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Lots of biking & coffee with Supervisor Eric Mar

This month you’ll have a few chances to connect with Richmond District Supervisor Eric Mar.

On Thursday, April 15, in support of the Bike to School initiative, Supervisor Mar will lead a ride from Smart & Final on 7th Avenue near Clement to Roosevelt Middle School on Arguello near Clement. To join in on the ride, meet at 7:30am in the Smart & Final parking lot.

The next day, April 16, he’ll hold his monthly coffee hour at Cafe Muse from 10:30am – 11:30am. Stop in to say hello or to talk about neighborhood issues on your mind. The cafe is located at 785 8th Avenue (between Cabrillo and Fulton).

Later in the month, on Friday April 30, Supervisor Mar will kick off his monthly bike to work days. Join the Supe and other Richmond residents for a ride downtown. Meet up at the Velo Rouge Cafe at 798 Arguello (at McAllister) at 8am.

Supervisor Mar will also participate in the city-wide Bike to Work Day program sponsored by the SFBC on May 13. To join in, meet at the Blue Danube Cafe (306 Clement) at 7:30am.

Happy pedaling!

Sarah B.

Supervisor Eric Mar bikes with members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. Photo by kate at yr own risk

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 1:30 pm | Posted under Eric Mar, Events | Comments Off

A docent’s tour of the Botanical Garden

I recently came across this brief tour of the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park made by two journalism students at San Francisco State University.

Students Mike Bebernes and Josh Levine jumped on a guided tour of the gardens in late March with a woman that bucked the usual docent stereotype:

The thought of a San Francisco Botanical Garden docent brings to mind an elderly, woodsy person with decades of history in the forest or a botany student giving tours to pay tuition… Genevieve So bucks that notion. She is young, works in software and has no history with the gardens. She is just someone who volunteers her time because the gardens grabbed her.

The fact that a person like So, with no previous relationship with the gardens, would dedicate her time as an ambassador speaks volumes about the power of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens.

Enjoy the tour – you might pick up a few new things along the way. Better yet, head out to the Botanical Garden and walk around. I think it’s one of the city’s best kept secrets.

Sarah B.

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 12:49 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park | 1 comment

Battle of the Bulge Memorial Trail

In my meanderings out at Land’s End, I came across a short stretch of trail that had inexplicable signs posted along the way. It wasn’t until I got to the top of the trail at the VA Hospital that I found out it’s known as the “Battle of the Bulge Memorial Trail”, installed in 1996.

The plaque at the top of the trail reads:

Dedicated to the gallant and victorious men and women who participated in the Battle of the Bulge, 16 December 1944 through 25 January 1945 in Belgium and Luxembourg. This major conflict has been called the greatest battle ever fought by the United States Army. Victory was achieved at the cost of 80,987 American dead or wounded. Presented by the Golden Gate Chapter Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, on this day 14 Aug, 1996.

The dozen or so signs along the way mark important places in the Battle of the Bulge such as Luxembourg, Stavelot, Malmedy, and St. Vith.

The trailhead is also one of the best picnic table spots I’ve ever seen. You sit overlooking Land’s End with a great view of the bay as it meets up with the Pacific.

To get to the trail, I walked down the hill from the Legion of Honor (where there is excess parking). On the left, you’ll see a trail and some stairs heading up to the VA Hospital (this is technically the end of the memorial trail). You can also access the trailhead from the VA Hospital grounds.

More on Battle of the Bulge from Wikipedia.org

And hats off to RichmondSFBlog reader lisab who correctly identified this spot when I tweeted it out as a “Where in the Richmond Am I?” item.

Sarah B.

American soldiers of the 75th Division photographed in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. (Wikipedia)

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 6:25 am | Posted under History, Recreation | Comments Off

Only the dogs braved Sunday Streets

Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs at our Sunday Streets on April 11 along the Great Highway. So few people turned out that organizers cut the event short at 12:30pm.

However the miserable weather didn’t deter the dogs, specifically the San Francisco Chihuahua Meetup whose members brought out their pups in full inclement weather gear. A yellow rain slicker has never looked so cute.

Mark your calendars for the next Sunday Streets along the Great Highway on August 22.

Sarah B.

Photos courtesy of Sunday Streets San Francisco

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 9:42 pm | Posted under Community, Pets, Weather | 1 comment

Police Blotter – April 9, 2010

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of April 9, 2010. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

The arrest of an auto burglar that is recounted below presents a scenario that we encounter often; a repeat offender that returns to a “profitable” and familiar area to smash car windows and take property. Many of these felons are well known. Officers, especially our plain-clothes ones, are always vigilant for the presence of known offenders in our community. Nonetheless these stealth felons, and their lesser known contemporaries, are likely to burglarize a significant number of vehicles before they are arrested again.

I know that arrests alone will not abate our district’s vexing and continuing problem with auto burglaries. Police will of course continue to endeavor to make arrests. For the community’s part, please do not leave anything in your car. Every time you leave your vehicle please look inside and if you see anything of value or anything that suggests value, remove it. Since value is relative please consider that a criminal will break into your car for quarter in an open ashtray. As for items that suggest value, your phone charger and an empty lunch bag will both make your vehicle a desirable target.

On Wednesday April 14, 2010 Officers will be focusing traffic enforcement efforts on Geary and Fulton Boulevard between Park Presidio and 25th Avenue.

Please attend the next Community/Police Forum on April 20, 2010 at 1:00p.m. at the Richmond Recreation Center, which is located at 251 18th Avenue. Our guest speaker will be a representative from the Department of Emergency Management. The speaker will be able to answer your questions about police and fire dispatching and emergency preparedness.

On 04/04/10 at 9:00pm officers responded to a call of a male suspect breaking into a car on Fulton at 17th Avenue. The caller stated that he looked out of his window upon hearing a car alarm and saw the suspect crouching down at the passenger side window. The caller provided a description of the suspect who was detained by officers at 19th Avenue and Fulton. The suspect had broken into two car parked on the block. This same suspect, who is on parole, was arrested by Richmond officers for Auto Burglary on 10/20/09 at 44th Avenue and Fulton.

On 03/30/10 at 4:15pm, a violent, wanted parolee led numerous police units on a chase in the Taraval District. Officers lost sight of the suspect in the area of Sunset Boulevard and Sloat. On 04/06/10 at 12:00pm, officers learned that the suspect, a known felon, was seen in the Richmond District. Officers commenced a wide area search and at 2:00pm they located the suspect driving in the area of Geary Boulevard and 17th Avenue. The vehicle was stopped and the suspect was detained without incident. The suspect, a 34 year old male, was charged with a parole violation and an aggravated assault and robbery charge from a previous incident.

Between 04/02/10 at 5:00pm and 04/05/10 at 7:50am on the 200 block of 27th Avenue a suspect entered a home and took tools. There were no signs of forced entry.

Between 04/03/10 at 3:00pm and 04/04/10 at 10:30am on the 600 block of 16th Avenue a suspect entered garage and took a bike. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 04/04/10 between 2:00am and 7:30am on the 200 block of 9th Avenue, a suspect gained entry into an alleyway by breaking the glass on the tradesman’s door. Once inside the suspect took two bicycles.

On 04/05/10 between 12:00pm and 2:15pm a suspect entered an apartment on the 100 block of 11th Avenue. The suspect took a laptop and jewelry. There were no signs of forced entry.

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 8:09 pm | Posted under Crime | 1 comment

Dinner with a view

Dinner at the Beach Chalet restaurant. Photo by chrisfreeland2002.

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 6:30 pm | Posted under Photos | Comments Off

Rec & Park meeting to discuss Beach Chalet renovations this Thursday

This Thursday, the Recreation and Park Commission’s regular public meeting will include a discussion of the proposed Beach Chalet soccer fields on the agenda.

The meeting is open to the public, who are invited to come and provide feedback about the project. The meeting will be held on April 15 at 4pm in City Hall, Room 416.

The Beach Chalet renovation project calls for major facility improvements including converting the fields to synthetic turf, installing lights for night play, new restrooms, parking lot improvements, better walkways and lighting, and the addition of a designated spectator area.

The soccer fields are listed as item 11 on the agenda: Discussion and possible action to approve the conceptual design for renovation of Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in Golden Park. Due to the expected large turnout, the commission may bump it to the top of the list.

Sarah B.

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 5:39 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Recreation, Sports | Comments Off

Drinking water changes to impact the Richmond District

The Examiner reports today that the city will begin mixing local, underground well water with the city’s usual Hetch Hetchy water supply.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission estimates that five underground wells could provide ten percent of the city’s drinking water. To make that happen, the Examiner says they’ll have to extract the well water “from the deeper portions of the northern half of the Westside Basin aquifer — wet, underground sediment that stretches from Golden Gate Park to San Francisco International Airport.”

Aside from receiving some of this hybrid drinking water, the Richmond District will also undergo significant construction for the project. Underground pipes will be built to tap into the wells to connect them to the Sunset or Sutro reservoir.

Why is the SFPUC messing with the great water we’ve been enjoying from Hetch Hetchy? The Examiner reports that the “SFPUC’s goal is to put a cap on the amount of water it outsources by 2018, by relying on local water for the increasing demand.”

SFPUC spokeswoman Suzanne Gautier assured the Examiner that the price and taste of the water should remain unchanged, noting that the SFPUC has performed taste tests. Gautier also says that the local water sources could come in handy. “San Francisco does not have any locally produced drinking water. It helps to provide a local supply, especially in the event of an emergency.”

Read the full story at sfexaminer.com

There have already been some outreach meetings in the Richmond District; if I hear of more I’ll let you know. Construction is not expected to begin until 2011.

The Planning Association is scheduled to hear a presentation from the SFPUC on April 21.

Sarah B.

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 10:30 am | Posted under Utilities | 1 comment