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National training experts weigh in on SFPD Taser adoption

As the San Francisco Police Commission decides whether to equip the SFPD with Tasers, two national experts reforming traditional police training see a place for Tasers on an officer’s tool belt, but one also viewed them as less than critical. Both, however, agreed that training was key to using Tasers effectively. Sue Rahr, the director of the Washington state criminal...

Mission Street business robbed at gunpoint

Police report a man estimated to be in his 30s robbed a business at gunpoint at 26th and Mission streets at around 1:50 a.m. Tuesday morning. Two men, aged 38 and 39, were closing their establishment when the male suspect entered, brandishing a gun. He demanded money, and one of the victims gave him some. The suspect then ran away...

‘Chop shop’ legislation heads to Board of Supervisors for vote

A law that would make bike “chop shops” illegal will move to the Board of Supervisors for a vote after winning over two former opponents who now support the ban following the elimination of the police’s role in enforcement. District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin and representatives of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, who previously opposed the proposal, voiced their support...

Nonprofit launches program to help artists find affordable housing

Disclosure: Mission Local rents its office space from MEDA. While affordable studio space has long been a concern in the local arts scene, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Mission Economic Development Agency have now launched a program focusing on another factor in stabilizing the artistic community: Housing. The program, apparently the first of its kind in the city,...

Robbery, then shots fired on Shotwell Street

Police report that two men believed to be in their 20s robbed a 33-year-old man at gunpoint on 22nd and Shotwell streets on Saturday at 12:07 a.m. Just one minute later, officers also responded to a call about shots being fired in the same area. That incident may have been related to the robbery, police say. The two suspects approached...

Sanctuary City furor whipped up after killing of Abel Esquivel is phony — and lazy

ICE claims it warned San Francisco. But it warns San Francisco six times a day, and more than 320 times so far this year. It never stops warning. Abel Enrique Esquivel, Jr. deserved better than this. The 23-year-old deserved better after a lifetime of hard work, volunteerism and mentoring than to be gunned down in his prime in what appears...

Developments in Development: Earth-shaking

Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news. With Mexico City still reeling — though working valiantly to recover — from the Sept. 19 earthquake, there’s been no shortage of local what-iffery. And I’m going to join in, because now is as good a time as any to grapple with the unpleasant...

Cozy La Santaneca de la Mission proves worth the wait

Editor’s Note 9/25/17: La Santaneca is being honored by the Mayor’s Office for 2017 Latino Heritage Month as a Latino Heritage Business.  “La Santaneca de La Mission” essentially means “The Lady from Santa Ana of the Mission” — the Santa Ana in question is in El Salvador, and is the country’s second largest city. It’s like saying “a San Franciscan.”...

Neighborhood Notes: HOMEY returns, activist bus ads, Brava sneak peek

HOMEY is returning to the Mission! After spending years tucked away in the upstairs space of a building in SoMa, the originally Mission-based nonprofit Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth is set to move into a Mission Street storefront. “Were coming back home,” said Executive Director Roberto Elegio Alfaro. He said the group, known as HOMEY, was told it...

Beloved grocer, namesake of Gus’s Market, killed in hit-and-run

A 57-year-old grocer who brought a strong sense of community to his markets was killed by a driver in the Bayview Friday morning, leaving his family, staff, and customers to mourn the loss of the man they knew as “Gus.” Konstantinos “Gus” Vardakastanis was struck by the driver of a silver sedan near Jerrold and Toland streets at 2:17 a.m. and...

Life of Mission mentor in the making cut short by murder

The death of Abel Enrique Esquivel, Jr., more than a month ago left the 23-year-old’s mentors reeling from the loss of a young man on a trajectory to become a neighborhood leader. Freshly graduated from a youth leadership program at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Esquivel was, by all accounts, a generous and humble Mission native with plans to...

SF Fix-It team can beautify a park, but sex work resistant to remedies

Jose Coronado Playground at 21st and Shotwell streets will soon be getting new trees, signage and resurfaced athletic courts — but the sex workers, johns and pimps that neighbors have long complained about are unlikely to leave anytime soon. Captain Bill Griffin from Mission Station said the prostitution is not as “linear” as citing loiterers around the park. And it...

SFPD Officer arrested, charged with filing false police report

A San Francisco Police Department internal affairs investigation has led to the arrest of an SFPD officer, Joel Babbs, according to a police statement. The probe examined a June 2017 report of an officer violating vehicle code. The investigation found that the same officer had filed a false police report about the violation. After the District Attorney reviewed the case,...