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Ed Lee's Contested Legacy on Housing

By Liza Veale, KALW/Crosscurrents

As the mayor that presided over a wave of gentrification and displacement, Ed Lee took a lot of heat from the public. But, he also easily won reelection.

Since the affordable housing crisis was the No. 1 issue during Lee’s time in office, his policies around housing are likely to define what he’s remembered for. And there’s no clear consensus on whether he did more damage than good.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

Is It Jail for Service-Resistant Homeless Residents?

By Julian Mark, Mission Local

Mission Station will be working with the district attorney on issuing warrants to arrest homeless people who have been repeatedly cited for nuisance activities and who refuse services, said Capt. Gaetano Caltagirone at a community meeting at Mission Station on Tuesday.

He said that while there are fewer tent encampments, there are still individuals who are not accepting services.

“It gets tiresome for the officers who get on scene and they tell the individual to move and they say, ‘No, we’re not moving,’” Caltagirone said.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

Babies Are Being Born Too Early. For Black Women, It’s Worse

By Cassady Rosenblum, KALW/Crosscurrents

Babies being born early is the No. 1 cause of infant mortality in the United States.

After years of decline, it’s back on the rise, particularly for Black women. Now mothers around the Bay Area are demanding solutions.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

What California Schools Learned From Recent Disasters

By Carolyn Jones, EdSource

California schools ravaged by fire, floods and mud this year have mostly reopened and are diving in to a new semester, but district leaders say they’ve learned some crucial lessons about handling natural disasters that all schools could benefit from.

“A disaster could happen anywhere at any time in California,” said Steven Herrington, superintendent of the Sonoma County Office of Education, where two public schools were destroyed, nearly a dozen schools were damaged and hundreds of students and staff lost their homes. “We all have emergency plans. For us, overall, things went pretty smoothly. But nothing can really prepare you for a major disaster like what we experienced.”

Read the complete story at EdSource.


The Mission District’s Foot Patrols — Where Are They?

By Julian Mark, Mission Local

Last August, the San Francisco Police Department announced plans to nearly double the number of foot patrol officers walking commercial corridors citywide from roughly 70 to 130. Moreover, Police Chief Bill Scott said the number of foot patrols would quadruple in the Mission District.

But nearly five months later, merchants along the Mission District corridors that the foot beat officers are supposed to be patrolling say the foot-patrol presence has been inconsistent at best — and nonexistent at worst.

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

North Bay Fires: What Took Authorities So Long to Warn People?

By Marisa Lagos, Sukey Lewis and Lisa Pickoff-White, KQED News Fix

Around 10 p.m. on the night of Oct. 8, 2017, an unidentified woman frantically called 911.

“We are blocked, and we can’t get out of here,” she said.

It was her second call of the night, and her voice sounded shaky. She was trapped behind a tree in the Franz Valley area northwest of Calistoga as a neighboring house went up in flames.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

Mark Farrell Is Your New Mayor — and Let the Games Begin

By Joe Eskenazi, Mission Local

Moments after he provided the sixth and deciding vote to oust London Breed from the position of acting mayor and install Mark Farrell as caretaker, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, all 6-foot-4 of him, was sprawled out in a seat in his City Hall office. He looked spent. He was spent.

He had voiced his “ayes” for Farrell in a willowy near-whisper, triggering an extended period of bedlam in the board chambers in which Breed’s largely African-American supporters noisily shut down the Tuesday night meeting, accused the board of reviving Jim Crow in 2018 and locked eyes with the District 8 Supe and charged him — yes, you, Jeff Sheehy — with wholesale racism. When livid members of the public leaned in, shouted his name, and unloaded vast quantities of vitriol, Sheehy did not return their gaze. He seemed to be in a faraway place.  

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

How Trump’s Solar Tax Could Affect California’s Energy Plans

By Julie Cart, CALmatters

It’s too soon to say if the Trump administration’s decision to impose stiff tariffs on cheap Chinese solar panels will make it more difficult for California to dramatically ramp up renewable energy.

But the move — which adds a 30 percent tax on imported solar components — will certainly make it more expensive.

Read the complete story at CALmatters. 

San Francisco Retools Its Relationship With Airbnb

By Joe Eskenazi, Mission Local

There’s a funny story about the ascension of Karol Wojtyla to Pope John Paul II. Upon hearing the news, a shell-shocked colonel in the Polish secret police uttered, “My God, from now on we’ll have to kiss his ass.” A savvier Party secretary replied, “Only if he lets us.”

At 12 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, Kevin Guy became San Francisco’s pope of short-term rentals. Some 2,080 illegal Airbnb listings vanished into the ether in that very nanosecond. And they were, definitionally, illegal: As of that minute, a short-term rental host who proves he or she is following city laws and earns a license issued by Guy’s Office of Short-Term Rentals is legal, and a host who doesn’t have one is illegal and excommunicated — period.

Read the complete story at Mission Local.

S.F. Police Dept. Won't Cooperate During Expected U.S. Immigration Raids, Chief Says

Mission Local

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said at Wednesday’s Police Commission meeting that his officers will not cooperate with U.S. immigration agents during raids that are expected soon in Northern California.

“Our instructions have been clear in terms of our policies … SFPD will not assist in any federal immigration enforcement,” he said. “That’s the message we’re putting forward to make sure all our members understand our policies in the spirit of the laws here in our city.”  

Read the story at Mission Local.