The Rent is Too Damn High Event is Nigh

While this event may not be directly related to the Kung-Fu Master/Colonial Sanders lookalike/Afro-puff bearded NY mayorial candidate, I think we can all agree that the rent in San Francisco is, in fact, “too damn high”. Why should we have to settle for living in Concord or worse yet: moving in with lame-o chore wheeling rent controlled roomies?

The Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco helps you enjoy some of the most tenant-favorable laws in the country, and they are having a benefit at the Makeout Room next Thursday from 6-8:30. The event will feature free 4 Barrel coffee, live music, silent auction, happy hour drinks, and special guests (including Supervisor David Campos).

Details in the flyer below:

Volunteer at Shanti!

The new year is upon us and by now many of you have already flaked on your resolutions.  Things like, “No eating pints of Humphrey Slocumb Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee ice cream in bed and then immediately falling asleep” and “Run up to the top of Twin Peaks from 23rd and Valencia every other day” sound easy enough when you’re guzzling champagne while the ball’s dropping, but odds are these ambitious plans have already fallen by the wayside, and we haven’t even made it through the first week!

Moreover, those are some pretty selfish resolutions.  Why not get into the spirit of GIVING BACK to the community (and humanity) instead by volunteering at Shanti, one of the coolest non-profits in the city?  These rad folks provide emotional and practical support to San Francisco’s most vulnerable individuals living with life-threatening illness; namely, people suffering from HIV/AIDS and breast cancer.  A Peer Support Volunteer gets paired up with a client (someone with HIV/AIDS or breast cancer who has come to Shanti for help) and just basically hangs out with them and does things like doing chores, running errands, or providing companionship, thus helping the client continue to live independently.

It’s definitely not easy (they ask for a commitment of 2 to 6 hours a week for at least 6 months), but rest assured it’s some of the most poignant and emotionally rewarding experiences anyone can go through.  If you really want to make a difference this year with your resolution, Shanti is the place to go.  Plus, they’re having a training session at the end of this month, starting on Friday, January 28th!  Check out all the details here!

And Now For Your Morning Dose of Berkeley Rage

Really?  You’re raising the tuition again?  You guys remember what happened last time, right?  Granted, this is an 8% tuition hike rather than last year’s odious 32% increase, but that still makes student fees double what they were six years ago.  And on top of that, you’re increasing the number of “senior officials” making over $200k?!??

Oh, I know.  You’ve got to pay that much in order to remain competitive enough to attract the top administrative talent.  Sure, the same “talent” whose selfish decisions are gradually eroding one of the wonders of the modern world, the University of California system, in which any Californian could get a top-flight education no matter what their economic background?  Yeah, sure, they’ve got a proven track record.  OF FUCKING UP.

This has been your morning dose of BERKELEY RAGE.  Please enjoy the rest of your day.

Making It Better For Queer Youth

This evening at 6:30 at The Women’s Building queer folk and queer allies alike will be gathering in support of LGBTQQI* youth. In the words of the organizers:

6 youth across the country committed suicide in September after facing severe homophobic and transphobic bullying…that we know of…This is nothing new. And death and hatred has reminded us, yet again that we must build towards love and collective empowerment.

Rather than mourn, process, and ask questions in isolation we are asking for community to gather, reflect, share, and heal, but most importantly to take action together.

Queer youth in crisis can’t wait. How can we start making it better now? Please bring your ideas, resources, and most of all, an open mind and heart.

All ages, genders, and orientations welcome!

Their Facebook page is here. If you have any ideas or just want to show your support head over and join the conversation.

The Women’s Building is at 3543 18th Street.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Intersex.

PARKing Day in Pictures

Did you get a chance to spend some time and chill out in one of those temporary parklets this past Friday?  If not, here’s a peek at what you missed at PARKing Day 2010.  [Disclaimer:  NO SAVESIES were used in the commandeering of these parking spots]

As expected, the longtime PARKing veterans in front of Lost Weekend and Ritual Coffee went all out with a 3-meter spot featuring a camping ground complete with a tent on top of real sod and a portable forest of potted plants.  Attention to detail such as the inclusion of a panda clinched a mention as one of the best parklets of the day.

Similarly, the fine folks at SPUR also created a parklet so kickin’ it probably would have qualified for their useful map of POPOS (Privately-Owned Public Open Spaces) had it been a permanent thing.

Despite the fact that not all the parklets were as thoughtfully orchestrated, that didn’t stop people from getting into the spirit of the day.  As this fellow proves, all you really needed was a swatch of AstroTurf and a juvenile tree.

Continue reading “PARKing Day in Pictures”