This year’s civil grand jury, a volunteer government oversight body, chose to focus one of its reports on the Van Ness Improvement Project to try to get a clear picture of what happened. Juror Judy Sanderlin detailed some of the findings of the report, titled “Van Ness Avenue: What Lies Beneath,” on “Civic.”
With less than two weeks remaining before San Francisco landlords will be allowed to evict tenants for unpaid rents that were due during the pandemic, the state had sent checks to a small fraction of the 3,400 households that have requested rent assistance. Many checks will not arrive soon enough to prevent displacement.
The statewide moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents that were due during the pandemic ends June 30 — and recent legislation by San Francisco lawmakers will not change that. State officials are working to extend the moratorium but have yet to reach an agreement. Attorneys in the city’s free legal defense system for tenants are preparing for a cascade that could overwhelm them if state talks fall through, potentially pushing throngs of people from their homes.
New protections will give renters a two-month reprieve after the state’s eviction moratorium expires June 30. But rent debts incurred before that date will still be due next month, and landlords could evict over them.
While the number of 24-hour Pit Stop public bathrooms increased 16-fold at the beginning of the pandemic, keeping them in place has proven to be a challenge. Many high-traffic Pit Stops — some used more than 1,000 times per month — are being relocated, and Supervisor Mat Haney wants to know why.
The site in an old McDonald’s parking lot at the edge of Golden Gate Park opened in May 2020 with 40 spots, becoming the city’s second sanctioned tent camp.
On June 16 it shuts down. The question now is where to move site residents, many of whom have called the Haight neighborhood home for decades and don’t want to leave.
Demonstrators in Hong Kong have been demanding more democratic freedoms, as well as an inquiry into police use of force and the release of detained protesters. As millions have taken to the streets and participated in other actions, clashes between police and protesters have turned violent. Here in the Bay Area, people from Hong Kong have been paying close attention, organizing solidarity actions and strategizing about how to stay involved from afar.
San Francisco’s residential water use is among the lowest among large cities in California, said Steven Ritchie, assistant general manager for water for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Ritchie joined “Civic” to explain how the city sources and uses its water, and why it is fighting state restrictions on the use of Tuolumne River water.
After more than a year of online learning, certain groups of students and staff at some San Francisco schools began meeting in person in mid-April. For tens of thousands of students, distance learning continues. The school board and district intend to give every student the option of coming back full time in the fall. But the lawsuit that City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed against the district and board in February to compel them to reopen schools promptly is ongoing even as more students return to campuses. Sara Eisenberg, a deputy city attorney and chief of strategic advocacy in the city attorney’s office, said on “Civic” that the city attorney’s office is continuing the case to ensure that the district actually follows through on its promise.
More than a year after COVID-19 shut down much of the city, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is set to resume all parking enforcement policies and phase in towing.
Advocates opposing San Francisco’s towing practices have asked for a permanent moratorium.
When Ko Ko Lay has managed to speak to his 86-year-old mother living in Myanmar under a military regime, she has told him she cannot sleep through the night. Like many civilians, she fears armed nighttime raids. “They are so worried about one day some security forces will come and will break through their door, and and they’re going to torture, and they’re going to kill,” Lay said.
On Feb. 1, after a democratic election, Myanmar military forces seized control of the government and declared a year-long state of emergency. Civilians have been protesting that takeover, and the military has responded with deadly use of force, killing hundreds, including at least 40 children.