Inside San Francisco | Inside
Inside San Francisco

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

1. Thursday morning's BART commute was plagued with delays. The transit agency faced three major issues this morning: a cracked track on the Fremont line between the Bay Fair and Hayward stations, a rail system that was detecting trains that weren't actually there, and a train that struck debris in San Francisco. All in all, it was a "a slow and tedious journey." - NBC BAY AREA

2. A popular Bay Area restaurateur has been arrested for illegally obtaining US citizenship. Marco Senghor, who moved to the US from Senegal, opened Mission District restaurant and club Bissap Baobab two decades ago. Writing on Facebook, he says he was arrested about two weeks ago, but is "going to plead not guilty and fight these charges." His attorney said Wednesday that Senghor "was taken advantage of and received bad advice from people" during his naturalization process, but declined to elaborate. - SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

3. A mystery illness is afflicting NorCal sea birds. Thousands of murres have washed ashore on Bay Area beaches in 2018, found abandoned on beaches from Monterey to Mendocino. About 100 of the youngest victims are currently recovering at the International Bird Rescue Center in Fairfield, after officials say they were seemingly abandoned by their parents. The babies, who were likely born on the Farrallon Islands, are "starving, emaciated, anemic, hypothermic...a lot are coming in with low red blood cell counts." Donations are being sought to help pay for their care. - KPIX

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1. Polk Street's nightlife icon the Hemlock Tavern is closing this fall. Via Facebook, the Hemlock announced that it would shutter on October 6, and will be demolished to make way for a 54-unit mixed-use condominium building. Managing partner Don Alan, who also owns the Casanova on Valencia Street in the Mission, said that the Hemlock has a lease that runs until 2022, but when the building's other tenants took buyouts, the Hemlock decided to sell the business and the liquor license as well. More than 15,000 bands have played during its 18 years in business, a time that also saw other live music venues like the Red Devil and Kimos shut their doors. - ABC 7

2. The contractor in Muni's recent tunnel death has a record of safety violations. Though Shimmick Construction said "no" when asked by the SFMTA if the company had “been cited for any serious and willful violations by Cal/OSHA," an investigation reveals that the contractors have been linked to nearly 50 workplace safety violations over the last decade, including citations for serious violations related to the death of a forklift worker in 2016. An investigation has yet to prove if safety violations were behind Friday's death of 51-year-old Patrick Ricketts, who was crushed by a steel beam while working in the SFMTA's Twin Peaks tunnel. When contacted, Shimmick refused to comment on past violations, but said that "the safety of our employees and the public is core to everything we do." - NBC BAY AREA

3. A driver is in custody after fatally striking a San Francisco cyclist. An SFPD spokesperson says that the crash occurred at the intersection of Turk and Taylor at around 5:44 p.m. Tuesday, and that “the bicyclist was transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to the injuries." Though further details of the collision were not available at publication time, police confirm that the driver was taken into custody. As of Wednesday morning, the crash victim had not been publicly identified. - SF WEEKLY

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4. A new grocery store might be coming to the Outer Richmond. Nearly two years after Safeway acquired local grocery chain Andronico's Community Markets, the company is now seeking to expand the brand, opening a new location at 375 32nd Avenue. That spot has stood empty since a Fresh & Easy that occupied that address shuttered in 2015. Though Safeway signed a lease for the spot last fall, not much has happened until now, as the company has announced a plan to open an Andronico's in the space. The grocery giant, which also operates locations on 7th Avenue and Cabrillo Street and on La Playa near Fulton Street, is holding a community meeting at the spot on Wednesday, August 22 at 6 p.m.. If all goes according to plan, the new market will open in 2019. - RICHMOND SF BLOG

5. Folks with thoughts on the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project will have a chance to voice them Thursday and Saturday. When complete, the stretch of SoMa street should be safer. - MOVING SF

6. Scott Wiener and London Breed are endorsing a school board candidate who's made transphobic remarks and opposes condom use. School board hopeful and prominent landlord Josephine Zhao said gender neutral restrooms could lead to rape, and has advocated against kids' access to prophylactics  - SF EXAMINER

7. The Laurel Inn’s Swank Lounge has been replaced. The new spot, called Laureate, sports a new look and bar program. - EATER SF

8. Amazon is in talks to acquire Landmark Theaters. If the deal goes through, a handful of Bay Area theaters will change hands. - BLOOMBERG

9. The North Face is shuttering its Bay Area headquarters. 650 people work in the company's local operations, which are being moved to Denver.  - SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

10. Today's SF In Pictures: Instagram user catherine_meyssonnier


BART might consider installing full-body scanners to help deter crime. KPIX reports that when asked about the scanners recently added to LA's transit system, Bevan Dufty, a BART Board member repping SF, says “it’s something we should be considering." The scanners, should they be implemented, would be in addition to the 4,000 cameras at BART's stations and inside its trains.

Don't expect SF to crack down on Uber the way New York has. Earlier this month, New York put a freeze on the number of Uber and Lyft drivers allowed on its roads, and required that the companies offer drivers a minimum wage. However, the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates ride hail companies in our state, tells SF Weekly that "a vehicle cap and driver pay rules are not included" in its regulatory plans for the companies. 

San Mateo police are investigating a sexual assault of a woman who thought she was getting into a ride hail vehicle. The woman was picked up at the 1400 block of Fashion Island Boulevard, but instead of taking her to her destination the driver drove her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her. Her attacker fled in a gray four-door sedan, police said. 


Midnight toker: Old timers and those who appreciate them should consider a trip to Concord Saturday night. That's when the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton will be playing the Pavilion, in a show that starts at 7:30. Tickets begin at $25.75.

Get Polked: This Saturday and Sunday, the Polk Street Blues Festival takes over Polk Street between California and Sutter Streets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Expect two main stages, a merchant marketplace, arts and crafts, food booths, and cafe seating areas. Admission is free.

Sunday in SoMa: Check out Sunday Streets' first new route in five years, which spans Folsom Street from Essex to 10th Street. This Sunday the fun is on for pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-car travelers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..

4. A six-person "Poop Patrol" will be scouring SF's streets for bodily waste. It's unclear if that's its official name, but it's the one being used in every news report on the matter, so let's go with it. According to the Department of Public Works, the team is made up of five workers and one supervisor, which via two trucks will be deployed to "known hot spots" to clean up when complaints are made of "feces whether dog or human." (Fun fact: according to the head of the DPW, a single pile of human waste takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean.) The program, which will cost taxpayers $750,000, will soft launch this week and kick off officially in September. - ABC 7

5. Want an empty Mission church? The 4,750-square-foot 22nd Street parcel can be yours for a cool $2.999 million. Last time it was on the market was 1995, when it sold for $180,000.  - SOCKETSITE

6. After a year of bumps, Masonic Avenue's revamp is over. The corridor's ribbon was cut Tuesday, so ride or drive on, Jeeves. - HOODLINE

7. Unsurprisingly, the rent fight between Santa Clara and the 49ers comes down to cash. A 60-page arbitration award reveals that the dispute is centered around whether revenue, and what kind of revenue, should be a factor in determining how much the 49ers should have to pay Santa Clara to use Levi’s Stadium. - SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

8. A drive-by shooting at 16th and Shotwell Streets left one man injured Tuesday. The incident, which went down at about 7:25 p.m., involved six to eight gunshots at the crowded intersection. - MISSION LOCAL

9. A SF couple has quit their corporate jobs to travel the world. Of course, it helps that they owned a house in SF that they sold to fund their journey, which they are taking because "we weren't happy with our day-to-day routine."  - ABC 7

10. Today's SF In Pictures: Instagram user


1609 Powell Street has a new restaurant: Barrio, a Central and Latin American joint from industry vets who cut their teeth at places like Mina Test Kitchen and El Techo. Expect tacos made with fresh blue corn tortillas, cochinita pibil, fried yucca, and quekas, Eater SF reports. Barrio's soft open is behind us, and it's now open from 3 p.m.- 12 a.m. Monday-Wednesday and Sunday-Thursday from 12 p.m.-12 a.m.

Nut-averse ice cream fans beware! Salt & Straw, which attracts long lines at its two SF locations, is recalling batches of brownie ice cream from all of its shops as they might contain "undeclared peanuts." According to SF Gate, a staffer spotted the illicit nut in their "Chocolate Gooey Brownie" ice cream, and subsequent investigation indicated that its chocolate chips could have had "possible cross-contact with a peanut allergen."

Bay Area brewery/restaurant chain Seven Stills is in a bit of hot water with In-N-Out, after the local company released a product called In-N-Stout that owed a heavy debt to the burger joint's branding. KPIX reports that a cease and desist sent by In-N-Out was not without humor, saying in part that “we felt obligated to hop to action in order to prevent further issues from brewing."


Breathe out: Have you been to Salesforce Park yet? Atop the fancy new Transbay Terminal, it's a sight to behold. Kill two birds with one stone every Thursday night through October 25 from 5:30-6:30 p.m., with a free yoga class atop the structure. Only a limited number of mats will be available to borrow, so be a pal and bring your own.

Rockin' high: If yoga's not your thing, what about a free concert? Also atop the terminal, the Live@5: After Work Music series is held every Wednesday at 5 p.m. Expect "After work jams from seasoned Bay Area musicians curated by People in Plazas," organizers say.

Biking good deals: The Sports Basement at 1590 Bryant Street is holding their first-ever Cycle Fest Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. They'll have bikes, bike parts, gear, equipment and everything else bike-related; available to buy, sell or trade. Proceeds from booth spaces will benefit The San Francisco Bike Kitchen.

1. The lawyer for Ghost Ship's Derick Almena wants to move his trial out of town. Alameda County Judge James Cramer surprised the courtroom Friday when he rejected a plea deal agreed to by the Ghost Ship master tenant and prosecutors, saying that Almena didn’t accept “full responsibility and remorse” for the blaze that killed 36. In an interview, Almena said city officials were complicit in the fire and that now "It's impossible to get a fair trial. They misquoted me. This has been orchestrated to the highest degree." As a result, his attorney now says that he will ask a judge to a trial to a different California county during a hearing planned for this Friday. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

2. San Francisco's newest place to wait for the bus was intentionally built without seats. Following the grand opening of the Transbay Transit Center Saturday, Twitter user Jef Poskanzer‏ asked "Old Transbay Terminal vs. new Transbay Terminal. Notice anything different? SEATS. The new terminal has all these huge open spaces with no SEATS. People were sitting on the window ledge because there was no place else to f**g sit down." According to an architect on the project, that omission was deliberate as the city said they wanted to prevent homeless people from sleeping in the station. A city spokesperson, however, denied any link between homelessness and the design choices made for the building. - SF EXAMINER

3. Mission pot shops could more than double this year. Some area residents are beginning to worry that their neighborhood is turning into a “go-to” spot for the cannabis business, while the Sunset, Richmond, Twin Peaks, and the Marina remain basically weed-free. Six more retail pot shops have applied to open in the Mission, in addition to the three already in operation. The area is also home to two cannabis dispensaries, which cater to those with a medical card. Here's a map of the current and future locations of the venues. - MISSION LOCAL

4. A firefighter has been killed while fighting NorCal's Mendocino Complex blaze. The fire, which is comprised of the River and Ranch fires, has burned a record 350,000 acres since breaking out on July 27, making it the largest recorded blaze in California history. Officials say that the firefighter died Monday night at a hospital after he was injured on the job. Via Twitter, officials from Utah's Draper City confirmed early Tuesday that the deceased firefighter, who has yet to be publicly named, was from their department, one of five responders sent to help battle the blaze. - BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

5. A giant water park is under construction in the Stockton area. Part of the Great Wolf Lodge chain of parks, it's expected to break ground in Manteca later this year. - MODESTO BEE

6. A popular blogger has proposed a redesign of the San Francisco flag. The current one is "a hot mess of unnecessary text, yellow on white graphics, and too much going on," he says. - DOCPOP

7. November's San Francisco ballot measures have gotten their letters. There are only five, but they cover some big issues. - SF WEEKLY

8. The Tenderloin's Phoenix Hotel has gotten a spiffy revamp from designer Liz Lambert. The venue's a longtime fave for rockers, with Neil Young, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain all listed as guests by the hotel. - DAZEEN

9. FiDi restaurant City Counter is closing its doors after less than a year. As the owner characterizes the area as a "challenging operating environment," some wonder if the venue was another casualty of the corporate cafeteria trend. - EATER SF

10. Today's SF In Pictures: Instagram user crayone

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