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

Sunday: Grand Opening Party for New 12 Small Things Store on Cortland


A new business is moving into the former Gifts on the Hill space at 513 Cortland. This Sunday, October 9, Bernal Neighbor Laurie Kanes will hold a grand opening celebration for 12 Small Things, her new store and showroom for artisanal crafts from around the world. Neighbor Laurie tells Bernalwood:

I’m the new tenant for the former thrift shop space at 513 Cortland that is next to the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

My husband and I moved to the neighborhood in 1989, and we’ve raised our two daughters here. After 30 years working in-house for corporate retailer’s creative departments, I started to showcase handmade products from artisans in need of support around the world.

Working out of my home, I expanded the business to include wholesale representation for these groups at gift trade shows for retailers. I was outgrowing my living room office and also needed a showroom when the BHNC space became available. They were looking for a small business they felt would work well in the neighborhood and had some non-profit or social responsibility connections.

I feel very grateful to be in this new space and part of the Cortland corridor, where I will be selling my products in the showroom/store. As a member of the community and the Bernal Business Alliance, I already have a strong connection to the neighborhood, but getting a chance to say hi to everyone while I’ve been renovating the place has been very welcoming and encouraging.

I am having an opening party this Sunday, October 9th, from 3:00 – 6:00 at 513 Cortland with music and light refreshments and would like to invite you and your readers to stop by and say hi.

Can’t promise that everything will be up and running smoothly right away, but hopefully I’ll have some time here to figure out the details along the way.

Many thanks!


Tonight: Have Fun in La Lengua to Benefit Victims of the Cole Hardware Fire


Lest we forget, many of the neighbors and businesses displaced by last June’s Cole Hardware Fire are still still struggling to rebuild.

Neighbor Eden Stein from the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association invites all Bernalese to stroll our stretch of Mission Street tonight, Friday, Oct 7, as local merchants and eateries raise money for the fire victims. Neighbor Eden says:

Help us meet our goal for the MBMA Fire Relief Fund!

What are you doing Friday night? Secession Art & Design, Coronitas Bar and Grill, and Old Devil Moon are each hosting fundraisers for the Mission Bernal Merchant Fire Relief Fund.

Start the evening off at Secession Art & Design’s party at 3235 Mission from 6-9pm. 3300 Club will be selling t-shirts at this event. Then have a Corona and some delicious buffalo wings at Coronitas at 3326 Mission. Walk just up the street to Old Devil Moon at 3472 Mission to have a Po-boy and some beer, whisky, or rum – your choice.

When you shop, eat, or drink you’ll be making a difference. Each business will donate a percentage from their proceeds.

Our fundraising efforts end on Sunday at midnight, so help us reach our goal of $25,000. Forty locals and fifteen restaurants have brought hope to the merchants of the 3300 block by raising close to $20,000 already.

The merchants on this block still need support from our local community so they can have a chance to open again and do what they love best. Our fundraiser is a small thank-you grant to remind these businesses that we got their back, and let them know that we’re still thinking of them and want them to be able to return.

See you Friday night!


PHOTO: 3300 block of Mission Street after the fire. Photo by Jonathan Koshi via MBMASF

Discrepancies Appear in Photos of Hillary Ronen Campaign HQ Graffiti

The fishy tale of the hateful graffiti that appeared on the campaign headquarters of District 9 supervisor candidate Hillary Ronen just got a little more fish-smelling.

As you may have heard, during Labor Day weekend, sometime in the early hours of Monday, September 5, someone scrawled misogynistic graffiti on the doorway of D9 candidate Hillary Ronen’s headquarters at 3417 Mission Street (between Kingston and Eugenia) in Bernal Heights.  The graffiti, which appeared to support Joshua Arce, Ronen’s foremost rival in the D9 supervisor race, said: “Vote Arce Ya C***s.”

In a Facebook post shared at 6:17 pm on Monday, Sept. 5, Hilary Ronen shared a photo of her staff as they painted over the graffiti:


Meanwhile, that same day, candidate Joshua Arce condemned the graffiti, and disavowed any involvement with it:

I was saddened to learn this morning that someone had defaced my opponent’s office with offensive and misogynistic graffiti. I reached out to Hillary to see if we can help remove the graffiti because I would never condone or stand by while someone, who claims to support me, uses hateful language and defaces private property. While this race may get contentious at times, there is no excuse for the type of behavior that was shown this morning.

So, whodunnit?

Fast-forward a few weeks, and KPIX reporter Joe Vasquez broke the story about security camera footage that captured the scene when the vile graffiti was scrawled on the Ronen HQ door:

The video shows that at 5:22 am on Monday, September 5, two people — a man and a woman — worked together as a team to vandalize the front door of Hillary Ronen’s campaign headquarters.

The  footage, which we later learned had originally been obtained by the Arce campaign, shows that the man and the woman started by walking north along the west side of Mission Street, past the 76 gas station on the corner of Mission and 30th Street.  The man is wearing dark pants and a jacket. The woman is wearing a hat and boots, and carrying a cup of coffee. After passing the gas station, the pair crosses over to the east side of Mission street before doubling-back to the Ronen campaign headquarters. Then, the video shows, as the woman stood watch, the man squatted to write something in the doorway of Ronen’s campaign headquarters. With new markings visible on the door, the duo then continued walking north on the east side of Mission Street.

The footage is grainy, somewhat dark, and somewhat distant. Nevertheless, political junkies, reporters, and (now) SFPD investigators all over town have been obsessively zooming and enhancing the video, in hopes of finding a way to identify the perpetrators shown in the video.

Admittedly, Bernalwood editor has dabbled in some of this obsessive zooming and enhancing as well. But recently, when we took a step back to look at some of the photos of the doorway taken before the graffiti was painted over, we noticed something… rather curious.

Here are two posed photos taken while Team Ronen was painting over the vile graffiti. The same people are present in both images, and both were taken within a few moments of one another:


Two versions of a moment:  Photo by Sana Saleem/48Hills, left, and Ronen campaign, right.

The photo on the left was taken by journalist Sana Saleem, and published on the 48Hills site on Monday, September 5. The photo on the right is the one shared by Hillary Ronen (and provided to media sites like MissionLocal).

It would appear that both photos were taken at almost the exact same time. The same people are in the photos, in the same places and the same postures. Likewise, the sun is in the exact same position, as you can see by when we zoom and enhance the shadow shown on the bucket of paint:


But when you put both photos side by side and pull back just a little bit more, the photos begin to diverge. Can you spot the difference?


Here’s a clue:


Innnnnnnnnnteresting! In the photo on the right — the one published and distributed by Hillary Ronen’s campaign — the campaign signs for Tom Temprano and Mark Sanchez have been replaced by campaign signs for Kim Alvarenga and Jane Kim.

Another photo shows how the doorway looked earlier that same day. Here’s a tweet posted at 1:15 pm by @acordova:


As we can see, the configuration of the signs in the earlier photo matches what’s shown in the 48Hills photograph from later that same day, with signs for Tom Temprano and Mark Sanchez displayed in the campaign HQ window.

When asked about the discrepancy, Hillary Ronen told Bernalwood: “I switched the position of the signs when I took my photo to show solidarity with other women candidates who have also been subject to hateful attacks during this election cycle.”

Editor Tim Redmond from 48Hills has confirmed that the 48Hills photo was taken by reporter Sana Saleem. Bernalwood also asked Sana Saleem if she saw the signs being changed. Saleem said that while she wasn’t at the site for long, she did not witness the signs being rearranged.

Finally, just to complete the very strange circle, while the photo from the early afternoon of Sept. 5 shows the Alsarenga-Kim signs positioned on the right side of the doorway, this photo taken by Bernalwood yesterday shows them now on the left:


A Brief History of Bernal Heights Rogues, Hoodlums, and Characters of Ill Repute

Bernal Hill, circa 1924. View looking south, roughly from above Precita Avenue,, Folsom Street at left; Coso to the right. The ad on the hilltop is for Maxwell Automobiles. Courtesy of

Bernal Hill, circa 1924. View looking south, roughly from above Precita Avenue. Folsom Street at left; Coso Triangle to the right. The ad on the hilltop is for Maxwell Automobiles.

There’s a terrific new story posted by SFGate that provides lots of colorful detail about Bernal’s shady past:

Sometimes the digital archives tell a story, uncovering long forgotten history. My dig in the Bernal Heights archives even revealed the moment in 1873 where the courts determined that Holly Park was public ground. Stories of gang activity in the neighborhood were found over and over in the early days. Reporting soon painted a picture of abject violence that seemed to rule the hill in the 1870’s.  […]

Bernal Heights was originally part of the Rancho de las Salinas y Potrero Nuevo, and owes its name to Jose Cornelio de Bernal, to whom the land was granted in 1839 by the Mexican government. In the 1860s the rancho was subdivided into small lots, and was first populated primarily by Irish immigrants who farmed the land and ran dairy ranches. According to legend, a mini gold rush was triggered in 1876 when con artists planted the hilltop with traces of gold. We found evidence of people claiming the “Eureka Lode” in reporting from the 1870s.

The article also includes some tasty archival tales of Bernalese rogues from centuries past. Here’s just one example:

December 3, 1877 Lawlessness of the Bernal Heights Gang
On Friday Dan Murphy and Charles Manchester, members of the Bernal Heights gang of hoodlums, were held to answer to a charge of assault to rob, and the former was also sentenced by the Police Judge to one year’s imprisonment for simple assault. These men, with five others, a few nights ago went to the house of Patrick Haight and his wife and with terrific blows upon the door awakened Haight and his wife. They demanded admittance upon the ground that they were policemen, and wished to search the house. Upon obtaining admittance the seven men, partially masked by handkerchiefs tied around the lower part of their faces, attacked Haight and his wife and demanded money. They ransacked the house from top to bottom and beat the inmates unmercifully. Mrs. Haight was knocked down and beaten about the face while kneeling in her night clothes upon the floor. But an accidental raising of the handkerchiefs, with the recognition of the voices of two of the robbers enabled Haight to identify Manchester and Murphy and bring them to justice. The six ruffians did not succeed in finding any money, and went off empty-handed after their attack. On Friday, after the two criminals had been held to answer, Herbert Manchester, a brother of Charles, and a member of the Bernal Heights gang, with four others, went to the house of Haight and entered the yard. Haight’s cow was lying there, and the brutal ruffians at once seized her and cut her throat. The arteries were not reached, but the trachea was severed so that the air enters the lungs in great measure, through the cut. This Bernal Heights gang is now under the captaincy of Tom Farron, and it has an open field for operations, there being no policemen beyond Twenty-sixth Street. The lawless characters have for some time kept up a reign of terror in that locality, and have so impressed the people with their ability and willingness to do any act, that they are afraid to testify against criminals when caught or to make complaints. The members of the gang are said to make frequent raids upon the houses, disguising their features by a liberal supply of soot or blacking. Saturday morning Herbert Manchester and John Smith were before the Court on charges of petty larceny. Thomas Brown, who lives at Bernal Heights, discovered these two young men walking along a fence at 6 o’clock in the morning, carrying a bag that contained geese. Seeing that the fellows had no gun Brown gave chase and captured them. In the bag they found four geese. They were found guilty as charged, and will receive sentence today.

By all means, read the whole thing… and enjoy all the terrific old photos.

PHOTO: Top, 1924 aerial view, courtesy of

Get to Know This Butterfly, Photographed Atop Bernal Hill


Neighbor Chris did some butterfly spotting atop Bernal Hill recently, and he shared the results of his spottery with Bernalwood:

An Anise Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio zelicaon) pauses and warms its wings in the eighty-degree mid-afternoon heat, against the Sutrito Tower fence.

(NOTE: For best results, try reading the above while wearing a pith helmet and whispering excitedly into a microphone.)

Here’s a close-up of our local specimen:


As for Papilla zelicaon, the Wikipedia sayeth:

Papilio zelicaon, the anise swallowtail, is a common swallowtail butterfly of western North America. Both the upper and lower sides of its wings are black, but the upper wing has a broad yellow stripe across it, which gives the butterfly an overall yellow appearance. There are striking blue spots on the rear edge of the rear wing, and the characteristic tails of the swallowtails. Its wingspan is 52–80 mm. Its body is somewhat shorter than the rather similar western tiger swallowtail, with which its range overlaps; it also lacks the black stripes, converging toward the tail, of the latter […]

The anise swallowtail is a butterfly of fairly open country, and is most likely to be seen on bare hills or mountains, in fields or at the roadside. It is often seen in towns, in gardens or vacant lots.

The usual range of the anise swallowtail extends from British Columbia and North Dakota at its northern extreme, south to the Baja California Peninsula and other parts of Mexico. It is occasionally reported from the southeastern United States, but its normal range does not extend east of New Mexico. In all the more northerly parts of the range, the chrysalis hibernates.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Chris Frieber