Weekly News: SF Closures, Oscar Grant, Tariff Man, House Speaker Pelosi Y Mas

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Congratulations, you made it through 2018!

We have officially arrived at new Congress day where the Democrats take over the House and returning Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks like she’s ready to throw some shade and make it rain subpoenas. On a local level, we’ll touch on a couple impending San Francisco business closures, the vigil for Oscar Grant, the idiocy of “celebratory” gunfire and a story in Hayward that makes it obvious that we haven’t come as far as we should have in the 10 years since Grant was killed. On a national level, Trump is ALL CAPS NUTS, the Dow Jones is sucking the life out of retirement funds everywhere and Elizabeth Warren served up a savage response to Politico. Let’s go…

San Francisco is closing

Okay, maybe the city isn’t literally closing, but two more long-standing local establishments have announced they will soon go the way of every other piece of cool the San Francisco once offered. The owner of Mission Thrift has had just about enough, thank you. He claims his customer base has moved out of the city and he can’t find and retain employees at $18/hour with paid vacations and bonuses. The shop will remain open on Saturdays in order to clear inventory and then will shut down for good. Blur on Polk Street also announced that they will call it quits on Jan. 12, although they provided little information about what is driving their decision to close. They will be serving up their signatures cocktails and giving out their 2-for-1 happy hour deals for the next nine days – so get on it before we wave goodbye.

Mission Thrift in San Francisco, Calif. will close its doors for good. Photo courtesy of Good Things in Your State

Over in Oakland

A four-hour vigil was held Tuesday at the BART Fruitvale Station where Oscar Grant was killed 10 years ago, as we previously reported here. Although the tone of the day was necessarily solemn, it was also filled with a sense of hope and purpose – to make sure his life is remembered and his death continues to inspire change. Grant became a national icon postmortem, a symbol, a catalyst for what would later give birth to the Black Lives Matter movement. Grant, who would now be 32 years old, is “gone but not forgotten.”

Mural honoring Oscar Grant created by Trust Your Struggle Collective. Photo courtesy of KSRO

New Year’s Eve took a nasty turn in Oakland when a 6-year-old girl was struck in the head by a stray bullet shot off in the air at midnight. She miraculously survived and was later stabilized at UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital. The shooter has yet to be identified but that may not last long with the $5,000 reward being offered for information leading to an arrest. Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick held a press conference Tuesday with a plea to residents: “Put the guns down!”

Hayward PD has some explaining to do

The East Bay Express published a heartbreaking story Wednesday that warrants some real attention. They recapped an incident that occurred in November when Hayward police responded to a situation where the overworked, good-natured family man, Agustin Andres Gonsalez, reached a point of mental crisis and was found holding a razor blade. When he refused to drop the weapon and told cops they’d have to kill him, they took him up on the offer and unloaded 13 rounds. They didn’t try to find a mental health professional to speak with him. They didn’t try to disarm him. The one man with a razor blade apparently presented too much of a risk for the two officers with guns. On the day of Gonsalez’s funeral, the family heard news that Hayward police successful disarmed and arrested another man wielding two guns, which left his parents wondering why in the hell officers couldn’t have done the same for a man with a razor blade in crisis. The article is emotionally hard to read, but sometimes discomfort precedes change.

Agustin Andres Gonsalez and children. Photo courtesy of Gonzales family

Trump on Twitter


Trump has added the title of clinical psychiatrist to his long list of self-proclaimed points of greatness. Turns out the HATERS don’t really hate him, they’re just afflicted with TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. But it’s okay, ssshh, don’t fight it…just “calm down and enjoy the ride.” And the country proceeded to scratch their heads, collectively wondering if the statement was a version of Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” or if it was meant to sound as totally rapey as it came across, HAPPY NEW YEAR, AMERICA!

Politico choked on all their feet when they published an article questioning Elizabeth Warren’s ability to conquer her “likability” problem. They wasted zero time after her official candidacy announcement to lump her up with and compare her to Hillary Clinton, because…vaginas. Last time I checked, Trump was hardly “elected” for his likability. But the Twittersphere was quick to answer, en masse, that Warren might be just fine if Politico refrained from the misogyny framing right out of the gate. By the tone of the article, it was surprising they didn’t suggest she just smile more, cause ladies are so much more amiable when they make the pretty smile.

But Warren came up with two brilliant responses to the (let’s just say it) super sexist piece. Capitalizing on the public’s anger, she launched a fundraising campaign off of the fury. And then, there was this gold:

Rapid fire: Trump thinks the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan wasn’t so bad. The federal government has been partially shut down for almost 13 days in a standoff over the wall that the president now claims is pretty much already built. (Cool – can we get back to paying people to get the f’n garbage out of the parks?) The new Congress is being sworn in Thursday and the House is expected to embed themselves up the president’s ass with all sorts of fun subpoenas. Did somebody say tax returns? I think I heard someone say tax returns, and subpoenas…and impeachment. Oh, wait! That was Nancy Pelosi, who just won the best seat in the House Thursday. Congrats to House Speaker Pelosi! (Now, get your shades on and get the job done!) The Dow Jones took a 650-point swan dive after Apple announced it will be way off their quarterly sales expectations, a dip courtesy of “weakening growth and trade tensions in China.” Is there a bat signal for the Tariff Man?

Tariff Man. Illustration by Joe Heller courtesy of The Cagle Post

Weird shit to do on your day off

Clean out the old and make way for the new. I stumbled across way too many pictures of drawers with perfectly folded underwear not to take notice. There is a woman out there getting people to actually enjoy cleaning out the clutter. I think it might be a magic trick, but the stacks of unattended stuff in my house have me thinking I might take Marie Kondo’s challenge to Tidy Up. The new Netflix series is taking off like a bat out of hell, so get on the tidy train and let’s do like Pelosi and clean the house. Couldn’t hurt.


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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.