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The High Cost of Living High
Despite his oft-reported taste for $3,000 suits, and his grand new loft above the AMC 1000 Van Ness, our Mayor Brown hasn't lost touch with the hoi polloi.

Or, not completely, anyway.
Addressing the Senior Housing Action Coalition last week, Willie shocked the crowd with his frankness: "We are quite literally at risk of having not any affordable housing," he said.

Well, when you make a statement as nutty as that, you'd better be prepared to back it up. So man-of-the-people Brown explained that when his daughter moved from New York to San Francisco to take a "moderate income" job -- one that paid $55,000 a year -- she quickly found that it was too difficult to live here on that kind of money.

"My daughter fled back to New York after four months, and left me with eight months of a lease that I had guaranteed. So I have personal experience," he said.

Talk Isn't Cheap
How much money, exactly, does it take to live in San Francisco? Well, we're not completely sure, but apparently KGO-AM (810) talk-radio host Ronn Owens, of the eponymous Ronn Owens Show, is getting by.

According to the magazine Brill's Content, Owens is making $620,000 a year -- more than syndicated hosts G. Gordon Liddy ($500,000 for a program carried by 218 stations), Oliver North ($250,000 for 70 stations), and Ray Suarez of NPR's Talk of the Nation ($120,000 for 130 stations).

Owens lives in the city with his wife, news anchor Jan Black, and their two daughters. Apparently Willie Brown didn't have to guarantee Owens' lease.

Would: Answering Garcia's Call
After last week's fretting over the sudden and dramatic decline in Ken Garcia's output, our John Would writes, "I am pleased to report that despite our concerns over my second-favorite columnist's lack of, um, productivity in recent weeks, Ken has, in the time since I left for Key West, cranked the Garcia knob up to eleven and returned to his previous form.

"For example, in his column of Nov. 12 he manages to use the phrases 'eco-warriors,' 'tree-huggers,' and 'lost lefties,' and to suggest that pie-tosser Gerard Livernois 'practice his high-minded ideals in a more affordable enclave such as Lodi' if he is so upset about rising rents. Whoa!

"And to top it all off, if you read only every third word in the headline of his Nov. 17 column -- which, I've heard, is a device used by Chron headline writers to communicate secretly with the public -- it reads 'Calling Would.' OK, Ken, I'm here, and summarizing like a man afire. What was it you called about?

"Thursday, Nov. 12: I hope some poor person doesn't pie me in the face. I'd probably pee in my pants.

"Saturday, Nov. 14: Oh, those wacky unions! What will they think of next?
"Tuesday, Nov. 17: Hmmm. Mayor Brown's numbers are down. Ammiano's not running. And Kopp is a big fat dufus. I'm hearing three words: Mayor Ken Garcia. In fact, my chances are excellent so long as no one figures out I'm a Republican.

"Thursday, Nov. 19: Planning and redevelopment law are complicated things. Unless, of course, they are viewed within the context of The Wizard of Oz, in which case all becomes clear."

Vilified! And for What?
On Friday, Dog Bites staffers venturing up Third Street to forage for food were startled to see that some anti-Weekly graffiti had appeared on the barricade that separates traffic from the site of the new ballpark. "SF Weekly hired yuppie infliltrators [sic] like Cothran and Boulware. Nothing but a yuppie ad rag these days ...."

Yikes! Back in the offices of the yuppie ad rag, staffers were entertaining each other with dramatic readings of the Guardian's anti-Weekly editorial, which complained of "the all-purpose scorn that seems to be the Weekly's official voice."

Say, thanks for noticing! Of course, we were even more tickled to learn that the Guardian holds a weekly Weekly meeting, in which our doings are discussed and analyzed in detail, every third word of Negative Creep scrutinized for secret messages, and so on. Hi, guys!

Not Vilified! Really!
We are pleased to announce that Leah Reich, winner of our Chronicle Books title contest, has contacted us and will be receiving her prize book shortly. However, one of Leah's friends wrote in to complain that we had "vilified" her. Not so! In fact, Leah is now one of our all-time favorite readers, and though we realize we will always be suspected of insincerity, we mean that sincerely.

As told to Laurel Wellman

Tip Dog Bites -- especially if you're disgruntled. Phone 536-8139; fax 777-1839; e-mail


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