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Bay news wrap for week of June 28, 2018: Protests and cow poop ice cream

It seems like each week in news is crazier than the last and this past week gets gold stars for holding up that theory. We’ll touch on our newest local viral video star Permit Patty, patties cooked up by robots, a whole lot of protesting, the death of a moderate Supreme Court and give you fun ideas to shake the funk off this weekend (trust me, you’ll need to). Here goes…

You are what you eat?

A couple of local nom nom stories popped up that may do more to raise eyebrows than wet appetites.

The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted the new robot burgers coming to the city – actual hamburgers, made by robots. The bots offer up patties of brisket and chuck with topping selections like onion jam and chipotle sea salt, hardly the garden variety meat massacres you pick up at the drive-thru. The SOMA restaurant Creator started putting their mechanical chefs to the test Wednesday with limited lunch service offered through presale tickets through the summer – the public grand opening is anticipated in September. You can see the transparent inner workings of robot grilling and fill your belly for $6 at 680 Folsom Street.

Photo courtesy of Fast Company

If you’re up for dessert and have an eco-conscious thing going on, you might be happy to hear that you can pick up some ice cream made with the energy-efficient power of poop. Yep. The Munchies folks over at Vice shared an article that explains how North Bay Straus Family Creamery hopped on the sustainability train years ago, notably for their use of cow shit. An anaerobic digester separates the liquids from solids (hungry yet?) and uses the methane to generate the farm’s electricity and charge truck batteries. The thought may be nauseating but the product is pretty amazing, poop or not.

Permit Patty

Alison Ettel had apparently never heard the adage, “Pick on someone your own size.” She earned the nickname “Permit Patty” after a video went viral that documented her calling the police on an 8-year-old black girl in San Francisco Saturday. The girl’s offense? The little entrepreneur was selling water for $2 near AT&T Park, without a permit! The lack of permit really pissed Ettel off. Despite the girl’s cousin repeatedly admonishing her while filming the incident, Ettel continued with her phone call to police.

As it turns out, Ettel was a CEO of her own Treatwell Health cannabis product company that specialized in products for animals. Her line was a big seller at local dispensaries, but that didn’t stop establishments from taking her products off the shelf after the video went viral, with places like Magnolia citing integrity over profit. CBS News reported Wednesday that she has officially stepped down at the CEO of Treatwell and will no longer be involved in an upcoming documentary about women in the cannabis industry, proving that it doesn’t always pay to snitch, especially when you’re picking on a kid. She’d have been better off buying a $2 water and supporting the next generation of women in business.  

The Bay screams for ICE…to get out

Two big stories related the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy hit home over the past week, sparking protests in unusual areas of the East Bay.

The West County Detention Facility in the cuts of Richmond has seen a steady flow of protesters over several days. Locals, and librarians, brought signs, the press and children’s books to the jail’s entrance to bring attention to the 200 ICE detainees held there as part of a financially lucrative arrangement between the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as we previously reported. There is no sign that activists are ready to let this go anytime soon.

Concord City Council meeting about Naval Weapons Station June 27, 2018. Photo by Nik Wojcik

Concord was thrown into the protest mix following Friday’s news that the Naval Weapons Station inside city limits was being considered as a detainment camp site for up to 47,000 immigration detainees. The mayor, Edi Birsan, pushed back immediately, with the support of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and other city officials. In a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Birsan expressed that the site, which is in negotiation for city transfer, is unsuitable based on environmental health concerns and lack of infrastructure. In addition, he highlighted that the detainment of immigrants is in direct conflict with the spirit of Concord, a city gifted by Mexican-Americans in the wake of the devastating Hayward Fault earthquake in 1868. Although unofficial communication late Tuesday indicates that the entire state of California is off the table for detainment camp consideration, Tuesday and Wednesday city council meetings were packed to capacity with residents and protesters. We’re working to bring you the full story of the impact the chaos had on Concord in a short but frantic five days.

A protest sign, is held above the West County Detention Facility, where an average of 200 ICE detainees are held daily in Richmond, Calif. on June 22, 2018. Photo by Betty Rose Livingston

Protests and rallies will again dominate the news waves this Saturday, June 30, as nationwide actions are scheduled as part of the “Families Belong Together” movement opposing separation of migrant families and the detainment of asylum-seekers in general. You can find a rally near you by looking at their website, or you can head to the West County Detention Facility in Richmond because, yes, they’ll be back.

Supreme Court takes a sharp right

Without going too far into this and inciting a Thursday of rampant Prozac popping, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down three decisions in the last two days that are telling of where the last-stop rule of law is headed. Wednesday, the majority ruled in favor of pregnancy crisis centers (a.k.a. anti-abortion fake clinics) and upheld Trump’s travel (Muslim) ban. Thursday, they dealt a blow to public-sector unions. However, it was the announcement that Anthony Kennedy will retire that really put the cherry on the SCOTUS news this week. Kennedy is a conservative justice but was known to swing his vote at times. With his resignation, Trump has an open door to nominate a much more conservative justice who will likely rule for pro-life groups in the future. We’ll see if Democrats are able to pull off the same maneuver Mitch McConnell made in 2016 when he refused to hold hearings for Obama’s last pick. If not, the face of the Supreme Court will change drastically for many years to come. Fun!

Weird shit to do on your day off

If you’re not up for protesting on Saturday, we’ve got you covered. You can hit up the Soy and Tofu Festival for everything not-meat at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. If meat dipped in corn batter and served on a stick is more your thing, you have your choices of fairs in either Marin or Alameda counties. But regardless of eating preferences, you’ll be welcome at Saturday’s “Sound of Music” sing-a-long at the Castro Theatre, running both Friday and Saturday. Find info and a link to tickets $16 here and you just may come out with the answer for “how to solve a problem like Maria”.

Sound of Music photo courtesy of Boston Review

Stay safe and sane this week folks. We’ll get through this together.

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.