Tag Archives: camera

Apple unveils iPhone with high-res cameras, no headphone jack

airpods

Apple Inc. unveiled an iPhone 7 with high-resolution cameras and no headphone jack at its annual launch this week, though the biggest surprise was the debut of a three-decade-old Nintendo game franchise, Super Mario Bros, on the smartphone.

While shares of Apple barely budged, Nintendo’s U.S.-listed shares jumped 29 pct on investors’ hopes that Super Mario would be another mobile gaming hit for the Japanese company akin to the wildly popular Pokemon Go.

Much of the presentation headed by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was devoted to technical details of photography, wireless earphones, games from Nintendo, and a new version of Apple watch – with fitness features.

The biggest iPhone technical improvements all had leaked, and Apple itself spoiled the surprise by sending out tweets of some details before Cook spoke. The company then deleted the messages.

Apple has reported declines in iPhone sales for the last two quarters, which raised the stakes for the iPhone 7. Some consumers and analysts are considering waiting until 2017.

“Just gonna wait on iPhone 8 cuz it’s the 10th anniversary of iPhone,” Tweeted @LewBruh near the end of the event. “Ya know they gonna do something big.”

But Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments LLC in Minneapolis, said the new phone encouraged him that Apple was in good shape for a new sales cycle.

“I think the iPhone 7, just from a replacement basis, will be a successful launch,” he said.

The world’s best-known technology company said the iPhone 7 would have one, zooming 12-megapixel camera. Starting at $649, it is the same price as the 6S predecessor. The larger 7 ‘Plus’ edition, starting at $769, would feature two cameras, including a telephoto lens.

Apple also removed the analog headphone jack from both new models, as was widely expected. The new headphones supplied by Apple with the phone will plug into the same port as the recharging cord, making it incompatible with most wired headphones without an adaptor. Apple includes the adapter.

The phones will also work with Apple’s new wireless headphones, called Air Pods, available in late October at a price of $159.

The disappearance of the headphone jack “will probably annoy a certain amount of people” but they would likely get over it, Binger said.

Apple described dropping the jack as an act of courage as it moved toward a wireless future with the optional Air Pods. Getting rid of the jack also increased room for stereo speakers, and Apple sharpened the technology on most features, from the camera to a pressure-sensitive home button to a boost in memory.

The new phone will start shipping in major markets, including the United States and China, on Sept. 16.

Bob O’Donnell of research firm TECHnalysis said Apple’s new glossy black finish could be more popular than any tech feature, reflecting the slowdown in major tech innovations for smartphones.

“While the camera improvements for the iPhone 7 Plus are nice, they are incremental for most and the lack of headphone jacks could offset that for others,” he said.

Apple typically gives its main product, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, a big makeover every other year and the last major redesign was the iPhone 6 in 2014. Many are expecting a three-year cycle this time, culminating in a major redesign for 2017 to be called iPhone 8.

Apple said its Apple Watch Series 2, with a swim-proof casing, will be available in more than 25 countries starting on Sept. 16.

“I predict Watch sales will improve dramatically,” said Tech analyst Patrick Moorhead. “Most of the current Watch owners are early adopters and the next wave could be 10 times the size of that market.”

Apple also launched a new version of the device called the Apple Watch Nike+, in partnership with the athletic goods manufacturer Nike Inc., featuring GPS so athletes can track their runs.

Shares of Fitbit Inc., which makes activity-tracking bands, closed down 2 percent on the emergence of such a high-profile competitor.

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With cameras running, Savannah owls are a hit again

Cue the tears from the empty-nesters. The second season of The Landings owls show has come to a close.

The younger of two adorable owlets raised under live-streaming cameras fledged over the weekend. It had made a few previous forays out of this converted eagle nest seven stories above a golf course green and returned home, but this exit seemed to be for good.

As they did during last year’s inaugural season, the owls provided months of entertainment and education to viewers allowed to peek into their world. As before, the mama owl was unfailingly vigilant, the dad a good provider. Even what seemed like a mishap when the older owlet fledged on a windy day had a happy ending.

Two cameras were trained on them, both equipped with infrared lighting to provide nighttime viewing. A Minnesota researcher examined the raptors’ voiceprints and determined it was the same male and female returning to raise a second brood. Amateur and professional ornithologists have provided insight into the birds’ biology and behavior.

Savannahian Mary Lambright has chronicled much of the owls’ activity on Twitter and Facebook feeds, where the great horned owls have attracted a worldwide audience and tallied more than two million interactions.

“I feel like their publicist sometimes,” said Lambright, a retired biology teacher who taught at Johnson High for nearly three decades. She cracked up as a squirrel with an apparent death wish repeatedly scrambled past the nest of the predators. And she watched as they gobbled down less fortunate squirrels, plus swamp rats, snakes and lizards. The size of the prey these raptors hauled home for the babies was a surprise this season.

“I think the highlight this year was seeing they could bring in great egrets,” Lambright said. “I never thought about how large a prey item they could take.”

Great horned owls are among the most common owls in North America and are the “quintessential owl of storybooks,” with their “long, earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare and deep hooting voice,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a partner in the Landings Bird Cam project.

The nonprofit Skidaway Audubon is the primary driver of the nest cam. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides technical assistance and birding expertise. The private California-based HDOnTap provides the live streaming and recordings.

Others who contributed money or in-kind services include Coastal Conservation Association, Skidaway Chapter; Ogeechee Audubon; Wild Birds Unlimited Savannah; the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association; The Landings Club; and The Landings Association.

Earlier this month some camera viewers panicked when the older owlet appeared to have been swept away from its perch by a stiff breeze. When volunteer Rick Cunningham was dispatched to check on junior, he spied the owlet safely ensconced in an adjacent tree rather than stuck on the ground as owl watchers feared.

“I had to make sure there was not a cat or two prowling around,” he said. “People really needed reassurance.”

Cunningham expects the owls’ loblolly pine to survive another year, so the show may go on if the owl couple returns in 2017. Hooked on the bird show, Cunningham is also eyeing other nesting sites and plotting how best to wire a camera near them.

“I think we really would like to have bald eagle,” he said.

 

An AP member exchange feature.

Series aims to counter ‘Black Dog Syndrome’

It was a summer day at the dog park when Fred Levy, a professional pet photographer, overheard a conversation that he couldn’t shake off.

A woman was talking about “black dog syndrome” — a theory that black dogs are less likely to be adopted than those with lighter coats, perhaps because of superstition or a notion that black dogs are aggressive. Experts debate whether it’s a myth or reality, but it struck Levy.

“A dog shouldn’t be overlooked just because of its coat,” Levy said. “That’s a minor element when it comes to the dog.”

That dog park visit was almost two years ago, but it inspired Levy to take on a project that’s still gaining international attention. He calls it the Black Dogs Project, a photo series that features black dogs against black backdrops, aiming to capture their beauty and counter negative stereotypes.

The photos struck a chord online and quickly went viral. Commenters raved about the striking details Levy brought out in each portrait — the soulful eyes, that one floppy ear, a poodle’s ears blossoming with fur. The microblogging website Tumblr counted Levy’s blog among its “most-viral” of 2014.

Levy, 45, did it all in the basement studio of his Maynard, Massachusetts home, where he lives with his wife, two young boys and a black-and-white rat terrier named Toby.

“I knew that, for this project, it would hit a nerve with two different groups,” Levy said. “Pet-lovers would love it, and photographers would like it if I did a good job.”

After adjusting to the sudden onslaught of attention, Levy decided to publish the work in a book. It’s slated to be published in September and titled Black Dogs Project: Extraordinary Black Dogs and Why We Can’t Forget Them. Proceeds will go to a rescue group for Labradors in San Diego.

In the book and on his blog, Levy includes stories about each dog to counter myths about black dogs. Among those he highlights is Denver, a 2-year-old black Labrador that’s a therapy dog. Denver works at an elementary school and spent time in a Boston firehouse after the marathon bombing.

Amanda Lukowski, Denver’s owner, said the photos were “breathtaking.”

“It captured his whole personality,” said Lukowski, of Northbridge. “Denver is a gentle giant. He’s 90 pounds — he’s a big boy — but he is the most kind, caring, compassionate dog ever.”

Early on, the black dogs that Levy photographed came from owners he recruited through his Facebook page. Recently he also started working with abandoned dogs referred to him by shelters. After training his camera on them, he shares their photos online in search of a permanent home.

But his message to viewers isn’t necessarily to adopt black dogs. Mostly, he wants people to think beyond appearance when they’re adopting pets.

“I want people to make informed decisions on the best dog that will fit into their lifestyle,” he said.

There’s no firm science to support the existence of Black Dog Syndrome, and some studies have dismissed it as a myth. Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, said she doesn’t see widespread bias against black dogs. Still, she supports Levy’s work.

“Anything that helps to break down any barrier to benefit an animal is wonderful,” she said.

Among the victories that Levy ties to is project is the story of Annabelle, an 8-year-old black Lab mix that was abandoned for more than a year, enduring a brutal winter outside. After hearing the story, Levy snapped three portraits of Annabelle and posted him on his blog. Two days later, a family adopted her.

MOWA sends Lois Bielefeld on a European adventure

Lois Bielefeld has always been interested in portraits. Ever since she took up photography as a young Milwaukeean and moved to New York to pursue it as a career, her artistic works have been what she calls “conceptual portraits” — works assembled in a series, centered around the habits and traits all people share.

She moved back from New York in 2010, relocating for her day job as a Kohl’s photographer, and most of her subjects since have been in the Wisconsin area. For her latest project, she’s going much further afield: the tiny, landlocked Western European nation of Luxembourg.

The adventure comes as a fellowship sponsored by the Museum of Wisconsin Art, and Bielefeld is the program’s first artist-in-residence. The annual, 10-week residency includes travel fare, a monthly stipend and housing in Bourglinster, a converted castle 15 minutes north of Luxembourg City, where Bielefeld will have the opportunity to live and work surrounded by Luxembourg culture. 

It’s an honor she says she never anticipated receiving, especially after having been able to watch the judging process for Milwaukee’s Mary L. Nohl Fellowship the year after she won that in 2012. “That was a huge reality check,” she says, reflecting on the 200-odd entries submitted to that prize’s jury. “I knew there were amazing artists here, but I didn’t know to what level. … I in no way thought I would ever get the fellowship.”

Bielefeld’s works, photographs blown up to a large scale, stand out as particularly striking and intimate examples of portraiture. And she’s recently expanded beyond photography with projects that investigate sexuality and gender roles. One, Ladies Out, is a documentary film that premiered in 2014, depicting a community of Milwaukee lesbians over 40 who get together on a monthly basis to go dancing and socialize.

Her latest show, Androgyny, at Portrait Society Gallery (which represents Bielefeld), follows that trend. The exhibit, which runs through March 14 is primarily composed of solo portraits, depicting adults and children who present androgynously to the world at large. But while taking their photos, Bielefeld also asked her subjects a series of questions about themselves and their life experiences, which she recorded and turned into a single, six-hour audio piece. When setting up her installation, Bielefeld built a non-functioning public bathroom with gendered entrances, acknowledging the space as one where non-gender-conforming individuals are most frequently challenged and forcing her audience to feel some of that tension.

“To me, interactive art has always been the most memorable,” she says. “It just engages you on a different level. If you can get somebody thinking beyond just looking at something … every aspect of the bathroom is very thought-out to have it hit you.”

But due to the limitations of being abroad, Bielefeld says, she anticipates her residency project will stick to photographic mediums, like her earlier work. Her first series, The Bedroom, presents its subjects in their own rooms, suggesting the contents are a reflection of their characters. “I’ve always loved seeing people’s bedrooms, even as a little kid,” she says. “It really says a lot about a person.”

Weeknight Dinners, an ongoing project she started as part of her Nohl Fellowship work, touches on similar themes. In each, Bielefeld captures a single family unit on an average day of the week, eating the food they normally would.

That series, she says, is how she plans to segue into Luxembourg society during her fellowship. Wisconsin is home to a number of small Luxembourg-American communities, most notably in Belgium, Wisconsin, and Bielefeld traveled there to take dinner portraits of Luxembourg-American families. She hopes to take an additional 12 while overseas, “both because I’m just curious how their eating habits are different than ours, but also to immerse myself in the culture and really get connected.”

Bielefeld says those families have also proven helpful in educating her about what Luxembourg culture is like. She’s already learned about the significance of St. Nicholas and his feast day over Santa Claus and Christmas, and about ethnic dishes like mustripen, a blood sausage native to the region. She even says she’s beginning to get a sense of a sort of Luxembourg character trait: a warm disposition inexplicably mixed with a distinctly private nature.

Details like that, and what she learns upon arrival, are what will help her figure out what to do after the first few weeks, once she’s become more acclimated to the region. Or so she hopes. It’s a nervous anticipation, she says, preparing for the fellowship, but she’s optimistic it’ll provide her with the nudge she needs to grow as an artist. “I’m really looking forward to how people do things differently elsewhere,” she says, “And hopefully making a compelling body of work out of it.”

Whatever Bielefeld creates is slated for exhibition at MOWA sometime next year, but that isn’t her concern at this point. She’s only thinking about the frames of photographs, and what snapshots of Luxembourg she’s going to put in them.

‘Citizen Kane’ camera, other Orson Welles’ items up for auction

The youngest daughter of director and writer Orson Welles is giving film buffs a chance to buy some of his personal possessions, including a camera, scripts and photos from the set of “Citizen Kane.”

Beatrice Welles discovered the relics last year in boxes and trunks and decided to put them up for auction. She said her father would have preferred making the memorabilia available to film buffs and fans as opposed to sending them to a museum.

“It’s about the last thing he would’ve wanted. He just did not believe in schooling, he did not believe in academic things,” Beatrice Welles said in a telephone interview from her Arizona home. “And museums kind of have that connotation and I thought ‘No, this is not right for him.’”

In all, she is handing more than 70 items over to Heritage Auctions, which will stage the auction on April 26.

Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment-related auctions, declined to speculate on any possible bidding amounts but said she expects all the lots to fetch decent bids.

“People are still talking about him decades after his death,” Barrett said. “One of the enduring signs of fame is when young people know who someone is — someone who might have passed away decades ago.”

Barrett said she thinks Welles’ old Bell & Howell movie camera will be one of the bigger sellers. According to his daughter, he used the camera for home movies. In fact, one of the photos in another lot shows Welles using the camera to record a bullfight in Spain.

Other items are reminders of Welles’ more painful Hollywood experiences. Two scripts for “The Magnificent Ambersons,” a 1942 film he wrote and directed, reveal two different endings Welles had in mind; neither ended up in the film. The movie, which centers on a spoiled heir’s attempt to keep his mother from marrying her first love, was famously re-edited by someone else.

“They kept on changing his pictures around and not letting him finish them. That hurt him,” Beatrice Welles said. “The only one he was allowed to do completely from start to end was ‘Citizen Kane.’”

Long considered Welles’ masterpiece for its innovations in editing and cinematography, the 1941 “Citizen Kane” follows the lonely life of wealthy publishing magnate Charles Foster Kane.

Not among the auction cache is any Rosebud-type childhood memento of Welles’. Rosebud was the name of the sled mourned by the titular character in “Kane” that burns at the end of the film. According to Beatrice Welles, director Steven Spielberg bought a version of the sled in 1982, also at auction, and was later teased by her father about its authenticity.

“My father and Steven were having lunch and my father said ‘I hate to tell you something, but there was only one sled in Citizen Kane. Do you remember the ending?’”

Nearly 30 years after Welles’ 1985 death, Beatrice Welles said she was finally emotionally strong enough to sift through boxes of her famous father’s possessions. Her mother, Italian actress Paola Mori, died less than year after Welles. The double loss was devastating.

“When they died … I just couldn’t even look at the stuff,” she said.

Celebrity interactions and globe-trotting made up Beatrice Welles’ unconventional upbringing, where her father’s “Moviola editing machine was like part of our luggage.”

By the age of 3, Beatrice Welles was getting an education any film student would have loved. She often sat on her father’s lap while he cut movies in the editing room. As she got older, she even pitched in.

“I’d get the two pieces of whatever celluloid film it is on the machine. … He would tell me where to cut and I would cut and do it for him,” Beatrice Welles said.

Her father wasn’t always comfortable with being revered as a film genius, she said.

“He would say, ‘There are only probably three geniuses ever that existed, one of them being Einstein. I don’t put myself in that category.’”

Guilty verdict in Rutgers spycam case

A former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate’s love life was convicted of invasion of privacy and anti-gay intimidation Friday in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim threw himself to his death off a bridge.

Dharun Ravi, 20, shook his head slightly after hearing guilty verdicts on all 15 counts against him. He and his lawyers left the courthouse without comment, his father’s arm around his shoulders.

He could get up to 10 years in prison, by some estimates — and could be deported to his native India, even though he has lived legally in the U.S. since he was a little boy — for an act that cast a spotlight on teen suicide and anti-gay bullying and illustrated the Internet’s potential for tormenting others.

Prosecutors said Ravi set up a webcam in his dorm room in September 2010 and captured roommate Tyler Clementi kissing another man, then tweeted about it and excitedly tried to catch Clementi in the act again two days later. A half-dozen students were believed to have seen the live video of the kissing.

Within days, Clementi realized he had been watched and leaped from the George Washington Bridge after posting one last status update on Facebook: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”

At a courthouse news conference after the verdict, Clementi’s father, Joe, addressed himself to college students and other young people, saying: “You’re going to meet a lot of people in your life. Some of these people you may not like. Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean you have to work against them.”

Rutgers said in a statement: “This sad incident should make us all pause to recognize the importance of civility and mutual respect in the way we live, work and communicate with others.”

During the trial, Ravi’s lawyer argued that the college freshman was not motivated by any hostility toward gays and that his actions were just those of an immature “kid.” The defense also contended Ravi initially set up the camera because he was afraid Clementi’s older, “sketchy”-looking visitor might steal his belongings.

The jury found Ravi not guilty on some subparts of some of the charges, but guilty of all 15 counts as a whole.

The most serious charges — bias intimidation based on sexual orientation, a hate crime — carry up to 10 years behind bars each. But legal experts said the most Ravi would probably get all together at sentencing May 21 would be 10 years.

Before the trial, Ravi and his lawyers had rejected a plea bargain that would have spared him from prison. He would have gotten probation and community service and would have been given help in avoiding deportation.

Ravi was not charged with causing Clementi’s death, and the suicide remained largely in the background at the trial, though some witnesses mentioned it and the jury was told Clementi had taken his life.

Prosecutors were not allowed to argue directly that the spying led to his death; defense lawyers were barred from saying there were other reasons he killed himself.

Each bias intimidation charge included five questions. A finding of guilty on any of them made Ravi guilty of the entire charge. The jury issued a split verdict on those subquestions.

It found, for example, that Ravi did not try to intimidate Clementi’s romantic partner, identified in court only as M.B., and that Clementi reasonably believed Ravi was trying to intimidate him because of his sexual orientation. It split on questions of whether Ravi knowingly or willfully intimidated Clementi because of his sexuality.

Clementi’s death was one in a string of suicides by young gays around the country in September 2010. President Barack Obama commented on it, as did talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

New Jersey lawmakers hastened passage of an anti-bullying law because of the case, and Rutgers changed its housing policies to allow people of the opposite sex to room together in an effort to make gay, bisexual and transgender students feel more comfortable.

Testimony came from about 30 witnesses over 12 days, including 32-year-old M.B. Ravi himself did not testify, though the jury watched a video of his interrogation by police.

Ravi and Clementi, both 18-year-old freshmen from comfortable New Jersey suburbs, had been randomly assigned to room together, and Clementi had arrived at college just a few days after coming out to his parents as gay.

A string of students testified they never heard Ravi say anything bad about gays in general or Clementi in particular. But students did say Ravi expressed some concern about sharing a room with a gay man.

On Sept. 19, according to testimony, Clementi asked Ravi to leave their room so that he could have a guest. Later, Ravi posted on Twitter: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”

Ravi told police that he watched only seconds of the encounter via computer.

His friend Molly Wei testified that she and a few other students also watched the live stream of the men kissing. (Wei was initially charged in the case but was later accepted into a pretrial program that will allow her to keep her record clean.)

Two nights later, Clementi asked for the room alone again. This time, Ravi tweeted: “I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it’s happening again.” He also texted a friend about a planned “viewing party” and, two students said, went to friends’ rooms to show them how to access the feed.

However, there was no evidence the webcam was turned on that night. Ravi told police he had put his computer to sleep. Prosecutors argued Clementi himself unplugged the computer.

According to testimony, Clementi submitted a room-change request form and talked to a resident assistant about what happened. He also used his laptop to view Ravi’s Twitter site 38 times in the last two days of his life. He killed himself Sept. 22.

HRC takes over Harvey Milk’s camera shop

On the surface, the new tenant at the storefront where Harvey Milk waged his historic political campaign would seem like the last organization to anger people in the gay community.

The Human Rights Campaign, the United States’ largest gay rights lobbying group, wants to open up an information center and a gift shop in the building that would pay tribute to the slain gay rights leader.

But Milk’s friends and admirers are so incensed at the group taking over the slain San Francisco supervisor’s stomping grounds that they would rather see a Starbucks there, underscoring the tensions that exist within the various factions of the gay rights movement.

The organization is a frequent target of criticism from gay rights activists who consider its mainstream, “inside the Beltway” style ineffective. They believe the organization’s philosophy of incremental progress in the gay rights movement runs completely counter to the uncompromising message of gay pride championed by Milk.

“It’s spitting in the face of Harvey’s memory,” said AIDS Memorial Quilt founder Cleve Jones, who received his political education at Milk’s side in the 1970s.

“What’s next? Removing the Mona Lisa’s face and replacing it with the Wal-Mart smiley face?” asked Bil Browning, the founder of a popular gay issues blog.

The Washington-based nonprofit organization announced last week that it was moving its San Francisco Action Center and gift store into the site of Milk’s old Castro Camera.

It’s a historic site in the gay rights community. A sidewalk plaque outside that marks the spot’s historical significance and encases some of Milk’s ashes is a popular stop for visitors making pilgrimages to San Francisco gay landmarks.

In the 32 years since Milk was assassinated at City Hall along with Mayor George Moscone, the building has housed a clothing store, a beauty supply shop, and most recently, a housewares emporium.

HRC President Joe Solmonese said the new location will stock items bearing Milk’s words and image, with a portion of the proceeds going to a local elementary school named in Milk’s honor and the GLBT Historical Society. The organization also plans to preserve a Milk mural the previous tenants installed, Solmonese said.

“People are rightly protective of the legacy of Harvey Milk, and we intend to do our part to honor that legacy,” Human Rights Campaign spokesman Michael Cole-Schwartz said. “Bringing an LGBT civil rights presence to the space that has previously been several for-profit retail outlets is a worthwhile goal.”

Not according to activists like Jones and Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter who won an Oscar for “Milk” – the 2008 Sean Penn movie about the first openly gay man elected to a major elected office in the U.S.

During his life, Milk railed against well-heeled gay leaders he regarded as assimilationists and elitists. Black devoted two scenes in “Milk” to the subject. Some of the leading activists he crossed swords with went on to launch the Human Rights Campaign, which sometimes is criticized for focusing on lavish fundraisers and political access at the expense of results, Jones said.

“He was not an ‘A-Gay’ and had no desire to be an A-Gay. He despised those people and they despised him,” he said. “That, to me, is the crowd HRC represents. Don’t try to wrap yourself up in Harvey Milk’s mantle and pretend you are one of us.”

The Human Rights Campaign has been struggling to regain its credibility with gay activists who favor a more grassroots approach since at least early 2008, when the group agreed to endorse a federal bill that included job protections for gays and lesbians, but not transgender people.

The disillusionment grew later that year with the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California. Although HRC donated $3.4 million to fight Proposition 8, the devastating loss provoked young gay activists to take to the streets and to question the organizing and messaging abilities of established gay rights groups.

Since then, HRC has been accused of taking too soft an approach with President Barack Obama and the Congress that until last month’s election was controlled by Democrats. To some, the group’s failings were epitomized by the U.S. Senate failure last week, for the second time this year, to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military.

Black said HRC’s failure to talk to anyone close to Milk before it leased the Castro Street storefront demonstrates that it is out of touch. He and Jones think the space would be put to better use as a drop-in center for gay and lesbian youth, or if HRC partnered with another local nonprofit to ensure its sales benefit San Francisco.

“If any LGBTQ political organization is to move into Harvey’s old shop, there is a higher standard to be met, because such a move begs comparisons,” Black said. “Because it has become a tourist destination, whoever moves in that’s a political organization is in some way adopting Harvey as their own.”

HRC creative director Don Kiser understands the concerns and says he is open to suggestions, but thinks the criticism is overstated. The group obtains about one-third of the new names on its mailing lists from visitors to its retail stores in San Francisco, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Washington. Each tourist who goes in to buy a Harvey Milk T-shirt or an HRC tote bag is a potential activist, Kiser says.

“They live in small towns in Texas and flyover states. Those are the people we need to help find the spirit that Harvey Milk had,” he said. “If they can go back and take a little of the spirit the Castro has, we will see sea changes.”