Bernal Filmmaker Creating Documentary About San Bruno Mountain’s Butterflies

EdgeoftheWild

Neighbor Gail Mallimson is a filmmaker who lives on Moultrie. She’s working on a film about San Bruno Mountain — that very tall thing covered in rocks and grass and butterflies and radio antennas (that’s not Bernal Hill) you pass on your way to the airport. San Bruno Mountain is actually home to some very unique butterflies, and Neighbor Gail’s film documents the effort to save them from extinction. From her media release:

San Francisco documentary filmmaker Gail Mallimson’s newest film, The Edge of the Wild will be released this Spring, and premiere at the San Francisco Green Film Festival (dates to be announced). A Bernal Heights resident, Mallimson has set her sights on a local issue – the 30-year land-use battle over endangered butterflies on San Bruno Mountain. The film is a labor of love for this accomplished filmmaker who has worked in the past on documentaries about diverse subjects like Sudanese refugees, homophobia in womens’ college basketball, the state of mental healthcare, and mindfulness in an underprivileged middle school.

Mallimson filmed The Edge of the Wild over eight years, climbing San Bruno Mountain with her camera to capture this beautiful wilderness that is one mile south of San Francisco, and completely surrounded by urbanization. The film is told through the eyes of Michele Salmon, who has lived her whole life in the small town of Brisbane, which is tucked into a canyon on the mountain. In the 1960’s, Michele’s family played a major role in foiling development plans to scrape off the top of the mountain for a new city. The Edge of the Wild follows Michele as she picks up where her parents left off – battling to uphold the Endangered Species Act and reverse a national policy that allows landowners to kill endangered butterflies. The story is a touching portrayal of small-town democracy and of residents’ emotional bonds to a local butterfly and wilderness that are at risk of disappearing forever.

Mallimson has a few more hoops to jump through before The Edge of the Wild is completely done, and she has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to pay for finishing costs of the film.

The Edge of the Wild will screen at the San Francisco Green Film Festival in early June (date to be announced soon) and will be shown throughout the country as part of an outreach campaign to defend the Endangered Species Act against attack in Congress.

Here’s the trailer:

Saturday: Volunteers Wanted to Help Make Bradford/Jarboe Stairs More Beautiful

bradfordsteps3

Remember that City-owned lot near the top of Bernal Hill that suffered from neglect, overgrowth, and a general sense of sad? And remember how an extremely sexy group of neighborhood volunteers cleaned up the land so well and so thoroughly that it is now certified for use as a Bernal Heights Unicorn Habitat?

Well, Neighbor Samir is organizing a similar volunteer clean-up effort for some neglected terrain in Alemanistan, around the Bradford and Jarboe Stairs. The work happens tomorrow, Saturday, February 21 from 9am to 12 noon, and our local unicorns would love it if you could help.

Neighbor Samir tells the recent history of the site:

According to neighborhood lore, before the Bradford and Jarboe stairs were put in place, there was a dirt path here that was attended to by a neighbor.

Then when two new residences went up on the 300 block of Bradford, the developer worked with the city to install these stairs. They ended up tearing out all the landscaping, but they put in some new plants. The City maintained it for 5 years then stopped. (That was about when my partner and I moved to the block, a little over 3 years ago.)

I think neighbors were put off by the whole process of the stairs going in, and the neighbor who did the original landscaping sold his house and moved away.

In the time since the city stopped doing maintenance, myself and a few others have made individual efforts to go out there and clean things up. Others have repeatedly called 311, but no one ever comes out to do anything. I’d basically all but given up, until I saw the Bernalwood post about the Ellsworth garden. I saw [Jerad Weiner, DPW’s community liaison]’s contact info in the comments, and reached out to him directly. That’s how this got going. Jerad was very responsive and got to work right away organizing this gardening day.,

From what I gather, the first day we’ll be weeding and trimming. We’re then supposed to assess which areas should get mulch and DPW attention. Jerad also mentioned that if we neighbors get together and put together a list of things we want, we can request that the City purchase them (plants, etc).

This area too could soon become a vibrant Bernal Heights Unicorn Habitat. But first, it needs your help. Saturday morning. Nine to noon. As explained here:

Jarboe-Stairs-Garden-Day

Bank of America Plans to Eliminate Human Bankers from Cortland Branch

BankofAmerica1936

Action Alert: Bank of America has announced plans to eliminate human tellers from the bank’s Cortland Branch.

Bernalwood visited the Cortland Branch yesterday to confirm the rumors that have been swirling around the neighborhood for the last few days.

We were told that BofA does indeed plan to turn the Cortland Branch into an Express Banking Center. That means the building is slated to undergo significant remodeling, with human tellers replaced by a zeal of indoor ATM machines. Safe deposit boxes will be eliminated along with the tellers, but the site will be staffed by non-banker humans to assist with account-management issues. The remaining humans will be customer support people, basically.

As currently envisioned, remodeling will begin in April, with the branch set to reopen in July.

The B of A on Cortland has been there for a long time. A really long time; almost 100 years, practically since the time of the ancient Bernal druids. Which is to say, the B of A on Cortland is very much a local institution. During Bernalwood’s visit yesterday, the Cortland branch was bustling; There was a short line to visit the tellers, as a few more customers waited patiently on chairs to talk with a personal banker. While they still can.

Neighbor Darcy Lee from Heartfelt on Cortland was very sad to hear about BofA’s plan for the Cortland Branch, and she is rallying to keep the human bank tellers there. Neighbor Darcy writes:

As you might know, the B of A plans on renovating our branch to make it indoor ATMs.

I just went in the bank; There were 4 senior citizens waiting for service and 3 merchants in line. I could have made a video right then and there why a neighborhood branch is so important. B of A owns the building, and they want to make it an indoor ATM. They want to stay in Bernal, but just change what they provide.

This has a big impact on us as merchants, and that further extends to our customers that use the bank. There are many senior citizens that use this as a resource in Bernal.

All of us as merchants need money — actual coins and bills — sometimes multiple times in one day. We also make large cash deposits (or, at least hopefully large). From my observation over the years, this bank takes the time to explain to their elderly population often not English speakers what is going on with their accounts and statement charges.

B of A has made this announcement when their process is pretty far along, but I want to fight it.

Stay tuned for more details, but if you’d like to find out more, check in with Neighbor Darcy at Heartfelt.

UPDATE: In the comments, Neighbor Darcy adds:

HI all, Darcy here… thanks for your input- it is helpful to hear what you have to say. Please note that many folks that bank there do not read Bernalwood. There have always been safety issues with this branch, a few botched robberies over the years thus the bullet proof glass, a senior citizen mugged at the ATM. A door that opens during business hours without having to use your ATM card seems important to me, literally and symbolically. I do not feel it is an issue of “yeeesh old folks can learn to use a technology that has been around a long time”. For me it is an issue of letting an institution know that their decision made many miles from 94110 is affecting us. If you have ideas for the cause email me at info@heartfeltsf.com and if you have an account you will close because of this change please also let me know.

PHOTO: “Crowd of people standing outside the Bernal Heights branch of the Bank of America, on Cortland Avenue, after a bank robbery” December 24, 1936, via SFPL Image Library

Peaceful March Remembers Neighbor Alex Nieto as Shooting Investigation Drags On

nietomissionlocal

Turnout was strong, peaceful, and focused during yesterday’s march and memorial to mark the nine-month anniversary of Bernal neighbor Alex Nieto’s death in an SFPD officer-involved shooting on March 21, 2014. Yesterday’s march to remember Alex began on 24th Street in the Mission before heading up to the spot on Bernal Hill where Neighbor Alex was killed. Our friends at Mission Local had reporter Daniel Hirsch on hand at the rally:

The march was peaceful and no police officers were noticeable on scene. It began with a rally at the Bart Plaza on Mission and 24th Street around 4 p.m.. When those gathered began to move what started as a procession along the sidewalk quickly spilled onto the street, blocking traffic along 24th Street in several directions. Led by Aztec dancers and chants of “No Justice, No Peace, Stop the Racist Police,” the march lingered at the corner of Folsom and 24th Street for several minutes, before making its way up to the top of Bernal Hill [for] a ceremony honoring the dead.

MissionLocal also captured video of the march; click through to watch.

Bernalwood will provide updates if SFPD or City officials release any more information about Neighbor Alex Nieto’s death as part of an ongoing investigation that remains shamefully slow and opaque.

PHOTO: Daniel Hirsch for MissionLocal 

Sunday: Repair the World with JCCSF at Alemany Farm

alemanyfarm2

Tikkun Haolam is a Hebrew phrase that means “repair of the world.”

In modern Judaism, it often refers to the ideals  of philanthropy, social service, and community outreach. The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco has a very active Tikkun program, and this Sunday, Oct. 5 they’re organizing a volunteer work effort at the fabulous Alemany Farm in South Bernal.

Sarah Stickel from JCCSF shares the deets:

Hi Bernalwood Neighbors,

Want to do some good for your ‘hood this weekend?

Your fans and friends at JCCSF are coming to YOU this Sunday, 10/5 at Alemany Farm! We welcome everyone to join us on the farm from Noon – 5:00 pm while we lend a hand and help out a local treasure and urban farm that provides tons of free, local, organic produce to local low-income families and beyond. Come get your hands dirty, invite your friends, and take home your own free produce!

For information and to RSVP, visit our website and join us on the farm this Sunday!

Many thanks and best wishes to all you Bernalwood beauties.

PHOTO: Alemany Farm via Alemany Farm on Flickr

Saturday Morning: Cleanup Party in Precita Park

PrecitaParkcleanup

When you look down at Precita Park from the safety and climate-contolled comfort of the Google Earth blimp, it looks… Peaceful. Pristine. Like an urban oasis.

Actually, when you look at Precita Park from street level, it looks pretty damn awesome as well.

This is no accident. Precita Park looks so super-sexy in no small part because of all the hard work Neighbor Demece Garepis has done through the years under the auspices of Precita Valley Neighbors, the volunteer group she so valiantly leads.

Tomorrow morning, PVN is organizing a neighborly Precita Park cleanup party… and it’s a great opportunity to give the park some of your love.  Neighbor Demece says:

We are going to Clean Up Precita Park!

Join us this Saturday, Sept. 13 at 9:30a am. Meet in the Children’s Playground. Bring your bags, hand shovels, and rakes! Neighborly conversation and friendship provided.

IMAGE: Via Google Earth Pro

Starting Tonight: Vigils and March to Remember Alex Nieto

nietomemorialaug212014

Friends and family of Alex Nieto have organized a series events, starting today and culminating tomorrow, to honor the young Bernal resident who was killed in an officer-involved shooting on March 24.

Adriana from Justice for Alex Nieto wrote to Bernalwood to extend an invitation:

The Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Committee invites Bernal Heights to come support their neighbors The Nieto Family at the following events that will take place tomorrow Thursday and Friday at the Alex Nieto Memorial, on the north slope of Bernal Hill:

  • Thursday Aug. 21st, 7PM-Midnight: Sunset Vigil on Alex’s 5th month anniversary of killing by SFPD (ceremony, poets, musicians, speakers)
  • Friday Aug. 22nd, 5AM-7AM: Sunset Ceremony (danzantes, Buddhist Mesha Irizarry, mother of Idriss Stelley, killed by SFPD in 2001, will lead us in calling the names of those killed by SFPD in past decades)
  • Friday Aug. 22nd at 12 Noon: Alex Rises! March for Civil Rights against Police Killings! (Starting from Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill)

Additional details at the Justice for Alex Nieto website, and the poster below:

2014-8-13-final-aug-22-flyer_002

PHOTO: Top, Alex Nieto memorial on Bernal Hill, this morning August 5, 2014 at 8:22 am, by Telstar Logistics