Bernal Neighbor Launches “30 Days, 30 Songs” Voter Registration Music Project


Bernal Heights neighbor and celebrity music impresario Jordan Kurland has joined forces with author Dave Eggers to create a voter-registration project that seeks to ensure Donald Trump does not become the next President of the United States.

Neighbor Jordan tells Bernalwood:

I wanted to let you all know about a project that we launched. It is an independent campaign website called 30 Days, 30 Songs and it was conceived by myself and author Dave Eggers. It features a collection of amazing artists who contributed amazing songs that champion a diverse, inclusive, and prosperous America. In other words, everything Donald Trump opposes.

We started with a brand new Death Cab for Cutie song, titled “Million Dollar Loan,” and will be posting a song per day up through Election Day. It features original compositions, live versions, and remixes. I can’t divulge every act that we’ve confirmed but the first week will also feature Aimee Mann, REM, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Thao Nguyen and Josh Ritter.

The songs will be released on the 30 Days, 30 Songs website and as a playlist on Spotify and Apple Music. Any proceeds generated will be donated to The Center for Popular Democracy and their efforts towards Universal Voter Registration.

The music is fab, and the cause is righteous. Today’s song, for example, is the world premiere of Franz Ferdinand’s “Demagogue,” featuring original artwork from Shepard Fairey (shown above).

Check it out, tell your friends about it on the Facebook, and big ups to Neighbor Jordan and Dave Eggers for making this happen!


Bernal Parent Beaten at Coleridge Mini-Park

A Bernal Heights parent was beaten on Wednesday night after trying to quiet a disturbance at the Coleridge Mini-Park.

A neighbor who lives near the park tells Bernalwood:

It happened Wednesday night. A couple of people (two men, one women) were hanging in the Coleridge Mini-Park. They got into a heated and loud argument between themselves. A neighbor came out and asked them to please keep it down because he was trying to put his kids to bed.

They stopped fighting with each other and started on him – screaming that this was the Mission and if he didn’t like it, he could get out, who the hell was he to tell them what to do, blah, blah, blah.

They stepped up to him and pushed him and then it went from there. Called 911 three times because it was really starting to escalate – it was three on one – they didn’t seem to be in a huge rush to get there (was told four cars were en route – only saw one initially, a second rolled up a bit later) – none had the sirens on, just the lights.

Went out to give the cops a statement as a witness and they told the neighbor that if he wanted to press charges, then the group would be involved as well (“because that’s how it works”) and he can deal with this going through the court system for the “next year or so.” They essentially discouraged them from pursuing any charges.

Honestly this was the first issue we had seen since the light had been installed. Ironically enough, we had just said to the neighbor’s wife (the one who was assaulted) that afternoon how nice it was to have the lights in the park and how much quieter it had been. I guess we jinxed it.

PHOTO: Coleridge Mini-Park, Sept. 2016

City Moves to Halt Bernal Heights Firm Accused of Defrauding Immigrants


For the last few months, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office has been pursuing an action agains Lacayo & Associates, a Bernal Heights company that provides tax and immigration consulting from it’s office at 3330 Mission Street (near Virginia), a few doors south of the Safeway.

The City accuses Lacayo & Associates of fraud, alleging that the company has misrepresented itself as a law firm.  Yesterday, the City Attorney’s Office announced it has obtained an injunction against Lacayo & Associates:

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 11, 2016) — A San Francisco Superior Court judge this morning granted City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s motion for a preliminary injunction ordering defendants Lacayo & Associates and its principles, Leonard Lacayo and Ada Lacayo, to immediately comply with the Immigration Consultant Act and stop unlawfully providing legal services.

In issuing the preliminary injunction, Judge Harold Kahn found that Herrera is likely to prevail on the causes of action in his suit filed in August against the defendants for misleading clients to falsely believe Mr. Lacayo was an attorney who could provide legal services in their immigration cases.

“I am grateful that the court recognized the urgency of Lacayo & Associate’s actions and ordered an immediate halt to their fraudulent operation,” said Herrera. “They preyed on the immigrant community by charging high fees for work they could not perform, even placing some of their clients at risk of deportation. Today’s court order is an important step towards bringing the Lacayos to justice and preventing other immigrants from becoming victims of their incompetent and illegal services.”

As part of the preliminary injunction, Lacayo & Associates must remove from their advertising any misleading statements about the “legal services” they provide, and give written notice to clients who received immigration related services within the past four years of the clients’ rights under California law and the fact that Leonard Lacayo is not a licensed attorney. Mr. Lacayo is also prohibited from providing any immigration-related services unless he registers with the CA secretary of state as an immigration consultant, passes a criminal background check, files a disclosure form, and posts a surety bond in the amount of $100,000.

Lacayo & Associates has been operating in San Francisco since 1986. Mr. Lacayo is a notary public but is not licensed to practice law nor registered with the state as an immigration consultant. Yet, he routinely defrauds clients by falsely representing himself as a lawyer and shoddily performing immigration-related services. Victims report that after charging thousands of dollars in fees, Mr. Lacayo would fail to ever submit their applications, or would submit applications that were denied due to inadequate preparation. In many cases it was only when clients sought assistance elsewhere that they realized that Mr. Lacayo was not an attorney and learned the true status of their cases.

If successful, the case could result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation and recover funds for consumers who were victimized by Lacayo & Associates’ unlawful, fraudulent, and unfair practices.

Services for victims
Victims of Lacayo & Associates who are looking for a licensed attorney to take over their case should contact the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service hotline at (415) 989-1616 and ask to speak with Antonio Hernandez.

Victims who would like to make a complaint about Leonard or Ada Lacayo or Lacayo & Associates or wish to assist the San Francisco City Attorney Office in prosecuting this legal action can contact the office’s hotline at (415) 355-3270.

The case is: People of the State of California v. Leonard Lacayo et al,San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC 15-553699, filed August 15, 2016. Complete documentation on the case is available online.

IMAGE: Lacayo Associates office at 3300 Mission Street, via Google Street View

Our New Cloud-City Skyline, as Seen From Bernal Hill


Wow .Check out this amazing photo, captured from Bernal Hill Monday morning and shared on Reddit by @faunz.

This is an image of our futuristic urban future, as it shows the skeleton of the new Salesforce Tower poking through the dense blanket of fog that sometimes covers downtown San Francisco. So gorgeous. So Cloud City of Bespin.

Your Bernalwood editor also noticed the new tower standing proud through the clouds when I awoke on Monday, and it prompted a pre-caffeinated moment of wonder and awe. So I’m grateful to have that moment captured in a photo. It’s going to be amazing to see how our evolving skyline will look from Bernal Heights when Salesforce Tower is completed.

PHOTO: @faunz on Reddit

How Neighbor Lisa Got a Stop Sign and Crosswalk Installed Near Holly Park


Through persistence and some savvy nagging, Neighbor Lisa recently arranged to have a stop sign and proper crosswalk installed on the east side of Holly Park near Highland. Now, Neighbor Lisa tells Bernalwood how she did it:

Recently saw your post / community update about some new neighborhood street lighting, and all that went into making that happen. Crazy, but success. Yay! Inspired me to reach out to you all to tell you about our exciting new-ish crosswalk to Holly Park, pedestrian signage, and new stop sign on Highland.

It was installed during late spring to connect Highland Avenue and Holly Park Circle walkers headed to the east side of the park (main entrance with ramps, playground, dogs galore). Before this crosswalk, there was only one on the entire circumference of the park, connecting to the elementary school on the west. I was always worried about my toddler son and his preschool crossing that crazy circle everyday with cars whipping around the curves, so I made a 311 request.

This is an exciting community safety improvement that hundreds use every day, but more importantly, it’s a way to show other neighbors that this crosswalk (and the stop sign) came about simply because I completed an online 311 application and then made a few follow-up phone calls to SFMTA. I have also called 311 for more urgent requests, like a huge pothole on Appleton at Mission where I almost flew over my bike handlebars, and a massive trash dumping on the sidewalks behind the Safeway.

PHOTO: New crosswalk at Highland, courtesy of Neighbor Lisa

Two Men Wounded in Precita Park Shooting Saturday Night

Markers on the street indicate where gun casings were found

Markers on the street indicate where gun casings were found

A shooting last night at the eastern end of Precita Park left two men wounded — one seriously. The shooting occurred at around 9 pm, on Alabama at Precita, directly across the street from the Precita Park Cafe.

Neighbors said they heard as many as 12 shots fired. Officers at the scene said the two wounded men exchanged gunfire with a passing car. As officers scoured the scene with flashlights, they left markers on the street to identify the locations where gun casings had been found.

One officer said said the victims were both young Latino males, and both were transported to the hospital. Another officer suggested that the shootings were probably not random, and that the victims were not providing information to the SFPD.

MissionLocal reports the victims were both in their late 20s, and that one of the men had suffered life-threatening injuries.

Bernalwood will update this story as additional information becomes available.


PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics