The Top Stories of 2016 in the Richmond District

Photo by Arthur Lombard

2016 has been an unusual year, both within our own neighborhood and across the country. This year’s top 10 list of blog stories, based on readership, deals with some tragedy, some unusual crimes, and showed the nation that a good croissant can make all the difference.

Special thanks to all of our readers who as always, were a great source of interesting stories, photos and videos.

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 stories from 2016:

10. Balboa Sushi House closes after owner passes away

A husband and wife ran the beloved Balboa Sushi House which abruptly closed after husband James passed away. “Annie would always greet everyone with her warm smile and laugh while James would whip up tasty meals in the kitchen. Eating there felt as though you were going home for the holidays with family,” reader Derek told us. Read the full story

9. San Francisco March for America

After he who shall not be named won the presidential election on November 8, we organized a march in Golden Gate Park “for what we hold dear about our country and the democratic process: the freedom to express ourselves, tolerance, peace, education, safe haven for refugees and immigrants from around the world, equal rights, inclusion, justice, liberty and freedom.” About 2,000 people came out. Read the full story

An estimated 2,000 people came out for Sunday’s San Francisco March for America in Golden Gate Park.

8. Child’s casket found underneath home near Rossi Park

In what was yet another reminder of our graveyard past, a small child’s casket was found under a woman’s home along Arguello during some excavation. The casket is believed to have been a leftover from the former Odd Fellows Cemetery which was located where Rossi Park now is. The story had a “happy” ending: the homeowner worked with a local charity to arrange a burial for the girl, named Miranda Eve by the family that found her, in Colma. Read the full story

UPDATE: Researcher Alex Snyder told the Chronicle last week they are just days away from learning the identity of the little girl thanks to DNA.

7. Senior robs 19th Avenue Wells Fargo at gunpoint

The weekly police blotter is always full of interesting crimes, but this local caper just struck us as sad. A man, estimated to be around 65 years old, allegedly robbed a bank in the middle of the day. Police caught up with him down the block where he was arrested with the stolen money and his weapon, and bumped his head in the process. Read the full story

6. Drone drops from sky at Clement Farmer’s Market; pilots object to being photographed

While perusing produce at the Sunday Farmer’s Market in January, some attendees were startled by the crashing of a drone onto Clement Street. The drone owner eventually appeared and scurried away with his craft, but not before someone snapped his pic amid protests from the camera-shy pilot. Ironic, right? Read the full story

The pissy pilot whose drone crashed at the Clement St Farmer’s Market one Sunday

5. Arsicault Bakery on Arguello named “Bakery of the Year” by Bon Apetit

Richmond District residents love food, and this year, one of our “secret” spots was thrust onto the national scene in a big way. Arsicault Bakery on Arguello was named the Bakery of the Year by Bon Apetit Magazine, and the lines have been snaking down the block ever since. If you have tasted their croissants, you’d know why. Read the full story

Arsicault Bakery’s delicious croissants

4. Introducing your candidates for District 1 Supervisor

Most voters were focused on the presidential election this year, but we had an important race of our own to decide – who would be the next Supervisor for the Richmond District. We had 10 candidates to choose from so every debate, forum or candidate event was jam packed with information and opinions. The eventual winner, after a much delayed ballot count, was Sandra Lee Fewer, who edged out second-place candidate Marjan Philhour by 1,300 votes. Read the full story

Sandra Lee Fewer, our next District 1 Supervisor

3. Family searching for missing young man last seen in Richmond District

Adam Li, age 26, has been missing since September 15. He was last seen on 45th Avenue between Fulton and Cabrillo in the Richmond District. Adam suffers from bipolar disorder and depression which has his family very concerned for his health and safety. Adam has still not been found, and his brother Alex told us recently that there are no clues as to his whereabouts.
Read the full story

Photos of Adam Li, provided by his family. Adam was last seen on 9/15/16 on 45th Ave between Cabrillo and Fulton

2. Thomas, resident homeless man at Funston & Clement, passed away Wednesday night

Blog readers are a compassionate bunch, and that really shone through when a local homeless man named Thomas passed away in late October. The story received 97 comments which revealed that Thomas was far from being an invisible resident. Readers told story after story of their interactions with Thomas and his legendary kindness. He was honored by a packed house at a memorial service at Star of the Sea Church, and later buried in Colma thanks to donations from memorial attendees.
Read the full story

A photo of Thomas taken at Star of the Sea, 6 or 7 years ago. Photo by Liz Hogan Stalnaker.

1. Merchants beware: Watch out for “Ali”, the serial refund scammer

After realizing that over a dozen merchants across the neighborhood were falling prey to a scammer who demanded refunds for food he never purchased, we published a story with surveillance video that picked up steam with local media. As it turns out, the scammer lives right here in the neighborhood, and when confronted by a KTVU investigative team, denied everything, saying that the whole thing “was kinda funny”. We’re not laughing.
Read the full story


  1. Anyone know what’s happening with the little taqueria that looked like it was close to opening on 6th and Cornwall?!

  2. They’re sorting out some permit issues with the city. Hopefully we’ll see an opening in early 2017!

  3. geary brt being ramrodded through without an economic impact story
    2017 top story will be all about the number of geary biz leaving or going out of biz

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