The strike at SFO
Three to four inches of rain fell on the Bay Area yesterday, depending on the region—but it felt more like three or four feet if you were reading the news online. #Rainpocalypse blew over trees, flooded freeways, forced the closure of two BART stations, cancelled flights at SFO, knocked out power, and even caused a San Jose Safeway’s roof to collapse. But, wouldn’t you know it, other things happened yesterday too. Some of them kind of important. Here's a debriefing of what happened while you were lighting sexy candles and going all Quiet Storm:
Lending Club Had a $5.4 Billion IPO
The San Francisco-based peer-to-peer lending service partied like it was 1999, raising billions off of its initial public offering. It's the largest for a US-based tech company this year and could presage a boom in other social financing company's valuations. That's cool, but if nothing else, it'll lead to a spike in Champagne sales at Tosca and Gary Danko. Would says a rising tide doesn't lift all boats?
CHP Officer Pulls Gun at Protests
After his cover was blown and his partner was attacked, an plain-clothes CHP officer pulled a pistol on prostestors—and journalists—in Oakland late on Wednesday night. Though there might be some ground to debate the police tactics, that sort conversation is hard to have when there's this horrific picture of the officer pointing his gun at a freelancee photographer working for the Chronicle. Holy shit.
Google Announced a $2 Million Donation to SF Homeless Nonprofits
The funds will go to three Bay Area homelessness philanthropies: $1 million to the Hamilton Family Center to offer shelter space to those on the city’s homeless family wait list, $500K to Larkin Street Youth Service to fund a college and career prep program for homeless youth, and $500K to HandUp to match the site’s crowd-sourced funding. As Ed Lee put it, it was “raining philanthropy.” (We’re going to rate that joke as a 2 on the normal-person comedy scale and a 7 on the Ed Lee comedy scale.)
Oakland Banned Bullhooks
Feels like that’s a metaphor, doesn’t it? But no, it’s actual bullhooks. The City Council has banned the use of bullhooks and other devices for controlling circus elephants, starting in 2017. Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros. Barnum & Baily Circus, has threatened to pull its shows from the Coliseum over the ban, which is similar to one that Los Angeles enacted earlier this year. Side note: Cirque du Soleil is still in San Francisco—no animal cruelty there. Just saying.
Restaurant Workers at SFO Went on Strike
On top of the cancelled flights, more than 1,000 employees represented by UNITE HERE Local 2 walked off their jobs over a dispute over health care payments and job security.
SFPD Cleared a Decade Backlog of Rape Kits
After pressure from Heather Marlowe, a rape victim whose sexual assault kit was never tested, the department found a backlog of 753 untested sexual assault kits stretching back ten years. Yesterday, it announced that it had analyzed that set of unprocessed evidence.
Uber Surge Pricing During the Storm Hit 3.8X
Come on. You didn’t think we weren’t going to slip one rain story in here?