Hey there, San Francisco.
Hope you had a nice weekend.
As February comes to a close, SFGATE reports that the first two months of 2022 have been the driest on record.
Typically, we see around 8.2 inches of rain in January and February. But this year, during those two months, we’ve had just 0.65 inches.
The previous record-low came back in 1852 when just 0.72 inches fell between January and February.
Some rain is in the forecast this Wednesday morning, but it’s not a lot.
Enough about the weather for now, though. And onto some news…
Top story: Classroom masks to remain
On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will no longer require masks in K-12 public schools starting on March 12.
The San Francisco Unified School District responded to the announcement, saying it would not adopt any changes.
“Universal indoor masking will continue to be in effect at SFUSD as part of our layered approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools,” the district said in a statement.
Recalled school board president Gabriela López, who’s set to keep her seat until March 11, told the SF Standard that the mask requirement for teachers and students in San Francisco will likely remain for the remainder of the current school year.
“We are all in agreement that as a district, we want to keep this important safety tool of mask wearing in place,” López said.
But some SFUSD parents, who believe masks have had negatively impacted their children academically and socially, are likely to push back.
On Sunday, some 200 people rallied at the entrance of Golden Gate Park to voice their support for ending the classroom mask mandate.
“We’ve never done this to kids before,” one parent told the Chronicle. “Nobody is studying the damage. We don’t know what it will be.”
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories
😔 Richard Blum, a San Francisco native, UC Regent, and the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein, died on Sunday. He was 86 years old. (Chronicle)
🛍 Crate & Barrel is closing its only San Francisco store (which is located in Union Square) on March 23. (SFGATE)
🐮 In March, the team behind Lomo Libre, a popular Peruvian food truck, plans to open their first brick-and-mortar shop. It will be located at 1824 Irving Street. “I want to bring pisco sours to the neighborhood,” chef Jose Calvo Perez told Eater. “And bar food, but done really, really well.” (Eater)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse
Shooting of Tenderloin ‘Ambassador’ Raises Questions about Security Practices at Fast-Growing Urban Alchemy (SF Standard)
S.F. teachers union official sparks controversy by sharing a social media post blaming the U.S. for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Chronicle)
I Helped Count SF’s Homeless Last Week, Then Went Home and Slept in My Own Bed (Frisc)
Lowell’s merit-based admissions won’t return — no matter who’s on the school board (Mission Local)
And finally… Robotaxi reviews
I’ve yet to see a driverless Cruise car taking passengers around town. Have you?
Apparently, the robotaxi service (which you can join the waitlist for here) is only running in the late night and early mornings from 11 pm to 5 am. (Maybe that’s why I haven’t spotted one yet!)
And as the SF Standard’s Anna Tong found, some are saying that the experience is pretty sleek.
“The first turn into the traffic, you’re like, ‘Oh God, is this going to work?’” Glen Park resident Jeremy Conrad said. “But honestly it was awesome. The thing that blew my mind was how smooth it was. It was way smoother than most Ubers I take.”
That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and I’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.