Archive for the ‘Hayes Valley’ Category

Dine Out For Life On Thursday

The Stop AIDS project’s biggest annual fundraiser is Thursday night April 24th, and to participate all you have to do to help is something you were likely to do anyway… eat. Many local restaurants will donate 25% of your check to the Stop Aids Foundation just for dining between 6 & 10 pm…

It’s the 7th annual evening, and last year’s raised over $200,000 for Aids related charities, and they hope to exceed that this year.

Amongst the participating restaurants in Dining Out For Life this Thursday, April 24th are numerous joints ranging from high end to many mid priced indie run spots from the ballpark’s Acme Chophouse to Alamo Sq Grill, or Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro.

In the chain dept. all the local Amici’s Pizza & Pasta Pomodoro locations…

Whether you like Askew or Zazil, there’s something on the list in almost anyone’s potential price range…

more info and link to the
complete list at

SF Small Biz Briefs: Starbucks Gets Sneaky, Morty’s Gets Beer etc

Planning Issues, A Scarf Drive, Parties, Eats, Openings, Closings, Sales, etc

For an update of local small biz happenings around the bay read on…

SFPD: We’re Hiring, Shuffling & Ignoring You… Please Send Money.

SFPD is hiring & shuffling: Capt. Ehrlich heads to Tac Squad, Fong brings in new female “Community” Capt. Bennet , plus scroll for details for potential applicants and those that just want to know more about what the hell is it they actually do:

In a continual game that is SFPD’s version of musical chairs meets Stratego, respected local Capt. John Ehrlich, a 27 year vet, moves into the Special Operations’ “Tac Squad” and Northern Station’s former Community Policing Lieutenant, Theresa “Teri” Barrett becomes the Park station’s new captain. An ironic shift perhaps since Chief Heather Fong has been reluctant to give so-called “community policing” much headway. Ehrlich also seemed content like most others in the dept. to hopefully let the “community policing” issue fade away before officers ever were forced to move around outside their bulletproof squad cars like any of us ordinary citizens must do.

This personnel shuffle seems yet another shift in the department that on one hand is derided as being insular, ineffective, and wishy washy and then on the other hand is accused of being insular, insensitive & overly aggressive.


I mean how could one not put their faith in an organization that issues glowing reports on it’s own recruits like
San Frasncisco Policec Academy to Gradtue 13 Lateral Officers” as seen in a press release link posted proudly on the SFPD website since September 21, 2007.

It’s never helped that the majority of SFPD officers don’t live in town, and for a long time many seemed to take gleeful pride in bullying those that do. Lately the embarrassing and stubborn refusal of the SFPD to get around to enacting basic community policing reforms has really strained community relations.

It’s simply ridiculous what we spend here per capita on policing, and the ultimately shoddy results we get for that $500 dollars a year per person. According to a recent editorial in the Chronicle SF spends $120 more per citizen than Chicago, and $180 more per citizen than Los Angeles does on police services. Yet from 1999 to 2005, unlike in those towns, arrests were down 35 percent, and homicides went up, up, up and not away. Especially troubling is the unsolved homicide rate, with less than 25% solved these days, a dramatic reduction since the 50% solved rate of the latter 1990’s under other leadership.

More ranting after the jump…

$4.4 Million in Grants Headed To SF via Federal Home Loan Bank of SF

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco announced on January 14th 2008 it was providing over $4 million in Affordable Housing Project grants that are expected to go towards creating nearly 600 units of affordable housing in the area. Zygmundt Arendt HouseThe funding is reserved for affordable housing sites throughout Nancy Pelosi’s pork craving 8th District, including SF’s Polk & Geary Senior Housing, the 47 unit Zygmundt Arendt Senior House at 850 Broderick, as well as projects at 275 10th St. and 53 Columbus Ave amongst others. Complete list of sites, and factoids provided by the people intent on spending yer tax dollars below the fold…

pic: The Zygmundt Arendt House project was spearheaded by SF’s Department of Human Services, and the photo courtesy Community Housing Partnership (CHP) who are now in charge. The project is named after a Polish immigrant & railroad worker who died in 1998 and left approx 6 million in stocks & real estate to build housing for the poor.

Panhandle Pizza Vanishes…

Walked to Panhandle Pizza today hoping to get a delicious cornmeal crust slice, perhaps even toy with the popular vegan/soy cheese options…

But instead i saw the sickening site of a hollowed out storefront, devoid of ovens, refrigerators or anything related to pizza making. A couple bags of garbage were being dragged out, the sinking shock was so disturbing I shirked my journalistic responsibility and didn’t even ask the folks working , uh, what’s up?


The place has always been rather eccentric, a relic of daze gone by, sorta like the whole stretch of Hayes St. it’s located on. The workers were generally neighborhood teenagers, and an unreliable junkie delivery guy hung in there for awhile. I once asked the owner why he’d stopped selling beers, and he said it “wasn’t making any money”…

uh, I know it’s hard to lose money in the alcohol biz…but if ya try hard enough…I guess anythings possible…

There was an ad on Craigslist in May that this place was for sale, well I’ll just assume there were no buyers, and it must have finally just ended.

A cursory review of their last city health inspection in June didn’t look great and included several violations:

1. Certain food that is not hot enough or cold enough.
2. Food stored improperly.
3. Empty soap dispenser or towels.
4. Dirty utensils/equipment.
5. Improperly cleaned kitchen surfaces.
6. Deteriorated walls/floor/ceiling.
7. Unclean premises.

and my favorite

8. Severe Rat or mice infestation.

The grumpy hippie pizzaman owner who bought the joint a couple years back has hung up his Birkenstock cleats…

Maybe we’re all safer for it…

I’ll assume the “herbal relief remedies” biz continues to be better received around his social circle…

R.I.P another local small biz quasi- institution…

NOPNA’s Cops & Community Pow Wow

Last night before the earthquake rattled windows and nerves, a crowd of already rattled neighbors crowded into the Cafe Neon in District 5 to hear updates from the police department and city policy pushers on the recent spate of shootings & unsolved murders in the North of Panhandle area. The overflow turnout was considerably larger than one anticipates at these usual community shuck & jives where one hears how your taxdollars are being systematically siphoned and spent on who knows what.

Amongst the presenters gathered by organizer & concerned mother of two Leela Gill were reps from SF’s Drug Court, the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of staff for Public Safety, reps from the DA’s office and the headliners of the event… D5 Supe Ross Mirkirimi, as well as the affable Captain Ehrlich of Park Station and Lt. John Murphy of the Gang Task Force.
Lt.Murphy of Gang Task Force
While no solutions were likely to come from the meeting, there was some info shared, the usual venting, some back slapping, connections being made and the sense that there are many people concerned about doing some positive things in a city that can’t afford any more negatives.

Some random opinions on the meeting, and also after the jump : some potentially useful numbers you might want for reporting crimes, or contacting city agencies about issues.

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.

It must be cool…Nish was there

I ran to Blue Bottle this morning at about 10am to grab a latte, and I noticed that the little alley, Linden, was closed off and vendors were setting up their clothes, jewelry, and art. I thought, “This seems kinda cool/trendy/oh-so-Hayes-Valley.” My suspicions were confirmed when an organizer-looking guy shouted to the vendors, “Hey everyone. This the famous Nish from Yelp! He’ll be doing some PR for you guys!” See? I knew it was cool!

(Online research lead me to the conclusion that the event was the Capsule Street Fair, although the Web site didn’t tell me much more than that.)

Golden Gateway at Hayes Green
image courtesy of SF Arts Commission

As an active advocate for the development of urban public spaces, I’ve delighted in the spacious Octavia Boulevard that now graces what was once the underbelly of the eye-sore Central Freeway ramp. The ambitious project boasts a gracious open setting for rotating public art, which currently stands a bit vacant – but not for long.

Nerdcore Crafts & Super Wine

Swinging by Isotope Comics late this afternoon in search of the one comic I can manage to keep up with at a time (previously, The Invisibles, Promethea, Desolation Jones; currently, Phonogram), proprietor James not only took good care of me like always, he showed me some freshly emailed photos of a nerdcore craft he’s enabled/inspired: an X-Quilt, made by customer David Pinch. David’s a regular at neighbor Stitch, and his quilt, aside from being the product of deep geek love, is a bit of sweet Hayes Valley crosspollination.

Speaking of, Nate from Sauce arrived, bearing a bottle of Inzinerator wine for the shop, a “superhero” zinfandel in a maybe-not-ironic illustrated label. What with the expanding “comic book guy with a refined liquor palate” market (“Warren Ellis Scotch Tasting” anyone?), is any beverage safe? It’s okay — no matter what weirdness floods the superhero market next, you can trust the fine folks at Isotope to keep “the good stuff”, in both liquid and stapled-4-color varieties, free-flowing (and the underwear perverts at bay).

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