Students return to the classroom / Lands End labyrinth site lies vacant

It's Monday, August 16.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

It’s back-to-school day for San Francisco’s 50,000 public school students, and for many, it’ll be the first time stepping into a classroom for more than 17 months. 

“I’m really excited,” one third grade student at Carver Elementary told the Chronicle. “I’ve gotten taller. I’ve gotten smarter.”

Mayor Breed said: “We needed to get our young people back into their classrooms where they will get the in person learning they deserve, and we did! I wish all of our students a great first day!” 

Meanwhile, also on Monday, a federal judge threw out the $87 million lawsuit filed by school board member Alison Collins, “saying the claims had no merit and there was no need to argue the case in court,” the Chronicle writes

Back in March, Collins claimed that her free speech rights were violated after she lost her vice president title and committee duties over a series of controversial tweets. 

A good day for SFUSD? The SF Parents Coalition seems to think so. 

In response to news of Collins’ case dismissal, the group said on Twitter: “Pretty sweet back-to-school gift for SFUSD kids today.” 

And with that...onto some news… 

San Francisco will reopen a mass Covid testing site at 7th and Brannan, which will bring the city’s testing capacity back up to around 5,000 per day. (You can search for a testing site on the city’s website here.) 

“We know that the most important thing people can do to keep themselves and their friends and family safe is to get vaccinated,” Mayor Breed said in a statement. “But with the delta variant here and cases at a higher level than we’d like, testing remains an important part of our strategy to slow the spread of this virus.” 

Meanwhile, late last week, the head of San Francisco General Hospital, Dr. Susan Ehrlich, told NBC News that the latest Covid surge in the city may have reached its peak as hospitalization and overall case numbers have “started coming down.”

Quick bits: 

  • 🌉 According to recently released US Census data, San Francisco’s overall population rose 8.5% between 2010 and 2020 to 873,965. During that ten-year stretch, the city’s Hispanic population rose 12.3% and Asian population rose 10.7%, while its Black population decreased by 3.7%. (Here/Say

  • 🏘 Rental applications in San Francisco increased 105% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to data provided by the listing service RentCafe. (Chronicle

  • 🍾 Chezchez is a new bar in the Mission celebrating “European aperitivo culture” with “spritzy cocktails” and “lots of sparkling wine,” the Chronicle writes. It’s located at 584 Valencia Street and opens on Tuesday. (Chronicle

  • 🚙 The San Francisco Lowrider Council held its 40th annual “King of the Streets” car show on Saturday that concluded with a cruise down Mission Street. Here/Say captured some good video from the event, hydraulics and all. (KQED

  • 🥇 Rio Olympian Ben Kanute won his fourth consecutive Escape from Alcatraz triathlon on Sunday,  beating out his nearest competitor by more than two minutes. Meanwhile, South African Emma Pallant-Browne took home the title on the women’s side. (Chronicle

And finally… 

The 35-foot Lands End labyrinth had been a fixture in the area since 2004, but after being destroyed three times in the past year (“​​with every single rock presumably thrown into the water,” the SFGate writes) the cliffside space currently lies empty. 

“Someone was paying attention and really not wanting it here,” the labyrinth’s caretaker, Colleen Yerge, said recently. “I’m not pissed off at whoever’s doing this. I’m more like, ‘What’s going on inside of them?’”

The SFGate writes that Yerge “might organize a meetup some time in September but said she feels like the land needs some time to reset, and she feels like she'll instinctively know when the time is right to re-create one of San Francisco’s most beloved pieces of public art.” 

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and don’t forget, tonight at 6 pm, Mission Local’s Joe Eskenazi will be interviewing District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Police Chief Bill Scott. You can sign up here to Zoom-in for free. It should be a good one! 

Alright, have a great night and see you back here tomorrow! - Nick B.

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