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Angry parents at Star of the Sea School ask Archdiocese to oust church leaders

Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle

The Chronicle reports that on Wednesday night, more than 100 parents of Star of the Sea School students asked the San Francisco Archdiocese that the controversial leaders of their school’s church be removed from their posts.

It’s been a rough start to the year for the Star of the Sea community as Father Joseph Illo, the new head priest at the Star of the Sea Church, has come under fire for new policies and practices.

In January, Father Illo instituted a new policy banning girls from being altar servers. This despite girls had been allowed to serve alongside boys since the 1970’s.

Illo told the media that he had “no choice but to exclude girls because the future of the Catholic Church is at stake.”

“The specifics of serving at the altar is a priestly function,” Illo said. “And the Catholic church does not ordain women.”

Then in February, Illo was criticized again after another church leader, Father Driscoll, handed out pamphlets to young students at the adjoining Star of the Sea school that many parents felt were inappropriate.

In preparation for their first confession, second graders were given a pamphlet asking questions about sexual topics like “Did I practice impure acts on myself or masturbate?”

“It talked about some pretty serious things, that pamphlet,” said parent Meghan Parent. “So yeah, obviously we want to protect our kids as much as possible.”

The Star of the Sea School and the adjoining church share a name and real estate, but not leadership and members. The two organizations are technically separate, and most of the students and their parents are not members of the church.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, parents “took turns at a microphone and cited examples of how they believe the men had disrupted the open, tolerant atmosphere of the school,” wrote the Chronicle.

Some parents feel that Father Illo’s new policies and attitudes have excluded many children from participating in the school’s spiritual activities.

At Wednesday’s meeting, which was organized by the school parents’ club, speakers said recent policy changes have shaken their school community and left many children confused about their role in the school and the church.

“It is with such great sadness and such a heavy heart that I find myself right here, right now,” said parent Brenda Kittredge, who went to school at Star of the Sea herself and now has four children at the school. “It frightens me that for a second I actually thought about sending my children somewhere else.” SF Chronicle

Father Illo and representatives from the Archidiocese’s office were present at Wednesday night’s meeting, but did not speak. The representatives told parents that their concerns would be taken to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who would ultimately be the one to make any decisions about the Star of the Sea religious leadership.

Father Illo acknowledged to the Chronicle that it’s a difficult situation and that there is a lot of tension and anxiety between himself and the school parents

“It was a good forum,” Illo told the Chronicle. “It’s important to hear their perspective.”

Sarah B.

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 1:52 pm | Posted under Schools | 12 comments

Reward offered for lost Central Richmond shorts. What was in them, anyway?

Reader @cassfung tweeted us this photo today of a poster near 14th and Geary. I guess some guy lost his shorts and is desperate to find them again (no, that was not a recession joke).

The shorts don’t look particularly fancy or designer grade – there doesn’t appear to be any bling on them. And is that really a photo of the actual shorts? If so then the owner REALLY did love these shorts, enough to pose them. Maybe they were the lucky shorts the owner was wearing when they finished their marathon or sunk the winning shot…

Were they lost during a “brotherhood of the traveling shorts” exchange? That would just be sad.

Even curiouser is the “$$ MONEY PRIZE GUARANTEE $$”. What exactly was in these shorts to make them valuable enough for a reward? Gobs of cash? A small animal? Meds? Inquiring minds want to know.

And yes, we will be emailing elidednet to get more info, but we wanted to post this as quickly as possible in case someone out there is admiring these found shorts in their own living room and wants to return them to their rightful (albeit short-less) owner.

Sarah B.

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 2:47 pm | Posted under Community | 10 comments

Photos: Eucalyptus splits and falls onto Funston near Clement; damages truck

Late this afternoon, a part of a eucalyptus tree in the Park Presidio greenbelt fell across the 200 block of Funston near Clement.

Reader Ronald H. sent us the above photo that his wife took while picking up their son from nearby Sutro Elementary School.

We haven’t been on scene so we don’t know if there was any damage to parked vehicles on the west side of Funston (but probably likely).

UPDATE: Reader Kira B. tells us that “one car got spared by 2 inches, not a scratch. No houses got hit since those houses are set back from the street. That fence is pretty damaged and the top of the tree came down so don’t know how that car [parked behind the fence] fared.”

That same block of Funston also lost a tree last summer.

Sarah B.

Photo by Jill W.

Photo by Kira B.

Photo by Jill W.

Photo by Kira B.

Photo by Kira B.

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 5:52 pm | Posted under News, Photos | 7 comments

Outside Lands 2015 lineup announced; tickets on sale Thursday

Today, Outside Lands revealed its full lineup of artists (but not the final schedule).

Headliners at this year’s festival, its eighth, include Elton John, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Wilco, and Tame Impala. See the full lineup

This year’s event runs from August 7 through August 9 at several venues in Golden Gate Park. VIP and regular tickets for Outside Lands go on sale this Thursday, March 26 at 10am at SFOutsideLands.com.

Who’s going?

Sarah B.

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 11:24 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Live Music | 8 comments

Police Blotter – March 20, 2014

SFPD Richmond District Police Station
Weekly Update 03-20-2015
From Captain Simon Silverman

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon runs through the north western part of the Richmond Police District on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Their website has a course map, road closure information, and alternative access routes: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-francisco/road-closures

Here are some of the 761 incidents handled by officers in the Richmond Police District this past week:

Great Highway & JFK
03-13-2015 4:23 PM
Officers responded to a call of a suspicious person trespassing in a business. They detained the suspect who had a warrant for vandalism. The manager declined to press charges for trespassing.
Captain’s Note: Generally, the owner or person in charge of private property must “press charges” to have a suspect arrested for trespassing. This is done by making a private person’s arrest (AKA a citizen’s arrest). This doesn’t mean that the complainant has to physically arrest the suspect (we’ll do that). However, he must be willing to sign an arrest form, give a statement and testify in court.

Balboa & 38th Ave
03-13-2015 8:45 PM
The female victim was walking on the street with her current boyfriend when her ex-boyfriend attacked the couple resulting in minor injuries.

Masonic & Anza
03-14-2015 12:29 AM
Officers saw a driver run a stop sign and detained him for the violation. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. Although he claimed to have had just “one beer” his blood alcohol was measured at .122%, well over the legal limit of .08%.
Captain’s Note: Almost every drunk driver claims to have had “one beer.” Read on for several more examples this week.

Geary & Park Presidio
03-14-2015 1:40 PM
Officers responded to a report of a shoplifter who fled from a store without paying. They found the suspect and recovered the stolen items, but the store management declined to press charges (see the note above about private person’s arrest). The officers arrested the suspect on an existing warrant for felony theft charges.

Geary & 4th Ave
03-14-2105 5:22 PM
A resident called the SFPD to turn in a revolver that had belonged to her recently deceased husband. She did not want the gun in the home because she has young grandchildren. Officers took the gun for later destruction.
Captain’s Note: If you have a firearm that you no longer want or that you cannot keep safely please turn it in. An improperly stored firearm can lead to a tragic death and may result in criminal charges for the negligent owner. The gun could also be stolen and used in a crime. On Saturday 03-21-2015 Northern Station will hold a gun buy back from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at 1050 McAllister. You can turn in a gun with no questions asked and get $100 for a handgun and $200 for an assault rifle.

Steiner & Vallejo
03-14-2015 11:51 PM
Officers saw a driver run a stop sign and detained him for the violation. They noted that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and field sobriety tests supported their observations. His blood alcohol was measured at .138%.

Fulton & 36th Ave
03-15-2015 5:24 PM
Officers responded to a vehicle collision where a driver told them that she was stopped at a red light when another driver rear ended her car and then hit a tree. After the collision, the other driver got out of his car, gathered up his empty beer cans and hid them in his trunk. As in the case above, the suspect told the officers that he had consumed only “one beer.” This is unlikely, since his blood alcohol was measured at .172% and there were several empty beer cans in his car. Fortunately, the innocent driver was not injured.

Geary & 3rd Ave
03-15-2015 2:12 AM
Officers stopped a driver who was swerving and speeding. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. He initially told the officers that he only had “one glass of wine” (the oenophile’s variation on the “one beer” claim). He subsequently revised his estimate to “one bottle of wine” which is more consistent with his blood alcohol of .186%.

Masonic & Euclid
03-15-2015 5:28 PM
A resident called 911 after he saw the suspect break into a parked car and steal items from inside. When officers arrived on scene, the suspect ran from them and tried to climb over a fence. His sweatshirt became snagged on the fence and he was stuck until officers rescued and arrested him.
Captain’s Note: This suspect definitely needs an attorney who specializes in de-fence cases.

Anza & Blake
03-16-2015 7:07 AM
A car was driving west on Anza from Blake when the driver slowed and signaled for a left turn. A motorcycle following the car tried to pass the car on the left and struck the turning car. The motorcyclist sustained minor injuries.
Captain’s Note: This illustrates the importance of both giving and observing turn signals. It is also wise to check your turn signals periodically to make sure that all of the bulbs are working.

Geary & Arguello
03-16-2015 10:17 AM
The suspect went into a bank and tried to cash a stolen check but the alert teller was suspicious and called the SFPD. The check had been stolen from a car the previous day.

California & 12th Ave
03-17-2015 2:55 AM
A resident of a multi unit building awoke to the sound of the front gate clanging. He looked out of his window to see the suspect trying to push a neighbor’s bicycle out of the gate. He shouted at the suspect who fled without the bicycle. Officers searched the area but did not find the suspect. They seized a shopping cart containing property that the suspect left behind at the scene (resulting in a net loss for her burglary enterprise).
Suspect: White female, 5’6” 140lbs, blonde shoulder length hair, grey shirt, black backpack

Clement & 26th Ave
03-17-2015 1:30 PM
A woman called 911 to report that her husband was behaving erratically. Responding officers spoke to the man who told them that he had psychiatric problems and was worried about his mental state. He was transported to the hospital.

Geary & 29th Ave
03-17-2015 8:30 PM
A husband was arrested for battering his wife. At the scene, officers seized a loaded Glock semiautomatic pistol and five high capacity magazines.
Captain’s Note: Section 619 of the San Francisco Municipal Police Code prohibits the possession of firearm magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. This suspect had one magazine capable of holding 30 rounds.

Geary & 10th Ave
03-18-2015 12:46 AM
An Uber driver got out of his car to stretch his legs when he was approached by 3 suspects who began to harass him. He was punched in the face by one suspect. As the suspects ran away, an opportunistic unrelated suspect jumped into the victim’s car and drove off. The suspect who punched the victim was caught by officers as he waited nearby for another Uber driver to pick him up. This suspect’s girlfriend came to the station looking for him, and officers found the other 2 suspects hiding in the girlfriend’s car in front of the station. The victim’s car was later found abandoned and crashed into a parked car at Anza & 10th Ave.
Suspect in the vehicle theft / hit & run: Asian male in his 20s

California & 19th Ave
03-18-2015 8:23 AM
A car was driving westbound on California at 19th Ave when it struck a pedestrian who was crossing in the crosswalk. The driver said that he did not see the pedestrian due to the sun. He was cited at the scene for failing to yield to the pedestrian (who suffered moderate injuries).

Shore View & 36th Ave
03-18-2015 8:23 AM
A Department of Parking and Traffic Employee placed a vehicle immobilizing device (commonly known as a boot) on the wheel of a car with numerous unpaid parking citations. He returned to check on the boot a few days later only to find something suspicious afoot. Apparently, some heel had given the boot to the boot and legged it with the car and the immobilizer.

Park Presidio & Crossover
03-18-2015 3:49 PM
An SUV was stopped at a red light facing south on Park Presidio when it was rear ended by a motor scooter. The scooter rider sustained moderate injuries. He was cited for traveling at an unsafe speed.
Captain’s Note: This intersection recorded the greatest number of injury collisions in the Richmond District in 2014 (five of them). Most of the collisions in the area are caused by excessive speed, which is why officers continue to do regular speed enforcement here.

Geary & 15th Ave
03-18-2015 4:42 PM
A woman was just returning from taking her young grandson for a walk. She carried him up the front steps of the home and turned around to see a person running around in front of the house picking up cash that was blowing in the wind. Being a decent person, she helped gather some of the money and gave it to the man. He then ran to a waiting car which drove off quickly. At this point the woman realized that her check book and license were on the ground and the money blowing around had come from her wallet (left behind briefly as she was carrying her grandson). An honest neighbor who was walking nearby witnessed the suspect’s getaway and helped by gathering and returning the remaining cash.
Suspect: Black male, 30-35 years old, 6’, heavy set, brown hair in fuzzy locks
Vehicle: Dark blue 4 door car, possibly a Mitsubishi

Geary & 28th Ave
03-19-2015 2:19 PM
The store manager saw the suspect pick up $170 worth of items and walk out of the store without paying. The suspect was already on probation for theft and had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest as well.

MLK near Lincoln (Golden Gate Park)
03-19-2015 4:37 PM
Park Rangers knew that the suspect had a court order requiring him to stay away from the area. They called SFPD officers who arrested him for violating the order and for several misdemeanor warrants. This same suspect was arrested for violating this same order at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park on 03-07-2015.

JFK & 47th (Golden Gate Park)
03-19-2015 5:49 PM
Undercover officers from Richmond Station caught a suspect who used a window punch tool to break the window of a parked car and steal property. Upon searching the suspect’s car, the officers found more stolen property from other cases.

Tuesday 04-21-2015 @ 7:00 PM
Richmond Station Community Room
461 6th Ave.

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

Follow us on Twitter: @SFPDRichmond

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 10:06 am | Posted under Crime | 2 comments

Local links: Police forum, driver arrested, new GGNRA chief, auctions & more

Land’s End

Happy Friday Richmond folk! Here are some local links for your almost-weekend.

  • There’s a Police Community Forum meeting this Sunday at 11:30am, hosted by St. James Episcopal Church (4620 California St. at 8th Ave.). SFPD Richmond Station Captain Simon Silverman will be there and the forum us designed to discuss public safety, community relations, and the Captain’s priorities after one year as our local station chief.
  • It’s auction time for a couple of neighborhood organizations. Argonne School has an online silent auction that includes VIP passes to Outside Lands, Giants stuff, kids camps, and hotel stays. The Richmond District YMCA is holding their annual silent auction on Thursday, April 2 from 6pm to 10pm. Tickets to the event, which will feature catering by Burma Superstar and BStar (and free childcare!), are available online.
  • The Chronicle’s “City Exposed” column has an interesting article on the keeper of the Land’s End labyrinth. “I didn’t choose the place. I think it chose me,” she said. “I didn’t even know what a labyrinth was. It just felt good.”
  • The driver who fatally struck an 87-year old man in the crosswalk at Geary and 26th Avenue last week has been arrested and charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. Investigators determined the victim, Alfred Yee, was walking north across Geary Boulevard in the crosswalk when the driver, Daniel Schultz, 40, made a left turn from 26th Avenue and struck him. Schultz stopped at the scene but was not arrested until this week. [SF Bay]
  • Foggy Notion owner Alissa Anderson was interviewed recently by the SF Etsy blog. Anderson talks about opening her business, how she finds products, her additional sewing business, and her participation in the merchant community of the Richmond District. Foggy Notion is now open 7 days a week, 275 6th Avenue.
  • The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes the coastline in the Presidio, Land’s End, Sutro Park and Ocean Beach, has a new chief. Christine Lehnertz, a biologist and regional manager for the National Park Service, will become superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in May. [SFGate]
  • The YMCA’s Presidio Trail Run on April 26 is looking for volunteers from 6:45-10:45am as course monitors, support at water stations and race bib/t-shirt pick up. If interested, contact Lindsay at lindsay@alittlemighty.com.
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 4:45 am | Posted under Business, Crime, Lands End, Parks | 6 comments

Internet Archive addresses housing crisis with “Foundation Housing” project

The first property for “Foundation Housing” at 19th Avenue and Clement

Everyone’s talking about it – the city’s skyrocketing rents that are forcing workers of all kinds to flee the city in search of more affordable housing.

The situation can be even more dire for workers at nonprofit organizations, whose salaries are typically about 25% less than their counterparts that work the same position in a for-profit organization.

One nonprofit, the Richmond District’s Internet Archive, is trying to address the issue for nonprofit workers with a new model they’re calling “Foundation Housing”.

Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle recently posted about the project, which is attempting to set up “Permanently Affordable housing for non-profit workers”.

In this model, a new nonprofit, the Kahle/Austin Foundation House, has been set up to purchase apartment buildings. These rental units are then made available to employees of select nonprofits at a “debt free” rate– basically equivalent the condominium fee and taxes. Typically, the debt makes up about 2/3 of the cost of a building and the other costs (tax+maintenance+insurance) makes up about 1/3. Since the employee does not pay the debt part, the monthly fee is now about $850-1000/month rather than $2700-3000 current market rent. This way, the fee to those employees is about 1/3 of the cost of market rent, and we believe more stable than market based rents.

To date, the Internet Archive has purchased one, 11-unit apartment building at 19th Avenue and Clement, just blocks from their headquarters at Clement and Funston. As new apartments become available through attrition (no former tenants are pushed out), the Foundation house has made units available to 2 nonprofits, and there are now 3 employees living there.

“In the Foundation House, the supporters are giving up the ability to flip the building for a profit in return for making a permanent asset for the public good,” Kahle says.

One potential downside to the plan – what happens if you leave your job at the nonprofit? Do you lose your housing as well? Kahle says they haven’t had to address that yet since no one has left their jobs, but they are thinking of how to deal with it in the future.

Kahle is also exploring ways to finance the Foundation Housing project, including creating a credit union, setting up an endowment and a low-interest bond.

“With about 10% of all employees in the US working in the non-profit sector, maybe we could hope for 5% of US housing to become Foundation Housing to provide stable, affordable housing for those dedicating themselves to service,” Kahle says.

A very interesting idea. What do you think? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

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 1:58 pm | Posted under Community | 15 comments

Photo: Fiery sunset

Photographed by Eugene Kim. He’s on a year-long mission to photograph something everyday. Follow his progress on Flickr.

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 2:33 pm | Posted under Photos | 4 comments