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Welcome to This San Francisco! I’m Alex Mullaney and I'll be your guide. Our twice-weekly email gets you up to speed on what’s new in The City. Please share it with a friend. We rely on word of mouth.

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On Tuesday, NBC Bay Area reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken uncovered a letter Mayor London Breed sent to Gov. Jerry Brown requesting clemency for her brother Napoleon Brown who is serving a four-decade prison sentence for manslaughter and robbery.

At a Wednesday press conference, the mayor defended the letter when reporters questioned her about ethics concerns. Breed said the letter may "backfire."

The dangerously high levels of fine particulate matter cast over the Bay Area by the Camp Fire broke records for the worst periods of hazardous smoke. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District found that six days between Nov. 8 to Nov. 20 had the highest concentrations of pollutant since it began keeping records in 1999. The agency intends to study what was exactly in the smoke by performing lab tests on air filters.


Last week, District 2 Supervisor Sandra Fewer introduced legislation to beef up an existing vacant business registry administered by the Department of Building Inspection. If passed, property owners would have to immediately register vacant storefronts with the Department of Building Inspection whether a unit is for sale or available for lease; eliminate a 270-day grace period for registering; create and vacant storefront fee of $711; and create a $2,844 penalty fee for property owners who do not comply.


San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott ordered that officers avoid seating handcuffed or un-handcuffed suspects on the ground or sidewalk and if done as a last resort document the action in an incident report. Preparing for this to become a contentious department policy, the Police Officers Association’s attorney dispatched a letter to Chief Scott describing the policy as “a major break” with officer training and safety.


The San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness sued the City and County of San Francisco yesterday in Superior Court over policies and practices of several government agencies that negatively impact homeless people who live in vehicles on The City’s streets. The suit alleges that towing, impounding and selling RVs and other vehicles violates the rights an at-risk population because they are no provided proper notice, opportunity to dispute seizure, and are not offered relocation to shelts.

+ On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors approved a policy that requires the agency work with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to offer services to people living in RVs or other vehicles before a oversized vehicle ban can be approved.


$20 million to purchase 65 residential units; $42 million to finish a building for formerly homeless people in the Mission; $11 million to expand existing Navigation Centers; and $4 million to increase street-cleaning. These are what Mayor London Breed has identified as her spending priorities for a $181 million windfall. The Board of Supervisors has other ideas.

The Neighborhoods


Embattled San Francisco police officer Rain Olson Daugherty, 44, was arrested and charged with bank robbery for entering East West Bank on Nov. 29, handing a teller a note demanding $50 and $100 bills and making off with $9,050. Daugherty was out on $100,000 bail from San Mateo County where prosecutors charged him with felony theft from an elder and four counts misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.



DM Development and Urban Land Development have put forward a proposal for a nine-story, 151-unit mixed-use building on a sprawling parking lot by Florida and 16th streets that they picked up for  $11.2 million earlier this month. The plan, making use of California’s Density Bonus program, includes 28 units of affordable housing and 1,577 square feet of commercial space.

For decades, Galería de la Raza on 24th Street served as a cultural touchstone for generations of Latino and Chicano artists. After a dispute with its landlord, the gallery will close.


South of Market

The Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure denied Related California’s bid to void an agreement for attracting a grocery store for its development at 450 Folsom St. OCII Executive Director Nadia Sesay supported the developer’s request while residents told commissioners that an affordable grocer was vital to the nascent community.


North Beach

A preliminary proposal for a 11-story, 110-foot development abutting Telegraph Hill has been submitted to the Planning Department. The plan includes 84 bedrooms each with a private bath and shared kitchens and living rooms along with 2,850 square feet of commercial space. Located at 1235 Sansome St., which lies in the Waterfront Historic District.



Calling it “classic mission creep,” City College of San Francisco Chancellor Mark Rocha announced that as much as a third, or 400 classes, of the college’s courses must be eliminated to fix a 20-year structural budget problem. Despite offering dozens of majors, only few students graduate every year. The American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 oppose the idea.


Hunters Point

Testing for radioactivity inside a San Francisco Police Department facility at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been delayed until next month. 40 employees continue to work at the site despite the health risks.

The Columnists
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Broke-Ass Stuart, Broke-Ass City: Love thy neighbor even when you hear too much through the walls

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Jaya Padmanabhan, In Brown Type: Demographic evolution recognizes that ethnic identities are fluid, multi-faceted

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Joe Eskenazi: Mayor London Breed’s potential bitter lose-lose

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Robyn Purchia, Green Space: Will native Americans finally get a cultural center in San Francisco?

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Breed’s letter asking for brother’s clemency may ‘backfire’