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You know, I’m proud of my kid. Obviously parents love everything their kids create, whether it’s “good” or not. But I’ve been pretty impressed with my son’s stuff. He doesn’t yet have the technique, but he has the eye. He sees things.

We entered several of his items into the County Fair this year. He took two first place ribbons, two third, and some sort of “special prize” for one of his paintings. As for what he sees, one of the projects began when our coffee bean grinder broke a few months ago. I went to put it in the recycling and he asked if he could have it. He cut off the power cord to about six inches or so and left the room. I heard masking tape coming off the roll. Some pen scribbling. He came back into the room with a black cat sculpture. It’s on display in Belotti Hall as I’m typing with a first prize ribbon.

My daughter took a second place ribbon for one of her paintings in the two-year-old division.

Both of them called me from my wife’s cell phone. They were very excited.

It’s nice to have a little objective validation.

Okay, I don’t want to minimize it. Shooting at people is a very serious crime, and I’m certain Judge Neville and the woman were terrified. But 32 years? Some European countries have maximum sentences around there, for any crime.

I figured 10, maybe 15 years if there was any indication that the attacker was trying to kill. According to the article, there was no evidence that the attacker knew Neville was a judge.

How many non-party related shootings have taken place in the meantime?

From the Chronicle:

City officials said Wednesday that there will be no official Halloween celebration anywhere in San Francisco in October – not in the Castro neighborhood, the traditional home of the event, and not at a parking lot near AT&T Park, which had been considered as an alternate site.

“There will be no party,” said Audrey Joseph, president of the city’s Entertainment Commission.

Officials had been quietly working on plans to snuff out the Castro event, where a shooting last year injured nine people. The goal had been to instead hold a large outdoor concert near the ballpark. But the concert promoter has pulled out of the effort, and there is not enough time to find another, Joseph said.

But officials are still trying to prevent any festivities in the Castro. On Wednesday, Supervisor Bevan Dufty sent a letter to 110 owners of bars, restaurants and stores in the Castro, asking them to close shop on Halloween night to discourage partygoers.

The Halloween event was marred by violence last year after the shooting near the main stage on Market Street. Another person was injured as the crowd fled the area. Dufty and other city leaders had already been concerned about violence at the event, including the potential for attacks on members of the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population.

Love that last sentence. Score one for the gay bashers.

But let’s split hairs over Cooper and Morrison lyrics before we admit we have a problem!

Photo source California Dreaming.

John Glenn covers the protests, a few days after the fact.

Great photo of Esteban.

Addendum: Just spoke to a Garberville business owner. She said that business during last weekend was down from previous years. Way down. She said other businesses had the same experience.

Two possibilities. One is that attendance is much, much lower than previous years’. More than is accounted for in 2500 tickets. Another possibility however is that the concert not being jam-packed made the site more pleasant to spend a long time on, whereas in past years many more people came to town just to get away from the crowds.

I forgot to ask if shoplifting was down as well. I would assume so.

Second addendum: Bob D. is now moving his blog to WordPress. I suppose I’ll succumb to peer pressure eventually, but it’s taken me a year to master this format!

Third addendum: Hmmmm. Somebody in this Reggae Warrior thread says that someone or some people in the flotilla threw rocks at security and/or kids and their parents. Seems unlikely to me, but shame on the protester(s) if true.

Somebody sent me this link to an article in this week’s Time Magazine edition on efforts to curb some of the violent homophobia in Reggae lyrics. Buju Banton himself signed the Reggae Compassion Act, to his credit. Beenie Man too.

Gay Rights activists had more effect in other communities than they did locally and actually managed to push enough concert cancellations that the losses for the homophobic artists have been estimated at 5 million dollars.

From the article:

But some music insiders argue that compassion was hardly the motivation. Mark Richards, known as DJ Kemist from reggae label Xtremix records, says: “I can see why [Banton’s] done it. He doesn’t want to jeopardize his whole career over just a few songs. But it doesn’t mean it’s going to change any of his opinions.”

Probably not, but the issue for the activists (acting through an organization named “Stop Murder Music“) is what they promote, particularly in youth. And I’m willing to give Banton the benefit of the doubt that he no longer believes in violence against homosexuals, whether he hates them or simply regards them as immoral in the eyes of whatever god he believes in.

For those of you who were out of town last year and missed the hoopla, you can read about Banton’s local run-in here, here, here, here, here, and here. I may be missing a post or two.

The photo is of a memorial vigil for a Jamaican victim taken from this article at Ammo City.

Addendum: Sorry, the Stop Murder Music link isn’t working. I’m trying to find the text of the Reggae Compassion Act.

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