“Notables” at the Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle has been asking some of “the local notables that make the Bay Area what it is” to chime in on its Web site, in a new section called City Brights. Some of the “local notables” spend a lot of time cheerleading the organizations with which they’re affiliated, but there’s still some interesting and knowledge-driven fodder in the mix. A smattering:

JD Beltran, a faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute and an artist, provides a roundup of MFA exhibitions in the Bay area, replete with images to accompany her lyrical descriptions (“upon closer inspection, one discovers that the chandelier crystals are rock candy, and the drape on the settee is a blanket of fondant”).

The ballet master of the SF Ballet, Ricardo Bustamente, muses about dance deity George Balanchine (“Mr. B made ‘off-balance’ a way of dancing”).

Investigative journalist Leslie Griffith reflects on a case of mistaken identity—a MySpace photo aired of the wrong Melissa Huckaby, one not arrested for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old child—caused by reportorial haste. (“What the free and likely disillusioned Melissa Huckaby learned in this cruelest of ways is when journalists don’t do their jobs well, lives get broken and innocents harmed.”)

“Cultural sexologist” Carol Queen writes about an old friend (from “way back in the day, when I started working at the Lusty Lady Theatre in North Beach”) and her new book.

Other participants of note: a futurist, an “online instigator,” a pastor, Craig Newmark. Maybe in considering the added value of community columnists the glass is still half empty rather than half full. But there’s still a lot to be squeezed from half a glass.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.