New fix proposed for tilting Millennium Tower / 115-year-old mochi shop to close
1.3.22 * Circulation 4,307 * 186 members
Hey there, San Francisco. And hello, 2022.
It’s good to be back after a couple of weeks off, and I hope you all had a nice holiday.
Before we get into the news, a couple of things real quick:
First, we won! A special thank you to everyone who voted us as the Bay Area’s best “hyperlocal” newsletter for The Bold Italic’s 2021 Awards. It was an honor to win, and I’m so proud that we did so in our first year of existence.
And second, there’s a lot more of you here! On the same day that we won for best local newsletter, we reached 4,000 subscribers. And since then, we’ve been growing like crazy. As of today, The SF Minute is over 4,300 readers strong. I’m so thrilled that this newsletter is reaching so many inboxes each day.
As a reminder, my idea for The SF Minute is to offer an easy way to stay on top of local news here in San Francisco. I really hope this newsletter becomes an enjoyable (and helpful!) addition to your day and to your year ahead.
Oh, the year ahead! Let’s get into it, shall we?
Top story: One thing you should know
Engineers working for the Millennium Tower developer have come up with a new plan for the sinking and tilting downtown building that involves drilling just 18 steel-and-concrete columns into bedrock instead of its original fix that called for the installation of 52, the Chronicle reported late last week.
According to a letter sent to city officials and tower residents, “engineers believe each pile can handle greater weight than the prior design and the new plan will speed up construction,” the Chronicle writes.
Last summer, developers paused the construction meant to shore up the Millennium Tower after finding that their work had accelerated the sinking and tilting of the building. At the time, they maintained the tower remained “fully safe.”
The Board of Supervisors’ Audit and Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on the new fix this Thursday. If ultimately approved by the city, the 18-pile plan could be completed by the end of 2022.
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories from across the city
🎒 After two weeks off, Bay Area school districts, including SFUSD, welcomed students back on Monday “just as the omicron wave is hitting California,” the Chronicle reports. Some local districts, like Oakland and Marin, have handed out at-home test kits for students to use before returning to the classroom, though as the Chronicle’s Jill Tucker writes, “San Francisco school officials said they won’t receive the self-test kits from the state for at least a few days after school starts Monday.” (Chronicle)
🐶 This weekend, a nine-month-old French bulldog named Rosie was “violently” stolen from its owner while on a walk in the Marina District. On Monday, ABC 7 reported that Rosie had been found and returned to its owner, though it’s unclear if someone has collected the $10,000 reward being offered. (SFist / ABC7)
🎤 Organizers for the San Francisco comedy festival Sketchfest have indefinitely postponed its two-week-long event originally scheduled for January 7-23 citing concerns over rising omicron cases. “The safety of our artists, staff and audiences is our No. 1 priority,” the festival’s co-founders said. (Datebook)
🍄 Last week, Eater SF wrote some fun, “headline predictions” for 2022. I especially liked “When it rains, it spores: why the mushroom renaissance keeps growing” and “Afternoon Tea Is the New Happy Hour. Here’s Why.” (Eater)
🏀 The Warriors’ Klay Thompson could make his much-anticipated return as soon as this Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Thompson hasn’t played since June 2019 when he tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. (Twitter / Chronicle)
📚 Trying to read more books in 2022? The Marina’s Books Inc. recently released its “best sellers” list for January. Titles include poet Amanda Gorman’s “Call Us What We Carry” and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louise Erdrich’s “The Sentence.” (Marina Times)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse at your leisure
Willie Brown on Crime and Street Conditions in San Francisco (New York Times)
‘Cognitive dissonance:’ Mayor’s Tenderloin tactics could cancel each other out (Mission Local)
History repeats itself: A trip through the archives reveals a very similar San Francisco 100 years ago (Examiner)
Coffee served with a side of community at Bernie’s in Noe Valley (Datebook)
Richmond Rapper ‘Son of Paper’ Releases New Album (Richmond Review)
After 115 years, Japantown’s oldest business, Benkyodo Company, which sells hand-made mochi, is scheduled to close this month, KPIX reported. The grandsons of the store’s original owner, Suyeichi Okamura, are now in their 70s and say they are ready to retire.
“My grandfather and father would be proud that we were able to continue for this long,” one of the grandsons, Bobby Okamura, said. “We tried our best and did our best.”
Still, as KPIX reported, the Japantown mochi staple is holding out hope that someone “will buy and take over the business.”
That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and we’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.