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Rescheduled: LEAP annual sandcastle contest on Ocean Beach, November 9

The “Awesome Fireblasting Dragon” that won Best of Show for Creative Arts Charter School in 2011

After being rescheduled due to the federal shutdown, this Saturday will finally see the LEAP 30th Annual Sandcastle Contest at Ocean Beach.

Each year, LEAP teams up architects, designers, contractors, corporations, engineers and local elementary school students for the contest.

Before the event, teams meet with students in the classroom to develop ideas based on a set theme. Plans are finalized, clay models are shaped, team structure and schedules are defined, and tasks are assigned, all in preparation for the big day.

On Saturday morning, the teams and students will arrive and await the whistle that signals the start of the contest at 10am. From there, four hours of intensive building begins and results in over two dozen creatures and structures all made from sand.

This year’s theme is “Masterpieces in Sand”, and teams are encouraged to select a work of art from any period in history or art form (from cave paintings to Greek Tragedies to break dancing) as inspiration for their sand sculpture.

Last year’s event raised $250,000 for LEAP, which goes towards funding their programs that serve over 8,000 students in over 40 schools across the Bay Area with hands-on learning experiences in the arts.

The competition begins at 10:30am and finishes at 4:30pm. If you want to just see the finished product, we recommend arriving after 2pm.

Sarah B.

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 5:15 am | Posted under Events, Ocean Beach, Schools | Comments Off

Local links: Cassava honored, Boitano coming to Green Apple, renter’s woes, SFPUC survey, Aziza is a star, free photo classes & more

Cassava Bakery & Cafe owners with Supervisor Mar (read more below). Photo courtesy of Supervisor Eric Mar’s office

Happy Friday! Hard to believe it’s November already. Here are some local links to take your mind off how fast this year is flying by…

  • Owners Kristoffer Toliao and Yuka Ioroi (and husband and wife) of Cassava Cafe & Bakery were recently honored at City Hall by Supervisor Eric Mar for this year’s Restaurant Appreciation Month. ” They have been a source of great food, wonderful company, and the revitalization of the neighborhood,” Mar’s office wrote.
  • SFAppeal writes about a real estate investor group that is may try to evict all the tenants at 2405 Anza, include a single parent and two seniors, who have been living at the location for 36 years. That’s because they want to recoup their investment and flip the building as a Tenancy-in-Common (TIC). The investor, who pled guilty to shady dealings in the past, asserts that since the Ellis Act is state law, he’s only acting within his rights as a property owner. Read the full story
  • The 5L Fulton line went into operation this week and is getting high marks from many MUNI commuters. “20 minutes from home to downtown; thanks SF Muni for the 5 Limited and for making Monday almost bearable,” tweeted one rider. The 5L runs during peak commute hours in the morning and evenings, Monday through Friday, and makes all stops from Ocean Beach to 6th Avenue, and then limited stops until from 6th Avenue until it reaches Van Ness Avenue. Though one blogger is wondering why the new faster 5L buses are electric instead of diesel.
  • Earlier this month, The SFPUC held their first public meeting about the Baker Beach Green Street project, designed to manage stormwater and improve water quality at Baker Beach. The project is focused on enhancements in two corridors: El Camino Del Mar between the Legion of Honor and the Lands End Trailhead, and on Sea Cliff Avenue between 25th and 26th Avenues. They’d like to get your thoughts in their online survey.
  • Roadside BBQ at 2nd & Geary was sold and now has a new name/brand: GS Riverside Grill. We weren’t frequent diners of the Roadside but the menu under new ownership looks pretty similar – lots of BBQ, a kid’s menu, and some homemade pies.
  • A cyclist who was struck by a driver at 3 in the morning on Tuesday at California Street and 8th Avenue is expected to survive. Hilah Sulme, 56, was taken into custody after the collision, which was reported at 3:13am. Sulme allegedly fled from the scene but was later found and taken into custody. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the collision, police said. [SFAppeal]
  • Aziza restaurant on Geary will maintain their single Michelin Star rating for 2014. Way to represent!
  • Interested in telling the story of the Richmond District in photos? The Richmond Branch library is offering a 3 session program with wward-winning photojournalist Frederic Larson called “Through Our Eyes: Visual Stories of the Richmond Neighborhood”. It’s an intensive photo documentary class and study of the Richmond neighborhood where each student will create a visual story over the course of the class. Stories will be submitted to the city’s archives where they will be available for research and public use. The class meets November 9: 3-5pm, November 23: 2:45-5:30pm, and December 14: 3-5pm. Space is limited to 20 people, so be sure to register online in advance.
  • Creative Canopy on California Street near 6th Avenue is celebrating their first birthday with a holiday craft fair on November 16 from 10am until 3pm. Many of Canopy’s artists and teachers will be present to share their craft ideas and class information and offer workshops for projects. Many will have gifts to sell for the holiday season. View the event flyer
  • Brian Boitano will be at Green Apple Books on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm to discuss his latest culinary tome, “What Would Brian Boitano Make?”.
  • Cycle over to the Family Bike Safety Fair on Saturday, November 16 at Roosevelt School from 10am until 2pm. The fair is being put on by Assemblymember Phil Ting and it will feature a bike obstacle course and information booths on bike safety and opportunities to make San Francisco more bike friendly. First 300 families receive free bike safety equipment for children.
  • Local artist Karen Lechelt is offering a free download of her children’s e-book “What Do You Love About You?” via Amazon until November 4, featuring black and white line drawings of funny animals revealing what they love about themselves. “It indirectly explores what it unique about us all, while binding us together in the idea that we all share a commonality of pride and self-love,” Lechelt told us. Download it here
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 3:15 pm | Posted under Business, Eric Mar, Food, Free stuff, Muni | 1 comment

Photo: Fill ‘er up, unleaded please

Reader Chantelle snapped this pic of some SFPD horses stopping at the gas station on California at 25th Avenue for… a fill up? A tune up? A Slim Jim?

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 5:31 am | Posted under Photos | Comments Off

Police Blotter – October 31, 2013 | Julius Caesar arrested: “Et tu, SFPD?”

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 31, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Happy Halloween from the men and women at Richmond Police Station.

We wish each and every one of you a safe and happy Trick or Treat. Please read the Halloween safety sheet included in the newsletter for safety tips.

Yesterday Officers responded to an injury accident at 10th avenue and Geary Blvd with four cars involved. The officers rendered aid and the victims are recovering from their injuries. The accident was the result of a driver in a stolen vehicle running the red light while north on 10th Ave. It was a chaotic scene and several citizens and an off duty firefighter who were in the area assisted our officers. We thank them for jumping it to help. We were really busy yesterday and while dealing with the accident, Officers from Richmond Station responded to a call of a crazy person kicking a building on Lake Street. When officers arrived the man attacked the officers and 2 officers were injured. (See noteworthy arrests)

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave.

On 10/27/13 at 3:50am, an officer responded to 26th and Geary to meet with a driver of a “Lyft” vehicle. The driver told the officers that the passenger was intoxicated and was making advances that made him feel uncomfortable. The passenger, dressed in a Julius Caesar costume was obviously intoxicated. The officer asked the male to exit the vehicle and the suspect said, “Make me.” The suspect then pushed open the passenger door into the officer and as the officer positioned himself to remove the passenger from the vehicle, the suspect began to fight with the officer. Other police units arrived and detained the male. Even with the additional officers, the male continued to fight and told the officers to take off his handcuffs so they could “see who the tough one was.” The 38yr old male was charged with public drunkenness and resisting arrest.

On 10/28/13 at 10:40am a caller was reporting that two individuals were drinking from a bottle of wine and had just stolen a package from a door step on Ewing Terrace. The caller provided a description of the suspects and that they had fled down a staircase that led to Anza St. Officers located the two at Anza and Stanyan and recovered the package. The 34yr old male and 37yr old female were charged with theft and drinking in public.

On 10/28/13 at 8pm, on the 5400 block of Geary, a male kicked in the window of a business. A customer of the establishment, was sitting inside and observed the male standing outside and “give the finger” to everyone inside. The suspect them kicked the window again, causing it to shatter. He then fled east on Geary. Officers located the suspect at 11th and Geary and detained him. The 39 year old male was charged with vandalism.

On 10/30/13 at 2pm, officers were called to the area of Lake and Arguello on a report of a male breaking windows. When they arrived on scene, numerous citizens pointed up Washington St, eastbound, telling the officers, “He went that way.” The first officer located the suspect on the 3900 block of Washington and exited his vehicle, telling the suspect to stop. The suspect looked at the officer and continued to walk away. As the second officer arrived, both officers approached the suspect who then pushed his bicycle into the officers. The suspect started yelling that he was going to kill the officers and their families. When the officers went to physically stop the suspect by grabbing his wrist, he began to violently fight with the officers, breaking one officer’s hand. Numerous back-up units responded and the suspect was finally taken into custody. A second officer sustained an eye injury and lacerations. The original caller stated that the suspect was at his building, foaming at the mouth and swung the bicycle over his head in attempt to strike the caller. He was also threatening to kill him. The suspect had earlier been in another building across the street and was yelling inside and knocked over a computer monitor. The 47yr old male, who was under the influence of a narcotic, possibly PCP, was taken to SFGH Psych Emergency prior to been charged with vandalism, burglary, threats, aggravated assault against an officer and resisting arrest.

Between 10/25/13, 3:45pm and 10/28/13, 7am on the unit block of West Clay, a suspect entered a home under construction via an unsecure passage way. The suspect took tools.

On 10/25/13, officers responded to a call of a male running around in the middle of the street chasing cars at 17th and Geary. He was also challenging passersby to fight. Prior to the officers’ arrival, this male was assaulted by 3 Asian males and knocked to the ground. The male was knocked unconscious and an ambulance was called. A friend of the male told the officers that they had been drinking nearby and his friend was really drunk and challenging people to fight. The suspects were as being 21yrs of age and they fled in a black Toyota Zion.

On 10/26/13 at 7:35am, the victim was walking on north on Parker Ave near Anza St. She saw the suspect walking southbound wearing a “scream” mask. The suspect tried to grab the victim’s cell phone which she held onto. He then grabbed her backpack off of her back and eventually got her cell phone when she fell to the ground. The suspect then ran north on Parker with the victim chasing him. As the suspect gained distance from this victim, he tried to grab the cell phone of another woman but was unsuccessful. The suspect was an unknown race male, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt along with the mask.

Between 10/26/13, 6pm and 10/27/13, 5pm on the 2000 block of Post St, a suspect gained entry into a maintenance office and took a TV, tools, 6 walkie talkie radios and cell phones. There were no signs of forced entry.

On 10/27/13 at 1:45am, the victims were standing at a bus shelter on the 2600 block of Balboa St. The suspects, both wearing “scream” masks, approached the victims and told them to give up their items. The victim held onto her purse and the suspect told her to let go or he would shoot her. The victim did not see a weapon but was fearful and handed over her purse. The second victim handed the suspect his wallet with contents. The suspects fled south on 28th Ave towards Cabrillo. They were described as males, skinny builds wearing black clothing and black gloves.

Between 10/27/13, 8pm and 10/28/13, 7:30am on the unit block of Lupine, a suspect entered a side gate by removing it off if it’s hinges. The suspect then entered a garage and took a bike.

On 10/28/13, two suspects entered a vacant home under construction on the 2300 block of Lake and took tools. Video showed two white males entering between 3:35am and 4:15am with flashlights.

On 10/28/13 at 5:05am, the victim was waiting at a bus shelter on Balboa at 43rd Ave. The two suspects approached and pointed an object at the victim that he thought was a gun and they demanded his property. One of the suspects grabbed the victim’s backpack and the victim ran away as he didn’t want them to take his property from his pockets. As the victim was running north on 43rd Ave, he came across a female that he knew and yelled something at her and kept running. The female was walking south on 43rd Ave towards Balboa and saw the suspects hiding near a business on the north/west corner of 43rd and Balboa. She then realized the victim was trying to warn her. The suspects then ran up to her and grabbed her backpack and took her cell phone from the front pouch of her sweatshirt. The suspects then fled south on 43rd Ave. The suspects were described as two males, one black and one unknown race, 20-25yrs, both wearing dark clothing and dark gloves.

On 10/30/13, at 2:20am, the victim was walking east on Turk St, near Willard North. He heard people running up from behind him and was surrounded by 5-6 black males. They told the victim that they did not want to hurt him, but just wanted his property. One of the suspects took his backpack from his back and they all ran south on Willard North. They were described as being 18-25yrs, all wearing black clothing.

On 10/30/13 at 4:29am an owner of a business on the 500 block of Balboa was notified that the alarm had just gone off. The owner then looked at the live video feed at his business and saw a suspect in the premise. The suspect took the register and cash that was contained inside and fled the scene. Officers responded and saw that the side door had been forced open. The suspect was an unknown race male wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a black and white hat.

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 9:47 pm | Posted under Crime | 1 comment

Great costume: Here’s a little fog for your Halloween

One of our friends (and readers) who is a teacher, created this costume to wear to her classroom today, complete with t-shirt from Park Life on Clement Street. And yes, that’s a Golden Gate Bridge tower sticking out of her head.

We love it! Happy Halloween everyone!

Sarah B.

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 4:15 am | Posted under Photos | 3 comments

Stolen car running red light leads to major accident at 10th Ave & Geary

Photo by jdonnellydc

At around 12:30pm on Wednesday, a major accident occurred at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and 10th Avenue. The Examiner reports that the crash was caused by a stolen car running the red light. The car was a blue, four door Honda.

At least four other cars were involved in the collision, including an upended Lexus SUV in front of the Mattress Discounters store.

All four drivers and one pedestrian were hospitalized but their condition is unknown. Police told onlookers that the street where the accident occurred would be closed for at least 4 hours.

Sarah B.

Photo by Derek

Photo by Derek

Photo by Derek

The stolen car. Photo by Derek

The stolen car. Photo by Derek

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 3:44 pm | Posted under Traffic | 10 comments

Halloween photo special: What (or whom) lies beneath the Legion of Honor?

Photo by Richard Barnes

A share from the Western Neighborhoods Project today prompted us to re-post bits of past articles in honor of Halloween.

Many of you may know that the Richmond District was once THE place to be buried in San Francisco – there were several cemeteries in the neighborhood as far east as Laurel Heights and as far west as Lincoln Park. Beginning in the early 1900s and until the 1940’s, the cemeteries were decommissioned and the remains were moved out to Colma.

Well, most of them anyway.

In 1993, while the Legion of Honor Museum underwent renovations, construction workers came across remains of an estimated 700 bodies that had been buried in City Cemetery, a burial ground for ethnic and religious minorities, indigents and members of various benevolent associations.

More from the San Francisco History website:

In the summer of 1993, during renovation and expansion of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, “about 300 corpses from the Gold Rush era—two of them still clutching rosaries, others were wearing dentures and Levis—were unearthed from what appears to be an old pauper’s graveyard. Some experts say another 11,000 bodies might lie underneath the museum grounds” according to a Los Angeles Times article (12 November 1993, A-23). The City Planner’s office has copies of the excavation activities. According to the archeaologist, there were over 700 individual coffin burials. All the remains and artifacts were turned over to the Coroner’s office (Medical Examiner).

The Medical Examiner’s office had the remains reburied at the Skylawn Cemetery in San Mateo, and the artifacts were given to the City Museum. Most of the finds were centered around the Legion of Honor’s courtyard. The archeaological firm proposed a more extensive dig, but the Museum felt it was out-of-scope of their activities, so they said no. Another interesting item was that an early resident, recalling the construction of the museum, mentioned that remains were found and put into a pit in one of the corners of the building, although she couldn’t recall which corner. So, it appears that remains are still there, somewhere.

Photographer Richard Barnes captured the eerie site and put on an exhibition “Still Rooms and Excavations” in 1997, telling SFWeekly, “It brought together all my interests: Here is the museum, archaeology, architecture, collecting…” See more photos from the exhibit on his website.

Local archaeologist Paula Frazer, who worked on the excavation, called the experience chilling and said it “was one of the spookiest archaeologist jobs I have worked on”. When the Legion was built from 1920 to 1924, the original contractors just plowed through burial sites, and plumbers laid pipes right through bodies and skeletons.

Photo by Richard Barnes

So if you feel a cold chill the next time you pass through the Legion of Honor galleries, don’t just chalk it up to the marble surround…

For more history on the cemeteries (and the neighborhood), we highly recommend the book San Francisco’s Richmond District by Lorri Ungaretti. You may also want to watch A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries, a documentary by Trina Lopez which is available for rent at the SF Public Library Main Branch History Center.

Photo by Richard Barnes

Below are some interesting historical photos of the cemeteries from Lorri Ungaretti’s book. Happy Halloween everyone!

Sarah B.

An 1891 map showing the five cemeteries in the northwestern part of San Francisco.
Note the City Cemetery in the upper left corner, and the the other four on the right side
(Laurel Hill Cemetery, Odd Fellows Cemetery, Masonic Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery).
Courtesy of Richard Brandi.

A crew works to remove the bodies from Odd Fellows Cemetery, December 26, 1933.
This is now the site of Rossi Playground.

A panoramic view of Odd Fellows Cemetery. Note the Columbarium on the far right. On the very
far left edge, you can see the top of the crematorium. 1865.

The Odd Fellows Crematorium building can be seen in the background. Remains were then inurned
in the Columbarium nearby. Courtesy of Glenn Koch.

In the early years of San Francisco, there was little greenery or trees, so it was not unusual for residents
to flock to the cemeteries for recreation. This photo shows a Memorial Day celebration at
Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1909.

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 12:17 pm | Posted under History, Museums | 11 comments

Thousands come out for first Sunday Streets in the Richmond District

Temperatures were chilly and the sun was nowhere to be found. But that wasn’t enough to deter thousands of hearty Richmond District residents from coming out for the first Sunday Streets in the neighborhood.

Beginning Sunday morning, Clement Street between Arguello and Funston, and Arguello between Clement and Fulton were closed off to cars and parking. The regular Sunday Farmer’s Market was doubled to run 4 blocks, and dozens of businesses and organizations came out to set up along the Sunday Streets route. Check out the video above for highlights from the day (photos also available on Flickr).

Along the way we came upon zumba enthusiasts, lots of bicyclists, live bands, dogs galore, merchants set up outside their businesses, a cotton candy maker, a pack of alpacas, a woman spewing bubbles out the back of her bike seat, a very well-dressed Alice in Wonderland rabbit, kids getting a driver’s view from a DPW street sweeping truck, wee children learning to ride a bike, Sea Scouts teaching people how to tie knots, lots of Bluegrass, and much more.

It was great to have Sunday Streets in the neighborhood. We think the route could be consolidated to just Clement Street as things were pretty spread out. Perhaps run it on Clement and on Arguello just between Geary and Clement…

What did you think of Sunday Streets? Leave a comment to let us know! Sunday Streets also has an official survey for the event. Take it and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a messenger bag from Rickshaw Bagworks and Sunday Streets T-shirts. Survey closes Thursday November 7.

Sarah B.

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 7:16 am | Posted under Community, Photos, Video | 19 comments