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Get ready for Jog in the Fog with Bright1Fitness training runs, every Wed night

Our Richmond District Jog in the Fog 5k fun run is coming up on September 8. And whether a 5k is a cake walk for you, or you’ve never run one before, Bright1Fitness, a race sponsor, can help get you ready with training runs every Wednesday night leading up to the race.

The group meets just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm (directions).

The runs are led by Bright1Fitness owner and RRCA Certified Running Coach Brighton Miller, who welcomes all levels to the Wednesday night runs.

“Whether you’re running your very first 5k, or just need to blow the dust off your running shoes, come out and join us on Wednesday nights. You might meet some nice neighbors too!” Miller said.

Your first training run is free, thereafter you can buy a discount package or pay a $10 drop-in fee every week.

And in related news, Bright1Fitness is a finalist for the Red Tricycle “Most Awesome Mom Fitness Programs”. Vote here to help them win!

We’ll see you out there!

Sarah B.

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 5:30 am | Posted under Events | 1 comment

Topless tour bus runs into street wires on 12th Avenue, injures five passengers

The Chronicle reported that five people were injured after the “topless” tour bus they were riding ran into some overhead wires while driving through the Richmond District on Friday afternoon.

The double decker bus, operated by Big Bus Tours, was heading north on 12th Avenue around 3:15pm.

As they crossed the intersection of Balboa and headed towards Anza, a low hanging wire first hit the bus’ windshield, popped over the windshield, and then collided with some passengers riding on the top level of the bus, which is open to the air.

Four passengers suffered cuts and bruises on their face and hands, and another woman, 67 years old, had injuries on her face and head. Four were taken to to San Francisco General Hospital, but all were released later that evening.

The Big Bus Tours driver had veered off the normal Park Presidio route to try and avoid snarled traffic on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The alternate route on 12th Avenue was a designated backup route and is regularly used by the bus company.

But what he didn’t expect was that one of the overhead wires on that block of 12th Avenue had come loose and was hanging lower than normal.

Thankfully there were no serious injuries. It’s not clear whose wire became dislodged or if it’s been fixed since Friday. But let’s hope another group of bus tourists doesn’t get a nasty surprise like this.

Sarah B.

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 5:24 am | Posted under Transportation | 12 comments

Free Health and Wellness Fair at the RDNC, July 25

This Thursday from 10am until 1pm, the Richmond District Neighborhood Center is hosting their first Health and Wellness Fair.

The event is organized by the students of the summer Junior Nurses Program, a RDNC program designed to give high school students an idea of what to expect in nursing school.

The fair will offer free information on stroke, seizure, heart attack, and diabetes, and will also feature booths from the Institute of Aging and the Richmond Village Beacon.

Junior Nurses Program organizer Abigail Pejoro tells us, “the high school students are doing the health fair to utilize what they’ve learned in the program in a healthcare setting – the community. Students will showcase what we’ve taught them by doing various health teachings and assessments. It will be supervised by student nurses and registered nurses to ensure that the students are providing accurate information and doing assessments properly. We will also answer any questions that the high school students may not be able to answer.”

The fair takes place this Thursday from 10am until 1pm at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center, 741 30th Avenue between Balboa and Cabrillo.

Sarah B.

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 3:10 pm | Posted under Events, Health | Comments Off

Ro Cafe brings Turkish coffee, baklava and other Kurdish delights to 5th & Calif.

Owner Havin Gavgasi stands outside Ro Cafe on 5th & California

Tucked on the southwest corner of 5th and California is the new Ro Cafe, a Kurdish cafe that has been open for just over a month.

Owner Havin Gavgasi, who came to the U.S. four years ago from Kurdistan, took over the lease from the previous cafe. She worked in cafes previously in her career and said she’s always wanted to open her own place.

Ro Cafe serves Graffeo Coffee from North Beach, and offers a Turkish version for those who like a good punch in their cup. The menu features many traditional Kurdish dishes including Kurdish Baklava and Kurdish flatbread, which Gavgasi says is a favorite.

She prepares the flatbread fresh when you order, rolling out the dough and preparing it on a hot flat grill, similar to a crepe cooker. But the final result is a thicker bread, like a thin pizza crust.

The Kurdish Flatbread Panini ($7.25) on the menu is a mix of feta cheese, chopped Italian parsley, and cooked onion placed between two thin layers of fresh dough and baked on the hot grill. It’s served with a side of sliced tomatoes and homemade sauce. You can add chicken to it for an additional $2.

The Kurdish style couscous is another item that Gavgasi says usually surprises people because it’s a little different than other couscous they’ve had before. Her recipe combines couscous with mixed tomato paste, parsley, green onion with Kurdish spices, served with fresh tomatoes and lemon on the side. She says several customers have been happily surprised with her version, and have come back into the cafe to order it again.

The menu also includes a few other sandwiches including a Veggie Sandwich ($5.25), a Chicken Breast Wrap served on Middle Eastern Pita Pita Bread ($6.95), and a Feta Beef Roll, which is oven baked.

If you’re stopping by in the morning, order a Corek (pronounced Chorek), a traditional Kurdish breakfast pastry. One variety has pesto and cheese inside. The cafe also offers a Kurdish Veggie Omelet with a side of ciabatta bread toast.

We tried the baklava while we were there and it was delicious – light, very flaky and sweet. You get two small slices (egg roll size) for $3.25. The other dessert on the menu is Kurdish pudding, served cold.

Gavgasi called her new business Ro Cafe because Ro means “river” in her language, and her native Kurdistan is criss-crossed with them. Cafes in her home country make tea and coffee with water from the rivers, and believe its clean properties make the beverages taste better.

“And Ro is easy to say,” Gavgasi said, laughing. “I also really like the neighbors – they are friendly and come shop here to support my business.”

While we were there, local resident Patricia was enjoying the free Wifi, and eagerly awaiting her flatbread. She lives on Geary and 2nd, and said she escapes to Ro Cafe for good food, as well as some peace and quiet.

Ro Cafe is located at 195 5th Avenue on the corner of California, and is open from 7am until 7pm every day. Stop in to try some Kurdish delights and welcome them to the neighborhood!

Sarah B.

The baklava pastry was very tasty!

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 5:25 am | Posted under Business, Food | 5 comments

Condos with ground floor retail coming to Balboa & 36th Ave

A rendering of the new development from Shatara Architecture. View more (PDF)

Last week, reader Daniel F. sent us a copy of a SF Planning Department public notice (PDF) that is posted near the vacant lot on the corner of Balboa Avenue and 36th Avenue.

The notice is for a new mixed-use development designed by Shatara Architecture that will include 6 residential units and 3,900 square feet of commercial space on the building’s ground floor (tenant TBD).

The four-story building will include 9 parking spaces for residents in the basement, with the entrance to the garage on 36th Avenue. The building will also feature penthouse units, roof decks, and a 1,294 square foot rear yard which equates to 25% of the lot area.

The building will be 40 feet tall (4 stories) which is slightly taller than its neighbors – a 3 story building on Balboa, and a 2 story home on 36th Avenue.

We reached out to Shatara Architecture via phone and email to try and get some renderings to share with you, but we did not hear back from them (as in ancient times, city planner Aaron Starr tells us they only have paper versions on file and we’d have to show up in person to get copies…). The firm has experience with restaurant, commercial and residential projects.

UPDATE 7/25/13: We received renderings from Shatara Architecture – view the PDF

The permit for the project was filed back in 2008. Once the public notice period has expired on July 25, and assuming no requests or discretionary reviews are filed, the project will be approved by the Planning Department. No word yet on when construction would begin.

Sarah B.

The currently vacant lot at Balboa & 36th Avenue. Photo by Daniel F.

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 5:20 am | Posted under Real Estate | 26 comments

Turn your favorite old object into a creative planter, July 31

Jennie Strobel of Sloat Garden Center will lead the workshop

On Wednesday, July 31 the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park will host another “DIY Planter” workshop where you can learn how to transform your favorite objects into unique planters.

Have you ever looked at an everyday object and thought “I could plant something in that!”? An old pair of cowboy boots, a rusty bike tire, a softball mitt, a conch shell, or your grandmother’s Bundt cake mold? You’re not alone. Sloat Garden Center’s Jennie Strobel sees planter potential in all kinds of unlikely objects, and she’s coming to the Conservatory to show us how to turn our visions into reality.

The workshop costs $25 ($20 for Conservatory members) and includes instruction, one gallon of soil and three succulents or other available plants of your choosing to start your planters (you can purchase more at the workshop if you wish).

So whether it’s an old typewriter, cowboy boots, pairs of jeans, an old teapot, antique coffee tin or some other treasured object, breathe new life into it by turning it into a planter.

Space is limited so sign up online before the class fills up.

Sarah B.

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 5:08 am | Posted under Classes, Green | Comments Off

Police Blotter – July 17, 2013

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of July 17, 2013. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Last night, Officer Lai made a fantastic arrest culminating in the seizure of a gun and an arrest of three. Team work is at the core of our philosophy here at Richmond Station. Officer Lai’s arrest is an example of what is accomplished when we work together.

We are preparing for National Night Out which is held this year on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at Richmond Station. In the spirit of teamwork, we cannot do our jobs alone; we need you, the community to be our partners in keeping the Richmond District Safe. Please join us for National Night Out at Richmond Station from 5pm to 8pm. If you have not attended before please make an effort to stop by and we encourage you to bring your families, children and seniors. It’s a great opportunity to get to know our officers, neighbors and other first responders.

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave.

On 07/13/13 at 1:30am, a single vehicle accident occurred at Geary and Stanyan Sts. The vehicle traveling north on Stanyan continued straight, jumped the curb and hit a parking meter, street sign and newspaper stand. The newspaper stand flew through the air and hit the glass door of a business on the 3600 block of Geary. The driver, a 30 year old male was charged with driving under the influence.

On 07/13/13 at 5:10pm, on the unit block of Lupine, the victim was home and heard a loud thud from outside. He went to investigate and looked out his kitchen window. He saw the suspect kicking in the door below his window and the saw the suspect swinging up the fire escape. The victim grabbed his phone to call 911 and went to get a neighbor. As the two re-entered the apartment they heard glass break and saw the suspect, still outside, spread the blinds through the broken window. When the suspect saw them he ran down the fire escape. Responding officer located the suspect and after a foot pursuit took him into custody. The 23 year old male was charged with burglary, trespassing and resisting arrest.

On 07/15/13 at 6:05pm, officers conducted a traffic stop on the 700 block of 3rd Ave. The officer approached the driver’s side to ask for identification and when he was handed the drivers license, the driver rolled up the window while the officer was still speaking. The officer instructed the driver to roll the window back down and when he did the officer could smell marijuana from inside. The driver was on parole as was one of the passengers. The officers had all three occupants exit the vehicle to conduct a parole search and located a fully loaded handgun in the trunk. The three males 2 24yr olds and one 21yr old were charged with firearm, ammunition and narcotic violations as well as a parole violation for the two on parole.

On 07/10/13 and 07/11/13, the 91 year old victim received phone calls from a male claiming to be her grandson. The phone number was blocked. He told her that he was in Mexico and had been arrested after being involved in an accident. During each call he said he needed money wired to pay for repairs and she wired a total of $2500. On 07/12/13 she called him on his cell phone to check in and he told her that he had been at work and was not in Mexico.

Between 07/11/13, 4:30pm and 07/12/13, 7am on the 600 block of El Camino Del Mar, a suspect entered a vacant home which is under construction. The suspect removed the plywood securing the garage and took a computer monitor and printer.

On 07/12/13 at 11:10pm the victim was on a 38 Geary MUNI line, outbound, sitting near the rear exit doors. As the bus came to a stop at Geary and Park Presidio the suspect grabbed the phone from her hand. There was a short struggle over the phone and the suspect gained control and fled north on 14th Ave, with another male. The victim gave chase but lost them in the area. The suspect was described as a black male, 16-18yrs wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

On 07/14/13 at 2am, officers were called to an assault on the 5300 block of Geary. The 21 year old victim was found semi-conscious on the ground. The other parties in the area could only tell the police that they had been at a social event at a nearby bar and that the victim was attacked by several unknown males.

Between 07/14/13, 8pm and 07/15/13, 6:30am on the 1700 block of Pierce St, a suspect(s) entered a garage by unknown means and entered a vehicle parked inside. The vehicle was rifled through but nothing appeared to be missing. While officers were on scene a male came by. He told them that at 3:45am, he was walking past the victim’s garage and saw two suspects inside. The female suspect asked to borrow this male’s cell phone. He declined and kept walking. He described the female as black, 28-30yrs, wearing a beanie and brownish long sleeved sweater. The male was black, 28-30 wearing a beanie and red, yellow, green Jamaican-like patterned shirt.

On 07/16/13 at 12:05pm, two males, both wearing bandanas across their faces, ran into a business on the 1900 block of Clement. One of the males was armed with a handgun and ordered all victim’s onto the ground. They had the owner open up the register and took cash. They took cough syrup and a wallet belonging to a customer. They fled in an unknown direction. The suspects were black males wearing all dark clothing.

On 07/16/13 at 7pm, a 7 year old girl was holding her mom’s cell phone while riding the 38 Geary outbound. As the bus stopped at 17th and Geary, the suspect took the cell phone from the little girl’s hand and fled northbound 17th Ave. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 19-20, wearing a Chicago Bulls hat, gray jacket and blue jeans.

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 9:30 am | Posted under Crime | 8 comments

Presenting the Richmond District Jog in the Fog 5k fun run – sign up today!

We’re super excited to present our latest community project / event – the Richmond District Jog in the Fog 5k family fun run, taking place on Sunday, September 8.

This event is ALL about the Richmond District. The course runs through the Richmond District, local businesses are sponsoring it, and proceeds from the race benefit a neighborhood charity, the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC).

Heck, we even had a neighborhood artist, Andy George, design the race logo!

This is a great chance to come out and enjoy a fun run through our beautiful neighborhood with your fellow neighbors and support the RDNC, a non-profit that provides free and low-cost resources, support, and activities to children, teens, adults and seniors in the neighborhood.

Get all the details about Jog in the Fog and register on the event website at joginthefog.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest updates leading up to the race.

Special thanks to our local sponsors for their support of the event and the RDNC: San Francisco Toyota, Busvan, Green Apple Books, Angelina’s Cafe & Deli, SanFranPsycho, the Clement Street Merchants Association, Sparky’s Balloons, Bright1Fitness and Thidwick Books.

SIGN UP TODAY to reserve your spot in the race (cool t-shirt and flashy race number included!).

We can’t wait to see you out there!

Sarah B.

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 5:15 am | Posted under Events | 13 comments