Few people know that in its earliest incarnation, it was the focus of a racist school segregation law that led to a diplomatic crisis so serious that President Theodore Roosevelt was forced to intervene.
Trade unionists and blue-collar workers saw the Chinese as economic threats because they would work for less money, and white people in general regarded them as immoral inferiors.
What is less well known is that San Francisco was also the birthplace of the nation's most virulent anti-Japanese movement - one whose first major battle erupted over the Chinatown elementary school, then called the Chinese School.
[...] 1880, San Franciscans did not take much notice of Japanese immigrants, mostly because there were so few of them.
According to the 1880 census, there were only 148 Japanese in all of the United States.
The journal Organized Labor opined, "The sniveling Japanese, who swarms along the streets and cringingly offers his paltry services for a suit of clothes and a front seat in our public schools, is a far greater danger to the laboring portion of society than all the opium-soaked pigtails who have ever blotted the fair name of this beautiful city."
A year earlier, the Board of Supervisors had announced plans to remove all Japanese students from public schools and enroll them in the Chinese School on Clay Street between Powell and Stockton streets.
In October, under mounting public pressure, the school board ordered all Japanese and Korean pupils in San Francisco to join the Chinese in what had been renamed the Oriental Public School.
Metcalf's report revealed that instead of the hundreds or thousands of Japanese the press had warned of, there were only 93 Japanese students in all 23 public schools in San Francisco, 25 of them native-born U.S. citizens.
Posted: August 23, 2014, 12:16 am
(08-22) 15:42 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Teri Marshall's black lab mix, Triniti, goes just about everywhere she does - to the park in their hometown of Napa, across the bay by ferry to San Francisco, and to her marketing job at an office near the Embarcadero.
Naturally, the two also lunch together, selecting a downtown restaurant with a pooch-friendly patio, and maybe some shade for Triniti.
"Having the dog present lightens the mood for everyone," Marshall said Friday as she ate at Mixt Greens on Mission Street with her canine companion, who lounged quietly beneath the table. "Occasionally, she'll explode on a pigeon, but most restaurant owners like that."
The routine of dining out with the dog is one that many in the Bay Area enjoy.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 10:43 pm
The ordinance, which took effect in June, requires property owners to pay displaced tenants the difference between their current rent and the amount needed to rent a similar unit at market rates for two years.
[...] property owners and the San Francisco Apartment Association argued in a suit filed last month that the new law conflicts with the Ellis Act and is an unconstitutional interference with property rights.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 8:07 pm
The mayor's recent dispute with some traditional allies on the Board of Supervisors over how to increase Muni funding is the most public fight in a series of spats that have undercut Lee's cultivated image as a genial consensus builder who, in his words, is "not a politician."
Streamlined the ballotLee's team, after carefully studying polling, was keen to streamline the November ballot, trying to block contested measures that could be seen as a referendum on the mayor and to retain those that polled well and for which Lee could claim victory, like raising the minimum wage.
The idea, said two members of his administration who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic, was to give him momentum heading into 2015, even though Lee has solid approval ratings, no natural challenger and no announced opponent.
The first was a proposal by progressive Supervisor John Avalos, one of Lee's most vocal critics, to limit the mayor's power to appoint people to vacant offices.
Avalos failed to muster the six votes needed to place it before voters, and one veteran political consultant, who requested anonymity because of ties to both Lee and the board, said the mayor was able to kill Avalos' measure after he "leaned hard on his allies and picked up a couple of swing votes at the board."
In the other instance, Kim, who is generally aligned with the board's progressive bloc but also has strong ties to the moderate, business-friendly mayor, proposed an affordable-housing ballot measure linking development approvals to the city's overall affordable housing picture.
[...] the mayor and Kim hashed out a compromise measure that is purely advisory.
In each of the three cases, what surprised the supervisors behind the measures, and other City Hall observers, was the vindictive nature of the reaction by Lee's senior staff and sometimes the mayor himself - particularly in the case of the transit measure.
Lee's office maintains that he is focused on the city's top priorities: jobs, affordable housing, transit and public education.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 3:11 am
For the first time in decades, the public can enter the Palace of Fine Arts by walking past the atmospheric lagoon and rotunda through the tall wooden doors designed by architect Bernard Maybeck. Visitors instead see a cavernous work in progress: tall ceilings and mostly empty space that by January, if all goes well, will blend contemporary design with historic architecture while offering a glimpse of what the culture's future might hold. Horton envisions restoring what little is left of Maybeck's detailing - the doors and a pair of immense stone fireplaces on the back wall - while adding a lightweight mezzanine and internal bridge within the three central bays of the Palace. Tenants lined upThe saga began last year when Shine, who spent two years as an innovation adviser to the U.S. Agency for International Development, approached Horton with an eye to securing Crissy Field's remaining unclaimed hangar. The school that used it as a temporary home after the Exploratorium's departure was moving out, and the city was seeking a short-term tenant that would be amenable to public access during the exposition's centennial year.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 3:11 am
The violence that turns a small-town protest into a fiery national spectacle like the one that has played out this month in Missouri is often unwittingly provoked by police, according to researchers at UC Berkeley.
The research team, which studied clashes between police and activists during the Occupy movement three years ago, found that protests tend to turn violent when officers use aggressive tactics, such as approaching demonstrators in riot gear or lining up in military-like formations.
For nearly two weeks, activists angered by a white police officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager have ratcheted up their protests when confronted by heavily armed police forces.
The researchers sifted through thousands of news reports about the protests, which were sparked by concerns over economic inequality, and isolated patterns of violence and their apparent causes.
In one October 2011 protest over the clearing of an Occupy encampment outside Oakland City Hall, officers fired tear gas and projectiles into crowds, injuring several activists.
Oakland police later tried to address concerns about heavy-handed tactics, seeking to head off unruly protests with early crowd-control measures such as issuing tickets for jaywalking.
[...] last year, police were criticized for not doing enough when a restaurant employee was attacked by a person wielding a hammer at a protest over George Zimmerman's acquittal in the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Adams' team is still evaluating its findings and is incorporating other factors to determine whether they influence crowd behavior, including city rules for holding protests, an area's political makeup and local demographics.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 3:11 am
Health officials announced Thursday night that a patient in Sacramento who was thought to have been exposed to the Ebola virus after traveling to West Africa has tested negative and does not have the disease.
Both patients were treated with ZMapp, an experimental drug being developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical for use with people infected with Ebola virus and were released after being cured of the disease within the last few days.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 2:36 am
The biggest political campaign war chest in Richmond doesn't belong to a candidate, it belongs to a corporation that hopes to steer the city's November municipal election in its favor.
Chevron, the city's main employer and taxpayer, is also the biggest spender on political campaigns - it set aside $1.6 million in a political action committee called Moving Forward that supports the oil giant's favorite City Council and mayoral candidates.
The campaign contribution limit in Richmond for both individuals and companies is $2,500, but political action committees can spend unlimited amounts of money on "in-kind" support - money not given directly to a candidate but spent on that candidate's behalf.
Moving Forward calls itself a coalition of "labor unions, small businesses and public safety and firefighters associations."
What this means is Richmond voters will be showered with glossy campaign mailers, billboards and other political advertising - perhaps TV, radio and newspaper ads - all supporting these candidates.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 12:56 am
The California Senate passed legislation Thursday requiring the state to negotiate with billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla to restore public access to the sandy haven known as Martins Beach.
If an agreement can't be reached within a year, according to the bill, the commission would have to acquire all or a portion of the property by eminent domain to create a public access road.
The bitter dispute has focused national attention on California laws that are supposed to guarantee public access to coastal areas.
At stake, they say, is the 1972 California Coastal Zone Conservation Initiative, which created the 12-member California Coastal Commission, and the California Coastal Act, passed in 1976, which prohibits homes or developments from blocking public access to beaches and makes the entire coast, including all beach property below the mean high tide line, public property.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 12:36 am
While many cafes, brew pubs and steak houses have long allowed dogs on their decks and patios, technically it was illegal.
The legislation gives restaurants the option of permitting pooches in outside dining areas.
Posted: August 22, 2014, 12:26 am
Esther Ioane, 32, and her son, Santana Williams, were found dead in an upstairs bathtub after the fire raced through the Visitacion Valley apartment April 16.
[...] family members and the Housing Authority have clashed over the reason for the smoke detectors' failure.
According to the report, Housing Authority notations of work scheduled and performed at the unit "included the replacement of smoke detector batteries with new batteries."
Posted: August 21, 2014, 11:27 pm
Unclaimed stuff keeps piling up after being left at the security checkpoints Airlines, car-rental agencies and San Francisco police all have their own lost-and-found procedures. There's the large, expensive stuff, like the 900 laptops and 357 memory sticks searching for their owners, who are probably searching for their work. From eyeglasses to Mickey Mouse light sabers, the TSA keeps it all, marking each item with a bar code and a description. If they just tape their business card to their laptop, it's a pretty simple reunification process. Expensive items are eventually sold - laptops are scrubbed of data first - and items of minimal value are donated to a state agency for surplus property. Driver's licenses are returned to state motor vehicle departments, and passports go to the local issuing embassy. Credit card companies are notified before the cards are destroyed.
Posted: August 21, 2014, 9:03 pm
Hoover and Taft elementary schools will get most of the million to upgrade technology, including money to buy iPads and Chromebooks, provide training to teachers on how to incorporate them into lesson plans and to give parents support so they can help their kids use them.
"Technology has unleashed exciting new ways of teaching and learning that we could barely have imagined even a few years ago, but students only benefit if they have access to devices that make digital learning possible," said Jan Christensen, superintendent of the Redwood City School District, in a statement.
Posted: August 21, 2014, 5:42 pm
Wednesday, Aug. 20, draw
PowerballJackpot: $60 million
482138403PballSaturday, Aug. 23, jackpot: TBA
Wednesday, Aug. 20, draw
Super LottoJackpot: $11 million
91114183625MEGASaturday, Aug. 23, jackpot: $12 million
Wednesday, Aug. 20, draws
Fantasy 5915263138Daily 40906Daily 3 (midday)489Daily 3 (evening)454Daily Derby race time: 1:48.56
First08Gorgeous GeorgeSecond12Lucky CharmsThird11Money BagsTuesday, Aug. 19, draw and payouts
Mega MillionsJackpot: $160 million
223956677115MEGAPrize categoryCalifornia winnersPrize amount per winner5 of 5 with Mega0$160,000,0005 of 50$895,3204 of 5 with Mega6$6,3714 of 5113$4733 of 5 with Mega453$583 of 56,813$82 of 5 with Mega10,925$61 of 5 with Mega96,387$2Matched Mega267,741$1Friday, Aug. 22, jackpot: $180 million
For lottery updates: www.calottery.com
Posted: August 21, 2014, 5:05 am
(08-20) 18:24 PDT SAN FRANCISCO --
A plumbing problem that clogged toilets and caused minor flooding at the San Francisco Main Library was fixed Wednesday evening after causing the library to be closed three hours early. It will reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday, its regular opening time.
Library officials closed the library, 100 Larkin St., at 5 p.m. after a clog deep in the plumbing caused minor flooding in the lower level public restrooms. Plumbers from the Department of Public Works needed to shut all the bathrooms in the building, so it was closed because of the potential health hazard and inconvenience.
Michelle Jeffers, a library spokeswoman, said the problem was discovered at about 4 p.m. and was repaired at about 5:30 p.m.
Posted: August 21, 2014, 1:25 am