Richmond Roundup

Richmond Roundup

Couple perishes in Presidio Heights fire

An early-morning fire that raced through a Presidio Heights’ home on Christmas Eve claimed the lives of Michael and Connie Hooker.

Firefighters arriving on the scene were able to reach the couple, but Michael, 83, was declared dead shortly thereafter and Connie, 69, died on Dec. 25 after being transported to St. Francis Hospital.

A firefighter was injured trying to enter the home but he was treated at a hospital and released.

The cause of the fire at the home, located at 3838 Clay St., is under investigation.

Food Bank delivers 250,000th bag of groceries

The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s home-delivered groceries program made its 250,000th delivery in December.

To mark the milestone, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer joined the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RNC) and the Richmond Senior Center on Dec. 13 to deliver groceries to the Pham family in the Richmond District. Fewer presented a special certificate to mark the food bank’s 250,000th delivery.

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 Volunteers get ready to deliver groceries supplied by the SF-Marin Food Bank. District 1
Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer is second from right. Courtesy photo.

One of the Food Bank’s most successful collaborations is with the Richmond Senior Center and the Richmond District Neighborhood Center dating back to 2015. Every week, the partnership delivers groceries to 116 seniors and seven adults with disabilities.

Since 2015, the partnership has delivered more than 385,000 pounds of groceries to local residents. The grocery delivery program is funded by San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services. Fourteen faith-based and community-based organizations coordinate volunteers and staff to make weekly deliveries.

The Food Bank provides 25 pounds (on average) of food weekly, including chicken, pasta or rice and fresh, seasonal produce. The food is tailored to the nutritional needs of seniors and people who are less active because of mobility challenges.

The program is needed now more than ever, experts say, as an estimated 16.3 percent of seniors face the threat of hunger in California. In San Francisco, the need is even more acute, since food costs are estimated to be 23 percent higher than nationally. In addition, the population of seniors in San Francisco continues to grow. In 2016, seniors comprised 20 percent of that population but are projected to rise to 26 percent by 2030.

School Board looks at neighborhood schools

The SF Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution Dec. 11 to launch the process of developing a new student assignment system for city elementary schools.

The resolution, called “developing a community-based student assignment system for the SF Unified School District (SFUSD),” was authored by commissioners Matt Haney and Rachel Norton and was co-sponsored by board President Stevon Cook and Vice President Mark Sanchez.

The resolution does not immediately change the current student assignment system, which first took effect in the 2011-12 school year, but calls on staff to consider alternatives to the choice-based system.

Per the resolution, the new student assignment system will focus on elementary schools and will be predicated on greater predictability, transparency, accessibility to neighborhood options, equity and a strong commitment to integrated schools.

The resolution calls for school’s Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews to develop a recommendation for a revised student assignment policy and an implementation plan with timelines. In developing a revised student assignment policy, staff will develop recommendations that will strive to serve the needs of historically underserved students; facilitate access to an elementary school within a reasonable geographic distance and accessible to transit; and offer a predictable, transparent and accessible student assignment system.

The policy development process will include extensive outreach to and feedback from school district advisory bodies, families, staff and the community.

The SFUSD has also requested that the superintendent conduct an analysis of transportation needs and plans, as they relate to student assignment.

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