Random header image... Refresh for more!

Tsunami watch at Ocean Beach

The National Weather Service had issued a tsunami advisory for the entire West Coast today after a series of earthquakes struck off the coast of Chile overnight, the highest being an 8.8 magnitude quake [SFAppeal].

Like a typical San Franciscan, I completely ignored the warning and headed straight to Ocean Beach to see what would happen at 1:20pm, the projected time for wave touchdown.

There were several hundred people out at Ocean Beach, a couple hundred down on the beach itself. There was a lot of churning surf and really large waves breaking way offshore. A Coast Guard helicopter kept watch overhead.

I stood with two other gawkers who have surfed Ocean Beach. They said they felt confident they could make the sprint back to the Great Highway if they saw a super large set breaking offshore (hmm, ok). As you’ll see from the pictures, joggers, walkers and dog owners were undeterred by the warning as well.

On the way back to my car, I heard a Sheriff’s officer remarking that it was much heavier surf than normal. Though he was holding yet-to-be-posted “TSUNAMI ADVISORY” flyers in his hand.

Sarah B.

Click here to see the full day’s worth of waves in a timelapse video (rainbow at the :30 mark)

A view from Sutro Park from Twitter member and RichmondSFblog reader GeekandDestroy:

Bookmark and Share
 3:04 pm | Posted under Photos, Video, Weather | 5 comments

Police Blotter – February 26, 2010 (protect your iPhone!)

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of February 26, 2010. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

This newsletter often contains information about financial elder abuse. Many of the incidents reported to Richmond Station involve the loss of a lifetime of savings. One study I reviewed recently suggests that for each report of financial elder abuse a government agency receives at least four incidents go unreported. Moreover, while most of the reports that Richmond Station receives involve “cons” and lottery schemes by strangers, national data suggest that these types of crimes account for less than five percent of the total number of annual reports of financial elder abuse. The same study noted that “trusted professionals”, family and care givers combined accounted for 55% of the cases.

If you suspect financial elder abuse please notify the police immediately by calling 553.0123. You can also share your concerns by leaving a message on the Richmond Station Anonymous Tip line by calling 415.668.7387. In an emergency always call 911.

The Police Department’s Community Relations Unit will be hosting a series of community meetings to educate the public about Conducted Energy Devices (CED), often called “tasers”. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 5:30 p.m. at Mission Police Station’s Community Room. On Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 5:30 p.m. there will be meeting at Bayview Police Station’s Community Room.

On 02/19/10 at 5:55pm officers were called to the area of Geary & Presidio Avenue on a report of a theft that had just occurred on a westbound 38 Geary MUNI bus. The victim had her phone snatched out of her hand by a suspect as the bus came to a stop at Geary & Baker Streets. The suspect then fled from the bus north on Baker. A description was provided of the suspect and officers searching the area observed a male running north on Broderick towards Post Street. The suspect then ran up to the third floor landing of an apartment complex stopped near a barbecue that was on the landing, and then was detained by the officers a short distance away. Officers lifted the lid on the barbecue and found the victims phone lying on the grill. The suspect, a 25 year old male was charged with possession of stolen property.

On 02/21/10 at 6:54pm officers were on patrol in the area of the 1400 block of Baker Street. They observed a male crouched down at the rear of a motorcycle that appeared to be tampering with or placing an object onto the back of the motorcycle. The male looked up, saw the patrol car and quickly backed away from the bike. He then began placing numerous items in his backpack. When the officer asked if the bike belong to him the suspect dropped the bag and began to walk away. The officers detained the male and determined that he was on probation and had an outstanding arrest warrant for a narcotic’s violation. The officers checked the motorcycle and found a wooded object shoved into the ignition. They determined that the motorcycle was in fact stolen. The 42 year old suspect was charged with theft and possession of burglar tools.

On 02/22/10 at 2:30pm officers were called to the area of Beach Chalet on the Great Highway on a report of a bicycle theft that had just occurred. The victim had locked his bike to a pole near one of the stairwells leading to the beach. From a distance the victim looked up and saw the suspect standing near his bike and kept an eye on him. The victim saw the suspect bend down and then get on the bike and drive away. The victim ran back up to the sidewalk and caught up with the suspect and grabbed onto the bike. The suspect pulled away and rode off. A passerby saw this and had the victim get in her car and they drove around looking for the suspect. When they couldn’t find him, the passerby dropped the victim back off in the parking lot and was leaving when she saw the suspect again on the bike. She began to honk her horn and got out of her car yelling at the suspect. Several other people came to assist her and the suspect was told to leave the bike, which he did. The suspect then walked out back towards the Great Highway while being followed by one of the witnesses. An officer arrived and detained the suspect. During the investigation it was determined that the suspect had actually taken two different bikes, both of which were recovered. The suspect, a 44 year old male, was charged with theft, possession of stolen property and burglar tools.

On 02/19/10 at 5:50pm a victim was on a westbound 38 Geary MUNI bus talking on her I-phone. As the bus came to a stop at Geary and Divisadero, the suspect, who was also on the bus, grabbed the phone from the victim’s hand and fled eastbound on Geary. The suspect was described as a male, 25-30 years, wearing a black hooded jacket and jeans.

Between 02/22/10 at 8:00pm and 02/23/10 at 7:00am on the 2400 block of Scott Street a suspect entered a garage and took a bicycle. The suspect also took change from a vehicle parked inside the garage. There were no signs of forced entry.

Between 02/23/10 at 10:30pm and 02/24/10 at 8:00am on the 4400 block of Balboa, a suspect gained entry into a business by prying open the front door. Once inside the suspect took the cash register and the money inside it.

On 02/24/10 between 6:40am and 4:30pm on the 700 block of 11th Avenue a suspect entered into an apartment building by a back staircase between the buildings. The suspect entered the apartment by unknown means and took a clarinet and laptop.

Bookmark and Share
 7:20 am | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

New plans revealed for the Alexandria; possible supper club

Supervisor Eric Mar spoke to SFAppeal about some of the plans that have been brewing for the old theater. He said there are designs to install an expansive restaurant and supper club inside the building.

“My understanding in the latest proposal is that they have plans to maintain some of the art deco features in the exterior and the interior. The 8,000 square foot restaurant [they're planning] is not to interfere with any of the murals,” Mar told SFAppeal.

The Supervisor also said he’d like to see some of the space used for non-profits, and ensure the inclusion of affordable housing in the residential units that are still planned for the back parking lot. His goal is to have 15% of the units designated as affordable housing.

When asked why it’s taken so long – six years – for the Alexandria project to move forward, Supervisor Mar replied, “I’ll just say we have patience with our city departments. But this is one of our priorities.”

Mar is also planning to investigate securing landmark or structure of merit status for the building, which first opened in 1923 and was built by prominent San Francisco architects the Reid Brothers.

The article also states that the environmental review for the project is nearly complete and that they are moving toward publication of the Mitigated Negative Declaration, which once released, is open to public comment.

Read the full story at SFAppeal

So what do you think of the plan to put a restaurant/supper club in the space?

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 5:03 pm | Posted under Eric Mar, Real Estate | 3 comments

Win tickets to Dr. Zahi Hawass lecture on March 8

Dr. Zahi Hawass has led Presidents and first ladies on tours of the pyramids and he is arguably the most famous archaeologist in the world. He has a impressively lengthy title – Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities – and he even wears the same hat as Indiana Jones!

On Monday, March 8 at 7:30pm, Dr. Hawass will present “Mysteries of Tutankhamun Revealed” at the War Memorial Opera House. He will present the findings of the recently announced CT scan and DNA study, “Ancestry and Pathology of King Tut’s Family,” published in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (findings). A book signing will follow the lecture.

I have three five pairs of tickets to give away to the event, courtesy of the de Young. For a chance to win, find the answer to the trivia question below, then send it in using our contact page. We’ll pick three winners from the correct entries.

What is Dr. Hawass’ birthdate (month, day and year)?

Deadline for entries is midnight, Monday March 1. Tickets for Dr. Hawass’ lecture are also available on Ticketmaster.

And you still have about a month to check the treasures of Tut’s tomb here in San Francisco at the de Young — Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs runs through March 28.

Good luck!

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 6:02 am | Posted under Events, Museums | Comments Off

The feeding of a viper (video)

The California Academy of Sciences shared some video today of their Wagler Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) getting her weekly meal of a frozen mouse (they are thawed and warmed just before feeding). More on this beautiful viper:

Wagler’s Pit Vipers live in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. They find their food—mainly small mammals and birds—using heat sensitive pits located between their eyes and nostrils. The receptors in these pits are associated with the visual processing center of the brain which allows them to literally see heat emitted from their prey.

It looks like he even licks his lips and burps at the end, in an oh-so-snakey way. I sure they hope they shot this with a long zoom lens and a 10-ft. mouse pole!

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 2:52 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Museums | Comments Off

Land’s End murder solved after 30 years

Police have finally identified who murdered 23-year-old Mary Bennett at Land’s End in 1979. DNA evidence has linked the crime to David Joseph Carpenter, known as the “Trailside Killer”.

Bennett’s body had been stabbed and was found dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and jogging shoes in a wooded area north of Painted Rock. Her body was partially covered with dirt and branches, and she had been stabbed multiple times in the neck, chest and back, police said.

Carpenter was convicted of fatally shooting four women and a man in Marin County in 1980, and two women in Santa Cruz County in 1981. He is still awaiting execution on death row in San Quentin.

Police had always suspected Carpenter of the killing, but were unable to prove it until now. When police questioned Carpenter at San Quentin, he denied knowing Bennett or murdering her.

This now becomes the earliest documented murder by the “Trailside Killer”.

Sarah B.

[via SFAppeal]

Bookmark and Share
 1:57 pm | Posted under Crime | 3 comments

A Geary geyser

Our local firefighters at work turning off a fire hydrant that was sheared off near Geary and 15th Avenue yesterday. Thanks to beamjack for sharing the photos.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 11:33 am | Posted under Photos | Comments Off

New “parklet” planned for 5th and Clement

The Chronicle reports today that the city will be expanding their pedestrian plaza plans after successful experiments with locations like 17th and Market streets in the Castro.

The program is part of a larger effort to convert “pavement to parks” and provide more recreational areas in our tight urban environment. “It’s pennies compared to a brand new park,” said Astrid Haryati, the mayor’s greening director. The Department of Public Works is responsible for setting them up and maintaining them.

Part of the expansion plan includes adding “parklets” in a few neighborhoods, where two or three successive parking spaces are turned into very small parks.

Toy Boat Cafe at 5th Avenue and Clement will be one of the locations for a parklet, which costs just $7,000 to install. Each parklet includes a raised platform to make it level with sidewalks for seating, planters and bicycle parking.

Look for the Toy Boat parklet to premiere later this year. Streetsblog SF has more details on the city’s plans, including conceptual drawings.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 10:07 am | Posted under Recreation | 12 comments