U.S. Capitol Police to open SF office / Choral director resigns over vaccine mandate

It's Monday, August 23.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Some housekeeping upfront, since baby Bastone is coming at us fast. 

Based on some reader feedback, I’m going to try and keep The Minute running as much as possible while I’m out on paternity leave. So how will that work? 

Well, a few local reporters have graciously agreed to do “guest takeovers'' in my absence. But instead of the typical Monday-Friday schedule, we’ll scale it back a bit. Some weeks we’ll send the newsletter on Tuesday and Thursday. Other weeks we’ll send Monday/Wednesday/Friday. 

Hopefully, it’ll be just enough to keep you in the loop. And it’ll be good to inject some new voices into the newsletter. 

In terms of timing, if everything goes to plan, I’ll be “out of office” starting the week of 9/13 and the guest writers will start on 9/20. So there should be just one week of downtime. But, of course, I may need to log off sooner. Either way, I’ll let you know when I do take off. And I should be back around mid-October. 

Anyways, thanks for hearing me out! When you start your own newsletter, you don’t really think about who will write the thing if a baby comes along. But here we are! I really appreciate all your support, and I’m thankful to have such an awesome group of readers here to return to after the time away. 

And with that… onto some news… 

The U.S. Capitol Police, after operating for nearly 200 years in Washington D.C., plans to expand and open “field offices” in both San Francisco and Tampa Bay, Florida due, in part, to the high level of threats to Congressional members in those areas, the Chronicle reported on Monday. 

“[We] look forward to working with [the Capitol Police] to investigate and prosecute individuals and groups who engage in threats or acts of violence against Members of Congress, their staffs, and other related criminal activity,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California said. 

Still, it is not clear when the office will open or how many people will staff it. 

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Last week, a young family who relocated from San Francisco to Mariposa during the pandemic were all found dead (father, mother, 1-year old daughter, and dog) on a popular, but remote hiking trail. “You come on scene and everyone is deceased. There’s no bullet holes, no bottle of medicine, not one clue,” a Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese told the Chronicle on Friday. “It’s a big mystery.” 

As the Chronicle’s Matthias Gafni writes: 

Autopsy reports for the family and dog remained outstanding Friday, with officials saying they don’t expect any definitive answers until lab technicians in Stanislaus County and UC Davis work through toxicology reports. There are no other obvious signs of trauma or notes indicating troubles. Authorities are investigating deadly gas exposure from unknown mines, toxic bacteria blooms in the waterways and basic dehydration — it was 107 to 109 degrees Sunday afternoon when officials believe they hiked.

Quick bits: 

  • 💺 When San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House opened for its 99th season on Saturday, patrons were greeted with 3,128 brand new plush seats as part of a $3.5 million upgrade meant to offer a more comfortable viewing experience. “This is the most extensive design we have ever done on a seat,” the Montreal-based seat maker told the Times. “The opera houses are always the most stringent customers.” (NYT

  • 💉 After a 14 year tenure, San Francisco Symphony Choral Director Ragnar Bohlin is resigning due to the company and the city’s vaccine mandate policy. Bohlin told the Chronicle he was “sad to now see the SFS comply with these dictates and to deprive their employees their basic rights to privacy, bodily autonomy and informed consent.” (Chronicle

  • 🎬 The San Francisco Park Alliance is bringing back its free, outdoor film screening series “Sundown Cinema,” starting this Friday with Sister Act in Dolores Park. (SFist

And finally…

North Beach poet Jack Hirschman died on Sunday. He was 87 years old and the city’s third former Poet Laureate to pass away this year. 

As the Chronicle’s Sam Whiting writes

Even laying on his bed on a weekday afternoon, Hirschman could muster deep emotion for a reading of “Path,” the poem he said he’d most like to be remembered for.

“Go to your broken heart,” he began. “If you think you don’t have one, get one. To get one, be sincere. Learn sincerity of intent by letting life enter because you’re helpless, really, to do otherwise.”

That’s all for today. Thanks so much for reading y’all and I’ll see you back here tomorrow. 

Have a nice night. - Nick B. 

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