Greetings from the wide open ranges of Texas! That’s right, this week’s Tom’s Town comes to you from the halls of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in sunny Houston. As an aside, the fact that Bush The First got this big-ass airport with what I’d imagine was little fuss, while we seemed to create a third rail when suggesting re-naming SFO after Harvey Milk, is just sad.
Getting off a plane from San Francisco in Houston feels a world away — but also strangely familiar. The first thing I saw upon disembarking was a Fox News Channel Store, and places keep offering “Texican” breakfast. What happened to Tex-Mex? Weird. That said, there is also a questionable hometown newspaper named the Chronicle and they have $4 toast here too – granted it’s white bread, and there appears to be nothing organic or wholesome about it, but it’s $4 nonetheless.
Back in San Francisco, I, and anyone else with an address and a pulse received a super fancy mail piece whose blood red cover ominously noted our city’s eviction epidemic and rising costs of living and then asked us “WHAT IS CITY HALL’S PLAN?…” Good question you say! What the hell are they doing!?
Well, according to the inside of this mailer, they’re dealing with the rapid destruction of the fabric of our city by making us pay even more for our Fantas and RC’s. Bastards! This mailer is the first of what promises to be hundreds of media pieces funded by opponents of the sugary beverage tax that will be passing by our eyes and directly into our trashcans between now and November. No shade intended toward big soda but really, who besides the junkiest of political junkies is going to read the forests of dead trees worth of mail that is going to go into both sides of this measure? (more after the jump)
There is certainly an argument to be made that if implemented this tax would be regressive, disproportionately falling on low-income communities who consume more soda than the city at large, but the mailer’s intended correlation between evictions and my occasional can of Squirt is a serious stretch. If opponents of the measure, who will likely have nearly unlimited funds to spend fighting this initiative, really want show their commitment to fighting displacement in San Francisco they can certainly pull a Google and fund a program serving low-income communities. Google got Free Muni for Youth so wouldn’t it be fun to see Pepsi Presents Healthy SF?
This week has been less than rosy for fans of e-cigarettes. The alternatives to conventional cigarettes emit vapor rather than smoke, but lawmakers in LA and San Francisco want to see them treated similarly to their flaming peers.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles city council voted to extend restrictions that exist for traditional smokes to e-cigarettes, meaning that vapor needs to steer clear of public places like bars and restaurants. Whether or not this will have any meaningful effect on LA’s air quality remains to be seen.
In San Francisco, Supervisor Eric Mar announced similar legislation to ban e-cigs in spots that regular ones dare not go. Cited in the announcement was the belief that the cigs, which are created in awkwardly kid-friendly flavors like Apple Pie and Bubblegum, were being marketed toward children and could be a “gateway” to the real stuff.
I’m no fan of over-legislating the choices that adult consumers make, nor am I a fan of demonizing what is proving to be a successful harm-reduction strategy for folks trying to quit smoking. Additionally, a number of medical marijuana patients use similar devices and some are worried that their prohibition could diminish people’s ability safely medicate. That said, the availability of e-cigs to kids should be of concern. I might propose additional legislation requiring that nothing containing nicotine be sold featuring flavors that can be found in a middle school cafeteria or county fair food court.
MOVIE TIME: Did you watch the Oscars? Did you have strong opinions about everything from the phone Ellen used to take her Twitter-breaking selfie to the acceptance speeches of everyone nominated in all major acting categories? Well, I did too, and so did the rest of the Internet. I’m sure all of your Facebook feeds provided conversation aplenty so I’ll simply state that my one prediction, a victory for 20 Feet From Stardom, came true, and I will be buying an appropriate amount of lottery tickets and scratchers to celebrate.
TOM’S TOP TWO THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND
1) Eat BBQ in Texas.
2) Peaches Christ Presents Clueless, Saturday March 8th, The Castro Theatre.
The thought of San Francisco’s favorite cinephile drag queen doing a take on arguably the greatest 90’s time capusle film with Willam from Ru Paul’s Drag Race co-starring promises to be so amazing that it makes me wish I could pry my face out of the pile of BBQ I am eating and come back to the city to see it. Clearly I’m not the only one as the 8pm show has already sold out and they’ve added a 3pm show for your viewing pleasure.