Wednesday News Roundup
RUNAWAY PIGLET PURSUED BY CROWD IN MISSION DISTRICT
A runaway piglet stopped traffic in San Francisco’s Mission District this morning, according to Animal Care and Control officials.
The piglet was reported running in traffic in the area of 19th and Dolores streets this morning between 7 and 7:30 a.m., and by the time animal control officers arrived on the scene a crowd had gathered to try to catch her, according to Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell.
The piglet, who has since been dubbed “Janice,” was eventually captured by Brother Damian with the Society of Saint Francis, a nearby Franciscan society.
“Only in San Francisco could a wayward piglet expect to be rescued by a representative of the Patron Saint of Animals,” Campbell noted.
The pig is doing well and resting comfortably this afternoon. No one has come forward to claim her yet, but if she is not claimed in five days she will likely be turned over to a rescue group, officials said.
MUNI CABLE CAR, GARBAGE TRUCK COLLIDE IN NOB HILL
A San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car and a garbage truck collided in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood this morning, taking several cable car lines out of service, according to Muni officials.
Muni officials tweeted about the collision at 9:20 a.m. at Mason and Jackson streets involving an outbound cable car on the Powell/Mason line.
Four people reported injuries in the collision, but none required transport to a hospital, according to Muni spokesman Paul Rose.
The collision stopped service on the Powell/Hyde, Powell/Mason and California lines, which were served by buses until around 12:30 p.m., according to Rose.
Service has since been restored to all lines.
SF SUPERVISOR CALLS FOR STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION ON HOMELESSNESS
Supervisor David Campos today called for the Board of Supervisors to declare a state of emergency on homelessness to speed up the opening of additional Navigation Centers, shelters designed to help the homeless access permanent housing and other services.
Speaking this morning in front of the city’s highly touted Navigation Center in the Mission District, Campos said he would ask the board to follow the lead of cities such as Seattle and Los Angeles in declaring a shelter emergency. The move would allow the city to bypass some red tape in opening additional Navigation Centers on city-owned property, he said.
Campos said he was acting in response to hundreds of phone calls and emails from constituents affected by homeless encampments, which appear to have increased in size and visibility in the past year, and to conversations with those living on the street. He called out both Mayor Ed Lee and the board for what he called a “failure to act.”
“For years people without homes have been pushed in to neighborhoods like the Mission and SOMA with no real plan to provide services or shelter,” he said today. “This failure to act has caused a public health emergency in San Francisco that has reached intolerable levels.”
In addition to the declaration of a shelter emergency, Campos said he also planned to introduce legislation in coming weeks that would call for the city to build six additional Navigation Centers in the coming year, three of them within the next six months. The legislation would also call for the activation of emergency reserve funds and spending cuts in other parts of the budget to support the opening of the new facilities.
Lee slammed the proposal in unusually forceful remarks at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting this afternoon, saying it “didn’t offer any solution, no new philanthropic partnerships, no new sites for Navigation Centers of a path forward, but it did offer rhetoric.”
Saying he did not govern “in search of headlines,” Lee noted that he had also declared homelessness to be a crisis in December last year, “but my response included substance.”
Lee said his administration had identified two new sites for Navigation Centers, one near Pier 80 and the other in the South of Market area, and was working with the community now.
“Supervisor, if you want to solve this, work with me,” Lee said. “Work with us to get these sites community buy-in, work with us to make this happen.”
The call for more Navigation Centers comes after a city cleanup effort last week that pushed out hundreds of homeless people who had clustered in encampments along Division Street and around Showplace Square in the South of Market neighborhood. The city acted after the health department declared the camps a public nuisance and health hazard.
“With all due respect to the mayor, I appreciate that a lot of hard work has gone into this,” Campos said. “But we have to do better, what we are doing is simply not enough.”
Supervisor Jane Kim also introduced a resolution at today’s board meeting calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in California to help cities and counties deal with the homelessness crisis. Kim said California alone is home to 21 percent of the nation’s homeless population.
“We need the state to step up and help, because this is a statewide challenge that no single person, no single city, even one as generous and open-hearted as San Francisco, can solve,” Kim said.