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Inside San Francisco

Inside San Francisco (Aug 22nd, 2019)

1. The ACLU warned BART that if it bans panhandling and busking (playing music for money) on its trains and in stations, the organization will likely take the transit agency to court. Some BART board of directors floated the idea of a ban this week, but the ACLU said banning the solicitation of money is akin to unconstitutionally banning free speech. Similar bans enacted elsewhere, including last year in Sacramento, have been legally challenged by the ACLU. Although no such ban has been introduced or put on a meeting agenda, BART board member Debora Allen said she intends to do so. However, board President Bevan Dufty has already come out against the proposal, calling it “polarizing.” - SF EXAMINER

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2. According to an independent review, former public defender Jeff Adachi died naturally of heart disease and not from chronic drug use or an overdose like the medical examiner’s office originally reported. Adachi’s family hired two toxicologists, and both concluded that Adachi did not die from an overdose, but rather from complications from coronary artery disease. Adachi’s blood alcohol level was .01 percent, “the lowest reported level that you could possibly report … in an average-sized man, that's drinking about half a beer,” said one of the toxicologists. After the new findings, the public defender’s office slammed the medical examiner’s office, reportedly calling it “understaffed, conflicted and politicized.” - KPIX

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3. Throwback Thursday: Cute Animals Born At The San Francisco Zoo

In honor of the San Francisco Zoological Society's release of over 1,000 California red-legged frogs into Yosemite (i.e. the next story in this newsletter), I felt it was high time to do a roundup of cute animals born at our local zoo. Frogs are cute (in their own way), but it’s hard to compare an amphibian to, say, this little South American blue-throated piping guan chick that was just born last week, or these five young Magellanic penguin chicks that took their first steps earlier this summer.

But when push comes to shove, baby mammals have my heart. In a throwback to 2011, take a look at this newborn baby giant anteater riding on the back of his mom, Evita. And let us not forget these snow leopard cubs, prairie dog pups, giraffe calves, Chacoan peccary pups, tiger cubs, and little langur monkey baby, all of which were photographed and included in this internet post that consumed far too much of my morning.

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4. The San Francisco Zoological Society's conservation team released more than 1,000 nearly extinct California red-legged frogs into Yosemite on Monday. Over the past three years, the team, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the Yosemite Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, raised the frogs from eggs and tadpoles to adults, and the frogs’ release into Yosemite marks a return to a habitat the amphibians disappeared from 50 years ago, when non-native bullfrogs were first introduced.

Habitat loss and disease have also contributed to the native red-legged frogs decline over the years. "We're very proud to be able to be part of this program that's effectively brought this species back to its true home,” said one zoo employee. - SFGATE

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5. Some San Francisco businesses are reportedly tackling crime and keeping their employees safe by hiring off-duty SFPD officers to work as private security, and people on Reddit have thoughts. “I consider all of the private security, overtime cops, and security systems to be a symptom of the failure of City Hall to address homeless, crime, and the housing crisis,” wrote EggplantMoranis, in response to the Chronicle’s article. “Businesses should be able to deduct these costs from their tax burden to the city,” added Confirmative. “This is why crime will not go down in San Francisco. The police have a direct financial incentive to keep it high,” wrote securitywvrm. “I think is pretty common. A lot of bars and movie theaters where I’m from hire cops on overtime to act as security,” said DonatedCheese.

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6. The popular fast-casual eatery Souvla is unveiling its frozen Greek yogurt truck this weekend at the Eat Drink SF festival. The restaurant claims that the converted 1971 Chevy P10 van is the country’s first-ever frozen Greek yogurt truck; however, it’ll mostly be available for rent. That’s right, private parties can book the Souvla truck for all-you-can-eat fro-yo for $1,500 for the first hour (and $1,000 for every additional hour). Fortunately, the truck will occasionally roam the city and make stops at festivals and events, like the one this weekend at the Dogpatch’s Midway . - EATER SF

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7. A German bakery called Hahdough is coming to NoPa this November, complete with pastries, cakes by the slice, and espresso drinks. You may recognize Ha Do’s baked goods from the College of San Mateo and Inner Sunset farm markets, but this will be her first brick-and-mortar location. Given the shop’s proximity to both the DMV and the Wiggle, Do said she hopes people will stop by for a pastry and coffee. "I wanted to have something near my house, and this little store was perfect," she said. - HOODLINE

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8. A 52-year-old Frenchman is currently swimming through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch en route to San Francisco’s very own Crissy Field. Ben Lecomte is making his way through the garbage patch, which is twice the size of Texas and contains roughly 79,000 tons of plastic waste, not for fitness, but to raise awareness and to conduct field research. Lecomte and his team are scheduled to make landfall on Crissy Field on Aug. 31, where they’ll give a live-streamed recap of the expedition and host a panel. - SFIST

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9. The hosts of “Wheel of Fortune” are in town to spotlight San Francisco as one of the show’s great American cities, and Pat Sajak and Vanna White had one thing on their minds: food. Whereas White gave Ayesha Curry’s International Smoke a shout out, Sajak said he loves eating at Nob Hill’s Crustacean when he's in San Francisco. If you want to be a contestant on the show, which will air next spring, you can audition when the Wheelmobile comes to the Bay Area next month. - ABC7

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10. Today's SF in Pictures: Reddit user YourRoaring20s

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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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