Inside San Francisco - December 12th, 2019

Inside San Francisco (Dec 12th, 2019)

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1. Workers at Ford-owned Spin, an e-scooter company operating out of San Francisco, have voted to unionize. The workers officially became members of Teamsters Local 665 on Wednesday and are the first e-scooter workers in the U.S. to unionize. Though the scooters are user-operated, the industry has largely relied on independent contractors to collect and charge the vehicles between rides. Spin has reportedly embraced the unionization, and said it plans to hire employees recently laid off from Bird-owned Scoot. Only four e-scooter companies are currently permitted to operate within San Francisco, though the city's Municipal Transportation Agency is expected to consider issuing more permits over the next month. – SF EXAMINER

2. Ninety percent of Bay Area residents want significant changes to PG&E operations once the utility emerges from bankruptcy, according to a new poll. Residents are split, however, on what form the restructured utility should take. About one in five respondents support splitting the company into not-for-profit cooperatives that would fall under local control. Another 17 percent want PG&E to stay as a single entity but fall under state control. State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-13) said he understands why people are split. "I don't think anyone has the magic formula because frankly, we don't know enough," he said. The poll was conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies for the Los Angeles Times. – KGO

3. A San Francisco community group is hosting a no-questions-asked gun buyback event this Saturday in SoMa. United Playaz, a nonprofit focused on supporting youth and violence prevention, has collected over 1,000 guns at previous buyback events, according to Mayor London Breed. Those who attend will get $100 for turning in a handgun and $200 for an assault weapon. Breed said this event is personal to her, and that she got into public service because of "the people I lost over the years to gun violence." The event will take place at 1038 Howard Street from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 14 – KPIX

4. Oracle is moving its annual OpenWorld conference from San Francisco to Las Vegas in 2020 and beyond, according to CNBC. An internal email from the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) obtained by CNBC revealed the move was partially due to high hotel rates and "poor street conditions" in the city. The SFTA estimates the loss of the conference, along with its 62,000 room nights, will cost the city $64 million. In a statement, Oracle pointed out its other connections to San Francisco, including partnerships with the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. – CNBC

5. The "uninhabitable shack" in Potrero Hill that made headlines in May for entering the housing market with a price tag of $2.5 million has lowered its price again – it's now going for $1.95 million. Reporter Jonathan Bloom said the "real value of the property" is in its astounding views of the San Francisco skyline, and that it has been pre-approved for demolition to construct a four-story house. The median home value in Potrero Hill, according to Zillow, is $1,403,800. Listing agent Anne Laury says she has received interest in the property. – BUSINESS INSIDER

6. San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said nose tackle D.J. Jones suffered a significant ankle injury in Sunday's victory against the New Orleans Saints and could miss the remainder of the season. In 13 games this season, Jones had 23 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Starting cornerback Richard Sherman also suffered a hamstring strain and is expected to miss a few weeks. The Niners play the 4-9 Atlanta Falcons this Sunday afternoon; if they win, they'll clinch their first postseason berth since 2013. – NBC SPORTS

7. World Famous Hotboys, the fried chicken pop-up that spent time at Forage Kitchen this past summer, is finally opening its permanent location this month in Oakland. The storefront at 1601 San Pablo Avenue will open December 30, and serve the Hotboys' signature chicken with five different heat levels. Co-founders Berk Gibbs and Victor Ghaben told Eater SF they tried every hot chicken in Nashville to influence their recipe and were also inspired by Los Angeles's Howlin' Ray's. – EATER SF

And here are a couple of other things going on you should know about:

San Francisco resident Cathy Huang was initially listed as missing following the volcanic eruption in New Zealand. She is safe and sound in Australia – she left New Zealand before the eruption and just didn't have cell phone service. – KNTV

Safety nets being installed to catch jumpers around the Golden Gate Bridge have been delayed. The transportation district cited issues with the lead contractor and now expects the nets to be completed by 2023. – SF CHRON

So far in 2019, there have been nearly 29,000 requests for "human or animal waste removal" from SF streets. You can actually check out an interactive, real-time map to see which neighborhoods encounter the most street feces. Have fun, I guess? – SFGATE

Jonathan Harris is a full-time writer for Previously, he wrote for The Huffington Post,, and the YouTube channel What’s Trending. He’s a frequent performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood. Follow him on Twitter @countrycaravan.


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