Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 42 / 19 October 2017
 

Julius Caesar arrested after hitting on Lyft driver, battling cops

Julius Caesar (Image: Wikimedia)

Julius Caesar (Image: Wikimedia)

A man who adopted the costume and attitude of Julius Caesar was arrested this week after hitting on a Lyft driver and fighting police.

According to officers at the San Francisco Police Department’s Richmond Station, the incident was reported at 3:50 a.m., Sunday, October 27 at 26th Avenue and Geary Boulevard. A driver with the Lyft ridesharing program alleged that a drunken passenger had been “making advances that made him feel uncomfortable.”

The passenger, who was dressed as the Roman general, was “obviously intoxicated,” police said in a summary of the incident, which occurred as many people were celebrating Halloween. When an officer asked him to get out of the vehicle, the 38-year-old suspect said, “Make me.”

The man then pushed open his door into the officer, and as the officer got ready to remove him from the vehicle, he started to fight with the officer.

Other police arrived and detained the man. Police reported that “Even with the additional officers,” the man continued to fight and told them “to take off his handcuffs so they could ‘see who the tough one was.'” 

Police arrested the man, whose name wasn’t immediately released, on charges of public drunkenness and resisting arrest.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 31, 2013 @ 5:40 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Two of four applicants for SFO Milk terminal panel advance to supervisors

Photo: Courtesy Edgett Williams Consulting Group

Photo: Courtesy Edgett Williams Consulting Group

Only two of the quartet of applicants for supervisor-picked seats on an advisory body tasked with selecting a terminal at San Francisco International Airport to name after slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk moved one step closer toward being approved by the Board of Supervisors.

The board’s rules committee voted to send the names of a gay Latino and a straight woman with strong ties to the city’s LGBT community on to the full board during its meeting this afternoon (Thursday, October 31) and pushed off voting on the two other applicants, both white gay men, due to concerns of seeing a diverse group of people be named to the seats.

Those moving on were Jon Ballesteros, a gay Latino who is vice president of public policy at San Francisco Travel, the city’s tourism bureau; and Maggie Weiland, an analyst with the city’s Film Commission and volunteer with the Harvey Milk Foundation, co-founded by her mother, Anne Kronenberg, who was a campaign consultant and legislative aide for Milk.

“There is a special interest we all have in finding an appropriate way to honor the late supervisor, and I would love to be a part of the decision as we move forward,” said Ballesteros,  a member of a separate airport facilities naming committee created by the city’s Airport Commission to advise it on how best to honor its former members, airport officials and others by naming something at SFO other them.

Weiland said she applied for a seat because see wants “to contribute and bring about awareness of Harvey’s legacy. I know his message is not clear around the world if still in 77 countries you can persecute people for being gay.”

In the hope of finding more diverse applicants, particularly from the African American and Asian Pacific Islander communities, the rules committee is now scheduled to vote on the remaining two seats at its November 21 meeting. At that time it will reconsider applicants Alex Walker, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club’s political vice president, and Steven Guilliams, an engineer and code architect with San Jose-based firm HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies).

“We got four seats here and three are Caucasian, so I am really concerned there is not enough ethnic diversity,” said District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen.

District 5 Supervisor London Breed, who like Cohen is African American, also expressed concerns about the lack of diversity among the applicants and also questioned how the process for naming the terminal could play out.

“While I appreciate the mix we have I don’t want the process of naming the terminal to become one that is political or focuses on just political figures,” said Breed, who suggested splitting up the vote on the four seats.

Gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos acknowledged that his office had delayed bringing the matter before the rules committee for several months as it had proven difficult finding people willing to serve on the naming body.

“It has been a challenge because, I think, a lot of things are happening in the city right now,” said Campos. “The reason we decided to move this item forward is at some point the work has to begin.”

Earlier this year Campos caused an uproar when he sought to rename SFO after Milk, the city’s first openly gay elected official who was assassinated a year after his historic victory in 1977.

In April the Bay Area Reporter broke the news that Campos and Mayor Ed Lee had brokered a compromise deal to name one of the airport’s four terminals on behalf of Milk rather than the entire aviation facility. A panel called the Airport Facilities Naming Advisory Committee was created to advise the board and mayor on the matter.

Lee is to name five people to the committee and the board was given four seats to fill. The naming body will have three months to present its recommendation to the board and could also recommend names for all of the airport’s terminals, as well as boarding areas and control towers. There are three domestic terminals and an international terminal.

Lee has yet to announce his picks for the mayoral-appointed seats.

Walker, a consultant for both SF Beautiful and state Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco),  said he sought a seat on the naming body because Milk “has been someone who really inspired me in my career.” He also commented that he is open to the possibility of “looking to see who else it might be we want greeting people here to San Francisco” by naming the other terminals after them.

Guilliams also said he was excited at not only honoring Milk but also other local heroes.

As a frequent flyer, “I have noticed other airports named for local historic heroes. It would be wonderful to honor our local heroes,” in such a manner, said Guilliams.

Any one interested in applying for the two other board seats can do so via the board’s website here.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 4:26 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SF supes panel recommends lesbian therapist for LGBT aging task force seat

14_09_LGBT_Seniors_28_LRGThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ rules committee unanimously voted to recommend lesbian psychotherapist G. Joyce Pierson for a vacant seat on the city’s LGBT Aging Policy Task Force at its meeting today (Thursday, October 31).

“I’ve worked in community services funded by the Older Americans Act in many different communities throughout California,” said Pierson, who came out in her 40s and now lives in a senior complex in San Francisco. “Now that I am a senior myself I am getting to know what it feels like to be on other side of the table.”

It will now be up to the full board to approve Pierson, who is semi-retired as she continues to sees private clients, or select a different person for the seat. The nominee will fill out the term of the panel’s former vice chair, Jazzie Collins, a transgender activist who died this summer.

The volunteer body is working on delivering its recommendations for how San Francisco officials can address the needs of older LGBT residents by March of 2014.

District 5 Supervisor London Breed had announced earlier this month she was prepared to recommend that the vacant seat be given to Pierson, who was the project director for the LGBT Elder Law Project at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Due to several of the applicants being unaware of the hearing during the rules committee’s October 3 meeting, and Supervisors Norman Yee (District 7) and Malia Cohen (District 10) acknowledging they had not met with any of the applicants, the three supervisors postponed making a decision until they could meet with those seeking the seat.

The decision came down to Pierson and Marshall Feldman, coordinator of psychotherapy services at the UCSF Alliance Health Project. Feldman focuses on mental health issues facing older gay men and noted the aging policy task force currently does not have a member with his background.

“I am focused on the psychosocial health of older LGBTs,” said Feldman.

Although the supervisors hailed both Pierson and Feldman as being qualified to serve on the aging policy body, their decision came down to one of gender. Due to there already being 11 male members and only three female members on the task force, they choose to recommend Pierson for the seat.

“As much as Mr. Feldman you are a very qualified person, it is the desire on my part to see these committees be as balanced as possible,” said Yee. “For me, Miss Pierson is the most qualified. Nobody is going to replace the shoes of a Jazzie Collins but you are the most qualified in my mind.”

A third applicant for the seat, Carla Harris, 50, who identifies as lesbian and is board president of Pathways to Safety, also testified today in hopes of securing the appointment.

“I am passionate about LGBTQ aging issues,” Harris told the committee.

The other applicants – gay AIDS survivor and activist Gregg Cassin and gay lawyer James Wagoner, 57, who is HIV positive and launched the GLBT Seniors Advocacy Project at Bay Area Legal Aid – did not appear.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:38 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Gay SF nonprofit leader to head Oregon marriage campaign

Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall, a gay man and well-known nonprofit leader in San Francisco, has been picked to lead Oregon United for Marriage, the campaign announced Friday (October 25).

Marshall, who’s 52 and will join the campaign full time November 6, is no stranger to marriage equality work. Among his previous posts, he led No on 22, one of the nation’s first efforts against an initiative to ban same-sex marriages.

Oregon United for Marriage is working to get their measure to allow same-sex marriages on the state ballot in November 2014.

Marshall said the biggest challenge the campaign faces is “apathy.”

“I think the voters may think it’s a sure thing and stay home, and donors may think it’s a sure thing and not contribute,” said Marshall. But victory is “absolutely not” certain, he said.

“Oregon has a long history of fighting over LGBT issues, and we have a lot of hard work to do,” he said.

In a statement, Jeana Frazzini, chair of Oregon United for Marriage, indicated Marshall’s up to the task.

“Mike has an extensive track record of inspiring people to bring their best to campaigns and to building the movement for LGBT equality,” said Frazzini. “He has the skills and experience to run a national-caliber, winning campaign. He also believes ballot initiative campaigns need to build movements in order to win, which makes him the ideal person to lead Oregon United for Marriage over the next year.”

So far, the campaign’s collected over 100,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for the November 2014 ballot. The deadline for collecting signatures is July 2014.

“The goal, I believe, is 200,000, so we’re halfway there,” said Marshall, who added that the campaign is “virtually all volunteer-driven, which is extraordinary.” Petition campaigns usually find it hard to succeed without paid signature gatherers. Marshall, who will oversee a staff of 20, said the progress indicates “Oregonians are really eager for marriage equality.”

Failed campaigns

Despite Frazzini’s praise, Marshall may be best known for his involvement in campaigns that failed.

In 2000 he oversaw the losing battle against Proposition 22, the statewide ballot measure that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. (Unlike Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban, which voters passed in November 2008, Prop 22 didn’t amend the state constitution.)

Since 2009, Marshall has led Restore Hetch Hetchy, which has long fought to dismantle San Francisco’s water reservoir inside the boundaries of Yosemite National Park high in the Sierras. Last fall, city voters rejected a ballot measure pushed by Marshall’s group that would have forced the city’s Public Utilities Commission to drain the reservoir and store the water elsewhere.

Marshall defended his work.

On Prop 22, he said, “We never expected to win. We always knew it was the very beginning of the marriage effort.”

Eventually, he and others formed Californians for Civil Marriage, which he said got the board of the LGBT lobbying group Equality California to focus on marriage equality. The two groups ultimately merged.

In an email, Oregon United spokeswoman Amy Ruiz echoed Marshall’s remarks, saying the Prop 22 movement “was a movement building campaign, where there was no expectation of a win. Mike did an excellent job through that campaign of developing leadership and laying the groundwork for the eventual success of extending the freedom to marry to all of California’s couples.” 

She added, “The landscape today is far different – nationally, and in Oregon.” 

Marshall said the Hetch Hetchy ballot measure “was just one of several tactics” aimed at achieving the goal of draining the reservoir.

As was the case of Prop 22, “We always knew we were going to lose,” said Marshall. He said backers of the measure did succeed at “creating a political dialogue.”

They’re also preparing a lawsuit “to sue San Francisco to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley and to reform their water system so they don’t need it,” he said. Marshall, whose last day with Restore Hetch Hetchy is Thursday, October 31, believes the lawsuit will be filed next month.

Among other accomplishments, Marshall noted that after his work on Prop 22, he lead San Francisco’s LGBT Community Center while it was under construction and brought in $1 million.

Prior to his work with Restore Hetch Hetchy, Marshall served as the executive director of Under One Roof, a retail store that funnels profits to local AIDS agencies, from 2005 through 2006. During Marshall’s tenure, more than $200,000 was distributed to the nonprofit’s community partners, a $70,000 debt was retired, and a $45,000 lapsed grant from the city was reinstated.

Marshall had informed family and friends back in June that he and his partner, Robert Bennett Walker, were moving to Portland, Oregon and that he planned to leave San Francisco prior to Thanksgiving.

Neither Marshall nor Ruiz would disclose Marshall’s salary.

 

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 25, 2013 @ 5:51 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SF supes set to select panel members tasked with naming SFO terminal after Harvey Milk

Photo: Courtesy Edgett Williams Consulting Group

Photo: Courtesy Edgett Williams Consulting Group

Four people have applied for the four seats the Board of Supervisors will fill on an advisory body tasked with picking a terminal at San Francisco International Airport to name after slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

Earlier this year gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos caused an uproar when he sought to rename SFO after Milk, the city’s first openly gay elected official who was assassinated a year after his historic victory in 1977.

In April the Bay Area Reporter broke the news that Campos and Mayor Ed Lee had brokered a compromise deal to name one of the airport’s four terminals on behalf of Milk rather than the entire aviation facility. A panel called the Airport Facilities Naming Advisory Committee was created to advise the board and mayor on the matter.

Lee is to name five people to the committee and the board was given four seats to fill. It will have three months to present its recommendation to the board and could also recommend names for all of the airport’s terminals, as well as boarding areas and control towers. There are three domestic terminals and an international terminal.

The board’s rules committee is set to review the applicants for the four board-nominated seats at its hearing Thursday, October 31. They are Alex Walker; Jon Ballesteros; Maggie Weiland; and Steven Guilliams.

Ballesteros, a gay man who is vice president of public policy at San Francisco Travel, the city’s tourism bureau, currently serves on a separate airport facilities naming committee created by the city’s Airport Commission.  That body has been devising a policy for the commission to follow when it seeks to honor its former members, airport officials and staffers, or others by naming something at SFO other them.

The Rules Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. in Room 263 at City Hall. Once it votes the matter will then go before the full Board of Supervisors for a final decision.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 5:10 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SF supes panel reschedules vote on LGBT aging task force vacancy

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ rules committee has rescheduled its vote on selecting an applicant for a vacant seat on the city’s LGBT Aging Policy Task Force after postponing the matter earlier this month.

It is now set to take place Thursday, October 31 when the panel meets at 1:30 p.m. in Room 263 at City Hall.

As the Bay Area Reporter‘s blog noted following the Thursday, October 3 hearing, the three supervisors on the rules committee delayed nominating one of the five applicants for the vacancy after a majority failed to appear that day.

Following the hearing, several applicants told the B.A.R. that they had not been informed about it or been contacted by the supervisors to meet for interviews.

“I didn’t hear about it until a colleague read your article. I was surprised you knew about the meeting and I didn’t,” said Marshall Feldman, coordinator of psychotherapy services at the UCSF Alliance Health Project. “I am very interested in the seat.”

Supervisors Norman Yee (District 7) and Malia Cohen (District 10) had acknowledged during the hearing that they had not had a chance to meet with any of the applicants and preferred postponing the vote.

District 5 Supervisor London Breed announced, however, that she was prepared to recommend that the seat be given to psychotherapist G. Joyce Pierson who was the project director for the LGBT Elder Law Project at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The other applicants are Carla Harris, 50, who identifies as lesbian and is board president of Pathways to Safety; gay AIDS survivor and activist Gregg Cassin; and gay lawyer James Wagoner, 57, who is HIV positive and launched the GLBT Seniors Advocacy Project at Bay Area Legal Aid.

The person who wins the endorsement of the committee must then be approved by the full board. They will fill out the term of the panel’s former vice chair, Jazzie Collins, a transgender activist who died this summer.

The volunteer body is working on delivering its recommendations for how San Francisco officials can address the needs of older LGBT residents by March of 2014.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 4:34 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Dolores Park sleep-in to protest Wiener’s closure proposal

Protesters will spend the evening in Dolores Park Monday night, October 28 to protest gay Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposed legislation to set citywide park closure hours from 12 to 5 a.m.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the legislation Tuesday, October 29.

(Dolores Park. Photo: Pete Thoshinsky)

(Dolores Park. Photo: Pete Thoshinsky)

“San Francisco prides itself on being a place that is welcoming and open to all,” said a news release from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, which is organizing the sleep-in. “…With almost 30 percent of San Francisco’s homeless population identifying as LGBT, and many living on our streets and in our parks, we know who the real targets of this legislation are. This is yet another attack on the homeless, on queer people, poor people, and people of color, and on our right to exist in public space in our society.”

In response to the Milk Club’s statement, Wiener said, “I completely disagree with that characterization.” He said he’s been “a strong proponent” for services for homeless people, including securing housing funding for homeless LGBT youth, making more homeless outreach workers available, and supporting a youth meal program.

Wiener added removing homeless people from the parks “is not my motivation.” He said, “It is currently illegal to sleep or camp in the parks. It has been for years.”

The actual purpose of his legislation is to “reduce the epidemic of vandalism and dumping in our parks,” said Wiener. He said it’s true vandalism and dumping trash in the parks is already illegal, too, but it’s “almost impossible to enforce vandalism laws in parks in the middle of the night. You have to catch someone red-handed doing the vandalism or doing the dumping.”

Most vandals “are sophisticated enough not to do what they’re doing when there’s anyone around,” said Wiener.

The sleep-in begins at 9 p.m. Monday. Dolores Park is located at 18th and Dolores streets.

For more information about the protest, see the Facebook invitation.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 11:05 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SF Assemblyman Phil Ting dual endorses Campos and Chiu in Assembly race

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) is hedging his bets in next year’s race for the city’s other Assembly seat.

Ting, who represents the 19th Assembly District covering the city’s western neighborhoods, is dual endorsing the two candidates to thus far enter the race, Board President David Chiu and gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos.

Nonetheless, in a sign of how important the Asian American and gay community’s vote will be in the race next year, Ting is expected to announce his support for Campos tomorrow (Friday, October 25) at a Chinese restaurant in the Portola district that Campos’ campaign is holding.

Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Phil Ting's office

Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Phil Ting’s office

Ting will be joined by two LGBT Asian leaders at the press conference: Amos Lim, director of Out4Immigration, and Rachel Ebora, executive director of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

Campos and Chiu are both seeking election next year to the city’s 17th Assembly District seat, which covers the eastern part of San Francisco such as the Mission and Castro districts. Campos recently kicked off his campaign with a fundraiser in the Castro, while Chiu is holding his first fundraiser aimed at the LGBT community at a private home in the Fillmore next week.

Ting’s backing of Campos means he has secured support from both of the city’s Assembly members. Gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who will be termed out of the 17th Assembly District seat next December, is solely backing Campos to be his successor.

The Assembly seat has long been considered to be the LGBT community’s seat, as the past three people to serve in it have been gay or lesbian politicians. Should Campos win the race, he will be the first Latino Assembly person elected from San Francisco and the first out person of color sent to serve in the state Legislature from the Bay Area.

A victory by Chiu would mark the first time that Asian Americans had been elected to both of the city’s Assembly District seats and the first time in more than a decade that neither Assembly person was LGBT.

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 24, 2013 @ 4:03 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Board prez and Assembly candidate David Chiu ties the knot

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President and state Assembly candidate David Chiu got married over the weekend, according to a post on his Facebook page.

(David Chiu and his new wife, Candace Chen. Photo courtesy Chiu's Facebook page.)

(David Chiu and his new wife, Candace Chen. Photo courtesy Chiu’s Facebook page.)

“On Sunday [October 20], Candace and I were married at Calvary Presbyterian Church in a ceremony surrounded by our family and friends,” Chiu wrote. “I am so happy to be starting our life together. Thanks so much to all of you for your love and support.”

Chiu married Candace Chen, whom he met seven years ago. According to media reports, the two were friends for awhile and she was a volunteer on his 2008 supervisorial campaign.

Chiu is running for the 17th District Assembly seat against his board colleague, gay Supervisor David Campos.

With the two Davids, both Democrats who serve on the local party’s oversight body, often voting similarly on policy issues at City Hall, it is likely that voters will be swayed by other factors, such as race and sexual orientation, in determining which of the two to back, the Bay Area Reporter‘s online Political Notes column reported this week. Campos, 42, would not only maintain LGBT representation in the seat, he would also be the first Latino to represent San Francisco in the state Assembly.

A victory by Chiu, 43, would mark the first time that Asian Americans represented both of the city’s Assembly districts. Last fall Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) won election to the 19th Assembly District covering San Francisco’s western neighborhoods.

— Cynthia Laird, @ 12:03 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics


SF-based sex center seeks support for safe-sex poster catalog

Courtesy of the Buzz Bense Collection at the Center for Sex and Culture

Courtesy of the Buzz Bense Collection at the Center for Sex and Culture

The Center for Sex and Culture is seeking the public’s help in order to publish an exhibition catalog to accompany a new show it is mounting next month of historic safe-sex posters.

It is the first time that the San Francisco-based center has launched a crowdfunding pitch via Kickstarter, which can be seen here. The campaign aims to raise $7,000 by 6:06 p.m. November 5, and as of today (Wednesday, October 23) had netted more than $5,000 toward its goal.

The posters are part of the Buzz Bense Collection and nearly 100 of them will be put on public display in early November for a three-month-long show that will close January 31, 2014.

Bense co-founded the Castro-based safer sex club Eros, which he sold to new owners in 2005. Over the years he amassed a collection of 150 safe sex posters from various countries, such as Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Canada.

The majority were created by various San Francisco-based agencies. Bense, a sex activist and graphic designer himself, donated his collection to the sex center last year. Its founders Drs. Robert Morgan Lawrence and Carol Queen served with Bense on the Coalition for Healthy Sex.

According to center officials, Bense amassed one of the most significant safer sex and HIV/AIDS poster collections that exists today.

“Especially as a group, they are stunning – graphically, but also historically. Thirty years out from the beginning of the epidemic that changed – and ended – so many lives, CSC wants to add this collection to the available literature, show off some of these amazing posters, supplement the information about the epidemic, and launch CSC’s role in getting some of its more extraordinary materials out into the world,” center officials stated in a press release announcing the Kickstarter campaign.

According to the campaign’s description online, the book will contain more than 20 color reproductions of posters; an introduction by Queen; an essay by New York-based art historian and curator Alex Fialho; and an interview Fialho conducted with Bense about the history of the collection.

“Publishing this collection of posters and the accompanying essays is important for the preservation and understanding of our history,” stated Dorian Katz, the center’s gallerist.  “You don’t want the history of the AIDS epidemic written by the folks who write school textbooks in Texas, do you?”

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 23, 2013 @ 3:38 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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