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April 11, 2019

Good Thursday morning!

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San Francisco County Transit Authority

“That’s hundreds of projects that could be built in every part of the state that will not be built because they’re paying for a project in San Francisco that’s two to three times as much as it should have been,” a union representative for engineers said.

Now $208 million over budget and more than two years late, the $1.1 billion Presidio Parkway project is under criticism by California transportation commissioners.

The issue stems from the use of private financing for the public infrastructure project.

The Associated Press obtained FBI files pertaining to a 4-year investigation of the late power broker Rose Pak’s purchase of a condominium in 2002 utilizing City Hall’s Below Market Rate Ownership Program despite owning two homes elsewhere in the Bay Area. The probe was closed in 2009 after reviewing her finances, tax returns and The City's affordable housing program, and after the 5-year statute of limitations expired.

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Netflix released the trailer for the reboot of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. In the first episode, actress Laura Linney once again stars as Mary Ann Singleton, who returns to the house on Barbary Lane to reunite with her daughter and ex-husband. The series debuts in June.


San Francisco’s juvenile hall may close by 2021, with supervisors introducing legislation on Tuesday to replace it with community-based alternatives. The legislation was spurred by a San Francisco Chronicle report documenting a plunge in serious youth crime that left the 375 Woodside Ave. facility typically two-thirds empty while costing $280,000 per child annually.

District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton said they would also provide “educational support, mental health support and a real opportunity and focus on rehabilitation and leading young people towards success.” Rev. Amos Brown, also the president of the local chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, protested the legislation.


An adult with measles circulated The City between April 1 and 3, prompting San Francisco Department of Public Health officials to release a timeline indicating where the person went. There is no outbreak and the risk to the public is low, but officials warn that unvaccinated children, those born in or before 1957, and people with severely weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.

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Joe Mabel/CC-BY-SA-3.0
The entrance to Pacific Gas & Electric's Market Street office building.

While the bankrupt San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric held a hearing to pay $235 million in employee bonuses, a wildfire victims’ attorney said the utility is under investigation for possible criminal conduct in starting the Camp Fire. PG&E has already filed for bankruptcy protection due to potential liabilities from the fire, possibly compromising its ability to pay in full victims of the blaze, which killed 85 people and burned much of Paradise to the ground.


Since the passage of Proposition C, San Francisco has been collecting a homeless relief tax from companies making $50 million or more in a pot estimated to be worth $300 million annually. Yet, the measure is caught up in litigation, preventing The City from spending any of it for the fear or having to refund the tax.

On Tuesday, San Francisco supervisors passed a measure to collect money quicker by allowing those companies to gamble on the litigation: They may voluntarily give up any potential refund in return for a 10-percent Proposition C tax break.


As the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency attempts to change from the top down to address claims of harassment and discrimination, four female fare inspectors are alleging in court that fare inspection unit manager Nelson Williams verbally and physically harassed them. One complaint accuses him of fostering a workplace culture that treats women like second-class citizens. Williams made headlines in 2004 for allegedly threatening a sergeant and his mother.

The Neighborhoods


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Recreation and Parks Department
A rendering of the new Panhandle Playground.

A $3.2 million renovation of the Panhandle Playground began earlier this week. The children’s play space in Panhandle Park will feature a sandbox, climbing structures, toddler seesaws, swings and interactive musical and sound elements. It’s expected to be completed by winter.



Mayor London Breed, District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced “switchbacks” — when riders are forced to disembark and wait for another streetcar before reaching their destination — on the T-Third Line. “We not only need to end switchbacks, we need to do more to invest in our transportation infrastructure so that our trains and buses are consistently on time and reliable,” Breed announced in a statement.


East Cut

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Transbay Joint Powers Authority
A rendering detailing how the girders will be repaired.

While no opening date has been announced, repairs for the Transbay Transit Center are moving along quicker than anticipated. Four-inch-thick steel plates will be used to repair damaged girders that workers discovered on Sept. 25, forcing the closure of the transit hub.



Last week, Masood Samereie became the new president of the Castro Merchants, the neighborhood's business advocacy organization. A realtor by trade, Samereie plans to move to the neighborhood from San Mateo. He pledged to work on storefront vacancies and homelessness.


South of Market

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San Francisco Planning Department
A rendering of the defeated housing project.

In a 10-0 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejected a 63-unit apartment complex that included 15 below-market-rate units because it would cast an evening shadow on Victoria Manalo Draves Park.


East Cut

A privately-owned public open space, or POPO, featuring grassy knolls, benches and many lamp posts will open beside the Facebook’s new office in June. It’s one of the latest POPOs in the neighborhood.


Ocean View

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A $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the killer of Keron Lamotte was issued by the San Francisco Police Department. Lamotte was fatally shot on Oct. 7, 2016, while watching a muralist work on a storefront at Broad Street and Plymouth Avenue.


South of Market

The cost of renting, fixing and furnishing interim office space for city agencies to use while the seismically unsound Hall of Justice is rebuilt has increased by millions of dollars. A review of the move has been revealed to cost $13.3 million more than originally estimated.

The Columnists
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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: Overdue Praise for San Francisco’s Many-Splendored Library

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Robyn Purchia, Green Space: It’s Time to Reconsider Risky Plan to Eradicate Rodents on the Farallones

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Breed Asks Official to Resign Amid Debate Over Closing Juvenile Hall

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Broke-Ass Stuart, Broke-Ass City: A Few Words About Bar Etiquette

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Kelly Dessaint, I Drive SF: I’ll Never Forget My First Wasted Girl