Two Arrested in Connection With Southwest Bernal Shooting Homicide

A shrine erected near the spot where Duby Ortiz-Guardado was killed on Jan. 23. (Photos: Courtesy of Emperor Norton)

Two suspects have now been arrested in connection with the Jan. 23 shooting in southwest Bernal Heights that left one man dead and a woman badly wounded.

Duby Ortiz-Guardado, 20, was walking with a woman near the intersection of Richland and Leese at 5:13 pm when gunfire rang out. Both Ortiz-Guardado and the woman were hit; Ortiz-Guardado later declared dead at San Francisco General Hospital.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the homicide. San Francisco residents Oscar Guadron-Diaz, 18, and Jorge Howard, 19, were taken into custody.

A statement from SFPD Ingleside Station detailed the arrests:

An investigation by the SFPD Homicide Unit led to the identification of the suspects. On January 25, 2018 at approximately 2:30 PM the SFPD Special Investigation Division (SID) officers located and arrested Oscar Guadron-Diaz, an 18 year-old San Francisco resident, and Jorge Howard, a 19 year-old San Francisco resident, on the unit block of Laura Street. Guadron-Diaz was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on murder, attempted murder, mayhem and numerous other gun related charges. Howard was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on felony reckless driving and accessory charges.

CBS Bay Area adds that Guadron-Diaz is being held without bail:

Guadron-Diaz, a stocky man with dark-framed glasses and dark hair in a crew cut, postponed entering a plea Monday and is scheduled to return to court on Thursday. He was ordered to remain in custody without bail pending a bail hearing.

According to a Facebook profile, Ortiz-Guardado and the female victim both previously attended Mission High School.


UPDATED: One Killed, One Wounded After Shooting in Southwest Bernal Heights

Police on the scene of the shooting on Richland at Lesse. Photo: Neighbor Chris

One person was killed and another wounded during a shooting near Richland Avenue and Leese Street in southwest Bernal Heights on Tuesday evening.

The gunfire erupted at 5:13 pm yesterday.

This morning, SFPD Ingleside Captain Jack Hart sent shared this with the Bernal community:

The shooting happened up at Leese and Park Streets and involved a couple who preliminarily appeared to be targeted by the perpetrator. Officers were on the block, heard the shots (nearly on-viewing the incident), and began rendering aid within seconds. Even though the suspect is outstanding, there is no reason to believe that residents or merchants are at any increased risk moving forward.

In an abundance of caution, our school car has been notified of the incident and are going to make their way over to [Bernal Heights] first thing in the morning to assuage fears and answer any questions.

I have a two and one-year-old myself, so these incidents are certainly matters of great concern. It’s also for these two reasons that I am up most of the time through the night. So, please don’t hesitate to reach out on email <> with any questions or concerns moving forward; I will promptly reply and do what I can to address them.

UPDATE, 26 January: The victim killed in the Jan 23 shooting was Duby Ortiz-Guardado, 20. The injured victim was a female. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the SFPD has made an arrest in the case:

Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco police spokesperson, said officers spotted a wanted vehicle around 2:34 p.m. near Alemany Boulevard and Regent Street. A pursuit began when the driver refused to stop for the officers. Rueca said police arrested the suspect when he pulled over near Laura Street and Huron Avenue.

Rueca would not say why the suspect was wanted, but a source with knowledge of the arrest told the San Francisco Examiner that the suspect was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting Tuesday.

Permit Parking Coming to Northwest Bernal as SFMTA Approves Plan

This week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Board approved a plan to implement a residential permit parking (RPP) scheme along select streets in northwest Bernal Heights. The vote on the SFMTA Board was unanimous.

Under the new RPP, which will be the first permit parking zone in Bernal Heights, residents who live on designated streets will be able to obtain permits allowing them to park their vehicles on the street throughout the day.

Parking for people without permits will be limited to 2 hours maximum from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm.

The Bernal Heights RPP will be the first in the City to reduce the number of permits each resident is eligible to receive. Under the new system approved this week, each RPP household can receive one permit per driver, with a maximum two permits per household.

Permit parking will go into effect along 16 blocks in Bernal Heights where more than 50 percent of residents signed a petitions to join a permit parking system. The Bernal streets that will have RPP include: Coleridge (1- 199), Coso (1 – 199), Fair (1-99), Lundy’s Lane (1-29), Mirabel, Montezuma, Powers, Precita (1 – 299), Prospect (00-199), Shotwell (1400 – 1599), and Winfield (1 – 99).

Under the RPP system, permits are issued only to people who live at addresses on streets within the permit parking zone.  SFMTA surveys indicate that 77% of the vehicles currently parked on the streets in the new RPP zone belong to people who live within a half-mile of the zone, an indication that many those vehicles likely belong to other Bernal residents.

Bernal residents who live on streets adjacent to the RPP zone are not eligible to receive permits and will not be able to park legally in the RPP zone during daytime enforcement hours.

The SFMTA’s petition system had been criticized by some Bernal neighbors who said the process was marred by irregular deadlines and poor communication on the part of SFMTA staff.

At Tuesday’s SFMTA Board meeting, some members of the public expressed concern that RPP will make it harder for teachers at Leonard Flynn School in Precita Park and workers at nearby nonprofits to find daytime parking. Precita Park is not in the new RPP zone, so teachers and nonprofit workers do not qualify for parking permits. To address these concerns, SFMTA may alter its rules to issue permits to some teachers and nonprofit workers outside the RPP zone.

Permits will become available and signs will be erected to designate the RPP zone within a few months.

Harvest Dispensary Begins Legal, Recreational Cannabis Sales in Bernal Heights

Customers wait to enter the Harvest dispensary on 29th Street in Bernal Heights on Saturday afternoon.

Last weekend, Harvest off Mission at 33 29th Street became the first dispensary to offer legal, recreational cannabis sales in Bernal Heights.

It took Harvest off Mission a few days to line up their permits, so recreational sales didn’t get underway until last Saturday, Jan. 13. Anyone over 21 years and older can now enter the store with a government-issued ID.

The legal sale of recreational marijuana began in California on Jan 1. The first dispensaries permitted to sell recreational marijuana opened in San Francisco a few days later, on Jan.  6, owing to a delay by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  California voters approved Prop 64, which legalized recreational marijuana sales, in 2016.

The dispensary on 29th Street is not new, of course. Harvest, the current occupants of the storefront, have been offering medial cannabis at that location since December 2016. Before that, the space was used by another  dispensary  called Bernal Heights Collective.

First-time customers at Harvest may feel the most remarkable thing about it is how rather unremarkable it seems. The interior of the store is airy and modern, with curated selection of cannabis edibles and flower products arranged neatly on the shelves. (The menu is available online too.)

At a glance, it looks like the kind of shop that might sell fancy desserts,  or fresh-pressed juices, or artisanal coffee. But here, in 2018 San Francisco, it’s the first store permitted to sell legal, recreational marijuana in Bernal Heights.

Here’s a fact sheet Harvest shared with Bernalwood:

Tuesday: Final SFMTA Board Hearing on Northwest Bernal Permit Parking Proposal

Next Tuesday, Jan 16, the SFMTA Board of Directors will hold what may be the final hearing on a controversial proposal to implement a Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program in northwest Bernal Heights.

Tuesday’s hearing about the Bernal RPP will include a public comment period. If the SFMTA Board then votes to approve the Northwest Bernal RPP plan, residential permit parking will likely go into effect on the specified blocks within a few months .

SFMTA’s announcement about the hearing says:


Residents of northwest Bernal Heights have petitioned the SFMTA to form a new residential parking permit area to better manage and find parking closer to their homes.

The proposal will be heard by the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 1:00 P.M., at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102, Room 400. Interested parties are invited to attend and comment on the proposal.

The following blocks are proposed for residential permit parking: Coleridge (1- 199), Coso (1 – 199), Fair (1-99), Lundy’s Lane (1-29), Mirabel, Montezuma, Powers, Precita (1 – 299), Prospect (00-199), Shotwell (1400 – 1599), and Winfield (1 – 99).

The proposed RPP area will have the following policies for the number of permits that may be issued per address:

  • One permit per driver; two permits per address
  • Permits for medical care and child care providers do not count towards the two per address limit
  • Additional permits may be issued to an address if parking is available in the immediate area and the permit is for additional licensed drivers in the household

More information about the parking planning efforts in NW Bernal Heights can be found at or email

For those who can’t attend the hearing on Jan. 16, comments to the Board can be submitted via email at

The proposal to introduce RPP in northwest Bernal has been deeply divisive, pitting Bernal neighbor against neighbor, and block against block, over the question of whether or not permit parking is appropriate for the neighborhood.

In addition, multiple changes to the proposed RPP rules and irregularities in the SFMTA’s petition process have prompted some Bernal neighbors to question the accountability and competence of the SFTMA’s permit parking program staff. Additional question have been raised about the integrity of SFMTA’s vehicle census data.

Advocates for the Bernal RPP say permits are needed to prevent daytime workers, commuters, and air travelers heading to SFO from occupying scarce parking space in northwest Bernal Heights.

Critics point to SFMTA surveys which show that 73% of the vehicles currently parked on the proposed RPP streets belong to people who live within a half-mile of the zone, an indication that many those vehicles likely belong to other Bernal residents. SFMTA’s survey indicates that 19% of the vehicles parked in the RPP zone today belong to people who live more than 2 miles away.

If the parking plan is implemented. Bernal residents who do not live at a designated address within the RPP zone who will no longer be able to park on streets in the RPP zone for more than 2 hours between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday.

If approved, the annual permit fee will be $128 per auto and $96 for each motorcycle.

Hurry! After 20 Years, Bernaltown: The Movie Will Screen Again in Bernal Heights

A billboard for Bernaltown appeared across from Good Life in 1997.

FINALLY, after a loooooong hiatus, Bernaltown-The Movie is returning to Bernal Heights on Jan. 30!!

We’ll get to the details about the where and when in a moment. But first, a brief history: What is Bernaltown?

Bernaltown was a delightful short film produced in 1997 by a group of Bernal Heights neighbors and kids. Making movies was a nontrivial thing to do in the late 1990s, because at the time, tape-based camcorders were still the prevailing technology and the era of digital video and YouTube was still a decade away.

Nevertheless, Bernaltown was glorious. Produced in the playful spirit of the 1960s Batman TV series, Bernaltown tells the story of a group of superhero kids who use high-tech go-karts to battle a diabolical developer who’s scamming to build a a hotel-casino complex on the top of Bernal Hill.

Musician and Bernal Neighbor Joshua Brody contributed the music for Bernaltown, and here’s how he remembers it:

A little over 20 years ago, good friend Sheila Balter invited me to donate my services to a fund-raiser for a film her friend Gregory Gavin was finishing up, so I did. Once I met Gregory and saw the trailer he’d put together, I fell in love with the project: A half-hour story called Bernaltown.

Gregory had been running workshops for kids in Bernal Heights to learn how to make their own go-karts and wanted to do some documentation on it, but rather than do a dry non-fiction talking heads piece, he decided to craft a narrative featuring the kids as superhero crime-fighters, other neighborhood regulars playing more-or-less themselves (eg. the beat cop as “the chief of police”) and throwing in a fictitious — but entirely plausible — subplot about an evil gambling syndicate’s real estate grab.

It was charming as f–k, and I instantly offered my services as composer, which Gregory just as instantly accepted, sound unheard. I think my terms — free — helped clinch the deal.

The film premiered in the schoolyard behind the Bernal Public Library (where it will be shown again… to commemorate its 20th anniversary). The showing was successful enough, but what really moved me was the aftermath: neighbors strolling up and down Cortland wearing Bernaltown paraphernalia and greeting each other kill it was the small town portrayed in the film, not just another big city neighborhood.

Maybe that kind of magic can repeat itself.

The trailer for Bernaltown is lost in the analog mists of time, but this KRON report from 1997 captures the spirit of it:

So, with all that established… Bernalwood is thrilled to share the news that finally, at long last, the Citizens of Bernal Heights will again have an opportunity to see Bernaltown again.

The 20th Anniversary screening of Bernaltown – The Movie will happen on Tuesday, Jan. 30 in the main reading room of  the Bernal Heights Library (500 Cortland) beginning at 7 pm.

The screening is free, but tickets are required; reserve your seats here — and you’d best hurry, because space is limited.

PHOTOS: All images via Bernaltown20 on Facebook

New Video Brings Celebrity “Overpass Guy” JaVonne Hatfield to Bernal Hill

For the last few years, JaVonne Hatfield has delighted motorists stuck in traffic on Highway 101 by dancing on the 18th Street pedestrian overpass, just north of Hospital Curve.

Along the way, he’s become something of a San Francisco celebrity, even if most people only know him as  “That Dancing Guy on the Overpass.”

JaVonne Hatfield on the overpass. Photo by JaVonne Hatfield

Recently, JaVonne appeared in a fun little video that celebrates life in San Francisco. The video is structured as a comedic chase across town, but it culminates on Bernal Hill, in a kind of a rapturous coming-together that’s totally uplifting, and totally Bernal.

See for youself, and feel all the feels:

Hat tip: Neighbor Rebecca