Hey there, San Francisco.
On Thursday, the Chronicle reported that District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin will enter treatment for alcohol use after complaints about his behavior from colleagues and a meeting this week in which he berated the head of Parks and Rec, Phil Ginsburg.
Angela Calvillo, a clerk to the Board of Supervisors, told the Chronicle it was “apparent that the supervisor had been drinking” before Tuesday’s meeting with Ginsburg, though Peskin did not confirm this. The supervisor did tell the Chronicle that he had drank on the job before, but that he “keeps it together,” saying his work is “about 24 /hours a day.”
Ginsburg, the Parks and Rec director, told the Chronicle that Peskin’s bullying and drinking has been an open secret in City Hall since 2000.
The story by the Chronicle’s Mallory Moench, Heather Knight, and Trisha Thadani is wild and sad and definitely worth reading in its entirety.
For his part, Peskin said: “I stand by my long legislative and civic record but must also take full responsibility for the tenor that I have struck in my public relationships—for that, I am truly sorry.”
Mayor Breed told the Chronicle: “The disrespect, the berating, the accusations, is completely out of line and definitely not behavior becoming of an elected official… I wish [Supervisor Peskin] the best and I hope he gets the help he needs.”
And with that…onto some more news…
Mayor Breed and Supervisor Myrna Melgar announced a plan on Thursday that would make Muni free for anyone under 18-years-old without needing to apply. “After more than a year of social distancing and virtual learning, I want to see students taking the bus to get to school and to hang out with their friends,” Breed said in a statement. “This will not only save them money, but also hopefully foster a new generation of Muni riders.”
The proposal comes just days after the Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 in favor of making Muni free for all residents during a three-month trial period starting in July. Mayor Breed, however, has reportedly said she plans to veto that pilot.
🚲 On Thursday, the SFMTA and Parks and Rec are hosting a joint meeting to discuss potential pilot programs for the Great Highway that would keep it either fully or partially closed to car traffic beyond the pandemic. As the Examiner reports, the Great Highway is one of the city’s most visited open spaces today, second only to Golden Gate Park. Opponents of a car-free Great Highway, however, say it has caused speeding and congestion on nearby residential roads. (Examiner)
🚙 A person breaking into a car near the Embarcadero on Wednesday night “shot a firearm and fled the scene” after witnesses confronted them, the Chronicle reported. No one was injured.
As the Examiner wrote earlier this week, overall car break-ins are down slightly in the city this year (-1.6%). But in the tourist-heavy “Central District,” which includes Fisherman’s Wharf and the Union Square areas, auto thefts have spiked (up 138% so far this year compared to the same period last year). (Chronicle / Examiner)
🎱 Family Billiards, San Francisco’s oldest, continuous running pool hall, is at risk of permanently closing after more than 55 years. As one of its patrons told Broke-Ass Stuart, “The landlord will not work with the owner and is demanding all back rent upon opening which totals over $150 K.” The Richmond District pool hall started a GoFundMe page and is asking for support. (Broke-Ass Stuart)
🖼 On Tuesday, Mayor Breed announced 225,000 low-income residents will now have permanent, free access to over 20 museums across the city, including the de Young, Exploratorium, and Legion of Honor. “All San Franciscans, regardless of their income, deserve the opportunity to experience the joy, inspiration, and community that our incredible arts and cultural institutions have to offer,” Breed said in a statement. (Examiner)
🏳️🌈 From its archive, on Wednesday, the Chronicle released a series of photos and article snippets from the city’s first Pride parade in 1972 that’s really neat to see. I like how the piece opens:
“There were no politicians or corporate sponsors when the first Pride parade rolled through San Francisco on June 25, 1972. Organizers of the march were given a consolation route through the Tenderloin that barely touched Market Street. But strong vibes were already apparent among the 15,000 spectators and 2,000 participants who marched to City Hall.” (Chronicle)
Shout out (and congrats!) to our friends at The San Franciscan, an independent magazine in the city, for launching their fourth edition. I was excited to get my copy in the mail yesterday, and already I’ve really enjoyed a story about home kitchen pop-ups by the Chronicle’s Elena Kadvany and a trip to the Farallon Islands by Erica Messner, The San Franciscan’s editor-in-chief.
To get your hands on a copy, you can sign up and subscribe to a yearly membership. Or, starting in July, issue number four will be available in local bookstores and retail shops across the Bay Area. Here’s a complete list of where to find The San Franciscan IRL.
A quick reminder before you go! Tonight at 6 pm PT we have our talk with Cyril Derreumaux, the Marin kayaker whose paddle attempt to Hawaii was cut short last week due to high winds and rough seas. We have a lot of questions for Cyril, like… what’s it like to be alone in the open ocean? And what exactly caused him to call for help?
I’d love for you to tune in on Twitter Spaces. You can join here. And pending time (and whether I can figure out how to host one of these talks), I’ll try to open it up to questions from the audience as well.
Alright, thanks y’all. Talk soon! - Nick B.