Weekend shootings rock the Bay Area / San Francisco garter snake thrives near airport

It's Monday, June 21.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Traveling is always fun, especially when you let people know you’re from the city. This came up a few times when my wife and I were visiting San Diego this weekend, and the reaction was pretty consistent: “Are things in San Francisco as bad as we hear?” 

It’s a complicated question, of course. Has our city become that much “worse” over the past year? Maybe certain things have. But mostly, I’d say (and the data shows) our city’s struggles with addiction, homelessness, and crime are not necessarily new. 

Anyways, San Diego was nice. The water was warm and we ate a lot of tacos. But it’s good to be back. 

And with that… onto some news… 

A Sunday night shooting at a house party in Richmond left three people dead and five injured. Richmond Police Lieutenant Matt Stonebraker said, “The shooting appears to be isolated and targeted to that actual gathering.” There was no immediate information about the motive or suspect. 

Meanwhile, at a Juneteenth celebration at Lake Merritt on Saturday, a shooting killed one person and injured seven others. Oakland police officials said on Monday that the incident may have resulted from a feud between two rival San Francisco gangs. 

Quick bits: 

  • 🛍 On Saturday, the SFPD arrested a 40-year-old man suspected to be the thief caught on camera last week shoplifting at Walgreens. Video of the incident has garnered some six million views on Twitter. Police caught the man while he was attempting to rob the CVS in Lower Haight. (SFist

  • ☕️ A queer-owned coffee shop called Milk SF (located between 14th and 15th on Valencia) is opening on July 1. It’s co-owner, Sharon Ratton, said its “about having a place where everyone is accepted and you don’t have to think twice.” Milk tea with homemade boba and breakfast biscuit sandwiches will also be served. (Chronicle

  • 🎉 On Juneteenth Eve, last Friday, The Frisc photographed the unveiling of “Monumental Reckoning,” a display in Golden Gate Park that includes 350 sculptures representing the first people sold into slavery in Africa and brought to America. The sculptures surround the cement base where a statue of Francis Scott Key (a slave owner who wrote the “The Star-Spangled Banner”) stood before protestors pulled it down last year.

    “We’ve never not thought about our ancestors,” Dana King, the artist behind the display, told The Frisc. “They are responsible for every step we take.” (The Frisc)

  • 💸 Following up on concerned reader inquiries, Chronicle reporter Gregory Thomas found that the US Coast Guard spent more than $42,000 to rescue Marin kayaker Cyril Derreumaux, whose attempt to paddle from San Francisco to Hawaii was cut short earlier this month. “Why should taxpayers foot the bill for his narcissistic waste of time,” one person wrote to Thomas. 

    Still, a representative for the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco told the Chronicle, “I wouldn’t say this particular rescue negatively impacted our budget any more than any other rescue.” (Chronicle

  • 🍔 Shake Shack will open its second San Francisco location on June 28 in the Westfield malls’ downtown food court. The New York chain opened its first burger joint in the city last February in the Cow Hollow area. (Chronicle

  • 🖥 A “retro-futuristic” typeface inspired by the iconic Cow Palace sign is now available for download. It’s called “Moonjumper Alpha.” (Chronicle

  • 🇺🇸 Warriors’ star Steph Curry reportedly will not play in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. His reasoning for skipping the summer games is not yet clear. (Twitter, Shams Charania

  • 🏊‍♀️ Drop-in swimming will resume at public pools across the city on June 29. (Twitter, SF Parks and Rec

And finally… 

Snakes terrify me. But I think the San Francisco garter snake, with its orange and turquoise stripes, is totally beautiful. It’s also quite endangered. Previously, it was thought that only one to two thousand of the snakes were alive in the wild.  

But a recent study by the US Geological Survey and the US Fish and Wildlife Service gives new hope that its population is on the rise. According to the study, an estimated 1,300 San Francisco garter snakes are living in the 180-acre protected habitat right next to San Francisco International airport. 

That’s good news! But also a bit nerve-wracking that the highest concentration of San Francisco garter snakes happens to be right near SFO. 

Hopefully, there won’t be any snakes on any planes. 

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading y’all and we’ll see you here tomorrow.

- Nick B. 🐍

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