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Local links: Beach Chalet, Marla Bakery opens, Sushi Wako, tree planting & more

Inside the new Marla Bakery on outer Balboa

Happy Friday to everyone! Here are some local links to dance you into the weekend…

  • Marla Bakery is finally open at 3619 Balboa near 37th Avenue. The Chronicle says it “will be open as a cafe all day and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner most weeknights, and brunch weekends, along with a Sunday supper that will happen at one long table, with a prix-fixe menu and wine pairings.” Stop in and welcome them to the neighborhood!
  • Just when you thought the debate over the artificial turf fields at Beach Chalet was done… In the upcoming November election, it’s likely that voters will be faced with two dueling ballot measures. One from a group of environmentalists, neighbors and others that want to prohibit artificial turf and field lights at Beach Chalet, and another measure from the city that is designed to override the opponents’ measure. The opponents of the fields have until July 7 to get the 9,702 valid signatures they need to qualify for the ballot.
  • Friends of the Urban Forest are planning another tree planting event in the Richmond District in August. If you’re interested in planting a tree in front of your property, the deadline to apply is July 16. Get all the details here
  • A new sushi spot is open at 211 Clement Street called Sushi Wako. They remodeled a former sushi spot and expanded into the space next door, resulting in a lovely rebuild. According to their website, Wako, which means “Japanese Fragrance” was started by two chef buddies. Reviews on Yelp so far are very good with one reviewer writing, “I have a feeling this place is going to be packed once the word gets out. So shhh…keep it down.” Oops, sorry. :)
  • Into Playland history? Author James Smith, whose latest book “San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach: The Golden Years” recently came out, will be speaking at the Sunset Branch Library (1305 18th Avenue) next Tuesday, June 24 at 7pm. Smith will speak and show photos from his latest book which is an illustrated history of the much-loved park from 1940 until its closing in 1972. We’ve got the book, it’s snazzy.
  • There’s a poignant piece about a duck needing a mate at Mountain Lake Park. “But duck does not live by bread alone. Duck should not, in fact and in the natural state of things, live alone. And Musco is all alone. I am on a one-woman campaign to find him a Muscovy mate.”
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 5:03 am | Posted under Food, Golden Gate Park, History, Politics, Shopping | Comments Off

Police Blotter – June 19, 2014 | Blotter author Office Brophy is retiring

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of June 19, 2014. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Although the captain of Richmond Station often writes a short message at the top of each weekly newsletter, for many years the actual author of everything else in the newsletter has been Officer Lorie Brophy. Officer Brophy is about to begin her much deserved retirement from the SFPD. Since this is her final newsletter, it is my honor to publicly thank her for 32 years of dedicated service to the community.

Officer Brophy graduated from the police academy in the fall of 1982 and was assigned to Mission Station for field training. After completing her training, she came to Richmond Station in the spring of 1983. In the mid 80s, she spent a year at Narcotics/Vice, but otherwise she has spent her entire career serving the Richmond District. For many years she was a school officer, and the walls of her office are still decorated with artwork and thank you notes from generations of the Richmond District’s school children.

Because Officer Brophy has been at Richmond Station longer than any other person, she has an encyclopedic knowledge of the district. She possesses a keen intelligence and the finely honed instincts that come from years of police work. Using these talents, she frequently solves cases by making connections between seemingly unrelated information that others would miss.

The SFPD and the Richmond District have been fortunate to have Officer Brophy in our family these past three decades. Even though she won’t be coming to work here each day, her influence and her presence will be strongly felt for many years to come. She will forever be in the heart and the soul of Richmond Station and we wish her a long, happy and healthy retirement.

On June 25th at 6:00 pm the Police Commission will hold a public meeting in the Richmond District at Presidio Middle School (450 30th Ave). This is an opportunity for the commissioners to hear directly from residents of the district. I will also give a brief report about Richmond Station. This takes the place of our regular monthly community meeting, so we will not meet on June 17th as we usually would.

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On 06/15/14 at 8:27pm, a non-injury accident occurred on the 400 block of Clement. The party who was not at fault in the accident, attempted to leave the scene, but only made it one block. The other driver approached the male and believed he was under the influence and called the police. When officers arrived they observed obvious signs of intoxication and in performing initial tests, the driver was over 3 times the legal limit. The 34yr old male was charged with driving under the influence and hit and run.

On 06/17/14 at 1:18am, officers patrolling the area of Post and Scott Sts observed a male walking along the curb line, looking into car windows with a flashlight. Officers detained the male and asked him several times for his identification. When he finally provided it the officers found that he had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. When the officers went to place him into handcuffs, the suspect began to resist and pull away. The suspect kept yelling “Shoot me!” and “Hurt me!” The officers were able to get him to the ground and place him into handcuffs after a struggle. A backup officer arrived and they began to walk him to the patrol vehicle when he lunged towards the officer, again yelling to “Shoot me!” and “Kick me!” He started spitting at the officers and kicked his legs and flailed his body. They were finally able to search the suspect and located pepper spray, a stethoscope and two Laryngoscopes in his coat pocket. The suspect told the officers that he wanted an ambulance as his arm hurt. When the ambulance arrived he refused to answer any of the paramedics question and told them his medical complaint was one of “hurt pride.” The suspect, a 29yr old male was charged with the possession of pepper spray and warrants. One of the pieces of medical equipment had a name engraved on it and in searching report records discovered that an auto burglary report had been made on May 27th. Officers went to the victims home to make contact but were told by neighbors that he had just moved out of state within the last week.

On 06/18/14 at 3:24am, officers were called to a burglary in progress on the 400 block of 27th Ave. The caller was witnessing this from across the street and observed two suspects prying open the front door of an apartment building. The caller then observed the males enter the lobby and go into the garage. Prior to officers arriving, the suspects had fled south on 27th Ave but the witness kept an eye on their direction of travel and pointed out one of the suspects to the officers. The male was detained and identified by the witness. The second suspect was not located. Officers found the front door damaged with pry marks. The suspect, a 35yr old male was charged with burglary. It is unknown at this time what the loss is if any.

Between 06/12/14, 9am and 06/14/14, 11:40am on the 6100 block of Geary, a suspect entered a multi-unit garage and took a bike. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 06/12/14 at 8:10pm, the victim was on Sutter and Baker when she was approached by two suspects. One of the suspects forced her to the ground and took her purse. Both suspects fled south on Baker. They were described as black males, 20-25yr, with one wearing a tan jacket with a hood and blue jeans. The victim was uninjured.

On 06/13/14 at 8:45pm officers were traveling west on Fulton at 17th Ave. One of the officers observed a flash of light coming from behind a van that was parked on the south side of Fulton. The light was coming from the sidewalk side. The officers were aware that Fulton St is an area where auto burglaries occur and turned around to investigate. The officers saw the suspect standing next to the van and when he saw the patrol car, he ran to a Honda that was parked and began to drive off. The officers attempted a traffic stop and initially the suspect stopped the vehicle. As the officer approached, the driver suddenly accelerated and fled west bound Fulton at a high rate of speed. The occupant was driving in complete disregard for any ones safety and was traveling at such a speed that the officers lost visual contact with the vehicle. The suspect was described as a black male, 25-30yrs wearing a white t-shirt, dark pants and had tattoos on his arms. The vehicle was a 4 door green Honda.

Between 06/13/14, 11:30pm and 06/14/14, 7:50am on the 800 block of Balboa, a suspect entered a storage area of a garage and took several boxes of paperwork, bicycle parts and an outdoor rug. There was no sign of forced entry.

On 06/14/14 at 1:20am the victim was walking on California St approaching Spruce. The two suspects approached him from behind and demanded his backpack. The victim struggled with the suspect for several moments over the bag and eventually the suspect took it. They then fled to a vehicle that was only described as black in color and fled south. The backpack contained a laptop and textbooks. The suspects were two black males, 25-30yrs, one wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. The other had on a black beanie and a dark long sleeved shirt.

On 06/16/14 between 6am and 3pm on the 2200 block of Divisadero St, a suspect pried open a rear door to a residence. The suspect took an iPad and credit cards.

Between 06/16/14, 5pm and 06/17/14, 8am on the 1700 block of Lake St, a home under construction was broken into. The suspect pried open a lock box which contained the key to the residence and took tools.

On 06/17/14 at 8:15am, an officer was called to a burglary on the 2400 block of Clement St. At some point during the night the suspects had forced entry through the front door of a business. The suspects then forced open the office door inside and took cash. The incident was caught on video; however the suspects had completely covered their faces and were wearing gloves. The suspects then fled in a light colored Toyota.

On 06/17/14 at 10:22pm, the victim was walking to his car parked on Sutter and Baker St. As he entered his vehicle and closed the door, the suspects ran up to the car and opened the driver’s side door. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and demanded the victim’s cash and began to pat the victim’s pockets. The suspect then removed his wallet and struck him in the head with the butt of the gun. Both suspects fled in an unknown direction. The victim stated that the suspects were wearing some type of ski mask and all dark clothing. The victim refused medical treatment.

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 2:35 pm | Posted under Crime | 1 comment

Video: Coyote looking for a snack at Sutro Park

Reader Kevin A. captured this video of a coyote hunting for a snack at Sutro Park on Tuesday evening around 8:30pm.

“I actually witnessed it catching 3 gophers within a couple of minutes!” Kevin told us.

Maybe Rec & Park should employ this guy for pest control? ;)

Sarah B.

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 11:43 am | Posted under Video, Wildlife | 1 comment

City provides grant money to attract more tourists to the Richmond District

It’s rare to see the Richmond District mentioned in local news, let alone on the front page of the paper. But that’s what happened today when the Examiner published a story Visit SF for the beautiful … Richmond district?.

The story details an effort that is underway to attract more tourists to our northwest corner of the city. We don’t get much of the tourist traffic or money according to the SF Travel Association. In a 2010 survey, they found that just 17.6% of tourists visit the Richmond or Sunset, compared to 65.2% who went to Union Square, 56% to Fisherman’s Wharf and 38.4% to Chinatown.

They shouldn’t be surprised at their own survey results, since their SF Travel website doesn’t even include the Richmond District in their list of neighborhoods. Et tu, SF Travel?

But we all know that the Richmond District has great attractions for visitors including two world class museums, beautiful coastline and beaches, nearly every variety of cuisine imaginable, city landmarks and gorgeous parks.

According to the article, the “Neighborhood Partners Program — which awarded nine other grants to businesses or organizations in The City for 2014 to 2016 — will add shops, restaurants and other places in the Richmond to its online and print publications, and provide networking and mentoring opportunities for merchants.”

A two-year grant for an undisclosed amount was given to the Greater Geary Boulevard Merchants and Property Owners Association, led by David Heller.

He told the Examiner that the money will be used for things like stringing lights along stretches of Geary, hanging banners to promote shops and destinations in the Richmond, and beautifying storefronts.

What would you do to attract more tourists to the neighborhood? When you have friends visiting, what do you encourage them to see and do in the neighborhood? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

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 9:43 am | Posted under News | 32 comments

Urban Family Farm Day at the Richmond Library, Saturday June 21

This Saturday from 12noon until 4pm, the Richmond District Branch Library will host an Urban Family Farm Day, featuring animal shows, raffles, and gardening activities.

Stop by the library to learn more about creating your own urban farm, including bee keeping and gardening tips.

Tracy the Animal Show Guy will also give a show at 2:30pm, presumably featuring farm animals like goats, chickens etc. Judging from his video, he looks like he puts on a fun show.

Saturday’s event schedule is:

12:00 – 1:00 Irish jigs and reels with Celtic Sands Trio
1:00 – 2:00 Plant exchange and raffle sign-up
2:00 – 3:00 Bee keeping presentation with Paul Koski
2:30 – 3:30 Animal show & petting with “Tracy, the Animal Guy”
3:30 – 4:00 Raffle and much more!

Admission is free! The Richmond District Branch Library is located at 351 9th Avenue.

Sarah B.

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 12:58 pm | Posted under Events, Kids | Comments Off

SF Free Folk Festival at Presidio Middle School this weekend

On Saturday and Sunday, the San Francisco Free Folk Festival returns to Presidio Middle School for its 38th year of music and dance workshops, concerts, dance parties, crafts, vendors, formal and informal music-making, and fun activities for all ages.

This year’s schedule includes workshops like “Flash Mob Choir“, “East Coast Swing“, “Israel Dances Old and New“, “Songs of Simon and Garfunkel” and “African Dance and Drumming“. Needless to say, something for everyone.

Both days are packed with live music performances across five stages from artists like The Rowan Brothers, Windy Hill, Wronglers (once fronted by Warren Hellman), The Littlest Birds, Stringquake and many more.

The festival is very family friendly, and features a lineup of family-focused programming like a Children’s Music Network Song Swap, Kids’ Open Mic, and Songwriting for Kids and Wacky Adults.

Admission is free and the festival runs from 12noon to 10pm on both Saturday and Sunday. On-site parking is available in the Presidio Middle School (450 30th Avenue) lot for $8.

Sarah B.

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 5:01 am | Posted under Events, Kids, Live Music | 1 comment

Photo: California Street, 1908

Raised Frame Houses on California Street Between 17th and 18th Avenues | July 20, 1908. Courtesy of SFMTA Archives

The Western Neighborhoods Project sent this pic our way. It shows California Street near 17th Avenue in 1908, just two years after the big quake.

The structure in the foreground of the photo is an Earthquake Refugee Cottage or “earthquake shack” as they’re often called. Some residents re-purposed them into homes after they were used to house quake refugees between 1906 and 1908 at camps throughout the city. This one was probably moved from the Camp 25 (Camp Richmond) refugee camp that spanned Park Presidio (photo below).

Now if we could figure out if this is looking east or west, we’d post a “today” photo to compare it to… [Update: John Freeman confirmed the photo is looking east, so photo from today is posted below]

Sarah B.

The “today” shot looking east on California at 18th Avenue. Wonder if those are the
same utility poles that were there in the 1908 photo?

Camp 25 located along what is now Park Presidio Boulevard. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

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 9:40 am | Posted under History, Photos | 8 comments

Local links: Sisters in crime, a coyote lady, Green Apple, historic video & more

Photo by Tony Jameson

Happy Thursday to everyone! Here are some local updates to get you to Friday…

  • At Sunday Streets last weekend on the Great Highway, a group tried to break the Guinness World Record for the longest skate chain. They didn’t succeed but it made for some good photos :)
  • The two sisters that were arrested this week on allegations of operating a sex-trafficking ring in the Richmond District were released on $50,000 bail. They have been charged with seven counts of pimping, seven counts of pandering, one count of conspiracy to pimp and one count of conspiracy to pander after allegedly operating brothels at 385 Seventh Ave. and 4719 Geary Blvd. They are due to be arraigned on Friday. [SF Chronicle]
  • We see coyotes frequently in the Richmond District, and one San Francisco woman has taken it upon herself to study and photograph them. “I do it because I love coyotes and want to dispel myths about them,” Kessler said. “I want to help people understand how we can coexist peacefully with these beautiful animals.” She’s also produced videos to educate people on how to get along with coyotes.
  • The Tidy Shoppe at 4050 Geary is offering new makeup classes. The first one on June 26 from 7-9pm is focused on “smokey eyes” and features instruction from Cindy Chan. The cost is $40 and you bring your own makeup. Sign up via their Facebook page or call 668-4050.
  • Green Apple Books will open their second location on 9th Avenue in the Inner Sunset on August 1. Get all the details here including a look at the logo for the new store.
  • Speaking of Green Apple, owner Pete Mulvihill met a new “pal” at a recent event in NYC:

  • We don’t think we’ll ever “get” this business, or understand how they even STAY in business, but they continue to attract media attention. A journalist for Vice magazine paid a visit to the face-slapping masseuses at 14th Avenue and Geary. “The routine was like a bit from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers World Tour Live on Stage—but considering I was in a place where beauty-conscious people pay big bucks to get slapped in the face, how could I expect anything else?” Definitely one of the more bizarre pieces we’ve read this year.
  • Prelinger Archives found some unseen footage of Ocean Beach and Playland from 1942-43. In it you can see the Lurline Pier stretching out into the ocean, which was the intake pipe for pumping saltwater to the old Lurline Baths and Olympic Club pools downtown.

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 11:22 am | Posted under Crime, History, Video, Wildlife | 5 comments