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March 28, 2019

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A page from the legal complaint.

Tech Giant Salesforce, The City’s largest employer, has been accused by 50 women of “facilitating” their sex trafficking and prostitution in a lawsuit filed Monday in San Francisco Superior Court.

Fifty “Jane Does” claim the company helped the notorious classified ad website Backpage manage a database of pimps and johns, and build its brand for sex trafficking.

“Salesforce knew the scourge of sex trafficking because it sought publicity for trying to stop it, But at the same time, this publicly traded company was, in actuality, among the vilest of rogue companies, concerned only with their bottom line. And human beings—many more than just these 50—were raped and abused because of it.”

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Michael Lambert will serve as City Librarian for the San Francisco Public Library, Mayor London Breed announced. The City’s first Asian-American to lead the 28-branch system, Lambert has been acting City Librarian since his predecessor Luis Herrera retired in February 2018.

Lambert joined SFPL in 2014, overseeing services at the Main Library and the neighborhood branches. His career began at the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, with stints at San Mateo County libraries and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina.


On Monday, nearly a month after San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer took a leave of absence for dragging his wife to the ground in a struggle for his phone, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred placed the former face and fixer of the Giants on unpaid suspension until July 1. The team’s board member Robert Dean, son-in-law of late Giants owners Harmon and Sue Burns, has been named the designated representative and acting CEO.

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“San Francisco would be aligning itself with some of the most housing-resistant communities in California,” state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) wrote in a letter to District Four Supervisor Gordon Mar, who is sponsoring a resolution criticizing Wiener’s bill to boost housing near transit. Mar states the bill, as written, curtails local control and fails to adequately assure affordable housing.

Supervisors Rafael Mandelman, Hillary Ronen, Aaron Peskin, Shamann Walton, Sandra Lee Fewer and Norman Yee all back Mar’s position, meaning the resolution could pass, undermining Wiener on his home turf as the legislation goes to its first committee hearing next week.


“While the system works well most of the time, I will be focusing on the gaps that leave some of our highly vulnerable residents at risk,” Dr. Anton Nigusse Bland said.

Bland will serve as San Francisco’s first-ever director of mental health reform, Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday afternoon at Dore House, a short-term residential treatment program. Bland departed his position as medical director for Psychiatric Emergency Services at San Francisco General Hospital to develop reform proposals and assess how The City provides mental health and substance abuse services to the homeless.

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San Francisco Police Department
One of the illegal marijuana cultivation operations.

An ongoing investigation has led to the confiscation of more than 3,400 marijuana plants and suitcase with 12 pounds of wrapped marijuana. At four homes in the Sunset, Oceanview and Lakeshore neighborhoods, growers committed numerous fire code violations while detectives found $11,000 and other incriminating financial records.


District Four Supervisor Gordon Mar is seeking a way to make City College of San Francisco free for the long haul without relying on the November ballot. Residents who’ve lived in San Francisco for at least one year have had their tuition subsidized by San Francisco’s Free City pilot program since fall 2016. Although a charter amendment to extend the program by a decade was placed on the November ballot in December, Mar showed worry for the amendment's chance of prevailing against Mayor London Breed's $300 million affordable housing bond and the college's $400 million to $800 million facilities bond. The Free City program is currently set to expire this fall.


Just like rent and artisanal toast, the cost of running for office in San Francisco is on the rise. In June, eight mayoral candidates spent about $8.4 million on their campaigns, an average of more than $1 million each. And in November, more than $6.8 million was spent among 22 Board of Supervisors candidates vying for five open seats, an average of $311,000 each.

In 2010, third-party spending for supervisor candidates was $82,000 each. In 2018, it was $214,000 each. Third-party spending for mayoral candidates was $790,000 each last year, more than three times that of 2011.

The Neighborhoods

North Beach

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Lyle Tuttle, known as the "father of modern tattooing," died on Monday. He was 87. When he was 14 years old on a trip visiting San Francisco from Ukiah, Tuttle got his first tattoo: a heart with "Mother” inside. Ninety-five percent of his body would become covered in ink. His studio at 841 Columbus Ave. is a museum dedicated to tattoo ephemera.



Beloved dive bar Edinburgh Castle and the building it operates in are on the market, listed for $3.995 million. Owner Tay Kim blames changing demographics and his own health for slowing business. Marketing materials highlight the parcel’s 3,900-square-foot size and the 80-foot-high zoning allowance should the property be developed.



After a deadly shooting on Saturday killed one and injured five others outside the Fillmore Heritage Center during a memorial for Ron Newt, a storied San Francisco pimp and businessman, City Hall closed the center indefinitely. The Entertainment Commission and the police recommended all events be postponed due to the lack of a security plan for Newt’s reception.


Fort Funston

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This week, authorities recovered the body of a woman buried in a landslide last month. Although the Office of the Medical Examiner has not identified the woman, family members stepped forward to tentatively identify her as their own Kyra Sunshine Scarlet.



Mission Police Station is making changes to its community policing by adding two additional police officers to patrol around 16th and Mission streets during commute and midday hours. Capt. Gaetano Caltagirone announced there is an operation to mitigate narcotics sales in the area as well.


Mission Bay

The Golden State Warriors gave a sneak peak of the Chase Center, scheduled to open in September, and announced the first preseason homegame will be against the Lakers on Saturday, Oct. 5. Warriors President Rick Welts led the tour. Special guest Warriors’ forward Draymond Green was impressed with the design.


Lone Mountain

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Even smoothies are high-tech now. At University of San Francisco’s Market Cafe, Sunnyvale-based Blendid installed a robotic smoothie-making kiosk called Chef B. The company claims Chef B can make more than 36 smoothies an hour.


Forest Hill

For over 50 years, the nonprofit Forest Hill Preschool at 250 Laguna Honda Blvd. has cared for 60 children per year. Its landlord, the Forest Hill Christian Church, may sell the property, and the uncertainty has forced the preschool to shutter at the end of the school year. The Board of Supervisors is expected to review legislation that would stabilize and protect at-risk childcare facilities.

The Columnists
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Robyn Purchia, Green Space: Cities are failing to protect their urban canopies

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Phil Matier: Presidio Trees: Old, Weak, Wet and Falling — One Killed a Dog — So Park Goes Into Prevention Mode

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Kelly Dessaint, I Drive SF: Remembrance of Taxi Rides Past

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Joe Alioto Veronese’s Plan to Run for District Attorney Sunk by Peskin’s Prop. B