Good Morning, Mission!

Éamonn O’Brien-Strain
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It’s 43°, headed to 49°, and the chill will be upon us all week.

Make it Sparkle: As if just getting to finally drive on the thing wasn’t enough, the eastern span of the Bay Bridge is about to get even more special, becoming  as artfully decked out as its older sibling to the west. The most expensive bridge in the world will soon show off its $2 million set of aesthetic lights, designed by the same people who brought you the dazzling illumination of the Statue of Liberty and the White House. In all, some 7,800 LED lights have been installed along the bridge’s suspension, and workers are still painstakingly fine-tuning to get it ready by the end of the month.

Wings and Wags: Yesterday, SFO unleashed a new treat for travelers: pet therapy. Teaming up with San Francisco’s Society for Prevention and Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the airport is attempting to replicate that near-narcotic bliss one feels when walking in the front door, greeted by a dog that is beside itself with joy at the mere existence of their owner. The new program, dubbed “Wag Brigade,” brings trained dogs into the airport terminals to make everyone’s traveling experience a little less horrible. The dogs, all graduates of SPCA’s Animal Assistance Therapy, will be outfitted in vests exclaiming, “Pet Me!” a statement most dogs are probably already thinking anyway.

Fluttering Time Bombs: Butterflies didn’t just gain popularity in the form of ill-conceived and unfortunately placed tattoos in the 1990s. The commercial breeding of the spritely insects purely as ornamental additions to weddings or birthdays became enough of a fad that some say it actually may be harming the environment. San Francisco is considering outlawing the release of the pretty little creatures, under guidance from experts who say it is not only inhumane, but could potentially be hazardous to a number of species. Well, they sure sucked the magic out of that popular gimmick.

San Francisco sadly lost two local celebrities this week. Judy Rodgers, the influential chef and owner of wildly successful Zuni Cafe, passed away on Monday night at the age of 57 after a battle with cancer. On the same day, Bill Beckwith, a contractor and carpenter who hosted HGTV’s “Curb Appeal,” was killed in a motorcycle accident on Oak and Steiner. He was 38.

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