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Daily news roundup for Thursday, January 22, 2015

A private collector and www.outsidelands.org
View of San Francisco's Ocean Beach circa 1905

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, curated by KALW news:

S.F. activists shocked that shade killed condo project // SF Gate

The Recreation and Park Commission last week voted unanimously to kill a condominium project South of Market. The building, opponents said, would cast a shadow on Victoria Manalo Draves Park on Folsom Street.

It sounds like a relatively straightforward ruling. After all, Proposition K, the “Sunlight Ordinance,” was passed in 1984 specifically to protect the city’s parks from the shadows of new buildings.


Mayor Tom Butt convenes first meeting of Richmond’s new city council // Richmond Confidential

Despite a multi million-dollar election that gained national attention, the new city council adjourned looking much like the old city council, with Eduardo Martinez being the only fresh face. But there will soon be another new member when the council fills the seat left vacant by Butt’s move to mayor. And the progressives are hoping to bolster their majority.

The council is currently seeking candidates for the open seat, and voted on Tuesday to alter the timeline for filling the seat. The council voted to accept statements of interest until February 3, and will vote on whom to appoint to the seat on February 10.


San Pablo among investors bidding to save Doctors Medical Center // Contra Costa Times

Four proposals have emerged to buy Doctors Medical Center and keep it running -- three from private hospital groups and one from the city of San Pablo -- fueling hopes that services can be maintained at West Contra Costa Costa's only public hospital.

Set to run out of money by the end of February and hit with the resignation last week of its interim CEO due to health troubles, the governing board of Doctors Medical Center San Pablo heard the series of proposals at its meeting Wednesday.


Coalition strives to make SF the first city with zero new HIV infections // SF Examiner

Bolstering The City's annual spending on HIV-related services and prevention measures, a consortium fighting the disease is calling for increased investment in a new strategy it says will end HIV infections in San Francisco before any other city does. The initial goal is a 90 percent reduction of new cases within five years.

The strategy was developed by the Getting to Zero consortium, a large coalition established last year of those fighting HIV/AIDS in San Francisco, and would initially require more than $2 million of city funding this year.

The investment would fund three initiatives: One would increase use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP -- the brand-name drug Truvada manufactured by Gilead Sciences is the only one on the market -- which can reduce the risk of transmission by more than 95 percent, and is being called a game-changer in the fight against AIDS. Another would expand UC San Francisco's Rapid ART (antiretroviral therapy) program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to anyone who tests positive. A third initiative aims to keep those with HIV under care by preventing treatment gaps, such as if someone loses health insurance or housing.


Free Muni Approved For Seniors, People With Disabilities // SFist

In a unanimous vote yesterday, the SFMTA approved a proposal to offer free Muni rides to seniors and people with disabilities. $4 million will be spent to fund the program for one year.ABC 7 has it that Muni estimates upwards of 24,000 San Franciscans will benefit.

Ed Lee, who had called for the widely-expected service, issued the following statement: "I thank the Board of Directors for answering this call today. Also today, I call upon the private sector to partner with us, once again, and help fund this vital service that supports our city's most vulnerable."


Local history group releases 1,000+ photos from Richmond District’s past // The Richmond District Blog

In early 2013, the volunteers at the Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP), a historical group dedicated to preserving the history of San Francisco’s western neighborhoods, were offered the chance to take stewardship of a massive photo collection containing thousands of images of San Francisco’s past.

The goal: to digitize and archive the photos, and make them available to the public. The collection, spread across more than 25 filing cabinets, contained 8×10 inch prints; acetate, glass, and nitrate negatives; cabinet cards; panoramas; postcards; scrapbooks; yearbooks and other items.