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    Last Call for Alcohol in SF Is Still 2 AM

    California lawmakers have rejected a bill, SB 635, which would allow bars and clubs to serve alcohol until 4 AM – two hours later than the current last call.

    Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, had said the extended hours would draw tourists, create jobs and help California cities compete with New York, Las Vegas, Miami and other areas that serve alcohol all night long. But SB635 failed to get enough votes in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

    Law enforcement said that could mean more public drunkenness, violence and drunken driving. They said drunken patrons would be hitting the highways just as the morning commute begins. But Leno argued that the current standard of 2 AM puts more pressure on law enforcement agencies, public services and transportation because bar patrons are all pushed into the street simultaneously at closing time. The deadline has passed for the senator to try again, killing the bill for the year. This was his second attempt to extend bar hours. He tried a bill in 2004 that would apply only to San Francisco, but it was rejected by the state Assembly.

    At least 15 other states leave it up to local authorities to decide when to cut off drinking. Many Castro residents have expressed opinions against longer hours for drunks to be out – while decent public transportation cuts off around 1 AM.

    In other local news, rumors are circulating that the former Diesel clothing store on Castro and Market is in escrow by Randy Rooster, a company that plans to install a male strip club. Already Castro residents have varying opinions- mostly against- worrying about more rowdy bachelorette parties bringing down the neighborhood vibe.

    Story by Dennis McMillan

     

    SF Residents Rally at Rep. Pelosi’s Office to Oppose Social Security Cuts

    Concerned San Francisco residents and MoveOn.org members outraged by President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security recently gathered to protest and deliver a petition, signed by over 300,000 people, to Representative Nancy Pelosi at her office at 90 7th Street in San Francisco. It urges her to reject any budget deal that includes cuts to Social Security. The petition, started by Robert Reich, asks the President and Congress to oppose chained CPI, which would reduce Social Security benefits.

    “I am organizing this demonstration because most people collecting Social Security are already starving for several days at the end of the month,” Clark Sullivan, a MoveOn.org member from San Francisco and organizer of the event explained. “Cutting benefits would increase the already unacceptable level of human misery for Americans who have paid a lifetime of taxes to support Social Security. The Social Security Act has been one of the most successful federal programs ever enacted and is more solvent than it ever has been. There is no need to tamper with its current success.”

    Sullivan, a San Francisco resident since 1981, has been compassionately organizing for social change for 43 years, feeding the hungry, healing the physically and mentally ill, advocating for medical cannabis patients who have been arrested, and generally helping those who are less fortunate than he is.

    “Americans all over the country depend on every single dollar they get from Social Security to put food on the table and pay for housing,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. Social Security doesn’t add one dime to the debt, and a typical 80-year-old woman will lose the equivalent of three months worth of food annually under this plan. 107 members of Congress vigorously oppose these cuts.

    Story by Dennis McMillan