A Ship Sinks Near Fisherman’s Wharf / SF Eagle Becomes Historic City Landmark

It's Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Hey, San Francisco!

Matt Charnock here — The SF Minute's second guest editor. Some of you might know me as the human behind The Bold Italic and SFist (on the weekends). TBH, I’m just glad to be here and for the free snacks.

Now, on to the news!


Absorbent pads and other containment materials used by the U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday to mitigate a fuel spill near Fisherman’s Wharf. (Photo: Courtesy of Twitter via USCGPacificSW)

Well, let’s get the environmentally disastrous news out of the way first: A 34-foot-long fishing vessel sank earlier today at Hyde Street Pier, near Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s unclear how much diesel fuel the ship was carrying — but officials at the United States Coast Guard have said it could be as much as 260 gallons.

However, a statement from KPIX states that crew members associated with the ship have reportedly said they believe there was much less fuel in the tank before the boat sank. Nevertheless, the ship is still leaking fuel into the San Francisco Bay.

How the vessel came to sink is still unknown; the exact time the ship began taking on water is thought to be around 3 a.m. Wednesday. SFist noted that the Hyde Street Pier is home to many historic boats that make up the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s collection.

But one end of the park is also home to a few commercial fishing boats — which is where the now-sunk ship was anchored at.

At least three layers of containment materials and absorbent pads have since been deployed after a sheen was observed on the water’s surface today. Let’s just hope that the iridescent slick shines less and less until the spill is completely contained.

California declared a state of emergency over the Huntington Beach oil spill — which has affected an area home to one of the state’s most biodiverse and vulnerable oceanic environments — earlier this week, so maybe it’s time we rethink how we fuel combustion engines, both those on land and in the water.


Quick Newsy Bits:

  • Now faced with a $116-million budget shortfall, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) schools could, if no course of action is taken, be taken over by the state; SFUSD has until December 15 to submit a viable plan to the California Department of Education on how it intends to rectify the shortfall. (KRON4)

  • An appeal brought against AB5 (a.k.a. the “gig worker bill”) by a group of freelance journalists was unanimously rejected by a U.S. appeals court, the court deciding that the industry-upending worker classification law does not violate the “free-speech rights of freelance writers and photographers” — and that CA lawmakers were in the right about distinguishing between occupations. (Reuters)

  • The demoralizing hilarity around San Francisco’s trash can crisis continues as Public Works looks into testing “off-the-shelf” trash bins alongside the multi-thousand-dollar prototypes agreed upon this summer; there’s also talks about possibly adding sensors onto the City’s already installed trash cans, which would alert Public Works when a trash can is either overflowing or at capacity. (Mission Local)

  • Despite contention among members of the neighborhood, the City is going forward with a planned homeless parking site — designed much like other overnight parking lots in the Bay Area — in Bayview. (Chronicle)


What Else I’m Reading, ATM:


And Finally…

Speaking of queer things: SoMa’s Eagle Tavern, more commonly known as the SF Eagle, was awarded historic landmark status by the SF Board of Supervisors on Tuesday — becoming the seventh gay establishment in SF to get such a distinction.

Hoodline wrote that the board voted unanimously yesterday to approve historic landmark status for the beloved bar. District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney acknowledged the monumental moment on Twitter, thanking his aide Honey Mahogany — who became the first-ever Black transgender SF Democratic Party Chair earlier this year — and others for helping the bar garner its significant status.

During the next presidential election cycle, there may well now be a chance to cast your ballot at both a sex-positive and culturally historic voting booth.

Have a great evening. See y’all Friday! — Matt Charnock


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