Inside San Francisco - September 27th, 2016

Inside San Francisco (Sep 27th, 2016)

The Bay Area’s economy outpaces the rest of the U.S. and China, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The gross domestic product of the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area growth rate was 8.9 percent between 2014 and 2015. This made it the second-fastest-growing metro area in the U.S. San Francisco’s metro area increased by 4.1 percent during the same time period. “There are footprints of all major industry sectors in the Bay Area, but tech is the big kahuna,” said Micah Weinberg, president of the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute. China's 2015 growth rate was 6.9 percent, while the average U.S. metro area grew by 2.5 percent in the same year. – SFC

The White House has published a new report, claiming that cities, including San Francisco, are not building enough housing to meet demand. “The accumulation of such barriers – including zoning, other land use regulations, and lengthy development approval processes – has reduced the ability of many housing markets to respond to growing demand,” the report states. It includes a 10-point “toolkit” on how cities can increase their housing supply through zoning codes, density limits, and streamlining the approval process. – FORBES

Click here to read the full report.

The sinking Millennium Tower may “do just fine over many decades,” according to one engineer investigating its foundation. John Egan, a partner at Sage Engineers, was hired by the development group responsible for constructing the tower. “We have a long history of foundation practice in San Francisco that tells us that buildings on a mat or piles pounded in the dense to very dense sand perform quite well,” said Egan. The tower has sunk at least 16 inches since its construction eight years ago. – SFC

Silicon Valley employees are now making double the national average, but the cost of housing is rising faster than salaries. Workers from the region make more than $100,000 annually, according to the Bay Area News Group. However, over a five-year span ending in July, the median home price increased 67 percent in San Francisco, according to CoreLogic. During the same period, average home prices rose 94 percent in San Mateo County and 74 percent in Santa Clara County. – MN

The San Francisco Chronicle has created a scrollable timeline of BART’s 44-year-history, depicting how it has aged over the decades. In its hay-day, BART was “heralded as a model for future public transportation,” according to the Chronicle’s Michael Cabanatuan. Although rail cars have been redesigned and tested, the BART Board of Directors is seeking a $3.5 billion bond approval from voters in November to make significant repairs. – SFC

Construction has begun on a new restaurant and “crafty” grocery store in the Fillmore, which is set to open next fall. Chefs Ryan Shelton and Madison Fraiser will offer homemade pastas, sauces, and other food at their location, to be called “Merchant Roots.” Eventually, it will include a small tasting-menu restaurant. "It will be grab-and-go, food-truck style,” said Shelton. “It will mainly feature the pastas and sauces we make, with items changing day-to-day.” – HL

Get Ready for the German Queen of Rock: Nena (“99 Luftballons”) will be at the Regency Ballroom (1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco) on Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.50. “At the heart of NENA is a rock'n'roller with unbeatable stage presence and energy to spare, whether she's playing to regularly sold-out crowds at the biggest arenas or more intimate club venues.” – Broadway World

A Fun Take on Peter Pan: “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a comedic play about Peter Pan before he met the Darling family, is now showing at The Berkeley Playhouse (2640 College Avenue, Berkeley) through Sunday, Oct. 16. Tickets start at $25.00, but there are also “Pay What You Can” performances that do not require reservations.

Get in Touch with Your Sci-Fi Side: The 2016 Con-Volution science fiction and fantasy convention will begin on Friday, Sept. 30 and continue through Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Hyatt Regency SFO (1333 Old Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame). The event will feature speaking sessions on everything from “Doctor Who” to “Star Trek.” The event is members-only, but those who show up at the door can pay $65.00 for full access to the convention and a regular membership.
San Francisco police are searching for a suspect who beat a man with brass knuckles on Sunday night in the Mission Bernal neighborhood. The attacker is described as a man in his 20s. He attacked a 36-year-old man around 4:25 p.m. on the 3200 block of Mission Street. The victim is recovering in the hospital.
Taraval Station has issued a warning to Outer Sunset residents in the area due to an increase in home burglaries. “Many of the burglaries are being committed without force, through half opened windows or unlocked doors,” the station said. “Bug screens and mesh alone are unable to protect against burglaries.” Police are now encouraging locals to lock their doors and windows when possible.
Police confirmed on Monday that a 23-year-old man was killed in West Oakland over the weekend. The incident occurred on the 800 block of Poplar Street near 12th Street at 1:11 a.m. The victim was identified as Tavio Briggs of Oakland. Police are continuing the investigation with its homicide team.
Some Bay Area locals may immediately recognize the food writing of Michael Bauer, but did you know that the San Francisco Chronicle food editor and restaurant critic has been with the publication for three decades?

In a piece for the Chronicle, Bauer recently reflected on how his palette and writing have evolved over time.

“In the last 30 years, change has come at warp speed, not only in the Bay Area, but across the country where chefs, influenced by travel and the Internet, are producing food that would have been unimaginable when I started,” writes Bauer.

And the technicalities of the job have evolved as well.

“I don’t have to take notes about dishes because photos are a better reminder, and if there’s a question on the spelling of an obscure wine, I skip paging through reference books and Google it instead,” says Bauer.

Today, he still regularly writes about the restaurant scene in the Bay Area, and he notes that he’s yet to tire of dining out. Every night, “there’s a new show,” Bauer says.

“How can I be bored when every plate of food tells a different story?” he asks.

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