Outside Lands moves to Halloween / Attacks on elderly Asian residents continue

It's Thursday, March 18th.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

Well, it looks like Outside Lands will happen this year, but not until Halloween weekend. The festival announced the date shift (from August 6-8 to October 29-31) on its website on Thursday. 

“Of course, we are hoping to do the festival at full capacity,” an executive for Outside Lands’ promotional company told The Chronicle. “Moving it to as late as we can in the season is to give us the best shot of getting there.”

The festival is already embracing the Halloween theme with updated graphics on its website. It also said patrons could expect “a few treats,” but didn’t give away any hints at what that could mean. Outside Lands did announce additions to its lineup, including Glass Animals, Kaytranada, Lord Huron, Flo Milli, and SF native 24kGoldn. (I know just one of these bands 😑 ). 

Headliners include Tame Impala, Lizzo, and The Strokes. 

What’s my take on it all? Well, we should all be vaccinated by then (right?) and it probably helps that it’s outdoors. It’ll just be interesting to see if people are comfortable being around festival-sized crowds come October. I’m sure some will be. 

And for the rest, Outside Lands is considering offering a live-streamed option for this year’s event, like it did last August for “Inside Lands.” That’s still TBD, though. 

As a thirty-something now (and feeling old just thinking about a music festival), I can say that I would love another live stream, pandemic or not! 

And with that… onto some news. 

On Wednesday morning, a 75-year-old woman named Xiao Zhen Xie was punched in the face multiple times by a 39-year-old man on Market Street (near 7th). With a stick in-hand, however, she was able to fight off her attacker. The aftermath, with the suspect on a stretcher being carted off by paramedics, was caught on camera. “He punched me!” Xie said in Cantonese, crying and holding up an ice pack to her face. 

It’s an incredibly sad scene. And reportedly, the suspect also assaulted an 83-year-old Asian man earlier that day. Both victims were hospitalized. 

Already, a GoFundMe set up by Xie’s grandson has raised over $350,000. 

The attacks on Wednesday came shortly before Mayor London Breed and police chief Bill Scott told the press that the SFPD will increase its patrols in San Francisco’s predominantly Asian communities. The move follows a wave of recent violence against elderly Asian residents in the city, as well as the shootings in Atlanta that killed eight women, most of whom were of Asian descent. 

"The Asian Americans in our community need to know that we stand with them,” Scott said on Wednesday. “Any type of violent crime is horrific, but when people appear to be targeted because of their race or ethnicity, that is unacceptable." 

San Francisco’s head homelessness and supportive housing, Abigail Stewart-Kahn, has resigned, the Chronicle reported on Thursday. Stewart-Kahn was technically an “interim director” for the department, but Chronicle reporter Trisha Thadani writes that the “departure shocked many in and around City Hall Thursday,” including supervisors who said they “were not given a heads up about the move.” 

Stewart-Kahn took over the city’s homelessness department at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and led programs like the one that moved 2,000 homeless people into hotel rooms. She also oversaw the creation of “safe sleeping villages,” which reportedly cost the city $61,000 per tent per year. 

Sam Dodge, a homelessness coordinator for San Francisco Public Works, will head the department until a permanent leader is named. 

Quick bits: 

  • 👀 Organizers behind the effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom turned in 2.1 million signatures as of Wednesday. They will need roughly 1.5 million of those signatures to be validated as coming from registered voters for the recall process to proceed. (Chronicle

  • 😔 Mills, the Oakland-based women’s college, is closing as an undergraduate institution after 169 years. (SFGate

  • 🏈 San Francisco’s public high schools remain closed, but on April 12th, its sports teams will be able to practice again. Some teams (including baseball, softball, and soccer) will be able to compete in games against other SFUSD schools as well. (Examiner

  • 🚆 An Amtrak train in Oakland struck a maintenance truck parked too close to the tracks on Thursday morning. The 111 passengers and crew members of the Coast Starlight headed for Los Angeles were all evacuated, though no one was reported injured. (SFist

  • 🍫 Dandelion Chocolate employees are looking to unionize after what one employee described as a year of higher production expectations with fewer staff members. (Mission Local

And finally… Did you know that San Francisco has eight designated cultural districts, including Calle 24, Japantown, SOMA Pilipinas, and the Leather & LGBTQ districts? Here Say Media reporter Meagan Mitchell reported on the topic Thursday and defined cultural districts as “a geographic area within San Francisco that ‘embodies a unique heritage’ and receives financial support from the city.” (At least $3 million per year, Mitchell reported.) 

Mitchell writes that the districts “work directly with the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) on neighborhood-specific policies that benefit [their] residents.” They also help put on cultural events and during the pandemic, they’ve helped with awareness campaigns

“A cultural district is not creating anything new. We are bringing light to the beauty of these communities that’s already there,” said Julia Sabory, who helps manage the program for the city. “My hope is that people feel stronger now that their history, languages and faces are being amplified.”

That’s all for today! Hope you all are staying dry out there. And don’t forget, if you share The SF Minute with three friends (or tweet about) let me know by emailing me: nick@thesfminute.com. You’ll then be eligible for our big giveaway next week! 

Alright, have a good night everyone! - Nick B. 

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