Last night was quite a night. Over 2,700 joined a call on the trendy, new audio app Clubhouse to talk about San Francisco—what’s broken and why and what might be done to make a difference. District Attorney Chesa Boudin even dropped in to talk, in part, about what went wrong leading up to the tragic NYE hit-and-run that killed two people.
The call (which was organized by SF advocate and someone worth following on Twitter, Michelle Tandler) got pretty heated and then became more civilized. Ultimately, it didn’t solve any of our city’s problems. But it did show an incredible appetite for finding fixes.
My fix—or one way I hope to help—is to keep people informed and interested in what’s happening around them. I hope this newsletter can do that.
- Nick Bastone
It’s Friday, January 15th, and here’s some local news you should know today:
A magnitude 3.8 earthquake centered near Concord shook the Bay Area Thursday morning a little after 11 am. “In Glen Park, SFrancisco, there was a light shake or two, a pause, then about 10-15 seconds of the house shaking firmly, but not too hard,” one person said on Twitter. The quake took place on the Concord-Green Valley Fault, which assessors back in 2003 said had a 4% chance of producing a 6.7 magnitude or larger earthquake within the next 30 years.
Mayor London Breed nominated Carmen Chu on Thursday to be the next City Administrator—San Francisco’s highest-ranking non-elected position that oversees 2,700 employees, 25 departments (including Public Works and Capital Planning), and an annual budget of nearly $750 million. Chu has worked in local government since 2005, serving as supervisor for the Sunset district and more recently, as the city’s property-value assessor. The Chronicle described her as “widely seen within City Hall as a highly competent professional.” If approved by the Board of Supervisors, Chu will replace Naomi Kelly, who resigned from the position earlier this week amid allegations that her husband, former Public Utilities Commission chief Harlan Kelly, accepted bribes.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 on Tuesday to delay UCSF’s expansion, though the resolution likely won’t deter UC Regents from approving the plan at its meeting next week. The proposed project would help retrofit and expand UCSF’s original Parnassus campus, building a two million square foot hospital and research center, as well as adding over 1,200 nearby housing units for its workers. Supervisor Dean Preston said residents have had a “very short window” to review the plan, though as Public Comment reports, it has been the subject of 28 community meetings since 2018. “Every year, UCSF turns away up to 3,000 patients because of a lack of capacity,” UCSF said. “We must immediately begin the 10-year process of replacing our aging and outdated hospital.”
A lot has been written about tech workers fleeing San Francisco, but this latest by New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles is worth a read. Austin, Miami, and Savannah, Georgia are a few cities attracting these workers. Tulsa, Oklahoma is offering $10,000 to people who move there. Still, the clear-out isn’t anything new for San Francisco. “After the dot-com bust in 2001, there were fallow years before the latest, long-lasting boom,” Bowles writes. “It is the circle of life in the Bay Area.”
And finally, and sadly, the owner of the late-night burrito haven El Farolito died last week. Salvador “Don Chava” Lopez Monroy founded El Farolito in 1983, grew it to twelve locations across the Bay Area, and, as Broke Ass Stuart writes, helped popularize the Mission burrito, a “steamed-tortilla variety known for its giant volume and foil wrapping, which would eventually be mimicked by large chains like Chipotle and Taco del Mar.” He was 70 years old.
That’s all for today. Starting next week, you can expect these newsletters every Tuesday-Friday. I really hope you’re enjoying The SF Minute. And if you are, I’d love for you to share it with friends!
As always, check out our page on Caphice.fm if you’d like to listen as well. Have a great weekend!