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Publisher’s View

Publisher’s View: Statues

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The following three dialogues imagine the conversations sparked when newlyweds arrive for the first time at one of the spouses’ ancestral homes, to which the couple will be moving, with a fourth centering on an exchange amongst nannies.  Readers are encouraged to create their own scenes, mixing and matching the various scenarios and characters into…

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Publisher’s View – Driving Rules

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Anyone who has spent anytime walking, bicycling, or driving in San Francisco lately knows that it’s a chaotic mess out there.  Vehicles – Ubers; Lyfts – pullover abruptly to disgorge passengers, eyes leashed to their Smart Phones, in oblivious selfy-ness, appearing to believe that the zombie-apocalypse has left them alone in the world, except for…

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Noah’s Ark

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One of the most famous stories in the Bible occurs in Genesis, in a passage commonly known as “Noah’s Ark.”  In it, God, enraged over human behavior, decides to wipe out everything, in an extinction-by-flood event.  Somehow, in the midst of the deity’s hairy-eyed examination of all things wicked, Noah gets the Lord’s attention, and…

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Homeless: Live With It

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San Franciscans tend to approach social problems with a mix of expansive generosity, quasi-selfishness, and hubris.  We’ve lavished billions of public dollars on Laguna Honda Hospital and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, facilities dedicated to serving the most vulnerable among us.  We loudly proclaim our desire to maintain housing for a mix of incomes, but…

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Loser

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I’m a loser. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly lost my wallet, keys, and precious childhood mementos.  When I was a teenager, I lost jobs.  As I young adult, I lost self-respect due to a lack of dating integrity.  I lost an election.  I lost my innocence, painfully scrapped away, year by year, by life’s grater. …

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Reality

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We humans have been trying to understand our reality, while working hard to mask it, since our first spark of awareness, perhaps seven million years ago.  Our quest has been dominated by a biological imperative to, initially, survive, over time, thrive; and a deep desire to find an alternative truth to shield ourselves from the…

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1 + 1 = -1

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Sara arrived like a beautifully wrapped present.  The package was smaller than we expected – four pounds, eleven ounces – but we were delighted to receive her; she was perfect, just what we wanted!  As the weeks, months and years went by, the wrapping was steadily shed, revealing new wonders:  an openness to the world;…

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Mediators

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Donald Trump’s vanquishing of a football team’s worth of Republican Party presidential candidates has prompted intense reflection on how it happened, much of which lands on the same question:  can democracy be trusted to produce competent political candidates? One perspective gaining traction in the shout-o-sphere is that the collapse of mediating forces – backroom dealmakers;…

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Publisher’s View: Hamilton

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Hamilton, which opened on Broadway last summer, and has been sold-out ever since, offers a spirited remedy to the current milieu of bigotry, nativism, classism and nascent apathy.  The musical revolves around the title character’s role in the American Revolution, and features a gallery of standouts that, until recently, have been virtually frozen in time: …

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Publisher’s View: Fairytales

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Numerous tales told over many centuries tell of enchanting creatures that used to roam the earth.  Ogres, faeries, and dwarfs continue to animate modern-day narratives, in such books and films as Shrek and Lord of the Rings.  These fairytales are considered children’s stories, featuring magical and imaginary beings and lands.  But mounting scientific evidence suggests…

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Publisher’s View: Smart Growth

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Not long after the arrival of the mass market automobile, which enabled the creation of suburbs stretching long distances away from central cities, land use planners sounded the alarm about “sprawl.”  Sprawl was gobbling up farmland and eco-systems, producing soulless rows of ticky-tacky housing, and fostering traffic-jammed, smog-emitting highways.  It pulled families out of urban…

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Publisher’s View: Perfect

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There’s an expression, that one shouldn’t “make perfect the enemy of the good.” It’s the cousin of “the devil is in the details” and the granddaughter of “change is on the horizon.” It’s one of those platitudes politicians like to use to defend an incremental approach to policymaking, usually in the context of advocating for…

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Publisher’s View: Home

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Housing is today’s top conversational topic at upper middle class dinner parties in San Francisco.  It’s displaced jockeying over whose been to the best, most recently opened, restaurant; discussions over whether a $50 bottle of wine is really worth it; and debates about yet another Bush versus Clinton presidential race:  would it be a deeply…

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Publisher’s View: Jump Ball

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Tussles over land use changes are nothing new in San Francisco.  Protests erupt over removing a diseased street tree, or building a backyard deck.  Larger projects are periodically blocked. The Whole Foods on Rhode Island Street was supposed to be Macromedia; community advocates surgically removed Kaiser Permanente from opening an outlet at the Corovan site.…

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Publisher’s View: Democracy

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While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to wrestle for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, San Francisco is in the middle of an internecine battle between three candidates for the State Senate.  Current State Senator Carole Migden is running against Assemblyman Mark Leno and former Assemblyman Joe Nation.  San Francisco Police Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese…

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