The New Year wasn’t kind to print publications, starting with a sharp decline in the number of neighborhood newspapers informing San Franciscans. The Castro Courier, New Fillmore News, and Westside Observer all suspended their operations in December or January. “Extra, Extra, Read All About It!” is quickly morphing into “Nothing to See Here!” a placard held up by a homeless individual. There’s only one way to turn things around, if that’s what we want: advertisers need to advertise in community newspapers, and readers need to subscribe, or contribute, to their favorite publications. Otherwise, 2020 will be the year the City’s historic, democracy-enhancing, neighborhood newspapers died, including the View.
Connecticut Street Deadenders won the Neighborhood Empowerment Networks’ 2019 award for Extraordinary Neighborhood Block Party. Good things are happening on the Hill…San Francisco Police Department Officer Pat McNichol, who had been assigned to Potrero Hill, has been transferred to the Richmond District. His replacement, Officer Pierre Mayorga, is now patrolling the Hill by foot and bicycle. Mayorga encourages community members to report all untoward incidents. The resulting data can be used to justify requests for more officers and to crack cases.
Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved an ordinance ratifying a development agreement between Kilroy Realty and San Francisco Flower Mart vendors. The arrangement includes a 90-day “cure period” for a judicial challenge by any Flower Mart vendor opposing future approval “as a safeguard to insure that the City will have ample time to respond to an administrative challenge” if a dispute is lodged before a regularly scheduled BOS recess or holiday, said Gloria Chan, director of communications for the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The agreement has language reinforcing the existing Central SoMa Legacy Business and PDR Support Fund, allowing the City to consider contributing additional monies to the Fund…Late last month a pre-application community meeting was held to discuss relocating the Flower Mart to the “Corovan” site, at 901 16th Street.
Last month, District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton, along with School Board member Stevon Cook, City College Trustee Shanell Williams, and former District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, among others, announced the formation of an advisory committee to create a reparation plan for what remains of San Francisco’s African American community. African Americans, enslaved in the United States until 1865, though not in California, may be the nation’s most historically oppressed group, next to Native Americans, who were dislodged from their lands and subjected to genocide. Walton and his collaborators appear to be seeking financial compensation for those harmed by past injustices and their descendants. How wide a net is being thrown is unclear; after all, women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920…