Archive for March, 2007

Page Street Fire Update: Arsonist Arrested

52pagest.jpgThe fire in Hayes Valley that I reported the other day has been determined as intentionally set by a tenant. Last night, the suspect was arrested at the UCSF Medical Center after he checked himself in.

The suspect was identified as artist Silver Warner (known for his photography of bicycle culture in SF), who was released on Monday morning from SF General after a bizarre incident on Sunday, as stated in the Chron:

At around noon on Sunday, Silver Warner walked down to take the trash out but disappeared, his father said. Close to midnight, a neighbor reported that he had returned and was wearing only his underwear and banging on the door. His hands were bleeding. He was taken to San Francisco General and held there. His girlfriend was told early Monday that she could pick him up at 9 a.m. that day, but when she arrived, he had already been released, the father said.

Warner had apparently set fire to his apartment when his girlfriend and father had momentarily left to discuss how to handle him in his fragile mental state. He had been taking mushrooms and was full of paranoia about snipers and “bad spirits” in his apartment.

Beard Awards

Me, Happy with an Au Lait
The James Beard food awards came out, and Tartine scored quite well: “Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine in San Francisco for Outstanding Pastry Chef.” Chron has kind of Chron-istic focus on the awards in their write-up. I love Tartine, that is until I had an insanely rich ham and cheese croissant that was.. well, too rich (for me).

Other notes: super big fan of Albona lately, the Croatian (well currently, prior to borders moving it was Northern Italian/Istrian) the “Michelin Recommended” restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf-North Beach area. Not that expensive, for the quality, and the place has this comfy, unpretentious yet intimate atmosphere.
Hang, Gesturing Wildly

Also, got a notice today in the real old-fashioned mail – you, too, can contribute to Zagat-

Pictures of me & my friend Hang enjoying au laits one winter morning.

City 54: Kuala Lumpur!

Let’s have a warm Metroblogging welcome for Kuala Lumpur, our first Metblog in Malaysia and our fifty-fourth city. KL is the capital and largest city in Malaysia, and joins Manila, Bangkok, and Singapore among the Metroblogging cities in Southeast Asia and the Malay Archipelago.

Stolen laundry

It was bound to happen sooner or later, I know, but I was still furious when it happened to me. Last week I was doing my laundry at the Haight to Wash laundromat, on Haight near Fillmore. And I know I’ll get called a laundry noob for this, but I left my laundry there and ran back home to make dinner. When I returned, some of it was stolen. And the woman running the place was extraordinarily rude about the whole affair.

Now I’ve been doing laundry here in San Francisco for damn near seven years, and this is the first misfortune to befall me and my washables. For the first year or so I would babysit my clothes with a paranoid, hawkish eye watching everyone who came into the Richmond laundromat. I’d analyze them all for their thievery potantial, and only really relax and read my book when I was alone. A homeless man used to come in every time I wa sthere and he would dump all of the trash from the laundromat’s cans on the floor and sort through it for valuables. This would take hours.

When he first started coming in I was sure he was there to steal my clothes–wasn’t everyone?–but no, he just wanted whatever he could find in the trash. The owners were usually around seemed to not even see his Close Encounters trash mountain, and I quickly stopped caring and stopped being suspiscious of everyone.

My roommate at the time mocked my sentry duty at the laundromat, and pointed out that she’d been leaving her clothes alone for years. Rightfully shamed, I stopped worrying and learned to love the leaving.

And for all the years that I have lived in the Haight I’ve been leaving my clothes at one of the neighborhood washeries without a single incident worse than broken change machines. Until now, that is. Now I’ve felt the sting of stolen sundries. Now I’ll be sitting at the laundromat again, keeping an eye on what I already have and watching everyone else to see who took my stuff. Well, for a few weeks at least or until it gets boring again.

Have you had a bad laundry experience? Tell us about it in the comments.

why not have a parade?

How many times have YOU thought, hey, why not have a parade?

I guess the throng over at Riverbed has that thought more often than the rest of us, as even the drizzly rain didnt stop a police escorted gang of orange t-shirt clad, arm-pumping revellers trekking from their outgrown old digs to their new space in the Rincon neighborhood of SoMa.

The cause for celebration? Being announced the Best-Performing IPO of 2006, for starters, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Newsom.

Well, it’s nice to see a SF technology company taking the lead and forging their own path, although I find it ironic that a company touted as ‘smoothing the flow of data traffic’ should choose to disrupt SF traffic by their against-the-flow shuffle east-bound on Howard Street.

The N is Near

From the N Judah Chronicles, via Mason Powell. Apologies if that’s your real name, but great pen name. I went to that site about 5 times today to forward it on to people. And I don’t even live on the N line.There is a dark brown MUNI shirt with cable car insignia that I could buy at the cable car museum, but it doesn’t have the same… cache. I wonder what a good 30 Stockton shirt would be… “Ask me where I got this live chicken.”

Fire in Hayes Valley

I just got home to my building in Hayes Valley, to find most of the streets blocked off (at least parts of Gough and Page Streets). A building a block away from me, on Page St., had caught fire. I’m going to go investigate, stay tuned.

Fire on Page Street
(click to embiggen)

UPDATE: The fire was reportedly four-alarm. It started at 52 Page Street, between Gough and Franklin Streets, spread to the building next door but was soon contained in about one hour. One tenant was reported to have jumped from an upper story window to escape, and a fireman was reported injured, but there has been no word of any casualties.

Red Cross is on the scene to assist the building’s tenants with minor injuries and finding housing for the night.

Streets surrounding the area are currently closed. Muni bus lines 6, 7, 71 and the F streetcar have temporary route changes.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

I took the photo shown here. SFGate also has some details as well as a few more photos.

UPDATE 2: The Examiner’s article on the fire tells a more personal story. We know have learned that there were 17 residents occupying the building, only one injured, and a cat saved! The building has been deemed unfit for immediate occupation, so the residents are finding new housing with assistance from the Red Cross.

Also, excellent photo coverage by the Sentinel.

No updates on the cause of the fire yet.

Food Safety For Pets & People Alike …

While the poisoned pet food recall that’s equally affecting over 90 low cost & even supposed high end brands of pet food like Science Diet and Iams has consumers worried, the FDA has come to the Bay Area this week for a different sort of Food Safety hearing.
Menu Foods Dooms Dogs & Cats

The Food and Drug Administration hosts a public hearing on Tuesday March 19th in Oakland concerning the safety of fresh produce. The purpose of the hearings is obviously reassurance & propaganda but purports itself as a forum to share information about recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses associated with microbial contamination of fresh produce. Much of the controversy recently came from pre-packaged spinach farms in California set near waste run off from neighboring factory farms & cattle ranches. deadly spinachLast fall’s back to back E. coli outbreaks sickened at least 350 people and killed a confirmed three.

Details on the FDA hearing, and where you can find out if you have suspect pet food produced by Menu Foods in your home after the jump…

Where Are They Now File : Terence Hallinan

The first SF politician I ever met was Terence Hallinan back in the late 80’s… Actually I also used to run into fellow Supervisor Harry Britt at a liquor store on Haight St now & again, but he wasn’t really shaking hands, maybe just the late afternoon DT’s…

My Hallinan meeting was at a SOMA discotech on Harrison St called City Nights, where one could just as easily catch a set by The Ramones or a case of the clap. Hallinan’s rep as a fighter stems from his teenage years when his nickname was KAYO and an attempt to join the 1960 Olympic Boxing Team. His rep as a partier, includes a youthful arrest for beating up some Coast Guard recruits to steal a case of beer, and even being name dropped in a sordid episode he denies in Janis Joplin‘s autobiography.

March on a few years later and he ended up spending 7 years on the board of supes, and 8 unlikely years as the city’s District Attorney, a job that somehow suited a maverick fighting Irishman. Unafraid of controversy, Hallinan once pulled a similar trick to the Bush admin, firing 14 senior prosecutors, and posted a guard outside his office in fear of retaliation.

He lost a bitter re-election in 2003 against Kamala Harris, who talked about restoring “public integrity” while violating a voluntary campaign spending cap in the process. Anyhow, it ended his 15 year run of elected service, and Hallinan vowed to the media he’d be going into private legal practice with his son Brendan, and relished opportunity to get his life back.

Then for the past few years, w/ Fajitagates long gone by, and dog maulings a thing of the past, I heard hide nor hair of him again…

the rest of the spiel & where fighting Irishman Terence Hallinan spent his green St. Paddy’s… after the jump

Susan Werner Praises SF Throughout her Show

There are really not too many people in the world who will say that they are in love with the city in which they live. But those who do know that feeling are lucky because they are almost always accompanied by that heady feeling of falling in love whenever they get a chance to be out and about in their daily worlds. I have that feeling about San Francisco. And because I have it, I am always appreciative of other people who have it, whether or not their feeling is for this city that I adore.

As mentioned here previously, I recently got the opportunity to attend a concert by Susan Werner at the Brava Theatre Center for Women in the Arts. Susan is from Chicago and she is clearly in love with her city, as evidenced by her as-yet-unrecorded song, “Chicago Anyday” which she performed with jazzy gusto at her recent concert. Despite her affection for her own city, Susan made no secret of the fact that she’s a fan of San Francisco. She even drew comparisons from the Chicago-centric song to application for San Francisco.

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