Mental health activists are mourning the loss of R

first_imgMental health activists are mourning the loss of Robert Dellar, a “tenacious force for good in an uncaring world” and one of the founders of Mad Pride, who died at the weekend.Dellar avoided the media limelight, but had been a driving force behind the user-led campaign, which was set up to celebrate mental health culture.Dellar (pictured), who leaves a partner, Shirley, and a step-daughter, Sophia, was also an active member in recent years of the user-led campaigning organisation that grew out of Mad Pride, the Mental Health Resistance Network.Through Mad Pride, he helped organise countless gigs, compilation CDs and direct action protests, and was a key figure in protests against the last Labour government’s plans to introduce community treatment orders (CTOs).But he also worked tirelessly to support mental health service-users in a professional capacity for many years, and his last paid work was as an advocate for prisoners with experience of mental distress, in Brixton Prison.One of his earliest successes was his pioneering work in setting up a patients’ council and advocacy department at Hackney Hospital, a mental health institution in east London.In 1997, Dellar was appointed as a development worker at Southwark Mind, which had just been transformed into a user-led charity thanks to the efforts of survivor activists Pete Shaughnessy and Denise McKenna.Dellar set up another “user council” in Southwark, which, said McKenna, was a radical move because it “shifted the power imbalance usually found in service user involvement within services”.She said: “There were already survivor groups around, setting agendas from a survivor perspective, but Robert formalised this shift in power within statutory services by enabling an interface between providers and users to take place on users’ terms.“Service providers, from the CEO of the local NHS trust, clinicians, senior police officers, through to local council officers, were eager to attend user council meetings and be answerable to service users.”Two years after moving to Southwark Mind, Dellar helped Shaughnessy organise a march on Marjorie Wallace’s mental health charity SANE, in protest at its support for CTOs.Dellar would write later, after Shaughnessy’s death in 2002: “We managed to get 200 people turning up to the SANE march – which at the time was an unprecedented figure for a ‘mad’ demo.“We had whistles, drums, a 7-foot long syringe together with a kitchen table, corn-flakes and milk, tridents (because we’re the devil), banners, flyers you name it – we pulled out the stops.“SANE didn’t know what the fuck had hit them. They dropped their support for CTOs and to this day, they’re still reeling from this event.”Fellow mental health activist Mark Roberts had earlier introduced Shaughnessy to his friend Simon Barnett and persuaded them both to be involved in the user group Survivors Speak Out, which had been a pioneering network of mental health survivors since it was set up in 1986, but was gradually losing its influence.While organising the SANE demo, Shaughnessy introduced Roberts and Barnett to Dellar, and together they set up Mad Pride.They were determined to avoid the arguments and endless debates that had begun to affect Survivors Speak Out, said Roberts.It was Dellar’s connections in the London punk scene – and his promotional and organisational skills – that helped Mad Pride to grow through its cultural events, said Barnett, and he continued organising and promoting Mad Pride events until shortly before his death, despite his ill-health.Mad Pride probably reached its creative peak in 2000, with a festival in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington.Dellar would later suggest that they had probably “over-reached” themselves that summer, with several other concerts and the publication of an anthology he co-edited, Mad Pride: A Celebration Of Mad Culture, which was described as “a revolutionary series of 18 autobiographical stories about people’s experiences of mental distress”.“The Mad Pride work was too intense,” he wrote, “and none of us have ever been quite the same again.“But we tried, we got user-led mental health issues into the media as never before, and we inspired many people.“We also, without a doubt, moved the paradigm of the British ‘user movement’ left-wards.”Years later, it was the anti-austerity protest Dellar organised in Hyde Park in the autumn of 2010 – following months of preparation – that led McKenna and fellow survivor-activists to set up the Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN).The protest saw more than 80 activists took part in a demonstration near Speaker’s Corner, in which they burned a two-faced effigy of David Cameron and George Osborne to demonstrate their anger at cuts to disability benefits.McKenna said the protest had “focused the minds of some of us to set up a more sustained campaign against the dismantling of the welfare state”.In the last couple of years, he had become closely involved with MHRN, attending protests about the co-location of mental health and DWP services, and protesting at what activists saw as the “collaboration” of the national charity Mind with the Department for Work and Pensions.McKenna said Dellar had been “horrified” by the thought that national Mind might be bidding for DWP contracts, which “would mean local Minds would be pushing the now ubiquitous work cure”, and he had been involved in calls for local Minds to disaffiliate from the national charity.Friends also spoke this week of Dellar’s writing talent, which included the “very, very entertaining” punk fanzine-style newsletters he edited for many years for Southwark Mind and its user-led successor, Southwark Association for Mental Health.McKenna said Dellar played “a huge role in developing the idea of mad culture through his writing and the many cultural events held by Mad Pride.“Robert saw Mad Pride as primarily about resisting both mental health stigma and the power of psychiatry.“Although he was critical of psychiatry, he believed that society had to respond in some way to mental distress, it was not a private matter and needed to be addressed at a societal level.“He respected people’s use of psychiatry if it was helpful to them but was always aware of the controlling nature of it.“When it came to finding ways to cope with mental distress, Robert was a pragmatist.”She said he also dealt with the “everyday tasks of helping people with benefit claims and all of the practical things that are so important for the individual to survive.“He was highly empathic and could identify with anyone, especially those on the margins of society.“He was kind and gentle while at the same time managing to be a powerful force.”She added: “Robert was radical, anti-establishment, irreverent, non-conformist and funny yet he encapsulated everything that is civilised in what is fast becoming an uncivilised world.“He had a brilliant intellect, was steadfast and extremely hardworking. He was also disarmingly humble.“Above all, Robert was loved by so many people. He is a huge loss to MHRN and to the wider survivor community.”Simon Barnett described his friend as “really hard-working” and “full of humility”, and also “very loyal, funny, caring and gentle”.He said: “He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word. He didn’t put himself in the limelight.“He didn’t want to be in the limelight. He was the driving force behind.”Mark Roberts, another of the Mad Pride co-founders, said his friend was “an absolutely key figure in the mental health activist world” and “amazingly hard-working” with a “great sense of adventure” and a “wicked” sense of humour.He was not as well-known as other activists because he let others speak, and was more of a “back-room person”, said Roberts.Like others, he spoke this week of Dellar’s kindness, but said he was also “very tough, very pushy with the system”, but on behalf of other people rather than himself.He remembered how Dellar offered him “sanctuary” so he could go into hiding when he was being threatened with being sectioned and “having psychiatrists and police knock down my door and drag me out”.Roberts said Dellar also brought a sense of fun to what was often a gruelling area of work. He himself has lost about 30 friends from the movement over the years.“Robert always wanted people to have fun,” he said. “Mad Pride was a celebration of who we were, but it wasn’t just banners and protests… it had to be fun.”Gini Simpson, a “friend, collaborator and fan” of Dellar, said he was “a true friend and one of the kindest, cleverest people I have ever met”, as well as being “an authentic punk, who opposed the chronic abuse of power he saw around him”.She said: “This is the man who put punk rock gigs on in the acute ward at the then Hackney Hospital, who organised football matches at Broadmoor and who arranged for a stupendous line up of bands to play at the Mad Pride festival in Clissold Park, when the local council were expecting limp cheese sandwiches and ‘carers’. “Robert was a tenacious force for good in an uncaring world. This gentle man will be sorely missed, but definitely not forgotten.”Another friend, Michelle Baharier, said: “He was one of the kindest, most compassionate people you could meet.“He would support and facilitate others wherever he could. The user-led community have lost an amazing campaigner and light for hope.”One long-time friend posted on Facebook: “In an ever changing world he remained steadfast, loyal to calling out injustice wherever he found it, a campaigner, a wit, a brilliant organiser, writer, poet, polemicist, provocateur, a comrade, an intelligently sensitive soul with a sense of fun.”Among his many other activities, Dellar – together with Barnett – put together five CD compilations of bands that had played gigs for Mad Pride.Dellar was a “raw and funny” writer, said Barnett. As well as “loads of short stories and articles”, he wrote the autobiographical Splitting In Two: Mad Pride And Punk Rock Oblivion.He also edited an anthology of punk-themed short stories, Gobbing, Pogoing And Gratuitous Bad Language!.Ted Curtis, who had been a friend for more than 25 years, remembers reading his “funny and acerbic” fanzine Straight Up when Dellar was a student at the University of Sussex in the 1980s, although he didn’t meet him until they ended up squatting in the same house in Hackney in the early 1990s.Dellar was supportive of his writing, and Curtis was one of his six co-authors for the 1998 novel Seaton Point, in which the plot took place in a high-rise block of flats on a Hackney estate.Curtis said: “He was really supportive of everything I did from then on.“When I got seriously depressed he helped me out with that. I wouldn’t be here without him, and I can’t believe he’s gone.“He was all love, all the way, all day. He was warm, funny, loving, giving. He would do anything for anyone.”Another who paid tribute to Dellar’s kindness and generosity this week was Pete Shaughnessy’s widow, Penny.She said: “Robert Dellar saved my life, of that I have no doubt.“His kindness helped me survive the trauma of my husband’s suicide 14 years ago, and that kindness has gone a long way, and will continue to do so.“I hadn’t really had the opportunity to get to know Robert personally when Pete was alive, but knew how important he was to Pete, and I enjoyed listening to them scheming and laughing together on the phone (for hours and hours and hours).“Because Pete killed himself on the same day I was made homeless, and because I had no other support, Robert took me in and gave me a safe space to recover, he allowed me to stay in his upstairs room with access to a roof space, so that I could sit in the sun, he introduced me to friends that I am still in touch with, he introduced me to the best music I’ve ever heard, he provided me with everything that is important, and expected nothing in return.“And although the circumstances were tragic, I look back fondly and feel incredibly lucky to have spent that time with him.“There is nothing I can say about Robert that won’t already have been written, I am only one of many who he’s helped out, and one of many more who will be deeply sad to hear of his death.“When I first stayed with Robert I was a broken wreck, but by the time I left 18 months or so later I felt like a fully-fledged punk rocker, and all the better for it.“RIP Sir, your kindness is your legacy and there is no better legacy than that.”last_img read more

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Tribal LoveRock Musical Opens at Victoria Theater

first_img 0% He noted violence, shootings by police, and the recent gay-bashing in the Marina. “For all these things to be happening, it’s a slap in the face to say: We’re not as progressive as we think we are,” McCoy said.Rotimi Agbabiaka, an actor in the production who lives in the Mission, sees expressions of the intolerance and violence that Hair calls out in his life – homeless people in need, ongoing wars, and displacement of the arts. “Those are things that I definitely witness and am concerned about, and I think those issues get reflected in this play,” Agbabiaka said.Of course, times have clearly changed since the Summer of Love. And even in his six years in the city, Agbabiaka has seen the artistic, free-spirited body of San Franciscans shift.“I definitely think it’s harder for artists to stay here,” he said. “I walk around my neighborhood and the people I see are so different, the artists and the strange weird people who made the city the strange beautiful place that it has been are not around as much.”McCoy, who came to San Francisco specifically because it was a place with enough support for the arts that he could make a living in theater, founded Bay Area Musicals! specifically so that the region would have its own production company dedicated exclusively to musical theater. He began work on Hair and sought out a place to bring it to an audience. McCoy settled on the Victoria Theatre, in part because of its proximity to public transportation, but also because of its character and grit. “Hair is a little bit grittier, a little bit dirtier, and the Mission fits well with that,” McCoy said. “It doesn’t have this necessarily polished feel to it, it’s one of the oldest theaters we have in San Francisco…it has that charm of an older building as well, which fits with the show itself.”Agbabiaka has a similar reverence for the old theater. “It’s wonderful to get to be on the stage, and be backstage, and get to be down in the dressing rooms in such a historic building,” he said. “I love that it’s still around, I love that it’s still being used for performance and for arts…it’s really exciting to be a part of that legacy.”Hair opens tonight at the Victoria Theatre at 2961 16th Street and plays until March 12, 2016. Tickets are available here.  Hair the musical is coming to the Victoria Theatre, but not like you’ve seen it before. “We don’t have giant peace signs everywhere, we’re not passing out flowers, it’s really about the context of the story and the journey of continuing to break this norm,” said Matthew McCoy, founder and artistic director of Bay Area Musicals!, the company behind the production. “Every generation, we feel like this is the norm. And then this generation from Hair said, okay, if this is the norm what is the next norm? Which breaks the box open again.”McCoy saw the relevance of Hair to the current cultural and political climate. In San Francisco especially, the revival of an ode to the hippie anti-war movement some 50 years later is still relevant. This version is modern, minimalist, and in some cases literally naked. But the bones – a challenge to the status quo and the intolerant mentalities that still persist – are still there. “I think there’s been a lot of hatred toward race, toward sexuality… All of these topics are discussed, and not only just touched on or mentioned in the show, it’s literally brought straight to your face,” McCoy said. “There’s an orgy scene, and two guys are on each other. And we need to be okay with it. And we need to be okay with race.”center_img Tags: theater Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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Lit Crawl Live in SFs Mission

first_img“It has often been my impression that doctors take themselves entirely to seriously,” David Watts MD at #litquakesf2016 . @MLNow pic.twitter.com/dBMBWuhIoa— Anna Marsý (@anna_marsy) October 16, 2016 $50-an-hr ping pong in SoMa = next #litcrawlsf2016 target @TheChapelSF “a good place to go on a date w/ a 23 yr old who just sold a startup”— Lauren Hepler (@LAHepler) October 16, 2016 “It’s really fun to be able to act out your comics,” said @OscillatingProf Teddy Hose.#litcrawlsf2016 #litquake2016 #teddyhose pic.twitter.com/Txzz0O1o5e— Mission Local (@MLNow) October 16, 2016 “Wow. There are a LOT of talking things,” says a man as he passes another #litcrawlsf2016 event on 24th Street @MLNow— e.t. sonner kehrt (@etskehrt) October 16, 2016 Kate Polk evoked rolling laughter with her piece on friends who pick themselves up after bad breakups-missing organs and all.“If one day they return to me single again, they’ll be diminished in body and spirit, feet swollen from renal failure, eyes jaundiced, a piece of their lungs and kidneys on a shelf in some man’s house,” she said in front an audience at Dijital Fix, many of whom shared her woes of relationships gone wrong.Owen Theodore Brown, a tech-startup worker, attended three Lit Crawl events but this was his favorite of the night.“I really dug the piece on humans dating each other’s organs,” Brown said, referencing Polk’s story. “It made me wonder what I secretly or explicitly want to control my lovers, warp them into something they’re not just for my own personal pleasure.”He said the story made him think of an old girlfriend and he reflected on how he “basically threw an obstacle into the growth of our relationship, and I don’t know why.”However conflicted he feels about his breakup, Brown said that he felt the evening was a success, and that art needed to move people with novelty.“If you’re not digging really deep, you’re not covering anything you haven’t covered before,” he said.Attendees like Gretchen Schwarz felt lucky to stop by Dijital Fix and catch the laughs surrounding broken hearts and damaged livers.“They all think it’s worth it to be in a relationship despite the risk of permanent deformity,” Polk said humorously. ClitQuakeThe colorful stories of female sexuality told at #ClitQuake offered a celebration of the clitoris, and unencumbered pleasure.San Francisco writer Danielle Truppi told of a girl’s earliest glimpses of arousal, spurring from the “smooth simplicity of Ken’s groin” — you know, Barbie’s Ken— to the quivering exhale of Ethan Hawk.Then there was young love, and the carnal complication of teenage boys, the apprehension of sex, the fear of breaking because of it.“I am shaking like a virgin, so I hope you all will be gentle with me,” plead Oakland writer Lauren Parker in a preface to her prose.Both she and her clitoris felt invisible as a teenager, she said.“If women were valuable to us, we would be digging them up like sapphires, instead of burying them,” she read.Audra Hren spoke of how she first explored her attraction to women in her mid-20s, after years of “hunting boys at parties in college and hiding from them behind homework the next day.”Men, she found, made her angry, made her fear drinks from strangers and unwanted advances from her boss.Then, she met someone like her, someone soft and kind.“With you I’m not angry, I’m not scared,” she said of her lover. “I’m not even sad.”Louis Evans, the event’s emcee, brought down the house with his theatrical story of a 15-foot tall clitoris that rose one day from the San Francisco Bay. Men, of course, mistook it for a penis.A fleet of 69 boats, all filled with queer women, eventually conquered the clit by setting up a slip and slide from its top to its bottom. It spasmed, and then sunk into the sea.SF Chronicle columnists read their most damning critiques at The Chapel. KQED’s “¿Donde está mi gente?” is up next.Chronicle Critics at The ChapelValencia Street is empty, but The Chapel bar near 18th Street is packed. Close to 100 people are listening to a panel of critics from the *San Francisco Chronicle* read some of their most damning reviews.Drink Up columnist Esther Mobley teams up with Lily Janiek, the theater critic, to read a review of Susan Sarandon’s ping pong-themed Spin, “where San Franciscans can rent ping pong tables for $79 an hour.”“The place seemed like something out of HBO’s Silicon Valley: a little too on the nose to be real,” says JaniekMobley adds, “It would be a good place to go on a date with a 23-year-old who just sold their start up.”Later the conversation shifts to architecture, with urban design critic John King assailing soulless buildings, highlighting the LinkedIn’s Second Street building as a sleek glass monstrosity that “feels exactly like what it is: a tower designed and built by New Yorkers.” Susanna Kwan, reading her story *Winter of Departures* from Joyland Magazine at Dijital Fix for Litquake. Photo by Sawsan Morrar.“I pick up the phone to call the police because this morning he said he would kill me, but there is no nine on my phone anymore, he took my nine off the phone.” – Susanna Kwan, reading her story *Winter of Departures* from Joyland Magazine at Dijital Fix for Litquake. 0% We’re beginning phase one of our live coverage of Lit Crawl! Stay tuned! The crowd at @GoodVibesToys for #litquakesf2016 listens to personal and fictional kinkstories, surrounded by dildos and lube. ?? @MLNow— Anna Marsý (@anna_marsy) October 16, 2016 Spotted on #BART! He’s finishing up some last minute edits for @litcrawl #litcrawl #litcrawl2016 @MLNow pic.twitter.com/xW2qZwcVHJ— Sawsan Morrar (@sawsan24) October 16, 2016 . @PhilzCoffee on 24th looks v ’90’s SF tonight a la “So I Married an Axe Murderer.” @MLNow #litcrawl2016— Spencer Silva (@wordsmithsilva) October 16, 2016 Writer Lydia Popovich says of her visit to Portland, OR, “There, beards are made of flannel.” #litquakesf2016 #litcrawl @MLNow— Laura Newberry (@LauraMNewberry) October 16, 2016 At Chronicle #litcrawlsf2016 event: “Raise your hand if you work in tech”*zero hands* (on Valencia in craft cocktail land, no less)— Lauren Hepler (@LAHepler) October 16, 2016 #litquake2016 attendees check out a few books. No pun intended ?SFPL Bookmobile presents Public Access Poetry @MLNow pic.twitter.com/378lEtrGMM— Sawsan Morrar (@sawsan24) October 16, 2016 “I tell Sarah how Im always on the lookout for a man who will appreciate my lopsided ventricals.” KF @dijitalfix #litquakesf2016 @MLNow— Anna Marsý (@anna_marsy) October 16, 2016 Tags: Lit Crawl Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Fellow Barber Hosts The Coop’s Literary Relay Race, attracting dozens of Lit Crawl attendees. Participants take turns sharing one continuous storyI Heart San FranciscoIntersecting in the Bay Area far more than they would at home, Latino and queer voices stood as one in the “I Heart San Francisco,” event at The Chapel organized by KQED and Donde esta mi gente? or Where are my people? as part of the 2016 LitQuake Festival.“I swear I came to San Francisco to eat donuts and look at cute boys all day,” said Mexican poet Baruch Hernandez Porras, in a short stand up routine that preceded his actual presentation.With verses ranging from his past evictions (“Instead of being mad, we were just quiet,”) to the misinterpretation of what a Mexican looks, acts and thinks, Hernandez painted a loving picture of the city he likes to complain about.Lydia Popovic, a Mexican American with Russian heritage, commented how San Franciscans seem “permanently stuck in NPR” volume, in contrast to the ebullient expression of Latin American immigrants.“My heritage is a crazy ass mix, which makes me great at three things: drinking, yelling and fucking.”In front of a noisy, but still San Franciscan crown, she ended the event with a huge yell, one at the top of her lungs. It was a release and the audience followed suit. If the rain is stopping you from enjoying #litcrawl2016, @MLNow has you covered! Follow on Twitter, FB, and https://t.co/qVZvd1Pbio pic.twitter.com/O7w1LKyQdZ— Sawsan Morrar (@sawsan24) October 16, 2016 The crowd watching the Nocturnists at the Paxton Gate. Photo by Anna M. ClausenThe NocturnistsSurrounded by sculls, bones, taxidermy-animals, art and books, the 30 or so guests of Paxton Gate listened intently as physicians read prose and poems about their lives in medicine for the Litquake event “The Nocturnists.”Audrey Shafer, a poet, writer and anesthesiologist was one of the authors present and read part of her children’s novel about post-traumatic stress disorder in the veteran society as well as a poem about anesthesia.“Anesthesiais simple,you go to sleep,you wake up.”Speaking with Mission Local after her reading, Shafer said that she believes medicine and writing goes together very well, pointing to the fact that the Pegasus Physician Writers group now has over 100 members.“There seems to be a desire to communicate and express what it is that we experience as doctors,” she said, dwelling into the many intimate moments experienced between patients, families and doctors.“From witnessing that experience comes the need to write,” she said, “to try to describe the joy, the grief, the sorrow and the intimacy that doctoring entails.”For her, the need to write bubbles up. She describes it as “a bit of a pressure cooker” and says that at some point she has the need to get it out on paper and not be a part of her anymore.Audrey Shafer, a poet, writer and anesthesiologist. Photo by Sawsan Morrar La Reyna Bakery – Return of the Pan Dulce PoetsThe pastry shelves are nearly empty inside La Reyna Bakery on 24th Street, but the room is full and the air still smells like cinnamon. It’s the SF Flor y Canto presents Return of the Pan Dulce Poets event, and Silvia Oveido has a question.“How many of you would be okay if I read a poem in Spanish?” she asks. Hands shoot up in agreement and the crowd applauds.“I’m always really conscious of my accent when I read in English,” she explains.It doesn’t show, especially not when she switches back from Spanish to read a poem she says she wrote about the election. She addresses the crowd intently.“I don’t have the right to vote,” she says. But she urges those who can to make sure they do. “It’s your moral duty,” she says. “Not your civic duty. Your moral duty.”She begins the poem. “What have we become?” she asks. “What have we become?”Philz Coffee fills up for the Lit Crawl event “Brown People Don’t Read?”“Brown People Don’t Read”Before performers busted the myth “Brown People Don’t Read” at Philz Coffee on 24th, Lit Crawl attendees were treated to late-night coffee and the lilting sweet tones of Kenny G.Blanca Torres, a reporter by day and fiction writer by night, read from a rough draft of her story “Tax Break,” a commentary on pregnancy and marriage. Torres signaled to her stomach, telling the audience she is due in two weeks.Her story described a room of “plastic model uteruses” and “Pepto Bismal colored walls” of an OBGYN’s office.A man walking by the event dissonantly screamed mid-reading, “BLACK POWER!”Jenny Irizary, an Oakland writer, read from a story about an adolescent girl awkwardly coming to terms with her sexuality.“I’m not allowed to get my ears pierced until I’m 12 at a parlor that’s known for its hygiene!” said Irizary’s main character to her friends. She described a character escaping to the bathroom of a sleepover to contemplate whether the rest of girls at the sleepover realize she’s not a girl, or at least an odd one.Lisa Gray, who writes about growing up black in “post-civil rights America,” read from her novel, a scene she’s been working on for 2-3 years. (Character is Janice)“I melted in that pew,” she began.@etskehrt: @MLNow overheard at @litcrawlsf2016 “oh my god he’s stiiiillll reading!” Silicon Valley Romance Writers of AmericaThere’s blood and glass everywhere. A man scrambles to assess the damage from the crash, wading through debris cluttering the cabin of the Tesla to reach his lover.“Open those beautiful blue eyes for me,” Layla Reyne reads wistfully.Reyne was one of a half-dozen authors at a Lit Crawl group reading Saturday night entitled, “Are you experienced? Asks the Silicon Valley Romance Writers of America.”Run-of-the-mill whippings – “nothing naughty,” according to author Kate Allure – mixed with more sentimental encounters at the event, which drew about three dozen people to the street art-adorned Wonderland SF boutique.Richard Amooi, a self-described author of “quirky romantic comedies from a guy’s perspective,” left listeners with a more dystopian scenario to chew on.“Imagine not being able to text,” Amooi said in the voice of his protagonist.“I would die,” a fictional romantic interest responds.A Litquake relay at Fellow Barber. Photo by Sawsan MorrarA Litquake relay at Fellow Barber. Photo by Sawsan Morrar Haus Coffee“Bill’s wife Cindy was being a pain in the ass,” Edward Porter begins. He’s reading at Haus Coffee on 24th Street at the Half a Dozen Brilliant Reasons: Why There Are Words event. The acoustics in the coffee shop are great- every sound is magnified. The barista whispers as quietly as he can to the customer ordering tea at the counter.A woman in a black shirt sneaks in a few minutes late, and she pulls out a seat. The legs of the chair scrape against the concrete floor. The sound echoes throughout the room.” ‘Would you just be quiet and watch a minute?’ says Bill,” Porter reads. Being Mexican and gay is like being in a “taco truck that plays Selena all day.” — Baruch Porras Hernandez @MLNow #Litcrawl— Laura Newberry (@LauraMNewberry) October 16, 2016 Mission Comics from Mission Local on Vimeo.Owen Theodore Brown, a tech-startup worker, attended three Lit Crawl events but this was his favorite of the night ( Photo by Anna Clausen).Broken Hearts and Missing Livers last_img read more

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What to watch for as the early returns for mayor trickle in

first_img“If London Breed is ahead more than 10 in absentees, I’m drinking at that point,” says Mark Leno partisanMany years ago, unknown advertisers erected particularly striking billboards around the Bay Area. They were stark: A mass of lily-white military headstones protruded from a sea of verdant green grass, trailing back to the vanishing point as far as the eye could see. One word accompanied this photograph, in all-capital, block letters: “VOTE.” It’s a hard message to miss. And yet, we are missing it. Tracking the tally of mail-in ballots trickling back into City Hall prior to Tuesday’s election, we are running at a lower rate than any of the past six June primary elections. By the tail end of last week, only about 10 percent of registered voters had gone to the trouble of voting. We San Franciscans fancy ourselves sophisticated folks, but we routinely flood the polls only during big, splashy national contests — when our city and state’s input is minimally relevant. We can’t be bothered to vote in key municipal elections — even when billions of dollars in city expenditures and leadership over our $10 billion-a-year, nearly 900,000-member municipal corporation is up for grabs. As such, the decisions that (barring North Korean missiles) are most relevant to your life are left to be decided by a small percentage of city voters — a plurality of a plurality. The number of first-place votes our next mayor receives may not be that many more than a good crowd at AT&T Park. So, it’s going to be a low-turnout election. That’s how San Francisco rolls: The last three gubernatorial primaries clocked around 34 percent. We may not beat that. Most politicos I talked to are banking on a high-30s or low-40s election, with a possibility we’ll break 45 percent — and maybe hit 50 percent. That’s not bad compared to the rest of the state and nation. But it is pretty wretched compared to much of the democratic world. San Francisco asks a lot of its voters but, apropos of the times, one can now vote without ever leaving one’s home, interacting with no one — except, of course, the service worker who delivers items to and from your home.In a low-turnout election, campaigns’ abilities to identify voters and ensure those people vote is ever more important. Meanwhile, number-crunchers tell me that, of the ballots that have already returned, some two-thirds were filled out by San Franciscans aged 50 or over. That is heavily out-of-whack with the electorate writ large, and it’s factors like these that experts will be eying as more and more data becomes available on June 5. Older,home-owning white folks are high-propensity voters. If they rank disproportionately among the electorate, that’s good news for (older, home-owning, white) Mark Leno. Or, at least, it ought to be. That’s because, while June 5 will be a flurry of activity, it’s also a bit like starting a basketball at halftime and commencing to play two quarters of ball while not knowing how your team did in the first half. Starting 10 days before election day, the Department of Elections begins processing the votes it has received — but not tabulating them. It’s not until polls close, confirms elections boss John Arntz, that “we push the button and get the results.” Continuing our basketball analogy — we have basketball on the brain — with the push of Arntz’s button at the end of the fourth quarter, all the teams suddenly learn how well they did in quarters one and two. Were you up by 10? Down by 10? Tied? It’s a hugely consequential factor, especially as a majority of voters in the city and state routinely now cast their ballots by mail. Where the top-three candidates stack up after the initial voting totals are revealed after the polls close at 8 p.m. will set the tone for the night. Older, more conservative-leaning voters are not Jane Kim’s people, so she likely will have a steep hill to climb — but how steep? And how many young lefties will flood the polls in the progressives’ election-day get-out-the-vote drive? “Five or six points down, I’m feeling good,” says a Kim campaigner. “Six to nine, I’m nervous. Anything over that, I’m dejected.” Meanwhile, for Leno, how he fares with some of his ostensibly best segments of the electorate is going to be a huge tell on whether election day is going to be tense for him and his supporters — or merely agonizing. “If London Breed is ahead by more than 10 in the absentees, I’m drinking at that point,” says a Leno partisan. “Jane and Mark will catch up during the night, but it won’t be enough. If Mark is within five, it’s an interesting night. Five to 10, it’s stretching out the inevitable. If it’s over 10, hang it up.” Lots of calls were made to lots of people, and variations of this quote were recited, independently, over and over. Breed will likely cross the finish line in first place among initial votes — any other outcome would be a repudiation of myriad polling, and an indication of gross mismanagement of millions of dollars. A commanding lead will validate her campaign’s late (and relatively minimal) embrace of ranked-choice strategy in a ranked-choice election. “But if Jane or Mark is within six to eight points, it’s going to be too close to call for a long, long time,” says a veteran city politico. “Above the eight-point threshold, though, most of the [second- and third-place votes] will have to break 2-to-1 against her to push other candidates up.” That’s not likely; Kim and Leno have embraced a ranked-choice strategy, but any strategy that requires a supermajority of one candidate’s second-place votes to go to the other may be straining credulity. We can predict where things are going, but we won’t get there for quite some time. Tabulating ranked-choice elections is a slow process (which is counter-intuitive for so-called “instant runoff voting”). The sequence of elimination of last-place candidates and redistribution of their votes can be altered as late ballots trickle in — and, per recent law, ballots merely need to be postmarked on Election Day, not received by it. Mayor Mark Farrell, we are told, is expecting to lead the city perhaps into mid-July.  When it’s all said and done, whoever wins the election will have done so with a different coalition of voters than the last couple of mayors. That’s important because, in San Francisco, you’re never too far removed from an election. Our next mayor all but certainly won’t receive the vast majority of the Chinese vote, for example — requiring him or her to be responsive to the needs of constituents that make up that winning coalition. Come November, we’ll be voting for all the even-numbered supervisor districts (and, if Breed wins in June and depending on how quickly the election is settled, potentially her successor in District 5 as well). In November of next year, we’ll be voting for mayor once more. But that’s then. First, we’ve got to get through June 5. “And if it’s close,” promises a longtime political player, “there will be lawyers involved. It’ll be Bush v. Gore.” And we’ll all be drinking at that point. 0%center_img Tags: Elections Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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NATHAN Brown said Saints win over Hull FC was a

first_imgNATHAN Brown said Saints’ win over Hull FC was “a good hit out” heading into the playoffs.His side won 38-12 to cement fifth place in Super League.“We were a bit scratchy in the first half,” he said. “In the second we scored some nice well-constructed tries and defended our lines well too.“In the first half we scored a couple of tries through some good defence by us and some scrappy attack from them. The back three did a great job to punish those mistakes. I just thought we looked better organised in the second half and our tries were better constructed.”Adam Swift notched his tenth try in nine games to continue his superb form on the wing.“We’re pleased with him and he is working hard on his game,” Brown added. “At one point this year we didn’t know if he would be able to play as he had an awkward injury and we didn’t know what it was. He came back and did well, then got that bad knock at London and was out for a month. I’m not sure anyone expected him to be doing as well as he is, but he is definitely a bright prospect.“It was pleasing to see James Roby come through ok too and I thought he had a good impact on the game. He is superb at dummy half and it is good to have that quality.“Willie Manu went well too. He had some good games before his injury and has come back well. The team is learning how to use him and I think Jonny Lomax, Jon Wilkin and Willie have a good combination going there.”Barring a wild points swing in the final round of matches, Saints will host Hull KR in the first round of the playoffs.Should Catalan beat Warrington that game will be at Langtree Park on Friday September 13 with an 8pm kick-off.A win for the Wolves would see Saints playing on Saturday with a kick off time of 5pm.“We’re of course pleased to get a home tie as it is always good to play at your home ground,” Brown continued. “But we can’t be too worried where we play. All the teams in the comp are strong. In the knockout section you have ourselves, the Challenge Cup Finalists, Catalan who have had injuries to key players like us this season and then Hull KR who are a good footballing side with plenty of big youngsters.“I thought we played well against Hull KR in the Cup considering what happened in that game but we know we have to improve.“We are going into the comp with some form and we have had to play teams who are higher up the ladder too. That has given us a good build up to the finals.”Saints will announce ticket details for their home playoff as soon as the result of Catalan v Warrington is decided.last_img read more

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New Hanover Co principal wins on The Price Is Right

first_img Hamilton said her mom wanted to go on the show for her 80th birthday so they planned the visit to Los Angeles. Turns out, she won a pool table and went on to win a washer and dryer and a computer with a virtual reality system.Hamilton called it “the most positive and fun and most awesome awesome ever!” WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County school principal hit it big on The Price Is Right!Parsley Elementary principal Robin Hamilton appeared on the game show this week.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Community donates thousands of toys for Angel Tree

first_img “Tell me your favorite Christmas memory. They’re going to go back to a time, most often then not when they’re five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten years old, and they’re going to tell you about one of their favorite Christmas memories. And so now, through these programs, these angel gifts, these toys, these kids are creating Christmas memories. Some day, someone will ask them, tell me one of your favorite Christmas memories, and they’ll go back to this Christmas,” Craddock said.The Salvation Army says is you want to continue to help, you can put donations in the red kettles outside of stores across the area. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With Christmas drawing closer and closer, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program hit its deadline. Thanks to the people in the Cape Fear community, they reached their goal.Major Mark Craddock with the Salvation Army says just a few days ago, more than 600 angels wishes were not fulfilled. As of tonight, there will be a Merry Christmas for all those angels. Craddock said the continued support from the community was overwhelming and will lead to a life changing experience for these kids this Christmas.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Florence cleanup may cause delays to funerals at Wilmington cemetery

first_img Kozen says the longest delay for any funeral would be a day or two as crews work in certain areas of the cemetery. About 25 or 30 headstones were damaged by falling trees and will have to be repaired.“We will probably be contacting a lot of the lot owners or families if there are any descendants still available,” Kozen said. “If not, we’re gonna probably have to rely upon donations and contributions from not only lot owners, but hopefully the community abroad.”Kozen says the city of Wilmington identified heritage trees in the cemetery and none of those went down in the hurricane.Related Article: Pender EMS and Fire setting up triage sites after the stormThere had been a plan to plant about 300 trees in the cemetery, but Kozen says that number may increase. Oakdale Cemetery sees significant damage from Hurricane Florence. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tree companies have had their work cut out of them all over the Cape Fear including at Oakdale Cemetery, where about 200 trees were damaged.Cemetery Superintendent Eric Kozen says the cemetery will remained closed until Saturday as about 125 trees are removed completely and others are trimmed.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Wilmington Girl Scouts kick off season with Cookiepalooza

first_imgWilmington Girl Scouts hold their Cookiepalooza event to kick off the cookie season. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The sweetest time of year is almost here. Wilmington Girl Scouts held their Cookiepalooza event Saturday afternoon to kick off the cookie season.The event was held at The Wilmington Girl Scout Service Center from 2 to 5 p.m.- Advertisement – Girls opened tables for the first cookie sales of the season.There were also tables to teach girls about financial literacy and STEM programs, which are just a few of the things the girl scout cookie program is all about.last_img read more

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Mermaids make a splash at NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

first_imgFORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — Starting Friday and through the weekend, you can catch the world-famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.The mermaids will be swimming with underwater animals and interacting with guests.- Advertisement – Visitors can also meet the mermaids on dry land to ask for autographs.The mermaids will swim once an hour on the hour from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.Guests wishing to meet a mermaid on dry land may do so from 9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.Related Article: Oak Island could break record for sea turtle nestsYou can see them for the cost of general admission.last_img read more

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