Monday Morning News Round Up

As is the case the Castro Biscuit often touches on stories or events over the course of a month (or more) and then conclusions, follow ups, or report backs aren't always so easy to find. Heres this Monday's offerings.

sfpd_logoIn a April post we reported SFPD was trying to skip around privacy laws by requiring new or established businesses applying for liquor licenses to install security cameras and record patrons entering or leaving establishments. To add insult to injury they also were saying that those videos be made available to them on demand and be kept for up to 30 days. Our Castro Supervisor, Scott Wiener, objected to these demands based on privacy concerns. He has now been joined in the debate of civil liberties vs. security by SF's other out Supervisor, Dist. 9's, David Campos.

SFPD's idea of compromise: New language drafted still requires that new liquor licenses in high-crime areas install cameras. The difference would be that recordings would only need to be turned over when “requested as evidence in a criminal investigation” instead of “upon demand.” The rub there is SFPD has declared about over a third of the City 'high-crime areas'. Supervisor Wiener has committed to keep at them looking for bigger concessions.

Supporters and Michael Petrelis (Center) and his lawyer, Dereck St, Pierre (Right) Photo: KTVU
Supporters and Michael Petrelis (Center) and his lawyer, Dereck St, Pierre (Right) Photo: KTVU

Last December we first posted about activist/blogger Micheal Petrelis being arrested for taking pictures of Sup. Wiener in a bathroom brushing his teeth at City Hall and then posting the image on his blog, The Petrelis Files. In the subsequent six months the case has been continued repeatedly in a large part at the request of Mr. Petrelis' lawyer, Derek St. Pierre, due to his client's ongoing health issues.

At the most recent court hearing in front of Superior Court Judge Samuel K. Feng over at the Hall of Justice Mr. St. Pierre pushed for a disposition of the charges. That means both sides are trying to work things out without going to trial. If that doesn't happen it'll be up to a jury to decide if Mr. Petrelis violated Mr. Wiener's privacy or not. Mr. Petrelis has been much more demure of late on all things Wiener but he's continued to blog and work on other issues while all this has gone on including helping organize the first, reinstate Bradley Manning as Hon. Grand Marshal protest at SF Pride's office. Both sides will be back in court on June 7th. Until then the court order keeping Petrelis 150 feet away from Wiener at all times continues to be in effect.

BeBe Sweetbriar Photo: MySpace
BeBe Sweetbriar Photo: MySpace

Latest Development: SF Pride's maelstrom of controversy around who is or isn't an Hon. Grand Marshal has continued as we've posted repeatedly in the last several weeks. Since they kicked Manning to the curb they needed to replace him. On Friday the SF Pride Committee announced their replacement pick: San Francisco drag superstar BeBe Sweetbriar. She is being honored for her charity work on LGBT issues and HIV/AIDS organizations.

“Ms. Sweetbriar is a shining exemplar of how the power of local community talent can so positively impact the lives of so many near and far,” SF Pride CEO Earl Plante said in a statement.

We congratulate Ms. Sweetbriar. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of all the LGBT community and is well deserving of this honor. She will bring her usual level of class, grace and enthusiasm to her role as Hon. Grand Marshal as she does for any event she is a part of.

If SF Pride Committee thinks will stem the controversy or deflate the outcry around Manning's invite, disinvite, meeting/no meeting/canceled meeting on the issue, we'll talk about it all later after Pride, they're in for a rude awakening come Parade day.

There have been a large number of events going on in the Castro in the past couple of weeks-in a post later today we'll have more to report and show you so check back this afternoon.