Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

Write about the city we love

Recently I started writing for SF Metblogs without really any clue as to what I was doing or what I should write about so I decided to get in touch with some of the other writers to meet them in person and get some tips.

I figured there might be some other people that love San Francisco as much as I do and made a resolution to blog more, so I figured we should open up our meetup to anyone interested in getting the run down.

Sean Bonner, co-founder of Metblogs is in town and we’re going to hang out at my favorite bar, Bender’s Bar & Grill, so come hang out, celebrate Ground Hog Day and that 6 more weeks of winter is someone else’s problem. Most importantly, down some tasty beverages and cheap sushi!

Bender’s Bar & Grill
Monday, Feb., 2, 2009
6:00PM – 8:00PM
806 S. Van Ness Ave. (at 19th St.) Click here for map

Participate in your neighborhood

Neighborhoods are only as good as the people that live in them to support and care for them. Last night I attended the Shotwell Street Neighborhood Watch meeting at Ginger Rubio in the Mission District. It was the second meetup with more than 40 residents in attendance.

The meeting was facilitated by San Francisco SAFE Inc., a Non-profit Crime Prevention Education Organization working in cooperation with the San Francisco Police Department. Many issues were addressed that are specific to Shotwell Street such as prostituion abatement, drugs and alcohol abatement, and graffiti prevention.

The Captain of the Mission Police Department, Stephen A. Tacchini, was in attendance and answered everyone’s questions and gave out his direct line for anyone to call him. Residents were asked to sign up for committees that were important to them and where they could make a contribution. I signed up for the Burglary prevention because my bicycle was recently stolen out of my yard and the Drug and Alcohol abatement because I have witnessed some drug abuse in cars at my curb and there are some neighbor kids that I don’t want subjected to it.

Meeting some of my neighbors and knowing that they have my back along with SF SAFE and the police has motivated me to participate more in making the place where I live a home rather than complaining and expecting someone else to do something about it. As Captain Tacchini put it, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

If you would like to find out about your Neighborhood Watch or start one up, contact SF SAFE.

The next Mission District Community meeting is at the Mission Police Department, 630 Valencia St. on Tuesday, January 27th at 6:00 PM Click here for more deets.

Breaking News: Alleged Members of MS-13 Gang Arrested in Raids

The SF Gate story begins:

Federal immigration authorities raided more than a dozen locations in San Francisco, Richmond and South San Francisco today, arresting several alleged members of the notorious MS-13 street gang, authorities said.

Authorities said the investigation targeted a San Francisco-based faction of the violent group, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, which started in Southern California with roots in El Salvador.

“This is a major take-down,” said Northern California U.S. Attorney Joe Russoniello, adding that the investigation dealt with alleged drug trafficking, gun running, terrorism and extortion activities of the group. He declined to provide further details about the raids.

Full story here.

Minutemen headed to SF on Thursday

A cadre of patriotic local Minutemen are supposedly headed to SF’s City Hall steps on Thursday afternoon. They plan a rally in front of the gilded dome where our broke city gov’t spares no expense in it’s quest to ignore Federal statutes regarding immigration law and deportation. Among the speakers will be SF native son Frank Kennedy, the brother in law of the late Anthony Bologna, 48, who was tragically murdered by AK-47 alongside his two sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16 in June of this year. The suspect is a known thug, here illegally, who obviously was a solid candidate for prior deportation.

Scene Outside City Hall during last Minutemen protest on 7/31/08 ( pic by Bill Hackwell of )

I imagine an afternoon filled with local news camera crews capturing loud & pointless shouting matches between the Minutemen and left wing activists and Mission District “community organizers” ( insert hearty Giuliani-esque guffaw here). Could be fun for people watchers & those with an interest in colorful signs, chanting & loud bullhorns.

The last time the Minutemen assembled here in July, there were far more counter demonstrators than the dozen-ish flag waving border sealing patriots. To see photos of the mob from, click here.

I’m sure Mayor Newsom will make a point of not being there…
but for everyone else, the fun starts circa 11 am for the amusement of bureaucrats on break and those forced to come to City Hall to plead for a permit or tithe more taxes to the city.

The theme of the two hour Minutemen photo op is

“Protesting innocent American Victims of Illegal Aliens in Illegal Sanctuary Cities!”

Huh? Why are they protesting the innocent victims? What did they do?

Hell’s Angels Massive Hog Ride Down Market Street

Brock Keeling just got his wish for a massive hog ride through SF: Papa Guardado’s funeral must be over, because at least five hundred (and up to one thousand) big guys on big bikes just rumbled down Market Street towards the Ferry Building. Wow. I was having lunch at Azteca on Church at the time and almost everybody in the place — staff and patrons alike — abandoned the place to watch the unending stream of motorcycles go by. Even most of the kitchen staff came out for a quick look before running back in. The only exception was one jaded soul, a San Francisco old-timer who has undoubtedly seen everything already, knew what it was, and probably thought “so it’s a bunch of guys on motorcycles, so what.”

It was such an impressive sight I completely forgot to take out my cell phone and shoot video; I forgot that I had a cell phone. I went back in and finished my lunch, and when I came out, the motorcycles were still going past.

I walked up to the corner of Market and Church, outside the bank there, to get a better look; the procession was followed up by a couple of awesome, low-slung 50’s convertibles, one glossy black and the other candy-apple red — don’t ask me what make or model, I’m not a car guy — and one poor soul in a red minivan who probably didn’t really mean to get ahead of the convertible and was probably just trying to get to Highway 101 before 12:30.

Once the whole procession had passed, I looked back down Church: people were standing outside of every business, still gaping. The people on my corner, mostly bank employees, looked worried; on the corner on the other side of Church stood the manager of Crepevine. In contrast to the bank people, he was smoking a cigarette and grinning the biggest grin I’ve seen on anybody’s face for quite a while.

Well, let’s hope that whatever they do downtown, it stays peaceful. I haven’t heard sirens yet.

[I’ll post video if anybody uploads something to YouTube. Wait, did I say “if?” I meant “when.”]

Violent Crime in Glen Park

Today C.W. Nevius has a column on the latest, scariest crime to hit Glen Park: the carefully planned robbery last Friday night of Buddies Market, and the brutal, gratuitous attack on the store’s owner, Paul Park, who survived — just barely.

Glen Park has been subject to a wave of robberies in the past six months, mostly random street muggings. The reasons are obvious to anybody who spends as much time there as I do: BART station, freeway on-ramps, and residents who generally have iPods or laptops with them. Residents, I might add, who are smart enough to hand the goods over without a fight. No wonder predators are drawn to the neighborhood from miles away. Nevius writes of them: “No one knows who they are or where they are coming from.” Technically true, but residents have their suspicions, and unlike Nevius I’ll tell you exactly what they suspect: thanks to BART, the sociopaths living in Oakland and Richmond are right next door. What with the downturn in our economy, it’s likely that this is a problem that won’t go away.

The solution to this problem is obvious: a small number of officers in conspicuous locations in Glen Park during the times of greatest risk, from about 8:30 PM until 1:00 in the morning, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. How difficult could it possibly be to protect the residents of Glen Park from these crimes? Captain Denis O’Leary of the Ingleside station claims his hands are tied, but give me a break. You don’t need to mobilize a riot squad. He has 109 officers. The presence of a single police vehicle parked in the bus stop at Diamond and Chenery, with two officers nearby, from 8:30 PM until 1:00 AM every night, and two more officers conspicuously posted outside the BART station at the same time, should be enough to deter most of these crimes. We’re talking about four officers at most for nine hours a week.

Was a police car posted there last Friday night? Somehow I doubt it. Maybe this isn’t a good long-term solution, but as an emergency measure? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

The Glen Park Merchant’s Association has started a blog so that residents will have a place online to discuss the problem. The president of the association has started a fund where you can make donations to help with Mr. Park’s recovery.

What do you think? Leave a comment here.

[NB: I’m not a resident of Glen Park, but I work there almost every day and know several people in the community.]


An Israeli teacher on a year-long posting to a Hebrew school in San Francisco finds Pier 39 “filled with beliefs and life” and the Golden Gate Bridge “a magnificent architectural structure.” Another ball of fire writes that he “spent the summer living in San Francisco, doing exactly what I’d hoped: working in VC, reading business plans, meeting with entrepreneurs, doing due diligence and generally learning the business;” in his spare time he rode a motorcycle.

A Swedish woman now living in Hayes Valley wonders: “Can somebody please explain to me why staff in the Golden Gate Park always leave the engines running while they load and un-load their trucks in the park? While clearing shrubs, cleaning up flower-beds and so on. The engines are always on. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Idle NY theater critic visits, finds our scene wanting
Visitor finds SF “too hilly to be dull

Summer Bike Swap Comes to Panhandle

High up on the list of things I can’t enough of locally are the Panhandle, bikes, and bartering. Enter the Panhandle Bike Swap and Summer Party on the afternoon of August 17, a date at which it may just be starting to feel like summer in other parts of the state.

According to a local fixed gear aficionado/friend, “There’s talk of a ‘bike Olympics’ competition that would potentially include bike polo, Goldsprints (racing on rollers) and a bike toss (as in, how far you can throw an already wrecked frame). No confirmation on this yet.”

Participants are encouraged to bring bike parts for Cycles of Change, an East Bay program that provides cycling and nutrition education to urban youth. The organization offers a summer touring program that takes young students on bike trips around California after teaching them about safe urban riding. Sounds like something we could all use.

Pic of the Day: View from the Marriot


Taken by Ville Miettinen, aka wili_hybrid.

Dubya Memorial Sewage Treatment Plant will go on ballot

newyorker_2005_09_191.jpgThe city Department of Elections today certified the ballot measure for November’s election to name a sewage treatment plant in San Francisco after the 43rd President.

The “satiric” (sic) effort became a reality when 7,168 of the over-12,000 signatures turned in were approved by the elections department.

The plant, presently named the Oceanside Water Treatment Control Plant, is located near the Zoo (click for a map!).

Graphic: “Deluged,” the cover of the Sept. 19, 2005 New Yorker, by Barry Blitt.

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