This San Francisco cityscape logo

March 21, 2019

Good Thursday morning!

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Alvesgaspar/CC BY-SA 4.0
A Painted Lady butterfly.

The Presidio National Park received welcome guests late last week when a species of butterfly fluttered north from the Mojave Desert veering off their typical migration path.

Painted Ladies, similar in appearance to Monarch butterflies, came up north in record numbers that haven’t been seen since 2005. The population was boosted by the super bloom caused by the wet winter.

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
voxtheory from Las Vega/CC-BY-SA-2.0
Lawrence Ferlinghetti will tun 100 on Sunday, March 24.

In 1953, Lawrence Ferlinghetti co-founded America’s premier paperback bookstore, City Lights. His decision to publish Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and Other Poems,” and his unyielding stance against California’s allegations of obscenity for publishing it, set a landmark precedence that bolstered the First Amendment by limiting what can be censored as obscene in literature.

On March 24, Ferlinghetti turns 100. His shop has been a hub for bibliophiles, authors and activists, such as himself. He will mark his birthday with the release of his book “Little Boy” next week along with a day full of events at venues across North Beach.


A San Francisco Police Department system that flags officers for potential misconduct administered 17 percent fewer warnings compared to the previous year. To flag officers for review, the Early Intervention System assesses data such as repeat shootings, repeat use of force and the number of complaints an officer receives.

Mission Station topped the rankings, collecting 215 warnings last year. Bayview Station had the second-highest number with 117 flags.


Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee directed the City Attorney’s Office to prepare a bill that would decrease speed limits and require the installation of measures to improve visibility of pedestrians and cyclists for vehicle drivers. However, state law is likely to interfere: California cities can only change speed limits when engineering and traffic surveys show that 85 percent of free-flowing traffic travels outside the speed limit, according to a legislative analyst’s 2015 report.


District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton and City Attorney Dennis Herrera proposed two bills that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes without FDA approval and prohibit companies that make nicotine from renting land from the City and County of San Francisco.

Nearly one-fourth of middle and high schoolers have tried Juul. Last year, the same age group of students had a 36 percent increase in those who used tobacco, up to 4.9 million students — an increase that the CDC attributed to the rise of e-cigarettes. Even Juul has called to keep Juul from children, but the e-cigarette company and its supporters oppose the legislation, stating that the bills would hinder or even end the progress of smokers-turned-vapers.


On Tuesday, the Office of the District Attorney declined to press charges against Giants CEO Larry Baer, who was shown grabbing his cell phone from his wife and dragging her from a chair to a ground as she screamed. Part of the video footage used by the prosecution reveals a 25-minutes back-and-forth between the high-profile husband and wife. MLB still has the authority to punish him.


Pacific Gas & Electric’s electrical network has been linked to five of California’s 10 most destructive fires since 2015. Regulators have determined that the utility has violated state law and could have made its equipment safer on numerous occasions. The company's dire financial straits, indicated by its filing for bankruptcy protection in January, could hamper preparations for future wildfires.


Today’s the day! A dozen museums and galleries in Yerba Buena will have free admission as part of a new initiative called Culture for Community. Participants include the California Historical Society, Children’s Creativity Museum, Crown Point Press, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Mirus Gallery, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SOMArts, SPUR, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Alliance and 111 Minna Gallery.


Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, Muni’s 50 fare inspectors cited 49,594 cheats. Only 22,272 of the tickets were paid, meaning $2.58 million in fines was collected for a fare evasion program that costs $6 million annually. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, which oversees Muni, is not all that concerned about the poor collection performance. Vice Chair Gwyneth Borden said, “In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure it’s a top priority. I don’t know if it’s a big enough problem to invest more effort.”

The Neighborhoods


block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Recreation and Park Department
A sea of sunbathers at Dolores Park.

Upward of 10,000 people made use of Dolores Park over the the first warm weekend of the year. Surprisingly, the mess afterward wasn’t half as bad as it’s been in the past, according to officials from the Recreation and Park Department.


Haight Ashbury

The nonprofit Downtown Streets Team, which gives the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless employment training by way of street cleaning, is now servicing the Upper Haight. DTS participants are already at work in Civic Center, UN Plaza and Union Square.


Mission Bay

The San Francisco Giants' Oracle Park has a new "all-inclusive” and “extra-exclusive" lounge called the Cloud Club on the Suite Level. Access to the tricked-out game-day box costs $25,000 to $50,000 per year.



block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Recreation and Park Department
Mayor London Breed at the India Basin Shoreline for the announcement.

As protesters rallied nearby, Mayor London Breed announced a $25 million donation from the John Pritzker Family Fund for open-space improvements at India Basin as part of a 1,575-unit housing development. Watchdog groups claim The City’s environmental review for the project was inadequate.



This week, a 157-unit affordable housing project at 1950 Mission St. broke ground. Developed by Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing, it will have 155 residential units for low-income families. “We promised we would be an anchor in the community, and we promised that we would have support for anyone who needed it,” Mission Housing Executive Director Sam Moss said. “This is what that looks like.”



A restaurant with a beer and wine license named Tender is preparing to open on Larkin Street two blocks away from a wine bar named Tender. No relation has been detected but the mystery remains.


Alamo Square

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

The famed Painted Ladies have competition. A group of paintings affixed to a fence across the street Alamo Square Park is a new sight to see. The guerrilla installation was unveiled on March 16. It could be removed at any time.


Civic Center

The new California Pacific Medical Center on Van Ness Avenue may be open, but the anticipated building boom expected to come with it hasn’t quite arrived. San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King takes a look at the situation.

The Columnists
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Robyn Purchia, Green Space: What Harry Potter Stories and Youth Activists Have in Common

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Phil Matier: Why Domestic Violence Advocates Called for SF Giants CEO Larry Baer to Be Suspended

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Heather Knight, On San Francisco: In the Race to Get Spots in San Francisco’s Summer Day Camps, Both Parents and Kids Come Up Short

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Joe Eskenazi: Rachel Church was Homeless. A Drug Addict. An Alcoholic. But She’s Better Now. She Wants You to Know This.

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Kelly Dessaint, I Drive SF: When Getting Around is More About Being Trendy Than Saving Money

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Jaya Padmanabhan, In Brown Type: The Business of College Admissions is Geared More Toward Parents Than Students

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Broke-Ass Stuart, Broke-Ass City: Read This Article Before You Comment On It

Art Action

Next month, Youth Art Exchange will host “(415) Public Gallery,” a unique art show where the public is both viewer and exhibitor. YAX is seeking 415 submissions of work to display at [x]space, their gallery in the Excelsior. All ages/backgrounds welcome.

The deadline is March, 22. For more information, visit or contact Sofia Vivanco Airaghi at