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Police Community Forum meeting, Jan. 19

On Tuesday afternoon from 1-2pm, the Richmond District Police Department will hold a Community Relations Forum meeting.

Neighbors are invited to join Captain Richard Correia and his department to discuss public safety issues and learn about community safety programs. This meeting will focus on the Richmond Station’s beat, traffic, homeless outreach, and school officers.

The meeting will be held at the Zephyr Cafe at 3643 Balboa Street. For more information, contact Officer Connolly at 666-8000 or Irina Chatsova at 553-1968.

I’d like to be able to attend meetings like this. But when they’re scheduled in the middle of the workday, it seems only unemployed or retired residents can attend.

Sarah B.

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 10:18 pm | Posted under Events | Comments Off

Woody’s History Minute: The Larkins Building

In this episode, Woody LaBounty of the Western Neighborhoods Project tells us the history of the building at Arguello and Geary (now OfficeMax).

Sarah B.

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 2:40 pm | Posted under History | 1 comment

Police Blotter: 9th Ave. mugger in custody on $400,000 bail

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of January 15, 2010. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org or visit their website.]

In the early evening on December 29, 2009 a sixty year old Richmond District Resident was getting out of his car after pulling into his garage on the 100 Block of 9th Avenue. Suddenly he was set upon by a suspect who struck him several times, causing serious facial wounds and lacerations. The suspect demanded the victim’s personal possessions and then fled, leaving the victim in the garage bleeding profusely.

Richmond Station officers responded immediately and commenced their initial investigation. Moments after the first uniformed officers arrived at the scene an Inspector from the Station’s newly created investigative team responded to the scene and commenced a formal follow-up investigation. Members of the Station’s plain-clothes unit or “35 Team” saturated the area looking for the suspect and evidence.

This crime was particularly shocking even to the most experienced of officers because of the seriousness of the injuries and suspect’s compassionless actions and abusive assault. The suspect was able to make good his escape along with the victim’s personal property. The victim was rushed to a near-by hospital by ambulance.

In the first few days after the incident our police team members and their supervisors followed up relentlessly on what little evidence that they had and canvassed an expanding area for witnesses. It’s when leads seem to be few that experience and tenacity count the most. Couple these traits with commitment to service and you have investigators that will as we say in police statistical world: Clear the Case.

As you know I am somewhat limited in what information I can release when a case is under investigation, and this is sound policy. However, when you are as inspired as I am by the superlative work of Richmond Station’s investigators it’s a little difficult to lower the volume. I can tell you that an arrest has been made and I will keep you posted on the case as it progresses in court.

Between the time of the incident and the arrest of the suspect our officers used every investigative tool at their disposal. They crawled about on the wet ground and in bushes looking for clues, they did stakeouts, served search warrants and they sought out help from investigators from other districts. They watched and they waited. They worked the computer databases and they followed up on every lead, even ones that were long shots. Some of their endeavors were just simple low-tech traditional police practices. Others, however, would have been considered science fiction just a few years ago. We had help from the private sector and our crime lab’s work in this case would make a CSI episode seem boring. Our Hall of Justice investigative support teams were with us every step of the way. The District Attorney’s Office provided guidance to our investigators as the investigation progressed.

At the end of today we have a safer community because one very dangerous predator is in custody charged with multiple violent felonies, including robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and possession of stolen property. Bail is set at $400,000.

The successes here also validate the recent reorganization that placed investigators in each district station. We now have investigators where we need them, when we need them. The officers at Richmond Station have moved on to their next case but before they did we took a moment to acknowledge them for a job well done and for choosing a career for which they are well suited.

I am delighted to work with police officers such those that handled this case and to live in the District that they protect.

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 01/10/10 at 2:00pm on the 400 block of 9th Avenue a tenant of an apartment building went into the laundry room on the bottom floor. She saw a male in the laundry room and realized he was not a tenant. She also saw that he was wearing her son’s shoes. She ran out towards the street and the police were called by a neighbor. The male exited and climbed over the back fence and made his way to 9th Avenue and Geary, where he was located by officers and charged with burglary and possession of stolen property.

Between 01/08/10 at 6:00pm and 01/09/10 at 9:00am on the 700 block of 3rd Avenue a suspect gained entry into a garage and took two bicycles and a purse. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 01/09/10 between 1:10pm and 4:40pm a suspect took two bikes that were locked in front of the Academy of Sciences.

On 01/10/10 at 1:15pm, a victim was sitting in his vehicle parked at Scott and Pacific. The suspect entered the passenger door and pointed a gun at the victim demanding his money. The suspect then ordered the victim to drive, all the while striking the victim and demanding money. At some point the suspect ordered the victim to pull over and switch places and the suspect eventually pushed the victim out of the vehicle on Highway 280. A CHP officer located the victim and he was transported to a local hospital. The suspect was described as a male 30-40 wearing a black jacket and black pants. The vehicle is still outstanding.

On 01/10/10 between 5:30pm and 11:30pm on the 2000 block of Pierce Street a suspect gained entry into a garage and broke into two vehicles parked inside. The suspect took a GPS and paperwork from the vehicles. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 01/11/10 at 12:25am a victim came out to her vehicle which was parked on the 700 block of 39th Avenue. She saw that the driver’s seat was on fire and extinguished the flames. There was also property taken from the vehicle.

Between 01/12/10 at 5:45 and 01/13/10 at 8:00am on the 700 block of 23rd Avenue, a suspect gained entry into a home under construction and took several tools.

On 01/14/10 at 2:40am on the 500 block of 6th Avenue, a victim was walking home when he was approached by two males. Both suspects were armed with knifes and demanded the victims property. The victim complied and the suspects fled eastbound Anza. They were described as males, 25-30 years of age, wearing dark colored sweatshirts and pants. The victim was uninjured.

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 4:47 pm | Posted under Crime | 3 comments

Points of light on a foggy morning

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 2:12 pm | Posted under Photos | Comments Off

Watch the Golden Globes live at the Balboa on Sunday

I find watching the Hollywood award shows is always more fun with a group of people. What better way to ooh, aah and make fun of the fashions.

This Sunday, you can do just that at the Balboa Theater, where they’ll be screening the 47th Annual Golden Globes live from start to finish, on the big screen, in HD! They’ll show the Red Carpet arrivals beginning at 4pm; the awards start at 5pm.

The evening will be hosted by emcee Reed Kirk Rahlman, who will provide entertainment, trivia questions and fun during commercials (and not a second of the on-screen show will be missed via the miracle of DVR). There will also be prizes.

All seats are $6.50 and proceeds benefit the the San Francisco Film Society. Order tickets in advance or purchase them the day of at the Balboa.

Below are the nominees in top categories for this year’s event. I always love the Globes because it’s film and television. And it’s the first big splash in Hollywood for the year.

What’s your pick for best film this year?

Sarah B.

Best Motion Picture: Drama
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Up In The Air

Best Actor, Motion Picture: Drama
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
George Clooney – Up In The Air
Colin Firth – A Single Man
Morgan Freeman – Invictus
Tobey Maguire – Brothers

Best Actress, Motion Picture: Drama
Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Best Television Series: Drama
Big Love (HBO)
House (FOX)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)

See all Golden Globe nominations

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 10:50 am | Posted under Events, Movies | Comments Off

Style Cinema at Velo Rouge Cafe tonight

Thursday night’s Style Cinema event at the Velo Rouge Cafe (6:30 – 10pm, 798 Arguello) will feature two acclaimed fashion documentaries about top designers Isaac Mizrahi and Marc Jacobs. Admission is free and the cafe’s got a great selection of wine, beer and food.

Sarah B.

Unzipped (1995)
Using a variety of cinematographic techniques, the world of high-profile fashion designer Issac Mizrahi is portrayed as being driven by excitement and creativity, despite the concomitant chaos and cacophony. Mizrahi’s frenzied genius and rollercoaster emotions paint a humorous and personal portrait of a brilliant designer.

Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton (2007)
With unprecedented access to one of the world’s hottest and busiest designers, Loïc Prigent offers an intimate and revealing portrait of the reclusive Marc Jacobs and the world of haute couture. Whether in the offices and workrooms of Paris and New York, the back of his car, or backstage at a fashion show, we see a genius at work.

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 10:27 pm | Posted under Movies | Comments Off

Homeschool Day at the Academy of Sciences, Jan. 27

On Wednesday, January 27 from 9:30am to 5pm, the California Academy of Sciences invites homeschooling families to attend a fun day of presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on programs. Download the info & registration guide.

Best of all, families can attend at reduced admission prices. For homeschooling families that live within San Francisco, two adults may attend with their children (ages 4-17) for free. For families outside the city limits, it’s just $4.95 per person. Infants and toddlers (0-3) are free.

Some of the programs at the day-long event include a penguin feeding, live birds of prey, coral reef dives (where a diver in the coral reef tank takes questions), games and crafts.

The Academy will also offer reserved programs at the event which require advanced registration and small fees ($6-$12) in some cases. Reserved programs include African Skulls where kids can investigate and identify a mystery skull from an African animal, just like a researcher would in the field, plus a showing of “A Tour of Our Solar System” in the Morrison Planetarium.

Pre-registration is required for all attending family members. Walk-ups will not be admitted at these discounted rates. To register, fill out page 6 of the registration packet and then call 800-794-7576 to make reservations (M-F 7am-6pm, Sat-Sun 8:30am-5:30pm).

Sarah B.

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 9:10 pm | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Museums | Comments Off

Say yes to the new Beach Chalet soccer fields

Last month I wrote about plans for extensive renovations of the Beach Chalet soccer fields. The 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.

A public information meeting was held on December 7 and according to our neighborhood paper, The Richmond Review, there was heated debate about the plan (sorry, article’s not online or I would link to it).

To paraphrase the article, Richmond residents who attended the meeting said they had never heard of the project until recently, and others worried about the environmental impacts of the artificial turf that would be installed. Neighbors also expressed concern about the night lighting that would enable games to be played until 10pm.

Growing up here in the city, I played soccer on the Beach Chalet fields for many years. In high school, I would practice there several days a week during our season. The things I remember most about the fields were their poor condition (ankles beware!) and the fact that often, one or more fields were closed due to rain or poor drainage. As an adult, I played recreational soccer there and the same problems existed. And it was a shame because as far as venues go, you can’t get much better than Golden Gate Park.

The Chronicle ran an editorial (thanks to reader 415 Native for the tip) on Monday in anticipation of the Rec & Park Commission vote on January 21 on whether to approve the project. I echo the Chron’s sentiments that this renovation would be a boon to to soccer players across the city. Artificial turf is already in use in several fields across the city, and the lower maintenance and increased playing time it offers make it a sound choice.

And unlike many city projects, half of the $8.9 million renovation costs would be shared by the City Fields Foundation who to date, have renovated five facilities in the city. They know what works and so far, have been very successful in their efforts.

In its current condition, the Beach Chalet fields can host just over 4,000 hours of play in a year. With the renovations in place, the amount of hours for both soccer and lacrosse games to take place would almost be tripled.

In a time when the game of soccer is on the rise, kids are in need of more physical activity and city budgets are being slashed, why wouldn’t we say yes to this project? Let’s turn Beach Chalet into the sports facility it was always meant to be. It would be a great benefit to soccer enthusiasts throughout San Francisco, and would be a facility that all of the Richmond District would be proud to have, especially this one.

Sarah B.

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 12:36 pm | Posted under Community, Golden Gate Park | 6 comments