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Aug-22-2014

Photos: Dryer meets a fiery end on 24th Avenue


Photo by Tais C.

Reader Tais C. snapped some pics of a dryer-gone-wild on 24th Avenue near Clement last night around 11pm. The dryer caught on fire in the garage of the building and SFPD responded to put it out of its misery.

When Tais walked by this morning, she saw “the burned dryer and a pile of toasted clothes in the sidewalk.”

Thankfully no humans were harmed in the incident though we have reason to believe that all of those missing socks now have no chance of recovery…

Sarah B.


Photo by Tais C.

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 11:49 am | Posted under Fire | 3 comments
Aug-21-2014

Video: Territorial bird harasses pedestrians in Golden Gate Park

Reader Ben L. sent us this video that youtuber Mila Z. captured of very territorial bird in Golden Gate Park, shot in June.

As you’ll see in the video, the bird stealthily swoops down and attacks the heads of unsuspecting pedestrians as they stroll by on MLK Drive near the north Botanical Garden entrance near Stow Lake. (A victim left a comment on this story telling us she was attached twice while jogging by!)

Mila observed this behavior for awhile and deduced that this was just one rogue bird.

“Very few of nesting blackbirds actually attack people. There were dozens nests around, but only this one bird kept attacking people,” Mila wrote in the video comments.

She also wryly observed that “Some people behaved much crazier than the bird.”

The reason for the attacks? As you’ll see at the end of the video, the bird’s behavior was an attempt to protect its nest, which had two baby birds in it.

Sarah B.

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 10:56 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Video, Wildlife | 13 comments
Aug-21-2014

Family makes “Wild Stowberry Jam” after blackberry picking at Stow Lake


L to R: Bailey, Tabitha, Mallory and Tanner pose with jars of Wild Stowberry Jam that they made. Photo by Meghan P.

Despite being an urban metropolis, San Francisco has a lot of urban farming going on. Just in our neighborhood we’ve got a guy who makes Golden Gate Park honey from his outer Richmond bees, and last week, we heard from a family who managed to produce some blackberry jam from berries at Stow Lake.

“My kids have been obsessed as of late with the dearth of blossoming blackberry brambles all over the Richmond. We hit up Stow Lake last week and were able to get enough blackberries to make our very own “Wild Stowberry Jam”,” reader Meghan P. wrote to us.

Ingredients: Stow Lake Blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and a dash of Richmond pride.

Sounds delicious!

Sarah B.


Blackberries picked at Stow Lake. Photo by Meghan P.


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 9:40 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park | 22 comments
Aug-20-2014

Interactive map shows (some) films that were shot in the Richmond District

This hit the blogosphere a few weeks ago but we’re just getting around to it now… A new map has been created that shows where movie scenes have been shot in San Francisco.

The data comes from an open source provided by the San Francisco Film Commission. Interestingly, there are a lot of movies not noted on the map like the scene from Harold & Maude that took place at the Sutro Baths ruins, but that is probably more a symptom of the Commission’s lack of data.

(If you’re curious about the full list of San Francisco films that are on the map, you can view it here.)

Newer films like Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine aren’t on the map yet; he filmed at Ocean Beach as well as at Gaspare’s Pizzeria on Geary. And let’s not forget Woody directing and starring in his 1969 film “Take The Money And Run”, which included a robbery scene at what was then a Bank of America on the corner of Clement and 9th Avenue (it’s now a Bank of the West).

Some classics are noted on the map like The Lineup, and you may find a few “no kidding?!”‘s on there like The Wedding Planner, starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, which contained a scene at Lands End.

Too bad the map doesn’t allow for crowdsourced data – I am sure the readers of this blog know lots of spots in the ‘hood where movies have been filmed. :)

Sarah B.


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 11:24 am | Posted under Movies | 14 comments
Aug-19-2014

Mayor’s program seeking local job opportunities for high school students


Two MYEEP interns working at the Boy’s & Girls Club in the Tenderloin this summer.

I remember my first real job – it was selling (and sometimes nibbling on) Mrs. Field’s cookies on Chestnut Street, and then I moved onto Lombardi’s Sports on Clement Street where I worked in the shoe department. Those early jobs gave me important working experience where I learned how to deal with people, be professional, and take pride in my work. And it put a little spending money in my pocket.

The Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) works to provide first work experiences for high school students throughout the city.

“Annually, over 800 young people are given the opportunity to develop work skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. In addition to paid work experience, each MYEEP participant also engages in a variety of learning opportunities such as workshops, community service projects and field trips to colleges and companies,” Selena Levy, Project Coordinator for the Richmond District, told us.

The program is currently looking for local businesses in the Richmond District to host MYEEP interns and provide them with work experience.

Levy says the guidelines for how a business can participate are flexible, but they typically look for opportunities where a MYEEP youth can work 6 to 8 hours during the school week in the afternoon hours (3-6pm).

“Most work sites take anywhere from 1-3 interns depending on the work site’s capacity to supervise the youth and how much work they have for the youth to complete while they are there,” Levy said.

In addition to work experience, MYEEP provides support to youth as they transition towards successful adulthood by strengthening their understanding of the connection between employment and education as well as the responsibility of adults to contribute positively to society.

If you own a local business and are interested in hosting some MYEEP youth interns, contact Selena Levy at selenal@cycsf.org or 752-9675 for more information.

Sarah B.

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 5:15 am | Posted under Community, Schools | 3 comments
Aug-18-2014

Neighbors gather to participate in “Robin Williams standing ovation” tribute


Fans of Robin Williams gather at Angelina’s Cafe in the Richmond District to
give him a standing ovation. Photo by David H.

Today at 1pm, approximately 30 people gathered at Angelina’s Cafe at 22nd and California to participate in a nationwide event called Standing Ovation for Robin Williams.

The Facebook event encouraged fans of the late comedian to gather at the same time nationwide and hold a 1 minute long standing ovation. Nearly 35,000 RSVP’d for the event.

The gathering at Angelina’s was organized by Richmond District resident “Baseball Mary”, who lives near the cafe.

Blog cub reporter David H. was on scene and said there was “thunderous applause, hooting and whistling” from the crowd.

KGO News was also there filming so hopefully we’ll have some video later today to share. UPDATE: Sadly the Angelina’s crew didn’t make the final cut of the story.

RIP, Mr. Williams.

Sarah B.


Photo by Angelina’s Cafe


A sign posted at Angelina’s about the event. Photo by David H.

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 1:53 pm | Posted under News | 6 comments
Aug-18-2014

KQED Forum discusses recent Golden Gate Park vandalism


Broken tree branches caused by a vandal in Golden Gate Park. Photo: Katie Meek, The Chronicle

KQED Forum host Michael Krasny took on the topic of vandalism in Golden Gate Park in this morning’s show. Last week, vandalism was reported in the AIDS Memorial Grove in the park in the form of damage to benches and trees, as well as one report of a city parks department truck getting its windows smashed.

Krasny asked what can be done about it, and he was joined by Marc Massarweh, San Francisco district attorney liaison assigned to work with Richmond Police Station, Captain Simon Silverman of the SFPD Richmond District station, and Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of SF Recreation & Parks Department.

There are a variety of challenges to preventing this kind of behavior including limited police patrols, the sheer size of the park (1,017 acres), and the unpredictable bad behavior of people who are mentally unbalanced.

Captain Simon Silverman asks residents to call police right away if they see something suspicious, such as vandalism or someone who seems suspicious or posing a danger to others.

One caller suggested that drones be used to monitor the park in the evening hours when legally, the park is closed to people and activity.

Massarweh said that only two people have been successfully prosecuted in the past year for vandalism in the park and that “it took a long time to build a case against them”.

Despite the ongoing issue of vandalism in the park, Ginsburg maintained that “we have the best urban park system in the country” but said that we need a “cultural shift so people will regard the park as sacred space”.

In one ironic moment, Krasny describes being in Marx Meadow over the weekend when a completely naked man sauntered through their picnic.

“There were people who were offended and felt that something should be done because children were there,” Krasny said.

Listen to the full audio of the Forum broadcast below:

Sarah B.

Related:
Tree vandalism continues in Golden Gate Park, saplings are latest targets
Who’s killing the trees in Golden Gate Park?

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 1:32 pm | Posted under Parks | 5 comments
Aug-18-2014

Mountain Lake Park playground renovation nears its fundraising goal


A rendering of the new playground, as viewed from the Mountain Lake entrance

Last November, we told you about the project that is underway for a much needed renovation of the playground at Mountain Lake Park.

The planned renovation will feature brand new structures and separate play areas for preschool and school age children. The new playground will also have additional seating, expanded picnic and parents’ areas, and enhanced lake views. For improved safety and accessibility there will be limited entry points, smooth surfaces throughout, and improved sight lines for watching multiple children.

The playground was last renovated in the early 1980′s, and is well overdue for an upgrade. The $3.1 million cost for the playground renovation is primarily covered by a 2012 bond measure, but a small group of neighborhood Moms undertook the task of raising the remaining funds.

“It’s critical that we raise $750,000 by May of next year,” Claire Myers told us last November, who teamed up with friends and fellow moms Jen Fetner and Kate Green to create the Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground to lead the renovation effort.


A rendering of the new playground, as viewed from the 12th Avenue entrance

Fast forward to today and the group has some exciting news to share.

“Supervisor Mark Farrell successfully helped to secure an additional $250,000 in funding from the City for the playground renovation recently. This additional funding, as well as our very successful fundraising campaign this past spring, means that we only have the last $150,000 to raise to make our new playground a reality,” Myers told us in an email.

Now, Myers said, they’re on a final push to raise the remaining $150,000 which needs to be in place for construction to begin this Fall. If everything stays on schedule, kids will be playing on a new Mountain Lake Park playground in Fall 2015.

The FMLPP is now turning to the community (that’s you, readers!) to help them reach their goal. Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent in online through the Parks Alliance website, or by sending a check to:

San Francisco Parks Alliance*
P.O. Box 170160
San Francisco, CA 94117-0160
*In the memo line of your check, please write “Friends of Mountain Lake Park Playground”

Any amount is appreciated – even $20 makes a difference – and donations at the $1,000 level or higher are eligible for recognition in the new playground via pavers, park benches and more. Merchants and businesses are also welcome donors.

To find out more about the Mountain Lake Park playground renovation, visit the FMLPP website or email info@flmpp.org.

Sarah B.


A rendering and examples of the structures in the pre-school side of the new playground. Click to enlarge


A rendering and examples of the structures in the school-age side of the new playground. Click to enlarge

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 4:30 am | Posted under Parks | 3 comments
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