playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz

  • MY BOOKS FOR SALE:

  • Free 1% FREE excerpts

  • 1% FREE on sale now


    Copies of 1% FREE can be purchased from Barnes & Noble POD, and the ebook can be had at Barnes & Noble ebook. The physical book is $18.95 and the ebook is $6.99.

  • END TIME reprinted


    Downloads of END TIME can be purchased from SMASHWORDS.
  • Copyright

    The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2007 - 2016 by G. A. Matiasz.
  • My Pages

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Category Cloud

  • Categories

  • Tag Cloud

  • My Social

Archive for the ‘Gavin Newsom’ Category

San Francisco, Paris of the West, part 3

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 17, 2013

Gay folks are just folk. For the most part, they just want to live and let live, and a surprising number of them are quite traditional and conservative. Witness the embrace of gay marriage by the gay community.

A former friend of mine continues to rant and rail against gays who’ve “betrayed” their “gayness.” For this faux friend, who’s bi and mired in bourgeois alcoholism, the pre-AIDS gay life of the 1970s was the height of liberation, and any acceptance or endorsement of “middle-class” marriage within a gay context is worse than betrayal. It’s blasphemy and abomination, in an anti-religious sense of course.

This is incredibly tiresome, coming from someone who professes to be a freedom loving, leave me alone libertarian type. But enough about him. There’s plenty to be critical of about the San Francisco gay community, without having to mention gay marriage. I mean, personally, and even though I think Gavin Newsom is a dick, I was kind of jazzed when he initiated gay marriage in San Francisco as the mayor. Let’s move on, though.

slide_306428_2649213_free
GAY PRIDE PARADE AND BRADLEY MANNING

The somewhat innocuous attempt to name Bradley Manning Grand Marshall of the 2013 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade raised a shitstorm from a staid SF Pride Board that stalled, maneuvered, and ultimately overturned the nomination of Bradley Manning. The SF Gay Pride Parade is festooned with corporate sponsorship, from Budweiser to Wells Fargo, and this has given the event a decidedly conservative, pro-business atmosphere despite all the drunken nudity and Dykes On Bikes.

The Bradley Manning contingent was large and spirited. Daniel Ellsberg acted as a surrogate Bradley Manning Grand Marshall and waved to the crowds wearing a pink boa. But, to be frank, the overturning of Proposition 8 by the Supreme Court overshadowed everything else on that day. Chelsea Manning (nee Bradley) languishes in the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth to this day, an American political prisoner and prisoner of conscience.

628x471
HALLOWEEN IN THE CASTRO

I stopped blogging on October 10, 2007 when, at the time, I wondered about the lack of a plan on the part of the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Police Department to deal with the “threat” of the annual Castro Halloween street party. Well, it’s been six years, and the City and SFPD has successfully quashed that once vibrant, extremely large and rambunctious street celebration. People still dress up in costume and wander about the Castro, but the streets are no longer blocked off, the police are out in force, public drinking and nudity are severely dealt with, and the whole affair has become a sad relic of former glory days.

The gay community’s acquiescence to the City’s and SFPD’s efforts to bridle and tame this party should not go unmentioned. Indeed, this was a blow to the wild party spirit of San Francisco in general, from the aboveground nightlife of bars and clubs to the underground scene of shows and raves. Hanging out in the Castro on Halloween is only slightly naughtier than going out trick-or-treating with the kids. Oh well, such is life.

Posted in Bradley Manning, Castro Street, Chelsea Manning, Daniel Ellsberg, Gavin Newsom, gay, gay marriage, Halloween in the Castro, Halloween party, LGBT, life, political prisoner and prisoner of conscience, politics, San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Still no plan

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 10, 2007

There’s still no plan for how the city hopes to deal with Halloween in the Castro. It’s like watching a train wreck, in slow motion. You know it’s going to be mayhem, yet you can’t help but watch the disaster unfold.

Posted in Bay Area, Castro Street, Citizens for Halloween, Gavin Newsom, Halloween in the Castro, Halloween party, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco mayor, SFPD, The Castro | 1 Comment »

Saving Halloween in the Castro

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 20, 2007

mw2w6137_std.jpg

A community group, Citizens for Halloween, is attempting to save the Castro Halloween party both from Mayor Gavin Newsom and from a potential riot. For further info, check the above website, or come to the C4H meeting this Saturday, September 22, at 1 pm, in the Eureka Valley Recreation Center, 100 Collingwood St.

Posted in anti-suburbanization, Bay Area, Bevan Dufty, Castro Street, Citizens for Halloween, Eureka Valley, Gavin Newsom, gay, Halloween in the Castro, Halloween party, LGBT, life, news, NIMBY, NIMBYism, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, The Castro | Leave a Comment »

Recipe for disaster or party organizing opportunity

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on August 9, 2007

ba_halloween_castro.jpg

This report in the SF Chronicle details the ongoing trainwreck of city government efforts to deal with the infamous Halloween party in the Castro. After last year’s shootings and stabbing, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty promised to convene a task force to look into how to make the Castro party safer this year. But the task force never met because the consensus in city government was to cancel the event altogether. Then, an effort was made to set up a diversionary event on the waterfront to draw people away from the Castro and give them a party to go to on Halloween. The promoter for that event cancelled however, and now the city insists that there will be no Halloween party in the Castro, and no alternative party anywhere else.

The problem with this, of course, is that people are going to show up in the Castro on Halloween anyway. Many of those who attend might even be a little pissed off at Newsom’s and Dufty’s bad faith in all of this. The police won’t block off the streets or provide porta-potties for the Halloween party, but that won’t stop thousands of people from showing up and taking over the streets. The perfect scenario for a riot.

I propose that people consider this the perfect opportunity to organize Halloween in the Castro against the wishes of San Francisco’s city government instead. Here’s how it could be done:

1) Get together all the pro-party/pro-entertainment forces in the city, from folks like SF Party Party to promoters of other SF events shut down or hassled by the city (How Weird Street Fair, Haight-Ashbury Street Fair, etc.) to like-minded individuals and organizations in the LGBT community. Put together a statement openly defying Newsom and Dufty that calls for people to come to the Castro on Halloween to celebrate. Publicize this statement, and the ongoing debate about Halloween in the Castro, in sympathetic local media like the SF Bay Guardian. Maybe get a few of the mayoral candidates (Josh Wolf, Chicken John, Chris Daly) to endorse the statement.

2) Organize outreach to businesses in the Castro asking them to defy Newsom and Dufty, and to stay open late on Halloween. Reward them with increased patronage before, during, and after Halloween.

3) Use sympathetic local media, email, websites, word-of-mouth, etc. to publicize that there will indeed be a party on Halloween in the Castro, and give those who wish to attend suggestions on how to deal with problems, to include gang and police violence.

4) Ask for volunteers to help with security on Halloween, then have a number of training sessions to organize and prepare these volunteers. Give them something distinctive to wear, and make sure they can cope, not just with crowd problems, but with a potentially hostile police force.

5) Organize alternative entertainment for Halloween in the Castro. This might require highly mobile, guerrilla events that stay one step ahead of the police. It also might involve enlisting willing local merchants to provide venues for acts and events. From portable streetcorner stages to roving DJs, all of this entertainment will be strictly DIY.

The only way people are going to be able to save Halloween in the Castro is to take it away from SF city officials and the SFPD and run it themselves.

———

PS — Here‘s SF Party Party’s take on Newsom cancelling Halloween in the Castro. A touch rabid, but a voice worth listening to nevertheless.

58806140_2319ff9ebf.jpg

Posted in anti-suburbanization, Bay Area, Bevan Dufty, Carnaval, Castro Street, Chicken John, Chris Daly, City Living, Eureka Valley, Fillmore Jazz Festival, Gavin Newsom, gay, gentrification, Giulianism, Haight Street Fair, Haight-Ashbury, Halloween in the Castro, How Weird Street Fair, Josh Wolf, LGBT, Matt Gonzalez, NIMBY, NIMBYism, police, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco mayor, San Francisco Party Party, SFPD, The Castro, Tom Ammiano, yuppie | 1 Comment »

Chicken John for Mayor

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 8, 2007

 ba_burningman31_010.jpg

Here’s the SF Chronicle‘s story on Chicken John’s bid for the mayor of San Francisco. It also mentions other “fringe” candidate like Josh Wolf. I didn’t knew that, because of Jello Biafra’s run for mayor in 1979, Chicken John will have to use his real name, John Rivaldi, on the ballot.

Posted in Bay Area, Chicken John, Gavin Newsom, Jello Biafra, John Rivaldi, Josh Wolf, Mayoral election, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area | 1 Comment »

Mayor Josh Wolf?

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 7, 2007

554962116_e430364596_m.jpg

Josh Wolf, the journalist who refused to hand over DVR outtakes of a 2005 anti-G8 riot in SF to a grand jury and was jailed for his efforts, announced on July 4 that he’s running for mayor. He attended the Progressive Convention last month and was apparently dismayed that no major SF progressive stepped forward to take on Gavin Newsom. Without further comment, here is his platform:

1) Open Government: As mayor I will wear a mounted streaming camera while working on all official business so that the public can take part in a truly open and transparent government. It may be possible that city codes dictate that certain meetings be confidential, in which case I will have a notice posted explaining why I am offline.

2) Crime: The homicide rate in San Francisco is out of control, and the Board’s plan for neighborhood policing is vital towards staving off this deplorable trend. I would like to adopt the Board’s plan and will work to expand it further to make foot patrols the dominant form of policing in the city and county of San Francisco.

3) Homelessness: There are far too many people in this city living without permanent shelter and something must be done to support these residents as they struggle to put their lives back together. As mayor I will work to develop a series of city beautification and beatification programs which will provide employment for those able to work. Unfortunately some significant portion of the homeless population is not physically or psychologically fit to join the work force, and I will be calling for the scores of homeless support organizations in San Francisco to join me and The City for a caucus to discuss how we can best work together to solve homelessness in San Francisco.

4) Public Transportation: Muni needs to be free for city residents, and I would like to see it free for visitors as well. I will look into passing on the additional cost to downtown business interests as well as exploring possible approaches towards taxing those who elect to use automobiles in The City. This could be done by establishing a fee for driving into the city or perhaps attaching fees to all vehicles registered within San Francisco.

5) Federal Funding: I will work to establish a ten-year plan to sever all federal funding from the city budget. While this is obviously an economically uncertain approach, the federal government’s money creates an unfortunate means for the Feds to intervene in all sorts of city business. My own incarceration is one such example, but far more pressing concerns include the mandates established under No Child Left Behind.

6) Gay Marriage: It is a shame that San Francisco is no longer offering marriage license’s to gay and lesbian couples. I propose that San Francisco look into offering a county marriage license to supplement the state documents The City now provides. Although the state of California refuses to support and honor gay marriage, the city and county of San Francisco should provide a way for people who love each other to formalize that love through marriage.

7) Medicinal Marijuana: The people of San Francisco have come out in support of medicinal marijuana in previous elections and it is of critical importance that The City continue to respect the voters’ wishes. San Francisco must make every effort to prevent Federal Law enforcement from interfering with state and local law and work to stop the harassment and intimidation of patients, their caregivers, and the dispensaries that serve our community.

8 ) Biking: I will partner with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to see that bike lanes are constructed on all major traffic thoroughfares.

9) Halloween: The annual Castro celebration has grown too large to safely accommodate the partygoers who gather each year. I will propose a plan to encourage every neighborhood that’s interested to host their own Halloween celebration. Doing so will decrease the massive crowds in the Castro and allow each neighborhood to develop an event that fits its own character. While this approach will certainly increase the demand on police resources I am convinced that it will actually result in safer and more enjoyable revelry for all.

10) Independence: As an avid supporter of a free and independent San Francisco, I will introduce a city ballot measure to provide an opportunity for the people of San Francisco to attain city sovereignty which I hope to derive from the ballot measure I helped draft three years ago. The residents of our city have united around at least three issues that are in direct contradiction with US policy (Iraq, gay marriage, and medical marijuana) and we should be given the opportunity to divorce ourselves from federal intervention on these and other issues of vital importance to our community.

His blog can be found here.

Posted in Gavin Newsom, Josh Wolf, politics, progressives, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco mayor | 1 Comment »

Giuliani time by the bay

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 4, 2007

After some thought, I don’t believe suburbanization is the right word for what Mayor Gavin Newsom has in mind for San Francisco. Newsom fancies himself a “new democrat,” someone who is moderate, centrist, and capable of creative solutions to social problems that are business-friendly at the same time. He has repeatedly cast his eyes toward New York City, and in particular, Giuliani’s time as its mayor. He has emulated NYC’s efforts to clean up Central Park with respect to problems in Golden Gate Park. Newsom has asked New York officials for advice on how to handle the homeless. And his latest idea has been to propose setting up special courts for “quality of life” crimes. Gavin Newsom wants to Giulianize San Francisco.

Newsom’s special courts idea has hit a snag with the SF Board of Supervisors. Board President Aaron Peskin reduced the proposed court’s budget from $750,000 to $500,000, then agreed with other supervisors on the Budget Committee to put the money on reserve. This has increased tensions between the Mayor’s office and the Board of Supervisors, as well as split the Mayor’s own people as to how to handle the Board.

dalypeskinnewsom.jpg

That “quality of life” crimes are committed by folks with little quality of life should be apparent to all. There needs to be more of an effort to debunk the myths of Giulianism. Jennifer Roesch’s excellent piece “The Mussolini of Manhattan” is a start, as is Robert Lederman‘s vendor and artist news from New York City. That Giuliani might be our next president scares the bejesus out of me.

Posted in Aaron Peskin, Central Park, Gavin Newsom, Giulianism, Giulianize, Golden Gate Park, homeless, new democrat, New York City, news, nuisance crimes, quality of life, quality of life crimes, Rudolph Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Board of Supervisors | Leave a Comment »

Grains of salt

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 21, 2007

poster_2007.jpg

The previous post, in particular the quote from the SF Party Party website, isn’t quite accurate. There was a 2007 Haight Ashbury Street Fair and How Weird Street Fair. I do know that, thanks to Newsom, fees have gone up for street fairs, the sale of beer and wine — often the only way these events make any money — has been restricted or eliminated, and live music has been scaled back and made to end earlier.

hwsf2007_r2_600.jpg

Posted in Gavin Newsom, Haight Street Fair, Haight-Ashbury, How Weird Street Fair, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area | Leave a Comment »

The madness…

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 21, 2007

San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Celebration is this weekend, and we’re bracing for the madness. The Trans March Friday night, Pink Saturday celebrations in the Civic Center, the Dyke March Saturday night, the main Pride Parade on Sunday, and a gazillion parties, concerts, and other events in between. Not to mention that every bar in the Castro, and there are a hell of a lot of bars, will be spilling celebrants out into the streets. (check here for a calendar)

It’s been almost a year since my wife and I moved from SOMA to upper Eureka Valley. We’re not in the center of the maelstrom, but comfortably perched above it. That said, there’s city “no parking” signs up all along Castro and 18th, and there’s not likely to be any parking for blocks and blocks around. More important to me as a user of public transportation, the buses are fucked up, or nonexistent, for two days. That means anything we do in the neighborhood will have to be done on foot.

You know what though? That’s city living. I chose to live in San Francisco in part because I would be in proximity to lots of exciting events and activities.

I’m particularly disturbed by the NIMBYism that has swept the city in recent years, and which is personified by the Newsom administration. Folks who purchased very expensive homes are complaining about the noise and nuisance of traditional events held in their neighborhoods, getting them shut down. The San Francisco Party Party website summarizes the casualties in warning about a threat to the Mission’s Carnaval celebrations.

More bad news: hot off the press. One of our editors just had a flyer placed under her door from a NIMBY group that is organizing to kill Carnaval next year. Apparently Mission NIMBY (not.in.my.back.yard) neighbors are inspired by NIMBYs in other parts of town that have killed Haight Street Fair, How Weird Street Fair, Halloween, and many other popular events.

We will have more information as this story develops. But for now please send an email to Tom Ammiano, Gavin Newsom, and the Board of Supervisors demanding that the city protect public events from NIMBY suburbanites (June 17th, 2007)

If I’d wanted to live in Walnut Creek, I’d have moved there.

07pridehp_03.jpg

Posted in anti-suburbanization, Bay Area, Carnaval, Castro Street, culture, Dyke March, Eureka Valley, Gavin Newsom, gay, Haight Street Fair, Halloween in the Castro, How Weird Street Fair, LGBT, neighborhoods, NIMBY, NIMBYism, Pink Saturday, Pride Parade, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, SOMA, South of Market, The Castro, Tom Ammiano, Trans March, Walnut Creek, yuppie | Leave a Comment »

The problem with progressives #1

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 19, 2007

al-gore.jpg

Why is it that progressives think that the best person to rally the troops and lead them to victory is the guy who lost the last time around?

Beyondchron.com in the Bay Area is a mind-numbing example of this problem, with hopeful stories about momentum building for Al Gore to enter the presidential race and the potential for Matt Gonzalez to reunify the SF Left by running for mayor against Gavin Newsom.

Excuse me, but isn’t winning the point? And didn’t these guys demonstrate an inability to do so? In Europe, when the leader of a political party presides over the defeat of his party, frequently the leader steps down and lets someone else have a go at it. Something to consider.

Posted in Al Gore, Bay Area, Chris Daly, Gavin Newsom, life, Matt Gonzalez, Mayoral election, politics, presidential election, progressives, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, the Left | 1 Comment »

Deja vu all over again

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 4, 2007

After a June 2 “Progressive Convention” in San Francisco failed to chose a candidate to run against Mayor Gavin Newsom from the left, speculation has been rife about who might step up. Ross Mirkarimi has declined, leading to speculation that Chris Daly may announce today. No dice with Daly, which puts Matt Gonzalez in the spotlight once again. Even if Matt runs, this won’t exactly be a repeat of the last mayoral election as Newsom has a better than 65% approval rating, a teflon coating with respect to recent scandals, and a ton of money already donated to his campaign. To keep up on the speculation and news, check out Beyond Chron.

mattwaving2.jpg

Posted in Chris Daly, Gavin Newsom, life, Matt Gonzalez, Mayoral election, politics, Ross Mirikarimi, San Francisco | 1 Comment »

Here we go again!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 2, 2007

58halloween9ff9ebf.jpg

According to a story on yesterday’s SF Chronicle website, Mayor Gavin Newsom is once again intent on banning the infamous Castro Halloween party. (here) Now, personally, I’m not a big partyer. I wasn’t one when I was young, and I’m even less of one now that I’m over 50. And frankly, my claustrophobia kicks in when I think of the wall-to-wall crowd that takes over the Castro every Halloween.

Yet Newsom’s ongoing efforts to “Giulianize” San Francisco really piss me off. The Mayor’s focus on “quality of life” issues is an attempt to suburbanize the city, as the folks at San Francisco Party Party point out. He needs to be opposed. What follows is a brief list of organizations trying to make the city into a fun and livable place. Each website has further links and resources.

San Francisco Party Party (HELP!!! SF Mayor Gavin Newsom is suburbanizing our great City… he must be stopped!)

Livable City (Livable City works to create a San Francisco of great streets and complete neighborhoods, where walking, bicycling, and transit are the best choices for most trips, where public spaces are beautiful, well-designed, and well-maintained, and where housing is more plentiful and more affordable.)

Boom! (the sound of eviction)

Fun/Cheap San Francisco (cool and affordable things to do in the san francisco bay area)

Friends of the Urban Forest (creating a greener San Francisco tree by tree)

SF Gro (San Francisco garden resource organization)

I’ll have more to say on this subject in the future.

halloween_4.jpg

Posted in anti-suburbanization, Castro Street, Gavin Newsom, gentrification, Halloween in the Castro, Halloween party, life, quality of life, San Francisco, SFPD, The Castro | 2 Comments »