SFMTA launches “Text Before Tow" program / Cargo ships may never line up in the Bay again
1.13.22 * Circulation 5,311 * 197 members
Hey there, San Francisco.
I thought this was pretty cool.
On Thursday, the Examiner reported that the SFMTA will soon start sending text message alerts to people whose cars are about to be towed for certain parking violations, like blocking a driveway. The new program is intuitively called “Text Before Tow.”
(To receive alerts, you’ll need to sign up here.)
Getting towed can cost a lot–$500 for a “first-time, full-priced tow,” the Examiner says. And so hopefully, the heads up will be a relief for residents.
“It’s a very expensive city to live in, and it’s a tough city in many ways, so what’s a way we can make things a little easier in our town?” said Manny Yekutiel, a cafe owner and the SFMTA Board Director who spearheaded the program.
Now, as someone who’s gotten two parking tickets over the last two weeks, I can’t help but wonder how such an alert system could be expanded.
Maybe one day.
With that…onto the news…
Top story: One thing you should know
Almost a month since Mayor London Breed’s fiery City Hall press conference (calling for an end to “all the “bullsh*t that has destroyed our city”) and online post (vowing to “take back the Tenderloin” by “interrupting” open air-drug dealing and substance abuse), the Chronicle’s Megan Cassidy writes that “arrests in the neighborhood have remained flat and the Police Department has not sent more officers to patrol the area.”
Cassidy called it an “anti-climactic start to what was widely considered to be among the most aggressive stances on policing Breed has issued.”
In an interview this week, Mayor Breed told the Chronicle she plans to deploy more police in the Tenderloin soon. Efforts, she said, have been held back by the omicron surge and budget approvals.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the SFPD said that over the last three weeks, the department’s “average weekly fentanyl seizure” has tripled compared to 2020 numbers.
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories from across the city
👀 San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott had harsh words for the district attorney’s office after it decided on Tuesday to drop charges against a suspected burglar who was “accused of assaulting and injuring two police officers,” the Chronicle writes. “These kinds of attacks are unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated by our criminal justice system,” Scott said. “When they are, it sends a dangerous message.”
The suspect, Sergio Lugo, also sustained injuries during the February 2021 arrest. A spokesperson for the DA’s office said that between “inconsistencies in police officer statements, the fact that Mr. Lugo was behaving lawfully when stopped by police, and the photos of the injuries of all parties…it was clear that this was not a provable case.” (Chronicle)
🚢 The SFGATE reports that the Port of Oakland launched new rules this week that have container ships hanging out some 50 miles off the coast while they wait for available docking space, instead of previous protocols that had them queuing up inside the Bay. "The overall goal is to reduce congestion, to promote maritime safety and minimize air quality impacts," a port spokesperson said. “The numbers should go down in the coming days, you'll see a dramatic decrease.” (SFGATE)
🚔 Last week, police officers arrested three 19-year-old suspects after reportedly seeing one of them break into a car near the Embarcadero. Upon making the arrests, police found stolen backpacks, computers, and cameras and one firearm with an “extended magazine.” (KRON4)
⛺️ The Frisc reported Thursday that San Francisco’s “biennial” count of its homeless population (which was already delayed a year) will likely be pushed back another month to the end of February due to the Omicron surge. As reporter Kristi Coale writes, the count is “the best way to get some kind of handle on the number of people living on the streets, in cars, and in other makeshift circumstances… [and impacts] federal funding and local policy decisions.” (Frisc)
Did you know The SF Minute has memberships? Plans start at $5 per month and give you full access to everything we produce. They also go a long way in making The SF Minute happen. Learn more about becoming a member here. 🙏
What else I’m reading: Links to browse at your leisure
New Taxes Boost SF Budget as Pandemic Pain Continues (SF Standard)
The story behind Overheard SF, the city's most voyeuristic social media account (SFGATE)
At 100, plant paradise Delano Nursery is still turning over new leaves (48 Hills)
Parcel Sadness: Small and 'Challenging' Cliffside Property On Telegraph Hill Hits Market For $150,000 (SFist)
Weekend guide: Things to consider for your weekend ahead
🤸♀️ Do yoga atop Salesforce Park. When: Friday from 12:30pm-1:30 pm / Where: Lawn near the Salesforce Park Amphitheater / Cost: Free / More info here
🎨 See art, on skate decks. When: Opening reception on Friday from 6pm-10pm, exhibit open through the end of February / Where: Mirus Gallery, 540 Howard Street / Cost: Free / More info and RSVP here
🤤 Eat food from all over Latin America (Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Peru, Haiti, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico, and more). When: Sunday from 11am-5pm / Where: Speakeasy Brewery, 1195 Evans Avenue / Cost: Free (admission) / More info here and RSVP here
⛪ Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Grace Cathedral. When: Sunday from 3pm-4:30pm / Where: Zoom! / Cost: Free / More info and RSVP here
Alright, that’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading and a quick programming alert before you go.
The SF Minute will be off on Monday (1/17) for Martin Luther King Day. I’ll also be out next Friday (1/21). So next week, we’ll have newsletters on Tuesday-Thursday and return the following week in full force.
Alright. Have a great night y’all and see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.