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Friday, March 8, 2013


Awassa town qualified to be special zone: Department
ADDIS ABABA (ENA)  The Press and Information Department with the Ministry of Information says the Awassa town, the seat of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State, has the qualities that qualify it for the status of a special zone.
In a statement it issued yesterday, the department said like Bahir Dar,Makalle and Adama towns, Awassa has all qualities that could raise it to the status of a special zone.
Cognizant of its qualities, the Sidama People's Democratic Organization (SPDO) has decided in its recent meeting to raise the status of this town to that of a special zone with a majority vote, the statement said.  However, it said, this resolution was opposed by few individuals,who used to benefit illegally using the previous status of Awassa.
Those individuals who ahs been benefiting illegally in Awassa didn't accept the resolution as they were sacred of being held accountable for their misdeeds, the statement noted.
The statement stressed that the new urban development plan will not displace anyone.
It said the government seriously warns that all unlawful and anarchic activities against the democratic principles and provisions of the country are strictly prohibited.

Opposition parties denounce new Awassa status, killings
By Kumlachew Fantahun
ADDIS ABABA  Four opposition parties have denounced the government's proclamation giving the SNNPS capital Awassa the status of a chartered city as "undemocratic' and the killing of Sidama people while demonstrating against the decision 'a brutal act'.
In a joint statement they issued Thursday, the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Coalition, Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia, All-Amhara People's Organization as well as the Oromo National Congress expressed their anger at the action they described as "the absolutely intolerable brutality and human carnage perpetrated by the EPRDF government against our poor and helpless people."
The four parties allege that the tragic killing of the Sidama people for peacefully demonstrating against the decision to locate the centre of Sidama zone to another has shown the undemocratic and brutal nature of the EPRDF led government.
They also alleged that 38 innocent Sidamas were killed, many sustained lights and severe injuries and many others unjustly imprisoned.
Regarding the incident, the SNNPS Police Commission said last Saturday that 15 people including two policeman were killed and 25 others injured while unlawfully organized hundreds of people took to the streets in Awassa and clashed with police on may 24.
June 2, 2002

COFFEE TASTINGS AT TOP BAR

Like many San Franciscans, I’m picky about my coffee. Call me a snob if you want, but when you live in a city that cares so much about how their beans are sourced, roasted, and brewed, you sort of have to become an aficionado. Or else endure the wrath of your barista. 
Thankfully, there are welcoming and educational establishments popping up that are interested in answering every question you might have about coffee, and will actually spend an hour with you tasting the nuances of espresso. It just so happens that my favorite coffee shop, Sightglass in SOMA, has just opened just that kind of place. Sightglass started as a very small storefront, where it roasted beans to perfection behind closed doors. Then, in 2011 it opened a gorgeous, lofty space designed by Boor Bridges Architecture, complete with a retail space and plenty of much needed seating. Sightglass has expanded yet again with a bar in the back left corner of the second floor called Top Bar. 
Top Bar opened to the public on February 2 and the response has been extremely positive. It's not only a place where you can use at least three of your senses on the coffee in front of you, but also encourages open dialogue between barista and coffee enthusiast. Sightglass wants Top Bar to be where your coffee comes with a side of education. 
I sat down at the counter and was presented with a very succinct coffee menu and the option of sparkling or still water. Top Bar manager Tayler Mehit, above, who oversees the bar and its menu, jokingly emphasized the importance of staying hydrated while consuming such intense caffeine. Top Bar offers three coffees all prepared differently: AeroPress, V60 (pour over), and espresso. You can order coffee prepared with these methods a la carte or as a compare or contrast option, to taste how each preparation affects the coffees' flavors.  I chose the contrast option which included an AeroPress of the Finca la Planada, a micro-lot coffee from Colombia known for its fruity flavors of pineapple and mango, to contrast with a shot of Sidama espresso from Ethiopia known for its sweet spiciness. The AeroPress is a fast, easy way to make a quality cup of coffee in about 30 seconds. It produces flavors that are clean and light, allowing you to taste the coffee notes more easily. The espresso shot was a significant contrast to the Finca la Planada; it had a thick viscosity, coating my tongue with notes of bitter and spice (bitter as a flavor profile, not as brewing method, which are two very different things). Be prepared to taste your coffee straight; Top Bar doesn't offer milk and sugar. This may bother some, but it allows your tongue to differentiate the flavors of each individual offering.    
In addition to amazing coffee, Sightglass serves confections from Hooker's Sweet Treats in the Tenderloin, known for their fantastic sea salt caramels. With the opening of Top Bar, Sightglass asked Hooker's to make an exclusive offering. Owner David “Hooker” Williams created a light-as-air pistachio macaroon and a chocolate espresso caramel with pistachios – delicious sweets to accompany any of your chosen coffee offerings.