A video on street harassment sparks an online debate. Fiery lava is slowly encroaching upon a town in Hawaii. And winning the World Series is always a great excuse to burn down a neighborhood. It's a hot list in this week's What's Ruining Our Cities.
A World Series championship ruined San Francisco
Because nothing says baseball like setting couches on fire. Two shootings, one stabbing, and 40 arrests were reported Wednesday night and early Thursday morning as fans "celebrated" the Giants' third championship in five years. Hit hardest was the Mission District, where fires were set on corners and windows of police cars were smashed. Police said it was mostly people from outside the city who caused the damage, but most people simply shrugged, resigned to the fact that rioting is inevitable. "There's no way to stop it," said one resident. "If they win next year, it'll happen next year." Well, then there is a way to stop it: Make sure the Giants never win the World Series again. [SF Chronicle]
Lava is ruining Hawaii
Technically, lava can't ruin Hawaii (it's kind of like how it got made in the first place), but a too-close-for-comfort stream of pahoehoe is making one town on the Big Island nervous. The massive volcano Kilauea has been erupting since 1983, no big deal, but since June a particular flow has been traveling further afield, carving a kind of slow-motion path of devastation into a neighborhood near Hilo. Now, about 950 people are at-risk for some kind of property damage if the lava travels a predicted path through a ravine. Residents have plenty of time to evacuate, it's just a matter of watching... and waiting. [LA Times]
Street harassment is ruining all cities, everywhere
You've probably already seen the video of a woman walking through New York City to promote a new nonprofit against street harassment: The video showed over 100 men verbally harass her in 10 hours. After the inevitable parodies came the backlash, as several people accused the film of being racially biased (most of the men doing the catcalling were of color, while the filmmakers admitted some white men had been inexplicably edited out). But there's a larger problem still, argues Khadijah Costley White: "The speed at which city governments and organizations are jumping to fight 'street harassment' seems strangely at odds with our nation's general tendency to ignore or dismiss the more common acts of violence against women—intimate partner violence and sexual assault." In other words, strangers might say something gross, but it's often the people women know well who poise the greatest threat—and cities aren't doing nearly enough to change that. [Quartz]
Photo by Noah Berger/AP