Axios San Francisco

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Happy Pi Day! Despite growing up here, neither of us knew that it was the Bay Area that made it a thing β€” scroll down to learn how it happened.

β˜€οΈ Today's weather: Sunny. High of 68, low of 54.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios San Francisco members Onllwyn Dixon and DJ Capobianco!

Today's newsletter is 849 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Air travel security complaints

Data: TSA via Data Liberation Project; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Getting through security at San Francisco International Airport seems to be getting worse, based on recent data examining complaints related to the Transportation Security Administration.

Why it matters: An analysis by the Data Liberation Project reveals that air passengers are reporting more complaints than they did before the pandemic.

Of note: The data shows a spike in complaints in early 2020 because there were more complaints relative to passenger volume, which had declined during the pandemic.

By the numbers: In January, 15.8 complaints were reported per 100,000 passengers at SFO, compared with 3.6 complaints in January 2019.

Zoom in: The expedited passenger screening program (PreCheck), general customer service, screening and civil rights were the top four TSA-related complaints at SFO from January 2023 through January 2024, according to the analysis.

  • That period included 3,185 PreCheck-related complaints, though details weren't available.
  • Last year, 27 civil rights complaints were made at SFO relating to race, gender, perceived religion and more.
  • 123 complaints involved screening, including long lines and general procedures.

What they're saying: "TSA values customer feedback and encourages passengers to contact the agency if the level of service provided to them does not meet their expectations," the agency wrote in last month's Air Travel Consumer Report.

Yes, but: SFO is still an all-around great airport, according to various rankings.

What to watch

2. Throwback Thursday: How SF made Pi Day a cultural holiday

A pi emblem at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in 2009. Photo: Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

​​Every year on March 14, Ο€ gets its day in classrooms across the U.S. It turns out the tradition started right here in San Francisco.

Why it matters: The internationally recognized day started as a local celebration spearheaded by the late Exploratorium physicist Larry Shaw.

How it happened: The first Pi Day was March 14, 1988. At 1:59 β€” the numbers immediately following 3.14 in the pi sequence β€” Shaw and his wife set up a table with fruit pies and a tea urn at the museum.

  • Shaw also installed a circular brass plaque at the center of a circular classroom made from circular cinder blocks β€” it was deemed the "Pi Shrine."

What they did: Annual festivities have included a parade around the museum led by Shaw, who would blare the digits of pi to the music of "Pomp and Circumstance Marches" on a boombox.

  • The parade ended after circumnavigating the Pi Shrine 3.14 times while singing "Happy Birthday" to Albert Einstein. He has been honored with a celebration of his life every year after Shaw's daughter discovered that March 14 was also Einstein's birthday.

What's inside: This year, pi-related activities at the Exploratorium include the Pi Parade, which will feature local brass and percussion band Mission Delirium, free pie slices and demonstrations showcasing pi's uses in science and art.

Go deeper

3. The Wiggle: Navigating the news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

πŸ› Athleisure brand Outdoor Voices is expected to close all stores nationwide, including its Hayes Valley location, as it shifts to online-only retail. (Axios)

πŸ›  The Presidio is gearing up for a construction project to make utility upgrades, including replacing water and sewage pipes, revitalizing three vacant buildings and more. (SF Chronicle)

Pro-Palestine protesters blocked security gates at SFO yesterday, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. (SF Chronicle)

🏠 District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman this week called for a hearing to examine the city's strategy for sheltering unhoused residents, saying he doesn't think San Francisco has made enough progress. (SF Examiner)

πŸ‘©πŸΎβ€πŸ« About 100 parents, teachers and students protested planned staffing cuts to K-8 schools throughout San Francisco at this week's school board meeting. (Mission Local)

4. Gear up for more Tesla Cybertrucks

A Tesla Cybertruck beside a Tesla sedan on the 680 Freeway this week. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

We might be seeing more of these on the road soon β€” Tesla has announced that it's offering early delivery of its Cybertruck to long-term shareholders.

Yes, but: The model, much hyped by Elon Musk, has had its share of issues since rolling out to customers in November.

Sponsored job listings

Fresh job openings around town

πŸ’Ό Take your career to the next level and see who's hiring.

  1. Managing Editor, Autos at U.S. News & World Report.

Vice President of Information Systems at Columbia Hospitality.

5. New seed lending library at Bayview

Seeds at the Richmond Public Library in 2015. Photo: Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) is piloting a new seed lending library at its Bayview branch, and it's available to anyone with or without a library card.

Why it matters: Seed libraries have become a popular way to collect local and heirloom varieties, especially those at risk of extinction.

How it works: At Bayview, visitors will find an old-fashioned card catalog housing the seeds for tomatoes, kale, cilantro, parsley and other plants.

  • After planting them, patrons are expected to save the seeds from the healthiest of their harvest and return them to the same library.
  • The initiative is part of SFPL's effort to promote sustainability and community engagement.
  • "We hope that by offering free seeds, we can inspire more people to discover the joy of gardening and contribute to a greener San Francisco," Annie Tang, Bayview branch manager, said in a press release.

State of play: Bayview is the SFPL system's third seed lending library, following Potrero and Portola.

  • SFPL also offers the opportunity to join the Mission Bay Branch Library Garden Club.

πŸ₯³ Megan is wishing her friends Ava and Sarah very happy birthdays!

πŸ€“ Shawna can't believe she memorized 240 digits of pi for an iTunes gift card in middle school.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Brad Bonhall and Anjelica Tan.