City attorney sues school board / Feds to open mass vaccine site in Oakland

It's Wednesday, February 3rd.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

A little fun fact about me: I used to work at a tea shop in San Francisco. It’s called Song Tea & Ceramics, and in my biased (but actually correct) opinion, it has the best Chinese and Taiwanese teas in the city. 

I went by the shop today for the first time since the pandemic, and it was so interesting to see the changes. What once was a retail shop where customers could sit down for tea tastings and peruse the beautiful teaware, has turned into a dedicated fulfillment center for online orders. 

While it was sad that I couldn’t go into the shop and sit down for tea today, I’m so happy that Song has been able to transition with the times. Peter (the owner) told me the shop’s increase in online sales has almost entirely made up for the loss of retail traffic. 

One small success story for the small businesses in our city. I hope there are more out there as well! 

Now, onto some news for the day…

  • City Attorney Dennis Herrera, with the support of Mayor London Breed, announced his plan on Wednesday to sue the San Francisco School Board and Unified School District for not having an adequate plan to reopen the city’s public schools. The attorney’s goal with the lawsuit is to prompt an emergency court order against the district that would force it to come up with a reopening plan. “It’s a shame it has come to this,” Herrera said on Twitter. “But we need to act to get kids safely back in school.” 

    As The Chronicle pointed out, the SFUSD did have a plan to gradually bring its more than 54,000 students back to the classroom starting in January, but that fell through after the teacher’s union and district failed to reach an agreement. Namely, the teacher’s union called for health and safety standards that the district said went “beyond the Department of Public Health’s guidance” for schools. Meanwhile, more than 15,000 students at private and parochial schools across San Francisco are back to in-person learning. 

  • Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that the Oakland Coliseum will turn into a mass vaccination site that’s set to open on February 16th and will have the capacity to administer 6,000 doses per day. The location is part of a federal program spun up by the Biden administration to open 100 mass vaccination sites across the country within the president’s first 100 days in office. The Chronicle said people will be able to register for appointments at the Coliseum through the state’s MyTurn scheduling system, though they may not be available yet. According to the Office of Emergency Services, the site is meant to be a regional resource, meaning people living outside of Oakland can come to the Coliseum for an appointment, as long as they are eligible to receive the vaccine under Alameda County rules. 

  • A special school board meeting was held on Tuesday to introduce a measure that would do away with Lowell High School’s merit-based admissions process in favor of a lottery system. Four of the board’s seven members openly supported the change on Tuesday, meaning it is likely the measure will pass when it comes to a vote on February 9th. Historically, Lowell has been one of the top-performing high schools in the country and an alternative to private schools for families in the city. Critics, however, say the admissions process has hurt the school’s diversity and led to “pervasive systemic racism.” 

  • Quick bits: 

    • 🔎 In response to recent violent attacks, Mayor London Breed, Police Chief Bill Scott, and District Attorney Chesa Boudin held a press conference on Tuesday to assure residents that serious crimes in the city will be punished "to the fullest extent of the law.” (Public Comment

    • 🦅 The Board of Supervisors unanimously supported a request on Tuesday to designate the gay-owned Eagle bar as a city landmark. (Bay Area Reporter

    • 🍸 Lion’s Den, a new cocktail bar and live music venue, wants to be the go-to spot in Chinatown when nightlife returns. (Eater)

    • 🍕 Starting to get hungry for the Super Bowl? Check out these 12 special gameday options from restaurant favorites around the city. (Eater

  • And finally… Did you see the Warriors’ “Oakland” jerseys last night in their 111-107 loss to the Celtics?

    They’re part of the team’s “Oakland Forever” series, meant to pay homage to the city where the team played for 48 years before moving across the bay to the Chase Center in 2019. But the jerseys haven’t been met with a lot of enthusiasm, to say the least. Dustin O. Canalin, who designed alternative jerseys for the Warriors in the past, recently told the SF Gate he thought the jerseys felt “forced.” 

    “They don’t play in Oakland anymore. They left,” Canalin said. “It feels like a grab for leftover emotional baggage. It’s like a guilt jersey, a jersey for the new fans.”

    That’s all for today! Thanks as always for tuning in and hope you have a great night. -Nick B.

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