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Blog

December 2018
December 2018

San Francisco’s widely panned student assignment system needs a complete overhaul, and the process to change it starts now, the school board decided late Tuesday night.

The unanimous vote just before 11 p.m. set in motion the process to create a new procedure that would end the all-lottery system and make the assignment to schools more predictable and based on where students live, board members said.

Parents won’t see the results for at least a few years, but the vote requires district staff to come up with a new plan that includes one of three possibilities:

•An automatic assignment to a neighborhood school, with an additional lottery-based choice for citywide or specialized options like language immersion programs.

Read it on The San Francisco Chronicle...

 



December 2018
December 2018

San Francisco voted Tuesday to become the first major city in the country to eliminate minimum parking requirements for all kinds of development, a decision praised broadly by housing, environmental and pedestrian advocates.

In a 6-4 vote, the Board of Supervisors approved legislation introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim that eliminates city planning provisions dating back to the 1950s that require developers to provide at least some parking spaces as part of their projects. The amount depends on the size of the development.

If the law ultimately goes into effect, San Francisco would become the first major American city to ban such minimum parking requirements, although some smaller cities have already taken similar steps.

Most recently, Hartford, Conn. decided in December to do away with them, in what the Hartford Courant called “a dramatic move intended to make Hartford more ‘walkable’ and spur development.”

“This legislation in no way removes the option of the developer building parking,” Kim said. “We are just not requiring developers to build parking if they don’t want to.”

Kim’s legislation drew support from Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Vallie Brown, Rafael Mandelman, Hillary Ronen and Katy Tang.

But board president Malia Cohen voted against it, along with Supervisors Ahsha Safai, Norman Yee and Catherine Stefani, while Supervisor Sandra Fewer was excused from the meeting.

Read it on The San Francisco Examiner...

 



November 2018
November 2018

By Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, photo by Lea Suzuki

For decades, City Hall politicians have struggled to make the grand plaza just outside their front door a place to linger and enjoy rather than one people rush through, clutching their belongings tighter and quickening their pace.

Finally, Civic Center Plaza has come to life, and people actually want to be there. The key? A surreal mix of attractions that, like San Francisco itself, screams weird, whimsical and just plain fun.

Read it on The San Francisco Chronicle...

 



November 2018
November 2018

By  – Digital Producer, San Francisco Business Times

A plan to develop more than 500 homes and about 100,000 square feet of retail and office space on UCSF’s Laurel Heights campus has hit a small speed bump as opponents have successfully made the modernist building at its core eligible for historic registry.

Yet developers Prado Group and SKS remain optimistic in their bid to bring much needed housing to San Francisco's west side.

After neighborhood group Laurel Heights Improvement Association nominated the building at 3333 California St. for historic status back in May, the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places has said that it can be added to the National Register, Socketsite reports. The move is reportedly supported by both San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission and the State’s Historical Resources Commission.

Read it on San Francisco Business Times...



November 2018
November 2018

How often do you wish you could go back in time and see what it was like in San Francisco before the days of Uber, techies and, of course, the awful traffic?

Orbitz captured that sentiment in a set of images they created using historic photographs that are overlaid onto shots of present-day S.F. The images give us a snapshot of how the city has drastically changed over the years.

Romi Divito, Orbitz outreach specialist, said the company wanted to create a project that was a visual gateway to San Francisco’s history.

Read it on SFGate.com



November 2018
November 2018

Airbnb crime doesn’t pay.

That’s the message San Francisco wants to send after a well-heeled couple who turned 14 city apartments into illegal hotels through the vacation-rental service agreed to a $2.25 million settlement.

Darren and Valerie Lee agreed to pay that amount for penalties and investigation costs. In addition, they are barred for at least seven years from offering short-term rentals in any of the 17 San Francisco buildings they own or manage. The couple had to pledge their real estate as collateral to make sure they pay the fine and comply with the injunction, which was approved Monday in San Francisco Superior Court.

Read more...



October 2018
October 2018
Illustrations by Pamela Baron

Enjoy the city’s stylistic diversity, from Queen Anne to contemporary buildings

The city by the bay is justly proud of its architectural heritage. Large swathes of its hilly terrain were rebuilt virtually overnight after the 1906 earthquake, firmly establishing its persona as one of Victorian homes, fire-resistant brick commercial buildings, and a classic civic center. In recent years, though, a forest of sleek skyscrapers have joined the city’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid, and curvaceous silhouette of the Snohetta’s addition to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) have raised the city’s cred as a place for contemporary design.

Here is a sample of some of the architecture styles you’ll find in San Francisco.

Read more...



October 2018
October 2018

J.C. Flood's home in menlo Park, California, circa 1890. Photo: Courtesy Of Bonhams New York

Photo: Courtesy Of Bonhams New York

 

In the last decade of the 19th century, a family of Swedes sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern United States. They likely traversed the major cities of the East Coast by train before steaming across the country to San Francisco.

What they did in the western boomtown is not known, save for one aspect of their travels. They purchased photographs of various San Francisco sights from Isaiah West Taber.

Massachusetts-born Taber first came to California in 1850 in search of gold. He made a livelihood out of another precious metal. Taber traveled around the country taking photographs and collecting glass negatives, which he printed upon silver albumen and sold to tourists and collectors from his gallery above Hibernia Bank.

Taber, age 76, lost nearly all of his collection in the 1906 fire that followed the great earthquake. He died six years later.

read more...



September 2018
September 2018

It's back-to-school season, and for high school kids, that means back to worrying about test scores and perhaps the looming specter of college applications. And at some Bay Area high schools, the standardized test scores are among the strongest in the state.

Annual data released by the state Department of Education in July revealed which public high schools had the highest percentage of students meeting the state targets for SAT scores.

The statistics measure how many students who take the SAT score hit certain score minimums for the reading and math section. For seniors, the target scores are 480 on the reading section and 530 on the math, for a combined score of 1010. For 11th-graders it's 460 and 510, for a combined score of 970; for 10th-graders, it's 430 and 480, summing to a target of 910; and for a freshman, it's 410 and 450, for a combined score of 860.

Read it on Flipboard



August 2018
August 2018

On the heart of San Francisco’s man-made Treasure Island, a chic restaurant has popped up inside a series of recycled shipping containers. In a nod to the city’s history as a major port, local design firm Mavrik Studio crafted the new eatery — named Mersea after an Old English word meaning “island oasis” — out of 13 shipping containers and a variety of other materials found on the island, such as reclaimed wood. The decision to use cargotecture was also a practical one given the uncertainty of development on Treasure Island; the restaurant can be disassembled and moved when needed.

Read it on Inhabitat.com



August 2018
August 2018

Due to the booming tech sector and strong foreign interest, northern California continues to lead in the luxury price growth across the U.S., according to a Realtor.com report released Thursday.

On May, 19 out of the 91 major U.S. markets Realtor.com tracks posted double-digit price growth in the luxury segment, which is defined as the top 5% of the sales in each market.

Six markets in northern California made the list: Santa Clara (14%), Santa Cruz (13%), San Mateo (13%), Sonoma (10%), San Luis Obispo (10%) and Sacramento (10%). In addition, Marin was ranked 20th with a price growth of 9.7%.

Read it on MansionGlobal.com



August 2018
August 2018

20. Albany High School
Down nine spots from last ranking
Academics score: A+
Teachers score: A+
Clubs and activities score: C
Diversity score: A
College prep score: A+
Health and safety score: A- Photo: Natasha Dangond, The Chronicle

Photo: Natasha Dangond, The Chronicle

Most public schools in the Bay Area will re-open for the upcoming school year at the end of the month, and ranking and review site Niche has released its analysis of the best public high schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

The rankings are based on "rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users."

In addition, Niche assesses the college readiness, graduation rates and SAT and ACT scores of students from each high school.

For the second-straight year, Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto was named the best public high school in the Bay Area, with several other Santa Clara County schools grabbing top spots.

 


 

The original article can be found here.



July 2018
July 2018

A short BART ride separates San Francisco from Oakland, but for many on both sides of the bay, the quick trip feels like a voyage into a different universe.

Oakland has long been thought of as the hipper, grittier sibling of San Francisco. It's where the artists live, the Burners party, the people not in tech cluster. Whether such characterizations are true or not is up for debate, but that perception accounts for what some consider a gaping distance between the cities.

Indeed, there are glaring differences between the two. Oakland housing is more affordable (just barely), and spacious backyards are more commonplace. There's greater racial diversity in Oakland compared to San Francisco (though Oakland is experiencing rampant gentrification and the white-washing that comes with it). And there's the weather; without the obstruction of San Francisco's mythic fog, sunshine reigns.

READ IT ON SFGATE.COM



July 2018
July 2018

The Bay Area is so expensive, earning $117,400 a year qualifies you as "low income" in some counties. Every year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development releases "income limits," the minimum income level required to qualify for some affordable housing programs.

To be considered "low income" in San Francisco, San Mate, and Marin counties, a family of four must earn $117,400 a year. "Very low income" is considered $73,300. The Bay Area figures are the highest in the country and continue to increase year after year. Income limits in some Bay Area cities increased by 10 percent just in the last year.

Read it on SFGate.com



June 2018
June 2018

Photo: Paul Chinn / Photos By Paul Chinn / The Chronicle

 

Get ready, Sunset and Ingleside commuters.

After celebrating its hundredth birthday in February, the Twin Peaks Tunnel will be shut down for a good chunk of the summer starting in late June to make some already-delayed improvements, the SFMTA has announced.

For two of the lines that run through the tunnel — the L-Taraval and the M-Ocean View — buses will replace regular Muni metro service for the duration of the 60 day shutdown. The buses are scheduled to run every 5 minutes during peak hours and at 8 to 15 minute intervals during midday and evening hours.

The K-Ingleside line will operate along a modified route. Trains will operate between the Sloat-St. Francis and Balboa Park stations, continuing on the J-Church line after Balboa Park. Riders can also transfer to the shuttle buses at Sloat-St. Francis or to BART at Balboa Park. A map of the routes is available here.

 

READ IT ON SFGATE.COM

Tags : #SFGate