Mulch

Peace Through Prostate
International seminar leader, holistic healer, massage therapist, Tantra teacher, and "sacred initiatress" Ishtara -- aka Maryse Cote, a former high school teacher in San Rafael -- is now available on tape.

Ishtara recently released Five Greatest Male Sexual Secrets. In her made-for-phone-sex voice, she takes listeners through a series of genital calisthenics, backed by New Age music; the sexercise is designed to promote healthy prostates and controlled orgasms. Ishtara also offers seminars, retreats, and private trainings to heal men, who she theorizes are wounded by circumcision, feminism, and a lack of sexual initiation. For $16, you can receive this enlightenment via your car's tape deck.

"The significance of the disease of the male sexual organ reflects the difficulty to convert this tremendous testosterone power used for wars and destruction of the planet into a creative, peaceful, and sacred source of energy," says Ishtara in a recent article on sexual healing. "I am a firm believer in ejaculation control as a solution to World Peace."

-- L.D.

On a Ramp-age
Noe Valley merchants are peeved at Muni's plans to build two wheelchair-access ramps on the J Church streetcar line between 30th and Day streets. They say ramps will discourage customers from shopping at their stores, because they won't be able to do what they've always done: double-park.

Legal parking spaces are scarce, so shoppers and delivery truck drivers routinely avail themselves of curb lanes and driveways as parking spots. But the new ramps will occupy what is currently the center lane of Church Street, shifting the outside lanes of traffic toward the sidewalks. Curb lanes will become through-traffic lanes and drivers won't be able to double-park without fully blocking traffic.

Starting in January, Muni will remove a total of 11 metered parking spots along both sides of Church Street to make room for the ramps. Muni intends to widen two side streets and build new diagonal parking, to compensate for the loss of parking spaces.

The plans are likely to throw off earnest entrepreneurs like Drewes Meats, which recently began offering call-ahead curbside service in response to repaving and other inconveniences. Next up: rampside delivery?

-- T.S.

Trying to Improve Reception
S.F. City Attorney Louise Renne on Monday appealed to local consumer activists to back her renegotiated franchise agreement with cable-TV giant Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) so that she could join other cities looking to regain local regulatory clout over cable and telephone companies.

"I stand by the assertion we have gotten more than anyone else. ... We have done as well as we could," Renne said, defending the pact against charges that the city has effectively given away the franchise. Renne said that, short of bringing suit, she had negotiated improvements in cable network access and production equipment for local public, educational, and governmental programming. Under recent federal deregulation, she argued, the city would receive far fewer services if it took the matter to court.

TCI obtained the franchise when it acquired Viacom Inc. early this year, even though the city's agreement with Viacom prohibited such transfers. The Board of Supervisors this month is expected to decide whether to sue TCI to revoke the franchise, which runs until 2005, or to accept the renegotiated pact.

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