This San Francisco cityscape logo

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Jan. 22.

— Public school student absenteeism is rising.

— The T-Third streetcar line is closing until March.

— Stormy Daniels schedules return to San Francisco.

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

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Wikimedia Commons
Senator Kamala Harris

After months of speculation, Senator Kamala Harris entered the crowded race for the White House.

Appearing on “Good Morning America” yesterday to promote her new memoir, Harris, 54, announced that she will run for president in 2020, and that she will hold a rally in her hometown, Oakland, at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on Sunday.

The former California Attorney General and San Francisco District Attorney is the second black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Today, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will close the T-Third train line until the end of March to expand the Third Street boarding platforms between South and 16th streets in advance of the increased number of riders brought by the soon-to-open Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center.

Shuttle buses will replace the trains, and the E-Embarcadero trains and 83X-Mid-Market buses will be out of service. K-Ingleside trains will only operate between Balboa Park and Embarcadero stations.

  

Mayor London Breed and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi marched alongside hundreds of people in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. After the arrival of the Caltrain Norcal MLK Celebration Train from San Jose at 4th and King Street Station, participants marched to Yerba Buena Gardens for a rally.

  

Proponents of the City’s renewable energy program CleanPowerSF are calling for the expansion of local renewable energy projects as part of a “local version of a green new deal.”

The creation of CleanPowerSF’s first capital plan will begin in July and go before the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in January 2020. But the program’s supporters are advocating for quicker progress, concerned that efforts to install renewable energy projects will be delayed amid the troubles of Pacific Gas & Electric and the bid for a public power system.

  

Violent crime and several categories of theft dropped significantly in 2018, according statistics released Thursday by the San Francisco Police Department.

There was a 37 percent decrease in homicides by firearms and a 30 percent decrease in non-fatal shootings. Police seized 25 percent more firearms than they did in 2017. Homicides dropped 18 percent altogether. Vehicle burglaries dropped 17 percent, automobile thefts 13 percent and larceny theft 10 percent.

  

The California Public Utilities Commission fined the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency $120,000 after finding that Muni operators violated regulations for handling and storing cell phones 16 times between October 2017 and July 2018.

None of the violations cited an operator for using a cellphone while driving. SFMTA accepted the findings and paid the fine.

  

A total lunar eclipse coincided with the first supermoon of the year, visible to Bay Area stargazers once the sky cleared Sunday night. There won’t be another until 2021.

  

The number of students in San Francisco public schools who miss 10 percent or more of the school year hit a three-year high in the fall of 2018. 11 percent of students were chronically absent. 29 percent of African-American students regularly missed school. School Board commissioners are calling for better tracking and case management to curb the absenteeism.

  

Despite months of controversies concerning the inclusivity and diversity of the Women’s March movement, thousands of protesters crowded the Civic Center Plaza on Saturday to support reproductive rights and social justice.

Mayor London Breed, Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee and a host of community organizers and civil rights activists delivered the keynote speeches.

  

On Saturday, Hunters Point residents urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to rescind a contract worth as much as $250 million awarded to a company linked to the soil testing scandal at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery committee contracted Tetra Tech, Inc. to manage the cleanup of wildfire debris from Butte County, which was devastated last November in California’s deadliest blaze.

Tetra Tech, Inc. is the owner of Tetra Tech EC, Inc., which was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for the soil testing scandal last week.

  
The Neighborhoods

South of Market

As Pacific Gas & Electric struggles to cover its potential $30 billion in liabilities from two years of devastating wildfires that authorities say it caused in part, selling its valuable real estate may be on the table.

Experts estimate its 1.7 million-square-foot headquarters could sell for $1,000 per square foot for a total of more than $1 billion in The City’s expensive office space market.

  

Mission

Last week, the nonprofit San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus announced it would open a national center devoted to LGBTQ arts and culture in a $9.6 million, four-story building on the 100 block of Valencia Street.

The 23,000-square-foot National LGBTQ Center for the Arts will have facilities for recording, rehearsing, performances and meetings. The organization will soon launch a fundraising campaign for renovating the building.

  

Marina

In June, adult film actress Stormy Daniels will return to San Francisco to appear on “Savage Love Live,” the weekly call-in sex advice podcast by nationally syndicated columnist Dan Savage.

The taping will be held at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. San Francisco singer-songwriter Rachel Lark will also be featured.

  

Hayes Valley

On Jan. 11, San Francisco Public Works designated 29 ficus trees to be removed along Octavia Boulevard, otherwise structural flaws may lead to branches falling off or the trees toppling over.

While aware of the need to maintain public safety, Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association President Gail Baugh expressed concern about the lack of a replacement plan. Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said there were no funds to plant new trees.

  

Fisherman’s Wharf

1890s-built Ghirardelli Square, once home to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, became a shopping center after its namesake chocolatier left for San Leandro in the 1960s. Like many others, striking the right balance of businesses was difficult, leaving many vacancies. Now, with the addition of several new culinary ventures, the historic brick complex is nearly full, even featuring a 12,000-square-foot brewery complete with a beer garden.

  

South of Market

Last week, Mayor London Breed introduced an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors that would grant a major encroachment permit for the construction of a leather-themed parklet dubbed Eagle Plaza. Its namesake is the Eagle bar, a LGBTQ cultural heritage site and center of the leather scene. Work is expected to begin in March.

  

Bernal Heights

The Arts Commission’s Visual Arts Committee unanimously approved the design of a proposed memorial for Alex Nieto, the 27-year-old City College of San Francisco student who was shot and killed by police in Bernal Heights Park in March 2014.

The memorial, created in a community process led by artist Josué Rojas and architect Armando Vasquez, may be ready this summer for installation.

  

South of Market

Although no reopening date has been established for the damaged Transbay Transit Center, its shuttering has saved the Transbay Joint Powers Authority $550,000 every month in reduced operation costs.

  

Excelsior

The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living is expanding, building 190 senior housing units and a 45,000-square-foot community center. The project also includes a new commercial space facing Mission Street.

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

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: San Francisco Rolled Out 25 Extra Mats for 4,200 Homeless People During Storm

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Heather Knight, On San Francisco: San Francisco General’s Insured Patients Suffer Further Trauma When Bill Arrives

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Tim Redmond: Some Sanity — and Insanity — at the Planning Commission

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Joel Engardio: In Search of Database Justice

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Joe Eskenazi: The Weaker People Think Norman Yee is, the Stronger He Becomes

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Phil Matier: Muni Drivers Want Protection from Assaults, Get Sensitivity Training Instead

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Carl Nolte, Native Son: A Good Drenching Can be Just Ducky for San Francisco’s Streets, Adventurers

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Willie Brown, Willie’s World: Free Advice to California Gov. Gavin Newsom: Stay Away from Teachers Strike

  
block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Tim Redmond, The Agenda: Building Momentum and the Women’s March

  
Check It Out


Journalist and author Alexis Madrigal is creating a community archive of documents focused on race and housing in the Bay Area.