View of Alcatraz, approaching by ferry

Return to Alcatraz: 50 Years After Native American Occupation, National Park Service Considers Permanent Cultural Center

As California reopens to tourism, Alcatraz is once again drawing visitors from around the world and featuring an exhibit celebrating the 19-month-long Native American occupation of the island 50 years ago. And in a dramatic, if delayed, response to the occupation, the National Park Service is contemplating the installation of a permanent Native American cultural center on Alcatraz in collaboration with a group that formed with that as one of its key objectives more than 50 years ago.

BART Emerges From Pandemic Slowdown

Ridership on BART is slowly returning at about 20% of pre-pandemic levels. Starting next week the transit agency will begin adding trains with a return to a near normal train schedule by August 30. “Civic” learns more about BART’s plans, ongoing budget problems, new trains, the homeless and how BART is prepared for a mass shooting like the one at a light rail yard in San Jose last month.

The First Draft of 50 Years of LGBTQ History

The Bay Area Reporter distributed its first edition on April 1, 1971. While publisher Bob Aaron Ross may have chosen April Fool’s Day as a light-hearted start for the gay community’s latest bar “rag,” the newspaper would go on to do serious journalism, covering the major events of the post-Stonewall era.

Grocery store workers are among San Franciscans now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccinations and Hazard Pay Remain Concerns of Grocery Store Union

Grocery store workers are the latest to be eligible for vaccination. As part of our “Essential Worker” series we spoke with Jim Araby, director of strategic campaigns for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 about how they are trying to get their 28,000 members vaccinated and why they are fighting for hazard pay during the remaining days of the pandemic.

Despite Vaccine Shortage, City to Expand Eligibility

Teachers, child care workers, police, firefighters and food service and agricultural workers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in San Francisco beginning Feb. 26. Mayor London Breed said Tuesday the city was ready to move past the current plan that limits vaccinations to health care workers and those over 65 years of age. 

California has lifted its emergency lockdown order, and San Francisco will get official word on its new tier assignment Tuesday. City leaders expect San Francisco to be placed in the purple tier, which will once again allow outdoor dining. In October, Cheese Plus installed canvas dividers between tables along its Pacific Avenue sidewalk in the city’s Russian Hill neighborhood.

Lockdown Ends — Outdoor Dining, Other Restrictions to Be Lifted

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Monday that the state’s decision to lift an emergency lockdown order to contain the COVID-19 surge is “good news’’ and a “cause for celebration” even as she cautioned residents that “we have to just use common sense and continue to just accept that we are going to be living with this for some time.” City leaders expect San Francisco to be placed in the purple tier, which will once again allow outdoor dining, limited indoor personal services — if clients and patrons can both wear masks — more capacity in retail stores and the reopening of outdoor museums, zoos, skate parks and golf courses.

SF Braces for Final Holiday COVID-19 Statistics

All of the staff and patients at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital who wish to are expected to be vaccinated by Wednesday. The University of California San Francisco is vaccinating 1,100 health care staffers a day, with plans to increase that number. The San Francisco Department of Public Health has inoculated over 6,000 people served by the department and supplied another 30,000 vaccines to other health care agencies in the city over the last 2½ weeks. 

Those are just some of the medical organizations in the city vaccinating the city’s nearly 80,000 health care workers and vulnerable populations, with the allotments sent directly from the state, having been distributed by the federal government. 

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, said at a press conference Tuesday that “there have been no delays of people getting vaccinated at this time, demand far outweighs supply.” He added: “Our goal is to make sure that vaccine is not sitting in the freezer, and that as soon as the feds in the state supply a vaccine to local jurisdictions, to health care entities in San Francisco, that we get it into as many arms as quickly as possible.”

He said San Francisco weathered the post-Thanksgiving surge better than the rest of the Bay Area did. Whereas San Francisco has 35% of its intensive care unit beds vacant, only 5.9% of those beds are available, he said. Consequently, the region’s intensive care bed availability is below the state threshold to allow San Francisco to relax the stay-at-home order.