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The San Francisco Standard’s most popular stories of 2022

San Francisco’s skyline | Getty Images

The Top 10 most widely read stories by The Standard included reporting on the attack on Paul Pelosi, the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, and a looming crash of San Francisco’s commercial real estate market.

San Francisco Braces for Epic Commercial Real Estate Crash

Written by Kevin Truong, with research by Noah Baustin and contributions from Annie Gaus.

A city street lined with tall buildings, pedestrians crossing, a bus, and traffic lights at dusk.
Downtown San Francisco | Getty Images

Like a slow-moving train, a collapse in San Francisco’s commercial real estate market is approaching after the pandemic hollowed out the city’s downtown core, thanks to the way it transformed work patterns in the city. 

For a long time, Downtown San Francisco was the city’s economic powerhouse, accounting for most of San Francisco’s GDP, 70% of its sales tax revenue and 40% of the city’s jobs.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Stanford Professor Dad Cancels Classes

Written by Anna Tong and Liz Lindqwister.

Stanford Tax Professor Joe Bankman near Stanford Law School | Josh Edelson

Joseph Bankman, the Stanford Law School professor and father of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, canceled the classes he was set to teach during the upcoming semester following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, founded by his son Sam Bankman-Fried. 

Bankman-Fried’s parents have said their son’s legal problems could leave them in financial ruin, with Fried having since been charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and a campaign finance violation.

Speaker Pelosi Arrives at SF Hospital as Husband’s Alleged Attacker Faces Attempted Murder Charge

Written by Joe Burn and Josh Koehn.

Paul Pelosi, husband of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi | Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images | Source: Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

On Oct. 28, police identified David DePape, a Richmond resident, as the person suspected of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Police said that officers who responded to a wellness check on Pelosi saw DePape striking the speaker’s husband with a hammer. 

DePape now faces several criminal charges, including attempted murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Zuckerberg, Tom Brady Lose Billions in FTX Crypto Collapse

Written by Anna Tong.

Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady | Mike Coppola/MG18/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

The collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX wiped out roughly $2 billion in investor cash, affecting high-profile celebrities, pension funds and lesser-known Bay Area billionaires. 

The crypto firm, founded by Bay Area native Sam Bankman-Fried, included NFL star Tom Brady and ex-wife Gisele Bündchen as investors, as well as San Francisco-based Iconiq Capital, which manages money for Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey and the Canadian Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan fund, which invested $95 million.

‘Tech Healer’ Couple Flew to SF on Private Jet To Help Heal Elon

Written by Joe Burn and Camille Cohen.

Raj Lahoti and Morgan King | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Self-described “energy healers” Raj Lahoti and Morgan King said they felt “the call” to help heal Elon Musk, and took a private jet to the Bay Area to visit Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, only to find Elon Musk wasn’t in Twitter’s office when they arrived. 

“He’s being misunderstood right now,” Lahoti said of Musk. “He has super abilities, and also disabilities, Elon. And we have complementary abilities in making sure we can support him.”

SF Parents Say Richmond Is Unsafe, Cancel High School Football Game

Written by Ethan Kassel.

The Richmond Oilers, seen here at their Aug. 26 game at Alameda | Courtesy Twitter/@mediasnapp

A San Francisco high school football team had to forfeit a game after seven parents refused to drive student athletes to the city of Richmond, citing safety concerns. 

The cancellation was highly disappointing to Richmond High School’s head coach, Bryan Fisher, who said that parents’ fears were “completely unwarranted,” calling the school campus “one of the safest” in Contra Costa County.

Downtown SF Whole Foods Slashes Store Hours Due to ‘High Theft’ and Hostile People

Written by Garrett Leahy.

A Whole Foods customer shops at the Mid-Market location. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Store hours at a Whole Foods across from U.N. Plaza cut its operating hours due to rampant retail theft and security concerns from people acting hostile toward security guards. 

As of Oct. 24, the store is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., three fewer hours than it was previously.

San Francisco, Birthplace of Ride-Hailing, Becomes the Center of Its Decline

Written by Kevin Truong and Annie Gaus.

A sign posted outside a large office building is seen from below.
Uber headquarters on March 29, 2021, in San Francisco | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Long the vanguard of San Francisco’s tech boom, Uber racked up more than $32 billion in losses since its founding in 2009. 

With the end of cheap rideshare prices buoyed by venture capital and amid a partnership with the very taxis Uber sought to replace, the company’s decline is taking place in the very city it was born in.

Scion of SF Coffee Dynasty Attempts Run for District Attorney, Realizes He Needs To Be an Attorney To Qualify

Austin Hills
Austin Hills in San Francisco | Drew Altizer Photography

Austin Hills, of the Hills Bros. Coffee fortune, thought he’d try his hand at being San Francisco’s top prosecutor, only for his bid to fizzle out as quickly as it began, because he needed to be an attorney to run, and he wasn’t. 

Brooke Jenkins ultimately won the DA’s race with 46% of the vote.

Steph Curry Says ‘No’ to Living in Luxury Downtown SF Building

Written by Kevin V. Nguyen.

Steph Curry and family at the Warriors parade on June 20, 2022, in San Francisco | Paul Kuroda for The Standard.

NBA star Steph Curry and his wife, Ayesha, had agreed to throw down $8 million on a swanky SoMa condo just 2.5 miles from the Chase Center, only to ultimately pull out of the deal. 

In 2019, the Currys had splashed out on the Bay Area’s priciest home of 2019, which is now their primary residence, in Atherton.