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Inside San Francisco

Inside San Francisco (Aug 12th, 2019)

Hello Inside San Francisco Readers,

I just wanted to wish you a happy Monday — I hope you had a nice weekend. I put together a solid collection of stories for you today, but if I had to choose a favorite, I'd go with the Mission Local article (#6), which is a fascinating look into something I previously knew nothing about: the package delivery pipeline between the Mission and Central America.

- Shane

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On Tuesday, you can expect sunny skies and a high/low of 71/57. On Wednesday, partly cloudy skies are in the forecast, with a high/low of 74/58.

1. In lieu of renting a pricey room or apartment in the city, more and more San Franciscans are reportedly considering living in upscale vans parked on city streets. "Glampervans” can be equipped with queen-sized beds, a dining table, a kitchen (including a sink and a refrigerator) and a portable toilet, and they cost between $50,000 and $90,0000. Although it’s illegal to sleep in your car overnight in San Francisco, that’s not stopping people from calling Rob Novotny, Glampervan’s creator. “One [woman] that comes to mind is spending $5,000 for a 2-bedroom apartment and she actually has all the parking spots all throughout the city worked out already … so that she won't get hassled,” he said. - ABC7

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2. Online shopping giant Amazon is trying to open a brick-and-mortar liquor store in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood. According to a public filing with the Board of Supervisors, the company is trying to open a 200-square-foot storefront where customers could buy wine, beer, and spirits. The store would also allow Amazon drivers to deliver alcohol to Prime Now customers throughout the city. Amazon already makes alcohol deliveries in a number of cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.; however, public opinion on the matter is split in San Francisco. “I would rather support local stores that sell liquor,” said one neighbor. - KPIX

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3. Data from SFMTA indicate that protected bike lanes are making a big difference on Valencia Street, where buffered bike lanes were installed between Market and 15 streets. According to the agency, there was a 95 percent decrease in interactions between drivers and cyclists at mid-block locations where bike riders are at risk of being doored by cars (read: Lyft and Uber passengers). Every day, an estimated 2,100 cyclists use Valencia, and by next spring, similar protected bike lanes will continue down Valencia to 19th Street. “The data now backs up what we knew to be true — commonsense safety improvements dramatically reduce the risk of collisions and save lives,” said Mayor London Breed. - CURBED SF

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4. A pedestrian was fatally struck by a driver at Fifth and Market streets on Saturday evening. Just before 9 p.m., a 79-year-old woman was reportedly hit by a taxi driver and appears to have died at the scene. According to SFPD, the driver remained on scene. Whereas District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney took to Twitter to say “We are devastated and furious. Too many cars. Too fast. Too many turns,” commenters took to Reddit to question San Francisco’s Vision Zero initiative and to call out “clueless pedestrians.”

Saturday’s incident is the second fatal collision involving a pedestrian and a driver in less than a month. On July 18, a truck driver hit a man using a walker to cross Mason and Eddy street and dragged him to the intersection of Fifth and Market streets. According to Walk San Francisco, Saturday’s fatality was the 15th of the year involving someone walking or biking in the city. - SF WEEKLY

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5. In the next chapter of the ongoing “Life of Washington" mural controversy at George Washington High School, the school board president wants to cover the mural instead of painting over it. San Francisco Unified School Board President Stevon Cook plans to introduce the proposal at tomorrow’s board meeting. “I am introducing a vote … to cover over the mural with panels or another similar treatment, which will preserve the artwork and not destroy it,” Cook said. “This should satisfy those who were concerned about the possible destruction of art.” In June, the board voted unanimously to paint over the frescoes, sparking heated debate and snaring national attention. - SF EXAMINER

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6. Here’s a really interesting article about a handful of small businesses in the Mission that send packages to Central America and Mexico. If someone wanted to send a 100-pound, 30- by-30 box to Central America through UPS, it would cost over $2,800; but at one of these Mission shops, it costs between $250 and $450. Each box has no weight limit and no village is too remote. “This is the kind of business for those who can manage their stress,” said one store owner. “If you can’t, you won’t last more than a couple of years.” - MISSION LOCAL

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7. Here’s a cool photo of an experimental ATARI kiosk set up on Powell Street Station's BART platform in 1977.  At the time, BART riders were able to play video games while they were waiting for their train to arrive. BayRedducator posted the image on r/sanfrancisco.

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8. If you were too busy with Outside Lands this past weekend and forgot about the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, don’t panic — tonight’s the big night to catch the celestial fireworks. You can anticipate the most eye-catching part of meteor shower to climax later tonight and into the early hours of tomorrow, as Earth continues its swing through comet Swift-Tuttle’s debris. Even though we live in a city that’s often blanketed in cloud cover, light pollution, and/or fog, there are still elevated vantage points in San Francisco where you can catch the shower - SFIST

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9. Here’s a colorful (and mouth-watering) look inside Nari, the new Thai restaurant located inside Japantown's Hotel Kabuki. The 140-seat eatery is a spinoff off of Michelin-starred Kin Khao’s team, but Nari’s design, menu and concept aren't just carbon copies of chef/owner Pim Techamuanvivit’s flagship Union Square restaurant. “I want Nari to be a little more grown up, a touch more comfortable, not so loud, and with a little bit more time to enjoy things,” she said. - EATER SF

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10. Today's SF in Pictures: Reddit user StretchFrenchTerry

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Shane Downing is an award-winning journalist based in Oakland. As a freelance writer, he’s passionate about covering the LGBTQ+ community, at-risk youth and local news. He's a former Hoodline editor, and his work regularly appears in Oakland Magazine and The San Francisco Business Times. When he's not writing, Shane is an avid baker, gardener and tennis player.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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