This San Francisco cityscape logo

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. David Mamaril Horowitz edited today’s edition.

Please share it with a friend. We rely on word of mouth.

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
U.S. Department of State
San Francisco Chief of Police Bill Scott

The San Francisco Police Department was found to be “not in substantial compliance” with six of 13 recommendations initially made by the U.S. Department of Justice in a reform process that began in 2016.

In December, the California Department of Justice, which replaced the U.S. DOJ in overseeing the process, sent a summary of its department review to SFPD Chief Bill Scott.

The six recommendations concern prohibiting a dangerous chokehold previously used by officers, the communicating and reporting around officer-involved shootings and educating the public about how to report officer misconduct.

"[B]ecause several of the packages that were submitted to us do not currently contain a plan or any information concerning review loops or audits, the Cal DOJ is unable to designate some of the recommendations as being substantially compliant," wrote Nancy A. Beninati, the supervising deputy attorney general.

The U.S. DOJ previously made 272 recommendations to SFPD in a reform process sparked by controversial police shootings and a scandal where 14 police officers were found exchanging racist and homophobic text messages.

In December, delays in Muni’s subway system nearly tripled despite breakdowns and “infrastructure incidents" dropping by half.

Service will be improved by turning around outbound trains faster at Embarcadero Station, allowing inspectors to manually expedite outbound trains leaving West Portal Station, positioning standby trains at the Cameron Beach Yard and on Third Street and by giving train operators and control center staff the ability to communicate better with riders through pre-programmed announcements.

+ Muni riders wish the new fleet of streetcars had seats equipped with “butt dents” to prevent sliding. SFGate


City College of San Francisco’s new software for anything from record-keeping to registration prevented many students from registering for classes on their first day of school. The system, called Banner 9, has received backlash from students, staff and faculty alike since the decision to implement it just two weeks before registration.

Since November, the college community has coped with a fusillade of malfunctions related to employee timesheets, access to student transcripts, class enrollment and much more. From Jan. 10 to 16, the software prompted 402 calls related to online registration.

CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha stated that the older software would have no longer be supported after Dec. 31.


After being absent from the public eye for 77 years, a wooden scale model of San Francisco will be shown at the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. All 27 SFPL branches will each display a segment of the model that pertains to its own area.

Thirty-seven by 41 feet assembled, the model took 300 craftspeople two years to build. Every San Francisco building from 1938 is carved into the 1940-built display, down to its shape and color. The project was suggested by San Francisco architect Timothy Pflueger and commissioned by the City Planning Commission to give artists work during the Great Depression.

The installation, named “Public Knowledge: Take Part,” will go live on Jan. 25 and be open to the public until March 25.


Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the undocumented immigrant who was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, appealed his conviction for illegally possessing a weapon with the First District Court of Appeal. He is jailed awaiting deportation and possible federal prosecution.


Yesterday, on its first day taking applications, 125 out-of-work Chariot drivers signed up for CityDrive, a free new program for quickly training San Franciscans how to drive commuter shuttles, tour buses and Muni buses. The program is a bid to help solve the Muni operator shortage.


On Tuesday, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee appointed his fellow supervisors to the body’s five committees. Each committee chair will be a progressive when the appointments go into effect on Jan. 28.


Calling the opportunity created by Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” District Three Supervisor Aaron Peskin asked Controller Ben Rosenfield to determine whether part of a $415 million windfall The City received from the state could be used toward purchasing a portion of the beleaguered company to create a public power system.

Proposition A, a June ballot initiative that would let the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to sell bonds to pay for clean-energy projects, could also provide funds.


This Saturday, Women’s Marches will be held across the Bay Area. San Francisco’s will start with a rally at Civic Center Plaza at 11:30 a.m. The march will begin at 1:30 p.m. down Market Street to Embarcadero Plaza.

The Neighborhoods

South of Market

Thirty-seven-year-old Mustapha Math pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges and one misdemeanor charge related to making and setting off an explosive device in an alley beside a grocery store and cafe on Sunday, injuring no one but shattering dozens of small window panes.

San Francisco police discovered ingredients for making the device in Math’s residence, according to the Office of the District Attorney. Deputy Public Defender Michelle Tong, Math’s attorney, argued in court that Math’s neighbor was responsible.

The criminal complaint alleges Math also smuggled heroin into a jail or prison the same day he was booked into San Francisco County Jail.



Is thrifting — shopping for vintage goods — all but dead? Style reporter Tony Bravo takes a pulse.



The tail of a whale, with four-foot-wide flukes, that washed up on Ocean Beach most likely belonged to a 32-foot adolescent humpback found on the surf at Fort Funston in late September, according to experts.

It’s a federal offense to take dead marine mammal parts. When stranded marine mammals are discovered, call the Stranding Network at (415) 379-5381.


Civic Center

The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office identified a woman who fell to her death on the tracks of Van Ness Station Monday evening as 32-year-old San Francisco resident Eunice Kang.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates the station, stated that Kang entered Van Ness station, climbed over the railing and fell from the mezzanine onto the trackway. An investigation is ongoing.


Twin Peaks

Last month, the San Francisco Planning Commission ordered that real estate speculator Ross Johnston build a replica of the 1935 home designed by Richard Neutra that he illegally demolished. Johnston appealed. Now, the Board of Supervisors will weigh in.



A dozen tenants living in a three-unit Queen Anne revival victorian on Folsom and 24th streets, known for housing creative individuals, are fighting evictions by a real estate speculator that purchased the building in 2016. The tenants are being helped by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. But the eviction deadline is Jan. 22.



On Tuesday, 40-year-old Gabriel Powell was identified as the victim of a Saturday shooting. He was shot while paying respects to his friend, who was killed by gunfire in nearly the same spot 18 hours earlier. Powell, a father of four who worked as a painter, was not involved in gangs, his son Edward said.

There have been no arrests. Police are investigating whether the shootings are connected.

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

Broke-Ass Stuart: Manny’s is a Perfect Business for the Mission

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Kelly Dessaint, I Drive SF: The Scourge of the Surge

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Phil Matier: San Francisco’s Van Ness Project Nearly Two Years Behind Schedule, Millions in Cost Overruns

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Tim Redmond: A Progressive Candidate Files for District Attorney, Opening Up the 2019 Race

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Robyn Purchia, Green Space: It’s Time for Pelosi to Endorse the Green New Deal

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Joe Eskenazi: Milk Club President, Alleging ‘White Supremacism,’ Calls on Opponents of Her Chosen Candidates to Quit

Now Read This

The West Coast Jazz Revival City Journal