Runaway Truck Trashes Street Tree on Treat

Bernal Heights is built on the slopes of a hill, and our neighborhood is home to several of the steepest streets in the City. So it should come as no surprise to anyone, really, that runaway cars and trucks are a very real danger here.

Last Friday, a runaway truck caused some havoc on Treat Street just south of Precita Park. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and property damage was minimal, but it could have been much, much worse.

Neighbor Christian shared this report from the scene:

Just another afternoon on the steep incline of the 1500 block of Treat Ave. The truck missed our house by 24″.

The tree was the only thing that stopped it; Otherwise we would have had a living-room filled with other people’s Amazon diapers and music.

Afterward, the block was filled with stories of past runaways. Somehow this truck without brakes threaded the needle between Eddy the dog, a neighbor’s steps, and her car, missing all, and came to rest in the poor tree.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Neighbor Christian

Owner Sentenced in Fatal 2014 Workplace Accident on Cortland Ave.

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1525 Cortland, as it looked in 2014

Back in 2014, two workers were killed by falling slabs of granite at 1525 Cortland, which at the time was a warehouse operated by a granite distributor called Galaxy Granite.  (Three years later,  the building is now home to Barebottle Brewery.)

This week, justice in the case was handed down as the owner of Galaxy Granite was sentenced after pleading guilty  to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. SF Gate reports:

The owner of a granite company in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood was sentenced today to one year of home detention and three years’ probation in the 2014 deaths of two workers who were crushed by falling slabs of granite.

Meng Peng, a Hillsborough resident, was sentenced after pleading guilty in January to two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and three labor code violations in connection with the deaths of two of his employees on Feb. 17, 2014.

Philip Marich, 53, of South San Francisco, and Hector Vazquez, 46, of Oakland, were removing large slabs of granite from a shipping container at Galaxy Granite at 1525 Cortland Ave. when slabs fell on them around 10:15 a.m.

 

ALERT! Fabio the Gargoyle Guardian of Esmeralda Slide Park Is Missing

Alert! Alert! Alert! Fabio the Gargoyle has been plundered!

For many moons Fabio has stood watch over the wonderful Esmeralda Slide Park on the west slope of Bernal Heights. Yet now it seems some scoundrel has absconded with the pensive neighborhood sentinel.

Neighbor Michelle tells Bernalwood:

Some sad news to pass on. “Fabio”, the Esmeralda Slide Park gargoyle, has gone missing once again. In the past when this has happened in his previous home location, he would happily turned up in a variety of nearby locations. This time the thieves bent some re-bar to remove him and haul all 50+ pounds of gargoyle away. Asking Bernal neighbors to keep watch, and let us know if you spot him.

Please be on the lookout for Fabio, and contact Bernalwood if you see him.

PHOTO: Fabio the Gargoyle, keeping an eye on Esmeralda Slide Park before he disappeared

Epic Rains Trigger Mini-Mudslide on Bernal Hill

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Heavy rains over the weekend triggered a mini-mudslide on Bernal Hill, along the south side of Bernal Heights Boulevard, just east of Ellsworth.

Neighbor Fiid shared this photo of the washed out segment of the slope, and from this angle is looks like Bernal Hill is trying to reclaim the roadway. Which, in a geological sense, it most certainly is.

UPDATE: Bernalwood dispatched the Mobile Uplink Miata to the slide scene this morning. Here’s a complete daylight view: 


In addition, there are many smaller slides and mud flumes visible all over Bernal Hill, so tread carefully to avoid slipping and/or exacerbating soil erosion. 

3300 Club Gone for Good, SRO’s Fate Uncertain, as Fire-Damaged Building Up For Sale

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The 3300 Club has operated at 3300 Mission Street, on the corner of Mission Street and 29th, since 1956. It’s been closed since last June, when a devastating fire destroyed the building next door and displaced the 50+ residents of the Graywood Hotel SRO who lived upstairs. The owners of the 3300 Club were determined to rebuild, but now we learn that the classic watering hole probably isn’t coming back because the whole building has been offered for sale.

In a public post on Facebook, Bernal neighbor and 3300 Club co-owner Shukry Lama writes:

3300 Mission Street is now up for sale. The landlords, who had a sit down meeting with us and talked about their plans to rebuild, and offer us a new lease with potentially more space, failed to let us know about this. My mom got to find out when a reporter called and asked about it. Imagine her surprise.

As much as I’d like to keep hoping that we’ll get a lease in that location, I think we all know it would never be the same. Yea, we could try and move to a new location, but the limits on moving a liquor license, the amount of protests you would get from opening a new bar, the amount of capital you would need, the time and effort that none of us have left, it’s just too much. We had such high hopes for a return, bringing our bar back to the neighborhood where we had been a staple for 60 years, but there is no loyalty in the real estate industry.

Dipak Patel, the current property owner, purchased the building for $1.5 million in 2004. MissionLocal spoke to Patel, who adds:

Before the fire struck, Patel was in the process of remodeling the hotel rooms, had done work to the hotel’s hallways and heating system, and had installed sprinklers which ultimately saved the building from more damage, he said.

“We spent about $10,000 a room before fire, so about $200,000 total, and we did electrical upgrades,” he said. “Whatever happens to the building, it will be a 100 percent upgrade.”

Under a sale, the status of the Graywood Hotel SRO, and the rooms where its former tenants lived, also remains uncertain.

The building at 3300 Mission Street is now offered for $3.5 million.  The property listing says:

The property is currently vacated (subject to residential tenant’s rights), stripped down to studs, and in need of a complete rehab. The building consists of 6 tourist licenses and 22 SRO (previously with 2 non-conforming rooms) on the two upper levels. The ground floor previously housed two retail tenants, a bar and a restaurant, and will be delivered free of tenants. There is a full-height basement. This property presents the opportunity for a developer to reconfigure rooms to maximize square footage and income. This beautiful Bernal Heights corner property is waiting to be restored to its former glory and more!

PHOTO: The 3300 Club sign, as it looked after a fresh paint job in 2013. Photo by Burrito Justice

Driver Hits Two Homes Along Precita Avenue

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There was some morning mayhem along the eastern end of Precita Avenue last Saturday, when an out-of-control car struck a house and a fire hydrant before coming to rest in the wall of another home up the street.

The incident began at around 10 am on Saturday morning, when a Toyota traveling west on Precita swerved from the roadway and bounced off the facade of a home on the 600 block of Precita:

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Next, the vehicle sheared off a fire hydrant, sending a column of water into the sky:

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The car then continued west for another half-block, until it left the street again and embedded itself in the side of a house on the northwest corner of Precita and Florida.

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Police at the scene said two people were in the car, but no one was seriously injured. The driver showed no sign of alcohol- or drug-impairment, and the accident was treated as a motor vehicle violation, not a criminal incident.

PHOTOS: Structural damage photos by Telstar Logistics. Hydrant geyser by @SFMOCA

Big Winter Storm Knocks Down Trees Around Bernal Heights

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None shall pass! Neighbor Amy encounters the tree blocking Bernal Heights Blvd.

The big winter storm that blew through San Francisco on Sunday generally spared Bernal Heights from too much biblical-grade havoc, but it did get the best of our trees (and a few parked cars). Luckily, no one was injured.

The leafy mayhem kicked off on the Richland Avenue, where Neighbor Audra shared this photo of a big limb that fell across the Bernal Cut bridge, cutting off access to our ancestral kin in Bernal-Glen:

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DPW quickly cleared the branch from the Richland bridge (thank you!), but that was not the end of our arboreal mayhem.

Neighbor Darcy shared this photo of a tree eating a Nissan on the 100 block of Bradford, near Powhattan:

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On Wool Street, Neighbor Bernard reports that a tree had it out for this Audi:

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The Revenge of the Trees continued in Precita Park, where Neighbor Maria captured another tree munching on the hood of a Mazda, as a neighbor raised her fist in solidarity with the fallen foliage:

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But the biggest drama unfolded on the south side of Bernal Hill, where a very big tree fell across Bernal Heights Boulevard, rendering our scenic artery impassable. Neighbor Markus shared a dramatic photo of the fallen tree’s root structure:

treedown-markusMeanwhile, on the western side of the roadblock, Neighbor James captured a neighbor pausing for a stylish moment of chaos chic. Never mind the Golden Globes; What’s the it-look for Bernal Heights storm-chasing in 2017?  Why, it’s slip-on sneakers, cranberry tights, and a slim-fitting winter coat in navy — obviously!

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