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Cover | Jon Francis

It’s Tim Time (oil on canvas, 2012). Jon Francis’s “It’s Tim Time” portrays that increasingly common distraction, the smartphone. Even the exploits of a Cy Young Award–winner on the field are pulled into cyberspace for this techie in the stands. Exploring the urban landscape, the artist captures the multi-tasking fan at the ballpark while Tim Lincecum creates his own magic on the mound. Francis left a successful career as an advertising art director to start his own firm, Bass/Francis Productions. With his wife, he produced and directed more than 1,500 TV commercials before retiring to his Northern California studio to concentrate on painting. Francis has exhibited at the Bolinas Museum, Napa Valley Museum, Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara, and the George Krevsky Gallery. The painting is featured in Art of Baseball: 15th Annual Exhibition at the Krevsky Gallery in San Francisco, 77 Geary St. The show runs through April 28, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more info: (415) 397-9748 or

NEXT MONTH: Mother’s Day for the wild at heart, mysteries of the Steampunk movement, and (hear, hear!) the local audio talent that is Meyer Sound.


Through April 16, The Monthly is accepting personal essays (non-fiction, first-person prose) of up to 900 words for possible publication in our summer literary issue. The theme:
What you don’t see

A distinct, compelling voice is what we’re after here. We favor the specific and personal over the vague and general, and request that you not use the phrase “What you don’t see.”

To submit, paste the essay into your email to editorial@ and attach as a Word document (“.doc,” not “.docx” file). You must include your name, email address, and phone number in the body of your email and at the top of your essay document. Also, please be aware that as a regional magazine, we prioritize submissions from those who live or work in the East Bay. Deadline: Monday, April 16.

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student art contest


April 2012 Issue:
Table of Contents

|  The Best-Laid Plans
A new plan for West Oakland is in the works—again. Decades ago, the conveniently located but seldom-visited stretch of the city was a vibrant neighborhood and a hot spot for jazz artists like Louis Armstrong. Today, city planners agree, attracting developers is key to transforming the long-blighted area into a booming business locale, a desirable place to live, and a hot destination for East Bay shoppers and diners. 
By Paul Mindus.

BY DAY |  Tobey Kaplan
We celebrate National Poetry Month by interviewing an Oakland poet about her passion for words. A longtime member of the impressive California Poets in the Schools program, Kaplan recalls penning her first poem—“the sky a swirl of stars”—and explains why every kid can (believe it or not) write poetry. 
 By Ronny Smith.

IN FARO’S GARDEN |  Itís Doable
The gardener explores the feelings of impotence—and gratitude—that arise from letting someone else do the heavy lifting. By R. E. Faro.

SHOPPING AROUND | Bubble, Bubble
“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne,” wrote the British economist John Maynard Keynes. These days, though, sparkling wines aren’t just for special occasions—East Bay foodies are quaffing them with brunch, lunch, and no-big-deal dinners at home. Je ne regrette rien!  
By Anneli Rufus. 

The Kilduff File |  Alan Abel
The high-profile hoaxter reveals (we think) how two mating bovines launched his career telling big, fat lies.
By Paul Kilduff.

Available in print and in the
digital edition above:

Editor’s Note:
a look at this month’s issue and commentary on life in the East Bay

Letters: reader responses to The Monthly’s stories
Be East Bay: an introduction to interesting people, places and events in your community

Critics Choice: highlights of this month’s happenings in art, theater, film, dance and music

Boutique Bazaar: distinctive small shops in the East Bay

Food for Thought: local caterers and food and wine purveyors

Dining Guide: a selection of East Bay restaurants

Marketplace Home: a catalog of services for your home and garden

Marketplace Services: a catalog of personal and creative services

Kartoon Korner: editorial cartoons to entertain and agitate


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