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Clement St. Farmer’s Market is “near approval”; community meeting on May 20

Word is spreading like wildfire among residents and merchants about a Richmond District Farmer’s Market.

In a recent email to market supporters, aide Peter Lauterborn from Supervisor Eric Mar’s office wrote, “We are at the point of nearing approval for a significant market entering the neighborhood!”

The proposed farmer’s market would take place on Sunday mornings from 9am to 1 or 2pm, and would require closing the blocks of Clement Street between 2nd and 4th Avenues. The market would be run by the Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM), which currently runs other markets at Stonestown, Civic Center, and in other Bay Area locations.

According to Lauterborn, the Clement Street farmer’s market will feature a wide range of local products, including eggs, milk, cheeses, meats, plus children activities, live music, and bouncy houses. The market will also provide matching dollars for “food stamp” users, and additional bike parking.

Lauterborn states that “the parking loss should be a non-issue” on Sunday mornings, and that they are “planning outreach to all of the existing produce merchants along Clement” with the help of AIM, who has hired a Cantonese speaker to assist. He says “so far, the merchant support has been excellent”.

To ensure that the market gets off the ground, Lauterborn is asking the community to show their support by either writing a letter of support to the SFMTA (who will need to approve the street closures on Clement), or attending a public meeting on May 20.

If you’d like to write a letter of support, send it to Peter.Lauterborn@sfgov.org and be sure to explicitly mention your support for the street closure on Sunday mornings on Clement between 2nd and 4th Avenues.

A community meeting will also be held on May 20 from 5:30pm-6:30pm at the Richmond District Police Station, which is located on 6th Avenue between Geary and Anza.

Lauterborn says they’re targeting Sunday, June 9 for the opening, pending approval by the SFMTA for the street closure during their May 23 meeting. The approval would be for an initial 6 week trial run of the Sunday market.

UPDATE 5/22/13: Lauterborn commented that “The MTA had an internal hiccup, so the hearing will be on June 13 rather than May 23, pushing back the opening to (likely) June 23.”

Are you all excited by this news? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

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 1:59 pm | Posted under Eric Mar, Events, Shopping | 64 comments

“Never. Say. Die” Giants book launch at 540 Club, Wednesday night

Hey Giants fans, this one is for you!

This Wednesday night, KNBR’s Brian Murphy and photographer Brad Mangin will be at the 540 Club to celebrate the release of their new book NEVER. SAY. DIE., chronicling the Giants’ 2012 championship season.

Stop by to meet the authors and dine on good ol’ baseball chow from the Missing Link food cart, which will be parked outside the 540 Club (540 Clement Street). Wild boar link, anyone?

The event begins at 7pm. Go Giants!

Sarah B.

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 1:26 pm | Posted under Events, Sports | Comments Off

Police Blotter – May 10, 2013

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of May 10, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Officer Wilberg of Richmond Station did a fantastic job of blocking traffic off and preventing a tragedy at 2nd Avenue and Lake Street when a sink hole developed and opened a huge hole in the street. I received a call from the PUC complimenting his rapid response and attention to detail.

Special congratulations to Washington High School Eagles Baseball team coached by Officer Rob Fung of the SFPD. The Eagles played in the city championship way to go Eagles.

Those of you going out in the evening please lock and secure your belongings and don’t leave valuables in your car. We have seen an upswing in car break-ins along the Geary Blvd both on the street and in the parking lots.

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave. (NOTE TIME CHANGE)

On 05/02/13 at 9:45am, an officer was patrolling the area of Golden Gate Park, near the west end, behind the soccer fields. He came upon a male sleeping in a tent and also noticed personal items strewn about, and fresh feces just outside the tent. The officer contacted the male and asked for identification. The male said he had none and provided a name. When questioned further, the male gave a second name and date of birth. The officer transported the male to the station to verify his true identity and once that was determined, the male had an outstanding warrant for burglary. The 47 year old male was booked on the warrant.

On 05/04/13 at 1:20am, the victims were on the 38 Geary Muni line, as was the suspect. The victims were laughing at the music the suspect was listening to and that they could hear. The victims got off the bus at 33rd Ave and Geary and the suspect followed. The victims and suspect crossed the street and the suspect came up to the first victim and said “What’s so funny?” He then hit him in the mouth with a metal sap, causing a tooth to break and a cut to his lip. The second victim tried to calm the suspect down and he was hit in the nose with the sap. The suspect, a 27 year old male was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a deadly weapon.

On 05/04/13 at 8:10am, officers were called to a report of a man with a knife in the area of 15th and Geary Blvd. Officers arrived on scene and detained the suspect who was in possession of 3 knives, 2 corkscrews, a box cutter and a pair of shears. The victim told the officers that he was inside a local business and the suspect entered. He was talking to himself and then approached two girls sitting at a table and called them names. The suspect then looked in the direction of the victim and said “I’ll knock you down.” The suspect turned away momentarily and when he turned back he had taken one of the knives out of a case, then put it back and told the victim he wanted the victim’s guitar. The victim picked up his purchase and left the business, calling 911. The 26 year old suspect was charged with attempted robbery, threats and brandishing a weapon.

On 05/04/13 at 9:35pm, an officer patrolling Golden Gate Park came across a male who was taking garbage from a can and creating a mess on the sidewalk. The officer stopped to talk to the male and when asked for his identification, the suspect showed him is County Jail ID bracelet which he was still wearing. The suspect was on probation and a search of his backpack revealed methamphetamine. The 21 year old male was charged with narcotic violations.

On 05/05/13 at 10:25pm, officers were called to 43rd and Fulton on a call of a male refusing to exit a MUNI bus. When the officers arrived, the suspect, who was the only one on the bus, had his head resting on his knees and his arms covering his face. The officers shook the male to wake him and the suspect said, “I’m fine, I am just meditating.” The officers informed him that he needed to exit the bus but he ignored them and tried to go back to sleep. The officers were able to get him into a standing position and removed him from the bus. The 22 year old male had a warrant for his arrest for aggravated assault and was charged accordingly.

On 05/08/13 at 5:40am, officers responded to a call of loud banging coming from a white vehicle parked on the 700 block of Parker. The callers thought that someone was in distress as they could see an occupant in the vehicle. When officers arrived they located two occupants in the car with the seats fully reclined. Neither of the occupants could answer the officers’ questions as to who the car belonged to. The original caller told the officers that the suspects had also been going back and forth to another vehicle parked in front. The officers located a third suspect in the second vehicle. When the officers took the first two out of the white vehicle, they saw that the steering wheel column was damaged and the ignition was punched. The officers located the owner of the white vehicle at his home nearby and he told them he did not know the suspects, nor was his vehicle damaged when he parked it earlier in the evening. Some of the victim’s property was also located in the second vehicle. The three suspects, 37, 38 and 41 year olds were charged with attempted auto theft, burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Between 05/05/13, 7pm and 05/06/13, 5:55am in the area of 45th Ave and Geary, a vehicle was broken into and several items were taken from the car. The victim was able to provided surveillance video of the incident. Several officers viewed the video and were able to identify the suspect. On 05/09/13 plainclothes officers were in the area of 47th Ave and Geary and located the suspect. Upon detaining and searching the male, they located methamphetamine in his pocket. The officers also conducted a probation search of his residence and located an additional quantity of methamphetamine and a spark plug chip attached to a black wire. Spark plug chips are commonly used by auto burglars to break out window of cars. The 46yr old male was charged with the auto burglary, possession of burglary tools, narcotic violations and probation violation.

On 05/09/13 at 10:10pm, the victim was on a 38 Geary MUNI line talking to himself. The suspect who was also on the bus began taunting the victim and mocking him. There was an exchange of words and the suspect hit the victim in the head with a skateboard. The victim, who had his keys in his hand hit back at the suspect in self defense. The suspect told the victim to get off the bus so they could “finish this” and when the bus stopped at 17th and Geary, the suspect exited and the victim stayed on. The suspect was located by the officers and the 22 year old male was charged with aggravated assault. The victim was transported to a local hospital for a laceration to his left eye.

On 05/02/13 at 10:45pm, the victim was home, watching TV on the 2600 block of McAllister. He heard the sounds of garbage cans being moved and looked outside, but didn’t see anyone. He then heard the sounds of a door opening and when he looked outside, he saw the suspect wheeling his bike out of his cellar door. The victim ran out of the house and began to chase the suspect on foot. The suspect met up with another male on a skateboard and fled the area. The suspect who took the bike was a white male, 20-25 years with brown hair, long facial hair and was wearing a dirty brown coat. The male on the skateboard was also white, 20-25yrs, with long facial hair and dark jacket.

Between 05/04/13, 11pm and 05/05/13, 1pm on the unit block of Lupine, a suspect entered a multi-unit garage by unknown means. The suspect located a spare key for one of the vehicles and took jewelry and sunglasses from the car.

On 05/03/12, between 9:20am and 6pm on the 100 block of 20th Ave, a suspect entered an apartment whose door may have been left unlocked. The suspect took electronics, jewelry and camera equipment.

On 05/05/13 between 12pm and 10:30pm a suspect entered a garage on the 100 block of 14th Ave, possibly by hopping fences. The suspect took a bike.

On 05/05/13 at 4:10pm, the victim was waiting at a bus stop at 25th and Geary. He was holding his wallet in one hand and cell phone in the other. The suspect who was standing behind him, that the victim was aware of, came up and grabbed the phone from the victim’s hand and ran north on 26th Ave. The victim tried to chase him but was unable to keep up. The suspect was a black male, 15-18yrs, wearing a black beanie, red hooded sweatshirt and black jeans.

Between 05/05/13, 11:15pm and 05/06/13, 10:15am, the suspect broke out the glass on the front door of a restaurant on the 3400 block of Balboa. The suspect threw a rock through the glass door but appears there was no loss.

On 05/06/13 at 8:30am, an officer responded to a call of a burglary on the 800 block of Clement St. The glass on the front door had been smashed out. The officers searched the premise, but the suspect was gone. While the officer was waiting for the owner to arrive, a passerby told the officer that when he had gotten off of work at 4:00am, he was walking by the restaurant. He said he saw an Asian male, walking back out through the smashed out glass, and that the male was short enough that he barely had to duck beneath the push bar on the door. The loss was cash.

Between 05/06/13, 10pm and 05/07/13, 9:20am on the 4400 block of Balboa, a suspect pried open the front door to a business and took cash.

On 05/07/13, between 8:30am and 6:15pm on the 200 block of 25th Ave, the suspect entered a flat by breaking a pane of glass on the front door. The suspect took jewelry.

On 05/07/13 at 10:08am, the suspect entered a bank on the 3400 block of California and simulated that he was armed. The suspect demanded cash and the teller complied. The suspect fled out the rear door of the bank. He was a black male, 48-52 years, wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, light colored t-shirt, black pants and sunglasses.

On 05/08/13 between 11:15am and 2pm on the 500 block of 12th Ave, a suspect entered a home by prying open the front door. The suspect took an iPad.

On 05/08/13 between 12:45pm and 1:45pm on the 600 block of 27th Ave, a suspect entered a home by breaking a pane of glass on the front door. The loss was cash, a cell phone and earrings.

On 05/08/13 at 1:30pm a family left their home on the 700 block of 36th Ave to go get lunch. The 91 year old grandma stayed behind. When the family came home at 2pm, they saw that the front door had been forced open. They got grandma out of the house and called 911. Officers did a walk-thru of the home and the suspects were gone. The grandmother told the police that she had exited her bedroom shortly before the family came home and she saw two males wearing dark clothing running out the front door. The suspects entered the home by prying open the front gate, then breaking a pane of glass on the front door. The loss was jewelry and video game consoles.

On 05/08/13 at 1:50pm, the victim had parked his vehicle on the 2800 block of Geary to run into his business. When he came back out moments later, he noticed the suspect in his car, rummaging through the front passenger area. The suspect exited with a box in his hand that contained a watch. The victim yelled that he was calling the police and the suspect yelled “Don’t” and slapped the victim in the face. The suspect dropped the box, which was now empty and fled south on Masonic. The suspect was a black male 30-35yrs wearing a black “FUBU 05” jacket with red lettering.

Between 05/08/13, 6pm and 05/09/13, 7:40am on the 800 block of 48th Ave, a suspect entered a multi-unit garage and took a bike. There were no signs of forced entry.

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 9:57 am | Posted under Crime | Comments Off

Help clean up the neighborhood this Saturday with Community Clean Team

This Saturday, the DPW is hosting a Community Clean Team event in the neighborhood.

Volunteer for a few hours to help plant trees, work on landscaping and gardening projects, paint over graffiti, and clean up litter around the Richmond District.

The event begins at 9am at George Washington High School (600 32nd Avenue) and runs until 12noon.

You don’t need to bring anything – all equipment will be provided as well as lunch for volunteers. Be sure to wear clothing for working outside, and a reusable water bottle is recommended.

And keep an eye out for special dignitaries that will be lending a hand, including Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Eric Mar.

Sarah B.

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 5:03 am | Posted under Events, Volunteer | 1 comment

Photo: Cabrillo Street, 1976

Photo by Dizzy Atmosphere

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 5:12 am | Posted under Photos | 4 comments

Beach Chalet soccer field renovation project approved by Coastal Commission

A conceptual, overhead rendering of the four renovated fields at Beach Chalet

It was early 2010 when we first heard about the plans to renovate the Beach Chalet soccer fields in Golden Gate Park. The City Fields Foundation, in conjunction with the City, proposed to fund a new soccer center at the existing site that would convert the playing fields to artificial turf, add lighting, renovate the restrooms, add a small playground, repave the parking area, and erect new fencing and seating areas for spectators.

The goal? More playing time for kids and adults. The proposed improvements would bring all four fields into use year-round and provide expanded hours into the early evening. Currently, the Beach Chalet fields can host 4,738 hours of annual play. The proposed renovations would add 9,582 hours of new play each year for both soccer and lacrosse players.

The process for approvals started off well for the project. In April 2011, the renovation was green-lighted by the Rec & Park Commission after nearly three hours of public comments from both sides of the issue. But this is San Francisco after all, so by May, Rec & Park bowed to the pressure of community groups and required City Fields Foundation to provide a full environmental impact report.

Opponents of the project raised concerns about the environmental impact that the replacement soccer center would have. How would birds be impacted by the new lights? Would light pollution from the lights ruin the sky for stargazers? What kinds of toxins are in artificial fields and will it harm children and animals? Why aren’t they using natural grass instead?

The process has dragged on and on, with appeal after appeal. And despite the plan being approved by the Planning Commission, the Recreation and Park Commission, the Board of Supervisors (nearly unanimous vote – that NEVER happens!) and the city’s Board of Appeals, the opponents made one last ditch effort to block the project by appealing to the Coastal Commission (a narrow slice of Golden Gate Park, which includes the fields, is within the coastal zone, which the commission oversees).

Today was the hearing and dozens of supporters and opponents turned out to voice their opinion to the commission, each given their 2 minutes to speak their mind.

One Richmond District parent, Jim Morris, took time off work to speak his support for the project at the Commission meeting in Marin. He arrived at 10am, spoke at 11:30am, and said when he left, they had nearly three more hours of testimony lined up.

Morris plays soccer in Golden Gate Park in his adult league, and his young daughter plays in a youth league. He said he supports the Beach Chalet fields renovation because there just aren’t enough soccer fields available in the city.

“My daughter’s team usually practices in the outfield of a baseball field. I have to protect them from baseballs coming at them from neighboring teams,” he said.

Morris said he has played games on the Crocker-Amazon fields, which were converted to turf by the City Fields Foundation in a previous project.

“Those fields are great to play on, and there’s such a great vibe in the community around that park since they went in.”

By the end of today’s meeting, the Coastal Commission agreed with what all the other city agencies have already stated – that the project should move forward – by unanimously voting to uphold the permit for Beach Chalet renovation.

And we’re really glad. We think there’s probably lots of kids and parents that will be cheering tonight about it too.

Sarah B.

An overhead view showing the renovated parking, playground and seating area.

Instead of tall bleachers, an 18-inch raised walkway featuring built-in spectator
benches runs across the center of the fields.

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 4:08 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Recreation, Sports | 44 comments

Fun times at the Mayfaire Carnival at Argonne Elementary this Saturday

It’s all about Mom on Sunday, but on Saturday, you might also want to stop by the Mayfaire Carnival at Argonne Elementary School for some family fun.

The Carnival runs from 11am until 7pm on the school’s campus at 680 18th Avenue. There are tons of activities taking place including a petting zoo, climbing wall, hula hoop contest, a dunk tank, live music, a talent show, jumpy houses, face painting and more. Visit the Carnival website for a full schedule.

Admission is free to the Carnival, but tickets must be purchased for various activities (tickets are 10 for $5; most activities are 1 ticket).

While you’re there, be sure to check out the new 53 ft. x 24 ft. playground mural that was recently completed, illustrating the history of California and the Richmond District.

Sarah B.

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 5:26 am | Posted under Art, Events | 1 comment

It was 4 years, and 4 days ago today…

In all the sinkhole madness this week, we nearly forgot to wish ourselves a Happy 4th Birthday! The blog officially launched on May 5, 2009. At the time, we felt like we were broadcasting the first words from a radio station, wondering, “Is anyone out there listening?”

Turns out the answer is yes. Over those 4 years, we’ve had nearly half a million unique visitors, generating 1.8M pageviews. And let’s not overlook our many commenters, who have kept the conversation alive around a myriad of neighborhood topics. You’ve left us over 11,000 comments since we started (and special thanks to the spammers who have left 300k comments…grrr). We love how much you have to say and (most of the time) love the way you say it.

Who says people aren’t interested in the Richmond District? ;)

Hard to believe 4 years have passed, filled with mini doors, underground tunnels, police blotters, business openings and closings, and so much more. Among the stories that attracted the most attention in the last 4 years:

Mysterious Mini Door found in Golden Gate Park
Photos: Coyote pups in Golden Gate Park
A Giant in our midst: Tim Lincecum parties in the Richmond
KGO interviews ADA litigator; Pot de Pho is latest casualty among dozens being sued as recently as this week. Where is Eric Mar?
“Big Heart” Video Cafe at Geary & 21st closes after 25 years
Video: Funnel cloud touches down at Ocean Beach this morning

Thanks to all our readers for making this a worthwhile project. We love getting your tips and comments – keep ‘em coming!

Sarah B.

P.S. – We have no idea who Haley is but we liked her 4th birthday cake ;)

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 3:03 pm | Posted under Blog news | 28 comments