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Local links: Police forum, driver arrested, new GGNRA chief, auctions & more

Land’s End

Happy Friday Richmond folk! Here are some local links for your almost-weekend.

  • There’s a Police Community Forum meeting this Sunday at 11:30am, hosted by St. James Episcopal Church (4620 California St. at 8th Ave.). SFPD Richmond Station Captain Simon Silverman will be there and the forum us designed to discuss public safety, community relations, and the Captain’s priorities after one year as our local station chief.
  • It’s auction time for a couple of neighborhood organizations. Argonne School has an online silent auction that includes VIP passes to Outside Lands, Giants stuff, kids camps, and hotel stays. The Richmond District YMCA is holding their annual silent auction on Thursday, April 2 from 6pm to 10pm. Tickets to the event, which will feature catering by Burma Superstar and BStar (and free childcare!), are available online.
  • The Chronicle’s “City Exposed” column has an interesting article on the keeper of the Land’s End labyrinth. “I didn’t choose the place. I think it chose me,” she said. “I didn’t even know what a labyrinth was. It just felt good.”
  • The driver who fatally struck an 87-year old man in the crosswalk at Geary and 26th Avenue last week has been arrested and charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. Investigators determined the victim, Alfred Yee, was walking north across Geary Boulevard in the crosswalk when the driver, Daniel Schultz, 40, made a left turn from 26th Avenue and struck him. Schultz stopped at the scene but was not arrested until this week. [SF Bay]
  • Foggy Notion owner Alissa Anderson was interviewed recently by the SF Etsy blog. Anderson talks about opening her business, how she finds products, her additional sewing business, and her participation in the merchant community of the Richmond District. Foggy Notion is now open 7 days a week, 275 6th Avenue.
  • The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes the coastline in the Presidio, Land’s End, Sutro Park and Ocean Beach, has a new chief. Christine Lehnertz, a biologist and regional manager for the National Park Service, will become superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in May. [SFGate]
  • The YMCA’s Presidio Trail Run on April 26 is looking for volunteers from 6:45-10:45am as course monitors, support at water stations and race bib/t-shirt pick up. If interested, contact Lindsay at lindsay@alittlemighty.com.
4:45 am | Posted under Business, Crime, Lands End, Parks | 6 comments

Storm downs tree branch in Mountain Lake Park, tree at police station

Photo by Kira B.

Aside from some heavy rains that caused flooding at many corner sewer grates, we didn’t see too much damage around the neighborhood from Stormageddon II this weekend.

But reader Kira B. sent us pics of a downed tree branch at Mountain Lake Park near the meadow. The branch fell onto a section of the fence around the lake.

And ABC News was on scene to catch the cleanup of a tree that fell onto the side of the Richmond District police station on 6th Avenue.

If you’re in the neighborhood today running or walking, be mindful of debris. The high winds really stirred things up!

Sarah B.

Photo by Kira B.

10:00 am | Posted under Parks | Add comments

Video: Overview of the Mountain Lake restoration project

The Academy of Sciences shared the above video on their blog this week. It gives a nice overview of the various efforts that were made, and are still underway, to clean up the lake and restore native plant and wildlife species.

It’s been a multi-year, community effort involving Caltrans, the Presidio Trust, the Academy of Sciences, experts from Stanford, and dozens of volunteers.

We had to chuckle that they left out the mass fish “genocide” that took place in November, but we’ll focus on the great, long-term benefits this project will bring to our little lake!

Sarah B.

4:35 am | Posted under Parks, Video | 1 comment

Photo: High winds topple tree on Park Presidio near Balboa

Photo by @MeganPrelinger

Around 4:30pm this afternoon, the high winds pushed over a tree on Park Presidio/Highway 1 near Balboa Street.

SFPD and CHP were on the scene quickly, diverting traffic as crews worked to saw apart the tree and remove it from the roadway.

There were no injuries reported from the incident.

This appears to be a cursed block. Another tree fell on the same stretch of roadway back on December 13.

Sarah B.

6:57 pm | Posted under Parks, Transportation | 1 comment

Lands End Coastal Trail closed until next week due to risk of slide

The affected area at Lands End, at risk of sliding. Photo by Joe Connelly

This just in from the National Park Service:


Due to land movements and hazard trees we will have to close a portion of the Lands End Coastal Trail. Barricades and signage are currently being placed by park service staff. The closure will begin at the Camino del Mar junction and continue to the Memorial Parking staircase and will be closed through the weekend. The effected portion of the trail is small (around 300′) but it is heavily used, and will be heavily used over the Holiday weekend.

The slide area will be monitored over the next couple of days and the tentative plan will be to reopen next week pending a full assessment of the area. The condition is currently stable but does have the potential to slip further, The primary concern is that trees in the area have been undermined by the slide and could fall across the trail.


So no Christmas Day or Christmas weekend walks on the Coastal Trail this weekend, folks!

Sarah B.

The area of the Lands End Coastal Trail that will be closed until next week.

2:28 pm | Posted under Parks | 5 comments

Photos: Tree topples on Park Presidio; narrowly misses car and uproots pipe

Around 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon, a large tree fell over on the 500 block of Park Presidio near Balboa.

The tree fell into the Park Presidio roadway, narrowly missing a vehicle carrying two adults and a young girl.

SFFD and SFPD were on the scene quickly, taking a chainsaw to the tree’s branches to clear it from the roadway.

The tree also uprooted an irrigation pipe in the Park Presidio greenbelt. It could be seen spewing water onto 14th Avenue.

Traffic was moving again by 5:15pm, but Rec & Park was still working to cap the irrigation pipe.

Thanks to Kenji K. for the update and photos.

Sarah B.

Photo by phoca2004

Photo by phoca2004

Photo by Kenji K.

Photo by Kenji K.

7:13 pm | Posted under Parks, Traffic | 3 comments

Final upgrades & beautification underway for Lincoln Park steps

The Lincoln Park steps, located at the end of California Street, are currently closed off to pedestrians while Rec & Park puts the final touches on the upgrade project that has been underway since 2010.

Back in late 2010, the first phase of the project was completed which included restoring and tiling the large bench at the top of the stairs.

But after that initial installation, all work ceased on the project as the Friends of Lincoln Park worked to complete their fundraising for the project.

The restoration is spearheaded by lifetime Friends of Lincoln Park members Anna Yartroussis and Meg Autry.

Funding for the project comes from the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, a Community Opportunity Fund award and a grant from Friends of Lincoln Park, which required raising $300,000 in private donations. Katherine Delmar Burke School, adjacent to the stairs, donated $10,000 to the project.

The final phase is now underway, which includes repair of the steps, landings, pillars, benches and sidewalls, as well as the installation of handrails.

But the pièce de résistance are the decorative (slip-resistant) tiles that will cover the stairs from top to bottom, continuing the theme started with the upper bench.

An artist’s rendering of the tile design that will be on the main staircase

The tiles for the steps are inspired by historic photographs of Sutro Baths and buildings of the 1890 World’s Fair in San Francisco, and from the vision of San Francisco artist Aileen Barr.

Barr is a renowned tile artist who has worked on many public projects in San Francisco, including the award-winning 16th Avenue Stairs in Golden Gate Heights and tiled benches at Alta Plaza playground.

Some donors also gave $500 or more for named tiles which will appear throughout the design.

The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2015.

Sarah B.

The restored and tiled bench at the top of the stairs, completed in 2010.

A closeup of some of the tile on the bench

The view from atop the Lincoln Steps

4:25 am | Posted under Art, Parks | 9 comments

Mountain Lake fish population wiped out today with poison; removal underway

Photo: Pete Kiehart / The Chronicle

As part of an ongoing effort to remediate and restore Mountain Lake to its natural beginnings, the Presidio Trust today took a final step to eradicate the non-native fish population from the lake.

Workers from the Presidio Trust and contractor Fish Control Solutions poured 47 gallons of a poison solution into the 4-acre lake this morning. The solution, which contains 5 percent rotenone, suffocates fish (or anything with gills). The solution is not strong enough to harm other animals like birds that could eat the carcasses or humans that come into contact with the solution.

Workers concluded the four hour poisoning process this morning and by 1pm, estimated that they had recovered 200-300 carp that floated to the surface.

Of the several hundred thousand fish that are in Mountain Lake, planners expect about 20% of the dead fish to float to the surface, and the remaining 80% to sink to the bottom of the lake. Most of the surface fish should be removed today, while a trawler will be employed to remove the fish on the bottom. It’s unclear how long that process will take.

Workers poured the poison solution into the lake from rowboats. Photo: Pete Kiehart / The Chronicle

Most of the fish will be composted in the Presidio, but a “couple of boatfuls” will be given to the Academy of Sciences for research. The Academy will conduct genetic tests to determine where the fish came from.

All traces of the poison solution, which decomposes when exposed to sunlight, are expected to disappear from the water within three days. 6 foot cyclone fences were erected by the lake shore prior to the poisoning per EPA guidelines; they will remain in place for 3 weeks.

This extreme step to eradicate the fish population by poisoning was taken after other measures were employed to remove the array of non-native species that made their home in Mountain Lake, but without complete success. Many of these fish found their way into the lake through dumping from local residents.

Prior to the poisoning, the Trust captured and relocated thousands of fish, turtles and other invasives but found it impossible to capture all the fish. Especially since they were only employing a couple of interns to capture the sometimes monstrous fish.

To prevent residents from dumping their aquatic friends into the lake in the future, the Presidio Trust will have a tank alongside the lake – a kind of safe harbor for relinquished aquatic pets. An education campaign is also planned.

About 100 onlookers, including media, came out to Mountain Lake to watch the poisoning process, which was overseen by Park Police. A “Designated First Amendment Area” was marked with a sign, but no protesters came out.

In about 6 months, conservationists will begin reintroducing native species like three-spined sticklebacks, western pond turtles and chorus frogs.

Thanks to cub reporter David H. for help on this story.

Sarah B.

Two poisoned carp that were shown to the media. Photo: Pete Kiehart / The Chronicle

One of the beastly fish that was removed in prior eradication attempts. Photo by Jonathan Young

Some onlookers near the playground. Photo by David H.

Photo: Pete Kiehart / The Chronicle

Photo by David H.

Photo by David H.

5:35 pm | Posted under Parks | 24 comments