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Monday News Roundup: Fatal Hit-and-Run and the City’s Crime Stats Revealed

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Broken car window at Shotwell & Precita by Todd Lapin

Hey SF,

Hope you got some time out in the sunshine over the weekend, and that you’ve recovered from last night’s game. 

I’m Natalie, a correspondent for The SF Minute, an email newsletter that helps you stay on top of news here in San Francisco. If you want quick, local news bits delivered right to you each weekday, click here to sign up. It’s free! 

Now, onto last week’s news…

Hundreds gather to remember Vicha Ratanapakdee

On Sunday, hundreds gathered in the Anza Vista neighborhood to remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, a Thai-American who was fatally assaulted in the area one year earlier. According to the SF Standard, Ratanapakdee’s death “became a flashpoint amid a surge in anti-Asian hate and violence during the pandemic and helped launch the national Stop Asian Hate movement.”

Two days prior to the gathering, on Friday, a Thai and Chinese American man was attacked while walking to his home in Japantown. The victim told ABC7 news that his attacker hit him in multiple places and yelled a racist insult.

Fatal Hit-and-Run in the Sunset

On Saturday evening, the driver of a stolen vehicle crashed into an Uber on Lincoln Blvd in the Outer Sunset, injuring the Uber driver and killing the passenger. The driver of the stolen vehicle fled on foot after the collision. On Sunday, D4 Supervisor Gordon Mar said on Twitter that an investigation is ongoing. 

City’s Crime Stats Revealed

On Wednesday, January 26, Mayor London Breed and Police Chief Bill Scott revealed the city’s crime stats for 2021, which showed that overall crime was up 11% compared to the previous year. 

Homicides increased by 17% in 2021 and vehicle thefts were up 39%. Still, some categories saw drops, like burglaries, which were down 5%. You can see a complete breakdown of the stats here

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Chief Scott said. 

The following day, thieves broke into the SoMa sandwich favorite Deli Board taking a cash register, five laptops, and the shop’s record player. “This neighborhood has been completely upended. It has been for years,” owner Adam Mesnick told the Examiner. A GoFundMe page has already raised over $20,000 to help.

Supes Table Affordable Housing Amendment

Also on Wednesday, a Board of Supervisors committee shelved a proposal by Mayor London Breed aimed at streamlining new housing construction. The charter amendment–dubbed “Affordable Housing Now”–would have let certain developments over 25 units “circumvent the city’s discretionary review process, cutting a year or two from a [project’s] timeline,” the Chronicle’s J.D. Morris writes

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who heads the committee and voted against moving the charter forward, said it “had not been vetted properly with the various community stakeholders it would affect,” Morris writes. Supervisor Rafael Mandelman expressed additional concerns, including that the amendment would create a new affordable housing category for families earning 140% of the median income in San Francisco, according to the SF Standard

On Twitter, Mayor Breed spoke out against the decision, saying: “San Francisco had a chance to make the most significant change in decades to how we build housing in this City. But it was rejected.” 

Here’s What Else Happened Last Week…

  • 🏈 On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Los Angeles Rams 17-20 despite leading for the entire first three quarters. This means that the Rams, not the Niners, will play against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl on February 13. Check out SFGATE’s analysis of last night’s game here.
  • 🏀 On Saturday, the Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was allowed to play against the Warriors at the Chase Center despite being unvaccinated against COVID-19. The SF Department of Public Health policies, which require proof of vaccination for both players and spectators, allows athletes on visiting teams to play even while unvaccinated. Currently, Irving is unable to play Nets home games in Brooklyn due to New York City’s vaccine rules. (Chronicle
  • 💵 San Francisco is extending its “Right to Recover” program, which gives $1,000 to people who test positive for Covid-19 and don’t have jobs that offer paid sick leave, through June. (Examiner
  • ❤️ The Lands Ends labyrinth, which vanished last year due to vandals, has recently been replaced by a heart-shaped rock formation. “Within days [of completion], it had already served as the location for several marriage proposals,” SFGATE’s Dan Gentile writes. (SFGATE
  • 👀 Reportedly, people are using drugs in the outdoor area of the city’s new UN Plaza linkage center, which opened two weeks ago to connect residents with (among other things) substance-use treatment. When asked about the claim on Wednesday, Mayor Breed said, “I wouldn’t suggest that something like drug use is allowed, but it’s happening all over the city.” (Chronicle / SF Standard
  • 😷 Starting Tuesday, February 1, fully vaccinated people in San Francisco will not be required to wear masks in indoor settings like gyms or offices, “which revives the rules that were present prior to the Omicron surge,” the SF Standard’s Kevin Truong writes. (SF Standard
  • 🚽 The underground bathrooms in the Powell Street BART station will reopen on Wednesday, February 2 for the first time in over 20 years, BART president Rebecca Saltzman said on Thursday. All restrooms in BART’s underground stations have been closed since 9/11 due to safety concerns, the agency has said. (Twitter

That’s all for this week. And a reminder, if you want to read these news updates every Monday-Friday, sign up for The SF Minutes’s newsletter here

Thanks for reading, and see you back here next week. 

– Natalie

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Natalie Mead

Natalie Mead

Natalie began her career at a tech company, but she has since seen the light and absconded with enough free t-shirts to last a lifetime. Now, she writes for The SF Minute and a smattering of other local news outlets.

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