November 29, 2012

Crime Beat: Have You Seen This Package Thief?

From Jonathan:
I live on 22nd Street. We have been victimized by the "bicycle bandit" for years. We have called the police on several occasions when we have seen him in the neighborhood but they told us there was nothing they could do until someone caught him the act. Fortunately for us (and the residents of Noe Valley) he was arrested the other day after Sonya Yu's daring arrest.

I took this photo of him a few weeks ago. When we yelled at him to get out of the neighborhood and leave us alone he smiled and waved. I'm sending this to you because his arraignment is today and most likely he'll be released. If anyone sees him riding his bicycle in the neighborhood they should call the Mission Police Station at 558-5400. If they see him stealing anything or even up on anyone's front porch they should dial 911.
So what about it Noe Valley? Do you have pictures of this guy in the area? We want everyone to know who this guy is. Send your photos and we'll add them to the post - and tell your neighbors to be on the lookout.

Here's another via Twitter user @gmbrickley (from Bernal Heights):

[NVSF: Crime Beat: Suspected Package Thief Doused With Bear Spray, Arrested]
[NVSF: Video: Thief Empties Box Left By OnTrac]

November 27, 2012

Crime Beat: Suspected Package Thief Doused With Bear Spray, Arrested

Update (11/28): Zach pulled the videos after being hounded by too much media (some actually camping out in front of the house). The image above is just a screen shot.

Also this from SFGate:
Police held Andy Anduha, 51, on her citizen’s arrest before booking him into county jail on suspicion of attempted burglary. Anduha is scheduled to be arraigned on one count of first-degree residential burglary, said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. He faces up to six years in state prison if convicted, and one strike against him under the state’s three-strikes law.
The original post continues below:

Great news sent to us straight from people involved: Zack says a package thief was arrested today in spectacular fashion:
My fiance Sonya chased him down today after pepper spraying him. 10 cops and a citizens arrest later, he is currently being processed for attempted burglary.

Here's a nice video of her running out the front door with a bokken in hand. [Ed.--deleted]
Zack had previously installed a motion-activated camera in their entryway that sends an alert when recording. Presumably, Sonya received an alert and took off in pursuit. "Sonya was actually sitting on the front balcony above the gate. The sound of the gate opening is what startled her." What happened next may become legend:


But she's ok:
The Bad Guy on the other hand:

As for the cops?
But their initial reaction?
The best part? Sonya said she received a call from SFPD and that the perp has been booked for attempted burglary (a felony). He'll be in jail for a while.

Well done, Sonya!

Update (5/28/13): From the comments below:
Looks like Mr Anduha the "bicycle bandit" may be back on his rounds. I saw him this morning on his bike checking doorsteps in Bernal. He actually parked his bike up on it's stand in the middle of the street and looked both ways before walking up my neighbors drive. I should add I didn't see him take anything this time but I'll be challenging him next time I see him.

[Twitter: @sonyayu]
[Wikipedia: bokken]
[REI: Bear Spray]
[NVSF: Video: Thief Empties Box Left By OnTrac

This Week At The Planning Commission

A look at Noe Valley projects in front of the Planning Commission this week. Information is provided by the Planning Commission, and taken from its published agenda. All hearings are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

November 29

- north side between Dolores and Guerrero Streets; Lot 016A in Assessor’s Block 6599 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2012.03.14.6044, proposing to construct a rear addition at the first and second stories, a new third story and roof decks above the second story of the existing single family dwelling structure within the RH-2 (Residential, House – Two-Family) Zoning District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Staff Analysis: Abbreviated Discretionary Review
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve
Chalk this one up to a classic San Francisco argument over rights to air and light, with an added twist of objecting to the abatement of asbestos siding. There were meetings with lawyers, experts engaged, some compromises and now a hearing in which approval is expected.

The complete document with request for Discretionary Review, response, lights studies, drawings, letters of support and staff analysis is here (large PDF).

Update: Approved 6-0.

[SF Planning: 88 28th St]
[Photo: SF Planning]

November 16, 2012

This Week In Noe Valley: Holiday Conversation Starters

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: papahazama]

Umpqua Bank Swallows Circle Bank

A new sign popped up on 24th St that caught our eye and a quick turn of the head confirmed that Cirle Bank is no more - it's been acquired by Umpqua Bank. Apparently the deal was announced in late August, but today the rebranding was completed. Umpqua is based out of Portland, OR, and currently has 184 locations throughout the West. Not exactly the "local" Circle Bank people were attracted to.

Umpqua Bank
3938 24th St

[SF Biz Times: Umpqua CEO: Circle Bank deal puts 'wind in our sail' for Bay Area expansion]

November 15, 2012

Opening: Little Folkies

The space vacated by Heliotrope on Church St has transformed into the new location for Little Folkies, an oh-so-Noe music class for kids and parents. From the flyer:
Little Folkies is a song circle for children and their parents/caregivers. It's a fun-filled and relaxed incarnation of this classic children's music format, making music with family and friends in a circle (minus the campfire).

The songs of Little Folkies presents the stuff of day to day life in language understood and loved by class members both young and old, especially relatable to children.

The songs presented at Little Folkies cover a lot of ground and will provide endless hours of fun and moments of pure joy for you and your family. The 35-40 minute class will highlight the experience of singing this wonderful material in a cozy, comfortable environment surrounded by friendly faces.
That's a lot of words to sell the classic campfire song, but it's nice to see something going in that bare stretch of Church.

No strollers (or shoes) allowed inside. The class schedule and prices are posted on the website.

Little Folkies
1515 Church St. @ 27th St

This Week At The Planning Commission

A look at Noe Valley projects in front of the Planning Commission this week. Information is provided by the Planning Commission, and taken from its published agenda. All hearings are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

November 15th

- south side between Diamond and Castro Streets, Lot 029 in Assessor's Block 6539 - Requests for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2008.03.18.7426 proposing to construct a one-story vertical addition, a rear horizontal addition, infill the setbacks at the east side of the building, and alter the front façade of a single-family dwelling, resulting in a two-story over garage, single-family dwelling, located within a RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) Zoning District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Staff Analysis: Abbreviated Discretionary Review
Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take Discretionary Review and approve
In brief: Previous owners filed for a construction permit in 2008 (that was approved after a mandatory Discretionary Review) but never started work. Instead, they remodeled the kitchen and bathroom and sold the building in 2011. The new owners filed to complete the original permit with some envelope changes, triggering new 311 notification. Neighbors on both sides requested Review citing light and air concerns, as well as design issues. The neighbors say that the new owners have made no effort (and "refused to meet") to discuss alternative designs. The applicant disputes that claim and provides a timeline of meetings and concessions. The Residential Design Team states the project meets Guidelines, and Planning staff recommends approval.

The complete document with request for Discretionary Review, response, drawings, letters and complete staff analysis is here (large PDF).

Update: Approved 5-0.

[SF Planning: 481 Jersey St]
[Photo: SF Planning]

November 14, 2012

For Sale: Noe Valley Pizzeria

Via Craigslist:
San Francisco Pizza Restaurant For Sale! - $320000 (noe valley)

Well established for 30 years, San Francisco Pizza Restaurant For Sale. Includes Beer and Wine License. New Lease to be negotiated with the owner of the property. Business claims net profits of over $100,000.00 per year. Gross profits of over $300,000.00 per year. Ideal for someone with a culinary background. Information herein needs to be verified by Buyer. Please call for more information. Potential Buyer needs to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before exact location or further details is disclosed. The current owner is relocating abroad and that is the reason for selling. Not a distressed business.
What's clear is that the listed restaurant has been around for 30 years, comes with a beer/wine license, needs a new lease, and is profitable (by gross receipts anyway).

That's all we know for sure, so let's speculate. Patxi's? Unlikely. Twin Peaks? Possible, but in business for only 26 years. Haystack? Dunno, but they've been in business for 37 years and a recent change on the block may have tipped the owners to how hot 24th St's real estate market is. Hmmm... All three have a beer/wine license.

Noe Valley diners were excited about Contigo, Saru, Little Chihuahua and now Crafthouse. But this old thread illustrates that a) Noe Valley has strong opinions on pizza; and b) residents will search beyond our borders if the pie doesn't rate.


[Craigslist: San Francisco Pizza Restaurant For Sale!]
[NVSF: Best Pizza Delivery In Noe Valley?]
[Photo: SFoodie]

November 13, 2012

Verdict: 24th St Rapist Is Guilty

The man accused of beating and raping three women last year was found guilty today:
Frederick Dozier Jr., 33, sat silently as a court clerk read guilty verdicts for 25 felony counts on Tuesday, including attempted rape, kidnapping and forced oral copulation. The jury acquitted him of one count of attempted murder.
Evidence against Dozier included DNA and testimony from the victims (2 of whom were in court today). The serial rapist DA Gascón called "an animal" will be sentenced on December 14th.

Another important bit from the SFGate article:
The Fair Oaks Community Coalition has raised $16,000 for the victims. Coalition member Charles Moser said donations can be sent to the 24th Street Survivors Fund at the Sterling Bank on 24th Street.
[SFGate: DA Gascón: "Frankly, he is an animal."]
[NVSF: 24th St Rape Suspect In Custody]
[NVSF: Sketch And Video Of 24th St Rape Suspect]
[NVSF: Crime Beat: Rape]

November 9, 2012

Lightning Strike Shuts Off Noe Valley Power

Anyone else jump out of bed just after 1am this morning following a loud explosion? Turns out lightning took out 5 transformers near 24th and Hoffman Streets, cutting off power to about 100 PG&E customers. A very dramatic hail storm followed, and then silence a minute or so later. (An odd storm in many ways for this part of the country.)

Power is expected to be on by 11am. No other damage has been reported.

[ABC7:  Storm Knocks Out Power In Noe Valley]
[Photo: @amyhollyfield]

November 6, 2012


If you're one of a shrinking percentage of voters who still cast your ballot at the polls today is the day--go vote! Polls are open now! What? Don't know where to go? Check out for polling place info.

[Photo: Partisan poopy bags by K9ScrubClub]

November 5, 2012

Benefit: Bulldog Day & Dog Show At James Lick

Dogs and kids - what's not to love? Here's an event that combines the best of both: A dog lover's festival raising money for kids at James Lick. From the press release:
On Saturday, November 10, 2012, James Lick Middle School in Noe Valley, will hold our 1st Annual Bulldog Day & Dog Show, a day of fun for all dogs and their families and friends. The Bulldog is our school mascot, and the day will celebrate our four-legged friends as well as our school pride.

The festival will include: Dog competitions (for all breeds) throughout the day, a canine agility course, a"Bowzer Bar" and "Poochie Parlour" to pamper your pup, a Photo Booth run by professional photographer Jim Burnett, carnival games, live music, an “International Food Court,” Doggie vendor booths, a raffle and a silent auction. The event will be held at the enormous schoolyard at James Lick Middle School, a beautiful Art Deco building in the heart of San Francisco’s Noe Valley.

Dog contests will include: a "Costume Catwalk", "Best Trick", "Best in Show" (all 3 open to all breeds), "Cutest Toy" (dogs under 20lbs and 16"), "Top Dog" (over 60lbs), "Mutt-astic!" (Rescue dogs and mixed breeds of unknown heritage), and a“Bulldog Beauty Pageant” (just for American, English, French Bulldogs, and "wannabees"), which will end with the crowning of the lucky winning pooch who will be the face of our mascot for the coming year.

Local comedian Michael Cappozola will be emceeing. Dog Trick performances by the Pooch Coach, Beverly Ulbrich.

Celebrity judges include:
  • Supervisor Scott Weiner
  • Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty
  • Board of Ed Rachel Norton
  • Performer Fabulous Bud E. Luv
  • Dog Wrangler Jan Mills
  • Pooch Coach Beverly Ulbrich

James Lick’s 600+ student body hails from all corners of San Francisco and 65% of the students are Latino. We are blessed with exceptional, dedicated educators and staff, but the continual state budget cuts to education has made their job much, much harder. Unfortunately, we need to raise money to provide some of the experiences and activities we want all our children to have, activities like the arts, team sports, counseling services, and field trips. This year, we need to raise $78,000 to cover these expenses as well as a part-time staff position that was eliminated from our school funding. Support from our community has become essential.

Bulldog Day is made possible by the generosity of Vanguard Properties, our top sponsor, as well as fellow sponsors: Wells Fargo, The Pooch Coach, Zephyr, Fetch, Friends of Noe Valley, Just for Fun & Scribbledoodles, Cliche Noe, K9 Scrubclub, HH Imaging, Noe Valley Pet Co, Green Paws, and the Noe Valley Merchants Association.
What: Bulldog Day & Dog Show
When: Sat. Nov. 10th, 11-4pm
Where: at James Lick Middle School's Lower Yard, 1220 Noe St. (between 25th and Clipper)
Cost: Free Admission; $5 registration for Dog Contestants, and $5 per contest category.
Parking: $5 parking available in Upper Yard (access on 25th Street)

November 4, 2012

Vacated: 1513 Church St

Usually we'd say a business had "closed" but it was never clear that Realty World BLUE on Church St was ever open. Some IKEA furniture and a brochure in the window was the only sign of activity since "opening" in May. This week the space was abruptly cleared out.

That means the 1500 block of Church St is now an empty stretch with Heliotrope packing up next door, and La Sirena Botanica also still vacant. ADA remains a challenge at 1513-1515, and rumored seismic repairs for 1509 have not been permitted or started (but dry-rot at the rear porch has been repaired). Sadly, it could be a while before we see life on that block.

[NVSF: The Mystery Of 1513 Church St]
[NVSF: Moving: Heliotrope]
[NVSF: Closed: La Sirena Botanica]

NVV Nov 2012: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are notable highlights from the latest issue. Links are to stories we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories until the middle of the month.

November 2012

Front Page: Local authors roundup; neighbors rally to help families displaced by fires; interview with Top Chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto.
Letters: A complaint about a screaming child at a restaurant (and the rude backlash); a long explanation from Scott Wiener about tree removal as part of Glen Canyon Park improvements [PDF].

Cost of Living in Noe: Inventory is tight - which means most homes sold quickly and for more than their listed price (including this one with a checkered past that sold for 45% over asking).

Store Trek: Mill (3751 24th St.)

Rumors: The Town Square project has raised $435,000 of the $2 million needed; Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg bought a house near Noe; a vague unconfirmed rumor that the corner at 24th and Sanchez that First Republic had tried to occupy has been rented to "a retail store, probably clothing;" the owner of the old Mikey-Tom Market space that was most recently Kohler Jones wants to sell, not rent; Playhouse is closed; Crafthouse is replacing Joe's and planning to open Dec. 1.

[The Noe Valley Voice]

November 2, 2012

Sold: 1266-1270 Dolores St

Another sign that Noe Valley real estate is hot hot hot: we learned today via Downing & Co that the condos at 1266, 1268 and 1270 Dolores St sold in September. Over asking, and in spite of a lengthy battle between the neighbors, developers and the City.

1266 Dolores: 2br/2ba, asking $899,000, sold for $950,000  (+6.7%)
1268 Dolores: 2br/2ba, asking $929,000, sold for $1,055,000  (+13%)
1270 Dolores: 3br/3ba, asking $1,249,000, sold for $1,510,000  (+21%)

[NVSF: For Sale: 1260-1270 Dolores & More Than A Few Headaches]
[NVSF: 1260-1270 Dolores St: Under Fire]
[NVSF: 1266 Dolores St.]

Highlights: Halloween 2012

A little fog, a little rain and a potential hangover from the Giants parade weren't enough to dampen the frenzy on 24th St this Halloween. As one person on Twitter put it, "Let me tell you, Noe Valley Halloween is no joke!" Some photos of the costumes and candyfest of 24th Street this year...