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New Mission District police captain gets an earful

In his first official community meeting as head of Mission Police Station,  Captain William Griffin did most of the listening, reassuring neighbors that police are working alongside the city to address ongoing concerns about a swell of homeless encampments and prostitution in the district. “I can’t tell you that in the two to three years that I’m here I can...

New Mission police captain shares vision of “customer-service” oriented policing

Assigned from the Airport Bureau to one of San Francisco’s busiest police districts, new Mission Station Police Captain William Griffin said he anticipates a change of pace and comes equipped with a “customer service” centered lens that he hopes will shape the station to better and more efficiently serve the local community.   “I think it’s always good to bring...

Freeway’s ‘Hairball’ community uprooted by state agency

One of the few relatively isolated homeless encampments in the Mission District that self-regulated and seemed to exist with a semblance of order underneath Highway 101 ramps  was taken down a month ago by the California Highway Patrol, forcing its inhabitants onto the surrounding sidewalks. Since then there have been visits twice a week from cleaning crews that campers say have further dispersed what...

Developments in development: Affordable for whom?

Every time the words “affordable housing” are used in local media, commenters appear and argue about the phrase. Either they’re frustrated that, in a region where someone thinks it’s okay to charge people $800 a night to sleep on the floor, nothing is really “affordable.” Or they’re mad that we use the term in reference to city-administered below-market-rate units with...

Mission High basketball players make history in state capitol

The Mission High School boys basketball team made history on Friday night becoming the first San Francisco public school to win a state title.   The 82-75 overtime win in Sacramento against Villa Park High School made the Mission High School Bears the statewide Division 3 champions. “Oh my god,” said spectator Kathryn Gordon, whose son is a former team...

Community will decide on name for new Mission park set to open in May

A 17-year vision to transform an empty parking lot at 17th and Folsom streets into a recreational park is months away from completion and all that remained to do at Thursday’s final community meeting was to vote on a name. “The park is almost there,” announced Paulina Araica, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s project manager, who briefed community members...

Mission police arrest two men linked to fatal 19th Street shooting

Two men have been arrested in connection with the fatal March 17 shooting of 44-year-old Jorge Martinez at 19th and Mission streets. Minutes after 7 p.m. on March 21, San Francisco police officers from Mission Station located and arrested 22-year-old San Francisco residents Jose Mejia-Carrillo and 23-year-old Alexis Cruz-Zepeda near 19th and Church streets.  Both men face murder and conspiracy charges and...

And now there are 10 ice cream makers in the Mission’s 1.5 square miles

Of all the calls, howls and squawks heard in the Mission, never has a breathe been spent complaining of an ice cream shortage. Why should it? There’s a parlor just around the corner The Mission, in just 1.5 square miles, boasts ten ice cream makers. “You gotta have your options,” said Melissa Loesgen outside the Mission’s newest addition, Smitten Ice Cream,...

Planners say flooding fears don’t hold water, approve affordable housing

In a rare specimen of lightning-speed bureaucracy, the Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously re-approved an entirely below market rate building planned for 17th and Folsom streets, dismissing a neighbor’s concerns over flooding in the area. “There couldn’t be any more win-win situation for all,” said Commissioner Kathrin Moore. The building, 2060-2070 Folsom Street, has been in the works for years...

Survey: Latino families in Mission struggle, many earn below poverty rate

A survey of 584 households with children in the Mission District and surrounding area shows that while the city overall enjoys low unemployment rates and high incomes, local Latino families experience a starkly different economy. Nearly all of the respondents were Latino and the majority of them were women. Most – 77 percent of the 447 who answered the household...

SF commercial tenants vie for access, homeless encampments for space

Following the Department of Public Works’ efforts earlier this month to clear hazardous tent encampments in some parts of the city, an encampment growing in size near an office building on the outskirts of the Mission is drawing complaints from some employees there.   “We have entertainment venues here that nobody wants to come to if they have to fight...

Smitten Ice Cream ready to open on Valencia

It was more than a year ago that we reported Smitten would be returning to its Mission roots.  At the time, the open date appeared to be in the summer, but renovation always runs over, but now it is nearly complete.  On Monday night ice cream was being made for friends and family.  The official open will be on Thursday....

Mexican presidential hopeful gets warm welcome in SF Mission

Mexican presidential hopeful Andrés Manuel López Obrador made an appearance in the Mission District Monday evening, drawing a crowd of more than 200 supporters who welcomed him to the Grand Theater, now Gray Area, on Mission Street with cheers, chants, and signs. “Es un honor luchar con Obrador,” they chanted, or, “It’s an honor to fight with Obrador.” With two...

Subversion at the bus stops!

An ad on a bus stop just south of 24th Street on Valencia Street has been replaced with a handwritten message. “Imagine a city that replaces adverts with public arts and ideas,” the poster prompts. Signed by the Subvertisers International and marked #subvertthecity, the non-ad is part of an international campaign to replace advertising with art and other dissenting messages....

In one week, Public Works picks up 55,000 lbs of trash, 4,000 needles from encampments

In response to increasing tensions between San Francisco’s housed and unhoused neighbors and an ever growing stack of complaints about homeless encampments – the city’s Department of Public Works last week decided to take matters into its own hands by “deep cleaning” and essentially removing a number of them in the Mission and in South of Market.   Nuisance and...