Drug overdose data revealed / Castro Theater shifts focus to live events
1.19.22 * Circulation 5,645 * 202 members
Hey there, San Francisco.
On Wednesday, the Medical Examiner’s Office released new data, showing that 650 died of drug overdoses in San Francisco last year.
The 2021 total (though staggering and incredibly sad) was down 9% from the year prior. Still, as the Chronicle points out, “it follows an unprecedented spike in deaths the year before - from 441 in 2019 to 711 in 2020.” The total number of drug-related deaths in 2018 was 259 and in 2017, 222.
The Chronicle writes that skyrocketing overdose numbers in San Francisco have been “fueled by fentanyl, which can be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.”
Last year, for instance, 476 drug-related deaths (or, around 73%) involved fentanyl.
Regarding location, 23% of fatal overdoses happened in SoMa in 2021, while 20% happened in the Tenderloin, where Mayor Breed has focused her efforts lately.
On Twitter, Breed said that on Tuesday, staff at the newly opened Tenderloin Linkage Center, which served 118 people on its first day, “likely saved the life of one person who began overdosing shortly after arriving.”
“The Linkage Center is just one aspect of our TL plan,” Breed said. “But it's critical to connecting people with services and treatment.”
And with that…onto some more news…
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories from across the city
😔 Last weekend, an unleashed pit bull inside San Francisco’s Main Library attacked a security guard, who was checking on the dog’s “unresponsive” owner at a computer kiosk. The owner “was eventually roused” and “able to get control of the dog,” the Chronicle writes, but not before the guard “suffered serious injuries.” An unpleasant, 10-second video of the attack can be seen here. (Chronicle)
🕯 Around 100 people attended a candlelight vigil in Chinatown on Tuesday night to remember Michelle Go, the Asian American woman (and Bay Area native) who died last weekend after being pushed in front of a subway train in New York City. “We should be able to walk down the street without fear of being assaulted, or spit upon, or getting cursed at,” one speaker said. “We should be able to walk down the street…and not worry about being killed.” (SF Standard)
🎸 After nearly 100 years, the Castro Theater is shifting its focus from film to live events, including comedy, music, and more, KQED reported on Wednesday. The theater’s new operators, Another Planet Entertainment, also manage the Bill Graham Auditorium, the Independent, and the Fox Theater in Oakland. (KQED)
👕 Abercrombie & Fitch is closing its downtown, Westfield Mall location next week. Since 2019, the company has shut down around 20% of its stores nationwide. (The Real Deal)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse at your leisure
Four more shelter-in-place hotels plan to shut down by March (Mission Local)
Beloved Sunset District park to make way for teacher housing (Examiner)
Where to Eat and Drink in the Excelsior District (Eater)
Hat tip to The Bold Italic’s Matt Charnock for reminding us that magnolia season is officially upon us here in San Francisco.
And if you’re interested, the Botanical Garden says it has the “most significant conservation collection of Magnolias in the United States.” They even have a “Magnolia Map” to help you identify the 20 different types of Magnolias throughout their garden.
Over the weekend, the Botanical Garden said, “it’s still early and things are off to a slow start but the first flowers are in bloom now.”
Tickets for its “Magnificent Magnolias” showcase (which are free residents) can be claimed here.
Blooms, the Botanical Garden says, last through March.
That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and I’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.