City May Offer Svanemyr Family $15 Million in Fatal Holly Park Hit and Run Settlement


The Examiner has an update on the tragic case of Christy Svanemyr, the woman who was killed in Holly Park after she was run over by a San Francisco Rec and Park department truck last September. The Examiner says Svanemyr family is pursuing a lawsuit against the City:

San Francisco may be required to pay $15.13 million to the family of the mother who was fatally run over by a municipal pickup truck at Holly Park last year. A Recreation and Park Department gardener, Thomas Burnoski, remains on trial charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with the hit and run incident.

The pending settlement comes nearly a year after 35-year-old Daly City resident Christine Svanemyr was fatally run over while lying on the grass with her 11-month-old child and small dog in the Bernal Heights park. The child and dog were not injured.

The Recreation and Park Commission on July 17 recommended approval of the proposed $15.13 million settlement of the legal claim filed last year by the victim’s husband, Vegar Svanemyr, according to a Recreation and Park Department official. It would ultimately require approval by the Board of Supervisors.

The Examiner also reports that the felony vehicular manslaughter charges filed against Thomas Burnoski, the Rec and Park employee who was driving the truck that killed Christy Svanemyr, are also underway. A pretrial conference took place earlier this week, and Burnoski is scheduled to return to court on September 4.

PHOTO: Flowers at the site where Christy Svanemyr was killed, photographed on Saturday, Sept 7, 2013 by Telstar Logistics

Bring Your Cool Car (and Maybe Your Kids) on the 2014 Bernal GT 100



2011 Bernal GT

There are a great many car rallies in this world, but there are very few where you may see a Ferrari used as a donut rack.

The Bernal GT just happens to be one such rally.

The Bernal GT is an annual confab of local cars, kids, donuts, and scenic mountain roads organized by the gearhead family men of the Bernal Dads Racing Team. By design, then, The Bernal GT was created to provide opportunity to dust off classic-ish cars, stuff a kid or two into the seats, and partake of some spirited gran tourismo with a group of like-minded motorheads (and mini-motorheads).

The 2014 Bernal GT 100 happens this Saturday, May 17, and Neighbor Fiid extends the invitation:

The Bernal Dads are proud to announce the fifth Bernal GT 100!!

As in past years, this is the kid friendly– but not kid necessary– run beginning and ending in the vicinity of Bernal Heights.
The Bernal GT is simply a drive, not a race or competition for awards, trophies, pink slips, bragging rights, or spiritual attainment.

Bring an old car *or* a newer car with a kid *or* better still– an old car and a kid. If you have something new and interesting that can work too, but no minivans or SUVs unless you’ve stuffed a blown small-block in it or something.

This is a free event, and will not cost anything to participate.

Like last year, We’ll try to bring airline barf bags for anyone bringing kids (or weak-stomached adults). There will probably be donuts and coffee, but no promises.

When: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Time: 9:30am to mid-afternoon
Where: The parking lot at Fort Funston.
Length: Somewhere between 80 and 120 Miles
Cost: Nothing
We are looking for the following:

  • - Car of 1980 model year or older
  • - If you have kids 17 years or younger and/or kids in car seats, newer cars can work.
  • - Rare and/or exotic cars 1981 model year and newer

Wanna join in? You should join in!

RSVP by sending the following info to:

1) Drivers Name, Co Driver & other passengers
2) Phone Number
3) Kids Along: Yes or No
4) Your Vehicle’s Name:
5) Vehicle Info: Year, Make, & Model

Cheers, and hope to see you on the 17th!!

Your Bernalwood Editor and our Cub Reporter will be covering the Bernal GT this weekend; look for us in the Bernalwood Action News Mobile Uplink Miata.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

UPDATED: One Dead After Hit and Run Collision on Cesar Chavez


There was a horrific hit and run accident on Cesar Chavez at Folsom in the early hours of Saturday morning that resulted in the death of one crash victim. Marisa Lagos from the Chronicle has the story:

The crash happened about 2:20 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Folsom streets, police said. A car headed east on Cesar Chavez was broadsided when a car driving south on Folsom ran a red light, said Officer Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman.

The man driving the car that was broadsided was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he later died, police said. His name has not been released.

A third car was hit after the first collision, Shyy said, causing minor injuries to that driver.

The driver and several passengers of the car that caused the collisions ran away, according to police. One occupant of the vehicle stayed at the scene and was interviewed by investigators.

UPDATE, 8 May, 2014: The SFPD has made an arrest related to this fatal hit and run:

There was a deadly traffic collision on May 3, at 2:20 a.m. It appears that the suspect’s vehicle entered the intersection of Cesar Chaves and Folsom Streets at a high rate of speed and failed to stop at a red light. The victim’s vehicle was broadsided, and the victim suffered fatal injuries. The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he died later. The suspect fled the scene on foot.

SFPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Unit conducted the investigation. This investigation led to the identification of the suspected driver. A $1,000,000.00 warrant for felony hit and run and felony manslaughter was issued for Jamie Linares, 25 years old and a resident of San Francisco.

SFPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Unit, Violence Reduction Team, plainclothes units from Bayview, Ingleside, and Mission Stations, went on an all out search for the suspect. The suspect turned himself in on May 7, 2014. He has been booked at the county jail on the above warrant, and he is currently on felony probation for robbery. There is no booking photo available, because there are identification matters pending

PHOTO: Broadsided vehicle, 6:30 am Saturday. By Telstar Logistics

UPDATED: “Smart Car Tipping” Is a Thing, and It Happened in Bernal Heights Last Night



As you may know, “cow-tipping” is mostly at the stuff of rural legend. As Modern Farmer explains, “Cow tipping, at least as popularly imagined, does not exist. Drunk young men do not, on any regular basis, sneak into cow pastures and put a hard shoulder into a cow taking a standing snooze, thus tipping the poor animal over.”

That may be true. Yet here in Bernal, we have experienced a very real wave of Smart Car Tipping which has seen [probably drunk] young men sneaking onto quiet streets and putting a hard shoulder into parked Smart Cars, thus tipping the poor vehicles over.

Neighbor Dyche reports from the scene of a Smart Car Tipping incident last night:

The crack team at Bernalwood might already have heard this over the police scanner but, just in case: there has been a rash of Smart Car tippings in the neighborhood. The last count I heard was three. The first I heard of this phenomenon was a crash outside my front door followed by the sound of a vehicle racing away. I ran outside to find my neighbor’s Smart Car tipped on its side into the middle of the road. This occurred around 1:00 AM on the corner of Ogden and Anderson Streets. The car suffered what appears to be minor damage (including broken windows and side-view mirror. The Smart Car of my other neighbors remains, mercifully, untipped.

Please caution readers to look after their little buddies. If they can, maybe put them in the garage for a day or two.

Or the barn, if you have one. Meanwhile, KRON-TV reports on other incidents around Bernal and in the Portola:


Witness Brandon Michael says he was smoking a cigarette when one of the incidents happened near Bowdoin and Sweeny at about 12:30 a.m. Monday.

“All of a sudden I just see eight hooded figures walk up to the car,” Michael says. “I thought it looked like they were up to no good. And then sure enough they walk up to this smart car right here, all huddle around it, and then lift it up and set it on its hind legs.”

Michael says he thinks the whole thing is kind of silly but clearly an act of vandalism.

Police say witnesses report seeing similar vandalism on smart cars at about the same time just on the other side of I-280. One smart car ended up on its side at Anderson and Ogden while another was left on its roof a few blocks away at Anderson and Courtland.

UPDATE: Neighbor Brandon shares these photos of the fourth Smart Carnage incident on Prospect at Coso in Bernal:




PHOTOS: Top, Neighbor Dyche. Below, KRON. Bottom, Neighbor Brandon

UPDATED: Bernal Dads Drive World’s Fastest Cookie In 24 Hours of LeMons Race


As you read this now, your Bernalwood editor is embedded with the Bernal Dads Racing team at Sonoma Raceway, in preparation for the 24 Hours of LeMons race that is set to take place this weekend.

The Bernal Dads have arrived here to field their brand-new crapcan race car, a 1987 Alfa Romeo Milano acquired on the cheap from the estate of a deceased gentleman in Marin.

Entering an Italian car in a grueling endurance race that places a premium on reliability and spare parts availability suggests a serious lack of good judgement; a perception confirmed by their unholy decision to transform the Alfa Romeo Milano into a V6-powered bag of eponymous cookies:


On the positive side, the roof-mounted cookie may help increase aerodynamic stability at speed.


The interior demonstrates a similar commitment to precision engineering and fine Italian craftsmanship:


Wish the Bernal Dads luck on the track. They’re driving a fuel-injected cookie in a 17 hour, wheel-to-wheel road race, so they’re going to need it.

UPDATE: It raced! Eventually! And it looked delicious:

LeMons Sonoma 2014

LeMons Sonoma 2014

PHOTOS: Bernal Dads Racing