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Peter Byrne

Culture, Books

Politically Inspired: Fiction for Our Time

Edited by Stephen Elliott MacAdam/Cage (2003), $13 San Francisco-based novelist Stephen Elliott has put together a collection of inspired fiction reflecting our post-9/11 culture. The 30 short stories (and cartoon art) of Politically Inspired range from comic and satirical to…
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News, Feature Surprise!


On a gorgeous, warm November morning, a small army of San Francisco cops, sheriff's deputies, FBI agents, and other would-be terrorist fighters gathers behind Pac Bell Park to test its chops. Armed with guns and laptops, the law enforcement officers…
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News, Feature Capital Rap

Capital Rap

During the summer of 2002, Bay Area rapper Paris wrote and recorded a song called "What Would You Do?" and made it available for free downloading. The song accused President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft of orchestrating…
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News, Dog Bites

Gaffing Gavin

On a warm November night, in a rent-controlled penthouse high above the Tenderloin, six members of the anti-Gavin Newsom underground gather in preparation for a night of illegal postering. Most of them are gay, under 30, and work at white-collar…
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Culture, Books

Molotov Mouths: Explosive New Writing

By James Tracy, Dani Montgomery, Raw Knowledge, George Tirado, Leroy Moore, Ananda Esteva, and Josiah Luis Alderete Manic D Press (2003), $13.95 Aficionados of San Francisco's spoken-word scene will know Molotov Mouths, a verbally incendiary band of activists-slash-poets who have…
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News, Feature Kamala's Karma

Kamala's Karma

Terence Hallinan sits in the auditorium of the State Building on Golden Gate Avenue, staring morosely at the stage. There, members of the low-profile but powerful San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee are wrangling over the temperamental district attorney's fate.…
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News, Bay View Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

Beginning last January, right-wing San Francisco radio talk show host Melanie Morgan gleefully began throwing her wattage behind the gathering movement to recall Gov. Gray Davis. Morgan, co-host of the KSFO-AM (560) Morning Show, invited a string of conservative Republican…
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News, Feature Death, Maiming, Money, and Muni

Death, Maiming, Money, and Muni

Late in the afternoon of Oct. 23, 1999, Muni driver Sarah Benton picked up an empty bus at a Municipal Railway yard in southeast San Francisco, drove off, and an hour later exited Highway 280 at Monterey Boulevard, racing at…
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Culture, Books

The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom: The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation

By Wes "Scoop" Nisker HarperSanFrancisco (2003), $24.95 Silence and Noise: Growing Up in America By Ivan Richmond Atria (2003), $13 Two Bay Area authors -- a fiftysomething and a twentysomething -- have written memoirs about being Buddhists, American-style. Both books…
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News, Feature Big Doctor Is Watching

Big Doctor Is Watching

In early April, my dentist was rooting around inside my mouth, making the terrible jokes for which he is infamous while I, as usual, laughed politely. Then he wiped his hands clean and handed me a toothbrush and a "Notice…
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News, Feature Bringing Up Baby Gavin

Bringing Up Baby Gavin

Retired state appeals court Judge William A. Newsom III likes to take his lunch at the Balboa Cafe, a pleasant Marina District eatery that happens to be owned by his son, Supervisor Gavin Newsom, the leading contender for next mayor…
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News, Bay View Terminal Condition

Terminal Condition

Antitrust attorney Joe Alioto saw the train wreck coming at the San Francisco Examiner a long time ago. Alioto's client, wealthy political operative and real estate investor Clint Reilly, sued in 2000 in an effort to prevent the Hearst Corp.…
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News, Feature The Fix Is In

The Fix Is In

The time: February 2001. The place: Moscone Center. The event: a trade show for those involved in the roofing industry. Milling about in the crowd is Janet Campbell, a former UC San Francisco architect who was fired after blowing the…
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News, Bay View War Torn

War Torn

As teams of FBI agents fan out across America looking for 50,000 Iraqis to question about their loyalties -- Saddam or Dubya?, you decide -- they are expected to concentrate their efforts in Michigan, Texas, and California. So at least…
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News, Bay View Cheerleaders of War

Cheerleaders of War

Daniel Zakariya was wounded four times fighting the enemies of Saddam Hussein. He was shot in the head, the chest, the foot, and the ass while serving as a foot soldier in the Iraqi army during the Iraq-Iran War in…
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News, Feature Disease Detective

Disease Detective

Two women drive into a parking lot near the Ferry Building in San Francisco. They show identification to a bald man sitting in a van. "Is this the place for ... the dinner?" asks one of the women. "Shhh," the…
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News, Bay View A Smuggler's Tale

A Smuggler's Tale

Barbara Lubin's face possesses a look of almost leonine fierceness; her stare is dark and unblinking. Her eyes resemble those one sees in photos of Third World mothers who have lost loved ones to an act of violence. It is…
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News, Feature Griftin' on the Dock of the Bay

Griftin' on the Dock of the Bay

Carl Ernst Jr. is a man of great height and girth. At first, he seems to be a gentle giant, intelligent and slightly self-mocking. But behind the twinkle in his eyes lie wells of bitterness. In March, Ernst talked for…
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News, Feature SOUL Trainers

SOUL Trainers

West Oakland gave birth to the revolutionary Black Panther Party for Self-Defense nearly 40 years ago. The Panthers are long gone, but their spirit lingers on in a falling-down neighborhood surrounding the West Oakland BART station, where the vaguely metallic…
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News, Dog Bites

Come Fly With Us

Two weeks ago, we wandered into the Orbit Room Café on Market Street to see if the talented bartenders there could make us an Aviation cocktail. We got a bit more Aviation than we'd bargained for. Alberta Straub was mixing…
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