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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


Homeless forum spurs discussion about lack of resources in the Richmond

Panelists at the homeless forum: (L to R) Paul Kozakiewicz, Supervisor Mark Farrell, Supervisor Scott Weiner,
Lt. Walter Cuddy. Photo by David H.

A diverse group of over 50 neighbors packed the Richmond District SFPD community room on 6th Avenue for a forum on homelessness in the Richmond District on Wednesday night. The event was co-sponsored by The Richmond Review newspaper, New Bay Area Media, and the Chinese American Voter Education Committee (CAVEC).

In the last homeless count performed by the city of San Francisco in January 2015, there were 6,500 sleeping on the streets (data will be made available soon by neighborhood). $265 million is spent by the city to support homelessness, with 8 hearings alone last year across the city to discuss the issue.

The purpose of Wednesday night’s forum was to exchange views, ideas and information about the homeless problem in the Richmond District.

The idea for the event came from Richmond Review editor Paul Kozakiewicz, who after a severe storm last year, began researching resources for homeless in the neighborhood. What he found was that there were none – no homeless shelters, no outreach organizations, no food programs.

In addition to Kozakiewicz, the panel at the forum was comprised of District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, and Lt. Walter Cuddy from the Richmond District SFPD station.

The Richmond District’s own Supervisor Eric Mar did not attend the event.

Focus of Wednesday night’s discussion was on details around the city’s efforts but the lack of connection to the Richmond District. Even the Richmond District’s only police station only has two officers trained in homeless outreach.

The city recently imposed an overnight closure on Golden Gate Park where many homeless typically camp out. What has resulted from the enforcement is that many homeless have moved into neighborhood streets.

“Our homeless in the Richmond seem to be long term residents,” said one woman in attendance.

One of the neighborhood’s homeless residents named John also attended Wednesday night’s meeting. He lives near Golden Gate Park and spoke of increasing hostility, needing a bathroom and his inability to take spot jobs due to city regulation.

Attendees also discussed the need for a distinction between those without a home, and those homeless that also struggle with mental illness. Mention was made of Laura’s Law, the state measure that allows mentally ill people to be compelled into treatment by a court. It was approved by the Board of Supervisors in July 2014.

Supervisor Farrell was a supporter of Laura’s Law and told the Chronicle after its passage that “it will give the city another tool for dealing with mentally ill residents and, it is hoped, help take some stress off the city’s public safety and emergency management departments.” Laura’s Law goes into effect on September 30, 2015.

What are your thoughts on homelessness in the Richmond District and how to best address it? Leave a comment to let us know.

Special thanks to cub reporter David H. for reporting and photos.

Sarah B.

Attendees at the homeless forum. Photo by David H.

4:15 am | Posted under Community, Crime, Events, Golden Gate Park | 19 comments

Local links: Donut art, Argonne Fair, FUF tree planting, OB bonfires & more

Jay Mercado. Photo by Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

Happy hump day, Richmond District! Here are some local links for ya:

  • Neighborhood artist Jay Mercado, known for his donut paintings, was featured in the Chronicle this week. Still life painter raises doughnuts to level of art
  • The Argonne School Spring Fair is this Saturday from There will be food trucks (El Toyanese, Sunrise Deli, America’s Best Roasting Company), carnival games, rock climbing, live animals, entertainment, crafts, shopping, a raffle and much more. This year 17th Ave will be blocked to through traffic so all food and entertainment can be enjoyed outdoors just outside the school’s gates. The fair will be on the school’s premises at 17th Avenue and Cabrillo. Admission is free.
  • Want a tree planted in front of your home or building? Friends of the Urban Forest have planned a Richmond District tree planting for June. “We usually subsidize about 75% of the costs and handle most of the logistics. You only need to co-pay $135 and we’ll plant a tree with you in the sidewalk in front of your home AND come back for 3-years of follow-up care.” The deadline to apply for a tree is April 29.
  • Planning Association for the Richmond (PAR) recently posted an update on the National Park Service policy on fires at Ocean Beach. “For the upcoming spring/summer season fires will be allowed at Ocean Beach while we continue to work out the details of the future program.” Visit the PAR website for further details on changes that are being considered. Another public meeting will be scheduled in the late summer.
  • The Richmond District Library (351 9th Ave) will host “Women and Money – Pennies to Plans” on April 23rd from 6pm-7pm. “This workshop covers topics that all women deal with, such as budgeting, credit, and insurance, as well as specific life stages that many women face, such as having children, divorcing, and becoming a widow. This program is provided in conjunction with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco.”
  • Last week, a jury convicted Eduardo Chaparro-Esquivel, who ran over Albert Bartal in November 2011. Chaparro-Esquivel pursued Bartal and ran him down in the Shell 9th Avenue gas station parking lot after a fight at the Jack in the Box on 11th Avenue and Geary. The jury convicted Chaparro-Esquivel of torture, mayhem, and assault with a deadly weapon with an enhancement for great bodily injury, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. He will be sentenced on May 6. Bartal has never regained consciousness and lives in an acute care facility in the East Bay.
  • Mind your driving and speed when you’re traveling on Fulton. Speed limits were reduced and the Chronicle recently asked “Is this San Francisco’s worst speed trap?”. “In one 10-hour period, SFPD handed out 100 tickets. All but two were for speeding.”
  • Lou’s Sandwiches (5017 Geary near 14th Avenue), which some might consider the Ike’s of the Richmond District, recently got some notice from The Examiner. “The common threads that run through all of Lou’s offerings are the Lou’s sauce, basically aioli with “natural herbs,” and an olive oil-based jalapeño spread that adds just enough heat to make things interesting. A wall-sized menu board implored patrons to mix the two, whatever the sandwich.”
12:40 pm | Posted under Art, Crime, Events, Food, Green, Ocean Beach, Schools | 1 comment

Local links: Wildflower walks, best regional Chinese, new fish in Mt. Lake & more

Photo courtesy of Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Happy Thursday to all! Here are some local links to distract you as the weekend approaches…

  • Wildflower walks at Lands End kick off this Saturday. From 11am-12:30pm enjoy a free guided tour with the Parks Conservancy along the trails and share the folklore, medicinal uses, and biology of the native wildflowers. All ages welcome; registration is required due to limited space. Dates: April 4, 18, 25, May 9, 16, June 6, 13, 20, 27
  • The Outside Lands Music Festival ramped up recently with the announcement of the lineup and schedule. Tickets are selling fast so if you’re planning to go to catch bands like Mumford & Sons, Elton John, The Black Keys, Sam Smith and more – don’t delay! August 7-9
  • The Richmond District Neighborhood Center has opened up registration for their summer camps, which includes Summer Solstice Camp for Elementary Students, where campers will be hitting the trail to adventure around the Richmond District neighborhood, as well as hands-on activities, crafts and games. RDNC Summer Camp is also available for 6-11 year olds, and features an art-based camp, a performing arts camp, and an urban farmer camp.
  • Mountain Lake received some new residents recently, when biologists and volunteers introduced more than 150 three-spined stickleback fish after a multi-year rehabilitation of the lake water and bed. Get the full scoop on SFGate. Soon to come – chorus frogs, Western pond turtles, thousands more California floaters, and rough-skinned newts. In other lake news, the new aquatic amnesty box on the south shore is being used according to Planning Association for the Richmond. “Recently, two red-eared slider turtles (one of the most popular pet turtles) deposited in the box were taken to Sonoma County Reptile Rescue.”
  • Several Richmond District restaurants were named among San Francisco Magazine’s 15 Best Regional Chinese Restaurants, including Hakka (4401 Cabrillo; house specialties include salt-baked chicken, clams stir-fried with basil, and lush slices of braised pork belly served over preserved mustard greens), Shanghai House (3641 Balboa St.; a good place for xiao long bao and salty soy milk, a savory-spicy soup spiked with chili oil, pickled vegetables, fried Chinese doughnuts, and tiny dried shrimp), Spices II (Szechuan, 291 6th Ave.; good bet for authentic versions of classics such as chili oil–spiked “water-boiled fish” and ma po tofu), and Grand Hot Pot Lounge (Szechuan, 3565 Geary Blvd.; for the communal tongue-scorching of a ma la hot pot meal).
  • Grocer Fresh & Easy announced they will be closing their store at Silver and Somerset in the Portola neighborhood as of April 3. Still no word on the Richmond District location at 32nd Avenue and Clement, which will be the sole Fresh & Easy in the city. [Socketsite]
11:09 am | Posted under Events, Food, Lands End, Parks | 2 comments

Outside Lands 2015 lineup announced; tickets on sale Thursday

Today, Outside Lands revealed its full lineup of artists (but not the final schedule).

Headliners at this year’s festival, its eighth, include Elton John, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Wilco, and Tame Impala. See the full lineup

This year’s event runs from August 7 through August 9 at several venues in Golden Gate Park. VIP and regular tickets for Outside Lands go on sale this Thursday, March 26 at 10am at SFOutsideLands.com.

Who’s going?

Sarah B.

11:24 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Live Music | 8 comments

Local Links: Mescolanza / Luna Rossa shuffle, Oscars at Balboa, Fulton speeds reduced

Photo by Eugene Kim

Happy Friday, Richmond District! Here are some local links to ease you into the weekend…

  • Mescolanza recently closed which saddened some fans, but a new, nearly identical concept called Luna Rossa opened in its place. It’s no accident – the owners of Luna Rossa were the original owners of Mescolanza back in the day and sold the lease, and the restaurant’s name, to an employee. But now they’re back, and after displacing their tenant, Mescolanza, have opened Luna Rossa. Reader Boots says the same Mescolanza server is even working there, and the menu is nearly identical. Boots also said word on the street is that the Mescolanza chef is planning to reopen near 2nd and Geary in the future.
  • And the Oscar goes to…The Balboa! They’ll be hosting an Oscar viewing party on Sunday starting at 4pm. Host Reed Kirk-Rahlmann will be on hand with his irreverent Awards Party mudslinging which begins at 7pm as the ceremony commences. Tickets are available online or at the Balboa box office (it usually sells out so get ’em quick).
  • Mind your accelerator when you’re driving on Fulton as the speed limits were recently reduced. Reader Steve informs that new speed signs have been posted: “30mph westbound from Stanyan to 36th (down from 35), 25 from 36th to 38th (in front of the Senior Center), then 35 from 38th to the beach; eastbound it’s 35 from the beach to 38th, 25 from 38th to 36th, back up to 35 again from 36th to 25th, then 30 from 25th to Stanyan.”
  • The Jiu Jitsu Academy (710 La Playa) is offering a free self-defense class for women on Monday, February 23rd. To register, email Info@csjiujitsu.com.
  • Pretty alert! Check out the video below for some stunning night views over San Francisco in super super hi definition.

4:15 am | Posted under Business, Events, Food, Traffic | 10 comments

Local Links: Sand art Sunday, CSA boxes, restaurant shuffles & more

Here are some local links to get you through your Wednesday…

  • Want to catch sand art in action? Head out to Ocean Beach on Sunday at 12noon to see Andres Amador at work. He usually wraps up the piece in about 2 hours.
  • Foggy Notion is now a pickup spot for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes from Say Hay Farms’, a 20-acre farm in Yolo County, California that raises certified-organic vegetables, melons, and eggs. Subscriptions start at just 4-weeks and as little as $16/week and can be picked up on Wednesdays from Foggy Notion (256 6th Avenue) between 3 – 6pm. More info
  • Parking alert: The metered lot on 8th Avenue between Clement and Geary will be closed for repaving from February 16 until March 14th.
  • The Chronicle recently highlighted some historic, long-running brands from San Francisco and we had a couple on the list. Its-It ice cream sandwiches started at Playland in 1928, and Boudin Bakery is still using the mother yeast from created by Isadore Boudin in 1849. The yeast was saved in the 1906 quake and the bakery moved from downtown to its current 10th Avenue location.
  • The start of the year restaurant shuffles continue… Reader Sarah tells us that Japanese restaurant Kaminari at 7th and Balboa is closing. And Francisco reports that the former Ju-Ku location at 19th Avenue and Clement is being taken over by a restaurant called The Flame (Hot Pot), with an opening date of March 1.
9:10 am | Posted under Art, Business, Events, Food, History, Ocean Beach | 8 comments

We Players to stage integrated theater performance of “Ondine” at Sutro Baths

We Players performing Macbeth at Fort Point, 2013

The We Players, known for their “site-integrated performance events that transform public spaces into realms of participatory theater”, including performances of Hamlet on Alcatraz, Macbeth at Fort Point and The Odyssey on Angel Island, are bringing their latest production to Sutro Baths.

Ondine at Sutro
, “an exploration of our own troubled love/destruction relationship with Nature”, will play at Sutro Baths every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 1 – June 7, 2015 (preview performances April 23-26).

Ondine is the tragicomic love story between a mystical creature of the deep and a mortal man, a hapless knight – often shallow, sometimes deep – in short, a real man. A fable of the follies of love, Ondine is also an exploration of our own troubled love / destruction relationship with Nature. Worlds collide and the powers mete gentle but unrelenting justice.

Staged at Sutro Baths and Sutro Heights Park, we experience the great power and sense the timeless depths of the ocean as we wander amidst the eroded foundations of mansions and grand swimming pools. Audiences will move with the action of the play, exploring the park and taking in the expansive and breathtaking views of the great Pacific, while immersed in the enchanted realm of Ondine.

Advance tickets are available now. Click the link below for the day you’re interested in and enter the password “SeaChange” to access the pre-sale:

Preview performances: April 23 – 26, $40
Fridays: May 1- June 5, $60
Saturdays and Sundays: May 2- June 7, $80

Pre-sale tickets are limited so if they run out, you can try again on March 2 when the rest will go on sale.

UPDATE: We Players has extended a special offer to Richmond District residents. See ONDINE AT SUTRO for just $40 for any Friday 4:30pm performance, May 1st – June 5th. Visit the website to select your Friday of choice, and enter promotional code: RichmondDistrict for the discount.

Sarah B.

We Players performing Hamlet on Alcatraz, 2013

4:15 am | Posted under Art, Events | Add comments

New book celebrates “Legendary Locals” of west side; author event Sunday

The Richmond District is full of great history – just take a look at the 1000+ historic photos that recently came to light thanks to the Western Neighborhoods Project.

But local history is about more than just places, events, and artifacts. It’s also about the people. Which is what makes a new book called “Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park” so interesting.

Authored by local historian and author Lorri Ungaretti, the book shines a light on the people that have helped make the western neighborhoods of San Francisco what they are today – varied, vibrant, colorful, full of beauty, rich with history, and still thriving.

Ungaretti, who has also authored books “San Francisco’s Richmond District” and “Stories in the Sand: San Francisco’s Sunset District”, focuses not only on the famous, former residents of the west side like Johnny Mathis, Ansel Adams and Barbara Eden, but also on the infamous – like Anton LaVey of 6666 California Street.

But you don’t have to be a famous or infamous figure to make it into Ungaretti’s book. True to the west side, it’s the people and businesses that are part of everyday life that have helped shape the neighborhood.

People like Angie Rando, owner of Angelina’s Cafe at 22nd & California, whose 30 plus years in business has made her business a neighborhood hub.

“I feel as if I’m just the ‘keeper’ of this place,” Rando says in the book. “It really belongs to the neighborhood.”

Or Paul Kozakiewicz, who started and continues to publish the free Richmond Review newspaper every month. And Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher of the Western Neighborhoods Project who help preserve our neighborhood’s history.

The book groups legendary local into six chapters: Golden Gate Park, History Lovers, The Builders, Making a Difference, The Arts, and Businesses.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the legendary locals of the past, or those that still work day in and day out to make our community great, “Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park” is a fun and interesting read.

“Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park” by Lorri Ungaretti is available in paperback at local bookstores like Green Apple Books, and online at Amazon or the Western Neighborhoods Project website.

And while Ungaretti is too modest, it’s safe to say that her contributions to documenting our neighborhood’s history would easily earn her a page in her latest book. But you can thank her and show your appreciation at a special book signing on Sunday at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (741 30th Avenue) from 10:30am until 2:30pm.

Stop by to pick up a signed copy of “Legendary Locals of San Francisco’s Richmond, Sunset and Golden Gate Park”. Who knows, you might even rub elbows with a legendary local or two while you’re there. 😉

Sarah B.

9:23 pm | Posted under Events, History | 2 comments