Thursday, May 22, 2014

Milk Stamp

The Harvey Milk stamp was issued today by the U.S. Postal Service.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Connecting with Their Dreams

In the Fall of 2004, I volunteered at 826 Valencia, a non-profit in the Mission District that teaches writing skills to K-12 kids in San Francisco. One of the 826 in-school programs is tutoring high school seniors on their college application essays. For first generation English-speaking teenagers, learning to express themselves in a compelling way -- despite their grammatical limitations -- is perhaps their greatest challenge.

Working with students at Galileo Academy, I found that one way of connecting with their dreams was to read their stories about themselves, their families and peers. It's where they reveal their aspirations, anxieties and aptitudes.

As I wrote afterward in Galileo Glory, discovering the meaning of life at sixteen is a burden that needs to be shared.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cultural Creatives

Often overlooked in the celebrated cultural icons emanating from The City by the Bay is Jay Ward, creator and producer of animated TV cartoon shows, including the revolutionary Rocky and Bullwinkle. Ward, along with Al Feldstein, editor of MAD magazine, instilled in my generation a healthy distrust of politicians, as well as disbelief in conventional wisdom. It is perhaps not a stretch to say these two cultural creatives of the 1950s laid the essential groundwork for the hippie counterculture of the 1960s.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Rock and roll in the 1960s Bay Area was replete with superstars, but the homegrown bands alone were remarkable. My three favorites were Creedence Clearwater Revival, It's a Beautiful Day, and the Grateful Dead.

Who can forget rocking to Suzie Q, White Bird, or Truckin'?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Local Poet

I was eight years old when Robert Frost read his poetry at JFK's inauguration. I remember listening in awe to the person whose poems we'd been reading, along with Carl Sandburg, in our elementary school. My formative years were full of admiration for such thoughtful and inspiring people.

Now I learn Frost was from San Francisco, where his father was a newspaper editor.

Friday, April 11, 2014

San Francisco Bizarre

Keith Jackson’s arrest for gun-running, drug trafficking and murder for hire reminded me of his role in the demise of New College.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Clean Power Dirty Politics

A bit behind schedule, but better late than never. This article at Truth Out illustrates best how corrupt politics in San Francisco hinders conversion to Clean Power, despite a decade of support from voters and supervisors. Alas, Willie Brown still rules.