Inside San Francisco - October 7th, 2016

Inside San Francisco (Oct 7th, 2016)

 Today's forecast is sunny with a high/low of 74/52 F. 
A federal judge has weighed in on a new law that requires short-term rental websites to verify listings with San Francisco before posting them. "How does facilitating the rental of an unregistered short-term unit constitute a lawful transaction?" U.S. District Judge James Donato asked Airbnb attorney Jonathan Blavin in court yesterday. Blavin argued that the company already tries to avoid posting listings for units that should not be legally booked. Airbnb sued San Francisco in June in an attempt to prevent the law from being enforced. – ARS

City College of San Francisco students and staff outlined their concerns about the school’s enrollment rate in a news conference on Wednesday. Since 2012, the school has seen a 28 percent drop in overall enrollment. Many students and faculty believe that it is because the school was sanctioned by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in 2012. The school lost accreditation due to “leadership weaknesses at all levels,” according to a report. This led the state chancellor’s office to take over the school, replace numerous administrators and impose a raft of new budget austerity measures. – ML

A new report suggests that the Sunset District may be a hot spot for house hunters in the Bay Area. Data from the Paragon Real Estate Group showed that for the second straight year, prices of homes sold in the area have exceeded list prices by 20 percent. A total of 270 houses have sold in the neighborhood over the past year. Experts believe homebuyers are flocking to the area because of its access to major highways. “Houses are becoming a rare commodity,” said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for Paragon. “The Sunset offers the greatest section of homes.” – SFE

A medical expert found that the loud noises from BART trains surpass a safe limit set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Sound was recorded at the Powell BART station by Dr. Shu-en Lim, clinical director of the Hearing and Balance Center at the University of the Pacific, to gauge noise levels. She saw peak noise reach 113 decibels, which was above the NIOSH safe limit of 94 decibels over one hour. In reference to wearing some type of hearing protection, Dr. Lim said, “you’re better safe than sorry.” – KALW

A new school is opening on Mission Street for “children who love math.” Starboard TCN has leased 973 Mission St. to Proof School, a secondary school nonprofit group dedicated to giving children a safe place to learn. Its founders were inspired to create a new place for kids after seeing them gather for extracurricular math meetings week after week. Construction has already begun at the location, and the building will include break-out rooms and science labs. – HL

A lawsuit asking for the removal of a urinal located near a light-rail stop has been dismissed by a San Francisco Superior Court judge. The “pissoir” had been recently installed at Dolares Park as a part of a $20.5 million renovation project. Some believe it violates laws on privacy, sex discrimination, public health, access for persons with a disability, and the plumbing code. “We are grateful that the court rejected this meritless suit from right-wing groups, allowing San Francisco to continue to be innovative in addressing neighbors’ concerns about public urination in the area,” said Andrea Guzman, a spokeswoman for the City Attorney’s Office. – CBSSF

Tour a Sake Brewery: Sequoia Sake will be offering a tour of its sake brewery on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (50 Apparel Avenue, San Francisco). The tour itself is free, but there is a $10.00 fee for on-site testing. “The tour is quick, but informative, and questions can be asked at any time.” – Michael C., Yelp

Examine Links Between Politics and Spirituality: The “Dancing with the So Called Dead” festival hosted by the MFA Program in Theatre-Performance Making and The Arts at CIIS begins on Saturday, Oct. 8. The month-long festival includes workshops and public conversations on how art, spirituality and political activism tie into each other. Tickets vary according to the day and event.

Journey to the End of the Night: The annual San Francisco street game, “Journey to the End of the Night,” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m (beginning at 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco). It operates as a “tag” game across the city and includes multiple checkpoints to bring attention to San Francisco’s hidden gems. Priority registration is $25.00, but you can also run for free. “’Journey to the End of the Night’ is a fantastic San Francisco creation that re-envisions what public space and public interaction can be.” – T. Booth Haley, UCSF
A 40-year-old man had his groceries stolen by two women in their 20s on Wednesday night, according to police. He was seated on 24th Street between Treat Avenue and Harrison Street when his bags were taken. No arrests have been made.
A claim has been filed in association with the Oakland sex scandal on behalf of Jasmine Abuslin, the woman also known as Celeste Guap. Abuslin, who is now 19, is seeking $18 million in damages from San Francisco. The claim alleges that three San Francisco police officers exploited Abuslin. They were only identified by their initials, A.L., G.N. and R.D.
Five people attempted to rob a man who was taking photos in San Francisco’s Sutro Heights Park on Wednesday, according to police. The 29-year-old victim had his camera stolen, and while trying to retrieve it through a window, was dragged briefly along the ground by the suspects’ getaway car. No arrests have been made.
HappyCo has completed a $7.5 million Series A round of funding. The San Francisco-based software company specializes in building mobile applications, and intends to use the financing to expand its engineering and sales teams. 500 Startups, Point Nine, Flight Ventures and the SaaS Syndicate led the funding round.

TapFwd, the mobile data platform provider, has raised $3 million in a seed funding round. Partech Ventures led the initiative, and the San Francisco company will use the $3 million it raised to expand the capabilities and coverage of its mobile data marketplace. "We're excited to embark on this next chapter in TapFwd's development," said Alex Wasserman, co-founder and CEO of TapFwd.

LED company Bridgelux has raised an undisclosed amount of venture capital funding for Xenio Systems, its San Francisco-based smart lighting startup. Xenio already has 59 technology patents and a global sales channel through Bridgelux. Bridgelux’s new parent company, Kaistar Electronic, is also now a strategic manufacturing partner for Xenio hardware.

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