Berkeley restaurants

Is the risk of contracting COVID outdoors increasing?

Hello, Bay Area. It’s Thursday, July 7, and Napa County says reports of an IPA Voodoo Ranger water park coming to Wine Country appear to be a publicity stunt. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

The new COVID variants BA.4 and BA.5 are now the dominant strains in Northern California and are even more infectious than their predecessors, and more susceptible to evading immunity. What are the chances of you getting infected from the strains on the outside?

While it’s generally safer to be outdoors, infectious disease experts say now is the time to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings such as concerts and wedding receptions.

BA.4 and BA.5 are more likely to cause reinfections than earlier variants, and it “doesn’t take long to catch the virus,” said Stanford infectious disease physician Anne Liu.

Learn more about the risks of specific Aidin Vaziri settings.

SFUSD expenses

A mural depicting the life of George Washington sparked controversy and a lawsuit.

Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle 2019

Officials used $525,000 earmarked for facility improvements to pay for the legal fight over a controversial mural at Washington High School in San Francisco.

The money came from a bond measure approved by voters in 2016 for improvements to classrooms and other buildings, and the spending is currently being reviewed by an official oversight committee. Financial worries have plagued the San Francisco Unified School Board as the district decides how to deal with a $125 million shortfall this coming school year.

The Depression-era artwork depicts the life of George Washington and includes images of slaves working in the fields and white settlers stepping over a dead Native American. The school board voted to paint the mural in 2019, but the ensuing three-year controversy led to a lawsuit and ultimately the decision being overturned.

Read more from Jill Tucker.

what to eat

Sammy Pak prepares an order of hotteok at Sammy's, his Korean pop-up in Oakland.

Sammy Pak prepares an order of hotteok at Sammy’s, his Korean pop-up in Oakland.

Ethan Swope/The Chronicle

The Korean culinary scene in the Bay Area has long been criticized compared to that of Los Angeles. But don’t sleep on it — there’s a wide variety of dishes worth seeking out, writes Chronicle restaurant reviewer Soleil Ho.

New Korean restaurants have recently made the Bay Area one of the most exciting places to dine, selling specialties such as acorn noodles, dried shrimp in soy sauce and hotteok.

And as for where you won’t be eating, Berkeley’s longtime Caesar tapas bar is closing after 24 years. The restaurant has spent the past few months battling with its well-known owner and neighbor Chez Panisse, who previously said they planned to open a new restaurant and bar in the space. For what it’s worth, Caesar intends to move to a new location and continues to operate his Oakland outpost.

around the bay

White San Franciscans in their 20s were more likely to leave the city during the pandemic than other groups, the data shows.

White San Franciscans in their 20s were more likely to leave the city during the pandemic than other groups, the data shows.

Laura Morton / Special for The Chronicle

Pandemic migration: Which demographic was most likely to leave San Francisco during the pandemic? White adults in their late 20s, according to a new analysis of data from Chronicle.

Summer weather: Forecasts show slight warming en route for the Bay Area, with no extreme heat expected this month.

“Simply not acceptable” : Following a Chronicle investigation into conditions at single-occupancy hotels in San Francisco, voters will have the option to approve or reject a measure creating an oversight commission for its 700 homeless agency millions of dollars.

Aquatic rescue: Three people missing after entering the water to rescue a child in delta waters near Rio Vista have been found dead.

Fuel Fluctuations: Gasoline prices have fallen about 10 cents a gallon at Bay Area gas stations over the past week. How long will it last?

Homelessness in SF: A new six-month pilot program would send community workers, rather than police, to low-level 911 calls in San Francisco about homelessness. But it could take the city up to a year to get it off the ground.

Climate change and parks: As a congressional delegation visits Yosemite, dwindling waterfalls and other climate issues are front and center.

Waterfall or surprise? New Belgium Brewing Co. does not appear to be opening a Voodoo Ranger IPA water park in Napa, according to the county.

Experience for the ages

Chronicle columnist Peter Hartlaub (left) assists Exploratorium employee David Moran as he dissects a cow's eyeball during a public demonstration.

Chronicle columnist Peter Hartlaub (left) assists Exploratorium employee David Moran as he dissects a cow’s eyeball during a public demonstration.

Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

What is San Francisco’s greatest scientific tradition? Dissection of the eyeball of a cow.

At the Exploratorium, a few piers from the Ferry Building, they buy 50 eyes a week from Marin Sun Farms. They are used as a fun science experiment for children and adults visiting the science museum.

Fifty years after the first cow’s eye was dissected for enthusiastic students, the ongoing program is a testament to what can happen when teenagers are tasked with the hands-on experiments at the Exploratorium, staff told The Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub.

Learn more here.

Bay Briefing is written by Gwendolyn Wu (she/her) and sent to readers’ inboxes weekday mornings. Sign up for the newsletter here and contact the writer at [email protected]