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Drama in District 3: Candidates Throw Down in North Beach

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Last night's District 3 meeting, sponsored by none other than North Beach Merchant's Association, erupted (predictably) into the sort of circus we've come to expect from San Francisco politics as seven prospective Supervisors engaged in a rhetorical spectacle designed to win voters' love. The Chron's Phil Bronstein moderated the discussion. (And of course somebody Twittered that shit.) A Curbed operative on the scene reports that Bronstein publicly called out the NBMA for delivering "more than somewhat loaded" questions to the panel: At one point, he said "OK-you-have-30-seconds-to-tell-the-merchants-what-they-want-to-hear-no-go!" At another juncture, he said "I know these questions are loaded, after all, who is for empty storefronts?"

The Examiner declared Lynn Jefferson the clear winner of the "hyperbole derby," which was very North Beach (not Chinatown) -centric; she vowed to battle the "culture of fear" that paralyzes the neighborhood's small businesses. Claudine Cheng also scored points with her proposed anti-blight campaign, which would put the thumbscrews on landlords who allow their commercial spaces go to hell in a handbag. Enter the Pagoda Theater, perhaps the best (and certainly the largest) example of such urban decay. Peskin-backed (!!!) David Chiu has vowed to, quote, "rebuild the Pagoda Theater." No word on what, exactly, he aims to do with the site, which is currently slated for residential condominium development. Chiu mentioned the Pagoda first off, so expect to see more hoopla in the coming months as the building's fate hangs in the balance. In the meantime, back to the usual bitching and moaning about restaurants and frozen yogurt. Love you, North Beach!
· Extra! 'Culture of fear' stalks Grant Avenue! [Examiner]
· Chinatown, North Beach Arise! Bring Tomatoes [Bronstein at Large]
· Peskin on Pagoda: Can't We All Just Get Along? [Curbed SF]
· Serious Shitshow: Curbed Presents the Pagoda Theater [Curbed SF]
· Theater of Absurdity: North Beach Wars Over Pagoda Development [Curbed SF]
· (Pre) Development Watch: Reincarnation at Columbus and Powell [Curbed SF]
· Ask Curbed SF: Graf Can't Mask North Beach Eyesore [Curbed SF]