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First ever Inner Richmond Pedi Cab Craft Beer Tour, Wednesday night

As part of SF Beer Week, there is a special beer tour event in the Inner Richmond this Wednesday night.

Called the Inner Richmond Pedi Cab Craft Beer Tour, the event includes five beer-serving stops in the neighborhood: 540 Club, Chomp N’ Swig, Buckshot, Q Restaurant, and Healthy Spirits.

The pedi cab part of the event comes in between venues. Hop on one to make your way safely to the next destination in the beer tour. Organizer Ben Mansell of 540 Club says there are 7 confirmed cabs for the event, possibly more by Wednesday night.

Each location will have its own Beer Week festivities going on, plus brewery showcases and great eats.

540 Club will have a selection of Nitro beers from Deschutes Brewing Company (Red Chair), Buckshot is promoting beers from the New Belgian Brewing Company (Fat Tire), Q Restaurant is hosting a Marin Brewing Company tap take over, and Chomp N Swig is creating a “SoCal Night” with Green Flash Brewery of San Diego (Palate Wrecker) and Cistamontane Brewing.

And while you can’t sample or drink at Healthy Spirits, you can make it your last stop to shop one of the largest and highest quality beer selections in the neighborhood.

The beer tour runs from 7pm until 11pm. Pedi cabs are provided free by Cabrio Taxi but tipping is encouraged!

Sarah B.

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 11:30 am | Posted under Events | 3 comments

MUNI service changes meeting 2/12; give feedback on commuter shuttle stops

Photo by Thomas Hawk

SFMTA is looking for feedback from the community on two transportation issues facing the city – changes in MUNI service lines including the 2, 28, 28L, and 38L lines, and which MUNI stops residents think would be best for the Silicon Valley commuter shuttles to use.

On Wednesday, February 12 from 6-8pm, the SFMTA will hold a public meeting at the Richmond District police station (461 6th Avenue) about proposed changes to the 2, 28, 28L, and 38L lines.

Muni is considering proposed service and route changes as part of the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP):

The proposed changes will modernize Muni and make it more efficient, reliable, safe and comfortable for its existing 700,000 daily passengers. Developed over several years of data collection, intensive planning and public outreach efforts, the TEP will restructure transit service on certain lines to improve efficiency and connectivity and implement transit priority changes on the most heavily used lines to give buses and trains more priority on our City streets.

The addition of a 5L Fulton line last Fall was part of the TEP. The SFMTA is proposing the following additional changes which will be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting:

2 Clement: Supplemental trolley coach service between downtown and Presidio Avenue to boost service lost by shutdown of 3 Jackson route. 2 Clement Service Variant proposes an alternative alignment that would use existing overhead wires for trolley coach service on the entire Sutter Street corridor. Instead of operating on Clement Street from Arguello Boulevard to Park Presidio Boulevard, the alignment would continue on California Street to Eighth Avenue south to Clement Street to Sixth Avenue. This service variant would include a terminal loop at Sansome Street in the Downtown area. See project document

38L Geary: Expand limited stop service to Sundays. Coordinate with Geary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study currently underway, which aims to achieve significant travel time and reliability improvements. See project document

Changes are also being proposed to the 28 and 28L 19th Avenue routes, which run through the neighborhood on Park Presidio.

Late last month, the SFMTA Board approved an 18-month pilot program that will test sharing a limited number of Muni stops with commuter shuttles, many of which carry employees between the city and tech companies in the South Bay. Shuttles that pay for a permit and commit to complying with permit terms (following operating guidelines, sharing data, paying permit fees, etc.) will be authorized to use the shared stops.

The pilot program is set to start in July 2014 and the SFMTA is hosting an interactive map where residents can suggest locations for shared stops and provide information on conditions that they think should be considered in developing the network.

Click on an existing pointer in the map to add your feedback about a location, or create your own marker with feedback at additional stops.

The deadline to provide information via the interactive map is February 23. From that collected data, SFMTA engineers and planners will develop a proposed network as well as Muni operations and engineering needs.

Sarah B.

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 4:04 am | Posted under Muni, Traffic, Transportation | 15 comments

Former Legion of Honor Director was part of Monuments Men WWII platoon

Today, George Clooney’s latest film The Monuments Men opens in theaters. The film depicts an unusual WWII platoon made up of museum directors, curators, and art historians who were tasked with rescuing artistic masterpieces that had been stolen by the Nazis and returning them to their rightful owners.

One of the platoon members was Thomas Carr Howe, Jr., who at the time was the Director of the Legion of Honor Museum. Howe’s character is not portrayed in Clooney’s film but during his years of service as a “Monument Man”, he helped rescue and preserve countless artworks stolen by the Nazis, including Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child (1501) and Jan Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece (1432).

During World War II, Howe joined the U.S. army and served from 1945 to 1946 in Germany and Austria. He began as a naval lieutenant but was soon assigned to serve in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) section. Howe reported to Lieutenant Commander George Stout at Wiesbaden, and was later promoted to Lieutenant Commander and Deputy Chief of the MFAA at Frankfurt.

During his service as one of the “Monuments Men” Howe located hidden and recovered large repositories of cultural objects and works of art stolen by the Nazis. He also helped with the restitution effort. At the Altaussee salt mines in Austria, Howe helped salvage a large cache of stolen artwork that included Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child and the Ghent Altarpiece or The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, Vermeer’s The Artists Studio, and the Rothschild family jewels. Howe later described his wartime work in his book Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art (1946). [Archives of American Art]

Today at 12noon, the Legion of Honor is hosting a lecture about Howe and the real life story of the Monuments Men. The talk features presentations from UC Berkeley, The Frick Collection Art Reference Library, the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, and the American Institute for Conservation Oral History Project.

To watch the art talk online, follow the Legion of Honor on Google+ and then tune into the broadcast.

You can also watch at the Koret Auditorium at the de Young or at the Florence Gould Theater at the Legion of Honor. Museum admission is required.

Thomas Carr Howe, Jr.’s papers are stored at the Archives of American Art, which includes a great gallery of images from his time with the platoon. A few are shown below but more can be seen here.

For his wartime service as a Monuments Men, Howe was honored with the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor and the Officier of the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau in 1946. After completing his service, Howe resumed his place as Director at the Legion of Honor, a position he held until his retirement in 1968.

And you can see the new Monuments Men movie starring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban and George Clooney at the Balboa Theater, starting tonight.

Sarah B.

Stephen Kovalyak, George Stout and Thomas Carr Howe transporting Michelangelo’s sculpture Madonna
and child, 1945 July 9. [Archives of American Art]

Herr Sicher, George Stout and Thomas Carr Howe inspecting paintings, 1945 July 9 [Archives of American Art]

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 4:45 am | Posted under Art, Events, History, Museums | 2 comments

Police Blotter – February 6, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of February 6, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

There has been a recent series of burglaries involving unoccupied homes that are under construction. The suspects are breaking in overnight or on weekends and taking tools. The Richmond Station investigations team is pursuing a number of leads and has contacted all of the construction crews working in the district. In the meantime, please call the SFPD immediately if you see suspicious activity at a construction site, especially during a time when the crew would not normally be working.

There was a cluster of early morning robberies with a gun that are likely the work of the same suspect. He has targeted people walking alone and approaches from behind. The incidents were at Sacramento & Steiner, Bush & Baker and California & Lyon. I urge you to look around you as you walk and to avoid potential distractions such as wearing headphones or looking at your smart phone.

We continue to focus on enforcing traffic laws throughout the district. I’ve noticed that many of the drivers we cite live close to where they were cited. I suspect that people are distracted or in a rush as they come and go from home which leads to unsafe driving. Please give driving your full attention and be mindful not to drive too fast. It’s the neighborly thing to do.

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave.

On 02/01/14, shortly after 1:00am, two armed robberies occurred. One was at 32nd and Anza, the other was at the Great Highway and Fulton. The suspect descriptions were the same and one of the victims saw the suspects fleeing in a white SUV. There had been several reports throughout the City with similar descriptions of suspects and vehicle. There was also a robbery on 01/26/14 on the 2400 block of Sutter (last week’s newsletter) with similar information. On 02/02/14 at 12:10am a robbery occurred in another police district, (100 block of Page St) again with similar descriptions. Plainclothes officers then observed the vehicle at Broadway and Laguna Sts and followed it to Pacific and Octavia where the vehicle and the suspects were detained. Two of the suspects attempted to run but were unsuccessful. Numerous pieces of stolen property were recovered, along with two replica firearms. The 4 suspects, three 16yrs olds and one 21yr old were charged with numerous counts of robbery, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.

On 02/05/14 at 8:20pm, officers were called to the area of Masonic and Euclid on a report of a vehicle blocking a lane of traffic. Officers located the vehicle and inside was a female lying across the front driver and passenger seats. The doors and windows were locked and the engine was running. After banging on the window several times and getting no response and fearing a medical emergency, they broke a window to gain entry. They could immediately smell alcohol from within the vehicle. After finally rousing the occupant, she told them she was just taking a nap before driving home to the East Bay. The 67 year old female was charged with driving under the influence.

On 02/06/14 at 3:35am, the suspect was driving south on Point Lobos near the Cliff House. The vehicle jumped the curb and struck a vehicle parked on the sidewalk and a pole and planter in front of the business. The vehicle that was struck hit the front railing of the business. The driver, a 26yr old male was charged with driving under the influence.

Between 01/29/14, 6pm and 02/03/14, 7am on the 200 block of 14th Ave, a suspect entered a home under construction by cutting the padlock hasp on the front door. The suspect took tools.

On 01/31/14 at 7:30am the victim was walking east on Bush St from Divisadero. He first noticed the suspect at that location and as he continued east, the suspect followed. When the victim got to Bush and Steiner Sts, the suspect walked up behind him and brandished a firearm and told the victim to give up his property. The suspect, who was only described as a black male in his 20’s, fled in an unknown direction.

Between 02/01/14, 5pm and 02/03/14, 7am on the 3000 block of Cabrillo, a suspect entered a home under construction by cutting the padlock hasp from the garage door. The suspect took tools from a locked tool box by cutting the padlock.

Between 02/01/14, 5pm and 02/03/14, 7:25am on the 2600 block of Sutter, a suspect entered a home under construction by prying open a window. The suspect then cut the lock off of the tool box and took tools.

Between 02/02/14, 4pm and 02/03/14, 7am on the 200 block of 15th Ave, a suspect pried open the front door of an apartment building and entered the garage. The suspect took a bike and two bowling balls.

Between 02/02/14, 4pm and 02/03/14, 7:40am on the 100 block of 11th Ave, a suspect entered a garage and took a bike. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 02/04/14 at 10:30pm, the victim was standing on the 1600 block of Scott St when the suspect bumped into him. The suspect then brandished a firearm and told the victim to give up his property. The victim could only say “I’m sorry” several times and the suspect finally told the victim to “just go home.” The suspect fled north on Scott St. He was described as a black male, 20-30yrs wearing a white jacket with a hood.

On 02/05/14 between approximately 6am and 7:30am there were 3 armed robberies within a short distance from each other. The first was at Sacramento and Steiner, the second at Bush and Baker and the final was at California and Lyon. In each the suspect was described as a black male with a dark blue or black jacket, armed with a black semi-automatic handgun. In two of the robberies the suspect had something covering the bottom half of his face. The loss was cash, wallets and phones.

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 9:36 pm | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

Suspected drunk driver takes a chunk out of the Cliff House

Around 3:45am on Thursday morning, a suspected drunk driver careened off the slick street and jumped the curb in front of the Cliff House, taking out a post, a planter and a bit of the restaurant’s facade.

The car also crashed into a parked red pickup and pushed it up on the sidewalk. Beer bottles were littered all over the sidewalk near the crashed car, and witnesses say the driver appeared “extremely drunk”.

The driver of the BMW SUV was taken away in an ambulance with what looked like only a cut to the hand, according to KTVU News. No one else was injured in the accident.

Thanks to reader @bonanos for the tip.

Sarah B.

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 5:54 pm | Posted under Crime | 9 comments

Ken Burns’ latest Yosemite documentary at the Academy, Feb. 15 & 16

Half Dome in Yosemite Valley. Photo by Walt Mancini

Next weekend, the California Academy of Sciences will screen the latest documentary from filmmaker Ken Burns entitled “Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit”.

The documentary is about the 1864 Yosemite Grant signed by President Abraham Lincoln, which also laid the foundation for the national park idea. The landmark legislation forever preserved the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

The film is just 25 min and will be shown at 11:30 am, 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 pm in the Forum Theater at the Academy of Sciences on February 15 and 16. Admission is free with your Academy admission.

And if you’re there on Sunday, February 16, be sure to wish Pierre the penguin a happy 31st birthday – he’s the oldest in the Academy’s colony.

Sarah B.

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 5:01 am | Posted under Movies | Comments Off

Macaulay Culkin’s pizza loving band at Neck of the Woods, March 5

The Pizza Underground. Culkin is second from the right.

File this under “interesting conversation starters”… Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin will be playing at Clement Street’s Neck of the Woods on March 5 with his band, The Pizza Underground.

The band’s schtick is that they love all things to do with pizza, and make a show out of re-imagining classic tracks so that all the lyrics are about, you guessed it, pizza.

“All Tomorrow’s Parties” becomes “All the Pizza Parties,” Lou Reed’s “Walk On the Wild Side” becomes “Take a Bite of the Wild Slice,” “I’m Waiting for the Man” becomes “I’m Waiting for Delivery Man” and so on.

The band was originally scheduled for one show at Neck of the Woods, but after selling out, the club added an additional early show on March 5 at 6pm.

Tickets are available online ($10) and at the Neck of the Woods box office.

Just try to keep your Home Alone heckling to a minimum…

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Live Music | 5 comments

Video: “Through Our Eyes” Richmond District photo project

Late last year, we told you about a photo project that took place at the Richmond District branch library called “Through Our Eyes: Visual Stories of the Richmond Neighborhood”.

The workshop was led by photojournalist Frederic Larson, who worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for thirty years, where he covered all types of assignments – from fires to football, earthquakes to celebrities.

Larson invited amateur photographers to come out and capture a visual snapshot of the Richmond District neighborhood by covering 18 square blocks in and around the library.

The video above highlights the project and its participants, which resulted in not only interesting photographs, but also some insights into the residents and our variety of cultures.

Librarian Dorothy Kimmel, who spearheaded the project, tells us some of the photos can be seen on the branch Facebook page, and that “in the near future I will post a slide show and two photo stories.”

Sarah B.

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 12:43 pm | Posted under Art, Photos | 2 comments