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August 1, 2019

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San Francisco State University's webpage shows the college quietly closed its Confucius Institute in May.

Threatening to halt funding for San Francisco State University’s foreign language training programs, the federal government pressured SFSU into abruptly ending its 14-year Confucius Institute collaboration with China that provided Chinese language classes, summer camps, cultural events and teacher training for thousands in the Bay Area. U.S. officials have pressured 13 universities to close their Confucius Institutes, warning that the schools were exposing themselves to undue Chinese government influence or even espionage efforts.


From the San Francisco Homeless Project:

Setting the bar for its fourth annual SF Homeless Project, The San Francisco Chronicle sent 36 journalists across The City to highlight the homeless epidemic. The individual stories, collected over 24 hours, are compiled into one extensive multimedia presentation. San Francisco Chronicle

Despite The City's biennial homelessness count showing an estimated 30% increase in homelessness citywide, the number of people experiencing homelessness at Golden Gate Park has plummeted from 313 to 83. San Francisco Examiner

Mission Local conducted its own homelessness count and found 261 homeless individuals and 70 tents in the Mission. Mission Local

A Mental Health Board review last September found that female residents renting low-income property management company Jordan Apartments feared for their safety, filing complaints about maintenance issues, health hazards and bullying by management. Last month, the board passed a resolution urging that The City develops a system providing oversight and accountability for such buildings. San Francisco Examiner

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It has been suggested since 1996 that the dilapidated Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. be demolished. Sordid conditions that include exploding toilets, sewage leaking out of the ceilings, rat infestations and asbestos had the Public Defender's office move out years ago. Now, Supervisor Matt Haney is calling for The City to begin taking steps to shut down the building — an uphill battle, given that its jail population must plummet first.


“These are hotels, pure and simple. California law defines rentals over 30 days as housing.”

After Planning Department leaders called into question the business model of luxury apartment rental company Sonder using a loophole in The City’s short term rental law, Supervisor Hillary Ronen called for the Budget Legislative Analyst to issue a report on the impacts of “corporate rentals.” The move is the first step to create legislation to mitigate any negative effects the business may wreck on San Francisco.

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Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced the resolution “Vision Zero on Homicides and Violence resolution,” calling on the mayor and supervisors to identify a violence prevention coordinator for each district. Each coordinator would work with various city departments and community organizations to reduce homicides and violent crimes throughout San Francisco. As of July 19, Walton said, there were 55 shootings resulting in 17 injuries in the Bayview alone. Six supervisors have signed on his resolution as cosponsors. SFBay | San Francisco Examiner

A string of violent crimes against Chinese seniors led Supervisor Gordon Mar months ago to ask police for demographic data on crime victims. On Tuesday, he called San Francisco Police Department’s delay in releasing the information unacceptable. SFPD spokesperson David Stevenson released a statement saying that the department had already started its response. San Francisco Examiner


Fifty-two years ago, the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic opened its doors as America’s first free medical clinic. The clinic’s operator HealthRIGHT360 told SF Weekly it will close both the Haight Ashbury clinic and Tenderloin Health Services due to reduced demand and consolidate them into a new Integrated Care Center on Mission Street and Van Ness Avenue. HealthRIGHT360 will station a medical van for patient outreach by September, and the Homeless Youth Alliance will use the site of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic for its needle exchange and drop-in hours several days a week.

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After the battery of a second Lyft-owned Bay Wheels electric bicycle in the Lower Haight appeared to ignite, the tech behemoth took its fleet off the streets while it investigates the incident. The first reported incident occurred Saturday in South of Market. A witness told the San Francisco Examiner that green fluid had dripped from the battery to the concrete below. Members of the Board of Supervisors have called for a transparent investigation. “At this point, this seems to be an unperfected technology that is not ready for prime time,” one supervisor said.


After pursuing a legal case against the San Francisco Police Department for several years and playing a part in revealing the backlog of hundreds of untested sexual assault kits, sexual assault survivor Heather Marlowe held a press conference to announce her petition to the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that SFPD systemically failed to investigate her rape and other rapes. The Office of the City Attorney called the petition “meritless” in a statement, noting that “every court that has looked at this lawsuit has agreed that City employees did not violate Ms. Marlowe’s constitutional rights.”

The Neighborhoods


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James Hosking/Beautiful by Night
Donna Personna performing at renown drag bar Aunt Charlie's.

"I fell in love with the [perfomers'] diversity… all the various ages, races, and etcetera."

Tonight, the Tenderloin Museum will debut photographer James Hosking’s first solo exhibit, "Beautiful by Night: Photographs of Aunt Charlie’s Lounge,” paying homage to a gay bar known for its drag shows. The exhibit is the first in a series dedicated to Aunt Charlie's and the neighborhood's drag culture.



Between 2010 and 2017 in Census tract 177, an area of the Mission bound by South Van Ness Avenue, 17th Street and Highway 101 with 2,000 residents, the number of people 25- to 34-years old increased by 15%. As a whole, people in that age range in the neighborhood rose by 1%. “No place in the Bay Area has even close to this ratio, and it’s changing the city, and changing the Mission,” a realtor said.



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Pranksters placed red lights over the eyes of the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Ferry Building, creating a sinister appearance. The sculpture, which was installed there in 1988, is often defaced. The Arts Commission forged several extra sets of metal glasses for when they are stolen.


South of Market

Transbay bus service will return to the Salesforce Transit Center. On Aug. 11, the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District — better known as AC Transit — will return to the $2.2 billion transportation hub. No word yet on when buses from Westcat Lynx and Greyhound and Muni's 25-Treasure Island line will join.


Laurel Heights

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Prado Group and SKS Partners
A rendering of the new neighborhood proposed to be built on the UCSF Laurel Heights campus.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Catherine Stefani introduced legislation to change the zoning of the site of the UCSF Laurel Heights campus so it can be replaced with 744 homes. The development plans, which have been in the works for five years, include 186 units of affordable housing for seniors, a child care facility, a new park and 857 units of underground parking.


Glen Park

Today, California's State Historical Resources Commission will decide whether to add Glen Park BART station to the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Ernest Born and opened in 1973, it’s known for its Brutalist architecture.


Hayes Valley

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At 432 Octavia St., San Francisco-based tech giant Twitter installed “#Tweetups,” a repurposed shipping container that allows anyone to video chat with anybody worldwide. On-site interpreters are on hand if needed. The exhibit ends Aug. 5.


South of Market

Mike Sullivan, author of "The Trees of San Francisco" and former Friends of the Urban Forest board president, created a walking tour to introduce the public to all of the trees on the Salesforce Transit Center’s 5.4-acre rooftop park. He says the park’s unique location allows for different plants to thrive, making it the best collection of flora outside Golden Gate Park’s Botanical Garden..

The Columnists
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Heather Knight, On San Francisco: Why Are More Mentally Ill People Wandering San Francisco Streets? Report Gives Answers

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Phil Matier: Quentin Kopp Harrumphs Again, Says He’ll Run Against State Sen. Scott Wiener

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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, On Guard: Homelessness Grows on San Francisco’s Sleepy West Side

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Robyn Purchia, Green Space: Researchers Set Out to Map San Francisco’s Past

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Broke-Ass Stuart, Broke-Ass City: Missing the Days When a Writer Could Just be a Writer

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Kelly Dessaint, I Drive SF: Working SFO: The Long and Short of It

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