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Apr-16-2014

Celebrate Easter at Eggstravaganza in Golden Gate Park, Saturday


Photo courtesy of SF Rec & Park

This Saturday is the annual Eggstravaganza in Golden Gate Park, sponsored by the SF Recreations & Parks department.

The festival runs from 11am until 3pm at Sharon Meadow and features egg hunts, carnival rides, games, live entertainment, kids activities and a barbecue competition between Rec and Park, SFPD and SFFD.

Admission is $8 per person, and bike valet parking will be available.

Happy Easter!

Sarah B.

This is from 2012, but it gives you a good idea of the fun stuff at Eggstravaganza:

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 5:02 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | 3 comments
Apr-15-2014

Local links: Sand art, McCoppin grant, SFBG plant sale, 911 bravery & more


Inside the art studio of Jay Mercado at 10th & California. Photo by Jay Mercado

Lots of links to catch up on – enjoy! – Sarah B.

  • This Wednesday night is the general membership meeting for the Planning Association for the Richmond, also open to the public. Agenda items include a SFPUC Presentation about a proposed 4-year increase to water and sewer rates, and discussion of the recently released Urban Forest Plan for San Francisco. 7pm-9pm at the Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Avenue.
  • Sand art will abound on Saturday morning at Ocean Beach when artist Andres Amador returns to create his masterpieces on the shore. He’s being filmed for a documentary from 7:30am to 9am, so grab a spot on the Cliff House overlook and watch him at work. And if you want to learn his sand art technique, Amador has a workshop class on May 5.
  • Speaking of the Cliff House… The Chronicle took a look back at the “rollicking tale of the first Cliff House – a clapboard structure built by real estate tycoon Charles Butler in 1863.” One of the early visitors was author Mark Twain, who wrote, “The wind was cold and benumbing. It came straight from the ocean, and I think there are icebergs out there somewhere. True, there was not much dust, because the wind blew it all to Oregon in two minutes.”
  • Local art lovers, mark your calendars. The next Cabrillo Art Cave will take place on May 10 & 11 from 11am to 4pm at 925 Cabrillo. The cave is a community art space (read: someone’s garage) that opens occasionally for shows featuring a collective of local artists. Find out whose work will be showcased at cabrilloart.com
  • A new study shows that the median rent in San Francisco in the first quarter of 2014 was $3,200, approximately 8% higher than this time last year. In the Richmond District, we’re below the median at $2,695, but that’s still 14.6% higher than Q1 2013.
  • Frank McCoppin Elementary School (651 6th Avenue) learned in March that they’ll be receiving a $425,000 Kellogg Foundation grant, which is awarded to schools to optimize child development. The money will be used to implement a Balanced Literacy Program for the school, which has 265 students, about half of whom speak Cantonese as their first language.
  • Dirty Trix Saloon at 408 Clement shut down but has already reopened as Side Bar, “a remodeled drinking hole with more of a lounge feel than its previous incarnation. Multiple flat-screen TVs and a revamped sound system are part of the improvements,” says EaterSF.
  • Want to start growing vegetables in your backyard? Attend the free “Growing Vegetables from Seeds” class at the Richmond Branch Library (351 9th Avenue) on Saturday, May 3 from 2:30 to 4pm. Master Gardener Michael Klein will guide attendees through soil and bed preparation, propagation, planting techniques and plant maintenance.
  • In other gardening news, the SF Botanical Garden will have its 47th annual plant sale on Saturday, May 3 from 10am until 2pm, featuring over 20,000 plants. This year’s theme is drought tolerance hundreds of beautiful natives, succulents, and plants perfect for SF’s many micro-climates are for sale. If you’ve got a green thumb, don’t miss it!
  • 10 year old Dante Parker was honored by the city for his bravery while making a 911 call from his Richmond District home earlier this year, when his mother was experiencing severe abdominal pain. His mother made a full recovery from her stomach virus, and Dante said he was just “glad I helped. If I hadn’t helped, who would take care of me?” Aww. You can listen to it below.

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 11:32 am | Posted under Art, Business, Classes, Events, Green, Ocean Beach, Real Estate, Schools | 1 comment
Apr-15-2014

Green Apple breathes new life into Sunset District’s Le Video; will be co-tenant


Photo by Le Video

If you think bookstores have been feeling the squeeze from the digital publishing world, imagine the challenges that a video store faces in today’s culture of on-demand movies and television shows. While some boomers fondly remember the days of browsing rows of VHS tapes and DVDs for movie night, it’s an activity that is hard to relive in San Francisco – there’s only a handful left.

Despite this, the Sunset District’s Le Video has managed to stay in business, attracting about 120 customers on a weekday. But that’s not enough to keep it afloat, and Le Video founder Catherine Tchen was facing an imminent closure earlier this year after spending nearly $1 million of her own funds in the last four years to keep the doors open at the 34 year old video store.

After posting a Facebook message in March about her financial predicament and impending closure, Tchen received a lifeline from another longtime, neighborhood business – Green Apple Books.

Beginning August 1, Green Apple will open its second location in the ground floor of Le Video, located on 9th Avenue between Lincoln and Irving in the inner Sunset District. Le Video will move its inventory of 100,000 video titles to the second floor.

In addition to Green Apple taking over some of the rent payment, Le Video should benefit from the increased traffic from book shoppers. Green Apple attracts roughly 500 customers daily to its Clement Street location; its second location on 9th Avenue will be roughly one third the size.

Le Video’s not completely out of the red yet. Tchen anticipates that she will need to raise an additional $30,000 to $60,000 simply to prep the new space and make the move. To help, an indiegogo campaign underway.

Green Apple was recently named Bookstore of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly, and now they can add small business savior to their list of accolades. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy to see Green Apple expand across the park, and help another business at the same time.

Sarah B.

[via SFGate]

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 5:02 am | Posted under Business | 10 comments
Apr-14-2014

Survey of GWHS students shows surprising data about underage drinking

Peer Pressure.

It’s a common theme in high school, when adolescents are struggling to define their identities and in the process, can find themselves in situations where they feel pressured by their peers to conform to popular behaviors which sometimes extend to the use of alcohol.

Early in the 2013-2014 school year, a small group of seven George Washington High School students known as the Washington Positive Peer Pressure Group (WPX3), conducted a survey among their peers about underage drinking.

What they found was that perception was definitely not reality when it came to the actual drinking habits of their classmates.

The survey, whose intent was to discover the truth about students’ relationships with underage drinking, was completed by 350 students or 15% of the student body at George Washington High School.

“We chose this topic for our survey because we felt like there were a lot of stereotypes out there associating high school students and frequent drinking,” the group wrote in their survey summary.

What they found was that GWHS students engaged in underage drinking at a far lower rate than what their peers perceived.

When respondents were asked how often they consumed alcohol in the past 12 months, 60% answered “Never”. Surprisingly, when students were asked a similar question about how frequently they perceived their peers to drink alcohol, less than 6% of students thought their peers “Never” drank alcohol in the past year.

What drives such a large gap between perception and reality? One culprit could be the media. TV shows and movies about teenagers frequently show party scenes with alcohol and binge drinking. This sort of unhealthy behavior glamorized in the media negatively brands youth and creates a general assumption that many students frequently drink alcohol – even among high school students themselves.

The survey also asked respondents what usually pressures them to drink alcohol or think about drinking alcohol. 68.9% answered that they “never feel pressured to drink alcohol”. And when asked where they get information about underage drinking from, 41% answered “Teachers”, followed by “Internet” (29%) and “Parents” (28%).

The survey results spawned a “Positive Social Norms Campaign” on campus led by WXP3 to highlight the surprising data. The group has placed posters around campus with key messages like “FACT CHECK! Over half of students at GWHS have never used alcohol in the past year!” and “Yo teachers! We get most of our information about underage drinking from you. Keep talking, we’re listening!”

They’ve also set up social media channels to facilitate conversations around topics like “What are the positive things you do to avoid the pressure to drink?” Local businesses near the school have also been asked to put up campaign posters.

GWHS Principal Ericka Lovrin was very supportive of the students’ survey and campaign.

“Their efforts are extremely valuable because the students worked hard to bring out accurate data that reflects what’s actually happening at school versus what the media puts out about teenagers,” Lovrin said.

“This work is important to us because it gives us the opportunity to change stereotypes about high school students. We want to change the norms that encourage and perpetuate underage drinking by sharing the realities and positive choices youth are making,” WXP3 wrote.

The WPX3 group is funded by the Youth Leadership Institute, a program of the Department of Public Health. Amanda Trescott, a Program Assistant for the Youth Leadership Institute, says the Social Norms campaign is a 5 year program.

“We are currently in year 4 out of 5 of program implementation. After the 5th year, data results will be compared to evaluate the trends over time to see what changes occurred among the students who attend GWHS as a result of this program,” Trescott said.

Download “Reality Check – GWHS Students Don’t Drink As Much As You Think”

Sarah B.

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 10:17 am | Posted under Health, Schools | Add comments
Apr-10-2014

Photos: Up close and personal with a fearless car burglar


The car burglar steals a bag out of the window he broke

Reader Brian sent us these photos of a car thief stealing bags from an SUV parked on Geary near 28th Avenue on Tuesday night.

The burglary took place in two parts – first breaking the window at 7:15pm and then leaving the scene. And then once confirming all was clear after police came by, the thieves returned around 8:30pm to take the loot. Even a nosy neighbor with a camera didn’t deter them.

Brian described the scene:

“We watched some guys break into a car yesterday outside our window. Called the cops after they broke the window, then they drove around a bit. Cops got there, took the info. Guys came back… First time I scared them off again, then the second time I took pictures and tried to scare them off again. Unfortunately they got one of the guy’s bags.”

San Franciscans know not to leave ANYTHING in plain view inside their car, right?! Hopefully rental car companies give the same warning to their customers.

Brian says he saw the band of thieves hanging around the neighborhood the day before, casing the area.

“They had been wandering around the neighborhood earlier yesterday, around 2PM, mostly hanging out across the street from Grocery Outlet. I’m sure they probably broke into several cars yesterday.”

If you have any information on who this saggy pants robber is, contact the SFPD at (415) 553-0123 (anonymous tips are ok too).

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Crime, Photos | 19 comments
Apr-8-2014

Kanye West, Tom Petty, Killers to headline Outside Lands 2014


The 2014 lineup for Outside Lands features L to R: Kanye West, Tom Petty and the Killers.

This morning, Another Planet Entertainment finally announced the much-anticipated lineup for the 2014 Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, which takes place August 8-10.

Rumors had been circulating about possible headliners like Bruce Springsteen (new album out! he needs west coast dates!), D’Angelo (who had to cancel last year’s appearance), the Avett Brothers (who last played OSL in 2008) and even hat-wearing Pharell. But alas, none of them are in the final lineup, though this year’s list is nothing to sneeze at and contains the usual assortment of rock, electronic, funk and indie artists.

Headlining the 2014 festival is hip-hop artist Mr. Kim Kardashian aka Yeezus Kanye West, rock legends Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Las Vegas rockers The Killers.

Secondary headliners include thrift-shop specialists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Arctic Monkeys, EDM favorite Tiesto, Death Cab for Cutie and Flaming Lips.

70 bands in all will perform during the 3-day festival, which takes place in several areas of Golden Gate Park including the Polo Fields, Hellman Hollow and Lindley Meadow. Last year’s festival drew 65,000 concertgoers per day.

Organizers have not released the festival schedule yet, so we don’t know who plays on which day yet. But that’s intentional as they’re trying to sell 3-day passes.

Outside Lands 2014 3-day passes go on sale this Thursday at 10am via Ticketmaster. Prices are $255 – $275 for regular passes, $595 for VIP which includes exclusive access to viewing areas, access to the Polo Lounge, special restroom facilities and other goodies.

Single day tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Who’s in?!

Sarah B.

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 6:46 pm | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Live Music | 11 comments
Apr-7-2014

Photo: Mountain Lake morning

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 11:38 am | Posted under Parks, Photos | 3 comments
Apr-4-2014

Local links: MUNIhack, Bubble tea wars, hot wings, greenbates & more


Photo by Bolditalic

Farewell Friday, hello weekend! Here are some local links to ease you into it…

  • #MUNIhack – Nope, you’re not seeing things. That is a Prius with trolley poles on its roof so it can run off the power from MUNI lines. Bolditalic got’s the story about the car’s creator, an outer Richmond District resident named Jon. “You know it, dude! 150 miles of free energy courtesy of Mr. MTA!”
  • #Springblooms – The Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park is hosting a Spring Bloom sale this Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Featuring many varieties of Grevillea, Abutilon and the garden’s native Ceanothus, Iris and assorted annual native wildflower starts.
  • #HotWings – Wings fans will be finding their way to Hot Sauce and Panko (1545 Clement) soon after a nice review in the Chronicle. “But it would be a shame not to make Hot Sauce and Panko part of the weekly routine. With a dozen varieties of the handheld chicken pieces at any given time, not to mention a couple of seriously decadent sandwiches, this place is worth a visit.”
  • #GreenBates – The SF Dept of Energy is hosting a Energy Upgrade California workshop at the Anza branch library on Saturday, April 12 from 2-3pm. Learn how to increase your home’s energy efficiency with energy upgrades such as sealing air leaks or installing insulation, a new furnace, or energy efficient window – moves that could yield you $1,000 to $4,500 in rebates. A neighborhood resident will there to talk about his experience in the program.
  • #BubbleTeaWars – Share Tea recently opened on Geary near 18th Avenue in what used to be the Samila Thai restaurant space. They have two other locations in Berkeley and San Mateo. The 5336 Geary location is open Sunday – Thursday from 12noon to 9pm, and until 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. We may have a bubble tea war on our hands – InfiniTea is just across the street.
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 11:17 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park, Green, Muni | 11 comments
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