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    In the News – Dec. 3, 2015

    By Dennis McMillan

    San Francisco City Hall Turned Red for World AIDS Day

    On December 1, World AIDS Day, Mayor Ed Lee ordered City Hall to be lit in red to remember lives lost to HIV/AIDS and to show renewed commitment to finding a cure. Lee said, “San Francisco is at the cutting edge of prevention, treatment and advances in medical research, and we are providing hope to people living with HIV/AIDS with our continued leadership in fighting this disease. Our commitment to Getting to Zero dem- onstrates that leadership.” He added, “In 2014, I signed the UNAIDS Getting to Zero initiative, which aims to get to zero new HIV infections, zero deaths associated with HIV, and zero stigma by 2030. The recent $20 mil- lion grant to create the new Institute for HIV Cure Research at UCSF will move us all closer to a cure and get us all to zero.”

    Housing Working Group to Reconvene with Goal of Increasing SF Affordable Homes

    Board of Supervisors President Lon- don Breed and Mayor Ed Lee this week called for a Charter Amendment for the November 2016 ballot to require more affordable housing from private developers in new housing developments, especially large developments. To develop this Charter Amendment, Mayor Lee will reconvene this month a housing work- ing group, the same group of diverse housing stakeholders that originally built the Housing Trust Fund in 2012 and many of the housing reforms San Francisco has developed and adopted in the last two years. The stated goal is to increase inclusionary requirements from developers in the City’s overall strong economy, and to short- en the timeline for housing construction.

    Supervisor Wiener Calls for Oversight Hearings on Short- term Rental Enforcement

    This week, Supervisor Scott Wiener called for standing quarterly oversight hearings on short-term rental enforcement in San Francisco. The goal of the hearings is to provide continuing, transparent public oversight for city enforcement efforts to ensure that the recently enacted short-term rental law is being robustly enforced and that illegal and abusive short-term rentals are being shut down promptly. At each hearing, the recently created Office of Short Term Rentals will be asked to present on various statistics, including number of short-term rental registrations, progress on getting more STRs registered, and enforcement efforts against violators. The quarterly hearings will commence in January, and will occur every three months thereafter.

    Milk Memorial Draws Huge Crowd

    The 37th Harvey Milk Memorial March and Vigil began in Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro with crowds overflowing into the street. Inspirational remarks were made by Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club Co-Presidents Laura Thomas and Peter Gallotta, as well as Tom Ammiano, Harry Britt and SEIU’s Kimberly Alvarenga (Ammiano’s former aide). The attendees then marched up Castro Street, taking two lanes, to the site of Milk’s old camera shop/queer activism central to hear more speeches, including former Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver, who told of her personal experience when Milk was brutally assassinated on November 27, 1978, by Supervisor Dan White in City Hall.

    $20 Million Grant to Create New amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research

    AmfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and UCSF hosted a press conference to announce the establishment of the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research, the cornerstone of amfAR’s $100 million cure research investment strategy to foster innovation among collaborative research teams, with the goal of developing the scientific basis for a cure by 2020. The press conference highlighted the goals of the Institute, the sci- entific challenges of curing HIV and current progress in cure research, the decision to establish the amfAR Insti- tute in San Francisco, other partners involved in the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research, and amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative.


    Dennis Nix, Member of LGBTQ Community, Killed in Hit-And- Run

    Dennis Nix, a San Francisco resident for over forty years, avid runner, diver, skier, and prominent member of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community, was killed in a recent hit-and-run accident. Though he lived near Monterey Boulevard, Nix was woven into the Castro’s social fabric, participating in local groups and often seen out and about in the neighborhood. An outpouring of shock and grief on his Facebook page and among the many communities that he was part of has spread since the early Saturday morning incident, when Nix’s scooter was struck by a light-colored sedan near Monterey Boulevard and 280 as he was heading home from a holiday party with his running club. The driver fled the scene, and as of this writing no arrests were made; no suspects have been identified.


    Congress Holds First-Ever Forum on Violence Against Transgender Community

    Isa Noyola, Program Director at Transgender Law Center, testified about bar- riers facing transgender people seeking access to services at the first-ever Congressional Forum on Violence Against the Transgender Community. The LGBT Congressional Caucus held the forum after announcing the creation of a Transgender Equality Task Force chaired by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Val- ley).


    “Hot Cop Of The Castro” Arrested for North Beach Hit- And-Run

    Christopher Kohrs, 38, the well-known “Hot Cop of the Castro,” was arrested for a felony hit-and- run. The two victims wound up in the hospital with non- life-threatening injuries. On Sunday, November 29, at approximately 2:20am, San Francisco Police responded to a report of a hit and run collision with injuries at Broadway and Montgomery Street. Although an arrest has been made, this is an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information on this collision is asked to call the Anonymous Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.


    Mayor Lee & Supervisor Breed Announce Milestone Reached in Rebuilding of City’s Public Housing

    Mayor Edwin Lee and Supervisor Breed announced the historic transfer of 15 public housing sites and 1,425 units to community-based nonprofit ownership as part of the Mayor’s 2013 Re-Envisioning Public Housing Plan and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Pro- gram (RAD). All public housing is affordable to low- and extremely-low income households. By transfer- ring the buildings from ownership and management by the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA), sub- stantial new financial resources will be available to repair and renovate the buildings.


    ‘Authentic Names’ Facebook Community Forum to be Held at Community Center

    The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee and Facebook invite the public to attend the “Authentic Names” Facebook Community Forum on Tuesday, December 15, 6 pm at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street in the Rainbow Room. This event is designed to provide a forum to bring LGBTQ leaders together with the Facebook team to discuss updates to the authentic name verification experience, related issues and updates to the system. Registration is required: facebook-community-forum-tickets

    STD Cases at All-time High, Particularly Among Men

    The sexually transmitted disease epi- demic is increasing, and the most common infection, chlamydia, has risen to record levels, government officials say. Reported cases of chla- mydia, gonorrhea and syphilis all increased in 2014. Chlamydia cases had dipped in 2013, but last year’s total of more than 1.4 million—or 456 cases per 100,000—was the high- est number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the feder- al Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As in previous years, the syphilis increase was mainly in gay and bisexual men. Most gonorrhea and chlamydia infections were in 15- to 24-year-olds.

    25th Annual Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree Provides Daz- zling Home Display

    What has become a San Fran- cisco holiday tradition, the Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree 25th Annual Display by Tom Taylor and Jerry Goldstein, is a gift to the Bay Area by the residents of 3560 21st Street in San Francisco. This annual opulent display is free and open for outdoor viewing now through December 24, with Santa in attendance. The tree stays up until New Year’s Day.

    UC Davis Medical Center Named Leader in LGBT Health- care Equality

    For the fifth consecutive year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has named UC Davis Medical Center a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in its annual Healthcare Quality Index report. The medical center earned top marks for meeting the foundation’s four core criteria for leadership excellence, which include nondiscrimination policies for patients and employees, equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and training in LGBT patient-centered care. Equally important are employment opportunities and a workplace environment that do not discriminate against anyone because of sexual orientation or gender identity, the fourth of the core criteria met by Davis.

    Toys for Tots Drive Is at St. Regis Ballroom This Year

    This year’s Toys For Tots/SF is on Sun- day, December 6, from 4–7 pm at The St. Regis Ballroom at Third & Mission Streets in San Francisco. Admission to the event is two or more unwrapped new toys to be donated to organizations that provide services to local children who otherwise wouldn’t receive a gift this holiday season. Festive holiday attire – no jeans or tennis shoes. Last year they had over 1,100 people join them, so due to growth of the event in recent years, space is limited, and an RSVP is necessary: