Anti-protest bills would ‘attack right to speak out’ under Donald Trump

By Adam Gabatt :  theguardian – excerpt

This, it is a “Declaration of Dependence” written by Thomas Bruce Reese and a few other artists in 1976, who understood the necessity of proclamations and drama when it comes to protecting the planet.

The ACLU says more than 30 bills have been introduced amid a huge swell of activism, prompting UN intervention over criminalization of peaceful protest

More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a moved that UN experts have branded “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law”.

The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest… (more)

In this context of confused facts and suspect news articles, I am starting to explore the meaning of truth and the importance of placing trust in one’s own reality and experience above all else. Where does our basis for truth and trust come from?

Pipeline Fighters

By Marino Colmano : grandintheatre – excerpt

This is a FREE event sponsored by Preserve Giles County, Preserve Roanoke County and Preserve Franklin County.  There will be a Q & A session afterwards with the sponsors and the filmmaker.

Pipeline Fighters voice their opposition to interstate pipelines in the Virginias for the transport of fracked gas to export terminals, and abroad. Natural gas procured through unconventional hydraulic fracturing, has been the gold rush of the last decade. Pipelines are needed to move this massive glut of natural gas. Through the voices of the Appalachian people we explore in microcosm the global issue of environmental predation, the legacy of the energy industry, their current production goals to DOUBLE the development of natural FRACKED gas coming out of the Appalachian Basin, and the great relevance this has on the geo political scene and climate change…(more)

Director/Director: Marino Colmano
All the media coverage on pipeline opposition has been concentrated on the Standing Rock lately. This is a reminder that many other states have citizens who oppose the proliferation of pipelines near their sources of drinking water as well. Many rivers and tributaries downstream from coal ash disposal sites have been contaminated by spills and some communities have been covered in ash:
A Brief History of U.S. Coal Ash Since the Kingston Spill

Is San Francisco Losing Its DNA?

By Stefanie Doucette : thebolditalic – excerpt

The iconic DNA Lounge club may be facing the end of its days.

… Currently, the interior of DNA Lounge is looking a little grim and stressed. Jamie flips over a chair to examine a wobby leg and fiddles with it. He’s working hard to fix a lot of things. No one there is trying to hide the fact that the club is in a hard spot, despite seeing moments of massive success over the years: public recognition from Mayor Newsom in 2010, multiple Best of the Bay awards and stage appearances from some of the most famous musical acts in the world.

“We need a quick fix because I am out of money. I can’t make long-term investments because I don’t know how I’m keeping the lights on in the short term.”…

San Francisco has harbored counterculture communities for decades. Where did they all go?

A lot of them are at DNA Lounge — those who have found it, anyway. It’s in the heart of SOMA, at the intersection of 11th Street and Howard, next to Slim’s and along the path of the Folsom Street Fair. To get there you have to walk past several blocks of tents made from plastic tarp and old furniture, strung up underneath the concrete pillars where 101 meets I-80. Over the years, the streets around DNA Lounge have seen these shanty towns grow in proportion to the shiny condos towering over them(more)

No matter which city you live in or near, the gentrification factor is present along with the growing shantytowns, now tent cities. Look around you and you will see the dying DNAs amid the soulless towers and homeless encampments. Who do citizens turn this trend around? We are looking at LA and their Measure S to slow development in that city for answers. In a few hours we will know if they won or lost the battle.


An Elegy for Caffe Med, One of the Last Outposts of 1960s Counterculture (Photos)

The iconic Berkeley hangout — where Black Panthers held meetings and Allen Ginsberg penned “Howl” — closes its doors for good

Telegraph Avenue has been in flux (some might say decline) for decades as long-standing businesses capitulate to fast-food eateries and chain retail. The biggest blow was probably when Cody’s Books closed.

Cody’s Books — along with Moe’s Books, Shakespeare & Co, and Black Oak Books — was a core member of the group of independent booksellers clustered around the north end of Telegraph. Alice Walker, Salman Rushdie, Maurice Sendak and Norman Mailer, among others, all did readings at Cody’s. During the tumult of the ’60s and early ’70s, the store served as a shelter and first-aid station for anti-Vietnam protesters. Its closure in 2006 was widely perceived as the beginning of the end for the avenue’s local and independent businesses. And of the four major bookstores formerly located on and around Telegraph, only Moe’s survives (more)

Ok. This is seriously sad. Caffe med was the first coffee shop I experienced in Berkeley when I got to California. I probably had my first late there.

Affordable housing complex gives artists a refuge from SoCal housing crisis

By Nadine Ono : caeconomy – excerpt

CandyJo Dahlstrom and her husband are working artists in Southern California. Like many, they are freelancers who live without a regular paycheck and often find themselves struggling to pay rent. But they are lucky, after finding a home and community in Glendale’s Ace 121, a new affordable housing complex for working artists.

“Everybody is struggling in this economy and then being an artist who doesn’t have consistent income it was always really hard for us to make rent and still be able to have any money to do anything on the side,” said Dahlstrom, who works as a make-up artist, costumer designer, dance instructor, while her husband teaches writing and acting.

She has three children and the family was living in a two-bedroom apartment before moving to Ace 121. “We’ve been barely scraping by paycheck to paycheck, even needing help from friends and family for the past couple years.”

“All communities in L.A. are in dire need of affordable housing,” said Michelle Coulter, project manager at Meta Housing Corporation, which developed the 70-unit complex. “Glendale took advantage of an opportunity and, given their unique partnership with the YMCA, this project was a serendipitous result of that opportunity.”…

With more than a third of California’s renters paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing, artists and others would stand to benefit from affordable units and also housing policies that help fill demand and take a bite out of the growing affordability problem. Ace 121 is a good example of placing affordable housing near transit and jobs as well as adding value to the neighborhood and community, which are included in the California Economic Summit’s Housing Action Plan.

“We feel it’s an important priority, especially given the importance of artists in L.A., frankly as an industry, this is so much a part of our industrial base,” said Coulter. “We’re not talking about creative communities just for the sake of creative communities, we’re talking about the industrial base for our (Los Angeles) County.”… (more)


“Is This the End of the Underground?”

By Jessie Schiewe : sfweekly – excerpt

Bay Area cellist Zoe Keating takes to Facebook to laud warehouses as the impetus of her career and poses questions about what the Ghost Ship fire means for the future of underground, DIY spaces.

Though she now lives in the forest near Occidental in a decades old house made of redwoods, when Keating first moved to the Bay Area, she lived in a warehouse on Natoma Street in San Francisco.

“I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if not for living almost seven years in an “illegal” warehouse at 964 Natoma St in S.F.,” she wrote. “We hosted many cross-pollinating, genre-busting experimental events that could never have happened anywhere else. Not only was it inexpensive to live there, so I could focus on my art, but I was attracted to this alternative way of living where life, work and art were merged, meals were shared and social serendipity was built-in. The things I saw and heard and the people I met and talked to and the work I did as a result…it all made me the person I am today.”… (more)

The live-work art studios in the old warehouses did make the underground art scene a special place. the communal nature of mixing art and life and the 24 hour energy is not easy to replicate, but It can be done and will happen again, although maybe somewhere new. Someone must be building a new art scene somewhere.

The right to remain

By Rupa Marya : 48hills – excerpt

Thanks to capitalism, the rate of change of culture now does not let deep roots settle–anywhere. But it doesn’t have to be that way

This story is about a place that once was in San Francisco, but it could be anywhere in the world. We watched the phenomenon in Pinellas Park in the 1980’s and now we see it everywhere. It is important to remember where we came from and this is a special place that deserves recognition. This is the story about the capitalist society that eats its own.

Seven years ago, on a weekend like this past one, we would be sitting at The Revolution Cafe in the Mission district. All day. Until about 3am. It was highly unproductive and totally productive. Listening to live music, greeting friends who stopped by. It was the place so many of us would migrate to in the middle of our weekend and then get stuck at as a revolving crew of musicians would show up before gigs, after gigs, and take up the microphone and drop some wizardry down.

Conversations would strike up between unlikely folks, all sitting on the wooden benches that local John Kyle built, before the benches themselves were evicted. We were undocumented, we were hungry and totally full. We were vibrating with a certain cultural evolution that only happens when people have time and space and density to rub up against one another. We were teachers, artists, writers, social workers, librarians, janitors, doctors, students, musicians, seekers, dreamers, busboys, hairdressers, flight attendants, travelers, filmmakers, wanderers. We were bilingual, trilingual, quadrilingual even. Highly unproductive. And pulsing with possibility…(more)

How Quickly a “Genius” Startup Can Tank

By Kevin Montgomery ; VALLEYWAG – EXCERPT

Bloodhound had everything going for it. TechCrunch once hailed the tradeshow app as “genius” and Peter Thiel led a $3 million investment round in the “blowing up” company. So when a landlord drove out apopular arts collective from its home in the heart of the San Francisco’s Mission District, Bloodhound was quick to sign as the new tenant. Fifteen months later, the company is out on the street and being sued for unpaid rent.

The company’s rapid fall serves as cautionary tale of the consequences a startup faces when it aggressively burns through their funding. But it also shows what can happen to a neighborhood when landlords chase the high rents paid by venture-fueled tech companies.

Million Fishes Art Collective sat at the corner of 23rd and Bryant for nearly a decade, reportedly paying over $13,000 a month in rent for a space deep within gang territory. The 10,000 square foot collective housed dozens of artists and was routinely open to the public for shows.

But soon the neighborhood became trendy among techies and the gang violence subsided. And in the fall of 2012, Million Fishes’ landlord booted them from the space with the hopes of attracting a monied startup to the space.

It was around the time of Million Fishes’ displacement that Bloodhound was in the middle of raising their Series A round. When the round closed in January 2013, it brought the company’s total funding to $4.8 million. Flush with cash, Bloodhound responded to a Craigslist ad for the recently refurnished ground floor office at 2501 Bryant Street. They ultimately signed a five-year lease for $31,667 a month in rent (plus $564 in fees)—nearly two and a half times the amount the arts collective had been previously paying.

Criticism poured in. Million Fishes’ warned of the “the fast-track erasure of a neighborhood we love” on the eve of their eviction. Many in the Mission agreed tech money was decimating the local artist community…. (MORE)

 San Francisco follows the trend of killing off the artists and art spaces that is running rampant all over the country. It is really all about land values an what deserves a spot in the city. Money or culture. The two don’t mix well.