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Find yourself braking for green lights on Geary?

Back in November, we told you about a new tracking system that SFMTA was installing on Geary to improve the flow of Muni buses.

You may have noticed the Proxim Radio sensors that are perched on Geary stoplights. The GPS devices are designed to keep lights green when a Muni bus is approaching. The system also has the ability to make red lights shorter based on the presence of a bus.

The end goal is to speed up bus service along the corridor.

But the new system is having a strange effect on some drivers, who find themselves braking to a stop at intersections when the light is still green.

The reason? They have become reliant on the pedestrian countdown displays.

“I thought I was seeing things, and started to drive oddly as I would slow down after seeing that the pedestrian countdown ended, but the green light doesn’t change to yellow right away as most lights do, I felt like I was a Student Driver again. :),” reader J. told us in an email.

J. is not alone. We have done the same thing multiple times, looking to the pedestrian countdown as an indicator for when the light will be turning yellow, and then red.

As the countdown reaches 1 or 0, drivers are understandably preparing to stop to avoid running the light. But as they stop, the light remains a full green even though the pedestrian countdown shows a Don’t Walk signal.

The good news is that this is “safe” behavior, but does make for a confusing driving experience (and the potential for getting rear-ended).

Is anyone else experiencing this? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

Some feedback from readers:

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 11:24 am | Posted under Traffic | 27 comments

Community “Valentine” sprouts up at 23rd & California

Photo by Steph K.

On Saturday, a spontaneous Valentine came to life at the corner of 23rd Avenue and California on the side of a burned-out dry cleaners.

A sign was posted along with a stack of post-it notes and pen, inviting the community to post what they love about the Richmond District:

This Valentines Day share your love for the Richmond District. This is a temporary love letter to the neighborhood we all know, live in and love. Maybe someone visiting will be inspired to make it their home too. Just visiting? Post a love note to some place that you adore. Or just share your love and affections for that special someone… Peace

We first heard about the wall from @SFMissy, and it didn’t take long for pink post-it notes to start appearing with declarations of love for the neighborhood.

“I’ve lived in this area for 10 years. It’s my favorite place in the city,” said one note.

“I love taking walks with my daughter and saying ‘hello’ to all the neighbors,” wrote another.

“I <3 Baker Beach", "I <3 the sunsets, walks to the beach, & watching our son grow up here", and one poster gave mad love to small businesses:

"Richmond Dist oh how I love thee let me count the ways - Infinitea, Japonica. Lou's, Volcano's, Tia's, Miss Tilly, Lands End, Baker Beach, All Small business! RD Forever!!"

"All the cute ladies :-)"

Check out more notes posted by ?@ms_emmalyon.

Is it redundant to say that it’s things like this that make me love this neighborhood even more? ;)

We hope everyone had a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sarah B.

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 4:15 am | Posted under Community | 7 comments

Police Blotter – February 13, 2015

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of February 13, 2015. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]

SFPD Richmond District Police Station
Weekly Update 02-13-2015
Captain Simon Silverman

Tuesday 02-17-2015 @ 7:00 PM
Richmond Station Community Room
461 6th Ave.

Every week bicycles are stolen in the Richmond District and throughout San Francisco (you’ll read about some in the incidents below). SAFE Bikes is a program of San Francisco SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) in partnership with the SFPD that provides a registration database as well as bike theft prevention education. Since the program began last year, there has been a 20% reduction in bike thefts! On 02-25-2015 they are celebrating with an anniversary party and fundraiser. Check them out at http://www.safebikes.org/home.html.


Geary & Arguello
02-06-2015 @ 3:10 PM
The suspect had already been served with a court order prohibiting him from being in a particular building and near a specific person. When he violated that order, officers responded and found that he also had several misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. He was booked at County Jail.

6th Ave & Clement
02-06-2015 @ 3:28 PM
The suspect came into a store and asked to look at a bracelet. Once he had the bracelet in his hands, he ran out of the store without paying. The employees gave chase but did not catch him.
Suspect: Latino male, about 30 years old, 5’5”, wearing a blue and white plaid shirt

16th Ave & California
02-07-2015 @ 9:31 AM
The suspect was arrested for domestic violence against his wife. He was booked at County Jail.

Turk & Roselyn Terrace
02-07-2015 @ 10:30 PM to 02-08-2015 @ 8:00 AM
A USF public safety officer found a duffle bag on the sidewalk and brought it to Richmond Station. SFPD officers contacted the owner who reported that the bag had been stolen from her car by an unknown suspect overnight. Thanks to the USF officer, all of her property was returned to her.

Divisadero & Pine
02-07-2015 @ 3:00 PM to 02-08-2015 @ 1:45 AM
A resident returned home to find that the garage door was open and the lock had been removed by an unknown suspect. Bicycles and sports equipment were stolen.

23rd Ave & Lake
02-07-2015 @ 10:05 PM
The suspect was arrested for domestic violence against his wife. He was booked at County Jail.

16th Ave & Geary
02-08-2015 @ 2:52 AM
An unknown suspect broke the windows of a business.

LaPlaya & Fulton
02-08-2015 @ 3:44 AM
Officers responded to a call of a woman causing a disturbance aboard a MUNI bus. They met with a highly agitated woman who was experiencing paranoia and delusions. She told them that she had a history of psychiatric problems but had not been taking her prescribed medication and was using methamphetamine. She was transported to the hospital.

6th Ave & California
02-08-2015 @ 8:35 PM
Officers responded to a call of an intoxicated person who was refusing to leave a store after the owner had asked him to. Officers detained the suspect and found that he had two misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. He was booked at County Jail.

3rd Ave & Geary
02-09-2015 @ 1:42 AM
Officers responded to a fight outside of a bar. Witnesses told them that one woman had punched another woman in the face without provocation. As the officers were arresting the assailant, her brother physically obstructed the officers and was himself arrested. Both siblings were booked at County Jail.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: The family that does crime together does time together.

California & Baker
02-09-2015 @2:14 PM
A woman’s estranged husband came to her place of work and demanded to speak with her. She was afraid because of previous domestic violence by the suspect. Her co-workers called 911. The suspect damaged furniture and a television then fled the scene before officers arrived.

Divisadero & Sutter
02-09-2015 @ 7:52 PM
The suspect smashed the window of a business and stole items from the window display. After realizing that a witness was calling 911, the suspect dropped the stolen merchandise and fled on foot.
Suspect: White male, about 30 years old, 6’1” 160lbs, wearing a gray UCSF hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. The witness said that the suspect appeared to be homeless.

29th Ave & California
02-10-2015 @ 7:50 AM
A neighbor saw a person whom he did not recognize from the neighborhood walking up and down the block and looking into garages. The neighbor went back inside his house and came out a short time later to see the suspicious person riding out of another person’s garage on a bicycle. The neighbor texted the victim who realized that her bike had been stolen, so she called the SFPD.
Suspect: Black male, 50-60 years old, big belly, Bluetooth device on his ear
Stolen bicycle: Orange Kona Jake cyclocross bike with drop bars and disc brakes
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: This is a commendable example of neighbors looking out for each other. The first neighbor saw unusual activity and recognized it as suspicious. I only wish that he had trusted his instincts and called the SFPD immediately.

Divisadero & Bush
02-10-2015 @ 10:38 AM
An alert citizen called 911 when she saw a suspect smash the window of a parked car and steal a satchel from the back seat. Responding officers found the satchel abandoned on the sidewalk and returned it to the owner. The only thing missing was his tax return.
Suspect: Black male, 19-22 years old, 5’8” 150lbs, wearing a blue ski hat with a fuzzy ball on the top.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: Unfortunately, a tax return contains all of the information that an identity thief needs.

Parker & Euclid
02-10-2015 @ 2:30 PM
One tenant was working in a shared garage when he heard a noise and turned around to see the suspect ride off with his neighbor’s bicycle.
Suspect: White male adult, 6’0” 150lbs, wearing a tan colored jacket and blue jeans
Stolen bike: Black Trek 820 aluminum frame mountain bike

Presidio & Pacific
02-10-2015 @ 4:00 PM
A surveying crew was at work on the street when a suspect suddenly drove up and stole some of their measurement instruments from the corner. The suspect fled in a gold sedan.
Suspect: Black male, 25-45 years old, 5’10” 200lbs, wearing a white hard hat and an orange safety vest.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: Anyone who steals surveying equipment is clearly not on the level.

Fulton & 33rd Ave
02-10-2015 @ 8:52 PM
A resident called the SFPD to remove a trespasser who was sleeping on the front steps of a home. Officers woke the suspect and found that he had several misdemeanor theft warrants for his arrest. He also had a laptop computer (stolen from the SFUSD) and a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine. He was booked at County Jail.

Clay & Lyon
02-10-2015 @ 10:00 PM to 02-11-2015 @ 8:00 AM
One tenant may have accidentally left the side door to the garage open enabling an unknown suspect to steal a black Cannondale road bike.

Arguello & Geary
02-11-2015 @ 7:02 AM
An unknown suspect broke the windows of a business.

34th Ave & Balboa
02-11-2105 @ 4:07 PM
A concerned family member called the SFPD from out of town and asked us to check on the well being of his elderly uncle. Officers discovered that the uncle was living in unsanitary conditions, had no food in the house, had run out of his medication and was in severe pain. The uncle was transported to the hospital and the officers contacted an Adult Protective Services social worker to assist with the uncle’s living situation.

Middle Drive West & Transverse (Golden Gate Park)
02-11-2015 @ 10:15 PM
Officers were on patrol when they saw a male and a female engaged in sexual intercourse in public view. They stopped to ensure that the activity was consensual. A records check revealed that the male was on parole as a high risk sex offender. Officers carefully interviewed the female who confirmed that the officers had interrupted a mutual, amorous encounter with her boyfriend. The parolee was arrested for violating terms of his parole and the female was released at the scene.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: California law makes it a misdemeanor to engage in “lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view.”

Cabrillo & LaPlaya
02-11-2015 @ 11:02 PM
A MUNI bus driver called the SFPD to remove a passenger who refused to disembark at the end of the line. The officer asked the suspect to get off the bus and the suspect immediately threatened violence against the officer. He approached the officer with clenched fists and continued to threaten the officer. The officer made verbal and physical attempts to gain control of the suspect but he continued to resist and to threaten the officer. The officer then used his oleoresin capsicum spray (commonly known as pepper spray) which was effective in stopping the suspect. Paramedics responded to treat the suspect for the effects of the OC spray and he was taken to the hospital for medical clearance (this is standard protocol). He was then booked at County Jail.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: During training at the SFPD Academy, every new recruit is sprayed in the face with OC spray so they can experience the effects first hand… but you won’t see that on the SFPD recruiting posters.

LaPlaya & Fulton
02-11-2015 @ 11:30 PM
Officers responded to a report of man threatening to stab people. They detained him and found that although he had made threats, he did not have a knife. He was arrested for the threats and for warrants, and then booked at County Jail.

Fulton & 45th Ave
02-12-2015 @ 7:25 AM
An alert citizen was walking his dog when he saw that a suspect had broken the window of a parked SUV and was rummaging around inside the vehicle. He called 911 and watched from a safe distance as the suspect climbed out of the SUV and ran off with a duffle bag. Officers flooded the area but were unable to find the suspect.
Suspect: Black male, 40-45 years old, 5’2”, clean shaven, wearing a black baseball cap and a black jacket

Golden Gate & Kittredge Terrace (USF Campus)
02-12-2015 @ 7:02 PM
USF public safety officers detained a suspect who was trespassing inside a private reception on the campus. A records check showed that she had one misdemeanor warrant from Alameda County and 13 misdemeanor warrants from San Francisco. SFPD officers took custody of her and booked her at County Jail.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: USF Public Safety Officers regularly work with the SFPD to make the surrounding area safer and we are grateful for their help. This week’s newsletter shows two examples of that collaboration (this warrant arrest and the recovery of property stolen from a locked vehicle on 02-07-2015).


Clement & 8th Ave
02-08-2015 @ 12:20 PM to 2:30 PM
A parked and unattended 2012 Honda CRV was stolen off the street.

Fulton & 14th Ave
02-07-2015 @ 1:30 AM to 10:30 AM
A parked and unattended 1990 Honda Accord was stolen off the street.

El Camino Del Mar & 28th Ave
02-08-2015 @ 10:00 PM to 02-11-2015 @ 10:00 PM
A parked and unattended 2006 Mazda 3 was stolen off the street.

Geary & Palm
02-09-2015 @ 7:00 PM to 02-11-2015 @ 7:30 PM
A parked and unattended 2001 Acura Integra was stolen off the street.

California & 16th Ave
02-10-2015 @ 4:00 PM to 02-11-2015 @ 10:30 AM
A parked and unattended 1991 Honda Civic was stolen off the street.

Lake & 3rd Ave
02-10-2015 @ 4:00 PM to 02-11-2015 @ 10:30 AM
A parked and unattended 1996 Acura Integra was recovered from the street.

Post & Pierce
02-12-2015 @ 8:06 AM
A parked and unattended 1990 Honda Accord was recovered from the street.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: This is not the same 1990 Honda Accord that was stolen from Fulton and 14th Ave on 02-07-2015. As this week’s list illustrates, Honda/Acura models made in the 1990s are among the most commonly stolen cars.


Spruce & California
02-07-2015 @ 1:34 PM
A vehicle was turning from westbound California to southbound Spruce when it struck a pedestrian who was crossing outside of a crosswalk. The pedestrian suffered moderate injuries.

4th & Anza
02-09-2015 @ 12:15 PM
A vehicle was traveling eastbound on Anza when it failed to stop for the stop sign and struck a person in a wheelchair who was crossing 4th Ave. The wheelchair tipped over causing minor injuries to the victim and damage to the wheelchair. The driver initially got out to check on the victim but then suddenly got back in the car and fled the scene.
Suspect: Black female, about 54 years old, 5’7” 140lbs, dark hair, wearing a tan top.
Vehicle: Possibly a mid 1990s Nissan Pathfinder painted black.
CAPTAIN’S NOTE: Leaving the scene of a collision where a person is injured is a felony under California law. If there are no injuries, the crime is a misdemeanor.

Walnut & California
02-10-2015 @ 9:26 AM
A vehicle turning from southbound Walnut to eastbound California struck a pedestrian who was crossing in the crosswalk. The pedestrian suffered moderate injuries. The driver was cited at the scene for failing to yield to a pedestrian.


Geary & Collins
02-06-2015 @ 6:30 PM

Funston & Clement
02-06-2015 @ 6:10 PM

Geary & 2nd Ave
02-06-2015 @ 7:20 PM

Geary & 19th Ave
02-08-2015 @ 11:47 AM

Bowling Green & JFK (Golden Gate Park)
02-08-2015 @ 5:35 PM

Clement & 7th Ave
02-09-2015 @ 8:57 AM

Park Presidio & Crossover (Golden Gate Park)
02-11-2015 @ 12:11 AM

Call 911 for emergencies
Call 415-553-0123 for non-emergency police service
Richmond Station
461 6th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118



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 10:07 pm | Posted under Crime | 8 comments

Period George on Clement calling it quits; closing sale this weekend

Photo by Frederic Larson / The Chronicle

After 12 years at 7 Clement Street, Period George Antiques is closing its doors.

The store is having a closing sale this weekend where everything is 10-50% off.

“Come and check out our museum-quality antiques. Everything from candlesticks, decanters, napkin rings, wine glasses, hand-milled soaps, antique flatware, decoupage serving trays, matchbooks, silver picture frames, tabletop pieces and rare finds picked up from our travels, estate sales, and flea markets.”

The sale will begin this Friday, Saturday and next Tuesday; hours are 11am until 6pm each day.

The store will remain open until early May, with the sale ongoing.

We’re really sorry to see it go; the store added a classic touch to inner Clement.

Sarah B.

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 9:12 am | Posted under Business, Shopping | 12 comments

SFMTA spot-checking blue disabled placards on Clement & Geary today

Cub reporter David H. came upon some plainclothes SFMTA officers on Clement Street who are in the neighborhood today enforcing the blue disabled placards on cars.

The blue placards, which are issued to people with disabilities, exempts a driver from paying a parking meter for up to 72 hours (that’s any parking meter, not just ones in blue spaces).

In San Francisco, that can save $55 or more a day in parking costs. California is one of just five states that provide disabled-placard holders with free, virtually unlimited parking.

In November, the Chronicle reported that there were 60,750 placards held by drivers in the city in 2012. That’s twice as many as were registered in 2001, and is more than double the number of metered spaces that actually exist in San Francisco (28,000).

The abuse of these placards is a long-time problem for the city. A 2008 Muni report found that almost half the cars in downtown metered spaces had blue placards hanging from their rear-view mirrors.

A 2014 report from the City Controller’s office reported an estimated $22.7 million in lost meter revenue in 2013. Not to mention the abuse makes parking even harder for those disabled drivers who have valid placards.

So it’s no surprise that the SFMTA allocates officers and time to spot-check placards, trying to catch abuse as it’s happening. Officers visit different parts of the city several days a week, pulling up placard numbers at parking meters to see if they’re valid. A placard may be phony, expired or even stolen.

During their enforcement today, SFMTA officers had no problem finding violators. They issued 10 citations alone on Clement, and one officer told David that they estimate about 50% of the placards being used city-wide are invalid.

Abusing a placard is expensive – a citation costs the car owner $1,000, but catching them can be time-consuming and costly to city resources.

David chatted with a SFMTA officer while he waited for an owner of a car that was using a placard that had been stolen from someone born in 1929.

On one block of Clement, David observed 3 metered parking spaces that had cars with blue placards parked in them.

“Clement Street is placard heaven,” the SFMTA officer said.

Sarah B.

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 12:17 pm | Posted under Crime | 33 comments

Local Links: Sand art Sunday, CSA boxes, restaurant shuffles & more

Here are some local links to get you through your Wednesday…

  • Want to catch sand art in action? Head out to Ocean Beach on Sunday at 12noon to see Andres Amador at work. He usually wraps up the piece in about 2 hours.
  • Foggy Notion is now a pickup spot for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes from Say Hay Farms’, a 20-acre farm in Yolo County, California that raises certified-organic vegetables, melons, and eggs. Subscriptions start at just 4-weeks and as little as $16/week and can be picked up on Wednesdays from Foggy Notion (256 6th Avenue) between 3 – 6pm. More info
  • Parking alert: The metered lot on 8th Avenue between Clement and Geary will be closed for repaving from February 16 until March 14th.
  • The Chronicle recently highlighted some historic, long-running brands from San Francisco and we had a couple on the list. Its-It ice cream sandwiches started at Playland in 1928, and Boudin Bakery is still using the mother yeast from created by Isadore Boudin in 1849. The yeast was saved in the 1906 quake and the bakery moved from downtown to its current 10th Avenue location.
  • The start of the year restaurant shuffles continue… Reader Sarah tells us that Japanese restaurant Kaminari at 7th and Balboa is closing. And Francisco reports that the former Ju-Ku location at 19th Avenue and Clement is being taken over by a restaurant called The Flame (Hot Pot), with an opening date of March 1.
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 9:10 am | Posted under Art, Business, Events, Food, History, Ocean Beach | 8 comments

Payton forced to hang up his apron after episode 2 of Kids Baking Championship

Payton (R) faces elimiation in episode 2

Well no one ever said baking was easy. Factor in television cameras in your face and tight timelines, and the pressure gets really intense. Oh and did we mention this is happening to a 10-year old?

Richmond District resident Payton Pelaez just barely avoided elimination in the first episode of Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship.

But on last night’s second episode, his luck ran out.

The contestants were told they would be making “dessert imposters”, e.g. desserts that look like other foods like sushi, pizza, garlic bread etc. Payton drew pizza as his dish which made him happy since he had experience with dessert pizzas before.

He topped a snickerdoodle “crust” with marshmallows, gummy bears, peanut butter cups and fondant which went over well with the judges.

But a mid-challenge twist threw him for a loop when he had to make an additional side-dish: garlic-bread. It came out looking like egg rolls, which landed him in the bottom two. At the end of the episode, he was voted off the competition.

While Payton may not be continuing on Kids Baking Championship, we know someone with his passion for baking won’t be hanging up his apron anytime soon. You can keep up with him through his Chez Pay website, and even order up some of his creations for yourself.

Sarah B.

Payton shows his dessert pizza to the judges, Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli

Payton (L) narrowly misses elimination in episode 1

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 11:52 am | Posted under Community, Food | 4 comments

We Players to stage integrated theater performance of “Ondine” at Sutro Baths

We Players performing Macbeth at Fort Point, 2013

The We Players, known for their “site-integrated performance events that transform public spaces into realms of participatory theater”, including performances of Hamlet on Alcatraz, Macbeth at Fort Point and The Odyssey on Angel Island, are bringing their latest production to Sutro Baths.

Ondine at Sutro
, “an exploration of our own troubled love/destruction relationship with Nature”, will play at Sutro Baths every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 1 – June 7, 2015 (preview performances April 23-26).

Ondine is the tragicomic love story between a mystical creature of the deep and a mortal man, a hapless knight – often shallow, sometimes deep – in short, a real man. A fable of the follies of love, Ondine is also an exploration of our own troubled love / destruction relationship with Nature. Worlds collide and the powers mete gentle but unrelenting justice.

Staged at Sutro Baths and Sutro Heights Park, we experience the great power and sense the timeless depths of the ocean as we wander amidst the eroded foundations of mansions and grand swimming pools. Audiences will move with the action of the play, exploring the park and taking in the expansive and breathtaking views of the great Pacific, while immersed in the enchanted realm of Ondine.

Advance tickets are available now. Click the link below for the day you’re interested in and enter the password “SeaChange” to access the pre-sale:

Preview performances: April 23 – 26, $40
Fridays: May 1- June 5, $60
Saturdays and Sundays: May 2- June 7, $80

Pre-sale tickets are limited so if they run out, you can try again on March 2 when the rest will go on sale.

Sarah B.

We Players performing Hamlet on Alcatraz, 2013

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 4:15 am | Posted under Art, Events | Add comments