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Video: Homebound seniors getting help from new RDNC food delivery program

The Richmond District Neighborhood Center is getting ready to kick off a pilot program for grocery delivery to homebound seniors in the Richmond District. The center says there are 16,000 seniors in the neighborhood, one quarter of which are unable to get to the grocery store on their own.

The RDNC uses their successful food pantry program to prepare the groceries, and then relies on volunteers to deliver them to seniors.

CBS News recently paid a visit to the center to profile the program, which you can watch in the video above.

To volunteer for the program, or to let the RDNC know about a Richmond District, homebound senior who could benefit from this program, contact Sarah Huck at sarah@rvbeacon.org or (415) 750-8554.

Sarah B.

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 9:50 am | Posted under Community, Video | Add comments

Police Blotter – October 24, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 24, 2014. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]

On 10/16/2014, at 11:08 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of 21st an Geary observed a vehicle make an illegal left turn. The officer’s initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver. It was noted that the driver appeared to be showing signs of intoxication. The officers conducted a DUI investigation which resulted in the arrest of the driver who was booked at the county jail.

On 10/17/2014, at 5:50 am, Officers responded to the area of 1600 Pierce St. regarding a male “trying” handles of vehicles parked in the area. The officers conducted a search and located a male who matched the description given by the dispatcher. A computer query revealed the male had outstanding warrants for his arrest. Subsequent to his arrest, the male was discovered to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine. The male was booked at the county jail without further incident.

On 10/18/2014, at 4:30 pm, Officers responded to the area of the 100 block of Parker Ave. regarding a report of a robbery. The victim stated he was walking on the sidewalk when he was approached by a male asking for directions to USF. The suspect lunged at the victim, grabbed his iphone and then fled towards a waiting vehicle. The victim stated that there was a second suspect waiting in the getaway car. The investigation continues….

On 10/18/2014, at 4:00 am, Officers on patrol in the area of Arguello and Clement St. observed a vehicle with a mechanical violation. The officer’s initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who was unable to provide a drivers license. A computer check confirmed the driver had never been issued with a California license. The driver was cited for the violations.

On 10/19/2014, at 5:16 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Geary and Cook observed a vehicle with expired registration. The officer’s initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who was unable to provide a drivers license or proof of insurance. A computer check confirmed the driver had never been issued with a California license. The driver was cited for the multiple violations.

On 10/20/2014, at 6:50 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Lincoln and 47th Ave. observed a vehicle with a mechanical violation. The officers initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who was unable to provide a drivers license. A computer check confirmed the driver had never been issued with a California license. The driver was cited for the violations.

On 10/20/2014, at 10:52 pm, Officers responded to the area of 2500 Sutter St. regarding a street robbery. The Victim stated that he was walking east on Sutter St. when he was approached by a male with a handgun. Fearing for his life, the victim retreated into the street and a brief struggle ensued over the duffel bag he was carrying. The victim released his duffel bag and the suspect fled on foot from the area. The investigation continues…

On 10/20/2014, at 11:20 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Euclid and Heather St. observed a vehicle fail to stop at a posted stop sign. The officers contacted the driver and were able to determine the driver was suspended from driving. The officers cited the driver for multiple violations.

On 10/21/2014, at 7:06 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of 4th Ave. and Fulton St. observed a 4yr old vehicle operating without any license plates attached. The officers contacted the driver in an effort to discover why the plates were not attached. As the officers continued their investigation, they discovered that the driver was never issued a California drivers license. The driver was cited for multiple violations.

On 10/21/2014, at 7:14 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of eastbound Geary Blvd observed a vehicle with its headlamps turned off. The officers initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver. A computer query revealed that the driver was suspended for a prior violation. The driver was cited for multiple violations.

On 10/22/2014, at 08:17 am, Officers responded to what was reported an injury collision at 34th and Balboa. When the officers arrived on scene and started to render aid, it was only then they were informed that this was in fact a hit and run. Luckily a witness was able to provide a license plate for the vehicle which was registered in the city. Richmond officers responded to the registered owner’s home address and were able to make an arrest. The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with serious injuries. Due to the ongoing investigation no further details are available at this time.

On 10/22/2014, at 4:41 pm, Officers responded to the 800 blk of La Playa St. regarding a male causing problems in the area. The officers contacted the male who matched the description provided by dispatch. A computer query revealed that the male had over $500,000.00 (1/2 Million Dollars) in outstanding warrants. The male was booked at county jail without incident.

On 10/22/2014, at 5:24 pm, Officers responded to the children’s playground in the area of Rossi Park and Edward St. regarding a report of a male scaring children and acting in a strange manner. The officers quickly contacted the male and discovered that there was a court issued stay away order from all playgrounds. They also found the male had warrants for his arrest which were outstanding. The officers arrested the male and booked him into county jail.

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 10:04 pm | Posted under Crime | 7 comments

Fine craftsmanship in the printing of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” at Arion Press

Local filmmaker and Richmond District resident James Kennard sent us this film he shot at Arion Press, the small printing company just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate that employs about ten people as printers, bookbinders, editors, and in other publishing roles.

For its 100th publication, Arion chose to create a handset deluxe limited edition of the text in the famed 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Kennard’s film documents the making of the book which is nothing short of fascinating. The amount of craftsmanship, labor, detail and patience that went into the process is astounding. Publisher Andrew Hoyem narrates the film, showing you the most intimate moments of the book manufacturing process, which even includes Hoyem reading every page aloud to a proofreader that sits across from him.

Hoyem chose Leaves of Grass as Arion’s 100th publication as a tribute to his Arion Press predecessors Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, whose masterpiece was their 1930 edition of the Whitman poem.

“A holy book of the nation, along with the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence,” is how poet laureate Robert Hass describes Leaves of Grass. The appearance of this book of poems in the middle of the nineteenth century was revolutionary. No one had ever read poetry like this before. Ralph Waldo Emerson was so astonished and impressed that he wrote the thirty-five-year-old Whitman what must be the mash note of all time: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere, for such a start. I rubbed my eyes a little, to see if this sunbeam were no illusion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty.” [Arion Press]

Kennard does a wonderful job of showing the minutia of the making of the book but also keeping you engrossed as the book comes to life, piece by piece, beginning with custom type being made in the press’ foundry.

The Arion Press edition of Leaves of Grass is limited to 275 copies with Arabic numerals for sale. The price is $1,250; contact Arion for more information (see the “Please Enquire” button at the bottom of this page).

Sarah B.

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 4:30 am | Posted under Art, History, Video | 3 comments

Lafayette Carnival, Burke’s Fall Festival this Saturday

This Saturday, October 25, two elementary schools in the neighborhood will be holding their annual fall festival fundraisers.

4545 Anza Street
Enjoy a huge inflatable bouncer for the kids, different classes selling food (pizza, baked goods, hot dogs, ice cream, spam masubi, and more), old school carnival games, a dj doing music, and a cake walk. Admission is free but there are tickets that will be on sale to play the carnival games ($0.25 each or $5.00 for 25 tickets).

7070 California Street
Stop by for games, bouncy houses, shopping, a giant slide, festival treats, food trucks and much more. Admission is $5 per person and certain activities require tickets which can be purchased on-site. Note that dogs are not welcome at the festival and there is no parking along 32nd Avenue during the event.

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 2:02 pm | Posted under Events, Schools | Add comments

Getty’s Playgroup preschool to open new campus inside Presidio 15th Ave gate

The Playschool Preschool Education campus, currently under construction. Photo by Miller Company

Back in 2011, the New York Times published a piece on the Getty family’s private preschool, or as their lawyer liked to refer to it at the time, “a private recreation group”.

“For the past 14 years, Ann and Gordon Getty have run an invitation-only, free preschool for the offspring of some of San Francisco’s most powerful families, including their own grandchildren. Families cannot apply for admission. They are chosen, in sort of a toddler’s version of being tapped for Skull and Bones at Yale,” the article begins.

On top of the blue blood practices it revealed, the article also brought to light some of the concerning issues around the private organization, which hosts their two dozen wee attendees inside the Getty’s own mansion on Broadway.

At the time, the Playgroup had no official licenses for operating a preschool, and had never even been inspected by the fire department.

Concerns were also raised about The Playgroup’s director, Lonna Corder, who had informed some parents that their children had autism or some other developmental disorder – despite having no medical training or certification as a therapist.

Upset parents were hesitant to speak out for fear of offending their hospitable Playgroup hosts, the Getty’s, and risk being asked to leave the group which included perks like a Chez-Panisse trained chef on staff that prepared organic, multicourse lunches for their children.

Fast forward three years and The Playgroup is on its way to becoming a more visible preschool with an open admissions policy.

Just inside the 15th Avenue Presidio gate, on Battery Caulfield Road, sit two historic buildings where the new Playgroup Preschool Education will be located. Building 1818 and 1819, once the location of the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory and Offices of the old Marine Hospital, were built in 1932. The buildings have sat unused for 30 years and were magnets for graffiti and vandalism.

The Playgroup Preschool Education school is designed by architect Zack DeVito, who also designed the Lone Mountain Preschool, just a stone’s throw down the road from The Playgroup Education’s location.

Also part of the team is landscape architecture firm The Miller Company, whose design “features a new arrangement for student pick up and drop off, accessibility upgrades, and secure outdoor play and learning areas set within native plantings adapted to the soil, climate, and orientation of the site.”

The layout of the Playgroup Preschool Education campus by Miller Company. Enlarge

The buildings are relatively small – 6,000 square feet for 1818 and 1,600 for 1819 – but large enough for 60 students.

According to the Presidio Trust projects website, the scope of work for the construction of the school includes hazardous materials abatement, seismic upgrades, ADA improvements (including a limited use/limited application lift to service the basement of building 1818), a new deck to connect the two buildings, a new glazed entry vestibule at the rear of 1818, restoration of historic windows, and select tenant improvements necessary for preschool use (new floor finishes, paint, lighting, ceilings, bathroom fixtures, etc.).

The school will also have a fenced, outdoor play area and when completed, the buildings will be LEED Silver certified.

The Playgroup will also be lifting the veil on its private admissions process by offering the general public the chance to apply for admission. It has contracted with website KidAmit to accept, review and manage applications. The school already held their first informational meeting about the new campus on May 1st.

The school’s location and admissions process is changing, but the leadership is not. The new Playgroup Preschool Education will continue to be directed by Lonna Corder, who is listed as a co-founder along with Ann Getty.

According to the listing for Playgroup on KidAdmit, the school will be employing the Montessori approach with an emphasis on “a teacher directed experience in the year before Kindergarten in order to prepare them for the most competitive Kindergarten programs.”

Annual tuition for the Playgroup, which still lists its current 2880 Broadway location on KidAdmit, ranges from $13,000 up to $19,000 per year depending on the age of the child, how many days per week and hours of attendance. The school’s listing indicates that financial aid is available.

Just down the road, Lone Mountain Preschool’s annual tuition ranges from $8,250 up to $17,500 for pre-kindergarten class. Both offer a September to June school year.

We were unable to find the planned opening date for the Playgroup’s new Presidio campus, but most likely it will be September 2015 when the next school year begins.

Thanks to reader Jason S. for help with researching this story.

Sarah B.

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 4:10 am | Posted under Schools | 8 comments

Photos: Signage for new restaurants on Geary is, er, creatively challenged

The “You Are Here” style signage on the new Kobe BBQ. Photo by Derek

Last week, BoldItalic published a photo of what was once Quan Bac, a popular Vietnamese restaurant located at 4116 Geary between 5th and 6th Avenues. The photo showed what one might call a “poor man’s restaurant sign” which looked like a spastic graffiti artist had come through (photo below) – and even spelled one of the restaurant names wrong.

It appears the restaurant space is being divided into two eateries – Kobe Korean BBQ and Infiniti Sushi.

Thankfully, the graffiti was quickly painted over within a day or so with dark paint. But today, we received new photos of the facades which are, well, still pretty bad.

The Kobe BBQ storefront on the left side has spray-painted letters with an arrow pointing down at the front door (just in case you don’t know where to go in). It’s a little reminiscent of the “You Are Here” notations on venue maps.

Next door, they seem undecided on how they want to sign the place. “Infiniti Sushi” is lettered on a small wood board that runs across the front, but “Infin” is still spray-painted haphazardly above the windows (and S-U-S-H-I remains spray-painted on the window coverings).

We don’t know anything about these restaurants or when they plan to open their doors. We’ll hope these signs are works in progress because if they’re permanent, we can only assume the quality of the food will be top-notch. ;)

Oh and Brothers Korean BBQ is right next door so let the games begin.

Sarah B.

The current signage for Infiniti Sushi, opening next door. Photo by Derek

How the graffiti’d facade looked last week. Photo by Bolditalic

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 2:06 pm | Posted under Business | 8 comments

It’s a monster mash! 2014 Halloween events in the Richmond District

There’s no shortage of Halloween events in the neighborhood this year! So put on those costumes and get out there to grab your share of ghoulish fun. Happy Halloween to all!

YMCA HALLOWEEN PARTY – Friday, October 24 | 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Richmond District YMCA, 360 18th Avenue
The Richmond District YMCA will have bounce houses, healthier s’mores, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, a photo booth, and more. Admission is $5 per child 2 and over, chaperones and children under 2 are free.

SUPERNATURAL HALLOWEEN PARTY – Friday, October 24 | 5pm – 9pm
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park
Have yourself a ghoulishly great time trick-or-treating your way through the Academy at night, among spooky skulls and spine-tingling specimens. Trick-or-Treating, Dancing, Face Painting, Magic Shows, Scientists and Specimens, Live Animal Shows, Giant Pumpkin Carving, Crafts, a Photo Booth and more. Tickets start at $30 for children. More info

Clement Street Farmer’s Market (3rd Avenue & Clement)
Stop by the Clement Farmer’s Market on Sunday for the Kids Costume Parade. Meet at the musical acts section near 3rd & Clement for a singalong, then parade over to Toy Boat Dessert Cafe for free scoops of ice cream! Sponsored by the Clement St. Merchants Association.

12:30pm – 3pm | 741 30th Avenue
Children and families are invited to come in costume and explore the Richmond District Neighborhood Center, transformed into a haunted wonderland complete with a Haunted Room, Dr Funnybone Laboratory, Ghosts and Globins Hangout, and Madame Katrinka, Fortune Teller. There’s also arts and crafts, costume contest, bake sales, games and prizes. Costume contest at 2:30pm.

Meet at the Velo Rouge Cage on Arguello near Fulton to bike to work with Supervisor Mar (costumes optional). More info and RSVP available on Facebook.

Look for the special Halloween stencils outside the stores of participating merchants. Then pop inside if you dare for a trick or a treat! Sponsored by the Clement St. Merchants Association.

22ND & CALIFORNIA HAUNTED HOUSE – October 31 | 6pm – 9pm
Don’t miss this neighborhood tradition when the basement of Appel & Dietrich market is transformed into a haunted house. Start your adventure with a slide ride that descends you into the depths of scary! This year’s theme is “The L.A.B.” so be prepared for some interesting experiments. Free admission, all ages welcome but be prepared for a long line!

HEARTBAKER HAUNTED HOUSE – October 31 | 6pm – 9pm
Enjoy holiday fun watching your little ones making their way down haunted hallway and discovering a witch preparing her magic potion in a boiling caldron! Of course the night is not complete without treats. Heartbaker will provide free treats and refreshments at the end. Find out more

Get a ticket to the spookiest show in the neighborhood. The Western Neighborhoods Project presents a special screening of Trina Lopez’ documentary “A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries” along with short films and other surprises. Tickets are available online – $10 for general admission, $7.50 for seniors and children.

Stop by Anthem Screen Printing at 6138 Geary and get a special “Dia de Skeeter” screen print on a t-shirt (Skeeter is the store’s mascot). Bring libations, a costume, and friends! If you’d like to print your own shirt make sure to bring one or you can purchase a blank for $10. They will have a few Anthem designs on the press and a special design chosen by Facebook followers from their Dia De Skeeter album. RSVP on Facebook

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 4:54 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | 5 comments

Photos: Cock-a-doodle do! Roosters living in Golden Gate Park

Neighbors living near the west end of Golden Gate Park have been hearing an unusual sound in the mornings – crowing roosters.

Readers tell us that two roosters have been living in the park for the past couple of months near a lake. How they took up residence in the park is a mystery. Perhaps they escaped a home coop or were abandoned there?

Even more mysterious is how they’re surviving, considering the coyotes and raccoons that wander Golden Gate Park.

A reader snapped these pics of the handsome devils. Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Sarah B.

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 4:30 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Wildlife | 5 comments