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January 31, 2019

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Mayor London Breed giving her first State of the City address.

On Wednesday, Mayor London Breed delivered her first State of the City address at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts. Thirty minutes long with the trappings of an oncoming reelection campaign, the speech included bold announcements for tackling some of The City’s longstanding problems:

— A plan to house or shelter 4,000 homeless people in four years

— A charter amendment to expedite housing developments that are completely affordable or for teachers

— The appointment of Dr. Grant Colfax, a former Obama White House official, to lead the Department of Public Health

This week, District Three Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation titled the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, which would require all city departments to seek approval before using facial recognition technology and all surveillance technology to be audited to ensure proper use. If it passes, the ordinance will be the first of its kind in the nation.


In a bid to increase visitors and reach new communities, the de Young and the Legion of Honor announced that general admission will be free on Saturdays to residents of The City, beginning April 1. These free days come in addition to free general admission for all on the first Tuesday of each month.


Sheriff Vicki Hennessy hasn’t decided whether she will run for another term. Chief Deputy Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, who filed preliminary paperwork with the Department of Elections, plans to run if Hennessy does not.


A San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency neutral hearing officer denied e-scooter company Spin its appeal to take part in The City’s pilot program. The ruling suggests Spin should be allowed to participate in the second half of the pilot.


At the request of Mayor London Breed and District Ten Supervisor Shamann Walton, researchers from University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley will perform an independent analysis of the Hunters Point Shipyard.

The group will review the procedures used to retest Parcels A and G last year after whistleblowers claimed work by Tetra Tech, the company in charge of removing contamination from the properties, was fraudulent.


It took a month of pleading with immigration authorities before a Honduran mother was reunited with her 17-month-old daughter in San Francisco. After fleeing Honduras amid gang threats, the mother was separated from her daughter and husband during a dispute with Mexican immigration authorities. After several news outlets inquired about the situation, officials immediately delivered the infant to her mother.

The Neighborhoods

South of Market

The Center for Sex and Culture, a historic nonprofit serving the sex-positive community, shut down its space at 1349 Mission St. due to rising rents. Its leadership has no plans to open another location but does intend to host educational pop-ups and partner with other organizations.



Maximus Real Estate Partners presented its final offer for the 330-unit development proposal opponents have dubbed the “Monster in the Mission.” The new plan, which will be presented to the public next week, includes the developer purchasing two sites ready to be developed, handing them over to The City and then assisting with financing affordable housing developments on each. Maximus is prepared to take its plan to voters in November if turned down by city officials.


Russian Hill

The two million tourists who visit the famous crooked block of Lombard Street each year may soon pay a for the pleasure. In response to complaints about traffic congestion, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority put forth a plan requiring drivers to pay a toll every time they cross the 1000 block of Lombard Street. In one scenario, a reservation system would charge visitors fares of $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends and holidays; another has fares at $5 every day,


Union Square

Starbucks locations are known for popping up everywhere, even on opposite corners of the same block. Turns out they are not immune to The City’s rent squeeze. A busy Starbucks suddenly shuttered at 201 Powell St., leaving regulars extremely surprised by its closure.



Not even murder can stop buyer interest in The City’s hot real estate market. Last year, a tenant of 255 14th St. murdered her roommate. The apartment is going for $985,000.



The four finalists contending to develop Fort Scott have teamed up to transform the historic 30-acre, 22-building compound in a project. If the Presidio Trust approves their $200 million proposal, the site will feature institutions exploring topics such as artificial intelligence, climate change and the changing nature of the world economy.

The Columnists
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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Grading San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s State of The City Speech

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Robyn Purchia, Green Space: It’s Too Early to Ban Environmentally-Damaging Shotgun Shell Components

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Phil Matier: San Francisco — Where Street Addicts Outnumber High School Academics

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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera Rules Out Running for Mayor — for Now

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Tim Redmond: Taxing the Rich is Suddenly a Popular Idea

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Broke-Ass Stuart, Broke-Ass City: Try Using the Internet for Its Original Purpose

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Kelly Dessaint, I Drive SF: Navigating New Terrain in Familiar Places