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@Large: Ai WeiWei on Alcatraz" highlights contemporary struggles for freedom of expression

This Week's Paper

weekSpringing from Alcatraz: Dissident artist Ai WeiWei's @Large exhibition rocks the rock, and Project Censored 2014 uncovers the year's most important (but under-covered) stories. Plus: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lifts our blues, and Awesome Tapes from Africa taps seldom-heard sounds.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Supes approve funding request for jail construction

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“A Costco warehouse with metal bunk beds” is how Matt Freeman of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department described one of the county's outmoded jail facilities, speaking at a meeting in City Hall today (Tue/22). At its meeting, San Francisco Board of Supervisors cleared the way for the Sheriff and the Department of Public Works to request $80 million in state funding to be put toward the construction of a modernized jail.Read more »

Sister looks explode: Project Nunway V kicks fashion into "Dissident Futures"

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You want looks? Here's looks.

For the fifth year, Sister Baba Ganesh and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will put on their eye-popping, charitable fashion show Project Nunway -- an extravaganza seriously not to be missed if you want some only-in-SF flavor. Or, as head sis Sister Roma puts it: "In my 25-plus years of being a sister this is one of the most amazing, jawdroppingly beautiful events we've ever produced."

On Nov. 2 at YBCA, the big Sisters event will delve into the realm of Big Brother, with the theme "Dissident Futures." Expect chills! Read more »

The Performant: Cheers for fears

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If you consume the news at all you'll find a lot to be afraid of that seems endemic to the modern age: swine flu, restless leg syndrome, Ellis Act evictions, terrorist sleeper cells, compromised data privacy, zombie attacks. But despite its almost constant presence in our lives, this kind of fear merely creates a continuous low-grade malaise, an emotional state which appears to benefit only the evolution of pharmaceutical companies and the self-help book publishing trade.

So it's no wonder that in our search for "real" sensation, we often turn towards a more primal state of fear. The sort of fear that compels us to skydive out of airplanes, ride roller coasters, and surf giant waves, activities designed to trigger that survivalist fight or flight instinct that we then harness for our own adrenaline-generating, sensation-seeking purposes. The kind of fear that compels us to visit that most seasonal of attractions: the haunted house.

There are haunted houses designed to make you laugh and haunted houses designed to make you scream, and ideally a bit of each, a giddy state of being which San Leandro's Fear Overload makes a considered effort to provide.

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Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

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Well lookie here -- seems like SF really is for lovers. We’ve got hoards of young folks intermingling on OkCupid, Grindr, and Tindr. And yes, the penultimate event: Kimye got engaged at AT&T Park last night. Kanye West rented out the whole park to propose to Kim K., which seems...lavish and kinda lonely? Although, I hear there was a 50-piece orchestra, so those people he hired were there at least.

Anyway, that sprinkly-gooey-sweet stuff (ahem, love) extends to the bands you should be checking this week: tender Nanna Øland Fabricius (otherwise known as Oh Land), boy-girl duo Kisses, balmy Warm Soda, and um, Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits. Read more »

BART reaches tentative deal with unions, ending the strike

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The BART strike ended this morning — the second four-day strike of the current labor contract impasse, both of which hobbled the  Bay Area’s transportation system — after the district reached a tentative contract with its three unions late last night.Read more »

'Long Shot' doc follows Bay Area hoops star Kevin Laue

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Perfectly timed to coincide with the start of basketball season: the release of Franklin Martin's Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story, billed as "Hoop Dreams meets Murderball," with a healthy shot of Linsanity (now playing) to boot.

Martin spent four years following the Pleasanton-raised Laue, who was born with a left arm that ends just below his elbow. We see the budding hoops star — an honor student at Amador Valley High School as the film begins — mature from tousle-haired teen standout to Division I hopeful, refining his skills at a tough Virginia military academy along the way. Read more »

Live Shots: Treasure Island Music Festival 2013

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Maybe people just don’t know how to party anymore, but I didn’t come across vomit once at the Treasure Island Music Festival. The crowd’s vibe was more or less well-behaved all weekend -- pretty chill considering how many people were clustered on the island for the fests’ seventh successful installment.

The organizers rely on big names, the unique setting, a variety of vendors, and plenty of distracting flash (including the nearly iconic 60-foot Ferris wheel you can ride at $5 a pop) in order to keep this thing a destination.  Read more »

Promo: United Nations Association Film Festival in San Francisco Wed/23

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UNAFF was conceived to celebrate the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is currently screening films for the 16th year in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, San Francisco, and at Stanford University. Read more »

Train that struck and killed two BART workers was operated by trainee

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National Transportation Safety Board investigator James Southworth confirmed at a press conference on the afternoon of Oct. 21 that the train that struck two BART workers was “in operation for training and maintenance purposes,” and that the operator at the time of the fatal crash was a trainee. He said two of the six people on board were trainees.

The NTSB conducted interviews for 8-10 hours with the train operator, the operator's supervisor and someone from the dispatch office. Read more »

Brown takes heat on fracking

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On Thursday Oct. 17, more than fifty people gathered in front of the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in downtown San Francisco to protest Governor Jerry Brown’s reception of an environmental award. 

Every year, the BlueGreen Alliance hosts its Right Stuff Awards dinner to honor prominent individuals promoting a sustainable environment and economy. This year, they selected Governor Jerry Brown as a winner in the government category. The choice enraged environmentalists, who congregated where the awards dinner was being held to voice their indignation.Read more »

Sweet 'n' local: chocolate-making with Dandelion at the SF Botanical Garden

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"My name is Kaylen, and I'm a chocoholic," I announced at the Mesoamerican cloud forest at the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society (SFBGS), where users like me met for a recent course taught by Dandelion Chocolate. But what else is there to know about chocolate, apart from learning how to quit?

A whole botanical and cultural history, as it turns out, including tribal trading spats, terroir to make a oenophile envious, and ancient medicinal remedies — so don't stop drinking just yet. (Sound enticing? Sign up for SFBGS's upcoming class with Dandelion Chocolate and Four Barrel Coffee on Nov. 9; more Dandelion events here.) Here's the report.

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BART chief outlines rules for avoiding Saturday's fatalities UPDATED

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UPDATED 5:30 PM: Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe filed a report from the latest NTSB press conference on the BART accident that claimed the lives of two workers in the midst of the BART strike, which can be read here.Read more »

BART workers say the district deliberately caused the strike

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Photos by Tim Daw

Members of BART’s three striking unions gathered, rallied, and picketed outside the Lake Merritt BART station in Oakland for much of today, many of them still openly grappling with yesterday’s surprising turn of events that put them in the position of going out on strike for the second time this year. Read more »

Homeless advocates fight Wiener's effort to close parks at night

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The Coalition on Homelessness has launched a campaign to defeat Sup. Scott Wiener’s legislation to close down all city parks and most major plazas from midnight to 5am, which the Board of Supervisors is set to consider on Oct. 29. Activists are targeting three swing votes who could decide the controversial issue: Sups. London Breed, Norman Yee, and Katy Tang.Read more »

Live Shots: The Dodos at Great American Music Hall

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All photos by Charles Russo

Fans of the Dodos flocked to the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday night, to catch the band’s final performance of its latest tour. It was a glorious homecoming played out before an adoring Bay Area crowd as Meric Long and company turned out a dynamic set that seamlessly alternated between quietly beautiful and downright fierce. Read more »