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Publisher’s View

Publisher’s View: Transformation

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Each of us is born into a beautifully flawed world, though the balance differs depending on individual circumstances.  Some of us, emerging newly slick from the womb, are welcomed into a family full of hugs, smiles, and material well-being.  Others are left cold on the table, confronted with immediate, wrenching, long-term physical, emotional, and spiritual…

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Publisher’s View: Housing

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A more than 20 percent increase in San Francisco’s property tax roll, combined with a state program, the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund, which shifts a portion of “excess” local property taxes to public school systems in each California county, has showered $415 million of unexpected revenues on the City.  The windfall is indicative of San…

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Publisher’s View: Supervisor

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San Francisco elects its supervisors by district, rather than citywide, so they’re closer to neighborhood people and issues.  The hope is that district supervisors will be chosen by voters who know their character, with a mandate to advance community interests.  With almost 73,000 residents, District 10 is one the City’s most complex jurisdictions. Although taken…

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Publisher’s View: September 11, 2001

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Last summer I visited the painfully exquisite 9/11 Memorial & Museum, in lower Manhattan.  Through a carefully constructed flow of architecture, images, sounds, and objects, the institution skillfully recreates that terrible September morning and its immediate aftermath.  I walked past burnt fire engines and video loops of planes smashing into the World Trade Towers.  An…

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Publisher’s View: Architecture

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A couple of years ago my wife, Debbie, and I joined a tour of Lower Haight homes built more than a century ago.  Mostly Victorians, their facades were exquisite in ways San Franciscans sometimes forget to appreciate:  carefully crafted moldings, vibrant color contrasts, one-of-a-kind windows.  Their painted faces create a festive public sphere, like a…

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Publisher’s View: John B. Anderson

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Late last year, John B. Anderson died at the age of 95.  Anderson, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, unsuccessfully ran for his party’s nomination for the presidency in 1980.  When he failed in that quest he launched an independent campaign for the office, ultimately securing almost seven percent of the national vote. I first…

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Publisher’s View: Boring

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“Ugh, I don’t want to go there!” my 16-year-old daughter, Sara, exclaimed.  “It’s so boring!” We were on one of our frequent meandering drives in and around San Francisco, a favorite Sara activity.  She loves to wheel around freshly found neighborhoods, especially those with long, lovely, boulevards: Lincoln, Folsom, Twin Peaks.  While I enjoy these…

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Publisher’s View: Cyber-Stranger Danger

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No parent would willingly allow a stranger to enter their home, slip down the hallway unseen, enter their child’s bedroom, closing the door softly behind them.  Yet that’s exactly what’s happening through the portals of mobile devices, all too often leading to actual physical encounters arranged through such applications as Tinder, Snapchat, and texting. Nine…

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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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