S.F. high school students show class. Take a walk during anti-abortion prattle

Lee Heidhues 10.22.2021

Several hundred students at San Francisco’s Riordan High School displayed a lot of moxie when they walked out of a speech by an anti-abortion propagandist.

These right to life people are the most insidious and reactionary know nothings.

Anti-abortion crusaders, backed by powerful Church leaders such as San Francisco’s Archbishop, want to curtail a woman’s right to control their own bodies and spend their lives foisting their abhorrent political views 24/7. 

The pro-Choice movement needs to stand firm and beat down these anti-abortion zealots. It is reassuring that America’s young people appear to be fully aware of what’s at stake and are aggresively making known their point of view. Right here in San Francisco.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 10.22.2021

Hundreds of students at Archbishop Riordan High School staged a walkout Friday during an all-school assembly that featured a prominent antiabortion speaker.

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Riordan High School – San Francisco

About five minutes into the presentation, during which staff members patrolled the doors, students at the Catholic high school exited the theater and walked into the gym, since school rules don’t permit them to leave campus. A few dozen of the school’s more than 800 students remained in the theater for the entire presentation.

The school’s argument — that the presentation was in line with Catholic teaching — didn’t sit well with students and parents alike — who said that politically, the issue is much larger than abortion.

Parent Judy Walgren said that if the assembly was really about “Catholic themes of the dignity of human life” and not politics, then “where are the speakers about the death penalty? Where are the speakers about how you should go out into the streets in the Tenderloin and wash the feet of the poor and destitute?”

The speaker, Megan Almon, works with the Life Training Institute, a program that focuses on teaching people who are antiabortion to “persuasively defend their views in the marketplace of ideas,” and sends its speakers to Catholic and Christian schools everywhere, its website says. The Catholic Church’s official stance is also antiabortion.

The assembly comes on the heels of women’s marches across the nation, including one in San Francisco, in support of reproductive rights as conservative states like Texas attempt to restrict abortion rights — timing that was frustrating to Riordan parents and students.

Almon’s speech also follows San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone intensifying his public campaign to convince House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Catholic, to renounce her support of abortion rights. Cordileone, who oversees the diocese’s Catholic schools, including Riordan, is launching $50,000 digital ad in which he asks viewers to pray and fast as a sign of support, calling the effort the Rose and Rosary for Nancy Campaign.

Some Riordan students were particularly upset that Almon was invited to speak during the school’s first year as a co-ed institution — Riordan had previous been an all-boys school.

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Riordan students take a walk to protest anti-abortion speaker


“Instead of dividing us with gold & jewels, he unified us with buttons & bows.”

Lee Heidhues 10.22.2021

Liz and I cycled along Car Free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to the de Young Museum on Member Preview Day to view the stunning Patrick Kelly fashion exhibit titled Runway of Love.

His work is both a fashion statement and a political commentary on the racism felt by black people in America

Patrick Kelly was  born in Vicksburg, Mississippi  in 1954. He perfected his art in America and emigrated to Paris as a young man. He discovered himself and was discovered by the European fashionistas where he became a celebrity in his adopted country.
His potential was cut short when he was diagnosed with AIDS in August 1989 and died four months later on January 1, 1990. Patrick Kelly left an impressive fashion legacy.
His friend and client Gloria Steinem spoke at his memorial service in Paris saying, “Instead of dividing us with gold and jewels, he unified us with buttons and bows.”
Following are photos of Patrick Kelly’s fashion creations taken by Liz and me.



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Patrick Kelly with his creations

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Topped by the Eiffel Tower
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A patron goes to the heart of the art
A long view of the Patrick Kelly exhibit gallery

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Patrick Kelly ETE 89, Astro Lisa, Las Vegas Lisa, Baker Lisa, Muscle Lisa and Mississippi Lisa – Invitation to a 1989 Louvre, Paris showing of Patrick Kelly’s ready to wear fashion.
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Skirt made of glossy bananas – A tribute to Black American performer Josephine Baker
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Patrick Kelly’s dress of the golliwog doll appropriated American and European racial stereotypes

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Patrick Kelly incorporated racial stereotypes such as exaggerated lips

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Velvet Underground. How do you make a rock doc without any concert footage?

The Velvet Underground is one of the most iconic albums of all time. The LP, released in 1966 long before the days of CD’s and streaming, had a classic banana peel cover. You could peel it off.

The documentary by Todd Haynes takes the viewer on a trip down memory lane of the rock scene in its early tumultuous days. Must viewing.


The Guardian 10.16.2021

How do you make a rock doc without any concert footage? In his electric portrait of the Velvet Underground, the film-maker Todd Haynes elegantly sidesteps this conundrum. Unable to rely on archive material of their gigs, he turns instead to the early films of Andy Warhol, their friend, publicist and one-time manager.

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The band came out of New York City’s avant-garde art scene in 1964 , so Haynes frames the film like a downtown gallery installation. A slideshow of still photographs runs in split screen alongside new interviews and clips from this period in experimental American cinema (the format is a homage to Warhol’s 1966 film Chelsea Girls). Warhol’s screen tests of founding members Lou Reed and John Cale, staring into the lens, play out in full. His black-and-white chiaroscuro closeups capture the Velvets’ confrontational cool.

In his dramas Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There and Carol, Haynes imagined the sexual escapades of a Bowie-esque pop star, cast Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan, and queered the melodrama genre. He’s the perfect practitioner, then, to tell the story of a band who also defined themselves in opposition to the mainstream. A more conventional director might have chosen to focus on their most famous member, Reed, but Haynes smartly structures the film as a group show, giving space to the women in the ensemble. Singer Nico is thankfully presented as more than a femme fatale, while drummer Maureen “Moe” Tucker embodies the band’s no-nonsense, New York attitude with her withering comments about “flower power”.

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Film which brought home Algeria’s fight for independence from French rule

Lee Heidhues 10.17.2021

October 17, 1961 was the day French police in Paris massacred hundreds of Algerians during the Algerians struggle for independence from colonial rule.

It was a brutal and violent  war with a take no prisoners attitude on both sides.

The most gripping visualization of the Algerians fight for independence is the 1966 mock documentary film The Battle of Algiers. It is recognized over 50 years later as one of the classic political films of all time.


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October 17, 1961: A massacre of Algerians in the heart of France by Paris cops

Lee Heidhues 10.16.2021

60 years is a long time to wait for an apology.  It was 60 years ago on October 17 that French police murdered hundreds of Algerians in the heart of Paris. 

The massacre was carried out at the direction of Paris police chief Maurice Papon, himself a collaborator with the Nazis during their occupation of France during World War II.

This is a shocking event which most Americans have never heard about. It is only because the sad anniversary is receiving media coverage that I myself know of its occurrence.

When this massacre happened the French were struggling to hold onto Algeria, one of their last colonies. A vicious war of independence raged from 1954-1962 when the Algerians achieved their independence from their colonial masters in Paris on July 5, 1962.


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Excerpted from France 24 – 10.16.2021

President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday became the first French head of state to take part in commemorations of the massacre by Paris police of protesters at a rally 60 years ago against France’s rule in its then-colony Algeria. He stopped short of issuing a formal apology but said that the deadly crackdown on that day was “inexcusable”.

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The events of October 17, 1961 were covered up for decades and the final death toll remains unclear. But many historians believe it could amount to several hundred.

The rally was called in the final year of France’s increasingly violent attempt to retain Algeria as a north African colony, and in the middle of a bombing campaign targeting mainland France by pro-independence militants.

On Saturday, one day ahead of the formal anniversary, Macron took part in a memorial ceremony for the victims at a park on the Paris outskirts. He acknowledged that several dozen protesters had been killed, “their bodies thrown into the River Seine” and paid tribute to the memory of the victims.

The precise number of victims has never been made clear and some activists fear several hundred could have been killed.

While Macron didn’t issue a formal apology for the actions of the Paris police that day, the French presidential office said in a statement that the deadly crackdown was “inexcusable”.

Macron “recognised the facts: that the crimes committed that night under Maurice Papon are inexcusable for the Republic,” the Elysée statement said.

“This tragedy was long hushed-up, denied or concealed,” it added.

The Paris police chief at the time, Maurice Papon, was in the 1980s revealed to have been a collaborator with the occupying Nazis in World War II and complicit in the deportation of Jews. He was convicted of crimes against humanity but later released.

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Historian Emmanuel Blanchard told AFP that Macron’s comments represented “progress” and had gone “much further” than those made by Hollande in 2012.

But he took issue with the decision to pin responsibility on Papon alone, saying that then prime minister Michel Debre and president Charles de Gaulle had not been held to account over the ensuing cover-up or the fact Papon would remain Paris police chief until 1967.

Activists were hoping Macron, the first president born in the post-colonial era, would go further than his predecessor François Hollande, who acknowledged in 2012 that protesting Algerians had been “killed during a bloody repression”.

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San Francisco bureaucrats meet to discuss future of The Great Walkway

Lee Heidhues 10.15.2021

In response to a Public Records Request with Supervisor Connie Chan I received the attached document.  StatementGreatHighway10521.

In early October representatives of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, The Metropolitan Transportation Agency and The Recreation and Park Commission met to discuss the future of The Great Walkway.

The Subject: line in the September 28, 2021 email states Supervisor Chan, the legislator primarily responsible for reopening The Great Walkway to cars in August 2021 after 16 months as a car free zone, and MTA Director Michael Tumlin would be participating.

Supervisor Chan did not attend the meeting. Legislative aide Kelly Groth participated in her place.



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San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Provide Update on the Future of the Great Highway.

Please see the attached meeting invite for the list of folks invited to the meeting; which  also included Megan Imperial (BOS) and Sarah Jones. (MTA)

From: Ng, Beverly (REC)
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 12:46 PM
To: Groth, Kelly (BOS) ; Yu, Angelina (BOS) ; Madland, Sarah (REC) ; Tumlin, Jeffrey (MTA)
Cc: Chan, Connie (BOS) ; Simpliciano, Sophia (MTA) ; Doherty, Timothy (MTA)

Subject: Briefing update on Great Highway with Sup. Chan & Director Tumlin
When: Friday, October 1, 2021 9:30 AM-10:00 AM.

On Aug. 5, 2021, Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Gordon Mar, with support from Supervisors Connie Chan and Myrna Melgar, modified the emergency order so the Great Highway will be closed to vehicles from each Friday at noon until the following Monday at 6 a.m. and open to pedestrians, cycling and other recreational uses. 

 Throughout this time, Rec and Park and the SFMTA have been focusing on the Great Highway’s long- term future beyond the emergency order. Together, we have been monitoring usage in order to recommend a two-year pilot program to the Board of Supervisors. Our target for presenting the plan, originally set for fall, will now be postponed as we study the impact of the partial opening, which went into effect August 16.   

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The abbreviations:

BOS – San Francisco Board of Supervisors Board of Supervisors

MTA – San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency

REC – San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission


Feds cave to howls of The Entitled mob of drivers. Put brakes on Park parking fees

Lee Heidhues 10.14.2021

Paying for parking in Federal parks and the howls being heard from The Entitled is yet another skirmish in the San Francisco Do Cars Rule the World battle?

As the excerpt from The San Francisco Chronicle shows the Feds have caved to the howls of The Entitled Mob.

Its ironic that some who profess to appreciate the environment, including elected officials, are howling the loudest about having to pay to park in Bay Area national parks.

The struggle for car free zones is being waged in San Francisco with The Great Walkway and JFK Drive being Ground Zero. San Francisco Supervisor Connie Chan, whose district encompasses JFK Drive and The Great Walkway, can now ad the Lands End area to the list of environmental battle zones.

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Cyclists at Crissy Field in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Supervisor Chan has already betrayed the Progressives who put her in office in 2020 and taken the side of the most reactionary elements amongst The Entitled in the JFK Drive and Great Walkway battle.

The Supervisor must know one way to get people to leave their vehicles and find alternative modes is to make it costly to park.

She doesn’t care. She wants to get reelected. Period.

Supervisor Chan should commend the National Park Service, a steward of the environment, for putting forth this sensible proposal.

Excerpted from The Chronicle 10.14.2021

As the country’s national parks confront record crowds, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, home to the Presidio, Marin Headlands and Stinson Beach, is looking to introduce parking fees to ease the higher cost of operations.

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Not everyone is happy about this. Members of Congress, a powerful dog advocacy group and about 900 letter-writers are among those fighting the proposal, which calls for a $3-an-hour or $10-a-day parking fee at eight sites in San Francisco and Marin County. The sites, where parking has long been free, include such locally popular play spots as Baker Beach, China Beach, Lands End and Rodeo Beach.

On Thursday afternoon, in an unexpected turn, GGNRA officials told The Chronicle they were reconsidering their proposal in light of the feedback and would hold off on charging for parking in at at least some of the spots. Which ones remains to be seen.


“Cancel Culture Bullshit” the right-wing talking point on Gruden resignation

Lee Heidhues 10.12.2021

Back in Jon Gruden’s halycon days as Oakland Raiders coach he was affectionately known as “Chucky” and billboards with his smiling face graced billboards on Bay Area freeways.

Times have changed.

Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s sudden resignation in the face of a political and media firestorm when his 10 year old incendiary emails found their way into the news cycle has become a major political story.  What is more disturbing is the fact that people inside the NFL and the media have known about Gruden’s comments for years.

The question becomes, “Why did it take 10 years for this story to become public knowledge?”  The reason may be that Gruden has been a money machine for the networks in his role as a coach and a commentator on ESPN.

Money can make a lot of uncomfortable problems go away.  But not forever.

Excerpted from Vanity Fair 10.12.2021

Newsmax host Greg Kelly chalked up Jon Gruden’s resignation to “CANCEL CULTURE BULLSHIT,” while right-wing talk radio host Jesse Kelly said that if Gruden had “mocked straight people, insulted the looks of a white man, and said Christians are stupid, he’d still be employed today.”

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This past June, the National Football league launched a new promo video that proclaimed, “Football is gay,” as well as “lesbian,” “beautiful,” “strong,” “queer,” and “transgender.” The video reportedly drew plenty of hateful comments, and this week, a new scandal has shed light on the recalcitrant culture of homophobia and racism that still exists in the NFL.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden made a series of racist, homophobic, and sexist comments in emails several years ago.

Gruden attempted to sweep aside the incident when confronted with the first seemingly racist remark he made in 2011, when he said that NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who is Black, has “lips the size of [Michelin] tires.”

Gruden ultimately resigned in the face of the Times story, which suggested the comment was not an isolated incident. “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” Gruden said in a statement. “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

In perhaps a predictable turn of events, Gruden’s resignation has granted him instant martyr status in the right-wing media’s “cancel culture” wars.

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ex-Raiders Coach Jon Gruden

Blogger and podcast host Matt Walsh said as much in a tweet stating that “Nobody was a victim of Gruden’s vulgar comments,” ergo he should face no consequences. “Nobody was hurt or even offended. Call it what it is: Gruden is getting canceled for thought crimes,” Walsh wrote, adding that Gruden lost his job “because he’s a white guy who used insensitive language.” Gruden’s use of anti-gay slurs is of particular note given that––up until Monday night––he coached Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to come out publicly. Still, Walsh wrote, there is “no indication or even claim that [Gruden] has acted inappropriately in his job as a coach.

Naturally, the controversy made its way onto the former president’s favorite TV network. During his Fox Business show on Monday, host Charles Payne argued that Gruden was a victim of selective punishment and that he “should [not] have lost his job over this,” while his guest asserted that proponents of “cancel culture” have “won another battle.”

Jason Whitlock, a former Fox Sports personality who now hosts a show on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network, responded to the controversy by suggesting that this season’s Super Bowl Halftime Show’s performers—rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem—are all more cancel-worthy than Gruden.


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Raiders coach Gruden quits. Be careful what you write. Written word is forever.

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Lee Heidhues 10.11.2021

Over 25 years ago, at the dawn of email, my employer called together the troops to issue a cautionary warning about email.

She told us the written word takes on a life of its own and lasts forever.

Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden, a fixture in National Football League circles the past 25 years, obviously didn’t get the message.

Incendiary words he posted 10 years ago surfaced last week.

Jon Gruden resigned today.

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Excerpted from The New York Times 10.11.2021

Jon Gruden stepped down Monday as the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders football team hours after The New York Times detailed emails in which he had made homophobic and misogynistic remarks, following an earlier report of racist statements about a union leader.

His resignation was a striking departure from the football league for a coach who had won a Super Bowl, been a marquee analyst on ESPN and returned to the N.F.L. in 2018 to lead the resurgent Raiders, which he had coached years before.

“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” he said on Twitter in a statement issued by the team. “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, said in a statement that he had accepted the resignation. Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders’ special teams coordinator, was elevated to interim head coach, the team said.

SF Chronicle Knightcrawler plays lawyer. Tries to take down SF District Attorney

Lee Heidhues 10.11.2021

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight is at it, again.

Knight’s October 10 column dissects the aftermath of two fatal auto driver caused bicycle accidents on the same day in June 2016. She attempts to hold DA Chesa Boudin as the party most responsible for the sentence meted out to one of the culprits.

The column gives short shrift to the fact, which is briefly acknowledged in her column, that the charging decisions were made nearly four years before Chesa Boudin became District Attorney. His office was left to handle a difficult situation left him by his predecessor.

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District Attorney Chesa Boudin with his supporters at SF City Hall – August 2021

In trying to place the current DA in the worst possible light, Heather Knight essentially engages in the unauthorized practice of law.

Making her column more egregious is the fact Heather Knight interviewed Tom Ostly, an ex San Francisco Assistant District Attorney fired by Chesa Boudin when he took office.

Ostly is now a prime mover in the attempted recall of the District Attorney. He is deeply involved in the anti Chesa Boudin Stop Crime Action PAC which is sending out mailers to targeted San Francisco voters.

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Chesa Boudin being sworn in as DA January 8, 2020 by Mayor London Breed with his wife Dr. Valerie Block looking on

In short the column is an undisguised hit piece. It takes anecdotal evidence, inaccurately portrays the record and most reprehensible is the insinuation the DA is responsible for a situation left him by his predecessor.

As an award winning journalist Heather’s reporting continues to be totally beyond the pale when it comes to Chesa Boudin. A pattern of reporting which began nearly two years ago when she was covering the 2019 District Attorney campaign.

Artwork – Liz Heidhues