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Jul-21-2014

Jog in the Fog 5k is back on September 14. Sign up today!

We’re thrilled to bring back the Richmond District Jog in the Fog 5k family fun run for its second year on Sunday, September 14.

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).

The course begins in Mt. Lake Park and finishes out at Lands End, showing off our beautiful parks and coastal scenery along the way. Both runners and walkers are welcome!

Registration for adults (13 & over) is $35, and that includes a race bib and t-shirt featuring the race logo designed by neighborhood artist Andy George.

Kids 12 & under can participate for FREE – just bring them along on race day and we’ll give them a free, souvenir race number (no advance registration required). Check out photos from last year’s inaugural race.

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 on the race and register at joginthefog.com, or start your registration below. We can’t wait to see you out there!

Sarah B.

THANK YOU TO OUR JOG IN THE FOG SPONSORS:








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 10:41 am | Posted under Events | Add comments
Jul-18-2014

Determined SFPD officer in a ticketing frenzy at 22nd & California


Officer UnFriendly pulls over a car on 22nd Avenue on Friday morning

The intersection of 22nd and California has always been a busy one. It’s a four way stop with businesses on three corners, two of which – Angelina’s Cafe and the Appel & Dietrich Market – get a lot of traffic. Alamo Elementary School is just down the block on 22nd Avenue, and there are bus stops on the east and west corners of the intersection. Crossing pedestrians are a frequent occurrence.

So it’s hardly a surprise to see an officer posted on the southeast side of the intersection, waiting for drivers to make their “California stops”, e.g. rolling stops, at the intersection.

But so far, a single officer has been at it for a week now, nabbing drivers left and right, resulting in a veritable frenzy of ticket-writing.

We were at Angelina’s Cafe this morning at 7:05am and Officer UnFriendly had already pulled someone over near 21st Avenue and California, lights flashing. By the time we purchased our coffee, he had already pulled over another driver on 22nd Avenue. This was in the span of approximately 8 minutes.

We emailed Richmond District station Captain Simon Silverman a few days ago to ask if there is an initiative underway to make that particular intersection the safest in San Francisco. But we got a vacation reply so we’ll have to wait until he’s back to get an explanation. [Update 7/28/14: We received a reply from Capt. Silverman which is reprinted below.]

One reader saw Officer UnFriendly nabbing drivers at 22nd and Lake as well. After someone rolled through the stop, he sped down the center line of Lake Street, no lights flashing, to pull them over.

“The officer’s driving seemed unsafe to me,” the reader wrote to us. “And really over the top.”

Whatever the cause, it seems like overkill for a single officer to spend multiple hours per shift at a single intersection for a week. Yes, we should all be making full stops and being reminded of it is not a bad thing. But given all of the problem traffic points we have in the neighborhood like the Fulton freeway and the Geary interstate, shouldn’t some of this enforcement be spread around?

Or maybe Officer UnFriendly is going for cop of the month? Time will tell but in the meantime, mind your stops, especially at 22nd and California.

Sarah B.

=========================
We received this reply to our inquiry from Captain Simon Silverman on July 28, 2014:

We base our decisions on where to focus traffic enforcement on a number of factors including collisions, requests by the public, and our own observations of traffic conditions in the district.

In the case of 22nd & California, I was contacted separately by a couple of residents alarmed at the number of cars running stop signs and nearly hitting pedestrians. One woman told me that her young daughter was almost hit in the crosswalk. When people tell me about a dangerous area, I have my officers take a look at the traffic situation and write citations if warranted. More than one officer has been writing citations at 22nd & California although your blog post focused on a particular officer.

By writing citations, we are hoping to reduce violations and thereby reduce collisions. Most people drive more carefully if they get a ticket or if they see someone else getting a ticket. I hope that by writing a number of citations in the same place, we are making it safer by changing the behavior of the people who regularly drive through the area.

The intersection of 22nd & California is not the only place where Richmond Station’s officers are writing citations. In fact, the 4 block radius around that intersection accounted for only a small fraction of our traffic enforcement stops in the past month. We have also focused enforcement on Fulton, on Geary and on Park Presidio as well as many other places in the Richmond.

As you might imagine, writing people citations can be unpleasant because many people get upset and take it out on the officer. The officer whose picture you posted is undeterred by that unpleasantness, because he is doing an important job. It doesn’t make sense to call him “Officer Unfriendly” when even the few blog comments critical of his actions are not critical of his demeanor.

Officer have no quotas or incentives for citations, so it’s gratuitous to speculate that the officer whose picture you posted is “going for cop of the month” by writing tickets. This same officer has been on scene at a number of collisions where people have been seriously injured or killed, including one at 43rd & Fulton where a toddler was hit by a truck. The officer kept in touch with the family and visited the little boy in the ICU bringing him a toy. In my mind, that’s what makes him “cop of the month” – but he’ll tell you he was just doing his job.

Captain Simon Silverman
Commanding Officer
Richmond District Police Station

=========================


Waiting on the southeast side of the 22nd & California intersection to tickets
drivers that are making rolling stops.

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 9:24 am | Posted under Crime | 79 comments
Jul-18-2014

Police Blotter – July 18, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of July 18, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

MESSAGE FROM ACTING CAPTAIN
LT. DEBORAH GIZDICH

Captain Simon Silverman is on vacation

Golden Gate Bridge Weekend Closure

A full closure of the Golden Gate Bridge will be necessary during the short-term construction activities. This closure will begin at midnight on January 9, 2015 and will end at 4:00 AM January 12, 2015. The closure is not expected to exceed 52 hours. While this will cause significant delays to motorists traveling between the City of San Francisco and Marin County, the weekend closure is unavoidable to ensure both public and worker safety during construction. It is recommended that the public is informed to use alternate freeways, ferry services and/or avoid the use of Route 101 during this weekend.

An issue which was brought up by a concerned citizen at the PAR meeting, is the lack of turn signal use by road users. Not only is the non-use of your turn signal a vehicle code violation, this simple directional gives other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians a clear warning of your intention to change direction of travel. We would request all road users be mindful of your surroundings and be extra careful during the summer months.

Follow us on
https://twitter.com/sfpdrichmond
https://www.facebook.com/sfpdrichmond

NOTEWORTHY ARRESTS
On 07/06/2014, at 10:54 am Officers on patrol on the area of westbound Fulton observed a vehicle in front of them with an expired registration tab which was expired since Nov 2013. They conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. As soon as contact was made, the driver pointed towards the back of the car and said “I know”. The officers asked to see the driver’s license and he stated he did not have one. The driver was cited and their vehicle was towed for registration expired over 6 months.

On 07/04/2014, at 8:32 pm, Officers responded to Masonic and Geary Blvd. to conduct a well being check on a male who was passed out in the driver’s seat of a stationary vehicle. While conducting the well being check, officers determined that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of suspected narcotics. After their investigation, the driver was booked into the county jail for D.U.I.

On 07/08/2014, at 10:10 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Geary and 18th ave. observed a white Mercedes driving in an unsafe and erratic manner. The officers started to follow the vehicle along Park Presidio Blvd and saw the vehicle make multiple unsafe and abrupt lane. Officers initiated a traffic enforcement stop where upon contacting the driver the cited him for reckless driving and various other vehicle code violations.

On 07/09/2014, at 10:24 am, Officers responded to the area of Rossi Park regarding an auto burglary in progress. Upon their arrival at the scene the officers observed a male and female parked in a vehicle which matched the description provided. After refusing to comply with the verbal commands given by the officers the vehicle fled the area. The driver of the vehicle showed a blatant disregard for the property and safety of others by hitting multiple vehicles during his effort to escape. The vehicle was spotted a short distance away by another responding unit which attempted to conduct a traffic stop; the vehicle again increased speed and fled. Due to the initial call being a property crime the officer did not follow the vehicle for safety and policy reasons. While the initial responding officers were taking the auto burglary report they were notified that the suspect vehicle was stopped in another police district. It should be noted that the male suspect ran from the scene of the traffic stop on foot and the female occupant was arrested. The investigation continues….

On 07/16/2014, at 1:20 am, Officers on patrol in the area of Geary blvd spotted a vehicle driving with no headlights. The initiated an enforcement stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. A computer check revealed that the driver was suspended for a prior violation. The driver was cited at the scene without further incident for the violations.

NOTEWORTHY INCIDENTS
On 07/16/2014, at 12:20 pm, Officers responded to area of 9th and Lake St. regarding a purse snatch which had just occurred. The victim (68 yrs old) stated she was robbed by female suspect who shook her violently and stole her purse. The suspect fled to a waiting camper type vehicle which had a male driver. The vehicle fled the area in an unknown direction. The victim in this incident was not hurt and a passerby assisted until the police responded. Police saturated the area in an effort to locate the fleeing vehicle to no avail. Responding officers assisted the victim in getting to her banking institution which confirmed that a credit card transaction had occurred 16 mins after the robbery. The investigation continues….

We are still suffering from a lot of vehicle burglaries. Please do not leave items or valuables in your vehicles. If you see a suspicious character looking into parked vehicles, call 415-553-0123 and provide a description of the suspect.

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 8:15 am | Posted under Crime | 8 comments
Jul-16-2014

SOLD! Alexandria Theater under new ownership; development moving forward

The Alexandria Theater has finally been sold. We spoke this week with Jessica Zhao, a representative for the new ownership group that purchased the aging theater property.

The sale of the Alexandria Theater, which also includes the back parking lot on 18th Avenue, closed within the last few weeks for an undisclosed amount. Zhao says the new owners are a group of professionals who were interested in the development opportunity of the project.

The purchase of the property comes with a proposed development project that has already been approved by the San Francisco Planning Department.

The proposed development consists of a small theater and commercial spaces in the main building, and a new residential apartment building on the back parking lot.

Zhao says the new owners are focused initially on getting the residential apartment development underway. Zhao and the owners are in conversations with architects, engineers and other construction resources to scope the project. They are also working closely with the Planning Department.

The future use of the main theater building, which has been the victim of blight and decay since it closed in 2004, is still being decided.

Zhao says they are “taking a hard look at what is practical” for the main building, which includes discussions with the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation (SFNTF) on the viability of having a small theater operate on the property. The SFNTF has helped save many neighborhood theaters in the city including our own Balboa Theater, the Clay Theater and Vogue Theater.

Zhao says that until that research is completed, nothing will be decided about how the commercial space will be used in the main building. When asked if the Alamo Drafthouse is still being considered as a partner, Zhao said that their first step is to consult with the SFNTF.

“We need to do more research to look at what will work best for this space,” Zhao said. “We also don’t want to have a bunch of empty storefronts there either.”

Just as ownership was changing hands, the Alexandria Theater property was hit with a notice from the Planning Department due to a violation of their Conditional Use Permit for the development.

A requirement of their approved conditional use permit was that the owners “provide strict security and regular maintenance of the parking lot site and the theatre building to prevent any vandalism of the theatre interior, and to protect its resources (i.e., architectural features and details) until such time the Project is completed as designed,’ as stated page 27, section 23 of their Planning Department Conditional Use Permit.

Zhao says that the new owners have been in frequent touch with the Planning Department to identify and rectify the issues, and that they are “going step by step to correct them”.

“We want to keep the neighborhood informed,” Zhao said in reference to the current violation as well as the future of the development project.

Zhao said that a community liaison for the development would be named at a future date, which is also a condition of the project permit. She added that the Planning Department and Supervisor’s Mar officer are “excited that we’re moving forward”.

One of the big questions the new owners will have to answer is what will happen to the main building. What would you like to see there? A theater, restaurant and some commercial retails spaces as proposed, or something else? Leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.


A rendering of the proposed development for the Alexandria Theater property.


A rendering of the residential units that will be built on what is now the property’s back parking lot on 18th Avenue.

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 4:30 am | Posted under Real Estate | 98 comments
Jul-14-2014

Local links: Pacific Cafe turns 40, Farallones swim, Beach Chalet drags on & more


SFCitizen caught this snap of yet another creative use of the bike lanes on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.

  • Congratulations to Pacific Cafe on Geary at 34th Avenue who are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Chronicle food critic Paolo Lucchesi wrote, “In a restaurant landscape where the bright young things are celebrated by media (yours truly often included), let’s give a round of applause to the Pacific Cafe, the epitome of a great neighborhood restaurant.”
  • For only the second time in history, someone swam from the Farallones to the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday. It was his seventh try, and it took 14 hours to swim the 30 miles. Congratulations, Joseph Locke.
  • Columnist John King paid tribute to the glowing dome of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Geary. “It’s also the physical manifestation of a community with deep Richmond District roots.
  • Game on… The measure to block the new soccer fields at Beach Chalet got enough signatures to make it on the ballot for the next election. Mayor Ed Lee has already prepared for the ballot battle by getting his own opposing measure on the ballot. “Mayor Ed Lee and a number of city supervisors last month announced their own initiative, designed to override the Golden Gate Park Athletic Fields Renovation Act. That measure contains a “poison pill” that would invalidate any conflicting ballot measure if the city’s measure gets more votes.” [SF Chronicle] Wake us when it’s over.
  • Parking meters are getting an upgrade, allowing them to accept all five forms of payment, have larger display screens and show pay-by-phone transactions on the meter display. The new ones are being installed in the outer and central Richmond District in this next wave. And in case you’re curious what it costs to upgrade each meter – $515.
  • The latest casualty of the tech boom? It’s Chinese businesses according to newamericanmedia.org. “The irony is that as Chinese buyers acquire more property in San Francisco, it is often the Chinese American tenants who are taking a hit. In this new Chinese city of San Francisco, also a hipster city, one sees more white young people and fewer small Chinese shops and shopkeepers that cater to working-class Chinese.” Read the full story
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 9:57 am | Posted under Business, Politics, Transportation | 19 comments
Jul-10-2014

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

Parking is going to get even tougher for residents in the outer Richmond if the SFMTA gets approval tomorrow to convert 20 residential parking spaces into car share zones.

The Friday, July 11 the Sustainable Streets Division of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will hold a public hearing in which 10 different proposals will be considered to change street parking spaces into ones reserved for car share companies.

The detailed list of where these proposed changes is below, which includes spaces on 27th, 28th, 33rd, 34th, and 42nd Avenues, as well as Anza, Balboa and Cabrillo Streets. In total, it calls for 20 parking spaces to be changed to parking that is restricted to car share company vehicles only.

The 20 spaces being proposed in the outer Richmond District are just a small piece of the 900 total spaces that the SFMTA wants to convert across the city for a 2 year test program for car sharing.

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]

Some residents will be less than thrilled with this development, given how hard it can be for Richmond District residents to park in their own neighborhood. Reader Aram G. wrote us and said “this is yet another assault on Long term residents of San Francisco and needs to be stopped!!”

Still others, who don’t own cars, will find the ease of access to car sharing a welcome convenience.

“We appreciate that it’s a pretty big leap of faith,” Andy Thornley, project leader for the MTA told Pando this week. “And its important to remember that this is an experiment and not a forever thing, necessarily.”

Tomorrow’s SFMTA hearing takes place at City Hall (1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place) at 10am in Room 416 (Hearing Room 4) (view full meeting agenda). The public is welcome to attend and make comments.

Sarah B.

PROPOSED RICHMOND DISTRICT PARKING THAT MAY BE CONVERTED TO CAR SHARING SPACES:
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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 11:09 am | Posted under Transportation | 77 comments
Jul-9-2014

Photo: Old “Connie’s Market” sign uncovered at 5211 Geary


Photo by Ed P.

Two readers emailed us about the “Connie’s Market” sign that was uncovered at 5211 Geary near 16th Avenue. The wash and dry there has been closed for awhile and it appears renovations are underway.

According to the SF Department of Building inspection, the property is undergoing a change in use from a laundromat to an office with some bathroom remodeling thrown in.

Reader Ed P. says he recalls that Connie’s was the only market on Geary in the 1970′s between 15th and 18th Avenues.

We couldn’t find much else on ol’ Connie’s. If you have some memories, leave a comment to let us know.

Sarah B.

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 10:37 am | Posted under History | 26 comments
Jul-8-2014

Sunday Streets comes to Arguello Boulevard – this weekend!

This Sunday is the second annual Richmond District Sunday Streets. From 11am until 4pm on Sunday, Arguello Boulevard from Fulton to Lake Street will be closed to car traffic. This is your chance to roam the streets with total abandon!

Along the Sunday Streets route, you’ll find tons of fun vendors and activities. Last year’s inaugural Sunday Streets was full of interesting stuff including a sighting of llamas, several live bands along the route, dance demonstrations and games for kids. It’s a great chance to come out and meet your neighbors and enjoy the streets without worrying about cars.

Also going on will be the usual Sunday Farmer’s Market on Clement from Arguello to 4th Avenue (9am – 2pm).

You can download the full list of Sunday Streets activities here or watch the video of last year’s event to see what’s in store.

Want to keep your kids or family taskmaster busy during the event? Get them started with Sunday Streets bingo, where participants visit stations along the route and share their activities on social media for a chance to win prizes. Download the bingo board here

And if you want to continue onto some good eating, jump on the free shuttle at Arguello and Lake Street to the Off the Grid Picnic in the Presidio, which also runs from 11am until 4pm.

Note that pets are welcome along the Sunday Streets route but not in the Farmer’s Market area.

IMPORTANT STREET CLOSURE & CAR TOWING INFORMATION
The Sunday Streets route will be closed to traffic from 11am until 4pm but also to any parking along the route. Cars that are parked along the Arguello route (both sides of the street) will be towed if not moved prior to 7am on Sunday morning.

If you have questions about the event or need to arrange vehicle access during the event times, contact Liza@livablecity.org or (415) 344-0489 x2.

$5 PARKING AT ROOSEVELT MIDDLE SCHOOL
If you have to drive to Sunday Streets (or want to invite friends from other neighborhoods to come visit!), Roosevelt Middle School will provide parking for $5 per car. They will have their schoolyard available for parking from 8:30am – 3:30pm; enter on Palm Avenue between Euclid and Geary. Note: They open their lot every Sunday for parking during the Farmer’s Market.
Sorry – we’ve been informed that the Roosevelt School lot is under construction and will not be available for parking.

Enjoy your streets this Sunday!

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Events | 13 comments
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