At the Artists’ Loft Museum, Longtime Arts District Residents Are Refusing to Be Erased

By Catherine Wagley : laweekly – excerpt

Please don’t let the Arts District become unlivable for actual artists,” Michael Parker pleaded on Aug. 10, addressing the City Planning Commission and the developers behind the Camden Project, a mixed-use development slated to go up on Industrial Street downtown. Just 5 percent of the complex’s residential units are required to be affordable housing, which Parker doesn’t think is adequate. “There should be much, much, much, much, much, much, much more affordable housing and larger units so that dozens and dozens of 25-year-old artists from the CSU can afford it,” an effusive Parker said. He also mentioned the Artist Loft Museum of Los Angeles (ALMLA), the museum he started out of the Seaton Street studio in which he’s lived and worked since August 2001.

“What’s the name of your museum?” asked Planning Commission president David Ambroz.

“The ALMLA,” repeated Parker. “We have our first opening on Aug. 31, the last day of my lease, before I will be facing —”

“Now you’re slipping into testimony,” Ambroz interrupted. “The name of the museum I got.”…

Parker recently received notice that, upon the start of his new lease, his rent would increase by $2,050 a month — a 43 percent increase from what he’s been paying, and about 200 percent more than what he was paying six years ago — and that he would no longer be able to live in his studio, though the space has been zoned live-work for at least 25 years. He is working with lawyer Elena Popp of the Eviction Defense Network to fight these new terms, something a number of other artists in this city are doing, too. Parker also spent last Wednesday morning in court, after his landlord’s lawyer sent Popp a temporary restraining order against ALMLA’s opening. The judge ruled that the opening could legally go ahead, as long as Parker kept attendance under 49 people at a time. “You’ve wasted enough of my time,” Parker recalls the judge saying after she emerged from her chambers with a decision…(more)

Who knew in the 1970’s when Beaux Arts was under pressure to close one of the first “live-work” art and entertainment centers, that San Francisco and Los Angeles would face the same fate forty years later. Seems the establishment can’t stand art and creative thinkers.

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English Man Catches Fish And Holds Up To His Mouth . . . Fish Jumps Down Throat And Forces Man Into Cardiac Arrest

A twenty-eight-year British man experienced cardiac arrest this week after he accidentally swallowed a 6-inch long Dover sole that he caught on a fishing trip in Boscombe, England.   The man was dangling the fish over his mouth as a joke when it broke free and went right down his throat.  Fortunately, paramedics arrived within minutes and saved his life by removing the fish with forceps… (more)

When your food attacks. This reminds me of the lobster dinner the 1988 movie, Beetlejuice. Great special effects, costumes and makeup.

U.S. Suspends Cuban Visas, Withdraws Staff Without Finalized Plan in Place

: thedailybeast – excerpt

The U.S. State Department announced it would stop authorizing visas for Cubans before actually finalizing the details on how to implement the suspension, The Miami Herald reported Friday. One official said that Cubans could possibly apply for American visas in other countries, but did not explain how such a procedure would work. The U.S. is also withdrawing some of its staff from its embassy in Havana, but says it will still officially maintain diplomatic relations. The announcement comes after mysterious sonic attacks damaged the health of around 20 diplomats, causing symptoms ranging from hearing loss to brain damage…

Reactions in the Washington and Miami have been mixed.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the administration for not going further. “Shameful that State Department withdraws most staff from the U.S. Embassy in Cuba but [Raúl] Castro can keep as many as he wants in U.S.,” the Florida senator tweeted…(more)

One of our favorite cultures deserves some mention as it once again goes out of government favor. The old one step forward and one step back US dance.

Lessons from Stop the Draft Week 50 years ago

In 1967, protesters filled the streets of Oakland to stop the draft. Seven faced serious charges — and their message still resonates today

With great fanfare PBS is airing a 10-part series about the Vietnam War. Critics charge that under the guise of being even handed, series producers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick say the US and Vietnam share equal blame for the war. Foreign correspondent  Reese Erlich offers a different historical perspective.

October marks the 50th anniversary of Stop the Draft Week, the largest militant anti-Vietnam War demonstration up to that time. Ten thousand people jammed into the streets of downtown Oakland to shutdown the federal draft induction center.

Demonstration organizers, who became known as the Oakland 7, faced an 11-week conspiracy trial. In a major victory for the anti-war movement, a jury acquitted them of all charges…

In October of 1967, the U.S. war effort in Vietnam was failing. In just a few months, Vietnamese rebels launched the Tet Offensive, a political defeat that proved to be a turning point in the US war.

Throughout 1967 President Lyndon Johnson sent more troops to South Vietnam, and that required bigger draft calls. The sons of the very rich and well connected always avoided the draft. Donald Trump received a medical deferment due to “bone spurs” in his heels. They didn’t prevent him from a lifetime of skiing, however…

We didn’t consider ourselves hippies, but the anti-war and counterculture movements were intertwined. Both groups used drugs, listened to rock, dressed unconventionally and engaged in the kind of sex that outraged our parents. But hippies tended to protest society by “dropping out.” We wanted them to “drop in” to the anti-war movement.

We also sought to broaden the anti-war movement by including workers and allying with black, Latino, and Asian activists. Dave Harris and his pacifist allies believed they could do that with an appeal to conscience and traditional, nonviolent tactics.

Others of us argued that working class youth were turned off by traditional pacifism. It was time that anti-war demonstrators become more militant and defend ourselves against police attack.

Our call for militant action was hugely controversial. Of course local politicians, university administrators and business people were opposed. But even most leaders of the mainstream peace movement were hesitant. Our rejection of non-violent tactics ran against the grain of protests at that time. Few leaders and no traditional peace groups endorsed STDW.

But we picked up grassroots support. I still remember walking the streets of Berkeley in early October and seeing scores of houses displaying Stop the Draft Week posters in their windows.

Our timing was spot on. “Our political antennae picked up something out there,” Oakland 7 member Terry Cannon told me years later… (more)

How the mighty have fallen. An unofficial Summer of Love celebration did squeak by with little fanfare in the fall of 2017 in the San Francisco Golden Gate Park Bandshell, with Wavy Gravy and some die hard local bands and their fans.
It is a sad day when San Francisco officials nix the 50th anniversary Summer of Love concert that ushered in the peace movement, especially now that we are dealing with a clash of cultures and political upheaval.
To add insult to injury, Silicon Valley officials and the 49ers Management want to extend a 10 PM noise curfew to allow for later performances to make up for the poor ticket sales at Levis Stadium. Money is king in the the former home of the peace and love movement.
Pay to play or just pay, as California turns itself into the most valuable real estate with the highest rate of poverty and one of the worst education systems in the country.

 

Tina Fey Recommends ‘Sheet-Caking’ to Deal With Trump’s America

I’m

by

“Don’t yell it at the Klan… Yell it into the cake.”

Like many Americans, she’s mad as hell at the white supremacists and President Donald Trump, but Fey thinks the best way to deal with them is not to show up to their rallies. The comedian explains: “I would urge people this Saturday, instead of participating in the screaming matches and potential violence, find a local business you support — maybe a Jewish-run bakery… or an African American-run bakery — order a cake with the American flag on it, and just eat it.”… (more)

Eating for peace. Sounds good to me. I’m going to try making a Chocolate roll cake tomorrow, but I will be decorating it with the end of summer fruit, Cherries, apricots and pears, and maybe some strawberries and blueberries. Yum.

Summer of Love lost on those living in Summer of Discontent

By Caille Millner : sfchronicle – excerpt

In our Summer of Discontent, what can we learn from the Summer of Love?

Since the Summer took place before I was born, I have no nostalgia, passions or bad memories about anything that happened in San Francisco in 1967.

I can tell that for some people it was a seminal event, judging by the extent of attention I’ve seen around the 50th anniversary. There have been at least 10 Bay Area museum exhibits celebrating some aspect of the Summer of Love this year. There have been endless free concerts, tours and tie-dyed public posters. There’s been even-more-extensive-than-usual glorification of the Grateful Dead.

I appreciate how all of this is an opportunity for a segment of Bay Area Baby Boomers to indulge in youthful memories of the good times. (Have fun, kids!)

But for those of us far too young to have been there, the Summer of Love has never felt as far away as it does in 2017.

On my way to the de Young Museum’s “Summer of Love Experience” exhibit, in Golden Gate Park, I traveled through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. My misgivings began there.

San Francisco’s advanced state of economic inequality and neighborhood gentrification have led to strange street-level juxtapositions all over town. But the Haight is still a special place; these juxtapositions maintain a hard edge…

Continue reading “Summer of Love lost on those living in Summer of Discontent”

Sonoma County challenges for pot supremacy as others turn away

By Peter Fimrite : sfchronicle – excerpt

Sonoma embraces craft cannabis as one of its prize crops. photo by zrants

Locally sourced bat guano and other manure-based fertilizers will power Erich Pearson’s biodynamic pot farm outside the city of Sonoma, which seeks to harness the forces of the earth, the cosmos and the free market.

Craft cannabis is becoming a cousin to craft beer in Sonoma County, and the venture by the founder of the San Francisco Patient and Resource Center, or SPARC, is among several operations awaiting permits to grow and manufacture medical marijuana — and, presumably, recreational pot in the future.

Around the state, the mainstreaming and legalization of marijuana is prompting many cities, even liberal ones, to fear trouble and shun the exploding industry.

But parts of Sonoma County, and especially Santa Rosa, are making the redolent herb their own, viewing it as more akin to beer, wine and fine food as a driver of jobs, tourism and tax revenue.

“Sonoma County is very welcoming,” said Pearson, who plans to organically grow an acre of cannabis from seed using a variety of sustainable techniques, including the loving application of bat excrement to roots, preferably during the summer solstice. “This county is known for high-quality food and high-quality consumable products. I think cannabis in Sonoma County will follow that path.”… (more)