Good morning, Bay Area. It’s Feb. 26, and San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza may be getting a makeover — eventually. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
Marijuana cases to be dropped
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that his office will wipe out more than 9,000 marijuana-related convictions dating back to 1975.
The announcement follows his office’s collaboration with Code for America — a nonprofit focused on using open-source technology to improve government — to find marijuana cases eligible for expungement or resentencing under marijuana legalization.
As of May, when Gascón first said he would seek mass expungement, only 23 people had come forward to petition to have their cases reclassified or expunged.
Rain brought on by an atmospheric river will pummel the region all of Tuesday and part of Wednesday, which could cause some waterways — still nearly full from the recent storms — to overflow, meteorologists said.
Officials are especially concerned about the Russian River flooding in Guerneville, as it did two weeks ago.
Moving on without the boss
Attorneys at the public defender’s office showed up to work on Monday, even as they were grieving their boss, Jeff Adachi, who died suddenly on Friday.
Kwixuan Maloof tells Heather Knighthe didn’t consider taking a bereavement day. No way.
Adachi, he said, wouldn’t have allowed it.
“I think he’d be pissed,” Maloof said. “Our clients are not going to allow us to grieve. The judges are not going to allow us to grieve. The D.A.’s office is definitely not going to allow us to grieve. We have to keep up the fight.”
Meanwhile, Chief Attorney Matt Gonzalez says he would be “honored” if Mayor London Breed appointed him to replace his former boss — and he is not happy with the police response to Adachi’s death.
More: What we know about the investigation into Adachi’s death so far.
Rethinking Civic Center Plaza
Fifteen acres from San Francisco City Hall east to Market Street could be transformed — if there’s public support for an ambitious new design.
Concept plans for a redesign of Civic Center Plaza, United Nations Plaza and a block of Fulton Street between them will be unveiled at City Hall on Wednesday, urban design critic John King reports.
Then the hard part begins — finding ways to gain the political support and funding that’s necessary to tackle one of San Francisco’s most troubled public landscapes.
Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices because each brick-red thread must be picked from a single purple flower. It’s also almost entirely imported — usually from the Mediterranean, Iran or Afghanistan.
Now the owners of a Lake County farm believe they are the first to grow a culinary version of the spice in California — and one of the few in the United States. They join the ranks of other California farmers who have recently attempted to grow novelty crops that haven’t previously thrived here, like coffee and tea, and black truffles.
Around the Bay
• Not just headaches: How does a concussion affect a baseball player? Two Giants share their stories on recovery.
• Bay fight: Next step in revitalizing SF’s historic piers could start a fight.
• New GOP leader: “She looks like California,” a national political consultant says about Jessica Millan Patterson. “And she’s the best political operative I’ve ever worked with.”
• Datebook: Peter Frampton has a rare muscle disease, and he will play his final North American show at the Concord Pavilion in October.
San Francisco Giants newcomer Pat Venditte is so unique, baseball had to change its rules — he’s the only ambidextrous pitcher in the game.
You may know Venditte’s story, but it bears repeating. A native of Omaha, Neb., his father dreamed up the idea of creating an ambidextrous pitcher when he was 3.
“It’s something that was forced,” said Venditte. “I can’t do anything else left-handed. I can’t eat. I can’t write. Can’t even throw a football left-handed.”
Read more on “The Venditte Rule” from Sports Editor Al Saracevic, who is in Scottsdale, Ariz, with the Giants at spring training.
Photo: Getty Images
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Briefing-Thousands-of-SF-marijuana-13644678.php.