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News, people, culture, events and the trends shaping the Bay area

The SF 49ers abstained from a controversial NFL vote on player protests during the national anthem. On Wednesday, the NFL announced that in a "unanimous" decision, team owners agreed that players must stand during the national anthem if they are on the field. But the decision wasn't quite unanimous, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York said later that day, as he chose not to vote on the policy. “I think there are a lot of reasons, and I’m not going to get into all of those reasons," York said. "But I think the gist of it is really that we want to make sure that everything that we’re doing is to promote progress." The 49ers have been the center of the anthem protest movement since then-player Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the song in a protest of police brutality and racial inequality. York was the only owner who refused to vote on a policy that will allow the league commissioner to impose "appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem." York did say that the team will close concessions as the song plays, saying "I don't think we should profit during the national anthem." - ESPN

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BART is expected to take the first step toward returning WiFi to its trains today. While the transit agency signed a 20-year contract to a company expected to provide wireless internet access for riders back in 2009, the agreement was a failure and the service (which only covered a small portion of the system) ended in 2014. BART eventually added an entry on their efforts to provide WiFi access (they already offer cell phone coverage)  to their FAQ, writing "Wi-Fi will not be available on our legacy fleet" in reference to the cars that aren't part of their so-called "Fleet of the Future." The first of that new fleet rolled out this January, so BART's board is getting ready to move forward on the new WiFi plan. On Thursday they're expected to sign an exclusive negotiating agreement with Mobilitie Management. It'll take BART and Muni management about six months to work out the contract, and assuming it gels it'll take 12-18 months to install the station hardware, and another 18-24 months to outfit the trains. In other words, riders should probably make alternate plans for the next couple years if their destination is cyberspace. - EAST BAY TIMES

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A San Francisco couple is poking mildly vulgar fun at the Salesforce Tower. The structure had its official opening celebration Tuesday, during which SF Supe Jane Kim said "it really was hope and optimism that brought [developers] Hines and Boston Properties to the table and said ‘we will build a thousand and seventy feet into the sky.'” It's those thousand and seventy feet that inspired Nikki and Stone Melet to launch "Just The Tip, We Promise" a website for people to send in pictures of the Salesforce Tower from wherever they may be. "I'm like, this is crazy, you can see the tip from everywhere," Nikki Melet says. For his part, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is offering the city far more than a tip: At Tuesday's ceremony he announced a $3 million gift to the Hamilton Family Center, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that helps families struggling with homelessness. "The tech community can take more responsibility for what's happening,"  Benioff said. "Because we've been given so much, we have the opportunity to give back at scale as well." - ABC 7

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Some Bay Area restaurants are allegedly leaving perishable food unrefrigerated for hours. An undercover investigation revealed that several local restaurant owners and staff are ignoring even the most basic food handling practices, allegedly leaving food sitting for hours in temperatures hovering near 80 degrees. Deliveries to San Jose restaurant Tacos El Compa saw raw beef that had allegedly been left on a truck for over an hour, while staffers with Fremont's Khan Karahi allegedly transported raw chicken, goat, and milk in the back of an unrefrigerated van for over two hours. The worst was Phu Lam, the owner of which reportedly left meat, chicken, and seafood in an unrefrigerated truck for four hours, while doing things like buying a TV from Costco. All these acts violate California health codes, which require meat and dairy to be stored in refrigeration units below 45 degrees, with only a 30-minute window to transport food without temperature controls. - NBC BAY AREA

San Francisco will pay $275,000 to the family of a man fatally shot by police. SFPD officers Officers Craig Tiffe and Eric Reboli shot Amilcar Perez-Lopez six times on February 26, 2015, claiming that he was threatening them with a knife during an alleged bike theft. Witnesses disputed that account, saying Perez-Lopez (whose English was limited) didn't realize the plainclothes cops were police officers before they began firing. A subsequent private autopsy reportedly revealed that four of those shots were to his back. Though District Attorney George Gascon eventually declined to prosecute Tiffe and Reboli, the city in January reached a settlement with his family as long as they agreed not to pursue the SFPD's alleged civil rights violations in court. This week, the Board of Supervisors approved the payout of $275,000, which will go to Perez-Lopez's parents. - SF WEEKLY

Two people were injured when an SF tour bus burst into flames. Officials say that the fire on the double-decker, open-topped bus was reported at around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, on Columbus Avenue near Vallejo Street. Packed with tourists, the bus was just approaching the intersection when passengers smelled smoke and alerted the driver. Moments later, smoke and flames appeared on the lower level near the driver's seat. All were evacuated safely, with minor smoke inhalation injuries reported for the driver and one passenger. Both were transported to an area hospital and are expected to recover. - KPIX

Should people who do drugs in transit stations face felony charges? BART director Debora Allen, who as District 1 representative covers the Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek stations, says California should “make the use of a hypodermic needle for illegal drug use in a transit system a felony." Those convicted could face a sentence as long as 18 months. She was reacting to recent video taken by a BART staffer who came across two people shooting up in a Concord station elevator. While a BART spokesperson says "we are working with our partners," to manage the ongoing issue of drug users in stations, Allen says a stronger stance is needed. “I don’t want to incarcerate these drug users – what I want [is for] them to have help,” Allen says. “But they are not going to get help sitting on the floor of the BART station with mental health professionals sitting next to them trying to convince them to get help.” - KRON 

The Golden Gate Bridge is turning 81 this weekend, and its stewards say it's looking 'shabby.' You have likely heard the old saw that painters of the GGB are painting the bridge 355 days a year, going end-to-end then starting again. That's actually not the case, as while "painting the Golden Gate Bridge is an ongoing task and the primary maintenance job," it's not the comprehensive work that urban myth suggests. Now Golden Gate Bridge board members are complaining that the structure is structurally sound but "looks like hell," and with its 81st "birthday" on Sunday, more needs to be done to keep it looking fresh and new. Some expensive painting projects are being delayed, bridge officials told the board, as they will be done as seismic work is completed on the span. But that'll take a few years, so another board member is suggesting a sign explaining the flaking paint that will read something like "I know we look shabby chic..." then explaining why the edifice looks the way it does. - MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL


A stray dog who was once so tick-ridden that he was described as "on the brink of death" has fully recovered and is available for adoption. Buddy, a two-year-old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, was found "struggling to survive" in the Silver Creek Valley neighborhood of San Jose, NBC Bay Area reports. After months of medical and behavioral treatment, Buddy is ready to find a home, and is at the PHS/SPCA adoption center located in Burlingame.

A trio of suspects allegedly stole a man's dog in San Francisco's SoMa district, police said this week. The 62-year-old victim was with his pup at Jessie and Mission Streets at around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday when he was approached by two men and a woman, Bay City News reports. Following a verbal altercation, during which one of the suspects threatened the victim with a skateboard, the miscreants took his canine companion.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is "way over capacity" this week, after the organization took in 25 dogs left homeless when their guardian died, SF Weekly reports. Last week, a Vacaville woman beloved in the animal rescue committee died, leaving behind a sanctuary and adoption center packed with pups. Now Muttville is re-rescuing the dogs, which include a Shih Tzu poodle mix, a terrier, and what "appears to be a wolfhound," and offering them for adoption. They're only open by appointment this weekend due to Carnaval-related street disruptions, but will be waiving all fees at their "Adoption Pool Party" on June 2-3 from 11-4 p.m.


Everyone's a critic: The last Friday of every month is Critical Mass, a cycling event that began in SF in 1992 and has since spread to 300 cities across the globe. Here in town riders meet at Justin Herman Plaza at 5:30 p.m., then hit the road in a celebration of bike power. There's no set map or leader, so motorists are often surprised by the event, which has been known to sock in or stall traffic. If you're a cyclist and haven't ever done the ride, you should try it at least once. And if you're not a bike rider, avoid the downtown area or prepare to get stuck.

Do you yo-yo?: The 2018 Bay Area Classic Yo-Yo Championships are taking over Jack London Square on May 26, with demos, a public competition, and tips and tricks for amateurs. It all starts with a prelim round at 10 a.m. in the amphitheater, with a three-hour finals round starting at 1 p.m. From 5 on, all are invited to hang out and enjoy "yo-yo in the park" time at the nearby greenway. 

Golden Gate band: The Golden Gate Park Band has been playing free public shows on Sundays in Golden Gate Park continuously since September of 1882, and is one of the last big-city outdoor bands to present a full season of free concerts. From April-October they offer themed presentations from 1-2:45 p.m., all of which go down at the Spreckles Temple of Music in the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. This Sunday the theme is "American and Patriotic music," appropriate for this Memorial Day weekend.

Prosecutors say the owner of a SF plumbing company stomped a man to death. John D. Henderson of Daly City and Nick A. Robbins of Pacifica, both aged 34, were charged with murder Tuesday following the slaying of 33-year-old Daly City resident Mario Castellino. San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe says that the men went to Castellino's home Saturday night to confront Castellino about a rental car he had taken from Henderson. The discussion turned violent, Wagstaffe says, and the men beat and stomped Castellino until he was dead. “This was just old-fashioned anger,” Wagstaffe said. Surveillance footage showed that Henderson's van, which bears the logo for his company, SF-based Henderson Plumbing, was parked outside Castellino’s home at the time of the incident. Henderson was arrested Sunday night, and Robbins shortly thereafter. The men will return to court on June 4 to enter pleas in the case. - SAN MATEO DAILY JOURNAL

The Girl Scouts are helping a Cole Valley man with his graffiti problem. During a renovation project on his home at 269 Carl Street, Todd Lukesh erected a plywood wall to cover construction materials. That wall became a target for taggers, no matter how often he covered the vandalism. So now he's enlisted Girl Scouts Cadette Troop 61902 to paint a mural on the wall in hopes that covering the 10x25 foot space with art might deter graffitos. Working with Lucia Leal of Little Artistas, a children's art studio and Spanish-language immersion program, the troop has painted a Monarch butterfly on the property, a nod to the winged denizens of Sutro Forest. Lukesh expects the mural to remain until he completes construction in about a year. "My hope is that whoever's doing this graffiti will appreciate and respect this more than just a blank canvas and see that this was a community effort," Lukesh says. - HOODLINE

A San Francisco mayoral candidate will take over the airways Thursday. California State Senator turned mayoral candidate Mark Leno has made what's called a “roadblock buy” for 6:58 p.m. PT Thursday, which means that live TV watchers (which continue to exist?) will see a 60-second statement from him if they tune into KGO, KPIX, KNTV, KRON, KOFY, KTVU, or KICU. "I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in a local race before," says former SF Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond, who's covered every local election for over 30 years. Speaking of the mayoral election, if you're wondering how people from New York perceive the race (are you?) the New Yorker has you covered. In a piece headlined "San Francisco’s Mayoral Race and the Struggle for the Future of the Left, staff writer Nathan Heller characterizes the front-runners by writing "in a left-leaning city, this abundance of bright choices has turned the contest confusing and dark" and that "the sorts of squabbles that used to be eccentrically San Franciscan have become large-scale factional disputes." What do you think of his take? - 48 HILLS


The BottleRock Napa Valley music festival is this weekend, an outdoor event that includes 23 Napa Valley wineries and numerous local food purveyors. The lineup for the sold-out event includes Bruno Mars, Snoop Dogg, and Billy Idol. The Chron has some picks of can't miss food items for those who managed to score tickets, suggesting treats like the soft shell crab tacos from Torc, Morimoto's menchi katsu burger, and Southside Cafe's rock shrimp tostada. The unticketed can still join in the fun, as the Napa Valley Wine Train will station a vintage rail car and two new open cars on the Third Street tracks near the fest entrance, and from 9 p.m. to midnight will offer wine-tasting flights and small plate snacks.

Forget about bringing your backpack to Outside Lands this year: The festival has quietly unveiled new rules for attendees on its website, saying that non-clear bags larger than 4.5 inches by 5.5 inches are bannedSF Gate reports. Bags made of clear plastic, clear vinyl or clear PVC that are smaller than 20 inches by 15 inches by 9 inches will be allowed at the show, which runs from August 10-12. The rule will also apply to Clusterfest, the comedy festival running from June 1-3 in SF's Civic Center. "The safety of our fans is one of the few things we don't joke about," a statement on the Clusterfest website reads.

San Francisco is home to Frameline, the world’s largest LGBTQ film festival. The full schedule for the fest's 42nd outing (June 14-24) was unveiled Tuesday, opening with “TransMilitary,” a documentary about the transgender members of the US armed forces, and closing with “Studio 54,” a doc about the famed New York disco. The Chron has a rundown of highlights of the event's 152 films, and advance tickets are available here.


OAU commemoration: Africa Day has been celebrated around the globe on May 25th every year since 1963, when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) was first formed. The Oakland Afro Urban Society is marking the occasion from 5-9 p.m. Friday at the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak Street), with an event featuring Priority Africa Network, Gbedu Town Radio, Fua Dia Congo, and Djay slim. Attendance is free, but an RSVP is requested here.

The hunt is on: It seems like every day is National something day, and May 24th is no exception: it's National Scavenger Hunt Day. In San Francisco, that means that from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., users of Handstand's Hunt app will be scouring the city for clues that get them free stuff like grilled cheese and ice cream. You can register to participate here.

Looks what's 40: San Francisco Carnaval is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, can you believe it? There's a street fair and festival on May 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets, but the main event is the grand parade, which starts at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday at 24th and Bryant Streets.

A man died Monday after falling several levels at SFO. In what investigators say was an intentional act, 53-year-old Dale Robert Finn of South San Francisco was killed when he fell from the Mezzanine level to the baggage claim level of Terminal 3 at around 8:45 a.m. Monday. It's unclear why Finn was at the airport that day, as police have not confirmed that he worked there or was traveling. Traffic into and out of the airport was snarled for nearly two hours as the San Mateo Coroner's Office performed their investigation. - ABC 7

Introducing MVMT – Clean, modern watches you can actually afford.

MVMT started with a simple mission: great style shouldn't break the bank. From Indiegogo to over 1.5m watches sold in just 4 years, they've stuck to their word. Men's and women's watches start at just $95.

Clean Designs. Fair Prices. Free Shipping + Returns. Join the movement and use code INSIDE for 15% off.

San Francisco will have to put its Super Bowl hosting dream on hold. It was February of 2016 when the Bay Area was packed with football fans here to enjoy Super Bowl 50. By that August the San Francisco 49ers were already pushing to bring the event back to town, claiming via press release that SB 50 had an economic impact of $240 million. But the team's bids to host Super Bowl 57 or 58 were declined, with those reportedly headed to Glendale, Arizona, and New Orleans, respectively. Now the team will shoot for the 2025 or 2026 Super Bowls, by which time a 200 acre mixed-use development planned for the area near Levi's Stadium should be constructed. - SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

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