th
“THE ARTIST” – Silents, please! – A masterpiece in B&W, starring Jean Dujardin
THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO’s “Hung” and 3D Thriller “Dark Country”
MAHARAJA – The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, at the Asian Art Museum
“XERXES” – A Royally Entertaining Production at SF Opera

“REAL STEEL” – Reels of money-making crap starring Hugh Jackman
“XERXES” – At San Francisco Opera
CD Release: “Feels Like Home”, The Celtic Tenors ★★★★
DON GIOVANNI – It’s smart and new at San Francisco Opera
LEANNE BORGHESI – SF Bay Area Star on the Rise
CAMERON CARPENTER – International Superstar Organist plays “Phantom of the Opera” at Davies Symphony Hall, Friday, October 30th
“LUCREZIA BORGIA” – A Hard Act To Swallow at San Francisco Opera
EDDIE MULLER and “Fear Over Frisco” – An Interview with the Czar of Noir
LEAH CROCETTO – An Interview with “Liu” in SF Opera’s TURANDOT
HENRY PHIPPS – A Conversation with Featured Boy Soprano in SF Opera’s “Heart of a Soldier”
“HEART OF A SOLDIER” – A Rapturous World Premiere At San Francisco Opera
MEET MAESTRO NICOLA LUISOTTI – San Francisco Opera opens 2011/12 season with Puccini’s “Turandot”
“The Glory of Love” – A Salute to Jacqueline Fontaine
“MOZART’S SISTER” – Third string cinema
MEROLA OPERA’S GRAND FINALE – Meet Daniel Curran and Mark Diamond
“CASABLANCA” – The SF Symphony accompanies screening tonight, 7/22
“HE WHO GETS SLAPPED” – A conversation with composer and pianist Matti Bye
ABEL GANCE’S “NAPOLEON” – San Francisco Silent Film Festival to present complete restoration by Kevin Brownlow in 2012
HEIDI MELTON – An Interview with “Sieglinde” in San Francisco Opera’s DIE WALKÜRE
MARY GIBBONEY – An Interview with the star of “ABSOLUTELY SAN FRANCISCO”
SONDHEIM’S “ASSASSINS” – Ray of Light Theatre is right-on target
TIIT HELIMETS – An Interview with “Prince Edvard” of SF Ballet’s THE LITTLE MERMAID
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Presents “Mastery of Schubert”, Featuring Soprano Melody Moore, 3/24–27
ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
GISELLE – And the Legend of the Wilis
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
PLÁCIDO DOMINGO – An Interview with the Tenor turned Baritone for “Cyrano”
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – A Visit with the President of the Academy of Art University
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
SABINA ALLEMANN – Former SF Ballet Ballerina Returns In A.C.T.’s “The Tosca Project”
AMANDA McBROOM – A conversation on her recording of songs by Jacques Brel
CAMERON CARPENTER – An interview with Grammy-nominated organist
HANDEL’S “ORLANDO” – An Interview with Conductor Nicholas McGegan
PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
CAMINOS FLAMENCOS – A Conversation with Yaelisa
JANE MONHEIT – An Interview
DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
A Conversation with Ruben Martin Cintas, Principal Dancer with SF Ballet
THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
“My Silver Dollar Man” – from MARKED WOMAN (starring Bette Davis, 1937)
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)

Continue Reading