"Dunham has found a successful shtick — creating big, hot messes who are easy to sympathize with — and with a new multi-million dollar book deal, she’s building it into a comedy empire. But she, unlike her characters, isn’t stuck in arrested development; though Dunham’s made a career off of being funny and pathetic, her latest piece of writing, the film Nobody Walks, shows that she’s heading in a new and somewhat surprising direction. This one isn’t that funny, and that’s intentional. It’s also not that engaging, however, which is a bigger problem.”
Laura Wilcox was 19 years old when she died in 2001. A college sophomore on winter break, she was working at a health clinic in Nevada County where she was shot and killed by a man with severe mental illness.
The next year, California adopted Laura’s Law, or AB 1421. The law empowers courts to compel people who suffer from severe mental illness to receive outpatient treatment. It is an opt-in law, and individual counties were left to figure out whether to implement it on their own. After more than a decade since its passage, only two — Nevada County and just recently Orange County — have fully adopted it.
Alameda County is currently debating a version of the law. It’s been controversial: On one side, parents and relatives say they need Laura’s Law to help their loved ones. On the other side are many who’ve dealt with mental illness themselves — who say their civil liberties are at stake.
If you’ve had any experience with the Jejune Institute, it’s probably similar to my own: I was introduced to it by a friend, who first took great pains to pronounce the name correctly — je-joon — and then refused to say another word on the subject. “I can’t tell you anything more about it,” he said, “but you should definitely go try it for yourself.”
Catching on largely through word-of-mouth, the now inoperative Institute was an alternate reality game and beloved not-so-secret secret created by Oakland artist Jeff Hull. Also named the Center for Socio-Reengineering, the Jejune Institute has long been the subject of misinformation and rumor, with many mistaking the game’s smattering of devotees and obscure operations for the trappings of a cult. In truth, it was a multi-level urban scavenger hunt, and an opportunity to better familiarize oneself with San Francisco and explore the landscape through appreciation of the small details: a graffito, or a plaque stuck at the base of a forgotten statue. It was, at best, a game both meticulously planned and unpredictably spontaneous, revealing a hidden, less-appreciated San Francisco.
Jeremy Mykaels is in his early 60s, and he has AIDS. As a young gay man, he moved to the Castro, where he has lived for almost 40 years. He has been in his Victorian apartment on Noe Street for about half of that time — but he may not be living here much longer.
Mykaels is the last tenant still living at 460 Noe. The tenants in the other two units left around the time the new owners bought the building two years ago. But because Mykaels wouldn’t leave, the new landlords have tried to evict him with the Ellis Act, a state law designed to protect property owners who want to take their rental units off the market. The law is a controversial one, and according to some people — including Mykaels — landlords are actually misusing the law to make a profit.”