Castro

The vultures of greed

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A small but enthusiastic crowd marched through the Castro April 20 to bring some attention to the rash of Ellis Act evictions that are forcing seniors and disabled people out of the city. The activists stopped at the home of Jeremy Mykaels, whose plight is symbolic of the state of housing in San Francisco today. Mykaels insists he's not a public speaker, but his remarks were poignant; we've excerpted them here:Read more »

Tonight at the Castro: the most beautiful/depressing movie about global warming ever

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Greedy Lying Bastards, a film about climate change, opens this Friday (look for my review in tomorrow's paper); it takes a confrontational approach to the subject. But here's the thing: you can argue with a politician or a lobbyist, but a melting iceberg will simply respond with a cold, cold stare.

Tonight and tomorrow at the Castro, check out 2012's similarly-themed but far more meditative Chasing Ice. You may have caught a glimpse of its striking glaciar photography on the Oscar telecast, since that song I didn't like in my review (below) was one of the unlucky tunes shoved into a quick "Here's Best Song nominees that weren't sung by Adele, Hugh Jackman, or Norah Jones, therefore they don't matter" montage. (Needless to say, it didn't win, but it did expose this powerful film to the billion watching, so there's that.)

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Nudity and tourism

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KQED's Forum weighed in on Sup. Scott Wiener's anti-nudity law Oct. 18, and I particularly enjoyed the attempts by all to avoid the use of the word "cockring." I taped a show for KPFA's morning mix (to air 7:30 am Oct. 19) and host John Hamilton told me that "cockring" wasn't on the FCC list of unacceptable words and it was ok to use it, but that's KPFA, not KQED. Read more »

Homes Not Jails protesters released

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This article has been updated

Nineteen Homes Not Jails protesters who were arrested last night and held on felony charges of vandalism, conspiracy and burglary, many on bail as high as $325,000, have been released.

Their charges have not been dropped. Instead, those arrested have been "discharged pending further investigation," according to District Attorney spokesperson Stephanie Ong Stillman.Read more »

Much ado about nudity

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There was no public outcry when Pedro Villamore, a 44-year-old homeless gay man, was found dead in a doorway in the 500 block of Castro Street last December, a couple of weeks before Christmas and across the street from the holiday tree that the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro puts up every year to welcome big spenders into the neighborhood. Read more »

Benefit screening of 'The Master' (in 70mm!) tomorrow at the Castro!

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This is not a drill, film fans: Paul Thomas Anderson's highly anticipated new film, The Master, will be screening at the Castro tomorrow night. In 70mm. Not gonna lie: as soon as word of similar "surprise" screenings in other cities (Chicago, Los Angeles), I was crossing my fingers and toes that we'd get one here. Especially since not everyone can make it to the various film festivals where it's been programmed (Venice, Toronto) ... and The Master's theatrical release isn't until Sept. 21 in the Bay Area.

Get thee to TicketWeb now and spend $10 (plus the expected fees and whatnot) to benefit the Film Foundation. The Castro is a huge theater, but film nerds are gonna be all over this one. Like me, for instance. There will be popcorn!

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A surprisingly sentimental evening with Chuck Palahniuk

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"I write so that I don't forget the fascinating and heartwarming things people tell me," explained Chuck Palahniuk. He was at the Castro Theatre Mon/16 to chat about his newest book, Invisible Monsters Remix. Some audience members were disappointed that the event didn't include a book signing — but no one could deny Palahniuk's earnest nature and his deep connection to his fans.

To those who only know Palahniuk as the author of the cult hit Fight Club, one might think the man behind this contemporary classic of anarchy and disgust at our capitalist society could be a shady character. But the mind that concocted that (and other) twisted fables anchors his outlandish tales with an incredibly human element to his characters. If you look beyond Fight Club's bloody mayhem (vividly depicted in its popular film version), you'll find a story of how a white-collar businessman combats loneliness and isolation, and finds fulfillment in embracing chaos. Palahniuk is certainly not afraid of being politically incorrect in his books, but he is a much more relatable guy than you might think.

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Castro plaza bill passes, 6-5

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The Board of Supervisors has passed a watered-down version of Supervisor Scott Wiener's legislation to prevent camping and sleeping in Harvey Milk and Jane Warner plazas, with Supervisor David Chiu  casting the swing vote.

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Arrest raises doubts about Wiener's loitering ban

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Bob Offer-Westor, Human Rights Organizer for the Coalition on Homelessness (CoH), was arrested and issued a citation for loitering within half an hour of setting up his tent in Jane Warner Plaza on Friday evening. He demonstrated how the recent push to enact new anti-camping regulations – which the Board of Supervisors is considering this afternoon – will only seek to criminalize behavior already outlawed under s627(e) of the California Penal Code. Read more »

Guardian editorial: Plazas are public space

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EDITORIAL The attack on public space has been underway for years now in San Francisco. Parks and recreation centers have been turned into pay-to-enter facilities rented out to private organizations. The sit-lie law restricts the use of public sidewalks. Occupy protesters have been evicted from a public plaza. And now, Supervisor Scott Wiener wants to put new restrictions on the mini-parks and plazas that have been a rare bright spot in the battle to reclaim the streets.

Wiener has introduced legislation that would ban camping, cooking, four-wheeled shopping carts, and the sale of merchandise in Harvey Milk Plaza and Jane Warner Plaza, near Market and Castro. He argues that the two parklets — one reclaimed from what had been roadway — are in legal limbo: They aren't parks, so the city's park codes don't apply, and they aren't sidewalks, so rules like the sit-lie law don't apply, either. Read more »