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Matt Isaacs 

News, Feature Odor! Odor in the Court

Odor! Odor in the Court

Paul Camera, a family law attorney in Marin County, didn't want to embarrass the judge. He only wanted what was best for his client, and unfortunately that meant taking the extraordinary step of asking the Honorable Michael B. Dufficy to…
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News, Bay View How to Kill a Nonprofit

How to Kill a Nonprofit

Calvin Swinson believes in living his life by the book. He worked as an accountant for many years, but has since retired, and now spends his days traveling or "simply relaxing locally," he says, because that's what retirees do.…
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News, Feature The Revolution is Canceled

The Revolution is Canceled

The August sun is still warm in the early evening when the guests arrive at the little get-together on Russian Hill. Jonee Levy and her husband, Harvey Hacker, have asked a dozen or so of their neighbors to come over…
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News, Bay View Preserved to Death

Preserved to Death

When the Young Men's Hebrew Association decided to expand the scope of its secular activities in the early 1930s, the organization pushed forward with an ambitious plan to build the city's first Jewish Community Center, despite considerable adversity. In the…
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News, Feature Pants on Fire

Pants on Fire

In her one-year career with the Fire Department, Melanie Stapper, more than anything else, wanted to belong. A sturdy woman with thick shoulders, Stapper was willing to lose 17 pounds when she didn't meet the department's weight requirements the first…
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News, Bay View The Sound of Politics

The Sound of Politics

A large group of families gathers on the perfect lawns of the Olympic Club to watch a private fireworks show on the weekend before the Fourth of July. The wives have brought coolers filled with ice and bottles of white…
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News, Feature Twice Burned

Twice Burned

Chol Soo Lee and a friend drove the Great Highway in darkness, discussing how they would set the fire. Lee was a little nervous. He'd never burned down a house before, but the job paid $25,000, and he'd promised his…
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News, Bay View Greasing  the Rails

Greasing the Rails

The grand opening of Muni's F line extension to Fisherman's Wharf in March marked one step in the rebirth of the city's eastern waterfront. It was also a rebirth of sorts for Stacy & Witbeck, the company that won the…
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News, Feature School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks

aura LaRosa must leave in a few hours to report for a job that entails smiling behind the makeup counter of a local department store. What she hates most about the job is staying after work to pen a personal…
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News, Bay View

Closed Shop

Criss Romero suspected he might ruffle some feathers around the union hall when he went to work for Tom Ammiano's mayoral campaign last November, but he didn't think he would lose his job. When the supervisor made the runoff against…
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News, Feature A Piece of the Action

A Piece of the Action

ANTHONY HANG HAS BETTER THINGS TO DO ON his daughter's birthday than talk about an old girlfriend and her devious ways. He has a centipede of little girls following him down the sidewalk, on their way to root beer and…
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News, Feature Spy vs Spite

Spy vs Spite

The first snow of the season is falling on New York in big fluffy flakes, making the city look new again. The offices of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, located in U.N. Plaza, are stuffy, the windows steamed. Everyone…
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News, Bay View For Pete's Sake

For Pete's Sake

Though it's garnered little media attention, a crime initiative pushed by former Gov. Pete Wilson on the upcoming March ballot would significantly alter the state's juvenile justice system, funneling many more young people into adult prisons. If approved, Proposition 21,…
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News, Feature Broken Fix

Broken Fix

He asks me for $10, though he hasn't told me his name. We're in the emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital. It's early one Friday evening, and the room is already packed with a motley array of bandaged heads…
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News, Bay View Neighborhood Lockdown

Neighborhood Lockdown

If all goes according to plan, a few of the young and wealthy in the Mission soon will be able to avoid the always disagreeable prospect of tripping over a bum on their front steps when they leave for work…
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News, Feature Agent Provocative

Agent Provocative

Though it is only 1 in the afternoon, the sky is already darkening under an approaching storm when the old man arrives at the hall. Wearing a baseball cap, tinted glasses, and a navy blue suit that stretches too tightly…
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News, Postscript The Late Victor Van Bourg

The Late Victor Van Bourg

Last week, a luminary in the labor movement died in an airport on his way to the bedside of a dying daughter. Victor Van Bourg was a 68-year-old labor attorney who represented more than a million union members in locals…
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