Atmospheric river arrives / Prominent VC to challenge Gov. Newsom

It's Tuesday, January 26th.

Good evening, San Francisco. It’s raining out, so like any good California news outlet, we have some weather coverage for you at the top. There’s also a new challenger for Governor Newson and some not-so-specific updates for San Francisco’s vaccine rollout (surprised?). Anyway, let’s get to it!

  • The Bay Area’s biggest storm of the year is upon us. Rain and heavy winds are expected through Thursday as a part of an “atmospheric river” that could dump 2-3 inches of rain on San Francisco over the next few days. Don’t know what an atmospheric river is? Don’t worry, neither did I. Here’s the best video I could find to explain the phenomenon that’s set to soak our city. 

  • Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya (an early Facebook executive who’s now critical of social media’s impact on society) revealed on Monday his intention to become California’s next governor. “It’s on,” read the tweet announcing his plan, which also included the hashtag #RecallGavinNewsom and a link to his newly minted “Chamath for governor” website. The Bay Area resident’s initial platform includes cutting state taxes to 0%, guaranteeing teachers a $70,000 salary, and giving $2,000 to every newborn in the state. “If we want California to remain as the technological hub of the world, we have to encourage more people to settle down & live here,” the site says. Still, it is unclear how hard Chamath will push to recall Gov. Newsom (a process that could lead to a special election later this year) or if he’ll run in the next planned gubernatorial race in 2022.  

  • Mayor London Breed announced on Tuesday that the city will be “moving forward” with opening its second mass vaccination site at the Moscone Center in SoMa that will have the capacity to administer 5,000 doses per day. (A spokesperson did not immediately respond to our request to know the exact date for the Moscone opening). The city’s first mass vaccination site opened last Friday at City College and a third is supposed to open in Bayview as well. Mass sites, as well as smaller neighborhood sites, or “community hubs,” are a major part of San Francisco’s plan to distribute the vaccine, as described by Breed and city health officials during a virtual press conference Tuesday. 

    Still, it is not clear how residents will sign up for an appointment at one of the city’s sites once more vaccines become available. The idea was floated last week that a centralized booking system would be built, but Breed provided no such updates during today's press conference. On Tuesday, Supervisor Matt Haney introduced legislation that would require the Department of Public Health to publicly detail the city’s vaccination rollout plans, including more information about the appointment portal. 

  • A San Francisco murder case involving a 17-year-old suspect will be heard in Sacramento County instead, where the boy could be tried as an adult, The Chronicle reported on Monday. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said it was unusual to move a case of such magnitude outside the city where the crime occurred and that he “want[ed] to prosecute it in San Francisco.” But, as The Chronicle reported, the decision could have been a result of San Francisco police not agreeing with Boudin’s promise not to charge a minor as an adult. “When the police are saying ‘we don’t agree with the policies’ and go to another city, that really undermines the role of the prosecutor,” San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki said. 

  • And finally, The Good Food Awards, which honors independent food and beverage makers each year, announced its winners last week and a number of Bay Area artisans were among the chosen group. Winners from San Francisco included Ugly Pickle Co. for its Dilly Carrots and Burger Party Dills, Triple Coffee Co. for its Pacamara Natural beans, Good Roots for its Lotus Chips, and Just Date Syrup for its Organic California Date Syrup. 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for subscribing and if you’re enjoying these daily roundups, I’d love for you to share The SF Minute with a friend! Stay dry (and safe!) out there. -Nick


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