This San Francisco cityscape logo

September 3, 2019

Good Tuesday! (Was this email forwarded to you? Here's the sign-up page.)

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
A pedestrian scramble at Clay and Kearny streets where people are allowed to cross in every direction.

“This year we have been reminded far too often that we have so much more work to do to reduce traffic fatalities in our City and make our streets safe.”

Twenty-three pedestrians and bicyclists have been killed on The City’s streets so far this year. To stem the tide, Mayor London Breed announced pedestrian safety initiatives such as installing modern crosswalk signals, restricting right turns at red lights and adding time to countdown signals at pedestrian crosswalks. San Francisco Examiner | SFBay

Last month, SamTrans launched the first of six new bus lines to serve commuters who travel between the Financial District and cities in San Mateo County. San Francisco Chronicle


"This is something that will protect public safety while protecting the rights of the individuals that are charged with crimes.”

Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced a settlement with the national law nonprofit Equal Justice Under Law in the multi-year legal battle over eliminating pre-arraignment cash bail schedule in San Francisco. The proposed agreement, which must go before a federal court and the Board of Supervisors for approvals, would require the Sheriff's Department to perform a public safety assessment of detainees within eight hours of the jail confirming their identity.

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
San Francisco Chronicle

This year’s Fogust came to a close last week, and it was hit or miss. Keep better tabs on The City’s famous fog with the San Francisco Chronicle’s new Bay Area Fog Tracker. Aside from providing a nifty view of the fog and clouds, it pulls quotes from the late Chronicle and Examiner columnist Herb Caen.


Last week, the California First District Court of Appeal overturned the sole conviction against Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, who was acquitted of murder in the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle on the Embarcadero. The court reversed the November 2017 verdict that found him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. However, he is in federal custody on related charges.

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Bill Track 50

San Francisco-based Uber, Lyft and DoorDash vowed to deposit $30 million each to fund a 2020 ballot measure if lawmakers pass a bill to reclassify all sorts of workers as employees instead of independent contractors in a way that is unfavorable to the tech companies. Assembly Bill 5 would force companies to offer minimum wage, overtime pay, contributions to Social Security and Medicare as well as other benefits they lack. An upside to the bill is recoupling the $7 billion California loses a year in payroll tax revenue from worker misclassification.


“These are the beds that are most in need in our system — the beds for the sickest who are not able to care for themselves for the long term.”

Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney pledged to hold a public hearing later this month on the elimination of 41 residential treatment beds for mental health patients at San Francisco General Hospital. The pair is leading a campaign to create a new mental health system for The City that may go before the electorate as soon as March.


“Black life doesn’t thrive in this city. And as a black person, it’s hard to love a place that doesn’t seem to love your people back.”

San Francisco Chronicle
reporter Justin Phillips reflected on his documentation of homelessness in the Tenderloin. African American people account for 37% of San Francisco’s unhoused individuals, despite comprising 5% of the population. Phillips, a black reporter, is no stranger to covering catastrophes — but reporting on this crisis has drastically altered his perception. San Francisco Chronicle

John "Swan" Ratliff, an unhoused poet and 16th and Mission fixture, has returned to the streets after being booted from a single-room occupancy hotel for doing what he loves most — feeding pigeons. MIssion Local

The Neighborhoods

Twin Peaks

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
The Largent House in 2014.

The Planning Commission reversed its order requiring a property owner build an “exact replica” of the historic the Largent House, which had been illegally demolished, to sidestep a $10 million lawsuit. The commission approved a two-unit building for the site but without the roof deck.


Pacific Heights

"We operate as independent fact finders with a mandate to impartially gather facts, to assess conduct, and to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees that will promote a safe and secure environment for every student."

SFist obtained a letter from attorneys seeking information for their investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by faculty at the prestigious University High School.


South of Market

A settlement of numerous lawsuits intending to fix the infamous Millennium Tower was announced on Wednesday, one day after an expensive plan to bolster the leaning building was revealed. No word yet on the amount of the settlement.



block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''
Planning Department
The Upper Yard shown in red.

The Planning Commission unanimously advanced a plan to turn the Upper Yard — a parking lot used by Muni employees beside the Balboa Park BART Station — into a temporary homeless center exclusively for people who are living out of their vehicles. It can hold 30 vehicles at a time for the program’s participants. Six hundred people were found living in their vehicles during the last homeless Point-in-Time Count.


Mission Bay

The San Francisco Examiner surveyed car garages near Chase Center to determine how many will provide parking for attendees of games and events. They found that the massive garages of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will only provide parking for Warriors players, their immediate support staff and a small number of high-spending ticket holders, taking hundreds if not thousands of parking stalls out of use.



block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

The stream will continue. After the San Francisco FogCam's creators announced their intention to end what is widely believed to be the longest-running livestream, San Francisco State University has agreed to take it over. FogCam will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sept. 30.



Harry Bridges Plaza, the area in front of the Ferry Building often crowded with buskers and skaters, is still without a statue of its labor leader namesake 20 years after its dedication. After fits and starts, retired members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are working to raise the money to erect the monument.

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

Heather Knight, On San Francisco: Deaths On San Francisco's Streets Are Up. Traffic Enforcement Is Down. ‘It’s Hard To Believe These Aren’t Related’

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Phil Matier: Campos Listens To Unions, Pulls Back Boycott Over Wilsey’s GOP Ties

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Willie Brown, Willie’s World: San Francisco Streets Are A Tragedy Waiting To Happen. Do We Have The Will To Head It Off?

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Carl Nolte, Native Son: The Embarcadero: Where Fake San Francisco And Old San Francisco Collide

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Joe Eskenazi: San Francisco Officials Willfully Kept 45 Beds To House Mentally Ill Empty — But Falsely Told Staff It Was Because They Were ‘On Probation’

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Feinstein Quietly Comes Out Against JUUL-Backed Vaping Ballot Measure

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Tim Redmond: Uber, Lyft And Amazon Make San Francisco’s Environmental Planning Irrelevant

block.alt_text ? block.alt_text : ''

Denise Sullivan, S.F. Lives: Carrying The Torch For His Latino Ancestors

And Here We Are ...

We need your help to grow. Please share This San Francisco. Here's the link to the sign-up page.