Year in Review: My top SFBay Stories 2017 Edition

Next February will mark my fifth anniversary working for SFBay. What a journey it has been so far covering some of the most important stories in San Francisco. Here are just a few of the stories in 2017 that I wanted to revisit.

5. When Is My Bus Arriving?
The beginning of 2017 started off not so great for San Francisco Muni passengers. Thousands of passengers were left with no estimated arrival times of Muni buses and trains when the NextBus system failed during the first week of January. The cause of the outage was due to AT&T shutting off its old 2G wireless service, which the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency had been relying on for the NextBus prediction system. It took the transit agency weeks to fully restore the system.

Read: SF chief apologizes for NextBus outage

4. San Francisco’s Newest Train Arrives
I’d be lying if I said I was not excited to see Muni’s newest light rail vehicle arrive in January. Last year, I had saw the first vehicle, still not quite yet finish, in Sacramento inside the Siemens manufacturing plant. To see the complete product at the beginning of the year was amazing. Now, several more trains have arrived for testing in San Francisco, with one train already in service.

Scot Tucker/SFBay

Read: Muni unboxes sparkling new train

3. Patriot Prayer Cancels Event in San Francisco
A Portland-based group wanted to have an event in San Francisco in Crissy Field, a federally-owned property. The group’s rallies across the country have incited violence, and many San Francisco officials urged the Golden Gate National Recreational Area to revoke the group’s permit. While the group may not have been directly involved in the violent incidents, their raillies have brought out hate groups. When it was all said and done, the event was eventually cancelled by the group’s organizer despite efforts to move the event to Alamo Square Park, which the San Francisco Police Department barricaded.

Read: San Francisco to alt-right: Stay away

2. Midnight Test Run
I have never been on an assignment in the middle of the night until this year. I and Garrick Wong, a SFBay photographer during the summer, went out for a test run of Muni’s new train at 1 a.m. We arrived at midnight at the Muni Metro East Rail facility. Before that, we were at Starbucks at Powell and O’Farrell trying to down as much caffeine to stay awake. The test involved the sounds and vibrations inside the train while traveling back and forth inside the Sunset Tunnel.

Mike Amato, senior consultant and lab manager at Wilson Ihrig, records and compares noise and vibrations from the Muni’s new train and compares it to Muni’s beta trains in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, July 21, 2017. Garrick Wong/SFBay

Read: New Muni Metro trains begin over­night tests

  1. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee Dies
    His death was sudden. No one saw it coming. On Dec. 12, San Francisco’s 43rd mayor died at 1:11 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. I recall hearing the buzz of my phone several times throughout the early morning — one from my editor informing me of the news and several emails from the mayor’s office confirming Lee’s death. Lee’s death will probably be one of the stories I’ll remember for a long time.
Seven men carry Mayor Ed Lee’s body inside San Francisco City Hall on Friday, December 15, 2017 in San Francisco, Calif. Jerold Chinn/SFBay

Read: Flags fly low as San Francisco honors memory of Ed Lee