Boudin pushes for fentanyl task force / Koi fish street art has hidden meanings

It's Monday, March 1st.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

Well, we did it. My wife and I (and Olive the dog) moved this weekend. 

Don’t worry. I’m not starting “The Miami Minute” any time soon. We just moved about a half-mile away, from Hayes Valley towards Alamo Square Park. And while my body is sore all over, my mood has actually been lifted. 

It’s a bit of a surprise. We didn’t move all that far, but walking down Divisadero and sitting in Alamo Square Park this weekend felt different and new and...exciting! 

With all this newfound optimism, I especially enjoyed reading the recent Stuart Schuffman (aka Broke-Ass Stuart) piece in the SF Weekly in which he expresses the hope he’s feeling as well. 

Here’s Stuart: 

For the first time in a long time, I’m optimistic about the future of San Francisco. I know that’s a weird thing to say considering most of us barely leave the house, tons of people don’t have jobs and many of our favorite institutions keep closing down. But honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt SF was so full of hope.

The reason for this is that almost every person in San Francisco is here because they want to be here. Whether they’re transplant or native, rich or scraping by, tech worker or artist, nearly everyone here looked the pandemic in the face and said, “Not even you can make me leave San Francisco.”

All weekend, I couldn’t help but think about the people who decided to leave San Francisco recently and wonder, “Man, maybe if they would have just moved a couple of blocks away, maybe their perspective on the city would have changed.” 

Although did you see the latest Chronicle report on where people relocated? Apparently, based on USPS data, only 6% of households who left San Francisco between last March and last November moved outside of California. Meanwhile, a whopping 81% of households moved somewhere else in the Bay Area. 

“More like Stay Area,” LA Times housing reporter Liam Dillon said on Twitter.

Okay, now onto some news… 

District Attorney Chesa Boudin has asked the city for $2.3 million to create a task force that would target the fentanyl drug trade in San Francisco. The funding would help the DA make 10 new hires, including investigators and prosecutors, who would focus on “people at the middle and higher end of the drug trade, as opposed to their foot soldiers,” the Chronicle reported

Nearly 700 people died last year from a drug overdose in San Francisco, and of those people, 70% had fentanyl in their system. “We need to be innovative, and we need to be determined to intervene in ways that can save lives,” Boudin told the Chronicle. 

Separately, Boudin told me on Monday that the task force investigators would do some of the “upstream supply-side work” that mostly isn’t happening today. 

“We all know that most of the supply is being stored and packaged in the East Bay, but San Francisco police are focused on San Francisco,” Boudin said. “We need some law enforcement agency to actually follow the sellers home, do some surveillance, figure out where they’re picking up their supply, and then get that supply before it hits our streets.” 

Boudin also told me he supported the public health approaches that Supervisor Matt Haney is currently advocating for, like community teams that encourage people addicted to drugs to seek treatment. “What’s most effective at getting drug dealers off the streets is when they don’t have anybody wanting to buy the drugs,” Boudin said. 

As of Sunday, 22% of San Franciscans over the age of 16 have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, according to the city’s Covid database

Also, now based on some newly released data, you can also see vaccination percentages by neighborhood. Japantown, for instance, has the highest percentage of people to receive at least one dose of the vaccine at 38%, while Treasure Island has the lowest percentage of people vaccinated at just 6%.

A group of Supervisors wants to offer free summer camp to all public elementary school students this year, but the $15 million they’re asking for isn’t enough to cover the cost of the program, according to this Chronicle report. They’ll still need help from philanthropists and other city groups to make free summer camps a reality. 

“The policy direction is great,” Maria Su, the executive director of the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, told the Chronicle. But “it’s going to cost a lot.”

Quick bits: 

  • 🚌 Supervisor Dean Preston wants Muni to be free for all passengers to encourage ridership and help residents save money. But as Mission Local’s Joe Eskenazi writes, Muni is already in a bad place financially, even before the prospect of losing fare money. (Examiner / Mission Local

  • 🐕 A four-month-old Maltese was stolen from its owner’s car last week and resold in the Tenderloin. After the “new owners” posted photos of it on Instagram, they soon learned what happened and the pup has since been returned. A happy ending, but don’t leave your dogs in your cars y’all! (SFist

  • 🎇 The LED light display in Golden Gate Park's Peacock Meadow was supposed to shut down at the end of February, but it will now continue until April 4th. (SFist

  • 🏀 The Warriors got blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers last night, 117-91. Draymond Green left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury, though he told coach Steve Kerr that it wasn’t “too bad.” The Warriors fell to 19-16 for the season and are currently in 8th place in the Western Conference. (NBC Sports

  • 🎾 Twenty-seven million dollars later, the tennis court complex in Golden Gate Park is set to open on Wednesday. You can reserve a court here. (SF Gate

And finally… Have you ever noticed orange and black koi fish painted on sidewalks around the city? The SF Gate recently featured the man behind the koi— Bay Area artist Jeremy Novy

For a $70 fee, you can commission Novy to come and paint some koi outside of your place. And apparently, the number of fish has meaning. Five, for instance, is a sign of “transformation,” which is great because there are five of Novy’s koi fish painted a few doors down from my new apartment.

I wonder what kind of transformation is in store! 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading and see you tomorrow.

- Nick B. 

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