Big hugs for David Cohn and the last six donors — plus all the earlier donors — for their contributions to our ongoing Valencia Vacancy project. We reached the $1,500 goal and the investigations into closing storefronts and shuttered businesses will continue.

Safari users, here’s your link to today’s feature on the Dolores Park culture wars brewing between residents who want the park cleaned up and kid-friendly, and those who want to preserve the as-is “anything goes” attitude. And check out Garrett McAuliffe’s piece on health care townhall/rallies, California-style.

Unemployment rose to 9.7% in August — the highest since the summer of 1983 — and economists expect it to reach 10% by year’s end. But it’s not all grim news: earnings also rose (slightly) and the number of job cuts was fewer than estimated.

In a last-minute deal yesterday, California lawmakers salvaged Healthy Families, which insures approximately 700,000 needy children whose parents earn too much to receive Medicaid. A tax on insurance companies will cover the costs. The bipartisan agreement was reached because, says Republican Sen. Dave Cox, “It was just the right thing to do.”

It’s Rider Thank You Day, and BART is handing out more than a million dollars’ worth of Ghirardelli almond chocolate bars to morning riders. The giveaway takes places from 6-9am today at Downtown Berkeley, Oakland City Center/12th Street, Embarcadero, Montgomery Street, Powell Street and Civic Center stations.

If you’re not heading to the opening of “Home Is Something I Carry With Me,” the alt-art home installation Mission Loc@l’s Alissa Figueroa previewed here, head to Berkeley for “Your Brain on Latino Comics.” English prof Frederick Luis Aldama will talk about the growing depth of Latino superheroes like Araña, a crime-fighting Boriqua/Mexicana teen at Marvel, or Jaime Reyes aka Blue Beetle, who settles moral troubles along the border.

As seen on Mission Mission, along with a disturbing no-pants trend, a Mission Minis $1 mini cupcakes store is coming to 22nd Street this Fall.


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