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March 12, 2019

Good Tuesday morning!

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Manohar Raju has been appointed San Francisco Public Defender.

Mayor London Breed appointed Manohar Raju to serve as the interim public defender until voters decide who will replace the late Jeff Adachi for a four-year term in November.

Raju, 50, started his career as a public defender in Contra Costa County and has served in San Francisco's public defender's office for 11 years. Before his appointment, he managed the office’s felony unit.

Raju and his family will move to San Francisco, an indicator that he may run to keep the position. No candidate has filed paperwork yet.

“It should shock us as a nation that we have this problem,” a researcher from University California, San Francisco said of a new study that shows the social safety net for low-income seniors is torn in the United States.

It found 44 percent of all homeless people older than 50 became homeless after they were 50, pointing to significant issues with long-term saving, retirement planning and a dearth of caring for the elderly.


Victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland have called on Mayor London Breed to be more politically correct after she posthumously honored the late IRA member Martin McGuinness' "courageous service in the military." Breed said that McGuinness was selected as one of five Grand Marshalls for the award and apologized for any pain the certificate may have caused.


San Francisco-based tech companies Uber, Lyft, Slack, Postmates, Pinterest and Airbnb are all expected to enter the public markets sometime this year. The result will be the thousands of new millionaires.

One real estate analyst predicts the cost of single-family homes could climb to $5 million.

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The San Francisco Hall of Justice.

Next week, the San Francisco Health Commission will vote on a resolution to declare incarceration a public health issue and to commit the Department of Public Health to create a plan for preventing incarceration.

“One of the true norths of the department is equity,” Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said of the resolution. “This is a key equity issue.”


City officials are calling for an independent and transparent entity to oversee the Sheriff’s Department after it bungled the investigation of deputies forcing inmates to fight each other like gladiators.

One solution may be a ballot measure or legislation to allow the Department of Police Accountability to investigate incidents.


Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ordered the financially unstable San Francisco Housing Authority to submit to a takeover by City Hall, citing the quasi-federal agency’s gross inability to maintain accurate accounting records. The agency, which houses approximately 14,000 people, must deliver a transition plan by April.

In a statement, Mayor London Breed said city departments will work with the agency’s labor unions to provide employees job training and severance packages.


A call for safer streets has been renewed after Tess Rothstein, 30, was killed in a collision while riding a bicycle in South of Market on Friday. In a statement on Twitter, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said “a protected bike lane would have saved this person’s life. Where infrastructure stops, people die. No more thoughts and prayers; action is long overdue.”

District Six Supervisor Matt Haney called for a protected bike lane in the area, and Mayor London Breed promised short-term safety enhancements to be installed soon.


As momentum builds for creating public banks in The City and elsewhere in California, assemblymembers David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, introduced legislation to make the idea possible.

Assembly Bill 857 would allow local governments create public banks by a charter process. The absence of a profit motive, advocates say, allows public banks to serve communities by financing infrastructure projects, affordable housing development and small business loans.

The Neighborhoods

Civic Center

“W.F.T. (San Francisco),” a new neon installation to cover the western exterior of Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, will be dedicated and turned on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Designed by artist Joseph Kosuth, the work of art annotates the words “civic” and “auditorium” in white letters.


South of Market

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A map of West SoMA CBD's boundaries.

Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the SoMa West Community Benefit District, an organization dedicated to maintaining and improving the neighborhood by assessing property owners that benefit from its services. The 17th CBD in The City, SoMa West is situated by five other existing CBDs within District Six.



Manouso Manos, a prominent international yoga instructor with a studio on Monterey Boulevard, announced that he resigned from the national body overseeing the Iyengar tradition in the United States. Last year, KQED published an expose detailing sexual misconduct allegations, some dating back to the 1980s.



The year’s first Sunday Streets festival was held along the stretch of Valencia Street from Duboce Avenue to 26th Street, allowing people of all ages to play in the street without automobile traffic for five hours. “This is my neighborhood, and I love to see it full of kids playing with chalk and bubbles. There’s no dodging Ubers today,” Livable City Executive Director and Sunday Streets founder Tom Radulovich said.


Civic Center

For a third year, Comedy Central's Clusterfest comedy festival will return for a weekend in June. The headliners are John Mulaney, Issa Rae and The Roots. Patton Oswalt, Tig Notaro, Broad City co-creator Ilana Glazer and Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness are also included in the line up. Ticket sales opened on Monday.


South of Market

Drones are taking the place of human inspectors in checking the over 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower. High-definition cameras allow the aircraft to examine the building’s facade in a fraction of the time a person would take using an aerial platform. For the time being, humans will still have to do the window washing.


Civic Center

Last Thursday, hundreds of San Francisco city employees rallied outside City Hall and other municipal offices to demand higher wages and equality in the workplace for International Women's Day. The rallies occurred during contract negotiations between the city and several unions in which employees are bargaining for pay increases.

The Columnists
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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Translation Errors Leave San Francisco’s Chinese Community Unheard at Public Meeting on Housing

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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: Did Late San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi Keep Plea Deals Secret From Clients?

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Joe Eskenazi: The ‘Cafeteria Ban,’ Which Was Never Intended to be Big-Time Legislation, Got Big-Time Attention. Guess What Didn’t?

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Tim Redmond: How the Twitter Tax Break Continues to Damage San Francisco

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Carl Nolte, Native Son: San Francisco and Its Coffee: A City Steeped in Java History

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Sally Stephens: How to Keep the Peace With Your Neighbors When Parking is Tight

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Phil Matier: SFO Traffic Suffers From Uber and Lyft, So It Entices Riders to Meet Car in Garage

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Willie Brown, Willie’s World: What’s a Democratic Party Without the Clintons?

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