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Inside San Francisco

Inside San Francisco (Nov 21st, 2019)

1. Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to significantly fewer customers than originally announced yesterday, though 144,000 people still lost power in Northern California on Wednesday afternoon. As weather conditions improved and winds subsided Wednesday, PG&E canceled planned power shutoffs for about 83,000 homes and businesses in several counties. Some customers in Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties remain without power, though PG&E plans to restore electricity to most areas by Thursday afternoon, should wildfire danger diminish. PG&E CEO Andy Vesey said he hopes the utility can ensure more efficient shutoffs in the future through the use of automated power switches and more specific weather data. – SF CHRONICLE

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2. Hundreds protested an appearance by conservative pundit Ann Coulter at UC Berkeley Wednesday night. Though seven people were arrested at the protest, some of whom were wearing masks, a Berkeley spokesperson said he didn't know why any arrests were made. At least one person inside Wheeler Hall attempted to interrupt Coulter during her speech, but she was handcuffed and escorted out. Coulter had accepted an invitation to speak at the school by the Berkeley College Republicans, in support of her book "Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole." – USA TODAY

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3. Throwback Thursday - The Occupation of Alcatraz (Nov. 20, 1969)

Fifty years ago this week, dozens of American Indians, representing 20 different tribal groups, arrived on Alcatraz Island for what would ultimately be a 19-month long occupation. Dubbing themselves the Indians of All Tribes, the group claimed that the island should return to the possession of native peoples, given that Alcatraz had stopped serving as a federal prison in 1963.

At the time, the island maintained only a single guard, who sent out a now-infamous message as the occupation began: "Mayday! Mayday! The Indians have landed!" Though the occupation at one point held 400 American Indians on Alcatraz, officers formally ended the occupation on June 11, 1971, escorting the final protesters off the island.

The occupation is seen as a crucial moment in American Indians' centuries-long struggle for equality and a bellwether of a growing movement of indigenous activism. Several original occupiers commemorated the anniversary of the protest this week by returning to Alcatraz. The National Park Service says it will help restore messages painted on a barracks building by the island's dock.

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4. A two-month pilot program at San Francisco International Airport is allowing Uber drivers to pick up customers (who pay extra) right from the curb. The program, which started yesterday, allows customers who order Uber Comfort, Uber Select, or Uber XL rides to wait at the curb outside of their SFO terminal rather than traveling to the International Terminal. Uber Black and Uber Black SUV, which have always performed curbside pickup, will continue to offer the service. SFO will consider making the program permanent year-round should it prove effective at keeping traffic light during the holiday season. – CBS SF

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5. Nearly one in five Bay Area millennials believe they'll never purchase a home, according to rental site Apartment List. The survey found that 17 percent of those between the ages of 22 and 38 believe they'll be forever-renters, with high housing prices, not surprisingly, listed as the top reason. The Apartment List survey also found that only 21 percent of millennials will be able to afford a down payment on a home in the next five years, though that number increases to 25 percent with the hypothetical erasure of student loan debt. San Jose saw a slightly higher percentage of millennials who expect to never be able to buy a home, at 18 percent. – CURBED SF

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6. Students at Oak Grove High School in San Jose are resuming classes this morning after a bomb was found on campus Tuesday. Students sheltered in place for four hours, and the school was ultimately evacuated on Tuesday afternoon after the discovery of a suspicious package. Classes were canceled on Wednesday so police could investigate. The "improvised explosive device" was rendered safe by Tuesday evening and trained dogs swept the area, finding no further devices. Officials said the investigation is ongoing and they could not yet verify the origin of the bomb. – LA TIMES

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7. The 54-ton AIDS Memorial Quilt will be permanently returning to San Francisco in December. A network of 3-by-6-foot patches memorializing those who died during the first decade of the AIDS epidemic, the quilt will be on display at the National AIDS Memorial as part of a planned Center for Social Conscience. An archive of 200,000 personal items connected to the quilt will be stored at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The quilt has been at the headquarters of the NAMES Project Foundation in Atlanta since 2001. – SFIST

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8. San Francisco transit officials approved a pilot program to create a new bike lane on Page Street in the Lower Haight and divert cars from the area. This means that drivers who use Page Street to avoid traffic on the way to U.S. Highway 101 will soon need to change their route. Neighbors in the area had previously complained that frustrated drivers were endangering students walking to John Muir Elementary School. A barrier will also be installed between the bike lane and roadway, to prevent injuries to bicyclists. – SF EXAMINER

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9. Christmas cocktail pop-up Miracle is back in the Bay Area next week, with locations in San Francisco, San Jose, and Petaluma. Patrons at Pacific Cocktail Haven will experience a bar completely decked out for the holidays, with drinks like the Snowball Old Fashioned or "Christmapolitan," designed by Joann Spiegel of New York bar Mace. Reservations are encouraged, as lines at last year's Bay Area locations frequently stretched out the door. Miracle began in New York in 2014, and has since spread across the United States and to several countries around the world. – EATER SF

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10. Today's SF in Pictures: ned.mulligan on Instagram

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Jonathan Harris is a writer for Inside.com. Previously, he wrote for The Huffington Post, TakePart.com, and the YouTube channel What’s Trending. Follow him on Twitter @countrycaravan.

This newsletter is edited by Bobby Cherry, a Pittsburgh-based journalist and senior editor at Inside, who also curates Inside Pittsburgh. Reach him at bobby@inside.com.

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