Plans revealed for some public schools to reopen / LA trash clean up goes viral

It's Monday, March 8th.

Good evening, San Francisco. 

One of my favorite parts of Elena’s story today about Barter Bread (besides hearing about all the quirky trades people had made for their loaves) was learning that the success of another pandemic-born pop-up, Bernal Bakery, had been a big inspiration for the Bayview couple. 

“It hit us: ‘We can do that. We can start a small bakery out of here,’” said co-founder Alex Andrews. “That was a pretty big mindset switch and realization.”

I love this idea—that the success of one project can spark another. And when I read stories like the one today about an East Bay Krispy Kreme employee quitting her job to pursue her Mexican sweet bread business, I can’t help but get excited about all the new projects that will follow its lead. 

Of course, for every story of hope amid the pandemic there are likely countless others of struggle and misfortune and, despair. And so it’s important to also read the work of reporters like Joe Eskenaki, whose piece today in Mission Local highlighted the hardships for two local people over the past year. One woman lost her cosmetics job last March and was priced out of San Francisco. 

Another refuses to leave her native city, even though most of her paycheck goes to paying her family’s Visitacion Valley rent. “I hope and I pray every single day that this is just a hard spot,” the woman said. “And we’re going to recover from this.” 

Fwiw, I think there’s room for both types of stories in our city right now (the feel-good and the reality-checks), and just hope that both can do their small part in helping San Francisco become a better place—for everyone. 

And with that.. onto some news… 

After a preliminary agreement to open some of San Francisco's public schools was announced last Friday, the district released more details about its plan today. 

Some of the main takeaways include: 

  • On April 12th, 66 sites will open, mostly for Pre-K through 2nd grade 

  • On April 19th and 26th, 17 more sites will open, mostly for Pre-K through 2nd grade

  • Also on April 26th, sites will begin to open for 3rd through 5th grades. Vulnerable students or those with “limited online engagement” in middle school and high school will begin returning on this date as well. 

The Chronicle has put together a list of elementary schools by the phase of their return, or “wave,” to help parents understand when their children may get back to the classroom. Depending on the demand for a return to in-person learning, schools will either have students return for four full days or two full days a week and offer distance learning on the other days. Families can also choose to keep their kids home, though it is unclear how teachers will accommodate both in-person and distance learning at the same time. It’s also not clear when most middle school and high school students will return. 

The plan still requires a final vote by the school board, which could happen on Thursday. Last week, its president, Gabriela López, called it “an important step on our path to reopening schools.” 

Quick bits: 

  • 🏗 City officials broke ground last week on a major, 600-unit development on Market Street (near 12th street) that will include 96 affordable units for people who are homeless. (Examiner

  • 🏢 In what will be the city’s second-largest property deal ever, Dropbox’s Mission Bay headquarters is being sold for $1.08 billion. Mayor Breed called the sale a "resounding sign that people are still excited to be a part of San Francisco and its future." (Public Comment

  • 😔 One of the two beloved swans who frequented the lake around the Palace of Fine Arts has died. Parks and Rec officials believe zinc and lead poisoning could have led to Blue Boy’s passing. (Chronicle

  • 🏠 Berkeley’s City Council may adjust its laws so that Vice President Kamala Harris’ childhood home (at 1227 Bancroft Way) can become a historic landmark. (Berkeleyside

  • 💸 At a town hall meeting on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told residents that San Francisco stood to receive $587 million "at minimum" from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill. (Public Comment

  • 🏀 The Warriors’ Steph Curry had an insane All-Star weekend. Check out this 2-minute video of Steph highlights from the All-Star game (including some crazy long 3-point makes). Also, check out this video to see how he ended up (spoiler alert) winning his second career 3-point contest in dramatic fashion. (Bleacher Report / ESPN)

And finally… this is just the best. Twenty-year-old Edgar McGregor announced last week that after 589 straight days of picking up trash, one of his favorite hiking trails in Los Angeles (Eaton Canyon) was “now free of municipal waste.” 

McGregor’s dedication (and passion!) is so inspiring. Take a couple of minutes to watch the clip if you haven’t already. 

Trash is a major problem in San Francisco and something I’ve personally always wanted to help with. McGregor’s video gets me thinking—if one person can clean up a park the size of Eaton Canyon, maybe cleaning up our roughly 7x7 mile city isn’t an impossible task…

More to come on some ideas, but in the meantime, if you’re particularly passionate about our city’s trash problem, let me know by replying here. I’d love to hear from you.

That’s all for today! If you missed our story today on Barter Bread, I’d love for you to check it out. Elena did an awesome job and it’s our first “original” story as a publication. Hopefully, the first of many to come! 

Have a great night and see you tomorrow! - Nick B.

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