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Crosscurrents

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
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Musicians in Chinatown's Portsmouth Square.

Chinatown opera musicians seek solution to repeated citations // SF Examiner

The ongoing drama of Chinese opera singers and musicians performing without permits at Portsmouth Square in Chinatown might have a happy ending one day, if the group’s self-proclaimed guardian can drum up enough support for a new arrangement.

For years on weekend afternoons, monolingual Chinese mostly in their 60s to 80s have performed at the square using microphones and amplifiers without the $323 daily permit required by the Recreation and Park Department for amplified sound. Complaints from neighbors about the noise have been coming for years, but have recently worsened. While department patrol officers typically warn and sometimes cite those who violate San Francisco’s park code, on many occasions they have let the Chinese performers slide.

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"Last Black Man in San Francisco" Examines a Changing Hometown // NBC Bay Area

Jimmie Fails wants to tell his life story about feeling alienated and left out in his rapidly changing hometown.

With the help of Joe Talbot, who has been Fails' friend and documentarian since junior high, he has for several years been working on a movie concept called "Last Black Man in San Francisco."

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Workers to shut down Port of Oakland on May Day — with employers' backing // SF Business Times

Port of Oakland workers will halt shipping and loading operations on May 1 and march to protest nationwide police shootings, shutting down one of the country's busiest ports with the rare support of shipping and terminal owners.

There will be no vessel, yard or gate operations during the Port's first shift from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., said Michael Zampa, a spokesman for the Port of Oakland. But since the Port has notified business owners in advance and the shutdown is limited to one day, it won't have the devastating impact of prolonged strikes earlier this year.

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Big water buys to ease East Bay drought shortages // Coco Times

With one emergency water supply already flowing in, the East Bay's largest water district plans to buy three others to bolster its drought defenses.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District board on Tuesday will consider authorizing the purchase of up to 21,000 acre feet of water from three Northern California suppliers with water to spare. The purchase would amount to about a one-month to two-month supply for EBMUD's 1.3 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

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Marin aid groups feel shock of Nepal earthquake // Marin Independent Journal

Olga Murray, founder of the Sausalito-based Nepal Youth Foundation, was in Kathmandu preparing to host 600 guests at a party celebrating her 90th birthday when Saturday’s disastrous earthquake struck, causing widespread death and devastation.

“I was at home when the shaking started, and after falling to the floor and sliding around a bit, the shaking stopped, and I went outside,” Murray said in an email to the foundation she started in 1990 to aid Nepal’s children. “The scenes of destruction all around are sickening.”

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Campos Says Airbnb’s Power May Protect Its Records // Mission Local

Supervisor David Campos said that Airbnb, the online service for renting rooms, apartment or whole houses to travelers, made it clear at a recent meeting that they will not be turning over any records to the city.

And on Thursday,  the San Francisco Planning Commission decided not to force them. In a 4-3 decision, Commissioners Fong, Antonini, Hills and Johnson voted against requiring Airbnb to give the city the number of nights a host rents out a residential unit.