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Divestment in San Francisco

From a 350.org press release:

This Tuesday, February 5, San Francisco District 11 Supervisor John Avalos will introduce a resolution urging the Retirement Board of the San Francisco Employee’s Retirement System (SFERS) to divest from the 200 corporations that hold the majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves.

“San Francisco has aggressive goals to address climate change,” said Supervisor John Avalos. “It’s important that we apply these same values when we decide how to invest our funds, so we can limit our financial contributions to fossil fuels and instead promote renewable alternatives.”

If the resolution is approved by the Board of Supervisors, San Francisco would become the second city in the nation to pursue fossil fuel divestment. This December, the Mayor of Seattle pledged to keep city funds out of the fossil fuel industry and urged the city’s pension funds to consider divestment. Avalos is also introducing a resolution today to push SFERS to divest from arms manufacturers.

Postcard 2: Golden Gate's 75th Birthday, Slacker Hill, Marin Headlands, California

Song: When The Northern Lights / Jasper And Louise

Around 6p yesterday, I decided to head over to the Marin headlands to catch the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th Birthday fireworks display. I wasn’t the only one with this idea — dozens of photographers and other Bay Areans were in the Headlands. The usual mix - beat-boxing Marin teenagers, reformed Hippies and Beats, wine and cheese toting young and old couples.

The hike to the lookout atop Slacker Hill is a short, uphill jaunt from the intersection of Conzelman and McCullough. The trail is, for the most part, wide and sandy. It climbs quickly to a vista with one of the best 360º views of the Bay Area. On a clear day or evening, it is truly a spectacular site. Even before the explosions began, it didn’t disappoint.

I talked with a few fellow photographers up there, everyone anxious to know where the fireworks were coming from - a barge west of the bridge? small boats in the Bay? - and commenting on the ‘cold.’ A pleasant, self-selecting bunch - after all, it takes a certain type to lug chairs, coolers, tripods, and themselves up a hill on a brisk night.

I wandered off for a while, catching a beautiful sunset that bathed the hill in radiant yellow, orange, and pink hues. When I returned, there were many more photographers; the area under the bridge on both sides had been cordoned off from any sea traffic. The bay was full of boats of all sizes, a school of tiny lights twinkling like rubies and emeralds, gently swaying in the ocean.

A little after nine, the bridge was emptied and all of its lights were turned off. A pretty neat sight, and as a fellow onlooker noted, a short break for grandpa golden gate after 75 years of service. We sang the bridge happy birthday.

Suddenly, streams of light poured off the bridge, bright white streaks quenched by the deep blue. The stalwart red scaffolding caught the light, blazing phosphorescencently. Much to our collective surprise, the bridge itself was fully equipped with pyrotechnics of its own, supplementing the small firework-festooned fleet flinging explosives. Meanwhile, the Slacker Hill onlookers flung strings of excitement-tinged expletives. I thought briefly about the air quality, valiantly trying to quiet those impulses.

The show lasted 30 minutes or so, ending with a spectacular display and a long, slow drive home.

The Tallest Man on Earth: between 5'5" and 5'7"

Tallest Man on Earth @ the Fillmore, SF

courtesy brian valdiznooo

Beth and I went to see Kristian Matsson, aka the Tallest Man on Earth, on Monday night at The Fillmore in San Francisco. The venue was fantastic. The show was outstanding. It takes serious gusto to get up on stage in front of throngs of the über-hip and perform like a maddened billy goat.

The setup was extremely simple. A man, three guitars, a smattering of peddles, and some amps. The Tallest Man seemed amused, entertained, and generally happy to be performing -- and the crowd loved him. We were lucky enough to be at the front of the audience, slightly off to the left. It was pretty outstanding; the combination of his unique voice, picking, and a pretty awe-inducing command of the audience made for a good night out. I wasn't sure what to expect -- sometimes a man and a guitar can be a bit boring -- but the show was great.

The show was at its peak for me when some of the showmanship and antics died down and the fellow just performed like an emotive mad man. Maybe the most amusing bit of performance was when, after a song, the tallest man flung his picks down pretty violently. He threw them at his amp, at his guitar, at the floor, always looking a bit pissed off and a bit bemused by the whole situation. I like that.