Superstar Bernal Journalist Is Co-Host of New KQED Podcast


Bernal Neighbor Amy Standen lives on Gates, but she also happens to be an audio-famous public radio reporter for KQED. (That’s Neighbor Amy on the right in the photo.)

Her radio work is always lively and whip-smart, and now she’s co-hosting a brand-new KQED podcast called The Leap. Here’s how she describes it:

I’m spreading the word about a new podcast. My new podcast! I’m making it with my friend Judy Campbell, who in regular life produces KQED’s Forum.

The podcast is called The Leap  and it’s about people trying to transform themselves somehow. Each episode — one every other week — introduces you to a person in the midst of such a leap, and then kind of spirals out to the people around them and their own weird transformations.

We launched this week with two stories: Episode 0 explains what we’re all about and previews a few upcoming stories.

Episode 1 is an actual story, our first. It chronicles the invention of a really bad smell (this smell) and traces its journey from a high school kid’s bedroom through the decline of the American manufacturing industry to a fake Iraqi battlefield.

Next story comes out on October 20, and it’s a tear-jerker.

Your Bernalwood editor listened to Episode 1 yesterday, and it was… engrossing! Wonderfully so. The first installment of The Leap tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the bizarre history of Liquid Ass — which perhaps may not seem like something you ever wanted to know anything about, but which is actually rather fascinating once you hear the tale. Of course, that’s the hallmark of a really good podcast.

Congrats to Neighbor Amy and her co-conspirator Judy Campbell, and tune in.

PHOTO: Courtesy of KQED

Don’t Panic, But Two Trees Were Removed from Bernal Hill Yesterday


Yesterday Bernalwood received an alarming news flash via our Twitter red phone: A work crew was hard at work on the top of Bernal Hill near Sutrito Tower,  chopping down some of the trees.


We dispatched the Bernalwood Action News Satellite Uplink Miata to rush to the scene. When we arrived, the work crew was already gone, but two freshly cut stumps were all that remained of the former trees.


Sadness! Confusion! Anxiety!

Bernal Hill is public parkland, so Bernalwood reached out to San Francisco Rec and Park see if they could explain what the f*&^$#*ck had just happened. Connie Chan, Rec and Park’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs, responded with this statement:

As we have already mentioned earlier in September, the Department has been in the construction planning process to renovate and improve the Bernal Heights Trails. In the meantime, we are working with a contractor to complete abatement work for a few trees that were assessed as potential hazards.

Two dead trees near the top of the hill are expected to be removed (their branches were already removed by our staff to minimize hazardous conditions), and one Evergreen Ash tree on the west slope of the hill is planned to be pruned to remove or reduce the length of the stem with decay.

As you can see on the map shown via the web link, the red circles are the the two removals, and the tree still to be pruned is the yellow circle.

Bernal_Tree Work map.pdf

Okay, that’s good to know. Rec and Park didn’t exactly do a great job of proactive outreach beforehand, so our collective panic was perhaps to be expected. Nevertheless, we’re glad to know the tree removals atop Bernal Hill are now complete, so we trust there will be no more unpleasant surprises in the days and weeks ahead.

Oh yeah, and PS: All this is happening as part of the Bernal Hill Trail Improvement Plan we told you about waaaaaaaaaaay back in 2012.

PHOTOS: Top, @BernalJournal. Stumps by Telstar Logistics

Bernal Artist Offers Handy, Handmade Moon Calendars For 2016


After our spooky moon sightings and a super rare bloodmoon, it’s already been a great lunar year. Luckily, Neighbor Annie on Precita near York has been making moon calendars for the past five years, and she recently cooked up a new batch.

Wolf moon! Snow moon! Sturgeon moon! Beaver moon! Who knew there were so many moons?

Neighbor Annie says:

I originally began making these calendars as holiday gifts for loved ones when I moved here from Canada five years ago. They were so popular that I kept doing it, changing the design each time since I knew I wouldn’t want to look at the same calendar every year. Plus, it keeps it fun! This year, I was looking to give it a bit of an art nouveau/architectural feel. I hope it reads that way!

If you’re in the neighbourhood and you want to do a local pick up, just send me a message and we can arrange one.

Alternatively, you can also pick them up on her online store. They’re two-color screenprints that measure 16×20 inches — plenty big enough to ensure you’ll never to miss another full moon again. Plus, they’ll look great on the wall of your personal observatory.

PHOTO: via Annie Axtell

Your August 2015 Bernal Heights Real Estate Report: 20 Homes Sold, Average Price $1.3 Million


Let’s just cut to the chase: According to the August 2015 Bernal Heights sales report prepared by Downing and Company, the pace of home sales in our neighborhood remains brisk. Prices are lofty as well, with the average sale price in August weighing in at (ooof!) $1.3 million. Downing says:

August was a busy month for home sales in Bernal Heights. A total of 20 transactions were completed which was a spike compared to most months where the number of transactions often register in the low to mid teens.

The market remains hot with elevated prices and quick transactions. The average home price last month in Bernal Heights clocked in at $1.3 million. With tight market conditions and sellers in control homes were on the market for an average of only 20 days before going under contract.

For homebuyers looking to purchase for less than $1 million – alas there is still some hope in Bernal Heights. Three homes traded under that threshold last month (63 Arnold Ave, 1510 York St, and 29 Cuvier St.).

Click through to see details and specifics on each of the Bernal home sales shown above.

IMAGE: August 2015 homes sold montage from Downing and Co.

Late-Night Manhunt After Auto Burglary Suspect Injures SFPD Officer on Mirabel


Were you awakened by the sound of the helicopter circling low above Precitaville at around 12:30 am last night? That was a California Highway Patrol chopper that was brought in to assist the San Francisco Police in a coordinated search for auto break-in suspects who tried to run down an SFPD officer on Mirabel.

SF Chronicle reporter Kale Williams explains what happened:

A police officer was injured in San Francisco Sunday night when an auto burglary suspect tried to run him over, pinning him against his patrol car, authorities said.

Around midnight, officers responded to reports of the burglary on the 100 block of Mirabel Ave in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, said Officer Carlos Manfredi, a police spokesman.

As the officer stepped out of his cruiser, the suspect, who was sitting in a stolen BMW, tried to run him over, Manfredi said, pinning him against his vehicle.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, then attempted to flee but was blocked by another patrol car, which he also hit, Manfredi said. He was arrested at the scene.

The injured officer may have suffered broken ribs and injuries to his legs. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was in stable condition early Monday morning.

Yikes. Bernalwood sends sincere gratitude and get-well wishes to the injured SFPD officer.

Neighbor Matt Nathanson Released a New Album Today


Oh hey. If you need something new for your earholes over the weekend, Neighbor Matt Nathanson, Bernal’s rockstar in residence, released a new album today. It’s called Show Me Your Fangs.

We have reason to believe he’s kind of excited about it:

You can listen to Show Me Your Fangs on Spotify, or Rdio, or via the iTunes Store.

Neighbor Matt says “Bill Murray” is one of his favorite tracks from the new album, so enjoy it, with matching eye candy, right here:

PHOTO: Neighbor Matt on Instagram