“San Francisco is a burning house. The board is debating getting an extinguisher.” — @amyechen. Photo, Steve Rhodes.

Cultural heritage is being pushed out, housing is in shambles, and we have no plan for the future.

Let’s change that.

At the Mission Moratorium hearing one week ago, there was anger, fear, and heartbreak. There was also a sense of community and a feeling of hope.

But most of all, there was gridlock.

If the Moratorium passes, nothing gets built. If it doesn’t pass, nothing gets built. Needless to say, no one is happy with the status quo.

Saying the housing crisis is deep-rooted and complex is like saying the Pacific Ocean is a bit wet. Kim Mai-Cutler’s essential piece on the issue weighs in at 13,000 words and features 20 charts and graphs.

Let’s distill the…


If a party happens, and no one Tweets it, does it make a sound?

by Sam-Omar Hall

Leave your phone at home.

March 6–7 were the ‘National Day of Unplugging.’ According to the organizers:

We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our iPhones, chronicling our every move through Facebook and Twitter and shielding ourselves from the outside world…

Friday night, the group Digital Detox held an Unplug SF party. At this party, you’ve got to check your tech at the door — no phones allowed. …


Every time a bell rings, a couchsurfer finds a couch.

It’s a Shareable Life is a guidebook to the brave new world of sharing.

We page through it and interview co-author and sharing guru Chelsea Rustrum.

by Sam-Omar Hall

Depending on which way you squint, the sharing economy can look either empowering or depressing.

Are services like Uber and Taskrabbit creating armies of flexible, liberated independent workers? Or are they creating a new, employee-free model that disdains loyalty, security and benefits?

Probably both.

These profit-minded start-ups are only part of the sharing economy, though.

the sharing un-economy

There are sharing services where money plays no part. This alternative system runs…


Shaffi Mather. (Photos by Linda Hanses — Linda Hanses Photography)

A conversation with Shaffi Mather

Growing up in the West, we take 9–1–1 service for granted — pick up the phone, dial 3 numbers, and an ambulance comes to help you.

In most of the world, you’re on your own in an emergency.

As global social entrepreneur Shaffi Mather points out, 5 billion people have no emergency response services whatsoever. Another 1.25 billion make do with inadequate services. Only 750 million, mostly in North America and Western Europe, can actually rely on prompt ambulance service.

In 2004, Mather founded Ziqitza — bringing ambulances to Mumbai, India. The company has since grown into the largest ambulance…


Strangely enough, all these characters appear in a single book.

cowboys, cavemen, or Cain and Abel?
a choose-your-own-adventure book review

You have a time-space machine that can transport you to one of seven time-locations, and immerse you in events there.

You must choose one after hearing the list.

A. 15,000 BC, Eurasia — CAVE MEN (AND WOMEN)
You are a small blonde girl orphaned in an earthquake, saved by the medicine woman of passing migrants, who are hairier and have different head shapes than you.

to choose this option, scroll down to A

B. 1000 AD — Medieval London — JUGGLING BARBER-SURGEONS You are an orphan boy, taken as an…


50 to 60 protesters trapped, arrested after 3-hour march through city

Marchers on Market Street Friday evening.

Late Friday, the protest march that began at the Embarcadero hours earlier finally ended on a small hill off Valencia Avenue.

50–60 protesters were trapped on Liberty Street by riot police after 9 p.m. Friday night, witnesses reported.

Police began mass arrests, preventing anyone, including press, from coming within a block of the site. The corner at 20th and Valencia provided the closest vantage point, and it was difficult to see or hear much.

Many questions about the arrests could not be answered at the time. SFPD did not…


Ferguson protest clashes with police; march takes winding, 5-mile route through San Francisco

(With a minute-by-minute recap of the angry and sometimes-violent Black Friday protest by a reporter on the scene.)

Early in the march, a man sits handcuffed on Market Street at 5th.

Protesters led police on a three-hour slow-speed chase across San Francisco Friday night. The marchers shut down Market, Mission and Valencia streets at different times throughout the evening.

Tensions were high between protesters and police, with violence flaring up at times.

The march sought justice and vented anger for Michael Brown, shot by police in Missouri, and Alex Nieto, killed by police in San Francisco in March.

After winding its way through the city, the march finally ended as police arrested many…


A chat with Morgan Fitzgibbons, lead organizer of the NOW! Festival

Morgan Fitzgibbons moved from Ohio to San Francisco in 2006. He founded the Wigg Party in 2009, he teaches a class on Haight-Ashbury in the ‘60s at USF, he helped found [freespace], and he’s the driving force behind the NOW! Festival happening now in the Panhandle.

We sat down with Fitzgibbons to talk Haight-Ashbury in the ‘60s, integral studies, and the NOW! Festival, including his best recommendations for the last two days of the festival.

Q: You’re from Ohio. What originally brought you to San Francisco? I did my undergrad at Miami University in Ohio and studied philosophy and comparative…


3 quick, tasty recipes using this underrated super-fruit

Dates are arguably the perfect fruit. They’re tongue-tinglingly sweet and quite nutritious. They last practically forever. In fact, they are virtually indestructible.

Dates have to be tough. They’re a desert food. Date palms grow in North Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and California.

Imagine you’re part of a camel caravan on a weeks-long trek through the Sahara desert…

Sam-Omar Hall

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