Inside San Francisco - January 30th, 2020

Inside San Francisco (Jan 30th, 2020)

SB50 to increase housing density fails / New Kristin Smart evidence / $1 million Niners bet

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1. California Senate Bill 50, which proposed a significant increase in housing density across the state, failed to pass for the third consecutive year. The bill would have changed zoning rules to allow for more dense housing near job centers and transit lines, but it fell three votes short of the requirement to send it along to the State Assembly. Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who wrote the legislation, said he will try to bring back a slightly-reworked bill Thursday for reconsideration before the deadline for passage expires. Many Los Angeles state senators voted against SB50, arguing the bill would have unfairly targeted local governments and single-family homeowners. — LA TIMES

2. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office confirmed Wednesday it has taken into evidence two vehicles related to the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart. According to officials, the vehicles belonged to family members of Paul Flores, who was the last person to see Smart alive near residential dormitories at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A true-crime podcast, "Your Own Backyard," renewed interest in the case among many Bay Area residents, and reports last week indicated that a break in the case was imminent. The latest episode of "Your Own Backyard" was released this week. — KSBY

3. A furniture store owner from Houston has bet $1 million that the San Francisco 49ers will win this Sunday's Super Bowl. Jim McIngvale, known to those in Houston as "Mattress Mack," is using the bet to "hedge" a promotion at his store, Gallery Furniture. He's offering 50 percent off a $3,000 Temper-Pedic Sleep Set (or 100 percent back in store credit) should the 49ers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs. The two $500,000 bets, made at The Mirage in Las Vegas on the slight underdog 49ers, would return $2.2 million to McIngvale (a net of $1.2 million). In 2019, McIngvale lost an estimated $13 million betting on the Houston Astros to win the World Series. ESPN estimates that Americans will bet a collective $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV. — ACTION NETWORK

4. Tenants rights activists are asking Veritas Investments to delay the sale of 76 properties that contain over 2,000 rent-controlled units. Supervisor Dean Preston says the bulk allotment is likely to be sold to a corporation that will evict tenants and raise rents. Veritas says it complied with San Francisco's Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, which requires property owners to give nonprofits the right of first refusal before opening up to other potential buyers. According to a Veritas spokesperson, three nonprofits expressed interest in purchasing the buildings, though none made an offer during the 30-day exclusive window. — SFGATE

5. San Francisco Airport Commissioner Linda Crayton has resigned in connection with a scandal involving a federal investigation into Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. According to a 75-page federal complaint unsealed Tuesday, Nuru and Lefty O'Doul's owner Nick Bovis engaged in wire fraud, bribery, and "ongoing schemes to deprive citizens of honest services." The pair allegedly attempted to bribe Crayton with $5,000 to secure a lease for a restaurant at San Francisco International Airport. Though Crayton did not accept the bribe and she has not been charged with any crime, her meeting with Nuru and Bovis violated rules on communication with those seeking a lease, the FBI said. Crayton credited her resignation to "the demands of my medical treatment." — SF EXAMINER

6. And here are a few other things you should know about:

San Francisco's very first Shake Shack opens Monday, Feb. 3. The Cow Hollow burger joint will feature some SF exclusives, including a California Cold Rush concrete, a frozen custard shake featuring caramel sauce and Kouign-amann from b. patisserie. — EATER SF

Archbishop Riordan High School, an all-boys Catholic school since 1949, is going co-ed in the 2020-2021 school year. The school says opening its doors to young women "is in the best interest for the long-term vitality of the school." — REDDIT

Actress Isabella Rossellini's multimedia show "Link Link Circus" is coming to The Chapel with six performances between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11. Rossellini uses puppets, costumes, and her sidekick Pan, a dog, to tell an all-ages story about animal cognition. — MISSION LOCAL

Despite no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Bay Area, several Palo Alto Chinese New Year celebrations have been canceled. The senior community group Avenidas said it feels that "it is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of our older adult participants." — KRON

Have you been to Market Street since it's gone car-free? The 2.2 miles of Market (from Van Ness Avenue to Steuart Street) now only allows pedestrians, cyclists, Muni buses, and traditional taxis. Let us know your experiences with the change by hitting 'reply' to this email! — CITYLAB

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

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