Today’s Stories (Last updated December 16, 06:06 PM)

Dec
16
Finding the Cracks in the System
by Owen Stephens

Three individuals were arrested for allegedly selling drugs from the window of an RV parked on Treat Avenue in the Mission District, complete with lookouts and surveillance cameras a

... more

Three individuals were arrested for allegedly selling drugs from the window of an RV parked on Treat Avenue in the Mission District, complete with lookouts and surveillance cameras after community members posted surveillance cameras of their own.

The Transbay Transit Center may be closed an additional six-months as the MTC continues to determine the extent of repairs needed after cracks were found in major support beams.

Meanwhile, the late Judge William Newsom was registered to vote at his friends home, rather than his own, in Sunday’s Matier & Ross.

more
Alleged meth mobile in Mission: Man charged with dealing drugs from RV
Chronicle (12/16/2018)
Dec
16
Bay Area House Democrats Take On Feinstein Over Water Bill
by Owen Stephens
Senator Feinstein is trying to extend the controversial Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act through 2028, but she has not won over many Bay Area House Democrats, inc... more
Senator Feinstein is trying to extend the controversial Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act through 2028, but she has not won over many Bay Area House Democrats, including Reps. Jared Huffman, Anna Eschoo, Mark DeSaulnier, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier and Mike Thompson. At issue are hundreds of millions of dollars for new water projects across the West, and the ability to give water managers greater flexibility for moving supplies from the north to cities and farms in the south. Opponents want to stop decades of such transfers that have decimated the health or the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. more
Dec
16
Murder of Homeless May Be Connected
by Owen Stephens
A man arrested for kicking a homeless man laying in the street last May has been linked with the killing a homeless man found beaten to death in Chinatown last April. more
A man arrested for kicking a homeless man laying in the street last May has been linked with the killing a homeless man found beaten to death in Chinatown last April. more
Man Accused of Brutally Kicking Homeless Man May Have Killed Another
SF Weekly (12/16/2018)
Man accused of kicking homeless man linked to fatal beating in Chinatown
Examiner (12/16/2018)
Dec
16
Effort to Remove Offensive Mural from SF High School
by Owen Stephens
Native American parents and advocates called for the removal of a 1932 mural inside George Washington High School that depicts white colonizers stepping over the dead bodies of indig... more
Native American parents and advocates called for the removal of a 1932 mural inside George Washington High School that depicts white colonizers stepping over the dead bodies of indigenous people. They would also like to see curriculum updated to remove inaccurate and racist messaging. more
Native American parents, teachers want new textbooks, offensive colonization mural in high school removed
Examiner (12/16/2018)
Dec
16
Food Deserts of San Francisco
by Owen Stephens
The new development at 450 Folsom Street approved 548 housing units and retail space for a grocery store. Now developers are asking San Francisco Commission on Community Investment a... more
The new development at 450 Folsom Street approved 548 housing units and retail space for a grocery store. Now developers are asking San Francisco Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure permission to drop plans for the store claiming that no grocers are interested. The commission will vote on the request this Tuesday. more
SF to release Transbay housing developer from grocery store commitment
Examiner (12/16/2018)
Dec
16
More Zip to Scale SF Hills
by Owen Stephens
With SFMTA support, Ford E-bikes has significantly increased the number of battery-powered bikes on the streets of San Francisco as part of the last-mile transit renaissance. more
With SFMTA support, Ford E-bikes has significantly increased the number of battery-powered bikes on the streets of San Francisco as part of the last-mile transit renaissance. more
Ford GoBike will boost fleet of electric bikes in SF from 250 to 800
Chronicle (12/16/2018)
Today’s Suspects Updater
Owen Stephens
Owen is an environmental attorney, aerialist, community organizer, public servant, political knower of things, and all-around-do-gooder.

In the Past Week…

Dec
15
Police Shootings Front and Center at Law Enforcement Panel
by Carrie McFadden
San Francisco's four top law enforcement officials - District Attorney George Gascon, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, and SFPD Chief Bill Scott - were part of a ... more
San Francisco's four top law enforcement officials - District Attorney George Gascon, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, and SFPD Chief Bill Scott - were part of a panel on race and justice in the Bay Area, hosted by The Atlantic. 

Unsurprisingly, the topic of police shootings was raised. Adachi came out of the gate by calling the system "broken," and shared his frustrations at the lack of charges filed against officers responsible for shooting deaths. 

Gascon countered by pointing out that the law makes it very difficult to charge officers, and by reminding Adachi that he himself had called the shooting of Mario Woods in 2015 "unethical". more
SF's top law enforcement officials square off over police shootings
Mission Local (12/14/2018)
Dec
15
CPUC Says PG&E Falsified Gas Safety Records
by Carrie McFadden
The hits just keep on coming for PG&E: the California Public Utilities Commission opened up an investigation into the utility, accusing it of falsifying gas records and violating saf... more
The hits just keep on coming for PG&E: the California Public Utilities Commission opened up an investigation into the utility, accusing it of falsifying gas records and violating safety standards between 2012-2017. more
Regulators say PG&E falsified gas safety records
Chronicle (12/14/2018)
Dec
15
Pelosi to Trump: (No) Thank U, Next
by Carrie McFadden
Willie Brown shares his thoughts on the Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump showdown over immigration in the White House this week. (Mike Pence was apparently there, too, but seemed to be cat... more
Willie Brown shares his thoughts on the Pelosi, Schumer, and Trump showdown over immigration in the White House this week. (Mike Pence was apparently there, too, but seemed to be catching up on his ZZZs rather than participating.)

Pelosi held her own and then some, standing up to Trump as she and Schumer were able to get him to admit, in front of the news crews he'd invited because everything under this administration is just another version of reality TV, that he would "own" the government shutdown if it does indeed come to that.

Brown's column also discusses the 2020 Democratic presidential field, and remembrances of the late Mayor Lee and Judge William Newsom, father of the Governor-Elect. more
Willie's World - Trashing Trump: Pelosi takes ownership of the president
Chronicle (12/15/2018)
Dec
15
PG&E to Shut Off Lines During High Wildfire Risk Times
by Carrie McFadden
PG&E announced earlier this year that it would engage in a policy of "intentional shutoffs" for certain power lines in times of high wildfire risk. While this policy had previously o... more
PG&E announced earlier this year that it would engage in a policy of "intentional shutoffs" for certain power lines in times of high wildfire risk. While this policy had previously only dealt with lower-voltage distribution lines, the Camp Fire may have changed that.

Now, PG&E will consider shutting off the higher-voltage lines, where previously it had alleged such an action would cause too many disruptions to the system and affect a much larger consumer base. Increased scrutiny over the cause of the deadly Camp Fire (possibly first sparked by one of the higher-voltage lines) is most likely the reason for the policy change. more
PG&E considers shutting off more lines during times of wildfire risk
Chronicle (12/15/2018)
Dec
15
Developer Ordered to Rebuild Torn Down Landmark House Exactly As It Was
by Carrie McFadden
This week, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously came to a decision regarding a developer who had illegally torn down a landmark San Francisco house, located at 49 Hopkin... more
This week, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously came to a decision regarding a developer who had illegally torn down a landmark San Francisco house, located at 49 Hopkins Avenue (known as the Largent House). The developer, Ross Johnston, has been ordered to rebuild the house exactly as it was, this time with an added plaque on the sidewalk telling the story of the house's history.  more
SF to developer who tore down landmark house: Rebuild it exactly as it was
Chronicle (12/15/2018)
Dec
14
Mayor Names Judson True Director of Housing Delivery
by Nicole Yelich
Mayor London Breed has named Judson True as the City’s Director of Housing Delivery, the new role she created in her quest to streamline the permitting process and create 5,000 new h... more
Mayor London Breed has named Judson True as the City’s Director of Housing Delivery, the new role she created in her quest to streamline the permitting process and create 5,000 new housing units annually.  

True, who in July was rumored to be on the short list for a mayoral appointment to the District 5 seat, currently serves as Chief of Staff for Assemblymember David Chiu, having worked previously as an aide for Chiu during his time on the Board of Supervisors and with SFMTA’s government affairs team.
more
Judson True tapped as Breed’s new director of housing delivery
Examiner (12/14/2018)
New SF City Hall employee has one goal: To approve housing
Curbed SF (12/14/2018)
SF Mayor Breed names staffer to new position to speed up housing development
Chronicle (12/14/2018)
Dec
14
Tests Point to Likely Cause for Cracks in Transit Center Beams
by Nicole Yelich
The investigation into what caused the cracks in two steel beams in the new transit center, forcing its closure in September, has found that weld holes drilled into the beams are the... more
The investigation into what caused the cracks in two steel beams in the new transit center, forcing its closure in September, has found that weld holes drilled into the beams are the likely culprits.  The findings are preliminary and more detailed results from the investigation will be presented at the Transbay Joint Power Authority’s Board meeting in January. more
Holes cut into Transit Center beams ‘probable cause’ for cracks
Examiner (12/14/2018)
Dec
14
PG&E Proposal Would Raise Your Bill Ten Bucks a Month
by Nicole Yelich
PG&E has requested a rate increase from the California Public Utilities Commission to raise an additional $2 billion in revenue, more than half of which would go to the utility’s wil... more
PG&E has requested a rate increase from the California Public Utilities Commission to raise an additional $2 billion in revenue, more than half of which would go to the utility’s wildfire prevention work.  If approved by the commission, customers would see a 6.4 percent increase on their bill - an average of $10.75 more per month for residential customers. more
PG&E rate proposal would raise typical bill more than $10 a month
Chronicle (12/14/2018)
Dec
14
Supes Push for "Bold" Public Bank Plan
by Nicole Yelich
San Francisco Supervisors are pushing the Treasurer’s Office to not let start up costs deter the department from devising “bold” plans to launch a City-run public bank.... more
San Francisco Supervisors are pushing the Treasurer’s Office to not let start up costs deter the department from devising “bold” plans to launch a City-run public bank. more
Supervisors Endorse "Bold" Public Bank Plan
SF Weekly (12/14/2018)
Dec
13
Pelosi Effectively Secures Speakership After Agreeing to Term Limit
by Spencer Lam
Wednesday, Rep. Pelosi effectively secured her position as Speaker of the House after agreeing to a four-year term limit. The term limit was an appeal to an ever-dwindling group of r... more
Wednesday, Rep. Pelosi effectively secured her position as Speaker of the House after agreeing to a four-year term limit. The term limit was an appeal to an ever-dwindling group of rebellious Democrats who have publicly opposed Pelosi’s leadership. 

Her agreement swayed six of fourteen total ‘Noes’. more
Nancy Pelosi agrees to House speaker term limits to win...
Chronicle (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
We Are Diminished
by Spencer Lam
San Francisco Judge William Newsom, father to Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom, passed away Wednesday at the age of 84. William Newsom rose to prominence through his judgeship on the Appe... more
San Francisco Judge William Newsom, father to Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom, passed away Wednesday at the age of 84. William Newsom rose to prominence through his judgeship on the Appeals court, as well as being a larger-than-life figure in the political scene. 

The elder Newsom had a cultivated relationship with Governor Jerry Brown, as well as the Getty family. Services are still in the works for Newsom. more
Judge William Newsom, father of California Gov.-elect, dies
Chronicle (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
San Francisco Public Health Official Helped Sell Shipyard Safety, Homes
by Spencer Lam
In an investigative article published by the Chronicle, a San Francisco health department official’s role is scrutinized in helping to sell the Navy shipyard as being safe. Specifica... more
In an investigative article published by the Chronicle, a San Francisco health department official’s role is scrutinized in helping to sell the Navy shipyard as being safe. Specifically, she acted in a capacity which may have crossed ethical lines, as her reassurance helped to sell homes for Lennar. more
Selling Shipyard Safety
Chronicle (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
Chain Dispensaries Now Limited to Four Locations in City
by Spencer Lam
Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a new set of marijuana-related legislation. Included in this package was legislation introduced by Supervisor Peskin, w... more
Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a new set of marijuana-related legislation. Included in this package was legislation introduced by Supervisor Peskin, which limited the amount of storefronts a “chain” marijuana dispensary is allowed to have, to four total shops in the City. 

Peskin said regarding the point of his legislation: “We all want to prevent chain stores from gobbling the industry up.” more
Chain Dispensaries Limited to Four S.F. Locations
SF Weekly (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
Legislation Aimed at Protecting & Promoting Housing Focus of Year-End BoS Meeting
by Spencer Lam
Tuesday marked the last Board of Supervisors meeting of the year, and legislation aimed at protecting and promoting housing was the central focus. 

Supervisors Peskin and Mandelman i... more
Tuesday marked the last Board of Supervisors meeting of the year, and legislation aimed at protecting and promoting housing was the central focus. 

Supervisors Peskin and Mandelman introduced the Housing Preservation and Expansion Reform Act, which would increase fines for illegal demolition of properties. This legislation was aimed at developers who demolish multi-family housing in favor of creating large, luxurious single-family housing projects. more
SF supervisors seek to stop illegal home demolition
Curbed SF (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
CASA Steering Committee Approves 35,000-Unit Regional Housing Plan
by Spencer Lam
Wednesday, the Committee to House the Bay Area’s (CASA) steering committee approved a 35,000-unit regional housing plan. The committee hopes to see the package of proposals codified ... more
Wednesday, the Committee to House the Bay Area’s (CASA) steering committee approved a 35,000-unit regional housing plan. The committee hopes to see the package of proposals codified into state law - the proposals must also be approved by both the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Committee. 

14,000 of those 35,000 total units would be set aside for low-income residents, and 7,000 would be for moderate income-earners. Additionally, the plan proposes to protect 300,000 housing units for those who spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent and preserve 30,000 affordable units. more
Bay Area leaders propose aggressive housing fix, and new agency to get it done
Chronicle (12/13/2018)
Sweeping regional housing plan under construction
Examiner (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
PG&E Officials Acknowledge Equipment Malfunction Near Origin of Camp Fire
by Spencer Lam
In a letter sent Tuesday to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E officials acknowledged an equipment malfunction near the origin of the Camp fire in Butte County. The let... more
In a letter sent Tuesday to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E officials acknowledged an equipment malfunction near the origin of the Camp fire in Butte County. The letter said that, fifteen minutes before the fire, a transmission line ‘delayed and re-energized.’ more
PG&E reports damaged equipment, downed line near start of Camp Fire
Curbed SF (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
School Board Votes Unanimously to Change City’s Student Assignment Process
by Spencer Lam
At a school board meeting on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to change the City’s student assignment process. In place of a lottery system, this new resolution called for new po... more
At a school board meeting on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to change the City’s student assignment process. In place of a lottery system, this new resolution called for new policy to be more transparent and predictable, with increased access to neighborhood schools. more
School board begins work on new student assignment process
Examiner (12/13/2018)
SF school board plans to replace much-criticized student assignment process
Chronicle (12/13/2018)
Dec
13
‘Bromance’ Budding Between Two Former Opponents
by SF Usual Suspects
Despite past differences (politically and ideologically), there appears to be a budding ‘bromance’ between former supervisorial opponents, Senator Scott Wiener and Supervisor Rafael ... more
Despite past differences (politically and ideologically), there appears to be a budding ‘bromance’ between former supervisorial opponents, Senator Scott Wiener and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. The relationship has included Mandelman speaking to endorse a bill of Wiener’s, Wiener featuring Mandelman as a ‘special guest’ at an event in October, and a friendly dance-off competition. more
Political Notebook: Wiener, Mandelman bromance brews
The Bay Area Reporter (12/13/2018)
Dec
12
Mayor Ed Lee's True Legacy Protecting Low-Income Housing
by Nicole Yelich
On the first anniversary of the death of Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco officials will be honoring him at a ceremony at City Hall, while housing officials and advocates will be honoring... more
On the first anniversary of the death of Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco officials will be honoring him at a ceremony at City Hall, while housing officials and advocates will be honoring Lee’s legacy and commitment to affordable and low-income housing by announcing the acquisition of two low-income, multi-family buildings in the Inner Richmond through the Small Sites Program, an initiative launched by Mayor Lee in 2014 to help combat low-income evictions. more
Bay Briefing: Ed Lee's 'true legacy' announced in the Richmond District
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Deal preserving low-cost housing hailed as Ed Lee’s real legacy
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
Breed Won't Budge on Windfall Spending
by SF Usual Suspects

During her monthly appearance before the Board, Mayor London Breed made it clear that she is standing firm on her proposal to put the City’s unexpected $181 million windfall into hou

... more

During her monthly appearance before the Board, Mayor London Breed made it clear that she is standing firm on her proposal to put the City’s unexpected $181 million windfall into housing and homelessness services, despite a competing proposal from supervisors who want the funds to go to the San Francisco Unified School District who recently gave public school teachers’ a raise without an appropriate revenue stream to cover the salary increases.

more
SF Mayor Breed not moving from plan to spend $181 million windfall on homeless
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
SFPUC to Subsidize Millions in New PG&E Fees for CleanPowerSF
by Nicole Yelich
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a $25 million subsidy to cover new PG&E-imposed fees on CleanPowerSF, so the program’s more than 100,000 clean ener... more
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a $25 million subsidy to cover new PG&E-imposed fees on CleanPowerSF, so the program’s more than 100,000 clean energy customers don’t have to foot the bill. more
SFPUC to absorb $25 million in fees to keep CleanPowerSF bills from rising
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
Pelosi on Trump's Wall Motivation
by SF Usual Suspects

Leader Nancy Pelosi reportedly concluded that Trump’s threats to shut down the government should he not secure funding to build his border wall has everything to do with his putting

... more

Leader Nancy Pelosi reportedly concluded that Trump’s threats to shut down the government should he not secure funding to build his border wall has everything to do with his putting his “manhood” on the line….and little else.

more
Pelosi: For Trump, the wall is all about his ‘manhood’
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
Watch Your Step
by SF Usual Suspects
The new glass staircase at the recently renovated Downtown Berkeley BART station was closed for two and a half weeks “out of an abundance of caution” after an elderly rider slipped o... more
The new glass staircase at the recently renovated Downtown Berkeley BART station was closed for two and a half weeks “out of an abundance of caution” after an elderly rider slipped on the stairs after a rainstorm to give the transit agency time to assess if leaks in the new canopy were the culprit, and a new proposal for a 54-story apartment building in Emeryville is embarking on its lengthy environmental and public review process in Wednesday’s Matier & Ross. more
New BART entrance in Berkeley comes with caution tape
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
New Proposal to Give Nonprofits First Crack at Buying Multi-Unit Properties
by Nicole Yelich
Supervisor Sandra Fewer has introduced new legislation to the Board that would help affordable housing nonprofits, who can afford to buy property at market rates, to purchase multi-u... more
Supervisor Sandra Fewer has introduced new legislation to the Board that would help affordable housing nonprofits, who can afford to buy property at market rates, to purchase multi-unit buildings that go up for sale.  

The proposal would require property owners to notify the Mayor’s Office of Housing when a building with three or more residential units is set to go on the market, and the City would in turn give a “list of qualified nonprofits” five days to decide if they’d like to put in an offer.
more
Nonprofits could get first dibs on multi-unit buildings
Examiner (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
City College Fires Vice Chancellor Over Sexual Harassment Suit
by Nicole Yelich
San Francisco City College has axed Shalamon Duke, the school’s vice chancellor of student services, after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against him by a student at West Los ... more
San Francisco City College has axed Shalamon Duke, the school’s vice chancellor of student services, after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against him by a student at West Los Angeles College where Duke previously served as dean of the disabled students program. more
City College 'separates' from vice chancellor following sexual harassment lawsuit
Examiner (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
For Whom the Bridge Tolls
by Nicole Yelich

On Tuesday, SF Supes decided to delay the vote on a new toll for Treasure Island after “fervid” public comment from residents and businesses who say the toll is unfair to existing Tr

... more

On Tuesday, SF Supes decided to delay the vote on a new toll for Treasure Island after “fervid” public comment from residents and businesses who say the toll is unfair to existing Treasure Island residents.  


more
Treasure Island Bridge Toll Shelved, For Now
SF Weekly (12/12/2018)
Dec
12
Market Street Makeover Gets $15 Million From Feds
by SF Usual Suspects
San Francisco will be receiving a $15 million federal Department of Transportation grant for the “Better Market Street” initiative, a $604 million project to improve pedestrian, bicy... more
San Francisco will be receiving a $15 million federal Department of Transportation grant for the “Better Market Street” initiative, a $604 million project to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and transportation access along Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and the Embarcadero. more
San Francisco gets $15 million federal grant to start sprucing up Market Street
Chronicle (12/12/2018)
Dec
11
Thinking of Tearing Down Your Historic Mansion? Think Again
by Alexandra Cannarella

Today Supervisor Aaron Peskin will introduce legislation that increases fines for illegal demolitions, and also requires a conditional use authorization for any home expansion that i

... more

Today Supervisor Aaron Peskin will introduce legislation that increases fines for illegal demolitions, and also requires a conditional use authorization for any home expansion that increases the square footage by more than 10 percent.

The bill comes after several high-profile, historic homes have been essentially demolished through “serial permitting” — a practice of pulling multiple permits for smaller remodels that, if taken together, are tantamount to allowing a new building.

Peskin said that inconsistent definitions of “demolition” and inadequate penalties are “actually incentivizing rampant abuse of the planning and building codes.”

 
more
SF supervisor’s bill takes aim at illegal home demolitions
Chronicle (12/11/2018)
Dec
11
Get Me an Attorney… And an After School Snack
by Alexandra Cannarella

Today Supervisor Ronen will introduce legislation that expands a state law that took effect this year that requires children 15 years or younger to consult with legal counsel when la

... more

Today Supervisor Ronen will introduce legislation that expands a state law that took effect this year that requires children 15 years or younger to consult with legal counsel when law enforcement takes them into custody. Ronen wants San Francisco to be the first city in California to push that age up to 17. Since SB 395, which requires attorney consultations for anyone 15 or younger, went into effect in January of this year, the San Francisco public defender’s office has met with 78 juveniles.

more
Proposed SF ordinance would require juveniles to have lawyers when interrogated
Chronicle (12/11/2018)
Dec
11
Cafeterias At Work Are Here To Stay… For Now
by Alexandra Cannarella

In July,  Supervisors Asha Safai and Aaron Peskin introduced controversial legislation that would ban workplace cafeterias, a move that got national attention.

On Monday, Safai walke

... more

In July,  Supervisors Asha Safai and Aaron Peskin introduced controversial legislation that would ban workplace cafeterias, a move that got national attention.

On Monday, Safai walked the legislation back, instead proposing that cafeterias require a special permit, known as a conditional use permit, which someone can appeal to the Board of Supervisors if it is granted by the Planning Commission.

Factors taken under consideration when determining to grant the permit could include whether the proposed cafeteria would be open and accessible to the general public, the impact it would have upon existing eating and drinking establishments in the neighborhood and whether the employer will subsidize or pay for employee meals outside the proposed employee cafeteria.

more
Ban on tech cafeterias dropped in favor of special permit requirement
Examiner (12/11/2018)