S.F. to debate future of Halloween party in Castro

Task force to explore options for next year’s street event

After violence marred The City’s annual Halloween street party in the Castro district, city officials have announced plans for a task force to decide how the event should be handled next year.

The task force, to be headed by Supervisor Bevan Dufty, will include representatives from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office, as well as police, fire, sheriff, public works and other city agencies. Neighborhood businesses and residents will also be represented on the task force. More than 100,000 people showed up to the event Tuesday.

In planning this year’s celebration, city officials tried to tone down the historically raucous street party by ending it early and reducing the number of event stages from three to one.

The event went relatively smoothly until about 10:40 p.m., when two groups squared off in the 2200 block of Market Street, exchanging insults. A member of one group hit a member of the other group with a bottle, police said, at which point a member of the “victim” group pulled out a gun and opened fire, sending bullets into the dense crowd.

Police have not determined whether the incident was gang-related, nor have they turned the case over to the department’s Gang Task Force, spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said Thursday.

Some of the individuals involved in the shooting were gang members, but the shooting itself is not necessarily thought to have been motivated by gang rivalries, according to community members and police officials close to the investigation.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that “the event is getting too big for the Castro,” and needs to be “scaled-down.” He also said there was a possibility the event may be canceled.

Dufty said Thursday that his office had received many calls for the event to be canceled, and that that was one option on the table. But, “you can’t turn a battleship on a dime,” he said. Regardless of whether The City moved or canceled the event, people would show up at the Castro anyway, he said.

The task force is due to meet quarterly. Its first meeting has not yet been scheduled, but Dufty’s office indicated it would most likely be held sometime this month.

amartin@examiner.com Staff Writer Bonnie Eslinger contributed to this report.Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

A felled tree in Sydney G. Walton Square blocks part of a lane on Front Street following Sunday’s storm on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
After the rain: What San Francisco learned from a monster storm

Widespread damage underscored The City’s susceptibility to heavy wind and rain

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
$1.4 trillion ‘blueprint’ would address Bay Area’s housing, transit woes

Analyzing the big ticket proposals in ‘Plan Bay Area 2050’

A felled tree in San Francisco is pictured on Fillmore Street following a major storm that produced high winds and heavy rains on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philip Ford)
Storm updates: Rainiest October day in San Francisco history

Rainfall exceeded 10 inches in parts of the Bay Area

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at the SF Dept. of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

Most Read