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Friday News Roundup: Breed Pushes Drug Use Sites & Booster Appointments Now Available

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San Francisco Mayor, London N. Breed speaks on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on November 12, 2019. (Daniel Montes/Bay City News)

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Happy Friday. This week we learned that Mayor London Breed is pushing forward with a plan to open a supervised drug consumption site in the Tenderloin. And, all residents 18 years or older can start booking their booster shot appointments. More info on how to do that below.

If you want to receive these news roundups every weekday, I’d love for you to sign up for my newsletter, The SF Minute.

For now… onto the news…

Mayor ‘pushing’ for drug consumption sites

Chronicle reporter Trisha Thadani reported that Mayor Breed is “pushing” to open a supervised drug consumption site in the city as early as this spring. On Tuesday, Thadani said, the mayor introduced legislation at the Board of Supervisors meeting that calls on acquiring a former Goodwill store located at 822 Geary Street in the Tenderloin where the site could possibly reside.

“We have been wanting to do this for a long time, especially in light of the significant increase in the number of overdose deaths in our city,” Breed told Thadani. “We have to get this site open.”

Still, given that the drug use sites are illegal under federal and state law, the mayor said, “I have to be very, very careful about how we do this.”

State Assembly race is on

The special election to fill San Francisco’s empty Assembly seat in Sacramento has been set for April 19, the governor’s office announced late last week. That position was vacated by David Chiu, who became San Francisco’s city attorney earlier this month.

The candidates thus far, as noted by the SF Standard, “include David Campos, a former city supervisor who is currently on leave from his last role as chief of staff to District Attorney Chesa Boudin; Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents District 6; Bilal Mahmood, an entrepreneur and scientist; and Thea Selby, a member of the City College Board of Trustees.”

First, however, to whittle the candidates down to two, a primary election for the Assembly seat will take place on February 15.

Booster appointments now available for all SF adults

Late last week, the California Department of Public Health said anyone over 18 years old was eligible for a booster so long as it had been 6 months since receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna dose. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson shot were only assigned a 2 month wait time.

Some confusion ensued over how to schedule a booster appointment. But as of Thursday morning, California residents can now go to the state’s My Turn website to book an appointment. Once you enter some information, the site also shows places across the city where you can simply walk in and get your shot.

Here’s a list of sites in San Francisco as well.

“We are taking an expansive approach to COVID-19 boosters, realizing that people are at risk of getting COVID or spreading it as we enter the busy holiday season,” said San Francisco’s Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax, who noted a slight uptick in recent cases across the city.

Planning Commission moves four-plex plan forward

On Thursday, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved a plan proposed by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman that allows fourplexes to be built on lots currently zoned for single family or two-unit homes. As Chronicle reporter J.K. Dineen writes, “[Planning] Commissioner Frank Fung said that all too often the planning panel entertains proposals for either soaring towers near downtown or the expansion of single-family homes already worth millions.”

“Rarely do we see anything that looks like medium density,” Fung said during Thursday’s meeting. “I think that it’s time we try something different.”

The legislation is not set in stone, however. The Board of Supervisors will need to approve it, a process that will likely begin early next year.

Lowell High’s admissions process TBD

A Superior Court judge ruled on Thursday that the San Francisco school board’s vote to end merit-based admissions at Lowell High did not follow a state law that requires “comprehensive” meeting agendas to be made public ahead of time, the Chronicle reports. Basically, the judge said, parents and others were not given a proper heads up.

Still, as the Chronicle writes, the judge “stopped short of requiring the district to reinstate competitive admission, leaving open the possibility the school board could take the same action after giving adequate notice to the public.”

We should know more within the next 30 days, the Chronicle says. In the meantime, whether admissions at Lowell will be academic or lottery-based moving forward remains TBD.

Opera Plaza Cinema reopens

After a $1.2 million renovation, Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinema located at 601 Van Ness Avenue is set to open this Friday. As noted by Chronicle reporter G. Allen Johnson, its opening night lineup includes “two San Francisco cop classics — ‘Bullitt’ (1968) and ‘Dirty Harry’ (1971).”

Also, I did not realize that the former AMC theater on Van Ness was renovated and reopened in September as “CGV San Francisco 14.” Together, the two updated theaters mark the return of “a combined 18 movie screens on the Van Ness corridor,” Johnson writes.

Teenager fatally shot in the Bayview

On Tuesday afternoon, a 19-year-old suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a shooting on Third Street near La Salle Avenue. He later died at the hospital. With six weeks left in 2021, the shooting marked the 48th homicide in San Francisco this year. In 2020, there were 48 homicides total.

The SFist reports that hours after the incident on Third Street, an 18-year-old was shot and injured while driving in the Hunters Point area. It’s unclear, SFist reporter Jay Barmann said, if the two events were connected. (Chronicle / SFist)

Touchless car wash gets boarded up

On Tuesday, I noticed that the Touchless car wash and gas station on the corner of Oak and Divisadero is boarded up and officially closed down.

Apparently, according to a 2019 story from the Chronicle, an apartment complex with 186-units is set to take its place. At the time, reporter J.K. Dineen said the new development was “by far the largest residential project on Divisadero Street or in the Lower Haight neighborhood.” Twenty percent of the building, or 37 units, will be affordable.

Local Congresswoman to retire

US Congresswoman Jackie Speier, whose district includes mostly San Mateo County but also a “sliver” of San Francisco in the southwest portion of the city, announced on Tuesday that she will not seek reelection in 2022. “It’s time to come home,” Speier, 71, told KQED. “It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation.”

Film commissioner forced to resign

The head of the SF Film Commission (a group that works to bring TV and movie production projects to the city) will need to resign at the end of the year for not receiving a Covid vaccine, and thus violating the city’s inoculation policy for its employees. Susannah Greason Robbins, who led the commission for 11 years, told the Chronicle she asked for a religious exemption from the mandate based on her “Christian Scientist upbringing,” but her request was denied.

“I’m sad to be leaving because I love this job and this city and the film community we have here,” Robbins said.

Slanted Door is sticking around

The SF Business Journal confirmed on Monday that the famed Slanted Door restaurant in the Ferry Building is not shutting down despite rumors. In fact, owner-chef Charles Phan said it extended its lease 10 years, until 2034. The restaurant is undergoing major renovations, however, and isn’t set to reopen until summer 2022.

And finally… Jonah Hill to play Jerry Garcia

Jonah Hill is slated to play Jerry Garcia in the upcoming Grateful Dead “biopic.” The film, which is being financed by Apple, will be directed by Martin Scorsese and will hopefully feature some good scenes in the Haight.

Alright, that’s all for this week. Thanks y’all for reading and again, if you want to receive these news updates daily, I’d love for you to subscribe to The SF Minute.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here next Friday! – Nick B.

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Nick Bastone

Nick Bastone

Nick Bastone is the founder of the San Francisco-based newsletter, The SF Minute. Previously, he worked as a tech reporter for The Information and Business Insider.

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