Crowdfunding Underway for Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill

Rendering of proposed Alex Nieto memorial on Bernal Hill (Source: gofundme)

A crowdfunding effort is currently underway to finance a memorial for Bernal neighbor Alex Nieto, who was killed during a confrontation with San Francisco police officers in March 2014.

Launched by friends and family of Alex Nieto, the crowdfunding campaign says:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ voted 9 to 1 in favor of the “Amor for Alex Nieto Memorial,” which means that this ordinance is veto proof from the Mayor. We will transform history with this powerful monument.

For Alex Nieto, for our community, we fought this fight, and we won the first memorial ever in California dedicated to a victim of a police killing. We held our dignity and proved to the world how we argue better and action more creatively and courageously than anyone ever could imagine.

Once the memorial is established, community members will hike up to that mountain and pray like Alex did and look out over the beautiful view of San Francisco and be inspired by our community resilience. Students will travel up to that hill for field trips and to learn about the history and creativity of our community; they will write thousands of educational essays. Families will pilgrimage hands together and love each other at the place where Alex breathed his last breath. This will be a place of peace, of inspiration and amor.

Bernal neighbors who would like to contribute to the memorial campaign may do so here. At publication time, the campaign has raised $2500 of a $40,000 goal.

Alex Nieto lived on Cortland Avenue with his parents, Elvira and Refugio Nieto. He was killed during a March 21, 2014 confrontation,  during which police alleged Alex Nieto pointed a weapon that looked like a handgun.

A San Francisco District Attorney investigation of the incident concluded that police acted lawfully during the incident, and during a subsequent wrongful death suit initiated by the Nieto family, a jury ruled the SFPD officers involved in the incident had not used excessive force.

Friends and family of Alex Nieto maintain his death was a byproduct of gentrification. In 2016 , then-San Francisco supervisors John Avalos and David Campos passed an ordinance directing the City to install a memorial for Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill.

Saturday Morning: Join the Cleanup Party in Precita Park

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When you look down at Precita Park from on high, it looks… Peaceful. Pristine. Like an urban oasis.

Actually, when you look at Precita Park from street level, it looks pretty damn awesome as well.

This is no accident. Precita Park looks so super-sexy in no small part because of all the hard work Neighbor Demece Garepis has done through the years under the auspices of Precita Valley Neighbors, the volunteer group she so valiantly leads.

Tomorrow morning, July 8, starting at 09:00, PVN is organizing a neighborly Precita Park cleanup — and it’s a great opportunity to give the park some of your love. Neighbor Demece says:

Hey Neighbors!

We’re having a Precita Park Clean-Up Party!

Just bring yourselves – tools, gloves, bags are provided. We’re going to clean Up Precita Park!

Saturday July 8th at 9:00a.m., meet in the Children’s Playground. Ridiculously fun neighbor mingling and old/new friendship provided! Lovely morning refreshments will also be provided.

And don’t be shy: tell your neighbors to get our emails by signing up for updates! It’s free and fun!

Sparkle on,

Demece

Saturday: A Super-Special Outdoor (Farewell) Edition of Photographic Memories

Phonographic Memories is a very special thing: A cozy series of live events held at the Bernal Heights Library for first-person storytelling about the relationships people have with the vinyl records they love. This Saturday, July 8 from noon to 4 pm, the library will co-host an extra-special outdoor edition of Phonographic Memories at the Bernal Rec Center (just behind the library).

The event is free, and all are invited. Here are all the details:

For over two and half years Phonographic Memory has put on free monthly shows at the Bernal Heights Library. The program’s creator, Corey Bloom, is moving to the east coast so we’re going big with the last session in the neighborhood.

On July 8th, from 12:00-4:00 PM, at the Bernal Heights Recreation Center we’re throwing an outdoor park jam with DJ’s, record vendors, community groups, a food truck and, of course, storytellers. Corey has curated the lineup to pay tribute to the depth and dimensions of the Bay Area music scene, which have impacted his life in a variety of ways.

The list includes:

  • Cassidine: The first female MC on the West Coast to get a record deal, who released her debut, Man Handler, on 75 Girls in 1988.
  • Davey D: Famed journalist, historian, professor, DJ, syndicated talk show host and activitst.
  • Equipto: Pioneering and prolific San Francisco MC and community leader
  • Teeko: World famous DJ (DMC, ITF), producer (Mark Ronson, D’Angelo) and funky innovator

DJ B Cause (Four One Funk) will warm up the turntables before the stories. DJ Marz, of the infamous Bullet Proof Space Travelers, will be holding down the music throughout the afternoon.

 

There will be an El Tonayense Taco Truck and record vendors on hand, as well as community partners from the Saint Francis Homeless Challenge.

Phonographic Memory is a nationally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to examining and celebrating the human experience as framed through vinyl records. Bridging cultures and generations, heavy collectors and casual fans, our goal is to create a global community through individuals’ stories, providing folklore to the physical artifact. We accomplish this through a combination of our free monthly live events at the Bernal Heights Library, which we have been hosting since 2014, and other live events throughout California and even Rome. Our podcast, which was chosen for NPR’s Earbud.FM, features our favorite stories from these events, all archived and available for download via our website PhonographicMemory.org, as well as iTunes and Bandcamp.

Saturday, July 8 | Noon – 4PM
Bernal Recreation Center | 500 Moultrie, San Francisco | FREE EVENT

 

Friday: City Hall Hearing on SFMTA’s Northwest Bernal Permit Parking Plan

Bernalwood has been covering the bureaucratic debacle that is the Northwest Bernal Residential Parking Permit (RPP) proposal for two years, and while the process has revealed much about the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s dubious methodologies and lack of accountability, it’s now moving into the final stages of the approval process.

On Friday, July 7 at 10 am in Room 416 at City Hall , the SFMTA will  hold a public hearing to review the proposal to establish a new RPP zone in Northwest Bernal Heights. This map outlines the proposed permit area, where Bernal residents who live outside the blue RPP zones will be restricted to two-hour parking Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm:

Source: SFMTA

The SFMTA meeting announcement 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.

In May 2017, a majority of residents on the following blocks voted to move forward with residential permit parking Coleridge (1 – 99), Coso (1 – 199), Esmeralda (200-299), Fair (1-99), Lundy’s Lane (1-29), Mirabel, Montezuma, Powers, Precita (1 – 299), Prospect (100-199), Shotwell (1400 – 1499), and Winfield (1 – 99).

The proposal to create a RPP area on these blocks will be heard at a SFMTA Engineering Public Hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 7 at City Hall, Room 416. Interested parties are invited to attend and comment on the proposal.

A summary of the community vote and overall project history can be found on the project website and May project update.

This map [PDF] shows the blocks where 50% or more residents voted for inclusion in the RPP pilot program, with the following RPP regulations:

  • One parking permit per driver
  • Two parking permits per household
  • Two-hour parking limit for non-permit holders Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Seasonal Reminder: Kindly Refrain From Incinerating Bernal Hill on July Fourth

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Bernal Hill on fire, July 4, 2013

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July! Hooray! There will be barbecues, and patriotism, and lamentations that our president is a clown, and at the end of the day there will be fireworks. That last part can pose some problems, so here’s a seasonal request for all Citizens of Bernalwood: Please do not turn Bernal Hill into a blazing inferno.

Bernal Hill is a popular place to watch the official fireworks pink fog show put on by the City, but the dry grass makes it a dangerous place for civilians to stage their own fireworks displays. For example, the photo above shows Bernal Hill on July 4, 2013, after an amateur fireworks show set the hill on fire. Doh!

That was bad. Let’s not do that again. So here’s your annual reminder of some time-tested Fourth of July fire prevention tips for Bernal Hill from Neighbor Sarah:

1. Do not set off fireworks. Definitely don’t set them off on Bernal Hill, which is covered in dry grasses and brush. You may recall that [in 2013], some moron set the Hill on fire. Luckily, no one was hurt, but imagine if this had happened in an area crowded with people watching the downtown fireworks display. If you remember nothing else, remember this: No. Fireworks. On. Bernal. Hill.

2. If you see someone setting off illegal fireworks on Bernal Hill, call the police. Dial 553-0123 if nothing is on fire yet. Dial 911 or 553-8090 if there is an active blaze. Again, call 553-0123 if you see fireworks in progress, and call 911 if it actually sets off a fire.

PHOTO: Fire on Bernal Hill, July 4, 2013, by Neighbor Bernard

Cyclists Say Homeless Encampment on “Hairball” Bike Path Is Unsafe

Cyclists from several neighborhoods in southeast San Francisco have recently expressed concern about the expansion of homeless encampments along the narrow bike lane through the Chavez/101 “Hairball” interchange. The bike path is the only safe route for cyclists who need to traverse 101, but today it’s nearly impassable.

Neighbor Angela from Prospect Ave. in Bernal Heights uses the bike path daily, and yesterday she sent this email to several local officials, including D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen,  D10 Supervisor Malia Cohen,  Department of Public Works chief Mohammed Neru, and SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin.  Bernalwood was cc’d on the email as well.

Neighbor Angela writes:

Dear Supervisors and SF Public Works and CalTrans:

The bike path along Cesar Chavez St, under the 101 freeway (both eastbound and westbound) is nearly unpassable for bikes due to the tents, tarps, junk, garbage and animals that have taken it over.

This is a dangerous situation for the bicyclists, people and pets that are there.

There is no viable alternate route for bicyclists from the Mission/Bernal Heights/Glen Park/Noe Valley to CalTrain and eastern parts of the City. Riding on the street with cars under the overpass is also extremely dangerous.

I live in Bernal Heights and ride my bike every day to get to CalTrain to go to Palo Alto. This is what my morning commute is like:

What you don’t see is the big puff of crack smoke the first woman on the left exhaled just as I rode by.

I have registered requests for enforcement and complaints with different City services, but I find the cases get closed with no action taken.

While I do understand the complexities of the situation, leaving the bike path in this state is untenable. Please find a way to join forces to address this issue as soon as possible.

On behalf of all the bicyclists who just want to ride safely, thank you.

UPDATE 1:45 pm, 30 June: More than 24 hours after her note was sent, Neighbor Angela says she has yet to receive a response from any of the City officials addressed in it.

PHOTO: Screenshot from Neighbor Angela’s video of the bike route through the Hairball

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