Short Cuts

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The race to succeed Fiona Ma on the state’s troubled tax board got easier for District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, after former assemblyman Rich Gordon dropped out last month.  Gordon was troubled by a damning Department of Finance audit that led Governor Jerry Brown to call for an investigation of the board.  The audit, released last spring, found that several Board of Equalization members were directing staff to do work outside their board duties at events and conferences.  In a letter to supporters, Gordon said he no longer thinks the board should be an elected body, so it’d be hypocritical for him to seek the office.  A politician who doesn’t want to be a hypocrite; that deserves a round of applause.


According to the San Francisco Police Department, Potrero Hill has become the neighborhood of choice for car break-in specialists, especially on less-traveled streets.  Drivers are encouraged, yet again, to make sure that there’s nothing visible in the vehicle. Burglars will break a window and walk away, returning a few minutes later to discreetly grab what’s inside…SFPD prefers that San Franciscans don’t call them unless they see a crime occurring, not just a “suspicious” person…Tent camps fall into a grey area of the law; as long as the shelter doesn’t entirely block the sidewalk it apparently can’t be molested by the cops…At the “Chop Shop” near the Caltrain station, an encampment focused on altering stolen bicycles, a tent the contained five bikes, parts and tools may seem suspicious, but if police show up five people each claim one, and go on their way.  It’s probably time to register bikes in town, a process which could generate some revenues for street improvements.


Last month, Daniel Webster Elementary School teachers sought to enlist community support in contract negotiations with the San Francisco Unified School District by sending a letter home to parents in student backpacks, a move that district officials said violated state law.  The correspondence indicated that educators planned to work only the hours required under their contract on May 1, an action known as “work-to-rule” that’s sometimes used by employees in labor disputes, and added that meetings, tutoring, and other activities would be “abbreviated,” with no homework assigned.  Potrero Hill resident Adam Lashinsky, who has a daughter at the school, believes it was inappropriate to involve children in the dispute, and “shocking” that teachers would stop giving homework.  “I support our educators in advocating for what they feel is equitable compensation and treatment,” said school board president and District 10 supervisor candidate Shamann Walton.  “My hope is that this can be resolved in a manner that supports our educators’ rights to advocate and also does not disrupt the education of our students.”


Efforts to develop an Anchor Brewing facility at Pier 48 have wobbled, and may have passed out entirely.  The problem isn’t the financial health of the Potrero Hill-based brewery, a San Francisco institution since 1896, but the daunting costs of seismic upgrades and pier strengthening, which could exceed $25 million.  Anchor stated that it “continues to work with the Giants…” on its Mission Rock project “…with the aim to build a brewery on the pier.  The process is complex and still in early state development.”  In the meantime, construction will soon start on four housing and office buildings along Mission Creek, as well as creation of 4.5-acre China Basin Park…Last month, the California College of Arts broke ground on new student housing at 75 Arkansas Street, slated to open in the fall 2018, consisting of 30 residential units and 7,200 square feet of commercial space.

New Generation

The New Generation Health Center will continue to provide reproductive health care for teens and young adults through a new partnership in which it’ll co-locate in a safe, confidential and youth-friendly nonprofit across the street from its current location.  In an agreement between the University of California, San Francisco, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP), the health center will remain open at its current location at 625 Potrero Avenue through September, during which time HPP will be renovated, allowing the clinic to begin operating there this fall. HPP, at 2500 18th Street, is a one-minute walk from the current location. “Working together with the community, we have found a solution that preserves essential health services for youth, and expands access to reproductive health care for homeless women,” said Barbara Garcia, Director of Health. “This is a great outcome for our community and strengthens the collaboration between the City, UCSF and our nonprofit partners.”