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Video: Chef Marcus Samuelsson shows off the Inner Richmond

Travel + Leisure sent Chef Marcus Samuelsson into the inner Richmond for an episode of his “B-Series” show, where he explores the lesser known areas of popular cities like San Francisco. In the video, Samuelsson stops at many of the great spots including the de Young tower, Green Apple Books, Schubert’s Bakery, Good Luck Dim Sum, Seedstore and more.

It’s a great little tour of our micro-hood! Thanks to Kevin for the tip.

Sarah B.

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 5:16 am | Posted under Video | 5 comments

Video: Seagull vs. Dungeness Crab

Ocean Beach, 9/21/14

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 11:30 am | Posted under Ocean Beach, Video | 1 comment

Local Bites: Draught House opens, Taste of Russia fest, Sichuan Home #2

The new Richmond Republic Draught House on Clement. Photo by Ender Markal

Here are a few tidbits on the food scene to whet your appetite. Bon appetit!

  • The new Richmond Republic Draught House, located in the old Haig’s Delicatessen at 642 Clement Street, will have a soft opening this Thursday through Sunday from 5pm until 2am. They will be offering a small food and large beer menu. Reader Jeffrey stopped in during a soft opening last week and told us “Pretty nice place, had 23 beers on tap. Had a good atmosphere.” It’s the second establishment from the owners of Chomp N’ Swig.
  • In other restaurant news, Sichuan Home has opened a second location on the corner of 45th Avenue and Balboa called Sichuan Table. Reader Marc W. tells us “It’s way tasty. Sichuan and dim sum.” Even the real critics love them some Sichuan Home. Back in 2011, Patricia Unterman called their first location “the best Chinese restaurant to open in San Francisco since Hakka Restaurant appeared on the outer edge of the Richmond.”
  • This Sunday, September 28 from 11am until 6pm, check out the Taste of Russia Festival at the Holy Virgin Cathedral (6210 Geary). The annual festival features Russian food (piroshki!), entertainment, tours of the church, icon painting demonstrations, choir performances, gift items and more. Admission is $5.00 per person.
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 5:15 am | Posted under Events, Food | 4 comments

Outside Lands: A closer look at Rec & Park revenues and the event’s impact

Kanye West performs at Outside Lands 2014

A couple of weeks ago, a reader sent us the latest “Boxscore” from Billboard magazine which lists concerts, their attendance, and gross ticket sales. At the top of the list for that week was the 2014 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival with $19,063,003 in gross sales and overall attendance of 202,963.

This was the seventh year for Outside Lands, which takes over several venues in Golden Gate Park for 3 days and nights in August every summer. Top headliners this year included Kanye West, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Killers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Arctic Monkeys, Tiesto, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Flaming Lips.

Many of our blog readers have wondered how much of the event’s revenues actually go to the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, who is responsible for Golden Gate Park and is arguably the festival’s biggest advocate at City Hall. Rec & Park has always claimed that the revenue the department receives from the event is substantial and “brings vital economic boost to our parks and the City as a whole” according to Phil Ginsburg, Rec & Park’s General Manager.

We reached out to Connie Chan, the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for Rec & Park to get more insight into the revenues around Outside Lands. How much does Rec & Park actually earn, and how much does it cost the department to support the event?

“For 2014, the Department received $2,417,724 of revenue from Outside Lands,” Chan told us.

Chan also provided a breakdown of the revenue, which consists of a percentage of the event’s gross revenue, a per ticket revenue fee and dollars associated with maintenance costs for the event:


11% gross revenue
$1.25 per ticket sold
Gardener Endowment Fee
Polo Field Regeneration Fee

And if you’re wondering where the permit fees are for the four main venues in the park that the festival uses – the Polo Fields, Lindley Meadow, Marx Meadow and Hellman Hollow – it’s part of the first line item. The permit fees are covered by either 11% of the event’s gross revenue or $1.2 million, whichever is greater.

We also found out how much Rec & Park spends to support the festival such as staff and other costs associated with the park and hosting the 200,000+ person event. Chan sent us back this detail:


Maintenance Yard
Park Patrol
Gardener Staff
Polo Fields Turf Crew
Standby Pay

That $88k in expenses was then paid back to Rec & Park by the promoters after the event.

All told, Rec & Park received the $2.41 million in revenue plus reimbursement of the $88k in expenses related to the event.

So how critical is the Outside Lands revenue to the Rec & Parks Department budget? We found a Fiscal Years 2014-15 and 2015-16 budget presentation online which puts the department’s overall budget at $160.9 million for 2013-2014, with $137.7 million for operating budget (86%) and $23.32 million for capital budget (14%).

For 2013-2014, the department budgeted $59 million in earned revenue, which includes $6.5 million for “Permits & Facility Rentals”. Presuming the Outside Lands revenue falls into this category, it represents 37% of the expected revenue from rentals.

The crowd at Outside Lands 2014. Photo by Josh Withers

The Richmond District neighborhood, in particular some commenters on this blog, has mixed feelings about the concert and its effect on the neighborhood.

The festival drew just over 200,000 attendees to Golden Gate Park in 2014. Every year, the festival puts a strain on public transportation, and on residents who live near the western end of the park. They routinely deal with highly amplified sound from the multiple festival stages, blocked driveways and the effects of thousands of concertgoers coming and going from the park for 3 days and nights: public urination, litter, noise, and clogged streets.

Still, other residents welcome the festival and the energy that a top-tier music festival brings to the neighborhood, and many merchants eagerly await the influx of hungry and thirsty concertgoers who spend time in the neighborhood during the festival.

Neighborhood schools like Presidio Middle, Lafayette, Argonne and George Washington High also benefit financially by opening their lots during the festival and charging as much as $30 per day per car for parking. The proceeds, which can be as high as $10,000 for a single school for the weekend, go towards school programs.

The school lot fundraisers became so lucrative that in 2011, the city tax collector came calling to get their share. But legislation eventually passed that allowed school PTA’s to continue their “parking lot fundraisers” without having to give a share to the city.

The city of San Francisco and the concert’s promoter, Another Planet Entertainment, have always touted the positive economic impact of the festival on San Francisco.

A 2011 SFSU study, based on an online survey of 3,551 attendees of the festival, determined that “the total direct expenditures from the OSL Festival in San Francisco were estimated to be $27,072,270. Spending in the Bay Area outside of SF was $2,961,340. This resulted in total direct expenditures in the entire Bay Area of $30,033,610.”

Spending was primarily on food, lodging and transportation, and the data excluded the expenditures of the 27% of respondents who lived in San Francisco, making a point to try and quantify the economic impact of concertgoers coming to the festival from outside the city.

But the number most often quoted from this study is closer to $60 million, as Phil Ginsburg said in 2012 after the festival’s contract was renewed for another 8 years.

“The event has drawn over a half million visitors to Golden Gate Park and contributes an estimate of $60 million annually to the City’s economy,” Ginsburg said.

That $60 million impact is a best guess, as researchers from the study used a multiplier to theorize on the total economic impacts:

“The total economic impacts of direct expenditures from a festival can be measured in terms of increased regional sales, personal income and jobs. Sales impact is sum of direct expenditures, plus indirect and induced spending in the region. Sales are calculated by applying a multiplier to direct expenditures,” the research summary states.

Patrick Tierney, chair of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department and lead on the economic study, noted that city residents might be quick to notice the “inconvenience factor” of the festival, including increased traffic, noise and transit needs. “The economic benefits, although large, are not immediately evident,” he wrote.

“It’s good to see now how the whole community benefits,” said Tierney. “People spent money all over the Bay Area, although San Francisco clearly got the biggest benefit.” [SF State News]

While few would begrudge Rec & Park their chance at revenue, many residents and park users have been dismayed at the shift that the department has taken with respect to venue rentals and permit fees.

In recent years, large concerts like Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (funded by an endowment by the late Warren Hellman) are applauded and welcomed, while smaller events have gotten the squeeze from rising permit fees.

The increase in fees is a key strategy of Rec & Park’s continued revenue growth. In their budget presentation for 2013-2014, they call for “Increased permits for facilities, fields and special events – $750,000″.

And while this strategy may be helping Rec & Park’s bottom line, others believe it has marred the integrity of the department and is chipping away at San Francisco’s spirit, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many residents and event organizers that use the park.

Due to the rise in Rec & Park’s permit fees, some long running events have had to close down or change venues.

The first major event to suffer the consequences was Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic, a vintage car show that began in 1988 as a gathering of a handful of vintage car owners.

It became an annual event, organized by former Rec & Park gardener and car lover Jimmy O’Keefe that drew hundreds of vintage cars to Speedway Meadow. People came from all over the Bay Area to check out the cars, picnic with friends, and help raise money for disabled children.

The picnic was such a cherished tradition that the Board of Supervisors presented Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic with a Certificate of Honor in 2006 in celebration of their 18th year.

But its feelgood status and charitable donations weren’t enough to keep Jimmy’s picnic off the Rec & Park chopping block. In 2009 and each year thereafter, their fees increased. Finally, after a protracted battle with Rec & Park that took the wind out of this sails, O’Keefe declared that 2013 would be the last year for the picnic. Their fees had gone from $1,650 in 2008 to just over $17,000 in 2013.

“We’re losing the identity of San Francisco,” Jimmy said when we talked to him about the picnic’s demise. “It was one of the few blue collar, working class family events left in San Francisco.”

Recently, another tradition in the park came to an end when Debardchery, a Medieval Archery & Bardic event announced they would no longer be using the archery range in Golden Gate Park for their event.

After 30 years, organizers had decided to move the venue to an archery range in Pacifica because of an increase in permit fees and unexpected restrictions that had never been imposed previously, like requiring a food handler’s certificate for their potluck picnic.

Debardchery organizer Lucien Canton says there are no hard feelings, just disappointment at having to leave the Golden Gate Park Archery Range after 30 years.

“We’re not looking to pick a fight with Rec & Park. It’s just unfortunate that they seem to have a “one-size-fits-all” mentality and don’t seem to make any concessions to small, local groups,” Canton said.

Ironically, the archery facility in Pacifica that they moved their event to is managed by San Francisco Rec & Park, but the fees for their event were only $200. Apparently holding your event within city limits does come at a premium.

In 2012, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved to extend San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s contract with Another Planet Entertainment, the promoters of the Outside Lands Music Festival. The new contract included eight additional years of festival production and increased capacity of the event to 75,000 attendants.

At that time, Rec & Park disclosed that under the new contract condition, Another Planet Entertainment would pay an increased rent of approximately $2.25 million dollars in 2013 and each year thereafter during the extension. The contract also funded a new year-round gardener in Golden Gate Park and $15,000 to support turf regeneration, both of which can be seen above in this year’s revenue detail.

For better or for worse, the city can expect an annual influx of 200,000+ concertgoers every August until at least 2020, along with annual revenues of an estimated $2.25 million to Rec & Park.

How other, smaller Golden Gate Park events will fare in the coming years remains to be seen.

Sarah B.

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 4:10 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park | 42 comments

Police Blotter – September 19, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of September 19, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]


“The problem with information on the internet is that you can’t always depend on its accuracy.” – Abraham Lincoln, November 1863

Technology has made information more accessible, but not necessarily more accurate. It’s very easy for a private individual to make an inaccurate comment on the internet (accidentally or intentionally). Most of us have seen examples where such an inaccurate comment is taken as the truth and it sets off a whole chain of responses.

We are going to continue to put our energy into publishing a useful newsletter instead of trying to set the record straight every time someone makes an inaccurate internet comment about a police matter in the Richmond District. I have faith that our readers can judge the merits of blog comments, tweets etc. for themselves.

Our next community meeting will be on Tuesday 09-16-2014 at 6:00PM in the Community Room at Richmond Station: 461 6th Ave.


In reference to a question in the comment section of a post on the RICHMONDSFBLOG.COM

Q: RichmondResident said (09/13/14; 12:39 pm): Where’s the story about the cyclist who was killed by a driver at Clement and 31st on Wednesday?

A: We have researched this incident and contacted the Officer who took the initial collision report. It was troubling to me that we were being asked about a fatal collision of which I was unaware. I am glad to say that the incident did not result in a fatality as stated by “RichmondResident”. It so happens that the victim suffered a broken bone in the shoulder area and was transported to hospital.



Follow us on

On 09/12/2014, at 1:41 am, Officers on patrol in the area of 24th and Geary observed a vehicle fail to stop for the red light at the intersection. Officers also noted that the vehicle was fitted with lights which are not approved for use by the DMV. The officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. The officers noticed the driver appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. They conducted a DUI investigation which resulted in the arrest of the male driver at the county jail.

On 09/12/2014, at 11:11 pm, officers responded to the 400 block of 24th Ave, regarding a report of a loud house party. The caller indicated that this was an ongoing issue at the location. As the officers arrived at the scene they observed a male who was under age with an open bottle of alcohol outside the location. The officers initiated contact and requested that the male identify himself with an ID. The male initially lied about having ID but eventually provided an out of state ID. The male was cited for the violation and released at the scene.

On 09/13/2014, at 5:24 pm, Officers responded to the 200 block of 3rd Ave. regarding a report of a male who wanted to commit “suicide by cop.” The officers responded and requested additional units to the area in an effort to secure the scene. The officers used their department training and initiated the appropriate response protocols for an incident of this type. With the help of outside units the officers secured the general area and made a maximum and immediate effort to protect residents who lived in the area. The male told the dispatcher that he was trained to “shoot center mass” and had sufficient training to kill the responding officers. With the protocols in place within the SFPD, a variety of specialized units arrived to the scene and were able to further secure the area. The SFPD officers who arrived at the scene initially had attempted to gain a rapport with the individual to no avail. A Hostage Negotiation Team member was able to contact the individual and after a period of timer get him to exit the building into custody. Officers searching the premise did recover a handgun which was seized and booked into evidence. None of the local residents, the responding police, medical units or the male were injured during this incident. The male was transported from the scene for evaluation.

On 09/13/2014, at 10:42 pm, Officers responded to the 500 block of 20th Ave. regarding a report of a robbery. On arrival at the scene they contacted the victim who stated he had been struck over the head with a black revolver. The victim in this incident refused any medical assistance and was able to provide the responding officers with a detailed description of the suspects. The suspects demanded everything the victim had on his person and then ordered the victim to south on 20th Ave and not look back. The investigation continues….

On 09/14/2014, at 7:25 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of 26th and Fulton observed a bicyclist committing an infraction and initiated a contact with him. During their contact the officers discovered that the cyclist was in possession of a quantity of suspected methamphetamine. The officers tested the substance and discovered that it showed a positive result. The cyclist was later booked at the county jail for multiple violations.

On 09/15/2014, at 11:18 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of California and Scott St. saw a vehicle which was parked in a crosswalk with three occupants aboard. The officers stopped their vehicle and contacted the driver and passengers. One of the officers observed a weapon which was next to the front passenger area and another in the rear behind the driver. The officer requested backup and when they arrived they fully detained the occupants of the vehicle. One of the occupants had a long criminal history and had six outstanding warrants for his arrest. A search of the vehicle revealed a quantity of methamphetamine. The driver was booked at the county jail for possession and his warrants.

On 09/15/2014, at 10:21 pm, Officers responded to a report of a suspicious person which was called in by a concerned citizen. On arrival in the area the officers saw a male who matched the description provided by dispatch and the contacted him. As they were interviewing the male he provided them with a false name which the officers were sure was not him. Eventually the male provided them with his real name and while conducting a warrants check the found out he had an outstanding warrant. The male was discovered to be in possession of tools which are common to auto burglary suspects. The male was booked at county jail on multiple violations.

On 09/16/2014, at 2:01 am, Officers on patrol in the area of La Playa and Cabrillo St. observed three males who appeared to be waiting for a Muni Bus. What drew the attention of the officers was the fact that the males matched the description of the suspects involved in robberies both in the Richmond and other districts. The males were noted to match the description exactly which was provided regarding the other cases. The officers decided to contact the males and while doing so noticed the males were getting agitated and appeared ready to flee. The officers using techniques which they learned in the academy successfully detained them and then discovered a “BB Gun” which appeared to be “very realistic.” Responding officers assisted and helped in the identification and transportation of the males who were booked into jail for multiple robberies across the city.

On 09/16/2014, at 3:40 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Fulton St. and 35th Ave. observed two males cycling on the sidewalk. The officers contacted the males regarding the violations and initiated a criminal history check. One of the cyclists came back with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. One individual was cited for cycling on the side walk while his friend was also cited for the same and then booked at county jail on the outstanding warrant.

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 9:31 am | Posted under Crime | 9 comments

Photos: 3 Mules pass through the Richmond District

Photo by Geoff C.

Activist John Sears passed through the neighborhood on Sunday with his pack of mules. Normally he travels with 3 mules (Little Girl, Lady and Pepper), but this time he had just two. One is currently lame and unable to travel. They were seen grazing on the 14th Avenue side of the Park Presidio greenbelt.

Sears, who likes to be known simply as “Mule”, is 66 years old and has been traveling with his pack for the past three decades. They’ve made their way through sixteen western states, according to their website.

The group has a bit of a cult following including 28,000+ fans on Facebook. The purpose of their old school travel is to call attention to the increasing trend of urban sprawl.

Last year while passing through San Diego, Sears told a local news station, “There must be a balance between the man-made world and the natural world,” he said. “We can’t live in this unbalanced state and we all know it.”

The mules also saw the sites on this trip, making stops in the Marina, the Ferry Building and Pier 39 – see pics here.

Sears and the two mules got a ride across the Bay Bridge on Saturday night into the city. Last year, Sears headed north so he may be working on arranging a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge as well. By law he is not allowed to walk the mules across the bridge.

A new documentary. “Mule: Living on the Outside” is in the works about the 3 Mules. Watch the trailer below and find out more at 3MulesMovie.com.

Safe travels to John and his mules.

Sarah B.

Photo by Geoff C.

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 4:15 am | Posted under Photos, Transportation | 11 comments

Photo: Fog + muggy + neon = a Thursday night in the Richmond

Photo by Jason S.

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 12:57 pm | Posted under Photos | 2 comments

First car share spaces being installed in the Richmond District

Photo by David H.

Cub reporter David H. snapped this pic today of one of our first car share spaces being installed on Clement Street near 24th Avenue.

These new car share spaces are part of a city-wide effort to convert 900 street parking spaces into ones reserved for car share companies in the next two years. So far, 20 have been approved for the outer Richmond District.

Three car sharing companies – Zipcar, Bay Area nonprofit City CarShare and San Francisco’s Getaround – will be the recipients of the spaces. According to the Chronicle, the SFMTA approved the program after a smaller two-year test, involving a dozen street spaces, was deemed a success.

According to the agreement with the car sharing companies, at least 30 percent of the spaces have to be in the outer two-thirds of the city, and the price charged to the companies for spaces becomes less expensive in neighborhoods distant from downtown, as a way to encourage them to spread their vehicle fleet around the city. The monthly fee ranges from $50 per space per month in the outer third of the city to $150 in closer-in neighborhoods to $225 in the downtown area. [SFGate]

The new car share spot shown in the photo above was formerly a metered parking space (note the red hood over the meter). Strangely, neither 24th Avenue or Clement Street were included in the list of spaces that were approved at the July 11 hearing (see list below).

David said the city painters who are converting the spaces also had other spots on their work order that were not on the list that was shared publicly. Perhaps some spots were changed at the hearing or approved at another time? UPDATE: Commenter Andrew let us know that there were other spaces, including this one on 24th Avenue, approved in a May 16, 2014 meeting (PDF).

We think the SFMTA could have been more creative and come up with a curb color other than red for the car sharing spaces (isn’t it counter-intuitive to park in a red spot?!). How about a lovely baby blue or a rainbow painted curb?

Sarah B.

Related: City plans to remove 20 residential parking spaces for car share companies

A follow-up story from KTVU:

A. 27th Avenue, east side, from 24 feet to 64 feet north of Geary Boulevard (40-foot zone removes Post IDs #127-4660, #127-04640, for 2 car share parking permits–Z004 & Z095)
B. 28th Avenue, east side, from Clement Street to 38 feet northerly (38-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z001 & Z094)
C. 33rd Avenue, west side, from 16 feet to 52 feet south of Balboa Street (36-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z003 & Z093)
D. 34th Avenue, west side, from 16 feet to 52 feet north of Geary Boulevard (36-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z092 & Z002)
E. 42nd Avenue, east side, from 16 feet to 52 feet south of Geary Boulevard (36-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z005 & Z090)
F. 42nd Avenue, east side, from Balboa Street to 35 feet northerly (35-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z006 & Z091)
G. Anza Street, north side, from 9 feet to 29 feet east of 44th Avenue (20-foot zone, for 1 car share parking permit space–G038)
H. Balboa Street, south side, from 3 feet to 37 feet west of 20th Avenue (34-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z030 & Z096)
I. Balboa Street, south side, from 28 feet to 71 feet west of 6th Avenue (43-foot zone removes Post IDs #321-05050, #321-05070, for 2 car share parking permits–Z031 & Z098)
J. Cabrillo Street, south side, from 20 feet east of 37th Avenue (20-foot zone, for 1 car share parking permit space–G040)

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 10:56 am | Posted under Transportation | 20 comments