Bernal Neighbor Recovers Stolen Scooter From 101/Chavez Encampment

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One Saturday night, someone stole Neighbor Tony’s scooter from outside his home on Precita Avenue.

On Sunday, another neighbor spotted his scooter inside the homeless encampment under the Cesar Chavez/101 interchange. Neighbor Tony tells Bernalwood what happened next:

A neighbor called, and said he saw my scooter under 101 bypass at Ceaser Chavez.

Sure enough it was there, sticking half way out of a tent. We called the police, but to be honest, no police came. So we waved down an officer on a dirt bike. He walked us in, and allowed us to get the bike back.

So let’s just say we stole it back, and they shouldn’t be back for awhile. That tent city probably holds a lot of people’s treasures.

PHOTO: Neighbor Tony walking his recovered scooter back home from the Chavez/101 encampment

Foes and Friends of Planned Parenthood Face-Off During Weekend Demonstrations

In case you missed it — or didn’t hear it — there was a big anti-abortion protest in La Lengua last Saturday at the Planned Parenthood on Valencia.

The protest inspired an even larger counter-demonstration on the part of pro-choice advocates, who rallied to show support for Planned Parenthood’s services. Things got tense, but remained peaceful, as MissionLocal describes:

San Francisco Police Lieutenant Eric Washington said that some 12 officers oversaw the protest to facilitate both sides’ “first amendment rights” and to ensure that there is “no violence on either side.” By 2:45 p.m., the vocal crowds disbanded, and only a handful of protesters remained.

Gilda Hernandez, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood, said that the organization had originally encouraged protesters standing on both sides of the issue to express themselves “far away from our health center.”

“This is quite intimidating for people who are just seeking healthcare,” said Hernandez said about the clinic’s clients, adding that she was nonetheless appreciative of the strong show of support.

Read the full report, with more video, at MissionLocal.

VIDEO: via MissionLocal

A View of Bernal Hill (with Muni Trolley Bus) in 1942

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Ooh! Here’s a cool gem of a photo that comes to us via Bernal Neighbor Emeritus David Gallagher of OpenSF History and the Western Neighborhoods Project.

Behold Bernal Hill, as it looked in 1942.

The location is South Van Ness near Army (Cesar Chavez) Street, and the bus is parked roughly on the spot where our scenic AutoZone store now stands.

A few nifty details to note in the photo…

  • This is how Bernal Hill looked for much of its history: Barren and bald. The Sutrito Tower microwave antenna was erected in the 1960s, and the trees around it were planted in the 1970s.
  • In this photo, Army was still a regular San Francisco Street. It had  not yet been widened to serve as an artery for traffic headed to the East Bay via the Southern Crossing Bridge.
  • The bus is one of San Francisco’s very first electric-powered trolley coaches.  Close inspection shows it was No. 506,  built by the St. Louis Car Company in December 1939, but not delivered until mid-1941. The sign on the bus says it was operating on the R -Line, Muni’s first electric trolley coach route,  launched in September 1941. Happily, San Francisco has preserved and restored a vintage bus just like this; here’s a recent full-color photo of Trolley Bus 509.
  • If we zoom and enhance the right side of the image, we see the Signal Gasoline sign on the northwest corner of the Army/South Van Ness intersection:
    26thsvness1942-copy-2That location is still a gas station, of course, so now we know that it’s been serving that role for at least 75 years.
  • Across Army Street, we see a squat, one-story house and a four-story, multiunit residential building. Both are still there, and both look more or less the same today:svnarmy2007
  • Extra Credit: You Bernalwood Editor can even see a portion of my house in the 1942 photo! This is the earliest image of my house that I’ve yet found.

Notice any other cool details? Tell us about them in the comments.

For whatever reason, history and providence have given us several photos of this area of Bernal in the early 1940s.  Check out Bernalwood’s previous stories on the view from Army and Folsom in 1942, and the view from Folsom at Precita Park in 1943.

Also, don’t miss all of the time-travelicious photos of Bernal available in the OpenSFHistory Bernal Heights collection.

PHOTO: Courtesy of OpenSFHistory

Cupid Is Standing By at Secession Art & Design

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That sound you hear? That’s the sound of Cupid triggering an alarm on your cross-platform calendaring app with integrated relationship-enhancement functionality. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Neighbor Eden from the fabulous Secession Art & Design store at 3235 Mission (near Valencia) is on hand to help you put some romance in your Valentine’s Day. Neighbor Eden tells Bernalwood:

Secession Art & Design’s love collection is in!

Our gallery and boutique is stocked for gifting, with affordable jewelry, ceramics, candles and decanters all made locally, including ceramic cups made by Alexandra Barao, who is part of the Cafe St. Jorge team. Our community is talented!

We have a “thoughtful chair” that you can sit in and write your card. For the month of February you get a free stamp with purchase of a card. This is a sweet time to tell the ones you love, friends and family, what they mean to you.

You also have permission to shop local for yourself! Whether it is a powerful necklace, or clothes that give you confidence. Secession has something for every taste. Stop by this week 12-7 and say hello. Love rocks!

PHOTO: Courtesy of Secession Art & Desgin: Earrings by S is for Sparkle | RESIST card by Hello Sisters | ceramics by Alexandra Barao | Bernal decanter by Reclamation Etchworks | love card by Coffee n Cream | bee candle by Glint

Your Bernal Heights Residential Real Estate Report: Wintercooled 2017 Edition

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Michael Minson and Danielle Lazier are longtime Bernal neighbors who work by day as local realtors. In light of their expertise, Bernalwood invited Neighbor Michael and Neighbor Danielle to update us on the state of residential real estate in Bernal Heights. Here’s their analysis:

Bernal Heights Today
Despite another record-breaking year, the Bernal Heights Real Estate market has officially cooled.

In 2016 we saw a modest 5% increase over the previous year’s median home sale price — from $1.3M in 2015 to $1.36M in 2016.  In any other market that would be remnarkable, but this is Bernal, and we’re not like any other market. In fact, this is the third consecutive year we’ve seen slowing growth since 2012, when we experienced a record 23% gain over the previous year.

In context, prices here have nearly doubled since 2011, when the median price to buy a house in Bernal was $699k, believe it or not.

On the high end, Bernal added a new member to the $3M Club in February. 1669 Alabama St sold for $3 million, and it’s the third property in Bernal to sell for $3M or more in the last few years. There were 11 sales in the $2Ms last year, which is slightly more than double 2015, which reported 5 sales.

The Outlook
Barring a major environmental or economic event, our outlook for 2017 is cautiously optimistic.

Demand in Bernal remains strong for all the reasons we love it here:  great weather, ample charm, wonderful views, and a convenient location. Meanwhile, compared to many other parts of the city, Bernal is still relatively affordable. Yet we seem to have a hit a plateau in terms of price appreciation for the time being.

The recent sharp rise for interest rates and the surprise election results shocked many buyers in the last half of 2016, even though interest rates remain roughly on par with where they were in 2014.

Overall, the US economy is performing well, and San Francisco’s economy remains especially strong. As employment and wages grow, so do housing prices. Many home buyers use stock market earnings to make their down payments, so as the stock market rallies, buyers’ buying power does as well.

All told, we expect slower growth to continue until we see another jolt to the economy.

PHOTO: Aerial view of Bernal Heights, as seen from the west. Photo by the Bernalwood Air Force

New “Lake Alemany” Entices Local Media and Watersports Enthusiasts

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After several days of nonstop rain, Lake Alemany has taken form beneath the 101-280 “Spaghetti Bowl,” in southeast Bernal, and the new reservoir quickly attracted the attention of local television crews.

Neighbor John was also on the scene at Bernal’s own version of the Salton Sea, and he reports that Lake Alemany is 1-2 feet deep in the middle, and about 30′ wide. Here’s a close-up:

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No word yet on whether the Recreation and Parks Department plans to open Lake Alemany for bumper-wakeboarding and alligator hunting, but Bernal residents are advised to keep their air boats, amphibious vehicles, and fishing equipment at the ready, just in case.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Neighbor John

Bernal Dwellings Residents Want More Police Patrols to Halt Gun Violence

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As you may recall, SFPD’s Mission Station organized a community safety meeting last Wednesday in response to an ongoing series of gun-related incidents along the Cesar Chavez corridor that have been linked to the Bernal Dwellings affordable housing complex.

MissionLocal attended the meeting, and reporter Laura Waxman writes that Bernal Dwellings residents want more consistent police coverage:

While small in size, the four-block development is prone to violence, and residents there said that conditions have worsened, causing many to remain indoors for fear of being targeted.

“It’s very scary to live here right now because at any moment somebody can come by and start shooting or if they see somebody outside they see them as a target,” said Gina Guitron, Bernal Dwellings’ property manager who is also a resident there.

A January 26 shooting that injured a 52-year-old man while standing in front of a house at 26th Street and Treat Avenue and a 43-year-old man who was targeted moments later while walking in the area prompted Mission Station Police Captain Daniel Perea to call for the community meeting in an effort to discuss neighborhood safety.

On January 1, 21-year-old Ernesto Rosales was shot at 26th and Shotwell streets, marking the city’s first homicide of the year.

“When things happen, we have to step up our presence, we have officers going through here day and night to make sure that this area remains safe,” said Perea.

In response to the recent violence, Perea said that Mission station officers have been assigned swing shifts to extend patrol hours, and support from other units has been requested to ensure greater coverage of the area.

But some residents who attended the meeting said that they did not feel safe at all and that police’s response is too little and often comes too late.

Read the complete story at MissionLocal.

PHOTO:  Markers on the street indicate where gun casings were found after an October 2016 shooting at Precita Park that police linked to gang-related activity around Bernal Dwellings. Photo by Telstar Logistics