Author: Alfredo Casuso


Friday, September 18, 2020

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications,  



San Francisco is working with the local restaurant industry to develop a standardized health and safety plan and protocols to help restaurants prepare for reopening

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health, and Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, co-Chair of the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force, today announced San Francisco’s plan for reopening indoor dining. San Francisco will move forward with indoor dining at 25% capacity, up to 100 people, once classified as “orange” on the State’s tiered system, which will occur no sooner than the end of the month. The San Francisco Department of Public Health is developing health and safety guidelines in coordination with the local restaurant industry in order to prepare restaurants for the safest reopening possible.

“Restaurants have been hit hard by COVID-19. Many have adapted with takeout and outdoor dining, but they’ve still been barely hanging on and, sadly, some have closed for good,” said Mayor Breed. “We are laying out the next steps to make sure restaurants are ready to reopen as safely as possible. I want to thank the Golden Gate Restaurant Association for working with us to get to this point. Helping our restaurant industry survive this pandemic is a key part of our longer-term economic recovery.”

San Francisco is currently assigned to the State’s “red” tier, which provides the City the discretion to move forward with reopening some activities and services, including indoor salons and gyms. While San Francisco recognizes the State’s thresholds, the City will continue on a reopening path based on its local health indicators and unique challenges and successes of our local reopening. Based on the State’s tiered system, the earliest that San Francisco will move to the less restrictive “orange” tier is at the end of September. However, if local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations do not remain stable, San Francisco may not meet the criteria of the orange tier and will remain in the red tier.

“We appreciate our vibrant restaurant community’s sacrifice throughout this pandemic, and we want to thank them for their cooperation and patience that has brought us to this point,” said Dr. Colfax. “While health officials continue to monitor the virus, we also need San Franciscans to continue practicing the health and safety precautions needed for us to reopen our city gradually.”

The City is working with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association to develop a self-certification process for reopening indoor dining in San Francisco. This process will provide restaurants the information and tools they need to prepare to safely reopen indoor dining with limited capacity and other modifications in place. Before restaurants can reopen, they will need to complete a self-certification documenting their ability to comply with minimum standards for operating indoor dining in San Francisco.

“Our measured approach to reopening is grounded in science and facts, and science clearly tells us that indoor activities come with additional risk,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón. “We must work with the restaurants and business owners to implement strong safety protocols that help mitigate this additional risk and protect the safety of our employees, customers, and the community.”

“I grew up waiting tables at my parent’s family restaurant. Knowing first-hand what it takes to keep a business going, it’s been my priority to find pathways for businesses to reopen and stay in San Francisco,” said Assessor Carmen Chu, Co-Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force. “The next step will be to work in the coming week with public health and restaurants to ensure we have clear guidelines for how we can more safely operate indoors for workers and customers.”

“Today’s announcement brings hope to our San Francisco restaurants and the thousands of workers who need these jobs,” said Laurie Thomas, Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association. “The past six months have caused so much pain and financial hardship for many. Having a clear and safe path to move forward with indoor dining, even at a limited capacity, will mean restaurants have the chance to reopen and/or see a way to not have to close. We thank the Mayor and her staff, and Dr. Aragón and Dr. Colfax for working with us to make this possible.”

“For restaurants on Larkin Street in Little Saigon, the news that we may be able to begin reopening indoors again in weeks rather than months is really hopeful,” said Rene Colorado, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Merchants Association. “Outdoor dining has been important but it’s not enough alone, especially as we approach the wetter, colder months. Today’s news offers some hope there really may be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

“We’re very happy Mayor Breed is being proactive in helping small businesses by listening to them and taking action,” said Small Business Commissioner William Ortiz-Cartagena.  “Restaurants are telling us what they need and reopening indoors is the next step to saving these businesses and all the jobs they support. We commend the Mayor and appreciate her for standing with us and all our small businesses in these challenging times.”

“It’s great to hear that we will be allowed to have indoor dining again, especially after having to close our busting dining room on Larkin Street in Little Saigon for six months,” said Thao Pham, owner of Turtle Tower Restaurant. “We are very excited to welcome guests back into our restaurant and its helpful to have more notice this time, so we can begin planning how best to do so responsibly and safely.”

Reopening Next Week 

In-classroom learning with limited capacity for TK-6th grade will begin to resume September 21st for schools that have submitted a safety plan and have received approval. Indoor museums and galleries may submit health and safety plans this week and will be able to open as early as Monday, September 21st. Additionally, San Francisco continues to evaluate ways to bring other activities, including indoor movies, bars, nightlife, and offices back safely.

Prior Reopening

Earlier this week, San Francisco’s reopening continued with additional outdoor and indoor activities. The businesses and services that resumed indoors with limited capacity include hair salons, barber shops, massage services, nail salons, gyms and fitness centers. Only those services where face coverings can be worn at all times by everyone involved will reopen at this time. Hotels, outdoor family entertainment centers, drive-in entertainment such as outdoor movies, and outdoor tour buses and boats also reopened on Monday under rules for outdoor gatherings. 

The reopening of businesses and activities will increase travel and interaction throughout the city, which means increasing community spread of the virus and an increase in cases. Public health officials will regularly assess the Key Public Health Indicators, particularly new positive case counts and hospitalizations to ensure San Francisco has the necessary resources available for those that are infected.

San Francisco’s reopening plan is available online at Reopening is dependent upon San Francisco’s Health indicators remaining stable or improving, and the plan is subject to change. All San Franciscans must do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, including face masking, social distancing and handwashing.


Paint the Void and Union Square BID celebrate their 100th Mural in action

Media Contacts: 

Shannon Riley  / (508) 523-4944 /

David Perry & Associates, Inc / (415) 676-7007 / 

Sunday, September 27, 12pm – 4pm

Paint the Void and Union Square BID celebrate their 100th Mural in action

Public invited to meet the artists live painting murals and take self-directed Art Walks.

Re-beautification during COVID-19 shows support to small businesses and community

17 September 2020 – San Francisco: Paint the Void, a nonprofit initiative created in collaboration with Building 180 and Art for Civil Discourse, is partnering with the Union Square Business Improvement District to unveil two new murals. Their completion will mark 100 murals created by the group. This new partnership invites the public to join a celebratory Art Walk to safely explore the murals, as well as drive foot traffic to small businesses who have lost customer support during the pandemic. The Art Walk is available for self-discovery via an online map:  Sunday, September 27, 12pm – 4pm, Paint the Void will host socially-distanced guided tours and a “meet-the-artists” pop up at their respective murals. The Art Walk Tour will lead the public to 20 murals around the Square and commence at the 100th mural where the artists will live-paint the SFMTA station on Geary at Stockton. 

San Francisco Releases Health Guidance Detailing Requirements for the Additional Activities Reopening Today 415-558-2712 


September 14, 2020 

Contact: Joint Information Center 

(415) 558-2712, 

*** Press Release *** 

San Francisco Releases Health Guidance Detailing Requirements for the Additional Activities Reopening Today 

San Francisco, CA – Today, San Francisco posted additional guidance and requirements for lower-risk indoor and outdoor activities reopening today. Each of the following additional activities pose a lower risk only if all published safety requirements are followed. Establishments are still strongly encouraged to continue providing services outdoors where they are allowed to do so. 

The gradual reopening of businesses and activities will increase travel and interaction throughout the city, which means increasing community spread of the virus and an increase in cases. Public health officials will regularly assess the Key Public Health Indicators, particularly new positive case counts and hospitalizations to ensure San Francisco has the necessary resources available for those that are infected. 

The following summary is only a partial list of activities reopening today along with some key requirements to safely reopen. Businesses should review the detailed guidance to learn about specific health recommendations and requirements designed to protect personnel and customers, like face coverings, sanitation, physical distancing, and employee/customer health screenings. 

Indoor Personal Services 

Services include hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, massage (in a non-healthcare setting), estheticians, skin care, and cosmetology services, electrology, tattooing, piercing, and microblading. The additional guidance also allows indoor personal services in other situations where customers have contact with equipment but no contact with the provider, like tanning salons, but the equipment can be cleaned between customers to also make them lower risk. 

Removal of face coverings for indoor personal services is not allowed under any circumstances. 

Capacity Limits 

 The establishments must have all stations and other areas to be configured to ensure at least six feet of physical distancing between customers. 

 The number of customers allowed in a facility at any given moment is the amount that can safely maintain at least six feet of physical distance at all times. 415-558-2712 

Detailed Requirements and Guidance for Indoor Personal Services Here

Indoor Gyms and Fitness Centers 

Gyms and fitness centers may open indoors for one-on-one personal training and self-directed exercise. Example fitness activities include weightlifting or solo basketball. Locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms, showers, indoor pools, and climbing walls must remain closed for the time being. Group cardio/aerobic fitness classes (such as spinning, kickboxing, etc.) are not permitted indoors at this time. Adequate ventilation and at least 12 feet of distance must be maintained at all times around those who are performing any physical activity that increases breathing rate or intensity (including weightlifting, treadmills, spin bikes, etc.). People must maintain at least six feet distance for stationary activities that do not increase breathing rate or intensity, such as stretching, gentle yoga or meditation. 

Customers and personnel must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and wear face coverings at all times, including while using cardio equipment. All equipment must be disinfected before and after use. 

Capacity Limits 

 Establishments may open only up to the lesser of 10% capacity or the number of people who can fit in a space while remaining at least six feet apart at all times and 12 feet apart from anyone who is performing an activity that increases breathing rate or intensity. 

 Children are not permitted inside indoor gyms and fitness centers. 

Detailed Requirements and Guidance for Indoor Gyms and Fitness Centers Here

Lodging Facilities for Tourism 

Lodging facilities, including hotels, motels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, inns and short-term rentals, are now open for tourist use. Rentals of one room in an occupied unit is not permitted at this time (e.g. all short-term rentals must be “whole home rentals”). Indoor personal services, open under applicable health directives, such as hair, nail salons, and massage may resume. Outdoor facilities, also permitted under applicable health directives, such as golf, fitness, outdoor tennis may resume. 

Indoor fitness centers, indoor pools, and indoor dining facilities, ballrooms, conference rooms, business centers, lounge areas, and other indoor gathering places must remain closed at this time. 

Capacity and Room Limitations 

 Lobbies and common areas based on the number of people able to fit in the space with required physical distancing (about 113 square feet per person). Lobbies and other common areas must be closed to people who are not personnel, guests or customers of businesses who need access to the area. 

 Guests should be encouraged to limit their room occupancy to those in the same household. Visitors to rooms are not allowed. 415-558-2712 

 Guests must not be in the room during cleaning, and before housekeeping personnel begin cleaning the room it must be allowed to air out for at least 15 minutes by turning ventilation on and opening doors and any operable windows. 

Detailed Requirements and Guidance for Lodging Facilities for Tourism Here

Small Business Support: 

To support a safer reopening, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development is coordinating the distribution of free personal protective equipment for San Francisco’s small businesses. Small businesses that would like to request a 30-day supply of hand sanitizer, surgical masks, and face shields should coordinate with their nearest participating community-based organization. Program details and availability can be found online here. 

Additional information and guidance for other activities reopening on September 14 and San Francisco’s reopening plan may be found at 

# # # 

San Francisco’s Path to Reopening San Francisco’s reopening plan is available online at Reopening is dependent upon San Francisco’s Health indicators remaining stable or improving, and the plan is subject to change. All San Franciscans must do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, including face masking, social distancing and handwashing. The reopening of most activities and businesses requires limited capacity and health and safety plans. San Francisco continues to evaluate ways to bring higher risk activities, including indoor movies, dining, bars, night life, and offices back safely. 

Cuttin’ It Up with Broobs: A Collage Workshop

Media Contact:
David Perry & Associates, Inc/David Perry  (415) 676-7007 /

Cuttin’ It Up with Broobs: A Collage Workshop

Monday, September 28 – Thursday, October 1 5pm-8pm (Pacific Time)
Online Workshop via Zoom

Rare Opportunity for One-On-One Experience with Queer Artist & Activist whose clients include The California Endowment, Netflix, Wired & Elle

14 September 2020 — San Francisco, CA: You’ve seen the work. Now meet the artist behind hundreds of iconic images on Instagram, Twitter and most any social media account with a social consciousness. The artist known to legions of their fans is Broobs. a collage creator and photographer who melds the past and present, finding inspiration in nature, botanical elements, and classic color palettes to create fresh imagery. From Monday, September 28 – Thursday, October 1 (5pm-8pm Pacific Time),  attendees will get the rare opportunity to spend four days (three hours each day) with Broobs, learning cut-and-paste methods for making fresh and powerful imagery.  Registration for this limited special event is available at

“Art has historically been a powerful tool for political activists. This year that is especially true,” said Grendl Löfkvist, Education Director for San Francisco’s Letterform Archive.  “Broobs’s unique collage constructions illustrating stories of queer icons, victims of police violence and hate crimes, and other progressive political ideals have become an iconic visual language of this time.”

This workshop will reveal Broobs’s techniques for using source material to create different collage styles, including how to incorporate text and make compelling compositions.

During its five-year history, Letterform Archive has welcomed over 10,000 visitors from 30 countries, including students, practitioners, and letterform admirers from every creative background. Later this year, the Archive will move into a new, expanded building, providing more hands-on access, when such access is once again available. Meanwhile, the organization is offering many workshops, lectures, and other programs online at




from Bill Miller

Sep 12th 2020

Sun Sep 6th  Holding Off!    Seabourn cruise line announced it has cancelled all of its remaining 2020 cruises and will try again in 2021.

Seabourn Cruise Line History

Mon Sep 8th Return to Cruising:  Big-name cruise companies have been on pause since mid-March.  In the months since, smaller ocean and river lines have developed new pandemic-era health and safety guidelines aimed at restoring traveler confidence in cruising.  One major travel consultant noted:   “We have some clients who literally can’t wait to get back on a ship”. But when they do eventually board, vacationers will find a new routine — at least in the near future.

Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the largest operators to have announced new policies. They include touchless temperature checks when guests enter public spaces, reduced passenger capacity, and frequent reminders to wash hands. Group sizes for onboard activities will be smaller, to promote social distancing. And gone are self-serve buffets and pour-your-own coffee.


Above:  The maiden arrival at New York of Celebrity Cruises’ Horizon in May 1990

More Cancellations for South America: With Pullmanturs now gone from this summer (Dec-Apr) cruise season from South America, Carnival-owned Costa Cruises have announced the cancellation  of its ships & cruises for the 2020-2021 season in South America. All cruises aboard the Costa Fascinosa, Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica in South America, with embarkations scheduled for the period from November 2020 to April 2021, are now canceled.  With Pullmanturs & Costa out, South America will see a much limited winter/summer cruise season.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages:   This UK-based, niche cruise, which slipped into bankruptcy in mid-summer, might see a financial rescue and revival.   UPDATE:   Days later, rescue failed and it was announced that the Company’s 5 liners – including the 55-yr old Marco Polo – are to be auctioned-off in Oct.  

The Deep Blue Sea:   Several European cruise lines, such as Germany’s Mein Schiff and Hapag-Lloyd, have begun offering cruises but only with “cruising days” – no ports of call.  Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, Costa & MSC Cruises are offering port-limited itineraries.  

Mein Schiff 6

Hitting the Water!  Royal Caribbean’s new Wonder of the Seas, set to be the largest cruise ship in the world, is now in the water at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France. 

The Oasis-class ship with capacity for over 5,400 guests was floated out and has moved to an outfitting pier as work continues ahead of a projected delivery in 2022, marking a slight delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus: Grand Princess arrives in Port of Oakland

For the Love of Cruising!  Ilene Weiner, a Florida-based retiree, is Princess Cruises’ most traveled passenger.   She has spent more than a total of 7 years at sea.   She was onboard the world cruise of the Pacific Princess when the pandemic struck last winter.   It was her 310th Princess cruise.   Yes, she’s had a gap, the current pause, but has booked more cruises in 2021 and a Princess world cruise in 2022.   

“Cruising takes the stress out of travel,” noted Mrs Weiner.   “My husband & I enjoy the amenities of each ship and watch the world as it goes by & as we sail the beautiful oceans of the world.   It is just the best relaxation.   We love going ashore, especially seeing new places, but we are just as happy enjoying our cabin balcony, playing cards, walking around the ship and having a cocktail before dinner.   Where else but on a cruise can you unpack once yet visit several islands or countries in one vacation!”

Top 100 Cruise Ships in the World: Readers' Choice Awards 2013 | Condé Nast  Traveler

Wed Sep 9th:  Word from Holland-America:  Bookings for the second half of 2021 are strong. Much of that, according to the Company’s Seattle headquarters, has to do with “people’s newfound appreciation for travel and the sense of being together”.

Best Cruise Ships: Discover Our Top Rated Ships | Royal Caribbean Cruises

Fri Sep 11th:   Fast Moving!  From Capt G Justin Zizes:  The scrappers at Aliaga in Turkey have waisted little time in demolishing the 77,000-ton Sovereign  (below).  The cruise ship arrived in Turkish waters less than a month ago.


Gradual Return:   Costa Cruises has announced a gradual return to European cruising, using 5 of its mega ships, beginning this month and into December.   A World Cruise is also confirmed for the Costa Deliziosa, departing on January 3, 2021.

Carnival aims for phased-in, 8-ship cruise resumption in August |

Dutch News:  Meanwhile, Holland-America is assigning 5 of its liners to European cruising for the 2021 season.   And Cunard has announced a long world cruise for the Queen Mary 2 in 2022 and now has added a 107-night circumnavigation on the Queen Victoria as well.   In fact, it will be the 100th anniversary of full world cruises, begun by the Laconia in 1922.

Carnival CEO says cruise industry will be able to navigate through  coronavirus crisis – Press Telegram

Report from a Recent MSC Cruise:  A  reporter for the hugely popular and much respected Cruise Critic reporter was aboard the MSC Grandiosa on a recent cruise in the western Med:  She wrote,  “With the restart of the cruises, you expect the first to book are the repeaters, yet this is not the case: on board there are many guests who are new to cruising. They chose it for the safety guarantee it offers and once on board they are discovering its infinite possibilities.  But then there are the true aficionados, those who make you smile instantly. There is a couple, he is 96, she is 83. They have already done about 180 cruises and couldn’t wait to get back on board. ‘We want to have fun and we are not afraid,’ they tell me. ‘We have already booked another cruise for November’.”

Below:  Grand Bahama Shipyard at Freeport can service up to 5/6 big cruise ships at one time.

grand bahama shipyard | grand bahama shipyard in freeport, t… | Flickr

More on an MSC Med Cruise:  A reporter continued on her recent cruise on the MSC Grandiosa from Rome (Civitavecchia):  “I have never taken the test before, and I must say it is a relief to know that every person who will board must do the test. You travel with a light heart when you feel safe. We waited for an hour approximately after the test (a swab), and then the result: negative for me and for the group I was travelling with.”

She continued, “It’s time to walk down the gangway and finally get on the ship. I’m excited. Steps that seem new, even if I had already been on the Grandiosa. There are about 2,000 passengers on board, on a ship that can accommodate more than 6,000. The distancing is, in fact, ensured.”

MSC Grandiosa 2019 / 2020 Cruise Itinerary and Sailing Calendar | Crew  Center

Above:  MSC Grandiosa

Onboard Lifestyle:   “The cabins are sanitized and every day equipped with protective devices available to the occupants.  A maximum of four can enter the large elevators at a time; on the floor are indicated the four stations, also these suitably spaced. Like everyone else, I wear the MSC for Me bracelet. It’s like having another cruise card, I can also open the door to my cabin. And above all, while respecting privacy, it is able to locate and trace the contacts with the other guests on the ship.  Before meals, whether at the restaurant or at the buffet, it is mandatory to wash your hands in the special stations and the staff measures the body temperature at the entrance. So you sit down more lightly, while choosing what to eat.”

She added, “It takes a few minutes to get used to the buffet served by the staff. But it doesn’t take much, given the always abundant offer and the quality of the dishes that hasn’t changed. The waiters, in addition to face masks, wear gloves while preparing the dishes. An additional guarantee. Indeed, in my opinion the new system teaches us to choose in a better way  without filling the plate more than we would be able to eat.

Shipboard Activities:  “With or without masks, we have fun. After dinner, theatre shows, live music, and for those who want to play, there is the 4D cinema where you can shoot zombies or bandits, the Formula 1 simulator or the casino. And the face mask doesn’t stop us from socializing and laughing. And it doesn’t excuse anyone from making jokes when for the fourth consecutive time I don’t hit a pin with the bowling ball. Sanitized too, of course.  Is half face covered? It does not matter. I enjoy imagining the hidden half, I pay more attention to the eyes.”

Image result for msc cruise logo | Msc cruises, Cruise, Msc

The reporter concluded, “Perfect organization from the first to the last moment, pampering, comfort and a sense of protection: going on a cruise today is a nice gift to give to yourself — and one of the safest ways to travel!”

Sat Sep 12th  Urging A Return!  Cruise line CEOs aggressively called for a smart return to service during a meeting of the Miami-Dade County Tourism and the Ports Committee on Thursday morning. Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation,  said the company had been working non-stop with governments, health authorities, medical and scientific experts and stakeholders across the globe to develop science-based COVID-19 protocols. He pointed to Costa Cruises, the company’s Italian brand, which returned to service this week in Italy.  Donald noted that the return to service would see the cruise industry manage risk without impact to communities.

Grand Bahama Shipyard Reports Busy 2016

Above:  The 225,000-ton Oasis of the Seas in dry dock at Freeport, Grand Bahama 


Above:   “Yes, even here under the sea, we read Bill Miller’s weekly cruise & corona  news – page after page!  Each week, his updates keep us posted & up to date.  And then there’s his quarterly Millergram.  And then for something bigger & better, we just swim over to the local undersea library for shelves of Bill Miller books!”



Continued best thanks to our friends, readers, reporters & those faraway “secret agents”