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April 16, 2019

Good Tuesday!

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Despite setting up a dedicated poop patrol and more public restrooms, City Hall is on track to have the same rate of human waste on the streets as it did last year, numbers crunched by OpenTheBooks show.

In 2018, there were 28,084 reports of human waste in the public right of way, or approximately 7,021 per quarter. In the first quarter of 2019, there were 6,676 reports, a difference of 345 reports.

Some neighborhoods are impacted more than others. Since 2008, the Tenderloin had 30,863 reports, South of Market had 23,599 reports and the Mission had 19,150 reports.

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BART leader Grace Crunican will retire in July.

“This is a big surprise to us.”

BART General Manager Grace Crunican announced her retirement, surprising a number of the agency’s elected Board of Directors. Crunican is leaving the agency as it grapples with policing and system modernization challenges but stands in a much better financial position than it’s been in years. July 6 will be here last day.

BART's latest budget proposal proposes $2 million more for police officers
and $500,000 more for fare inspectors. Some BART directors believe unarmed ambassadors would be better. San Francisco Examiner


Cash is still king in San Francisco, where city officials are expected to put an end to the cashless brick-and-mortar business model for discriminating against those without bank accounts. Amazon Go’s two cashless stores in San Francisco are already working toward accepting cash following the recent passage of similar bans in New Jersey and Philadelphia. The Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will vote April 25 on whether to send the bill to the Board of Supervisors. Businesses would have 90 days to comply.

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San Francisco Public Works
The Navigation Center in the Mission.

District Six Supervisor Matt Haney announced Thursday a plan requiring each of San Francisco’s 11 supervisorial districts to have a Navigation Center. If passed, every district without a center would need to open one within 30 months. “Homelessness is a citywide crisis. Every neighborhood and every elected official needs to step up. We have urgency across the city, and now we need citywide solutions,” Haney said.

The announcement came as Mayor London Breed struggles to win support from a community divided over her proposed homeless shelter at the Embarcadero waterfront, which is in Haney’s district.


Despite spending almost $400 million annually on a behavioral health care system, San Francisco doesn't quite know how to adequately address the needs of its many mentally distressed people who don’t have a place to stay. Mayor London Breed recently appointed Dr. Anton Nigusse Bland, the former medical director of Psychiatric Emergency Services at San Francisco General Hospital, to review and improve the tangled web of behavioral services that comprises about 2,000 beds and more than 300 programs.

“Where do we invest our dollars? How do we not put someone back out onto the street?” District Two Supervisor Catherine Stefani asked. “Just tell us what you need, and then we’ll do everything we can to try to get it.”

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torbakhopper/ CC-BY-2.0

In May, 15 San Francisco police officers will join a motorcycle training academy to prepare for joining the department’s Traffic Company, which was found to have a record-low 37 officers in its ranks last year. District One Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer said Traffic Company could have 80 officers in two to three years.


Carmen Palarca's board-and-care home near Golden Gate Park is set to shutter this summer. Tom Gray, 72, a patient of Palarca’s with schizophrenia, will lose his home of 11 years. Since 2012, San Francisco has lost more than one-third of its mental health facilities for people under 60, and one-fourth of those serving older clients. As housing values swell and the minimum wage peaks, the loss of board-and-care homes reflects a statewide trend devastating thousands who make little income and cope with serious mental illnesses.

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San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

E-scooter companies Scoot and Skip may double their fleets to 2,500 scooters if more low-income people sign up for their discounted payment programs. The two companies' riders are 63 percent white, 82 percent male and 68 percent with annual incomes of more than $100,000. Just 78 of around 39,000 Skip customers have signed up for the discounted payment program. Scoot, which has 68 low-income customers signed up for it, did not release how many customers use its e-scooters but has said the number is lower than Skip's.

Ford GoBike has removed 1,000 electric-assist bicycles from The City’s streets
in response to rider complaints that they have an unexpectedly strong braking force, putting customers at risk of a fall, according to the company. San Francisco Examiner


Two business interest groups and one anti-tax organization have filed a lawsuit over Proposition W, a modest gross receipts tax on corporate revenue worth $50 million or more. Although the measure received 61 percent of the San Francisco vote, the three groups contend that the proposition violates the state constitution for not earning 66 percent of the vote, as required of “special” taxes dedicated to a specific purpose. However, in 2017, the city attorney's office lowered the bar when a memo interpreted that tax raises placed on the ballot by citizens require only a simple majority to pass.

The Neighborhoods

Mission Bay

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The San Francisco Giants defeated the Colorado Rockies 3-2 in an 18-inning, 5-and-a-half-hour game and then set off victory fireworks — at 1 a.m. Although the few fans who stayed at Oracle Park into the wee hours of the morning may have been pleased, a number of irate neighbors took to the internet to express their displeasure with the noise.



A state legislator’s effort to mandate that all California Community Colleges allow homeless students to park overnight on campus has been met by a flurry of questions by City College of San Francisco administrators and trustees. The college, which has acres of parking at its flagship Ocean campus, is facing a $31 million budget deficit and cannot afford to offer the services needed to manage such a new program.



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San Francisco Planning Department
A rendering of the Excelsior's first large housing development in a decade.

The San Francisco Planning Commission approved a 116-unit housing development on Cayuga Avenue two blocks west of Mission Street that will have 63 below-market-rate units despite not being required to have that many by law. Developer Siavash Tahbazof wants the development to be a legacy project, District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai said.



Photographer Samuele Marro captured images of Saturday’s Cesar Chavez Day Festival, an annual celebration held on 24th Street to honor the labor rights pioneer. Take a look.



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San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
An L-Taraval streetcar with its operators in April 1940.

Muni’s L-Taraval streetcar line celebrated its centennial on April 12. Before its existence, the Sunset was sand dunes. The City and County of San Francisco invested in building the line to turn the western neighborhoods into a new community.



The 10th annual Goat Festival at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was held over the weekend. Two-hundred individuals bought $5 tickets to spend quality time with five baby goats. The fast-selling tickets sold out weeks in advance, according to organizers.


Crocker Amazon

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San Francisco Police Department
Police-worn body camera footage from the shootout inside Amazon Barber Shop.

Amazon Barber Shop barbers Ernest “Doc” Conway and Eid Abdelwahhab are suing the City and County of San Francisco for more than $25,000 in damages, claiming  San Francisco police officers Tess Casey and Kevin Endo acted negligently when pursuing an armed suspect. Both were injured in a March 21, 2018, shootout inside the shop that killed 21-year-old suspect Jehad Eid.


Civic Center

Hundreds of toddlers and preschoolers with their parents and teachers demonstrated outside the California State Building in a call for Gov. Gavin Newsom to increase funding for early care and education programs. Called “Walk Around the Block,” the event’s purpose was to demand higher wages for educators and increased subsidies for childcare for parents of children under 3 years old.

The Columnists
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Tim Redmond: Tenant Representation and Spy Technology

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Joe Eskenazi: Shamann Walton’s Deeply Personal Quest to Shut Down Juvenile Hall

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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: In San Francisco Sex-Trafficking Case, Why Would Judge Even Consider Freeing Defendant?

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: JUUL Hires Former Dueling Campaign Consultants, Hinting at Big-Money Ballot Fight to Come Over Vape Ban

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Denise Sullivan, S.F. Lives: Remembering Los Siete and the Mission District’s Identity

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Carl Nolte, Native Son: San Francisco’s Past Revealed By a Walk on Its Streets

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Willie Brown, Willie’s World: Downtown San Francisco Traffic is Insane. Maybe it’s Time to Make Drivers Pay