Issue:  Vol. 46 / No. 21 / 26 May 2016
 

Extras sought for ‘When We Rise’

A scene from the 1979 White Night Riots. Photo: Dan Nicoletta.

A scene from the 1979 White Night Riots. Photo: Dan Nicoletta.

Filmmakers today (Wednesday, April 20) put out a call for extras in San Francisco to appear in When We Rise, the ABC-TV miniseries based in part on the memoir of Harvey Milk confidante Cleve Jones. Production is set to take place in San Francisco in late April and early May.

The scenes reenacted in the city are expected to include the 1978 Gay Freedom Day parade, as the LGBT Pride parade was then known, as well as the 1979 White Night riots. The latter refers to the fiery battles between police and residents that erupted after a jury convicted Milk assassin Dan White only of manslaughter, rather than murder.

Producers are “seeking ALL races, genders and body types, but people with hair styles consistent with the 1970s are especially needed,” according to a note Jones posted to his Facebook page Wednesday.

Jones’ post indicated most work will be unpaid. People should plan to spend up to eight hours on the set, unless they sign up for a two-hour shift.

Those interested may send an email to wwr.casting@gmail.com and include:

– Name (in the subject line) and indicate whether you’re over 18

– Email and best phone number

– If you’re a member of the Screen Actors Guild and, if so, your SAG number

– A current photo (selfies are fine).

– Were you referred by cast or crew?

Jones’ Facebook note says the film will chronicle “the personal and political struggles, setbacks, and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women.”

Milk became the first out LGBT elected official in California when he won a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977. White, a former supervisor, assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone in City Hall in November 1978.

After Milk’s death, Jones, who lives in the Castro, went on to become a well-known AIDS and labor activist, founding the AIDS quilt. His book is set to be released on his 62nd birthday, October 11.

Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for the 2008 Milk biopic, also wrote the screenplay for When We Rise.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 20, 2016 @ 4:50 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Man with box cutter robs Castro shop

Photo: Rick Gerharter

Photo: Rick Gerharter

A man with a box cutter robbed a store in San Francisco’s Castro district Tuesday, according to police.

The April 19 incident in the 4000 block of 18th Street started at 10:52 a.m. when the two victims approached the male suspect, who was shoplifting.

The man “produced a box cutter and refused to put back items,” before fleeing, Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said in a summary. The stolen items were listed as bath products, a grooming kit, batteries, and scissors.

The suspect was described only as a black male aged 35-45. The victims were a 61-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman. Neither was injured.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:53 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SFPD arrest 2 in Nix hit and run case

San Francisco Police announced April 11 that they have arrested two men in connection with a fatal hit and run accident last November that left a gay man dead.

(Brendan Wallace. Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

(Brendan Wallace. Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

(Heinz Raino Cortado. Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

(Heinz Raino Cortado. Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

Dennis Nix, 60, was killed last November 22 when a car collided with his scooter in the city’s Ingleside district.

Brendan Wallace, 32, of Broadmoor, California, and Heinz Raino Cortado, 34, also of Broadmoor, were arrested in connection with the case.

Wallace was taken into custody at his place of employment in Mountain View. He was identified by police as the driver of a silver-colored Mercedes used in the collision. Cortado surrendered to SFPD officers at the Broadmoor Police Station in San Mateo County April 8. He was identified by police as the getaway driver of a second car that picked up Wallace after the accident.

Wallace was booked on vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run, and providing false information to peace officers. Cortado was booked on felony accessory to the hit and run and providing false information to peace officers.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more in Thursday’s paper.

— Cynthia Laird, April 11, 2016 @ 1:36 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Oakland mayor on board with travel bans

Ending weeks of silence, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Thursday joined a newly formed Mayors Against Discrimination coalition that is barring official travel to states with anti-bias laws such as those enacted in North Carolina and Mississippi.

(Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

(Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

The coalition will also work to examine prohibitions on contracting and purchasing from companies in these states, develop model resolutions that can be adopted by city councils and other legislative bodies, and other measures that mayors and cities can take individually and collectively.

After North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in late March signed into law a bill that overturns LGBT protections enacted by cities and other local jurisdictions in the Tar Heel State, several big city mayors quickly announced bans on city-funded travel, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

But Schaaf’s office did not respond to the Bay Area Reporter‘s request for comment last week on whether Oakland would do the same. Last year, Schaaf did institute a travel ban to Indiana after that state’s governor signed an anti-LGBT bill that was later amended after the backlash it received. After the changes, Schaaf ended the ban.

Thursday, Schaaf said in a statement that Oakland has a “moral and a legal obligation to root out discrimination of every kind. Bigotry and bias have no place in government or civil society.”

Schaaf added, in the statement released by Lee’s office, “We must stand up for justice and the civil rights or our fellow Americans. Allowing our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to be treated differently under the law undermines the very essence of our democracy and harms all of us.”

As mayor of Oakland, one of the most diverse cities in the country, Schaaf said her administration has been at the forefront of “promoting equitable treatment under the law and fostering an atmosphere that promotes inclusion and the protection of our fundamental civil rights.”

“We will continue to uphold this tradition,” she added.

In addition to Lee and Schaaf, other mayors who have joined the coalition include Ed Murray, a gay man who leads Seattle; Bill de Blasio of New York City; Jim Kenney of Philadelphia; Charlie Hales of Portland; Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu; Javier Gonzales of Sante Fe, New Mexico; Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.; and Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Florida.

“We as mayors must stand up together and call out discrimination when we see it, and I believe working together we can create change to ensure the rights of all Americans,” Lee said.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant this week signed what advocacy groups are calling the most extreme “religious liberty” bill in the country. The law, HB 1523, allows private businesses, individuals, and medical and social service agencies to discriminate against anyone in the state based on religious beliefs about marriage, premarital sex, and conformity with gender identity stereotypes.

Lee’s office said that it expects more mayors to join the coalition. The group will also work with private sector leaders and companies, like Marc Benioff from Salesforce, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, “and hundreds of others to apply direct political and economic pressure to repeal or stop the alarming spread of discriminatory laws in the United States,” according to the statement.

— Cynthia Laird, April 7, 2016 @ 1:00 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Gay SF man charged with voter fraud

Donald Dewsnup. Photo: Facebook.

Donald Dewsnup. Photo: Facebook.

A gay San Francisco man has been charged with multiple counts of voter fraud after he allegedly used a fake address to vote in a supervisorial district where he didn’t live, the district attorney’s said today (Wednesday, April 6).

Donald Dewsnup, 49, a local Realtor, was arraigned today.

In a news release, District Attorney George Gascón said, “San Francisco’s supervisorial races can be decided by a small number of voters. A healthy democracy benefits from zealous debate, but can be undermined by fraud and deceit.”

Dewsnup, who was arrested Tuesday by DA investigators, is out of custody on his own recognizance. He didn’t respond to interview requests, and information about his attorney wasn’t immediately available.

He faces three counts of filing a false document with a government agency, two counts of perjury, and two counts of false voter registration, according to prosecutors.

Citing court documents, DA spokesman Max Szabo said, “Dewsnup used these false addresses in order to infiltrate a neighborhood association on Telegraph Hill, where he did not reside, with the purpose of advancing his personal political agenda.”

According to prosecutors, Dewsnup also allegedly provided a false address to the California Bureau of Real Estate.

The San Francisco Examiner said Dewsnup belongs to the San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation and described him as a “pro-development activist who took part in a failed attempt last year to stack the local chapter of the Sierra Club with similarly minded people.”

BARF’s website says it works to “reduce displacement in the Bay Area by increasing the stock of available housing.”

The state Bureau of Real Estate says that Dewsnup works for Intero Real Estate Services.

Court records show that last year, another man tried unsuccessfully to get a restraining order against Dewsnup, saying, “He’s sent me an email threatening to come to my home. He showed up at an organization I’ve worked for last week. I am in fear of my safety!”

Dewsnup’s set to appear in court April 19 for a prehearing conference.

 

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 6, 2016 @ 4:27 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Gender neutral bathroom bills advance in Sacto, SF

Assemblyman Phil Ting

Assemblyman Phil Ting

A state bill that would make single-stall restrooms throughout California gender neutral advanced out of committee Tuesday morning.

The Assembly Business and Professions Committee on a bipartisan, unanimous 14-0 vote sent AB 1732, authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it must be heard by late May.

If enacted by the Legislature and signed by the governor, then all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency would need to be identified as all-gender toilet facilities beginning March 1, 2017. Such bathrooms would be for only one occupant at a time unless used by parents or guardians with small children and people with disabilities who require assistance.

“This bill deals with a very simple but necessary issue: our ability to access bathrooms in public,” said Ting. “They should be accessed in a fair and safe way.”

A similar gender-neutral bathroom law was unanimously passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Testifying on behalf of the state bill before the Assembly committee, transgender San Francisco resident Jordan Gwendolyn Davis said she wished it included the same provision as San Francisco’s law that calls for all new or renovated public buildings to include gender neutral bathrooms.

“As a transgender woman I often have to fear using gender-based restrooms,” she said. “It is especially true for transgender women of color. We are frequently murdered for being ourselves.”

The only person speaking in opposition to Ting’s bill was Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families. The antigay activist said the bill would force women to share bathrooms with men, who have “messier habits” in the bathroom.

“This bill would cause unforeseen problems and unforeseen consequences. It is uncaring for women and it is unnecessary,” he said.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) countered that it is a “common sense bill” about bathroom rules “a lot of us have been questioning for years.”

“We don’t have separate bathrooms in our homes,” he noted.

There is no reason why an establishment should designate single-stall bathrooms as just for women or men, Gomez added, as it sows confusion on if a person of the opposite gender could use the bathroom if it is vacant.

“Why can’t I go in that one if no one is in there?” asked Gomez. “It is a bill that’s time has come.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 5, 2016 @ 3:28 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Man carjacked in Duboce Triangle

Photo: David Troup/Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association

Photo: David Troup/Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association

A man was carjacked in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle neighborhood Thursday afternoon, according to police.

The March 31 incident in the 400 block of Duboce Street started when the victim, 58, dropped off a passenger. He left his key in the ignition, and the suspect jumped in and started the vehicle. When the victim tried to stop the suspect, the man punched him in the chest “several times,” Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said in a summary.

The suspect started driving as the victim held on to the driver’s side door, then “slammed on the brakes,” knocking the victim to the ground, Esparza said.

The thief fled with the car westbound on Duboce toward Market Street. He is described only as a black male between the ages of 30 to 40. The car that was stolen is white.

The victim sustained abrasions to his hands and knees and refused an ambulance. His cellphone was also taken in the incident.

Anyone with information related to the case may call the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text a tip to 847411 and type SFPD, then the message. The incident number is 160 266 350.

 

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 1, 2016 @ 3:18 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


‘When We Rise’ filming coming to SF

A scene from the 1979 White Night Riots. Photo: Dan Nicoletta.

A scene from the 1979 White Night Riots. Photo: Dan Nicoletta.

Filming of the ABC TV miniseries When We Rise, based in part on the memoir of Harvey Milk confidante Cleve Jones, is set to take place in San Francisco April 28 to May 8, according to a city film commission official.

The scenes reenacted here are expected to include the 1978 Gay Freedom Day parade, as the LGBT Pride parade was then known, as well as the 1979 White Night Riots. The latter refers to the fiery battles between police and residents that erupted after a jury convicted Milk assassin Dan White only of manslaughter, rather than murder.

Jones, who lives in the Castro, went on to become a well-known AIDS and labor activist. His book is set to be released on his 62nd birthday, October 11.

He said although the film is not a documentary, “We’re going to do our best to have it be as truthful as possible. I think we all have a very keen sense of responsibility to make sure that the overarching narrative is accurate – though I’m sure many people will point out many things that aren’t quite accurate,” he quipped.

Manijeh Fata, a film coordinator with the city’s film commission, said most of the filming would take place in the Castro, although scenes would also be recreated at City Hall. Producers are expected to put out a call for volunteer extras. The film is currently being shot in Vancouver, Canada.

Milk became the first out LGBT elected official in California when he won a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977. White, a former supervisor, assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone in City Hall in November 1978.

Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for the 2008 Milk biopic, also wrote the screenplay for When We Rise.

The Castro has been used by several LGBT-related movie and television film crews in recent years. Whole swaths of the neighborhood were decorated to recall the early 1970s for Milk in January 2008. More recently HBO’s Looking, about the modern-day lives of three gay men living in San Francisco, filmed inside various businesses in the gayborhood and at nearby Dolores Park, as did  Netflix series Sense 8, which also utilized the 2014 Dyke March to film scenes involving the shows’ lesbian and transgender female couple.

Fata said people associated with When We Rise are scheduled to appear Thursday, April 7 at the regular meeting of the Castro Merchants business group.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this story in the April 7 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, March 31, 2016 @ 3:21 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


SF photog seeks funds to replace stolen equipment

George Lester

George Lester

San Francisco photographer George Lester has launched a Gofundme fundraising campaign so he can replace camera equipment recently stolen from his home.

Lester, who’s gay, is known for photographing LGBT events and is one of the official photographers for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle, the annual bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. He also takes photos for the Bay Area Reporter.

“It is not easy to ask for assistance, but my passion is photography and capturing the memories of my community,” Lester says on his online crowdfunding page, which he launched March 29.

He explains, “Recently, my house was broken into and all of my camera equipment was stolen.” He’s looking to replace his camera, flash, and lenses.

As of this afternoon (Thursday, March 31), Lester had raised $5,675 of his $7,900 goal.

On his site, he tells supporters, “As a thank you for your donation, I would like to offer you a session in my portrait studio. (Once I get my new camera equipment).”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:00 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Upper Market real estate office projects in Castro head to planning

Real estate firm Drysdale Properties is aiming to open a satellite office in the storefront at 2324. Market Street.

Real estate firm Drysdale Properties is aiming to open a satellite office in the storefront at 2324 Market Street.

A pair of projects involving upper Market Street real estate offices in the Castro are headed to the city’s planning commission.

Two years after Drysdale Properties, a local affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, first announced it planned to move into the roughly 280 square foot space at 2324 Market Street, its permit request will be heard by the oversight body at its April 21 meeting.

As noted in a story last June, Drysdale’s attempt to open a satellite office in the bathroom-less storefront was blocked when a complaint was filed against it for not seeking the required permits imposed on real estate offices wanting to open in ground floor retail spaces along upper Market Street.

City leaders imposed the zoning controls in an attempt to limit the number of real estate offices, as well as financial services and other non-retail uses, that could move into ground floor storefronts on Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Castro Street.

D&H Sustainable Jewelers, at 2323 Market Street, had been interested in leasing the space directly across the street from it to open a watch store, but its entreaties with the landlord were rebuffed. And the Castro Retail Strategy released last summer argued the space should be used for retail.

Nonetheless, last fall Drysdale won the backing of the Castro Merchants business group to take over the storefront. The company noted it is locally- and woman-owned and planned to utilize the space daily, including on weekends.

The Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District and the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association also voted to support its permit request, while the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association voted to oppose it.

2201 Market Street housing project advances

A rendering of the proposed building at the corner of Market and Sanchez streets. Courtesy Edmonds + Lee Architects, Inc.

A rendering of the proposed building at the corner of Market and Sanchez streets. Courtesy Edmonds + Lee Architects, Inc.

Meanwhile, a planned mixed-use housing project at 2201 Market Street, which has housed the San Francisco flagship location for real estate firm Catarra, recently won several variances it had needed for the design of the building.

The triangular lot at the intersection of Market and Sanchez streets is one of the last remaining developable corner parcels in the area.

At that intersection in particular, it is the second-to-last corner property to be redeveloped.

The 22-unit Century SF condo building at 2200 Market Street opened in 2013, while Forest City’s 88-unit apartment complex at 2175 Market Street, on the corner with 15th Street, opened in the fall of 2014.

Across the street and currently under construction is Greystar’s 87-unit mixed-use development at 2198 Market Street, where Market, 15th and Sanchez all intersect. It is slated to open this summer.

The final site at that intersection houses a Chase Bank branch that includes a small parking lot for 15 vehicles. Plans to demolish the existing building and build a Trader Joe’s grocery store were abandoned in 2005. At this time there are no known plans to redevelop the property.

Two years ago Donald St. Sure, the property owner of 2201 Market Street, first announced plans to demolish the existing structure on the site, which has housed various retail shops in the past, from an audio and electronics store to a seller of home furnishings.

The current plan is to build a six-story, 65-foot tall flatiron building with 3,200 square feet of ground floor commercial retail space, fourteen dwelling units at the second through sixth floors, and a basement level garage with four stacked parking spaces accessed from Sanchez Street.

A view of the proposed building’s Sanchez Street facade. Courtesy of Edmonds + Lee Architects, Inc.

A view of the proposed building’s Sanchez Street facade. Courtesy of Edmonds + Lee Architects, Inc.

The building, designed by local firm Edmonds + Lee Architects, Inc., would extend outwards at the corner, with the retail spaces recessed inwards.

Because the proposed building covers the entire lot and is designed with bays that extend beyond the property line, it required the granting of a rear yard modification and variance from the requirements for obstructions over streets and alleys.

Zoning Administrator Scott F. Sanchez granted the zoning code exceptions for the project at his monthly Zoning Variance Hearing held Wednesday, March 23.

The design will now be reviewed by the planning commission, though a hearing before the panel has yet to be scheduled.

— Matthew S. Bajko, March 30, 2016 @ 4:58 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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