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Free women’s self defense class at Barra Brothers Academy

Every Monday night in February, the Ocean Beach Barra Brothers Jiu-Jitsu Academy is offering a free self-defense class for women.

The class is taught by co-owner Carlos “Sapão” Ban who holds a 3rd degree black belt.

Classes are every Monday night in February at 8pm at the Barra Brothers Academy, located at 710 La Playa Street near Ocean Beach (February 3, 10, 17, 24).

For more information, call 379-4045 or email barrabrothersacademy@gmail.com.

Sarah B.

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 12:10 pm | Posted under Classes | Comments Off

Watch Super Bowl XLVIII on the big screen at the Balboa – FREE!

This Sunday, the Balboa Theater will host its annual Super Bowl party, featuring the Denver Broncos versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Doors open at 2:30 and kick off begins at 3:15. Pop star Bruno Mars will entertain at half time, plus you’ll get to see all the new commercials.

If attendees are really lucky, maybe they’ll show some of the 2014 Kitten Bowl – we think that’s what everyone will be talking about on Monday.

The Super Bowl event is free so come by the watch the big game on the Balboa’s huge screen in surround sound, with plenty of popcorn to go around.

Sarah B.

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 5:04 am | Posted under Events, Sports | 1 comment

Remediation complete at Mountain Lake; Planting day February 8

Since last spring, Mountain Lake has looked a lot like a construction site as dredging equipment has sat on the surface, methodically removing sediment contaminated with lead and motor oil from the bottom of the lake.

In late 2011, a $13.5 million settlement was reached between the Presidio Trust and CALTRANS for cleanup of contaminated sediments that have run into Mountain Lake off of the Park Presidio roadway. The runoff has been occurring since the roadway opened 70 years ago.

The first phase of the project involved making adjustments to the roadway to avoid future runoff, including the installation of 400 stone columns into the ground along the northbound shoulder of the roadway west of Mountain Lake. Treatment devices were also installed in storm drains along the highway to prevent contaminants from entering the lake in the future.

Another part of the project involved removing all non-native species from the lake, including fish and turtles. All of the captured wildlife, including 42 red-eared slider turtles (photos), were taken to Sonoma County Reptile Rescue where they were relocated with breeders, pet stores, herpetological societies and local citizens.

One of the red-eared slider turtles that was removed from the lake and relocated

Dredging then got underway in Spring 2013. The dredged sediment from the bottom of the lake was transported via pipeline to a staging area north of the lake where it was dewatered and then pumped back into the lake. The dried, contaminated sediment was transported offsite and disposed of in a permitted, offsite landfill.

The last truckload of sediment left Mountain Lake in December, and all of the dredging equipment was removed from the lake. The remediation equipment in the staging area will also be removed soon, officially completing the remediation portion of the Mountain Lake project.

Crews plant new trees along the Park Presidio roadway in May 2013.
In the background, dredging barges can be seen on the lake. Photo: Presidio Trust

Up next is the beginning of the restoration phase, which is expected to last nearly three years. During that time, Biological Science Technician Jason Lisenby says they “will plant thousands and thousands of local plants into the newly cleaned-up areas.”

Planting will also take place in the lake itself, to ready it for the return of fish and act as a food source for wildlife:

Planting into Mountain Lake is expected to begin in March, and the first priority, Laskowski said, will be to introduce three of the lake’s most important plants: sago pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata), coontails (Ceratophyllum demersum) and water nymphs (Najas guadalupensis).

Those plants will play many roles, Young and Laskowski said. They will form a leafy canopy to shield microorganisms on the bottom from sunlight and provide a source of food for the lake’s dabbling ducks, as well as for the rare Western pond turtles that are being raised at the two zoos until they can be moved to the lake.

Once the plants are thriving, Young’s team will introduce hundreds of fish called three-spined sticklebacks, (Gasterosteus aculeates), a 2-inch species with a crucial role in the lake’s ecology. [SFGate]

Next Saturday, the Presidio Trust will host a celebration of the end of the remediation phase that includes a volunteer planting day. Volunteer opportunities will run from 9am to 12noon, followed by guided walks and a talk about future plans for Mountain Lake by Michael Boland, Chief Planning, Projects & Programs Officer for the Presidio Trust.

This is an auspicious rebirth for Mountain Lake, which scientists estimate is 1,700 years old, and one of the few remaining natural lakes in San Francisco (the others are Lake Merced, Pine Lake west of Stern Grove and the semi-natural Chain of Lakes in Golden Gate Park).

The lake was also a valuable source of drinking water for the Ohlone Indians and for early European settlers like Juan Bautista de Anza, who camped along its shores in 1776.

For more information on the Mountain Lake remediation and enhancement project, visit the project website.

Sarah B.

A view of Mountain Lake from 1899, looking west from the south shore (the side where Mountain Lake Park is today). The buildings in the background are the historic Marine Hospital, where the Presidio Landmark apartments are today. Photo: Presidio Trust

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 9:35 am | Posted under History, Parks | 13 comments

Mysterious bright lights at Lands End this morning

A view of the bright lights over Lands End from Baker Beach

We were up early for a Bright1Fitness workout this morning and noticed unusually bright lights out at the the coast.

Driving up Lake Street, we thought they might be coming from the VA Hospital, but once we were down on Baker Beach, they appeared to be coming from further west than the hospital.

Anyone know what was going on out there in the pre-dawn hours? We haven’t had a chance to drive out there and see if there’s any evidence (like an alien spaceship?)…

Sarah B.

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 9:32 am | Posted under Lands End | 8 comments

The Internet Archive wants to turn your old t-shirts into cushions

Photo: Internet Archive

The Internet Archive, located at Clement and Funston, is asking for donations of old t-shirts – preferably ones from tech companies or non-profits.

Why, you may ask? For achy posteriors, it seems. The former church that the Internet Archive is headquartered in has a great room (former sanctuary, really) that seats 400.

But like any church worth its salt, the seating in it is comprised of hard, wooden pews that become pretty tiresome once you’ve logged more than 15 minutes. We can attest to this after attending some Lost Landscapes screenings.

Rather than purchase cushions, the IA is asking for donations of t-shirts that they can turn into cushions.

“We are looking for T-shirts from non-profits or from tech companies in particular, but we’ll take whatever you’ve got. Any size, any color, just as long as there aren’t holes in the fabric or big stains that may discourage people from sitting on that cushion.”

You can drop off your t-shirt donations at the IA office during business hours or drop them in the mail: Internet Archive, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118.

“Your old T-shirts could make somebody’s butt very happy,” says the Internet Archive.

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Business | 1 comment

Revamped Eagle’s Point overlook opens at Lands End

Last fall, the El Camino entrance to Lands End was closed off for reconstruction of the Eagle’s Point overlook. It’s one of the best views in the neighborhood, overlooking China Beach, Baker Beach and the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.

The entrance reopened this week and debuted the new overlook which is simple in its design and in keeping with the other overlooks along Lands End’s coastal trail.

The old overlook was made of wood and included a ramp up to the viewing area. The new overlook is flush with the trail path, and features a simple semicircle design and three benches. Builders did keep and re-install one of the brown, wood benches from the old overlook and placed it slightly east of the main viewing area.

The new overlook is completely accessible, and old and diseased trees were removed around the overlook creating an unobstructed view. The next phase of the project includes native plant re-vegetation (if you’re interested in volunteering, get more info here).

Other improvements from the project include a resurfaced and regraded trail, a new bike rack near the 32nd and El Camino entrance, new signage, and an emergency call box near the overlook.

The Eagle’s Point renovation was the final project in the improvements to Lands End made possible by a $5 million grant from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund in 2010. Funds were supplemented by additional grants from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and California State Coastal Conservancy.

Sarah B.

One of the old benches from the previous overlook still remains

The new overlook is flush with the trail

The new signage and bike racks near the Lands End trail entrance at 32nd Avenue and El Camino Real

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 5:02 am | Posted under Lands End, Parks | 5 comments

Police Blotter – January 23, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of January 23, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Thanks to all of you who have welcomed me to the Richmond District! I’ve spent the past week meeting with community groups and learning about the concerns of the people who live and work here. The members of Richmond Station have briefed me on the crime and traffic trends in the district, and how we’ve been addressing them. The most common crime problems I see are car break-ins and residential burglaries, so we will be targeting those crimes in particular (but not neglecting other crimes). In my experience, the people who commit these kinds of crimes are prolific, serial violators so the arrest of just one or two suspects can have a significant impact.

We have already increased traffic enforcement and targeted our traffic trouble spots. In just one hour last week, our officers wrote 25 citations along Fulton St. The tickets were mostly for speeding, red lights, stop signs, and failing to yield to pedestrians. On Friday morning (January 24) we will have an undercover officer on foot acting as a decoy to catch anyone who does not yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. As a reader of the newsletter, you get advance notice that we will be working on Geary, although I’m not going to say exactly where!

I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks and please don’t hesitate to call us or e-mail us if we can be of service.

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 01/17/14 at 6:50pm, officers were called to the 700 block of 7th Ave on a report of a male that was walking around the store asking customers for money. The employees wanted him escorted out and warned not to return. Officers detained the 45 year old male and determined that he had a warrant for his arrest for burglary. The suspect was booked on the warrant.

On 01/17/14 at 7:50pm, officers were called to 7th Ave and Fulton regarding subjects that were yelling at pedestrians and rummaging through a dumpster. Officers detained the 3 males and determined that one of the males was listed as a wanted parolee and had a warrant for his arrest for burglary. The 50 year old male was booked.

On 01/18/14 at 10:40am, officers were called to a business on the 3800 block of Geary. The caller was reporting that a male had entered an employee restroom and was refusing to come out. Officers located the male and detained him. In the suspect’s possession were credit cards with other people’s names on them. Officers were able to contact two of the victims. One of the victim’s was pick pocketed on a MUNI bus and the other had her car broken into. The 50 year old male was charged with possession of stolen property, trespassing and a probation violation.

On 01/19/14 at 4:45pm, officers were called to the 700 block of 17th Ave to do a well being check a male who was mumbling to himself and using a neighbor’s garden hose. When officers arrived the suspect told them he was washing his feet and had an ingrown toe nail. The suspect said he did not know who lived in the house nor did he have permission to use the hose. The suspect was on probation for narcotic violations and was subject to a search. Officers located methamphetamine in his possession as well as credit cards and a driver’s license issued to another person. Officers attempted to find information on that person but were unsuccessful. The 23 year old male was charged with narcotic and probation violations.

On 01/18/14 at 1:22pm, the resident of a home on the 800 block of 38th Ave, attempted to pull into her driveway. She saw that her garage door was open and the suspect was standing at the open door sitting on a bike. The suspect was holding onto a different bike when suddenly a second suspect ran out of her garage. Both suspects fled west onto Fulton, on the bikes. The husband who was home had heard the garage door earlier but thought it was his wife. About 5 minutes later she returned and began to honk the horn as the suspects fled the scene. The suspects entered the garage through an unlocked window at the rear of the building. The suspects removed the garage remote from the car parked inside the garage. There was no other loss. The initial suspect was a white male, 22-28yrs, wearing a black baseball cap, red tank top and cargo pants. The second suspect was a white female, 22-28yrs with black hair. She was wearing light colored blue jeans with blue underwear.

Between 01/20/14, 5pm and 01/21/14, 7:30am on the 2700 block of Pacific, the suspect entered a home under construction and took numerous tools. The suspect gained entry by prying open a lock box attached to the front gate. The suspect then removed the key and entered the home.

Between 01/20/14, 10pm and 01/21/14, 7am on the 600 block of 20th Ave, a suspect cut the meshing on a front gate of a residence. The suspect then reached in, unlocked the gate and took a bike.

On 01/22/14 between 3:30pm and 6:15pm on the 3300 block of Jackson, the suspect entered a home through an unlocked front door. The suspect took art and figurines that were in the front foyer.

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 3:54 pm | Posted under Crime | 2 comments

SFMTA proposes restrictions on overnight RV parking along outer Clement

The SFMTA is proposing to prohibit overnight parking for oversized vehicles along outer Clement

At their upcoming hearing on January 31, the SFMTA will consider a proposal to restrict the parking of oversize vehicles on certain city streets. The city defines an oversize vehicle as more than 7 feet tall or 22 feet long, into which RV’s squarely fall.

Last June, the SFMTA voted to launch a pilot program to prohibit overnight RV parking in areas of the city, including along Fulton Street in the Richmond District.

The 3 month program, which instituted a $100 fine for violators was considered a success.

“Along La Playa Street and the Great Highway, for example, 21 oversize vehicles were known to park. But after three months of enforcing the new law, just two were counted in October,” the Examiner reported in November.

During the three-month pilot, 74 citations were issued, of which 19 were for mobile homes or buses. Fourteen were issued to vans, including three to the same van. Another 26 were issued to pickups or other trucks. No oversize vehicle was known to have been towed, according to the SFMTA.

In the agenda for the January 31 meeting, the SFMTA will propose an extension of the initial program, restricting parking between 12midnight and 6am for oversize vehicles on streets in several neighborhoods including the Sunset, Mission, Haight/Panhandle, Potrero Hill, Western Addition, and the Richmond.

In the Richmond, the additional targeted streets are Clement Street, north side, between 33rd Avenue and 45th Avenue and Clement Street, south side, between 36th Avenue and 38th Avenue. This stretch of Clement borders the Lincoln Park golf course and Veterans Hospital, and is a popular spot for oversize vehicles to park.

This type of restriction would likely appeal to residents in another part of the Richmond District known as the “greenbelt” along Park Presidio.

The blocks of Funston and 14th Avenue between Lake Street and Fulton is a popular spot for oversize vehicles to park for days at a time. It borders federal park land on one side, and city streets on the other. The dual jurisdiction often causes a debate about which entity is responsible for eradicating the oversize vehicles and homeless encampments that take root inside the greenbelt.

The January 31 meeting, which is open to the public, will take place at City Hall at 10am in Room 416 (Hearing Room 4).

Sarah B.

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 5:15 am | Posted under Traffic | 10 comments