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Head of California Farmers Market Association Faces Questions Over Pride Flag Confrontation

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Also: Beach Chalet seeks a new head brewer, and more news to start your day

‘Not Gay Enough’ Demonstration In The Hague
Passing out rainbow flags, like the one above, is apparently prohibited at the Livermore farmers market
Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A vendor at a Bay Area farmers market was harshly scolded by the event’s manager after he passed Pride flags out to passers-by

The organization that oversees over a dozen farmers markets across the Bay Area is under scrutiny this week, after a confrontation between a vendor and its director over Pride flags gained viral attention.

ABC 7 reports that Dan Floyd, who for the past four years has been a vendor at the Livermore farmers market, was admonished for passing free, rainbow-emblazoned Pride flags out to customers at his booth. According to Floyd, Gail Hayden, the head of the California Farmers Markets Association (which oversees the Livermore market as well as several others across SF, the South Bay, and the East Bay) told him that he could not pass the flags out to “satisfy his political agenda.”

“I’ve been in places for 40 years where they bring out fetuses and put them on ironing boards. My job is to run the market, not to satisfy your political point of view,” Hayden appears to tell Floyd in a video of the confrontation.

Hayden tells NBC Bay Area that “we apologize that he feels singled out,” but notes that the 30 page regulation outline the California Farmers Markets Association (which, according to KRON 4, just took over management of the market this year) gave to participants says that “petitions and flyer distributions are prohibited inside the market. Information dissemination must occur outside the market or in the ‘free speech zone.’”

In a statement condemning the incident and demanding a new manager for the market, Livermore Pride says that Floyd had not been given that regulation outline, but even if he had, “Pride flags, as an item, are neither a petition nor a flyer.”

And in other news...

  • The owner of the Tuck Box, the Carmel-by-the-Sea restaurant that reportedly opened for sit-down dining (and without social distancing or other protocols) last month, in violation of Monterey County’s health order, has agreed to pay $15,000 in civil penalties. Part of the deal requires the restaurant to comply with the region’s current health orders — and if if doesn’t, it’ll be on the hook for $20K more. [KPIX]
  • Ocean Beach-adjacent restaurant and brewery Beach Chalet has been closed for business since San Francisco’s shelter-in-place began in March, but now it looks like it’s trying to staff back up: The restaurant posted a job listing for a head brewer Monday, with responsibilities ranging from bottling beer, leading tours of the brewery, and doing “whatever the Owners ... ask you to do, unless it is illegal.” [Brewbound]
  • Tamer Hamawi, the co-owner of two-year-old Napa Mexican spot Gran Electra, says that he reopened his restaurant for indoor dining whe allowed last month, then moved back to a takeout model after a struggle to “police guest mask usage” and and the realization that he was “spending most of my time disinfecting and sanitizing touch points.” [SF Gate]
  • La Cocina, a kitchen incubator intended to boost BIPOC women who want to launch food businesses, won’t return to UC Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union when the school’s students do. The non-profit had signed a short-term contract to run a group of restaurants on the first floor of the student union, but that ended on May 31. Bahar Navab, executive director of the ASUC Student Union, says that it won’t be renewed, as “this model is not sustainable and prevents the Student Union from contributing commercial funds to student services and programming.” [Daily Californian]
  • Fremont has launched a program called “Pop Up Patio” to allow for the city’s outdoor dining reopening on June 19. [KRON 4]
  • Production for Cowgirl Creamery products has dropped by 40 percent in recent months, as orders from restaurant and retail customers have dropped precipitously during the pandemic. [North Bay Business Journal]
  • A witness says that a man seated outside San Carlos restaurant Stamp Bar and Grill harassed people demonstrating in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement, and alleged that the spot’s owner high-fived the diner for his remarks. The owner of Stamp says that he was kicking the diner out, not high-fiving him, when the witness saw the gesture. [Climate]