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

A dramatic rescue by helicopter saved three hikers stranded on a Pacifica cliff. Two 13-year-old girls and a 23-year-old man were trapped overnight on an outcropping about 700-feet down Shelter Cove Bluff, the North County Fire Authority said. The hikers first contacted officials for help at around 9:30 p.m. Friday, realizing that as the tide had risen, the trail behind them was gone. Due to the location, darkness and gusty wind conditions, firefighters weren't able to reach them that night. 13 hours later, a CHP helicopter was able to make contact, and used a rescue basket to pull the trio to safety Saturday morning. Footage of the exploit can be seen here.- BAY CITY NEWS

It's bee swarming season in San Francisco. Just last week, I was inside a store when the shopkeeper rushed to shut the door. We stood by the window, transfixed, as a huge swarm of bees came buzzing down the street. Moments later, they were gone. That's because, SF beekeeper Paul Koski  says, "colonies are growing in size in the warm spring and early summer," sending groups out and about in search of a new home. As alarming as swarms seem, Koski says "people shouldn’t panic" when they seem them land. Instead, they're urged to contact the San Francisco Beekeepers Association, which will come out and help move the bees to an appropriate location. Their phone number is 415-99-SWARM. - NBC BAY AREA

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SF's much-publicized plan for city-wide a public internet service has died. Mayor Mark Farrell trumpeted the plan for an all-San Francisco fiber network "that will prioritize net neutrality and privacy protections and deliver fast and affordable internet" in January, but it has since been quietly shelved. The program would have been funded by a revenue initiative for the November ballot. However, the deadline to add that initiative to the ballot was Tuesday, and Farrell's office had made no effort to file. London Breed, who will be sworn in as mayor in July, declined to comment on the project's future. - SF EXAMINER

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SFPD admits their officer shot a man in the back following a confrontation over alcohol. In a town hall meeting Thursday, police officials showed body cam and security footage of the North Beach shooting, which took place at around 12:15 last Saturday. Police stopped to speak to a group of men who were allegedly drinking from open containers of alcohol on the corner of Grant Avenue and Vallejo Street. One of the men, 28-year-old Oliver Barcenas, took off running as police approached, weaving through people on the crowded sidewalk. Police say that as he ran, Barcenas pulled out a .45 caliber Glock pistol with a laser sight and an extended clip (video of the incident does not appear to show that act). The officer opened fire, and Barcenas fell to the ground in front of multitudes of witnesses, seen on the footage deriding the cop for shooting him in the back. Attendees at the town hall took police to task for endangering bystanders and for "panicking" during the pursuit. - SF CHRONICLE

Lake Tahoe's clarity is lower than ever. Last year's combination of extreme drought and heavy rainfall washed 12,000 tons of sediment into Tahoe’s waters, experts say, causing the water's clarity to decline by 9.5 feet. Here's how it works: Scientists take a plate-sized disc and lower it into the water. The lower the disc can sink and still be visible, the greater the water's clarity. This time around, it was only visible to a depth of 59.7 feet. The worst reading previous was 64.1 feet, recorded in 1997. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

London Breed took a victory lap Thursday. It was a busy day for the presumed mayor elect, who delivered a triumphant speech at her old elementary school, promising to open safe injection sites, reform mental health services and build more housing. After that, she gave interviews to the New York Times and the Chron, telling the latter that "policy priority one is definitely going to be mental illness." Conspicuous in its absence was talk of the tech industry, specifically Ron Conway, a local industry titan the Chron characterizes as "regarded by some in City Hall as a symbol of tech greed and overreach." Speaking with the paper, numerous Silicon Valley denizens applauded Breed's win, with Conway saying her election was “historic and inspiring.” - SF EXAMINER

BART won't be making a planned expansion of its fare enforcement team. Since March, BART has been inspecting for fares on its trains, after announcing they they lose somewhere between $15 million to $25 million a year to scofflaws. However, by the end of May, of the 1300 fareless patrons cited by six-person inspection team, only about 100 paid their tickets. This week, the BART board was scheduled to expand the team, adding two additional inspectors. However, citing concerns that the fare inspection program wasn't working, they're holding off on growing the team. "Some directors were like, 'We want a full, more robust report that looks at all sides of this. How much revenue are we generating? Will it be on the path to pay for itself? Are we making sure we are not cherry picking people but going down the line whether it's on a train or an escalator?'" BART Board Member Bevan Duffy said. - KRON 4


A man and a teenaged male attacked a woman with a skateboard at the Embarcadero BART station at around 12:30 Saturday afternoon, officials say. One suspect struck her in the face with the conveyance while the other “tried to batter her," BART says. Both fled and remain at large, the Ex reports. The victim is expected to recover.

Tim Tate, whose drag name is Ginger Snap, tells NBC Bay Area that he was attacked outside the SF Eagle Saturday night. Tate says "I'm calling it a gay crime because he knows it's a gay bar, the fact that he didn't take anything, I feel like he just wanted to hurt's important to get the word out, that this is still happening in 2018 in San Francisco on Pride Month." Tate, who suffered bruised eyes, a broken tooth, a gash on his forehead and a concussion in the attack, says he was not in drag when he was jumped, and won't return to the stage until his injuries have healed.

Police have announced they they arrested 28-year-old SF resident Tabri Akeem Austin for a violent "hot prowl" style crime in March. According to the SFPD, Austin entered a woman's home armed with a hammer which he used to threaten her, ordering her to give him all of her money and open a safe. He allegedly held the woman captive inside a bathroom and burglarized the rest of the home before fleeing. Burglary investigators analyzed evidence left at the scene, which they say led them to Austin. He was arrested Wednesday, and booked into SF County Jail.


Groan in style:  Much of the 1996 motion picture The Birdcage can be seen as cringe-worthy by today's audiences, but movies like that can be the most fun in a group setting. That perhaps powered its selection as this Tuesday's Wine and a Movie film at Top of the Mark. Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting starting at 5:30, and at 7 hunker down for a free screening of the comedy that really, let's face it, could use 100 percent more Christine Baranski. 

The longest day: Thursday, June 21, 2018 is the longest day of the year and officially the first day of summer, Funcheap SF reminds us. With 14 hours 46 minutes and 53 seconds of daylight, that makes the day a great one for outdoor activities, vampire hunting, and more.

Rainbow SFO: It's unlikely you head for SFO for fun, but if you need to go Wednesday, try to make your trip after dark, as that's the best time to see the international terminal and control tower glow with all the colors of the Pride rainbow. Then, from the 21st to the 23rd, look for those colors to change to blue, pink and white, in honor of SF's Transgender March, before switching back to the Pride rainbow from the evening of the 23rd through the 26th.

A San Francisco man has apparently drowned at a NorCal music festival. The body of 35-year-old SF resident Joseph Piszczek was discovered Wednesday, floating in a lake near Laytonville. Piszczek was attending a music festival at the private campground and event center known as Mendocino Magic when he disappeared on June 9, last seen sitting on a dock moored to the shore, his girlfriend says. He was reported missing on June 11, and after days of searches in the area, his body was found. Foul play is not suspected, officials say, and an autopsy is pending. - UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL


What The Cluck, a fast-casual organic restaurant that says they offer a traditional Thai approach to chicken and rice, has opened its doors at 1782 Haight Street. This is the first venture for owner Koonz Vannasetta, Hoodline reports. You can see their full menu here, featuring items ranging from about $10-$16.

Curio, the new bar and restaurant inside live music venue the Chapel, is expected to open on Friday June 22, Eater SF reports. Its menu includes cocktails named for mythical creatures and regional American food like hush puppies, fried chicken, kale salad, and a “holy grail” burger.

Longtime Balboa Street Russian tea room Katia's shuttered last month, but the closure is only temporary, Richmond SF reports. Katia herself says that "After 24 years, I decided to retire! I had a few interested buyers and then my daughter Helen Simmons decided that she wanted to take over the location." Simmons is doing a quick remodel and "any day now will open a daytime cafe offering light fare." Katia will still do catering from the cafe's kitchen, and is focused on writing a cookbook.


Woof:  Corgi Con again takes over Ocean Beach on Saturday, kicking off at 10 a.m. between Stairwells 2-5. Expect a Ninja Warrior course, a costume contest, and races. Attendance is free, and dogs that aren't corgis are welcome as spectators. 

Honoring natives: On Sunday, the 21st annual Native Contemporary Arts Festival takes place in Yerba Buena Gardens from 12-3 p.m. The event features native music, dance, spoken word, artist vendors, and native crafts, as well as activities for kids. Attendance is free.

Go fly a kite: On Saturday, the Presidio Kite Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Main Parade Ground. A "family-friendly festival featuring all things kite," participants will enjoy a free build you own kite booth, hands on learning from kite experts, a kite art exhibition, giant kites, mega team flying, Taiko drummers, and food trucks. Registration is appreciated but not mandatory.

One of San Francisco's only female plumbers was killed on the job Wednesday. 34-year-old San Francisco Public Utilities Commission utility plumber Lilianna Preciado was killed as she fixed a leak on 28th Street near Diamond Street, officials say. She was in a ditch with two co-workers when a vehicle being loaded on a privately-owned flatbed tow truck fell rolled off and struck her. Preciado was rushed to SF General, where she died. SFPD, Cal OSHA, and the Department of Public Health are investigating the incident, a police spokesperson says. Preciado, a single mother, leaves behind a two-year-old daughter. - ABC 7

As a cannabis shortage looms, SF braces for a second wave of pot clubs. 46 dispensaries and delivery services currently operate in SF, and the city's Office of Cannabis is currently vetting 47 more applications for marijuana businesses, SF Weekly reports. Stock for those businesses might be hard to come by -- as new state-mandated safety standards for marijuana kick in on July 1, a weed shortage is expected to hit California. The rules require uniform package and labeling, as well as THC limits and lab testing. It's that last bit that might bottleneck the supply, as of the 28 labs licensed statewide, only a portion have opened their doors. Of SF's 47 new applicants, all must meet city and state criteria, gain Planning Commission approval, and pass fire, building code, and Department of Public Health inspections before they will be allowed to open. Right now, it's anyone's guess how many will make it across the finish line.  - THE CANNIFORNIAN

Scientists say that "earthquake weather'" might have played a part in Napa's 2014 6.0 earthquake. The term "earthquake weather" has always sent the eyes of science-minded folks rolling, but a report published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth suggests that the weather has a bearing on the West Napa Fault system. “For this particular fault system there is some sort of hazard, increased hazard in the summer months,” geophysicist Meredith Kraner says, as large seasonal variability in the amount of groundwater in Napa Valley and Sonoma may contribute to the increased likelihood of an earthquake in the area. According to the study, land between the valleys is stretched each summer as groundwater levels fall beneath the valleys and the ground sinks and contracts. - KPIX

San Francisco's Tunnel Tops park is beginning to take shape. Built on top of the tunnels of the Presidio Parkway, the Tunnel Tops project is billed on its website as "San Francisco's Great Escape." A new 14-acre park destination designed by James Corner Field Operations, the firm behind New York’s High Line, the park will include scenic overlooks, paths, gardens, a community plaza with food and amenities, a campfire circle, picnic grounds, and an interactive “playscape” where kids can explore nature. Right now, the area is staffed by Caltrans workers still cleaning up after the Parkway's construction, but by October Field Operations will take over, starting work on a park expected to open in early 2021. - SF CHRONICLE


With about 250,000 ballots tallied, London Breed led former state Senator Mark Leno by 2,177 votes with only about 6,700 left to count. That lead was enough for Leno to give a concession speech Wednesday, in which he said Breed was a "remarkable young woman" (she's 43) "who will do a fine job as mayor." However, the rest of the votes must be counted and the results certified before she is sworn in, so the earliest Breed could take residence in Room 200 is July 10.

Breed addressed a group of around 200 supporters outside of City Hall Wednesday afternoon, saying “I am prepared to make sure that I do everything I can to work together, to bring the Board of Supervisors together, to bring everyone together for the purposes of solving our most challenging problems."

That note of unity is a wise one to strike, as it's been a contentious race, especially following a move by some members of the Board to bump Breed as acting mayor for Mark Farrell this January. When asked about Breed's win Tuesday, most Supes contacted said they were eager to begin again with her. Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who supported the move to oust Breed and who is rumored to be gunning for Breed's seat as BoS President, says "I think we're all mature enough to realize a divided mayor and Board of Supervisors is not helpful to anyone."

Locally, Breed was the self-described “most pro-housing” candidate in the race, saying “The housing crisis has grown visibly worse recently, but it is — at its core — the result of decades of bad housing policy in San Francisco and the Bay Area." For now, that means a plan to continue the late Mayor Ed Lee's commitment to build 5,000 units a year. She has also pledged to "be tough on tech outfits," supports a city vehicle licensing fee to raise money for transit, and has backed plans to raise taxes on commercial landlords.

Nationally, "It’s a really big deal that SF elected London Breed as mayor," the Chron (which endorsed Breed) says. As the first woman of color to be SF's mayor (and second woman, following Diane Feinstein), she's unique as "the mayors of the country’s 14 largest cities are men. All but three are white men." One of those white men is current SF mayor Mark Farrell, who might already be planning a return to the role -- as Breed's current term ends in January 2020, a partial one due to Lee's death, we'll be seeing another mayor's race next year. 


Don't fear the fair:  The Alameda County Fair kicks off Friday with $1 admission for all entries before 5 p.m. In addition to the carnival rides, kids' activities, and animal fun, Friday at 8 p.m. Blue Öyster Cult (of "Don't Fear The Reaper" fame) is playing at 8 p.m. Advance tickets to the show start at $15, but available concert seats will be offered to fair guests free of charge on the day of the show, while supplies last. All you need to do is stop at any information booth upon entrance to the fair and ask about tickets, and if there are any left, they're yours.

It's the next big thing: June 15-17 marks TinyFest California 2018, a celebration of the tiny living movement at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose. Single day passes to the event, which features speakers, workshops, a marketplace, and live entertainment, begin at $15.

Arrrrr: The Northern California Pirate Festival runs June 16-17 at the Vallejo Waterfront Park, an event featuring over 500 costumed actors, crafters and musicians dedicated to the celebration of piracy. Participants are encouraged to arrive in nautical costume, but no pets (even parrots) are allowed. Kids under 12 get in free, tickets for everyone else begin at $12.

London Breed is looking a lot like SF's next mayor. With only 9,390 ballots left to count, the Board of Supervisors president's win over former senator Mark Leno seems a near certainty, as she now has a lead of 1,861 votes (111,446 to 109,585 or 50.42 to 49.58 percent). Department of Elections head John Arntz says he expects the count to conclude Friday. For Leno to reverse Breed's fortune, he'd have to capture 1,900 votes, which analysts say is all but impossible. (It looks like Leno thinks so too, sending a press release as this newsletter went to press saying he'll make "brief comments on the results for the San Francisco mayoral election at his small business Budget Signs" at 1 p.m. today.) Think about this: As soon as the winner is sworn in (likely mid-July), their next campaign begins, as this fight was just to see who would serve out the rest of late Mayor Ed Lee’s term, which runs through January 2020. - 48 HILLS

SF's District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang won't seek reelection. In a statement posted to her social media channels, Tang says that she isn't going to run for another term this fall, a surprise to City Hall watchers who agree her reelection was a virtual lock. The 34-year-old Supe, who's had the role overseeing the Outer Sunset and Parkside areas since she was appointed in 2013, said that  “It is time for me to purse a change in my life and new challenges. I do not yet know my next steps, but I do know that personal growth is something that I value and am seeking.” Her term ends in January of 2019, leaving the seat without an incumbent for the first time since 2006. Tang legislative aide Jessica Ho is filing papers to run for the D4 role, and has the current supe's support. “Being able to mentor a young, up-and-coming woman leader who had never otherwise considered running for public office brings me great joy," Tang says. - SF CHRONICLE

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