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Here's what's happening in our neck of the woods.
It's been a week of big news — elections, summits, fire investigations — but it was a story about a couple and the diner dishware they love that really got to me.
Sandi Genser-Maack and her husband, Lynn Maack, love TEPCO dishes. They're the type of ceramic dishes you'd find at a diner. A lot of people think they're tacky and ugly, but Sandi and Lynn love them. They go antique hunting for them; they had a newsletter called the TEPCO Tribune and even started the TEPCO Collectors Club.
From 1930 to 1968, the TEPCO factory in El Cerrito churned these plates out by the bunches, but in 1968, a kiln fire destroyed the factory.
The factory might be gone, but these plates — as ugly as some might think they are — are still bringing people joy and bringing people together.
I love working election night — the excitement, the fast pace, the potential for big surprises — but one of the least exciting races for most of the night during this past week's California primary election was the one for San Francisco's next mayor.
Supervisor London Breed had a big lead in first-place votes all night, so it was quite the shock when late in the night, the San Francisco Department of Elections put out a result showing former state Sen. Mark Leno with a 1,000 vote lead. It all had to do with the city's ranked-choice voting system, which allows the top candidates to earn second- and third-place votes from their opponents.
All week, San Francisco has been counting more and more ballots — tens of thousands of them — and as of Saturday afternoon, Breed had clawed her way to a nearly 500 vote lead over Leno. There are still tens of thousands of ballots left, so we've still got at least a few more days of this wackiness to look forward to.
There's a statue at the south end of San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez that a lot of people think looks...like poop. Specifically, a pile of dog poop.
But it's not! It's actually Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind and wisdom, and he's often depicted as a coiled snake. The story behind how this statue came to look like it does is fascinating, and it involves a well-known artist, city bureaucrats, homelessness, a debate over public art and, maybe, an act of revenge.
Political assassins have a way of becoming household names. John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald are two of the most famous men in American history.
But it seems like we hear a lot less about Sirhan Sirhan, the man currently in prison for killing Robert Kennedy 50 years ago this week in California. That lack of notoriety was one of the reasons I was so interested in the story of Sirhan's brother, Munir, who's been living in the same house in Pasadena for the last 50 years waiting and wishing for his brother to come home.
I covered the Golden State Warriors championship parade last year, and folks in Oakland were worried that it might be their last parade before the team moves across the bay to San Francisco in 2019. But Steph, KD and the rest of the Warriors will be marching through downtown Oakland at least once more.