Short Cuts

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Next Neighbor

Former Potrero Hill resident, Edward Lortz, who recently left the Hill after 30 years, is advocating that long-time community members be allowed to remain on social media site Nextdoor even if they live elsewhere. “I have historical knowledge and opinions about Potrero Hill…,” said Lortz.  “At least 100 people here know I’ve gone, and some have reported me to ND. I have been open to ND and have even emailed the support group about my departure, but to date they have not thrown me overboard. When I changed my address to a commercial place, Nextdoor’s algorithm thought I was a new resident.  I propose a Legacy or Grandfather category with a, say, 15-year past residency requirement, for which a departing resident could REQUEST the Grandfather category. I thought of adding a non-commenting membership, but that negates the ability to contribute past knowledge. I probably should not even bring this up, but those of you who know me know I always open my mouth when I really should STFU.”  It’s an interesting question; are you still a neighbor if you no longer live next door?  Physically, certainly not, but socially?  Given that cyberspace is everywhere, where do participants need to be?

Tacos and Coffee

Glena’s opened in February at 20th and Third streets, offering tacos and other such tasty fare.  The eatery is open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner. Additional weekend hours will be available after the restaurant secures its liquor license, expected any day now…Last month, Intelligentsia Coffee opened its renovated roasting facility, which now includes a wholesale training lab and sales office, on Mariposa Street. The company has occupied the 5,000-square-foot location since 2011, roasting up to 4,000 pounds of coffee weekly. The new space will be used to host education, training, and support for customers. “Our growing customer base in and around San Francisco inspired our expansion,” said James McLaughlin, president of Intelligentsia Coffee. “In addition to providing locally roasted coffee, we wanted to extend our world-class barista training program to Intelligentsia coffee enthusiasts and wholesale customers in the Bay Area. Our relentless focus on quality throughout the supply chain and our pioneering Direct Trade sourcing model are ingredients in making Intelligentsia unique and the leader in specialty coffee.”  Matt Bear, of Berkeley-based Union Studio, designed the space within the existing industrial shell. A new, oak-wrapped espresso bar and marble cupping tables are featured, framed by a tiled wall with Workstead’s brass lighting and a 10-foot steel and oak sliding door.

Mission Development

The University of California, San Francisco will break ground this summer on a 340,000-square-foot academic tower in Mission Bay. The UC Board of Regents approved the final design and financing for the building, which will be located at the corner of Third and 16th streets, a site known as “Block 33.”  Construction is scheduled to start in June. Academic research and administrative divisions, as well as a new Center for Vision Neurosciences, will occupy the project when it opens in the summer of 2019. Faculty and staff will be consolidated from UCSF’s other City locations.  The site is south of the Chase Center Warriors arena project, which broke ground last month.  The project’s budget is $237 million, with $159 million in debt and external financing, along with $50 million in standby financing.

Customer Service

Sierra ski resorts have been battered by opportunities and challenges this winter, with masses of fresh snow but attendant ice-slick roads and too windy mountains.  Adding to their burden is poor management.  After Alpine Meadows Ski Resort closed shortly after lunch as a result of a power outage last month, hundreds of skiers rushed to demand refunds on their roughly $150 lift tickets.  Those with season passes – that is, the resort’s premium customers – were out of luck, though.  “I’ll buy you a beer,” stated customer service manager Andy Jackson, in response to one season passholder pointing out that mistreating a company’s best clients by giving them nothing for a ruined day of skiing – at the cost of hundreds of dollars of travel expenses – was insulting.  When the brew was declined, Jackson stormed off, declaring “he’d done his best.”  Trudging out of the resort, the customer tried to hail an Alpine bus to take his party to the White Wolf parking lot, where an attendant had assured him he’d get “door-to-door” service.  No deal, said the driver, I’m not driving there; there’s no place to turn around.  Ah, winter.  It’s certainly chilly out there.  Send your customer service stories, good or bad, to