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Inside San Francisco

Inside San Francisco (May 9th, 2019)

On Friday expect cloudy skies, with a high/low of 65/55. On Saturday, expect some sun, with a high/low of 65/54.

1. Uber and Lyft are behind San Francisco's spike in road congestion. Drivers for the companies disrupted San Francisco traffic Wednesday during a protest over working conditions, but that wasn't their first time snarling commutes, a new study from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the University of Kentucky suggests. According to the report, vehicle delays have increased by 62 percent between 2010 to 2016, but traffic models that eliminate the use of Uber and Lyft say that in that scenario, the increase would have been a far more modest 22 percent. Researchers concluded that though ride hail companies claim their services will wean people off private car use, the opposite is actually true. - NPR

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2. An SF doctor has allegedly been handing out vaccine exemptions based on dubious data. Dr. Kenneth Stoller, who received his MD at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, has been a vocal opponent of vaccines and has said on record that he will grant patients a medical exemption based on two brief visits and a 23andMe test. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced Wednesday that Stoller was under investigation by his office for allegedly making those exemptions unlawfully, and has subpoenaed the doctor's medical records. Stoller declined to comment in the case, but his attorney called Hererra's action "unprecedented." - ABC 7

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3. Throwback Thursday: The Buried Ship of San Francisco. San Francisco's eastern shoreline wasn't always where it is today, as waters from the Bay extended far further west than where they do now. Kevin Boyd, the senior science writer at the Exploratorium, says that you can "find the original shoreline by using your feet," as "as soon as you find yourself heading uphill at any significant degree, you can be pretty sure you’re close to the early shoreline." That's because as sailors headed to town and abandoned their ships in search of Gold Rush riches, San Francisco's population dramatically increased. In what's a now-familiar story, the city needed to make room for an influx of residents, and fast.

Always a city willing to make do with what it's got, city officials realized that the scored of dumped ships bobbing in the Bay could serve a purpose, helping fill the shallows to build up the city block by block. (Others were turned into bars, warehouses, and prisons.) There are multiple maps out there you can consult to determine what ships you pass over on your daily commute - or through, if you ride the N Judah or T Third. Those lines pass through the forward hull of The Rome, as the vessel's remains are buried at the outbound tunnel between the Folsom Street stop and Embarcadero Station.

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4. Some Mission residents are refusing transit-only lanes on 16th Street. The so-called "red carpet" has gotten a bad reputation in the area, as Mission Street merchants say a transit lane revamp on their street has strangled business. Activists spoke out in opposition to a similar transit-first effort on 16th Street at an SFMTA meeting this week, saying that the SFMTA's $67.5 million “16th Street Improvement Project” won't get community support until the issues with the Mission Street lane system have been resolved. Things at the meeting grew especially heated when an SFMTA project manager encouraged opponents to contact District Supe Hillary Ronen, and a Ronen aide responded: "We have no legal recourse to make you do or not do red lanes anywhere." - MISISON LOCAL

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5. According to the 40-year-old comedy venue, when Dave Chappelle heard that the Punch Line was closing, he booked two shows there. The three shows, scheduled for 8 p.m. on May 20-22, sold out immediately. - SF CHRONICLE

6. SF'a Planning Commission is expected to approve a new development at 2300 Harrison Street. The structure will contain 27,000 square feet of office space and 24 new apartments. - SOCKETSITE

7. A US citizen who grew up in Tunisia says SFO officials detained him for hours without explanation after he returned from a flight overseas. Mourad Ben Rached, a Castro Valley personal trainer, says US Customs and Border Protection held him without food or water and refused to answer any questions on why he was being detained. - EAST BAY TIMES

8. San Francisco street cleaning crews are still overloading their vehicles in violation of state law. Though DPW's leaders have been called to the carpet by the Board of Supes and Mayor London Breed, the dangerous practice continues. - NBC BAY AREA

9. Another discrimination lawsuit has been filed against the SFMTA, this one by a woman who says that she was harassed and demoted by the agency's former head of transit. The plaintiff, who has short hair, says then-Director of Transit John Haley questioned her gender during a gathering of agency staff and announced that the job she hoped to do was more appropriate for a man. - SF EXAMINER

10. Today's SF in Pictures: Instagram user withgem.co

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Eve Batey, who pens Inside San Francisco and Inside Media for you five days a week, is a writer, editor, and consultant based in San Francisco. You can find her on Instagram at @evelb, or email her at eve@inside.com.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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