Northside SF  

Bellingham by the Bay
by Bruce Bellingham

District Attorney Kamala Harris is not long for the world of San Francisco. She’s already filed papers to run for attorney general, and it’s no secret she may be tapped to be part of President Obama’s Justice Department in Washington. Former prosecutor Bill Fazio, who opposed Harris in a bitter race for D.A. in 2003, wasted no time in expressing an interest in getting Mayor Gavin Newsom to appoint him D.A. when Kamala leaves the post. “I’d like to help the mayor,” says Fazio. “He could use some serious professional help in the area of law enforcement.” As a prosecutor, Fazio garnered a good reputation for putting killers behind bars. … 

Travus T. Hipp was an insurgent voice on the old KSAN free-form radio station in the early 1970s. Recently, Travus has had a bad time in Nevada City where he spent 12 nights sleeping on a concrete jail cell floor after being busted for growing medical marijuana for his various ailments, including diabetes and gastro-intestinal trouble. “It’s the fifth time they raided me,” Travus said on the phone. “The Lyon County [Nevada] Drug Squad has charged me with a series of felonies for growing medical marijuana. It’s an insane scene, but the laws just don’t conform up here.” It seems there’s a Detective Sherlock (his real name) who has it in for Travus. He needs help for his legal defense fund. Donations can be sent to Cabale News, P.O. Box 31, Silver City, NV 89428. …

The economy is bad. How bad is it? Ask Jay Leno. “It’s SO bad that the women in Hollywood? The breasts are real and the jewelry is fake.” … “I write the jokes around here,” Maurice Kanbar is fond of saying. He also mixes the drinks. Maurice was in Perry’s the other day, showing off his new vodka, Blue Angel (he invented Skyy Vodka, and sold it a few years back to Campari International). He was shaking his Blue Angel with Blue Curaçao. Surely a cure for the blues. Vodka always does well in bad times. By the way, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy is starring in A Red Christmas at The New Conservatory Theatre Centre, 25 Van Ness, Dec. 10–20. …

Blue is the right color for John Sebastian, who played with David Grisman to a sell-out crowd in Kanbar Hall at the Jewish Community Center last month. The lads were on a 12-city tour. “It’s so great to be here, and out of the red states,” Sebastian sighed. … Kim Nalley, Nob Hill’s mesmerizing chanteuse who could put a spell on anyone, shares the stage with Terese Genecco and her “little big band” at the Rrazz Room, Saturday, Dec. 13. Kim later gets down at Biscuit & Blues, Mason at Sutter, Tuesday, Dec. 23. It’s a Gospel Christmas with Tammy Hall at the Hammond B-3. …

The election is over – well, almost – but you may have heard the Prop 8 battle is not. Rod McKuen wants it known that he’s mad as hell. Much of his anger is directed at the Salt Lake City-based Mormon Church for its support of the measure. “I plan to organize a boycott of Utah and Utah-related businesses,” Rod e-mails. “Marriott, JetBlue, Albertsons, Ralphs, and Dell Computers to name just some. I have more than a few friends in L.A. who might help me boycott the Sundance Film Festival. It’s a start. … Preachers preached from the pulpit about how to vote. They can’t have it both ways. Tax exemptions should be revoked for those churches that participated. I know I’ll get plenty of hate mail, but what are they going to do to me – kill my career? At 75, I don’t think so.” … I’m amazed that churches apparently spent as much as $20 million to pass Prop 8 while food banks have nothing to offer hungry people during the holidays but empty shelves. Something’s gone wrong here. …John’s Grill on Ellis Street, famous for being the site where Dashiell Hammett would dash off pages of The Maltese Falcon between highballs, celebrated its 100th anniversary last month by giving away martinis to the huddled masses yearning to drink free. … Enrico’s had its 50th birthday on Nov. 28 with the inimitable Mal Sharpe keeping the crowd entertained as he always does. … I was moved by NBC anchorman Lester Holt’s unusual homage to his mother on election night as he described her tears of joy on hearing of Obama’s victory. (I was working at KCBS when Lester was hired as a 19-year-old reporter. Even then, he was a solid pro.) He quoted his mom as saying she never thought she’d live to see a black man in the White House. Even the stoic Mr. Holt got choked up. Who wouldn’t? It was quite a night. …

Norm Howard, who was for decades the morning voice on KQED-FM (88.5), observes, “Recent unfortunate financial events, of which you may have heard, have reduced me from a wealthy retiree to an elderly shut-in.” His fans may be heartened to know that Norm hasn’t been changed a bit by retirement; his ennui is intact. … Norm Goldblatt, the most erudite of comics, also feels the pinch: “PG&E’s getting stingy. My neighbor turned on his 2,000-watt Christmas lights and my electric menorah dimmed. Have my people not suffered enough?”
And I’ll leave it at that. …

Bruce Bellingham often wanders around town looking for items for this column. You could say he meanders. You could say he’s a Meanderthal. You could e-mail him with an item and keep the lad off the streets for everyone’s peace of mind. Bellingham’s e-mail is

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