There’s a peculiar sound coming from inside the magenta building at 623 Valencia St.

The muffled crinkling of plastic sanitary gloves accompanies customers as they hurriedly sift through secondhand clothing racks, unusually tidy bookshelves and rows of assorted knick-knacks. Laughter rings out from another corner of the shop, where a group of masked teenage girls unfurl posters to reveal faded images of Gumby and Vincent Van Gogh. The synth pop drawl of Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” echoes over the speakers as more people line up on the sidewalk outside of Community Thrift, where in-store shopping has resumed for the first time in months.
 
The steel garage door typically intended for moving large donations has been lifted to safely allow customers through. In its place is a seated employee shielded by a clear, glass divider. One by one, she provides each guest with a pump of hand sanitizer, followed by a pair of disposable gloves, and gestures them toward a pile of multicolored shopping baskets, sending them on their way.

The bustle is a relief for this rummager’s paradise, and though business is unusual, the oldest independent thrift store left in San Francisco is doing what it can to survive.

“Things are definitely picking up, but we’re not doing business like we used to,” interim executive director Brian Stump tells me over the phone.

Community Thrift, in the Mission District of San Francisco, opened in 1982 and supports over 200 Bay Area charities.

Community Thrift, in the Mission District of San Francisco, opened in 1982 and supports over 200 Bay Area charities.

Blair Heagerty / SFGATE

The Mission District was once considered a thrifter’s haven, peppered with retro boutiques and resale shops. But circumstances proved challenging for small businesses, even prior to the pandemic. As rents soared, independent retailers simply couldn’t keep up. Secondhand shops in particular have disappeared from the neighborhood in rapid-fire succession: Clothes Contact,

Democratic incumbent Susan Wild and Republican challenger Lisa Scheller sparred over health insurance policy, tax plans and accusations of extremism on Monday during the first 7th Congressional District debate of the general election.



a group of people sitting in a chair in front of a building: The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce holds an event with the recording of the WFMZ tv show Business Matters with Tony Iannelli, who is holding the first debate between 7th Congressional District candidates Susan Wild, and Lisa Scheller, center, at Saucon Valley Country Club. During a recording break.


© April Gamiz/The Morning Call/The Morning Call/TNS
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce holds an event with the recording of the WFMZ tv show Business Matters with Tony Iannelli, who is holding the first debate between 7th Congressional District candidates Susan Wild, and Lisa Scheller, center, at Saucon Valley Country Club. During a recording break.

Scheller was on the offensive from the get-go, criticizing Wild for usually voting with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom Scheller believes is trying to “take us down a road to socialism.” In contrast, Scheller portrayed herself as a business leader who cut taxes and worked across the aisle during her four years serving as a Lehigh County commissioner.

Wild, who in 2018 became the first woman to represent the Lehigh Valley in Congress, pointed out that she was among 14 House Democrats to reject the party’s follow-up coronavirus package, saying it wasn’t specific enough and didn’t do enough to help PA-7 voters. She also noted that 78 Republicans voted for her proposal blocking regulatory changes that would cause health insurance premiums to rise, and that she is working with Republicans on improvements to the paycheck protection program.

“I am by no means a socialist,” Wild said during a one-hour taping of WFMZ-TV 69 1/4 u2032s ‘Business Matters.’ “… I know who I am, and more importantly I believe my constituents know who I am.”

The debate was moderated by Tony Iannelli, president and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. It will be broadcast in two parts at 7:30 p.m. Monday night and Oct. 12. It was

A Maryland school district responded to one student’s reported use of Nazi imagery as his profile photo on Zoom earlier this week, which peers observed during a virtual art class.



a person using a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: A student in Tarpoly Creek, Australia, completes school work from home on April 5, near the onset of the new coronavirus pandemic. This week, Maryland school district officials responded to reports that one student displayed a hateful image on Zoom, the teleconferencing application many schools are using to hold classes remotely.


© Lisa Maree Williams/Getty
A student in Tarpoly Creek, Australia, completes school work from home on April 5, near the onset of the new coronavirus pandemic. This week, Maryland school district officials responded to reports that one student displayed a hateful image on Zoom, the teleconferencing application many schools are using to hold classes remotely.

The Damascus High School student who posted the avatar, described as “a cartoon image of a Nazi” by administration officials, was not identified by name. However, Kevin Yates, Damascus High School’s principal, reportedly confirmed the student will face consequences for violating the district’s code of conduct in a letter issued to families and obtained by WUSA9, a CBS-affiliated news station based in Washington, D.C.

“I am writing to share information about an incident that occurred during your child’s third-period art class today and how it is being addressed. A student posted a cartoon image of a Nazi as a Zoom avatar,” Yates wrote in the Wednesday letter sent to parents whose students are also enrolled in the class, according to WUSA9. The letter reportedly said school officials ensured the photo was removed from the student’s Zoom account “immediately” after the incident was brought to their attention, in addition to contacting both the student and his family.

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“We apologize for the hateful image that your child witnessed,” Yates’ letter continued. “The student who posted the image will receive consequences aligned with the [Montgomery County Public Schools] Student Code of Conduct. This type of behavior will not be tolerated at Damascus

BEREA, Ohio — The Berea City School District Board of Education passed in July a resolution stressing the need for diversity, equity and inclusion, and rejecting all forms of racism and discrimination. One of the first steps involves listening and respecting others’ perspectives.

At the Sept. 21 board meeting, Berea-Midpark graduates shared stories of the racism they encountered as students in the district. Their recollections were uncomfortable to hear, but Board President Ana Chapman said it is necessary “to make the positive changes we’ve needed for a long time.”

“The purpose of this resolution, and the actions surrounding it, was to make sure we are listening and all voices are being heard, especially those of the underrepresented, be it by the color of their skin, their ethnic background, their special educational needs, or their sexual orientation,” Chapman said. “The district can’t go back and change the past, but we can listen and make the future better.”

Summer Husein, a 2020 graduate, remembered being treated differently because of her Palestinian heritage and Muslim faith. She said school food choices were limited due to her religion, and she felt “so left out” when Christian holidays were discussed in class. Husein began wearing a scarf in eighth grade.

“Some students gave me weird nicknames,” Husein said. “I was a ‘terrorist.’ I was called the wife, and daughter, of Osama bin Laden. While they were harmful (statements), I was more confused than ever.

“I grew up with these people,” she continued. “Why did they now view me differently? Because I wear a scarf on my head, and my religion and ethnicity were not visible (before).”

Emily, Erica and Callie Truong, graduates from 2013, 2016 and 2017, sent a letter to Chapman, which she read aloud. They acknowledged it “was not always easy” being an