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Archive for the ‘Eric Mar’ Category

Oct-24-2014

Local links: Mar’s water usage, Bib Gourmand winners, Mt Lake fish & more


The pipeline on the North Shore of Hawaii. Photo by Fred Larson

Here are some local links to take you into the weekend – have a great one!

  • While come California officials have increased their water consumption during the drought, our own Supervisor Eric Mar has proven to the biggest water conservationist, according to The Desert Sun. “The most miserly official in California was Eric Mar of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who lives in a condominium in the Inner Richmond district, part of the city’s fog belt. He used 45 gallons per day in 2013 — about enough to fill a bathtub.” We asked Mar’s office for water-saving tips from the Supe, but they declined to comment. Could it be that he’s spending even more time at his beloved YMCA jacuzzi?
  • Michelin recently announced the 2015 Bib Gourmand winners, their award for the best moderately-priced restaurants. Several Richmond District restaurants made the list: Chapeau!, Hong Kong Lounge II, Kappou Gomi, Sichuan Home, and Troya. [EaterSF]
  • Remember all those creepy, prehistoric-looking fish that the Presidio Trust was trying to evict from Mountain Lake? After three years of unsuccessful eradication, the Trust announced recently that they will be using rotenone in the lake to finish the job. Rotenone is a short-lived chemical that only kills animals with gills, e.g. the fish in Mountain Lake. Workers will apply 47 gallons of the product in a 5 percent solution in liquid form at Mountain Lake during a single day in mid-November. Expect the lake to be closed a couple of days prior to the treatment, and for up to three weeks afterwards.
  • Photojournalist Fred Larson will be at the Richmond District branch library (351 9th Avenue) on October 28 at 6:30pm to share work from his latest trip to Hawaii “where he hung out with the surfers”. Watch his latest slideshow and get tips from this seasoned photographer. Free admission.
  • Looking for a new ‘do? Check out Kinship Salon & Barber, a new salon that opened on the corner of Clement Street and 4th Avenue. We love what they did with the interior of the space, and so far Yelpers are big fans of the Aveda salon. Owner Ashley tells us, “We have really been enjoying meeting all the neighbors of this amazing neighborhood.” Word on the street is that it’s a family affair – Ashley is married to the owner of Blue Danube cafe.
  • Good news for riders of the Muni 31AX bus. Peter Lauterborn, aide to Supervisor Mar, sent out an email recently about some planned improvements. “The good news is that Muni is hiring around 40 new drivers a month. This should have an immediate improvement in service City wide. Second, in the Spring of 2015 Muni will embark on the first round of service increases around the City. Based on your testimony and our pushing, the MTA has agreed to change their plan and include a service bump for the 31AX.”
  • There’s a new “small” business on Clement called Wee Scotty. Team member Dana tells us “We’re a fashion school and retail store and we just moved in at 609 Clement. We offer sewing classes for all ages and skill levels and have been working on getting to know the community.”
12:05 pm | Posted under Classes, Eric Mar, Events, Food, Muni, Parks | 4 comments
May-15-2014

KTVU and Chronicle cover Alexandria Theater; interest from Alamo Drafthouse?

Other media outlets in the city have covered the Alexandria Theater blight recently.

On Tuesday night, KTVU News aired a segment on the theater’s ongoing decay, showing reporter Katie Utehs easily walking through an unsecured alley door onto the property. Much of the segment is spent talking to a man who lives in the Alexandria’s back parking lot in a camper.

On Wednesday, the Chronicle published “Once-glamorous S.F. theater now neighborhood eyesore”, which included this encouraging quote from Mary Woods of the Planning Department: “The property is supposed to be maintained,” she said this week. “I think they have not been doing an adequate job, so our code enforcement section is working with them.”

POSSIBLE INTEREST FROM ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA
Also this week, Supervisor Eric Mar commented on our Facebook page about interest from Alamo Drafthouse in the Alexandria Theater property.

“Many months ago I connected the owners with reps from the Alamo Drafthouse & Cinema who contacted me. The owners took a long time responding but they are in communication,” Mar wrote.

Alamo Drafthouse is known for giving new life to old theaters, and for providing a unique combination of theater and restaurant, showing first-run & independent films and special programming events with an extensive menu.

Founded in 1997, the chain has resurrected old theaters in Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado and soon, in our own Mission District.

The Mission District location is slated to open in Fall 2014 in the historic New Mission theater at 2550 Mission, and “will feature five screens of new release movies, independent and repertory films as well as the Alamo’s unique signature programming” according to their website.

“A movie theater by fans, for fans… The Alamo is not your everday, average movie theater,” according to CEO & Founder Tim League.

You may recall their video that went viral a couple of years ago which features a voicemail they received after a patron was kicked out during one of their screenings in Austin because she violated the no texting / no talking rule during a show.

Many residents have expressed concerns about trying to open a theater in the Alexandria again, but perhaps a formula like the Alamo Drafthouse could make it a viable option.

CITY INSPECTION OF THE ALEXANDRIA THEATER ON MAY 19TH
On May 19th, Supervisor Eric Mar, members of the Planning Department and other representatives from the neighborhood will conduct a walkthrough of the Alexandria Theater property with management.

One goal of the walkthrough is to determine if the owners are in violation of their entitlement agreement in which they are required to adequately maintain the property. If the ownership group is found to be in violation, the Planning Department could take actions which would significantly decrease the value of their property.

Whether they are in violation is hardly up for debate. All you have to do is look at the 90+ day old graffiti on the building, note the unsafe conditions around the exterior, and examine the historic murals inside which from photo evidence from 2012, we know is already damaged if not irreparably.

The question is will the city give them several more chances by “working with them” to try and correct issues, allowing this game to continue? Or will the city finally lay down the law and make the owners suffer financial consequences for their past decade of negligence?

It’s no secret what the neighborhood wants.

Sarah B.

5:06 am | Posted under Eric Mar, Real Estate, Safety | 35 comments
Mar-27-2014

Local links: Pho closing, Saturday events, Farmer’s Market extended & more


Even the dogs can’t help smiling at Lands End. Photo by Jonathan Fleming

While you’re trying to fathom the litany of charges in State Senator Yee’s indictment, take a moment to check out these less threatening local links:

  • No mo’ pho: Reader Chet informed us that Pho Garden (2109 Clement), home of the infamous (and nausea inducing) Pho challenge, has closed. A call to their business phone number ends in a disconnected message.
  • Looks like Clement Street’s Barley Cafe has met the same fate. Eater SF reports that after only six months, Barley (343 Clement) has called it quits. The cafe has been locked up for the past couple of weeks and a phone call goes straight to voicemail.
  • Good news for fans of the Clement Street Farmer’s Market – The market’s life has been extended for another year until June 2015. The market will also add another block beginning April 6th, so it will run from Arguello Street to 4th Avenue every Sunday from 9am until 2pm.
  • Want to help your neighbors and community in a time of crisis? Enroll in a free NERT (SFFD Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) course on Wednesday June 11, 2014 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Richmond Branch Library. Learn skills to be prepared for emergencies big or small, and get to know your neighbors on your block to maximize resiliency after a disaster. Register online – it’s free!
  • A skateboard park at Ocean Beach? Radical, dude. It could happen if the San Francisco Skateboarding Association‘s vision comes to live. They were behind the successful Balboa Skate Park and have set their sights on Ocean Beach. Rec & Park is into it. Might not be Playland but sounds like a fun idea! [CurbedSF]
  • Fredy’s Deli near Ocean Beach has a new owner and a new lease on life. The Ocean Bulletin profiled new owners David “Kawika” Nottage and his wife, Joanne who are “trying to keep the best parts of what made Fredy’s Ocean Beach Deli a neighborhood favorite, while introducing some additions such as gluten-free menu items and an expanded selection of wine.”

FREE EVENTS THIS SATURDAY, MARCH 29

  • Got veggies? Master Gardener Jonathan Propp will be at the Richmond District Branch Library this Saturday from 2-3:30pm to lead a free course on how to grow vegetables in your SF backyard. His presentation will cover selection of climate-appropriate varieties, soil and bed preparation, propagation and planting techniques, and plant maintenance.
  • Walk among the flowers: Wildflowers have started to bloom all over our parks including Lands End. The Parks Conservancy leads free walks every Saturday from noon until 1pm through May 31, including a special Mother’s Day walk on May 10. Info & registration here
  • This Saturday, Supervisor Eric Mar is sponsoring a Richmond District Housing Rights Town Hall from 2 to 4pm at the Richmond Recreation Center (251 18th Avenue). Learn about your rights and obligations as San Francisco tenants and landlords, hear from experts and get your questions answered.
9:25 am | Posted under Classes, Eric Mar, Events, Food, Ocean Beach, Parks, Volunteer | 29 comments
Mar-7-2014

Residents displeased with new Balboa planters; public meeting March 10


An example of the new Balboa cobblestone planters near 36th Avenue. And don’t get
too excited – those meters will get their tops soon ;)

On February 20th, a meeting was held about the recent Balboa streetscape improvements project. The $3 million project focused on creating a safer corridor for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and transit riders along outer Balboa Street, via a series of traffic calming measures. Features of the project included wider sidewalks, bulb outs to make street crossings safer, energy efficient light fixtures, and curb ramps.

Outer Balboa residents are happy with those improvements to their street, but there’s another aspect to the project that has them seeing red: the landscaping improvements.

Specifically, the new planters that were installed on several blocks of Balboa. The new raised sidewalk planters feature dark, cobblestone walls and in some cases, very deep wells to accommodate future trees. The project fact sheet states that the “sidewalk planters to be planted with low maintenance, salt spray and drought-tolerant native and adapted plants and trees. Mulched with gravel.”


A rendering of the kind of landscaping the city envisions for some of the Balboa planters

So what’s to complain about? Plenty if RichmondSFBlog readers have anything to say about it. The planters were installed late last year and have yet to be filled with any greenery. As a result, they’ve become collection bins for rainwater, refuse and dog excrement. Not to mention a tripping hazard for pedestrians.

“I trip on the boxes going to Purusha Yoga. I know someone who actually fell. They are full of poop and garbage…,” wrote Jen J. on our Facebook page. And Brian W. wrote, “It’s only a matter of time until someone sues the city for an injury resulting from these planters.”

Others complain about the space the planters take away from the newly widened sidewalks.

“The planting areas are the biggest piece of junk ever!. If you walk down the sidewalk, there is not enough room for more than 2 people maybe to walk down,” Perrin B. wrote.

At the February 20th meeting, discussion got very heated over the planters and despite neighborhood disapproval of the landscaping, city officials told attendees “the decisions were already made” and could not be changed.

To add insult to injury, the city is only committing to planting and maintaining the planters for a period of 3 years. After that, it’s the responsibility of residents and merchants to keep the planters clean and healthy. And we all know how well that DOESN’T work in San Francisco.

Monday night’s meeting will be hosted by the Department of Public Works and Supervisor Eric Mar from 6-7:30pm at the Cabrillo Playground, located at 38th Avenue and Cabrillo (we’re presuming it will be inside the clubhouse at the playground). The goal of the meeting is to discuss the purpose and benefits of the streetscape changes along Balboa Street, and hear community input and answer questions.

What are your thoughts on the new planters along Balboa? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

10:56 am | Posted under Eric Mar, Safety, Traffic | 42 comments
Jan-20-2014

Washington High students get a lesson in manufacturing with Eric Mar, SFMade


George Washington High School students get hands-on experience in manufacturing at TechShop

Last Friday, a group of Washington High School students visited TechShop, a fabrication and protoyping studio located South of Market.

The students are all enrolled in an Automotive elective class at Washington High, and their visit is part of a new pilot program funded by Supervisor Eric Mar’s office called Inside Manufacturing. The goal of the program is to expose students to local manufacturing careers, enabling them to meet entrepreneurs and explore ideas through hands-on workshops and technology.

SFMade is a partner in the Inside Manufacturing program as well. The organization is focused on developing the local manufacturing sector by building and supporting the community of entrepreneurs, and promoting locally made products and businesses.

During their trip to TechShop, the students made customized tool racks using acrylic and metal, using the nearly $1 million worth of equipment that sits in the TechShop workspace.

The students also received a demonstration of 3D printing from Type A Machines, a local company that is working to build affordable 3D printers.

The visit to TechShop was the culmination of the pilot year of the Inside Manufacturing program, whose long-term goal is to create sustainable, long-term employment opportunities for youth in local manufacturing – as employees and as entrepreneurs/business owners.

Sarah B.


George Washington High School students talk with Supervisor Mar about the Inside Manufacturing program

11:18 am | Posted under Eric Mar, Schools | 1 comment
Nov-1-2013

Local links: Cassava honored, Boitano coming to Green Apple, renter’s woes, SFPUC survey, Aziza is a star, free photo classes & more


Cassava Bakery & Cafe owners with Supervisor Mar (read more below). Photo courtesy of Supervisor Eric Mar’s office

Happy Friday! Hard to believe it’s November already. Here are some local links to take your mind off how fast this year is flying by…

  • Owners Kristoffer Toliao and Yuka Ioroi (and husband and wife) of Cassava Cafe & Bakery were recently honored at City Hall by Supervisor Eric Mar for this year’s Restaurant Appreciation Month. ” They have been a source of great food, wonderful company, and the revitalization of the neighborhood,” Mar’s office wrote.
  • SFAppeal writes about a real estate investor group that is may try to evict all the tenants at 2405 Anza, include a single parent and two seniors, who have been living at the location for 36 years. That’s because they want to recoup their investment and flip the building as a Tenancy-in-Common (TIC). The investor, who pled guilty to shady dealings in the past, asserts that since the Ellis Act is state law, he’s only acting within his rights as a property owner. Read the full story
  • The 5L Fulton line went into operation this week and is getting high marks from many MUNI commuters. “20 minutes from home to downtown; thanks SF Muni for the 5 Limited and for making Monday almost bearable,” tweeted one rider. The 5L runs during peak commute hours in the morning and evenings, Monday through Friday, and makes all stops from Ocean Beach to 6th Avenue, and then limited stops until from 6th Avenue until it reaches Van Ness Avenue. Though one blogger is wondering why the new faster 5L buses are electric instead of diesel.
  • Earlier this month, The SFPUC held their first public meeting about the Baker Beach Green Street project, designed to manage stormwater and improve water quality at Baker Beach. The project is focused on enhancements in two corridors: El Camino Del Mar between the Legion of Honor and the Lands End Trailhead, and on Sea Cliff Avenue between 25th and 26th Avenues. They’d like to get your thoughts in their online survey.
  • Roadside BBQ at 2nd & Geary was sold and now has a new name/brand: GS Riverside Grill. We weren’t frequent diners of the Roadside but the menu under new ownership looks pretty similar – lots of BBQ, a kid’s menu, and some homemade pies.
  • A cyclist who was struck by a driver at 3 in the morning on Tuesday at California Street and 8th Avenue is expected to survive. Hilah Sulme, 56, was taken into custody after the collision, which was reported at 3:13am. Sulme allegedly fled from the scene but was later found and taken into custody. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the collision, police said. [SFAppeal]
  • Aziza restaurant on Geary will maintain their single Michelin Star rating for 2014. Way to represent!
  • Interested in telling the story of the Richmond District in photos? The Richmond Branch library is offering a 3 session program with wward-winning photojournalist Frederic Larson called “Through Our Eyes: Visual Stories of the Richmond Neighborhood”. It’s an intensive photo documentary class and study of the Richmond neighborhood where each student will create a visual story over the course of the class. Stories will be submitted to the city’s archives where they will be available for research and public use. The class meets November 9: 3-5pm, November 23: 2:45-5:30pm, and December 14: 3-5pm. Space is limited to 20 people, so be sure to register online in advance.
  • Creative Canopy on California Street near 6th Avenue is celebrating their first birthday with a holiday craft fair on November 16 from 10am until 3pm. Many of Canopy’s artists and teachers will be present to share their craft ideas and class information and offer workshops for projects. Many will have gifts to sell for the holiday season. View the event flyer
  • Brian Boitano will be at Green Apple Books on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm to discuss his latest culinary tome, “What Would Brian Boitano Make?”.
  • Cycle over to the Family Bike Safety Fair on Saturday, November 16 at Roosevelt School from 10am until 2pm. The fair is being put on by Assemblymember Phil Ting and it will feature a bike obstacle course and information booths on bike safety and opportunities to make San Francisco more bike friendly. First 300 families receive free bike safety equipment for children.
  • Local artist Karen Lechelt is offering a free download of her children’s e-book “What Do You Love About You?” via Amazon until November 4, featuring black and white line drawings of funny animals revealing what they love about themselves. “It indirectly explores what it unique about us all, while binding us together in the idea that we all share a commonality of pride and self-love,” Lechelt told us. Download it here
3:15 pm | Posted under Business, Eric Mar, Food, Free stuff, Muni | 1 comment
Sep-10-2013

Local links: Fresh & Easy sold, Balboa stays alive, Yoga Tree, Sutro Heights fire, art stuff & more


The Tidy Shoppe aesthetics salon that opened at 4050 Geary this week. Photo by Derek

  • The Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain is being purchased by billionaire investor Ron Burkle. Burkle is buying 150 of the stores, and the remaining 50 will be shut down. It’s been confirmed that the store on 32nd Avenue and Clement will be one of the 150 stores that remains open. Burkle has been mum on his plans for breathing new life into the 150 stores he’s purchasing, but called Fresh & Easy “a tremendous foundation.”
  • In case you haven’t heard, the Balboa Theater reached their Kickstarter fundraising goal of $75,000. So now they can go digital and not dark. Congrats and good job Richmond District! They’re still taking donations, which will go towards digitizing the second theater.
  • Park Life is curating an art show of local artist Ryan Beavers in the office of Supervisor Eric Mar. There’s an opening reception this Friday, September 13 from 4:30pm-7:30pm at Mar’s office, which is located in Room 284 of City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.
  • In other art news, neighborhood artist Jay Mercado of donut painting fame, was recently profiled in the Chronicle Sunday magazine. Mercado has a studio on California and 10th Avenue, and told the Chronicle, “It’s nice to have a studio that’s accessible to people. I don’t want art to seem like it’s something that is elite. It should be accessible to everyone. I want to make them feel at home with artwork and be able to talk about it. If the mailman comes in and buys a painting, like she did once, I think that’s pretty cool.”
  • There’s a new yoga studio coming to the neighborhood. We heard from a reader that popular chain Yoga Tree will be opening on 6th Avenue between California and Lake Streets. We hear the outside is painted bright green. We haven’t heard when they’ll open for classes, but say your om’s and keep your eyes out.
  • Another fire broke out last week at a homeless encampment that located on the back of Sutro Heights Park. The last fire on Sutro hill was in January 2013 and because of its hard-to-reach location, fire crews have to hand carry hoses up behind homes on Balboa and up a flight of forty stairs to battle flames there.
  • A public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, September 11 to discuss Cinderella Bakery’s (436 Balboa) proposed parklet. We haven’t seen any renderings of it yet, but if you want to attend, the meeting is at 9am at City Hall, Room 400.
  • A new aesthetics salon called The Tidy Shoppe opened this week at 4050 Geary near 5th Avenue. Service categories include bikini waxing, brows, tinting, face, threading, body and lashes. Online appointment booking is available through their website.
  • Have you seen the Snowy Plover? Join a free guided walk on Ocean Beach this Sunday with Brent Plater of the Wild Equity Institute to search for the Western Snowy Plover. This small shorebird is highly threatened by human activities and habitat degradation. Join the walk to see this adorable species in its native habitat and learn ways that you can help. The walk is from 10am – 12am and RSVP online is required.
  • The Chronicle recently wrote about Glenn Gable, a one-man anti-graffiti crusader in the Richmond District, and why we’re not likely to see tags removed from neighborhood mailboxes anytime soon.
  • The complete lineup was recently confirmed for the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival, taking place in Golden Gate Park on October 4-6, 2013. Highlights include Chris Isaak, Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris Gogol Bordello, Nick Lowe, Boz Scaggs, and dozens more.
2:59 pm | Posted under Art, Business, Eric Mar, Events, Fire | 29 comments
Sep-8-2013

500+ come out for the first Richmond District Jog in the Fog fun run

Sunday was the first running of the Richmond District Jog in the Fog race, where 536 participants ran and walked the 3.4 mile course from Mountain Lake Park to the USS SF Memorial Parking Lot at Lands End. Proceeds from the race benefit the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC).

Racers began gathering at the start line in Mountain Lake Park at 7am. Shortly before the 8am start, after opening welcomes from RDNC Board President Bonnie Levitt and Supervisor Eric Mar, the official start signal was broadcast: fog horns. Runners took off into the mist, guided and cheered along the course by volunteers that included residents, RDNC staff members and supporters, and high school students.

Despite the record temperatures the day before, Sunday’s weather lived up to the race’s name, enveloping participants as they wound around Mountain Lake, up Lake Street and El Camino del Mar, and into the Lands End trail. They were lucky to even get a glimpse of the water down below the cliffs of Lands End.

But in true Richmond District style, the fog didn’t dampen the spirits of racers, who sprinted under the finish line balloon bridge – provided by Sparky’s Balloons & Toys – with arms outstretched and big smiles.

The top male finisher (and overall first place finisher), Menso de Jong, completed the race in 21:45, and the top female finished in 22:40. Both received trophies, while the first boy (28:53) and girl to cross the finish line received gift cards from Green Apple Books. [Our record keeping was lacking, so if you know the names of these awesome runners, please leave a comment to let us know - photos below!]


The top male (and overall first place) finisher, Menso de Jong (21:45)

We’d like to thank the people that made the Jog in the Fog possible including our neighborhood sponsors – SF Toyota, Green Apple Books, Busvan, Clement Street Merchants Association, Angelina’s Cafe, Blondlogic, Bright1Fitness, and Sparky’s Balloons – the nearly 60 volunteers who got up early on a Sunday to help, Emily Gillingham of the RDNC for her tireless enthusiasm and support, race captains Brighton Miller and David Hirtz and last but not least, all of YOU – the men, women and children of the Richmond District that came out to participate.

We were truly thrilled to see all of you gathered at the starting line, ready to rock it! We’re still tallying the final proceeds that will go to the RDNC and going through photos, so bear with us. Follow the Jog in the Fog on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest photos and updates.

UPDATE 9/12/13: The tally is in! Thanks to our racers and sponsors who helped us raise $8000 for our charity, the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. Woo hoo!

Did you take photos at the race you want to share? Upload them to our event album on Eversnap – just download the free smartphone app or visit their website and enter the album code joginthefog2013 to get started. You can also use the album code just to view pics too from the race.

And for those of you who weren’t able to get your hands on a 2013 Jog in the Fog t-shirt designed by Andy George, hang tight, we’re looking into ways to let you order one online, you can place your order online and we’ll have it available for pickup at Green Apple Books.

Thanks to everyone for making the first Jog in the Fog a great success! Who’s in for next year!?!? :)

Sarah B.
Race Director


The top female finisher (22:07)


The top boy (28:53) and girl finisher (Piper Brooks)


Racers at the start in Mountain Lake Park


At the finish line at Lands End

Check out more photos on Flickr:

11:31 pm | Posted under Community, Eric Mar, Events | 14 comments
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