As you ease into your weekend—and into the next month—make some time to curl up with some of our most popular stories from April. We’ve got some think-y pieces on housing and politics to tickle your brain, a couple of roundups of beautiful new parks to visit and eateries to satisfy any craving, and plenty more. And, if you don’t feel like reading, watch Hella News for some very short and very entertaining takes on local SF news.
- Housing Shell Game: Supes’ Latest Actions Set to Slow New Housing as State Mandates Loom: With the clock ticking on a state mandate to allow the creation of 82,000 more housing units over the next decade in a city that desperately needs them, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, rather than finding new ways to build housing, continues to make moves that discourage new construction. The latest escapade involves a bill to allow fourplexes to be built on all residential lots, an effort prompted by a new state law that outlaws single-family zoning.
- Battery Bluff Park and More New SF Spots to Play Outside: San Francisco has not one brand-new park, but two. Mayor London Breed recently cut the ribbon on the Presidio’s Battery Bluff, a 6-acre open space not far from the long-anticipated Tunnel Tops park, which is now slated to open in July. Meanwhile, Francisco Park’s playground debuted this week.
- Rumors Swirl Around Matt Haney’s Replacement—Honey Mahogany Could Make History in a Fast-Changing District: Haney’s impending departure for Sacramento sets the stage for an unpredictable battle for his seat in November. Honey Mahogany, an activist, performer and aide to Haney, is widely considered a frontrunner among political insiders to be appointed to replace him as the representative for District 6, which would make her the incumbent. But there are other contenders to lead the district, which will look much different after the city’s redistricting.
- DA Chesa Boudin: Five Takeaways From a Fiery Live Interview: In a live interview with The Standard this month, District Attorney Chesa Boudin aggressively pushed back when asked to address concerns about the Tenderloin, his management of the office and the perception that his tenure has emboldened criminals.
- Hungry After Hours? A Map of Late Night Eats Around San Francisco: SF has never been known for its late-night dining. And during the pandemic, when Covid restrictions cut the restaurant industry to the bone, finding witching hour eats anywhere other than a fast-food chain or taco shop was truly rare. Fortunately, week after week, more neighborhood favorites, corner bars, pizza makers and Asian diners are serving up the club-goers, bar-closers and late-shift set with every sort of fare the city has to offer.
- Lowell Principal Resigns, Blasting School District on His Way Out: In the latest setback for San Francisco’s beleaguered public school system, Lowell High School Principal Joe Ryan Dominguez announced that he plans to resign at the end of the school year, attributing the move to the school district’s failings.
- The Standard Top 10: Who is SF’s Highest-Paid City Official?: San Francisco is the nation’s most expensive U.S. city to live in, so it follows that jobs pay more here—and city officials are no exception. The latest data shows Mayor London Breed earned a base salary of $351,000 in 2020, making her the highest-paid mayor in America. Despite Breed’s compensatory superiority when compared to her mayoral peers, she ranks only 39th on the list of the most highly compensated employees in the city she governs.
- Analysis: Haney Dominated Campos by Shrewdly Following Shifting Political Winds: Results for the Assembly District 17 runoff—near-final returns had Haney taking 63.3% of the vote—suggest the District 6 supervisor’s ideological shift over the last year, as he rebranded himself from a San Francisco progressive to something more moderate, was a savvy strategy.
- SF’s Environmental Agency Under Scrutiny After Director Asked Recology for $25K While Awarding Lucrative Trash Contract: San Francisco’s top environmental official was swept up in an anti-corruption investigation for soliciting a $25,000 donation from Recology at the same time her department was finalizing plans to award the trash-hauling giant a lucrative contract. After the publication of this piece, Debbie Raphael, director of the Department of the Environment, resigned.
- War for JFK Drive: How a Museum’s Money Helped Shape the Fight Over San Francisco’s Most Controversial Street: Of all the hysteria to arise in San Francisco during the pandemic, perhaps the most on-brand controversy for a city so insular and hyperbolic concerns a 1.5-mile stretch of asphalt. The fight over whether John F. Kennedy Drive—the road that traverses Golden Gate Park—should remain car-free (spoiler alert—it will) led to accusations of shadow lobbying, financial shell games, ageism, ableism, cronyism, elitism and racism. And many of them are legitimate.
The Standard Staff can be reached at [email protected]