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August 6, 2019

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Pristine water or tourism revenue?

San Francisco's valley of high quality drinking water at Hetch Hetchy Valley could be worth $100 billion and fetch as much as $178 million per year if drained and used for recreational purposes, according to a report produced by an Oregonian economic consulting firm. An infrastructure project would have Bay Area residents getting their water instead from a new reservoir at the Tuolumne River that would cost costing hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.


"We need to close the camps and pressure Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein to defund ICE.”

Flourishing a long red banner that reads “Close the Camps: Seeking Refuge is Not Illegal,” activists against federal detention camps for immigrants are holding demonstrations every day of August in front of San Francisco's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office at 630 Sansome St. The demonstrations, held by organizers calling themselves "Month of Momentum," followed a two-day protest broken up by police at the same location.

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5,360 San Francisco homes worth more than $8.8 billion are at risk by coastal flooding in the year 2100, according to a new analysis by Zillow and Climate Central. “Without intervention, hundreds of thousands of coastal homes will experience regular flooding and the damage will cost billions. Given that a home is most people’s largest and longest-living asset, it takes only one major flood to wipe out a chunk of that long-growing equity,” a Zillow researcher said.


More than three million low-income Americans aren’t the only ones who may lose their ability to obtain free food. Children could lose their access to federally funded meals.

A planned overhaul of food stamps caused by federal spending cuts could change food stamp income requirements from being fluid in certain states — based on the cost of living — to becoming uniform. If the policy is passed, some 18,000 K-8 students in San Francisco — out of half a million nationwide — will no longer receive free school lunches. San Francisco Examiner

Over the next two weeks, Mayor London Breed and community nonprofits will hand out 5,000 free backpacks and school supplies at 29 backpack giveaways. San Francisco Examiner

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A redacted portion of a search warrant used against freelance journalist Bryan Carmody revealed that San Francisco Police Department's chief spokesman David Stevenson had told investigators it was Carmody who sold copies of a confidential police report to television stations. However, he made no mention of the police chief’s office issuing Carmody a press pass, nor of Carmody’s being protected by California’s shield law, an attorney said. Most of the five search warrants issued in the case have been invalidated by the judges who approved them.


The number of people living out of their vehicles on San Francisco’s streets has increased by almost half compared to the previous homeless count in 2017. California has built fewer than half of the homes needed to keep up with its surge in population. Amid the scarcity, San Francisco’s median home has risen to $1.7 million and median rent to $3,700 for a one-bedroom apartment. The Guardian

“We are just seeing fewer people who have family members or friends who are able to take them back in.”

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing fell short of its goal for assisting people to exit homelessness through its Homeward Bound program by 195 participants. 627 people were voluntarily bussed to live with family or friends around the country. San Francisco Examiner

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The Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure will hold a hearing today to review the California Department of Public Health’s results from the retesting of parcels A-1 and A-2 at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The testing was conducted from July to November last year after whistleblowers said cleanup contractor Tetra Tech faked its work. There are 439 homes on Parcel A-1 and many slated to be built on A-2. San Francisco Examiner

The integrity of the independent analysis of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard contamination cleanup by a committee of UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley scientists is being questioned.

M. Reza Shirazi, a fellow at UC Berkeley Institute of Urban and Regional Development, called out the committee for announcing at a community meeting that they required permission from Mayor London Breed and other elected officials to change the scope of the research project after community members requested that they interview whistleblowers. San Francisco Bay View


As part of its plan to eliminate most landfill waste and cut carbon emissions by 2021, San Francisco International Airport is banning the sale of single-use plastic water bottles starting Aug. 20. Thirsty travelers will have to purchase refillable aluminum or glass bottles if they do not have their owner reusable containers. The move is in line with a 2014 ordinance banning the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property.

The Neighborhoods

Financial District

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A hit-and-run driver crashed into a fire hydrant at the corner of Grant Avenue and O’Farrell Street at around noon, causing a geyser and then striking another vehicle. Both the driver and the passenger were taken to a local hospital.


Hayes Valley

Supervisor Vallie Brown revived a plan to lift the ban on chain stores in the 139-condo neighborhood of 555 Fulton St. in an attempt to lure a grocery store. Negotiations between the property owner Z&L Properties and a grocery store chain are underway.



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The Unified School District allowed the public to view Washington High School’s 13-panel fresco by Victor Arnautoff, which the Board of Education voted to destroy earlier this summer at a cost of at least $600,000. Dozens of people, including the grandsons of Victor Arnautoff, took the opportunity to see the work, “The Life of Washington,” in person.


Mid Market

Developers Alexandria Real Estate Equities and TMG Partners bought the empty 6X6 mall. The $150 million, 250,000-square-foot project, which was completed three years ago, could not attract retail tenants. Plans are in the works to convert parts to office space. No sale price was disclosed.


South of Market

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Supervisor Matt Haney and community members are advocating to rename Gilbert Street to Jeff Adachi Way. The small street, located beside the Public Defender’s Office, was used by the late longtime public defender to go to the Hall of Justice. The plan’s supporters are seeking support.



In the 1800s, it was used as a dump. In 1915, it was filled in for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Later it served as part of an Army base. Now Quartermaster Reach, a 6-acre area of the Tennessee Hollow watershed, will be renovated to expand Crissy Marsh. It’s a milestone in the 25-year effort to restore the area.


Mission Bay

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"Another landmark day in the history of Chase Center and Thrive City."

South Street, which runs for two blocks between Third Street and Terry A. Francois Boulevard, has been renamed Warriors Way, making the address of the Chase Center officially 1 Warriors Way in time for its first event next month.



“Socialism has reentered the political discourse in the United States.”

The San Francisco branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation is finding the ideas their members espouse to no longer be so radical. Members say that the popularity of Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib is mainstreaming their causes.

The Columnists
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Denise Sullivan, S.F. Lives: Prison Radio: Broadcasting Uncensored, Incarcerated Voices

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Tim Redmond: What Happens If Wiener Gets Challenged From Both the Right And the Left?

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Vallie Brown Tops Progressive Challenger in District 5 Supervisor Campaign Fundraising

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Joe Eskenazi: Good Times, Bad Times: San Francisco, the Mission District and Nostalgia for A More Dangerous and Chaotic Era

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Willie Brown, Willie’s World: Democratic Debates Weren’t Television — Or Politics — At Its Finest

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Phil Matier: All That Noise Coming From Washington Turning Calif. Voters Numb

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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: Why Doesn’t San Francisco Treat Homelessness Like the Crisis It Is?

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