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May 7, 2019

Good Tuesday!

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San Francisco has its first openly LGBT fire chief. On Monday, Mayor London Breed swore in Jeanine Nicholson, a 25-year department veteran, on the steps of City Hall. Nicholson is the second female fire chief in San Francisco Fire Department history and replaces Joanne Hayes-White, who served in the department for 29 years before retiring on Sunday night.

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In San Francisco, where the cost to cover a long-term substitute teacher is $203.16 per day, one public school teacher must pay for her substitute while coping with a serious illness. The practice, which has been mandated in California since the early 1970s, occurs in nearly one-fifth of U.S. school districts. If the provision is removed from California’s Education Code, the state’s cash-strapped school districts would need to substitute alternative funding.


Joshua Pawlik, a homeless San Francisco resident with mental health and addiction problems, was sleeping in an alley with a pistol in his right hand. Dozens of police officers showed up. As he woke, police told him to drop his gun. He raised his shoulders, and officers fired 22 rounds. Pawlik’s death is one of around a dozen cases in the last several years where Northern California police have dealt with a person sleeping with a firearm.

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The city charter calls for Muni to be punctual 85% of the time, but that hasn’t stopped the agency’s vehicles from scoring a 55% on-time rate in March, a 2% dip compared to last year, according to the latest Muni On-Time Performance scores. Muni was marked late 13% and very late 6% of the time in the same period. Muni’s light-rail service was punctual 46% of the time in the same month. Curbed San Francisco

Upon hearing the news that San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin will resign this summer, Muni streetcar and bus operators rallied outside SFMTA headquarters for a new agency leader to advocate for them. The employees, who are involved in contract negotiations, want higher wages, better staffing, improved staffing and fixes to faulty equipment. "We have city workers who are homeless, we have city employees who live out of their car, we have city employees who are being forced to move out of San Francisco," said Roger Marenco, the president of Transportation Workers Union Local 250A, which represents Muni workers. SFGate


San Francisco’s latest high-profile startup, WePark, had the trappings of a joke. Hoping to make the statement that city streets prioritize cars over people, founder Victor Pontis paid a parking meter and set up a desk on a parking space. He later invited others to do the same near City Hall. The stunt was mimicked in France and Santa Monica.


San Francisco offers prescription drugs that are 14% more expensive than the national average, according to an analysis released by the website GoodRX, which tracks prescription drug prices. The analysis, which looked at the 500 most commonly prescribed prescription drugs in 30 cities, ranked San Francisco the second most expensive city for prescription drugs, behind New York.

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Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0

The San Francisco Giants had never won a championship in San Francisco until the arrival of their manager Bruce Bochy. Since his 2006 recruitment, they've won three World Series. Now, with Bochy set to retire at the season end, a number of last hurrahs have piled up. “He left 40 years ago to play baseball and never had a summer off,” said former third-base coach Tim Flannery, a longtime friend of Bochy's.


San Francisco-based Lyft's progressive, pink mustache belies a yearlong battle against a class action lawsuit alleging that the ride-hail giant be required to serve disabled people. The company argues it should not have to comply with the Americans for Disabilities Act because "it is not in the transportation business."

“According to their public filings their mission is to improve people’s lives with the world's best transportation,” said Meera Joshi, the former New York City Taxi Commissioner.

San Francisco-based Uber will go public this Friday, and former CEO Travis Kalanick wants to take part in Wall Street’s opening bell ceremony. But his successor Dara Khosrowshani decided that he isn’t welcome. Khosrowshani’s decision is his latest move to prove that the ride-hail giant has separated from its notorious tech-bro culture.

The Neighborhoods


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A deal to purchase the historic Redstone Labor Temple has been reached between its current owner David Lucchesi and the Mission Economic Development Agency. The 105-year-old building is home to more than a dozen nonprofits and artists. The sale is estimated to be between $22 million and $25 million.



Sam Jordan's Bar owner Ruth Jordan, daughter of Sam Jordan, wanted to call it quits. Sales were declining at the oldest black-owned bar so she put the building on the market. The community came forward and urged her to keep it — and now she plans to do just that.


Fisherman’s Wharf

The San Francisco Bay has become a popular final resting place for the deceased. The Naiad, a ship belonging to one of the largest cremation companies nationwide, scatters some 100 sets of ashes per month alone.


Outer Sunset

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Today, the Marine Mammal Center will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death of a gray whale that washed ashore on Ocean Beach early Monday morning. It’s the ninth dead whale recorded so far this year.


Twin Peaks

Residents who use their back doors on an alley as their front doors are trying to make the alley an official street. The homeowners, who dubbed the alley John’s Way after a neighbor, put up their own signs. However red tape may make their bid a dead end.


Western Addition

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Former Fire Chief Joanne Hays-White speaks at the opening ceremony.

Last week at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fire Station No. 5, Mayor London Breed announced plans for a $628.5 million Earthquake Safety and Emergency Resilience bond to fund the seismic retrofit of public safety infrastructure such as fire stations, police stations and an emergency fire fighting water system. The bond would go before voters in March 2020.



On Thursday, the Planning Commission approved a development project for a new hotel, public park and circus on the site of two parking lots between Davis and Vallejo streets.


Financial District

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A new community benefit district proposed for the Financial District would pay for traffic control officers on busy city streets and increased patrols to combat panhandling and public urination.

Plans for the Downtown Community Benefit District, which were presented to the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee on Thursday, say it will generate around $3.8 million through fees collected from property owners at a rate of $0.10 per building square foot per year.

The Columnists
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Joe Eskenazi: Strolling Into the Past: Retracing the Steps of a 40-Year-Old Mission District Walking Tour

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Tim Redmond: Protesting Uber’s IPO — and Police Secrecy

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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: After Losing One of Their Own, San Francisco Girls’ Soccer Team Wants Changes to City Streets

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Angela Alioto’s Wse of Racial Epithet at Democratic Party Board Prompts Calls for Her Removal

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Phil Matier: A’s Make Room for Ships in Ballpark Plan, While Port Still has Room to Maneuver

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Sally Stephens: Like It or Not, Transit-Only Lane Coming to West Portal