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Hearing Thursday to extend Clement St. Farmer’s Market; some don’t approve

Ever since its debut on June 23, 2013, the Clement Street Farmer’s Market has been a favorite stop for residents on Sunday mornings to pick up fresh, organic foods and mingle with neighbors.

The market runs on Clement Street from 2nd Avenue to 4th Avenue every Sunday from 9am until 2pm, closing off both blocks to cars (including parking). Attendance is routinely high, even on foggy days that the Richmond District is known for. Vendors often sell out of their wares by market close, and on October 27, to coincide with the Clement Street Sunday Streets, the market will be extended by 2 blocks.

This Thursday at 9am, the SFMTA Division of Sustainable Streets will hold another hearing to consider extending the street closures on the two blocks of Clement Street that are required to hold the Farmer’s Market. If approved, the Farmer’s Market would be able to continue until June 22, 2014 when the SFMTA would once again evaluate the weekly event.

Given that the market is so popular with residents, why wouldn’t it be approved to continue? The push back comes from some merchants who have seen a decline in business since the market started.

We’ve spoken to a few merchants since the market opened in June. All are in favor of the market and its community benefits, but they have also struggled to find ways to meet their revenue goals in spite of it. The lack of parking for their customers, decreased visibility for their storefronts, and competition from market vendors are the main reasons they have second thoughts about the weekly gathering.

Q Restaurant (225 Clement) has always enjoyed a brisk brunch business on Sundays. But since the market began, Sunday revenues are down. Q had their own taco stand at the market when it launched, positioned just outside their front door in hopes of raising awareness and attracting strollers in to the restaurant to dine. And while taco sales were swift, it did not translate to increased dine-in revenues. And with the market not closing down until 2pm, Q also misses much of its Sunday lunch crowd.

Sparky’s Balloons (115 Clement) has seen a similar decline in sales as many party-throwers struggle to pick up their orders on Sunday mornings since they can no longer pull up to the store. And like most merchants along the two blocks of the market, Sparky’s storefront is rendered nearly invisible by vendor tents. The produce market at 4th and Geary has complained that competition from the Farmer’s Market has negatively affected their sales.

For as many merchants that complain, there are as many who are ecstatic about the farmer’s market presence on Clement Street. Cumaica Coffee (200 Clement), on the corner between the two blocks of the market, is thriving on Sundays. So far, there are no drip coffee vendors in the market, so when shoppers are seeking a jolt, Cumaica is the go-to spot. Their new parklet also offers a popular gathering spot during the market’s hours.

Seedstore Clothing (212 Clement) has seen a similar uptick in foot traffic. The store is routinely busy on Sundays, as shoppers wander in to check out their selection of men’s and women’s clothing. And four blocks away, Foggy Notion Boutique (275 6th Avenue) has enjoyed a surge in traffic, opening earlier on Sundays to take advantage of the Clement Street crowds. Their sandwich board placed near the Farmer’s Market info booth helps drive awareness.

Thursday’s hearing, which takes place at 9am at the SFMTA, will likely be a formality since the approval at question is only for another 6 months. If approved, the SFMTA would re-evaluate the market in June 2014, when they may consider a permanent approval for the required street closures.

Despite overwhelming support from residents for the market, including several thousand signatures gathered in favor of its continuance, the hearing will likely include negative feedback from some of the merchants whose businesses have been adversely affected since the market began in June.

Foggy Notion owner Alissa Anderson, a member of the Clement Street Merchants Association, is asking residents to come out to Thursday’s meeting in support of the market, to ensure its future.

“It is super important for people to show up if they want the Farmers Market to continue. Regardless of how many signatures are provided in favor of it, at prior meetings a couple of business owners have shown up with negative reactions to it that have jeopardized the existence of it for things like complaints about lack of parking or competition. In-person physical support by neighbors and especially business owners is crucial to combat the naysayers and show that is truly benefits the majority of the local community,” Anderson said.

Thursday’s hearing will be held at the SFMTA, 1 South Van Ness, 7th Floor at 9am.

What do you think? Are you in favor of the Farmer’s Market continuing? Are there changes you’d like to see made to the market’s format or hours? Leave a comment to let us know.

UPDATE 10/24/13 12:25pm: The SFMTA approved the required street closures during the hearing, so the market will continue through June 2014 (when it will be re-evaluated).

Sarah B.

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 4:55 am | Posted under Business, Community | 46 comments

Police Blotter – October 18, 2013

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 18, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

As the weather cools off and we prepare for Day Light Savings to end its important to remind our loved ones that motorists cannot see you when you are wearing dark clothing and it is dark outside. I have personally stopped numerous bike and skateboarders for riding on the sidewalk. People, especially senior citizens cannot see you coming. It is a violation to ride on the sidewalk and I encourage my officers to cite for this. Now that it’s getting darker earlier and staying darker longer it is even harder to see bicyclists, pedestrians and skate boarders. Parents, as you shop or create your families Halloween costumes please remember to make sure they are not too long to avoid a tripping hazard and consider using bright colors or tape that illuminates to keep your loved ones safe. Last week I shared a story about a bunny rabbit that was found near 44th avenue.

I am delighted to report that Snowy the bunny was reunited with her family after the neighbors banded together to locate her people.


San Francisco police are alerting the public to a telephone scam involving the demand for payment for what are presented as overdue loan debts, and a telephone scam involving payment for traffic tickets supposedly issued by the San Francisco Police Department. In these calls, often the caller ID is that of the SFPD, showing a legitimate police department number.

In the unpaid loan scam, the caller identifies himself as a police officer, stating that he is acting on behalf of “Mark Rothman & Associates.” To prevent criminal proceedings or a bench warrant being issued, the caller demands an “interim payment.” The caller instructs the victim to purchase a $500 Green Dot MoneyPak or Vanilla Gift card or similar cash-load card as payment and to call a specific number once this is done. Once the victim has purchased the card and called the number, the victim is instructed to give the card information, and a phony proof-of-payment e-mail is sent. Once that information is given, all the money on the card is fraudulently used.

In the unpaid traffic ticket scam, the caller claims to be from the San Francisco Police Department and may even fraudulently use the name of an actual San Francisco police officer. The caller states that there is money due, $154 or more; on unpaid traffic tickets and that a bench warrant will be issued unless payment is received. Payment is demanded through a similar cash-load card process and, again, the money on the card is used.

These fraudulent contacts may also be done through e-mail or pre-recorded calls.

As a matter of policy, the police department never contacts citizens for payment under any circumstances, including for outstanding traffic citations or for any civil debt.

Citizens are urged not to comply with such requests, and to report such calls to the police. Green Dot MoneyPak cards and similar cash-load cards have recently been the focus of scam artists throughout the country. Citizens should never provide the card number and security clearance codes to a caller or in response to an e-mail.

On10/ 11/2013, at 4:28 pm, Plainclothes officers were conducting a vehicle burglary abatement in the area of the Chess Tables in Golden Gate Park. During this operation the encountered a large group of people in an area known for narcotics use. Officers recognized one of the individuals as a person who was arrested three months earlier for narcotics and weapons violations. When contacted the individual gave a name to the officers which was incorrect. The officers were able to determine that there were two current arrest warrants of the male and on further investigation discovered narcotics which were packaged for sales. The suspect was not cooperative and was later booked at County Jail for two warrants, Narcotics Violations and resisting arrest.

On 10/12/2013, at 5:23 pm, Officers Dun and Mariano were on patrol in the area of 7th and Fulton St. when they observed a male casing vehicles. They contacted the male and confirmed that the male was currently on probation. As the officers continued their investigation the suspect admitted to having narcotics currently on his person. The officers further discovered that the individual had active warrants for his arrest. The suspect was later booked for the violations at County Jail.

On 10/12/2013, at 1:45 pm, Officers responded to the area of 2000 Post St. regarding a report of an attempted robbery. The responding officers contacted the victim’s who stated that an unknown male had attempted to snatch an Iphone and in the process also threw one of the victims to the ground. Officers requested a medical response for the victim’s injuries. While conducting their initial interview and broadcasting descriptions, the officers were approached by two witnesses who had recovered a wallet on the ground fifty yards from the attempted robbery. The robber had dropped his wallet while fleeing the scene. The suspect was subsequently arrested for the attempted robbery and booked into County Jail. (Thank you to the robber for being considerate and leaving his wallet with ID at the scene.)

On 10/04/13, at 7:01 am, Officer Garrett was on foot patrol in the area of the Chess Tables in Golden Gate Park. Officer Garrett was contacted by a citizen who told him that someone needed help over the hill. As the officer crested the hill he observed a female kneeling over a male who was lying on the ground. The female appeared to be slapping and shaking the male for an unknown reason.

On seeing the officer the female screamed the she needed help. Officer Garret ran over and observed that the male was “completely blue”, did not have any pulse and was unconscious. Officer Garrett immediately called for a medical response and notified dispatch he had started to apply CPR. Officer Garrett used his medical training as he had been instructed to in the police academy. After a period of time Officer Garrett was able to find a pulse and placed the male victim in a position of recovery just as he had been previously taught. When the medical team arrived they applied further treatment which luckily brought the victim back to consciousness. The victim was then transported to Hospital for further evaluation and medical treatment.

On 10/17/2013, at 12:10 am, Officers responded to the area of Pierce St. and Sacramento St. regarding a reported street robbery. The victim in this incident reported the he was walking home when he was approached by two males, one was holding a semi-automatic pistol. The victim was ordered to lie on the ground and his wallet and cell phone were taken. The suspects fled from the area after ordering the victim to stay on the ground. Multiple units searched the area for the suspects to no avail. There were no injuries in this incident and the investigation continues….

On 10/10/13, at 8:53 pm, Officers responded to the area of Fulton and La Playa St. regarding the report of a street robbery. A male and female were waiting for a Muni Bus in the area when they were approached by two males who came from the park; one was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The suspects took a digital camera, cell phone and a bag full of groceries. The suspects fled from the area north from Fulton St. Multiple units searched the area for the suspects but were unable to locate the suspects. There were no injuries in this incident and the investigation continues….

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 10:35 pm | Posted under Crime | 2 comments

Sports Photography seminar at Richmond District Library, Oct. 23

Jerry Rice and Roger Craig of the 49ers, Jan. 1, 1988. Photo by Frederic Larson

Always wished you could better capture your kids playing soccer or basketball? Tired of your action shots turning out blurry? Or are you just curious about what goes into taking a great shot on the field?

Local photographer and award-winning photojournalist Frederic Larson will be hosting a free sports photography seminar at the Richmond District Library (351 9th Avenue) on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30pm.

Fred will teach the elements and techniques of sports photography, sharing some of his favorite images from his professional career.

View more sports photography from Frederic Larson

Sarah B.

Photo by Frederic Larson

Photo by Frederic Larson

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 5:20 am | Posted under Classes, Photos | Comments Off

Free admission to Academy of Sciences for 94118 + 94121, Oct. 18-20

Photo by Zhanna Zebello

This Friday through Sunday, residents of the Richmond District (zip codes 94118 & 94121) can enjoy free admission to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

This is a great chance to explore all the fun stuff that the Academy has under its roof including an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum.

Each visiting adult must show a valid photo ID with proof of residency, which includes any of the following:

- A driver license or state ID card
- Photo ID plus postmarked envelope, postcard, or magazine label with name and date
- Photo ID plus utility bill (gas/electric/cable), bank statement, or letter from a government agency with name and home address (not a P.O. Box)

Note that each visiting adult is limited to six children for free entry.

Mark your calendars – the next free admission days for our zip codes are March 14, 15 & 16, 2014.

Sarah B.

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 5:06 am | Posted under Events, Free stuff, Golden Gate Park | 3 comments

Open Studios with Richmond District artists, October 19 & 20

Beach Bus Stop by Barbara Landis

This weekend is the Richmond District edition of SF Open Studios!

The month long SF Open Studios event moves from neighborhood to neighborhood each weekend, and gives San Franciscans a chance to discover local artists as they open up their studios and invite people in to view their work, and their workspace.

The art on exhibit runs the gamut from challenging installation work, painting and photography to furniture, glass, wearable art, fiber arts, ceramics, mixed media, drawing and more.

From 11am to 6pm on Saturday or Sunday, stop in any of the artists’ studios below to check out their work:

Jay Mercado – 4754 California Street @ 10th Avenue (group show)
Ariel Gold – 183 21st Avenue @ California
Fong Fai – 239 12th Avenue @ Clement
Marilyn Luzzio Bridon – 345 8th Avenue @ Clement
Deirdre Weinberg – 345 8th Avenue @ Clement
Elizabeth Fracchia – 497 8th Avenue @ Anza
Arne Jin An Wong – 425 2nd Avenue @ Geary
David Yapp – 3024 Fulton Street, #9 @ 6th Avenue
Nea Bisek – 7915 Geary Boulevard @ 43rd Avenue

Pillow by Jay Mercado

Rachel Murray Meyer – Table Asia Gallery, 1101 Lake Street @ 12th Avenue
Barbara Landis – 689 37th Avenue @ Balboa
Colleen Mullins – 616 3rd Avenue @ Balboa

Mariella Zevallos – 345 8th Avenue @ Clement
Rowley Rabbit – 1428 Lake Street @ 15th Avenue
Shirley Smith – 207 20th Avenue @ California

Larry Lurie (Sculpture) – 21 21st Avenue @ Lake
Jody McMillan (Printmaking) – 59 6th Avenue @ Lake
Melissa Shanley (Fiber) – 773 15th Avenue @ Fulton
Nšel Chun (Ceramics) – 1332 Anza Street @ 4th Avenue

This weekend’s neighborhoods also include Fort Mason, Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, North Beach, Hayes Valley, Haight, Buena Vista, and the Sunset. Find out more on the ArtSpan website.

Sarah B.

View Open Studios 2013 Richmond District (Oct. 13 & 14) in a full screen map

Sutro Baths 2010 by Colleen Mullins

Baker Beach Sunset by David Yapp

Challenging the boundaries – mask series #2 by Mariella Zevallos

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 4:49 am | Posted under Art, Events | 4 comments

Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic in Golden Gate Park celebrates 25 years, October 19

Photo by Den Dowling

This Saturday is the 25th annual Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic in Golden Gate Park, featuring vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles of all types.

Jimmy’s Annual Old Car Picnic started in 1988 when classic car-loving friends got together in Golden Gate Park to celebrate Jimmy O’Keefe’s brithday. It has since grown into the largest and longest running show of its kind in San Francisco.

The event takes place in Speedway Meadow (Hellman Hollow) in Golden Gate Park from 7am until 4pm. Anyone can display their vintage car, as long as it’s from 1987 or earlier. The cost to display is $40 per vehicle, with proceeds benefiting The Janet Pomeroy Center and The Potrero Hill Neighborhood House.

Attending the picnic and viewing the cars is free and fun – you’ll see a wide variety of vintage cars that range from Model T’s to souped up hot rods, and crazy motorcycles.

View more photos from Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic 2012

Sarah B.

Photo by Veronica T V-M

Photo by Den Dowling

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 5:13 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | Comments Off

Police Blotter – October 11, 2013

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 11, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Richmond Station Officers did an amazing job working with Hardly Strictly Blue Grass to facilitate the event. A giant high five to Officer Toby Moore, Officer Patrick Brady and everyone who made this event a success. On Friday, bus loads of middle school children from around the City and the Bay Area enjoyed Music in the Park and had a fun filled day in our district. On a more somber note, this week we had two significant vehicle accidents involving drivers who were arrested for being under the influence. If you see an inebriated person operating a motor vehicle please call 911.

If anyone living near 42nd Avenue is missing a bunny rabbit please send us an email a neighbor is caring for the bunny and posting signs in an attempt to relocate the bunny with its family.

On10/09/2013, at 5:30 am, Officers responded to the area of Park Presidio Boulevard and Geary regarding a major collision in the area. On arrival at the scene officers discovered a female wandering around the middle of the road who stated that she had just been involved in an accident. Medical personnel responded and rendered medical to the female. Officers at the scene observed an empty bottle of vodka in the vehicle. The officers then contacted the driver of the vehicle who appeared under the influence of alcohol. Due to possible injuries, the driver was transported to hospital. Afterr being medically cleared the driver was booked at the County Jail for Felony D.U.I…

On 10/08/2013, at 10:39 am, Officers responded to the area of John F. Kennedy Dr. and Transverse Drive regarding a reported purse snatch. The victim and witnesses in this incident provided a description of the suspect and broadcast the information for other responding units.

Officers located the suspect a little time later who matched the description provided. The suspect initially attempted to run away but was apprehended by the responding officers. One victim in this incident suffered minor injuries to the face from being struck in the face. The suspect was positively identified by one of the victims and later booked at the County Jail. It should be noted that two of the officers at the scene recognized the suspect from a similar incident which had occurred on the previous day.

On 1010/08/2013, at 4:33 pm, Officer Schor and Officer Dun were on patrol in the area of Sutter St. and Broderick St. Officer Schor observed a male standing in the area of the Westside Housing Development who he knew had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The male was known to officers as a felon with a violent history of robbery. The officers managed to arrest the male without incident thus taking another violent felon off the streets.

On 10/04/2013, at 10:17 pm, Officer Alexander and Officer Ivanov responded to the area of Baker St. and Jackson St. regarding a report of possible burglary suspects in the area. On arrival in the area officers attempted to contact a male who matched the description provided. The male immediately fled the area, running west on Jackson St. The officers started a search of the area and later found the male on the ground after apparently tripping in his effort to flee from police. The male was discovered to be a parolee with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The male was also discovered to be in possession of a large variety of “Burglary Tools.” The male was booked at the County Jail.

On 10/04/2013, at 12:17 pm, Officers in the area of 6th Ave and Fulton St. observed a parolee known to them. The male was also known to be on active felony probation. Officers contacted the male and discovered the male was in possession of Hallucinogenic Drugs and drug paraphernalia. The male booked at County Jail on drug charges and violating his probation.

On 10/03/2013, at 2:00 am, Officer Chu was driving west on Geary Blvd when he saw a vehicle making an illegal left turn in front of him. There are clearly posted no left turn signs in the area due to this being a major intersection and traffic artery in the city. Officer Chu initiated a traffic stop and contacted the male. Officer Chu noted the smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from the male. The male admitted to drinking earlier and was booked for Misdemeanor D.U.I. at County Jail.

On 10/04/2013, at 5:32 pm, Plain clothes officers working in the area of 5400 Fulton St. observed males passing what appeared to be narcotics between themselves. The officers positioned themselves closer to the males for a better view. The officers observed both males “snorting” what appeared to be powder cocaine. Officers recovered a quantity of suspected “powder cocaine” and both of the males were booked at County Jail on Narcotic charges.

On 10/06/2013, at 6:40 pm, officers working in the area of 800 John F. Kennedy Drive observed a male and a female sitting on the ground. What drew the officer’s attention was what appeared to be a narcotics transaction between both parties. Officers contacted the male and female who when approached threw something away in an effort to hide what was in his hand. Officers found six suspected oxycodone tablets on the ground in the area. The male was determined to have narcotics for sale on his person due to recovered unused Ziploc baggies and other items. The female was discovered to have about 100 tablets of Oxycodone in her possession. During the arrest search of the male it was further discovered that he was in possession of “Blotter Paper” which is a normal method of storage and consumption of LSD.

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 9:52 pm | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

Local links: govt shutdown ills, new dance studio, Elmo in prison, Calder’s Big Crinkly & more

Photo by

Happy Friday to everyone! Here are some local links to take you into what we hope is a great weekend. – Sarah B.

  • How is the #govtshutdown affecting the Richmond District? Aside from places like Baker Beach and Lands End being “closed” (well at least their parking lots are…), the legendary Cliff House, which is a National Park Service concessionaire, was ordered to close. They did, but then re-opened in defiance, only to be re-ordered to close on Tuesday night. And in other killjoy news, the annual LEAP Sandcastle Contest on Ocean Beach was postponed because their permit for Ocean Beach was deemed invalid during the shutdown.
  • The new “puzzle-like” condos (6 units total) on the corner of California and 4th Avenue were featured in the October issue of San Francisco Magazine. The architect Owen Kennerly referred to the former smog station lot as a sort of “no man’s land” that challenged him. “The real question, then, Kennerly says, was “How bold do you get?” The eventual answer: pretty damn bold. “We stepped up to that threshold and went beyond it,” he says.”
  • Up for an urban adventure/scavenger hunt? Get Lost is hosting the Land’s End Street Scramble on Monday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day). Visit checkpoints in any order, and answer a simple question to prove you were there. Those who score the most are the winners! You can race for 90 minutes or 3 hours, and all levels are welcome.
  • New Century Hair Design at 6209 Geary near 26th Avenue is closing their doors after 20+ years in business. Reader Steve tells us that the business, owned by two local women, is closing down because the landlord won’t renew their lease. “Big loss for the neighborhood and the hundreds of regular clients that have been going their for years,” Steve wrote. They’ll close at the end of October.
  • There’s a new children’s dance studio in the neighborhood – Ms. Marian’s Dance Garden located at 5841 Geary (above Thom’s Natural Foods). Ms. Marian offers performance oriented classes for boys & girls age 3-18 years, at all levels. Ms. Marian recently left the Richmond District YMCA, where she created the Children’s Dance Program and led it for 12 years.
  • Remember the angry guy in an Elmo suit that was causing a ruckus at Rossi Park last year? He was recently sentenced to a year in a New York prison after pleading guilty to attempted grand larceny and misdemeanor stalking in a plot to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts.
  • While SFMOMA is closed, the de Young is displaying Alexander Calder’s Big Crinkly sculpture/mobile in their garden. Watch it being installed in the video below. In other cross-museum news, the Legion of Honor will host a Matisse from SFMOMA exhibition starting November 9, featuring 23 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from SFMOMA’s Matisse collection, alongside four paintings and drawings from the Fine Arts Museums’ holdings, and two works from private local collections.

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 5:12 am | Posted under Business, Crime, Kids, Ocean Beach, Politics, Recreation | 4 comments