Ben Trefny's blog

The season to remember the dead

Artwork by David Tafolla at SOMArts

Many Americans give little thought to death, except on Halloween. Even then, most of the day is spent in search of candy or a good time.

But in Mexico, the time around Halloween is spent in a different way. And it calls to mind the spiritual origins of the word Halloween. It’s a contraction of “all hallows even” – literally the evening before All Hallows (in Old English) or All Saints Day – when every known and unknown saint is remembered.


Arts/Culture/Weekend: 10/29 - 10/31

Soul of the Dead at the Oakland Museum of California

What should you wear this weekend? Anything you want, because it’s Halloween! The preferred color scheme is black and orange, both because of the holiday and because some highly paid men dressed as baseball players – who really are baseball players – will be playing in the World Series. But we’re not here to talk sports, so…

Are you ready for some Arts/Culture/Weekend?



Friday transpo roundup

American cities have endured hiccups in their attempts to launch Euro-style bike-sharing programs. A new system called SoBi could make the process cheaper and easier by eliminating docking stations and using mobile phone software.


Friday transpo roundup

Photo by Casey Miner

The roundup this week is a blast from the past: check out the New York Times’ interactive look back at the history of the city subway, the vintage posters uncovered deep in the London Underground and an

Connecting the Dots: top news stories for Monday, August 2, 2010

It will take weeks longer to select, screen and train the 1,200 National Guard troops the Obama administration had said would be deployed on August 1st along the border from California to Texas. Even then, skeptics aren’t sure how much the deployment will help seal the border from would-be illegal immigrants and drug smugglers…


California academics may be tops, but officials say it’s time for a change

A teacher prepares her classroom. Photo by Editor B

California’s public school system has finally found itself at the top of a list. According to a new report, its academic standards are the highest in the country. But in less than two weeks, California’s State Board of Education will vote on whether or not to swap them out for new national standards—and there may be good reason to do so.


Senator receives threats following Palin controversy

State Senator Leland Yee

State Senator Leland Yee from San Francisco says he has received several racist and homophobic phone calls and even a fax threatening his life following his request for an investigation into the amount of money the University of California Stanislaus is paying Sarah Palin to speak at a university gala on June 5th. Adam Keigwin, Senator Yee's Chief of Staff, told KALW Yee's office has turned over all the emails, faxes and voice mails to the Senate Sergeant At Arms and the California Highway Patrol.


Connecting the dots: top news stories for 2010 03 29 - Monday, March 29th, 2010

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Connecting the dots: top news stories for Monday, March 29

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s health care victory tour brought her home to San Francisco, where she addressed the congregation at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, yesterday...


Connecting the Dots: top news stories for 2010 03 15 - Monday, March 15

Connecting the dots: top news stories for Monday, March 15


Connecting the Dots: top news stories for Tuesday, March 9th

Let's start with the elephant in the state: the general budget. Late yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that called for more than $2 billion in spending reductions starting this summer...

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