The Tom and Tim Show: Occupy the Super Bowl!

How should we respond when the mayor begins kicking out the homeless? Here’s one idea…

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The Beast on Bryant will face planning delay

Developer pulls back condo project in the wake of major community opposition

The site of new condos used to be a community arts space

The site of new condos used to be a community arts space

AUGUST 27, 2015 – The Beast on Bryant, a major development that would turn an entire city block that is now arts and industrial space into luxury condos, will probably be pulled off the Planning Commission agenda for September, meaning the project could be delayed for months or more.

The project planner, Rich Sucre, told me this afternoon that the developer is proposing major design changes that could require a new round of environmental review and change the timeline for project approval.

Among the changes: the developer wants to add 7,500 square feet of production, distribution, and repair space, perhaps in a nod to the widespread community opposition.

The hearing Sept. 10 was bound to be heated. Many of the same people who have opposed the Monster in the Mission (which is also now in limbo) are lining up against the Bryant Street project, and the commission hearing would have been packed with opponents.

The project not only involves the displacement of a longtime arts space but would change the use of a city block at a time when many in the Mission are arguing that market-rate condos are destroying the community and doing more harm than good for the housing crisis. Continue reading

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Big-money interests seek to repeal rent control in Richmond

Tenant groups say that pricey petition campaign is using misleading tactics to confuse voters

Richmond resident  Stacey Agnitsch says she was told a rent-control repeal petition was really to "support rent control."

Richmond resident
Stacey Agnitsch says she was told a rent-control repeal petition was really to “support rent control.”

By Tim Redmond

AUGUST 27, 2015 — A real-estate-backed effort to repeal Richmond’s rent-control law is attracting paid petitioners with an unheard-of price of $12.50 per signature – more than triple the highest price typically paid in the Bay Area.

And supporters of the law saw the people with the clipboards are putting out a misleading message, saying that the referendum will actually strengthen rent control.

No organization has yet publicly acknowledged funding the expensive effort, and we won’t know for sure until early September, when the paperwork is due, where the money is really coming from.

However, sources tell me that the deep-pocketed backer is the California Apartment Association, a longtime foe of rent control that could see Richmond as a bellwether. After the City Council approved a rent-control measure in that town, efforts have spread to other cities like Santa Rosa, where an organizing drive is underway.

Following the money trail takes you down the rabbit hole that is paid signature-gathering in California, where contractors and sub-contractors hire temporary workers who often travel the state in search of the quick cash they can make convincing voters to sign a petition. Continue reading

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PARTY RADAR: Francesca Lombardo, Kafana Balkan, Maxxi Soundsystem, Dickslap, Steam, more

Choice dance floor and nightlife affairs — plus a little after-hours gossip — for Thu/27-Sun/30.

48 Hills Party Radar

DJ Francesca Lombardo plays Monarch, Fri/28.

By Marke B.

PARTY RADAR First things first: Party Radar is going on a wee hiatus, as I head to Berlin for Folsom Europe (the Continental version of our hometown piggy-fest) and to support our boys Honey Soundsystem as they headline one of the world’s best clubs, Panoramabar at Berghain (a historic first for an out gay DJ collective).

Look for some reporting on all that — but don’t look too closely, I may be, er, busy. Meanwhile, come celebrate with me this weekend! It’s my birthday, and I’ll be DJing at two really fun parties: a full four-hour set of classic goodies at bathhouse-themed  Steam (Fri/28, 10pm-2am, $5. Powerhouse SF), a benefit for 48 hills, and opening up Dickslap (Sat/29, 9pm-2am, $7. SF Eagle), a super-fun party at the Eagle. All are welcome! Please come down and dance, I’d love to see you.

48 Hills Party Radar: SF Armory

Your new rave hut.

The San Francisco Armory is going to become a giant nightclub — well, at least a giant, 4,000 person music venue that will probably host a lot of DJ-driven events as well. There have been some annoying raves there in the past, including a huge kerfuffle about a prison-themed gay circuit party (ugh) — although some friends had fun at a recent Crystal Method show. Audrey Joseph, the former city Entertainment Commissioner who previously ran the infamous 177 Townsend club, will helm the new space. Most of the cavernous building will remain’s fabulous porn studio, so let’s hope for a lot of bleedover between the building’s two business concerns. There should be way more porn happening at arena concerts, maybe. Maybe not.

Protecting longtime clubs from gentrification: The latest great nightlife space, queer or otherwise, to be threatened by gentrification is the venerable, 30-year-old Lone Star Saloon, traditional hangout for gay bears, that has been hosting some superb, subversive dance parties since its reinvigoration under new owners a few years back. This from owner Tony Huerta:

Continue reading

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Future fantasies collide in “Late Stage San Francisco”

Maryam Rostami’s latest performance piece takes on problematic visions, apocalypse porn, and “roadkill Kardashians.”

A video still from 'Last Stage' shows Maryam Rostami in the throes of future freak.

A video still from ‘Last Stage’ shows Maryam Rostami in the throes of future freakout.

By Caitlin Donohue

ONSTAGE Performer Maryam Farnaz Rostami hardly thinks that her play on the city’s future will present an answer to our current housing woes. “I am not providing solutions,” the drag queen and performance artist told 48 Hills in an email interview this week, days before her latest piece, Late Stage San Francisco, debuts at the ACT Costume Shop (Fri/28-Sat-29.) “Only a few fantasies, all of which are problematic.”

But this is not a woman who shies from the complex. Past Rostami productions have focused on Persian American female identity (Persian Looking), the cultural twists endured by a child of immigrants (Persepolis, Texas). She’s done drag as a cis woman, a complex braid of gender presentation — as anyone familiar with her character Mona G. Hawd will attest. Late Stage is her meditation on the ramifications of the current battle for housing and space in San Francisco (with implications of cancer and capitalism’s collapse in the title).

Perhaps by leapfrogging into a far away time, Rostami can show us that there is life after luxury housing is proposed on 16th Street and Mission, and that the true essence of the city will survive skyrocketing rents.  Continue reading

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