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July 2, 2019

Good Tuesday! Scheduling Note: We'll be taking Thursday and next week off. Have a great a holiday!

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Mayor London Breed speaks at a press conference detailing alleged abuse of 23 patients at Laguna Honda.

Sedating their patients. Engaging in sexualized conversations. Sharing videos of the interactions.

Six employees abused 23 patients with dementia at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, the Department of Public Health has alleged. The accused, who allegedly abused their patients between 2016 and January 2019, no longer work for Laguna Honda. Chief executive Mivic Hirose has resigned.

“All we’re doing is playing catch-up right now. We have so many trees to remove because of 30 years’ worth of deferred maintenance.”

Since voters moved the duty of maintaining and removing trees from residents to The City, the Department of Public Works has lagged in planting new trees. Nonetheless, the department has allocated $5.3 million — more than twice as much as last year — for planting trees. That’s one-third less than the amount spent on tree maintenance and removal, raising questions about how The City will grow its urban canopy. San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco’s whopping $12.3 billion budget figure belies its constraints. After mandatory spending is taken out, City Hall is left with about $3.5 billion to play with this budget cycle. San Francisco Chronicle

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Justice for Luis Góngora Pat

“The ‘time and distance’ de-escalation obligation means nothing if officers are not disciplined when people die because they’re ignored.”

After the San Francisco Examiner exposed that the Department of Police Accountability had recommended suspension for San Francisco Police Sgt. Nathaniel Steger and Officer Michael Mellone for shooting and killing 45-year-old Luis Góngora Pat, police accountability advocates and the victim’s family are calling for the officers to be fired. San Francisco Examiner

A federal jury found former San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputy April Myres guilty of mail fraud and wire fraud. Myres, 55, started a romantic relationship with inmate Antoine Fowler while she had been working at the San Francisco County Jail. She gave him her service weapon and when the relationship ended and claimed it was taken in a burglary. The FBI discovered the relationship before Fowler even left jail. San Francisco Chronicle


Protesters blocked Market Street for almost an hour during San Francisco’s Pride Parade in a call for the removal of “toxic corporations” and police from the celebration. The protesters flourished signs with messages like “Pinko Commie Dykes against cops,” linked arms and distributed flyers with demands as a demonstrator spoke into a microphone. Police took two into custody, saying that the protesters “broke down barricades and threw water bottles at officers.”

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BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

Transportation Roundup

The synthesized male and female voices Bay Area Rapid Transit uses on its platforms to give patrons updates have names: George and Gracie. Designed by text-to-speech technology pioneer Lucent Technologies in the 1990s, the voices are either named after a pair of humpback whales in the 1986 film "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” or the hosts of the George Burns and Gracie Allen show from the 1950s. SFGate

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority have commissioned dueling reports examining how to improve the management of the $2.2 billion Transbay Transit Center to make sure rail service from the peninsula reaches the facility as soon as possible. San Francisco Examiner

As Lyft takes City Hall to court over its monopoly on the citywide bike rental program BayWheels, hundreds of bicycles from its fleet have been removed from the streets while new bright pink ones sit in a Dogpatch warehouse. San Francisco Chronicle


After starving herself for 21 days in a call for rent caps, Single Room Occupancy hotel tenant Jordan Activist ended her hunger strike. Relief came last week in a $12.3 billion budget deal that secured $1 million for the “Economic Hardship Fund for Masterlease Tenants.” District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, who had requested $7.5 million to help subsidize costs owed to The City for rent, estimates that the fund could provide relief for some 500 tenants.

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Branding has invaded The City's streets.

“Brandopolis respects no boundaries, even if familiar landmarks are cheapened as a result.”

With Salesforce Park reopening Monday, San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King gave his commentary the view. Branding has transformed the exteriors of downtown San Francisco, which even five years ago had no visible marketing monikers.


“Mark Zuckerberg lives nearby, but our corner is the main prostitution corner in the city.”

Evicted San Franciscans aren’t the only ones who complain about how techies have ruined San Francisco — techies do it, too. The Guardian spoke with more than a dozen tech workers to learn why. The Guardian

“Folks in the tech industry need to register and vote. They need to become more politically engaged. That’s one way to help make sure we get good people elected to public office.”

When asked about proposed taxes on tech-industry workers and how to avoid sending them the message that they're unwanted, Mayor London Breed said she can’t control what the Board of Supervisors does. Bloomberg

The Neighborhoods

North Beach

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Residents and small business owners have filed a lawsuit against City Hall over the six-month renovation of Washington Square Park now underway. Their claim: The environmental review was insufficient. The Office of the City Attorney already disputes the claim.



Portside Homeowners Association and Safe Embarcadero for All have followed through on their promise to sue City Hall over Mayor London Breed’s plan to place a temporary 200-bed Navigation Center providing services for homeless people on a parking lot. The lawsuit is on the heels of the Board of Supervisors decision to deny an appeal to block the project.


East Cut

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Transbay Transit Center's Grand Space.

After more than 10 months, the Transbay Transit Center reopened on July 1 to the public. In October of last year, the discovery of structural defects shut down the $2.2 billion facility. While bus service will not return for some time, the funicular used to carry people from the street level to the 5.4-acre rooftop park is now operational.


Bayview-Hunters Point

Capt. Valerie Matthews is retiring just six months after taking leadership of the San Francisco Police Department’s Bayview Police Station. District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton said the news had “everyone from service providers to the community is highly upset.” Many captains have cycled through the station.



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With the likely passage of a $600 million affordable housing bond in November, the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development is slowing down plans to activate a 38,000-square-foot lot that had once been a McDonald’s restaurant in the event it can develop the property sooner than later. Applicants bidding to temporarily use the space are upset over the decision.


South of Market

To make their collection less pale and male, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art sold a work by Mark Rothko. With the $50.1 million in revenue, MOMA purchased 11 works by women, people of color and LGBTQ and Latin American artists.



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Planning Department

As the average apartment rents and median home sale prices continue to rise and longtime LGBTQ residents are priced out or evicted, activists are looking for ways to keep the community intact — even if it means buying properties elsewhere and putting them in special trusts.



“Amate,” Jet Martinez’s new mural shared and commissioned by Foreign Cinema and Sherwood Design, was unveiled last week. A reinterpretation of traditional Mexican folk art, its name refers to the Spanish word “ámate,” which means “to love yourself,” and a type of paper used by artisans in Mexico.

The Columnists
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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Advocates Call for SFPD to Apologize for Past Attacks on Gay Community — and This Weekend’s Arrests as Well

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Sally Stephens: Appreciating the Rocket That First Brought Humans to the Moon

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Willie Brown, Willie’s World: Bad News for Democrats — None of These Candidates Can Beat Trump

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Carl Nolte, Native Son: Who Needs High-Speed Rail? California Already Has a Slow Train to Nowhere

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Joe Eskenazi: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Mission’s ‘Sunset Idea House:’ The Birth, Death and Possible Rebirth of a San Francisco Dream

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Tim Redmond: Gig Economy Horror Stories Frame Supervisors Hearing