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Van vs. utility pole at 10th & California knocked out power on Saturday

Photo by @fishermp

Around 10:30am on Saturday morning, a white van collided with a utility pole on the southeast corner of the intersection. The collision knocked out power to several blocks in the immediate area, including the stop lights.

SFPD, SFFD and PG&E were on the scene for much of the day, shutting off two blocks of California Street from 9th Avenue to 11th Avenue to traffic. When we went by the scene at 3:45pm, police still had the streets closed off but by dusk, repairs were complete and streets were re-opened.

Some residents lost power immediately after the accident, particularly on the north side of California Street as far up as 12th Avenue. Power was restored around 1pm.

We have not heard what caused the van to crash, or if there were any injuries in the incident.

Sarah B.

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 9:03 pm | Posted under Traffic, Utilities | 5 comments

Police Blotter – August 2, 2013

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of August 2, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

The success of last year’s Outside Lands was evidenced by a reduction in overall calls for service during the event, in fact we received 94 fewer noise complaints than we have in previous years. 60,000 plus persons attended Outside Lands each day and we received many compliments from neighbors regarding the improvements made to last year’s concert. I must give credit where credit is due. The staff at Richmond Station work tirelessly to police the event and it would not be possible without the dedication and devotion of all members involved. We would like to thank PAR and the many neighbors and business’s that step up and work together to accomplish this event. Based on this we are looking forward to another successful event this year.

Acting Captain Frank Lee
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On 07/29/2013 Officer Schor and Officer Jones observed a vehicle at an expired meter while displaying a disabled placard. They contacted the driver of the vehicle who was returning from a coffee shop next to the vehicle. The officers inquired who the owner of the placard was and it was discovered that the owner was not in the area. The driver was cited for both placard misuse and the expired meter.

On 07/29/2013 Officer Chu observed a vehicle driving in the area of Geary and 19th Ave. with expired registration. Officer Chu initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. During this incident it was discovered that the driver was operating the vehicle with a license which was suspended for the previous 18 months. The driver was cited for the misdemeanor offence of driving with a suspended license and expired registration.

On 07/31/2013 Officer Chu observed a vehicle driving in the area of Geary and 16th Ave. with a non working headlight. Officer Chu initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. During this incident it was discovered that the driver was operating the vehicle with a license which was suspended for the previous 6 months. The driver was cited for the misdemeanor offence of driving with a suspended license and expired registration.

On 07/30/2013 there was a burglary at the Safeway Store at 735 7th Ave. Officers Dun and Lai responded to the scene and contacted the store security officer. They had observed the female suspect in this incident walk around the store taking multiple items and place them in her blue shopping bag. She then exited the store with the bag where she was detained by store security. Further investigation by Officer Dun revealed that the suspect was on felony probation out of San Mateo County. The suspect was arrested on the probation violation and various charges.

On 07/28/2013 there was an attempted homicide with a gun in the area of Geary and 29th Ave. Police responded to the location and discovered a white male in his thirties laying on the ground suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Multiple Richmond and outside units responded due to the nature of the call. No further information is available at this time and the investigation continues.

On 08/01/2013 at approximately 12:50 hrs there was a Robbery at the First Republic Bank on Geary and 24th Ave. Three males forced their way into the bank pushing a customer aside as they were leaving the bank. One of the staff members was slightly injured during this incident after being struck on the head with a gun while complying with the gunmen. An unknown amount of cash was taken during this incident and the suspects fled on foot from the bank with the stolen cash. Local and outside units arrived on the scene and canvassed the area. No further information is available at this time and the investigation continues.

On 07/27/2013 there was a street robbery in the area of Anza and Presidio Blvd. A young female was walking in the area while listening to music and texting on her phone. The victim was approached from behind by a single suspect who snatched the Iphone from her and fled on foot towards Anza St. The victim was uninjured during this incident.

On 07/29/2013 there was a street robbery in the area of Sutter and Baker. The male victim was waiting for Muni when he was approached by 23-25 year old black male. The male pointed a semi-automatic at the victim which he held in his right hand. The suspect asked the victim if he had a cell phone to which he replied yes. On hearing this the suspect took half a step back and cocked the weapon. He then asked the victim what was in his briefcase and was told it was a laptop computer. The suspect then grabbed the briefcase and fled towards the area of the Westside Housing Development. The victim was uninjured during this incident.

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 8:01 pm | Posted under Crime | 17 comments

First Republic Bank on Geary & 24th robbed for second time in 2013

There’s something about the First Republic Bank on Geary and 24th Avenue that attracts the criminal element…

KCBS reports that the bank was robbed on Thursday afternoon at about 1:35pm.

A suspect entered the bank with a gun and ordered employees to get on the ground, according to police.

He then opened the front door for a second suspect while a third suspect entered from a rear door, police said.

The suspects then proceeded to take money from desk drawers and one struck a bank employee in the head, police spokeswoman Officer Tracy Turner said.

A fourth suspect came in briefly to check on the other suspects, and the four eventually fled from the bank on foot. They were described as four black men wearing black hooded sweatshirts and scarves over their faces, Turner said.

The bank employee who was struck was not seriously injured, Turner said. [KCBS]

The same First Republic Bank was robbed on January 4, 2013 by two suspects who were black males. In January, police released photos of the suspects from the bank’s security cameras.

Could it be the same suspects that returned yesterday?

Anyone with information about the robberies is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

That 6001 Geary location, which has always been a bank, has a history of robberies. In 2004, a male in his 40?s stole about $5,000. And back in 1997, three armed men in ski masks made off with $50,000 when it was United Savings Bank.

Sarah B.

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 12:55 pm | Posted under Crime | 11 comments

Want to help during an emergency? Attend free NERT trainings this month

Volunteers learn how to help an injured person during a NERT training. Photo by Frank Jang.

Have you heard of the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, also known as NERT? It’s a community based training program sponsored by the SFFD that is dedicated to a neighbor-helping-neighbor approach.

NERT is a free training program for individuals, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations in San Francisco. Through this program, individuals will learn the basics of personal preparedness and prevention. The training also includes hands-on disaster skills that will help individuals respond to a personal emergency as well as act as members of a neighborhood response team.

In the month of August, NERT will be holding free training classes at the Jewish Community Center on California near Presidio. It is a 3 class series, taking place on August 6, 13 & 27, from 9:00AM until 4:00PM each day.

All classes are free and you can sign up on their event page at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7402887235.

If you can’t make those dates, visit the NERT website to find out when other trainings around the city are taking place.

Sarah B.

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 10:17 am | Posted under Classes | Comments Off

Ahoy mateys! Cabrillo Playground re-opening celebration is this Saturday

Photo by Friends of Cabrillo Playground

Cabrillo Playground has been closed since last September for remodeling, but this Saturday, it will re-open to the public with a grand celebration.

Stop by on Saturday from 12noon until 3pm to check out the renovated playground, located on 38th Avenue between Cabrillo and Fulton. The theme for the celebration is pirates, so dig out that shoulder parrot and wooden leg, and brush up on your pirate-speak.

The $4.5 million Cabrillo Playground project includes the renovation of the historic clubhouse – originally built in 1945 as a New Deal project – as well as a complete overhaul of the children’s play area, creating separate play areas for pre-school and school age children.

All of the sports courts – 1 tennis court and 1 1/2 basketball courts – have also been resurfaced in colorful materials.

Work was also done to the picnic area, paths were repaved, new lighting has been added, accessibility improved and new landscaping installed.

The seating walls in the new playground also feature donor recognition tiles, which the Friends of Cabrillo Playground spearheaded as a way to raise additional funds for the renovations.

Some of the funds went to purchase a Henge concrete ping pong table. At Saturday’s celebration, they’ll be hosting a Berlin-style ping pong demonstration.

Rec & Park will also have a climbing wall on site for the celebration along with other planned activities for kids, plus there will be live music and food.

It’s great to have another renovated playground in the neighborhood! Next up is Mountain Lake Park Playground, which is due for a $3.15 million renovation beginning in March 2015.

Sarah B.

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 10:18 am | Posted under Events, Kids, Recreation | 3 comments

Local Links: Parklets, “Story” opens, outer Balboa improvements coming, Waldo’s wrap party, drawing classes, bison laid to rest & more

The new parklet being installed on Clement near 3rd Avenue. Photo by @Dameright

Whew, we’ve been saving up lots of links for y’all to enjoy! Don’t miss any of them – there’s some good stuff in here…

  • There’s a new gift shop and children’s clothing boutique at 202 Clement Street called Story. They’re hosting a grand opening celebration this Friday night from 6-9pm featuring Nobly, jewelry from Lina Shatara, and art by Nate1 Design and Sita Rupe. Stop in for some drinks and bites, and to welcome them to the neighborhood. And if you can’t make the party, just stop in to shop sometime!
  • And just outside the new Story shop… Construction of the new, woodsy Clement Street parklet is underway. The parklet was designed and is being built the fellows of Anzfer Farms, a workshop and showroom located in the Outer Richmond at 2441 Balboa. They’re targeting completion this Friday or Saturday in time for Sunday’s Farmer’s Market.
  • Speaking of parklets… Cinderella Bakery on Balboa near 6th Avenue also wants to build a parklet in front of their business. Reader Tracy tells us there is a proposal posted in the bakery window, and the comment period runs from 7/25/13 to 8/8/2013. Contact 554-5810 or parklets@sfdpw.org with any comments or questions.
  • Speaking of Balboa Street… There are big improvements planned for outer Balboa – $2.3 million worth to be exact. The Chronicle reports that the commercial district will get “a fresh look with new landscaping, better street lights and street and sidewalk improvements, but also a more visible identity, with 12-foot-tall monuments marking the area’s entryways at 34th and 39th streets.” The project will begin in September and is expected to take 8 months to complete. Read more at the DPW website or download the project fact sheet.
  • Sad news from Golden Gate Park this week. The SF Zoo had to euthanize the oldest bison in the herd that lives in the park. The unnamed bison had lived for 30 years (25 is typical). Eight bison still remain in the park – some from a donation thanks to Richard Blum as a gift to his wife and then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1983, and the rest from a group of young females purchased from a Redding ranch in 2011 to bolster the herd. RIP Grandpa Bison.
  • Remember the Where’s Waldo? scavenger hunt that Clement Street merchants held this month? The wrap-up party and raffle takes place at Green Apple Books this Wednesday afternoon at 3pm. Stop by for food and treats, donated by some of the businesses who participated in the Waldo hunt. And our own Supervisor Eric Mar will be on hand to draw the raffle winners. We hear Waldo may even make an appearance…
  • More kudos for Green Apple – they were named to the Top shops’ hall of fame by SFGate. “This bibliophile’s delight tumbles out of its quarters daily in the form of its radically discounted sidewalk stacks. Within, no one can resist those staff reviews broadcasting the lovingly edited selection of new fiction and non- or the sizable collection of used volumes. Retreat from the Richmond fog in the magazine annex.”
  • Want to hone your drawing skills? Painter Eun Hee Lee is teaching an Experimental Life Drawing Class at the Park Presidio United Methodist Church (4301 Geary) on Tuesday nights from 7-8pm, from August 6 through September 10. The class is $40 and is open to beginners and advanced artists. View the class flyer (PDF)
  • A recent article on the KQED Blog says there is new data that indicates apartment rents in San Francisco may be falling slightly. The Richmond District median rent for a 1 bedroom as of July 2013? $1,835 a month.
  • The Richmond District Branch Library on 9th Avenue now has its own Facebook page. “Like” them to keep up with their wide variety of events.
  • This Saturday from 10am until 3pm is the Summer Gardening Fair at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. The fair “is a free, fun and friendly gathering of plant enthusiasts sharing ideas, plants and plant-related items. This year, we’re proud to add lots of children’s activities to round out the day!”
  • This Friday and Saturday is the Fair Trade Bazaar at the de Young Museum, showcasing products from global artisans. Shop for jewelry, textiles, native handcrafts, and decorative accessories reflecting the many cultures represented in the museum’s collection. Admission is free, and members get 10% off any purchases.
  • Speaking of the de Young, someone “yarn-bombed” their bike rack last week, adding a little rainbow beneath the tower:

Photo by @deyoungmuseum

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 5:01 am | Posted under Business, Classes, Eric Mar, Golden Gate Park, Museums, Shopping | 15 comments

Investigation underway after shooting at 29th & Geary on Sunday night

NBC Bay Area reports that police are investigating a shooting that took place at 29th Avenue and Geary Boulevard on Sunday night just before 7pm.

One man was shot and remains hospitalized in critical condition. Police believe three people were involved in the shooting, including the victim. Two vehicles were seen fleeing the scene.

Reader Caitlin L. happened to be in the area just after the shooting occurred.

“The guy had his car door open and I saw him walk around the back of his car and then he laid down and shortly after that I realized he had been shot,” Caitlin told us over email.

Caitlin said other witnesses heard 3 or 4 shots. Police said the incident began during a fight in a car, and they are still searching for two male suspects.

If anyone has any information pertaining to this incident, please contact Sgt. Maguire #1158 from SFPD Criminal Investigations Unit (415) 553-1753 or at thomas.j.maguire@sfgov.org.

Sarah B.

[via SFAppeal]

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 2:06 pm | Posted under Crime | 53 comments

Cassava Bakery taps the community to fund a new outdoor patio

It’s been just over a year since Cassava Bakery opened on Balboa near 36th Avenue, but the small cafe, owned by married couple Yuka Ioroi and Kristoffer Toliao, has already expanded.

The cafe has been popular since it opened, offering up a unique Japanese breakfast, tasty cafe bites from chef Kris, great coffee, and pop-up dinners on Friday nights with gourmet menus.

But the real reason it’s popular is its atmosphere and neighborhood feel. Yuka and Kris know their customers, and make them feel at home and comfortable. I remember stopping in early on and having to sit outside because their few inside tables were full. Yuka came out with warm blankets to put on us to weather the Richmond fog.

Earlier this month, “Cassava 2.0″ re-opened after completing construction to expand into the space next door.

That expansion, coupled with a larger restaurant menu and future bar service, is inching Cassava closer to the vision Yuka and Kris have of bringing the Parisian cafe experience to the outer Richmond District. A place where neighbors can come together, enjoy good food and drink, discuss the issues of the day, or just relax.

To keep going, Cassava is turning to the community via Kickstarter for help with bringing their next vision to life: an outdoor patio featuring an edible garden that chef Kris can cook with.

It’s not the first time a local business has turned to its supporters for financial help. In Late 2011, the Bazaar Cafe on California Street revealed that they were struggling financially, and would have to close. Customers and community members stepped up and donated $20,000 to keep the cafe in business.

Check out Cassava’s video above, and if you’d like to contribute to their vision, visit their Kickstarter page. As with most Kickstarter projects, different levels of contribution to Cassava’s project comes with a bonus like an e-book of Chef Kris’ favorite recipes, invitation to a private thank you party, 3-course meals prepared by Chef Kris, and even a 1 on 1 cooking lesson.

Every Kickstarter contribution is a pledge – if Cassava doesn’t make their goal, no one contributes. Their goal is to raise $20,000 by August 2, and they’re over halfway there.

Good luck Cassava!

Sarah B.

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 1:50 pm | Posted under Business, Food | 13 comments