San Francisco’s Poop Problem Is Worsening

There has been an increase in the number of complaints about feces in the streets of San Francisco lately, according to city data obtained by rental site RentHop.

RentHop found using public data from the city’s website where people can complain to the city about reports of human and animal waste that the city has received more than 25,000 complaints about fecal matter between January and November of this year.

“Its a serious public health concern. Its a public relations concern when you have a city that’s driven by tourism and conventions and visitors from all over the world. Its frankly embarrassing,” one San Francisco resident told KRON.

According to RentHop, the city’s 311 reporting system for human and animal waste complaints received 28,315 complaints about feces in 2018— up 35 percent from 2017. …

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Pete Buttigieg struggles in diverse California

Pete Buttigieg has risen to the top of the Democratic presidential polls in Iowa, where 90% of the population is white. But he’s lagging in California, in part because he’s having difficulty winning over Latinos and African Americans, who make up a large chunk of the Democratic electorate in the country’s biggest state.

Buttigieg is riding a mini-wave of momentum after a recent Des Moines Register/CNN poll showed him as the favorite of 25% of likely voters in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, nearly triple his showing from a September survey. In the RealClearPolitics aggregation of Iowa polls, Buttigieg now has a narrow lead on Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Eric Kingsley, a delegate at the California Democratic Party’s convention over the weekend in Long Beach who watched Buttigieg at an event there, said the South Bend, Ind., mayor “gives those speeches like an Aaron Sorkin character would.” It’s a common theme among Democrats who pine for a measured, moderate candidate out of Sorkin’s Clinton-era show “The West Wing” to take on President Trump. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Break-Ins, High Costs Cause Nobody to Want to Open a Restaurant in San Francisco

It felt like deja vu for Dave Martin as he watched silent security footage of an individual breaking into his San Francisco bar in June.

Within the first 16 months after it opened, Pine Tar Grill, Martin’s San Francisco Giants-themed business on Folsom Street filled with sports memorabilia, was burglarized three times. The final incident was caught on camera, showing a person breaking the glass of the front door at around 4 a.m. to steal cash, sports-related bobblehead toys and computers, Martin said.

Repairs cost thousands of dollars and were a big factor in his decision to close the bar last month.

“To balance everything out when it comes to the costs, I would have had to charge like $85 for a cheeseburger,” said Martin. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle

FBI: Hate crimes rose 58% in San Francisco

Hate crimes jumped 58% in San Francisco last year even as they appeared to level off across California and the nation, new FBI figures show.

The city’s surge in hate crimes, which local leaders called troubling, was driven by an increase in incidents in which people were accused of targeting victims due to their race or ethnicity. The number of racially motivated crimes more than doubled last year, from 19 in 2017 to 41 in 2018, making up the majority of San Francisco’s 68 reported hate crimes.

The FBI’s annual report on hate crime in the U.S. doesn’t seek to explain trends.

But leaders in San Francisco’s effort to reduce crime pointed to two factors that may explain the rise: better reporting of hate crimes because of increased trust between victims and law enforcement, and a political climate in which President Trump’s vilification of immigrants and people of color may be empowering offenders. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle

Leaving California: These places will pay you to move there

It’s the talk of the town these days: With a booming job market pushing real-estate prices through the roof, jamming freeways and making the most quotidian of tasks seem downright wearisome, a lot of California residents are either heading for the exits or are already gone.

Consider the San Jose Mercury News’ story this week of the startup offering to pay residents $10,000 to pull up roots and leave town. Why? As a way to get workers to move to more affordable places around the country, then pair them up with companies that can’t afford the bottom-line-busting salaries typical across the high-cost Golden State.

Still, while the company, called MainStreet, might be pushing Californians out, some states, cities and towns across the nation are pulling in the other direction, offering benefits of all kinds and cold hard cash to bring in the recently uprooted. …

Click here to read the full article from the Press-Enterprise

Gov. Newsom’s Vision for High-Speed Rail Boondoggle Doubted by Many

Discussions at Tuesday’s state Assembly Transportation Committee hearing in Fresno highlighted the uncertainty existing within the state Legislature that fully building out Gov. Gavin Newsom’s vision of California’s high-speed rail project is the best way to proceed.

That difference of opinion is not only among legislators within Newsom’s own Democratic party, but members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s board of directors.

The 119-mile route segments now under construction for the project span from Madera, just north of Fresno, to a rural orchard near Shafter to the south — an estimated cost of $15.6 billion.

What Newsom wants is a 171-mile operating line of electric-powered trains from Merced to Bakersfield as an interim step toward a statewide bullet-train system. To do that will require another $4.8 billion to not only extend the tracks and signal systems, but to buy the trains and build the electrical system to power those trains. …

Click here to read the full article from the Fresno Bee

San Francisco’s New DA: Public Urination ‘Will Not Be Prosecuted’

San Francisco’s pee problem could soon get worse.

Chesa Boudin, the urine-and-feces-plagued city’s incoming district attorney, pledged during the campaign not to prosecute public urination and other quality-of-life crimes if he was elected. Boudin declared victory Saturday night after results showed him winning a plurality of votes in the DA race.

“We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted,” Boudin vowed in response to an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) questionnaire during the campaign. …

Click here to read the full article from the Daily Caller

The Complex Web of New Voting Laws

You might have heard by now that San Diego County’s attempt to deal with a new state law allowing same-day voter registration caused a great deal of drama.

That law, SB 72, requires county elections officials to offer conditional voter registration and provisional voting (same day registration) at all polling places.

San Diego County’s top elections official, Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, urged the county to open four satellite centers to help accommodate a possible surge in same-day voter registration – and to approve spending a good deal of money to make it happen.

After some arguing, bureaucratic maneuvering and outright lies about the voting process, the board approved the expense. …

Click here to read the full article from the Voice of San Diego

Lawmaker wants $500 million to help California college students with food and housing

A little over two months ago, Angel Huerta was working two jobs, attending UC Riverside full time, and didn’t know where he would find his next meal.

“Often, I went two days without eating anything,” the 21-year-old senior said Wednesday, Nov. 6. “On most days, I’d only have one meal.”

The stress associated with food and housing insecurities, Huerta said, caused his grades to drop. He was placed on academic probation. That’s when he sought the help of the on-campus food pantry, and it made a huge difference. He is no longer on probation and is on track to graduate in June 2020, he said.

“I wish I’d gotten help earlier,” he added. “It made a big difference in my life.”

Huerta spoke Wednesday at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut in support of legislation proposed by Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, to help students like himself – those who are in college, working two or more jobs, and struggling to make ends meet. …

Click here to read the full article from the Press-Enterprise

691,000 People Moved Out of California Last Year

Does it feel like all your friends are moving out of state? It’s because they are.

We’ve got more than goodbye parties and U-Haul shortages as evidence: Newly released census data shows approximately 691,000 people moved from California to another U.S. state in 2018. About 501,000 people moved from another state into California over the same time period.

It’s the seventh year in a row that more people have left the state than moved in, reports KNTV.

Where all the California refugees going? The No. 1 destination is Texas, which may not come as a huge surprise. For starters, it’s a big state with the second-largest population after California. Jobs there are also plentiful — Texas added more jobs last year than any other state (the unemployment rate is about 3% in Texas). …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.