When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
In case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
Dan Rush, union organizer, indicted on federal charges.
A Harley-Davidson-riding union organizer — once hailed as a "Superman" by the California cannabis movement — has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly taking bribes and rigging the union organizing process.
Oakland native Dan Rush, 54, an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers, arrived on the medical marijuana scene in 2010 at a crucial moment. Via the union's political connections, Rush offered the emerging legalization movement and nascent medical marijuana industry legitimacy.
But before a single shop had been organized, Rush took $600,000 in loans from a dispensary operator, money spent at Indian casinos and to pay local Hells Angels cell phone bills, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by the FBI. These loans were never repaid. Instead, Rush offered his creditors services, like ensuring union endorsements or rigging the organizing process against workers, the FBI alleges.
Rush did not answer his cell phone Thursday morning. The UFCW's Washington, D.C. headquarters said in a statement released just now that Rush has been fired from the union.
In the meantime, the details of the indictment — yet another local corruption investigation by the FBI — are stunning.
A warrant for Rush's arrest has been issued following his indictment in federal court on August 10.
It was not immediately clear Thursday if he is in custody.
An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.
It's hard to overstate how central of a figure Rush has been to legal cannabis.
click to enlarge
Michael Ares/SF Weekly
Dan Rush in his Oakland home.
Rush, recall, catapulted to fame in 2010 by organizing medical marijuana workers in the Bay Area, the first cannabis workers in America to have union cards. That same year, union affiliation helped legalization measure Prop. 19 earn endorsements from political leaders and the NAACP.
Here's Rush and the UFCW in 2010 at a press conference with workers at Oaksterdam University, announcing the union's entry into the industry. Appearing at this conference are also some of the witnesses who would build the case against him.
Rush, who was closely involved in Measure D, the process to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, is also connected to legalization's most prominent pitchman: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Here's Gavin appearing on Rush's behest, giving the welcoming address to the annual awards dinner of the Instituto Laboral de la Raza, a low-income workers' group which Rush serves as treasurer.
It appears that the case against Rush has been building for at least three years. Beginning in 2012, several Oakland-based dispensary operators — Carl Andersen, who operated a dispensary called Old Oaksterdam, and Martin Kaufman and Derek Peterson, who are involved with current Oakland dispensary Blum — began giving the FBI information on a bribery and union-riggng process that began in 2010.
Details below come from recorded telephone conversations and wires worn by witnesses including Marc Terbeek, Rush's attorney who started cooperating with the FBI in January of this year, but may also be prosecuted.
Rush is also accused of sending Terbeek clients in exchange for $110,000 in kickbacks, cash Rush used to fund union activities, like an annual labor dinner, as well as personal expenses and the cell phone bills of the Oakland Hell's Angels, according to the FBI.
Now is as good a time as any to mention that rumors of strong ties to the Hells Angels, members of which including legendary leader Sonny Barger have been friends with Rush for years, have dogged Rush for a long, long time.
According to the FBI, Rush took two cash payments totaling $600,000 payment in 2010 from Kaufman. The cash was supposed to be a loan Rush would use to remodel a house near his home on West MacArthur Boulevard into a medical marijuana dispensary. Instead, he used the money to pay off an earlier private loan taken out using his house as collateral.
Under an agreement brokered by Rush's Oakland-based attorney, Marc Terbeek, the cash was a loan to be repaid in January 2015. In the meantime, Rush would pay Kaufman $3,000 a month — interest on the loan — as a "consultant." IRS tax forms revealed this, but Kaufman did no work, according to the affidavit.
Meanwhile, Rush also took a $51,000 interest in Andersen's future dispensary. Recall that at the time, Oakland was taking applications to expand its medical marijuana dispensaries from four to eight, and union membership was a way to score more points on a "merit-based" application.
In 2014, Kaufman was informed that Rush would be unable to pay back the loan. Instead, Rush offered services in return. Specifically, he offered to rig the union organizing process in Las Vegas, where Kaufman wanted to open a dispensary, against workers and for the employer in Kaufman's favor.
And to really drive the point home, Rush also informed him that the original cash — stemming as it did from medical marijuana, pre-2010 — was unclean, and any attempt to recover the loan might not go so well. Details from the indictment are below.
click to enlarge
click to enlarge
click to enlarge
Here's how it all fell apart: Terbeek flipped on Rush in January of this year, following Andersen and Kaufman going to the FBI in 2012 and 2013, according to the FBI.
The fallout from all of this is just beginning. We'll update this story as we learn more.
In a statement, a UFCW spokeswoman said that Rush had been terminated, but did not specify when.
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"