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@Hiddencash hit Baker Beach on Saturday; searchers come out in droves

People flocked to Baker Beach just after 10am on Saturday to look for @HiddenCash. Photo by @koln5

Saturday morning, we got a report that people were streaming across Baker Beach like a zombie horde. The reason? @HiddenCash announced on Saturday at 9:41am that $2000 had been hidden in Pez dispensers somewhere in San Francisco.

A little later at 10:12am, @HiddenCash revealed the location: “”Burners” will know it all started here. All are in the sand. Houses to your left, foggy bridge to your right.” and shared a photo of a Pez dispenser lying in sand.

From there, the game begin. Dozens of people were seen walking up and down Baker Beach, searching for the small dispensers with cash in them, and really hoping to find one of the three larger packages of dispensers that each contained $100.

The first confirmed find via twitter was at 10:58am by @oliviaaa_143 who wrote “THANK YOU SO MUCH @HiddenCash you rock thanks for making my day.”

More came streaming in after that:

Did you rush over to Baker Beach to look for @HiddenCash? We’re not sure if every one was found so if you’re out there this week, keep your eyes peeled!

Sarah B.

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 8:40 pm | Posted under News | 5 comments

Green Apple Book opens new inner Sunset location today

Inside the new Green Apple Books at 1231 9th Avenue

Since opening on Clement Street in 1967, Green Apple Books has grown to 10 times the size of its original location, moving into neighboring storefronts as its inventory expanded.

But today, a new chapter begins for the San Francisco landmark as it opens a new location in a completely different neighborhood at 1231 9th Avenue in the Inner Sunset.

The story of how it happened is part business and part good neighbor. In March, Le Video, a video rental store, was struggling in the 9th Avenue space. After years in business, the store was barely making rent and struggling to compete with today’s culture of on-demand digital movies and television shows.

In April, Green Apple announced that they would be taking over half of the space as a co-tenant with Le Video. Green Apple opens today in the bottom floor of the building, and Le Video will maintain their business upstairs.

In addition to getting some help with the rent each month, Le Video also raised $60,000 via an Indiegogo campaign which should help it recover and stay solvent. “THANK YOU FOR SAVING LE VIDEO! We are looking forward to our future with you!” it says on their website.

Though this second Green Apple – Books on the Park location will only be one third of the size of the Clement Street store, it’s a welcome addition to the inner Sunset neighborhood which has not had a bookstore in several years.

Stephen Sparks, the general manager of the new 9th Avenue Green Apple says “we’re thinking of this space as more open and showroom-y where we’ll be able to have great events.” Like the upcoming Colorless Tsukuru Midnight Party on August 11 to celebrate the release of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Sparks says they’re also planning to carve out a niche for nature books, local interest, and good literary fiction.

The new Green Apple Books in the inner Sunset is open daily from 10am until 10pm. This weekend they’ll be celebrating their grand opening by giving away $25 gift cards every hour from 12noon to 8pm on Friday, and possibly Saturday and Sunday.

Normally we’d say “welcome to the neighborhood” when we write about new businesses here on the blog, but in this case, we’ll say “way to go!”. And to our Sunset readers, be sure to drop by and welcome them to YOUR neighborhood. :)

Sarah B.

P.S. – Someone tell actor Paul Giamatti. He was spotted at the Clement Street store last night so I’m sure he’d want to see the new location too while he’s in town.

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 9:20 am | Posted under Business | 12 comments

Police Blotter: July 31, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of August 1, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Dear Richmond District Residents,

I thought it was important that everyone in our community know that one of “San Francisco’s Finest”, Officer Bob Ramos #1226, is working his last shift today (7/31/14). Bob has dedicated almost 33 years of his life to help the citizen’s of this great town. As a newly promoted Lieutenant, I have seen Bob’s stellar work ethic. Bob has been a tremendous asset to Richmond Police Station and the district. Handling numerous calls for service per shift aside from his routine Park Car duties. He is never too busy to help a citizen, a fellow officer or anyone who asks for his help. Bob is a highly decorated police officer with years of valuable training and experience. But in my mind what separates Bob from the pack is his generous nature and compassion with everyone he contacts. We will miss Bob.

On the upside, Bob has made the decision to be a part of our SFPD Reserve Program. Bob has told me he loves this job and the people. He intends to work multiple times a month in the same job as the Park Car for our district. The primary difference as a reserve officer is that Bob will be coming to work on his own time. But when you talk to Bob about his career in the SFPD, the last 33 years hasn’t seemed like work at all.

Lt. William Conley#2192
Richmond Police Station

Retiring SFPD Richmond Station officer Bob Ramos

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.

Follow us on

On 07/28/2014, at 3:08 am Officers on patrol on the area of Anza and 12th observed a vehicle making an unsafe turn driving on the wrong side of the roadway. The officers initiated a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. The driver showed signs of intoxication and was on active probation. Officers booked the driver for driving under the influence.

On 07/26/2014, at 1:35 am, Officers on patrol in the area of 19th and Geary conducted a traffic enforcement stop on GMC Truck. The driver was contacted and it was discovered the driver did not have any license issued to him. He was cited for the misdemeanor offense at the scene.

On 07/24/2014, at 11:57 am Officers responded to an apartment unit on the 300 block of Arguello. This call was regarding a naked male who was climbing around on the second floor balcony and acting erratically. With the assistance of the building manager officers were able to contact the male who was not a resident of the apartment unit. Due to the height and location of the suspect, multiple Richmond Station officers responded to assist. Although there was little room to maneuver and the serious danger of a fall for both the suspect and the officers, they were eventually able to remove the suspect without serious incident. The male indicated that he was a methamphetamine user and remained uncooperative. A computer records search revealed the suspect had an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest. The male was booked at County Jail without further incident.

On 07/23/2014, at 11:20 pm Officers on patrol in the area of 15th and Geary saw a vehicle fail to stop at the active red light. Officers initiated an enforcement stop and contacted the driver. A computer check revealed that the driver has never been issued a drivers license in California. The driver was cited for the misdemeanor of driving with no license issued

On 07/23/2014, at 11:18 pm Officers observed a cyclist on a bicycle fail to stop at a posted stop sign. The Officers contacted the cyclist with the intention of issuing a citation for the observed infraction. When the Officers conducted a computer query on the cyclist they discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The cyclist was booked at the County Jail on the warrant but not before he also got a ticket for the stop sign violation.

On 07/22/2014, at 0:59 am, Officers observed a vehicle traveling west on Fulton St. with non working lamps. The officers followed the vehicle and saw it pull into a drive way along 125th Ave. The officers contacted the driver who seemed to show the signs of driving under the influence of a narcotic. A records check revealed that the driver was operating his vehicle on a suspended license and also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Officers also discovered a substance believed to be methamphetamine on the person of the driver. After being medically cleared at San Francisco General Hospital the driver was booked for multiple offences.

On 07/22/2014 at 11:37 am, Officers on patrol in the area of 11th and Geary saw a vehicle with non working brake lights. Officers initiated an enforcement stop and contacted the driver. A computer check revealed that the driver has never been issued a drivers license in California while residing here for 10yrs. The driver was cited for the both violations.

On 07/20/2014, at 11:20 pm, Officers in the area of Baker and Sutter St. observed a vehicle fail to stop at a posted stop sign. The officers initiated an enforcement stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. A computer check revealed that the driver’s license was suspended and revoked. The driver was cited for the misdemeanor violation.

On 07/19/2014, at 07:14 am, Officers in the area of Geary and 4th Ave. observed a vehicle driving in excess of the posted speed limit. The Chevy was driving at 62 m.p.h., which is 27 m.p.h. over the posted limit of 35 m.p.h.. The officers initiated an enforcement stop and contacted the driver. The driver was unable to provide any license and was cited at the scene.

On 07/19/2014, at 2:01 pm, Officers in the area of 4th and Geary observed a vehicle fail to stop at a solid red light and the vehicle was also showing expired registration tabs. The officers initiated an enforcement stop and contacted the driver. The driver stated he was distracted and failed to see the light. A computer check revealed the driver had no license issued and he was cited at the scene for the offence.

On 07/17/2014, at 7:08 am, officers observed a vehicle traveling at 51 mph in a 35mph zone. The conditions that morning were also wet which increases the stopping distance of a vehicle in an emergency. The driver was contacted and produced a license which was suspended / revoked. The license was suspended due to unpaid fines which the driver had not taken care of.

On 07/17/2014, at 11:39 pm, Officers in the area of the 6000 blk of Geary observed a vehicle with non working lights. The officers initiated an enforcement stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver. The driver was driving with a suspended and revoked license and was cited at the scene.

On 07/18/2014 at 10:06 pm officers responded to the area of 2800 California Street regarding a burglary. Officers examined the area and determined that the suspect had removed a screen from a window to make entry. The unknown suspect removed a laptop computer and an IPOD. There officers also observed that there were no locks installed on the window. The officers were able to show the resident how to secure their windows properly.

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 9:05 am | Posted under Crime | 12 comments

Photo: Hella vellella jellies wash ashore on Ocean Beach

Photo by Carolina La Rotta Dratva via Ocean Beach Surf

Earlier this week, some blue jellies washed ashore at Ocean Beach. They’re called velella, also known as “sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail, or little sail”.

More about these blue creatures:

They are usually deep blue in colour, but their most obvious feature is a small stiff sail that catches the wind and propels them over the surface of the sea. Under certain wind conditions, they may be stranded by the thousand on beaches.

Like other Cnidaria, Velella velella are carnivorous. They catch their prey, generally plankton, by means of tentacles that hang down in the water. [Wikipedia]

Velella have been washing up on beaches along the California coast all summer, with reports from as far north as Oregon. Visitors to Baker Beach have also seen them this week.

Jim Watanabe, a lecturer at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, told the Chronicle that the valella “go where the wind goes”. This year’s wind patterns, he said, are likely the reason for the creatures washing up on shore.

The creatures live offshore, on the surface of the water, and have a small ridge or crest running across them that acts like a sail, Watanabe said.

One RichmondSFBlog commenter had another theory – that the felines living off the coast of Lands End may have something to do with it…

The last time we had a massive jelly invasion was in April 2012, when thousands came ashore on Ocean Beach.

Sarah B.

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 11:37 am | Posted under Ocean Beach, Photos | Add comments

National Night Out at the Richmond District Police Station, August 5

A SFPD officer introduces a police K9 to some kids (2012)

Next Tuesday night, the Richmond District station is inviting the neighborhood to stop by as part of National Night Out. The nationwide event is designed to develop partnerships between the police and fire departments, and the community.

The free event will be held at the SFPD station at 461 6th Avenue between Geary and Anza, from 5pm until 8pm.

There will be plenty of fun for all ages including a talking police car, a SFFD fire truck, a Golden Gate Park Police horse and K-9 patrol dog, a bouncy house and officers cooking up burgers on the grill. Hamburgers and drinks are free (until they run out!).

The one and only McGruff the crime dog has also been there the last couple of years.

This is a great chance to meet your neighborhood police officers and firemen, and enjoy some family fun. No RSVP is needed – just come by the station house between 5 and 8pm.

Sarah B.

SFPD police horses at National Night Out, 2012.

A tiny tot checks out a SFPD motorcyle at National Night Out, 2012.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Events, Kids | Add comments

Revealed: Felines of the Richmond District thanks to geotagged cat pic project

A new website called “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” sounds creepier than it really is. In fact it’s pretty entertaining.

Site founder Owen Mundy decided to make something from the millions of geotagged images that are uploaded to popular photo sharing sites like Instagram and Flickr, and are then given the keyword/hashtag “cat”.

The end result is a map of the world with fetching felines dotted throughout. Pics of cats lounging, cats cleaning themselves in the sun, playing with funny objects, nuzzled up next to their owners, or giving their typical “like I care” stare at the camera. The “random cat” button in the interface will steal minutes from your day.

Within San Francisco, the project managed to pinpoint quite a few cats in the Richmond District. Some of our own readers might find their furry companion on the map. There’s even one cute guy that apparently lives off the coast at Lands End. Swimming cat?

Mundy started the site as an experiment, choosing 1 million images at random to initially map. The geographical metadata within each image allows pinpointing to within 7.8 meters accuracy.

Now Mundy is trying to raise $2,500 via a Kickstarter campaign to help with server costs to expand the project (and handle its mounting traffic, this is serious cat porn, people).

So don’t be surprised if some kitty celebrities emerge after this kind of exposure, or if you start recognizing some of your feline neighbors as they pass on the street. If you want to get your cat in on the action, start shooting and taggin’!


Sarah B.

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 11:42 am | Posted under Pets, Photos | 6 comments

BigPicture, Academy of Science’s first photo exhibition opens August 1

The Luckiest Penguin by Paul Souders

This week, the California Academy of Sciences will open its first official photography exhibition since it’s re-opening in 2008.

The show will display spectacular images from the Academy’s inaugural BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition. The competition received over 6,300 entries from award-winning nature, wildlife and conversation photographers around the world. Just 45 were selected as finalists and included in the final exhibition.

The grand-prize winning image, pictured above, is entitled “The Luckiest Penguin” and was shot by Paul Souders of Seattle, Washington. It depicts a Gentoo penguin narrowly escaping a leopard seal near Cuverville Island in the Antarctica. Leopard seals are known for being brutally efficient hunters in the Antarctic waters, frequently ambushing penguins as they enter or leave the water.

“I love photographing in the Antarctic. The wildlife there are quite comfortable with (human) presence. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the world in a near pristine state,” Souders said. He has also won a National Geographic Photo of the Year award.

Another first place winner is a stunning, stark image of a mountain lion on the steps of a home in Boulder, Colorado where about 70 mountain lion sightings are recorded every year. Photographer Morgan Heim captured the great image with a camera-trap technique, which reminds us of the close proximity of human and animal habitats.

BigPicture is the Academy of Science’s first photo exhibition since it opened in Golden Gate Park nearly 100 years ago. Spokeswoman Elena Fuhrmann says the exhibit came about because of its synergy with the Academy’s mission.

“The Academy has the unique advantage of being home to both a public science museum and institution of active research. This exhibit is designed with both of those qualities in mind—presenting both the art and beauty of compelling nature photography and the critical sustainability challenges we’re working to address, so that moments like the ones captured in these photographs can continue to be appreciated for generations to come.”

The winners of the BigPicture competition will be honored at a special Nightlife on Thursday, July 31 where attendees can see the exhibition before it opens to the public on August 1. The exhibition runs until November 2, and is included with the price of admission to the Academy.

Sarah B.

Beast in the Garden by Morgan Heim

Attack by Pål Hermansen

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 5:05 am | Posted under Art, Golden Gate Park | 5 comments

Local links: 38L-ove, new “Spicy Legend”, ladies join the Urination & more

The 38L. By Lucia Garcia. Click to enlarge.

Here’s hoping that you’re not having a Manic Monday. But in case you are, here are some local links to get you through…

  • Local designer Lucia Garcia sent us the above poster, for which she says “Just wanted to share a project I created, a poster showing the road section and landmarks for Muni 38L route.” Thanks Lucia – we love it (along with this graphic of the Outer Richmond)!

    In other MUNI-related news, there is a new iPhone app called MuniStops that not only shows you the data on upcoming MUNI buses, but also estimates your walking time from your current location to bus stop of choice. ‘Tis free.

  • And in the “we can never get enough neighborhood love” department, now you can get your very own Neighborhood Love Patch. Iron on the heart on the Richmond District (or other fave ‘hood) and then attach the patch to whatever you want – $7. The same online store also has a Neighborhoods by the Zodiac Poster but for some reason, the Richmond District was not worthy of being on it. Boo. So we’ll ask you – which Zodiac sign are we?
  • Listen up, upcoming lady attendees of Outside Lands! If the porta-potties at outdoor festivals get you down, look no further than the Stand Up, described as “your first disposable, biodegradable, clutch-purse-fittable, pocket-slippable peeing accessory.” Different packs range from $6 to $16. Now you can pee like the boys! Hooray…?
  • The former Pho Garden restaurant (2109 Clement), known for its nausea-inducing Pho Challenge has been replaced by a new spot called Spicy Legend. We haven’t been by yet so we’re not sure if it’s open; nothing on Yelp yet. UPDATE: Reader Jon C. reports that they’re now open daily, 11-3:30 and 4:30 to 10pm, and that “it looks like they’re specializing in Szechuan dishes”.
  • The skee-ball league known as Brewskee-Ball got a feature in the Chronicle recently. “Three nights a week, a total of 32 teams with names like the Lionel Richskees and the Skeemosexuals compete against each other at the Buckshot.” Hopefully this positive publicity for the game will help in their lawsuit with the makers of Skee-Ball.
  • We’re guessing this Subaru driver was more than surprised to find their front nose under a 38 Geary bus last Thursday at 45th Avenue and Point Lobos. The photo was tweeted by @bonanos who said “no injuries apparent”.

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 5:15 am | Posted under Art, Food, Muni, Recreation | 13 comments