Procession to Mark Nine-Month Anniversary of Neighbor Alex Nieto’s Death, as Vandalism Strikes Memorial Again

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Within the last month, the officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York City have become the focus of intense protest across the country. Yet much, much closer to home, this week marks the nine-month anniversary of Bernal neighbor Alex Nieto’s death in an SFPD officer-involved shooting on Bernal Hill.

Many of the circumstances surrounding Neighbor Alex’s death on March 21, 2014 remain unknown. An autopsy report was (belatedly) released, but the names of the officers involved in the shooting have not been made public, no grand jury has been convened, and the City’s formal investigation into the incident remains maddeningly opaque.

On Sunday, December 21, Alex Nieto’s family and friends are holding a procession and Mexican Posada to remember Neighbor Alex:

4pm @ 24th Street and Mission Street (BART Plaza on Northeast corner):

Opening ceremony & words by families who have lost loved ones in 2014 to police brutality.

Confirmed visiting families:
Family of Yanira Serrano Garcia (killed in Half Moon Bay). Family of Antonio Lopez (killed in San José)
Friend and/or family of Errol Chang (killed in Daly City)

Sidewalk procession to Bernal Hill.

@ Bernal Heights Park, Alex Nieto Memorial Site, northside slope: Words by family and supporters of Alex Nieto.

Closing ceremony.

Walk to site of Mexican Posada, to be announced on hill.

Additional details about Sunday’s event can be found on the Justice 4 Alex Nieto website.

Separately, Alex’s parents, Elvira and Refugio Nieto of Cortland Avenue, report that their memorial to Alex on Bernal Hill was recently vandalized yet again. This time, the entire memorial was taken, leaving nothing behind. This video shows Elvira and Refugio Nieto rebuilding part of the memorial to their son:

IMAGE: Video still of Bernal neighbors Elvira and Refugio Nieto, parents of Alex Nieto, on Bernal Hill, December 16, 2014

Heavy Rains Turn Cars into Submarines at 101 Hairball Onramp

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The (much welcomed) rains were intense last night — so much so that a storm drain for the Hairball interchange clogged up and flooded the 101 South onramp from eastbound Cesar Chavez.

When I drove past the site at about 8:45 am this morning, the onramp was closed and a DPW crew was vacuuming out the offending storm drain with a giant sucker-truck.

But a tweet from Neighbor Brian informed us that the flooding had been so intense before sunrise that a few cars became thoroughly submerged:

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Meanwhile, Neighbor Anita reports things looked similar around the Alemany 101/280 Spaghetti Bowl:

 

PHOTO: @brianhollinger

Drama! Bad Driving! Streetcar vs. SUV Accident in the Bernal Cut

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Neighbor Fiid from Highland Ave. saw the aftermath of a rather nasty collision between an SUV and one of MUNI’s modern Breda streetcars last night on San Jose Avenue at the entrance to the Bernal Cut. Here’s Neighbor Fiid’s report, filed in Bernalwood Action News mode:

Location is San Jose Avenue at the Shell station (north end). The SUV drove up the middle of the platform instead of either side, and ran out of concrete where it drops to just tracks and gravel. Then it either hit or got hit by the train.

Not 100% clear what the chain of events was. Officer at the scene said that this happens quite frequently (less than once per month – so maybe 6-10 times a year??).

The SUV is totalled; but the occupant(s) were unscathed. The Breda had its mating connector damaged, and there was a damaged panel, and some boxes zip-tied up underneath to enable a “get it home” strategy. (Just like the Bernal Dads!)

Could easily have been nastier, but totally avoidable.

From the Highland Bureau: signing out.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Fiid

Meet the Man Who Makes Tuesday Emergency Siren Tests Go “WAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

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Every Tuesday at noon, for about as long as anyone cares to remember, the City of San Francisco has conducted a test of its emergency alert siren system. If you need  reminder of what that sounds like, just listen right here. Or, wait a few minutes, and the siren will play today. At noon. Like always.

If you’re out of town, and feeling nostalgic for the weekly test, you can also get it via Twitter:

San Francisco’s Outdoor Public Warning System has been in place since 1942, and the system now includes 109 siren towers sprinkled around the City. Here in Bernal, there’s one (strategically) perched on Bernal Hill right next to Sutrito Tower, as well as one atop Leonard Flynn Elementary School in Precitaville.

The Tuesday tests are managed from the Department of Emergency Management headquarters in Western Addition. The test features a 15 second “wail” tone, followed by a recorded message that says, “This is a test. This is a test of the Outdoor Public Warning System. This is only a test.” (FUN FACT: Apparently, the voice on that recorded message is Dave Morey, the former KFOG DJ.) In the event of real emergency, the sirens will play continuously for 5 minutes, followed by instructions and announcements for the general public.

Another fun fact: The Tuesday siren tests are actually conducted manually, by a guy named Cesar. This awesome little video will introduce you to Cesar and show you how he makes the siren tests go “Waaaaaaaaaaaa!”

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

City Finalizes $15 Million Settlement for Svanemyr Family in Holly Park Hit-and-Run

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The City of San Francisco has finalized a $15.1 million settlement with the surviving family of Christy Svanemyr, the woman who was killed in the heartbreaking 2013 hit-and-run incident involving a Recreation and Parks Department truck in Holly Park.

KCBS has the details:

The family of a 35-year-old woman who was run over and killed by a city employee driving on the grass in San Francisco’s Holly Park last September has been issued a settlement by the city of $15.1 million.

Vegar and Isa Svanemyr, the husband and toddler of Christine “Christy” Svanemyr, will receive the settlement as a result of a claim filed in November 2013.

The settlement was approved by the city’s Recreation and Park Commission in July and adopted by the city’s Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The funds will be paid to the family in three installments.

PHOTO: Incident scene at Holly Park on Sept. 5, 2013. Inset, Christy Svanemyr

Recovery Continues for Jackie Jones, Celebrity Music-Maker of the Alemany Farmer’s Market

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Bernalwood has received several requests for an update on the health of Bernal neighbor Jackie Jones, the Alemany Farmer’s Market musical celebrity who took a bad fall last year.

Neighbor Hannah spearheaded the previous fundraising effort for Jackie, and she’s been checking in on Jackie regularly. Neighbor Hannah shares this candid report:

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for your concern about Jackie Jones. She gave me permission to share this update:

“I had thought getting over my broken bones would be the end of my problem, but not so. My feet turned up with posterior tibial tendon disfunction. In other words, collapsing feet. The bones start to fall apart. I had to stay off my feet for so long, so I lost my balance. I will have to do exercises to regain this. I’m on my way. Next they will have new foot and ankle braces made for the right foot because the broken bones healed crooked. It’s been an awful thing to happen to me. But my spirits are up and I do want to figure ways to play music again.”

Jackie is happy to know that her “spot” is still open at the market and she still hopes to get back. When I asked her if she needed anything, she said “Bring me tales from the market!”

So if you’d like to send her your tales, email them to messages4jackie@gmail.com, I’ll pass your notes along to her.

With warmth and gratitude,
Hannah

PHOTO: Jackie Jones in 2006, by Telstar Logistics

Bernal Neighbor Seeks Samaritans Who Helped After Bad Fall

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Neighbor Cecilia lives on Putnam, and she’s searching for the helpful souls who helped her after a very bad fall while crossing a very busy Bernal street:

I had a bad injury just over a week ago and it could have been much worse if a man and a woman hadn’t come to my rescue.

On Aug 29, coming back from my commute, I was crossing Mission at Virginia – coming from the Safeway parking lot – at about 5:30 pm to go get my car on Coleridge when I tripped on a small lip of the pavement. My husband later photographed it; it is an old crack going lengthwise on Mission.

I could not catch myself quickly enough with an extra step, and so I fell flat like pancake. I laid flat, belly down, my arms open, on the pavement, in deep pain, scared, my glasses broken, for what seemed quite a while. Meanwhile the light must have turned red against me and surely the drivers on Mission were eager to move on.

A man and a woman knelt down near me and gently helped me up. She put my car keys back in my jacket pocket and he walked me to La Altena taqueria to get me a cup of water, while I sat on the window ledge outside.

I later spent the whole night at the ER where I was diagnosed with fractures at my shoulder and at my knee. I am home-bound now, feeling every day a bit better, thank god. I am an active person and I do yoga, so I trust I will heal fast.

Now I would like to find and thank my rescuers personally. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I am hoping this message will reach them.

Thank you, Good Samaritans! If you would like to come forward, contact us at bernalwood @ gmail, and we will gladly connect you with one very grateful Neighbor Cecilia.