Short Cuts

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Two men were shot to death, a third critically injured, in separate Potrero Hill incidents last month. The first occurred near 25th and Connecticut streets. After a 10:08 a.m. report of a shooting, San Francisco Police Department officers found Darryl Haynes, 61, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was transferred to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

While officers were investigating the Connecticut Street event, they responded to a report of shots fired on nearby Dakota Street at 12:26 p.m. They found two men, Randy Armstrong, 54, and another man, 49, suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were transported to hospitals, where Armstrong died; the other remained in life-threatening condition. San Francisco police are looking for 32-year-old San Francisco resident Robert Newt who they described as “armed and extremely dangerous.”

Esprit Park 

Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors authorized the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to accept $835,000 from the University of California, San Francisco Board of Regents, to be used to pay for design services for Esprit Park, as managed through the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District. The grant is the last in a $5 million donation from UCSF toward the $7.7 million project and the final approval needed before breaking ground on a significant renovation. The rest of the funding is coming from $2.7 million in Eastern Neighborhoods Development Impact Fees. As part of the remodel the park’s large lawn will be configured to segregate off leash dogs from general use areas. 


Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $107.6 million settlement with Recology after City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the trash hauling monopoly over allegations of illegal gifts and inflated rates. Under the settlement, residential and commercial customers will receive an average $190 refund for overcharges dating to 2017, when rates were set erroneously after Recology submitted incorrect revenue information. The City will get $7 million. If approved by a San Francisco Superior Court judge, which could happen this month, refunds will be issued by September 1. A lower refuse collection rate went into effect on April 1.

The settlement is the latest in a continuing saga involving Recology. In November, the United States Department of Justice charged Recology’s former government and community relations manager, Paul Giusti, with bribery and money laundering in collusion with former Department of Public Works director Mohammed Nuru. The Board of Supervisors, then in the final stages of approving a six-year collection municipal building contract worth up to $62.5 million, voted 10 to one to send it back to the Budget and Finance Committee for reconsideration. In December, Recology sold its truckyard at 900 Seventh Street to Amazon for $200 million. As reported by The View in 2019, Recology was in the early stages of developing the 5.8-acre property into residential and office towers. 

“Recology was working diligently with SF Planning and neighbors to reimagine the site from an industrial use to a mixed use that would have included significant affordable housing. Deep economic impacts and market realities caused by the pandemic sapped the viability of that project. We received an offer for the property and determined it made sense to accept it,” Robert Reed, public relations manager for Recology, told The View. The real estate transfer tax rate was three precent on transactions greater than $25 million when the sale closed. Proposition I, passed by voters in November, would’ve doubled that to six percent, but hadn’t yet taken effect. The need to fund employee retirement plans may have factored into the decision to sell the property to Amazon. 

In April, John Porter, a former Recology vice-president, became the company’s second executive to be federally charged with bribery and money laundering in connection to the Nuru investigation.

With Recology’s contract expiring and supervisors declining to act, the City’s Office of Contract Administration negotiated a $5.6 million interim deal with Recology to continue servicing municipal buildings through June 30, with a possible one-year extension. Republic Services, in Daly City, expressed interest in providing refuse collection and recycling services to the City. 


The 150,000-square-foot Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building, designed by ZGF Architects in consultation with more than 100 University of California, San Francisco faculty and staff, is scheduled to open this fall at 675 18th Street. The facility will offer outpatient mental health care, psychiatry and psychology training, and clinical research on brain disorders, hosting investigations and clinical care among members of UCSF’s departments of pediatrics, neurology, radiology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, anesthesiology and obstetrics/gynecology. It also features a Child, Teen and Family Center. Supported by a roughly $60 million gift from philanthropists John Pritzker and Lisa Stone Pritzker, the new building is named in honor of John’s sister, Nancy Friend Pritzker, who died by suicide at age 24 in 1972. 


The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is adding 32,000 square feet to its San Francisco warehouse facilities. “When the Food Bank started this project five years ago the goal was to build for the future, but it turns out we are building for right now,” said Tanis Crosby, Executive Director San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “Before the pandemic, the Food Bank was already a vital lifeline for 140,000 people every week. The economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 forced thousands more to turn to us for help. We are no longer renovating just to expand, but to sustain; it’s about creating the space necessary to provide food for our neighbors who are making real, practical choices every day about where they’re spending scarce dollars.” The enlarged facility, expected to open in Spring 2022, will extend into the parking lot on the north end, at 900 Pennsylvania; add two loading docks, thereby increasing capacity from 10 to 12 outbound trucks daily to 15 to 18; create 5,200 square feet of cold storage space, as well as space to host an additional 20,000 volunteers a year. The Food Bank needs to raise $3.5 million to pay for new forklifts, trucks, solar panels, and refrigeration systems. The resulting increase in traffic, particularly between 25th and 23rd streets on Pennsylvania, will no doubt intensify neighborhood frustration over congestion.