Short Cuts

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Hilltop Grocery, at 1309 20th Street, is being absorbed into what’ll become a two-bedroom single family home. The store, which’d been owned by 90-something-year old Linda Wong and her late husband since 1958, closed two years ago, after being only intermittently open the previous decade. A residence has existed above the retail space since the structure was built in 1914; that unit is being expanded into the commercial area. The footprint of the 1,000-square foot building won’t change, but the façade will be altered to feature two new windows, with the entrance moved to the side of the building.  The owner, Joan Park, has been on the deed with Wong for a while. She didn’t have a lot to say, other than that she didn’t know what else to do with the edifice, and confirmed that Wong is still alive. The building hasn’t been deemed historical.

2 Henry Adams Street

Built in 1915, 2 Henry Adams Street previously served as home to mining equipment supplier, Dunham, Carrigan and Hayden, and today hosts showrooms for high-end furniture and interior design materials. Now, two vacant floors, nearly half the structure, may be converted from light-industrial use to office space. The change requires the edifice to be landmarked by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, along with additional municipal approvals. Lame duck District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, supports the landmarking. It’s the second time property owner, RREEF, a division of Deutsche Bank, has tried to landmark the building and create offices. The first attempt, in 2014, sparked an outcry after Pinterest attempted to lease the entire structure, which would’ve displaced existing tenants. That plan was scrapped; Pinterest rented space on Brannan Street instead. The vacant floors total 150,000 square feet and, if approved for office space, would be one of the largest chunks available in San Francisco. Airbnb, Zynga, Adobe, and other tech companies have offices nearby.

Buses to Replace T-Line

Starting last month and until next March, buses will intermittently replace trains on the T-Third Street Muni line. The substitution will allow the City to replace the two University of California, San Francisco boarding platforms located between South and 16th streets, which’ll be closed for an extensive overhaul. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will substitute the platforms with a single “larger center platform [that] will service inbound and outbound trains” simultaneously, similar to the T-Third platforms nearer to Caltrain. The 160-square-foot platform close by the UCSF campus will double in size, increasing the Muni stop’s capacity ahead of the opening of nearby Chase Center, future home of the Golden State Warriors. Work on the platform will continue through at least April of 2019; SFMTA advised riders to “use Mission Rock and Mariposa stations as an alternative.”

Self-Driving Cars

The robotic automobiles seen driving around the neighborhood, operated by CRUISE Automation, are either creating a high-fidelity map of San Francisco, or testing automated driving. The vehicles typically have a person in the driver’s seat, to take control in an emergency, and one in the passenger seat making observations. The company owns 73 electric cars, and hopes to deploy a ridesharing service by the end of next year.  CRUISE officials state that, unlike Uber and Lyft, their cars will be programmed to obey traffic laws, and won’t stop in crosswalks or bike lanes, though the vehicles often currently stop abruptly in the middle of the road, blocking traffic.  The startup, headquartered South-of-Market, is owned by General Motors…There are roughly 40,000 auto-related deaths annually in the United States, a quarter of which are caused by intoxicated drivers. Driverless cars are intended, in part, to provide safe transportation for more people, including the disabled and those with animals.

Felonious Footwear?

Last month, a woman was acquitted of felony robbery charges for stealing a pair of socks from a Fisherman’s Wharf shop. Raymoan Shaw, 30, admitted to the lesser charge of misdemeanor petty theft; had she been found guilty of felony robbery, she’d have faced a first “strike” and six years in prison, according to Deputy Public Defender Elizabeth Camacho. The jury found that Ms. Shaw used “no force or fear” when she pocketed a pair of anklet socks, obviating the more serious charge of robbery. “This was a simple petty theft case of a homeless woman who wanted the dignity of having a clean pair of socks,” said Camacho. “The overcharging involved with hitting her with a major felony and possibly years in prison was an assault on fairness.” According to Camacho, when Ms. Shaw exited the store with the socks the store manager followed her, filming her with her phone.  Ms. Shaw, who is transgender, testified that she didn’t know that the woman tailing her worked at the shop, assumed someone was harassing her for her gender identity, and knocked the phone out of the manager’s hand. The manager testified that she agreed that Ms. Shaw bashed the mobile from her grip not because she was trying to get away with stealing the socks, but because she didn’t want to be photographed. The police soon arrived and body-worn cameras revealed images of the officers detaining Ms. Shaw, hog-tying, and arresting her. The jury ultimately found Ms. Shaw guilty of misdemeanor resisting arrest and battery on a police officer for scratching one of them, Camacho said.