SF snags exemptions to new mask mandates / Tenants facing eviction deliver 'coal' to landlords
12.15.21 * Circulation 3,526 * 175 members
Hey there, San Francisco.
Late Tuesday evening, the California Department of Public Health offered exemptions from its new indoor mask policies to certain Bay Area counties, including San Francisco.
“It’s a recognition of all of the thought and care that San Francisco residents have been putting into staying as safe as possible,” San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip said of the exemption.
In practice, it means that local residents will not be required to wear masks in offices, gyms, college classrooms, or religious gatherings where everybody is fully vaccinated and there are fewer than 100 people.
Dave Karraker, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition told the Chronicle that the group “couldn’t be more pleased with the receding of the state mask order.”
“To have any disruption at all in the progress we’ve made over the last year and a half in getting customers back would have been devastating,” Karraker said.
Also, Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the first Covid-vaccine administered in San Francisco. Since then, nearly 1.4 million doses have been given out, and as of this week, 80% of this city’s total population is fully vaccinated.
“We’ve come a very long way,” Mayor Breed said of the one-year mark. “Our vaccination efforts show what San Francisco can do when we work together.”
And with that…onto some more news…
Top story: One thing you should know
The San Francisco school board approved a budget plan on Tuesday night which “cuts $50 million from schools and $40 million from headquarters staff as part of an effort to close a $125 million deficit and avoid a state takeover,” the SF Standard writes.
“The idea of any programs being cut is heartbreaking,” Yvette Edwards, co-founder of the San Francisco Parent Coalition told the Standard. “But the alternative…that’s going to be way more devastating.”
As Chronicle education reporter Jill Tucker notes: “The cuts acknowledge a significant loss of [SFUSD] students over the past several years, with enrollment down to 49,000 this year, a loss of 9,000 students since 2014. The number of teachers and overall district staff has remained relatively static during that time.” (SF Standard / Chronicle)
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories from across the city
👀 The California Highway Patrol, together with the San Francisco Police Department, uncovered a retail theft operation last week that led them to find some 15,000 stolen items worth over $200,000. Some of the items were found in a storage locker in San Francisco. So far, two arrests have been made. (KTVU)
🎅 Several tenants who face eviction from their Mission District apartment complex (located at 3661 19th Street) traveled to Redwood City this past weekend and delivered “stockings full of coal” to the homes of the two building owners who are working to move them out. "It was symbolic," said the tenant who bought the coal, which was actually made of plastic. (Bay Area Reporter)
🏙 On Wednesday, the development company Hines presented a project plan to the San Francisco Planning Department to build a 1,066 feet downtown skyscraper that would contain 808 apartment units and would be just four feet shorter than the Salesforce Tower. As Chronicle reporter John King notes: “The time frame for the project aims for winning approvals from the city by the end of next year.” (Chronicle)
🛒 The new Stonestown Galleria Whole Foods (which is taking the place of a former Macy’s) is scheduled to open on January 12. (Chronicle)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse at your leisure
Experts say mayor’s drive to override surveillance law misstates law’s restrictions (Mission Local)
Editorial: San Francisco’s strong response to Tenderloin drug and crime emergency is long overdue (Examiner)
San Francisco becomes first city to require sick leave for nannies, cleaners, gardeners (Chronicle)
Tech’s Looming Radical Chic Throwdown (Puck)
The Anatomy of a Perfect Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista (Eater)
And finally… A piece by SF Minute correspondent Paolo Bicchieri
On your right is the soon-to-be home for the anticipated bagelry, Schlok’s.
On your left is Fell Depot Cleaners, which recently downsized its Fell Street dry-cleaning business from a walk-in shop to a walk-up window mostly due to a pandemic-driven drop in sales.
“We want to stay here,” owner Seung Hwan Lee told me in a recent conversation, noting that his new, narrow space is plenty big and will help “save some money.”
Schlok’s, which has taken over Fell Depot’s larger floor plan, is scheduled to open sometime in January. Its owner Zack Schwab said he’s “very happy” that Hwan Lee will be able to keep operations going.
“It's not easy to run any type of small business in SF, especially right now,” Schwab said. “So we encourage the neighborhood to support and appreciate folks like Seung and [and his wife] Seon.”
So far, Schwab said, their relationship has been neighborly. When either has been out-of-town, he said, they’ve made sure to help out with the mail.
That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and we’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.