Axios San Francisco

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We did it! It's Friday!

Today's weather: Still too hot with a high of 78, low of 53.

Today's newsletter is 877 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Stuttering Awareness Week

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

San Francisco officials are expected to pass a resolution Tuesday declaring the week starting May 13 "Stuttering Awareness Week," as local advocates ramp up demands for visibility in an election year marked by comments on President Biden's speech.

Why it matters: More than 3 million Americans stutter, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). It became a focus on the campaign trail after former President Trump mocked Biden's stutter in March.

Driving the news: Supervisor Dean Preston told Axios via email that he hopes his legislation, introduced this week, "will be one of many around the country and that we can collectively create awareness and destigmatize the stuttering experience."

  • It follows a similar move last year that called on the California Legislature to approve a resolution dedicating the second week of May to people who stutter.

State of play: Stuttering most frequently appears between the ages of 2 and 6, though as many as one in four children will continue to stutter for the rest of their lives, per the NIDCD.

  • People with the condition typically experience repetitions, prolongation of words and blocks in their speech, as well as muscle tension and tics.
  • The biggest misunderstanding about stuttering is that it only takes one form when in reality it can come and go and appear more "invisible," according to San Francisco-based filmmaker Maya Chupkov, who created the podcast and advocacy organization Proud Stutter in 2021.

Zoom in: Chupkov told Axios watching the clip of Trump mocking Biden took her back to the bullying she faced as a child.

  • "The bullying and lack of confidence, being treated as other ... One memory that almost all of us share is being pulled out of class to attend speech therapy and being singled out," Chupkov said.
  • In the workplace, it can take the form of performance reviews that say you use too many filler words or aren't prepared enough, she added.

Go deeper

2. Bayview swim program gets $50K

A Bayview Safety Swim and Splash program swim session. Photo: San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department

A free swimming program for Bayview-Hunters Point kids has received a $50,000 donation to support its water safety classes ahead of the completion of a new waterfront park.

Why it matters: Drowning rates are significantly higher in communities of color, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bayview is more than 25% Black, the highest population of Black people in the city.

State of play: The Bayview Safety Swim and Splash program, run in partnership by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the YMCA of San Francisco, began in 2022.

  • The program is part of the city's social equity efforts for the new India Basin Waterfront Park Project, which is set to be completed in 2026.
  • The $50,000 in funding from Amazon, announced yesterday, will partly go toward providing swimsuits, goggles, towels and other swim gear to participants.
  • So far, the program has served more than 400 kids in kindergarten through 5th grade.

What they're saying: While also seeking to reduce drowning rates, the program's goal is to bring "kids and families joy while building their confidence in the water," YMCA of San Francisco CEO Jamie Bruning-Miles said in a press release.

What's next

3. The Wiggle: Navigating the news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios.

Over 1,400 people have gone missing in San Francisco and have yet to be found, according to the city's police department. (SF Standard)

A former investigator for the district attorney who blew the whistle on what he alleged was misconduct in an investigation into a fatal police shooting was awarded $835,000 to settle his wrongful termination suit. (SF Chronicle)

🏬 Eight new pop-ups will take over empty downtown storefronts starting in June as part of the city's efforts to revitalize the area. (SF Chronicle)

4. Baseball umpires aren't as bad as you think this season

A scatterplot with baseballs as the points showing the season averages of MLB umpires’ accuracy in calling balls and strikes from 2015 to 2024. The data shows an upward trend, with approximately 90% accuracy in 2015 and nearly 94% in 2024.
Data: UmpScorecards; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Despite what you may have heard — or think you've seen with your own two eyes — Major League Baseball umpires are actually doing pretty well this season, at least when it comes to calling balls and strikes.

By the numbers: League-wide, baseball umps have a nearly 94% accuracy rating so far in 2024, per unofficial metric-keeper UmpScorecards.

  • That's down a bit from 2023 but up from 90% or so in 2015.

How it works: UmpScorecards' accuracy stat tracks the percentage "of called pitches called correctly by the umpire."

Zoom in: There's a decent gap between the best- and worst-performing umpires so far this year.

  • The top ump, Derek Thomas, has a 96.1% accuracy rating across six games and 1,027 called pitches.
  • His lowest-ranked counterpart, John Bacon, is at 90% — but has only overseen a single game, in which he called 201 pitches.

Go deeper

5. 1 wave organ to go

A visitor to the Wave Organ finds some zen. Photo: Claire Reilly/Axios

👋 Hey, Claire here!

I'm hosting family in SF so I took them to the Wave Organ to see a different side of the city.

  • This hidden gem is everything I love about SF in one place: amazing views, serene surroundings and a delightfully weird art installation (did you know the jetty was made with stone from a demolished cemetery?)

What they're saying: "This is one of the best-kept secrets for locals," Marina resident Dane Ross told me. "Tourists actually wander out here by accident more than locals do, but it's a great place."

What's next: Check out my video on Axios SF's Instagram to learn more about the Wave Organ's history and hear its ghostly sounds.

🎭 Megan is checking out the "The Fillmore Eclipse" tonight.

🚕 Shawna is loving this commentary by SFGATE columnist Drew Magary on his "maiden voyage" in a self-driving Waymo taxi.

🤧 Claire is realizing that with great spring weather comes terrible spring allergies.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Kathie Bozanich and Anjelica Tan.