• The many outdoor dining spaces that line downtown Pleasanton were removed Friday for street cleaning purposes. It's unclear exactly how long these eateries and watering holes will have to exist without their parklets — amid a time that's seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the Bay Area, leaving dining patrons to choose outdoor seating instead of eating indoors — but the City of Pleasanton is expected to allow these businesses to rebuild their roadside eating areas sometime in the spring; may business owners, however, worry of the financial pitfalls they may face with these COVID-19-safe areas removed for such a long time. [ABC7]
  • Newsom has activated the state's National Guard to support COVID-19 testing capacities. Over 200 Cal Guard members are expected to be deployed across 50 sites around the state "to increase access to testing quickly, increase staff and add walk-in capacity beginning Friday and throughout the coming weeks." [NBC Bay Area]
  • Check out the new banh mi shop, Banh Mi Viet, that recently opened at 518 Divisadero sometime this weekend; the beauty-salon-turned-Asian-restaurant offers both banh mi sandwiches and a couple of Vietnamese entrees, as well. [Hoodline]
  • More than 500 Oakland Unified school teachers participate in a staged "sickout" Friday, leaving around a dozen schools throughout the East Bay school district closed on for instruction. [Mercury News]
  • In less than a month, San Francisco's lost two brunch touchstones: Dottie's and Universal Cafe. [Eater SF]
  • Palm oil-driven deforestation remains one of the single biggest threats to global biodiversity — a problem that might only get worse, should a leading forestry company in Indonesia get what they want and see oil palms reclassified as "forest crops," which means existing plantations could be counted as forests, rather than agricultural growth plots. [Mongabay]
  • And it's official: Oakland's own Amy Schneider has become the first woman to win more than $1M on Jeopardy!. [NYT]

Photo: Getty Images/Michael Vi