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Doyle Drive off-ramp closure begins January 10

Next Sunday, the off-ramp on northbound Doyle Drive to southbound Park Presidio/Highway 1 will begin its long-term closure as part of the Presidio Parkway development project. The ramp is expected to be closed through 2013.

That means if you’re accustomed to taking the off-ramp shortcut to the Richmond District when coming from Lombard Street or the Marina, you’ll have to find a different route. Here’s a detour map from the Presidio Parkway project team. One route they suggest (“Last Chance Detour”) is going one exit further and getting off just before the toll plaza, driving underneath it, then getting back on Doyle Drive southbound and taking the Park Presidio/Hwy 1 exit.

In addition, the other off-ramp from northbound Park Presidio/Highway 1 (from 19th Avenue) to southbound Doyle Drive is expected to close in early 2010. However it’s anticipated that its closure will not last as long.

For more information on the Presidio Parkway project, visit presidioparkway.org.

Sarah B.

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 6:07 am | Posted under Traffic | 1 comment

Check mate in an outer Richmond backyard

You just never know what’s lurking behind some homes in the Richmond District… The Examiner ran an article recently on outer Richmond resident and artist, Nomi Klein, who has turned her backyard into a giant chess set.

You’ll need your brain and your brawn to play with this chess set. The board, made with paving tiles, measures 16 feet square and the chess pieces are as tall as 43 inches and weigh 12 pounds. That could lead to some dramatic check-mating!

A photo showing Klein’s giant chess pieces. Inset photo of her Richmond garden, courtesy of the Examiner.

According to the Examiner article, Klein said she first thought of creating a massive chess set when she was a child visiting Salzburg, Austria, where she saw people playing the game outdoors.

Her art and design career took her from Israel to New York, Mexico and San Diego. She studied machine design and did mechanical drawing during military service, as well as studying art.

She created her first giant chess set while she was in Mexico. Some 10 years after she started, her chess pieces — which are all made by hand — are in hotels and private gardens around the U.S. and abroad. A set of her giant pieces sells for $15,500 on chessusa.com.

Read the full article at SFExaminer.com.

Sarah B.

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 6:40 am | Posted under Fun, Green | 5 comments

Goodbye, Chelsea

This morning I had to put my sweet cat, Chelsea, to rest. At only four years old, she came down with a neurological condition that didn’t bring her much joy day to day. It was hard to say goodbye, but I know she is at peace now.

If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile now, you’ve seen Chelsea’s name appear in a few odd posts, mostly funny quips about her being a lazy intern. :) And although her missteps across my keyboard never resulted in a post, she was my trusty sidekick, always overlooking my work from atop the printer under my warm desk lamp.

Chelsea was superbly sweet, I’ll miss her cuddled at my side every night. I’ll miss her jumping up on the couch and meowing to startle visitors who weren’t expecting her; she loved doing that. And I’ll miss her looks while I work which seemed to say “Really, are we just going to sit in front of the computer tonight?”

When I think of Chelsea, I remember a line from one of my favorite songs: “Those kind of cars don’t pass u every day”. I’ll miss you, sweetheart.

Sarah B.

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 1:34 pm | Posted under Blog news | 11 comments

Happy New Year!

“2010 Lake Street” taken by Wolfgang Schubert

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 12:01 am | Posted under Photos | Comments Off

Police Blotter – December 25, 2009

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of December 25, 2009. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org or visit their website.]

In the last newsletter I mentioned that Richmond Station Officers arrested six individuals in connection with three different robberies. One of the robberies involved suspects shooting a gun at the victim and the other two were “strong-arm” robberies.

All three of the suspects in the armed robbery have been formally charged by the District Attorney. Two remain in custody with bail for one set at $1,000,000 and the other at $150,000. The third suspect was charged and released after posting bail of $122,109.

In the strong arm robbery that occurred 17th Avenue and Clement on December 15, 2009, a juvenile suspect remains in custody at the Youth Guidance Center. The adult arrested in that incident was not charged as the victim was not able to make a positive identification. The inability to make identification is not uncommon, even when the victim gets a good look at the suspect. A victim’s emotional stress can be overwhelming, and items such as license plates and particulars about clothing are often quickly forgotten. Also, suspect do what they can to avoid identification, such as in this case they grabbed the victim from behind.

The sixteen year old suspect arrested for the strong arm robbery at 30th and Clement on December 15, 2009 was charged and released to relatives on December 22, 2009.

During the past week, there were 16 traffic accidents, 8 involving injuries. There were 5 citations issued for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license. There were 2 arrests for driving under the influence.

On 12/20/09 at 4:37 pm a burglary suspect with an outstanding warrant was seen by officers in the area of Sutter Street and Baker Street. The warrant was confirmed and the suspect was arrested and booked at the county jail.

On 12/21/09 at 2:25 am officers conducted a bar check in the 500 block of Clement Street and observed the bartender serving alcoholic beverages after hours. The premise was cited and the bartender was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

On 12/22/09 at 1:22 pm officers responded to the 300 block of 9th Avenue regarding a vandalism report. The suspect was apprehended on Clement Street and was arrested for vandalism.

On 12/22/09 at 11:51 pm officers observed a vehicle with an expired registration. A computer check revealed that the driver had been driving on a suspended driver’s license. The driver was placed under arrest and during a vehicle inventory search officers found narcotics and narcotics sales paraphernalia. The suspect was booked at Richmond Station.

On 12/20/09 at 2:25 pm officers responded to the 600 block of 6th Avenue regarding a burglary from a locked garage. Four bicycles were stolen. A safety check on doors and windows revealed insufficient security locks were in place. Occupants were advised on how to improve home security.

On 12/20/09 at 8:25 am a victim reported that his Laundromat business located in the 3200 block of Sacramento had been broken into. The suspect gained entry by prying open the gate and after removing the lock from the door. The suspect then broke into the rear storage area, apparently looking to steal money from the coin change machine, but the machine was empty. There was no loss reported at this time.

On 12/21/09 at 10:15 pm officers responded to the 3200 block of Clay Street regarding a portable restroom that was on fire. Alert residents in the area extinguished the fire until SFFD arrived. SFPD Arson investigators responded to the scene and took over the investigation.

On 12/22/09 at 12:37 pm officers responded to the 3000 block of Jackson Street regarding a burglary report. The victim reported that her garage door was opened by an unknown suspect and stole two bicycles. No forced entry was observed.

On 12/24/09 at 5:50 am an unknown suspect armed with a silver handgun entered the Domino’s Pizza parlor located at 5220 Geary Boulevard and demanded two victims (janitor and delivery person) to open the safe but the victims did not have the code. The suspect then robbed the two victims prior to fleeing the area.

On 12/24/09 at 5:50 am two unknown masked suspects armed with silver automatic handguns entered the Walgreens Store located at 5280 Geary Boulevard. The suspects gained entry to a part of the safe and stole an undetermined amount of cash. The suspects also robbed the victims of their money and cell phones.

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 2:18 am | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

Attack and robbery on 9th Avenue

[This came in from the Friends of Mountain Lake Park. For the sake of privacy, I have withheld the victim's name. - Sarah B.]

December 30, 2009

We are writing to advise you of an attack on one of our neighbors last night (Tuesday December 29, 2009) at dinner time. A man pulled his car into his garage on 9th Avenue (btwn Lake and California) and was attacked by a suspect who hit him with something and then used his fists to take the man’s wallet and his watch. Thankfully there was no gun or knife.

The suspect fled towards Clement Street and was not caught. The police responded quickly and we will provide you more details (including a description of the suspect) as we get it. But we want to get this warning out right away. The man was treated for injuries at the hospital last night. He has numerous stitches and bruises in his face, his finger was broken and his wrist is injured from where the suspect took his watch. I’m sure he will appreciate everyone’s thoughts for a speedy recovery.

In the meantime – BE VIGILANT. Stay alert to who is nearby as you are coming and going from your home or your car.

  • If you park in your garage, close the door immediately behind you when you come in.
  • If you park on the street, try not to linger at your car as you get in or out, especially at night.
  • Do not leave anything visible in your car that may entice someone to want to break in to your car.
  • If you see someone lingering near your home or your neighbor’s home that you don’t think belongs there, call the police (911 or 553-0123).
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     2:59 pm | Posted under Crime | 2 comments
  • Dec-28-2009

    Ship the kids to the slopes with the YMCA

    As a kid, I used to take ski trips with a recreation group. My parents would drop me off at the meeting point, go about their weekend business, and pick me back up when the bus returned, sometimes in the wee hours of the night if the weather was bad.

    It was a win-win – they didn’t have to make the eight hour roundtrip schlep, and I made some new friends along the way.

    The tradition is alive and well with the Richmond District YMCA, who has been leading safe and affordable trips to Tahoe for over 10 years. They’re organizing ski and snowboard trips for young students in early 2010:

    High School trip:
    Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, January 31 | Cost: $275

    Middle School trip:
    Friday, February 19 – Sunday, February 21 | Cost: $250

    The cost of the trip includes equipment, transportation, lift tickets, food, lodging, and instruction. What a bargain!

    For more information or to sign-up, contact Crissie Ponciano at the Richmond District YMCA at 666-9622.

    Sarah B.

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     7:38 am | Posted under Kids, Recreation | Comments Off

    Balboa business lends a hand to job seekers

    Most of the time when you’re in a laundromat, waiting on your washer or dryer, you’re probably wishing you could be doing something more productive.

    Enter Amybelle’s Wash & Dry (3220 Balboa) who is stepping up to try and make a difference during our employment-challenged times.

    Owners Elmer and Amy Capule are inviting neighbors who need career advice or resume help to stop by the laundromat to get free help from Amy, who is a seasoned human resources professional.

    “We will be hosting individual resume critiques and helping with interviewing skills. We believe this will be beneficial to the Richmond community especially during these challenging times,” says owner Elmer Capule.

    Free help is available every Saturday from 10am to 12noon, beginning January 2. So if you’re in the job market or are thinking about getting back into it, stop by Amybelle’s Wash & Dry at 3220 Balboa for a helping hand.

    For more information or to schedule a private session, contact Amy Capule at 341-7097 or by email.

    Sarah B.

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     7:14 am | Posted under Business, Community | 9 comments