Photograph of scraped ice seller (location unknown) from the Library of Congress [Flickr]

It’s 6:04 a.m., 54° and going to 77°. ALMOST LIKE SUMMER, is what I say. Almost like summer, minus that part where you lie in bed listening to the whir of the box fan and thinking, “It’s too hot to sleep.” Details here.

Clearly with an eye toward the weather report, the Bold Italic went ahead and published a guide to the popsicles of San Francisco. The strawberry La Michoacana popsicle at Casa Lucas (24th @ Alabama) gets a shout-out. There’s also a recipe at the end for a Michelada popsicle, though one can’t help but think that if there’s a dearth of frozen beer items in the world right now, there is probably a good reason for it.

Is that the smell of elections in the wind? Not to be cynical, but now would be the time that Ed Lee announces that he has a plan to keep panhandlers from being quite so panhandle-y.

A few highlights from the Chronicle:

The program, due to be rolled out in the next few months, will be housed in an already-existing employment center at 39 Jones St. Currently, it serves single adults getting county welfare checks and offers computers, resume-writing classes and the like.

The new program aims to get people who show up at the center into short-term jobs almost immediately. “The missing piece now is for a person who happens to not be super drunk on a particular day, if they go in and say, ‘Yeah, I think I’m ready to work,’ there’s not an existing way for the social service system to handle that,” [Cohen] said.

She said the jobs will be entry-level positions lasting a day or two, akin to day labor programs for migrants. The duties might include setting up chairs for a conference, sweeping the sidewalks or picking up trash.

But not everybody’s convinced. Jennifer Friedenbach, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, hadn’t heard of the plan until we called her to tell her the mayor wants to put aggressive panhandlers in jobs at Twitter, Macy’s and elsewhere.

She burst out laughing. “Sorry,” she said. “Did they really say that?”

Yes, indeed.

“OK, alright, great, that’s awesome,” she said. “But how are they going to encourage them to hire folks?”

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Heather Smith covers a beat that spans health, food, and the environment, as well as shootings, stabbings, various small fires, and shouting matches at public meetings. She is a 2007 Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism and a contributor to the book Infinite City.

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